Wednesday, June 30, 2004

this week is going by so slowly. the rest of today at work, then tomorrow, then no more work for a while. i love four-day weekends...i especially love them when i spend them with someone in particular. :) i need to pack tonight...i need cute clothes, but i also need some practical stuff, since we're going camping. that should be fun...a nice fourth of july away from everything but him, the trees, and the lake. we can be as tranquil as we want, as insane as we want. all that matters is that i'm there and he's there.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

strange day yesterday. turns out everything that could have gone wrong did, and my boy is not in town this weekend. :( that makes me sad. but, i'm going to kansas to go see him next weekend, which will be absolutely amazing. and...i know it's strange for me, but even though i'm disappointed he couldn't come this weekend, i'm still optimistic like crazy. yesterday was one of those days...even though everything just went wrong, it was just so clear how much he loves me, and how much i love him...and i find so much strength in that.

today was pride day...it was the third time i've been to the chicago pride parade, but the first time i've gone after coming out to pretty much everyone. :) there's still disappointingly little blatant bisexual presence during pride festivities, but it's still a lot of fun...and there are lots of cute girls and cute guys running around. i'm also covered in stickers and buttons and pride beads...i stick out like a sore thumb here in the library computer lab, but whatever. i'm here, i'm queer, get used to it. :) i bought the greatest buttons today...three, to be exact. they say:
--caution: butch bitch
--i'm not a bitch--that's just a rumour started by some guy whose balls i busted
--which is worse? screwing an intern or screwing the country
anyway...i went to the parade with my best friend...i haven't gone and done anything with him in way too long, so it was a blast to hang out with him again. he's a blast--especially at the pride parade. he's definitely extremely large, loud, boisterous, and gay during pride. :)

not looking forward to going to work tomorrow...but at least i'm only at work for four days this week. the boss will be shocked to see me tomorrow--but he's not going to see me on friday, since i will be in kansas, and happily ensconced in my sweetheart's arms. :) so much better than work...so much better than anything. did i mention i can't wait for next weekend??

Thursday, June 24, 2004

two days until he shows up in chicago. those two days cannot go fast enough...and probably will, in reality, go by way too slowly. it's been almost a month since i've seen him...and that's way too long. i talk to him every night, and that's absolutely wonderful...but there's just something amazing about being with him, spending time with him, being able to put my arms around him... i know, i'm a huge mush. but, i can't help it. he's just that sweet, that cute...and he makes me mushy.

have to finish setting up my room tonight...since tomorrow i'm hosting a texas hold'em game. i'll have the apartment to myself, it was going to be lonely...so i decided, why not put the space, and my time, to some good use and play some poker? hopefully the boys from the poker club won't completely trash the place...i'm not worried they will, i'm pretty sure they'll come over, play cards for a few hours, and then go home. i'm looking forward to playing--i've been reading Super System (Doyle Brunson's book), and i'm learning some new tricks. then again...beyond tricks, what the book has shown me is that i need to get much, much better at reading my opponents if i'm going to get better at either no-limit or limit poker. that's what i'll have to pay lots of attention to tomorrow--especially given that it's a cash game and not a tourney-style game. i'm a little nervous about a no-limit cash game with new things i'm going to try (since i've never played a no-limit cash game before!)...but if not now, when? besides...i need some practice before i go back to vegas in august, i can't be shown up at the poker table again like i was last month.

the other thing i've learned that i should try is to be tighter when i play limit, and be a lot more aggressive in no-limit. once i bet, in either, i need to commit hardcore and not be scared out so easily...but in no-limit, i usually don't even bluff...and that's a problem. i need to start bluffing, start betting more and playing more hands. will this work? we'll see. it's worth a shot.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

wesley willis rules. i'm listening to my minidisc that has nothing but about 55 wesley songs on it...i never realized that his song "i deserve a war hell ride" was so funny, but it is. it's got the most ridiculous line:

"as Dale Meiners gave me a war hell ride, i gave him a war hell ride"

and he calls Dale Meiners a "fucking dipstick". dipstick is one of my favourite insults ever, just because it sounds funny.

i'm amused.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

so i've spent the day at work, doing my incredibly boring tasks. i've gone on three trains of thought today.

one is how incredibly excited i am that my boyfriend will be in town this weekend. it's been over three weeks since i've seen him, and that's way, way, way too long. it'll be his first trip to chicago...since i finally have a place, he can come visit me in addition to my coming and visiting him. :) happy me...

my second and third trains of thought have been...more rant-like and less concrete.

i'm in the middle of the corrections, and one of the sections of the book has a character, Denise, who is single, sleeping with a wife (Robin) and a husband (Brian). Denise realized that she was really cold towards the idea that the people she was having sex with were married, that the act in which she was engaging was cheating as opposed to regular, casual sex. it reminded me...my standards (i refuse to call it "morality", because i really don't believe in morals...i think it's a consequence of my disbelief in the concept of sin, since i see "sin" and "moral act" as opposites in that particular framework) when it comes to the responsibility to be assigned in cheating sex are just like Denise's. there was lots of guilt on the part of the married characters about the illicit sex they were having with Denise, but Denise didn't feel any guilt about it whatsoever. that's exactly how i see it--it's the responsibility of the people in any given relationship that contains a fixed number of people not to cheat on the others. it is not the responsibility of anyone not in the relationship. if you're married, or if you're dating someone, reject the advances of other people that hit on you. tell them you're taken. don't hit on other people and take them to bed. it's really not the single person's responsibility--if someone's unattached or open, they can choose to have all the random, casual sex they want, with whoever's open to it. this includes sex with people who are taken but don't have enough respect for their partner(s) to not cheat. it's not something to be proud of, sure, but it's an option--for which the taken person should pay the price, and for which there is no price whatsoever that the single person must pay.

the third thing that's been on my mind...why the heck did my mom call me yesterday asking if i was going to call my father for his birthday yesterday? what part of ESTRANGED doesn't she understand? what part of i am NOT TALKING TO HIM doesn't she understand? why is she so insistent that i talk to him, or email him, or invite him to my graduation (i had told him no, he could not come to it)? why does she keep thinking that emailing him would be any less painful than calling? she doesn't seem to understand that i have nothing to say to him, she doesn't seem to understand that he's a horrible human being. she swears that if she were still married to that creep, that things would be different, that i'd talk to him. no. if she were still married to him, he'd be engaged to his current wife instead of married to her. he'd still be living in tennessee. i'd still have no desire to talk to him, i'd still have nothing to say to him. there would be no functional difference, just like there has not been a functional difference since they were divorced last year. and...if i'm not talking to him, it's not as if his birthday or father's day (it's good they're so close, it's one less holiday i get yelled at to talk to him, to call him, to send him email.

Monday, June 21, 2004

i was reading an article about the rising popularity of virginity pledges in australia, and it made me think yet again--virginity is just like sex. it's something you should only engage in for the right reasons. if you don't feel right having sex, don't do it. if you feel right having it--do it! don't let half-hearted adherence to some card you signed when you were sixteen stop you. just as virginity can be a beautiful thing for someone who wants it--and like celibacy can be nice if you want it for yourself, if you have had sex before, sex for the right reasons is good! the right reason can be love, if you're both on the same page. the right reason can be that you're horny and so's the other person and you're using each other as human sex toys, as long as you're on the same page.
i don't mean to go off on a vehemently prosex rant (although i'm vehemently prosex, and vehemently pro-premarital/nonmarital sex), but what i mean to say is...virginity pledges can cause guilt. they can cause shame. studies show that they make people less likely to take birth control and STD prevention precautions. keep your virginity if you wish, but don't feel peer-pressured into keeping it.
i'm horrible--i still haven't finished setting up my room. i spent all day yesterday putting together furniture (couch, coffee table, bed, dresser...), and then i should have started unpacking--but i was tired so i went to bed instead. today i'm back at work, and then i told one of my friends i'd go to the baseball game with her. maybe i'll get something done after that? doubtful. all i know is, my room has to be all done, and looking presentable, by friday, since my boyfriend is coming to town this weekend.

totally off topic...apparently at that drunken party friday night, i yelled out this one guy (a friend's roommate) who i really don't like. i've never admitted to his face, or his roommate's face, that i don't like him, although i've admitted that to my best friend (who's really close friends with this guy i don't like.) he's just unpleasant...he equates worth with whether or not you're getting laid, and how hot the person you're sleeping with is--and really doesn't seem to care about anything else but sex. he insults people left and right, up to and including my boyfriend, who i've never even met. he's bitter, but not in a particularly genuine way, more like "this is my role and i'm going to overplay it to annoy people". only two of my friends, his roommate and my best friend, get along with him--the rest of us can't stand him and wish he would move back to rhode island. he went along to dinner last night (although i specifically invited his roommate, and didn't say a thing about inviting him!) with me and some mock trial friends...and he was moping about something. i didn't know what it was (although i'm assuming it's a failed fling), and i don't particularly care. i can't stand putting up with him anymore--i'm glad i yelled him out, i just wish i'd been a little less drunk so i'd have the memory to savour.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

i down a shot of whisky 'cause i should have been an english major
and apparently the shades of fiction are red and black
i'm happy because less than a week from now, the sexiest, sweetest boy i know is going to be in town. :)

i'm angry because i can't find my cellular phone.

i'm detached because i'm in a state of concert hangover.

i'm drunk because i think i drank so much last night that my liver is still processing vodka.

i don't know how i got home last night in one piece.

what do i make of this morning?

oh well. off to find my phone and go buy bedsheets.

i'm going to have a bed tomorrow.

Friday, June 18, 2004

...i know it's been forever, but i have no internet access at home yet. my computer's still busted, but even then, there's no phone line or DSL line in the apartment yet, so i can't even mooch off a roommate. oh well...at least i'm moved into the new apartment. i now have a bedroom. with a door. and some blasted privacy. and some space of my own.

as of sunday, i'll have a bed and a dresser, since i went (gasp!) furniture shopping on wednesday. let's just put it this way: ikea freaking rocks.

my ears are ringing...it's mobfest weekend! mobfest is a local music conference--last night escape from earth, the blank theory, and janus (a band i had never heard of, but i saw last night and they were good!) played at metro. it was so much fun, i hadn't been to a concert in a month and a half and it was GREAT to see a show again! tonight i'm going to another show--inept, shades of fiction, and reforma are all playing bottom lounge, as another part of mobfest. i'm going to go...hopefully the crowd will be good, despite the fact it's an 18+ show. can't get my hopes too far up about the crowd, but whatever--if i'm the only one rocking out, like i was at the 21+ escape from earth show back in december, rock out i will. it feels so good to be going to shows again...i feel like someone who had been religious, but had lapsed, and finally found their way back to religion must feel. then again, concerts and mock trial rounds are really the closest i ever get to houses of worship, because they're both such meaningful experiences for me. the metro...is one of the highest temples of my existence, and it was great to make that pilgrimage last night. (then again, i have a weird idea of holy sites...chicago is my musical high city, and des moines, iowa is my mock trial high city. kind of sort of high city, anyway...it's starting to sound like an organized faith, but it's just all happenstance, personal conception...i promise.)

well...back home, i guess. don't know what i'm doing today until the show. maybe just relaxing and reading the corrections...i just started that book two days ago, and i cannot put it down to save my life. so good...i highly recommend it.

Monday, June 14, 2004

i'm looking for song quotes...good ones i find i'll post here. :) probably won't know too many of these songs, i'm scouring a search engine...but oh well. good words are good words.

"before you jump to conclusions
about all the friends i have
just remember they were born that way"
"Something I Call Personality"
by New Found Glory

"did you miss me
while you were looking for yourself out there"
"Drops of Jupiter"
by Train

"do i trust some and get fooled by phoniness
or do i trust nobody and live in loneliness"
"By Myself"
by Linkin Park

"don't depend on me to ever follow through on anything
but i'd go through hell for you"
"Going Away To College"
by Blink-182

"i asked him for mercy
he gave me a gun"
"Greatest Story Ever Told"
by The Grateful Dead

"i believe in you
even though i be outnumbered"
"I Believe In You"
by Bob Dylan

"i turn to you my love
for the solace that is there
and offer any cherished thing for a slight reprieve"
"Solace"
by Fuel

Friday, June 11, 2004

my friend said one of the greatest things ever to me today. this is another reason i love him to death.

"nicky, you're proof that gender is a construction. we [me and my four closest friends, all men] are the guys...and you're the manliest out of all of us. you've got the build and you've got the personality."
i'm nursing a rotten hangover right now, but whatever...last night was a blast. my friend's bachelorette party was last night...we took a limo up to the north side, went to dinner, went to second city, and then just went back downtown to a hotel room and got trashed. it was lots of fun...i knew the bride (of course), but i didn't know any of the other people...they were fun! the wedding's today...it still hasn't sunk in yet that she's getting married, that one of my friends, someone my age, is actually walking down the aisle today. i'm sure it's eventually going to make me feel old...but not until this stupid headache goes away.

now i'm going to post the lyrics to "simple song" by shooting blanks, because it's ringing in my head.

you kiss me short and sweet
as my foot taps to the beat
i hear around my shoulder
it keeps going over and over
and my heart drops to the ground
as i listen to the sound.
i can't stop the room from spinning
i want you
i keep pretending

i've made another mess of me

a simple song
an endless rhyme
i've wasted too much of your time
and i'm feelin' alright
just give me ten minutes more
and i'll be passed out on the floor
and i've never felt so alright

and are you still around
just turn up the radio
that's all i know
take my apology for my lack of courtesy
i can barely see

i've made another mess of me

a simple song
an endless rhyme
i've wasted too much of your time
and i'm feelin' alright
just give me ten minutes more
and i'll be passed out on the floor
and i've never felt so alright

Thursday, June 10, 2004

i want to join a burlesque troupe.
i heart today. i ditched work and slept in. i didn't wake up until my phone rang at about ten minutes to one, when my boyfriend called. :) what a splendid way to start my morning...the only better way to wake up is if he had been right next to me. i haven't been able to talk to him all that much over the last couple days since we've both been so insanely busy, but it was so nice to just sit and talk with him this morning. it's put me into a beautiful mood. :)

now it's time to run one last errand, to the bank, and then go OUT ON THE TOWN!!!! my friend's bachelorette party is tonight...i'm going out for dinner and then second city, and then maybe some barhopping. it'll be lots and lots of fun...although i am feeling kind of old, since my friend is getting married tomorrow and all.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

finally done with that blasted political machines paper...finished it a little after 4am last night. i think i spent more time in the library procrastinating than i did actually writing, but i really can't work any other way. procrastination clears my head.

all of my college work is finally done, now if i can only survive until sunday. then the stupid ceremony will be over, and the bulk of the harassment from my relatives will also be over. i hate this week. so much. i just want to crawl into a hole...having that paper finished is comfort, albeit small comfort indeed. this week is no good for my sanity or happines...i know it has to happen, and i'm sure being around for my graduation means a lot to my relatives...but i just want to be anywhere but here. preferably kansas, but anywhere far, far away from chicago would be just fine--i can't be picky now.
"swallowtail"
by finger eleven

let me in
and let me go
tell me that
i need to know
i need to know

swallow the key
swallow the key

you feel compelled
but its far too late to try and tell me now
so i'll try to suck it out

open mouth feels warm
secrets swollen so sore

we all know
and we can't ask why
you turned into an ugly butterfly

that shape of you
closes in
and forms a shade of grey
hanging over
hanging me

open mouth feels warm
secrets swollen so sore

we all know
and we can't ask why
you turned into an ugly butterfly
we all know
and we can't ask why
you turned into an ugly butterfly
we all know
and we can't ask why

sorry you're gone
the voices they left me thinking
the words that i've forgotten now
try to come but can't come out
wow, my last late night in the Reg. it's 3am, i'm almost done with my paper (i've been almost done all night...), and i still feel the need to procrastinate. it's been the first time i've hit up my blog, but i've found plenty of great ways to kill time. AIM has been a favourite...talked to my boyfriend for a nice long while (thank God, since he really helped me keep from flipping out after being so strung out again about the relatives being in town), and talked to some random mock trial buddies as well. one of my friends was also at the computer next to me for several hours, probably about the first three hours i was here...i can never pay attention and do work when he's around, we just kind of start acting like beavis and butt-head. it's great.

as crazy as the relatives are driving me this week...i'm a lucky girl. no matter how much they get on my nerves and piss me off, how unstable they make me, i have friends who believe in me, and encourage me as i wade through that mess. i have a boyfriend who believes in me, and encourages me as i wade through the mess. i don't know how i got so lucky, to surround myself with so many wonderful people who care so much, who love me despite seeing me at my worst way too often. it's a wonderful thing.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

i hate this week. i hate it so much. i'm graduating on saturday...it's nice and all to finally have a piece of paper in my hand, to finally be DONE, but all that pomp and circumstance can just blow me. the ceremony's going to be patently unpleasant: sitting in the summer heat for several hours as professors drone on and names are called. getting fawned after by my relatives and by whoever i haven't seen since first year and will never ever see again. the entire week is also very unpleasant. the relatives got into town sunday, and i went to dinner with them yesterday...they spent most of the time just laying into me for being a screwup who doesn't communicate enough with the relatives. maybe it's not enough for them, but i talk to them more than enough for me...call me the loose cannon, but i like to live my life as far away from the auspices of the relatives as humanly possible. they were also laying into me because of plans i've made with my friends...i can't go to trivia night tonight, and i can't go to my friend's wedding reception on friday afternoon. this week is just more than i want to deal with...

i still haven't finished that paper that i didn't finish last quarter. i was going to get it done after dinner with the relatives, but i was so strung out that when one of my friends invited me to go watch the hockey game with him, that's what i did to unwind. i ended up playing worms on his playstation until 1:30 am, and then i finally went home. all i really wanted to do after that, or at least sometime last night, was talk to my boyfriend...but not even that happened, i called him and he wasn't there. hopefully i can talk to him today, sometime soon...i have a rather funny feeling that if there's anything that can take me out of this rotten, rotten state that i'm dealing with, that is probably it. seeing him would make it even better, since i just feel so happy and complete and wonderful whenever he's around, but i know that's not going to happen for awhile, until maybe a week or two after graduation. hopefully he figures out soon when he can come...i'll be going a lot less crazy when i finally have something that's not complete drudgery or complete hell to look forward to.

Monday, June 07, 2004

that paper...the political machines one...yeah. i totally didn't finish it last quarter, couldn't bring myself to. so now, i'm doing it. i've got about sixteen pages, but my brain's about to die. i've spent the last two hours or so completely unproductive, and just surfing the web and talking to people online. have to meet the relatives for dinner around six...i'll give them a call then, eat with them, and then go rot in the library until that paper's done. hopefully it won't take all night, but it's getting done tonight. i want it out of my hair. and hey...i've brought myself to write sixteen pages, i may as well be able to make myself write a few more, so i can get it out of my hair, and have something other than another W on my transcript. i already have one W on my transcript, from that physics class second year...and i just found out two days ago that W's count as F's when LSDAS does your GPA for law school. oops. crud. i'm a little peeved that no one from my school ever told me that. my advisor never did. no one ever did...until my boyfriend told me that on the phone two nights ago. in other words...massive cookies for him, and no cookies for school bureaucracy.

i'd rather hang out with him than with school bureaucracy anyway, though. ;) *forgets about paper and goes back into happy little daydream world for a while*

Saturday, June 05, 2004

somewhere i belong
by linkin park

when this began
i had nothing to say
and i'd get lost in the nothingness inside of me
i was confused
and i'd let it all out to find
that i'm not the only person with these things in mind
inside of me
when all the vacancy the words revealed
is the only real thing that i've got left to feel
nothing to lose
just stuck hollow and alone
and the fault is my own
and the fault is my own

i wanna heal
i wanna feel
what i thought was never real
i want to let go of the pain i felt so long
erase all the pain till its gone
i wanna heal
i wanna feel
like i'm close to something real
i want to find something i've wanted all along
somewhere i belong

and i've got nothing to say
i can't believe i didnt fall right down on my face
i was confused
looking everwhere only to find
that it's not the way i had imagined it all in my mind
so what am i
what do i have but negativity
'cause i can't justify the way everyone is looking at me
nothing to lose
nothing to gain
hollow and alone
and the fault is my own
and the fault is my own

i wanna heal
i wanna feel
what i thought was never real
i want to let go of the pain i felt so long
erase all the pain till its gone
i wanna heal
i wanna feel
like i'm close to something real
i want to find something i've wanted all along
somewhere i belong

i will never know
myself until i do this on my own
and i will never feel
anything else
until my wounds are healed
i will never be anything
till i break away from me
i will break away
i'll find myself today

i wanna heal
i wanna feel
what i thought was never real
i want to let go of the pain i felt so long
erase all the pain till its gone
i wanna heal
i wanna feel
like i'm close to something real
i want to find something i've wanted all along
somewhere i belong

i wanna heal
i wanna feel
i wanna feel like i'm somewhere i belong

i wanna heal
i wanna feel
i wanna feel like i'm somewhere i belong

somewhere i belong
on another topic (i know i just posted, but this totally doesn't follow from that), my boyfriend said the cutest thing in the world a couple of days ago. we were talking, and the conversation was extremely random (as conversations between us always, always are...), and the following exchange transpired:

me: "well, you look up 'making sense' in the dictionary, and you don't exactly see my face, do you?"
him: "actually, i do, but it's only because i pasted it there."

i don't know why...but i found that to be ridiculously cute. ::silly grin:: even when so much else seems to be so stressful, so unpleasant, i can stop and think about things like that, and i can actually feel my heart fill with joy. even just the thought that i'll talk to him again tonight, see him again sometime, makes me so happy.

yes, my head is firmly planted over my heels...and i don't want it anywhere else.
trips to st. louis for baseball games are lots and lots of fun. especially when they involve nice long roadtrips with friends, and silly silly road games. and when the cardinals win over the astros (the astros are from texas, therefore they are a lot of fun to root against.) i probably should not have gone on that little excursion, but i couldn't help it...it was lots of fun, and it was my last chance to depressurize for awhile.

because from now on, it's going to be nothing but pressure for the next two weeks. i just want to disappear.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

i had an insight last night, an insight about blogging. it was about 1:15 am, i was half-drunk (riddle: what happens when a girl of questionable virtue plays "i never"? answer: she drinks three MGD's in about half an hour.), but i woke up this morning, sober, and the insight seemed just as valid.

this blog isn't the most public place in the world, since as far as i know very few people actually read it, but it's also not the most private place ever...since it is posted on the internet for all to see. this i knew. i never posted any of my deepest, darkest secrets on it anyway, but it's starting to get to the point where the line between "story to tell my friends" and "story to post in my blog" is becoming kind of funny, starting to err more towards what i tell my friends.

i haven't posted anything about my trip last week, other than the fact that it was a wonderful week. any account of the trip that would be appropriate for me to post here would just...lose something. there's a vignette or two that i may post here, maybe my funny poker story or something. but, still...most of the stories from last week lose something if you don't know me or know my boyfriend, and even then i feel like pretty much everything that happened last week falls into the category that you just...had to be there. it's really hard to put into words any more than that, any better than that.

stories from last week aside, all i do know is that life is good, at least on the relationship front. it was amazing to spend a week with him. it meant a lot to me to go on that trip with his family, and to meet his family. his family is really, really nice, and i feel comfortable around them. and...i feel like i'm liking him more and more every day. since i got back to chicago on sunday, i've been going crazy missing him, even though i've just seen him, even though i've gone this long without seeing him before. he called me last night when i was at bar night, and i about jumped out of my skin with happiness, in a rush to find a quiet enough corner to abandon the party and talk to him. my heart always skips a beat when i call him, or he calls me...and it skips a beat every time i tell him i love him. the only thing that drives me insane is the fact that he lives in kansas and i live in chicago. i wish i could see him every day.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

"photograph"
by the verve pipe

and if you want beautiful
pitiful
have me in a picture
and if you want make me dance
throw me round
spin upon your finger

blind labors the blind and i am unwilling to uncover my eyes

and if you want take your time rifle through
find a very nice one
if there's a crease in my face over time
there's plenty more where that came from

words frozen will thaw when i am wasted
i am better shut up
and a frame is quite confining
hang me up...hang me up

i'm in the photograph
i'm in the photograph
i'm in the photograph
yeah yeah

picture this

when i'm alone and the world is a fist
i am weightless
a universe gravitate orchestrates
well i am fearless
and spin the sky surrounding free from all the picture perfect
and spin the sky surrounding
larger than life
meanwhile

i'm in the photograph
i'm in the photograph
i'm in the photograph
hey yeah


i'm in the photograph
see me still
i'm in the photograph
see me still
i'm in the photograph
see me still

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

no time to write much of anything...but i'm not dead. i'm back from my trip...i still wish i was there and not here, and i miss him already, but...such is life. more later, i guess...let's just say last week was one of the best weeks ever. :)