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Prior to midterms

Next week will be the first round of exams in my classes -- specifically, in physics and calculus. I also have another quiz in C Programming (my second one) and I have my first take-home quiz due for Ethics (which doesn't really fit into the stress of "midterms," since I got to take it home and work on it for a week but...)

I'm stressed out in the back of my mind really. But not about the exams. I'm worried about the other commitments I have and I'm wondering how I'm going to make them all work out in the end. For instance, I have 10 hours I need to commit to NIST... and I have my first meeting for the VA Writing Workshop on Monday... and I have a butt-ton of reading to do for the Black Sun project... and regular reading to do for Ethics plus every other class... and I'm meeting with Alex during the time I usually do calculus homework, meaning I'll have to catch up on that at home along with everything else... and I really want to spend quality time with Lucas while it's still warm outside enough to go on walks in the evenings or bikerides even.

This next week will be the hardest to shift everything into, what with midterms. I can hardly believe it'll be week 5 already. The semester is just flying by and I feel like I'm really just struggling to keep up with it. Not in a bad way, but in a Jenga-like way, where each day that goes by removes one more block from my college career.

Of course, I spent most of today, my Saturday, messing around on the internet and playing with my phone settings. I feel like I waste most of the free time that's available to me, especially now that we've got internet set up in the house and I can waste it all doing absolutely nothing valuable with my time, all the while worrying in the back of my head how I'm going to make everything fit.

As for regular life update: I love Lucas incredibly. We really just fit together, from waking up in the morning to going to sleep at night. Not in the "we mirror each other's movements exactly," but in the "we work." I wake up earlier, and go to sleep earlier; he does the opposite, of course; our time together is usually just some of the most relaxed phases I've ever been in with another person. I feel almost like I'm just with an extension of myself with him, that I can just be whoever I am and not worry about what he's going to think. We're not always going to agree, but we're never mean to each other and we won't ever be at the rate we're going.

Yesterday evening, I had an appointment with my Lasik doctor for my year-after follow-up. We fought traffic for about 45 minutes to get into Denver, waited for about ten minutes for him to see me, and then after the -3 minute exam the doctor assured me my eyes were looking healthy as ever and I was getting 15/20 vision. We left the office less than 20 minutes after we got there and drove over to the nearby music store to waste some time and allow the end-of-day rush-hour traffic to die out. After hanging around for awhile, we finally started heading home. It felt a little awkward for some reason, like we were being too quiet, but I had nothing to say. When we got home, Lucas made some delicious sandwiches for dinner and we watched a few episodes of the Daily Show, President Obama's speech about the American Jobs Act, and then I fell asleep while Lucas watched the Banksy film "Exit Through the Gift Shop." That was pretty early even, probably just a little before 10pm; at some point in the night, I woke up and Lucas was still awake, downstairs on his computer.

This morning, I got up a little after 7:30am and did a bunch of wake-up things, from showering to cleaning the bathroom/kitchen to even practicing some calculus before he woke up sometime after 10. I made up some good breakfast (crepes and eggs), we tussled around a bit, then I wasted a few hours on my computer messing up my iphone settings. At about 2:30pm, we headed out to meet up with Jessica for some Young Adult service project thing. She'd emailed a pdf file about it and the first thing I read was an address for a church house in Golden. That turned out to be the "if inclement weather" meeting place and we had to drive another 20 minutes after that to get to a park on Lookout Mountain. We showed up and the only people there were Jessica with one young man and one older man. It was chilly but not too bad with the sunshine. While we waited for the other young adults to show up, Lucas and I drove over to the other side of the mountain where Buffalo Bill's grave is and which has one of the most terrific views of Denver that I can imagine.

When we got back to the group, it had multiplied to a pretty large bunch. We were making blankets to send off to the troops. The weather started to look pretty dismal and it changed from being a reasonably warm afternoon to absolutely frigid within about an hour. Rain started pouring down from dark blue/grey clouds, thunder echoed violently through the cliffs and valleys, and the wind cut through all the layers I had on me. Whenever Jessica came by, I hounded her about moving the activity to a church building to get out of the cold. Finally, at about 6pm, the announcement came that they were going to do just that. Lucas and I had managed to completely finish one blanket on our own and then we were assigned to cutting duties, successfully cutting out two more blankets before everything started getting packed up. We grabbed a few hot dogs, helped Jessica load everything up in the transport vans, and then took off to that same meetinghouse we went to originally.

Which, of course, turned out to be the wrong spot again. Jessica showed up after us and called one of her friends who told her that they'd changed the meetinghouse to somewhere else again. By then, it was 7pm and when Jessica asked if we'd still want to follow her to this new meeting place, I threw in the towel and told her we were heading home, back to Boulder.

On the way home, the clouds were phenomenal. There were layers and layers that melded into each other and twisted into individual shapes. The pinks and purples and blues of the sunset made it all seem like an impressionist painting rather than nature. The highlighting gold brilliance of the end-of-day sun was just the perfect contrast, calling out long shadows to shade the mountains as we drove back home.

Since then, I've messed around on the computer again and practiced up my Rosetta Stone, which I haven't worked on since January! I have some reviews to go to tomorrow, and then all the fitting of the next week. I'm officially happy and tired and perfectly content.

Still thinking about Lucas

I'm a little over two weeks out. I've got hardly anything done that I needed to get done, at least according to how I've felt. I still have tons to research and print out, to make into little homemade guides. Ah well.

I'm still just thinking about Lucas...

Lucaslucaslucaslucas

Lucas texted me to ask if he could tell me a secret. "Sure, babyluv," I answered, and waited.

"I like you a lot a lot," was his secret.

^________________^

music mania

On Saturday, I woke up fully intending on being totally productive. I was going to the gym. I was going to clean the room. I was going to check out that statue in West Minister. I was going to organize my music library a little better, deleting the duplicates I've created by moving the library home directory around to an EHD.

I decided to do that last one first, since it was a little chilly outside. BIG mistake.

Hours later, as the day passed, the clouds sending down fresh snow, the house alternately empty and full as everyone else lived their lives... I stayed, hooked to my music. It was like opening up a secret tunnel to a forgotten haven and your old friends, a little dusty, waved hello. I thought I could get a little bit done (I have a lot of duplicates and iTunes is not nearly as cool as Zune is when it comes to taking care of that business). I also have thousands of songs/artists that I don't even like any more, let alone want to hear in my random shuffling. All that heavy death metal that used to feel so "expressive" and "true" now just sounds like terrible, terrible garbage to me. A lot of other songs sound like they're trying too hard, and the audience they had in me has grown on from that. I ended up deleting DAYS of music from my iTunes library... or I thought I did. Turns out that even when I specifically told iTunes to permanently remove files and place them in the Recycling Bin, all the program did was delete the links from my iTunes directory. I'm thinking it might have something to do with the fact that my library is now located on the EHD but still! It's tremendously frustrating! I spend over an hour, thinking I was deleting the garbage, but when I went to empty the Recycling Bin there wasn't a file to be found there!

To make matters worse, I can't find my Shuffle (appropriately named Stitch) anywhere. I had it on Friday, rocking out to Young the Giant, Cage the Elephant, and the new Black Keys albums at the gym. I'm beginning to freak out about the possibility that I left it in the locker room. I really loved how easily it clipped to just about anything, pretty much an anti-bulk presence.

If Sunday wasn't Super Bowl Sunday, I would have continued my library manual cleaning (I'm about halfway through the "A"s, though my biggest problem is that I'm constantly distracted by wanting to play a song I haven't heard in ages). As is, I picked it back up today when I got home. Right now, I'm chilling to some Band of Horses, trying to soothe the surprise sorrow that "Shake Me Down" knocked me down to after listening/watching the music video on repeat for too long at work. I love haunting melodies and tragic lyrics, especially the ones that wiggle into that sort of feelings. It's why I'm in love with Modest Mouse and Death Cab. I'm not emo. I'm a happy, happy person. I've got a happy, happy life. But songs like "Little Motel," "Tiny Vessels," "Shake Me Down" make me just feel so deeply -- I'm addicted.

Of course, I'm also madly in love with Passion Pit and the Temper Trap, not to mention all the new-British Invasion of the Arctic Monkeys, the Kooks, the Cribs, etc. And the deep, hard rock sounds from bands like Interpol, the National, White Lies... "You get mistaken from strangers by your own friends when you pass them at night under the silvery, silvery citibank lights" -- another song that will haunt my mind for hours, years if I'm not careful.

Right. So, productivity = 0. It's a good thing work is slow right now. I'm not even remotely close to being able to focus. Especially being so reminded of Kurt Cobain -- dark you, CTE! Now I have to go and re-watch the MTV Unplugged session again, catch all those little emotions, the expressions.

I miss Jared during times like these. He would totally go for just watching music videos together all day. Even on a cloudy day.

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Showered and blue blazened

For the last hour of work today, i watched music videos from artists i love. Mum ford and Sons, Brand New, Big Pink...I sent Jess an email full of delirious happiness. I talked to a cute guy today and i plan on trying for a relationship with him, mostly because he seems to be just as outgoing as I am.

I also found out that Paul went on the Rick Steves Best of Europe trip with his parents when he was still in high school. It is pretty strange, that the week after i get the brochure for it in the mail he happens to mention how he has already experienced it all already. The man could beperfecct, and yet... He isn't making the moves, grr!

I think I need a few things to feel normal. I need my family. I need my dog. I need a good book to read. And i need music to gie me soul pinpricks of emotion, making me feel unbearably sad or weightlessly happy. Litlle Lion Man makes me feel both. This song by Glasgow makes me want to cry. Brand New keeps a howl on the inside of my cheek. Young the Giant de-ages My Body. TV throws a shiver down my spine. Music makes me reacts, keeps me awake and aware, throws a wrench in my day and a rose in my way. I know that if I'm feeling unwell, a good song can restore my sanity. There is a soundtrack to every mood, a mix for every moment. It sets the backdrop for the daily opera of our lives.

I still dream weird. I dream of flights through the ocean, of plucking the feathers off peacocks and using them to make harps, of driving through snow piles of powder sugar. I dream of stiffly choreographed ballet moves, people wearing swan masks and devil horns stuck inside rubic cubes, worlds where the sky is a puddle blue we swirl with our finger tips and feathered elbows. The strangeness of my dreams seems matched at times by the weirdness of the actual world. Temperatures gracing us with spring conditions and 60f readings, only to stay crouched beneath zeros only a few days later. De-aging mice, quantum computers, anti- and dark matter, dark energy, bringing back mammoths, making pea butter. I don't know what the sound track to hose discoveries were, but it just had to have been funky.

Dreams and credit cards

I really did mean to tell my bank about how I was going to be buying plane tickets, it's just that... I bought my tickets, and they didn't call. Then I bought another ticket and again, no problem. But then... As I was trying to buy yet another ticket... Bam, credit card fraud department finally gets a heads up an locks down my card, waiting for me to call them and personally authorize the purchases. Apparently they get a little suspicious when someone tries to buy a bajoillion plane tickets in the space of a few hours. No worries, though. Called up the bank, got everything straighten out, and bought a few more-worrisome tickets early. I didn't want to worry about flying in/out of Greece, especially now that the international rail lines have been closed down for budget reasons. And i was even thinking about railing up to Sofia, Hungary! Alas...

The last few nights I've been having the craziest dreams, all evolving around my future trip. One was of me getting off my plane in Iceland and just knowing that the flight attendants had stolen my luggage. I was very mellow and decided to just buy everyone over again. I don't really remember the other ones very clearly anymore, but for the last few days I've been waking up in a sort of semi-daze. It doesn't help that ive also been having a hard time falling asleep. Insomnia strikes again! Luckily i haven't had to worry about any testing at work so far this week. I'm just trying to keep my head down and last five months without drawing too much attention to myself.

I watched the original videos from the 60's moon walk for the first time today. For all that people are convinced it was a fake, that we dolled up some videos just to beat the Russians, I'm mostly sure that we really did land on the moon. I also watched some of the current International Space Station crew doing a video interview, the lady's hair floating straight up, the three of them ending the show with a weight-less flip. It's pretty amazing to think that right now, a crew of people from different countries are all floating up there, looking down at us, living without gravity, seeing the stars and comets firsthand. I'm not jealous so much as just in sheer awe of these people, whose view of the world is so much wider than my own.

The question keeps coming up to me, what do i really want to do with myself. I want my life to be meaningful. I want to be able to create something outside of myself, to see other hints that we man beings have created, that have transcended our own individual times and cultures to create a lasting impact on our species. I want to learn more about where we're heading, about the future of our technologies and our relationships with each other. I want to be able to feel like what i do on a day-to-day and year-to-year basis is more than just breaking down oxygen into carbon dioxide, more than just digesting foods to keep my organs functioning. I want to have a family, yes, but i also want my experiences that i pass on to my chldren to be rich examples of just how awesome people can be, whether they be stories from my own life or stories that I've learned from others.

i love the job I'm at right now. I love the peopl i work with. There are very cool guys, there are very sharp women, and the community feel of the environment is just the sort of hope-inspiring setting I needed after the navy. It would be so easy to just work here forever. I would never stress about my job. I'd eventually get enough of a raise to be very comfortable in raising a family on my salary alone. It's just that, despite all that, the easiness of the job itself is a huge, looming doom over my possible future satisfaction there. I would get bored. I would be bored and i would get comfortable and i wud stop thinking altogether. It's so eay, it's too easy. I want a job that is challenging with the same type of people that work there. I'm kinda afraid, though, that I'll never find another group just as cool as these people are.

I'm not the sort of person to remain discouraged, though.

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Babies and planning

This memory is probably copyrighted by E-mama, but I loved it anyway. It's 3 Kings Day and Javier's cousin/friends invited me and Jess to their party. The one with the bread and the hidden plastic babies. Randy wanted one so bad he nearly started crying -- and by "nearly," i mean the tears were there in the eyeballs and the sniffs were coming. One of the adults, someone who got a baby, gave it to Elena to hide in a piece for Randy. At first, he didn't even find it. Then, when he did, it was like muted explosion for about 5 minutes before he had moved on past the entire episode and was back to playing with the other kids. Lol, i know i spoil him rotten but man oh man!!!

At work, Troy brought up the fact that, for whatever reason, ex-military people don't seem to last a long time in the company. The last one, he informed me, only worked here for about 9 months before he quit to go to school. I felt like a cornered rat. I didn't really reply to that at all, dodging to response and changing the subject, and I'm sure he just brought the subject up innocently. Still! A day after i buy my plane tickets? A few days before I'm slated to hear a response from CU? The day I send in a request to release me records to the Mines? It was all terribly coincidental and made my skin crawl.

As for those plans... In the works. Right now, I'm narrowing down my planned destinations with estimates on how long I'll be there, the time it'll take to travel to the next city. It's looking something like this: Glasgow, Edinburg, London, Salisbury, Avebury, Bath, London, Brussels, Rotterdam, The Hague, Amsterdam, and then... Germany? Then Prague? Vienna? Split? Plane to Greece, plane to Spain (in time for the Running of the Bulls), loop through Spain and Portugal and then ferry to Italy, stopping on Sardania if possible (or even Malta) then making my way up the boot, into France, ending in Paris where it'll be a short Eurostar train back to London my for flight home.

Three weeks in Italy, two in France and Greece, one and a half in Spain and Great Britain. One week for Germany and and the Netherlands. And 3 - 4 days apiece for the rest. I've gotten a light research done up to Amsterdam so these are all highly preliminary but that's the gist of the trip. I'll have to look into exactly how cheap these budget flights are, how long the train ride take, and what so of sights the rest of the cities have to tempt me with.

Oh, so excited!!!

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THE TRIP!

I've bought my plane tickets!

I leave for Boston on May 21st; then, on the 24th, I fly from Boston to Iceland, arriving way early on the 25th.

I plan on going on the Golden Circle tour all day the 25th, hitting up the thermal pools that night, basking on the black lava shores in the midnight sun watching the daylight last 24 hrs. On the 26th, I plan on wandering around Reykjavik and ending up in another thermal pool. My flight out on the 27th is in the morning, arriving in Glasgow Scotland just after noon.

From there, it's all open travel!

The only next concrete thing I have planned out is my flight out. I don't head back until the 15th of August, leaving from London back to Boston, then back home on the 16th. There are so, so many things I need to figure out in the next four months. I need to buy my Eurail pass and other book-ahead fares. I think I'll travel in a clockwise circle that ends in Paris. I've gotten Lonely Planet guides and Let's Go guides and 1000 Things You Should Do guides; I'm skimming through the Rick Steves itineraries and googling "backpackers supplies." I'm checking out the BUG site and checking through the SoYouWanna.com

I want to be at the Running of the Bulls in Pampalona. I wanna stand in the Avebury Stone Circle. I wanna catch an episode of the Scottish Highlands Games in Perth. The Game of the Bridge in Pisa. The Epidaurus Festival in Athens. Eat chocolate in Belgium and tapas in Lisbon. Watch the flamenco dancers. Take the ferry to Sardina. Live in hostels and try couch-surfing at least once. I've got so much planning ahead of me, I'm just tickled!

Right now, I'm going through my hardcopy guide books, picking out the things that obviously stick out to me. My friend Kris Rotter who just got back from his own Euro-trip, tells me to keep an eye out for budget airlines.

There are just a few months of saving up before this happens. Then, college? Hopefully I hear back from someone concretely soon. I'm going to have to start sending out more applications soon. At any rate, most Fall semester early deadlines aren't until late February (I think).


Man! I'm so excited! I've told all my sisters. I haven't told anyone else.

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Thanksgiving in review

Thanksgiving, I thought, went pretty well this year. It's the second time in the last 6 years that I've rightfully celebrated the holiday. I was able to sneak home last year for it. The year before that, I was living with Tubby and Al; we had a really small Thanksgiving at Scott Pearson's place. I remember that morning being a good morning, washing my hair with the Eucalyptus shampoo set I had, bouncing on the pilates ball I used as a chair, candles being lit up in that boxy room I lived in. The year before that, 2007, we were underway for Thanksgiving and I don't really remember the holiday. We must have had some sort of special Thanksgiving meal, but I was also very excited at the thought of having my sisters aboard the ship for the Tiger cruise just a few weeks later. Back in 2006, I was on duty for Thanksgiving. It was a few days after we'd pulled back in, just a day or so as I remember, and the ship was a complete ghost town. The food was some ordered-in catering service that was supposedly delicious; I think I went to sleep in between watches, completely exhausted, too tired to eat.

Last year, for Christmas, I was on duty. I didn't have first watch, thought, so we partied it up the night before and I went to bed late, woke up late, didn't get onto the ship until just before I had to go on watch. I don't really remember 2008. I don't remember 2007, either, but I was home for it. I definitely remember swapping holidays to be home in 2006, to be there for Alan's wedding. 2005 and 2004 were before I got to the ship and I was home for Christmas both years.

I watched a movie last night about the Buddha, the stories about how he became the teacher, and one of the introductory sentences really struck me. It went something like: "Say you have a glass, and it is beautiful. One day, the glass breaks. You experience suffering because that beauty is gone. What would happen if you knew the glass was going to break? How much more would you enjoy your time with its beauty, knowing its time is limited, knowing it will soon be gone?" I've thought about that a lot in the last few hours, thinking about how we all know that life is limited, health is limited, contact with our loved ones is limited. Death, pain, sickness -- all are major parts of all our lives. And how do I treat this precious, limited time that I have now? How do I treat these beautiful moments that I have? Not just with my family, but even with myself? It will seem like such a short time, once it's over, to have been young and free and limber and healthy. I hope I enjoy it, knowing it will soon be gone.


We've just gotten back to the house after playing Monopoly at mami's house. Papi won big time and the game was a lot of fun. Yesterday, Allie went with me to drop my car off for an oil change. We went shopping at a few thrift shops before going home; I rode with Andreina to Barnes&Nobles to be with Elena (and her kids) and Jessica, checking through craft magazines to come up with Christmas decoration ideas. We went to Mami&Papi's place to watch some of the Beyonce concert, and then ended up later at one of the Gardie's kid's baptisms. On Black Friday, I went shopping for the first time during the craze and the rush. I'd gone to bed after 10pm on Thanksgiving Thursday, with Jessica and Allie still awake. When I woke up at 2:30am, everyone was parked outside of another Kohl's. I shopping by myself until just after 5:30am, meeting up with Mami after she'd dropped everyone else off at home. I ended up at home a little after 7am, making myself breakfast and falling asleep after setting up the Christmas tree. There's my weekend in review.

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Now, a new week!

I'm listening to Last.Fm, listening to one of my favorite bands now (Ra Ra Riot!) and have just put down one of my favorite books (Lisey's Story, by Stephen King) and wondering about the future. We're all so concerned about the holidays, and by concerned I mean writing down our wishlists and giggling through magazines. I've scribbled down the random wishes I've gotten on a scrap piece of paper and it's hanging on the fridge at Mami and Papi's place, right next to Elena and Javier's, near all the rest.

This has been a phenomenally lazy weekend following my first week of work after the Navy. So far, I'm very happy with Echostar. All the rumors of how terrible a place it is to work must have been related to the DISH Customer Service part; the people I work with are for the most part snarkily happy and sarcastic and funny and they joke around with each other just the way I like -- not violently, not angrily, not maliciously, but in the same way I kid my sisters.

On Friday, I came home first and devoured my Chinese leftovers, waiting for someone else to come home. No one else arrived for what seemed like hours, and I was left to watch the Daily Show by myself until they did. Andreina, Justin, Jess and me then caught the late showing of the newest Harry Potter flick after I rushed over to M&P's place to refresh myself with the 6th movie. I loved the movies, both of them, and my romance with the series is somewhat reignited. At least, I'm remembering why I could have devoted so many years to that universe. On Saturday, I slept in late and read all day; today, I proceeded to do the same, leaving with Allie to walk around the mall a little and feel like the awkward anti-shopper. We got dinner and all met up for a family Sunday night and I'm back here, reading, listening to music, inspired to update this journal because of a line in my book.

I've always had a pretty endless and everlasting To Do list. The top priorities now are to finish those gosh-darn college applications -- CU, CSU, the BYUs, and cross-my-fingers for the Mines. It's almost December. I'll have to rush through those fun essays, which is no bueno, but maybe I'll include all those wonderful military evaluations which tell the world how Puritan a sailor I was all those years ago.

The priority that comes after all those college acronyms is to address to Carl that his behavior is UnAcCepTaBle, emphasis on all syllables. That he isn't the sort of dude I'm interested in, that I am less and less affected by his sadness and his mood swings and his poetic addresses. It's getting to be Bobby all over again -- the behavior I want, I crave, I need, from the corner I cringe away from. What can I say? I keep on hearing my explanation about why me and Austin didn't work echo over and over again: he likes HipHop, I like Indie Rock. It makes so much sense to me, why doesn't that mean much to anyone else? Why doesn't he see? Why didn't I see it at first? It's so obvious, just the sound of the relationship, that our clash would only be more garbage noise in this already vibrantly polluted place. I want someone to sing the second to my song and have our voices be harmonic, even in its fights and flights.

Jason Saab once came up to me at work with a revelation glowing in his voice and twinkling in his eyes. "I just realized that with all the billions of people there are in the world, if there's something I really can't stand in a girl, I don't have to put up with it," he told me, like a spiritual exercise. "I can just tell her we don't work and move on. There are so many other people, there's bound to be someone close enough to what I think is perfect that she will be perfect, at least to me."

"Of course, you're already unhappily married," I had to remind him, and there the memory of the conversation goes dim, the important part replayed. He was right, I had agreed with him, we had gone into one of our aimless, wandering talks where I surprised him by showing him a glimpse of actually having a decently deep mind and he showed me a sneak peak of how desperately frustrated a man he was.

When I was in Michigan for that wedding, when I was laying in my hotel bed alone after angrily leaving the ceremony, when I declared that I wanted to go and found myself in my room -- the clock turning just past one, my body wide awake, lonely and bitter, I went through the hundreds of FaceBook friends I'd accumulated through the years and I deleted almost every single one. I got rid of the clutter, so to say, keeping on the people I was related to and the friends who I kept in contact with personally, even in sparsely. I went from over 500 "friends" to less than 50, the majority being family members near and far. Lately, that number has crept up again as I refriended the ones who contacted me again, but the vast majority of people I've known and who have been a part of my life over the last six years are now gone. It makes me feel alone when I think about it to much, but then again I didn't plan on seeing any of those kids again anyway and they didn't really come close to knowing me -- but not in the dark and moody sort of way that Carl says it ("I don't let anyone close, no one really knows me, no one really gets me") but in the factual, technical, somewhat dry sort of way, an acknowledgement that somehow doesn't detract from the fun we had but is true. Andreina reminded me of it, and so does Allie, when they talk about their friends here and now. I suppose I should start making some more. There are those nice people at work. I just don't feel like being that social just now. Or they're not the type of people I want to be with because that's not the sort of person I want to become, the sedentary engineer. I want to be Veronica; I want to be Gir; I want to be Lisey; I want to be Scott, but not so loved by the darkness or such close friends with the long boy. I want to be the one who knows that Everything's Eventual, and SSID applies, and who can say shmuck while the Gunslinger paces by. And I need friends who'll understand all that. Like Jason says, with so many people out there, it's okay to be picky about some things and even friends can be that important.