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May 31, 2001

I had fun last night

Oh, and shauna...I had fun last night.

brain chemicals and the sullen mechanics of loneliness

Something wasn't working right today. Aside from a bit of warmed-over heartbreak, nothing is acutely wrong. My brain was sending messaged to me otherwise, and I felt like doing nothing. In spite of this I trudged joylessly through my day, getting some programming and laundry done, but I wanted something: Face kisses, a badass massage, a hot bath, a bong hit, closing my eyes while listening to soothing chants, a stupid buddy-flick while lying in bed, some wonton soup from Hing Loon Seafood Restaurant, or peppermint gum. I settled for peppermint gum and it did make things a little better.

Besides, my beautiful friend Cara was coming over to bring my some patio furniture and an antique mirror from the house she was moving out of. I waited the crankiness out, and I chilled and read and did some laundry.

She came over with a friend, and brought the wicker chairs. We swept off my slab of concrete and I discovered I have about twice the patio I thought I have. There's room for a grill, I'll reckon! I brightened up a bit more.

Oh, but the mechanics of lonliness are the sweetest tenderest evil. There she was in her thick canvas overalls and thermal shirt, paying attention to me and hugging me and being all nice. I couldn't help it, I just wanted to wrap an arm around her and put my tongue in her mouth and fuck her like amazing grace. I could feel it happening from a place right where each bone meets the other bones it touches. I knew what the movements would feel like to initiate, that heady swing and rush and flush.

It's just the lonliness talking, I assured myself. She did kiss my face (right cheekbone, right jaw, left eyesocket) and she was so sweet. I left for work feeling tired, but not as desperately hormonal as I had been all day. I still feel a little like the only person on the planet. I want everything. Love, attention, satisfaction, everything. I know, I know. The hunger settles down...I just have to try not to harm anyone when it kicks up in full force.

no review today.

No review today. I was all fired up to review one The Airman's Mess, when I discovered he doesn't have absolute links set up. I sent him a scathing Email and will pick up and move on to the next person tomorrow if he doesn't get it together.

May 30, 2001


A Tour of Accidental

Ahhh Julie. She is first alphabetically on my sidebar, and so she gets a review even before she has a chance to protest!

Julie has written an astounding number of posts since she began Accidental in June 2000. She goes for sheer volume. Personal anecdotes, quotes (she has a terrible habit of quoting and not revealing the source), and TV and Movie commentary and news I would say comprise the bulk of it.

She has put so much effort into her weblog, practically her whole life it seems, that it makes there a lot to like on a daily basis. Oft commented on are the mosaic-like photo mastheads she designs (you can see all the past ones on her sidebar), which are spectactular. She includes a song of the day including the song...I only wish she had an index of them somewhere. Plus, her webcam photos are often...how you say...Ghetto Fabulous. At one point, in response to many search engine requests involving the word "nude", she offered to release real nude photos of herself upon request. I think she's pulling our collective leg, though, I don't know why.

She links to every mindless web diversion everyone else does, but then again she comes up with a billion random links that no one else does.

There's probably a little too much about TV reality shows and ultra-lite news commentary for my taste...and I don't know if anyone finds one's ICQ chat transcripts as amusing as they themselves do, but to each her own.

If nothing else, Julie is an honest blogger. She's forthright about everything, from her strained relations with her Dad, to her polical views, her long distance love affair, she is nothing if not candid. Here's a favorite early post, a harbinger of things to come.

Speaking of her political views, she is every bit the young republican, which I can't help but find a little repellent. Such a bright girl shouldn't sound like a Rush Limbaugh clone!

All in all forgivable...she has a lot of soul for a young lass who's never been kissed and never got drunk. I salute her. If you read nothing else today, read some of my favorite Accidental Julie's...

(Ð) (Ð) (Ð) (Ð) (Ð) (Ð)

Oh, and like me, she likes Triscuits.

blog you? blog you! Two

blog you? blog you!

Two of my favorite blogs have been recently reviewed by Blog You!, not.so.soft (review), and What's New Pussycat (review).

It's not so much that I want to jump to the defense of my friends, but perhaps only critique the reviewing style. As I read these reviews, of blogs I have been reading regularly for months, I was struck by the offhandedness of them. It seemed that they had read a few posts on the main page, and then perhaps one or two posts in the archives. I understand that they don't have time to read a blog's entire history, but it seemed like only a few posts were commented on, and a sincere effort was not made to really sense the flavor of the weblog.

"That's no way to review a blog," I snorted. For one does not properly know a blog to but go look at it once and never return. To review a blog should be to tell someone whether it is worth putting it on one's sidebar, and visiting day after day...through bored angsty posts, stupid updates about the fam, and transcendant moments of brilliance. It should be a review of the voice!

And so, with that, I intend to put my money where my mouth is. I am going to do some critical reviews of blogs in the days to come. I think I shall start alphabetically with my sidebar...so if you don't want to be included, please let me know. Otherwise I shall sharpen my pen....hehehe. Keep in mind, however, that these are all weblogs that I truly love and read nearly every day. As such, they are likely to be partially "sunshine blown up the arse" rather than the "critical duty" of Blog You!. I will not, however, shy from the truth, and some criticism WILL be provided in every case.

If you would like your blog reviewed, you may Email me and I will consider it, but we'll see if I run out of steam by the time I exhaust my sidebar.

May 29, 2001

they are my own child

My Washington State Massage License is going to be renewed late, costing me an extra $80 plus the continuing education I'm going to have to get. However, it made me realize how glad I am to have it, and how glad I am to have the opportunity to do bodywork.

I love the feeling of unfolding the table and shaking out a clean set of flannel linens. I fly them over the table with a billow and pull them down, smoothing out every corner. I stand up next to the person and say, "So...tell me about your bod."

Then they tell me all the ways they hurt and the ways they hurt themselves. All of their private worry about their poor mortal coils trickles out and they look at me, pleading with me somehow to fix them. But I can't fix anyone. Here's what I can do:

I have them lay down with their head up and I slide my palm underneath their head and just lift at the base of the skull ever so slightly. I see their fists release a little as I pull, and run my fingers through their hair. Slowly I rock them back and forth, pull at them, stretch them, dance with them in little pirouettes in my own mind as I see a little 3-D web of what needs to be released.

Tension is like a thick knot of yarn. You can't just go into the center of it and start yanking. You have to start at the edges and loosen things up. Sometimes you have to just take one thread and meticulously backthread it through a hundred loops. Sometimes you DO just tug a little.

Some people need to be touched super gentle, and other people need their bodies bossed around a little. Every person relates to touch differently. When I have their gentle skull resting in my hands, though, it always feels like they are my own child and I want to take care of them.

In the end, they get up a little less restricted, a little further out of the body's "fight or flight" response, where it can come into homeostasis and heal itself. No one has ever scome to me for any length of time and not noticed some real change. It takes two to create really good bodywork, and people forget that. They are thanking me when I should really be thanking them. It can be just as healing for me, and I'm the one who leaves with a cheque.

wannabe web designer

I worked all day on my paid web gig, and, for better or for worse, it's done. Perhaps a bit of tweaking here and there, but not too bad for 15 hours or so of work. I even incorporated a blog for the "news" section of the site. I hope the client is happy, cause it was really zero hour notice. It's amazing how many details one has to attend to to put up even the simplest site. Making sure every alt tag, link, and page title doesn't say something embarassing like "v2.0 top page template". The code is very solid for my limited skills, I hope you will agree...well commented and planned, I thought. Oh what a beautiful day it will be when CSS2 is fully implemented.

Plus, they are going off to Chicago to pitch their new book, and when they get back, there will be a reading at Elliott Bay Books in Seattle, and I get to come schmooze and be introduced to everyone. I may end up as a web designer yet.

Now I face the next deadline for the Licton Springs Review site. If I got paid the hourly rate I made for the Educare Press site, I would have paid my rent a few times over by now. Instead I get two lousy credits and the "experience". Really though, I learned a lot, and when that site launches on June 7th, I'll post the URL. I have put massive time into that one and I think it looks pretty damn nice. I learn massive amounts every project. One of these days I'll even have a chance to do a redesign here. It sure could use it.

May 28, 2001



I am flailing around and there's no one who can help me. I'm thrashing about and trying to make it all work in too few hours. My brain feels as if it has climbed the matterhorn and there is no rest in sight. I just want some emotional comfort and nothing really seems good enough.

Ever have that feeling that you're hungry for something but you don't know exactly what it is? Me too. When I was a kid, I used to just sit there and think of things I liked, and see if any of them would satisfy the feeling. If I found something that would satisfy the craving, even if there's no way I could have it, it would make the craving die down a little.

Spaghetti?...no. Playing a computer game?...no. Riding on the rollercoasters at Great America?....yeah.....

Things were so much simpler then, but in retrospect more painful actually. Now if I get o'erwhelmed and lonely I have some tools. Plus, I've learned that it always looks at least slightly better in the morning.

May 25, 2001

all their sweet ways

Last night I missed every girl I've ever loved.

The way they let me in on their sweet ways, their secret languages, their dark secrets, and their delicious smiles.

Their gifts, their sweet cards (most of which I still have) and little notes and Emails.

Their tantrums, their dark insecurities, their subtle fears, their strange pasts, their body issues, and their ability to be one hundred times more mature than me and have the maturity of a five year old little girl at the same time.

The way they opened up their sweet bodies and hearts to me (to some extent anyway), their foxy secret little ways, their delicious come-ons.

I love what it feels like to be in a woman's innermost circle of confidence, where I get the unvarnished truth about her opinion of things. Being in on a woman's daily plans, being friends with that extra practical component.

It's much less complicated to be solo. Every woman comes with her own set of craziness. There is no normal lover. There is no normal person. There is no normal love.

* weighty sigh *

Carry on, Daniel...carry on.

May 24, 2001

I'll believe it when I see it.

We may say that we can only believe in what can be experienced or proven, but actually we believe selectively in what we have not experienced or proven as long as it is compatible with our other conceptions. We accept and use intangible abstractions of intangible times, places, and circumstances to support what we think is tangibly true, turning the intangible to the tangible through our own conception. Because we are only interested in our own version of reality, we miss the potential opportunity to connect tangible qualities to intangible qualities through wisdom's influence. -- White Sail, Thinley Norbu

May 23, 2001

short notes:

blogvoices down

They seem to be DEEP HURTING, but I'm too lazy to modify my template. Just say no you don't want to debug the 68 JavaScript errors and come read. I'm sure BV will be back up in no time and you can hold your comments until then or email me. Or write a note, put it in your shoe and say the magic word, "noomeejahoor" three times.

meg, redeemed

Awww, the girl Meg came through with just about the sweetest 'lil 'ol Email I ever read. Thank you baby! You have my undying gratitude. She even explained what a newmeejahoor is. Loverly. I take back all the bad things I said...oh, well I really only said good things...so I reinforce them!

import java.awt.test.*

I have my Java midterm in about 30 minutes, so wish me luck. None of that break-a-leg shit either. It's better to just be honest and say "good luck". That sort of reverse psychology to the universe seems a little outdated now doesn't it?

why one of the best damn blogs out there just gets in my craw

Ok, let's talk about not.so.soft. It's about Meg, a lady who is both prolific and brilliant. Her design sensibility is acute and simple. She writes short little stories about her life and the lives of others, and starts threads in her BlogVoices that end up being mini-weblogs in their own right. She writes way too much (sometimes 5 long posts in a day) to be able to write with the consistancy with which she does...and she drives me crazy!

She's on everyone who's anyone's sidebar, (in addition to mine, of course) and seems to have a readership that spans the globe many times over. Is she universally loved? Well, no. She just got a terrible writeup in Blog You!, a self-proclaimed consumer's guide to weblogs (which has yet to review the tinyblog). Occaisionally she elicits the odd snarky comment as well, but mostly seems universally loved.

And why not? A lovely writer, a friendly gal. What's your problem, Daniel?

I didn't know why but I found myself grudgingly reviewing her site...making it the last on my semi-daily blog travels, refusing to post on her threads, generally harboring bad feelings.

Finally, I had to examine why. The conclusion I finally was forced to realize was really the most trite and sad of them all. It's because she never really deigned to aknowledge my presence. She never came and said "hi" here at the tinyblog, or sent a little a little note (like her compatriot Luke) or responded to my clearly very charming BlogVoices posts. It was then I realized that I simply felt snubbed, and that I just needed to get over myself.

It's not like it never happened before. I once deeply admired Lacking in Emotional Content, and read it every day, until he failed to respond to a couple of Emails o' Adulation©, and I suddenly decided he wasn't so worthy of adulation anyhow.

Sheesh. Some people are linksluts, I guess I'm just an attentionslut. Please forgive me, Meg, for taking it out on you, and for not knowing what the hell a noomeejahoor is.

please don't get too discouraged

I know, I know. It's confounding. As soon as you think of a pretty workable system to deal with everything that's coming at you, a new ball of crap lands in your lap and you realize you had it all wrong.

And people...just when you start to love and trust them you somehow unearth their greatest cruelty. Constantly they are either too invasive or too withdrawing. They are inconsistant and have double standards. They expect of you things they would never consider doing themselves. When even the tiniest wrong word is said they are up in arms over it.

The money. It seems set up so that you can never just get it together and live your life in a peaceful way by working at what you're skilled at doing, and love to do. Just to feed yourself, or god forbid a family, like a human being really should eat costs a high enough percentage to be a burden. Trying to think about all of the expenses you will incur between when you cannot work and when you die is maddening.

There's no place to hide. The drugs don't work (for long), and everything on this place that is wonderful eventually becomes a disappointment.

I know, I know. But get up. Take a shower. Calmly address your mess, assume that you're blessed. Then try again and do your best. There's no other option.


May 22, 2001

amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me

amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me

God how I used to hate that song. When I was maybe eight we would sing it in Catholic Mass and I would refuse to say "wretch". I'm not a wretch, I thought! What the hell! Why you gonna try and say I'm a wretch! You don't even know me.

Well, I think I was about twenty-two or so when I stopped resenting that song. About the time I realized how much of a wretch I really was. Oh, now don't get me wrong. I'm great, as wretches go. I'm a pretty loving wretch.

A wretch I am, though, nontheless. I have seen too many times my own selfishness and shortsightedness hurt other people: seen my unmitigating craving make me act like a lunatic, my fear make me lash out with aggression, seen myself unable to pull myself out of my own shit by my bootstraps if I got low enough.

I got humbled enough to not mind a little grace. Hell, if there's some grace to be had, then bring it on. Life has made my gladly grovel for mercy more than a few times, and I'm sure that I've got a few more times to go.

I wonder if there's people out there who still think they've got it going on. I wonder if Britney Spears really thinks she's the greatest. Well, maybe, but even Micheal Jackson was the greatest once. Look at what's up with him now...wretched.

How about you?

May 21, 2001

it was some weekend, but it's monday and i'm in the fucking server room and my homework is clearly not going to get done tonight

Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche is in town. Goddamn this man is the real article. He gets up there in his little seat and teaches Dharma and jokes and clowns around in Tibetan and generally puts everyone at ease while he tells you that nothing is inherently existant, that the nature of your own mind is luminous clarity and how you can come to realize this in one lifetime. He's awfully convincing, and as far as I can tell, completely unflappable.

Then I get to work tonight and read my Email. Evidently the UPS alarm got blown over the weekend, and they don't want to pay security the extra hours to have someone hang out in there all night, so they decided to just let the night dispatcher do it, since they're here anyway...which is me. So I'm in the loud-ass, cold-ass, sterile-ass, non-microwave or fridge havin-ass server room all night blasting R L Burnside's Mr. Wizard and blogging.

I can't do my Java homework 'cause my computer is downstairs in distpatch and I sure as hell am not going to install the JDK on my Boss's fucking computer. Errrrr. Burnside makes me want to drink whiskey and fuck and swear like a sailor. Plus no coffee. Things could be worse though...at least I don't have to do anything I'm supposed to do...which is just fine with me, tonight.

May 18, 2001

oh coffee, oh sweet coffee, why have you forsaken me?

This is the way I usually do things: I embraced coffee. I wasn't half-ass about it. I didn't say, "I'm really cutting down now."

I got into blends, I got into varietals (non-blended coffees) like my favorites: Guatemalen Antigua, Etheopian Harrar, Sumatra Gayoland, Mocha Java. There is a chi-chi grocery store near my house that only serves the best, and I have greatly enjoyed walking down there a few times a week to get a hot cup...something full bodied that will take whole milk and not become a big mouthful of acidic, watery milk.

I got a cone brewer for my house, and kept myself well-stocked with small batches of the freshest beans. Just so I could wake up, boil water, and within seconds feel that familiar buzz at the crown of my head and the warm focus spreading through my eyes and head. Like a jocular old friend, even when it's the worst morning, it can be made workable with a decent coffee.

Oh, but the law of diminishing returns. Eventually I had to admit that I was deeply dependant on the chemicals wrapped up in that smooth little package, that velvet hammer, that brewed beehive. I was starting to feel dehydrated all the time. Too high a percentage of my money was going to it. Most of all, I wasn't really able to just step back from it and see what my relationship to coffee really is.

So, as I was watching my dishes last night, in a moment's descision, I reached over and grabbed the little brown bag with the built-in wire closer...and threw it in the trash. This morning the familiar voice of addiction began to speak its sweet words.

"Well, Daniel...that was a bit hasty now wasn't it? Look, you're passing Victrola Espresso and you have change in your pocket. Surely you weren't serious! Why, you could just go home and pull that Antigua out of the trash and I bet it didn't even get damp. What were you thinking? It hurts to quit. You don't like to hurt, do you?"

That was how I knew I made the right descision, but I AM hurting. Every headache I've ever had is converging on me. So heavy...so thick. Everything is a little too much of an effort. My stomach is unstable. I just want to lay down....

oooh. Nothing a good cup of coffee wouldn't fix.

May 16, 2001

a paying gig

Ladies and gentlemen, today I was hired for my first paid web design gig. Internships and volunteer work notwithstanding, this is my first real web design job. It's to get up a site by the 30th for the launch of a small publisher's (Educare Press) first major nationwide book distribution.

A friend of mine is a graphic artist, but needs some help with the HTML portion of the site. I'm so excited I could just pee. Plus, I hadn't talked to this guy in a while and so it's nice to be able to hang out with him again. I am so stoked.

a few of my favorite tinyblogs

For those who haven't read every single entry (I know one person who has!) of the tinyblog, my favorite entries are now sitting on the sidebar for your convienance. I thought that there was no reason to leave my favs buried in the archives where not even I can find them. Enjoy.

the restaurant at the end of the universe

The Restaraunt at the End of the Universe

A fond farewell to two people who's writing altered my course:

Kaycee Nicole of the blog Living Colors. It's one of the first weblogs I ever read, and what an incredible record of the end of one blogger's courageous life. Blog on, Kaycee, blog on.


Douglas Adams, a truly hoopy frood who always knew where his towel was at. I got dirty looks in high school for laughing out loud as I read his books. My favorite blog tribute to him so far is here, at Foemat.

May 15, 2001

i believe this to be a true story

My upstairs neighbor doesn't seem to mind bumming me his Nat Sherman MCDs. He comes from Virginia and his family were tobacco farmers so he only smokes the best. He is a serious man, and well read. Well read compared to me anyway, which is not hard, but he's really well read.

When I first met his wife, it was just a glance, she was in the car. She looked older, with wide, almost perpetually terrified eyes. Over an MCD, we discussed her a little. He said that he would like to move to a different place, someplace with a little more space. "I bet your wife would like that," I said, knowingly. THose studios were really only for one person...no place for a couple to make their home.

"No," he said, "She's had some really hard times, and she doesn't mind at all."

I had a good talk with my gossipy neighbor about it (it takes one to know one, I know it) and she said, "That lady seems like she's seen some serious abuse or something."

"Hmmm," I said.

Weeks later I knocked on his door to bum a smoke and procure some company. He asked me if I wanted to walk with he and Mary to the music store so he could pick up some guitar strings. He plays folk and flamenco guitar. She held his arm, but was skittish and unsteady. Every couple of blocks or so, she would drop down to both knees and hang out for a moment. After she did it the second time I looked at ther and said softly, "Mary, do your legs give out, or does it just get overwhelming?"

She looked at me dolefully. She is a native German speaker and her English is not so good. "Overwhelming," she said. After about the fourth or fifth time he started to get annoyed with her. "C'mon Mary," or "Not in the middle of the street, Mary!" By the time we were halfway back from the music store he had really lost his patience.

I think she appreciated me not treating her like a freak, however, and whenever I saw her after that she would say "hi" and just beam at me with her biggest smile. One time, as we were having a smoke, she was standing in the doorway and a motorcycle passed. "I like motorcycles," she confided, and her eyes brightened for a moment.

Meanwhile, my neighbor's mood seemed to darken day by day, and I soon found out why. We were talking philosopically about something, and he made it known that he was really bummed. "Mary's gone," he said. He told me that she'd been wanting to get a place of her own and had been talking about it for months and months. All of her counselors and doctors advised against it but she was determined. Her aid was less than $40 more then her rent, and he had heard that she had been out on the streets asking for money. "I've got a thousand dollars in her account," he spat. "She won't spend a dime of it. She calls me and says I just married her for her money. I try to tell her, Mary, you don't have any money. All the money is mine, but she won't listen."

At that moment I wondered what on Earth would make this seemingly lucid man generate a romantic relationship with someone so deeply damaged. I had wondered it before, but at that moment I got an answer.

"Listen to this..." he said. "When I was in the hospital for drug and alcohol treatment, that's when I met her. She was undergoing electroconvulsive shock therapy at the time. During those few weeks that I was there we fell madly in love. Later, when I tried to contact her, she didn't even remember it, they took that memory from her. I had to woo her all over again...she still doesn't remember. Her sister tried to stop the wedding, she called the doctor and the minister performing the ceremony and said, 'she's just using him to get out of the mental health system'."

Say what?!?!

"She still doesn't remember. I said to her just the other day, 'Mary, if you could just remember those weeks you would understand.' But she doesn't remember."

That shit broke my heart. Right there on the porch with a Nat Sherman in my hand. But man...those cigarettes are so sweet and good.

May 14, 2001

a couple of minor things

A couple of minor things tonight cause I have homework, but I have a good story for this week!

Ok, first of all:

Metric Buttload links. If you don't think this is funny, there must be something wrong with you!

Definition of the metric buttload.
Reference to, at The Paperwork.
Reference to, at Marn's Big Adventure
The Metric Buttload of Code generator virus.
Can the mBl measurement be applied to fiancees?

tinyblog disturbing search requests

my friend the chocolate c
"lincoln park" blogger
naked hippie pictures
i spanked my sister naked
transsexual bar in seattl

Boy is somebody EVER barking up the wrong tree!

Also, please remember.

You may think that there's a good reason not to be sweet to yourself...but you're wrong. Ease up!

May 12, 2001

tibetan summer

40 hours of work, 10 hours of class, x hours of internship, occaisional sleep, and a girlfriend are a bit much I think. If I wanted to find out where the limit is, I believe I have. I am SO looking forward to a summer off school to take a little of the pressure off. It is getting beautiful in Seattle, and the last two days have been these amazing, relaxed yummy days.

In spite of the madness of my schedule, I am somehow going to manage to attend all of the teachings that Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche is giving over the course of 10 days or so, in about a week. Magical. He is one amazing guy. He's just sort of this modern scholor and yogi.

There's something amazing about listening to teachings in Tibetan and then having them translated. They'll just go on for a while and the voice is kind of rhythmic and my mind just sort of tumbles about, thinking of the last bit that was translated, along with a big pudding of my regular thoughts. Sometimes I even nod off. Then suddenly the translator starts talking and you get to hear what the guy was going on about. What's really funny is that they usually understand enough English to hear when their jokes are being translated, and they always laugh at their own jokes in English.

May 11, 2001

Gruesome Accident Tales Part VIII: "Most of the forward bending happens at the hips, anyway."

Gruesome Accident Tales Part VIII (final chapter):
"Most of the forward bending happens at the hips, anyway."

I was on a morphine drip. That means that as often as every eight minutes I could press a button and receive a 1.5 milligram dose of the stuff that makes junkies all over the world drool in anticipation. 1.5 milligrams may not seem like a lot, but I used to play this little game with myself: I would look at the clock, and see how many eight minute intervals in a row I could remember to push the button. I recall that I never made it past 4 or 5 before I was pretty much a drooling moron.

This is when the phone would inevitably ring. Just like it did on day one of my hospitalization when my Mom called�it went something like this:

"Hi Dan�this is Mom."

"Oh hi, Mom!"

"Are you alright?"

"Yeah�.I�m fine�everything�s fine."

"Oh�ok. I�ll call and check back later."

24 hours later she walked through the door of my hospital room. Evidently she had caused a scene at the airport when her plane had left the gate, and they turned it around and brought it back for her. I�m sure glad she showed up, as she dealt with paperwork and doctors like a pro.

Of course she wanted to just take me back to Rockford, IL before her, but in my extreme, morphine-induced delusion, I didn�t want this setback to interfere with my plans to escape-my-hometown-forever �! So my mom, in an amazing show of faith and restraint, helped me sign up for welfare, food stamps, state medical aid, and whatever kind of home medical care I could get (which turned out to be none).

Meanwhile, the reality of the whole situation had not hit me yet. That I was going to be jobless and broke and living with my slightly disgruntled housemate for months while I convalesced in the big plastic shell known as a TLSO body brace. That I would have no care, and would have to come up with innovative ways to take off my body brace and wash myself without moving my torso.

I still remember the day they fitted me for that TLSO. The guy was some contractor for the hospital who had his own home TLSO making business. He came and fitted me one day and then brought it in. I tried putting it on. "I can�t breathe," I said.

"Good, " he said, "then it�s working like its supposed to."

I would ask the doctors if I was going to be a crippled freak when I got out of the brace. The big question was, how much mobility would I have.

"Well," they would say, "most of the forward bending happens at the hip, anyway." Then they would invariably bend like little drinky birds to demonstrate how I would still be able to touch my toes.

A few days before I was to get out of the hospital, they took me off the morphine and put me on a strong non-narcotic painkiller. Now let me just say that morphine is not really a pain killer. When you�re on morphine you can still feel the pain�you just care much less! This other stuff really worked for pain�when they gave it to me I barely hurt at all, but it didn�t do what the morphine did.

I experienced withdrawal. All at once the bleakness of my pathetic future and my loneliness in this city where I had no old, trusted friends or relatives to count on to help me came crashing down on me. My life was fucked�I was not going to be able to be a massage therapist�both my hands were casted (I broke my left ring finger and my right thumb), I had basically crippled myself for life and who knew how much physical pain I was going to be in from age 19 on?

Once, about two years later, some friends of mine asked me if I wanted to try heroin. I was awfully curious what all the fuss was about and said yes. Shortly after I thought, "This is like morphine! I�ve had the best of this stuff and it�s just SHITE!" I never tried it again.

I did become a massage therapist, though. I still have problems with my back but I don�t consider myself a total cripple. I can run and climb trees and shag and dance. When I get stressed out, sometimes this tension appears there and spreads out until all my guts are clutched up with tension. And no, it doesn�t appear to be weather related.

There�s much more story of course, but I think that will do it for this series. Thank you to everyone who read. Now back to our regularly scheduled blogging.

May 10, 2001

Gruesome Accident Tales Part VII: "If you drink and drive, we�ll provide the chaser."

They laid me on the ER and diligently worked to determine the extent of my neurological loss. (In case you were wondering, this involves pinching my toes every few minutes, putting a finger up my asshole, and not giving me any painkillers for six hours.)

More painful than the actual injury was the maddening poster on the ceiling above my stretcher. It was a photo of the entire set of police vehicles of some precinct. All the cars and motorcycles were shown in formation, with a helicopter flying above them, and then the picture was shot just as their little airplane was flying head-on towards the camera. The caption read, "If you drink and drive, we�ll provide the chaser." It did not get more amusing over time.

At some point George, my housemate, my girlfriend (of 4 days) and a couple of other people came to see what the extent of the damage was and wish me well. We talked for a little while and then the doctors gently shooed them out of the ER. Shit, I thought, this means they�re going to do something bad to me wherein my orifices get penetrated.

I was so right. They informed me that they were going to catheterize me (read: shove a plastic tube with a balloon at the end up my plumbing), put a tube into my stomach via my NOSE, and then inject some saline directly into my stomach so they could promptly suck it all out again through my nose. It was decidedly unpleasant. But evidently I handled it well, as several nurses bestowed upon me the "stoic award" of the night.

At some point they decided I could have some painkillers. They sent a shot down to the ER just as they wheeled me into the x-ray room. They sent the shot to the x-ray room just as they sent me back to the ER. They sent the shot to the ER just as they set me to the CAT scan room, which is where it caught up with me. "What is it?" I asked, as the pretty nurse gently slid the syringe towards me.

"Four milligrams of morphine."

"Mmm." I said�and then slightly later, "Mmmmmmmmmmmmm" as the cold reality of the pain of life gently melted away and they slid me into the big metal ring that is a CAT scan.

"You have fractured a vertebrae", they told me. "We are going to do some surgery."

"Okay," I said, agreeably.

I woke up the next day with about 40 staples holding me closed. Staples.

(gawd, is he going to drag this on forever?�)

May 9, 2001

'tis my birthday

'tis my birthday. I am now 26.

Gruesome Accident Tales part VI: "I saw where you fell from and I think you should just stay right there."

It only took a moment to assess that I was not going to land on that top platform, and for a few optimistic moments, I was quite confident that I was going to be able to catch myself somehow. I remember trying to do so, since the ladder was beginning to whir by, inches from me. I failed for some reason (only later did I realize that it's because I broke my fingers trying). Some kernel of understanding began to form in me and I realized that my velocity was increasing, and that I was failing to think of any really logical solution. In retrospect this is where some ninja training would have been really useful.

At some point I fell through the hole of the bottom platform.

It was then I realized that I was now officially plummeting, and that this was going to be bad. Like when you see the car coming and you know there's no way you can avoid it, I began to do to do a little math about how much damage was going to be involved: By my calculations...this is going to suck!

I guess I pulled out a few ninja skills, because I didn't get impaled on anything, just landed on my back on the dumpster (burst fracture, 2nd Lumbar, dented the dumpster) bounced off, and landed on my back on the pavement. Oh good, I thought. I just knocked the wind out of myself. That wasn't as bad as it could have been. Maybe I'll be able to get up from this.

There was one positive effect. This event caused George to stop climbing in the window and come down the ladder to see if I was ok. As he climbed down I assessed my situation. My back muscles had spasmed so deeply that I could hardly breathe, but nothing felt broken. What really hurt was my right thumb, which I had broken so badly that it needed to be stabilized with two long pins while it healed.

I just chilled out for a minute. I was actually considering the possibility of getting up, and when George and some other guy finally got to me, I told them this. "I'm a doctor," said the other guy. "I saw where you fell from and I think you'd better just stay right there until the ambulance comes."

To be quite honest, that didn't sound like such a bad idea, and I was relieved to hear somebody else say it. My thumb hurt like hell, but I was able to put my knees up and take some pressure off my lower back and it was somehow bearable. It's amazing how little anxiety I felt that night, I knew that it was beyond my control at that point.

When the ambulance came, they strapped me and my legs down to a backboard and that was much less comfortable. There was some discussion about where to take me, and since I had no medical insurance at the time it was Harborview Medical Center all the way. George started to trip out, "Don't take him to Harborview...Harborview is the worst...". He was starting to worry me...he was not taking it well.

"George," I said. "I need you to help me. Take my backpack. I need you to make sure it's safe. Will you hang onto my backpack and make sure I don't lose it? Will you look after it for me until I get to the hospital?" He took it from me solemnly. Now he had a mission, and he offered no further resistance as they loaded my broken, tiny little self into the ambulance.

(to be further continued...)

May 7, 2001

ebullient gushing

Ok, a little birthday break from Gruesome Accident Tales...if anyone is hanging on the edge of your seat or anything, I'll just tell you how it ends...I lived. Hehehe.

Tonight a think I had my main Birthday celebration. A bunch of my friends took me out to Belltown Pizza and treated me right. I felt really blessed. Not only that, but when I went home this afternoon there was an envelope in my mailbox that said "Do not open til May 9th." So of course I opened it immediately. Melissa (of pie in the sky), thank you so much. She sent me a nice birthday card with real honest to god handwriting on it. Communication over the net is one thing, but to actually reach out and put a stamp on an envelope and send it winging out in the blue for a person who for all you know could be a really spectacular A.I. is a magical thing! It's happened once before, and it's delightful!

If I ever get it together and think of a good story, I'm going to get some stickers in the mail from Mena!

Thank you to everyone who shows me understanding, much mush to you all.


May 5, 2001

Gruesome Accident Tales Part V: "Hey, I know where there's a really good view."

Gruesome Accident Tales Part V:
"Hey, I know where there's a really good view."

Nothing is more boring than a Tuesday night in a city where you�ve lived for a month and a half when you don�t even have money for coffee. I had made a friend�a bold Leo frosh living at Haggett Hall on the University of Washington campus. He was trouble in an energetic, fun, egotistical, attention deficit disorder kinda way.

We were at the Allegro with a girl who was telling us about her newfound stripping career, when he suggested it, "Hey, I know where there�s a really good view." In our boredom we were willing to follow him anywhere. We followed him to an alley on the side of the Neptune Theater, a few blocks away. The Neptune is a famous Seattle theater, with a huge reader board topped by a neon sign where the final "E" in NEPTUNE is a trident.

As he began to push a dumpster underneath the fire escape ladder, we realized with some trepidation that this was going to be the illegal kind of good view. Now the Neptune is housed in a three-story building that also houses a retail store on the first floor, and some residential units on this alley side.

We climbed up on the dumpster and began to ascend the ladder. I could swear I saw someone poke their head out one of the apartment windows�although I don�t remember too well now. In any case, we got a little sketched out as we climbed up past the platforms for the 2nd and 3rd floors. At the top, I was disappointed to find that the view was mostly of I-5 at 45th, and a little of downtown. It was really not all that spectacular especially considering how spooked we all felt up there. We looked down and saw a cop car cruise by really slow. It was at that point that we decided it was a good time to get down from there.

George went down first, and I got on the ladder after him. The girl was still on the roof. I was a little ways above the top floor platform when he reached it, got off the ladder, and started climbing in the window of the building�s hallway.

How foolish, I thought, if we are coming down the ladder just as the police come, we can just say, "We were just leaving, Officer." But if we�re entering the building, then it�s breaking and entering instead of just trespassing. I was about 4 rungs above that platform, and so I jumped down to the platform to tell him so.

That�s when I realized that there was no platform directly beneath the ladder. Just a hole.

(to be continued)

May 4, 2001

Gruesome Accident Tales Part IV: "Why don't you use those big muscles to..."

This happened when I was 18, right around the time they first started making Zima clearmalt beverage (the party line :: the real story). I went over to a friends house to hang out with a few friends and B.S.. I walked in the house and was led to a freezer full of Zimas. Evidently they thought more people were going to show up...it was me, Brian, and the two girls (who were drinking wine).

I quite honestly don't remember how many Zimas I drank, but it was a lot for me. I am a cheap bar date. We were drinking and clowning and trying to play poker I think. At some point MACHISMO entered stage right, and Brian and I suddenly had our biceps out and were flexing madly. (I'm always eager to show that I'm little sturdier than I look from my scrawny frame...must be that robust Russian heritage.) They were duly impressed of course, they were only pretending to give me a hard time.

Well, everytime Brian went to the freezer to get a Zima...he got me a Zima too. After a while I started to slow down...and after number eight I think, I still had a full bottle in front of me when he got up to go to the freezer.

"Oh Bri," I slurred, "Dude I think I'm done."

He stopped halfway to the freezer and gave me a long look, "Why don't you use those big muscles to..." and pantomimed lifting a bottle to his lips. I think I got part of the way through #9...#9...#9...#9.

I went home and passed out in bed, woke up later having to pee something wicked. Got up....misjudged the location of the door. Tripped over the big TV on the floor. Fell all over it. Ripped my forearm open on the sharp plastic back corner of the TV. Ouch. I went upstairs to pee. When I saw what I had done I almost fainted. (You know, when there's a little bit of stuff gooshing out?)

I knocked on my mom's door. "WHOO!" She said "...you smell like a liquor cabinet." She looked me up and down, "My advice is, slap some gauze on it, go to sleep on the couch, and make a doctor's appointment in the morning...they wouldn't even give you any anaesthetic if you went into the ER like that."

"Okay," I said, puked, and passed out on the couch. The next day, not only did I get stitches, but the doctor had to cauterize the wound. He told me to look away. I told him I wanted to see, and told me no way. He thought I would throw up or something if I saw my own flesh being burned. He was wrong I think...I still wish I would have insisted.

Ok, tomorrow I'll tell the Grand Finale!

May 3, 2001

Gruesome Accident Tales Part III: "No Stitches."

I couldn't jump curbs or anything with my first bike. My craving to do just that made me ask for a real dirt bike, with fat traction tires and no gearshift. It could jump curbs or just about anything else. It was a sturdy white Huffy.

My friend Tom Emmerling was cruising the neighborhood with me. I had found a good thick stick, about two feet long, light and strong. I was letting it rest lightly against the spokes, vibrating satisfyingly in my hand and making a klonking hum as each spoke struck the stick. It was all going so well, and then for some subconsciously self-destructive reason, I just shoved the stick all the way in between the spokes.

There was a moments delay as the stick came around to the fork and its strength was tested. It held fast, and the front tire was stopped immediately. My chin sailed over the handlebars and landed brightly on the pavement. What a surprise!

"Wow," said Tom, "You're gonna need stitches."

"No stitches." I said.

Six blocks later, my mom concurred. "You could probably use a coupla stitches."

"Stitches, stitches." Tom chanted ominously.

"I don't want any stitches." I said.

My Mom was cool, she was gonna leave it up to me, but wanted to point out the cons, "It's going to leave a little scar on your chin that you'll be able to see when you're grown up."

I thought about it, I really did, but no stitches. You can still see it, if you know where to look, but no one's ever noticed without my pointing it out. I stand by my decision. No stitches.

May 2, 2001

birthday week!

Today begins the birthday celebration week! In spite of all the complications, I'm glad I was born. Send me some birthday love, eh? Thanks to Mare for starting the morning off right, you are all that, crystal yummy.

Oh yeah, and shouts out to Maggie...thanks for reading.

this blog

this blog will need you when you're old this blog will heat you when you're cold believe you when I don't this blog will heal you from your soul

this blog will help you find a place to live
and teach you not to take but give
this blog will help you in your dying hours
this blog will send your lover flowers

blessed by the blog and the gifts that it brings
beautiful blog, it has wings

-Badly Drawn Boy's This Song
(Modified slightly for tinyblog purposes)

Gruesome Accident Tales Part II: "We�re home, you can take that thing off now."

7th Grade. 7th Period. PE Football. The tough little kid blocks me hard and I fly backwards. My hand goes out behind me to catch myself. I land on my wrist and I feel it break. I sit there looking at it, thinking so clearly, so logically, "How can it be that something can just continue to hurt this badly without wavering?"

I went to the nurse�s office and she saw how badly it had swollen. She went into the little nurse�s cabinet and got out something called an "air-splint". It was a little water-wing lookin� thing that went over the arm, and then was inflated to immobilize it. It was clear plastic, and it was kind of cool.

The nurse tried my mom at work, and left a message. She tried her at home. Then I remembered my mom was in Chicago on business and wasn�t going to be home for hours. With a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach I realized I was going to have to call my step dad. I will say that he is greatly reformed, but at the time, he could really be counted on to be an asshole in such a situation and I knew it intuitively. I had never called him at work from school before and I just had this feeling it wouldn�t go well�but there I was at school with a broken arm and a parent really had to be called.

He was called. He came to the school and got me, and I could tell he wasn�t happy about it. I guess he got the idea that I had faked it to get out of school. (Never mind that 1st period might have been better timing. It�s unlikely I would pretend I broke my arm to get out of one hour of school!) He didn�t really say anything and was nice enough to the nurse, but his demeanor was confirmed when we got home.

I started to go in my room to lay down and he said to me, "You�re home, you can take that thing off now."

Eventually my mom got home. "I think I broke my arm," I told her, calmly. At her strong recommendation we went to the hospital and I was never so glad as when the x-rays showed that the arm was indeed broken. Shit, he didn�t even apologize.

May 1, 2001

meeting of the minds

Oh yes, and lest I forget. I put together a submission of some of my photos for my school's online literary magazine. And if you haven't yet heard about it, go visit the new blog wherein some of the most brilliant minds in blogging meet in one incredible confluence of ideas and soul-searching commentary on the state of life (or, at the moment, just deciding what the hell we actually want to DO). It's called Meeting of the Minds, or MOTM, as it is destined to be abbreviated.

Gruesome Accident Tales Part I: "I'll close the door, and you can scream as loud as you want."

Pete Saladino, my neighbor and best friend, had two pool tables in his basement (one regular and one bumper), two older sisters, and two VERY ITALIAN parents. He also had a house with a white stucco-y brick exterior. One day, and I�m not sure how this happened, but we noticed that if we put water on the mortar, it looked like it was a totally different color. We got his Mom to grudgingly hook us up with a couple of spray bottles, and then we went outside to "paint" his house.

For some reason I found this really exciting. I was sort of dancing and spinning around like the little dorky nut I was, all giddy with the pleasure of the spray bottle. How exciting! In all my spinning, though, I tripped over myself and plunged to the ground�with no outside assistance whatsoever, and landed on my poor little pinky. Pete and I both heard the yucky sound of it, and I unhappily nursed my hand all the way home.

When I got home, my mom was on the phone. I sat down in the chair and sort of whimpered (cause, you know, you didn�t disturb my mom when she was on the phone) until she was finished. When she was done, she hung up and asked me what was wrong.

"I think I broke my pinkie," I said calmly. "What?! And you just sat there for twenty minutes?" she said. She took me to the hospital.

We got there and the doc told me that not only did I break the damn thing, but I also dislocated it. Now what exactly did this mean to a terrified second-grader? It meant that he had to get my broken finger in his hand and sort of bend it back the other way until the offending joint popped back into place.

I expressed that I would rather he didn�t, if it were at all possible to avoid it.

"Well," he said, (he was a "funny" doctor) "either I do it, or you have one pinkie that points south for the rest of your life." When he saw I was considering this as a viable option, however, he informed me that I really didn�t have a choice. My parents confirmed this grim reality.

"I�ll close the door and you can scream as loud as you want," he said.

It hurt a lot, as I remember. Then he casted me up in a good old fashioned plaster cast, (These kids nowadays all have purple fiberglass ones!) and sent me home. The darn thing is still a little crooked to this day.

You think that�s bad? Well, my friends�we have a lot of week left.