Saturday, May 31, 2003

Another day of at least quasi-suckdom.

My sister cut my hair today. She cut a lot off, which was good because I wanted that. However, she kept begging to dye to my hair. I refused and refused and refused. But finally, I gave in and told her she could put just a little bit of red highlighting in. She got this stuff, swore it would dye my hair just a little red. I trusted her. She dyed it. I looked in the mirror. I have bright damn yellow hair.

As I walked out the door, she told me, sincerely: "Oh wow, your so redheaded now!"

Gee, what do you think?

Friday, May 30, 2003

Today was another day that sucked a lot. I could hardly pull myself out of bed, but I finally managed it, running late and all that. Was just about to run out the door when my mom came out and said she was sick. Very sick. She told me to go to school, but I could see she really meant it when she said she felt bad. Anyway, long story short, another long day with doctors and pharmacies and all that. Depressing. I always wish that she's healthy. But especially now. I feel bad going to Europe if she's sick. It's probably for the better that she won't really find out her test results until a few days after I'm gone. If there's something else serious, I'm not sure I could get on the plane. It's not as if I can do anything about anything. But if she has to suffer through the miseries of the hospital, it seems that I should too. Or in any case, I shouldn't much be enjoying not. It's a strange thing that in my desire not to be self-centered, I really become all the more self-centered. Here I am concerned about what I'll do if she's sick, when the real concern is how she'll get through getting sick again.

I'm pretty generally disgusted with my family as a whole today. It's funny that I'd give my life for any of them, but half the time I have the urge to projectile vomit if we're in the same room together.

I have two papers to write this weekend, and a rather boring book to read. It'll be terrific.

I've been watching cartoons a lot lately. And I find myself disturbed by the violence. Not the kind that blue haired soccer moms get upset over. But the kind that I never really noticed when I was a kid. Superheros are always running around throwing buildings and smashing dams and such. It seems only logical that there should be people in those buildings, and in those streets. It seems only logical that they must die en masse. I never thought of it much when I was a kid. Even if I had, I guess I would've shrugged it off. But I find it most disturbing now. It's not limited only to cartoons of course. I noticed it in the new X-men movie too. Regular folks die while superheros show off.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

I'm feeling a little better today. Actually, compared to when I couldn't sleep last night from sickness, I'm feeling rather great. In any case, I'm functional now. And while I'd still rather be at home sleeping, I don't think today's history club meeting will be that bad. Plus, mom's actually cooking tonight, so I won't have to scrounge for food. Many problems still remain, but I'm not feeling so desparate today. Things will be okay; that's a statement of fact, not faith.

I think, major nerd and dork that I am, I may watch more Cartoon Network in the future. I was watching last night while I was sick, and I'd forgotten that I like cartoons. Not only the old ones that I grew up on, but even the freaky new Japanese junk that, to be fair, is godawful, and yet somehow mindnumbingly entertaining.

I think I'm going to head over to the Student Union in a minute, even though it's a bit early. I'm restless and need something better to do than type.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Today has been one of the lousier days of my existence. I started it off sick, of course, but I've had a dozen conflicts throughout the day.

First problem: I heard this morning that my German teacher will be gone for an unspecified amount of time next year. This isn't a problem if the University decides to hire a replacement. It's an annoyance, but it's tolerable. If the University doesn't hire a replacement, and his absence concurs with my last quarter of German, then I'm incredibly, incredibly screwed. I need four quarters of German, and I've completed three. If he's gone, I can't finish my fourth until he comes back. If he doesn't come back next year, then I can't finish German, which means I can't possibly graduate on time.

Problem Two: My father got a call from my aunt today, they want to put my grandmother in a nursing home. This pisses me off a lot. It's not that she couldn't use extra help; it's that she sure as hell won't get help in a nursing home. Nursing homes aren't about nursing, they're about sending people away to die. I could read all sorts of nasty things into this. Like the bastards want her money (this isn't entirely unfounded, they seem to be hinting about selling grandma's farm already and she isn't even in the nursing home yet). In any case, I just pissed myself off again by going off about the whole situation and probably making my dad feel worse about the problem than he already did. On the one hand, he deserves it for not involving himself more and for letting all of this happen. But that doesn't mean that I should be the one to deliver the guilt. I'm hardly the person to do it. It isn't as if I can fix any of the problems.

Problem Three: My father lives at my grandmother's house. If they sell my grandmother's house, they sell my father's house and that means he has to move back in here. This is problematic on so many levels that I can hardly talk about it. In a normal family, he'd be expected to get an apartment. But in mine, he'll come back to the house and it'll screw up absolutely everything. My parents are separated because they DON'T get along. Their fighting ruined my childhood, so I guess it's only fitting that it could screw up my adulthood too. If my father moves back in here, I lose all my scholarships. This is doubly a problem because I have to go to grad school on top of it. While paying for a year of college straight out of the pocket sucks, it's tolerable. But having to pay for all of my damn grad school myself is pretty intolerable. It may be the difference between my becoming Dr. Sarah, and becoming Miss Sarah the bitter ass fucking History teacher who hates everyone because she shouldn't have had to get stuck in this dump of a public high school. I mean hell, I could always go into debt $120,000 to get a meaningful job with an average salary of $30,000 per year, but how is it worth the sacrifice?

Seriously, I should have become a nurse. They only go to school for two years, they make loads of money, and they're nearly always bitchy so I would have been allowed to keep my bitter attitude without too much of an inquisition over the matter.

Things may work out. They'll probably work out in fact. I have no doubt of it really. But I'm discouraged as hell today. And I can't stand to see my saint of a grandmother subjected to the idiocy and selfishness of her children. I hate the hippie generation. It's not a surprise that the younger generation is so conservative. We've seen our parents do every stupid, selfish, self-destructive, societally destructive, thing imaginable. And they wonder why we're not about "peace" and "love?" Well perhaps it's because we have a better conception of it than taking drugs, having sex, and taking no responsibility for ones self.


Damnit, I woke up sick yesterday. I think I must have caught Mohican River sickness, and now I suffer. That's the last time I play in a waterfall! Now I have that really annoying sick voice thing going on, and I keep taking these number things for my throat. So when I tried to read in German today, I'd numbed my tongue so badly that I could hardly get any of the words out. I swear I sounded like: "Wnn nich waerr krannnk, wurduh eek schlafnen." I suppose that won't strike you funny if you don't read German, but if you do, what I was trying to get across was: "Wenn ich ware krank, wuerde ich schlafen." Yeah, come to think of it, maybe it's not so funny if you're not in the middle of mindnumbing class.

Anyway, I have the sincere and urgent desire to cease to be. Though I feel better today than I did yesterday, yesterday I wasn't stuck at school all day, so it mattered less that I felt bad. I can't concentrate and all I want to do is go home. Yeah, sure, that's every day of my life. But I'm really sick this time, I swear it.

Monday, May 26, 2003

From G.K. Chesterton's Philosophy of the School Room:

I. Every sane man believes that the world around him and the people in it are real, and not his own delusion or dream. No man starts burning London in the belief that his servant will soon wake him for breakfast. But that I, at any given moment, am not in a dream, is unproved and unprovable. That anything exists except myself is unproved and unprovable.

II. All sane men believe that this world not only exists, but matters. Every man believes there is a sort of obligation on us to interest ourselves in this vision or panorama of life. He would think a man wrong who said, "I did not ask for this farce and it bores me. I am aware that an old lady is being murdered down-stairs, but I am going to sleep." That there is any such duty to improve the things we did not make is a thing unproved and unprovable.

III. All sane men believe that there is such a thing as a self, or ego, which is continuous. There is no inch of my brain matter the same as it was ten years ago. But if I have saved a man in battle ten years ago, I am proud; if I have run away, I am ashamed. That there is such a paramount "I" is unproved and unprovable. But it is more than unproved and unprovable; it is definitely disputed by many metaphysicians.

IV. Lastly, most sane men believe, and all sane men in practice assume, that they have a power of choice and responsibility for action.

Surely it might be possible to establish some plain, dull statement such as the above, to make people see where they stand. And if the youth of the future must not (at present) be taught any religion, it might at least be taught, clearly and firmly, the three or four sanities and certainties of human free thought.

heh, this is great. Randomly computer generated poetry based on my blog.

Lazy Sunday Afternoon
My own personality.
which can’t understand absolutely everything was awkward;
and finally we ate
ate everyone its own shoes.

April's is better though:

FAT face, I ate food, into each person ::CONFUSED LOOK::
over to the park. well we left. Yeah.
I dont Know a fucking phone.
with Rory, me for my own
expense here.

Sunday, May 25, 2003

Last night I had a horrible nightmare about being at Angela's house. I can't remember the specifics of it, but I was reaching for the doorhandle, and a spider jumped on my hand. I freaked out, but I couldn't move any of my limbs. I tried to smack the thing off my hand, but my stupid arm just wouldn't move. I was terrified, horrified, my God it was awful. I woke up unable to move, from sheer terror. It took me forever to separate the reality from the dream enough that I could get up and out of the room.

And then, a few minutes ago, I walked into my bedroom and saw a spot on my bed. I thought, hmm, must be a dustball. But then it moved. I jumped. I looked around for something to kill it. I couldn't reach my shoe, it was on the other side of the spider. My eyes shifted wildly around the room, looking for anything to club it with. I grabbed my machete; it's in a case, it was sort of flat. But then I realized that if I hit it and didn't kill it, or worse, if I just missed it, it would probably crawl into my bed where I couldn't reach. Terror. Sheer terror. I used the machete to pull closer my shoe. Shoes are bigger, I reasoned, more accuracy.

I pulled the shoe back, struck. The spider curled up. But I knew spider tricks. The bastards always act like they're dead. So I struck again. A third time. A fourth. A fifth and a sixth, right together. At last, I was satisfied. I rolled the sheet up around it and brought it into the kitchen. My father came inside, and I told him of my conquest. I asked him to go and look.

He pulled up the sheet, stupidly, with utter carelessness. The spider lept madly in the air; probably aiming for his vein, but he missed. Dad said: "Oh, you killed this little fellow, who's still crawling around?" I screamed and ran around in circles, jumping whenever my foot brushed against the carpet. Dad smashed him with his foot. I said it wasn't good enough, to do it again. He did. "Again!," I screamed, "and squish it around!" He did. And at last, I was satisfied; or satisfied enough that I've ceased staring at its corpse incessantly. Now I only check it every five minutes or so.

However, I have a sneaking suspicion that my dream was not so much dream as reality. A spider was crawling about on my bed today; certainly he could have been there last night. My unconscious tried to warn me. But I stupidly wrote it off as a nightmare. Such naivety! My God, it could've pirouetted around on my eyelids while I slept. My God, it could've done so much worse! I don't want to sleep ever again. I hate my room now. My God. Spiders in my bed. That's two of them in the last week! Two!

Does anyone know the patron saint of getting spiders the hell away from you?

Today was painful, but I think tomorrow might be even more painful.

We went to Mohican today. It was quite a lot of fun, in that exercisey, not-sitting-on-my-ass sort of way. If you can imagine that being fun, that is.

Anyway, April and I had a kick ass phone chat last night, and I was up til way later than I should've been, so I woke up a little later than intended. That was just fine, because Angela, being Angela, was running much later than I was. We picked Mike up, and headed toward Mohican. Unlike last trip, we took the right road heading out of Ashland. Unfortunately, it was the only right road we found all day. Once we finally actually got down into the Mohican sort of area, we couldn't figure out where the damned entrance was. So we drove and drove, and finally we found something that said: "Mohican Wilderness." We took that road, like little lambs to the slaughter. It ended up that Mohican Wilderness was some sort of camping grounds, and not really the wilderness of Mohican. But before we realized that, we spent twenty minutes driving down that lousy, dirt road, with a huge gorge to the one side of me, and a river down below, and bikers and walkers popping out all over the place. Then we ended up in a town we'd never heard of, and we had to turn around and go back through the mofo Mohican Wilderness road, for another twenty minutes. But then we found the gorge, and that was quite happy.

We ate at the gorge, as is per usual. I say per usual, because we've made one trip before to Mohican, and we did the same thing then. So, anyway, we stuffed ourselves on bananas, pudding and various junk foods. People kept coming down to look off the gorge, and we had the whole overlook taken up with our food. It was awkward; and fun.

Then we got lost again looking for the dam. But I eventually stumbled onto it, and all was good. We went hiking (yeah, that's right, hiking) to the waterfalls. Before we got there though, Angela fell once, I fell once, Mike didn't fall at all. We took a whole host of pics, which I'll post when Angela sends them, and got tired as hell because we're really quite out of shape. Even Mike got out of breath going up the hill, and he's a skinny boy. In any case, we got to the waterfalls and it was wicked. We had to climb down a good 30 feet, a large number of which was spent using exposed tree roots as a ladder, to get to the bottom of the falls. We climbed under and took some pictures. Then Mike and I ran through the waterfall, and got wet. Being wet sucked, so we went home after that. But first, of course, we did some obligatory hill rolling. A family stopped to watch us. They rated me a seven; I was pretty proud. I went twice, but Mike and Angela, the buggers, only did it once. In any case, I'm in rather a lot of pain now from it. Though I suspect, as I said earlier, that tomorrow will be much worse, after my muscles (that's right, I do have some) have a proper chance to stiffen up.

I'm really incredibly tired, so I'm going to crash now before I let the sleepiness take over, and I attempt writing something clever.

Friday, May 23, 2003

I beat Rory at chess last night. Twice. It was pretty great. Especially the second time, when I was watching tv and writing a story, and only half watching the game, and I kept doing stupid ass things on the board, like randomly sacrificing my queen for a pawn. Ahh, and I still won. Good times.

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Today something quite joyous happened. When I wrote the other day that I thought that I screwed up my Anthropology exam, I was right. I did screw it up. But my desperate pleas to St. Jude were answered. It turns out that our exams were missing six questions that should've been on them. And as such, we were all given credit for twelve points that we didn't really deserve. I got a 90 on my exam, which isn't as high as I would have preferred. But at this rate, so long as I get at least an 88 on my final, I'll still have an A in the class on the whole. That's cake really. I'm a bit worried about Sociology, but perhaps my German grade isn't so bad as I had supposed. I got a B on our first exam; but following that, I've toed the A- line. That should bring the grade up to a B+ anyway. Add to that the two Snow White assignments, which I think I aced, and you're certainly in the A- zone, if not a straight up A. I understand what we're doing right now in class too, so my final may actually be quite aceable. And if that's true, and I can pull off three A's in difficult subjects, I guess I won't be so pissed off when I see an A- in Sociology. Wait, no, then I'll be utterly pissed about an A- in Sociology as opposed to being generally pissed off about several grades lower than I want.

Anyway, after Tuesday sucked so badly, today was such a nice contrast. And I even have plans for the weekend. Mike, Angela, maybe Daysi, and I are going to go to Mohican to find the waterfalls on either Saturday or Sunday (Rory and April's journey from hell inspired me). And it's a four day weekend for me, so that's pretty wicked all on its own. Ahh, and I called my first official meeting, and it looks like some people might actually show up, so I feel all powerful and happy. On Tuesday, it seemed like all my discipline (that's right, laugh it up, I actually had some this time round) was for naught; I was quite frustrated. But now I can see the fruit of my labors, and I'm generally satisfied. Life is good.

And I'm about to get some food to eat. I'm angling for Mexican, but we'll see how it goes.

Intellectually, I feel that in most ways, I raised myself. My father and mother taught me many of the basic things that human beings have to master, of course, before I ever began to contemplate the mysteries of the universe, or even before I ever considered trying to tie my own shoes. But on the whole, I taught myself. I taught myself how to read and do basic math, and I’m singularly responsible for the way that I excelled in the former and failed miserably in the latter. While I’m certain that my elementary school would claim credit for having taught me those things, I had taught myself both skills before I ever got stuck in a classroom. And had I not learned them first, I rather doubt that I ever would have learned them. I used the resources that school brought me: libraries, textbooks, required assignments. But I could count on one hand the things that a teacher ever really taught me. That’s not entirely to their discredit; much of the discredit lies with me, and my stubbornness regarding being taught anything partially. I have always wanted to know why, and no teacher can teach why. They can point, but they can’t shove the absolute reality into your head, and I wouldn’t have anything except the absolute reality. And no public school teacher has the time to spend with one student who insists on knowing; there are twenty-four other kids in their class who don’t insist, and who have to be forced and the majority’s needs outweigh the needs of the one student.

But I really do feel that on the whole, particularly intellectually, I raised myself. I’ve freelanced for so long that it’s actually difficult for me to discuss big ideas with other people. Intelligent people are often tangibly alone. I’ve read so many of the great books, just because I thought that I should familiarize myself with them. And yet there are so many great books that I haven’t read yet, and will probably never read. And the differences in what I’ve read from what another intellectual has read are huge. Those differences keep us from having a common language, or common ideas or even common emotions.

I raised myself on strange books. I started with the great thinkers that most folks only discover later in life. I read Nietzsche at fourteen, and Sartre at fifteen, and Camus and that sort all around the same time. It wasn’t until I was eighteen and nineteen that I started to take a thinker like G.K. Chesterton seriously. As such, I’ve found that my opinions are always the unpopular opinions. By the time my peers in college were discovering Nietzsche, I’d already tired of him. By the time they’d gotten tired of a proper theist like C.S. Lewis, I was only just beginning to think that he might possibly have a point. A lack of commonality is difficult for intellectuals. We’re hardly ever secure enough to be truly alone; and yet, if we find ourselves on the side of the majority, we’re nervous because we self-righteously consider the masses ignorant.

Philosophy and Theology have always been central issues for me. Even as I tired of Politics, and the problems of this world, my questions about other worlds increased. And so, while I could list all of the amendments to the constitution and their approximate addition dates, when I was fourteen, and still, I had no clue what the ten commandments were, by the time I was eighteen, I couldn’t list half of amendments, much less their addition dates, but I had taught myself entire lists of psalms and knew them by heart. I was backward of course; most people are raised with religion, and become increasingly secular until they have children of their own. I was raised secularly, and became interested in religion. Though, there’s no news yet on what I’ll do when I have children of my own.

In any case, what I’m building up to, is how profoundly uncool I know I am. At twenty, as an intellectual, I should be nihilistic and bored. But I’ve already been there, and I’ve discarded such philosophies. Instead I find myself profoundly optimistic, and happy, and brimming with questions that I feel may actually have answers. It’s a difficult thing for anyone else to understand I think. When you’re twelve and intelligent, the world has a meaning; when you’re twenty and intelligent, you realize how naïve you were when you were twelve; so how is it that I could be intelligent, and twenty, and still naively cling to a life with meaning?

I don’t know. I’m completely uncool. And I’m okay with it. I’m not ashamed of being happy. I’m no longer sick over not knowing everything (admittedly, I still get a little sick sometimes because I don’t know, but it’s vastly decreased). The thinkers that I respect now, no longer discredit human life. I can’t respect a thinker who takes that notion seriously. The thinkers I love are the ones who aren’t so absorbed in mindless empiricism. That’s right, mindless empiricism. It sounds like a contradiction in terms to the in-crowd, but I find nothing so reasonable about cold facts. I like the thinkers who see life as beautiful, and human lives as beautiful, and who don’t limit their minds to the sickeningly finite senses that they can easily process.

It’s easy to see someone like me as hiding from the world, but I think the truth is just the opposite. I’ve been obsessed for years with smashing the world into little finite bits that I could file in my brain. I wanted to be big bigger than reality; I wanted to control it and nail it down. I was afraid of the world because the notion that I couldn’t understand absolutely everything meant that I was powerless; I warred against the world, I hid from it. And now I’ve given myself over. I resign myself to a position of inferiority; perhaps I can’t know everything, and perhaps I am powerless. Perhaps this finite human being can’t understand an infinite universe; and perhaps this unknowledgeable twit can venture the opinion that world is infinite, without overly worrying about proving it. That’s not hiding. It’s not denying what can be seen. It’s accepting that there are things which can’t yet be seen.

Mysteries are the salvation of man from his own self-righteousness and arrogance. It’s why Jesus always spoke in parables; they’re not supposed to be easy to understand. It’s why Job never really got his answer from God, even when God answered him. It’s why the Buddha told people to wake themselves up; why he told them to look where he was pointing, and to stop focusing on his damn finger all of the time instead. I’ll take a mystery over a fact any day. I believe in miracles; and not only because I’ve seen them, but paradoxically, also because I haven’t.

What’s so awful about hope? What’s so terrible about being okay with who you are? What’s so shameful about seeing yourself as a part of the universe, rather than the god ruling over it? At fourteen I could have told you, but the answer escapes me now. And I’m happier for it, and healthier for it. And it hasn’t made me fall into a stupid contentment like I had feared; quite the opposite, it liberated me from the contentment that I suffered from seeing myself as the ultimate arbitrator.

I don’t suspect that I can handle the truth; and somehow that fundamental truth, I think, has set me free.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

I know that it's really dorky, but I feel all cool this morning, because I've been sending out official emails. heh, I'm a club president at a university, albeit a stupid university, but a uni nevertheless. Man, that's pretty wicked.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

I'm confused about a lot of things. Where is the line drawn between willful and pushy? I don't want to be a tyrant; am I? Sometimes I think I must have an opinion of my own personality which is utterly foreign to anyone who knows me. Which means, of course, that I have the wrong opinion about my own personality. That's disturbing. Am I manipulative? Hell, I hardly even want to know if I am. It's just that I always feel so damn justified in my own behavior. I have good reasons for the things I do, and I can defend the damn things to the death. I feel that I'm rarely wrong. I wonder if that's as self-righteous and arrogant as it sounds. I'm glad that I don't have to live with me.

Boring day today. I think I screwed up my Anthropology exam, but I'm pretty apathetic over it. I got out at like 3:30, and I'm stuck here until 7:30. Class doesn't start until 5:30. Meh. I should skip, but I want to get my exam back, even if there's only a remote possibility of it.

I had an odd dream last night. In the dream, Mike called April and I to tell us that he'd figured out his life. He'd join some church, and now everything was happy and good. He begged us to go with him, and even though I hate churches, I finally gave in and went. The church was a wee wisp of a thing, with evangelical types trying to be cool (you know the sort, shaggy hair and goatees on top their preppy ass clothes), and I was bored. They were watching some video instead of having a real preacher, to "appeal to the younger generation," and I just kept feeling more and more tired, and more and more ridiculous. So eventually, I fell asleep. When I woke up, nearly everyone was gone. I heard Mike say: "Look at this. How could she fall asleep when they're teaching the truth?" And I opened my eyes to see my English Bible prof, who under ordinary circumstance would certainly never be caught dead in such a stupid church, tell Mike: "It's okay. You know, she's one of them. You know, rich." And while Mike seemed to have no idea what he was talking about, I did. He was calling me a Jew. And I was thinking: "You're damn right, you idiot evangelical! We were writing your holy scripture while your sorry barbarian ass was screwing sheep and bowing down to trees!"

It's an odd thing for me, but I've been dealing with some serious jealousy issues lately. I feel very unappreciated. I wonder why people will bend over backward to do things for other people, but not for me. In part, I know it's because I'm so mild, generally. I'm okay when people don't give me attention, or when they cling to each other more than me. People start to assume that I don't need attention since I don't ask for it; and besides, other people make it clear that they need attention, and you have to prioritize these things. But I still feel pretty generally rotten. I'm trying to get over it. It's a form of selfishness that I'm not fond of. And I know that there's a serious danger of falling into martyr-style thinking. I'm well-aware of my own tendency toward gloominess, and there's nothing like the gloominess of a martyr.

I should really be eating now, and studying. But meh, I'm tired of both. Hard to believe on the former count, I know.

Monday, May 19, 2003

Sunday was good. I didn't end up going to Columbus, which was nice. And I actually read the Gospel of Matthew in its entirety, even though I've read it thirty seven times, and took notes, so when I wrote the paper this morning, I had a good idea of what I was doing first. And then, I did Snow White today finally, and I think I did really well.

Additionally, I bought some space bags today. They're sort of like this, but not quite. And I bought a camera today that I saw really cheap. It's an Olympus zoom type. Only $30, which isn't bad for an Olympus. I'm still looking for digitals though. And I still need to order my money belt. But I think I've picked the one I want. It's sort of big, but I guess that's nothing to complain over.

Only three weeks or so until I leave for Europe. That's terrifying.

I'm rather happy with my grades for the most part so far this quarter. It's week seven, I think, and that's a pretty good time to figure up how you stand. English is a definite A; Anthropology is an A so far, and an almost definite A by the end of the quarter; German is a B+ right now, but I think I can bring it up; Sociology is a definite and easy A.

I'm tying up loose ends today. I've been busy. My head is full of lists and facts and figures. I'm about as creative and reflective as your average inchworm; I apologize.

Saturday, May 17, 2003

Lessons from the zoo today: I have a bad humor and I pick friends with bad senses of humor.

Extract from an actual conversation, unedited:

Angela: Hey, look, a black bear. What should we call him? Blacky?
Me: No way. Too obvious. He needs a better name. How about Whitey? Wait, no, let's call him Cracker. Dude, he's the Cracker Bear.
Angela: Yes! I love Cracker Barrel.

Two minutes later:

Me: Chipmunks are among natures most religious creatures.
Angea: ::looks at a restaurant called the Elephant Grill:: Man, that's wrong. Grilling elephants is so not cool.

And, in another interesting development, I got Angela drunk for the first time in her life. We went to the Greek Festival, and I talked her into buying Uzo, and drinking it quickly. She was pretty buzzed by the time we left. It was pretty wicked.

Yesterday sort of sucked. I was told that I didn't have to get Brittany in Columbus because she was staying with some friend down there or something like that. Then around four, I got a call saying that I had to hurry and get her because something went wrong with the other plans. So, I had to go, and quickly. And I still don't know what went wrong. However, in the meantime, I'd told Angela that since I didn't have to get the kid twice this weekend, I'd drive to the zoo. So now I get to drive to Columbus three days in a row. Which is just terrific, really.

Additionally, my sister has another appointment in Cleveland this Wednesday. I think everyone's expecting me to take her, but I really can't keep missing school. At the same time, my mom freaks if she drives in cities, and she's working non-stop on top of it, so I don't even want her to go. So it's probably going to be me that has to go. I can't let her miss her appointment, and I can't make my sleep deprived, phobic, mother, go either. I hate being the one who always makes sure everyone else is okay.

I'm getting very tired of driving.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

I got a bit of feedback about a post I made the other day. I hadn’t thought much of the thing at the time, but I’ve had more than one person bring it up, so I want to expand on it.

When I wrote the other day about my spiritual development, I was unnecessarily unclear. The word development used in the context I used it, makes perfect sense to me as a conservative, a traditionalist, and a history major. But I don’t think that it probably makes a lot of sense to your average person who isn’t all, or especially any, of the above. When I say “development,” I don’t mean to equate it with say, “improvement.” To develop is to change over time. But development is not the equivalent of improvement. A cancer, for example, develops rapidly. But such rapid development is hardly an improvement for someone with the disease. On the other hand, I don’t want to imply that I’ve regressed either. I wouldn’t say that. But I expressed myself so poorly that I wouldn’t blame anyone for drawing either conclusion.

I think it’s a very difficult matter to get to the essence of anything. I think it would be exceptionally difficult to capture the essence of a hot dog; to capture the essence of a human being would be impossible. So, while I’m fond of telling stories about myself, and while I really do think they reveal something integral about me, I don’t think that they really get at who and what I am. If a scientific study would have been conducted on me throughout the whole of my life for instance, if everything I ever did or thought or felt, was recorded numerically in detailed reports with pie charts and the works, I still don’t think that it would reflect the essence of me. It would be the difference between seeing a scholarly drawing of an elephant, and seeing the thing firsthand with your own eyes. You might have an idea of an elephant if you studied one from a book. You could see the general shape and form, and have an intellectual grasp of the weight and mass of the animal, and you could even make lists of the habits and preferences of the creature. But all of that knowledge is nothing when you compare it with looking smack dab in the face of an elephant. It’s a different thing to be keeled over by the sheer vastness of an elephant standing in front of you than it is to be able to explicate the average or specific height and weight of your average or specific elephant.

Human beings are so strange, and twisted and terribly, terribly odd. I don’t pretend to understand them. But I’m utterly awed by them in every way. Human beings intrigue me in the same silly and childish way that I think most young children are intrigued by their adolescent older siblings. I know most of the facts about human beings, and I’ve lived among them all of the days of my life, and there isn’t a single scientific thing in the world that separates me from humanity in general. And yet, I feel that I’m separated from them in a mysterious and non-tangible sort of way; I’m certain of it, really. But it leads me to be curious about humanity in the same way that I was curious about my brother when I was little. I remember once when I was seven, I stayed home from school. Having watched my thirteen-year old brother board the bus, secure in the knowledge that he was really going to be gone all day, I raided his room. It was full of odd discoveries. Memorably, that day I figured out the difference between boys’ underwear and girls’, what it was like to wear a Cub Scout uniform, and that my brother received notes from girls that contained naughty words, and that he even used them himself. It was an eye opening day. But I didn’t know about my brother then. He was beyond me in ways that I couldn’t contemplate. I’ll never know what it was like to be my brother, even though I snooped in his things. And I’ll never know what it’s like to be a human just by watching humanity move.

Many of the most basic skills I use I can remember learning. Yesterday, while getting a candy bar out of machine, for instance, I had a random mental flashback of visiting my brother Tony in prison when I was quite little. I wanted a Twix, but I’d never seen a machine like that before, and I had no idea how to use it. My brother came over and showed me how to cross reference. “Twix, underneath it says D-12. Go over here and look for a D. Do you see the D? Press it. Okay, now find the 12 in this row. Press it.” The candy fell down, and I more or less forgot about it. But I never had to relearn how to use that sort of machine again. It was natural after that; like riding a bike. And I can remember my mother teaching me how to read a digital clock on our old, and gigantic, kitchen microwave. “If it says fifty, then you tell me ten til the next hour. Like now it’s three fifty, so you say that it’s ten til four. Do you see how the flashing things in the middle separate the three from the fifty?” I can remember my father spending hours teaching me how to tie my shoes. I know that I had to learn so many little things that I can’t possibly remember, or ever fathom. Things like which muscles to move to make my arms move to the left, or how to coordinate my eyes to work together, or which style of crying procured a response most quickly.

When I talk about my spiritual development, I can only talk about the milestones. About, for starters, the Saturday morning when I was ten, when I laid in bed for what seemed like hours, thinking about how miserable the heat was, and when it struck me like lightning from a clear sky that I didn’t believe in God. Scientists didn’t believe in God, I reasoned. And scientists are the smartest people on the Earth. Or, for instance, how when I was eleven and living with my sister and my niece Brianne, with whom I shared a room, had had a nightmare and woke me up. We went downstairs to the kitchen, and we started talking about God. I didn’t know very much about God, except that I didn’t believe in Him. And I knew something about how there was a guy named Adam and a girl named Eve, and they lived in a garden, and they ate an apple, and God got really mad and that’s why we have to have nightmares. Or how I ate up a little book of Greek myths I found around the same time, and how when I’d play soccer I’d pray silently for the “fierceness of Zeus, and strength of Athena!” Or how, in a moment of utter despair when I was fourteen, I finally gave reading the Bible a try and found it to be stupid and ridiculous and my desperation increased exponentially. How, when I was sixteen, I had a fight with a boy that I loved, about God and conscience and the terrible burden of humanity, and how angry I was when I thought to myself that this damn world didn’t have to be.

But those are only the moments that I noticed the changes in myself. The changes were always present, whether I was aware of them or not. There are two famous stories in my family about my religious history that my mother and father love to pick on me over. The first is the fact that I was only baptized because my grandmother gave all of the grandchildren who were christened a $50 Savings Bond, and my mother didn’t want me to miss out. The second was from when I was only three, and my mother told me that I’d done something bad. I told her, and my grandmother that “I didn’t do anything bad. God did. God made everything, and controls everything, and I’m part of everything, so God did something bad.” My mom was embarrassed at the time, and pinched me a little and said: “You’re supposed to say the ‘devil made me do it.’” I replied, deadly seriously, “the devil can’t make you do things. Only God can. God controls the devil too. God does the bad things.” Considering my nonexistent theological training at that point in my life, it was an amazing thing for me to say. And my mom always swore up and down that I was like Rosemary’s baby because of it. From a christening for money, to an extreme Calvinism, to my first real spiritual crisis when I was six, when I had what I can only describe now as a panic attack because I couldn’t figure out where God came from, there were changes that I couldn’t control or understand or even contemplate.

And that’s how I look myself then and now. I’m changing all of the time. I’ve developed all right, but no one can say how. I’m not content with the fact. I don’t want to be an enigma even to myself. But it does seem to be the position that I find myself in. I wrote earlier about how no one could read this journal and suddenly have their eyes opened to everything there is to know about me. I have a separation from other people that will keep that from happening. And, I do believe in “I.” Though I’m part of the universe, and part of other people, and even part of God, and though I think that everything is incessantly flowing into everything else, I do believe in the distinctive entity that writes this blog. I think there’s a reality behind the solid surfaces and straight lines; but I also think that there’s something to be said for having “me,” and “the door,” and “the dog.” I believe in solids, and straight lines, even if I recognize them as deceptive incarnations. They’re still quite right, even if they’re misunderstandings. But what I’m really driving at here is that I do believe in otherness and alienation. And just as I am alienated from God, and from humanity, I am also alienated from myself. I have found over time that I observe myself just as I observe other people. Sometimes I accidentally catch myself studying myself; making notes on what I’ll do next.

I find myself in a strange position, writing this today, and in my life in general. I have discounted all of the solids and straight lines, and thrown out Euclid, and the meaning of life. And though I often say quite seriously that if there were no meaning I would simply kill myself, the truth is that I didn’t when I had the chance. I am capable of doubting even my own existence, and still I rise and continue to live. I have thrown out all reason and cast my bread on the water, and I’ve believed, and yet I’ve continued to doubt.

Do I believe in God? Yes. And no. Passionately, in both directions. I believe in love, and eternal life, and justice and mercy. And I believe that without God, those things cannot exist. And yet, also, I believe that if there were no God and I could be certain of it, I would be very disturbed at first, and then gradually numb myself to the fact, and then would be able to move on and live a long and unsatisfying, yet not really so terrible, existence.

The only thing that I’m really certain of, completely certain of, is that I am autonomously who I am. That I am not the sum total of my parts. That number specific number combination multiplied by specific number combination does not equate to Sarah. That I am more than my emotions, or my body’s chemicals, or the experiences which have happened to me. I believe that I was someone in the womb, and that I’ll be someone still, when the worms feast upon my inglorious corpse. I believe in free will, and in the right and duty and pleasure and passion, of all human beings to puzzle out the questions I’m puzzling over now. I believe in putting God on trial; and I believe in humbling myself before The Good anyway. I believe in transience and intransience. I believe that the infinite can manifest itself finitely. And I believe in all the paradoxes, and all of the relativistic number systems even as I stamp my foot and demand absolutism.

I don’t know what it means to be a human being in God’s universe. I don’t know what it’s like to be of the species Homo Sapien Sapien, trudging around on planet Earth. I don’t know what the people feel, or how it is to be one of God’s creatures. But I can feel what it is to be me. And I know that I’m part of this world. And I know that I’m part of the fraternity of man. And I know that God lives in me just as I live in Him. And I know that I’ll never understand it all; and I know that there isn’t really so much to understand. But I know that I’ve fallen in love with the contradictions and frustrations of it all. And I feel comfortable in my burdensome, autonomous frame. To be; to not be; to be not; all of the above and none of the above. And for once, I find myself rested and refreshed in the knowledge and non-knowledge of it all.

So today is even less busy than I thought. Turns out that we didn't have German Exam #1 today. We just had really short little quiz thing. And it was only listening comprehension. My partner for Snow White asked the Prof if we could wait until Monday to do our presentation, so I didn't do that today either. So the only remaining thing that I may really have to do, is my rather unworrisome Sociology exam. I can't complain. It's been a good day.

Plus, a funny day. In German, the Professor got an answer wrong, and we were all teasing him about it. He was like: "Aww, man, I hate being wrong. You know, if you were in a German University, I'd be right even if I was wrong." And we all laughed, and Jared says: "Oh great, so we'd all fail because of your incompetence!" And the Dr. says: "And arrogance!" It was great. I totally need to teach in Germany when I grow up.

Also, on the bright side of things, I think my mum and I aren't fighting again, which is nice. In any case, she bought me breakfast, which was cool. So that's a good thing. I'd prefer not taking an eight hour drive with her, in a couple of weeks, throughout which neither of us is capable of speech. Screams, well, that we could do.

Anyway, this weekend I'm going to redo my whole blog format. I'm thinking of changing the name. I want to maybe go something along the lines of Qoholeth. Or Modern Day Qoholeth or something. Qoheleth is the Hebrew word for "The Preacher" in Ecclesiastes. Scholars debate the meaning of the word. It might mean to "gather, or assemble." But it also might mean "to debate, harangue." The latter is more appropriate than the former, but I rather like the first as well. And while I'm certainly far from a preacher, this jack ass kid I don't like very much always accuses me of pontificating. And I suppose, I do some of that.

Also, I'm thinking of trying a sort of ice blue and gray kind of thing for the colors. The black suits me better mayhaps, but I prefer to remain an enigma, so. Also, I'm going to try to design my own blogframe from scratch instead of modifying the pre-done ones. It shouldn't be terribly challenging and I've always preferred a little originality.

I've narrowed down this summer's Sarah's-Really-Geeky-Independent-No-Credit-Giant-Research-Project. I think I'm going to go for the Comparative Mystical Experience throughout World Religions. I've been intrigued by the topic for a while. Other possible topics: The Byzantine Empire; The Unionization of American Coal Workers; Buddhism: Revisited. Also, I may actually sign up for guitar lessons. Though, I've always hated taking lessons, I seem to be really pretty lazy about teaching myself. And yet, I really do want to learn how to play all those annoying and cumbersome "real" chord structures.

Note to self: Stop relying on your only quasi-perfect pitch. Buy a damn tuner!

It's going to be a busy day today. Sort of. It'll also sort of be a quiet day. I have three exams, but I'm not overly worried. I studied for German as much as I can. I don't really understand how reflexives work. But I got my list of tenses down: sagen, sagte, gesagt; studieren, studierte, studiert; essen, ass, gegessen, etc. And I have to do Snow White today too, but I think I mostly have that: "Es war einmal eine Koenigin, die bekam eine toechter, die war so weiss wie schnee, so rot wie blut und so schwarzhaarig wie ebenholz..." etc. Then tonight I really only have Sociology, which is like twenty questions on a scantron. I'm not particularly worried about that. And my Anthropology exam was moved to Tuesday, so I can study through that waste of time class. So I'll probably get out of school early today, which is quite nice indeed. And to double the joy of it all, I was supposed to go to Columbus tonight to pick my niece up, and now I don't have to because she's staying with a friend somewhere this weekend. Yay! Free weekend!

On top of it, this particular weekend is the Greek Festival, which is gloriously happy. I like the Greek Festival. Every year I manage to sucker someone into going with me. This year, I think I may sucker three or four different people to going with me.

I'm in a good mood today. For someone with three exams, I'm in a terrific mood. And I'm feeling philosophical. I haven't time to write anything with any depth at the moment, but maybe the mood will last, and I'll scribble out a grand manifesto tonight. I know it's going to be a good day for my brain when I wake up and my first thought is: "Kant's ideals of an a priori mathematical system utterly clash with modern ideals of multiple numerical and mathematical systems which are just as valid as the one in current, general use. His absolutism conflicts with modern relativism. But in spite of that, he's still wrong."

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Today was long, among other things. I took the sister to Cleveland, and immediately came home for a fight. It's sort of my own fault, for fancying myself free to speak at home. Honestly, I know better.

A few weeks ago, my mom and dad had a huge fight, based on the fact that my mom misheard something my dad said. I was there; I can vouch for the fact that she misheard it. It's a totally out of character type of thing for him to say, on top of it. So I'm really quite positive that she heard it wrongly. I convinced her of the fact, I think. But rather than shrug it off because she heard wrongly, she's turned it into this giant "there's something wrong with my brain; I'm mishearing everything!" sort of deal. To be fair, there are things wrong with her. Largely, it's the fact that she takes a massive cocktail of prescription drugs to keep her alive; and listed on a good 75% on them are siAnyde effects like difficulty with concentration. And on top of it, like me, and even much worse than me, she suffers from constant nightmares and insomnia and hardly ever gets any sleep. But that doesn't mean that her brain is broken. Just that she needs to make lists sometimes, and double check on the things people say before she starts freaking out about them.

But anyway, she started in on the whole there's something wrong with my brain bit, and I said: "There's nothing wrong with your brain. Sometimes people hear what they want to." She flipped, and told me to leave.

I said that she had no reason to be angry and that she knew it was damn true that people hear what they're expecting to hear sometimes. She said she wasn't looking for a fight that day. And I said that it was probably true that she wasn't; but that doesn't change the fact that what she heard dad say, is exactly the sort of thing she's always accusing him of thinking, that he never says, and therefore, the probability is greater that she "heard" what she anticipated him to say, rather than just honestly messed up the sounds of the words. She freaked again, told me to leave. And I did. Because I'm not in the mood.

I was talking to my sister today and found out that one of my uncles, and my cousin, are both Old Regular Baptist preachers. This is funny largely because I friggin' hate Baptists; especially of the Old Order. But I like my uncle and my cousin, so I guess, like so many other Baptists in my life, they get to just slide in under the bar. The point is, I think it's funny how religion centered my family is. I have two uncles who are preachers, one who's a priest, one cousin in the church, and God knows how many antichrist types running around. I mean, imagine Brett and I standing beside the preachers of the Greasy Creek Old Regular Baptist Church. East is East, and West is West, and sometimes, maybe, the twain only looks really odd when they meet.

I would just like to say, for the record, that Mike and April are total bastards. Really.

When April was sixteen she joined the Pen15 club. That's right, I signed her sorry ass up.

Mike has a huge porn stash on his computer. No, seriously.

Mike's dad, who looks like Ewan McGregor/Jesus Christ, caught April's carp in 1992. She screamed. It was great. He won an award.

The other day, April and I had a conversation about Ewan McGregor's new movie.

I said: "I'm tired of that whole 'Golden Era of Movies.'"
April said: "I'm tired of that whole Rene Zelwigger era of movies."

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

I had fun in English class today. We were going over the Book of Job, that eternal mystery. The professor put on the board, a couple of proofs:

Job's Friends:

1. Suffering comes from God.
2. God is just.
3. Job is suffering.
Therefore: Job is guilty of some sin that God is punishing.


1. Suffering comes from God.
2. God is just.
3: Job is suffering.
4. Job is innocent of any sin.
Therefore: WTF?

I said that implicit in both proofs is the belief that suffering is evil; as in 1a: Suffering is evil. What if we switch it up, and assume that suffering doesn't necessarily equate to evil? Then we're out of the loop. We have detached statements which cannot form such a negative conclusion. He countered with: "It's good to inflict suffering on an innocent?" I said, it depends on the context. For instance, for me to say, burn a newborn child with cigarette butts, that would be evil. But for God to dispose of what belongs to Him, which has no meaning outside of His own love, perhaps not. He laughed and said, "Well, maybe. I do think that's what the author of Job is trying to get at."

I have to skip school tomorrow to take my sister to the Cleveland Clinic. I'm sort of annoyed because I really want to revisit Job. They're still on him tomorrow. I want to elaborate my point. For instance, while we would all agree that it's evil to torture a newborn human infant, no one sheds a tear for the newborn baby ants we very likely stomp each day on our way into the building. We don't care about stomping on ants. We don't care about the bee we stepped on in English class one day, and unmercifully destroyed. And why? Because ants and bees aren't really important to human beings. Human beings are important to humans.

I like to think that human beings have an implicit worth. But I can't detatch that worth from God. Why does life matter? Because we have a purpose: To love God. Why do humans matter? Because they are made in the image and likeness of God, and they have a unique purpose in His universe. If there were no God, there would be no purpose, and there would be no wrong nor right, and so it wouldn't matter if we tortured to death newborn infants. Does God have to love human beings? It's a difficult question. To say that God has to do anything smacks of limiting his freedom, which we know is absolute. But if we say that He doesn't, in my opinion, is to question His infinite goodness.

There are, of course, a difference between real limitations and logical ones. It's different to not be able to make a square-circle, than it is to not be able to, say, steal a car. God can do anything; but that doesn't mean that He will do anything. God is the God of Love, but I don't think that that necessarily mean that logically, all extensions of Him must be love. Just as it might be accurate to describe someone as a "tall person" and yet, to note that they have "short fingers." But, if God is infinitely everything good, and I do believe that love is greater than hate, then God must be infinitely lovely and loving. Therefore, to be God, He must, definitionally, love every single human being. I do not love the ants, which is why I don't give two figs if they suffer or die. But God does and must love humanity, so He must be distrought when people suffer. Especially someone who is as perfect and upright as Job.

The only solution is to say that somehow, suffering is not evil. It certainly seems evil when you're the one suffering. But there must be a greater good to it. God could not logically just inflict someone, or rather, allow the inflicting of suffering on someone, for no reason at all. That would make God evil, and we know that God is good. So what is the greater good in the story of Job? It seems weak to kill seven people and countless animals to say, teach Job's friends a lesson about judging people. It seems weak to afflict someone with boils to remind them, and by proxy everyone else around, of where their bounty stems. But what other explanation is there? God creates the light and the darkness; the peace and the calamity; God gives life and God can take it away. But it's small consolation to those who suffer and die. I'm not satsfied by God's answer to Job that Job wasn't around when God created the heavens and the earth, and the rain and the dew, and the rivers and the mountains. But oddly enough, Job is. He repents in dust and ashes. Job is satisfied. And, who knows what Job has seen and experienced, while talking with God?

I believe that answers are out there. And that we won't have to be little children forever. When you're three years old, if your mother tells you to go to bed "just because," you're not satisfied with the answer. Why should you suffer, you ask. But your mother knows better. When you're sixty years old, you're allowed to make your own bedtime. And generally, it's quite a bit like what your mother made you do when you were little. When you're children, you don't know. You don't see the big picture. But when you're grown, you see. Perhaps that's the way our universe works. "For now we see through a mirror darkly..." and all that.

I have that strange, fundie, morbid obsession with the end. I want to know everything there is to know. I want to spend eternity figuring out this silly little planet. And, I do believe that I can do some of that here. I can find some of the answers; I can find reflections of the answers. And that is the purpose of my life. To seek to knowledge. To know. That's what I'll do.

Monday, May 12, 2003

I really haven’t felt like blogging lately. I haven’t a lot of concentration. My thoughts are all disjointed. I can’t even pick a theme to write about.

I had to write a paper on Ecclesiastes this morning. You know, the paper that I’m supposed to do every weekend, but put off until the hour before I go to school each Monday. Yeah, that one. Today was worse than usual. I even read the book before school instead of the night before. But it doesn’t matter. I finished it and it turned out okay. It was a little hastily written, but the subject matter was solid.

Ecclesiastes is my favorite book in the Bible. It doesn’t quite fit in. It’s so nihilistic and out of place. I can relate, in a way. Or I fancy that I do. The Preacher amazes me because he pretty much discards the idea that there’s any real meaning to anything and then he shrugs it off, continues to study and teach, and lives his life joyfully. I have the first half of his formula down, but I’m having a bit of trouble on the second.

When I think of my spiritual development over time, I find it a little amazing that I am where I am. Maybe it makes sense. Maybe this is what I’ve been wanting all along. But it would have been pretty damn difficult to tell that to the ten year old me who, totally without fanfare, woke up one morning and decided there was no God. Or to the fourteen year old me who found the Buddha to be the most revolutionary character in man’s history. Or even to the sixteen year old me who believed in God, and hated Him for creating a stupid world full of suffering and pain.

I can’t chart where I’ve been. I can say that when I was ten I didn’t believe in God. It’s factually true. But that’s such an oversimplification of the issue. It doesn’t capture the essence of the thing at all. And the proper words escape me if I try to describe myself today. Do I believe in God? Yes. Do I admit that it’s mostly wishful thinking? Yes. I can’t be intellectually honest and try to explain myself otherwise. Who is God? I don’t know. What does it mean to be a human being in God’s universe? I don’t know. Maybe I don’t even want to know; perhaps that’s why I’ve been so slow in finding out. Does any of that describe my inner state? It doesn’t. It’s a statement of fact. Like that I have brown eyes, or long hair. But having brown eyes and long hair doesn’t define me; it can’t. It’s the most base of descriptions. But I am something so much more.

All I know for certain is that I want this life to have meaning beyond what I see. I want the unloved to be loved somehow, even if I can’t bring my stupid and sullen soul to love them myself. I want there to be justice in the universe. I want to see the prideful brought low; even, and especially, when I’m one of them. And most importantly, I want there to be mercy. I want to see all of those brought low restored to goodness. I want the world to work like it did when I was five, and there were only little sins, and nothing so bad that it couldn’t be forgiven over a game of hide-and-go-seek where the offender offered to hide his eyes first, and the offended gleefully forgave and forgot. I want God to simply punch the hardened atheist in the arm and say: “So I don’t exist, eh? Bet you feel foolish now, buddy!”

I don’t think the universe works the way I want it to. I believe in hell because it’s part of the belief system I ascribe to; if it were only the issue of hell alone, I would certainly not ascribe to the belief system, but the overarching thrust of the thing baffles and amazes me and I can’t help but accept it, even and especially the parts that I don’t like. But I have such tremendous difficulty believing that God could punish sinners in hell for eternity. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. How could God? How could God create a world such as this? I know that God created the world good and that it was man who introduced sin. But isn’t God’s goodness enough to erase whatever insufficiencies man’s created in himself? Doesn’t God’s light drive out all of man’s darkness, whether man wants it to or not? Does freewill mean that God has to allow innocents to suffer? And if it does, is freewill by any stretch of the imagination worth it?

I wonder what it would be like if I could give up my questions and just declare my faith. What faith, I wonder? Is it faith to have a vague belief, and a sincere volition to believe? Job believed, and when he was afflicted, he simply said that God was God and surpassing finite minds. Jeremiah, or whoever it was who wrote Lamentations called God his portion, and turned his eyes from such suffering as I can’t even begin to fathom, and trusted God. I don’t. I stub my toe and I start to doubt that the heavens give two damns about me, if they’re capable of giving damns at all.

It’s a funny thing, but if I were certain that life had no meaning, I would kill myself. I have the weakest damn will to live. I want to love everyone and everything, even if it doesn’t matter. I want to be idealistic and romantic. But I’m a pragmatist. If it doesn’t matter, then I’m done. What the hell do I care about beautiful sunsets, as an end unto itself? What do I care if my neighbor dies, if all it means is that the world has a smaller population to sustain? What do I care about the little blades of grass, if they really are just little blades of grass?

It’s such a weakness in me and I despise it. I’ve never been someone who loved pragmatism. I’ve tried for years to love because I did, and that was all. I’ve tried for years to awaken to myself. But I don’t think I’m going to awaken to myself, unless I first awaken to something other than myself. And I don’t know that I can define the other until I define myself. And therefore, I’m conflicted always. It’s a difficult thing.

April called. I’d rather talk on the phone for now, than blog.

Saturday, May 10, 2003

I've spent today in an utterly useless manner. While generally, this is a positive thing, I didn't enjoy today as much as I might have. Not that I'm complaining. I'd never complain about having nothing to do. And, in fact, that isn't the situation. I have plenty to do, and I didn't do any of it. I slept a bit, and laid around a lot. And wrote a little. So, pretty good on the whole.

Tomorrow should be an odd day. It's Mother's Day, which, for whatever reason didn't strike me when I made plans with Jody. Meh, it'll work out.

I'm hungry sort of. I'm waiting on my parents to get in a fight. Should be lovely.

Because of some regrettable doubts from incredulous sources expressed in my comments box yesterday, after I kicked Rory's ass twice, this time I took a picture for proof. Now, I didn't win today. But April did. Which means, Rory still lost. Here's the proof, folks:

Friday, May 09, 2003

So, as is usual, I went to Columbus today. But it was a bit different, because April came along too. She came to my house. I brushed my teeth for her. And then off we went. First we went to the Bitchy BP, where apparently they only hire bitches. There was this awesome mullet chick in there. She had the sort of mostly shaved off look in the front, and a long mullet ending in a rat tail in the back. It was pretty wicked.

Then we saw this deer carcass by the side of the road. And I was freaked, on account of I was waiting for the mofo, to pop back to life and smash into my car. They do that, you know, pretending to be dead so you'll hit them. And then, the carcass climbed into my car, lit up a doobie, between his hooves, and smoked one. "What?"

So, then, because traffic in my county is incredibly stupid, I kept passing these two dudes on a road. And then, half a minute later, they'd pass me again. So, one time, they went by, and the guy did head-bobby sort of flirting thing. And we were busting. So the next time I passed them, April and I did head-bobby flirty thing too. And all four of us were busting. There was nothing sexual about it really. They were hot hillbillies, and we're ugly fat girls. But it was still fun.

Then we got to Polaris, I got a pretzel and a slushie. Yay! And got my mum's Mother's Day gift.

Then, we got to Britt's school way too early. And we were waiting in the car and it was godawful hot. And then we saw this huge black spider on the windshield, which freaked me out pretty bad. So April rolls her window up quick, to keep him from getting in the car. And then she gets too hot, so she rolled in back down, and he zooms in the window. I screamed and ran like hell out of the vehicle. And April went mad on it with a shoe. It was horrible.

Then Britt loaded up the car with, what must have been, the entire content of her dorm. On the way home, her laundry detergent broke open. Now I have little bits of white powder all over my trunk. Hope I don't get pulled over!

Yeah, well, I'm off to see X-Men II.

I just beat Rory twice at monopoly. April beat him too. He really sucks.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

I skipped school today. I wish I could say I enjoyed it. Well, part of it I liked. The sleeping until 3pm part was pretty good (particularly considering that I went to sleep at 1 last night). However, the waking up and being sick like a mofo for the last hour and a half pretty much sucked. I'm glad I stayed home. I didn't really realize I was sick this morning. I just couldn't believe how tired I was. And I decided that if it took that much effort to roll out of bed, when I knew I'd gotten more than enough sleep, I probably really needed a day off. Well, quite right I was.

I'm getting irritated with the little things in life again. Everything's a struggle, it seems. I just want to hibernate until my birthday.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

What sort of odd character trait is it to lie for no reason? Sometimes I have the most uncontrollable urge to just lie. Not for any personal gain, mind you. Just to do it. To make up something totally stupid, and say it. I don't care if it's believed; I just need to utter falsities. There's something pleasant about lying, in ideal. I couldn't explain what; perhaps it's that lusty pleasure inherent in any sin. In reality, it's hardly glorious, and I know that from experience. And the aftereffects are sometimes godawful, which I also know from experience. But somehow, when the temptation gurgles up the next time, I still can't help but give in.

Today, for no reason, upon being asked in German, what time I woke up yesterday morning, I said: "9:30." Now, yesterday, I woke up at nine. And I can certainly express the hour of nine in German. And I was well aware of what time I got up. But for some totally unexplained reason, 9:30 slipped out of my mouth. It wasn't a mistake; it was deliberate. It's the difference between saying "neun" and "halb zehn;" you can't slip on that. And while the lie had no potential to hurt anyone, and while there was no way anyone could tell if I was lying, I have this odd sense of guilt about the thing. It's a stupid thing to worry over. But it's the idea behind it, I think. I was presented with a temptation (an incredibly stupid one, really, but I suppose if you look at any temptation from a cosmic perspective, they're all pretty stupid), and I gave in with no resistence whatsoever. I gained nothing, but I lost a little bit of trust in myself. And I wonder whose voice it was that said 9:30. I know it was mine; I'm not suggestion that I'm possessed or schizo or something. But I also know that I didn't ask myself, consciously, "Shall we say nine, or half ten?" And yet half ten slipped out, in spite of my general intention to say nine.

I wonder where the conscious self ends, and the unconscious begins and how much one influences the other. I wonder if, when being judged on the last day, we'll be held accountable for our conscious as well as unconscious selves. Jesus' message against the Pharisee's was that it wasn't enough to obey the letter of the law. You had to love the law; to embrace the spirit of it, and write it into your very soul, so that all of your actions proceeded from it. I don't think that my actions reveal me to be a bad person. Or, an excessively bad one, anyway. I'm generally friendly, and dare I say merciful, and even charitable, and I certainly have never killed anyone or intentionally really hurt them. But if the contents of my screwed up subconscious were splayed in front of me on the floor, if I had to examine and judge my own secret evil intentions and disordered affections and sick lusts, I could never, to put it mildly, even begin to fancy myself pure ever again. And that thought terrifies and disturbs me.

I've always read books by people who wanted to lead virtuous lives. The concept is so old to me that it's one of the first things I examine characters for when I'm trying to understand a novel. And yet, when that silly quiz I posted up here the other day asked "Do you want to live a virtuous life?" I really had to think about it. I've never actually asked myself that before. I've asked myself what the right thing to do is, what the intelligent thing to do is, what the thing I should do is. But the concept of actually trying to make myself into a virtuous human being is utterly foreign. And somewhat enticing, in a strange way. Virtue is a word I've sort of scoffed at a lot over time. The people who I've seen use it, are usually the last people I'd suspect of having it. But it's a concept worth looking into. It's something I need to spend some time mulling over.

The wretched dawn has gloomed again too soon; a sunny day warms not my wintered soul, but leaves it bare and melting.

Last night, April, Angela and I played Monopoly. I was doing fine until I accidentally hit "Give Up"instead of "Pay Debt." It was reminiscent of my first game with April when I landed on Boardwalk, and accidentally hit auction instead of buy. Meh. I've been too tired to think very straight, honestly. And there's always been an aura of accidents around me in games. For intance, there's the famous EverQuest incident when my character couldn't keep up with Rory's, and I kept begging him to slow down. Finally he took a look at me and said, "Maybe you should try not ducking." Unfortunately, this solved the problem. The other most famous story of my many EverQuest mistakes had to do with this really irritating guy who kept begging me for armor. While I was a level 9 Ogre Warrior, he was like a level 14 Necro; and everything he had he'd begged from others. So I was trying to auction a high quality bear skin, and at the same time I was in conversation with April about how annoying the guy was. Somehow, my signals crossed and I managed to "IM" April: "WTS HQ Bear Skin, 30pp," and auction, "I hate Heardalis." To alleviate my troubles, once I discovered my error, I reauctioned: "WTS HQ Bear Skin, 30pp. AND I hate Heardalis."

Two classes to suffer through today. And then sleep, sweet sleep. Or more likely not, I'll just be wanting sleep, sweet sleep. ::sigh::

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Anthropology wasn't so bad. It wasn't so good either. But we started late, and then we did journal summaries for the rest of the first hour. After that, we actually took some notes. So, it could have been worse. I wish I didn't hate Anthropologists so much. If I could stand reading anything the arrogant buggers wrote, I'd like to learn a bit about how primates have been taught sign language, and how that all works out. It seems that it's getting more and more difficult to separate human beings and animals. I heard a story in class today, about this little primate who saw his mother murdered by poachers, who cut the head and hands off her corpse. He was taught sign language, and for years after, he would freak out and sign the story of his mother's death. He was clearly emotionally distraught. And there are people in the world, who eat his species. It seems wrong to kill things as sentient as a human pre-adolescent. Another story we heard was about these primates (I forget the species, hence my calling them primates), who wanted to eat the leaves off the trees in their "cages." The researchers put low-voltage electric fences around the trees so that they couldn't get to them. But one of the primates was a real problem solver. He started to push a nearby log toward the tree; several other primates quickly assessed the situation and started to help him out. They pushed the log up against the tree, used it as a ladder, and climbed up. They started to eat the leaves, and tore off branches and threw them down to the other primates, who excitedly ate their favorite treat. Such a relief from temptation must have been wonderful! And, it sheds some light on old Adam and Eve, too. You can imagine them having a time of it in the Garden, with the Fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Then, Sociology was boring. But I got through it okay. The highlight of the evening was when my Professor, as usual, got totally sidetracked. He asked if he'd ever seen the game that rabbits played, where they jump over each other and run around. He said it was amazing to watch. He couldn't figure out why they did it. He didn't think it was mating, but maybe it was a pre-mating, or courting, ritual. This kid in my class looks up, out of nowhere and says, "Yeah, I can understand that. If I were a bunny, I bet seeing another bunny jump me would be hot."

I'm tired. I can see that my writing is choppy. So exhausted.

I was really pissed off when I got home though. On my answering machine, I got a call from some company saying that my credit card had been denied. Then I checked my email, and saw one from Paypal telling me my card had expired. I checked my card and it said that it wasn't supposed to expire until next year. So I had to call my credit card company twice, get the run around twice, and get generally really damn irked. And oddly, at the end of the day, it seems that both Paypal and the other company, made simultaneous, rare, errors. I didn't make the mistake and neither did my credit card company. And I contacted both companies. So, everything should be fixed now. But I was furious there for a bit. How much would it have sucked to go to Europe without a credit card for emergencies? So, I applied for a second one, because I think it's a good idea to have a back up. I'd been thinking about applying for it anyway, since my old one has a high interest rate. I'm supposedly pre-approved for the new one, and if I get it like I'm supposed to, it should be pretty nice. It's very low interest for a kid my age. It's nearly as good as what my parents get. I find it amusing that I have good credit. Who'd have figured that?

I don't want to be here today. I walked all the way out of the building today, with the intention of going home. But I changed my mind. I'll suffer through Anthropology; at least the first half of it. And at least the first half of Sociology, if I can manage all of Anthropology. It's not that I "hate" school per se. It's not that it's difficult or anything. It's just boring and time consuming. I'd rather be at home doing nothing.

I need to find a book about a third world nation to do a report on. I haven't picked a country yet. Sudan is always interesting, and I've been meaning to read more about it. But I'm thinking I may try the Dominican Republic, because I'm really not terribly familiar with that part of the world. And while I know a bit about Haiti, I know next to nothing about the Dominican. I may opt for Ethiopia though, since it's sort of the crown of Africa, so far as I'm concerned. And it's pretty closely aligned with the Sudan as well.

Good God I want to go home. I should walk over to the other building and pray that, perchance, class might be cancelled. Gah, I want to leave!

ked The Dante's Inferno Test has sent you to Purgatory!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)High
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)High
Level 2 (Lustful)Very Low
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Moderate
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Moderate
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very Low
Level 7 (Violent)Moderate
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Moderate
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Very Low

Take the Dante's Divine Comedy Inferno Test

Monday, May 05, 2003

Israeli Cop Mistaken for a Stripper.

Exciting day today.

Got an A on my first really big English paper. Got a B on my first big German exam; meh. But I'm doing much better in German now, so I worry less. I've gotten high A's on our last two assignments. And he's switching the format of the class to include more small quizes and fewer huge exams. That should help me quite a bit. The way I calculate it, I should have three easy A's this quarter. German is questionable; could go A- because I got a B on the first damn test that seems to count ridiculously much. But who complains about a 3.9? Oh, yeah, I do. But I need to stop that.

Plus, I bought my backpack. Yay! And I remembered to renew my plates. Yay! And I won several games of monopoly (Am I obsessed? Yes.). Yay! I ate a lot of food. Yay! I can now recite the story of Snow White in elementary German with a minimum of mistakes. Yay! I listened to a lot of Carter Family songs. Yay! And I rescheduled my weekend so I can see X-men with April on Friday, and plan my trip with Jody on Sunday. Yay!

I had to read Lamentations for school last night. I've read it before, but it didn't have the impact on me then that it has now. It's full of such beautiful and desolate imagery. I think I used to just skim over massive parts of the Bible because, personally, I didn't give a damn about Jerusalem and felt no empathy for the people who wept for her. As I've gotten older, it's become much easier (though it's still a bit of a stretch coming from the perspective of a multicultural society with mass communication) for me to imagine such tremendous love for a homeland and a people. For one thing, getting older means becoming attached to things and people in a way you can't imagine when you're young. For another, studying history has made the reality of what it means to be under attack that much more clear to me.

I can't imagine what it would be like to see that "Even the sea monsters draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones: the daughter of my people is become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness. The tongue of the suckling child cleaveth to the roof of his mouth for thirst: the young children ask bread, and no man breaketh it unto them" (Lam. 4:4). To see how the skin of the once young and robust Nazarites now "cleaveth to their their bones; it is withered, it is become like a stick" (Lam. 4:7-8). How the women are so desperate that they must "eat their fruit, and children of a span long?" (Lam 2:20). "The hands of the pitiful women have sodden their own children: they were their meat in the destruction of the daughter of my people" (Lam. 4:10).

Jeremiah, or whoever the writer of Lamentations is, has just seen his entire world crumble. He says of the destruction that it was worse than that of Sodom. Because, while Sodom was destroyed in a day, Jerusalem suffered starvation and terror under a lengthy siege. Mothers, sisters, daughters, have been raped and carried off. The young men slaughtered or taken into slavery. Those who survived the attack are now starving, and may not live to see another day. The world is gone. And where is God?

According to the author, God is right there, pulling the strings. Judah is destroyed for its sins. While other nations might boast of having destroyed Jerusalem, God is ultimately responsible. And the author, rather than cursing God for his fierce wrath, looks forward to mercy.

"The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord... For the Lord will not cast off forever: But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men... Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not? Out of the mouth of the most High procedeth not evil and good? Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins? Let us search and try our ways and turn again to the Lord. Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens." - Lamentations 3:24-41.

It's an attitude I can only partially understand. I'm the master of my universe, so far as I'm concerned, and the captain of my soul. I judge not only myself, but my neighbor, and the angels, and even God if given the chance. If I were put to the test, I would undoubtedly fail. I'm a true American, and was born without a King. Nevertheless, such faith amazes me, even as it baffles me. Like an ear for music, or an eye for detail, a soul with faith seems to me something natural and inborn, and perhaps, utterly foreign to me, who can hardly clunk out a few notes, and who never notices anything at all of importance.

I downloaded Rachmaninoff's The Lord's Prayer, as performed by the Tallis Scholars a bit ago, and I'm playing it on loop. I was trying to find Thomas Tallis' version of Jeremiah's Lamentations on WinMX and struck out. But I grabbed the chance for Rachmaninoff right up. Life is good.

Sunday, May 04, 2003

heh, deleted long rambly bit about being pissed off at my family. I'm still pissed off at family some, but I don't need to have it splayed across the internet.

I'm in more of a cheery mood than I was this morning. I'm not totally cheered because I just realized the time and date, and I'm wondering where the hell the weekend went. I have to write a paper tonight, of course, since it's Sunday. But at least it's a little paper and I'm sure I can get it done.

A month and a week until I leave for Europe. I'm excited and terrified and all that. On the one hand, it should be the most wonderful thing I've done in my life. Certainly it's the most adventurous thing I've ever done. On the other, damn it'll be draining. Just little things like trying to find a place to sleep every night will be hell. I can't stop thinking about it. It's pretty much the only thing keeping me going in a lot of ways. Not that I'd die or something, if I had never been able to go. But the promise of this is better than the usual things I cling to this mortal coil over.

I know that my blogs have been of a lesser quality recently. I haven't felt particularly reflective. Just nervous. I haven't felt particularly lucid. Just drained. But tonight I'm feeling a little better. I just can't get over how lucky I am. I have a big stupid smile all of the time, and I laugh for no reason. I disturbed April last night, because I was just smiling and laughing, and apparently, I don't do a lot of that these days. Or, at least not that way. I'm filled with joy, even when I'm not. Even when I'm freaking furious, I'm grinning.

In more typical news, I’ve been reading a book called The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity by Philip Jenkins. The basic premise is that Christianity is becoming a consistently more South-of-Equator sort of religion. Western Europe is for all intents and purposes, post-Christian. And while America is much more stubbornly holding on, Christianity’s once unquestionable status is beginning to falter even here.

But all that isn’t necessarily awful news for the religion. Christianity continues to grow. It’s just growing in places that we don’t like to take notice of in the West. Places like South America and Africa. Even the Middle East. While the media has been telling us for decades now, that Islam is the world’s fastest growing religion, they’re just flat wrong. They base their assumption on the fact that Islamic countries are having the largest population booms; the problem is that in so many Islamic nations, there are huge Christian minorities and even majorities that apparently go unnoticed in these statistical studies. Christian populations are booming and will continue to boom. And while the book doesn’t deal with it, I think Islam has seen better days. And the next few decades may see some shake ups in places that have hitherto been considered implicitly Islamic.

Of course, while we consider places inherently of a certain type, like Rome is Christian, or Turkey is Islamic, there’s nothing implicit about a state that makes it any sort of religion at all. Rome was not always Christian; it may not always be Christian. If that sounds ridiculous, consider how Constantinople once trumped even Rome as the crown of Christendom. And I hardly need sing the song; we all know that you can’t go back to Constantinople, because now it’s Istanbul. Istanbul, of Turkey, that place which is as Islamic as Italy is Catholic.

Changes are coming in Christianity. It isn’t unreasonable to posit that the next pope may be African (though, anyone historically minded, knows that there have been three prior African popes). But it may be difficult to convince, say, Alabaman Catholics that this is true.

It’s an exciting time to be alive, I think. The stakes are higher than they have ever been; or at least, it’s easier for a single human being to destroy the world now, than it’s ever been. But in the end it all comes down to individual lives. How to save them and how to end them; whose matters and whose doesn’t. And that may be the most interesting bit about changing Christian demographics.

Christianity came to the West, really, with the Edict of Milan in the fourth century. But Western Europe wasn’t really Christian for centuries after that. And the most shallow historian can see that the Christianization of Western Europe changed Christianity and what it meant to be Christian. It will be interesting to see how the so-called globalization of Christianity changes the religion, and what it means for how individual Christians define themselves.

Yesterday was actually pretty good. Mom went to sleep, and then to work, so we experienced each other's bad moods no more. I found a wicked online Monopoly game. And I beat April and her mom at Trivial Pursuit and Win, Lose or Draw, last night. I was tired when I came home, so I went to sleep. But it was a good sleep. I had an awesome dream about running away from the mob or something like that. It was like Home Alone or something, except I wasn't home and I wasn't alone, but you get the idea. In the end, I won.

Today, I have some homework to do. But I won't do that, of course, until late tonight. Until then I'm going to play some Monopoly and watch tv. Then I have to take Britt to Columbus, of course. And I think on the way back, I'll stop at Polaris Mall to get my mom's Mother's Day gift.

Yo, brother just walked in. Better sign off here.

Attempted Post from Yesterday, that Blogger prevented:

You know, some days, you really shouldn’t bother getting out of bed. Last night, I had one hell of a pleasant evening. I read for a few hours; talked to April and watched South Park for a bit; then read for a few more hours. I went to sleep, had no nightmares, and woke up this morning feeling oddly energized and happy.

I came out of my room, said good morning to the mother and all that. And she sounded depressed. So I asked what was wrong, and she said: “I spilled a whole thing of coffee this morning.” And, thinking that this was a silly thing to depress yourself over – anger yourself, that’s more appropriate – said: “Ahh, yeah, I heard that.” Then she turned on me. “YOU HEARD THAT AFTER I HAD TO DO EVERYTHING TO KEEP YOUR DAD QUIET ALL MORNING? YOU PEOPLE ARE SO HARD TO LIVE WITH!”

Uhh, WTF?

I said: “I heard what I heard. I heard you twice, that was all. Once when you spilled coffee, the other time when you said something loudly to dad, right in front of my door. I’m not mad about it, you shouldn’t be either. You didn’t wake me up, I just heard you is all.”


So now I’m not in such a great mood. It hasn’t killed my mood, mind you. But early morning attacks piss me off more than any other. I have a natural difficulty and melancholy in the morning, and if I have to defend myself right off, it has a tendency of setting the mood for the day.

Today should be good. I’m going to read a little. Then tonight, I’m going to April’s. April, her mom and I are going to play Trivial Pursuit (don’t ask why all the board games lately – I have no answer). And we’re going to buy April a microphone for her computer, so she can terrorize Yahoo! Chat with me.

Oh good, Blogger appears to be down. Good mood, strike two. Maybe today will suck after all. Not posted at 12:31PM.

Friday, May 02, 2003

Blogger, of course, wouldn't work last night when I actually had something to blog about. But I'll try to recreate it. Last night, I beat Rory at monopoly. There's no news here; I mean, I always beat Rory at monopoly. But nevertheless, I thought I'd mention it. I beat Rory at monopoly and April did too. Rory lost at monopoly; again!

Fox News is doing these reunion things, and they're awful. Because they want to capture reunions, they fundamentally change the reunions. Less immediate time with the family; more with the reporter.

For someone who "works" twice a week, for two hours a shot, I sure complain about work a lot. I got a call from the Board of Education yesterday, though I wasn't home. Apparently, they got a bill from their busing company, and they wanted to know if I'd still been driving Britt. So I returned the call, except the guy was out of the office for the weekend. So I asked who else I could talk to, and they gave me a girl's name, and I called her, and she was out of the office, to be back at 12:30. So I called again at 12:45, and she was still gone. So I left the message in her voice mail, though I neither know if that was appropriate, or if she'll really get the message, or what. I hate phones; I hate playing phone tag. I also don't much look forward to going to Columbus today. I'll be taking Britt, one of her friends, and a kid named Rosie, who I guess I'll be driving from now on. I'm not really worried or anything; but Gah, imagine I got in a wreck. Four dead kids.

I have to find some food before I go.