love the post-CDA world, even if some things are a little disturbing for a farmboy like me.
There's something oddly unfuturistic about the Pathfinder probe's landing on Mars. The equipment is ingenious, but small and cheap. And the rover! It appears to be based upon a skateboard, for Christ's sake. None of the components would have to have the latest and greatest equipment to get the job done. Using a stock notebook computer as its processing core, the Pathfinder would have far more capability than the cutting edge equipment used in the Viking probes of 20 years ago. I keep looking at this example of low-budget space exploration and thinking, "this is so 90s, so lowfi, so touchingly half-assed."
I keep looking at this example of low-budget space exploration and thinking, "this is so 90s, so lowfi, so touchingly half-assed."
The musings critiques became the center of a few discussions that happened throughout the evening as others (Jessika particularly) read through them.
o one was home when I got off work. Seventeen year old Leticia the Brazilian Girl soon showed up, and she and I sat around drinking Natural Ice while she read a printout of a series of critiques of these musings written by other online journal-keepers (I'm on a journal criticism mailing list). Leticia was amazed and disgusted that anyone would spend so much time following our lives. This was to be expected; she's almost never positive about anything. The musings critiques became the center of a few discussions that happened throughout the evening as others (Jessika particularly) read through them.
Theresa and Jesse arrived in a car that Theresa's mother is renting for her. She was interested, as usual, in picking up a bottle of booze. We ended up getting a 1.75 litre bottle of Russian gin at the Barracks Road ABC store for eleven dollars.
Back at my house, KMF, we immediately started drinking. Before too long my housemates trickled back: Leah, Deya and Matthew Hart from their various jobs and Monster Boy and Jessika from some expedition. Natalie (Shonan's sister) and some other girl came by, as did Peggy and Zach. Everyone joined in on the drinking; even Peggy had a tiny sip (don't flip out guys; there's a little alcohol in grapejuice too).
Before too long, Theresa had become a raving and somewhat idiotic lunatic. She was going on and on about the Amazons having large breasts and having to cut one off so as to improve their archery skills. Theresa also got into an argument with Natalie and friend (named Sarah) about the proper definition of "indolence," a word she was gratuitous using in a sorry effort to improve the overall intellectual flavour of her monologue. In a fit of frustration, Theresa accused Natalie and friend of being dykes. This remark infuriated Matthew Hart, who told her she was getting out of hand. Much of this was recorded on videotape.
In a fit of frustration, Theresa accused Natalie and friend of being dykes.
I picked up a Matthew's acoustic guitar and began playing a vigorous little nonsensical song and the others joined in. By the time I finished in the heat of exhaustion, I noted that the cuticles on the fingers of my right hand were bleeding. Very punk rock.
For some reason I went to bed at this point. The evening, however, was far from over.
omebody was on top of me trying to wake me up. I thought it was Deya, but actually it was Jessika. Deya was standing behind her. I slapped Jessika across the face and tried to go back to sleep but of course that didn't work. She wrestled with me for awhile and then said something odd, "I don't trust you when you're like this." Jessika then dragged me out of bed by my feet and we tussled in a playful way in the upstairs hallway. I don't think I've had a play fight like that ever before in my life. In concert with the alcohol, it sort of broke down weird spacial borders that Jessika and I have grown accustomed to enforcing with one another. The results were brief but unusual. We were interrupted by Deya.
While I'd been asleep, Jessika, Deya, Monster Boy and Jesse had been dumpster diving at the Salvation Army Thrift Store on Cherry Avenue. The dumpster at the Salvation Army is always filled to the top with countless goodies that cannot be sold at the exorbitant prices with which they're labeled. Instead of giving away these items or selling them at deep discount, the Salvation Army chooses instead to haul this unsold material to the landfill. And they are apparently vehement that the unsold stuff make it to the landfill unmolested; they fortress their dumpster behind a chain link fence. But today that fence had a mysterious new hole sliced through it.
And they are apparently vehement that the unsold stuff make it to the landfill unmolested.
Items secured from the dumpster included Christmas lights, books, kitchen ware and appliances, and lots of baby dolls. Apparently there is a vein of plastic infants running through the overburden.
The successes at the the dumpster made me envious. I wanted some of that action. So we set out for a second run on the dumpster. Jesse, by the way, was no longer with us; he'd gone off to bed. Monster Boy did the driving in his K-car.
On this mission, we secured a vast variety of coffee mugs, even more dolls, and some unexpected items: a juicer, a cassette recorder, flame units to maintain food temperature at outdoor catering functions, a wireless powerdrill, a cheesy guitar-shaped keyboard with several canned tunes, and a retro aluminum Calvin Klein lunchbox. As Jessika pointed out, it was mostly stuff we had no use for.
fter the others had gone to bed, Jessika and I sat up and talked about some things. First of all, she mentioned how irritated she is with Matthew Hart. She mentioned that he had been so excited tonight when Natalie and her friend had come over, but when they went home, he went directly off to bed. She felt unwanted by him. It was a disturbing thing for her to come all this way to visit and have him acting like she was old news. This may sound like a minor thing, but Jessika said she'd been crying about it. One effect of gin is that it makes people unusually emotional.
Then Jessika told me about the medical study she is doing (along with Sara Poiron) in Philadelphia. The funniest part of that story is the interview process that Sara and she went through at the beginning of the study. Sara's interview only lasted about 45 minutes.
She has seen ghosts (especially at Big Fun). And she even saw a UFO once, though she hadn't seen the little alien pilots.
This was because she responded "no" to all the questions such as "do you ever get depressed?" "have you ever had a fight?" and "have you ever seen a ghost or a UFO?" Jessika, on the other hand, had her interview extended an extra day.
This was because she answered more honestly. She has been depressed, she admitted. She has seen ghosts (especially at Big Fun). And she even saw a UFO once, though she hadn't seen the little alien pilots. As for drugs, she said that she's smoked pot more times than she could possibly remember. She did tell a few little lies: most of her fights, she contended, had happened at Big Fun.
The purpose of this study is apparently to measure the effect of a number of drugs on Serotonin levels. These drugs include Clonidine, a blood pressure regulator, and Phen/Fen, a new appetite suppressant similar in effect, Jessika says, to Ritalin. Genetic predisposition seems to be an important part of the data; along with interviews about her own behaviour, researchers wanted to know all about her parents, aunts and uncles, and whether there were any unusual "black sheep" in the family.
In truth, of course, she used to have lots of fights when she was a little girl. She used to pick on little retarded children. And every time Jessika admitted to sociopathic behaviour, the interviewer wanted to explore it in depth. What kind of fights had she had, what exactly was the appearance of the ghosts she'd seen.
Jessika and I also discussed heroin, the North Philadelphia disease. It continues to wreak havok among her friends in Pennsylvania. Heroin is not only bad for those taking it, of course, it is very destructive to whole social groups. Junkies are dull and unattractive to non-junkies. Thus, to have any fun with them at all, the friends of junkies often find themselves trying heroin, and ultimately joining their ranks.