First the news... the Bush administration is "neo-Confederate" (hard to argue there), some sandcastles are nicer than others, Japanese interest rates, for reasons I cannot understand, have gone below zero (apparently not even for the first time). Holy crap, I hope the Catholic Church gets its ass nailed to the wall at every opportunity. And, if you have a recording, you can play the State of the Union drinking game.

Once upon a time, someone was playing Counterstrike. A sound engineer who sat next to him thought it would be worthwhile to set up a microphone. This was a talented engineer, from the group Information Society. This is the result, and IT HAS LOTS OF VERY LOUD PROFANITY AND IS NOT APPROPRIATE FOR MOST PROFESSIONAL ENVIRONMENTS. That said, it's a great mix and one of the funniest things I've ever heard. The best part is that the player in question is a good friend of friends.

I got a phone call on my cell phone while at work today, which is rare enough, as no one ever calls me. In early December I interviewed with a company about a mile and a half from my house, and I was thrilled, except they said they were moving to San Mateo early this year. Time passed, I called every week or two, they said they were still interviewing people. So the guy finally calls today to get me for a second interview.

"Sorry, I took a job, I work for Kensington Technology Group now."
"Oh, really? We're in the same building."
They're downstairs from us. I'm glad I got the job I did, though. Everyone leaves the office by six.

My knees are better, which I definitely think has something to do with Ondre. My best guess for what happened--a little over a week ago my knees got really unstable and swollen, and my hands and feet swelled as well--is that some store of toxins somewhere in my body just broke loose and had to be dealt with. My knees still hurt, mind you, but it sort of feels like maybe they're re-setting themselves into some more stable and less painful configuration, something which has largely already finished in my wrists and elbows, and somewhat less so in my shoulders and ankles. It may also be, as Moof says, some kind of stress release about having a job (since it really kicked in the day before I started). I'm drinking lots of water, in any case.

I got a PlayStation 1! I'm now caught up to being only six or seven years behind the state of the art in gaming. I got a bunch of games from Brandon, too, and I was all psyched to vegetate for a little while and shoot things when I discovered the controller doesn't work. So I guess I'll have to shell out five bucks.

I'm sensing more of the Shadow again today, starting to feel it as the source of so many things that I thought were separate. There's something very big and negative creeping up to the surface of my mind, which is good; and I have some thought processes and some people that trigger various aspects of it, which is also good. It's like I have a sliver in my personality and life has given me lots of tweezers.

Holy shit, I just wrote something that could be entered in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. Wow. Maybe I could win.

But then, I write this journal in part to practice writing, not necessarily to be good at it. God knows why you read it. Please tell me. I love personal mail.

So anyway, I feel a bunch of nasty, creepy stuff in my head coalescing and getting ready to reveal itself, something bigger and less pleasant than I've dealt with before (and I've encountered a lot of nasty sludge floating through my mind). The specialness of this one is its all-touching nature, its connection to what seems like every last bit of negativity I have, and my desire to keep it hidden and stuffed away, whatever it is. This leads to subtle manifestations rather than simple acting out over time--the times when my personality and feelings seem to change, long enough and genuinely enough to do damage. But most of the time it's Just Not A Problem.

This is fascinating to me, to be able to see this stuff more clearly and not stress about it. Why should I stress? The sun still comes up, and I have a job, the last time-dependent thing I had to deal with. For everything else, I have as much time as I want. Not in the sense that can just put everything off until later, because I can't, and I'd find that out the hard way in a few decades or when I start dying more quickly. The thing that I have time for is to realize my true self, which is not something you want to put off but is also something you can't rush. You have as much time as you want to follow your dreams, make your life better, find what you really want to do, be a better person--but you only have that time as long as you're actually doing those things. This constant feeling of Is-ness is why, regardless of how I feel, everything is okay.

I want to get back to aikido. I feel the movement of it in my bones, in the way I walk, and I want to get back to it. I constantly work on relaxing my body, and it's made a huge difference in how good I feel, especially since I've just discovered how to start relaxing my legs and make the connection between my upper and lower bodies into something flexible but strong.

Sure, the sky is falling, but check out that sunset.