Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Rainbow Basin

I held you as close as the heavens hold
the earth, but I was envious
of the sky,
blushing with anticipation,
as it caressed the hills
with cloud-soft strokes,
until finally sliding the sun slowly
down into the waiting ground.
Beauty imbued the horizon in hues
of darkened orange and reddened blues,
unseen before, but somehow so familiar.
The earth whispered
through the wind and gasped,
while the sun delved deeper still
into crimsons and purples
until it pushed, finally, far
beyond our view.
And there was in the atmosphere
an incredible energy
growing with panting breezes,
the leaves shivering with
excitement on the trees.
Unable to sustain itself,
the sky collapsed into black.
We were left with wonder on our faces
as the view was made more beautiful
by it's passing.  We got up to
pass the time
until another evening faded.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Stay Together for the Kids (A Sob Story)

I guess I had it pretty easy. Not quite as easy as my baby sister, but easier than my older brother at least. He was old enough to know what was going on. I was only three years old when my parents divorced and four when my mom got remarried. I wasn't too conscience of what was going on; the only thing I can recall about it is a fleeting memory of standing in the bed of what I assume was my step-dad's truck "helping" to move our stuff out of my father's condo.

In our new house I remember playing in the dirt with my dog Boober and getting up early in the morning to watch "Gilligan's Island" reruns with my brother, completely unaffected by the radical change that was just made in my family. I knew that we didn't live with our father anymore, and that a new guy with a funny mustache had moved in, but I never really gave it a second thought. For the most part, this new guy didn't bother me, so I didn't bother him (or so I thought). For all I knew, this was how all families worked. All kids spent the week with their moms and the weekends with their dads, didn't they? I continued on, naive, not knowing that anything was amiss. I never really had any complaints, until she came along.

I can recall one weekend visit, riding in the back seat with my brother and sister. My father said that we were going to pick someone up. I'm sure my eight-year-old mind wished that we were going to pick up Donatello the Ninja Turtle, or maybe Teddy Ruxpin. We didn't.

"Guys," my father said, "this is Deborah," talking about the woman who had just gotten in the car. She turned to look at the three of us. At that instant I saw beyond her large glasses and saccharine smile, and I knew that for some reason I was not going to like her. I couldn't put my finger on it then, but soon she would give me several very tangible reasons not to like her. Where I was used to being trusted and smiled upon, she was used to skepticism and a raised eyebrow. And where I was used to patience and positive reinforcement, she was used to reproach and invective. My father married her a year or two later. I cried at the wedding, because I was pissed. How could my father marry someone like her?

She had three daughters who I tried to like, but ultimately grew to loathe. They were simply extensions of Deborah, slimy tentacles reaching places that they didn't belong. Their omnipresence and periodic reports to their mother about the actions and whereabouts of my brother, sister, and I made us all feel uncomfortable visiting my father. It was like living in the novel 1984, constantly being watched and fearing the wrath of Big Brother. Our only safe haven was our father. No one dare fuck with us when he was in the room, not even his wife. Unfortunately, he was rarely home, and when he was, he was usually resting in his bedroom or holed up in his den organizing his card collection. He was seldom there to save us, and I slowly began to resent him.

About the time my father remarried, my mom and step-dad moved us hours away. Weekend visits to my father's became holidays and summer stays with his new family. This is when the strain of divorce began to affect me. As time passed I watched my father change from a goofy, smiling superhero into a bitter, petty man. I watched my step-mother turn as fat and ugly as she was on the inside. I watched my mother hate those two, and I was confused as I tried to emulate her while staying loyal to both parents. I watched my step-dad's seemingly infinite patience with me, and I was annoyed at him for being a better dad than my biological one.

My step-sisters and -mother I tolerated, but my faith in my father was waning. When we did visit, we saw less and less of my father, and visiting step-relatives that you don't care for, isn't a very pleasant way to spend a summer. Over the years the summer stays got shorter, and we visited my father fewer holidays. I'm not sure why. And the child support checks arrived later and later, and sometimes not at all. Again, I'm not sure why.

His wife openly complained about how expensive we were, but I didn't realize how much they viewed us as a financial burden, a monetary nuisance, until my freshman year of high school. My brother, a senior, was looking to go to college, and my mom asked my father if he would help pay. He didn't want to. She hired a lawyer to make him pay the state-set "minimum" of child support. He hired a better lawyer that said he didn't have to. At his lawyer's request, his interest in us kids was suddenly renewed. He wanted to see us for every available holiday and all through the summer -- I'm assuming so it wouldn't look so bad that he had thusfar financed very little of our lives. I don't think my brother and sister were, but for a while I was fooled into actually believing that he cared. Then I went to visit him for one last summer, and nothing had changed. None of us went back to him again after that.

Well, that's not entirely true. I think my sister saw him once when she went to visit our grandparents. My brother visited him once or twice, maybe because he felt sorry for our father. But I think for the most part, none of us really cared for him too much anymore. I haven't been back at all. The realization that this / we / family was all just a matter of dollar signs to him hit me pretty hard. Someone putting a pricetag on their love for you makes you feel pretty worthless.

I haven't seen my father in a long time, about seven years, almost a third of my life. And except for a few hastily written emails that I received on my 19th birthday, I haven't heard from him either. Sometimes I feel bad that I miss that asshole. But then again, maybe I shouldn't feel bad. After all, he wasn't a bad man, just bad at loving me.

Monday, July 25, 2005

More than Meets the Eye

Who would win in a fight between Optimus Prime and Voltron? I guess we'll find out in a couple years when they both hit theaters. It'll be "Robots in Disguise" versus "The Defenders of the Universe." Personally, my money's on the Transformers!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Saving Light One Day at a Time

I'm all for making Daylight Savings Time longer. How 'bout you?

Nerd Alert!

I got a new project to keep me busy at work yesterday afternoon. I'm supposed to revamp part of the Language & Literature website (the Language Learning Center pages). For me, this is exciting. Not just because I actually have something to do, but because I love tinkering with websites. I'm not so good with the graphics and design, but I love all the inner-workings.

Luckily, I get to recycle most of the old graphics, so I don't have to worry about that. Tomorrow I'll have to work on updating the content, which will be kinda boring. But today I redesigned the whole back end of the website -- cleaning up the HTML and JavaScript, and adding a splash of PHP (I *heart* PHP!). I just wish that the server the website was on had MySQL. I want to fiddle around with a database using PHP so that I can become better acquainted with how to do all that stuff.

On a side note, Microsoft FrontPage kinda sucks. I'm using it to help with editing the site. It adds a LOT of unnecessary and dirty HTML. I'd rather do it all by hand and have it look nice than use the stupid WYSIWYG editor. The only good thing FrontPage does is help to keep all the files organized.

Monday, July 18, 2005

For the Internet-Savvy Adulterer

This appalled me, both the fact that the website exists, and that it has enough demand to keep it in business.

Thursday, July 14, 2005


I'm leaving today for Chicago. I'm going to be visiting Stellar and Nic-O for the weekend. I think we might be going to a Renaissance Fair and then some big party that Stellar told me about. It should be a fun vacation.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Wrong Place

This article from Slashdot sounds like it belongs in The Onion.

Monday, July 11, 2005


She saw him in crowd. She didn't know why her eye was drawn to him. In his plaid button-down shirt and worn blue jeans, he did not stick out of the crowd. He wasn't attractive. Not to say that he was ugly, but his long nose and mouth slacking open didn't exactly rev Miranda's engine. Nevertheless, she stood on the street corner among the crowd, waiting to follow the rest of the flock into the crosswalk. She noticed his poor posture and awkward gait as he walked toward her in the adjacent crosswalk. He seemed like a thousand other people she had seen in this city, but there was still something about him that made her continue to stare.

A burly man in a brown business suit walking the opposite direction smashed into a long-haired twenty-something hippie-looking chick in front of the long-nosed man in the plaid shirt. The burly man bowled right over the long-haired girl, spinning only slightly from the impact, and shouted something angrily at the young woman, who was knocked to her knees by the much larger man. The guy in the plaid shirt stopped behind her and looked over his shoulder at the man in the brown business suit. Without an explanation the man in the brown business suit dropped his suitcase and began screaming. He batted at some invisible attacker on his shirt and pulled at his tie which only served to choke him. The man flailed wildly and pulled at the tightening tie on his neck. The others in the crosswalk tried their best to avoid him; irritated faces began to appear in the crowd. The burly man continued his hysterics until he stumbled into an even burlier man who grabbed him by the collar and threw him down onto the ground. The man in the brown business suit immediately stopped his screaming. He lay on the ground wide-eyed and bewildered, breathing heavily.

Miranda looked back to the man in the plaid shirt. He had apparently been watching the man in the brown suit as well. He turned back to the young woman in front of him, who was collecting the contents of her hemp tote bag that had been spilled onto the street. He reached down, picking up a small box of some sort. As he was about to offer it to its owner, she snatched it out of his hands and quickly shoved her possession back into her bag. She stood up, gripped her bag tightly, and quickly resumed crossing the street. The man in the plaid shirt stood still for a second watching the long-haired girl walk away, until he was nudged from behind by another pedestrian. He continued through the crosswalk.

The crowd waiting with Miranda on her corner began to cross the street, but Miranda followed the man in the plaid shirt with her eyes. Closer up, he looked much younger than she had first thought, and Miranda saw sadness in his eyes. As he passed only a few feet from him, she had the urge to follow him. She gave in to her urge.

She followed him into a corner store, watching him from the magazine rack. He lazily walked to the cooler, picked up a quart of milk and a shrink-wrapped sandwich. On his way up to the counter, he picked up a can of Li'l Smokies. I hope that's not his dinner. Her stomach felt empathetic for his.

At the counter, Plaid Shirt asked the clerk for a pack of cigarettes. The clerk rang up the total. Plaid Shirt opened his wallet, dug around, and pulled out nothing and set it on the counter. Plaid Shirt shrugged with embarrassment. Miranda moved over to the candy rack to get a better view.

The clerk gave Plaid Shirt a brief look of disdain, picked up the imaginary tender and punched some buttons on his register. The drawer sprung open and the clerk counted out nearly eighty-five dollars in change and handed it to Plaid Shirt.

Miranda was confused. She grabbed a pack of Skittles and stepped up next to Plaid Shirt at the counter. She looked back and forth from the man in the plaid shirt to the clerk. As he finished organizing his money in his wallet, he noticed Miranda's sideways glances. He quickly shoved his items into his pockets and walked out of the store.

Miranda was staring after Plaid shirt, when the man behind the counter asked, "Hey, you gonna buy something or what?" Miranda looked up at him, put her candy on the counter, reached into her purse, pulled out nothing and set in onto the counter. The clerk looked at her with disbelief. Miranda stood her ground, looking from where she had set her money back up to the clerk. Finally, with a sigh the clerk said, "Sorry, lady, we don't take imaginary money here, only real cash."

She squinted her eyes and looked at him. "Nevermind, I don't want it." Miranda quickly walked out the door.

The clerk shook his head, "I hate working here."

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Pissed Off

I guess you can only piss on your friends so long before they tell you to piss off.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Getting a Good Education, Duh!

As I was walking into the building about half-an-hour ago, getting back from my lunch break, a fairly good-sized rodent (I'm guessing about 10 lbs. or so) ran by me and into the bushes. I think it was a woodchuck. What the fuck is a woodchuck doing on campus?

Circa Now