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Witnessed future self die at the fangs of lunar sea sloths. Not dissatisfied with this outcome, but might choose different time stream to actually live if only because sloth fangs aren't really all that sharp and it took well over 3 weeks to die.
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Moving completed. Unpacking not even close. Thank *your deity here* the new place has a truly preposterous amount of storage space, seeing as I don't think I've purposely gotten rid of anything bookwise since I sold all of my Xanth when I was 10 or so, and then bought them all back over the next several months. You can imagine the trauma involved in knowing that you bought Golem in The Gears not once, but twice. I'm considering sending everyone who comes to our as yet unplanned housewarming party home with a choose your own adventure book or two, because I'll be damned if I'm ever moving them again. Or perhaps you would be more interested in a copy of Programming Adventure Games in Basic. It not only includes sample code for the Atari ST, but it also comes with a complementary kitten sticker I apparently thought was quite dashing when I was nine. How can you resist? Actually, on second thought, I'm keeping that. You can't have it!

The commute thus far isn't as bad as I expected, though I've only done the downhill portion of it at this point, and I've seen some kids coming the other direction looking incredibly displeased about gravity. If nothing else, I should have some incredibly freakish calves if I keep this up, though I wish the particular set of muscles responsible for keeping me from going arse over teakettle down a 20% grade would stop tensing when I was actually off the hill. They seem so satisfied to finally have a purpose that I don't really have the heart to do anything about it though.

Tonight, Emily, Nadja and I are all off to The Faint and Ladytron at the Fillmore. Anyone else going?
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I give this weekend at least eight thumbs up. Lovely, lazy Friday and Saturday at Emily's, and then on Sunday, we went to the Alameda antique fair, which is daunting, to say the least. We mostly escaped unscathed, though Emily was felled at the last moment by a copy of a children's book illustrated by Maurice Sendak that we'd never heard of before, The Bat Poet, and I seem to have picked up an incredibly minor sun burn, but when compared to the vast amount of things we went "Ooooh!" about, I think we got off lucky. I will, however, sleep just a little worse at night knowing that if one were inclined to own a canteen made out of a deer hoof, one easily could. Post fair, we stopped by the Chunpound to wish Josie a happy birthday and join in the pancake and mimosa fueled celebrations. Along with the usual suspects, I got to see Xander outside of his baby burrito exoskeleton for the first time, which was a highlight.

Sunday afternoon, Sasha, Jason and I went to go sign the lease on our exciting new apartment! It's less convenient transitwise (up in the El Cerrito hills, though the 7 line goes close), and more rent, but it's grand. Four bedrooms, three bathrooms. Large two car garage, which is probably going to serve as a library/Rock Band/game room. Ginormous, open, split level living room/dining area/kitchen area with a view of the city. Truly silly amounts of closet space, or at least that's the impression that Sasha's salivation gave me. Two decks. One immediately adjacent to the house, and one up a couple of long flights of stairs behind the house from which you can see... pretty much everything, honestly. Lovely little drought resistant flowers all up the hill also, for maximal pretty with minimal upkeep. Central air. New stove and refrigerator. Sashie's new mantra, "Heated marble floor in the master bathroom". The list goes on and on. We are very excited about it.

You know what else I'm excited about? Lunch!
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Unknown quotients, you must be using potions. How else could you tie my head to the sky?

Boy howdy, am I way behind on this thing. I'm also in the midst of a bit of a sleep schedule crisis, having worked some twenty odd hours straight on Friday, and never at any point taking time to recover from that this weekend. So I tried to go to sleep early tonight, but sure enough, round about 9:30, some invisible night rooster that only I can hear crowed, and now I'm awake, but still exhausted. Clearly the only answer is to catch up on social networking until I can try to sleep again.

It's been kind of a busy two months, so I think this is going to take the form of a rough sketch of events that have occurred, in possibly non-chronologic order without a lot of detail.

My father retired, and there was a surprise party in the wilds of Upper Lake. The party was very nice, and actually a surprise to him, which is impressive, because I don't think I've ever really seen a surprise party pulled off before, and this one was on a pretty grand scale. Seeing Ukiah again was strange. It's even smaller than I remembered it. We drove around late at night listening to the Repo! Soundtrack, which, if nothing else, helped retheme late night Ukiah driving for me, as I think the best thing I ever listened driving around when I actually lived there with my best friend was Ace of Base's The Sign. When that song is making your personal top ten list, well, those are dark times, my friend. Pictures courtesy of my sister

On Valentine's Day weekend, we went to see John Cameron Mitchell doing songs from Hedwig, poetry readings, and then live commentary to Hedwig and Shortbus (Depending on which night you went. We went to both, because we have excellent taste). He is my secret boyfriend. I could watch Origin of Love live on a loop for the rest of my life, pretty happily. Once again, Nadja documented the event

We also finally got around to going to the new Academy of Sciences. It's good, but boy howdy, crowded. Didn't do the Planetarium show or the Rainforest, due to lines, but we hit up most everything else. Sadly, my previous favorites, the engineer fish, weren't doing anything interesting, so they have been replaced in my heart by the upside down jelly fish. Obligatory Nadja photoset (which sadly does not include upside down jellyfish)

At some point during the rainy season, I discovered a wonderful leak in my ceiling. The fact that rain managed to get into my basement apartment (and naturally promptly on to a seven foot tall stack of books and games), completely bypassing Sasha and Jason's upstairs area is really a testament to the magic of this place. This is clearly not awesome, but it has spurred me to find a new place, which is awesome. In a perfect world, Sashie and Jason and I will all find a new place together, because I <3 them, but regardless, I am optimistic about improved living situations. I haven't really loved any place I've lived officially since House of Thirteen Doors, and between not loving my work and not really loving the place where I do most of my not work, that's a pretty big psychic toll that I just don't want to pay any more.

I get the feeling I might be forgetting some noteworthy weekend events in there, but it's been two months, so hopefully I can be forgiven. This weekend, once I finally finished a damnable server migration that took approximately three times as long as it was meant to, I hung out at the Robot Nest on Saturday for monthly game and obligatory bad movie watching. This time it was Curse of the Confederate Cannibals, which... wow. I can't decide if my favorite part was the conversation scene in which the background shifted from full day through twilight to dead of night depending on which character was currently on camera, or the obligatory bikini scene despite it obviously being freezing out while all male characters were wearing three or so layers, or possibly the ten minute flesh eating montage. So much to choose from. Oh, also, I bought a pair of panda pajamas from Will and Nadja's neighbors, which I expect will be my official cold weather Burning Man outfit. Yes that is a hood on it

Then yesterday, there was a peninsular brunch at Hobee's, complete with much missed Blueberry Coffee Cake, which was very pleasant, and then post-brunch movie watching and the ilk, which was even better, despite not in any way involving coffee cake.

In media watch news, I've been doing more reading in the math realms than actual reading, but am currently working through a collection of love stories collected by Jeffrey Eugenides, entitled My Mistress's Sparrow is Dead, and a Rilke collection, Rilke on Love and Other Difficulties

Can't really remember any movies that have wowed me recently. Lots of pretty good. Nothing jaw-dropping in a while. I have some hope for Tokyo!, which I'm trying to rally some people to go see in downtown Berkeley on Wednesday. You should come! At this point I am undecided about the 7:30ish show with dinner after or the 10ish one with dinner before. Place your vote, if you're interested.

Also, I want to go to more live music. Anyone out there going to see Ratatat, Fleet Foxes or Fischerspooner in April or M83 in May to help sway me in that direction? I've already got tickets for The Faint/Ladytron in April and Decemberists in May. And I am definitely trying to get tickets for the Dengue Fever/Lost World soundtrack thing as soon as they go on sale.

And now I attempt to sleep again.
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I must have been looking in all the wrong places. From island to island across the blue...

I think most people have at some point or another experienced that sinking feeling in the morning when, on their trek towards consciousness, they are overcome with a foreboding that something has gone terribly, terribly wrong while they've been submerged in the ocean of sleep. This is usually followed immediately upon actually awaking by levels of disappointment ranging from realizing that you just slept through your midterm towards the more extreme ends of the spectrum such as becoming aware that you are naked in a bathtub full of bloodied ice with a quickly stitched hole in your abdomen or that the woman you went to bed with last night is not nearly as attractive as you thought they were, actually male, and in fact currently holding a knife to your throat asking for the combination to the wall safe. Not, ummm, that that's ever happened to me... but you hear stories. No, really. You do. *nervous cough*

So, perhaps, dear reader, if you too have experienced an occasion such as this, you might empathize with the following woeful tale of how I began my day. I awoke slowly, somnolently paddling through the peach schnapps and vodka flavored shallows of some oneiric lake to find myself pinned under a collection of felines and pillows in the people's independent republic of Pillowtania (for the unenlightened, this is a sovereign nation located in my sister and her husband's apartment). This of course isn't the terrifying part. I am a friend to most every feline not currently intent on consuming me, and while my love of pillows runs slightly less deep, we still maintain what I consider to be a relationship rich in mutual respect. No. The truly terrifying part is that I realized that I had fallen asleep watching a movie chosen by my brother in law.

There might among my audience be those of you shaking your head and muttering "So?" to yourself. Those people have clearly never met, or at least never had any long conversation with Will. The rest of you are probably screaming sympathetically in terror.

The evening began innocently enough with The Room, which actually exceeded expectations, and that's saying something, given that we had already integrated elements of the trailer into our group slang. If you are unaware of The Room, I strongly recommend that you watch that trailer. It is basically the Citizen Kane of unintentionally bad movies. I would like to stress that the trailer linked above is in no way a highlight reel of awful intended to demonstrate how ludicrous the movie is... or, well, it is, but you could achieve the same effect by sampling any random selection of scenes. Also, learn from our mistakes. While well suited towards drinking games in general, you really want to make sure you're already pretty jovial before you hit play at all. I would suggest at least heavily blurred vision before you get to the first sex scene, which is almost immediate. Medicate as needed from there.

Then we watched Repo, The Genetic Opera. Hopefully you're already aware of Repo, so I don't really have much to add here. I would like to stress that it is far and away the best film seen all night. By several orders of magnitude.

By this time, the more sane among us had fled, abandoning me to Will's tender mercies. These mercies then turned to Dr. Caligari. I would like to stress that the clip in the above link is reasonably coherent compared to the rest of the movie. There was a horrible tongue monster. I think it spit candy. There were neural cannulas. It contained the lead singer of The Nuns randomly wandering on screen and shrieking "Chihuahua, chihuahua". Most worrying of all is that it all sort of made sense at the time.

Un(?)fortunately, that DVD gave up the ghost about half way through and I'm not incredibly aware of what Will put in next, as my psyche had by this point gone into some sort of defensive armadillo roll and was desperately trying to cease consciousness for the day. As far as I could tell, it was Portuguese Star Wars. There was definitely someone in a bad wookie costume. And I think I saw a Darth Vader. I remember a lot of slow motion Tuskan raider fights. I think there were trampolines. And mother brain? And bizarrely a jeep full of people from earth who ran around in fast forward and made zaney TELEMUNDO! type sound effects in the middle of all of it. It was very confusing. And this is what I fell asleep to. I can feel it nesting in my subconsciousness, lurking, building a nest, preparing to hatch some terrible progeny to feast upon my cortex when I least expect it.

Pity me.
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...rebuilt me back anew with something to look forward to...

I think it is time for a change of user icon. The old one has served me well lo' these many years, but while I find it a fairly apt expression of one aspect of my personality, it's an aspect that quite honestly, I'm sick to death of. So, good bye sulky, mopey, petulant Josh (albeit one with a charmingly placed wisp of hair in front of your eye). Hello smiley Josh. Look, I'm even looking boldly into the future. Assuming the future is everything occurring to the right side of my picture, which, you know, it might be.

The photo is courtesy of Fifi the horrible, from whom I stole it with malice aforethought, but she's horrible, so clearly had it coming. It's from a rather lovely set from a rather lovely cocktail party. You can find some more hither and yon if you are so inclined. Revel in the unique experience of seeing me in a suit! Gasp at the miracle of my newly found lack of alcohol tolerance! Experience the majesty of attractive friends in low cut dresses! It's a thrill ride for the whole family!

So that's what I did with my weekend. That and a non-denominational post-holiday white elephant gift exchange, from which I walked away with... a white elephant. It's clearly a piratical elephant, having only one eye. I can only assume that it lost the other in a terrible fight with a rather large and irate parrot, which it can never, ever forget thanks to its allegorical pachydermic nature.

Oh, yes, and I also saw my cousin and his wife, who were in town checking out law schools, but none of you really know him. Suffice it to say, that too was pleasant.

You know what else is pleasant? Sleep.
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No frills media watch sort of entry.

I am currently reading Infinite Jest. Very, very slowly, seeing as it's 1000+ pages of densely packed unflinchingly polysyllabic small fonted, endnoted text that I seem incapable of skimming. It is almost offensively well written, though not always on subject matter I feel I should be at all interested in, so I'll occasionally break from my rapt attention to realize I've been mostly dazzled by fifteen pages of tennis related ephemera, at which point I will narrow my eyes and mutter epithets sort of sullenly and pick up another book just to prove I can. I'll show him! Or, well, I won't, given that he showed himself with some degree of finality before I ever read word one he'd written.

Other recently purchased books include the most recent Haggis on Whey World of Unbelievable Brilliance, a series of books which I fully intend to form the educational core of any future progeny of mine, right up until CPS drags them kicking and screaming away to some sort of grim and humorless re-education camp. This one focuses on Cold Fusion (Better than Hot Fusion Or Even Fission), but also contains handy information on Why Birds Are Bad At Building Superconductors and Why Potato Chips Are Delicious. I also grabbed a book of Jeremy Fish art on a whim, mainly because I firmly believe that leaving a minefield of surreal, possibly psychosis inducing (under proper laboratory conditions) art around can't help but strengthen one's character.

Also, I've decided that I love algebraic topology. So I've been reading lots about that. One day I'll even properly understand it. It's grand. It's like an entire field of mathematics predicated about an "Imagine the cow is a sphere" joke. Except instead of saying "Imagine the cow is a sphere", you are saying "Circles are far too complicated. Let's pretend that a circle is just like the action of adding integers together instead". You've got to appreciate anything which makes that little sense at face value. No, really. Appreciate it. I'm not continuing this journal until you do.

Ok, so perhaps this journal entry is a *little* frilled. Concision is not one of my gifts, though stumbling across words I wasn't sure actually existed while trying to be clever apparently is.

Also, I'm a little tired, so perhaps I shall go to sleep now. Maybe I'll talk movies and music later. Maybe I won't. You realize of course that you brought this on yourselves by not being properly appreciative of algebraic topology, so don't come whining to me.

(I am coincidentally still in a good and apparently overwhelmingly silly mood. And it smells like rain outside, which is clearly pretty awesome)

Paper warm beings means the paper chase. For our time beings never changes this... Here's what it takes. Here's what it takes. Here's what it takes.
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I am in a good mood.

That is all.

Ok, fine. That's probably not all, but it's worth noting, as it's uncommon recently (where by recently, it's entirely possible that I mean almost the entirety of my thirties), and bears remembering, and I think that once upon a time, in some misty technicolored past, back when slapping a caption on a cat would get you nothing more than a well deserved clawing, and the "Internet" in internet quizzes was spelled "Cosmopolitan", that this is what people did with their journals. Or so the history books would have me believe.

It won't last, but then, neither will I, nor you, nor anything, and that is dandy. I've always sort of been fond of transience as an abstract concept, even when miserable. Hell, *especially* when miserable. A good rumination on transience is amazingly comforting when you're miserable. You'd almost think I spent years worth of mornings half awake with my parents chanting about impermanence and death in the next room. Oh... wait. Of course there was a lot of "All life is suffering" thrown into the chanting mix there as well, a Truth that I held to be self-evident as an adolescent and probably never really grew out of. Buddhism really is the gothest religion out there.

'Results 1 - 10 of about 551 for "goth buddha"'. Ah, google. What would I do without you? Google apparently thinks that Gerard Way of the band My Chemical Romance is as close a match as we're going to get to that. That seems more than just a little bit disturbing, but apropos of nothing, were you aware that he wrote a very fine comic book? No? Well, he did. It is called Umbrella Academy, and the first issue contains the line "And just as I suspected-- Zombie-Robot Gustave Eiffel!", and if that isn't good enough for you then I'm not at all certain that we can be friends. There's something for everyone there. Zombies. Robots. French Architects. Em-dashes (And here I take a moment to chortle that wikipedia managed to totally nerd the hell out of that entry with a Star Wars reference).

Ok, I lied. I didn't *actually* chortle, but I have skipped recently. And in the BART station, the floors were pleasantly slippery and I pretended to ice skate on my boots while waiting for the train, which was what led me to grudgingly admit that I might be in a good mood in the first place. It is reassuring to me that I am still capable of behaving like a child in some positive manner in addition to the many, many negative ways I do so. I hope you'll take that into consideration before you judge me on the whole not chortling thing. A chortle is really a fairly unappealing thing. You're not missing much.

All of which is to say that 2009 is pretty much ok so far. 2008 sucked. A lot. For most everyone involved, as far as I can tell. Especially up around the end there. Hence the lack of updating on my part. I did actually start an entry at one point, and got as far as two song lyrics and a quote from Synecdoche, New York (my pick for best movie last year BTW), before I was overwhelmed by the bad goth poetry-ness of it all and came to the quite reasonable decision that nobody wanted to hear it. I'm sure that's still the case, but I was always pleased by how well they resonate for me, and they're still essentially true in some way, even if I am feeling more upbeat about them at the moment, so you get to suffer them anyway. Isn't my journal fun?!

Time stands still. All I can feel is the time standing still. As you put down the keys, and say don't call me please, while the radio plays... I think I need a new heart

The last few months I've been living with this couple. Yeah, you know the kind who buy everything in doubles. They fit together like a puzzle. And I love their love and I am thankful. That someone actually receives the prize that was promised by all those fairy tales that drugged us. And they still do me. I'm sick, lonely. No laurel tree, just green envy. Will my number come up eventually? Like love's some kind of lottery, where you scratch and see what's underneath. It's "Sorry", just one cherry, or "Play Again." Get lucky.

The Synecdoche quote isn't entirely accurate, as I never once brought in a notepad the three times I saw it in the theater, but there is an earlier version of the screenplay online, so I just copied what was there.

Even though the world goes on for eons and eons, you are here for a fraction of a fraction of a second. Most of your time is spent being dead or not yet born. But while alive, you wait in vain, wasting years, for a phone call or a letter or a look from someone or something to make it all right. And it never comes. Or it seems to, but doesn't really. And so you spend your time in vague regret or vaguer hope for something good to come along. Something to make you feel connected. To make you feel whole. To make you feel loved.

And the truth is I'm so angry and the truth is I'm so fucking sad, and the truth is I've been so fucking hurt for so fucking long and for just as long have been pretending I'm ok, just to get along...


Yup. That pretty much sums up 2008. And if we're being entirely honest, the couple of years before it as well. It might end up summing up 2009 as well, but for now, I'm ok. I was originally going to do some sort of year in media review here, but it's late, and I still have a job I'm mildly resentful of to get to in the morning, so I'm off.

Lay me down and say something pretty. Lay me back down where I wanted to stay. Just say something perfect, something I can steal. Say "Look at me. Baby we'll be fine". All we've got to do is be brave and be kind
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Mr. Somewhere, missing somewhere. Never did figure just how much. Missing somewhere. Never did figure out how much.

So, in an effort to keep myself going out on Monday's, I've been trying to go straight from work to downtown Berkeley, see a movie or the like and then head off to Death Guild. This is because I'm a creature of momentum, and once I'm home and decompressing, I'm far less likely to go out again, and I really, really, really love dancing. For someone who lives in their head as much as I do, I am always at my happiest doing something that involves me being coated in sweat. Generally speaking, this plan works out pretty well, but there are those odd days when there's just nothing particularly good playing at a time that lines up conveniently. Today was one of those days. Instead of forsaking my precious, precious endorphin high I decided to see Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, because it was really the only thing that happened to fit.

On the positive side it was not *quite* as trite as I expected it to be, but on the downside, I am a pessimist, and one especially skilled at finding things trite. So, there you go. It's a teen movie though, and I'm not a teen, by a long stretch, if I ever was one, which sometimes I doubt. And then I look back on things that I thought were totally awesome in high school and admit that I probably was. There's the odd amusing moment, but for the most part, it's pretty hackneyed and cliche. Nature of the beast I guess. For a movie about music, I can't recall anything I liked on the soundtrack. Also, I would absolutely adore it if Michael Cera were to play someone new, which is to say not himself. Can't he get a good serial killer role? I would pay good money to see him curb stomp someone and then smile awkwardly and self consciously about it.

Far and away the worst part about seeing a movie outside of your usual idiom though is that you get previews for other movies of the same ilk. You can always attempt to convince yourself that the movie you just saw is an outlier in a sea of generally quite excellent cinema, but the previews, they tell a different story. A horrible, nightmarishly different story. There was an entire panoply of bad laid out before me, but far and away the worst was High School Musical 3. I had not to this point been incredibly cognizant of this franchise. I had seen references to it, and heard *of* it, in much the same way that I have heard of The South, but much like that fabled land, I couldn't quite accept the fact of its existence. Oh sweet naivete! How I miss you.

I'm not even going to attempt to describe what I underwent during that preview, because quite frankly, I don't have the words. Nor will I link it for you, because I am not a sadist. What I will point out is that it is heralded as "The musical experience of a generation" and I can only think "What an incredibly culturally bankrupt generation that must be", and bear in mind, I was in the high school/early 20s demographic in the 90s. Rocky Horror is a musical experience of a generation. The Wall is a musical experience of a generation. Tommy. Velvet Goldmine. Hedwig. Freaking Grease. All of these are musical experiences I would rather have define my generation. Actually for that matter, being tied to a chair, coated in leeches, and having a tone deaf clown sing his comedic rendition of Mein Kampf to the tune of Ozarks banjo music while giving me a "Bad touch!" lapdance is a musical experience I would prefer to High School Musical 3, or even just the preview again.

And so I went off to Death Guild feeling generally pretty horrible for "kids these days". And then, because the universe thinks it is hilarious, a 19 year old desperate for someone to make out with and alcohol hit on me. Not just any alcohol though, she wanted Heineken. The first thing that popped into my mind was... well actually the first thing that popped into my mind, much like a bowl of petunias that suddenly finds itself instantiated several miles above the surface of the planet Magrathea was "Oh no, not again", but the second thing that popped into my mind was the Blue Velvet quote "Heineken, fuck that shit. Pabst Blue Ribbon!!", followed rapidly by "That quote is older than this girl". Because I am me, I did my best to rebuff her (Which isn't really saying that much. I'm not a great rebuffer), and after an incredibly uncomfortable period of time spent being danced at/upon, she wandered off in search of someone who actually would buy her booze and take her home for awkward regret-laden sex. Why don't women closer to my age who I'm interested in do this? Oh wait, it's because they can buy their own booze. SILLY ME! That or they do, and I'm just spectacularly oblivious.

It was a very, very strange night. I got to stay till closing though, as I got a ride home from Melanie, who is awesome. Much dancing was had. And now I am killing time, dreading going into work tomorrow, which is reaching new levels of suck. As part of cost-cutting measures, they've stopped ordering snacks and sodas, which means pretty much my only work related joy is calculating just how much money the time I'd spend walking three blocks to the corner store to buy a soda whenever I want one is worth. Oi.

A world like tomorrow wears things out. It's hard enough to get what's yours for now. And the hardest words are spoken softly. Softly look, no hands upon... no... no... hands.
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Way down yonder, down in the meadow lies a poor little lamby. Bees and butterflies pecking out his eyes. Poor little thing, cries mommy

This weekend I had a dream that Jeff Bridges and I were opening a restaurant of some unspecified cuisine, but seeing as I was involved, I can only imagine that it featured copious amounts of cheese. It was a dream though, so who knows. Maybe we served nothing but raw meat. Regardless, Jeff Bridges had a bird which he insisted live free in the restaurant. We decided that our customers might not appreciate the occasional hail of bird effluvia from on high, so using inescapable dream logic, I suggested that we just attach a slice of cucumber to the bird's cloaca. I'm not quite sure how we went about doing this. It's possible that staples were involved, or perhaps some sort of complex electromagnetic locking mechanism (Because it is a well known fact that cucumbers are magnetic... in dreams. Not zucchini though, oddly enough). Anyway, after forming this terrifying avian/vegetable hybrid, it was released into the restaurant where it flapped merrily around, doing bird like things, and now bereft of an output port, swelling in an alarming manner. When it was around the size of a large beach ball, and I was pondering that it was about time to upgrade the cucumber to a cross-section of watermelon, I woke up. And then promptly went back to sleep to have a more mundane dream that was essentially the BART version of Langoliers

I am not eager to find out what this might imply about my subconscious, but I felt that you all should be warned. If, somewhere out there in the oneirosphere, you encounter a bird the size of a small moon resting daintily upon a disc of durian or the like, that was all me. Sorry.

Had a lazy weekend. Went to go see Vera Wilde with Will, Nadja, and Romi at the Ashby Stage on Friday. It was enjoyable. Not Beowulf enjoyable, but worth a viewing. Speaking of Beowulf, have you gotten your tickets yet? If not, you should. There's oodles of us going at this point. It'll be fun! Beer and mead afterwards! I'm not generally much of a playgoer, but I've decided that I like the Ashby Stage/Shotgun Players, and think I'll start trying to go to more things there. Unfortunately, their next play is just a modern hipster version of MacBeth, and I generally find things like that a bit annoying, but hey, it's hipsters coming to a bad end, without any risk of me being jailed for it, so I suppose I shall see it regardless. Looks like they're doing a Faust and Animal Farm next season also, which if they're just rehashed classics, are at least good classics.

I think just to be symmetrical about things, in addition to taking classics and revamping them for modern day, we should take modern movies and revamp them in a more traditional style. Just imagine the glory that is Being John Malkovich... with a greek choir! Preferably all wearing Malkovich masks. Why am I not an eccentric billionaire?

Speaking of Being John Malkovich, and by extension, one of, if not my favorite writers, Synecdoche, New York is just about out. I am excited. Also on my radar, Fears of The Dark, finally, for reals this time (in November), Repo, Waltz with Bashir, and perhaps Christmas on Mars, as I have a long running tradition with enjoying retro-scifi movies put on by rock bands (Yes, I consider American Astronaut excellent enough to be considered a tradition in and of itself). And has this already come through theaters? I haven't noticed it. Takashi Miike's Udon-Western Sukiyaki Western Django. I love movies.

In dorkery news, we exceeded all boundaries of good taste this week at D&D by coining the term ZMILF. I'd elaborate, but let's face it, there's just not all that many things the Z could stand for, and they're all pretty wrong.

Also, there is an exciting new collectable miniature game in the style of Kaiju movies. I am going to attempt to go buy tons of it after work. Because I am a dork.
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If the real jesus christ were to stand up today, he'd be gunned down cold by the CIA. Oh, the lights that now burn brightest behind stained glass will cast the darkest shadows upon the human heart

So, one of my IRC chatrooms was playing about with the google 2001 search functionality recently, and we took to tracking the increased number of hits from random inanity from the halcyon days of yore to present. Come with me now on a journey to a more innocent, or at least better grammared time (Yes, I know that's not actually a word)

Rickroll 0 -> 553,000
Barack Obama 773 -> 77,700,000
ORLY 70,900 -> 10,100,000
bailout 80,500 -> 32,200,000
lolcats 0 -> 1,710,000
"Hannah Montana" 4 -> 22,700,000
facebook 1,810 -> 630,000,000
"sense of impending doom" 2,170 -> 88,400
steampunk 7,620 -> 3,520,000
"I can see Russia" 2 -> 127,000

It's sort of a shame that google doesn't tell you how many records it has anymore (at least anywhere immediately obvious), so I can't do a (mildly) more meaningful percentage comparison. Ah well. Speaking of random fun with google, I was just doing a search to refresh my memory on the entirety of the (misremembered) "What brave new world?" quote from The Tempest , and got as far as "What bra" before google suggested that I might instead want to know what bra size I am, what bra size you are, what bra size Miley Cyrus is, what brand of shoes pencil artists and doodlers should wear (what?) and what branch of the military I should join. Which of course just refreshes my urge to ironically quote. "How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, That has such people in't!". As an aside, if you actually enter the quote correctly, it gets it right. Well done google. You win this round.

Hey, returning to a previous tangent of awesome things that are not actually words, here is an excellent collection of possibly soon to be ex words. Because I am me, I actually use at least four of those words on a semi-irregular basis (malison, periapt, niddering, fubsy (though admittedly mainly because it's the IRC nick of an e-friend of mine)). They're all pretty excellent though

Tonight was an especially excellent night at Death Guild. There weren't many people there, and many of the people who were there were the right ones. As a result, I danced my little heart out (and a good portion of the 50 odd percent of me composed of water). It was grand.

Before Guild I did my traditional Monday movie watching to kill time and went to see Religulous. It was a good time, but then again, as a life long atheist/agnostic/godless heathen/discordian pope, I'm the target audience. I agree with most every review on rotten tomatoes at the time of this writing, positive or negative (Well, except for the Christianity Today reviewer (what a shock!)). It's couched far too offensively to change any minds, but it's entertaining, which is after all why I go to movies.

Hey, speaking of entertaining, I know Damon mentioned this, but the Beowulf rock opera (they call it a song play, but I just like the ring of Beowulf rock opera) is coming back for one night in January. Thursday the 8th specifically. I have my tickets. You should buy yours! It's totally awesome, and I will shake my head and look on you with pity if you miss it. Are you prepared to deal with that? Read Sam's review if you don't believe me! There's a song in Old English, people. Come on!

Oh dear god, I'm a fucking mess. I've been up all night reeling in distress. Grendel's killing all my men like a game of chess. And my pieces are dwindling, I have less and less. Oh dear god, help me out of bed. I'm losing my mind over all this shit. My mead hall's torn apart. I've got nowhere to sit. At least we've still got booze. I think I'll go get lit.
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In which I demonstrate in graphic detail why I am never going to get laid ever again )

Also, saw Choke. It was... fine. True to the book, for the most part, but it sort of stumbles in its transition to the big screen.

And then the obligatory post good Death Guild "Boy howdy do I love endorphins" commentary.

X. X by the tangent of N. N minus pi over 10. That equals negative 9. Negative 9 is so fine. You've got a brain, and nobody really needs another love song. Love song. You've got a brain, and nobody really needs another love song. Love song
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Dear California. I'm sorry baby. Won't you please take me back? I know I've strayed in the past, mainly for that tramp Nevada, but this weekend in Michigan really didn't mean anything to me. I know you're jealous of her mysteriously hand-like physique, her seasons, and the fact that due to the vagaries of the electoral college, my vote would actually mean something there, but I promise I won't ever stray again. You're the one for me baby. Do you know how many tattoos I saw out there? Two. And they were both butterflies. The one mexican restaurant we visited featured the use of nacho cheese heavily and had a class of menu items entitled tostaguacs, which is really just too unsettling to think about. What can I do to prove my fidelity to you? I was going to just randomly start making out with people at the Airport/Colosseum BART stop to prove my love, but they all looked really surly, and I wasn't sure you'd want me spending my first night back in the emergency room. Just give me some sign that it's all ok between us. Please?

All of which is to say that I was in Detroit(esque) this weekend for a cousin's wedding. It was very strange. Or more appropriately, it wasn't very strange at all, which made it pretty god damned alien to my twisted subcultured bay area psyche. There was a church involved. It was admittedly a Unitarian Universalist church, but there was still a moment of trepidation that I might burst into flames as I crossed the threshold (upon further reflection, I have realized that this wasn't actually my first time in a church, as I had been repressing some junior high school memories that involved a trap snow/ski trip that involved a lot of attempts to tell me about jesus). Will mentioned that he thinks this is the first wedding he has attended in quite some time that didn't feature at least two bridesmaids with sleeve tattoos. Also, Baby Got Back was far and away the coolest thing played at the reception, which was... disturbing. But all told, it was pleasant, and I got to see some of the few members of my non-immediate family who actually register on my radar as more than people who I happen to share some genetic code with. Seeing as I discovered recently that I am very, very, very, very distantly related to the Bushes through my incredibly disfavored blue blood grandmother, you can imagine just how little I value shared genetic code. As an aside, this recent discovery means that if I ever get my hands on a functioning time machine, I'm nuking the Mayflower to rid myself of this taint. So, just be prepared for that little ripple in the space-time continuum.

Also, note to self. If you ever find yourself on a plane ever again for some reason, maybe you should pack some reading material that is not either an Abstract Algebra text that is impossible to concentrate on properly when the shifts in pressure are giving you a sinus headache or a book that makes you cry every other page. Just a helpful suggestion to retain any niggling sense of macho-ness you might have left.

In other news, three new math texts showed up today (algebraic and differential topology and knot theory), and I promptly ordered seven more (Differential geometry, more knot theory, game theory, probability, general logic). Somebody stop me before I purchase again.

And tenderly you tell about the saddest book you ever read, it always makes you cry. The statue's crying too and well he may
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The main thing I really hate about public transit is the fact that it exposes me to the public, or more specifically, exposes me to some of the more selfish and self-centered aspects of human nature. People sprawling over multiple seats on crowded buses/trains, or sitting on the outside with a bag perched on the inside seat, people shoving past queues, or spitting sunflower seeds all over the floor. And so on and so forth.

This is why, when at the bus stop this morning I saw a woman shove her way past the man in the wheelchair who was waiting for the back door to do its whole magic "Becoming a ramp" thing and then promptly get slammed in the face when the door closed to begin this whole process, I felt a warm glow of satisfaction.

It's so rare that you get to feel schadenfreude and vindication at the same time. It's like sweet and sour mix for the soul.

Also, White Comanche was totally "awesome". I spent a scant five seconds feeling bad for any Republicans in the audience due to the McCain/Palin lambasting beforehand during the prize giveaway segment, but then I remembered there probably weren't any.
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It was a white crane. It was a helpless thing. Upon a red stain. With an arrow in its wing. And it called and cried. And it called and cried so...

I'd apologize for not updating, but it's really been a mercy to you, dear readers, so instead, I demand adulation for not inflicting myself upon you. I accept both heartfelt thanks and imbibables efficacious for temporary annihilation, except the latter are really more trouble than they're worth, so I guess heartfelt thanks it will have to be. But I digress.

I really just wanted to take the opportunity to mention that sometimes things are not so bad. Most people seem to know that on some instinctual level, but I really don't seem to. I think it's possible that my concept of the future is broken. When things are black, they will be black forever. They haven't always been black of course, because what's darkness with no concept of light? No, I've got the past sewn up nicely, thank you very much, though mainly in the form of nostalgia, which probably isn't surpassingly healthy, but what can you do? But anyway, what I wanted to say was that at Death Guild tonight there was a moment when they played New Model Army's Vagabonds (We are old, we are young, we are in this together), and it was mercifully uncrowded for dancing, and things were pretty much ok for a while. It's only a four minute song, but beggars can't be choosers.

Two other times that things have been pretty much ok recently, both strangely deal with D&D. I think I came perilously close to passing out from oxygen deprivation due to laughing at my D&D game a couple of weeks ago, which is pleasing. I'm not going to go into details, because I still have enough pride that I refuse to be the Guy Who Wants To Tell You About His D&D campaign. I just can't do it. Some fun things you're just meant to be slightly ashamed of. It's how I roll, and you're going to have to come to some grudging acceptance of it. Maybe I caught some of my mother's long abandoned catholicism.

Anyway, the other moderately awesome D&D moment occurred in Games of Berkeley wherein I was offering sage advice on the overwhelming panacea of dorkery options available to some maybe 12 or so year old girls who were apparently new to the hobby (No, I do not secretly work at Games Of Berkeley, but the employee who was helping them was seeming sort of baffled). After having been duly informed of the differences between third and fourth edition and "just how much do you really need a dungeon masters guide?", and so on and so forth, one girl turned to the other, and proceeded to explain why this was so much fun, offering an example of play that went a little something like "You are traveling down a path. There is a tree. You travel further and look behind you and see the same tree, and you realize that it is actually following you, because it pulls up its roots and dances" at which point she proceeded to dance like a treant. It was one of the most excellent things I have ever seen. She then proceeded to hem and haw and worry about how she would be asking for gift certificates for her birthday and saving allowance to save enough money to buy everything she wanted. In a better world, I would have happily dropped a hundred dollars worth of dorkery into her hands, because, well, she deserved it, and I have an overdeveloped sense of justice, but we don't live in that world, and I just couldn't make an anonymous thirty something stranger presenting a teenage girl with an expensive no strings attached gift not feel spectacularly creepy ("Hey little girl... *deep panting breath*, I've got a first edition Deities and Demigods at home *slobber, leer*, wanna see it?"). I don't like this world very much a lot of the time.

While I'm here, let's have a quick media watch. It's been sort of dead for movies recently, despite it being Fall (speaking of, that's on DVD now, buy it if you missed it in the theaters), which is usually a good time for such things. I saw Vicky Cristina Barcelona with Jenny and Emmie a week or so back, which was definitely worth a watch (confidential to April, totally feeling you on the Javier Bardem thing now), though I'm a little bitter about it because it got me thinking that maybe I'd been missing out on some good stuff by avoiding Woody Allen recently, so I went and purchased Cassandra's Dream, which was at best "fine". Also saw the new movie about The Germs, What We Do Is Secret, which I liked quite a bit. And today I saw the new Coen brothers Burn After Reading, which was only ok. They really haven't had a winner comedy since Oh Brother. Shame. As for reading, it's pretty much just been the new Malazan book, which I blew a load worth of carbon footprint environmental goodwill by importing from England for a three week or so head start, and then reading only intermittently. I am a bad person. I've also been reading a load of Math texts, namely Graph Theory, Functional Analysis, Complex Analysis, and Abstract Algebra, because while I am not the Guy Who Wants To Tell You About His D&D Game, I am the Guy Who Considers Math Texts A Comfort Purchase. Speaking of the Coens, I get this bit from Barton Fink (Spoilers if you haven't seen Barton Fink (Why the hell haven't you seen Barton Fink?)) stuck in my head whenever I think about my new books. Look Upon Me! I'll show you the life of the mind. I will show you the life of the mind! I will show you the life of the mind!!!

And now, sleep.

You write such pretty words, but life's no storybook. Love's an excuse to get hurt... and to hurt.
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My body is a cage that keeps me from dancing with the one I love, but my mind holds the key. My body is a cage. We take what we're given. Just because you've forgotten, that don't mean you're forgiven.

Amazon is confusing me tonight. First I was cruising around idly seeing what's coming up on DVD that I sort of liked in the theaters. Could someone possible explain what connection Snow Angels has with hard core back door porn? Or, actually, just don't. But fine, porn on the internet. This is a surprise to nobody. Even more baffling though is the following... "Doomsday (unrated version) - Recommended because you purchased Kiss Of The Spider Woman". This demands either an explanation or an apology. Preferably both...

In other things that confuse me news, somebody has made a Solipsism role playing game. This baffles me to no end. I wonder what a LARP of it would look like. I'm picturing a bunch of people smiling self-contentedly to themselves and not speaking to each other.

Another random awesome thing. I was in Reel video last night and someone had shelved Jesus Camp as a horror movie in the "Creepy children" subcategory. I came as close to spit-taking as you can without actually having liquid in your mouth.

I have decided that I'm going to buy mp3 albums on amazon tonight until I have a prime number of songs in my library again. This can't possibly end well.

Now I look for her always. I'm lost in this calling. I'm tied to the threads of some prayer, saying "When will she summon me? When will she come to me? What must I do to prepare?" When she bends to my longing like a willow, like a fountain, she stands in the luminous air. And the night comes on, it's very calm.
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If you could hear me love, I'd tell to you my story. To you and only you, so love that you might save me.

Tempus fugit. Long time no post. The problem I always have when I write a journal entry that I'm especially fond of is that it makes it harder to write subsequent entries that don't hold up, and then I don't post for a while and it gets even harder to get momentum up to do so, and so on and so forth. Clearly the only answer is that I just post mediocrity. So, taking that firmly to heart, let's just have a random list of media I've enjoyed semi-recently.

My Winnipeg is great. It's Guy Maddin! It's a questionably autobiographical, Secret history faux documentary about Winnipeg. This is obviously a formula for awesome. I think this is probably the most accessible thing he's ever done, which admittedly isn't really saying a lot, but if you've never seen any of his stuff, this is most likely the best place to start.

I've been reading a bunch of Slipstream, New Weird, and Interstitial Fiction anthologies recently. I couldn't possibly tell you which one was which, but that's ok, because I don't think most of the authors contained in them could either. Pretty much all of them open with a long rambling screed trying to justify the existence of the sub-sub-sub-genre naming convention the editors have come up with. As usual with anthologies, they wobble up and down in quality between stories, but I've become especially fond of Kelly Link as a result.

You should also check out Paolo Bacigalupi. He's got a short story collection called Pump Six, which I found to be quite fine. There are some sample stories from it up on the web site. Most of them are more or less cyberpunk with an environmental bent. Bleakedy bleak bleakness.

Also recently read, Roland Topor's The Tenant, Christopher Priest's The Affirmation, and John Franklin Bardin's The Deadly Percheron. Because there's nothing more soothing when you're unhappy than seeking out surreal fiction involving having one's persona subsumed. Or... something. Oh, also, Leonard Cohen's Beautiful Losers. Upbeat I am not.

Ooh, and reaching back in my memory, but still read more recently than my last journal entry, Blindsight, which is just offensively good science fiction. Charles Stross has a pretty decent summary of it "Imagine a neurobiology-obsessed version of Greg Egan writing a first contact with aliens story from the point of view of a zombie posthuman crewman aboard a starship captained by a vampire". Yes, I know, it sounds horrible, but it's at least as good an example of the vampires in space subgenre as Lifeforce was. I'm not helping am I? Kidding aside, it's a pretty worrying look at post-humanity and some of the grimmer possibilities for extraterrestrial life. It also has a 144 section bibliography. You've got to appreciate science fiction that cites its references. Well, I do at least. That link up there leads to a complete version of it online. You should at least read the preface. And then go buy the real thing. Or better yet, just find the author on the street and stuff wads of money into his pockets until the police pull you off of him.

In addition to my usual practices of reading and movie watching, I've gotten myself embroiled in a Dungeons&Dragons game. I don't see how this can fail to increase the already incredibly potent allure I hold for the opposite sex. It's a lot more fun than it has any right to be. I spend a pretty decent section of each game giggling uncontrollably.

It's getting late-esque. I think I'll wander off before giving you the music update. Capsule summary, music purchased in the last month that I would classify as indie rock beating out music I would classify as industrial by a good order of magnitude or two. Oh the humanity.

Say what you want to say, and hang for your hollow ways. Moving your mouth to pull out all your miracles... for me

Hell, while we're at it

I know I should go, but I follow you like a man possessed. There's a traitor here beneath my breast and it hurts me more than you've ever guessed. If my heart could beat, it would break my chest, but I can see you're unimpressed
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I have decided that I need new music. I bet many of you can suggest new music for me. Or old music for me that I just don't happen to have already. I will accept either. So, let's do this. If you would be so kind, leave a comment with one of your favorite albums of all time that I probably don't own and I will go buy it no questions asked (though if you get clever and suggest something like Billy Ray Cyrus, there will be repercussions) (I apologize if anyone on my friends list actually likes Billy Ray Cyrus). Feel free to leave a list, and I'll just buy the first one that I don't have (or multiple, if multiple sound interesting). Please to be making sure it's actually easily purchasable. If it's downloadable from amazon, that would be perfect. I am, as always, a creature of instant gratification.

Ok, that's it for now. Too late to start a real entry. Let the games begin!
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Let this be the epitaph for my heart. Cupid put too much poison in the dart. This is the epitaph for my heart because it's gone, gone, gone

Dear universe:

The next time you decide to make it ten bajillion degrees out at one AM, could you please not also detonate a skunk outside my door? Please?

Actually, I think I should elaborate on that, in some vain attempt to actually capture the almost transcendent terror of this event. First off, let me note that I don't generally mind the way skunks smell. I will go a step further and admit that I sort of like it at a distance. Not in an "I wonder if I could get that in a facial scrub?" sort of way, but more in a "Well, that's something you don't smell every day, neat." sort of way. So when I say that I do not enjoy this smell, you need to understand that this is not a statement that deserves a "Well duh" in response.

Allow me to try to convey the additives in this nightmare potpourri, the flavor crystals of this olfactory experience. Above and beyond baseline skunk smell, add whatever herbal smell you like the least. Personally, I am not a fan of anise. Alternately, if it is within the realms of your imagination, add your favorite herbal smell, gone horribly, horribly wrong. I'm not going to do all the work here. If you really want to understand this smell, you're going to have to meet me half way. It exists in subjective reality. It molds itself around the weak parts of those who experience it.

But I get ahead of myself. At this point perhaps you are envisioning a skunk that has rolled in an herb garden. Perhaps you are harboring fond memories of Flower from Bambi. You poor fool. Have you not been paying any attention? No, if Flower this be, it is Flower perforated with buckshot, aspirating blood and finally expiring in a cursed field long hallowed by blood sacrifice. In that field grows the flower of pain, its root systems hungry for neural tissue.

And now in time-lapse photography, like A Zed And Two Noughts reshot as a zombie movie, we see the flower claim its host, tendrils thrust through the eye sockets, desiring only the sweet taste of myelin, flensing the corpse of all that was once beautiful, leaving only pain that passes beyond the supposed release of death and a burning desire to feast on all that have known happiness. Now, the parasitic union complete, it lurches into jerky motion, necrotized flesh wound through with rotting creepers coated with rusty leaf blight, under a sky lit only by cold and distant stars, the moon having mercifully fled behind the trees, unable to face this abnegation of the natural order.

Can you see it? Can you sense its hatred of you? Do you begin to grasp the terror that lurks within its rotted scent glands? Do you feel the weight of its regard as its still faintly glowing cybernetic eye scans over you, the lidar messages bouncing back informing it that you are too close to flee. Far too close, and so terribly mortal.

But what's that you say? "Cybernetic?" Of course. Of course. Did you really think that smell of oil and chemical out spill could possibly come from anything natural, or even supernatural? No, when the mustelid harbinger of the end days finds you, you must know that it could not possibly exist without the hubris of man, its first, and most terrible creator.

Thankfully though it is not the beast itself I face, but only its chemical spoor, the monster itself apparently having combusted in some unholy ignescent end. No purifying fire this though, not the purgatorial annihilation of cremation, or even the baconlike crackle of melting fat at a witch burning. No, this is the coal fire that burns beneath your town for decades, venting poisonous gas and ever hungry for fuel in any form. This is everything that should never burn. Chemical seas candescing pale blue and green. The harsh carcinogizing sunlight of a world at the end of time. This is fire that scoffs at mere oxygen. It has more rarified tastes. It hungers for Ytterbium, for Meitnerium, for the shattered glass eyeball of your first teddy bear, for joy itself.

And this smell is not centralized. How could it possibly be that easy? No, this burning, fetid, necrotic, chemical smell is not truly of our world, or even our dimension. It impinges on all space and time. It will not fade because it has always been and always will be. It lies in wait, awaiting an undefended moment, when you think you know peace. It is there in the ambergris of your lovers perfume. It will be in the fresh and clean scent of your first child, reminding you that contentedness is ever fleeting. And it shall wait for you at the end of your days. And beyond? Perhaps. It has brought atheists strong with faith in their faithlessness to their knees in supplicating prayer in the past and shall again. It pursues you ever around the wheel of karma, clings to the pearly gates, suffuses the flowers of Jannah. It surpasses eschatology.

Or maybe I'm exaggerating. But not by very much.

I was going to give you some sort of real update, or at least a media review, but I don't see how it could possibly compare at this point, so I'm signing off now.

But now it's come to distances and both of us must try. Your eyes are soft with sorrow. Hey, that's no way to say goodbye
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