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10.58.01 10:59 p.m.

Should we all confess our sins to one another we would all laugh at one another for our lack of originality. Should we all reveal our virtues we would also laugh for the same cause.

 -Khalil Gibran  

This Entry Features: Music by Staind, Maxim, lame comic pretense, a bad play on three hundred words, egomaniacal allusions to The Nightmare Before Christmas, bad internal rhyme, British slang for "making-out", Emily cares for an empty allergy in order to get fashionable accessories, I break stuff, red hair doughnuts, tension, blow job assassins.

A Staircase of Twelve
I am coming to terms with the fact that I very likely have an addictive personality. Not in the fact that I imbibe alcohol, use drugs, or such. As you well know, these are not vices to which I can confess. However, one only need look around this website for the evidence. I get frantic, typing into the wee hours of the morning, striving for connection. Striving to be known, I suppose. One more paragraph. One more sentence. One more word.
Writing really is an addiction to me, one that you are enable in me. I write because it provokes positive response. Which would be fine, even healthy, but I do it obsessively and erratically. I write ten pages of information. I code for hours and hours. But then I find something else that interests me. Right now it is a video game (yes, I truly am that lame) that Emily and I began playing together on a lark during a lazy day (when we had the extreme luxury of them). Lufia II. It has a plotline, so I crave to know the next contrived turn, each which may take an hour to provoke. So far, I have not played it for ten hours in the weeks since it piqued my fancy (it tracks how long one has played so you can feel competitive) but I still feel addicted to a degree. It's not a salutary thing, as I may play rather than read A Farewell to Arms like I should be doing for my awful, awful teacher.
I have also become obsessed with reading for periods of time to the extent that I have pulled books out of my pocket of the lines at grocery stores. I sit down and indulge in the ocean of words, my eyes sailing over them, laughing and weeping openly.
I know I am making it sound poetic, as is my wont, but this is merely my trying to justify my various addictions. Just because I am laughing at a book doesn't mean it isn't an addiction. I neglect "important" work because writing, reading, surfing the internet, biking, doing magick, etc. provide more immediate enjoyment to me. My brain refuses to accept the "should" that I impose upon it.
I am trying to work through this, train myself to show further restraint. It will not be easy, but whatever is?
By the way, save for some Hemingway, I am caught up on all my work.

You Can Only Truly Have That Which You Have Given Up
The morning after the last entry, the one where I politely lambasted the local library for giving me the runaround, I received a phone call. I suppose we can skip the obvious sitcom pretense. You are all reasonable intelligent mammals and know where the set up had to have been going. The library called me. The woman was quite cordial, apologizing for the lateness of her call. She invited me to be interviewed this Wednesday at 3:30. I may get a job I enjoy, indeed.

He Should Have Been the Fop Anyway
Bryan, my younger brother whom I too frequently must chauffer to college, was in a play at DCC. He played... I believe a professor, perhaps. I took it that his character was to be somber. As you can plainly see, I am not terribly acquainted with the text of the play. He spoke very little of it to me. I could not even tell you the title, which is a sad testament to the lack of real conversations that flows between us two.
Nonetheless, he is no longer in his appointed role. As near as I can tell, the director and Stevehen were forced to make it clear to Bryan that he had to take his responsibility in the play more seriously and honor the commitment he accepted by joining the cast. Instead, they found that he had not bothered to learn his lines. (He lamented time and again to me that they expected him to learn three hundred lines! I tried to explain that the fact that he was given a part that had so many lines should be taken as a compliment; that they though enough of his talent to give him such a part. Incidentally, I do not believe it ever occurred to me to count the lines I was required to learn. I just did it.) He was also chronically late, by all reports I have heard. As such, he was dismissed and wishes nothing but ill toward the play.
His wish may have been granted tonight, as I received a call from Stevehen beseeching my assistance at DCC to build the set as the entire cast had walked out. I do not know. Perhaps I do not wish to. I could not assist him as I had work here to complete (which I did. One step at a time).

I Am The Pumpkin King!
Today, Emily, my family, and I went pumpkin picking. In this household, we're fond of the picking of produce from the ground. Emily was jubilant, as she does not participate in such traditions with her family. We've covered this, so I will continue on.
We drove to our customary farm. The devious squash merchants moved the actual entrance of the pumpkin farm so we had to walk the perimeter of the fence until we found an opening. The gourd hoarders!
The actual picking was short lived. Emily, perhaps emulating a certain prematurely balding comic character, picked out a very small pumpkin out of pity and love. She saw the goodness of it. Not like all those aluminum Christma... wait, no... {crustomoney proceed cake}. It should be noted that we convinced her to get a normal sized one as well.
After we had loaded them into the small plastic cart we were given upon entrance (just like our ancestors must have used!), we had a healthy lunch of hot dogs, soda, and ubiquitous, starving bees sans hooves. Emily abstained from everything but a diet soda as she lacks the interest or enzymes to eat a hot dog and the epi-pen to deal with the bees. She and I ended up paying a whopping fifty cents to enter a children's hay bale maze. We ended up getting "lost" and snogging in a dark corner until discovered by equally as blind and completely oblivious children. Ah, the naughtiness.

Dating a Future Lethal Weapon
Emily will soon be testing for her black belt in Tae Kwon Do (on December 14, my birthday), which is why our playtime is severely limited by her training. She has been working at it for nigh onto eleven years, enduring masters who ignored her and/or beat her with sticks (no, really. Evidently she learns well when hit with large sticks). Now she is with her true Sensei in my opinion, the one who wishes to have Emily one day follow in his footsteps.
Aside from having to do a silly choreographed fight scene with a man named Chopper (see, I can't even fathom giving him a pseudonym. He's called Chopper. I can't possibly top that), she must jump over three people and break a board with her foot and take care of a hollow egg for a month (she has been waiting on an egg for months). I am sure there are other feats she must complete, like cleaning out the Aegean stables. I just can't recall them offhand.
I do believe she will relatively easily be able to get her belt. Saturday, I saw her complete the flying kick at the Jump-a-thon at her gym. She broke the board on her first try and with no damage to her feet (always a plus). She also managed to score 1260 kick in less than an hour, through various means. So I think she is well equipped for this test, which doesn't mean she will not be training constantly until then.
By the way, not that this is evidently very special, I broke a board with an elbow strike after the kick-a-thon. Emily was very proud of me, as this is a task one must undergo before becoming a yellow belt. It didn't seem particularly hard, actually. I just focus and closed my eyes. And I said "Hisk!" as I did it, because Emily does. She found that particularly amusing.
Her Master (my, that sounds kinky) came over to her house for lunch after the kick-a-thon was over. Her father had prepared a spicy concoction called vegetarian stew and some form of rice. It was very appealing for bizarre rabbit food. Her Master and his wife do not eat sugar, red meat, or wheat, so that limited what meals could be prepared. Her father is a stellar cook, however.
Emily stated that I was very quiet during the meal. I think I tend to be before I get very comfortable. Near the end of the meal, we got on the topic of Airians, a sect of people that think they can live off of air and nothing more. I held my breath and sighed, "no thanks, I'm full." My only memorable addition to the conversation went over very well, as everyone laughed. I was very much glee-d (like glad, with more glee).

Life, the Universe, and Kate
I hung out with Kate, Tina, and Stevehen last week. I was awaiting Emily's completion of an Art History mid-term (I bloody hate midterms, give me a paper any day), so I called La Casa De Tina y Katerina the Kitty Ballerina. Tina answered and welcomed my addition to their personal passion play.
When I arrived, I was greeted by the now spiky-headed Tina. She got her hair cut short recently because... I'm not sure. This may be something girls around Kate do in college. I do not understand it, but Tina's hair looked good because she spiked it up. She told Stevehen that, when she awoke that morning, she realized she now had the same haircut as Miss Kate and sought to remedy this through liberal and artistic application of hair gel. I am glad to report on its pixyish success.
Kate was in the bathroom, dying a red doughnut of hair on her head. I asked her why she was not dying the whole head. She retorted that she enjoyed the look of her freshly bleached hair. Not enough to keep it all that way, evidently. I looked to her left and saw a large bottle of clothing bleach. I exclaimed that she was a goodly amount more "hardcore" than I had ever given her credit for. She squinched her face up in confusion before realizing that I was gesturing to the bleach. She laughed and explained that clothes needed bleaching and hair bleach burned her enough already. Oh.
We hung out, mostly watching Tina explore her addiction to an RPG game (I am starting a support group). Not the same game to which I am addicted. Nor the same one to which Kate is addicted. It is a complex fantasy world, it is.
Briefly, Kate and I spoke candidly. She had been thinking about something Melissa said on-line while Kate was there. Basically that Melissa doesn't have an opinion of Kate because Kate doesn't open up to being known. Kate knows that the same went for Emily. It isn't a dislike, it is neutrality. Kate felt that they were right, that she doesn't try to open up to people because the concept isn't that appealing to her. Except, you know, she said it in a tender way that resulted in my stating, "I think I understand. I know you, and that is all that matters to me."
After a time, Stevehen arrived and suggested that we depart seeking a meal. Tina and I agreed and left. We ate in the restaurant under their window. The meal was going well until the topic of Miss Katherine and her feelings about Miss Emily was introduced. Tina explained that Kate was glad that Emily would no longer be working in the dining hall and that Kate had specifically requested to work in an area away from M because, and I quote, "she gives off weird vibes." Now I will admit, Kate (as in, not the Katie I dated, but the Kate that is now) is not always among Emily's list of favorite people (neutral with a side order of anger for how Kate in her confusion misused me), but Emily makes an extreme effort to be social with Kate because she knows how important Kate was and is to me. Stevehen interjected in a half serious way that maybe that was because I jumped right from Kate to being with Emily and Kate resented that. What kind of retroactive continuity be this?! I informed him that it was, in fact, six months between Kate leaving me and Emily and me striking up a relationship. In that interim, I tried to be with Kate and she... well, she made my life confusing and made me feel used on more than one occasion. Tina backed me up with that fact that Kate told me, in so many words, to go get a girlfriend and leave her be. Stevehen tried to renew his point, but he realized we were right (especially when the duration between relationship of both Tina and him were pointed out). It sounds like a hostile discourse, but it wasn't. Stevehen, I think, was trying to defend Kate in absentia. I don't think a smile ever left any of our faces. But it was enlightening to me that some could see the situation this way. See, people, this is why I tell you to get multiple perspectives.

Blowjob Assassins
This is a quickie, merely because it was amusing. Emily and I went to Friendly tonight, because we could not acquire the companionship of Melissa, Zack, or Conor today for a Gem and Mineral show which we could not have gotten to in time anyway... ahem. So, while eating, a spitball of straw wrapper hit her. I look behind me for the culprit, not that I was angry, just curious. No child looked like the guilty party. I stated, as a conversational level so the surrounding tables could hear (they had taken note of the spitball), "That was impressive. The government should hire them as an assassin. A blowjob assassin." My brain flagged the sentence as odd and rescanned it. "Blow gun" not "blow job!!!" it screamed. I corrected myself loudly. "Blow gun assassins. I meant blow gun!" Then I promptly turned bright red. Emily laughed for a solid minute in her chicken sandwich and fries.

Soon in Xenology: I dunno. Maybe flying demon monkeys. You never know. Probably PSU. Perhaps the Mansion.

last watched: So I Married an Axe Murderer
reading: A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
listening: Emilia the bird whistling in the dark
wanting: moki stones
interesting thought: Scars prove we made it through.
moment of zen: breaking a board.
someday I must: break two boards.

Thomm Quackenbush is an author and teacher in the Hudson Valley. Double Dragon publishes four novels in his Night's Dream series (We Shadows, Danse Macabre, and Artificial Gods, and Flies to Wanton Boys). He has sold jewelry in Victorian England, confused children as a mad scientist, filed away more books than anyone has ever read, and tried to inspire the learning disabled and gifted. He is capable of crossing one eye, raising one eyebrow, and once accidentally groped a ghost. When not writing, he can be found biking, hiking the Adirondacks, grazing on snacks at art openings, and keeping a straight face when listening to people tell him they are in touch with 164 species of interstellar beings. He likes when you comment.

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