Sunday, October 31, 2004
posted by dave at 9:16 PM in category ramblings

The other night I was asked some questions.

Scratch that, I was asked the most relevant questions in the world.

The questions that I've asked myself a thousand times. The questions that I've always answered the same way.

Because I'm an idiot.
I don't know.

The other night was different because I wasn't the one doing the asking. I also knew that my standard answers just wouldn't suffice.

So I countered the first question with one of my own.

And just what good would that do?

I got no real response to this, just as I'd hoped. Even if the answer is known, I felt that it was pretty unlikely that it would be shared with me at that moment.

In response to the second question I lied.

I'm really not sure. I've been trying to figure that out myself.

The fact is that the second question has an answer now. Not the answer I wanted, or at least not the answer I thought I wanted, but there it is anyway.

Now I have another question begging to be answered. A question so important that, despite my most aggressive efforts to avoid it, it has managed to claw its way to the front of my mind and entwine itself into nearly every thought I have.

What am I going to do about it?
posted by dave at 2:48 PM in category daily

Today I mowed my lawn for what I hope was the last time this season.

What a stupid tradition. You cover your yard with plants that only look good when they're cut short and yet they grow so fast that they have to be cut every week or two.

Don't even get me started on this whole raking leaves nonsense.

posted by dave at 2:45 PM in category ramblings

A hundred thousand years ago I'd probably just club someone over the head and drag her back to my cave. Decisive, but unfulfilling.

In 2004 I sit here writing stupid entries and hope that my mind will eventually conjure up a scenario in which I don't end up alone. Ineffective and self-defeating.

And they call this progress.

posted by dave at 10:39 AM in category daily, drink

1. Of, relating to, or characterized by the coexistence of disparate or antagonistic elements.

1. A difference, especially a strong dissimilarity, between entities or objects compared.

I've been sitting here, my hands poised over my keyboard, for an hour now. I've managed to copy/paste two dictionary definitions, and write two sentences.

I suppose I'll just try to mow through this block.

This makes four sentences.

Saturday night, Rich O's was pretty dead. When I first arrived there were some people in the red room that I didn't know, ProbableLesbian and CluelessSuitor were in the living room area, and that was it.

I ordered an NABC Tunnel Vision and joined the couple in the living room area. They left shortly afterward, but I've got enough to be paranoid about so I didn't take it personally.

The entire night was tame and relaxing. CoffeeDude came in, followed a short time later by TrainGirl, RealTrainGirl, and GreenBeerDude.

I tried one of the green beers (don't know what the hell it was called) and didn't care for it. I ordered a Stone Smoked Porter.

CoffeeDude and TrainGirl and I got to talking about dreams and lucidity in dreams. TrainGirl seems to have much better control than I do - she can even choose to replay certain scenes if they don't turn out the way she wants.

Anyway, like I said, a pretty boring night. After my Stone I had another Tunnel Vision, and I went home at around 11:30.

I didn't really have a reason, but I started the night expecting something unusual to happen. I don't know what I expected. Perhaps LaptopGirl would call. Perhaps my sister would visit, or my friend Eric. Just something unusual or interesting to go along with the unusual and interesting phenomenon of my good mood.

Nothing at all happened.

I'll now end this entry in a awkward way.

Saturday, October 30, 2004
posted by dave at 11:59 PM in category ramblings

Let it be known and recorded that on October 30th, 2004, I spent the entire day in a good mood.

Clinging to optimism may be difficult but it's pretty cool when it works.

This is a fairly small chance that the idea that popped into my head this morning is actually true. I don't think it's the least likely explanation, but it's certainly not the most likely.

What makes this possibility so intriguing to me is that, in this scenario, everything is not my fault. Some things certainly are, but not everything.

Of course I can't discuss this theory with anyone because they'd be sure to point out all kinds of blaring inconsistencies that I've managed to overlook in my sleep-deprived state.

posted by dave at 8:47 AM in category daily, drink

1. Causing vexation or irritation; troublesome.

1. A person regarded as very stupid.

1. One given to loud, irritating, or indiscreet talk.

I got to the bar a little before 9:00. The place was extremely crowded, but I was able to grab the only seat at the bar next to a group of Rich O's professional beer drinkers.

Oh yeah, before I sat down I grabbed the latest postcard from LaptopGirl and read it so I could get that task over with. Of course I got sad, and that pretty much set the tone for the next couple of hours.

I had a Mad Bitch and listened to the PBDs play a game of Trivial Pursuit while I checked every ten seconds to see if a spot anywhere else had opened up. The Mad Bitch tasted a little off to me - there was kind of a rotten flavor that I couldn't quite identify. My next beer was an NABC Tunnel Vision that tasted very good.

At one point, shortly after UnbearablyAnnoyingDude started arguing that opossums are not mammals, I had what I thought was the brilliant idea of leaving the bar area and sitting in the dining area. Anything to get away from the throng.

CoffeeDude had appeared and he ended up joining me at a table. I hadn't seen him since LaptopGirl's departure and I felt compelled to spew my guts out. I keep saying that I don't want to talk about it, but once I get started I can't seem to shut up.

CoffeeDude recommended a Bell's Best Brown Ale so I had one of those. Here's my rating:

(draft) Not too bad, but not all that great either. There was nothing that really stood out at all. Just a decent fairly generic brown ale. I like Newcastle better.

LaptopGirl called for her Rich O's report and her horoscope reading. There seemed to be some kind of interference with the call and it was quite difficult to understand what she was saying. One thing I was able to pick up was that the original plan of LaptopGirl visiting me in Las Vegas next month has been replaced with my driving to visit her instead. To be perfectly honest, both plans scare me, and I told LaptopGirl as much. I'll just have to see what kind of a mood I'm in when the time comes. Perhaps we can just arrange to wave at each other from opposite rims of the Grand Canyon.

After what seemed like an eternity Rich O's proper finally cleared out enough that CoffeeDude and I were able to grab some seats in the living room area. We were joined by ExBartender. I didn't stay too long after that because it seemed that I'd miscalculated my alcohol intake. Got home around 1:00 and watched The Blair Witch Project.

Friday, October 29, 2004
posted by dave at 1:44 PM in category general

The five most stupid reasons for voting for Kerry:

5. Because he was in Vietnam.

4. Because his initials are JFK.

3. Because the Red Sox won the world series.

2. Because of something he said.

And finally,

1. Because "Anybody but Bush!"

The five most stupid reasons for voting for Bush:

5. Because he can catch a football.

4. Because Clinton got a blow job.

3. Because the Red Sox beat the Yankees.

2. Because if Bush wins then Hillary runs in 2008.

And finally,

1. Because Kerry "looks French."

posted by dave at 12:51 PM in category family, ramblings

Halloween is in a couple of days, so I thought I'd write about the only "true" story of the supernatural that I've ever been a direct witness to.

My grandmother died on September 27, 1998 in a nursing home. Before she went to the home she'd lived in a relative's home for about a year. Before that, she'd been in the same house for nearly 60 years. That's the house I'm talking about here.

I grew up about 100 yards from MaMaw's house, and I spent a very large part of my childhood in it. With my parents working all the time my sisters and I spent nearly as much time in that old house as we did in our own. All of my cousins would come over to play pretty often. We had Christmas lunch there. From the time I was about 10 until I was 18 I spent at least two nights every week in that house.

No matter how much time I spent there, the house still scared the shit out of me sometimes.

It's just a creepy house. The upstairs in particular - many of the rooms have crudely-nailed panels blocking access to or from the attic. As a kid I was always afraid of those areas and would usually sneak past them while watching carefully for an arm, or a tentacle, or whatever I was most afraid of during that particular time in my life.

But enough background. I was a kid. It was an old house. It scared me.

A couple of days after my grandmother died my cousin Jeff and I went up to the old house to look around. Though nobody had lived there for over a year, there was still electricity and water since my uncle had been using it for storage.

This was the first time I'd been in the house since MaMaw had died, and it was the first time Jeff had been there in at least a few years.

So we went into the house and were immediately stunned by how warm it was. It must have been over a hundred degrees there. The furnace was going full-blast and the registers were almost too hot to touch.

I went to the thermostat against the kitchen wall and, sure enough, it was set at the absolute maximum. I turned it back down to about 50 or so and Jeff and I continued our explorations.

The next day I mentioned to another cousin (one who's father was using the old place for storage) that I'd lowered the thermostat.

He got a quizzical look on his face, and told me that there was no way that the furnace could have been going, that there was no way that the house could have been that warm.

You see, when my grandmother had moved out of the house, over a year earlier, they'd removed the propane tank.

I confirmed this rather alarming fact myself. The house had no gas supply. The furnace had no fuel. The pilot light was long dead.

So that's the story of the weirdest thing I've ever experienced. If I was better at writing about scary stuff I bet you'd be shitting your pants right about now.

Thursday, October 28, 2004
posted by dave at 8:49 PM in category ramblings

I'm just sitting here giving my TiVo time to record Survivor so I can skip all of the commercials. I've got about five more minutes.

Back in 1994 or 1995 I ran out of gas on the way home from pool league. I let my car coast into a driveway - pretty much the only wide spot on that rural King County WA road - and since I was only about a mile from home I just walked.

The next morning I had my roommate drive me to get some gas then drop me off at my car.

What I found at my car was both funny and scary at the same time.

These people had cows. A lot of cows. They also had no fence - just some metal tubes crossing their driveway that the cows couldn't cross without twisting their ankles or whatever.

Do cows even have ankles?

Anyway, I guess my car being parked there must have been just about the most exciting these cows had seen in years.

There must have been three dozen of them, mostly standing but some laying, completely surrounding my car and mooing up a storm.

The cows' excitement at having a car in their midst was trumped only by the presence of an actual human being (my lovely self) and those things crowded around me like photographers around a celebrity. Their moos increased their tempo and volume. I was a rock star to those cows.

Once I'd gassed up my car I pulled out of the driveway. I actually had to nudge cows out of the way with my car.

I felt really bad seeing them as they watched me drive away.

I like to imagine that they made a legend out of my visit, and that they pass the story down from generation to generation.

Moo, my old friends, moo.

posted by dave at 8:27 PM in category dotd

This stupid dingbat at the gas station this morning tried to charge me regular price for my Diet Vanilla Cokes because - get this - she thought that the sale price was only for the bottles on display directly under the sign in front of her cash register.

The fact the the same sign was taped to the door of the cooler unit I got my bottles from meant nothing to her because she couldn't see that sign from where she was standing.

What a stupid bitch.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004
posted by dave at 10:59 PM in category notable, ramblings

(I'm in a good mood. I'm not breaking my new rule about depressing entries. Seriously.)

Back seven or eight years ago there was a time when I thought I was sad.

Oh, maybe I actually was sad in the watered-down way I felt emotions back then.

The source of my discomfort was, of course, a woman. She'd wronged or mistreated me in some way and so I got these pseudo-emotions whenever I was around her.

I remember going to my favorite bar each weekend back then, hoping that she wouldn't be there. I was a nervous wreck every time I went up the hill and turned into the parking lot. This continued for several months until I moved away from Seattle.

Then, last Fall when I visited that old bar, I found myself nervous all over again. Even though I hadn't thought of her in years those old pseudo-emotions still managed to work their way back to the surface.

Luckily she was not there and I was able to really enjoy my visit.

For the past several days I've been reminded of those days because every time I round the curve leading into the Rich O's parking lot I find myself scanning that lot for a certain car. A car that I know is a gazillion miles away.

Someday that car will be there. Maybe weeks from now, maybe months from now. Maybe sooner, maybe later. At some point, I keep telling myself, I'll round that curve and see that car and...


And then what?

This is what makes me nervous today. Back in Seattle I didn't want to deal with the sadness I thought I was feeling. These days it's not the threat of sadness that's giving me pause - it's the threat of joy. Of unbelievable relief. Of pure giddiness. Of making a complete ass of myself.

Someday, I'll round that curve, see that car, and probably have a nervous breakdown or something.

These are not watered-down emotions I'm dealing with anymore. No matter how fleeting or unwarranted or ridiculous - they're still completely real and at times they still threaten to overwhelm me. This is the price I've paid for allowing myself to become human again.

Ha ha. I just remembered this dog we had back when I was a kid. That stupid dog. Every day when my sister Dina and I would get off the school bus this dog would come running across the yard, just pissing all over itself it was so happy to see us. It was like a moving piss fountain, a beautiful expression of love that has me grinning ear-to-ear while I sit here twenty five years later thinking about it.

I keep telling myself that she will return someday. That's what keeps me going. The alternative is unthinkable - I will see her again someday.

Every time I round that curve I just know her car won't be there but I still look. Every time a shadow darkens the door inside Rich O's I just know it won't be her but I still look. Every time I hear a woman's voice I just know it's not hers but I still look.

Someday I'll just know she's not back and I'll be wrong and there she'll be.

I wonder, though, if anything short of pissing all over myself will be enough to express what I'll be feeling when that day comes.

I'm nervous because I don't know what I'll do. Probably just try to play it cool, act all nonchalant. Maybe give her a hug and buy her a beer.

I'm sure I'll be pissing on the inside though.

(Writing this entry made me smile.)

posted by dave at 7:07 PM in category daily, drink

Man I'm so ate up.

This evening, fueled I'm sure by the two NABC Tunnel Vision pints I had while waiting for my calzone to arrive, I found myself calling LaptopGirl.

I was stuck in traffic, or at least what passes for traffic in Southern Indiana, and the need to talk to her just overwhelmed me. Just for a couple of seconds, but long enough to scroll to her number in my cell phone's memory and hit talk.

It was very nice to talk to her if for no other reason than the paranoia-easing tone of the conversation.

Beyond that, however, I'm truly happy for how relaxed she sounds on the phone. I'm truly relieved that she didn't simply hang up on me.

I think I just need for her to know that even though she's a zillion miles away there's at least one person back in Indiana that misses her unconditionally. Of course there are undoubtedly several, but none of those people are talking to me anymore. What with everything being my fault and all.

Oops, there's that paranoia again.

Oh yeah - I'm supposed to read this new postcard that she sent to Rich O's, and the thought of that fills me with dread, but I'll read it because she asked me to.

I've decided to pretend that I didn't hear the part about the new job. That just sounds too permanent so I'm going to pretend I didn't hear it, and I won't write about it again.

I'm going to stop writing now because I'm in a good mood and want to stay that way for a while.

posted by dave at 1:44 PM in category general

One thing that's strange is that I've got this brace on my left wrist but it's my right wrist that feels weird because I had to move my watch there.

I don't know how those damn southpaws do it.

Monday, October 25, 2004
posted by dave at 9:43 PM in category daily

Last year at about this time I sprained my wrist.

Last night, because I'm still so wild in bed, I sprained the damn thing again.

I should get someone to kiss it better.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. I have nobody.

Now where's that wrist brace?

Sunday, October 24, 2004
posted by dave at 5:56 PM in category hotd

Just finished watching The World Is Not Enough and became enthralled by the beautiful Sophie Marceau.

I see on the web that she was also in Braveheart so I guess I know which movie I'll be watching next.

posted by dave at 12:33 PM in category ramblings

For a while there was A and it was good until B reared its ugly head.

So I decided that I needed to do C for a while, but after I'd resolved that issue in my head, I found that C had been shoved down my throat during my absence.

Then I started wishing that D would happen. Being the paranoid type I'm now convinced that it has happened and I'm all pissed off about it.

Last night I found myself thinking about how cool it would be if E happened, but that train of thought derailed pretty quickly when I realized that F had to follow E and F would most likely suck big green ones.

And I must not forget G which on the surface may be seem like the best idea ever but in reality would probably destroy any chance of A ever happening again.

posted by dave at 12:11 PM in category daily, entertainment

Saturday I went to a Halloween party at the FirstCouple's house.

My costume? Well I originally planned to go as HipYoungDude from my last Las Vegas trip. I put on the world's loudest shirt and swimtrunks. I put on my sandals and my snazzy shades. I mussed my hair up extra well and let it dry. I looked at myself in the mirror.

It's a funny thing about HipYoungDude - when you take him out of a Las Vegas Summer and plop him into a Southern Indiana Fall he magically transforms into: BeachDork. So my costume was BeachDork and I think I fit that part pretty well.

On the way to the party I stopped to show my outfit to VigilanteGirl. I told her that she should come to the party in a bikini so we could be a somewhat-matched set, but she had to work late. I suppose that's for the best as there were some old (older than me even) people at the party and VigilanteGirl in a bikini would probably have stopped some hearts.

As I expected, I didn't really know many people at the party. I went because I like the FirstCouple and a few of the other people from their circle, but for the most part I didn't know anyone.

To drink I had some Jack's Hard Colas.

It was a pretty tame and relaxing night, soured only by my own inner turmoil. I'd left my cell phone upstairs because when I clipped it to my trunks my trunks kept threatening to come off, so I kept having to run up to see if I'd missed any calls.

I hadn't.

posted by dave at 12:57 AM in category ramblings

I've got a new rule: No more entries about how torn up I am over this.

I have no right to be this upset, and all of these dark entries are accomplishing nothing worthwhile.

Now we'll just see how long this rule lasts.

Saturday, October 23, 2004
posted by dave at 11:56 AM in category daily, drink

1. To reproach in a mocking, insulting, or contemptuous manner.
2. To drive or incite (a person) by taunting.

On Friday I got to Rich O's a little after 9:00. I was in a fairly decent mood for once, I suppose because I'd played okay pool at The Bank Shot.

There was nobody I knew at Rich O's. I sat at the bar and ordered a Corsendonk Pater. I'd tried one of these last week and vowed to try it again with a clean palate. Here's the review I made at

(bottle)I thought this beer smelled and looked fantastic. I'm not really sure what I was expecting tastewise - I suppose a combination of a Belgian and a Brown. What I got was a strange-tasting beer that I can't really say I liked all that much. It just tasted like something was wrong with it, but I couldn't point to any one thing.

Oh yeah, before I'd even sat down at the bar the bartender pointed out these postcards from LaptopGirl leaning against a stack of coasters and asked if I'd seen them. Those damn things sat there mocking me for the rest of the night. I told myself that I wasn't going to look at them and ruin my (rapidly plummeting) mood.

After the Corsendonk I had a bottle of Kwak. I've written about this before. I generally like it but this time there was a very strange perfume smell/taste that I could never quite get a handle on. I don't think I've been turned away from this beer for good but if I ever get another bottle like that again it just might drive me away. One other thing is that the bartender tried to give me an official Kwak glass with the bottle but I was afraid I'd break the expensive-looking thing so I had him give me a regular Belgian glass instead.

For my next beer I asked for something a little lighter but said I'd like to stay with the Belgians. I was given a bottle of Hoegaarden. Here's what I thought of it:

(bottle) Recommended to me because I asked for something with a lighter taste. A cloudy yellow color that looked to me like a cross between a wheat and a lager - neither of which I care for. The taste was actually pretty decent though. The bartender was telling me about all of these different flavor components but I didn't really get any of them. Just a fairly plain, safe beer.

During the entire time I drank these three beers I kept checking behind me to see if anyone I knew had come in. They hadn't. Also, those damn postcards kept taunting me from the other end of the bar. I realized that I was sitting there drinking just to be drinking instead of drinking for the enjoyment of it and that really annoyed me, so I ordered a Mad Bitch to close out the night.

While I was drinking my last beer, ExoticGirl and her boyfriend sat at the bar. To my horror, she picked up the postcards and started reading them aloud. I went to the bathroom, but by the time I got back my resolve had evaporated. I picked up the cursed things and actually even read a couple of words on the first one before I got a grip on myself and put them back out of arms reach.

LaptopGirl did call me at some point after I got home. Because I wasn't at the bar I was useless so it was a very short conversation.

My ever-changing mood shifted from sad to irritated, and I found myself hoping that it would stay that way for a while because I'm tired of being sad.

Thursday, October 21, 2004
posted by dave at 12:23 AM in category daily

I was in a pretty good mood and I just couldn't stand it.

I just couldn't leave well enough alone.

I typed the name of a small town in Google's search field, clicked on one of the first returned links, and felt my eyes welling up before the page had even finished loading.

To cheer me back up, here is a joke from one of the 'blogs I read:

A five year old and a four year old are upstairs in their bedroom.

"You know what?" says the five year old, "I think it's about time we start swearing.

The four year old nods his head in approval.

"When we go downstairs for breakfast I'm gonna say "hell" and you say "ass" OK?"

"OK," the four year old agrees with enthusiasm.

The mother walks into the kitchen and asks the five year old what he wants for breakfast.

"Aw hell Mom, I guess I'll have some Cheerios."

WHACK! He flew out of his chair, tumbled across the kitchen floor, got up and ran upstairs crying his eyes out.

She looked at the four year old and asked with a stern voice,

"And what do YOU want for breakfast, young man?"

"I don't know," he blubbers, "But you can bet your ass it won't be Cheerios."

Wednesday, October 20, 2004
posted by dave at 10:23 PM in category ramblings

Last night I had an absolutely brilliant idea. One that would hopefully provide answers to a lot of the questions plaguing me.

Today I've spent several hours trying to bring that idea to fruition.

I'm giving up. What I'm looking for is either too well hidden or it doesn't exist at all.

Maybe it's one of those deals where what I don't know can't hurt me.

The hell with that. I still want to know.

Maybe I'll look some more.

posted by dave at 9:39 PM in category daily

I just had a lovely conversation with LaptopGirl which I will now paraphrase:

Hi Da t is da. W you Vegas? I hours fr the.

And pretty much so on.

It was of course wonderful to hear from her. Helps keep me going.

posted by dave at 2:58 PM in category ramblings

Step one: Randomly cycle through these mood extremes:

1. Suffering from or exhibiting overwhelming sorrow, grief, or disappointment.

1. Made joyful.
2. Happily refreshed and energetic; elated.

1. Full of or characterized by extreme anger; raging.

1. Having self-possession upset; thrown int a state of confusion.

1. Tharted in hope, desire, or expectation.

1. Full of unrestrained enthusiasm or joy.

Step two: Limit sleep to between two and three hours nightly.

Step three: Lather, rinse, repeat as needed.

Note: Be careful not to stop at any mood other than these extremes, lest you be mistaken for a sane person.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004
posted by dave at 8:42 PM in category daily, drink

Just a quick note - mostly a follow-up to my Saturday entry.

Way back then I wrote that I wasn't able to give a fair tasting to Traquair Jacobite Ale because my senses had been overpowered by the Stone Smoked Porter I'd started the night with.

Well this evening I was able to correct that injustice.

While waiting for my yummy chicken-sausage-mushroom calzone I sat on the couch at Rich O's and enjoyed a bottle of Jacobite. RealTrainGirl was there and we spent a few minutes talking about my uncle, her girlfriend, and LaptopGirl.

(Just a quick edit to point out that a)those are three different people, and b)I didn't bring up the topic of LaptopGirl and I kinda wish I could go through a single conversation without being reminded of how much I miss her. In the case of RealTrainGirl though, I know she's just concerned and not prying.)

The Jacobite is, as I suspected on Saturday, quite an interesting beer. Very complex, with flavors I don't think I've ever encountered before. The stuff was good, though perhaps just a little too fruity for me to say I really liked it. I will have it again sometime though.

posted by dave at 4:34 PM in category daily

The clock is counting down... calzone time!

I've fallen completely in love with the calzones at Rich O's.

Today wil mark the sixth weekday day out of the last ten that I go to Rich O's after work, order a calzone to go, and have a nice beer while I wait.

posted by dave at 9:24 AM in category ramblings

Among the many things TrainGirl and I talked about the other night was the subject of Astrology.

To call me skeptical would be accurate, but I've still found the topic interesting at times.

Times like last night, when I realized that five of the women I've most cared about have been born during the same week. Not the same years but the same month and nearly the same day.

In fact, three of these women were born on the same day.

That's pretty weird I think.

Monday, October 18, 2004
posted by dave at 11:17 PM in category ramblings, website

A few weeks ago, I wrote a brief entry about writing a letter that I didn't plan to send.

The gist of that entry was that it felt really freeing to be able to write something without worrying about how the readers of this 'blog would react, and that the whole thing reminded me of my old paper journals in that they represented the real me. The secret me that only I knew.

So freeing, in fact, that I took it one step further and opened up an entire new 'blog, on another site, where I could vent and rant and rave anonymously. A completely separate place that I figured could contain the things that I needed to let out but couldn't in my real 'blog.

So I set up this other 'blog, and started posting.

I started with the letter I mentioned. For the next several days, I put up about an entry per day. I vented to people. I vented about people. Hell, I even wrote a little story about some bullshit that could have happened but didn't because of a butterfly.

It was a very good feeling, that being able to write whatever I wanted without fear of repercussions.

Then I stopped. Here's why:

Reason The First.

These anonymous entries were, to me, better than almost anything I'd ever written in my regular 'blog. I'd get messages from people wanting me to fill in the holes in my story but I couldn't without breaking my cover. And in the end, I found myself letting my public 'blog slip while I let the private one become my main target for expression. When I did make a public entry I became paranoid that I'd be repeating some anonymous entry and someone (you get one guess) would put the pieces together. I didn't like the way things were turning, so that's the first reason I stopped the anonymous 'blog.

Reason The Second.

I was proud of some of that writing and, more than that, I identified with it. Those entries were from the real me, but I was the only one who knew it. In the end I figured that a toned-down public entry was better than a balls-to-the-wall private one. At least with my public 'blog people would know what I was thinking and feeling even if they didn't know how strong those thoughts and feelings were becoming. One of the reasons I write is to help the people in my life understand what's going on in my head, and that wasn't happening. So that's the second reason I stopped the anonymous 'blog.

Reason the Third.

I reached a point where I couldn't write anymore. One night I sat here at my keyboard for what seemed like hours and I was just unable to put together a single coherent thought. There was simply too much emotion and confusion, and reading the entries I'd already posted only made things worse. It was just too personal. I'd been writing things about myself that even I wasn't ready to face. And that's the third reason I stopped the anonymous 'blog and deleted the account.

Why am I dedicating an entry here to a series of entries that no longer exists in a journal that no longer exists?

Because today I got this e-mail:

Hi Dave,

I know you probably still want to be anonymous but I wanted you to know that the things you wrote and the feelings you've been having are nothing to be ashamed about. The thing's you?re going through are tough. I see that even more now that I've read your real journal. They're tough but we all go through these things. I know I have, and reading the things you wrote made me realize that I wasn't alone either. I think you expressed yourself very well and you even made me cry several times!

I don't think you should hide. I think you should keep writing about what you're feeling and just let the chips fall as they say.

Even if you don't take my advice I hope you'll at least keep writing because I want to know what happens next.

I feel like I've gotten to know you a little bit by reading all of your journal and I think you must be a pretty cool person.

(name withheld by Dave)

So it seems that I wasn?t as careful as I'd thought. Now I get to be even more paranoid than normal.

I appreciate what she wrote. A part of me even agrees with her that maybe I should be a little more forthcoming in my entries.

But I don't think it'll happen. I may have learned to open up quite a bit since I started writing this 'blog a little over a year ago but I haven't opened up that much. I still have restraint, and that's probably a good thing since I'm not the only person that might be affected by some of my more honest ramblings.

So I don't think I'm quite ready to unleash myself on the world, but I will keep writing.

I am a pretty cool person, and I want to know what happens next too.

Sunday, October 17, 2004
posted by dave at 7:34 PM in category daily, family

Yesterday I went to a wedding. One of my cousins on my dad's side decided to take the plunge and marry a guy that looks, oddly enough, a lot like one of my cousins on my mom's side.

The things I wanted to say about the wedding are these:

1. This was only the second church wedding I've attended. To me there was what seemed to be an awful lot of talk about God and His "One Man, One Woman" plan. I guess you have to expect all of the religious talk in a church wedding, but I actually thought the guy got a little too political.

2. The bride's side of the aisle had about 50 people. The groom's side had maybe 10. I don't know what the story is there but I'm sure it's an interesting one.

3. Neither of the bride's brothers made the trip from TN to attend. These are the same brothers that didn't make the trip a week earlier when their father had emergency bypass surgery. According to an informal poll (I asked some people at Rich O's) it is not unreasonable to drive 600 miles to see your father for what may be the last time before he has major emergency surgery. According to the same poll it is not unreasonable to make that same drive to attend the wedding of your sister.

4. That's all I can think of.

posted by dave at 11:12 AM in category daily, drink

(The previous entry actually stems from a conversation that occurred before Saturday night. I just happened to be intoxicated enough late Saturday night to write that rambling mess. Saturday night itself was a pretty good night, all things considered.)

Saturday night, thankfully, Rich O's wasn't nearly as crowded as it had been on Friday.

There was nobody I recognized at the bar or in the living room area so I sat at the island and pondered what was the first happy mood I'd experienced in several weeks. I ended up having a couple bottles of Stone Smoked Porter while listening to the strangers sitting nearby arguing about whether picking the meat out of chili made it vegetarian or not. (He was right, she was wrong. If you cook it with meat then it's not a vegetarian meal.)

The Stone Smoked Porter is a very good beer, and it's even better when it's the first beer of a session. I ended up having a second bottle while I searched the beer menu and planned out my beer for the rest of the night.

At one point I got sick of the bickering about chili and I went over to the living room area where MisunderstoodGirl and I talked for a few minutes before her break ended.

I ordered a Traquair Jacobite Ale which was something I'd never had before.

I still can't really say that I've had it. I got the impression that it was very good but the Stone had overpowered my senses and so I really cannot give a fair description of the Jacobite.

Anyway, after a while TrainGirl came in and she and I spent the rest of the evening talking. I pretty much told her everything that's been going on inside me. She's a very good listener and I hope a very good keeper of secrets because I told her some things that I'd never told anyone before.

NotGeorge came and joined us at one point but he snuck out later. I think he may have felt left out as I was too busy confessing everything to TrainGirl to pay much attention to anyone else.

My last beer of the night was a Corsendonk Pater and I had the same problem with it that I've already described about the Jacobite. I just couldn't tell what it tasted like because of the Stone I'd had earlier.

I've promised myself to try both the Jacobite and the Corsendonk the next time I'm at Rich O's.

The night ended with me, TrainGirl, MisunderstoodGirl, and OddlyPrettyGirl sitting in the living room area just basically passing the time. It was quite pleasant. LaptopGirl had called briefly but cut the call short, promising to call back, then never did.

posted by dave at 1:14 AM in category ramblings

Hey shithead,

I have nothing to be ashamed about.

No matter how you try to spin it the central fact stays the same, a very important person in my life has gone away. Maybe forever for all I know.

I don't really care how pathetic you think it is that this has affected me this much.

I'm sad and I have every fucking right to be sad.

It would be worse if I wasn't sad. That would pretty much invalidate the last six months of my life. It's for this reason that I'm not even pretending to be unaffected.

So take your armchair therapy and shove it up your ass.

You fucking prick. I'd like to see how you'd handle the same situation.

But before that could happen you'd have to have an actual friend, and I don't expect that to happen anytime soon.

You sit there all fucking smug and you say you'd never let yourself get into my situation. You think you're better than me?

You're an asshole.

And if you spend the rest of your life never being hurt it will be because you never let anyone get close to you at all.

This situation I'm in - I certainly didn't ask for this. I didn't want it. I didn't see it coming.

And I wouldn't erase it if I could.

I know that a week ago I'd have given anything to undo what's been done. But these are interesting times I live in. I've been able to see through the pain of the last two weeks and appreciate what it took to get me to this point.

I've been able to realize what I've gained that has not been lost.

I've regained my humanity, and if the process is painful then that's because it's worth the pain.

So I hurt, big deal. I have a hole in my life, big whoop. I also have some things you'll never have while you sit all snug in your self-righteousness.

I have feelings.

I have the ability to value another person's happiness before my own.

I have the ability to hope, and to imagine the good instead of the merely safe.

Saturday, October 16, 2004
posted by dave at 7:46 PM in category website

A message I got today via my form thingy:

Great Site!!

Thanks, anonymous Internet person! I do it all for you!

posted by dave at 2:53 PM in category family

Happy Birthday to my little sister Neisha!

I didn't really forget your birthday. I just forgot what yesterday's date was.

I swear.

posted by dave at 10:49 AM in category daily, drink

(Everybody gets different nicknames for this entry. Just mixing things up a little.)

I don't know how to start this entry.

The most natural place to start would be at the beginning, but what was the beginning?

Was it when I arrived at Rich O's? Was it when ZodiacGirl called to see if I was going to Rich O's? Perhaps it was sometime during the day when I began imagining all kinds of scenarios, each one worse than the one before, that had me all but convinced that setting foot outside my door would be a very bad idea.

Because even though my life and my mood have taken a turn very much for the worse, there's still a lot of room for things to degrade even more.

If I hadn't already used up the balancing metaphor back in August this would be a perfect time to whip it out. Back then I flailed my arms to stay happy. Now happiness isn't really an option and I need a new metaphor.


Oooh! I know! I'm in a frying pan, trying to keep out of the fire! That's a good one!

Yesterday, as I mentioned, I kept thinking up all these ways that Friday night could possibly play out. I wanted to get all of the possibilities in my head so (a)I wouldn't be surprised by any of them, and (b)I would know how to respond. What ended up happening wasn't the worst thing I imagined, but it was far from the best.

I got out of the shower last night and found that ZodiacGirl had left a message. She needed to know if I was going keep my promise to be her eyes and ears at Rich O's while she was away. Being blown off on Monday, having no contact all week, then being called on Friday for this reason - I suppose now we know just who misses who the most.

I win! I am the saddest! Yay for me!

Anyway, I called ZodiacGirl back and promised to call her from the bar and tell her the happenings therein and read her horoscope to her.

On the way, I stopped to see TracingGirl. I had to tell her that she needed to snap me up quickly as I surely wouldn't be on the market for long. Maybe I'd start rebuilding the walls that had crumbled lately, or maybe I'd succumb to the charms of someone like the old lady at Wendy's. I told TracingGirl that for this very brief period I was both vulnerable and unattached so she'd better act quickly.

When I arrived at Rich O's I wanted to turn around and leave. The place was very very crowded and there was no place to sit and there was nobody I knew there. I couldn't leave until I'd made my report to ZodiacGirl though. I called her, got her voicemail, and read her horoscope to her as she'd requested.

I decided to stay for just one beer. I sat at the couch, ordered myself a Kwak, and did my best to ignore the weirdoes sitting all around me.

It's amazing how alone a person can feel in a crowded room.

Perhaps the loathing I was radiating towards the weirdoes actually worked. Perhaps they were leaving anyway. What was important is that they did leave shortly after I'd sat down. I ordered myself another Kwak and talked to ZodiacGirl again on the phone. I told her that there was nobody but a bunch of strangers there and that was pretty much the gist of the three or four more conversations we had last night.

At one point I looked up and was very surprised to see my sister and her fiancé Kenny come in! Dina knew my mood and I guess wanted to help cheer me up. It worked.

The three of us sat around while Dina and I talked about dreams and nightmares and other fluff.

SunburnGirl joined us for a while.

There was a girl that looked like a cross between ZodiacGirl and CannonGirl. And she was cute. So now I know that those two would have cute kids if only biology would allow it.

I had a Mad Bitch.

ZodiacGirl called a couple more times. I told her I missed her and that nobody interesting had appeared at Rich O's.

Once Dina and Kenny and SunburnGirl had left I had myself a Guinness in ZodiacGirl's honor then talked with BusDude for a while about his party next Friday. I will probably go.

Maybe I'll take WendysLady.

Friday, October 15, 2004
posted by dave at 4:40 PM in category daily

So yesterday I was standing at the counter at Wendy's, waiting for my chicken strips to get finished. There were several other customers standing around me as this particular Wendy's is often quite slow.

At one point a black woman, probably between 55 and 60 years old, comes out from the kitchen smiling and waving in my direction.

I should point out that I've never seen this woman before in my life, or if I did, then I've certainly never talked to her.

I turned around to see who she was gesturing to, but there was nobody behind me.

She smiled again and told me that I really looked nice. Nicer than normal was what I inferred.

I told her that I was usually there on Fridays, which is casual dress day, and that she probably hadn't seen me on a Thursday (in a tie) before.

That seemed to satisfy her. She told me it was nice to see me, and again told me how nice I looked.

Then she went back to the rear of the restaurant, perhaps to masturbate.

I suppose it's nice to know I'll still have options even after I scare all the attractive young women away.

Thursday, October 14, 2004
posted by dave at 10:14 PM in category website

Since I'm not sleeping any more, I've used all that extra time to tweak my 'blog software to include links to newer or older entries.

This should be a refreshing change from having to wade through all those monthly entries.

Or maybe I'm the only one who'll notice.

posted by dave at 1:59 PM in category ramblings

I've had a horrible premonition.

I know this is hard to believe, because all of my recent entries have been nothing but fuzzy bunnies and dancing fairies, but take my word for it - it's bad.

Were this to actually come to fruition I'm pretty sure that my only recourse would be to spontaneously burst into flames.

I'm pretty sure that would get misinterpreted as well.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004
posted by dave at 3:37 PM in category general

The following people rock:    Ted Nugent

The following people most definitely do not rock:    Clay Aiken

These lists are not meant to be all-inclusive.

posted by dave at 12:11 AM in category notable, ramblings

I sit here wanting to type an entry but I find myself lacking the words.

Actually I'm not exactly lacking for words, just coherent thoughts.

My thoughts are evolving too quickly. I can't get my brain wrapped around anything long enough to make a sentence out of it.

Shock, sadness, relief, anger, disappointment, curiosity, blame, determination, grief, fear, speculation, impatience, regret, doubt, depression, wonder, pessimism, optimism, nervousness, callousness, understanding, drama, accusation, resignation...

I could go on and on. At night, instead of allowing me to sleep, my mind takes these and countless other thoughts and creates elaborate storylines that branch madly, twisting and weaving, joining and separating, spreading and collapsing. None ever finish. None ever get wrapped up in the end. I resolve nothing then finally I sleep out of sheer exhaustion.

The simple facts are that I don't know what to think, or what to say, or what to do. I don't even know if I should think or say or do anything.

Things are as they are. Life is not a movie where you get to live happily ever-after. There might not be a pot of gold for every rainbow, or a silver lining for every cloud, or a dawn for every dark night.

I suppose I'll keep looking for those things though. I'm at least open to the possibility of their existence. I've at least learned that much.

Monday, October 11, 2004
posted by dave at 12:40 PM in category ramblings

Six thousand one hundred and eleven days, nineteen hours, forty-four minutes and twenty-one seconds...

Six thousand one hundred and eleven days, nineteen hours, forty-four minutes and twenty-two seconds...

Six thousand one hundred and eleven days, nineteen hours, forty-four minutes and twenty-three seconds...





One second...

Two seconds...

Three seconds...

Sunday, October 10, 2004
posted by dave at 11:18 AM in category daily, drink

In an attempt to feign some semblance of normalcy I present this entry.

I got to Rich O's at about 8:00, expecting a huge crowd (they're having their hoppy beer festival) but the place was actually only about half-full. CoffeeDude was talking to some lady at the bar, and MisunderStoodGirl was sitting in the living room area with a bunch of guys I never saw before.

I grabbed a seat at the island for two reasons. First, I was still reeling about the news from LaptopGirl, and second, MisunderstoodGirl had a large sign proclaiming "Warning: Live Homosexual Acts Ahead" and if I'd sat on the couch with her I might have had a lot of explaining to do.

So I sat at the island, by myself, and had a Belhaven Ale while I tried to get a grip on myself. After a bit I called my cousin Jeff and promised him some good beer if he'd come down to Rich O's. I had a bottle of Kwak that was quite good, though not as good as I remember the draft version being.

As the night progressed Jeff did show up, as did NotGeorge and PirateGuy. MisunderstoodGirl was joined by TrainGirl and RealTrainGirl. I took the opportunity to update RealTrainGirl on my uncle's condition and promised to tell him that she wished him a speedy and full recovery.

The responsibility of providing good beer to Jeff was not one I took lightly. I started him out with a Mad Bitch. This may have been his first Belgian ale. I'm not sure if he really liked it or not - all I got from him was "It's certainly different." It certainly is, especially when you're used to drinking Newcastle almost exclusively.

It was at about this time that LaptopGirl called from the road. I ended up passing the phone around to the girls so she could talk to all of them. Once I got the phone back I was asked a series of yes-or-no questions. I'm hoping for an explanation as to what this was all about sometime soon.

Once I'd finished my Kwak and Jeff had finished his Mad Bitch I had the bartender bring out a couple of bottles of Alaskan Smoked Porter. Jeff had introduced me to smoked beer years ago and I certainly wanted him to be able to drink one of the best there is.

The girls had heard about Jeff's slight homophobia in the past and they - especially MisunderstoodGirl - all wanted to mess with his head but I guess I talked them out of it because everyone was very civilized.

One other item of note was that Rich O's was nearly overflowing with beautiful women. By overflowing I mean by Rich O's standards - there were three beautiful women there that nobody had seen before. Jeff and I split on who was the prettiest. He was partial to the long-haired brunette sitting on the couch, while I couldn't stop twisting my neck around to check out the mousy-haired girl behind us in the red room. To end this tie-breaker I enlisted RealTrainGirl who seemed quite sure that RedRoomGirl was indeed the hottest girl of the two.

Once Jeff left, and the strangers in the living room area finally left I went over and sat with the girls for a while. They were going out somewhere and they all invited me. MisunderstoodGirl actually tried to lift me from the couch to get me to leave with them. I was able to decline because MisunderstoodGirl, while seemingly quite fit, weighs in at maybe half what I do.

Once I was alone in the living room area LaptopGirl called again. I had this sudden vision of my life becoming a series of random and meaningless events highlighted only by the occasional call from LaptopGirl. I may never be able to sleep soundly again for fear that I'll miss a call. This phone call continued the earlier yes-or-no line of questioning, and I understood it even less this time than I had earlier. LaptopGirl accused me of talking too loudly and allowing everyone in the bar to hear me but that really wasn't the case. The bar was very nearly empty at that point and the people that were there were all in the red room.

Once I got home LaptopGirl called again and updated me on her situation. The bar I'd recommended from the brewspaper had turned out to be a dud. She was off looking for a better place. Kind of the theme of her entire trip I suppose.

When I finally got to sleep I dreamed that LaptopGirl and I were taking a trip to some unnamed place. At one point Jeff joined us and he and LaptopGirl got into an argument over politics. We ended up murdering Jeff and dumping him into the Grand Canyon. Then it was several years later and LaptopGirl's presidential bid was in jeopardy because someone had found Jeff's body and I had to take the fall.

That's what friends do after all.

posted by dave at 9:41 AM in category daily

This entry has replaced an earlier one entitled "voices" because that old entry is now completely irrelevant.

Actually the majority of the last two weeks, and a good part of the last several months, is now irrelevant.

LaptopGirl has gone. She has moved Westward seeking happiness and adventure.

I'm sad. I'm hopeful that she'll find what she's looking for, and I'm grateful for the walls inside me that she unwittingly helped break down, but most of all I'm just sad.

I'm selfish that way.

Thursday, October 7, 2004
posted by dave at 5:49 PM in category family

Happy birthday to my Grandma Siltz!!

And it looks like you got the present you wanted!

Wednesday, October 6, 2004
posted by dave at 4:26 PM in category ramblings

With my uncle in the hospital, I've been thinking about death and dying today.

Sounds like fun, right?

But I've been thinking about the serious, non-fun side of it all.

There are important considerations that we all must, um, consider at one time or another because, let's face it, the medical and scientific communities are just not keeping up with the predictions made for them back when optimistic predictions about the future were all the rage.

It's the year 2004. We're all supposed to be piloting our flying cars to the beach and then when we push a button our car turns into a submarine so we can go to those wonderful undersea resorts that the mermaids build with their government grant money.

We're supposed to be eating pills for all of our meals unless we have one of those fancy rehydrators where we put in a little doohickey the size of a book of matches, we push a button, and out pops a half-pound porterhouse steak in just two seconds, complete with a baked potato on the side. For applesauce you have to do it separately because the settings are different.

We're supposed to have holodecks in our houses so we can have nonstop orgies with our favorite celebrities.

And we're supposed to be living a lot longer than we are.

I suppose to a guy back in the 1830s, when the average life expectancy was like 15 or so, living to your mid-70s would seem like a utopian dream. But I bet the people today who are in their mid-70s or older don't think that way.

I bet they're wondering what happened to the clone banks where if they need an organ, they just pop a clone in the microwave (or the rehydrator I suppose) and then harvest what they need.

Or maybe they're wondering about the nanotechnology that was supposed to fix everything by swimming around in our bodies eating up all the bad stuff and crapping out good stuff like gold atoms that accumulate in your bowel until you shit solid gold turds that allow you to pay your cable bills.

Some of the old people are probably wondering what their names are or what year it is, but those people are probably too far gone for even the nanites to help so they're really screwed.

But I digress.

To me one of the most important things about dying, after you get past the when, where, and how, would have to be the what about after issue.

What about after I die and my relatives come into my house and find my porn collection? Just kidding, I don't have a porn collection. Nope. Not me.

What about after I die if nobody notices and my cats have to feed on my corpse until they perish themselves?

Finally, what about after I die and I had stuff left to say?

Back when my dad died so suddenly I was all fired up about this kind of thing. I wanted to be prepared for when I died (killed by a jealous lover perhaps, or some comical but deadly hip-vibrating disease) and I wanted to have all of my affairs (no pun there) in order.

I used the same lawyer that had handled my dad's estate to help me in preparing my own will, testament, and whatever else he thought might be needed.

One of the really fun things I did back then was start writing letters to everyone I could think of that had been important to me. I figured I'd have the letters in my Death Envelope and one of my sisters could hand them out at my funeral. Good Times for all!

The only problem with that plan was that I got about halfway through the first letter and I had to stop because it was just too damn hard trying to think of enough things to say to fill a reasonably-sized letter. I could do a note or maybe even a postcard, but a letter was just asking for too much. I mean, here I (hypothetically) am dying and I'm supposed to spend my last weeks writing letters to people and for all I know they're really gonna piss me off right before I die but I'll forget to write nasty things in their letter and then it'll be too late and they'll think all was forgiven.

Not so fast there, Speedy.

But I digress again.

I don't have any letters. Hopefully there'll be some kind of medical or scientific breakthrough (or at least a Democratic president) and I'll never need any.

Instead of letters I have just a few requests. Call them final wishes if you want to and if that?ll make you pay more attention.

One: None of my sisters or nieces are allowed in my house until Jeff or Eric or Chris has had a chance to make sure that nobody snuck in and planted a porn collection somewhere.

Two: My cats must not be separated. My sister Neisha could probably just sneak them into her house and nobody would notice.

Three: Jeff gets the pool stuff.

Four: Closed casket and cremation.

Five: Dump my ashes wherever you want, just dump them and don't put them on a damn mantle or anything morbid like that. And none of those damn roadside shrines - those really piss me off and I'll definitely haunt your ass if you do that.

I think that's it.

Speaking of death, RIP goes out to Rodney Dangerfield. Here's one of my favorite jokes from him:

I never got any respect even as a kid. Why when I was kidnapped my parents got a call saying if they didn't pay $5000 they'd see me again.
posted by dave at 12:36 PM in category daily

My cell phone is set to vibrate, because I'm at work, and I keep imagining that it's vibrating, but when I check it's doing no such thing.

I'm probably a little oversensitive because my uncle is in the hospital and I know if the phone does vibrate it could be someone calling with bad news.

So I may just be imagining this vibrating.

Or I could have some new hip disease that they'll name after me once it kills me.

This all reminds me of a funny thing I overheard at work.

There was this buzzing/vibrating noise coming from the cubicle of a guy with all kinds of gadgets.

Over the noise that other day I heard a woman's voice:

"Can I borrow that when you're done?"

Well it was funny to me anyway.

Tuesday, October 5, 2004
posted by dave at 11:17 AM in category ramblings

I really hate soccer but this is funny.

This poor guy reminded my of myself back in my Little League Baseball days.

I was always in the lineup because I was fast and I hit a lot of home runs. Unfortunately I couldn't catch a ball with a net.

My coaches would invent positions for me to stand in (like deep left corner) and hope for the best. I'd always manage to screw up the first ball hit in my direction and I'd get moved somewhere else.

My crowning achievement was the day I was playing short right foul line and I managed to catch a grounder. This was quite a feat for me and in my excitement I (for some reason that I cannot fathom) did a complete 360 and threw the ball about 20 feet over the first baseman's head and into the stands.

That was my last game.

posted by dave at 12:31 AM in category quiz

Still awake, still bored. I took another test.

You are green. Perhaps one of the most balanced of all the colors. By balanced, I mean balanced in both bad and good parts. Let me elaborate: You're a natural, and somewhat superficial person. You're extremely generous, but, to add to the confusion, you're frugal and stingy. You're a forgiving, but jealous person. You're imaginative, but still logical. At sometimes, you're a complete neat-freak, and other times, you're a total slob. You're very stable, but undependable. But onto the other traits that are associated with this color... You're a stubborn person, simply put. Do you believe in Feng Shui? Green is closely related to the thought of having a balanced environment, you know. When in a bad situation, you're painfully pessimistic, and when you're in a good situation, you're extremely optimistic. A fairly outgoing and amused person, you enjoy talking to people, and hearing their thoughts on different things. As a plus, when people hang around you, it seems like time passes by all the more quickly.

What color are you? (Amazingly detailed & accurate--with pics!)
brought to you by Quizilla

Monday, October 4, 2004
posted by dave at 10:08 PM in category ramblings

So workers in which profession are more likely to end their own lives?

Dentist is the one I've always heard, though I'd also believe police officer and psyhiatrist.

Were a study to be done, however, I'd bet that the profession with the absolute highest rate of suicide is:

Commercial jingle writer.

For some unknown reason, the people at work have started playing the jingle for the old "My Buddy" doll constantly.

My buddy! My buddy! Everywhere I go, he goes! My buddy! My buddy! My buddy and me! (repeat infinitely)

This is driving everyone, including those playing the awful thing, completely bonkers.

We can't get it out of our heads.

Can you imagine writing these things for a living, and ending up with perhaps dozens or even hundreds of them repeating over and over and over and over in your head minute after minute after hour after day after month after year?


It'd have to be enough to make you put a gun in your mouth.

And then wouldn't it be funny if they played all of your jingles at your funeral?

posted by dave at 9:08 PM in category quiz

If I'm bored enough I like to take these personality quizzes. Here are the results of my latest one:


posted by dave at 12:12 PM in category daily

Between Friday's distractions, Saturday's mental ramblings, and Sunday's guilty conscience I've managed to get seven hours of sleep since I got up Friday morning. That's a whopping five percent for those of you scoring at home.

I don't particularly expect things to get better tonight.

After all, nothing has really changed. The things racing through my head for the last two nights will still be there tonight. Plus she'll be back from her trip tomorrow and I have no idea what will happen after that.

The thing that pisses me off is that right now, at noon on Monday, I could probably fall asleep for ten hours. Unfortunately they frown upon that kind of thing here at work, and by the time I get home this evening I expect this fatigue to be replaced by something else.

Something that will no doubt keep me awake for yet another night.

Sunday, October 3, 2004
posted by dave at 10:21 PM in category ramblings

Ten seconds.

Not much in the grand scheme of things obviously, but give me those ten seconds back and I could really change things.

Two seconds in June. I wouldn't hesitate again. I'd push forward. Find out for sure. Be unafraid.

A couple seconds in July. I'd keep my mouth shut and walk away.

Another second in August. What an opportunity wasted that was.

In September I'd need four seconds back. Four seconds to think clearly. To remember that which I'd known all along, and also that which I'd forgotten from long ago.

Now it's October and I'd like to hold that tenth second in reserve.

I'm sure I'll need it before too long.

posted by dave at 1:15 PM in category website

One of the more surreal things about having a website is the feedback you get from complete strangers.

Start publishing an online journal and people really start crawling out of the woodwork.

Place forms on your site to allow anonymous messages and your inbox can fill up pretty quickly.

Here are some statistics on the messages sent to me over the past week:

66% were simply positive comments about the site. Of these, 60% were about the pool section, 20% about the main 'blog, and 20% about the cats' section.

Of the remaining 34%, an overwhelming 95% of the messages contained advice of various forms regarding my love life or the lack thereof.

Sixteen messages asked for advice or instruction on playing pool. Three people want to arrange gambling sessions with me.

Three messages asked me if I wanted to adopt a cat. I don't.

There was one offer for a date the next time I'm in Seattle. I think I know who that one was from.

Six messages could be dismissed as simple trolling.

There were three SPAM messages.

And finally, fourteen people asked me what happened to the Pronto section of my site.

I must admit I wasn't expecting to get anywhere near this number of messages. I need to decide what to do about the ones that need a reply. I'd thought at first the I'd just use the appropriate 'blog, but the volume may be too high.

I suppose for now these messages will for the most part go unanswered.

But not unread.

If anyone out there needs a response just use e-mail instead of the web forms. Or put a reply address in your message.

posted by dave at 12:53 PM in category ramblings

Once I got home last night I ended up lying in bed, staring at the ceiling, or out the window, or at my alarm clock - it all depended on which position my head faced of course - for the entire night.

Finally, I think at about 8:00 AM I got to sleep. Then at 10:00 my body's own circadian rhythm forced me back awake and here I sit having given up on sleep until tonight.

I've always been a very light sleeper, but usually I'm able to fall asleep (or back to sleep, whatever the case may be) fairly quickly. It's just that it doesn't take much to jerk me out of my slumber.

Crickets. Cars on the road. Cats scratching at the litterbox at the other end of the house. It doesn't take much. I'll usually just turn over. On some nights I'll get up and walk into the other bedroom or into the living room and sleep there until the next time I'm awakened by some minor noise. This can happen many times a night. My cats all follow me from room to room. My last girlfriend got used to this as well and would often beat me to the next room to be sure she got her favorite side of the bed.

But this entry is supposed to be about insomnia, and last night's bout in particular.

I had so much going though my head last night. Such a mix of uncertainty and wonder and worry and surprise that I was actually wondering if my mind would ever stop racing.

I wondered about the explanations I owe, and I played out those discussions a million times, never getting them quite right.

I thought about the fox, chewing off its own leg to escape the trap it's caught in. Is the fox showing bravery or cowardice? Or is it just instinct?

I thought about the potential displayed by the weekend I'd just experienced. Is it real, or am I just desperately reaching out at anything that might take my mind off my failure to control my emotions last weekend?

Through all this there ran a single theme. A theme about which I will not write even though the urge to do so is nearly overpowering at times. Times like right now. Some things need to be said privately before they're broadcast to the world.

And some things are better left unsaid.

Friday, October 1, 2004
posted by dave at 4:14 PM in category website

I've completed a long-overdue revamp of my 'blog search engine.

It now supports quoted phrases and boolean logic.


posted by dave at 4:11 PM in category daily

This morning I was witness to a three-car pile-up.

Okay, to be fair, it wasn't really a pileup. It was more like a three-car fender bender.

The driver of the car directly in front of me at the light in Edwardsville, upon seeing the light turn green, decided to immediately jump on the gas and speed through the intersection.

There was only one problem with this plan: The car in front of her was stuck behind a long line of cars waiting for the next light. It was only about fifteen feet ahead of the woman driver in front of me.

She smacked the car in front of her without even hitting her brakes. This collision knocked car number two into the back of car number three.

After a couple of minutes while everyone stood around making sure nobody was hurt, I gave a business card to each driver in case they needed a witness, and went to work.

mysterious gray box mysterious blue box mysterious red box mysterious green box mysterious gold box

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