Up in the Gallery
(2-11 March 2004)

11 March 2004
-So we spent 2 hours or so in Home Depot before finally escaping with a nasty headache & all the paint supplies we needed for the living room, Fish's room, & the back bedroom which is designated to become a library/study/lounge (& of course guest bedroom when suitable for said purpose).  Then we proceeded to paint like crazy & have finished the living room & much of Fish's room.  Though we initially underestimated the vibrancy of our colors, I don't regret a thing... color is so great!

10 March 2004
-What I have to start realizing is that even if I have a hard time taking the negative motivation around my job seriously, it seems my boss takes it even less seriously as little as a few minutes after dishing it out.  So I get all worked up over something that even he sees as nothing once he's sent it out.  There should be a way to keep that in check, but I get so upset by negative motivation that I sometimes forget.
-I am positively motivated by the idea of painting stuff around here.  & it doesn't seem that our color schemes are too discordant, even if it takes forever to discuss them.

9 March 2004
-Today one of my co-workers returned to work after missing 9 weeks with a staircase injury.  One figures most injuries stem from assaults at our job, but he was just reading while walking down stairs & wound up at the bottom.  Was good to have almost the full team back though.  Eating at Denny's with three of our kids is a trip.
-More stunning examples of trust at work.  They told me this would happen eventually, but I dunno if I believed it.  Starting to now.

8 March 2004
-Had a spectacular day at work.  I continue to really like our new kid at the house.  Was able to talk another one down from "blowing out".  Things are calm & composed.
-Ed, my friend who works the overnights at the house sometimes & is reading LB, discovered the CQ on some random friend's website & was raring to tell me about it when he checked into work tonight.  The small world continues to spin.

7 March 2004
-Anger.  Joy.  Sadness.  Anger.  This was my job today.  In the end, one phrase has dominated these 24 hours:  I am a Witness to the Human Tragedy.

6 March 2004
-New content at ABQ Electric!  Even cool graphics!  More info than you can shake a tree at.
-The quizzes seem to have peaked in total traffic volume, though I'm still getting random fan mail.  The latest e-mail to come in described it as "zen uselessness".  That phrase seems vaguely koanic in itself.
-My eating habits are very strange.  I feel like every day is a new time to inadvertently prove my old stand-by adage of "fasting is fun".

5 March 2004
-While its popularity seems to be dying down in Finland, the Country Quiz is becoming a big hit in Denmark, mostly because of this site.  (Click on the Union Jack in the lower left corner for a translation from Danish).  Which reminds me... why hasn't Peter Hoeg written a book in years?  Of course, I could ask myself the same question...
-Started the first of many trips over to the new place (we need to find a good name for it because I don't really like the street name that it's on... & Mep House is already taken) with stuff earlier today.  It seemed sunny & bright & chill.  But most of that might have been because the resident house cat (Pandora may never meet him because he seems to live outside exclusively) was lazing about on the back porch.  There will be good times.  But so many arduous moving times first.
-Emily & I have to stop watching so many disturbing movies.  As I told her tonight, I probably like thought-provokingly disturbing movies more than anyone I know & I'm sick of them.  For a while at least.

4 March 2004
-It was done once before, but I lost that link.  Now someone has again taken it upon themselves to post a link to every Country Quiz result.  This cracks me up.
-Segal wants me to post a comments feature to this page, so I guess there's no time like the present to explain (have I explained before?) why I will never have a comments function here.  For one thing, there's a purity-of-presentation issue.  As a form of diary, Introspection can be likened to a book or paper diary.  It would be most odd if someone's diary had random scribbling from other people in it.  & I am the biggest advocate of leaving actual books untouched by commentary around.  I hate it when books have notes of any kind in them... it just seems like desecration to me (even though I realize that it means someone's taken the time to care about the book, I feel like it's just not okay).  It alters the way all future readers read that book.  Little is more frustrating than trying to think for oneself about a book, or any piece of writing, while reading it through the filter of someone else's comments on it.  So there's that reason for not having comments.  & if I'd ever been wavering on the artistic reasons for not having them, pages like Sha Sha Chu's would have convinced me long ago to not have comments anyway.  I frankly don't trust people to do anything but detract with their comments... & even if I could delete them, it seems like people would be negative more often than not.  That's not the point of this page, though sometimes I am negative or respond to negativity from others on their pages.  But the line should be drawn somewhere, & I draw it at this page being entirely my voice.  Responding on one's own webpage or via e-mail has worked very well as a response for almost four years.

3 March 2004
Happy Birthday to Alisha Creel
Happy Birthday to Martin Clayton

-I want to tip my cap over to Amy's main page for her taking up the discussion between Jordan & I over third parties.  I even threw a comment in to respond to the debate in her comments section of said post.  As Amy brings up, practicality is a problem for those who care about voting for someone "with a chance of winning".  If you care about practicality, then you also have to realize that your vote probably won't count (literally if you're in Florida & figuratively elsewhere), so you might as well vote your conscience.  If everyone starts out with the premise that only 2 people can win & they all prioritize voting for a winner, then you're really just self-fulfilling your prophecy, aren't you?  How is this significantly different from starting out with the premise that only 1 person can win & caring about voting for a winner?
-I really do like my job & my boss.  Getting hit makes me forget that, but only temporarily.
-Apparently they're changing the nickel.  It seems the new Jefferson Peace Medal motif is meant to commemorate 200 years of broken promises to native people by the US government.  Look for the Kuwaiti Universal Suffrage and Kurdistan Constitution designs for the penny & dime in a few years to continue the series.
-I also note that Lauren's webpage has a little review of the Nader debate, also incorporating Pat's treatise on not impacting the political process with less than $20 million (which I probably agree with more than I'd like to, but being means-based I don't really see the value of pursuing $20 million to impact a morally bankrupt system).  She first off wants to know who the conservative supporters of Nader will be... & I point out that lots of folks have been alienated by Bush who would normally vote Republican.  Some of them will naturally gravitate to a feasible outsider of any variety, just to support that outside voice.  For example, my parents (& I, even though I clearly was not old enough to vote at the time but was following politics more than I do now) supported Perot in 1992 even though they disagreed with most of his actual views, because a third-party of any kind getting major support was more exciting than staid Republicans or Democrats.  I think Nader picks up this bounce.  Additionally, many of his views are not unappealing to conservatives... he himself cited in a CNN interview that Bush's corporate stances have infuriated many Republicans who are tough on fraudulent business practices.  Wouldn't a consumer advocate who is tough on corporate America be a perfect protest vote for such a bloc?  As Nader also said in the interview, even if he doesn't directly pull would-be Bush voters to him, he will encourage them to not vote for Bush as much as Kerry (maybe more so), because he's willing to challenge the President on issues where he has credibility.  I can't wait for the moment in the Bush-Kerry debates when Bush calls out Kerry for criticizing him in hindsight after giving him a blank check to go to war in Congress.  When Kerry stumbles over this & says something like "we trusted you", it'll be close to game-set-match.  Nader doesn't have these problems... he can call Bush out on the war & on his corporate ties (Kerry's lips being sealed by his own corporate ties).  Having this voice in the process undermines Bush as much at least as much as it helps him.  Lauren's second challenge is about the importance of everyone taking their own vote seriously, the exact opposite angle of Jordan's "vote for a winner" practicality.  To this I fundamentally agree... a vote is a very serious thing & should be viewed as such, according to the definition of an actual vote:  not "who do you hate 2nd most?" but "who do you like?".  This is a monumental difference, taking the vote from a cast-off for one of two choices to an actual reflection of a voice.

2 March 2004
-Getting back on the horse is always the best.
-Late last night as I was driving home from work, I wound up seeing a chicken truck across the freeway.  As it pulled over into the lane in front of me, I realized it was indeed stacked with open-air cages of chickens... a ten by six grid of cages, each stuffed so heavily with chickens that they could do no more than squat & certainly not move side to side.  The grid of course, was packed solid the entire length of the semi-trailer.  As it drove in front of me, feathers flew to my windshield like gentle snow.  I wanted to cry.  & then to follow the driver to his next bathroom stop & start opening cages like crazy.  Instead, I drove home & thought about how far humanity has to go towards just being humane.
-Tom Murphy, unkown to me (as far as I know), random internet observer, felt compelled to write me an e-mail containing the following words:  "It is abundantly clear that you need to get to work on your next novel, lest you fall into the familiar pit of designing semi-senseless quizzes for the internet for the rest of your life. Designing internet quizzes has, you know, destroyed more than one nearly famous writer. Look at Steinbeck. Look at what's him name. You get the drift."  Tom, if only you knew how right you are.  Ah, discipline, where can I find you?  I feel pathetic.
-Picking up where Mr. Murphy (above) left off, it seems that I have been beaten to the punch as far as what many people suggested as my 3rd quiz:  The American City Quiz.  While this one only has 6 questions (hmm, wonder where they got that idea?), it has but 10 results.  Even worse, each of the 6 questions has 10 answers, which just happen to coincide with the 10 cities the quiz leads to.  Less than stellar.  I guess I could still do a rival quiz.  This one linked here does have accuracy on its side... an honest answering of its questions told me that I am Seattle.
-Before I forget, I wanted to comment on what an absurdity the Oscars were this year.  Though I didn't even see a minute of them since I was at work.  While I think "Mystic River" actors deserved what they got & the lead actress from "Monster" definitely did, the crowning of the worst movie in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy was just sad.  11-for-11?  Give me a break.  It's almost as bad as when "Shawshank" got shut-out of the Oscars in 1994 because people were really into "Forrest Gump" (note, for example, that on IMDB's rankings these days, Shawshank is ranked #2 all-time by voters while Gump is running in the 120's).  I just don't understand the minds of the statue-givers.  But back to Shawshank for a moment, I've heard a rumor that Frank Darabont (director of said film) is working on a version of "Fahrenheit 451" for the screen.  It's hard for me to think that this movie can't fail to disappoint me... just because the expectations are sky-high for the director of my favorite movie adapting my fourth-favorite book (by my favorite author) to the screen.  & previous 451 films were pretty mediocre.  Either way, I'm going to get very excited about this movie anyway, even if my expectations would be too high.

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