Archive for December, 2002

precursor to a mental revolution

Tuesday, December 31st, 2002 at about 9:18 pm

precursor to a mental revolution

New Year’s Eve. I’m miserable. It’s my own fault, but at least I’m kind of happy in my own self destruction. Some people only smile when they’re in pain. I’ve got nothing else to do, so I’m going to expel my trouble to the screen. I’ll probably lose focus half way through, but let’s give it a go anyway.

It starts last Wednesday, Christmas. I broke my CD player. It’s not unsalvageable, but now I’ve got to hold or tape it closed to keep it from popping open. For some reason this really got me down. I think I was mad at myself for breaking it. It wasn’t purposeful, but my conscious blamed my subconscious for the error. My sister wanted one like mine for Christmas, so I told my parents I’d deal with it, since I know what I’m looking at. So I got one for her that’s like mine but better. I think I was complaining about this or something, and I realize how stupid that is, so I was mad at myself for complaining. Then I broke mine, so I’m yelling at myself even more because now it looks like I broke mine just to justify getting myself a new one. My subconscious is petty that way. Anyway, in this way such a little incident became a big deal in my mind.

Compounding it was the fact that I was fearing my return trip to New Jersey. I was excited, in many ways, because I wanted to see my old friends and my old town. But I was also dreading returning to all the shit I left behind. I didn’t burn bridges, but there were plenty of relationships that I really didn’t want to have to deal with. One of the benefits of moving was that I could wipe the whole slate clean; the bad went out along with the good. And the bad I never had to look at again. Going back was going to reintroduce some of the bad. Not just relationships, but dreadfully familiar situations as well.

While in New Jersey things actually went rather well. Most of my inhibitions and fears were unfounded. There were, however, a few instances when a lot of pain came rushing back to me in a cerebral flood of anguish. Again, it was mostly in my head, but that doesn’t make it any less real. Case in point: We had a small party on Friday night. While it was nice to see many of the people who I did not otherwise see during my visit, it wasn’t all fun and games. There were a bunch of things that went terribly wrong for me, personally, but I’ll just highlight one of them.

I’ve got this friend, Diane. It’s so sad, the way she attracts guys. It’s not her fault, and it’s not really our fault, either, but it’s still painful to watch us making our pathetic plays for her affection, however unaware we are of doing so. Diane and I sort of dated (if you could call it that, perhaps it doesn’t even justify that name) about a year and a half ago. We broke up, and a few months later she started going with one of my best friends, Adam. It doesn’t even bother me that much; if she had to go out with someone I’m actually rather glad it was him. Before school started this year, back in late August, she dumped him. They’re still attracted to one another, though, but I’ll get into that later. At this party on Friday night, Adam and I, and Brian, too, were all making plays for her (with varying levels of subtlety). I realized this about half-way through the night. The effect she has on the guys she knows (or at least some of them) showed itself all too well.

This alone would not be so bad, or at least it would have begun fading from my mind by now. But then I tried talking to Adam tonight, and Diane was there. They’re spending New Years together. She never stopped liking him (this much I knew long before tonight, surprisingly enough I’m still quite close to her and talk to her a lot), and he most definitely never stopped being in love with her.

This all just hits me at a time when I’d rather not be dealing with it. Not tonight. It’s not enough that I’m at home because I’ve got no place else to go; I see the two people who I wouldn’t expect to be spending tonight together with one another, as if to prove how sad it is that I’m sitting here at home.

So there’s the climax to my little pile of misery. Laid out like that, it doesn’t even seem worth it. But it’s so much easier to be unhappy than it is to be cheerful.

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by tom

�oom

Tuesday, December 31st, 2002 at about 6:36 pm

�oom

Ah, the end of winter break. I spent an hour this morning doing some of the Chem review, but I’ve still got two chapters left. Shouldn’t take me more than 45 minutes to finish up (I hope). My dad woke me up at 9:15 this morning. I had finally settled into the rhythm of going to bed at 1 and getting up at 10:30, and now I’ve got to reverse it. 6:30 tomorrow morning that alarm is going off, so I’d better go to bed soon enough to get some sleep. There are a few advantages to getting up earlier, though. It’s only 11:40 and already I’ve helped take down the Christmas tree, did that Chemistry stuff, and eaten breakfast. It’s just one thing after another.

I have absolutely nothing to say. It’s odd, usually I have some reason (however simple) to post, but now I’m doing it solely to kill some time. I think I’ll go eat. It probably isn’t a good habit, to eat when I’m bored, but no matter. I’ll deal with that once I grow up.

So that’s that, then.

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by tom

the killing fields

Saturday, December 28th, 2002 at about 10:59 pm

the killing fields

I’m posting from Max’s house. I’m staying with him for a few days here in New Jersey. I’m having a good time, overall. We threw a party last night; it was a good time. Nothing spectacular, and I didn’t really hit it off with any of the non-Long Hill kids my friends have met at high school who were there, but still I had fun. At the very least I’m glad we had it just so I could see a couple of people who otherwise I wouldn’t have.

Today we went to see Lord of the Rings. It was still good the second time. I’m not sure how entertaining it’ll be a third round, but I get the sense that before break is over I’m going to find out. I mean, I may as well, although I think I’ll only go if it’s a good outing in social terms.

I went to Adam’s house for the night so we could hang out a little. I also saw his mom (my 7th grade social studies teacher), which was nice. We went outside and played around in the snow for a while. We got out his dad’s old golf clubs and were taking swings at pieces of ice for a while; that was great fun. Max isn’t home, and neither are his parents. His little sister and her friend are here, though. We were all watching The Man Show for a while, then I got on the computer to talk to some people online and write this. They kept right on watching the next episode, though, despite near-constant talk about how disgusting it was. I think the sister’s friend (Emily her name is?) is sleeping over. She just walked into the living room with boxers and a t-shirt on. Whatever, she’s 13.

Although I’m having a good time here, I do have the occasional pang of painful memory. Perhaps that isn’t the right term for it. More so I just think, “What am I doing here?” It’s partly self-induced. I’m weaving this fantastic story of the tragic teenage boy who I am not. To this end, the phrase “They come here to die.” has been flashing to mind more and more frequently lately. I’m not sure why. At first it was only when it was appropriate, like in association with a nursing home or hospital - somewhere where people really do tend to die. But it’s also the animals that move and migrate and travel great distances to the burial grounds. I’ll tell you what it isn’t, though. It isn’t the 15 year old who slowly loses his sanity self-respect; who spirals downward into a never-ending cycle of depression and imaginary addiction; who gasps little breaths of life. The boy who makes it back home before he dies, going out in a brilliant explosion of self-pity.

It�s great fun to look back over what I wrote and see the slant it�s given. I�m the one who put it there, but completely unintentionally. It just comes off wrong. One of the marks of good writing is that it actually says what the author intends. Or is it? Maybe not. Perhaps so long as it says something interesting, it doesn�t matter what the fuck the author was thinking. I�ll have to give that a little more thought. Anyway, in this particular case looking back over the post shows how strange the end of the 3rd paragraph is: �Whatever, she�s 13.� What the fuck does that mean?

Anyway, it�s getting late. I slept late today (which actually wasn�t wise, since I had about 4 minutes to jump out of bed and get ready to go see Lord of the Rings at noon), and I�ll sleep relatively late tomorrow, but I�m a little tired. Until next time…

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by tom

Wednesday, December 25th, 2002 at about 1:18 pm

a bunch of posts have disappeared, specifically those between the 22nd and 24th. AND THEY’RE NEVER COMING BACK.

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by tom

sweet surrender, and i’m out of here

Wednesday, December 25th, 2002 at about 1:15 pm

sweet surrender, and i’m out of here

DAMNIT! I spent about 8 hours (literally) getting this page to be all pretty in Opera, Mozilla, and Internet Explorer, and what happens today? Cordelia IMs me and can’t see what I’m writing. Well FUCK IT. I’ll pick something nice and bland from Blogskins.com and leave it at that. Humph.

I can’t stay mad, though, because it’s Christmas. If there’s one day out of the year that no one should be allowed to be angry on, it’s today. So I’m listening to my new Less than Jake CD’s and delighting in material wealth, but trying not to have too much fun. This holiday, after all, is not about materiality. Or it wasn’t, I’m not so sure anymore.

The snow from last night has covered everything with a cleansing layer of white. I want to go drive to an emply parking lot and try to spin out in the snow, but I’m not sure if that’s going to happen. Me going, that is. Regardless, I’m just enjoying myself. Tomorrow, early, I leave for New Jersey. I won’t be back until Monday, late. It should be a good time, I’m staying with friends. We’re going to par-tay and be bored together for a few days. I’ve barely talked to some people since I’ve left 5 months ago. It’s time to go remind myself of where I’ve come from. So while I’m going taking shots of intravenous nostalgia, you all take care of yourselves. Merry Christmas.

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by tom

good show!

Saturday, December 21st, 2002 at about 11:50 pm

good show!

I use a hitcounter on this page (you can see it at the very bottom of the posts). It also gathers some information, such as browser, OS, etc. I don’t want to spy on you, I’m just curious. I also need to know what browsers people are using to ensure that you can actually read this page. Anyway, here’s the browser share chart:

browser share

Much to my surprise, Macintosh has the greatest share! This is because the different OSes aren’t differentiated between as the various flavors of Windows are, but that isn’t even my point. What fascinates me is that more of you out there in readerland use some version of Linux or Unix than Windows ME! This surprises me, but in a very pleasant way. I’m thrilled to see that people are embracing open source OSes, especially in favor of WinME, which is one of the more wretched versions of Windoze.

OK, that’s enough of that rant. However, I’m not done ranting about semi-technical stuff yet. I have decided that this layers thing isn’t worth it, as Mozilla and Opera do horrible things to the page. And any web designer worth his salt should be able to write pages with reasonable cross-browser support. So I’m going to revert to Iframes, which work much better but unfortunately require two separate web pages. Now, I could have both these pages on BlogSpot (two free blogs), but then there’s be this weird ad in the middle of the page as well as on top. So I need a place to host that other page. Much to my dismay, free webspace has all but disappeared from this, our beloved Interent. My ISP still gives me some, but out of what I can only assume is security paranoia does not allow FTP transfers from servers not on their network. So unless I, personally, upload something, it doesn’t let it through. Hence, Blogger won’t publish. They say if you want a job done right, you’ve got to do it yourself. Well, in this case I think they’re right. There’s nowhere I can find that’ll host my poor Blog for free, ad-free, so I’ll host it myself. My internet connection isn’t much, but it should do. This page doesn’t get that much traffic. So over the next day or so I’m going to re-write the template and start publishing to my own server. The URL won’t change, however. I’m just going to redirect all visitors from anotherwastedday.blogspot.com to the new address (which will be something like wiltz.serveftp.com/blog/blog.html”) automatically. The net result of all this will be A) A prettier page B) Much more freedom for me in terms of development and publishing C) No more ads (yay!) D) Possibly slower load speeds. So I need a little help. If, after the switch (and I’ll tell you when it’s actually made, of course) the page is loading too slowly, you must let me know. I can always go back to BlogSpot, if I really need to.

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by tom

the leaders of tomorrow

Saturday, December 21st, 2002 at about 10:30 pm

the leaders of tomorrow

My cousin is in serious, serious need of some direction:

JTCracker420: can you think of any weird or funny just weird or strange names off hand?
musicalfrootloop: Porky.
JTCracker420: any others?
musicalfrootloop: uh, Token?
JTCracker420: any others?
musicalfrootloop: nope
JTCracker420: k
JTCracker420: trying to think of name for bong bong
musicalfrootloop: you’re going to name it?
JTCracker420: of course!
JTCracker420: evry piece has got to have a name
musicalfrootloop: all right

But hey, maybe I’m just too ignorant of pot culture to appreciate it.

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by tom

why didn’t we see this coming?

Saturday, December 21st, 2002 at about 10:11 pm

why didn’t we see this coming?

Lying on the floor, staring at the ceiling, wondering what I’m doing, way too much or far too little feeling. 5/7/9 more days and I’m still drowning, my face may be still numb, but I’m still frowning. Psyched for that next 5 seconds, focus starts to fade. Rescue squad comes, when hope arrives it’s gray.

That made sense writing it sporadically listening to music, but when this song is over and I got back and read it it’s going to seem absolutely ridiculous. Put on Weezer’s “The Sweater Song” and talk to people online while you’re reading it (slowly), and maybe you’ll find the beat I was going on.

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by tom

now, with calcium

Saturday, December 21st, 2002 at about 5:21 pm

now, with calcium

There we are, the new layout is up. It’s obviously got a few rough edges. That isn’t so obvious for those of you who use Internet Explorer, because that actually manages to do a very good job of displaying most web pages. But the 25% of you using Netscape will notice the extraneous space at the bottom of the page. Ignore it. I would just get rid of the scroll bar on the side of the page so you wouldn’t even be tempted to look down there, except, *gasp*, the only browser that supports scrollbar removal is Internet Explorer! Which, of course, doesn’t have any problems in the first place. It might not be ethical, but monopoly does wonders for compatibility.

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by tom

circus act

Friday, December 20th, 2002 at about 11:50 pm

circus act

I apologize for the recent haitus, I’ve been devoting nearly all my time on the computer to developing this new skin. All the work is going into finding a way to make the javascript backend work properly. At this point I could have it working, except it would have to be running off of my machine here, and my internet connection isn’t really fast enough to be doing true server duties. So instead of going with iframes, as originally planned, I’m going to go with a one-page layout, like normal. However, getting the layers to do the same thing that the iframe did is proving remarkably difficult.

Winter break is upon us! Today was the last day of school for this year. I had a Chem test and an in class Eurasia essay, but neither are worth complaining or talking about. We got out earlier than normal school days, but yet not as early as a shortened day. It wound up only being an hour before normal. I went home and sat around for a few hours, had dinner, and then went to the Solo Mono/I.O.A./Cardiac Arrest show. It was a really good show, all the bands had something to offer, I got into the music, and it wasn’t too long. I had a disposable camera that I had taken a few pictures with during school with me, so I took some pictures during the show. Ryan, same kid who was stoned last show, was drunk this one. After the show a bunch of people were outside, and he was leaning against the wall of the building next to a puddle of vomit. It wasn’t too pleasant; but then, it shouldn’t have been.

Tomorrow I’ve got a bunch of things I want to do. Have some Christmas shopping that still needs doing, particularly for my sister. I think I’ll watch Fight Club again. Other than that, though, I guess I really don’t have anything planned. Oh, the blessed uneventfulness of vacation. It’s a tight rope walk, happenstance. Too little, you suffocate of boredome, too much and you’ll drown, overwhelmed.

I’m listening to “The Future Freaks Me Out,” by Motion City Soundtrack. Because it does, and thus far the only way I’ve dealth with it is denial. But hey, whatever works. And now I’m on to “Can’t Stop” by Red Hot Chilli Peppers, which has a few great lines in it that force me to listen through the rest of the song.

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by tom