I still do not understand what happened to me that evening and I’m not the type of person to take experiences and strange forces as a "sign" or feel the need for an explanation (it would be nice this time). I just prefer to ride and see what happens next. Now how can I put the feelings into words? I most likely can’t but here is my attempt anyway.|
That Friday morning I woke up and thought to myself “I wonder what magical things will come my way.” Which is about how I start most my days. Little did I know it would be a fight, and not even against anyone, just me versus the unknown.
I walked into the living room and Jimmy said, “hey come here, let me show you some stuff I picked up.” So I followed him into the back room, not knowing it would be a battle on the way back. We went into the back room and he pulled out this brown bag and inside it was a really nice survival knife with all the neat toys: a German knife with a shawistika on the handle, and a knife from the KKK complete with the “Honorary member” card. These things aren’t the strange part though. Jimmy and I were talking about where he picked them up and Micah came into the back room and was looking at the knifes. All of the sudden I felt really (dizzy) and just needed to sit down.
“I need to sit down,” I spoke under my breath and as I did I was turning to walk out the door of the back room. I made it one step and I lost nearly all my sight and the dizziness got worse; it felt like I was on a boat being tossed in the angry sea. “I’m gonna fall down” I thought to myself. I forced my body to take another step, I couldn’t see, couldn’t feel anything except numbness creeping through my body in giant waves. I knew for sure I was gonna fall down but I took the last step to the doorway of the back room and that’s as far as I made it.
I think I hit the left side of the doorway and bounced off the other and then onto my ass. I didn’t feel it, I just kind of felt myself shrink to the floor. I sat there, head spinning, and it just kept getting worse. I still couldn’t see or hear well. I was trapped inside my own head with only me (who didn’t know what was going on or how to explain it). All I could think is “this isn’t right, what the fuck is happening?”. I ‘think’ I was thinking clearly, it was only my body that went nuts.
“Get in the bathroom nick” I thought was the best idea. “Cold shower will fix this”. But how to get there? I think I crawled the 4 steps into the bathroom but I can’t be sure. When I got in the bathroom “I need to sit down” I thought and I didn’t know what my body would do next so the bathroom was the best place. I took off my clothes, I believe, and I sat on the toilet to “gain control”.
I was sweating, bad. I remember wiping my forehead with my hand and being covered in sweat. I sat there thinking, “what could be happing to me?”. Then my sight faded back in. I had to close my eyes; I couldn’t handle to movement of just looking around. After that I do not know how long I sat there spinning and just dwelling in the "wrong" feeling that swarmed in me.
“I’m gonna die here naked on the toilet taking a shit, what has life come to? Well at least I didn’t defecate myself in the hallway, wipe your ass before you die you moron” I thought to myself (which is just about how I think). I forced myself to reach the whole foot and a half that it took to reach the shower knobs and I just spun them at random.
I sat there listing to the water and just letting my body have its reaction or whatever it was. After a few more moments I said “fuck it, let's see how this goes” and I kind of rolled into the shower and just laid there in the tub with the water running in my face. My body seemed to shut down and my mind sort of locked up. I didn’t think, I didn’t move, I was just a body in the tub. My mind started to lose hold of the bit of reality that I had left. I feel I am a strong-minded person and if you really know me you’d probably agree.
I lost it all, grasping for reality and searching the back of my eyelids. I watched the water hit my eyes making bright colors and all I heard was the metallic clinks of water hitting the porcelain, burning into my mind. I twisted and turned (maybe my body did too or maybe it was just the mind) just wanting the "wrong" to stop.
After hours of spinning colors and feelings, I came back to realty. I slowly stood up. Well I sat up first to see if I held my ground then got to my knees. I didn’t want to stand up to fast and start this craziness over. Slowly but surely I made it to my feet ,I turned off the water and got out. I still felt strange and not sure what happened but I got dressed and I noticed in the mirror I was white as a ghost. I walked out of the bathroom and all I could say is “man that was fucked up”. Now it is a day later and I’ve slept and I still don’t feel quite right. Oh and the kicker is no one saw any of it and I was gone for only about 7 minutes from “I need to sit down” to coming out of the bathroom.
I don't know what I was expecting from this movie. When i first saw the preview, it kinda reminded me of "Goodfellas" meets "Studio 54". So I looked online for some more information, and found out that it's based on a book called "Blow: How a Small-Town Boy Made $100 Million with the Medellin Cocaine Cartel and Lost it All" by Bruce Porter. With a title like that, who wouldn't be intrigued?|
The story is centered around George Jung, a small town boy with big dreams in his pockets. It's the 70's, man, and the kids are alright. He decides to try his luck in California, so he moves there with one of his friends. They find a decent apartment, meet some great looking chicks, and hang out on the beach all day. What a life! But then they realize that money is required for survival, and George has decided that he really doesn't want to actually work for a living. So he goes to see Paul Reubens, playing the gayest hairdresser of all time, and gets hooked up with his own little marijuana trade business.
Things progress, and George and his friends are rollling in dough. The marijuana trade turns into a cocaine trade, and over the course of a few years, George has amassed over 50 million dollars. And according to George's voice overs, in the early 80's, if you were snorting it, there was an 85% chance it came from him.
But what would any good drug story be without some tragedy? The years go by, George makes millions, and finds himself a wife. Him and the wife have a baby, and his little girl becomes the center of the universe for him. Some bad things happen. George gets taken away from his family, and the bond of trust he has with his daughter is broken. Destitute, George attempts to win his way back into her heart, and...go watch the damn movie.
This movie really drew me in. The cinematography was excellent, and the "flashback" scenes of the seventies were really bitchin. Like, i felt i was really there, man. The only thing that annoyed me about this movie was George. He keeps setting himself up for disaster, and every time it happens, you just have to sit there and cringe as you watch a little more of his life crumble away. But you only feel this way because Johnny Depp gave an incredibly real performance with George. He makes you feel like you've known this guy your entire life.
So would I recommend this movie? Hell yes. This is a definite in-the-theatre experience that shouldn't be missed. I give it three flames out of five ..
I recently found out that a good friend of mine has started shooting heroin. I have to admit that this shocked the hell out of me, but not because I never expected this guy to. He is the most fucked up of all my friends, who as a whole can be pretty fucked up sometimes, myself included. But there is something about what I know of heroin addiction that really scares me about this. |
The feelings that I have about this guy kind of perplex me. After all, he is a good friend, but when I really think about it, there isn’t much history between us. We kind of knew each other in junior high, but then I left for a few years, moved out of state. I eventually started coming back for summers and holiday parties and got to know this guy again. He and I are good friends now and I would do anything I can to ever help him out, but when I stop to think, this strength of friendship based on so little time spent together somewhat surprises me.
Then I realized that I can’t help being friends with people. None of us can. We need people like we need oxygen, food, and high-speed Internet connections. If we don’t have them, we wish we did and all we can think about is how to get them.
You all know the story: 12-20 billion years ago, a little spot of nothing blew up into a whole lot of something else. By and by, about 6 billion years ago, there came to be a certain rock floating around a certain ball of burning gas in a certain arm of a certain galaxy, all pretty much in the middle of nowhere. About 2 billion years after this, life appeared on this rock. All sorts of life swarmed all over the rock, fucking and eating mostly. It so developed that one peculiar form of life we call primates started hanging around on the ground a lot. This is about where my story picks up (there is a point, I swear!).
As these early apes began to come out of the trees, they ran into problems. More accurately, problems began to run into them, usually after stalking them for a while. While it would have been nice to have extra sets of eyes and better sniffers and all, that takes too long to evolve. So much easier to make friends with somebody. They can help keep an eye out for you as well as come to your rescue when you need it. Those who made friends and were good friends did better in life and had kids who in turn were good friends and all. By and by through the wonderful process of evolution, we ended up with a species of "people" (strangely we don’t considers ourselves apes anymore….) with innate tendencies to be friends with each other.
As a young kid in a grade school class of about 25-30 kids (Hell, my hometown had an official population of only around 70), I assumed a role near the bottom of the hierarchy that inevitably develops out of a group of social apes, especially males. You may be familiar with the drinking game "asshole" (or maybe presidents and assholes): Everyone sits in a rank order wherein anyone with a higher rank can make anyone with a lower rank drink whenever they want. Obviously the President has no one above him/her and never has to drink and the Asshole has no below but is below everyone so he/she never gets to give orders and is always catching shit from everyone. My life in grade school was like this sometimes, only we never drank and I wasn’t at the very bottom. There were just a couple kids who incessantly picked on me and gave me this complex about doubting myself and my value as a person.
It was so confusing for me because I thought I was a pretty good friend to have. Since some of these guys who picked on me were also my friends, I had a weird world where my friends would rank me out every other day. I learned to value the real friends I had, friends that I have until this day and will have until I die. But I also learned the value of being a friend. I learned how to recognize what makes a person a good friend and I know how to be a good friend. If anything, I may be too good a friend at times, to the point of being annoying about it.
The group of friends that I have right now are family. They are not like family, they are family. We have all been through tough times; you can grow up in North Idaho and not go through tough times. We are friends because we know the value of having and being friends. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for these guys (but there are some I won’t lend money too!) and I know they are there when I need them, either to go drinking with or to talk shit about the world with. My life has more meaning to me when I have close friends like this.
Although the friend who has started heroin and I don’t have a lot of history, he is my friend and I am his. We are friends because we both know the value of friendship and enjoy upholding those values for the other. This is a guy that got stabbed twice in the back by an ex-girlfriend but checked out of intensive care to come testify at the court hearings of another friend. We look out for each other.
That is why I am scared as shit that he may have finally taken a step down a path that he won’t be able to come back from. From what I hear, heroin is a fucking tough monkey to get off your back. I’ve seen him crawl out of a stiff meth habit and know that he is pretty intelligent, in spite of all the dumb-as-fuck shit he gets into. He has only been loving the needle for a month or so now, and some friends are on the intervention path to get him out of the scene ASAP. Who knows what the future holds for him? I feel somber at the thought that he may never kick the heroin habit and that it will color our relationship forever, in effect destroying the life we had. But I will always stand by him as best I can, because that's what friends do.
I didn’t really know where I was going as I wrote this, but I think I was trying to make a point about the value of friendship and how much we need it. Not to get too gushy on you all, but take time to appreciate your friends. Tell them how much they mean. Always look out for them because they are looking out for you. If you have a friend you haven’t heard from in a long time but still think about from time to time, go find them and get in touch. I’m sure they think about you too and would like to hear from you.
And although you, the Asylum whores, will never be as close to me as my flesh-and-blood cohorts from the lead lined valleys of Idaho are, you are also friends. You are here for me to vent my anger, to hear my pleas, to answer my questions, to respond to my posts. You help to fill the social void that exists when you live 7000 miles away from your friends. Thank you.
I hope I didn't take on a depressing or whiny note here, but dammit, people. Love one another and your friends.
That’s all that life is: family and friends. Without them, you ain’t got shit.
His dick was hard. He was stroking his hard dick. His dick was lit by the dim light of his monitor, which caged the image of a seventeen-year-old girl with a 20 inch black dildo in her pussy. She wasn’t tight. She was loose. She’d been sticking various objects into her twat for seven years. He didn’t care. He didn’t know this. If he knew this he still wouldn’t care. |
His dick was hard. His mind was empty. He wanted to stroke off. He was stroking off. He didn’t want to think. He wasn’t thinking…
Twenty-four. 8,760 nights had slipped past him. Some of those nights he’d spent fucking girls. Fucking for real. Not this fake internet shit. His dick would get hard and some drunken hole would tell him to slide into her wet pussy and all that shit you want and read about in smut magazines. Only the hole never got off. He knew this even without it telling him. But they’d seem to come back anyway so it didn’t really matter if it came or not. He came. He’d shoot his jam all up inside some pussy canal just before passing out.
“Just get the pussy drunk enough,” he thought. “Drunk enough so it wouldn’t be thinking.”
Disassociated. Twenty-four years old. A man. An american man. Born white, brought up safe from crack and hookers and guns and most any bizarre form of tyranny and/or unmediated existence characteristic to the heathen ghettos and slums of the hidden american third world. Poverty? Brown people had poverty. Trashy people on tv from weird foreign lands more akin to mars than the ol’ red white and blue were starving and killing each other.
Not in america.
Not in “tv land” where reality is the dictate of a cycloptic corner appliance. Where perceptions of the real world are the filtered fiction censored and regurgitated through 500 regulated channels of sitcoms and talk shows and soaps and sports and rupert murdoch and blah blah blah. Where reality is so disassociated from its perceiver that it has become distasteful to distinguish between a pixilated fuck and the real thing, girl and all.
Where sex is a simulated event no longer special or sacred. And not because sex doesn’t feel much better, but because we can hardly tell the difference anymore. Locked away inside of our minds and our imaginations and fantasies we can hardly distinguish between what’s real and what’s illusory.
Between the simulation of life and our actual participation in it.
His dick was hard. The seventeen-year-old girl was loose. He didn’t care. He wanted to spray his cum all over her face and tits.
He’d always have to wipe cum off of his monitor.
Last weeks winners:|
1ST PLACE: The Price of Victory by WastedPotential
2ND PLACE: Leader of KISS Army crowdsurfs by DevilMoon
3RD PLACE: Monica just won't quit! by Leroy Binks
New week posted, now go vote on last weeks and get to work on this weeks!Graffiti
Today we went to a carnival that is traveling through here. |
Now, we saw the bright lights of the place the other night, and determined that it would be an all day event all around great time sort of deal. So today we dropped Keith off with his dad and went.
It cost 10 bucks to get 15 tickets, which are used for rides and whatnot, like the ferris wheel and the other 20 or so rides they had (which ranged from costing 3 tickets per person to 5).
We started walking around, looking for shit we wanted to do. All over the place, between the rides, were the games. You know, ring toss, guess your weight, magnetic fish, whatever. I mean, I went within 10 yards of a booth and all of a sudden I had a dude shoving a basketball in my face. Constantly. I would turn them down politely and as we were walking off they carnie would yell something like "Hey! The girl you were with last week wasn't as cute as this one, and this one is white too!"
I tried to get a basic explaination of how the games worked and what I had to do to get a prize, but nobody seemed to have a straight answer for me. Just strange catch-phrases and "just throw the ball, win your lady a prize!"
In any case, I got accosted with a rubber duckie by one booth, it was 5 bucks for 3 chances, so I accepted. The game was that these pools of water were full of floating rubber duckies. Now, my goal was to pick up three ducks and look on the bottom of them. This is as far as my understanding of the game went. The conversation went like this:
Me: So what am I trying to do here?
Carnie: You pick up three rubber ducks.
Me: Yes, but what am I aiming for? I mean, what is my goal?
Carnie: To pick up three ducks.
Me: Ummmm, how do I win?
Carnie: By picking up three ducks.
Me: I'm not sure I understand. Is there a point to this?
Carnie: Just pick up the ducks, chief! Win your girl a prize!
*picks up three ducks, each has the letter S on written on the bottom of them*
Carnie: Now pick out a prize and move along.
I got some cheap inflatable mushroom (which is actually pretty cool) and left, totally perplexed.
We walked along for awhile more. Carnies kept trying to use karen against me as we walked past, and then would make fun of us as we walked away. Some of the rides looked kind of cool I guess.
We went on the Ferris wheel. You have to go on the Ferris Wheel when at a Carnival. It was okay I guess. You go up, then you go down, repeat process. Like a ladder, but with no physical fitness value to it. Total cost = 10 tickets for the both of us.
So we had 5 tickets left, which meant only one of us could go on one more ride. So we were scoping the lame rides they had trying to figure out which of us would go on which ride.
We were walking when all of a sudden some Carnie grabbed me, put a dart in my hand, and shoved me in front of a wall of balloons.
Okay, I think to myself, popping balloons with a dart. Fair enough, looks like it could be fun. The guy is talking to me in some sort of weird political speak, saying nothing but talking lots. So I throw a dart at the board and pop a balloon. Yay. a winner is me. So he shoves another dart in my face and says something like "there ya go, little to medium, medium to jumbo!" So I throw it and pop another balloon. He says "two more darts you get a prize! Even if you don't get the balloon you get a prize!" I said "okay" and popped another balloon. Another dart gets shoved in my hand. I throw it, pop another balloon. He starts saying "small goes to medium, medium goes to large, large goes to JUMBO!!!" I assume now he is talking about the prizes. This is a transcript of the conversation that followed:
Me: Ok, so how much is this costing me?
Carnie: Small goes to medium, medium goes to large, large goes to JUMBO!!!!
Me: What? Okay, that's all well and good, how much is this costing me and what grounds are winning the prizes based on?
Carnie: What is 4 and 4?
Me: 8. So for the four throws I owe you eight bucks?
Carnie: What have you got your eye on here?
Me: What the hell are you talking about? You mean what balloon?
Carnie: You have an eye on the balloon? Then throw the dart Annie Oakley!
Me: No, what did you mean? Did you mean what prize I had my eye on?
Carnie: What prize have you got your eye on!?
Me: Ummm, that giant stuffed elephant looks cool....
Carnie: Small goes to medium, medium goes to large, large goes to JUMBO!!!!
Me: So which is the elephant?
Carnie: What does green mean?
Carnie: What does green mean?
Carnie: Go! Throw the dart, hit a green balloon!
*me throws dart, hits green balloon*
Me: So I win, right?
Carnie: Small goes to medium, medium goes to large, large goes to JUMBO!
Me: Ummm, so where am I?
Carnie: What does yellow mean?
Me: Slow down?
Carnie: No! It means hit a yellow balloon, win your girl a prize!
*me throws dart, hits yellow balloon*
Me: So did I win a prize?
*Carnie lays out 5 darts in front of me*
Carnie: Small goes to medium, medium goes to large, large goes to JUMBO!
Me: So I have to shoot 5 more to get a Jumbo prize?
Carnie: (to karen) I don't think he likes you very much!
Me: Now hold on just a minute!
Carnie: You miss, you don't pay!
Me: But do I lose then?
Carnie: No losers here, sir. You miss you don't pay!
Carnie: Give it a try!
*throws dart, hits balloon*
Carnie: There you go! What does green mean?
Me: Wait a minute, so I pay to throw a dart, and it doesn't matter if I miss or hit?
Carnie: No losers here!
Me: Yeah, but what happens if I miss?
Carnie: Nothing! Try again, almost there!
*me throws a dart, misses*
*Carnie grabs a dart, pops the balloon himself*
Carnie: There ya go! Small goes to medium, medium goes to large, large goes to JUMBO!
Me: Wait a minute.....
Carnie: No losers here! What does green mean?
Me: I already told you.
Carnie: Then throw the dart!
Me: Wait, how much have I spent here?
Carnie: Small goes to medium, medium goes to large, large goes to JUMBO!
Me: Where am I?
Carnie: What does green mean?
Me: What the hell are you talking about?
Carnie: No losers here!
Me: So is there an object to this game?
Carnie: Small goes to medium, medium goes to large, large goes to JUMBO!
Me: Did I get the elephant?
Carnie: Small goes to medium....
Me: I know, I know. I'm outta here. How much do I owe you?
*insert 10 minutes of hassling with carnie about me not wanting to play anymore*
Me: Look, do you want me to pay or just fucking leave?
Carnie: 24 dollars.
*me gives Carnie 24 bucks*
*karen decides she wants to play*
*16 bucks later, we walk away with two little stuffed dogs*
I am beginning to think that the point of the game was that I hand over 75 bucks and the guy gives me a stuffed elephant that costs 2 dollars.
In any case, we were now avoiding the games, and had 5 tickets left to burn between us. karen was in a bad mood, so I figured I would just go on the haunted house ride and we can go home.
I give over the 4 tickets for the ride, get on a little cart on a track. It takes me into some cheap wooden place that is kind of dark. At one point, a mechanical witch starts waving her hands, but where a broomstick should be is nothing but a hole in her hands. I go through more plywood, and a strange air raid siren goes off. More plywood. A case lights up above me that contains a fake skull. The cart leaves the plywood enclosure and the ride is over.
We go home.
Total time spent at carnival: an hour.
Total money spent: around 75 bucks.
I think I should stamp the word "SUCKER" on my forehead.
Why beat around the bush?
If you ever happen upon a Carnie, punch him in the face for me would ya?
Born in New Jersey, Jan 19, 1986. My childhood is quite the mystery to me. I have several conflicting memories of how I was brought up. This for the most part is my attempt to piece them together. This might be a boring read; sorry if it is hard to read or understand. With that said...|
I remember being a wee one, in Rutherford, New Jersey. I lived with my grandmother, grandfather, mother, brother, and I think I had aunts, uncles, and cousins there also. All from my mother's side. I remember the family that lived next door. Vaguely. Sal was their child. Or her child, I don't remember the father. You could ask me all day long if Sal was male or female and I couldn't tell you. I have not the slightest clue. I remember Sal had a video game. I liked the game and I used to watch Sal and my brother play, I don't think I ever played though. I remember also that my great uncle and aunt lived below us in the house.
We, and everyone else who lived around us, were Italian. I myself am only half-Italian. In my early childhood, while I still lived at Rutherford, we went to a local Bazaar of sorts. They sold silly things, like... silly string, stink sprays, poppers, and the related items. My brother sprayed me with the stink spray on the way home. I had to stand outside for an hour while the smell wore off. That's one of my earliest memories as a child. According to my mother I was not even a year old at the time, I honestly don't remember how old I was.
Notice how I didn't mention my father during any of this. I think he used to visit me, and take me out for the day. He got me these trains once. Or he left them for me. I loved them so much because they were from him. I used to hold the trains, cry with the trains, and just basically be close to them. They helped me get through whatever I needed. My mother's family hated my father, and got rid of the trains. I have no idea where they ever went.
I don't know how early after I was born when my parents split up, or got a divorce. It was close afterwards though. My father lived in Scotch Plains (1), a higher-class place. I remember he had a swimming pool in the back yard, and a local coin shop where he knew the people. I used to sit in there and they would talk for hours. I enjoyed myself, I think.
My father was a successful chemist, graduated with honors and a half-scholarship from St. Peters Prep High School. My uncle on my father's side also graduated with honors but he was awarded a full scholarship, and these were rare things. Without them, they would not have had enough money to go to college. My grandfather on their side had been dead before I was born. He was a mechanic, along with my father and uncle before they finished college. My father is, like I said before, a chemist, and my uncle is a professor at Harvard. My grandmother, also on my father's side, died soon after I was born. I have very few memories of her.
I remember one time, when I was very young, I was in a car with my father and mother. They asked me where I wanted to go for the day, with my mother or my Father. Thinking back on it, it was a terrible thing to do to a child. I chose my father, and my mother has never let me forget that fact. In her own ways, of course. As a kid, I just wanted to have fun.
I remember living where I am now before preschool. I lived here in this house with my father, mother, and brother. I don't remember it well at all. I don't know the relationship at that point between my father and mother. Keep in mind my father also had his own children from an earlier marriage who I never saw much of until lately. Three brothers total I had, and one sister. My sister got married a little over a year ago.
Well, time moved on and I went on to preschool. I went to two different schools, The Land of Oz, and a church-type preschool. I was put in the advanced program, which I guess involved learning both circles AND squares. I met a lot of my friends there, a lot of which have moved away, as the years have gone by. The others I have just lost touch with I guess, or simply have forgotten about them, as I have with just about everything else from that time period.
In kindergarten I went to a nice little school. I got along with everyone well, and I don't recall much about that year except playing four square, a tire swing, and a wall I kicked a ball at. I lived with my mother half the time, and my father the other half. A joint-custody agreement finalized the divorce.
One night my father was going to visit me, but my mother wouldn't let him. I begged and pleaded to see him. They argued for hours as I was upstairs crying. That was my first taste of friction, and what seemed like hatred.
In first grade I was first exposed to computers. We used Macs, and played a game called Coral (?) where you took the role as a fish, and had to survive by eating food, and avoiding other fish. Also at some point I learned to cut and paste, highlight, and play Oregon Trail . This is important, not only because it is one of the very few memories I have of that year, but also because I realized for the first time, that I had intelligence.
My father was not around much, so I either stayed with the babysitter, or went to a place called The Grand Slam for a while, and helped out around there. It was a gaming arcade/batting cages/basketball court. I remember my sitters very well. One used to take me around to places that were exciting and fun. A place where I think you could hit rocks with a hammer, and they would make a ringing noise. I can't recall, hehe.
Well one day, she wanted to take me somewhere and wouldn't tell my father where she was going to take me. She left for a little while, and was going to come back later after lunch. My father noticed something she dropped. It was a book. Not just any ordinary book, one that was like a Black Magic/Witchcraft bible of some kind. In order for her to become a full member, she had to take a small boy, perform a ritual involving a needle, a knife, and his eye. The page describing the performance of this ritual was well worn; it had been read many times. Had my father not found the book, and fired her, I would have been sacrificed to a cult. If anyone knows of which book I am talking about, please email the name of it to me.
Second grade is another blur to me. As far as I can remember, it never took place. In third grade I ran a club. I don't remember what it was about, but I had little name cards printed out and membership cards also. I think we had a few meetings, but I don't remember how many or what the hell we did during those meetings.
In third grade I was in an experimental class with 2 teachers instead of one, and a larger class. Kids still come up to me in High School and say "Hey! I remember you from third grade! etc..." I don't remember them, so it leads me to believe something is causing me to block out most of my younger years. I was in the Gifted and Talented class for the first and last year, that year. Unless I was in it in second grade also. I have always been playing soccer as long as I can remember. I was on the state team this year. Yes they had one for third graders. This was also the year I met Bill (Mr. Magoo). I still have an award I won for math. I came in top 3 in the Nationals, or something along those lines. I could care less as it's gotten me nowhere (not that I would expect it to). Why was it my last year? I didn't do any of the homework. That plays a large role in things to come later.
In Fourth grade I was forced to join 'cliques' that I wanted no part of. I wound up breaking a kid's arm, getting in many fights, quitting baseball, and continuing soccer. I have to admit to myself, I was and still am a great soccer player. I was a trouble maker in fourth grade. It is just about as simple as that, and it didn't end there. I started playing the game of Magic The Gathering (link to www.meridianmagic.com) during this year, and still play.
In Fifth grade I met Jack, another key person in my life. He and Bill shaped me for a small part, and I shaped them. For a while Bill and I, and Jack and I were very close friends. That changed though, along with a lot of other things. Fifth grade I continued to slack off, but got great grades. I knew I could ace whatever test I needed to, do some class work, and get by in my classes. My principle told me something that I still remember that year. I can argue with authority figures, and teachers all I like, but I'll be run over by the 'system' like a steamroller. I have made it a goal of mine to prove him wrong. Why? I like to feel I have a certain amount of control over my life.
In sixth grade I was still in the advanced program (for math). I was no longer in Gifted and Talented, as I left that when I was in Fourth Grade. I got an A in math for my first year in Middle School. My teacher talked with me about how if I did my homework, I could have a great future ahead of me. Pfft. I bet she was right though. I continued to get into fights, and be aggressive. I slacked off in everything. I played a lot of video games with Bill and Jack. Another talent of mine. One I don't use at all any more though.
Seventh Grade I don't remember too well. I was still in the advanced program and had a lot of friends. None that I cared to visit outside of school though. I just had no motivation and I really still don't. I continued to pass classes, get by. I started to play a new online game called Ultima Online that year. From first release Jack, Bill and I played it on a shard, or server, called Catskills. We were well known there, and feared PKs on that shard. A PK is one who kills other players for Money, Items, or in our case, just for an undeserved spite.
Eighth Grade I started to lose it, and spin out. I had a Math Teacher out to get me, and he refused to pass me if I didn't do homework. I more or less told him to fuck himself, and either way I could test out of whatever program he put me in. I happened to be correct. I continued to get into fights, and I used humor to mask my depression. I never have a problem bringing a smile to someone's face, or making them laugh. I have a sort of situational humor, and it keeps me out of a downward spiral.
Also in the year of eighth grade I was forced to take an IQ test. My parents thought that because I didn't do work for school, I had a mental disorder. I proved them wrong. They wouldn't tell me until recently what I got on the test. I believe it was somewhere in the range of 155 - 160. I don't remember for sure, and have never seen the results myself to confirm this.
That brings us to the ninth grade, my first year of high school. I barely pass classes, still get in fights, and stay to myself as long as I can. Jack and Bill have long moved on, I see Bill everyday, hang out once in a while. Jack I see him more often at my home, but with everything else, time has changed us all. I no longer play any online games, besides Whorehouse, and Planetarion. I no longer play soccer, and basketball season is over. I am a fast runner, and a good shot putter, but I have not been interested in committing myself to anything school related.
I'm currently taking Advanced Computer Applications II, US History I, Media and Information, and Earth Science I. Next year I will be taking Civil Law, and Criminal Law, along with several more programming related courses. Not involved with anyone, nor have I ever 'really' been on more than a date or two with someone.
The only future I see now is a lonely one.
1 = link
We're leaving this one up an additional week ... get those entries in!|
I went golfing last month with a group of Japanese people. It was a real treat for me, literally and figuratively. A friend of ours hosted me as a congratulations gift for making it into graduate school over here. Golfing is also semi-exclusive in Japan and he wants to help me experience as much of Japan as I can.
This guy, Hishida, is a bit of a local guru. He’s loosely affiliated with the Shinto religion, but he serves mostly as a spiritual advisor for people. His experience is based on thousands of years of philosophy; he has a book that was handwritten about 150 years ago full of theory about life cycles and lifestyles. Pretty cool stuff, but some of it is a little flaky for me. For the most part though, he is right on with his stuff.
Anyway, he took me golfing. I really didn’t know what to expect. My golfing experience consists of 9 holes 10 years ago with 2 12-year friends of my brother. I smashed some balls at the driving range a couple times in the last year with my father-in-law, but for all practical purposes I am a total and complete newbie.
I borrowed a old set of clubs from my father-in-law, who was pretty worried about the whole ordeal. He is a serious button-down type of guy who takes golf as seriously as heart surgery (that’s what he did before he went into hospital administration). He was concerned that I would foul the course so he took me to the driving range to practice a week before the actual golfing date. After hitting a couple hundred balls, I actually improved my swing quite a bit, but unfortunately this new knowledge apparently got left at the driving range. It wasn’t with me on the fairway, at least.
Golf day arrives. I take a bullet train out to the area where the course is and someone picks me up. Our group is about 20 people from his flock. I had met a couple of them before, but it was the first time I had seen most of them. We broke up into foursomes and started off.
The game itself really isn’t any different from the American game I don’t think. Same little ball into the same little hole. Due to high utilities' costs though, the fairways don’t get a lot of water and were rather brown and dry. Or maybe that is standard on American courses too. I dunno.
One really, really cool thing is the caddy system here. In Japan, you NEVER carry your own clubs and you never have to tip your caddy! There are no carts for the players, but the clubs are on a cart that runs on a track around the course. The cool thing is that the carts can steer themselves!! Our caddy was a female, and while she would ride the cart a little bit, more often she would just push a button on her belt and the cart would start up, drive along the track, and then stop at the right spot. I was entranced with this little auto-pilot display throughout the entire 18 holes. Totally cool.
There was a pit stop after the fourth and 14 holes. Steamed wet towels and a quick beer later, we are back on our feet. Lunch between the front and back nine was udon noodles and a big mug of beer and then back out we traipsed.
I think I did pretty good for never having golfed before. I ended the day at double par, 144. 74 on the front, 70 on the back. I did have a couple nice drives and a great putt, so I was happy. Everyone agreed the greens were extremely fast at this course, which only made me feel better about my score.
The real fun started that night though. We all stayed at a local inn run by another member of Hishida’s flock. We checked in and headed straight for the bath.
Japanese make a big deal out of baths. They are often a group affair, occasionally coed, but usually not. I did go to one coed onsen once but was extremely disappointed when the only women there were about 80 years old and shaped like bowling balls.
The bath at this inn was normal: a bunch of little "stalls" with a faucet and shower head on a hose, soap, shampoo, and mirror. Each station also had a little stool to sit on and a bucket to splash with. There was also a hot water pool, a cool water pool, and an outdoor pool. Everyone also gets a small towel about the size of a hand towel that you can hold in front of you to keep people from either oogling your manhood or cackling at your lack thereof.
Japanese baths are not for washing in; they are for soaking in. You must first rinse your body before getting in so you don’t bring a bunch of sweat, grease, and blood with you and pollute the water. After soaking for a bit, you get out and wash up, then get back in a soak for some more. Some baths also have a stream of falling water that is nice to sit under and get a natural falling water massage on the shoulders. Don’t let the water hit you on the face though. Eyelids are not a very effective defense against falling water pounding your eyeballs.
After bathing, we hustled back to our room and donned the yukata, a Japanese style robe. Mine of course was a touch too small, but what the hell was I supposed to do? Thusly attired and knees sticking out, we trundled off to dinner.
Dinner rocked. A full-course Japanese dinner, complete with sashimi, sukiyaki and of course, rice. We all sat in a large horseshoe on the floor with little floor chairs to prop our backs on. Dinner was served on these neat little tv-tray like stands. At the open end of the horseshoe was stage that later served as ground central for the singing and shouting that no Japanese party is complete without. While we were starting, one guy who served as MC talked about what a great day it was and how lucky we were to be able to enjoy golf. We were all drinking and having a grand time.
Then they handed out awards. There was best score, best score w/ handicap, longest putt, closest to the pin, and other such awards. I was recipient of one of the two most interesting awards. I don’t know if this is a peculiar Japanese award or not, but the second to last person gets the boo-bee (bewbie?) award. The winner and the second-to-the-last person get the two biggest awards actually. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the boo-bee award; I got the may-kah (maker) award for being last. I, in effect, enabled or "made" the boo-bee winner get their position and was awarded duly.
But the real fun started at the after-dinner party. We all went downstairs to the lounge for more karaoke and drinking. We had only beer and sake for dinner and now they switched into whisky mode. Whisky & Water is popular among them, but I prefer straight on the rocks.
The interesting thing about this is that Japanese people act according to the situation. The special deal about this second party is that it is a time designated as totally informal, no-holds-barred type of thing. Usually people are very careful about what they say and do, but in the after hours party, every thing that happens there stays there. People really let loose and it is crazy.
Most people were in their forties and were pretty straight and serious up to this point. I saw one lady doing a semi-strip tease for the guys, not really showing it all, but behaving in a way you would never see outside of this type of party. I was content to sit in the corner and get smashed as quietly as possible, but they kept dragging me out to dance.
This one lady was pretty small, so I picked her up and swung her around like a little kid. She clamped her legs around my waist like a bull rider, and started bucking like she was full of electricity. I have to admit it caused a flurry of circus activity down there and I had to quickly sit down to conceal the tent pole.
I was absolutely amazed at the difference in behavior among these people. It was like the switch for "college behavior" was turned on when they stepped into the lounge. I was very comfortable with it all, as I felt that I was finally able to interact without fear of causing a bad impression or offending someone.
It really was cool; it felt like a bunch of Americans, in a way. The next morning of course though, no one said anything about it. What happens there, stays there. The most you could say was how much fun it was, but it is taboo to bring up specifics or even comment on behavior in general.
All in all, a very fun and educational time. Although I have lived here for over 2 years all together and live with a Japanese woman, the way the Japanese think and act is still somewhat mysterious to me. But I do know that no matter how differently people think and behave, we are all similar at the end of that day. We all like to have fun with friends, and that is something you can take to the bank.