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Blockhead's Journal

30th July, 2001. 6:16 pm.

I like flipping quarters. Sometimes I do it at work for minutes on end. Its fun. I didnt get a lot done today. I got in late (and stayed late to make up), had a meeting, chatted with Frenche, coldstarted my system (which takes a long time) to load a different version of the software so that I could test the foreign language stuff. Just not very productive. I did close out a couple of bugs, though. And I called the mechanic to take the Chrysler in tomorrow. One down, one to go. Tonight is my drawring class. I dont feel much like going, but I dont want to skip, either. I wonder what kind of class I really want to take. That ECPI stuff didnt work out. This drawring thing, though completely different, isnt quite as fun as I expected, either. Well, its only the third week. No, fourth week. I missed once b/c of sunburn. Ouch. Miss J is supposed to get back into town tomorrow. I think Ill ax her does she want to get some (vegan) pizza. Im reading To Kill A Mockingbird again. I love that book. At the Halloween party this year, were supposed to dress as characters from books. I think Ill go as Atticus.

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25th July, 2001. 11:05 pm.

The Boston Notes

The following are musings I jotted down while on vacation in Boston in May of this year.

05.22.2001, about 18:00
First impression: Boston smells funny. Its kinda like soup. Its especially bad at the airport. Not so bad out here in Brookline, but still noticeable.
Its raining; not bad. A little cooler than I expected. I packed mostly short-sleeve shirts (80s in NC). Ill have to buy some cheap sweaters somewhere. Craig & Pam coming to pick me up so we can go to dinner. Im hungry.

05.23, 12:30, in front of Fanuil Hall
Last night had dinner with Pam & Craig at Zaftigs Deli. They serve breakfast all day, so I had granola pancakes cause Id never had them before. Too much granola. Quincy Market is alright. Went to this little shop called Wacky World. The guy who worked there seemed to be a bit odd. He seemed to have the personality of a kid, although he was in his late 20s (appeared). I bought this watch with an alien face on it. It wasnt running, and the directions were in French. The guy knew some French, but no enough. He didnt know how to do a return. He called his boss (she was somewhere else in the Market). She didnt answer, so he closed the shop and we walked over to where she wasa kiosk. I didnt mind b/c it was becoming entertaining. She said she would do the return. He was like, Ill stay here and watch the kiosk while you do that. She said, No, honey, you have to learn.

05.23, 14:43
I cant believe its only 2:43. I have walked so much today. Im very tired. Im in a big Borders bookstore, sitting in the caf, giving my feet a break. The building must have been a hotel at some point. The front of it is like a big lobby, the ceiling is like three stories high. I can see across the street. Some of these buildings are beautifulparticularly this sand-colored one in the middle of my view. But they are so close together! And tall. Man-made canyons for sure. How did they build them? Theres no room in between for cranes and stuff. I like that nice, new businesses are in old buildings. It would be nice if downtown Greensboro was a little like this.
I dont know why people bother to drive through here. There is no place to park. Its the only place Ive ever been thats actually hostile towards cars.
What have I bought so far? One of those Russian dolls-in-dolls things--patrovnas? Some cool socks for Rachel (they have flames on them), a cheapo watch form Discovery Channel Store, a Nick Drake CD, two possibly bootlegged Jackie Chan videos (one in which he plays a villain!), a hooded sweatshirt with Boston on it in (from a cute Slavic girl).
I went into Filenes Basement looking for a sweater. Joelle would have a field day. It was alright, but I wasnt really in the mood to shop for clothes. And Bargain Alley was actually frightening. There are all these troughs full of drastically reduced clothes, and people are crowded around them, shifting through the ferments at a hectic pace. And there seemed to be thousands of them. I was scared. It didnt help that all the signs had superfluous quotations marks. MISSES SPORTSWEAR. MENS TIES. Why the quotation marks? Are we unsure if its really sportswear? Or were they sarcastic quotation marks? Like, Oh yeah, this is some sportswear. Right. As it was, it leant an unreal quality to the already surreal place. That combined synergistically with the hecticness and my preexisting psychological aversion to retail spaces (they make me depressed with prolonged exposure), and I had to get out.
I feel hot.
Two people have asked me for directions, so I guess I come off savvy enough. Ive got my big city game face on.
Name for a rock band: Tomorrow, The World!
for a Mexican restaurant: Tamale, The World!

Friday, 05.25, about 11:30
Its sunny today! If the breeze dies down it may actually be warm. Today Im headed for the Natural History Museum at Harvard. I was in the area yesterday, but was distracted by all the shops at/near Harvard Square. I spent a lot of time and a lot of footsteps searching for gifts for J, C, P &C, but to no avail.

14:44, inside the Border Caf, Cambridge
The nice weather has prevailed. I went to the HNHM, starting with the Peabody (in Bostonese it sounds like peebiddy). I enjoyed the P. less than expected, not least of all b/c the Mayan stuff scared the shit out of me. I couldnt go into the room with all the huge stellae. Thats too bad, b/c I find that stuff very interesting when its on TV or in a magazine. You could just tell those were images of the gods that oversaw all that cutting hearts out of people, and they still looked hungry.
The service here is fast, but the salsa is too mild. They mix Mexican and Southern Louisianan cuisine here. This veggie jambalaya looks delicious.

15:18, still in the Border Caf
It was delicious!
I really dont know what to do next. Tomorrow I want to visit the Fine Arts Museum. Tonight Im doing something (movie?) with los Baileys. Since its so nice out, maybe Ill just find a spot to sit and read.
Maybe I will find the other gifts at the museum shop tomorrow. I will be ready to rest on Sunday. I think Ill drinkI forgot about the Sam Adams Brewery! Then go to the park on Monday.

Saturday, 05.26, 16:00, on the Green Line (D Train)
The MFA was very impressive. I saw most of it, but I was so exhausted that I had to skip the Indian exhibit, and most of the Chinese. The MFA satisfied my archaeological interests much more than the Peabody. I almost went to the Sam Adams Brewery, but Im just too tired. Got off the train at Park and started to walk around downtown, but there were too many people with clipboards, petitions and tracts. Now Im going back to Brookline where I hope to get some good dinner, then back to the dorm, maybe some TV, and bed.

Brookline, 16:30
Now Im at Baja Better Burritos in Brookline, having the hugest burrito Ive ever seen. Its very good. They have about 30 different hot sauces along the wall. Unfortunately, they are all epoxy-ed to the shelf.

[back to the present]
Thats where it ends. Yeah, its kind of anti-climactic, but another good opportunity to sit down and write didnt present itself on the trip. Obviously I did a lot more than is recorded here. I had fun. Id definitely spend another day at the Museum of Fine Arts, and Id like to sample more restaurants next time Im there.

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24th July, 2001. 9:41 pm.

Yesterday I had jury duty. I sat in the Guilford County courthouse all day. It was boring. I never got called to hear a case. I read a lot of "Sundiver" and then went home.

I agreed to go to Emerald Point with some people from work, but you know, I really don't want to. I don't like amusement parks, and this is a water park, which just makes it wetter and more uncomfortable. So I'm gonna back out. I don't know if people will get mad or not. But I know I'd be bored and mad if I went, so...

Saw Philly Dave at the coffee shop tonight. He said that you can meet lots of women at the Clubhouse, so we're gonna go there Friday night. I've driven by there during the day (it's not far from work) and it looked really sports-bar-y, but I checked with Cyn and she says it's cool.

Joelle is coming back from Maine earlier than planned; next tuesday, in fact. I think she was bored and not getting along with her coworkers.

I've had two different dreams about girls I know getting pregnant (not by me). One was pregnant and was going to get an abortion. She was really nonchalant about it. That one was really freaky. It make me feel scared and uneasy; so much so that I woke up and didn't get back to sleep for a little while. In the other dream, a girl I know at work was pregnant (she's engaged in RL and the dream), everybody knew about it, but when I mentioned it in some conversation, she got really pissed at me. What is going on in my subconcious?

Why is there nothing to drink in this house?

Make Notes

22nd July, 2001. 9:07 am.

Damn Im moody this morning. How moody am I? I just had the urge to put on Kid A, thats how moody I am. Its nearly nine a.m. as I write this. I better get in the shower and get to church. That usually makes me feel better. This afternoon I want to clean the Chrysler so it wont look like complete crap when it goes to the mechanic. I hope Phillip can get some good use out of that car. And if Walt doesnt want the truck, Im just having it hauled off and junked. Having those two little burdens out of my life will be good.

Ive been hanging at College Hill Sundries lately. A couple of Friday nights ago, I met this girl there who was from my hometown. No kidding. She was very cool. But this past Friday it was kind of slow. Last night I slept b/c I got maybe two hours sleep Friday night. Im starting to wonder if I shouldnt take some kind of class on how to make small talk with people. I totally suck at that. Like, Friday night, saw a really cute girl sitting with another cute girl, and had no idea how to start any kind of conversation with her, felt it would be just too rude to butt in on their conversation, etc. But had no trouble at all talking to this guy bout Gnostics, Orthodoxy and spiritual searching. And when I chatted with Cybil there a couple weeks ago, we got onto the death penalty and other topics of import. Big talk, okay; small talk, cant do it.
And I'm terrible with names. I've taken to writing them down. Here is my list of the people in my Drawing Basics class, jotted down hastily during class:
Steve -- teacher
Bill -- glasses (also he looks nerdy, but at the time I felt it would be rude to write that down)
Sil -- Japanese (?) lady (she's very talkative, which is, I understand, unusual in Japanese women, so in that respect she reminds me of Kyo [Kyo, where are you?!])
Alexis -- dignified
Steve -- white beard and glasses
Yura [sp?] -- asian girl
(S)Hong La (or Lu?) -- asian boy
Melissa -- pretty!
Lisa -- hippy hair

Make Notes

22nd July, 2001. 7:48 am.

I can't seem to get over the fact that a certain (ex)friend has just dropped all communication with me, with no explanation whatsoever. I know I should just let it go. That's what I've tried to do, but I keep wondering what's going on. I'm not mad, I'm not even particularly sad, but last night I had a dream about it, so I know that my obsessive/worrying side has locked onto it.

Last Saturday I went up to Hanging Rock, hiked for quite a while (took the long trail to Wolf Rock), then decided to relax by the lake, applied sunblock unevenly and got a pretty bad sunburn. So I spent a lot of time on the couch, just really tired. That wasn't fun.

Friday I went to Subway for dinner right after work. I just don't like spending time in my apartment these days. There's nothing to do here, and when I stay here very long I just waste time. After Subway I went across the street to Tate Steet Coffee and read for a while. Cybil came in and I talked to her for a few minutes until she went to work. I'm reading "Sundiver" by David Brin now. It's good so far. Eventually I went to B&N to meet Ron and we went to see "Scary Movie 2," which SUCKED. Ron had already seen it once. I don't get that. I've tried watching some of these gross-out, "envelope-pushing" flicks now, and I've decided I'm not going to watch any more of them. They're gross and not funny. I remember laughing my ass off at "There's Something About Mary," but all the ones that have followed have given me some shallow laughs paired with queasiness.

My new neighbor moved in next door yesterday ("next door" being the other apartment on the first floor of this house). His name is Steve. He just graduated from Guilford College here in Greensboro. Seems like a nice guy. Lynn (upstairs neighbor) had talked about having some kind of house party back when Diane was next door. I wonder if she'd still be up for that. I'd like to have a party.

later, y'all

Make Notes

4th July, 2001. 8:43 am.

So I've seen some of the "Real World" megamarathon on MTV this past week. And, aside from crushing again on that hot redhead from the Seatle show, I've cringed at how these people make these sweeping personal revelations to each other, and the WORLD. Don't these people have any boundaries? Don't they keep any thoughts or feelings inside their own heads?
Of course, part of the reason that they do it is b/c of the age they are, and another part is b/c they're on TV.
But I realized something else. The "Real World" house is the pop-cultural equivalent of a Baptist Summer Camp. No, think about it. Did you ever go to a church camp? You were there for two reasons: to have fun, and to "grow spiritually." What's the party line about why people are on "The Real World?" They want to learn about other people, have new experiences, become more "open minded," etc. The Mormon Girl on the New Orleans show sought cultural/racial-diversity enlightenment like it was a holy quest. I mean, she CRIED about it. And plenty of other characters--er, I mean, participants--went on and on about it.
So here you have these people on a highly emotional, quasi-religious, very self-concious trip. It's politically correct church camp. It really is.

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28th June, 2001. 5:15 pm.

Hey folks! Well, today was a good day at work. I got a little stuff done. We found some bugs. Mike (my coworker these past few weeks) is getting moved to his own project, which is good for him. Mike is cool. I like working by myself, though. Well, I get more done when I'm by myself. I hope I am not just antisocial. That is one of my big fears. Luis may be working with me for the next few days. My project has already gone to a limited field trial, and in the next few weeks, it will be installed at 30+ sites in Canada. So, unless some big problems turn up during that field trial, things will slow down and I'll work on a different project for about three weeks.
We get next Wednesdday off for Fourth of July, and I'm taking Thursday and Friday as vacation days. Cyn, Rachel, Ellis and I (and maybe Ron) might do a picnic or cookout on Wednesday.
Sometime over the weekend I plan to drive down to the beach, like Atlantic Beach or maybe even Myrtle (depending how I feel about crowds at the time).

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26th June, 2001. 6:10 pm.

Hey, y'all.

I'm kinda back. Not full time, but the journal is kinda fun.

What's up? Still working at Marconi. Broke my truck, got a Saturn, which is very cool (good gas mileage! park anywhere you want!). coming soon i'll be buying ad space for our church's big annual festival. that makes me feel responsible and grownup.

Hope everyone has been well while I was away.

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25th June, 2001. 1:47 pm.

um...what's up? where are all the people?

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23rd June, 2001. 12:34 am.

Hello is there anybody out there?

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