:: ln m ::

the natural log of m
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:: Wednesday, February 26, 2003 ::

I like to believe that things are never as bad as they seem. Somehow, smiling through troubling times seems to be a natural reaction for me. When I break things down to that which is truly important, I realize all the blessings in my life. Which is why I can't fathom how people can choose to end their lives. How is it that people decide that tomorrow isn't worth living for?

What brought all of this on? I read an article in the newspaper today about a French Chef who committed suicide, even though they gave him 3 stars.

I read a article once which said that people who share their lhoughts with others are happier... because those that don't tend to believe no one understands them and feels isolated. I have a feeling that's what happened to the French chef, as the friends and family said he seemed really distant for the past few weeks.

I can hear the rain falling outside. I love the sound of the falling rain. There's just something relaxing about hearing the steady rhythm of falling water droplets.

Can you believe it's almost March? As far as years go, it's been a bad first two months... but I'm hopeful for the future.


:: m 2/26/2003 10:58:00 PM [+] :: [..::::..]
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:: Thursday, February 20, 2003 ::
I envy my sister, who dropped all her classes for the semester. I miss the carefree days that one can have as a student. It seems like I've been working forever. I saw the clear night sky, sprinkled with stars yesterday, and stared into the magnificence for a moment , thinking "The stars seem brighter tonight".

:: m 2/20/2003 08:22:00 AM [+] :: [..::::..]
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:: Wednesday, February 19, 2003 ::
exhausted.

:: m 2/19/2003 09:26:00 PM [+] :: [..::::..]
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:: Tuesday, February 18, 2003 ::
it's not fair. the nice days are always the ones I have to go to work...

:: m 2/18/2003 07:50:00 AM [+] :: [..::::..]
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:: Monday, February 17, 2003 ::
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?

-- W.B. Yeats, "The Second Coming"


:: m 2/17/2003 08:46:00 PM [+] :: [..::::..]
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:: Sunday, February 16, 2003 ::
Just saw a commercial for the Homeland Security Program ... very eerie.

:: m 2/16/2003 11:40:00 PM [+] :: [..::::..]
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I'm sick again and my stomach is a bottomless pit.

:: m 2/16/2003 01:24:00 PM [+] :: [..::::..]
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:: Saturday, February 15, 2003 ::
I would like to say that I spent a nice quiet evening reading and writing, but that would be a lie.

I went out to eat at a sushi restaurant with the other single Nor Cal Celica members in Sunnyvale (aka Singles' Night) Then we Karaoke'd for three hours before doing a short cruise and calling it a night. Much fun was had. It would have sucked if it rained. It was nice to be able to just be carefree and with friends if only for a night.


:: m 2/15/2003 02:32:00 AM [+] :: [..::::..]
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:: Wednesday, February 12, 2003 ::
My sisters and I usually chat over AIM and go over our Gold Box Items together, poking fun at the items that Amazon randomizes for us. Since I don't see them on, and I don't want to miss the opportunity to get some wonderful treasure...(sarcasm) so I started a new blog on the Amazon Goldbox. By the way, if you want to take part as part of the Gold Box Experiment team (basically post what you get in your goldbox), let me know.

:: m 2/12/2003 10:19:00 PM [+] :: [..::::..]
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What is it about the rain that makes Californians drive like complete idiots? Things that really tick me off about drivers in the rain:
+ people who slow down too much
+ people who don't slow down enough
+ people who drift into lanes without signalling
+ people who drive with their high beams on all the time
+ people who tailgate

Today's the kind of day where I just want to just sit in my chair listening to the rainfall, while drinking hot chocolate and curling up with a good book.


:: m 2/12/2003 10:07:00 PM [+] :: [..::::..]
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The rains started yesterday. I knew it would still be raining when I awoke this morning. The rain's going to last all week.

Work is taking us to see the Daredevil movie on Friday. I was never a big fan of Daredevil when I was a kid. I always preferred the X-Men or Spider-Man rather than Daredevil. The interesting thing about the classic Marvel Superheroes is that in the wake of the nuclear dangers, most of their origins were due to radioactivity in some form or another. Until the idea of mutants came along (which saved the writers from always coming up with gamma rays or radioactive spiders). Anyways, it ought to be interesting, as it'll be the first movie in a while where I won't be comparing it to the original work. The classic Marvel Superheroes were all based around New York and the East Coast. The Fantastic Four have a building on Baxter Street, Spider-Man and Daredevil patrol NYC. I think the X-Men are in Massachusetts.

I went up to fill up at the pump yesterday, and it's $2.17 a gallon now for premium unleaded. We're all just waiting for the bombs to drop now. When I was in High School, I read some of the prophecies of Nostradamus. This was back during the Gulf War (yes, another sign of my age -- where were you when the Gulf War started?) and the media had labeled Saddam as the Anti-christ. Now the interesting thing about the prophesies is that you can interpret them anyway you like, but the quatrain that always fascinated me was century 10, quatrain 72:
The year 1999, seventh month,
From the sky will come a great King of Terror.
To bring back to life the great King of Mongols,
Before and after Mars to reign by good luck.

This of course, refers to Bush's announcement of canidacy for President (which happened in June of 1999) but by July, in his campaign speeches, he was already calling himself president. It also refers to his past as part of the Texas air national guard. As well as a conflict in Asia (North Korea, anyone?). I'm not sure what the 4th line in the quatrain means... you'll need someone more versed in astrology to give you that answer, I think. Mars could refer to the the God of War, but it could also refer to a astrological position. Maybe it's Bush who is the Anti-christ, not Saddam...


:: m 2/12/2003 08:42:00 AM [+] :: [..::::..]
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:: Monday, February 10, 2003 ::
I taught tonight, and during some writing exercises for my student, there was a reference to Ronald Reagan and his fondness for jellybeans. My student, not having been born back during Reagan's presidency, didn't know who that was. I've never felt so old in my life, since it feels like yesterday we were watching history take place.

:: m 2/10/2003 09:45:00 PM [+] :: [..::::..]
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Alias: I started laughing when Syd was racing through the streets of "Zurich" (looks a lot like So Cal to me) in the Ford Focus. Of course, a few seconds later, they show the SVT badge on the back of the Focus. The SVT Focus has 170hp and supposedly better handling, but it's still a Focus. If I had 20k to spend on a car, it wouldn't be the Focus SVT. The Focus SVT, by the way, is a manual only car, so either Syd was driving in one gear the entire time, or was shifting off camera, or the only thing SVT about that Focus was the badge. I'm sure it's the latter since they do have a stunt driver. Every car that Syd passes is a mid-size Volvo or Volks and the footage is cut such that they use the same 10 cars. Not only that, but shouldn't the cell phone they took from the guy have the last incoming calls anyways? Ok, enough nitpicking. I'm glad to see Marshall and Dixon back in the show though. It also appears that we have returned to the Rambaldi story arc. What did they do? Read my blog? Ha. I must be having delusions of grandeur again.

:: m 2/10/2003 06:14:00 PM [+] :: [..::::..]
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:: Saturday, February 08, 2003 ::
if you believe in Buddhist beliefs, then you know that to live is to suffer. that desire is the root of all suffering. and that the removal of desire is key in the path to enlightment.

i believe in a just and merciful God, that God does not put us on earth to suffer.

i don't believe in re-incarnation. i think we live only once. when the lifeforce leaves our body, it will never return, so it's important to make the most of the days we have. some days will be happy. some will be sad. i must know misery, so that i can know joy. to experience life before it's gone.

i am really happy. happier than i have been in a long time. to have found a lost friend is a wonderful thing.

if the past few years of my life were a television show, i would think that this is the final season. all these loose ends in my life are being all tied up. nothing left unresolved. most people don't have loose ends, because they tend to take action, ask the questions instead of running away from them. if you do nothing, nothing happens. if you do something, anything, the world reacts to you.


:: m 2/08/2003 12:02:00 AM [+] :: [..::::..]
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:: Friday, February 07, 2003 ::
O no, I see,
I spun a web, it's tangled up with me,
And I lost my head,
The thought of all the stupid things I said,
O no what's this?
A spider web, and I'm caught in the middle,
I turned to run,
The thought of all the stupid things I've done,

I never meant to cause you trouble,
And I never meant to do you wrong,
And I, well if I ever caused you trouble,
O no, I never meant to do you harm.

O no I see,
A spider web and it's me in the middle,
So I twist and turn,
Here I am in love in a bubble,

Singing, I never meant to cause you trouble,
I never meant to do you wrong,
And I, well if I ever caused you trouble,
Although I never meant to do you harm.

They spun a web for me,
They spun a web for me,
They spun a web for me.

Coldplay, "Trouble"

here, play Gridlock.

yeah, i'm pathetic. leave me alone.


:: m 2/07/2003 01:18:00 AM [+] :: [..::::..]
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hangovers suck. i wasted my life away. trying to excise self-pity from my system.

:: m 2/07/2003 12:50:00 AM [+] :: [..::::..]
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:: Thursday, February 06, 2003 ::
i opened the letter. i went to dinner. drank sake on an empty stomach. wishing I had some scotch or whiskey to wash that down. When I go to the market tomorrow to do shopping, I'll have to remember to buy a bottle or two for dinner.

:: m 2/06/2003 09:01:00 PM [+] :: [..::::..]
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After all these years, a letter arrived. It's been at least 4 years since I've had any contact, and many more years since any written contact. There is an eagerness to open it, and yet a reluctance to do so. I'm surprised. I didn't expect any response at all to that letter I sent out way back in June. I should rephrase that. When I didn't get a response back after a month, I figured that either it never got there or that it got there and it was tossed away. Either way, I accepted the lack of response as a finale, a closing point. But it's here. On my table. Next to me. Unopened. Cary Grant stares at me, the postmarks creating waves across his face. I need to open it. I need to know what the letter contains.

:: m 2/06/2003 06:24:00 PM [+] :: [..::::..]
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I realized last night that I never got around to officially registering for my creative writing class, and registration is closed now. I was supposed to write a 4 to 5 page short story, but I couldn't do it. I'd start writing, type in a few words, highlight the text, delete it then stare into the blank space again, hoping words would magically appear. I've been doing this since 4am this morning. I read once that the trick to writing was to be able to write on demand. That's the trick to master. That's a trick I need practice on. I just don't feel prepared right now. Not to be able to get the writing engine started in the cold. I just couldn't think of anything to write about. Thinking too hard again. I'm leaving my writing class. I need to work this out before I go back. I think the class is helpful in that it gives me feedback, but I have nothing for them to give feedback on, which kind of defeats the purpose. I think I'm going to quit tutoring too. It's not like I would spend that time wisely, but maybe, just maybe I'd have more time to write and read. I don't feel motivated to do anything. Isn't that the recurring theme in my life?

And cold it is in sunny northern California. Frost was all over the place this morning, as the temperature read into the high 20s.


:: m 2/06/2003 10:40:00 AM [+] :: [..::::..]
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:: Wednesday, February 05, 2003 ::
Ever feel like life is a game that you play but don't know the rules to? Yeah, that's how I'm feeling right now. Where's the reset button on life?

:: m 2/05/2003 12:14:00 PM [+] :: [..::::..]
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Don't say that later will be better now
You're stuck in a moment and you can't get out of it
-U2 "Stuck in a Moment"

I feel like I'm stuck in one of those moments now, where no matter what I do, everything only gets worse from here. I've been getting really bad headaches lately. It used to only take one tablet of Advil to stop the pain. Now it takes six. I must be building up tolerance.

Smallville: Huh? What was Lana thinking? If Lana and Clark decided to just be friends, why does Lana say "Yes" when Clark asks her out on a date? I guess it sort of makes sense since Clark was the one who said they'd just be friends, and Lana and Chloe just went along with it. But she still said yes. Come on, Lana, you know better than that. Clark's just going to disappoint you every time. Lana and Clark have spent too much time building the other person up in their minds, and more often than not, it ultimately leads to disappointment. And Lana's reaction at the end? Completely unfair, but completely understandable. After all, Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.


:: m 2/05/2003 04:59:00 AM [+] :: [..::::..]
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:: Tuesday, February 04, 2003 ::
Nation's Love Affair with Lord of the Rings threatening its relationship with Star Wars

:: m 2/04/2003 02:33:00 PM [+] :: [..::::..]
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:: Monday, February 03, 2003 ::
I hear people say all the time "I want to do something meaningful in my life." I think the most meaningful thing anyone can do is to just live their life.

:: m 2/03/2003 10:48:00 PM [+] :: [..::::..]
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Alias: Where are they going? In the super bowl episode, they completely retooled the show. They hooked Francie with Will. They hooked Syd with Vaughn. They destroyed SD-6, so Syd's officially only on CIA missions now. They killed Francie so she no longer has a home life. In some ways, this makes sense. It's extremely hard to bring in new viewers with a continuous story arc. It's much easier to do if the episodes are episodic, with a few story arc elements sprinkled in, but these past few episodes have very conclusive finishes, nothing like the cliffhanger endings that characterized much of the first season. They've managed to destroy a lot of the tension that made the series work. I liked the colorful SD-6 staff -- Marshall, Dixon, Sloane. The CIA staff is quite cardboard by comparisson. In some ways, I feel like they've written themselves into a corner because aside from the Sloane/Francie arc, and the hasn't been touched for the whole season Rambaldi storyline there's nothing else unresolved. In writing they teach you to raise the stakes, to continuously keep the protagonist (as well as the reader) on edge. The stakes aren't very high right now, and the sense of danger is gone.

The gene resequencer is not outside the realm of possibility, as it is simply taking the practice of genetic therapy to the next level. However, completely replacing all the living cells with a new genetic profile and leaving no trace of the original genes seems quite impossible to me. Of course, it could be entirely possible that we simply aren't ready for that kind of device yet.


:: m 2/03/2003 09:35:00 PM [+] :: [..::::..]
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:: Sunday, February 02, 2003 ::
It's not the actual doing of cooking that bugs me, it's all the frustration that comes with it. What frustration? The frustration of needing lots of space for all the pots, pans, utensils, the frustration of standing in line for groceries, the frustration of spending the time cleaning the food, cleaning the pots and pans, cleaning the dishes afterward. For what? To feed me. I'm better off in many ways just eating take out or fast-food. I figure if take-out was good enough for the ancient Romans, it's good enough for me. Sure, you probably can't buy a plate of chow mein for less than the 2 bucks it takes to make it, but what you do pay for is the convenience of not needing to cook, not needing to clean, not needing the time to go to the supermarket to shop. Cooking at home only works if you're cooking for more than just yourself. Sure, eating out probably isn't as healthy, but we all gotta die sometime. I'm giving up on cooking. At least until I have someone to cook for, or I get a bigger kitchen.

:: m 2/02/2003 06:39:00 PM [+] :: [..::::..]
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:: Saturday, February 01, 2003 ::
This blog is no longer simply one-way communication. You can now add comments to entries if you feel like it by clicking the Comments link below each entry. This service comes courtesy of backBlog.

:: m 2/01/2003 10:29:00 AM [+] :: [..::::..]
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A National Tragedy. The worst part of all this, of course is that this is the end of the space program. As the government investigates what went wrong, the space program will be on hold for about 2 years. The one silver lining to this, is that if Bush is clever, he has a chance now to avert war, to refocus on issues internal to the nation, to not worry about the war with Iraq. But that won't happen.

I can see some interesting events coming from this though... an evacuation of the International Space Station, running it remotely for 2 years until some other nations decides to take over the ISS. We will see America shy away from future space exploration. I'm trying to figure out what this is like, and I'd actually have to point to the exploration of the New World.

Happy Chinese New Year.

Video game inspires crime

I've really changed over the past 5 years. I've gone from being a hard-core gamer to being an anti-gamer. This generation of children growing up now have never known a world without video games. We used to blame crimes on music, movies and television. Video games today are the popular scapegoat, as it supposedly trains these children to commit these crimes. The reason I despise games these days is not because of the crimes attached to video games, but rather the impact of video games upon society. I find it odd that we have specific sections of law to deal with crimes when alcohol is involved. Will video games get a section of law too?


:: m 2/01/2003 08:25:00 AM [+] :: [..::::..]
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