72 hours, 17 minutes until this 10-pager is due

Fourteen years ago, I was a senior in high school. I had a near fatal case of senioritis and one of the few things that saved me from flunking in the spring semester was our SENIOR TERM PAPER.

Typing it in italicized caps doesn't really do the thing justice. If there was some way I could embed an mp3 of trumpets heralding, it might better represent the significance this paper carried our senior year. I don't remember how weighted it was within our grade, but I do remember that the importance of this paper was hammered into our brains all three years of high school. We were told how many of these papers we'd have to write in college. We were told how important it was to our grade and how that everything we learned would be used in the SENIOR TERM PAPER.

Well, I knocked it out in similar fashion to how I've completed most every other significant assignment of the last two decades -- at the last minute. And much like modern day, I did it with Jessie spending quality time proofreading it and preventing me from sounding like a complete idiot. I pulled up my grade, passed senior English and graduated high school ready to take on the world and somewhat fearful of these many term papers I'd have to write in college.

I'm not sure how I did it, but do you know how many research papers I wrote before I graduated with my bachelor's degree? None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Zero. I did plenty of writing in college, but none it had to conform to APA or MLA style. I have a bachelor's degree on my wall -- one I worked fairly hard to earn -- and didn't have to properly cite one single source to get it.

Well, I'm making up for that now working on an associate's degree that I don't have to have.

Play Ball


According to Annie Savoy, Walt Whitman once said, "I see great things in baseball. It's our game -- the American game. It will repair our losses and be a blessing to us." Walt didn't say it exactly like that, but the sentiment seems the same regardless.

Last night, Jessie & I made our first pilgrimage of the year to the minor league ballpark. The arrival of baseball is a sign that we have survived another winter. Much of what seemed dead only weeks ago is now alive and green and thriving. The slate has been wiped clean. Everyone's team has a shot at the pennant.


WNL CVII: "There's an empty space in my bed, it's just too big these days"

Well, I stare at the hole in my hand and I watch you slip away
And I feel if I'd only done better then maybe I could make you stay
Then I stare at the hole in my head and I can't remember things I say
Hour to hour, sentence to sentence, day to day

Well I could, but I don't
And I should, but I won't
It's laughable

Well, there's an empty space in my bed, it's just too big these days
Even as I hold you, I'm letting you go somewhere far away
And there's an empty space in my heart, but my friends say boy now you're free
Freedom's not a ring around your finger, I can tell them its a memory

Well I could, but I don't
And I should, but I won't
It's laughable

How do you tell someone goodbye
How do you find a place to hide
When all you feel these days is empty inside

Well I remember the last time we met and you held a stranger's hand
You introduced him to me and said can we try and be friends

Well I could, but I don't
And I should, but I won't
It's laughable

It's laughable

Paul Sanchez

(Here's the link to the song if the embeded player doesn't load.)


WNL-CVI: "My old friend with countless others there beside..."

When all is said and done
And I'm looking back upon this race I've run
And when my heart gives in.
I know you will be beside me precious friend
It's just the same from the beginning to the end
When all is said and done.

If I lose my way
And I wander down this open road for days
And if the sun should fall
And the dancing we once did becomes a crawl
Let the memories move like shadows on the wall
If I lose my way.

When I'm coming home
And I walk across the bridge of death alone
I will fix my eyes
On the One who's waiting on the other side
My old friend with countless others there beside
When I'm coming home

When I'm coming home...

When I'm coming home...

-When All Is Said And Done
Tyrone Wells

(Here's the link to the song if the embeded player doesn't load.)

  • Current Music
    When All Is Said And Done / Tyrone Wells
  • Tags
    , ,

News Feed

Like much of world, I spend entirely too much time on the Facebook. So, its design sort of directly affects the karma of my online day. So, can someone explain to me how the news feed works? I've avoided using it forever, but the new design sort of forces my hand.

Why do some people's status messages seem to never appear... and yet news that someone did something in Mafia Wars yesterday at lunch is at the top of the list? Is there some sort of algorithm that determines this?

"...sometimes I guess I can be a complicated person."

I don't understand why, but the more that's bouncing around in my brain, the less likely I am to write about it. I need to get away. I need a week somewhere I've never been -- but to a place that isn't so interesting I'll want to spend my time exploring. I need a week in a cabin or a hotel room or a truck stop that gets just enough traffic to be interesting without being distracting. I need to write. I need to purge my brain. I don't think The Wife will go for it. At the least, she'd be suspicious. Of course, maybe she has every right to be. When I get into "one of my moods," I withdraw into myself. I don't honestly know how I'd react if she were the same way. I think there are a lot of things about me that she doesn't necessarily understand. I imagine she's not alone.

Somewhat related, I offer up this little nugget I rediscovered tonight from more than 10 years ago -- some nine months before I began writing online. It's the first three paragraphs of a 12-page typed journal in late 1999 & early 2000. How can that seem like so long ago and seem like yesterday all at the same time?

12:50 AM 9/27/99 (Monday)

On multiple occasions in my life, I've tried to write a journal. I've always thought it would be interesting to chronicle the events of my life... and my feelings on these events. As time passes, memories can fade. Before you know it, only the high and low points of a person's life can be remembered... and the bulk of their experience disappears. However, many factors have prevented me from getting too far into such a project. Now, I'll try again.

The easiest question to answer when writing a story is where to begin... Obviously, you begin at the beginning. The next question is much harder to answer. Where and what is the beginning? (Okay, I guess that was two questions).

Who am I now... where am I... what am I feeling. There is no way to duplicate my feelings on life as it is now. I've tried many times to explain how I feel on friends, work, firefighting, etc. But no matter how much I try, I always feel that I haven't conveyed my point well enough. So, if I find it tough to convey these feelings to friends that should understand... sometimes understanding them myself becomes complicated. But sometimes I guess I can be a complicated person.

Some things, it seems, never change.

  • Current Music
    The Weary Kind / Ryan Bingham
  • Tags

When downloading porn took *hours*...

One more thing I found while digging through the archives back on January 10th was this jewel. CompuServe first took me onto the Internet in late 1995 or early 1996. If I remember correctly, I upgraded my modem to 14.4 so I could fly on the World Wide Web, which most people were still eagerly calling the "Information Superhighway." The romance ended soon enough and I bailed in favor of AOL. I'm not sure I would have believed you if you told me then that I would have the Internet on my telephone today.

My very first Internet experience was CompuServe, where I was something like 31526, Yeah, giving someone nine digits as your e-mail address was easy for them to remember.

  • Current Music
    Goodbye Time / Blake Shelton
  • Tags

The Written Word

In the early days of my journal Deadline Pressure, it wasn't uncommon for me to to write real, live entries multiple times a week. There were certainly months that saw a dozen entries with paragraphs and thought -- a far cry from the 140-character world we live in today. In December 2001, smoke from the fire gave my hard drive fits and I returned to school sans computer. With all of my design software and files on my smoky Compaq Presario, time stood still at Deadline Pressure for a couple of months.

A lot happened while the journal was on a haitus from new entries. Most notably, Alex found my site. (Okay, so she was actually led to it by a mutual friend of ours that had found it.) That event alone gave me pause and I wondered many times whether I should give up writing online for good. In February, I decided that I was going to stick around. I couldn't update my site at JohnDoe.Org, so I created a temporary journal at diary-x and wrote an entry announcing my return (although new stuff wouldn't appear at The Doe until March 25).

In the time since, has bitten the bullet and they took that "return entry" with it... Well, that is until I found the hand-written original Saturday night in amongst my papers. It was a three-page, stream of consciousness check-list of things that had kept me occupied in lieu of writing. As was usually the case, I had a lot on my mind...

I'm back PDF

(Click image for PDF)


"Too Eager..."

About 14 hours ago, the computer room looked halfway presentable. At the moment, it looks like the detonation site for a small nuclear device. It all started when I got an itch to tidy up the desk in here... that led me to the hutch where old papers and things go to die. I've been sorting and stacking and shredding things ever since.

In amongst the bank statements from 2003, there are lots of random pieces of paper where I've jotted down my thoughts. I've got these things tucked into holes here and there. I sometimes wonder if anyone will bother reading them if I croaked. I guess it depends on what stuff they read first. Some of it would certainly steer you towards boredom. Other stuff would probably lure you in. Of course, there is some of it that I don't even understand.

For some reason, I can distinctly remember lying in bed one night in my last apartment and rolling over to grab a steno pad before turning out the light. I jotted a few things down in what I'm sure was an effort not to lose my thoughts while I slept.

"Maybe I just use people up... and then am too eager to discard them and
replace them with new ones."

I wrote my thoughts down to save them... but four or five years later, I have no specific idea what sparked those sorts of feelings.
  • Current Music
    Trinkle, Trinkle / Thelonious Monk
  • Tags

You haven't seen this in a while...

Deadline Pressure updated!
"If we pretend for just a moment that Deadline Pressure hasn't been sitting dormant for the last two years, we might realize that it will turn 10-years-old six months from tomorrow. To me, that's almost unbelievable. At age 22, I'm not sure I thought I'd live to see age 32 -- much less have the experiences, travels and interactions that I've managed to have."

Entry: [ 01 January 2010 ]