1/7/2001

There, another month gone by, another month of journal entries catalogued away, a new month number in the date--and I wonder idly what became of that month. It must have gone somewhere, but I'm not entirely sure where. And I'm on a U2 kick now, for some reason--old U2, because I guess until recently I hadn't heard much of this stuff. I suppose it probably traces back to Saturday night, when I was in a funk, so I jerryrigged my roommate's record player to work and played his The Unforgettable Fire LP, and, well, that helped a lot. And I found my near-complete The Joshua Tree mp3's on my computer, and fell in love with those again--strange, because I had downloaded them a while ago, and wasn't all that moved, so I ignored them until now. But it's wonderful, really--and right now, I can't stop listening to "Running to Stand Still"--what a wonderful song...

you gotta cry without weeping,
talk without speaking,
scream without raising your voice

So, anyway, I rode my bike over to the CD store today and spent money I don't really have on my drug of choice. I picked up two U2 CD's, Boy and The Unforgettable Fire, and I also found a used Tracy Chapman CD, her self-titled one, which I'm guessing was her first. It's unrefined but incredibly soulful, personal. I listened to it once through, and was overwhelmed by how much emotion pouring out of it, so I had to take a break.

And here I am, sitting alone in my room with my cat and my computer and music all around. Perhaps music has too much of an effect on me, or maybe I'm just generally sensitive to things like this, or maybe...I don't know. Maybe I should just go to sleep.

And I feel like I'm running to stand still--I've been working so hard this summer, and messing up most other areas of my life with amazing proficiency. This is all backwards--I'm right where I don't want to be. I'm the wisest I've ever been, the most sociable, independent, and I feel like I have purpose and reason for doing what the work I'm doing, and yet--and yet! I'm lonely, and everything I'm doing amounts to running to stand still, while everyone around me crumbles away.

On Friday, my father drove my younger sister up to some sort of home for troubled teenagers several hours from here, where she'll apparently be staying for several months. My father seems to believe that this will shock her into changing her entire outlook on life, and then she'll come back a changed person, ready to take responsibility for her actions and care about others and such, and I don't understand where he got this idea from. Seems sort of like the mindset behind putting her in the psych ward months ago, as if, if we give her good enough, or severe enough, treatment, then of course things will turn around and she'll see the light and become the good kid everyone wanted and everything will be peachy keen and we can all sleep better at night.

That doesn't seem to be very close to reality. At least, last time all he managed to do was expose her to kids who were far more distressed than she. I don't know much about this new place, though...

And I love the song "Bad," too. Goooooooo, U2!

And back to Tracy Chapman, and my God, this song is depressing! It's called "Fast Car"--it made the radio years ago...

I remember when we driving, driving in your car
the speed so fast felt like I was drunk
city lights lay before us
and your arm felt nice wrapped 'round my shoulder
and I had a feeling that I belonged
and I had a feeling that I could be someone, be someone, be someone

And not that it particularly relates to me, at least not as much as it relates to my sister, in an odd way. She just wants to be someone...she has no idea how to go about that. She thinks she has a clue, and everyone's just trying to keep her from the happiness she deserves, that she can see, just around the bend, where all her problems will dissolve, and everything will work out just fine. I don't know how to cope with that. I don't know what to say to that. It's so different from anything I ever deal with, I suppose. The whole world is so different from the world I have, and it weirds me out to actually think about it. I end up being so much more self-absorbed than I want to be, maybe because I don't quite get most people. Maybe if I tried harder I could; I don't know. But I end up worrying about my own, strange problems--like what to do with myself, when there are so many things that I do well, really. And there are so many people trying to figure out what to do, with nothing like the skills or abilities that I take for granted, I'm sure. And now I'm just sounding haughty, and I hate that, because that's always how I end up feeling when I think like this, but really--I'm good at most academic pursuits, at least math, and science, and I can read well, and write passably well, and I've gained quite a bit of social tact, and I'm able to deal well with people. So what's my problem? There are just too many possibilities here! I need to find, among all the things I could do well, what I really feel passionate about, because I'll end up giving that so much more than I otherwise would. Or at least, that's my latest theory. Maybe it's useless. That's likely. But then I think of my sister, preparing to drop out of high school, having held no other job besides that of a cashier at a drug store, and here's someone who could never just pick up computer work on the side if she needed a second job, or even someone I would really trust to show up at work every day. I don't know how to deal with that, really.

Maybe if I told you the right words
at the right time, you'd be mine

And I'm quite tired now. I suppose I have been for a while, but I've just continued to type and listen to Tracy Chapman and avoid sleep, and I'll be exhausted tomorrow, I'm sure, but what's new? But yes, it's midnight. Time to go to bed; must awaken in 6 hours...

Look at me losing control
thinking I had a hold
But with feelings this strong
I'm no longer the master
of my emotions


2/7/2001

So, wow, two days in a row! Though I left my disk with yesterday's entry at home, so I won't upload either of these until the third, but oh, well. I suppose this is something to celebrate--I have, for the first time in a while, I guess, sufficient free time to write quite a bit. Or maybe it's just that I've happened to take away time to write. That's likely the more accurate explanation.

Anywho, I don' really believe I have all that much to write about. I worked today, which was exhilarating, though my boss wasn't there, presumably because his wife was giving birth. So I may hear from him tomorrow, or something, but I have plenty of work to do in the meantime. So, I worked there, headed over to my second job for a while, and then went to Raleigh to see T and get pizza in time to catch the bus back. And then I had the thrilling experience of writing my bike home from the main bus station at 12:15, and now, well, it's almost one, but I don't particularly feel like sleeping. Odd.

And I've been learning CSS for my second job, so now I can do neat things like indenting and better formatting! Whee!

And, yeah, I should go to sleep now. I'm quickly getting tired, and I have to get up way, way too soon...

but I still haven't found what I'm looking for...


4/7/2001

Right, so I probably should have checked everything in IE5 before running with the stylesheets as my way to center things. Stupid IE doesn't support the element I was using, so it's back to using more tags to accomplish the same thing. Oh, well. At any rate, I'm writing today, at least, because I'm at work and bored and not wanting to be at work. My roommate appears to have finally obtained a job, but it's kind of odd...so, he's going to be a part-time teacher at some private school around here. And I was asking him if it starts right away, and he said, "Well, it might as well, because they start so early." And he apparently meant, by "soon," that they start back in less than a month and a half. And he's showing no incredibly enthusiastic plans to look for a job to fill the time in between. Sigh. I would really like for him to pay me back for covering rent for him. That would be really nice. I'll just see when it happens...

And, I should go tie up a few loose CSS tags and try to get some work done. May write more later, or I may actually find something to do.


So now I'm rather tired, but not incredibly sleepy. I don't like this state--it's rather frustrating. And my fourth of July was so odd...I mean, on one hand, I feel so unpatriotic, having not cooked a pig or a cow or ignited explosives or consumed alcohol. But then even beyond that, a "serious conversation" popped out of nowhere. More of the biweekly relationship evaluations of yore, just when you thought there was no relationship! That's not even a good enough excuse at the moment, it would seem. It's apparently till quite easy to be confused about something that doesn't really even exist. But I'm not bitter or anything, just surprised, I suppose...

In a stroke of pure randomnity today, while bored at work, I decided, for no real reason at all that I can think of, to e-mail this girl I knew from elementary school, because I happened to be on her university web site, and just searched for her name and found it and all, and, yeah, that was random. And she just responded with something mainly to the effect of, yeah, that was random, along with saying that "of course" she remembered me. Which amused me--I didn't realize I was that memorable in fifth grade. Heehee. I was probably nothing like what I am now. This actually sort of came about because a friend of mine ended up rooming in college with another girl I knew in elementary school, who was picked on for some reason--the kids referred to us as "Mr. and Mrs. Whiz Kid," if I recall correctly. And she happened to mention where this other girl goes to college, like, two years ago, which I guess I remembered for some reason today, so, yeah. Soooo random. But I guess it surprised me that she actually wrote back...

And maybe I'll go to sleep now. I'm tarred, perhaps sufficiently so to sleep, even. 'night!


7/7/2001

I stole my roommate's The Joshua Tree CD on the way to work, so now I'm sitting listening to it while waiting for my cells to recover so I can plate them and get out of here. So exciting!

Dum de dum. What else to write...well, I haven't talked to my family in a while. I should call them sometime. Maybe tomorrow, or something. I dunno. I e-mailed my father on Friday, but I think he had told me earlier that he was out of town on some business trip. Oh, right. So he wouldn't be around today, anyway. But I could call my mother, I guess.

I should check the bus schedules to go visit T. I don't even know if I have enough ones for the bus fare...Oh. Ooops. I had been looking at the weekday schedule, not the Saturday schedule, so the bus won't be here for another 45 minutes, anyway. Doh.

And, well, I should go finish up experiments and leave, and stuff.

I want to run, I want to hide
I want to tear down the walls that hold me inside
I want to reach out and touch the flame
Where the streets have no name


10/7/2001

So, I'm at work, with plenty to do, but I felt like taking a break, and nobody has e-mailed me recently, and I don't really have anything to write to anyone in particular, so I'll just write here. Not that I have much to say. I've been busy, moving the lab around and trying to get experiments done at the same time, and my boss has some friend's kid coming in for the month, apparently a university student, my year even, but he knows nothing about what's going on in the lab, and I'm apparently in charge of teaching him. Heehee. So, we need lots and lots of solutions made for the new lab, and it looks like that task will fall on his shoulders, if I can avoid it. And I think someone else came up with a simple, straightforward project for him, and I can always talk to him about what I'm doing, or whatever. Should be exciting.

Dum de dum. I should get back to work, I suppose. May write more later.

You've gotta make a decision--
leave tonight or live and die this way


13/7/2001

Dum de dum. Avoiding work, as usual. I actually have e-mails to write, I suppose, but for some reason don't feel like doing that right now, so I'll just write here for a few minutes, and get back to work. I suppose I haven't really written for a while, but what's new? I've been busy, of course, and last night was amusing, because my lab was having a party to celebrate a grad student completing his thesis defense and all, so I was going to go for the free food, but then my older sister called and asked if I wanted to go to dinner with her and my father, and I hadn't seen them for a while--so I had to pass up one free meal for another. Life is tough! But it was rather surprising to have them conflict, having not really received a free meal for a while...but I did still go to a little party they had in the lab before dinner, where they had lots of champagne and random gourmet foods, like Lindt chocolate and strawberries and cashews and...it was good :-)

And, let's see. I ended up in this massive mess with the computer people here, who are all annoyed at me for wanting just to deal with the lab computers myself, and not have to pay for the subcontractor come out and do ridiculously simple work that I can do in five minutes. Sigh. I hate office politics. And the worst is the administrators who really have no idea how to do the actual work, but think they do, and decide to meddle in it for the power trip. Grrrr.

And it's almost the weekend! Whee! Not that I have too many plans, but the weekend means that I don't have to work all the time...which reminds me! I should be getting back to work...

If I could, you know I would
If I could, I would let it go


14/7/2001

he says:

You're crazy

she responds:

You're beautiful

What an odd weekend this is shaping up to be...I bailed out on seeing T because I was hoping to see a friend I hadn't seen for a long time, but then she cancelled on me, so I was left with the evening free and nobody to drag into it, so I went to the movie theater alone. Apparently, something happened to their Shrek film, like it broke or someone lost it or something, so I ended up seeing, of all things, a teen love story, albeit one I had read was pretty good--well, in this Salon review--it's called Crazy/Beautiful. And while I was rather out of place among the groups and couples of teens, it was actually pretty good. I mean, sure, it's the classic story of teen love across clashing cultures, or whatever--and, as the salon reviewer noted, it lost a lot in the translation by the film review board, which excised all the drug use scenes. But, I dunno. I'm probably just a hopeless romantic--not, of course, in the sense of people who interpret that to be something like a line from a Joni Mitchell song--"you like roses and kisses and pretty men to tell you all your pretty lies..." No, not that--I think it's partly that I long for the innocence and naivety of teen love--perhaps it's stupid, but who cares? It's wonderful to feel...like that's the way love should be, or something. Not that the whole world view was ever correct, but, dammit, I want a relationship unencumbered by all the crap of the world and practicality and worrying about how everything will be. Or, not really...just less encumbered than everything ends up being. All the work to avoid encountering real feelings or connections or anything really gets on my nerves, if that isn't obvious. But no, I'm not bitter :-)

And I guess this is sort of related to a realization that I just am not very good at protecting myself from caring, I suppose, something that I hadn't really realized until recently. I am far too able to care about people far more than they care about me, and that's, ummm, a problem at times.

So, to change topics, well, what else to talk about...I don't appear to have any plans for tonight. My roommate will be at some party, if I recall correctly, and so I think it's just me and the cat. Dum de dum. And I'm hungry! So I should go home and feed myself, and stop to pick up cat litter on the way. What an exciting life I lead!

Lately it seems we've been chasing
What times resolved
Maybe something means nothing here after all

We know we're running head on into our confusion...
Still we hide, safe behind these crumbled walls
because we know there's nothing more here after all


16/7/2001

Can I run to you forever?
Because if I can't run to you forever, how can I run to you now?

I have been prompted to note that, to the best of my knowledge, I have actually authored none of the italicized stuff I quote on here. Just to clear up a bit of confusion--they're almost entirely song lyrics. Perhaps lines from movies. Probably not poetry that I wrote. Ooh, but I can break my own rule! I should write some haiku. But for now, I'll quote some of my older works. Here's one, a piece written for an assignment in high school, in which I was supposed to interpret the story of Orpheus. Or something.

O, torn limb from limb
Orpheus the great lautist
It probably hurt.


20/7/2001

Goooo, slacking off at work. Well, see, I got the other undergrad, who has proven to be a bit slow, though more or less dependable, to do most of my work for me, and now I'm intending to work on web design for my second job, but instead, I'm avoiding that, as well. Which is kind of bad, since I'm supposed to meet my supervisor in two hours to discuss what I've been doing all along. Heehee. That's no good.

The platypus is the lowest order of mammalian life
It has a multipurpose orifice and no teats
Every year, thirteen platypi are brutally slaughtered for their ducklike bill

Yeah, randomnity! Listening to Platypus at work, which is a now-defunct project band led by the guitarist from King's X, who is one of the most amazing musicians around. But I digress. From what, I have no clue...I dunno.

Oh, I'm going to take this time to note publicly that Libbet really should call or e-mail or send a carrier pigeon or something :-) Not that I expect her to; I just figure that noting it quasi-publicly couldn't hurt. She's been doing an excellent job of avoiding me all summer, though, so why change that now? Heehee.

I'm feeling all giggly and stuff. Maybe I just drank too much Dr. Pepper. Or maybe not. Hmmm. I got stood up for lunch! It amuses me. I mean, I'm supposed to be working anyway, and yet, I still managed to have a meeting with T broken. Impressive, really. No, I'm not bitter--just amused. Maybe I'm just being too easily amused.

I may finally be going to Montreal! I may have finally convinced someone to take me. Stay tuned. Film at 11! Ooh, reminds me of a random lyric--

You could come back, baby
I'll be waiting here
We could meet halfway to heaven
Hell can wait--Film at 11

Dum de dum. I should work, eh! But that's obviously not going to happen. I'm heading home, sort of, tonight for dinner for my sister's birthday. Sort of, because I'm riding home with my stepmother, where we'll meet my dad, and from there we're driving to pick up my step-grandmother, and then to the restaurant to meet my sister and her boyfriend. The thing is, the restaurant is not far from here, really, and I could easily ride the bus straight from work and be there in about 15 minutes. But it looks like it'll take around an hour once I get involved with all these trips with family. More quality time, right? Though it does remind me that my birthday is soon. Must start dropping not-so-subtle hints that I would really like bike stuff, and I wish I could find a cheap decent used bike somewhere to suggest that someone procure for me. Probably not gonna happen. I'd just like to get stuff that I could use, since I really need a light and stuff. Hmmm.

And I think I'm really going to attempt to work now, since I should develop some barebones model to show my boss. Byeeee!


22/7/2001

So, I just got back from dinner with T, which was interesting, I guess. She informed me that she's now crazy about a guy she met a week ago, and doesn't know what to do, because the relationship isn't going like she would have expected, and it was funny, in a way, just how she started talking about her relationship issues with me. Not that I minded, really--it was like she finally stated, loud and clear, that she's moving on, and expects me to, as well. And I suppose I could be sad, but I'm choosing to look at it as somewhat liberating, because that's a much more positive way to see things. I want her to be happy, and I hadn't done a good job of making her happy in a long time. And I'm not sad now--things with her are clearer than they've been in a long, long time, which is good.

My roommate ate the last can of black beans last night, and I really wanted to make a black been and cheddar cheese pizza, so I walked to the grocery store, and ended up visiting the Family Bookstore beside it, which amused me. I figure that somebody, somewhere who was some sort of crazy fundie decided that the secular world wasn't sacrilegious enough, and just really in need of some place where people can buy awful paintings of Jesus and smarties with Bible verses on the wrappers and such. I just ran in, past the wall of bad paintings with religious themes and such, to the music section and looked around for a while for the new 77's album, which I had been meaning to get but can't be found in regular stores. I could have ordered it online, but I just hadn't gotten around to it. And it's quite good, but man--these guys are still in such dysfunctional relationships, at least from a cursory examination of the lyrics. And because I'm not, really, it's hard to identify with them now. I'll probably quote some later. But I have to run now, so this will have to suffice :-)


25/7/2001

So, I may finally be getting dsl at some point...this is good. I have learned, though, always to avoid Earthlink at all costs. Don't go anywhere near them if you know what's best for you! hehe--I spent two hours on the phone with them to resolve the problems they created, once and for all. It turns out that they never actually cancelled the dsl order, so the other ISP that I wanted to use couldn't submit their request, so I've just been in limbo for the past month...but it should be resolved at some point. They can apparently resubmit the request on August 1, and we may be connected at some point soon after that. I'm not especially holding my breath.

In other news, my bike died the other day; it actually happened as I was riding to look for bike stuff at bike stores--the old, rusty rack that was on it came disattached, sending a metal bar through the spokes of my wheel and stopping me rather quickly. It also bent the wheel pretty nicely. So, now I'm hoping that maybe I can raise enough money for my birthday to pay for a new bike. Maybe...and for now it's back to walking to work and riding the bus everywhere and such. Exciting.

And, yeah, so I'm not going to Montreal...oh, well. I know I'll go back, just not now. Soon, hopefully. And, I should get back to work!

Take all my world and shake it
Take my dear heart and embrace it
Take what I say and listen
My world's changing, changing for you


Shades of Gray