Pope Sleipnir's Diary. Read it at your peril.

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May 1th 2002

Sarah: Daaaaaaad, the mice are humping each other. Are they mating?
Dad: I don't think so, they are all female mice. I hope.
Mother: They could be lesbian mice.
Sarah: What's a lesbian, daaaaaaaaaad?
Dad: (Thank you, dear, so very very much). Well, lesbians are women who like to have sex with other women.
(Long pause. You could almost hear Sarah's brain working.)
Sarah: But.... daaaaaaaad..... how do they do that?
Dad: Er..... um..... well, actually, Sarah, I don't really know too well.

So I'm a coward. Sue me. You try explaining cunnilingus (or whatever else lesbians do, which stuff I'm not entirely sure of) to an 11 year old.

On the radio, an interview with one of New Zealand's gung-ho solo around-the-world sailors. (Amazing fucking boat, by the way).
Sailor: You know, it's quite clear to me why boats are always called "she". If you pay them attention they behave very nicely, but if you look away for five minutes they tear your throat out.

(Later in the interview):
Interviewer: Don't you find racing solo around the world to be very difficult?
Sailor: Well, yes, it's a challenge. But when you're faced with something like this, you just have to toughen up and do it, or you might as well just put on a skirt and go and play golf.

You could almost hear the male heads all over NZ nodding in sympathy. We are a nation of misogynist sheep-fuckers.

I added a link to Crystal River, another blog of an online friend. Says the friend, I read your diary, Pope, every so often. When I have a strong enough stomach. Really, I reply, I'm exactly the same for yours.

Quite frankly, I think Crystal River requires a stronger stomach than the Pope, but that's just me.

Fortunately I've removed my comments system so that I can't get abused for saying this. Nice. (Despite the thoughts of some anonymous persons who attribute the move to cowardice on my part, and an unwillingness to take any crap my readers care to dish out, the above comment was a joke. A joke. Kidding. Really.)

Oh, please.

May 2th 2002

First gig with Barbie and the Kens tonight. Went very well, considering. Big crowd. That's what happens when you back someone well known (at least in NZ and Australia). You get to play to a decent crowd. Always nice. A blond kissed my foot in the break. (No truly, she did, I shit you not gentle reader). You are God she said. No I'm not, I'm only the Pope, I replied, what are you? Oh, I'm just a relationship guidance counsellor, which is ironic seeing as how I'm not in a relationship at the minute, she says. Oh, says I, so you counsel men on how to get some then? No, says she, the men are all slime-balls they just don't have a clue, just not with it. Well, says I, neither am I, I suppose. You must be, says the blond, you have to be with it to stand in front of a crowd to play music. Well, music yes, but morals no, say I. Oh!, shrieks the blond, and thumps me (hard) in the chest. I'm not staying around you. And she high-tailed it out of there. Ooooof, say I. Holy fuck. Ouch. (Bitch). Maybe I shouldn't have been so obvious and I could have scored. Damn. Another one bites the dust.

Gotta give me points for trying though.

Damn, OK, OK, that was role-playing. I admit it. Damn! I hate this new honesty thing. I knew the blond from before, she is the ex-wife of one of my colleagues, Matt's old girlfriend, and neither interested nor interesting. So, despite how the conversation sounds (and it is reported accurately), I wasn't trying to get laid at all, and she was not hitting on me at all. Truly so. *sigh*. As Maggie says, I am all talk and no action. She is too too accurate, I'm afraid.

No gigs for 12 days. This has good and bad points. Monique will be happy. I will get a rest. But I may have to work at being a math nerd instead. Not so good.

And now Wormy complains that I'm not enough of a CL geek in my diary now. Where are the CL piccies, he says, they are the only things I ever bothered to look at. Who to please....? Wormy or Singular? Singular or Wormy? That is a tough choice, that one. You just can't please them all.

May 3th 2002

Sarah's birthday today. Big excitement. Naughty Grandpa is here also, so he'll join us for the birthday dinner at some horrible bloody Pizza Hut restaurant. Sarah's choice, not mine. Still, she chooses Pizza Hut because Mummy and Daddy have vetoed all the expensive ones. So I guess it serves us right.

On a related note, Paul was given a video game, a hand-held one, for his birthday last week. It makes noises when you play it. Beep beep beep. Eventually I said to Paul "Dear son, I love you very much, and you are the apple of my eye, and you have my genes, and are in a very real sense my own immortality, but, so help me God, if I ever, ever, EVER hear that bloody game beeping at me again, I will take it outside, I will get the hammer, and I will pound it into the ground." Paul laughed. Daddy looked at him. Paul stopped laughing. "Oh Daaaaaad, you wouldn't do that, that would be a waste of money........ would you?". Daddy looked at him again. "Paul, trust me. That beeps, I smash it to bits". Paul nodded. Paul didn't laugh at all.

I haven't heard it once since then.

Three people have bugged me about the nuking of my comments. Why did you do it? they asked. Well, I thought I had explained. OK, here goes again.

I said something silly, foolish, careless, idiotic and really fucking rude on someone else's comment system. I didn't mean to. If I had realised what I had said, I would have changed the comment. I got called on it. I looked like a total prat. Like a total fool. I was humiliated. I was embarrassed. Now, I hate it when this happens. I really hate it. You might think that I look like a fuckwit so often I'd be used to it. You'd be wrong. It makes me angry. I say rude words. I think I might even have said fuck. (No, no, unlikely. It was probably flip.) My face goes red. My hair stands on end. I am very very pissed off at myself. And I hate ALL fucking comments, anywhere, any time, any how. I hate them. I hate them. So in a fit of rage and annoyance I kill every single fucking comment I can lay my hands on, which just happens to be all the ones in my diary. So, no comments here.

You might think that this is an illogical and silly thing to do. If you do think this, then I recommend you don't say so to my face, or it is likely that you will be told to go and lick a goat's cunt. Trust me. This might happen to *you*.

Student: Is this question going to be on the exam?
Professor: Maybe.
Student: But what about these ones here?
Professor: Maybe.
Student: But what about these hard ones, these are really hard.
Professor: Look, don't even try. Your exam is today, and right now I am the one person you do NOT want to annoy. So don't try it on, OK? Don't ask me any more questions like that. Now or ever. I won't answer them. And you will piss me off. And you can hate me as much as you want, and I really don't give a damn. I will survive even that. But if you annoy me, it will be bad for you. Get it?
(Student packs bag and exits, stage right).

Lazy little fuckers.

May 5th 2002

Birthday party is over, thank the sweet lord Jesus. Treasure hunt. All clues have to be in rhyming riddles. I was foolish enough to set the precedent once. Now they expect it. Pinata. Very unusual in NZ to have a pinata, so all the kids who visit are enthralled and delighted by the novelty. The noise is louder than Barbie and the Kens. I try to restrain the young "ladies", with better success today. I warned them all beforehand that if there was any fighting over the things inside, I'd cut their bloody heads off. GROWL!!!!! Ooooooo... giggle giggle giggle they all go. But they didn't fight. Once, in the US, we had three girls who ended up bleeding. I kid you not, gentle reader. The fighting and scratching was so bad it drew blood. Fancy cake that takes hours to prepare, demolished in a matter of seconds. Birthday song, Daaaaaaaaad on guitar. "Happy birthday to you, Stick your head down the loo, If you taste it don't waste it, Take a mouthful of poo". (Not my words. Trust me). Shrieks of laughter. Food flies through the air. WHO THREW THAT? Relative silence. They play twister. Right ear on blue. NO DAAAAAAD, that's not fair. Oh, all right. Bum on yellow. Ha Ha Ha ha Ha Ha Ha oh daaaaaaaad you're so RUDE. Hmmmm...... Other parents arrive, pick up their progeny.

I collapse in front of the computer and go exploring with Shep the man. Somehow, large fierce beasties seem like a piece of cake compared to what I've just been through.

I have an ambition to write a book. I mean a real book, not just one for nerds. My sister writes lots. My mother also. My kids read them. Then I read them. OH MY GOD, did Sarah just read THIS? Did my sister WRITE this? (Well, that's not such a surprise.) "Hey, Sarah, did you like Auntie Cathy's book?" "Yeah, Daaaaaaad, it was OK, but the lovey smoochy bits were a bit boring. I just skipped over all that sex stuff." I wince. Good for you Sarah, good for you. Although, on that note, Paul has started saying "oh, it's so romaaaaaaaantic" while Sarah says "Daddy is seeing a mysterious woman behind Mummy's back". What the fuck, say I? Excuse me? I only wish I was, darling Sarah, but no other woman, mysterious or otherwise, would have me. I caught your mother in a moment of weakness for her. Fortunately, Mummy sees the joke.

You know, even Sarah is writing a book. I taught her how to use Word, and she's now writing like crazy too, now on her 72th page. It's actually not bad at all.

So, as I was saying before I got sidetracked, I have this ambition. Maybe one day. When I have some free time. My sister keeps prodding me into it.

May 6th 2002

OK, so a bit of CL geekiness reappears. Gotta keep Wormy happy. And Singular? Well, she shall just have to complain. Sleipy is fallen at left. This is what happens when you go hunting with Shep the man.

Sleipy is trapped. This is what happens when you go hunting with Rylantar, one of Sleipy's squires, and a most dedicated one too I must say. Very dedicated, and will be an excellent Knight I'm sure. Sleipy was saved by ... er... Freyja and Topaz who both promptly got upset with him, firstly, for forgetting to share, and secondly, for yelling out about Baba while another lady was saving him. Well, bloody hell. Don't they know *anything* about Sleipy? I guess not. Probably never heard of him or of Babajaga or of the Red Quill or anything. After all, why should they have? Well, at least the Red Quill is better than that other pathetic clan, the Piece of Sh...er.... I mean POS. Ahem.

Txara Serene gave Sleipy a special longsword. It has a history and all. One of three made especially to kill nasties. The other two are lost. He now uses it religiously instead of his axe. He still keeps Manx on a permanent share lock because I still so love that picture she drew of him. Damn, Manx is highly talented. I mean, really. She really is. But Sleipy has had to give up using his axe, and switch to the longsword instead because it was, after all, a special present.

Sleipy is still miles and miles from passing the fourth circle test. Miles. Do I care? Hell no. Don't give a fuck.

Trouble ahead.... trouble behind... come on Sleipy better... watch your speed. That Knight has trouble in store for him. OK, OK, so this is an old picture. Sue me. As I remember he got so mauled by Cutlas, Althea, Luce and Slyph acting in concert that he ran with his tail between his legs. Yes, all you panting ladies, his tail. That's all. Don't get excited now.

This morning I heard on the radio.... "Staaaand by your maaaaaan.." I burst out laughing. "Staaaaaaand by your claaaaaaan..." being Vagile's version. Cracks me up. Well, Vagile cracks me up in general. Possibly the funniest exile of them all. Well, closely followed by Slyphers. That's pink fluffy Slyphers.

A student appeared in my office today. I smelt him first. What the fuck is that awful smell, thought I, holy shit, it's this student, Jesus Christ what the hell have you been EATING, and why the fuck don't you WASH???!!!! *gag, gag*.

Cough, cough, goes the student, I couldn't be at the exam because I was sick. Cough, cough. Where's your doctor's note say I, OK, thanks, bye. Get the hell out of my office, and stop coughing all over me, yeah, yeah, OK, I get the point, you're sick, you're coughing, you stink, NOW GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE.

They don't pay me enough to deal with crap like that. Well.... I guess they do really. Considering that I do bugger all for my salary. Still.... yuk.

A failing student anyway, this one. You know, one of the ones that gets 1% in the test. And I resent spending any time on students like that. Any time, even a damn second. They don't give a fuck about the course, doing no work, no assignments, nothing, not a damn thing. So why the hell should I spend a second of my precious time on them? Huh? Huh? I'll answer that one for you. I damn well won't whether I should or not. I've got better things to do. Trust me. If you want to get my attention and respect, do some fucking work! Grrrrr.........

In other world news I think about how I should at least think about starting to think about preparing my talk for Ann Arbor. Maybe. Singular threatened to come along to it. Fortunately she won't be able to. I doubt I could handle that with equanimity. A lucky escape. I look forward to seeing her and JR in AA. Kindred spirits, I like to think. They probably don't, not wanting to be kindred to a nerd. Well, bugger them. On second thoughts... maybe not.

May 8th 2002

Morning tea at the office. Well, I usually enjoy it, just sitting around talking crap with other nerds. But you have to be careful not to get caught by the resident bore. You know, the one that thinks he's very deep, rather clever, and very funny, but who is really just fucking boring. Well, we got one of those.

Me: Hey, I"m early, where's the tea?
Bore: Oh, here it is, I'm bringing it down
Me: (Oh shit, don't want to get caught). Oh, right, yeah, give us a B, give us an O, give us an R, give us an E, what do we have, Rah Rah Rah.... iiiiiiiiiiiiit's BORE
Bore: I'm taking an informal straw poll around the institute, and I was hoping that you would decide to participate.
Me: Well, yeah, OK, but not if you ask about bestiality or illegal sex with minors. Everything else I'll answer honestly, but not that.
(Colleague 1: Baaaaaaaa
Me: Hey, don't tempt me
Colleague 2: Where are your gumboots, James?)
(But I digress...)
Bore: Ha Ha. So the poll.....
Me: The answer is 17. For sure. Next please.
Bore: Ha Ha. Do you consider the word "chore" to be an archaic and rather fanciful word, or do you use it commonly in conversation? For instance, if I were...
Me: Oh, it's an Americanism, used all the time there. Fucking foreigners.
Bore: Well, yes, but I am writing a paper with this German and I used the word chore, and he said to me...
Me: Well, fuck! He's a GERMAN for Christ's sake. What do you expect? Come on, get real.
Bore: Well, that is true in some ways, but I have found that...
Me: Now, if it was a limerick.... Bore, whore, score, door, floor. Lots of possibilities there. There once was a raddled old whore, Who thought upright sex was a chore, So I lie (so she said), All relaxed on the bed, While my clients push hard from the floor. OK, OK, so it's not great, but it'll do for a first attempt.
Bore: Well, yes, ha ha , but this paper I'm talking about is about the string quantum mechano-integral theory of the Yang-Mills universal cereal equations, with 5% extra free, and the point of it is that...
Me: Oh, would you just *look* at that time! Golly. That's my exit signal. I may be getting a phone call if I'm a lucky young man. Gotta fly. Bye.

May 10th 2002

Nothing to say. Life is dull.

I was going to restore my comments system, but then thought that I'd better not after all, as it involves telling everybody who and where I am, which bothers me not for the reason that it bothers the payphone who thinks that people lust after his body and are out to roger him by surprise which fact let me assure you is way off the mark because they aren't, or at least I'm certainly not, although I'm not sure that I would count as an internet psycho, or maybe I would, I don't really know, though of course I know that people all over the web are lusting after my body but I don't mind about that, I mind about what I'm about to write next, see, but anyway, it bothers me for the reason that I bitch about students and things all the time here and if one of my students were to find this and recognise themselves then I would be most embarrassed, most embarrassed indeed, I would too.

So, I've been searching for a web-host server that is 1. Free, 2. Free, 3. Free, and 4. anonymous. No luck so far. I mean, there are ones out there, but they are mostly worse than having no comments. After all, RQ will have php capability (and I quote) "soon!". Do I believe this? Hell no, do I look stupid, no wait, don't answer that please. Please no, NO, don't answer tha... NO, NO. I told you not to answer it. Well, fuck you too, mate, you don't look so fucking brilliant yerself either , you know, in fact you look more like the arse-end of sheep than my sister does, and that is not a compliment. Not even from me. Fuckwit.

Anyway, as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, I'm about to try Radio UserLand. Why? Hmmm... not sure. It looks interesting. But it's not free. This is bad.

And I really have nothing more to say. Except for the fact that automatic outside lights are annoying when you go for a pee. I mean, you drink all this beer at practice and so you have to go outside to pee (because Paul lives out in the country, see, and no self-respecting true blue kiwi bloke pees anywhere except on a tree when out in the country, or maybe off a bridge. Peeing off a bridge, the higher the better, is one of life's great pleasures. Yes, well. Ahem.) So you stumble outside, into the welcoming, warm darkness, look up at the stars, listen to the sheep farting, hear the wind in the trees, whip it out and start to pee but just THEN you move across the thing that triggers all the lights, and suddenly WHAM, all these bright bright fucking lights blast on and there you are, standing in the middle of the bloody spotlights while the audience applauds your peeing technique. Almost enough to choke you off midstream. Well, if it wasn't for the fact that the beer pressure takes care of that, but still, it could happen. (To someone else.)

And NOW I really have nothing more to say. Why write at all? Good question, I'm glad you asked. Well, it's something to do while eating lunch.

May 11th 2002

Well, guess what gentle reader? I am in a foul bloody mood and so you are all going to suffer. Don't even think about complaining. Now, you all know that I love my wife very deeply, and I fully intend to spend the rest of my natural life with her, God willing, but this does not alter the fact that sometimes.... just sometimes..... she drives me fucking crazy. Absolutely fucking crazy. I want to kill someone (her), I want to break things, I just want to scream and yell and throw things around the room. Take a deep breath James, take a deep breath. And there is NO FUCKING WAY I am going to cancel a gig and I don't give a shit if it IS on Mother's Day, because, guess what, I don't give a fuck about Mother's Day it is a piece of bullshit commercialism, and why the hell should I not play just because some crappy group of business shit-fuckers decided to call some day Mother's Day just so they could screw more money out of saps like me? Huh? Huh? Well, let me tell you that I bloody well don't have to give a shit. And I don't. And I won't. And I will play.

And guess what else gentle reader? Radio Overland (or Wonderland or Dixieland or some typical marketing bullshit name) purports to be a useful piece of software for writing blogs and does free comments and even does hosting for a very low price, but you know what? It's a PIECE OF FUCKING SHIT. You install it, on the Desktop so it's nicely available, and you work for hours doing the templates and setting up the ftp server and organising comments etc etc etc, and it's all going nicely so you decide to move Radio Dogshit to another folder. And you know what? This completely fucks everything up. Nothing works any more because it's still looking for the Desktop folder and you can't easily tell it to look somewhere else, and when you manage to do that you find that ftp transfer is also fucked up now. Well, bugger me! Whoever could be so fucking unreasonable as to want to .... (gasp).... MOVE their folders around? Terrible! Horrible! We'll soon fix those dimwits who like to move stuff around their computer. Yeah, we'll fix the bastards by making a SHIT-EATING PIECE OF SOFTWARE that acts like a total fucking moron. Fuck that.

And guess what else, gentle reader? Why does country music have to be so fucking lame all the time? Just because it uses 2.5 chords (max) and is sung by blondes with big tits and small brains doesn't necessarily make it a pile of shit. But it is, it just is. I was listening to the lyrics of one of the Barbie songs on the rehearsal tape last night. Well, OK, OK, silly of me to listen to the lyrics of a country song, but I'd already learned all the rest of it, so lyrics I listened to. (And why is a blues band playing a shitty country song anyway, I hear you all asking, well IT WASN'T MY FUCKING IDEA, so give me a break, OK?). The lyrics, once I listened to them, turned out to be (and I kid you not, gentle reader).....

Threeeeee daaaaaays....... that I hate to see arrive
Threeeeee daaaaaays .......that I hate to be alive
Threeeeee daaaaaaays........ filled with pain and sorrow
(and now for the punchline)
Yesterday...... Today...... and Tomorrow

Oh please. This has *got* to be an eye roller this one.

And guess what else, gentle reader? Why is that mechanics always have to be so bloody gung-ho and macho, just like those bloody chipsters in the Tomato Nation, with real he-man attitudes and assuming that everybody just loves their car. Look, mate, all I want is the price. Nothing else. I don't want to hear a screed of bullshit about brake differentials and leaking cylinders and crap like that ... I ... just.... want... the ..... PRICE! OK? It ain't rocket science. I pay you an obscene amount of money to fix my car without wasting my time with the details, and you pay me (via your taxes) an obscene amount of money to teach mathematics to dick-fucks. I don't tell you about partial differential equations so don't you try to tell me about leaky bullshit horking cylinders on brake pads. Just fix it.

Life, at the minute, is so intensely frustrating. My brain is going to melt.

May 17th 2002

My goodness, and wasn't I a bad-tempered little boy? I should say. Dear oh dear. My true colours displayed in all their frightful glory. I suppose there isn't any point in apologising for bad temper, is there? Anyway, all is calm...... all is quiet.... round yon virgin, mother and child.... holy infant, so tender and mild..... sleeeeeeeep in heavenly peeeeeeeeeeeeeace... etc. A vast improvement.

Well, it's going a bit far to compare my life to heavenly peace. Not exactly I must say. Frustration continues in many ways. But at least it makes life interesting. I leave in two days for Ann Arbor, and then on to Chicago. I haven't got a good talk this time, but I'm not really sure what to talk about. Anyway, I've taken steps to ensure that no member of the audience will be paying any attention to what I say.

I look forward to the Quillers Ball and Singular's Birthday Party. I think I have been cast as the grandfather. I look forward to the promised tour. To meeting some new CL persons, and seeing old ones again.

I doubt I'll return here for a while. Or maybe I'll write while I'm away. Who knows? Who cares? Certainly none of my gentle readers, I'm quite sure.

May 21th 2002

I'm sitting here on my bed in the college dormitory (yuk yuk) in Ann Arbor, with a free afternoon in front of me, and nothing much to do. Nothing at all to do. So, diary time. Better than doing anything constructive.

Last week I dyed my hair bright red. Bright red. I mean bright. Fire engine red. Why, you ask? The answer is, on the surface, simple. Because of the Clanners Ball in Chicago. I know that there will be digital cameras there, and pictures posted, soon after, on the web. Mostly when you look at such pictures of CL gatherings all you see are groups of computer geeks, all sitting around picking their virtual noses. I vowed to myself that NO FUCKING WAY would I go down in CL photographic history as just yet another CL geek. Well, I mean, I am just another CL geek, but why should I look like one too? After all, my life is a continual struggle against being boring and conventional. Well, OK, OK, so I fail most of the time, and just end up boring and conventional. But every so often I have to try and break the mould. So, bright red hair. And my fancy pants.

Just a temporary spray would have done the colour trick. So why did I get the full bleach and permanent dye? Heh, that is more interesting. Well, it's this struggle against being boring thing. Now that I've been promoted I thought that it was about fucking time that somebody showed that not all professors have their heads stuck up their arses. I have got to be the first math professor in all of NZ to have fire engine hair. I like this. It gives a big finger to all those stuffy university fuckers. I like this too. Monique thinks I'm crazy. So does my mother. My sister doesn't.

You, gentle reader, might think that bright red hair is just par for the course. Perfectly natural. And in the US this is pretty much true. Nobody here hardly gives me a second glance. I mean to say, just spend 2 hours sitting in LAX and you get to see a wide spectrum of total fucking weirdo humanity. Hair is *nothing* compared to these people. But NZ is a bit different. It's a real blast going to the supermarket. It's like I'm walking around stark naked. (I wasn't. Trust me.)

The conference? Well, just as usual. Boring talks. Boring math nerds. What else to say? It's worse at the minute because my heart just isn't in it. Nor is my mind. I'm distracted by other thoughts, by other desires. I just do *not* want to be doing mathematics now. My mind is far far away. I cannot concentrate on anything I hear. And, holy shit, some math nerds are sooooooooooo boring. And some of the nerds even use chalk! Holy fuck. It's not the fucking 1800s you know. We do have computers and things. You know, colours? Pictures? Maybe even moving pictures? Truly so, we do, and *you* can too! All you have to do is pull your head out of your arsehole. That's right, pull hard, here's some lubricant.... POP! Perfect, now take a goooooood look around you boring fuck.

Got to meet the Raisin Pickers, yay, we went for dinner at the Grizzly Peak. They are just the same as ever. We all laughed and laughed at my silly hair. Thursday night I'm going around to try laying down a track on their latest CD.

Well, that is, I will if Singular and JR will give me a ride there. I don't have a car, see, and they do (or, at least they will I think). So I asked Singular first. JR would probably have fewer scruples (i.e., none at all) in saying, "you want us to give you a ride you lazy fuck? No way, shithead" I figured that Singular would be more polite and easier to scam a ride from. So I rang her. "Plllleeeeeeeeaaaaase, Singular, pleeeeeeease, I'll be really nice to you, I will, I promise". Hee Hee. It seemed to work.

So, anyway, picture if you will two young, cool, hip, city dinkies, pierced bodies, dyed hair, macho attitudes, into techo music, mind-altering drugs, city living, night-life, whiskey, and sex with squirrels, driving an old and boring math nerd out into the country to visit some even older music nerds, to sit out on a porch, look at growing things, you know, trees and things. Drink a little beer. Be really really uncool. Maybe do some knitting or something. While the math nerd records some folk music stuff. The scene will amuse me, I think. I'm chuckling in advance. I haven't warned JR and Singular yet. I've just asked for the ride. And by the time they realise it will be too late!! Ha Ha ha ha. Hot diggity damn. I'm easily amused by small things.

Well, I should be serious I guess. It's very kind of them to come out to visit me here. I'm looking forward so much to seeing them again. Almost makes me feel young and cool again..... no... wait... what am I saying? I was never cool. Well, never mind.

May 22th 2002

Welladay and gadzooks, gentle reader, I am still drunk from the night before which is quite an achievement seeing as how nobody else seemed to be drinking anything. How can cool young dudes like JR and Singular match me drink for drink the whole damn night and remain completely unaffected, whilst I roll around drunkenly, hardly able to walk, and talking far too much? A good question. Although the whole designated driver thing got me a little confused. I even danced a little, horrible club though it was with gay men roaming around clutching rubber penises and putting condoms in their mouths. Well, not horrible, just a little dull. We were, of course, far too early. That's what you get for going out with math nerds. I felt sorry for JR and S. Not quite what they were used to, I'm sure. Still, they were very polite and mostly didn't complain or do nasty things. I *hate* to think what they say about me behind my back.

You know, I am a little too discourteous. What I really mean is that we went for a lovely dinner, JR drew pictures of me on the tablecloth, and S practised her letters. That's right. You heard me. The tableCLOTH. There was a perfectly good piece of paper on the table, but oh noooooo, he couldn't use that, could he? Anyway, lovely pictures, cute waitresses in short black skirts (eyes front, says Monique), and wonderful company. I had a blast. I don't care what they say about me behind my back. They are some of the best company it has ever been my priviledge to have.

JR and S didn't even complain at having to take me out to Mark's house to record the track. Yay for them. They sat on the porch swatting bugs, gritting their teeth, saying how much fun they were having. Kind of like the fun you get when you visit Mongolia or something, or visit the zoo. You know, you see all these really fucking weird things, but, you know, it's kinda fun all the same. In a kinda horrible sort of way. I played the guitar for Singular, as promised, which may get me out of playing in Chicago, with a bit of luck.

I got to have a blast with Jake at the Bistro. Sheila had been forewarned of my arrival, and showed up fiddle in hand. Play, play, begged the adoring crowds. I blushed. And played some. Got me free plonk for the night.

Train to Chicago today. But my hair has faded so much already it almost looks fucking normal. Well.....almost. What a bummer. If I'd known it would fade so fast I would have brought more dye to spruce it up, to do my hair, to repair the damage, to visit the ladies' room, to powder my nose, to put my face on, etc. Curling tongs and hot irons. And then I could do my hair too.

May 25th 2002

Woo Hoo. LAX. Gate 77. Three and a half hours until the plane leaves. A mind entirely devoted to other things. So, lots to say.... lots to say... where to start ... where to start?

The schedule:

Catch train to Chicago on Saturday. Hang with JR and Singular for five hours, drinking whiskey. Could be worse. Could be sober.

Get to Chicago.

Meet interesting cab driver. (You're from New Zealand? Hey, I love New Zealand! New Zealanders are really great people!!! Are you all religious in NZ? What's it like living in NZ. Where is NZ anyway? You have a woman president? Wow, you must be one of those progressive countries that lets women have power. Do you drink wine and beer in NZ? Me: Nope, we never drink alcohol of any kind in NZ. It's against the law. Cab driver: Really? Me: Yeeeup.)

Get to the JR/S pad. Help fill up all the booze bottles, paying particular attention to the gin. Start drinking the gin. CL nerds start arriving around 6.00 or so. Meet lots of wonderful new people (details to follow). Everybody stands around looking cool except for me. I struggle desperately to remain inconspicuous, but fail rather. JR starts talking, and doesn't stop for 48 hours, at which time he finally drinks and smokes himself into oblivion. See below for details.

Ride Noam Chopsky and almost die. Laugh as Mike rides Noam Chopsky and almost dies.

Drink more gin.

Go to restaurant with the CL nerds, all of whom are trying hard to pretend I'm not with their party. I ensure they have limited success. Suffer the humiliation of hearing another diner saying (in reference to me) "Just look at him. He is *sooooooo* tasteless" It might have been the orange painted pants, or the red hair, or the horrible shirt. Or maybe he was just a wanker with a suit and a stick up his arse. I refrain from replying to him, in an attempt to avoid getting arrested.

Go back to the JR/S pad.

Smoke illegal substances on the back porch in an ingenious attempt to demonstrate coolness. Success marginal. Have trouble doing the pipe thing, not having the coordination to both do the fire thing whilst holding the pipe and simultaneously inhaling. Burn my finger. Say flip. Bother. Pass the pipe to Kira. She seems to know how to handle it. Luna calls me a pottymouth. Well and fuck you too, say I, I fucking well am not. Er.....

Drink more gin. Do some foolish but highly enjoyable things. Get into trouble fairly immediately. Woops. Oh dear. Should have been more careful. Blush, but make no attempt to improve behaviour.

Stand around talking. CL geeks all leave. Look at clock, realise it's 4.30 am. Want to smoke another? asks JR. Yup, say I. We break the law again. Look at the clock again, realise it's 5.30. Stumble off to bed. Lie there for 10 minutes before the sun comes up and shines right in my eyes. Sigh. Get up. Realise that when life and parties conspire to wreck your health it is essentially useless to struggle against it. I can sleep when I'm dead.

SG gets up early too and drags me off to her office and for a coffee. I look at buildings. SG drags us off to the Mies exhibit at the Gallery. Very interesting. Truly. I've never really thought much about architecture before.

Stumble home. Collapse. 10 minutes later CL geeks arrive again. OK, up you get, time to party. I sigh and head for the gin to keep me awake. Put on some blues. Turn it up really loud. Turn it up really loud again because someone turned it down. Turn it up really loud again because someone turned it down. Turn it up really loud again because someone turned it down. Turn it up really loud again because someone turned it down. Give up.

Play the guitar, with Greg on sax. Am soooooooo fucking drunk I can't even tune it, far less play it. Perkusi and Tessa fight over who will tune it instead. Pound out some really tasteless blues, out of time, out of tune... but LOTS of enthusiasm. Yeah. Perkusi hits things in the background while Greg tootles. I play SG's special song. She sings too. Fortunately I drop the pick before I have to sing the line about priapic geriatric men. I start to sing SG's other special song. Nobody listens, which is just as well. Play the Bullingbrook blues, wave my arms around, yell stupid things, and put the guitar away before somebody breaks it over my head. People look at me with relief and pity, just hoping I'll keep quiet from here on in.

Ha ha ha ha. NO SUCH LUCK, FUCKERS! Time for the Alex and Conny impersonation. The James reaction to the electric shock thingy. Holy shit. Heads were turned. Still no police, but nobody can say I'm not trying. Kim and Jeff arrive, just in time to miss the party. By 1.30 JR is literally unconscious (the silence is deafening), SG has passed out, and I am walking around comatose. Go away, I say to the Nebraskan Heavenly Contingent. Just go away. They pout and go. I retire upstairs. Woo Hoo. Time to sleep. And I do, eventually.

Finally, brunch with the CL geeks. JR gives incorrect directions to everybody, so they all show up late. Yeah, good one, JR. Woo Hoo. You da MAN! Poor old Luna is looking pale and wan, as who wouldn't be after spending time with Drenn. I ask you. Phineas has to leave early to catch his spaceship back to the outer reaches of the galaxy. Then to the plane and a difficult farewell.

And thus, my Chicago weekend.

The People:

Lots of new ones, lots of old friends. In no particular order

Perkusi and Kodo: They came prepared, with a woolly sheep for me, and duct tape for Kodo's mouth. The tape wasn't necessary I'm pleased to say as Kodo was almost civilised. I used it instead to tape up the sheep so it didn't split. Perkusi tried hard, but drummers have trouble in polite company (such as myself). Her true colours came through when she starting hitting things in a random pattern while I was thumping the guitar. You can leave the fucking country, but you just can't avoid drummers. They are like a rash, a pestilence, a swarm of pustules, a blight upon the face of this earth, a plague upon all musicians, and they have sexual diseases too. Unfortunately, women seem to go for these things which is why drummers get the babes. Perkusi was no exception to the general rule, getting all the babes she wanted. I could only grind my teeth in bitter jealousy.

Drenn and Luna: Luna had some clothes on the second night for sure, and I *think* she had clothes on the first night too, but much less obviously. This, of course, ensured that I was entirely unable to hold a conversation with her (sensible or otherwise) as the drool kept getting in the way. Unfortunately, Knights and nerds not really being her thing, I was restricted to drooling only. You know, maybe that's why she called me a potty mouth and refused to do a country line dance. I didn't drool at Drenn at all. Really. Trust me. He was his usual self, but no better looking I'm sorry to say.

Kim and Jeff: Damn, what can I say? I love 'em. And didn't get to see them enough. This world would be a much poorer place without that pair of freaks in it. It would also be quieter, mind you. A lot. One day I will visit them in Nebraska and heckle Jeff in one of his sermons. "Hey, preacherman, that's fucking *bullshit*..... er... sorry, sorry, my apologies. Forgot it was a church. Sorry."

Alex and Conny: I kept my legs crossed around them, for basic protection of course, but also to help with bladder control because Alex is so fucking funny. SG wet her pants in the restaurant at one of his jokes. I had better control and merely laughed. The master of the apropos comment, the mot juste, as well as the mot obscene and foul. And Alex and JR together? Bloody hell. You don't want to miss the show, you really don't. Conny is charm and elegance personified. She made me feel immature, ugly, rude, gauche and smelly. Well... OK, OK, I *am* all those things, but she really twists the knife. She is more than delightful and I can see why Alex lets her slice his testicles off. Ha Ha Ha ha Ha.... just kidding. You come near my testicles with a knife, lady, I'll blow you away.

Kira and Slyphers: Slyphers is just the same. Real scream. And made a mean sangria. We showed everybody how to be cool roc stars. Kira, quieter than I was expecting, less violent, and didn't really give me much of a hard time at all. Pathetic effort, really. She *really* needs to work the abuse angle a bit harder, get more practise. I think she is basically just too sophisticated and mature to get into slanging matches with fuck-fucks like me. Sensible child. As for her age, she had been born, but only just. But she was quite lovely, and excellent company and that guy from Brandeis should just count his lucky stars and jump her in the corridor next time he gets within jumping range. Hell, if I was 70 years younger I'd jump her myself.

Mike (Tessa) and Dave (Lex): Woo Hoo. Mike was visiting from the outer rings of Saturn and was clearly confused by Earth customs. His disguise wasn't perfect either. But he plays the guitar well, for which we can forgive him a lot, and he likes New Zealand, for which we can forgive him everything. For an alien he is pretty cool. Dave pulled the house to pieces by trying to do upside-down pressups on the ceiling or something. He left a trail of rubble behind him. I didn't really get the chance to chat with Dave much. Next time.

Phineas: also from outer space, although with a better disguise. Didn't even sing for us, the lazy bugger. You'd think a master bard would be out there and outrageous, with the rest of us.

Lanna: A real hoot. A Kim clone. Just as loud, just as in-your-face, just as hilarious. Wonderful company. What a blast. Woo Hoo. I had to sit opposite the both of them at brunch on Monday. Screaming fiddle just ain't in the competition, peoples, their noise output was considerably more. And much less musical.

Victoria (a JR/S flatmate girlfriend): We discussed hair. I felt just like one of the girls. She is quite wonderful.

Greg (a JR/S flatmate): We started badly. Says he "are you trying to look like a clown or what?" Short silence. Says I "What the fuck do you think? No, I dress like this all the time" Says he "really?". Says I "Of course I'm trying to look like a fucking clown. Jesus Christ!". I walked off in a foul temper. But things got a lot better. We started over, both being rather politer, and pretended the first conversation had never happened. By the time of the second party we were jamming together happily, but only on the blues cause I can't play jazz on the guitar, not at all, and that's what Greg plays, mostly. He played a nice sax but was a bit limited by my lack of ability to back him.

JR and SG: Well, what can I say? The less the better methinks. But it would all be good.

May 30th 2002

The Chicago piccies are up here. A million thanks to Mike for doing such a wonderful photography job. I hate photographs of myself. Do I *really* look like such a dork? No, don't answer that. DON'T answer that.

Yeah, up yours, mate.

I particularly like this photograph below. It summarises, rather elegantly, my approach to those who think I am a dork. Notice, if you will, how Luna is eyeing up my arse intently. If I had noticed that at the time I'm sure I would have tried to impress her with my bare legs too. Notice also how Perkusi and Conny are admiring my shapely contours. (Kira is sensibly looking the other way, while Singular and JR are desperately trying to pretend they don't know me. You can tell by the averted eyes, and casual expressions.) Now, you might think that, given such admiring feminine attention to my backside, I would have been successful in my never-ending quest to get laid. Well, if you think that, gentle reader, think again........
....... for here, gentle reader, we see the sad, sad, truth of the matter. "Pick me... pick me..." say I. "Hey, Singular, can I buy you a drink." You can see her reaction. The actual words were, as I recall, "no fucking way, you dick-fuck. Get your ugly face out of my line of sight, pal". How she could resist such a charming expression and elegant wave, I have no idea. Maybe that guy behind me would be interested.......? Hmmmm... now there's a thought.

On a more serious note, something rather strange and unpleasant happened to me recently. I cannot write details here, for safety's sake, although it is highly unlikely the person in question will read this. Particularly now. But it has been on my mind a lot. I feel the need to vent a little. Somebody whom I don't know well, but greatly liked what little I saw, this person did something so designed to hurt me, to hurt others, something so full of what, on the surface, was pure malice, that it took my breath away. Not just malice to me, but malice to friends of hers, people she claimed to care about.

Maybe it was a mistake made in the heat of the moment. Maybe it was a pure misjudgement. She (so I have since learned) has a past which would predispose her to a quick judgement, and one not in my favour. Or maybe it was deliberate malice after all.

And it made me think very very hard indeed. People we meet in passing, and this particularly applies to those we meet via the web I suppose, we just don't know them, do we? We see a surface, a pretense, an image, an actor, we see not a real person, but the shell they wish us to see. Yet such people can often have the ability to cause us great hurt, great damage. One must be either greatly trusting, or a very great fool, to put any faith in casual acquaintance.

Sometimes one thinks one can tell, immediately, whether someone can be trusted or not. So often, it seems, one is wrong. This is not a thing I like. I feel cheated. Swindled.

I am vulnerable to people like this. I hate to admit it, but it is true. Despite all the bullshit in this diary, it is true that there are a few rather unsavoury episodes in my life, episodes I'm not proud of. But could I guarantee I wouldn't repeat them? No, I couldn't. Thus I am an easy target for the malice of such people. This frightens me.

To be honest, at the minute I am greatly frightened. By this, as well as by other things far too difficult and personal to discuss here. But if I cannot vent properly, I will vent insubstantially. That will have to do.

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