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Kathleen's Journal
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Date:2006-04-07 14:47
Subject:Clara (Feathered)

I just received a phone message from Claire (Feathered) telling me that she's all right. She's had a very hard time and is currently without internet access, but she wanted me to let people know that she's okay and will be back.

As her journal was deleted, I don't know who to contact (beyond our shared friends). If you know anyone that knows Clara, please pass this on.

Please keep her in your prayers (or whatever your equivalent may be).


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Date:2006-01-02 03:50
Mood: melancholy

Life has been interesting.

After re-reading my last post, I'll just update what I remember.

That old MUSH, Daes Dae'mar? I re-met an old friend I'd had three years ago, and we began 'dating'. (If you can call anything online 'dating'.) We have met IRL, though, and when we're not fighting over idiotic things on MSN, it's pretty nice. His name's Micheal, and he's 6'4". My phobia about being taller than men is kept well at bay. I look like a little kid next to him.

I got into Weber's nursing program, and I'm one semester in. I ended up with two A-'s and four A's. All things considered, I'm a bit relieved. A lot of my classmates were praying that they'd pass at all, in one of the classes. (Pass is a B-. Below that as a class grade, and you're out of the program.)

I ended up quitting my job at South Davis. Physically, it was becoming unbearable, and the other CNA's (pardon my french) were bitches. I'm not working at the moment, but I plan to get find a job during the summer as an LPN. Much better pay, and a lot less lifting.

I've been spending my time split between school, MUSH, and RL friends. When I'm being social, I waste days on end with Maddie and Trevor. Maddie's probably the sweetest, most selfless, funniest girl I know, and Trevor is /fantastically/ gay and protective. They're like a sideshow when they're together. Very funny, very charming. And for reasons I can't quite comprehend, they love me.

Most recently, and probably most notably, I was hospitalized for six days due to numerous pulmonary embolisms. Three blood clots in my left lung, cutting off the blood supply to the lower lobe, and one in the right, impairing blood supply but not completely blocking it. According to the doctor, a similar situation would've killed an older person. (Less ability to repair damaged lung tissue.) While I was actually in the hospital, I was pretty numb about it all. It was... very novel. I've spent my entire life being told that I was a hypochondriac and drama-queen, and even during the third cat scan in the ER, I was praying that it they'd find SOMETHING, whether it be a PE or some inflammation... anything... so I wouldn't be accused of making the pain up. I'm so tired of people not believing me when I say I'm sick or hurting. Funny, I still felt guilty as hell for /wanting/ something to be wrong when something actually /was/ wrong. As if I'd caused it, somehow. And hospital stays are hellishly expensive.

I'd been x-rayed earlier that day at the instacare (they sent me home and told me to take advil), and the CT scan kept bombing out because my IV line ruptured with the dye's pressure. Three failed attempts later, and they decided I'd had too much radiation already and didn't repeat it. Instead, they did a lung scan in the morning (I got to the ER around 11pm, CT was at 3am, lung scan at 8am) and that, too, was inconclusive. 20%-80% chance of a PE. Wonderful. Next they did a pulmonary angiogram, which involved cutting into my thigh/groin and fishing a catheter up into my heart to release radioactive dye in my lung's blood supply. Sounds fun, eh? I cried, and it was embarrassing.

I was in the hospital from the Monday to the Saturday before Christmas. They broke the 'rules' and let me go home early. My blood clotting levels were still way too low, and standard procedure was for me to stay in the hospital until they'd reached peak level, and then two days past that. But it was Christmas Eve, and I promised I'd give myself the blood thinner shots and remember my pills. That, and my mom has extensive medical experience. We had to sign a waiver saying we understood the risks, which made my mom really antsy, but by then I was ready to go crazy and need mass-doses of xanax, so I didn't offer to stay any longer.

I've been home for a week now, and I still don't feel quite 'normal'. The first few days were hellish -- I'd want to pass out if I walked around for more than a few minutes. By midweek I could go to the store and back, and /then/ pass out. Now I just feel shitty in a normal, non-hospital-worthy kind of way. This is an improvement. :P

Sadly, I don't quite know what to do with myself. The last two weeks seem kind of surreal. I remember the hospital, but it doesn't seem real anymore... and the week after that has been a blur of being awake for three hours, sleeping for six, awake for three, sleeping for six. Oh, and blood work. Lots and lots of blood work.

Well. This is already too long, and I have this lingering fear that it's arrogant and assuming to post at all. No one asked, you know? Ah, well. Gave me something to do.

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Date:2005-06-10 01:01
Subject:My cat looks like a seal.
Mood: uncomfortable

Someone mentioned to me the other day that my user icon, a picture of my cat, Cleo, looks like a furry seal. I was confused, at first. Now I see it, and I can no longer make out a cat. Woe.

I was just lecturing Clara on how I like her to write on here, 'cause it keeps me updated on the behind-the-scenes stuff she forgets to mention in conversation. I suppose I should do the same, if I except her to listen to me.

I have a chemistry test tomorrow. I wouldn't mind so much, except that I was sick and had to plead with my teacher to let me have an extension. So now I'll be taking it in his office, and will have to face him if I get a bad score. Chemistry is not my forte. I managed an A last semester, but that was only because the class score was so low that he curved 'A' down to 86%.

I'm also in physiology, which involves a heavy french accent, huge amounts of information, a tiny amount of time, and sleeping behind my laptop in class. I thank God that I discovered the joys of bringing my computer to class. Even though it is fickle and won't connect to the college's LAN, the screen is wide enough that if I get the right desk, she can't see my head. Which means I can sleep. (I long ago mastered the art of sleeping sitting up.)

I only regretted it once, when I started tetris up before muting the computer. Loud 80s nintendo music. Yum.

I also work tomorrow. I love the people at work -- the patients. But it's very, very bad for me. I come home feverish and crippled from all of the lifting. I think I'll be quitting soon and looking for a job in a nursery... or just a normal hospital. Somewhere where everyone isn't paralyzed and bigger than me.

I wandered randomly onto Daes Dae'mar, a MUSH I used to play years ago. Before I was corrupted. It died while I was there, with only one or two wizards idling at any given time... but when I signed on the other day, lo and behold, there are 30+ people. And my favorites from before are still around. I'm rather nostalgic and pleased about this. I haven't lost my phobia about disappointing people in RP, so it's a little difficult to play, but I like having people around to chat with.

I have a dilemma. A kind-of distant friend is having serious trouble with money. We aren't very close, though I adore her... and she doesn't actually talk to me about her problems. But I've found out through a mutual friend that she's got an abscessed tooth, a cracked one beside it, and no money to pay for a dentist. Knowing her, she'll leave it and stubbornly hope that it'll heal itself. I want to send her the money to fix it. I have enough. Thing is, how do you talk away sending 500-1000 dollars to a near stranger? How about one who doesn't even talk to you, or may not accept it? Guilt. Guilt. Agh.

I got the flu on saturday. It began as a stomach ache that had my mom wanting to take me to the ER. It turned into a sinus infection-y thing. Overnight. I am not amused.

So. I've run out of random things that I feel are worth typing out. Night.

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Date:2004-08-27 03:47
Subject:A pretty thorough job.
Mood: crushed

In four hours, a near stranger summed me up:

I think you're one of the most unnecessarily self conscious people I've ever met. I think you can be nice and friendly and 'cool' when you are relaxed, but the 'relaxed' bits seem to be in small spurts in between worrying about whatever neurosis you may or may not have. I don't know who picked on you all of your life, but I imagine someone did and I imagine they did a pretty thorough job.

I wrote a long post to accompany this, but it was whiny. I hate whiny LJ posts, and it seems that they're all I ever post. So, I'm taking my diet coke and going to bed. Good night.

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Date:2004-08-15 23:47
Subject:Lovely icon.

I post to show off my lovely cat icon. Yay for my cat. That's Cleo. She's ancient, but I adore her. (Almost sixteen now. I don't remember anything without her.)

Clara says I can't say she made it, but I'm going to anyway, because I adore it. It's foggy because I took it with my fifteen dollar webcamera.

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Date:2004-08-05 12:47
Mood: bored

The class from hell is over.

Excuse me while I spasm with joy.


I'm at my mom's office right now, because she drove me to school today. (I didn't sleep this week, so they didn't trust me behind the wheel.) I found an ANCIENT CD of mine in her office, so now I'm listening to Billy Gilman and Charlotte Church's version of .. uhm, that giddy-up... Sleigh-Ride song. Yes. Christmas songs in August. I am superb. :P On a random, amusing note: The belltower at Weber plays Christmas songs at 12:25pm every day.

It's sad that Billy Gilman sounds more like a girl than Charlotte Church. I'm not sure what Church sounds like. I probably shouldn't venture a guess, because I'm sure there are some fans out there, and that would hurt their feelings.

I'm going to write for ages, because I have nothing else to do. My mother's writing some sort of agenda with her secretary, so I'm stuck here until they're done.

Clara has been extremely verbose lately. I come back from three days of too-busy-to-read-LJ, and there are tons of entries. And an obscene amount of icon comments. (I got through most of them! Go me.)

So, back to the evil English class. My teacher was cruel and unusual. If I haven't told you about him yet, I don't think you talk to me enough to care. Either way, I'm done in there, and I think I pulled an A in 2010. (One of two in the class, if not the only.) He's going to bump my B+ from 1010 to an A-. So my GPA is not bleeding on the floor just yet. (It was an accelerated 1010/2010 combo class. 30 weeks of college English in 8. Yaydieyay.)

I hate triscuits. I know tons of people who love them... but ew. I ate one, and now my mouth is sad.

Everyone keeps telling me that I've lost weight and "look great." I haven't. I think I even gained the weight back from my gallbladder fiasco. But! If they want to think that, all the better for me. I have lost the motivation to lose weight. Throw an attractive male at me, and I might change my mind.

Novelly enough, I started practicing my vocal-stuffs between lessons. It's fun to watch the teacher jaw-drop and giggle. You can almost see little dollar-signs in her eyes.

Ginger, a lady from my English class, brought her little girl to hear me sing today. As per usual, I did the mermaid song. I'm so predictable.

Heeeey, this chair has a headrest. I wish /my/ chairs had headrests. I will be sad now when I sit in chairs without headrests. Alas.

I have to do a three hour Nutrition final today for my online class, and then I'm done with school for three weeks. Sadly, three weeks seems like a very long time of Kathleen-time after writing a damn research paper each week. What happened to summer? *scowl*

On a good note, everyone but me is returning to High School in a few weeks. /I/ am free. And that is good, because the thought of going back is beyond intolerable.

I think I'll make Maddie take me out tomorrow. We can shop, and return my impulse-buying to Borders. And maybe see a movie, if there's anything decent out.

I discovered a novel and beautiful thing: I can RP with Clara. I even off-handedly mentioned it to my mother, and she just said, "Good." Apparently, Clara is in the "safe" zone. Needless to say, I don't think she will beg me to TS. :P
RP is nice. Still addictive, but nice. And we're both closet-sadists, so there're lots of guns and steampunk horror. Yum.

I've started writing. I suddenly have plots in my head. It's amazing. I'm sure it will go away as soon as I have /time/ to write.

It has officially been a half hour, and they're still writing the agenda. LIARS.

I could download a messenger to poke at people, but I don't think my mother would approve. Sigh.

Apparently, there was a time when I listened to Shania Twain's "Any Man of Mine" by CHOICE. They should've drowned me as a child. *skips song*

Oooh, Power of the Babe. See, I hate country, but singing goblins will /always/ been good. I think I just heard a young child squeal. I'm considering seeking it out for entertainment value, but that would require movement. And I just now managed to get my feet on top of the CPU.

Jump magic, jump magic...

I'm cold. Very cold. And bored. I think I'm downloading a messenger now. Think they'll kill me? *ponders*


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Date:2004-06-27 17:58
Subject:Violently ill.

I'm really, really sick. And I have an in-class essay midterm tomorrow for English. Meh.

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Date:2004-06-21 16:55
Subject:Halfway. Update.

I'm in a half-way place right now. Good and bad. I have broken myself of RP, and function as a decent human being in the "real world." Funny how I feel incredibly unaccomplished. (Is that a word?) I've taken to burying myself in books. Chatting online is hard for me. I never chatted. I talked at people until they RPed with me. Period. 'Cept Clara, but she's been in Yellowstone, and we only seem capable of chatter in short bouts. There have been exceptions, but they're few and far between.

For example: I lost a friend, and I don't quite know why. I didn't think things had blown up /too/ badly, but now I'm blocked... and I'm tired of fighting for things all of the time. I want to write about it, but LJ's ... difficult. Passive communication, I guess you could say. It's a breach of privacy, if you go too far into the "this is my journal, I can write what I want" idea.

I've become apathetic about almost everything. I don't suppose that's a good sign?

I get all of my schoolwork done before it's due, for lack of alternative activities, so I'm pleasing the parentals.

I'm cold, and when I'm cold my bones ache. Imagine what I'll be like in forty years. Meh. I'm reading Anita Blake, Guilty Pleasures, and have to explain everywhere I go that it is not smut. Not so far, at least, and I'm halfway through. A pity that the cover features a nekkid abdomen with roses and such. It's a nice simple read after tons of Hobb. Refreshing, I guess. No effort.

A one-time close friend of mine has found an SO that scares me.

Religious zealots are upsetting. I don't know if I believe in God, but even if I did, and even if I do... there's a point at which it becomes a little too much. I guess I'm biased. I live in Utah, a hive of zealots, and now I'm over-sensitive to the signs of fanaticism. (SP?)

I graduated a year early from high school, CLEPed 27 college credits, and started classes a week later. I got my CNA. Heather gave away one of my CDs because I was "taking too long to burn it." I woke up at 7bloodyam to go to the gym, and I blame that for my mood.

Ta-da, a cynical and somewhat caustic Kathleen update.

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Date:2004-06-20 22:15

New attempt at narrative. Opinions are welcome, but don't make me feel /too/ bad -- turning it in tomorrow. ;P


The sky was still dark when I turned onto Highway 89. It was my final day at Manor Care, and I was exhausted. I upped the volume on the radio and struggled to focus on the twilight-gray of the road. My breakfast consisted of a package of blueberry mini-muffins and a Diet Coke. It wasn’t much, but I’d grown accustomed to the dull nausea of the nursing home, and I didn’t feel like eating much at five in the morning.
I parked my red neon in the back lot, and let myself into the service hall. The night shift was just getting off, and a few grimacing smiles greeted me as I stepped into the dimly lit facility. A glance at the clock informed me that I was fifteen minutes late. The residents were still asleep, and I’d beaten both my instructor and fellow students to the lounge.
It was the final day of our CNA course, and the previous clinical shifts were visible in the tousled hair and groggy eyes of my now arriving colleagues. A few collapsed on the couch, and others against the walls. Our instructor came in last, dragging along a dozen CPR dummies and a handful of exams. Her car was still idling in the drop-off zone.
I made a sleep-deprived comment about rainbow-colored scrubs, and then watched as the group was sorted into their proper units, Medicaid, Medicare, Heritage, or Arcadia. I was assigned to Arcadia. This was the Alzheimer’s unit, and we were each required to experience a shift behind its locked doors. Today was my day.
My plea to return to Heritage, the so-called “Cadillac” of the facility, was met by a good-natured laugh and a pat on the back from my instructor. Despite my experience with geriatrics, I was still nervous about Arcadia. The post-clinical meetings from the Alzheimer’s unit had been a combination of humor and horror, and I didn’t feel prepared with my three hours of sleep.
I was guided into a nurses station that was rigged with a series of deadbolts and time-release latches. After a demonstration of bolt-and-latch removal, I was left alone with a short-tempered and quick moving CNA.
The morning was spent waking and bathing our assigned residents. We woke Isabel first, and I watched as the other girls shifted and hoisted the protesting woman out of bed.
“Good morning, Isabel.” I interrupted the side-conversation of the CNAs, and caught the tiny woman’s attention. She smiled, and I knelt beside her bed. Her sparse hair was covered in a pink bonnet, and she was dressed in a pink flannel nightgown. “How are you this morning, Isabel?”
“You’re such a pretty gal.” She spoke to me as the CNAs pulled on her clothes. It was as if the others didn’t exist to her. I blushed and thanked her, letting her tuck her cool hand tuck under my sleeve. “You’re so warm.” Her voice was small, and her tone childlike. “I’m cold. Could I go back to sleep?”
I saw Arcadia differently when I left Isabel’s room. A plaque of pictures was posted outside of each resident’s room, displaying keepsakes and photographs from their past. Isabel’s plaque featured remnants of a long and full life. A life which had slowly degraded into being dressed by seemingly apathetic teenagers.
I spent breakfast with a gentleman named Boyd. He didn’t speak, but palsied jerks of his hands let me know what he wanted and when. Before we were done, he’d finished two bowls of oatmeal, four servings of eggs, two biscuits, and two glasses of juice and milk. The trays were cleared, and we helped the residents back to their rooms.
Arcadia had a different feel from the other wards. The Medicaid and Medicare halls had reminded me of a hospital, and Heritage was closer to a retirement center. In Arcadia, there was always someone crying, and someone else laughing. The unit was a cross-section of society. Alzheimer’s had stripped away the facades of every-day life, and left family and friends to deal with the person that was left behind. Many of those people sat in Arcadia’s dining room that day.
My shift took me through lunch and the meal went much as breakfast had. We set out the trays, and I helped Boyd. He seemed more alert with the lunch hour, and my greeting received a cheerful, “Hi cutie!” The dining room was understaffed, and a number of the residents needed help eating. Once Boyd finished, I wheeled my stool over to Isabel. I received the same greeting as I had that morning. A passing nurse dismissed my efforts at feeding Isabel the main course, and directed me to the remaining liquids.
“Isabel...” I had her attention. “Why don’t we make a deal?”
“What kind of deal?” said Isabel. I couldn’t place her tone or expression. For a moment it seemed that she had been a grandmother humoring a child, rather than the other way around.
“Do you like songs?” I asked.
“Yes, I do like songs.”
“How about this. If you drink this shake, I’ll sing you a song.” I finished with a hopeful smile, and tried not to wince as she gave me the grandmother look. Who was I to be bribing a woman four times my senior?
“Okay”, replied Isabel.
I didn’t know if she really wanted me to sing, or if she was simply tolerating me. Either way, she seemed to enjoy the quiet rendition of Amazing Grace. Each verse was interrupted by my reminder that she needed to sip her drink. I was startled as the surrounding residents began to applaud. I finished the song, and a nearby lady asked me to sing another.
Isabel’s vanilla shake was long-gone before she released my hand. The others had begun to sing along with the song You Are My Sunshine, and the rest of the hour went by quickly. I hugged Isabel and Boyd before leaving Arcadia. Our instructor asked us to meet as a group and share our experiences during the clinical day. The other students lightheartedly joked and laughed about the day’s activity. I was comfortable to remain quiet and smile.

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Date:2004-06-18 03:43
Subject:Nonfic Narrative. Opinions, please?

I was assigned a nonfiction creative narrative for my writing class up at the college. I despise writing nonfiction with a fiery passion. That, and it's the first assignment, so I'm a little more than nervous about the grading system. Writing is so painfully opinionated. >.< Critiques are more than welcome, as I'd rather hear them from friends than frightening professors. Also, if you have any title ideas, I'd appreciate it. Clara's useless when it comes to titles. Here goes:

Harder Than It Is (tentative title)

“I want you to write a creative nonfiction narrative.”
The words startled me back to the present. Creative nonfiction? Creative had always involved dragons or construction paper. Once Upon A Time was creative... but nonfiction? As far as I had been informed, no had given me creative liberties in life.
“Focus on your audience. In this case, your audience will be your peers. What would they be interested in reading about?”
The words directed my attention to my classmates. The faces were familiar. I knew the names of some, the careers of others, and even the occasional marriage status, but interests were still obscure. I had my doubts that many of them included the exploits of a teenage girl.
The professor seemed unconcerned with my stumbling protests. Apparently, making faces at the word nonfiction isn’t very persuasive. I sat sulking, watching my fellow students churning with questions and ideas. A few had already chosen their topics, and I hadn’t even resigned myself to the assignment.
I jotted down a few ideas, and was amazed at how much angst a person could accrue in seventeen years. Frowning at the list, I scribbled out anything related to drama or disaster. And so went my list.
“You’ve all told stories before. This should be easy.”
Swallowing the remains of my ego, I began questioning the nearby students about their plans. It seemed to be a casual assignment for most. Their stories about children and oversea travels made junior high sound mundane.
“You don’t have to write about a life-changing event. You could even write about losing your keys.”
I’d lost my keys that morning, and the morning before that. Losing my keys had been a daily experience for the last year and a half. While this should’ve been a hopeful advancement, it only increased my frustration. Stories weren’t written about everyday events. People read stories about sword fights and pastel animals.
More than one day-to-day journal had been published, but there seemed to be a Forefather prerequisite attached. A president’s written opinion of broccoli could get rave reviews, while an average joe’s life-work could be returned unopened. None of it was hopeful.
“Good luck, and don’t make this harder than it is.”
I’d always been an overachiever. With a sigh, I set down my pen.

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Date:2004-05-16 15:56
Mood: listless

I've wasted three hours watching live-action Flinstones. The actress playing Wilma is the one from 3rd Rock From the Sun. She bothers me greatly.

I keep starting to write "serious things", but nothing comes out right. I need to do homework. I need to talk to Clara. I need to figure out how to get over... everything. Sandberg said that I needed to find something that I look forward to each day.

Maddie took me to dinner and the movies last night. It was nice.

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Date:2004-04-26 10:31
Mood: crushed

As usual, I only write when I'm bored or depressed. It's both at the moment. I am /not/ in a happy place right now.

I dabbled at IM RP over the weekend, and I've poisoned myself in the process. It's like giving a full-fledged alcoholic a few sips of wine now and again. Cheap wine, too. It's never very good, and it makes me feel terrible afterwards. Guilty, and I can't stand being in the same room as my mom because of it. Worse yet, it only makes me want Jeff, or one of my other people. Amazing RP. What I've found is not worth it. But that doesn't stop me from wallowing in it. I feel sick.

I remember how I was when I RPed 24/7. I ignored my friends and family, and I got hostile with them when they asked for my attention. It was harder to go to school, and near impossible to get me to do anything "for fun" that wasn't on the internet. I don't like being that way, and I've seen myself slipping back into it over the last weekend.

I don't know how to fix myself. I'm lonely and bored, and it's becoming intolerable. I find people to talk to, like Kevin and Dante, but both are related to RP. Kevin's the one I was RPing with over the weekend. He's good, and I half-wish I could continue... but it's bleh. Bleh. More than likely, we'll stop talking to each other within the week. RPers RP. Clara's the only person online that I've kept a relationship with, minus RP. It's different with her.

I'm feeling incredibly needy. Dante fawns over me, as I suspect he fawns over everyone, and I've started to feel like I need it. I need affection to feel good about myself, and not a lot of my friends are the affectionate types. My family loves me, and I know that, but it's more like we co-exist most of the time. With MUSH, I had people telling me everyday that they wanted me there, or wanted to play or talk with me. Without it, I feel very alone. I know it's a bad way to be... but I can't help it. Emotions and logic rarely coincide.

I started new medicine yesterday, and I'm considering blaming it for my wanting-to-scream-depression. I can hardly stand to be here. Twitchy and nauseous and headachey all at once. And I keep half-hyperventilating. I think I'll go home soon. I can't handle seminary today.

I hate feeling disgusting. Everyone does, I suppose. It makes it hard to be around people. I just want to curl up and disappear, and that only makes things worse.

I need to fix the tenses and format on my 3-in-1 for creative writing. Then I'll go eat, and probably go sleep. Meh.

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Date:2004-04-22 10:43
Mood: uncomfortable

A 3-in-1. Hmm. The formatting went to hell with the copy and paste, but I don't like it enough to fix it. :P

Shiver Me Timbers

Well, I'm leavin' my family, leavin' all my friends.
My body's at home, but my heart's in the wind
where the clouds are like headlines upon a new front page sky.
My tears are salt water. The moon's full and high.
And I know Martin Eden is gonna be proud of me.
Many before me been called by the sea
to be up in the crows nest singin' by saying:
Shiver me timbers. Sailing away.
And the fog's lifting, the sand's shifting, I'm drifting on out.
Old Captain Ahab's got nothin' on me.
Swallow me, don't follow me. I travel alone.
The water's my daughter. I shall skip like a stone.
And the fog's lifting, the sand's shifting, I'm drifting on out.
Old Captain Ahab longs to hear me shout,
"Swallow me, don't follow me. I travel alone.
The water, she's my daughter. I'll skip like a stone."
Won't you please call my old man. Tell him not to cry.
My goodbyes are written by the moon in the sky.
Say, nobody knows me. Can't fathom my staying.
Shiver me timbers. I'm sailing away.”

The last chords of the song faded away with the hum of the engine, leaving Laura in silence. It had been Mama’s favorite song. Long days at the beach had been wasted away with track twelve on repeat, her mother running along the beach, hands in the air and voice raised in an off-tune rendition of Bette Midler’s croon.
Laura’d never liked the song. She could remember the look in her mother’s eye, and the wistful way she’d ask if Laura ever felt that way. She’d asked Laura if she’d ever wanted to just disappear; to drift on out. Laura had smiled then, and assured her mother in uncertain terms that she had. She’d cry into her pillow on those nights, and pray to a God she didn’t believe in that Mama was just pretending. She didn’t cry now.
“Ms. Richards?” The man’s voice broke her from the bittersweet memories, and Laura glanced up. The policeman was dressed in the short-sleeves of the Florida force, and his name-tag read Sheriff Kensington.
“We think that we’ve found your mother’s boat. The Skipper, wasn’t it?” A glance at his notepad replaced any need for me to reply. “Yes, it was --…”
“And my mother?” I broke into his musings, startling the man into a practiced grimace. He’d done this before.
“I’m sorry, Ms. Richards, she --…”
The rest of his words were lost to the crunch of gravel beneath my sneakers. I could see the skiff near the water, as polished and perfect as ever. Perfect, but empty. I could hear the men shouting behind me as I pushed into the taped-off area to look down into the small boat’s innards.
The contents were familiar. An empty box of Godiva chocolates, my mother’s favorite, were settled beside the emptied wine bottle. It was a cheap brand, but its price in my household had been monumental. It had been the unopened bottle from her and my father’s anniversary. It was empty now, and stuffed with a rolled sheet of her lilac scrap-booking paper.
Without a thought of fingerprints or crime scenes, I scooped up the old Ripple bottle and slid the delicate paper into the light.

Baby Girl,

I know you’ll understand what I’m doing, because you’ve always understood me. Even when Daddy laughed, you knew what I felt inside. You remember that song, don’t you? Of course you do.
I’m going to go now, Baby. I’m going to drift away.


Laura read the note through numbed senses. The shortness, and the lack of apology, were as characteristic of her mother as the elegant cursive. The worst had happened – she hadn’t been pretending this time. Laura felt nothing.
The lilac paper fluttered to the sand, and Laura’s gaze trailed toward the perfect layout within the boat. The chocolates and wine had been settled in the crook of shirt sleeves, and her mother’s favorite khaki capris were rumpled with her familiar lounge. Even her tennis shoes remained, socks left limp in their hold, and the creases and dips of her underclothing cementing the detail, left empty and cool under the water-stained outfit. Unbidden, the once-treasured song whispered from a throat tight with tears.

“My body remains, but my heart’s on the wind.”

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Date:2004-04-19 22:24
Subject:Story bit.

Story bit I'm considering using for a class. Any opinions? Feel free to flame -- I want honesty.

He entered the house to be accosted by overcooked garlic and the film of sickly sweet lilac. Towing the half-empty briefcase at his side, Gary Forsberg made careful note of the double bolt on the door. “Amber?” His voice rang through the oversized townhouse, sending his wife’s skittish tabby racing across the hallway. “She’s cooking again,” he sympathized with the feline, setting down his case and raising a hand to loosen to the striped tie about his neck.
“Darling!” He could hear the tears in her voice. Sweeping out of the dining room in a wash of powdered cheeks and perfect curls, Amber Forsberg greeted her husband with an embrace that better belonged in an underpaid soap opera. He noted her pressed blouse and work slacks with a frown of suspicion, glancing toward the origin of the garlic bread.
“You’ve made dinner?” He did well to keep his voice neutral. He’d hired on a cook for this very reason.
“Yes,” she admitted with a tearful smile, taking a step back and attempting to snatch one of his hands in the process. “We need to talk, Gary.” The blush did little now to hide the pallor of her cheeks.
“We can try again, Amber...” He sighed the words on cue, stepping forward to pull his wife into a gentle embrace. Pressing his cheek against the perfect auburn curls, he did his best not to breath in the scent that he’d so fervently promised was his favorite.
“I’m so sorry, Gary. I... I’ll go back to the doctor. You could come...” She drew back, blue eyes pleading with him. “My friend Stephanie... you remember Stephanie, don’t you? We met her at the villa...” She trailed off at his expression. “They saw a specialist, Gary.” The words came as little more than a whisper. “It was her husband...” The slap brought a quick stop to her words, hard and stinging.

“Mr. Forsberg! Please, Mr. Forsberg... a moment of your time?” The student caught up with him with enough puffing to propel his very own sailboat. He was young, perhaps seventeen, and was vaguely reminiscent to a post-pubescent Valentine cherub. To make matters worse, he was carrying an opened notebook. A reporter from the University’s paper, judging by the badge he wore around his neck. Theodore Martin.
“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize that you’d wanted to speak with me.” Gary’s voice was as smooth as chocolate, his smile sweeter, and his lie was thoroughly unconvincing. Coming to an abrupt halt, he watched with morbid fascination as the boy’s extra weight struggled to continue with his jogging’s inertia. Unfortunately, the annoyance didn’t follow. Dabbing at his shining forehead with an already soaked handkerchief, he offered the other hand to Gary. “Quite... quite all right, sir,” he continued to struggle for air, fanning himself with the flapping pages of his notepad. “I’m just glad I caught you! I promised to get this interview by tomorrow, and... well, you walk very quickly!” His smile was contagious. Gary was unamused.
“What is it you needed to ask me?” He didn’t bother to keep the disgust from his voice, shifting his portfolio to the opposite arm as he focused on a particularly prominent zit on the boy’s left cheek.
“About your latest book, sir.” The puffing had grown to a minimum, if the sweating continued.
“I’ve made it perfectly clear that I’m unwilling to discuss my upcoming work with the media.” His voice grew cold.
“But, sir... it’s the school’s paper. You being a professor here... I thought...”
“You thought wrong.”
“I’m... I’m sorry...” Theodore looked genuinely hurt, taking a wobbly step backward and tucking his pad protectively under one arm. “I didn’t mean to upset you, Mr. Forsberg. I’d just heard...”
“Listen.” Gary drew a small pack of post-it notes from his inside coat pocket, scribbling an autograph and personal note on the yellow sheet before shoving it in the boy’s direction. “Show up at the signing and your copy will be free. Have a nice day.” He stepped past the gaping youth without another word.

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Date:2004-04-19 18:55
Mood: groggy

Clara has finally discovered the key in making me post in my own journal. -.- She's stopped posting in her own, so I have nothing to respond to. At least nothing that doesn't already have 13 responses and would likely get passed over. So. Here's me.

Clara's been gone to LA and then class field trips for /weeks/, and I'm distressed about it all. Ariel informed me today that she's been looking for me for days, so.. apparently she's back and alive. I don't remember what saturday was, but yesterday was spent giving a talk at church *emphatic shudder*, napping, and then a friend came over unexpected and we amused ourselves with my humiliating childhood for the better part of the night. Today I fell asleep waiting for Alyssa to come over again (so I could help her with her homework), but she hasn't come, and Clara's not on!

So I've resorted to writing in my journal. *hangs her head* I really hope this doesn't become a habit. Ariel just posted 100 facts about herself, so I think I'll go read that and pout until Clara comes on. *pout* See?

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Date:2004-04-05 00:56
Subject:I hate people.
Mood: angry

This has been the first night in months that the internet has been able to barb me. I'm both angry and hurt now, and this is the only way I know to vent it.

Ariel dumped her boyfriend, Josh, today. He's a gothic, and a little more than eccentric. He ended up asking to speak with me, and I complied. He was depressed and wallowing, so I opened myself up and tried to help. Things went well for the better part of the evening, but the night closed up with a relayed announcement that 'Ariel's friends become annoying in large doses.' He can 'handle Kathleen once a week.'

Somehow, he managed to snatch the upper hand out of the brief correspondence. It wouldn't bother me so much if I hadn't put myself out there. Complimented and ego-stroked for the better part of an hour in an attempt to cheer him up.

Clara was right, as per usual. I should've told him to get over himself and go away. Maybe I'll learn one day.

To make things worse, I snapped at Ariel for relaying this to me, after my quips about aggravating him before long. I asked for it, and she didn't deserve my attitude. But it stung, and it still stings. She took off quickly, so I think I've offended her. Goddamn internet.

I think I'd be better off if I just washed my hands of it completely. People like Josh made my life hell for years. Why am I letting them in again? I'm torn about Ariel. Clara's upset tonight. I want to read to get my mind off of this shit, but it's late.

I don't know why I care. He's now portrayed everything I've come to despise about the subculture. But I do, and I can't help it. I'm starting to lose the will to come on anymore. It'll probably pass by tomorrow, but I've come to hate tonight.

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Date:2004-03-30 11:44
Subject:Responses please me. Indeed.

As detailed in my last post, I was very sick yesterday. I roamed the kitchen whimpering a bit, 'cause I was hungry, but everything looked like it'd make me sick. My mom offered to make me cream of wheat, so I didn't die.

I spent most of the day reading, because I was too Weak to put my book down and sleep. I had every intention of reading a chapter and napping. -.-

On a good note, my dad bought me the second two books in my series. :D (In answer to Emily's question -- The Liveship Traders, by Robin Hobb. I'm reading Magic Ship right now, and he just bought Mad Ship and Ship of Destiny.) They remind me of a ship-bound version of GrrM, which is delightful.

So! Anyway. I went to bed around 10:00, 'cause I figured I had to sleep at least a bit before school tomorrow. But no one woke me up! :P They closed my door in the morning and let me sleep. Found medicines on the counter with a sticky about taking some and feeling better, love mom and dad.

I'm quite pleased. :D I think I'll groom a bit and go in for the "U" class, regardless, just to get it done. They let you read... so I'd be doing the same thing here as there. (U class is a make-up for an "unacceptable" mark in citizenship. Got mine for absences in choir.)

I'm watching Xena right now (nostalgia -.-) and trying not to talk to the vampire from school. *sighs* Heather's up, should go eat.


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Date:2004-03-29 15:44
Subject:Food poisoning, sick animals, and potato-scrubbers.
Mood: sick

I've been sick for the better part of two weeks. (Stomach fluish.) So today's not all /that/ unexpected, but it's still been unpleasant.

I had a fairly good day at school, even though I was tired and wanted to read. Got everything done, and actually attended. I made the mistake of eating at Taco Time, tho, and I think I have food poisoning. I started to feel sick while eating (gave part of my lunch away), and by the time I left school, I was having trouble breathing properly. Thought I might throw up in the car.

I made it home, needless to say, and found that one of the animals had become violently ill sometime earlier. Vomit/etc stains carpet, so I had to clean it up. Much wretching, crying, and scrubbing later, I am still alive. Hurting like hell, but alive.

It's time like these that OCD rears it's ugly head. I sometimes think it's gone, and then I happen to get something on my hand that I don't want, and I worry about it for hours. I started out with gloves on, but those became much too dirty much too quickly, and I gave up. Had to cut my nails (too short) afterwards, and washed my hands with soap, sanitizer, and one of those rough dish-scrubber things. I'm oh-so-looking forward to seeing them tomorrow. I would've showered, but I couldn't bring myself to touch my hair or face. *sighs* I need more medication. New.. or something.

I ranted to Ariel a bit, and probably lost a bit of respect... but there's no fixing that now. Wish Clara were on. I might sleep. Or read. I'm wary about reading, tho, because I only have a quarter of the book left, and I don't want to finish until I have the sequel in hand. Maybe I'll ask my dad to pick the second and third books up from Barnes and Noble. He'll argue with me, no doubt.

I'm in a writing mood, but I don't think I have the energy to write. I have to rewrite every other sentence. :P As anyone who's reading this already knows, I tend to invert phrases and such. Very awkward in prose. I miss RP. That was easier.


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Date:2004-02-25 15:20
Subject:My kitten has a mane.

Yes. Sadie has a mane. But that's not terribly pertinent... I just thought I'd mention it. Ahem.

I'm in sporatically severe pain at the moment. Achey all the time, but it gets really sharp and can't-breathe-y without warning. So, yes, I didn't go to most of school today. I had to go to pre-calc, tho, 'cause Forsberg's peculiar and won't let us make up quizzes, and we had one today. :P So, you go, or you fail. Bother.

I missed a test in US History, but it shouldn't be too bad. I hope. I'm home now, and semi-bored. I have things to do (read: homework), things I want to do (read: write), but I don't /want/ to do what I should, and I feel guilty doing what I /want/ to. Does.. that make sense? Probably not, but that's all right.

Clara's not on, I don't think, but I'm roaming her friends list and journal 'til someone comes on to talk to me. Watching Angel, then Charmed, then prolly some inane sitcom.

I think I'll post this now, and ramble some more later. :P

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Date:2004-02-23 18:14
Subject:Test run.


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my journal