Thursday, October 30, 2008

We'll blend.

The truth is that there are no safer waters than where I swim currently.

Last night, I was Master Splinter of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for our annual staff Pumpkin party. I'll try to post pictures.

Against the surge of waves that held us.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

No more chains

I, even though programming is not currently my day job, retain an interest in it, and I still read some programming blogs semi-frequently. Today was kind of a boring day at work for several reasons, and I took some "Professional Development" time to read some programming related blogs.

I just read a post that almost breaks my heart. It doesn't break my heart for the reasons I think it will touch nearly everyone else that reads it, but it breaks my heart because of where I think Steve Yegge is going to end up with where he takes it. He's so close here, and I fear he's going to go the way so many others do. Reading this will help you understand me, and the despair I feel at talking to these, 'my people' sometimes.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Dying paths again

Max. He's usually a good dog.
My yard, with me playing catch last weekend (the guy in the back is one of my housemates).

Some days, I should be banned from interacting with most people.

Some days, I should be able to get more done.

Some days, I should realize my shell is closing back in.

Monday, October 27, 2008

No release from my own words

I usually don't blog during the work day, and I shouldn't be now, but I've got a lot of stuff rolling around in my head that I feel like if I put it down, I might be able to set it aside and get some work done. So, here goes.

If you're reading this, you know where I am. If you're reading the news, you know some of the events that have been going down here of late. I know some things I can't post here. Short way to say it is that this place reminds the world of the depravity still evident in it. People kill, people claim, people die, people lose, people gain, people fear, people defy. The black and the white aren't so easily distinguished.

Yet, in all of this, I have a simple peace. Come what may, my hand stays firm on the tiller. You may not understand it, I can't explain it to you. But I'm supposed to be in this place for this season. The struggle, the death, the life, the grief, the chains, none of them matter. If I were supposed to leave, I would feel it. I don't feel it. I'm careful, certainly. I'm not going to go running down some main road with an American flag wrapped around my shoulders. But I'm not scared. Do you hear me, people who want to make me scared? I'm not scared of what you can do to me. I fear what you can do to my friends, to this country, but I'm not scared of you. You may prowl like a lion, seeking to devour me, but I've got someone stronger at my back.

Yeah, I may not have a wife and kids, and that may change everything, but does it really? If I say I surrender all, but then hold them back from the hands or the plan, what have I really surrendered? Take all of me, leave me nothing left to give, nothing left to lose. Come what may, I will run, I will run to the world's ending if so called. I will run in quiet, I will run in noise, I will run in turmoil, in peace, I will run in the fire and in the waves. I will run through the end of my dreams, I will run through the fulfillment of them. I will run despite my failings, despite my insecurities. I will run despite the cold and I will run despite the rain.

Do you hear me, men who would seek my life? I will stay here for here I have been called. I will stay here to show you that your plans may come to fruition, but your purposes will be thwarted. I will stay here for, where else could I go? I will stay here because the wisdom of this world is failing and foolish.

I will stay because I have to.

I will stay because there is no safer place I could be.

I will stay not because my pride compels me, but because my Boss asks me.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I can't tell you why there's shadows on the sun.

I was born for this.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Memoirs of a particular sponge.

It's only moderately frustrating to have to walk down the street when it's in the 40s to take a shower because you have no water.

It's only moderately frustrating to not have power after 11:00 P.M.

It's only moderately frustrating to breathe in deep and feel the contaminants entering your lungs.

It's only moderately frustrating to not grow.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A New Style

And the world and the waves just keep churning along, keeping me away from the stars.

Dangers leave me equipped not to fight, but to surrender.

Limitations prove to be nothing more than gauges of how far I've come.

The reactions of others don't scare me anymore, but show me how far I have to go.

The space between the floor and the door fills with the feeling of soaring.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Top Ten List.

Background - we have occasionally been put on a security restriction where we can't go anywhere unless there are two people going (i.e. don't walk alone.) So I asked in a meeting why that was, saying that depending on who I'm walking with, I feel less safe if there's two of us. I got an answer to my question, and also got this e-mail written about me. It was circulated today.

Top 10 Reasons Russ Should Accompany You on Your Next Outing

1. He makes a good barrier
2. He has good experience helping other's lower their statistical risks
3. Knowing Russ, he will probably feel obligated to save you somehow
4. He usually wears flip flops out...slower running than you
5 If it comes down to it, just mention that Russ is the one who could iron out their network problems
6. And likewise, you could ask him how to fix all your email and printing problems on the way...if you have to beat it, just tell him to take care of it remotely later
7. You know he wants to!
8. We've all talked about it in a meeting and its unanimous, er almost unanimous, Russ should go!
9. It's okay to call him to ask because he'll be relieved its not a prank call
10. If nothing else, he could at least carry all your pink milk

Monday, October 20, 2008

I just hope

Stuff happens here. The place I live, eh? It's an uncomfortable normal.

So, can't you take all of me? This is a place where I don't have to convince the world that I'm trying to be something I can't be.

Lots happening in this land. Please Remember it.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Clean floors.

I wish I could change my wiring. I'm so horribly poor at dealing with people, I'm selfish and I can't control my own feelings enough. I wish I could just stay quiet, not ever have to interact with people at a deep enough level that what I do matters. More awkward silences, more disappointments. More of me being weird, and other people having to deal with the aftermath of that.

I'm getting behind again, and I have to work hard and catch up.

I had a really good conversation with a respected elder friend last night that is helping me process and figure out a lot of things that are on my long-term horizon. I think I was reassured that I'm not crazy, which was/is really helpful.

I've come to the conclusion that... well, I probably need to bite my tongue more.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The little preparation

It seems the more I refuse, the more I experience. It seems the greater the challenge, the less even the difficulty.

I'm afraid of what I think I need to resolve.

I'm almost at the point where I don't want to talk to people about things, because I keep getting in these situations where I have no appropriate ability to respond, so I just kind of sit there and stare into the awkward silence.

Just have to listen.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

First the left, then the right.

I do cartwheels leading with my left hand. I can barely do them if I lead with my right hand.

I need to get out and go, I have speak for a small group meeting this morning. I'm pretty inadequate to be able to do this, especially right now, when I'm having trouble dealing with people, let alone new people. I feel like I just want to keep quiet, not speak, not be around these things any more. It seems like there's no escape, no freedom, no retreat. There's just nothing to do with anything of the rest of this. I can't even do simple things without messing up, without lacking tact.

Steadfastness, self-control, brotherly affection. At the pinnacle comes love. Can I do that? Can I be that person? Is there a way that I can avoid listening to the noise, and concentrate on the Voice? Here we go again, into a single phase of existence, one where I can't stop looking in the mirror and wondering where the edge is, wondering what separates me from that ideal of myself that I've constructed and that I see when I look at the pressed silver.

I wish I could move past this. Instead, it seems like I have to deal with it every couple months or so. I need to go. I think I'm going to go try to reassure Max that he's not in a lonely place. Maybe it's not just Max.


We got a new friend today. His name (apparently) is Max, he's a German Shepherd.

As I type this, he's outside. This is his first night separate from his family and siblings. When I came in a few minutes ago, he came up to me. I petted him for a while, carried him back to his house. He followed me back to the door. I couldn't let him in. He's barking that little whining bark that puppies do.

I feel terrible. I feel like him sometimes. Like I'm alone in this cold earth, nothing familiar, no family, no nothing, just dumped in this new place. So while I was petting him, I told him it was ok. That we were going to take care of him, feed him, do our best to make sure he stayed warm. That we were going to love him and do our best to help him gave a good life.

I hope he can make it OK with us. I hope we can take care of him well.

Walk around the moon

There's tension in my mind with dealing with people these days, more than other days.

I keep having these weird conversations, I keep having strange experiences with people when they feel like they need to talk to me. I'm pretty sure I'm a sociopath. I don't want to deal with this any more.

I haven't felt this anti-social in months. I don't know what exactly brought it on. I just want to have friends and not have to deal with any emotions or anything.

I found a Relient K CD here for 4 dollars earlier today. I also bought some Thanks-a-lot girl scout cookies and some bribery material.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Today is another day that my dealing-with-people module isn't compiling right, my level of social functioning is pretty low. People do silly things, I do silly things, and I once again have no constructive way to deal with this.

It's days like today that make me want to just bury myself in my books, my music, video games, and whatever, just to get away. I guess I have to just step back, get perspective, and step back in, because I'm here, and I have to deal with this.

It just would be nice to have... yeah, all that needs to stop or go away, too.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I have shallow unrealistic dreams

Because suddenly, it's like he's twelve again, and after something strikes him as funny, he shares it with people. Which makes them mock him, and he gets unhappy again. Since of course he has no real constructive way of dealing with this, he responds by mocking them in some fairly obtuse sort of way, which results in less pleasant abuse then before. Which he of course takes with a smile like it's funny but in reality it makes him widely frustrated since he has no real constructive way to deal with this. He therefore leaves, and proceeds to bury himself in himself for several hours until it's time to go to bed. He of course gets irritated at the people that try to reach him, because all they ever want is for him to do something for them, and it's like no one ever appreciates the significance of the fact that he just develops this victim complex and then they're just feeding it.

Because he's not sure about anything any more. Because he just wants to be normal for a while. Because he wishes he could get his head screwed on straight. Because he knows he can't just retreat again, but the way he wants to fix it doesn't seem right. Because all of this is like being twelve again.

Because he doesn't care any more and writes things like this on his blog.

Because now that he knows who he needs, he needs Them more than ever. Because he makes excuses for why he pushes away. Because he wants to go Home.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Won't be honed

Are you an empiricist? Do you look at everything as input/output, data, a system?

Do you want to go to the moon, to live in space?

Do you wish for the best to be yet to come?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

What I've grown to love too much to leave



The embrace of the wind.


Dreams of the stars.


Coaching kids playing basketball.


A spartan, austere existence.


Chicken Soup.

A mat I need to take up.

The music of a favorite band.

Softness, goodness.

My friends' kids coming up and giving me a hug.


A smile.

The funnel and the fire.

Indecision and uncertainty.


Ultimate Frisbee.


E-mail from someone out of the blue.


A dark room to sleep in at night.


The company of men given something to say.



Friday, October 10, 2008

Futuristic braces have holes in them

The spam folder on my e-mail account has 359 messages in it. The top one is for wolfskin blankets.

Please, please tell me someone else gets why that might be funny.

Airbag Deployment

I took one of my most favoritest books with me on Fall Break, Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon. There's a section in it that I am going to potentially break copyright laws here (although I maintain this is an excerpt that should be counted as fair use, since I am not portraying this as my own work) to reproduce, because it applies to me rather muchly. So, read the other stories if you haven't, and consider this a bonus post.

Randy: "[Men's] social deficiencies, lack of perspective, or whatever you want to call it, is what enables us to study one species of dragonfly for twenty years, or sit in front of a computer for a hundred hours a week writing code. This is not the behavior of a well-balanced and healthy person, but it can obviously lead to great advances in synthetic fibers. Or whatever."

Amy: "But you said that you were not very focused."

"Compared to other men in my family, that's true. So, I know a little about astronomy, a lot about computers, a little about business, and I have, if I may say so, a slightly higher level of social functioning than the others. Or maybe it's not even functioning just an acute awareness of when I'm not functioning, so that I at least know when to feel embarrassed."

Amy laughs. "You're definitely good at that. It seems like you sort of lurch from one moment of feeling embarrassed to the next."

Randy gets embarrassed.

"It's fun to watch," Amy says encouragingly. "It speaks well of you."

The Malay Supremacy (or, "They're going to steal our kidneys")

The Petronas towers at night are a sight to behold. Especially on a night like this when it is cloudy. It's like fire in the sky, a moon of local color.

So, more stories. Some of them are like coming home.

We decided, on the recomendation of a friend who had gone to Malaysia a couple of years ago, to go to Kuala Teregganu, a town about 300 kilometers away in the Northeast corner of the country. So we booked a hotel, then went down to the bus station on the appointed day, and found a bus. Now, this is glossing over some of the experience. Basically, we were the only white people in the place, and were trying to communicate where we wanted to go, which I kept mispronouncing, not knowing any better. We found a bus. We got tickets, got on the bus. Sat for half an hour past advertised departure time. Drove to another bus station, and collected more passengers. Drove to... the bus company yard. Switched parking stalls three times. Waited. Started to get worried that this was the part where we were going to get jumped and have our kidneys stolen. Suddenly, we hear an explosive, "rat-a-tat-tat-tat." Russ jumps. Realizes that it's just an impact wrench - they are apparently changing two tires on the bus. Tires changed, we take off for KT. About an hour and a half after we were supposed to be on the road.

The road.

The first two hours from KL to KT, through the Malaysia highlands, were absolutely gorgeous. Green, tropical, soaring cliffs, plunging valleys. I can't even begin to describe to you how gorgeous they were.

10 hours (!!!), which was supposed to be 5, later, we pull into KT. We had supper at McDonalds (yell at us, but we live in Kabul. We don't get McDonalds every day.), then got wildly overcharged to taxi to our hotel. That night at the hotel, we watched the greatest movie in the world - a Malaysian Zombie movie. Actually, it was a spoof, but it was hilarious. The next day, we went out to try to find the airline office, to see if we could book tickets to fly back since I couldn't online, but how much was it going to cost at the travel agent? (answer : too much) Then we started going into clothing and fabric stores... I'm pretty sure they all started calling each other, "There are foreigners here buying our clothes! This is crazy!" Now, I was with two girls who had the previously mentioned WILDLY DIFFERENT clothing tastes as far as colors go. So, we went through another hour of, "How does this look?" "Great!"

Anyway, after finishing shopping, we ate at a little store front Malaysian restaurant, where we were educated on the proper position for plates (rice in front, chicken and vegetables in back, and if you rotate the plate, the waiter will turn it back for you.). It was pretty good, actually. Then we got all ready to go to the beach, swimsuits, sunscreen, etc. And head down... to the water front. No beach where they told us there was a beach. We go to the tourist info booth. Apparently, there are regulations against swimming on the beach there. We go back, disappointed, change, and go back out. Go through Chinatown, up to the Sultan's burial site, swing in a park, eat at Pizza Hut (where they serve a soup of the day, and other weird pizzas), go to another clothing store where Russ is forced to buy a belt, then back to the hotel. Change, pack, head to the bus station for our overnight bus back to KL.

I slept some on the bus, but not as much as I wanted. We got back to our hosts' place about 6:00. We goofed around the rest of the day, did some more shopping, tried to find a power adapter to replace the stolen one, did more walking around the city. Got up the next day, and went out and got fast food one last time. Then we took a taxi to the airport, argued with the airline people a little about our friend's luggage in hopes she'll get at least some recompense (moral of this part of the tale? Don't fly on Emirates.) for her stolen items. Got on the plane...

Only to find the rear section where we were filled with Indians. (not Native Americans) Walking up and down the aisle, taking all kinds of pictures. Including of us! The girls hid behind the seats, and the Indian guy in front of us waited until they looked out to snap their picture. They clapped when the plane took off! It was annoying. I think some little Indian kid is going to have a photo album, "Our first family vacation, and the White People too!"

The worst part was the two Indian guys who kept staring at the girls. Even after we switched seats so I was standing in between them and the girls. And I stared them back down every chance I got. I probably should have said something, but they were putting the beers away, and I didn't want to deal with angry drunk guys. They even stared at the girls when we were in Baggage claim!

We got into Delhi at about 9:00 P.M. and our flight out wasn't until 11:30 the next morning. We got a hotel, that from the outside I was sure was going to be a roach motel, we're really loosing our kidneys here kind of place. Instead, it was pretty classy. We didn't leave the hotel and go out to get supper, however, after we looked out the window and said, "It's like a worse version of Kabul out there!" The best part was watching Bollywood MTV the next morning before going back to the airport. One music video was a cross between Metallica or Linkin Park, and Backstreet Boys or N'Sync. I kid you not. It was hilarious.

The rest of the trip is uneventful, so I'll not mention it too much, except for finding Rolos. Duty free in Delhi. Awesome.

We got back on Wednesday, I started Lazy-Moving to my new apartment, set up the Drive-In Movie, which was West Side Story. Now, I don't usually like Musicals, but I can appreciate them for the hard work and the quality put into them. Not this movie. It was lame. I also gave out the coolest thing - I gave our science teacher and his 6 and 3 year old sons Legos that I got in KL. They were really pumped about them. The science teacher's wife told me tonight, "[Science Teacher] keeps saying he needs to bond with his sons. Really, he just wants to play Legos."

It's now Friday Night, I'm in my new place, which is nice. Work starts back in earnest. I'm doing a lot better than I was last week, and I'm pretty excited about the next couple months. Played Frisbee and Volleyball today, and that always makes me happy as well.

Well. I've written a rather long set of narratives today. Hope you like the story of my adventures in Malaysia!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Malay Comedy

So, it is time for the epic description of the journey from Kabul, through Delhi (not pronounced Dell-Hi, pronounced like where you can get lunch meat).

Our journey begins on October 1, 2008, at approximately 4:45 in the morning, as your intrepid hero awakens, quickly showers, grabs his gear, and heads out to the van for our early morning ride to KIA, the Kabul International Airport. KIA is only slightly bigger than your average small airport, but has improved markedly in the last several years. There are nine of us on the first hop to Delhi. After we make it through the 3 luggage and body searches, we finally board the flight to Delhi. We are about the last people on the plane. The plane is about 1/2 full, and everyone crams into the first half of the plane. No passenger redistribution occurs. Consequently, it seems that a couple months' worth of wear are added to the elevators on the plane, as they are constantly overworked to keep the plane level.

Arrival in Delhi, proceed through passport control, and make their way to baggage claim. At baggage claim, they pick up mostly empty suitcases (everyone packs a full carry-on and then some check an empty on this leg, intending to fill the empty with goods unobtainable in Kabul), while the girls immediately proceed to bathroom to change into scandalous clothing. Russ begins to endure the start of the week's entertainment for his female traveling companions, namely the "We're not in Kabul anymore, we can touch boys!" which accompanies a poke or a grab. As befits his status as an intrepid hero, he endures this with a pained expression or a grin.

Three members of the group of nine, Russ and two of his female friends, are going to be flying to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia later that day, but not for about nine hours. The other six are going to be spending the week all over India. So, the decision is made that all nine of us will proceed to Connaught Circus in Delhi, think downtown shopping/restaurants. So the group piles into three taxis, drives through absolutely insane Delhi traffic, to Connaught... and only two cars make it there. Six members of the group proceed to look for the other three, having no luck, they decide to eat, then head back to the airport where surely they will find their friends who, upon discovering that they are also unable to reconnect, will head back to the airport to find each other. The difficulty here is that luggage is spread across three taxis, and therefore some of the lost people have luggage that some of the non-lost people need, and vice versa. Discussion ensues about the possibility of vacationing with the others' luggage, but is quickly discarded.

An hour and a half later, the groups reconnect, the Malaysia group separates and returns to the airport, after being scammed on the cab ride. (Russ is, he admits, rather easy to scam the first time.) They sit in the airport visitor lounge for about 5 hours, watch 3-2-1 penguins, eat, plan the trip. They get on the flight to Kuala Lumpur, which is populated by just about the crabbiest flight attendants ever. Once in KL, they collect their luggage, change money, and get on the express train to from the airport to the central terminal, where the folks they are staying with are going to meet them.

The train ride is the most beautiful thing they have seen in months. It's green and tropical. Russ spends most of the trip gazing out the window like a four year old at a toy store.

They take an LRT (think mass-transit train) from the central station to nearby the house of the folks they are staying with. They stay on the 20th floor of a condo building. This is their view.

This view staggers the three who have recently arrived from Kabul. They stare at it for a while. Eventually returning to consciousness, they receive the first bad news of the trip.

This trip was undertaken because E traveled through KL on the way to Kabul in August. In KL, she was told that her two carry-on bags were overweight, and she would have to pay $1000 to get one of them further on. Not having that much liquid cash, one bag was left in KL, eventually it was picked up by the folks the group of three stay with in KL. (These folks are friends of friends, and incredibly kind people). Upon opening the bags after reclamation in KL, it is discovered that items were stolen out of the bag, including the external hard drive with a year and a half's worth of pictures, music and documents, a laptop power adapter, various items of clothing and hair care products. This leads to immense disappointment.

They go on a walk to try to relieve the disappointment. In Malaysia, even with a t-shirt and uncovered head, no one stares at the white people. This is more refreshing than can easily be described.

They go shopping in KLCC, a huge, relatively posh mall. Russ bails from the GAP and gets ice cream. He discovers the new difficulty in going shopping with two girls who have different fashion tastes. E will pick something out and go to try it on, and L will remark at how she thinks that piece of clothing is hideous. Then L will pick something, go try it on, and E will mention how she would never get anything like that. Russ just smiles and says, "Looks good" whenever they ask him. They know he's faking knowledge, but it's a time-honored deception, and so they expect him to play the role, which he does with a degree of aplomb that does not betray the fact that he hardly ever went clothes shopping whilst growing up with two sisters of nearby age.

They get to see the Petronas towers at night. Later, Russ will post photos from the girls who had their cameras at the base of the tower one night.

Russ needs to be getting out now, but will try to return later to type up more of the thrilling story of the journey, including the beaches you can't swim at, not getting their kidneys stolen in rural Malaysia, Sandeep's First Family Vacation (and the White People!), Indians who won't stop staring, the joy of discovering Rolos in the Delhi airport, and the return to Kabul.

Word out!

Jumping on one leg impacting bodies right and left

The joy of moving into a new place sometimes outweighs the pain of leaving a place you came to call home.

Joys - figuring out you have so much dross that you need to get rid of - I wasn't going to take a suitcase home in December, but now I may, or at least give away a bunch of the stuff that I have here that I don't need - who needs 13 pairs of pants.

- Figuring out where to put all your stuff - what to do with the two 'good' t-shirts that you always wear when you're going out and want to look casual but nice, so much that people comment about it if you don't wear them.

- The clean, spartan feeling of having a new, arranged room.

- Having a desk for the first time in a year - no more typing on the floor

- Knowing the adjustment to a new place isn't going to be as bad as you think it might be.

Pains - having to adjust to having housemates again

- Realizing that you have a ton of junk

- Trying to figure out what to do with all your new space.

All in all, having a new place is nice, though.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Made it back to Kabul OK. Had an interesting plane ride with clapping, flash bulbs, and staring Indians. I'll blog more tomorrow.

And I'm moving tomorrow, too! Pics of Malaysia and new Apt coming soon!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Not in the fire

My head hasn't been this straightly screwed on for a period of time that I can't even begin to recognize. It may be only fleeting and temporary, and I may wake up tomorrow morning and realize that lines have been drawn, lines have been crossed, and that I'm still not as close as I wish I was, but that this is OK. It's taken so long for me to understand these things, and it leaves me desolate, dispossessed, and ultimately OK.

So the time that I've spent here has been relaxing, renewing, confusing, refreshing, replete with difficulties and walks. I've done it, and I'm so glad. The funny thing about sensation is that it is not definable to the outsider, only to the one who is experiencing it. I belong down here. In the coruscating kindness, in the awful blindness, in the wreck of nature's path, in the rhythm of the stars and the simple nights. Some days, I try to perpetuate the deception that I am simply cunning, when instead I am under the gun to figure this out. Soon enough, it's forgotten, and I'll be glad enough to bury this. I'm much stronger in the face of it all from home.

This is the story of a bag of bones, who had nowhere to go, and left a trail across a desert of his own making. A promise that I made, and one that I didn't hold, it burns in my breast like a single coal spreading wide. Nothing is what it seems, and the question is truly one of how much do I deceive, how much do I fool myself? This is the story of the realization of how desolate I am. Of how I left behind all that I could have gained, and instead exchanged my blessings for skin like winter.

How could I have ran so far without even knowing? I guess I did know it all along, but I just kept fooling myself into thinking that I wasn't. How often I suppose we do this, this faking and fading, this reluctant dance with ourselves, while all the while we deny that we are. Like a man staring in a mirror, we refuse to acknowledge the Truth, the fundamental Truth, that holds our situation, our life in the palm.

I feel like I left myself for dead with the choices that I made, with the auditions I held. It seems as though in the game of greatness, I misplaced the chance that I could have grasped. It feels, though, as unimportant as a single wave of the sea, a future of grass swaying in the wind until the end of time. What is the measure of my days?

Could this have been the chance I had to face the war? Could this have been the chance I had to kill another person's dreams, another story in the repertoire, another notch in the belt?

It wasn't supposed to be like this when I started this road. It was supposed to be following the footsteps of heroes, people who had gone before. It was supposed to be short and over quickly. It was supposed to make me stronger for the next road.

Instead, the skyline's promise has left me. Paradoxically, in the supposed pursuit of that which I claimed to be called for, I followed my own wasted thoughts. I filled the pockets of my own worldly corruption. From what seemed to have been a towering, lofty height, I saw my deeds revealed for what they were, the good, the bad, the end of them all.

I saw my need to be broken in twain.

Here I am, a wandering soul on this cold, dark earth. Here I am.

And would I that my deeds would collapse and fall which were done of my own regard. Would that all who have thought highly of me see me brought low. Would that I could have given them a war to see. Would I that I could fall for my only trustworthy, only pathfinding friend.

Tonight shall I sleep. Tomorrow shall I give up my search to find how to be where I said I would be.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Shelf

We made it back from Kuala Teregganu safely, with our kidneys intact. We didn't get to swim, it's illegal to do so on the beach. But I did participate in still more shopping, and lots of walking. K.T. was like being in... well... Wichita, Malaysia. It was pretty nice, we could walk around without everyone staring, the girls could walk around without me. We took an overnight bus back, but am still tired.

So today, we're going to a water park. Yay! And, I've still got all my kidneys.

Saturday, October 04, 2008


Today, we...

- took mass transit to Puduraya, a bus station in KL, where we proceeded to luck our way into a bus that was going to our destination.

- Waited on the bus in the bus station until half an hour after it was time to leave.

- Left Puduraya.

- Went to another bus station to pick up some other passengers.

- Drove to the company bus yard, pulled into three different parking stalls, then picked on Then waited on the bus while they changed two tires. It was at this point we were sure they were going to kidnap us and steal our kidneys.

- Finally got on the road. Were in the bus from 10:30 A.M. until almost 9:00 P.M.

- Drove the first hour in first gear, basically.

- Ate at McDonalds in a new mall at our destination.

- Went to the Taxi stand and way overpaid to get to our hotel.

- Got to our hotel, checked in, got on WiFi, am blogging while the girls are watching a Malay zombie movie, and providing new subtitles.

This is the kind of day I can't imagine having had a year and a half ago. Driving across Malaysia was amazing, the country is so beautiful. This was a great day.

I'll have to post some photos when I get back to a good internet connection. Wifi here at the htel is not great.

Friday, October 03, 2008

It's good to get out when...

... you're in a foreign country and every time you hear firecrackers, your brain has to quickly process through the sound to figure out if it was a firecracker or a gun shot. (Doing physics subconsciously on the fly is fun!)

Without fancy dress shoes

Now... we're getting ready to go out to a beach for a couple days. It's a six hour bus ride there, and then we're staying at a hotel, maybe going to a rainforest or something, but also just going to the beach. Not sure how much we'll have internet out there, so don't freak out if you don't hear from me for a couple days.

This has been a really fun vacation so far, and I'm expecting the trend to continue. Even if my arms are tired from all the bags I had to carry last night on the way back from the Suria shopping mall.

My head is getting screwed on straight, and it seems like the things that I fear don't get to take place, which is awesome! Life is good.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Reflections in your highrise

Now... we're going shopping. Please feel for me. Please.

We're staying with some really, really cool people here, and that makes it all a lot nicer.

We saw the Petronas Towers at night last night. That was incredible.

40 days

It's raining! This is the second time I've seen rain since August. It's wonderful. We're going to eat at Chilis. It's too bad we have to walk through the rain. Too bad...

Uphill Laughter

I'm in Malaysia! Having a good time so far, will post pictures eventually.