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The Past

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Every night when I go to bathroom before what I feel is going to be bedtime soon, I stare out the window and through the trees and see one light in the darkness. It emanates from grandma's window. I don't know what she does at 4 A.M. honestly, but I know what I do and how I feel. I'm a restless soul and so is she. I suppose that is what I have in common with Beba. She cares about me in a way I don't quite understand and a part of me feels it's in a way that no one else does, but she doesn't show it because, like me, she is also not very good at displaying emotion.

Aunt Patty, my mother, and Uncle Echi always swap stories about how their mother never once said "I love you" or "I care for you" or the like when they were growing up. In some small way they're jealous of how she treats Albert, my other uncle and her youngest son and fourth and last child. In some way I know how they feel, but mostly it's just Patty that is jealous of Albert to the point of envy. I remember the first night at dinner on our (I should my) last family vacation, Beba called Albert from the restaurant to ask how the others were doing. Patty was in an unpleasant mood having been starved on the plane and being in a fight with her boyfriend (and having to sit next to him for that 13 hours of plane ride). The conversation ended as any would between two close family member with a sort of "take care, I love you" statement. Patty overheard this and asked Albert if their mother had ever told him that she loved him. He replied honestly that yes, she had said that many times and even worried about him going on planes and taking long trips and working late hours at Target. This made Patty burst out into tears, feeling unwanted and unloved by the very same mother she really had been trying to please all almost-30 years of her life. I felt for her deeply and I even, for the first time in my life, had a chat with Patty, much like a psychologist would. But it was a very threatening and hateful conversation. I tried my best to calm her down, but she's not like a friend--she's more like a distant family member. I felt as though my efforts were futile and to the extent at which I tried to soothe her pain a bit by listening, I failed with Patty because Patty failed with me. A part of me feels this conversation never happened and it only played out in my head, but I'm not sure what to believe.

Going back to Beba though; I love her. She raised me, not my mother. As much as I love my mom and hate her too, I never learned anything from her. Now, Beba takes care of me. She buys me groceries when I didn't have time to go to the market after class or was just too tired and wanted to sit around after a long day. Every week she gives me $20 for Friday night chinese food and going out to McDonald's with Brad on Saturdays after Dynamis. She is always thinking about me. She goes to bed when I do. Her and I are like two separate souls yearning for something interesting or exciting. The family relies on her so much to buy food, cook, feed the dogs and all of us, and take care of cleaning the house. And she does it without saying a word. Sure she complains about my dad and the decisions that my mom makes, and I always agree with what she has to say. She never complains to Albert about these things, at least not as much as she does to me, so I avoid her ritualistically, but when she leaves and is gone forever I know I am going to cry deep tears over her. Ever since my mother became such a workaholic and my dad stopped caring about me (though I don't think he ever did at all looking back on it), she's the only person in my life that tries to make me happy by lending me an ear and berating me with her sharp-tongued words.

I often wonder if she looks out that window and tries to see into mine to check if my light is still on before going to bed. She waits up for my mother every night just to say goodnight or mention something that isn't worth mentioning or she could've said on the phone to her earlier that day. She likes to socialize with people, the workers that come over to bang nails into boards for several hours every morning, or Albert's girlfriend, or Eileen when she used to come over all the time, and Stacey and Lindsay during the summer, and Greg when he'd visit for days, and Craig (el pollo), Joe (el blanco), and Brad (el chino). I guess she is a lot like me. Now I know where I inherited all this uncaring but sensitive wantedness for the world.

Thank you grandma. I turned out like one of the good people in this world because of you. Thank you. I don't know what else to say.

Grey (3:32 AM)

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Having recently decided to delve back into the depths of the D&D world (Dungeons and Dragons for the uneducated), I picked up two books I've been meaning to get for a long while now. These books, while not for the faint-hearted or easily confused are a must-have resource for any DM (ahem, Dungeon Master) seeking to add a little mayhem and interest to their campaign, and the second book is a must-have for any player trying to get by in such a world. The Manual of the Planes and Planar Handbook are fantastic read throughs and I highly suggest both of them regardless of whether or not you are into planar development at all.

Having really only just started the Manual of the Planes I've already encountered some awesome detail that I almost felt lost for not knowing earlier. I don't want to give anything away about the contents of the book (and if you're interested in them and don't want to purchase, I will gladly send you over a pdf copy of either or both books via AOL Instant Messenger should you e-mail me), but the first plane discussed is the Astral Plane. This plane acts as the gateway to many other planes, and even dimension doors that seemingly move players from the Material Plane to another plane, such as an elemental plane, briefly touch the Astral Plane. The book describes travel to the Astral Plane possible through a spell such as astral projection, giving the reader the idea that the physical form of the player cannot actually exist on the plane. But the Githyanki are native to the Astral Plane, and therefore it must be possible to physically travel to this plane. Keep this in mind.

Two of the main planar traits of the Astral Plane are No Gravity and Timeless. The first is self-explanatory and really just interesting and not what I want to discuss here anyway. The second trait is defined operationally as "Age, hunger, thirst, poison, and natural healing don't function (in the Astral Plane), though they resume functioning when the traveler leaves (the Astral Plane)." Thus, this would imply that metabolism does not run its course, but seemingly blood must still run in our veins and subjectively, the projection or physical body that exists on the plane still experiences "time" in a particular way simply because they can choose to "wait" via campaign commands. Also, time is implied to exist to some degree because combat is described in a later section, and as all us D&D freaks know, one round of combat is equivalent to six Material Plane seconds. It would appear then that time does exist to some degree subjectively because there are events and things that take place within the confines of certain amounts of "time", even on the Astral Plane.

Now taking these two things into account--the fact that one can truly physically manifest him/herself onto the Astral Plane and that time does seem to pass subjectively (although only implied via the text and assumed by me) because combat can exist, then consider this..

Velar, Cleric of Heironeous has recently been dealt a near-fatal blow on the Material Plane and begins bleeding the death from the subdual (physically-altering) damage he has sustained; a broken arm, some crushed ribs, and a cracked femur. He can still breathe but heavily, and is in an incredible amount of pain. He has expended all his spells per day and thus cannot heal himself. He is surviving on sheer will and his body has begun the healing process as is natual on the Material Plane. Suddenly, Velar is transported to the Astral Plane where he is manifested physically (because as we discussed this must be possible), where his body's metabolism shuts down due to the Timeless effect of the Astral Plane.

Does Velar bleed to death? Can Velar go into shock because of the subdual damage he has sustained and cannot heal because he has exhausted his spell reserves? (Because of the Timeless effect's removal of natural healing effects, only magical healing is possible.) Is his body still experiencing "time" in such a way that he still feels pain continually?

Under the circumstances that "time" is experienced only subjectively, and under the acursed assumption that the body cannot exist without the mind, then if it is possible for Velar to bleed to death, then "time" therefor must exist in the mind of the character. Velar can die then, not just be reduced below 0 HP, but die. If natural healing cannot occur and the body's metabolism cannot function normally to heal wounds, then is the opposite true as well instead? That Velar's body, while continuing to experience agonizing pain, cannot die because of the effect of Timelessness? So can the Astral Plane be a prison of pain for those suffering mortal wounds and subdual damage?

Honestly I dunno why I think about these things, but it's sort of interesting. Then again, so is anything that defies the laws of physics outright. It is difficult to comprehend because we are so accustomed to existing within our four dimensions, one of which is time.

Anyhow, I highly recommend these books to D&D fans if you don't already have them. Comments, questions, and requests for the book can be left, posted, or made via the comments section, the tag-board, or e-mail repectively. Have fun!

Grey (3:24 AM)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

With the semester having come and gone, and the holidays quickly approaching us, people being to smile. Everyone is so, for lack of a better word, merry. The looks on their faces and the glints in their eyes allude to something happy and new. I can't help but feel different though.

I feel as though I've missed out on something these past fews months. Everyone around me has changed in some way and I guess so have I. I know I'm not the kind of person to have regrets but I am the type to get down about things easily. I wish I could reach out, touch something, and be whole again.

Since June, maybe even May, I've felt apart from world. I have felt this before but never so strongly. I left behind good friends. I tried to keep contact at first, visit them when I could, but things collapsed. I don't remember exactly when or why I did it. I tried to personalize my life. I tried to take responsibility. For the first time in my life I really succeeded at something I was trying to accomplish, in my heart, for myself. But to what end? To become an introvert, to spend my spare time in front of a computer playing games, wishing for things I don't really want. A hope. An idea. Something I can't touch.

I remember just two years ago how so different my life was. I could go out. I could hang out. I could socialize. I could dream.

Now I have myself. My good grades are a testament to that. My internet is out and I find myself lost in my own mind, thinking what if all those planes that I wish I could have visited were real. I stop myself. I realize I am still caught up in my old dreams.

People tell me I have to grow up, change my life, become an adult. Well, I am an adult; I just don't think like one. What does it mean to be an adult? No one ever told me. Finish college and get a job. That's all they've ever said. I am supposed to fill in all the blanks. My friends were a crutch for awhile, the ones back at school, but I stopped seeing them. I needed to be on my own and think on my own, but all I kept thinking about in the back of my mind was the adventure I was missing out on. But my body and my mind couldn't handle the commute every week. I gave in, choosing the "better" path by everyone else's standards, and not the one I truly wanted to be on.

I don't feel like I really have friends anymore. I have Brad, but we don't hang out often or have much to share with eachother anymore I feel. Glenn is marred of course, gone forever, just like his brother. I don't know what happened with Stacey. I loved her a lot. I still love her so much, but I can't tell her and I wish I could. She has some idea I said something bad about her and I didn't. I wish she would call me so I could tell her how much I still cared about her, but she probably has someone else now who cares for her a lot and doesn't think about me anymore. Such is life. To be forgotten. Never to be called. Never to be called upon. When people only think about themselves and forget the people that listened to their problems, helped them as best they, even when it meant sacrificing time, energy, and thought.

I've strayed so much in the path five months. I can't remember the touch of the wind anymore or how to listen to it speak to me. My hands are cold, not having touched anyone in so long, not even for a hug. I remember how it hurt to try and cry for others who shared their pain with me through gentle touch, at first, and then a fierce grasp, shaking in the cold, dead air of winter, eating away at my soul. All parts of me feel solid. I try to feel my heart beat but I can't. I feel like I've died and the world is still here around me, like some disease I can't find the cure for.

I am so lost now, without anyone real in my life. It's been this way for quite some time, but I'm not sure I've cared so much as I have now. Tomorrow I will get up and continue my routine, uncaring about others, as uncaring as they are about me. Good night.

Grey (3:48 AM)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

She couldn't help but feel compelled to kiss him and so she did. Her lips and his meeting on a quiet front, the air around them receeding in vaccuum-like fashion. Upon her release from his dry, cracked lips, she fell backwards and sighed a wonderful sigh. What just happened? She could barely recall it. This, her knight, her savior. Why? Was he even cute? Am I so shallow? She remember it as such, all the pieces now misaligned..

She gave him a violent shake, grabbing him by the shirt as he lay there on the concrete, nose running red and out of breath.
"Are you ok??" she was franctic, not knowing whether he was so beaten or whether he was just resting. He didn't look well and she didn't know what to do. She couldn't very well call the police either.

When she entered the club that night she saw him, standing to one side drinking a beer slowly. They made eye contact and they both smiled at each other. She wondered if he knew her name. He was handsome and probably good in bed she thought. She tried to weasel her way across the dance floor a bit to get a closer look without being noticed and trying to be noticed at the same time.

The punch landed smack across the forehead, the first, the second, she lost count. Apparently he wasn't a very good fighter, but he made up for it in good looks she thought. He fought back, not giving up and not knowing why he was doing all of this. A left, a right, and he was thrown down and stepped upon. Everyone walked away.

They made eye contact once again and she left her friend behind for awhile. Joanna? Christine? She didn't even remember but she didn't remember how close she got before the bump. He came out of nowhere. He grabbed by the hair and whispered into her ear. She'd never forget those words: Let's fuck now baby. She almost panicked but didn't want to scream. Why am I so dumb she thought? This guy was totally tripping on E and she knew it. His breath stunk of alcohol and tanned leather. She was being dragged away into bathroom.

"Take it outside! NOW!" screamed the bouncer. Jacob's intervention was not well met by the crowd. Everyone seemed to know this guy, this asshole trying to rape Mia. He tossed Jacob outside forcefully. This guy was at least three times Jacob's size in muscle and twice his weight easily. Jacob got in the first few shots but it turned sour pretty fast. She saw a look of determination in his eyes, some passion she wanted to be a part of. It lit a flame in her heart momentarily but she took little time to notice it. She was horny for him.

"What the fuck are you doing?" Jacob placed his hand on the brute's shoulder.
"My business, what's it to ya?"
"I couldn't help but notice the lady struggling. Mind taking your hands off her?"
Mia began to break down and cry. Perhaps it was the fact that she was being pulled by her long, brown hair, or perhaps she was shedding tears of joy for the situation unfolding was one much out of a romance novel and her Zoro was here to save her, maskless, known.
"Sure." the brute tugged hard on Mia's hair finally releasing her and letting her hit the wooden floor hard. Her cell phone crashed again it too, shattering the display. She crawled up against the wall a moment and began wiping the tears from her eyes and she tried to stare into Zoro's. A punch was thrown, it wasn't Zoro's first though and suddenly a deep, low voice screamed and everyone ran outside.

"Just a daydream." She spoke to herself as if to scold her mind for wandering. Staring at the ceiling, touching herself, what more was there to do? Mia sat up in her naught but her underwear. She thought a moment then said "Fuck it." and plopped back down on her back, spread across the bed once more.
"Maybe I'll call him." She really didn't have much else to do. She remembered how much her love had grown for him since then and wanted so bad to have him here, right now. With her, inside her, loving her. She sighed and rolled over, curling into a ball, losing herself in another memory.

~Seven Times Once, Chapter 13

Grey (4:59 PM)


"I love you, Mia." Jacob was so brilliant with his words.
"I love you, Jacob." She stood upon her toes to reach his lips at the doorstep. She stared into his eyes until she felt he was ready to leave and she caught him, continuing to speak.
"Jacob, I uh.."
"What is it babe?" God he was so smooth, his voice like silk upon her soul.
She picked up her voice, so as not to sound so solemn and worry him unnecessarily, "I wanna talk this week ok?" She was perky in more ways than one.
"Sure babe. Whenever you want, just call me."
"Ok. I will J."
"Take care now babe."
"You too honey. I love you."
"See ya later."
She suddenly cut him off, remembering what she wanted to ask him.
He turned around and stood on her walkway staring at her over his left shoulder. "Yeah?"
"I see what you're doing." She winked at him. "Two 'E's. I see." and she winked again. He chuckled at her.
"Alright babe, see ya later." And he blew her a kiss.

And with that he walked off the porch and toward his car. He didn't drive much she thought, but a man isn't determined by his car. The sex was great and she loved the feeling of loving someone and fucking them. It was a match made in heaven, something her mother always used to say. Back seats weren't as comfortable as they looked though.

She went into the house and tossed her keys on the plate alongside her mother's.
"Moooom! I'm home."
Her mother came around the corner, startling her as they almost collided, carrying a basket of laundry. "Yes dear, I know. How was your date?"
"Oh it was wonderful mom! We talked a lot on the way to places, we went out to eat, he took me dancing, god can he dance! We went out for ice cream. It was wonderful!"
"Wow, he sounds like a really good guy Mia. What's his name?"
"Jacob.." Mia looked like she was tossing fireballs at her mother.
"Mom, we've being going together for a couple weeks now and I never told you his name?"
"Well, honey.. I'm sure you did. I'm just very busy. I can't remember everything. And by the way, stop buying this butt-floss. It's so hard to clean!"
Her mother put the basket down on the kitchen table, pulled out a G-string, and slinged it at Mia. It landed right on her face and they both laughed a good laugh, smiling. Mia ran over and hugged her mom tightly. Her mother sighed and placed a hand on Mia's head.
"Mom. I love you so much. Everything you've done for me, sacrificed for me.." She plopped down in a seat and took a solemn, blank look at the floor.
"Mia. I'm your mother. You don't have to say those things to me. It's my duty."
"I know. But there's nobody else to thank mom."
"Well your father is an asshole. You can always thank him for leaving."
"I do mom."
"Oh?" Her mom butting in promptly, placing a hand over her mouth.
"Everyday." Her voiced drifted off. Mia stood up and headed up the stairs. Half way up she noticed her mom watching her every move. She stopped a moment.
"Yes Mia?" She said it as if she had been waiting an eternity to say it, eagerly.
Mia waited a moment until all the sound around her vanished.
"Things are gonna get better."
"Yeah honey. They will. Get some sleep."
Mia hurried up the rest of the stairs and threw off her clothes. She took a shower and brushed her teeth and thought about all the things that went on since the fight. Everything was going just as planned. Everything.

~Seven Times Once, Chapter 14

Grey (4:59 PM)

Thursday, December 01, 2005

I've been so busy the past week and a half I don't even know what the hell is going anymore. Between writing my thesis, an 11-page lab (then revising it over the past 5 days), keeping up with the weekend course's research paper, doing 5 SPSS computer projects, cleaning the house, playing the game (though only very late at night now for the most part), trying to keep up with my D&D knowledge, and taking the car in for repairs, I am stressed out.

As usual, and for all students, except those fucking lazy ones that are always the teacher's pet for some reason, finals approaching makes life only more difficult than it already is. My sleep troubles have come back. I'm on this new acid-reduction medication and it makes me feel weird but I can't describe how exactly. It's not lethargy or lack of energy. It's not drowsiness or malaise. I just can't find the words. I'm not sure about a lot of things right now, but I am sure about a few.

First of all, I hate teachers that don't attribute lack of student motivation to their general lack of having taught anything useful in class. I dislike fake people (what else is new). I hate being ignored when I have a point to make and deserve to be heard. I hate having a leadership position I didn't ask for. I hate it when I can't find the words to say something and when I do, it comes out not quite the way I wanted it to, being too harsh or too technical.

Speaking of technicalities; I'm not a technical writer. I've decided that this is the main reason why I can't seem to dish out a good research paper. I'm bad at finding strong detail in technical writing and furthermore I just can't seem to form my words in this technical way. I mean, I know how to write in the technical form and all the rules about it, but I just can't do it. It's like knowing all the INs and OUTs of Chess, but not moving the pieces properly. It's like having a strong strategy that you can't quite put it in motion. Partially I think it's due also to the fact that I rarely find a good starting point as well as a good ending statement. I feel sort of hopeless.

One of my professors basically blurted out, in class mind you, to the whole class, that my writing probably wasn't up to par because I don't intrinsically care about psychology because I don't want to pursue it (something we had to write about earlier in the semester). I tell you, nothing is private anymore. I felt like taking her to the Dean's Office over it. But I know something. I came from a big university where I was known as 101560968. Now I have a name. Sure for some things I am 54351 (please note the number length), but I have a name to these people, these professors and mentors. I don't like it. I don't like it one bit. They come on so personal, with some goal in mind. They assume you're hardcore Christian of course, and that you believe in Jesus and the Lord Savior and that you are generally a good, motivated, well-mannered student. Maybe I'm most of those, but certainly not all. I do not like having my personal "stuffs" compromised by people that assume you are as open and free as the rest of the naive closet-whores, football-playing jocks, etc etc. that they also teach. I hate how becoming personal with them has led them to believe that really we are all the same.

I don't dig that bitch. In fact, I hate that. I hate a lot of things and hate is a very strong word. Some of the things I mentioned I don't necessarily hate, and certainly I don't "hate" them all equally. Some I greatly dislike, some I have passionate disdain for, and some I hate like a hating thing. Time for the digression.

I will get up the Double Feature of Seven Times Once sometime this weekend. Maybe Friday. Oh wait, Friday I have a media presentation in the morning. Maybe Saturday then, before my usual nightly obligations. Yes, Saturday. Check back in then. Until then, leave me some feedback on the board about the new story, or e-mail me. Take care of yourselves guys.

Grey (1:08 AM)



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