31 July 2006


Si son désir doit se protéger, alors je pense qu'il est évident qu'il ne devrait pas être si négligent. Il a pris des décisions plus stupides récemment. Essaye-t-il de blesser chacun? Est-ce que c'est possible?

Donc: Quel est ton problème, Logan? Pour l'amour de Dieu, parle-nous. Fie-toi à quelqu'un. S'il te plaît. La chose triste est que je sais que tu ne liras jamais ceci. Mais puis, je ne pense pas que tu m'écouterais, de toute façon.

Pourquoi pas?

30 July 2006

Big Brother strikes again.

From the HealthDay Reporter:

"Under the USA Patriot Act, any drug containing pseudoephedrine must be kept under lock and key starting Sept. 30 [2006]. That means consumers won't be able to find the drugs on store shelves; instead, they'll have to ask a store employee for the drug, show identification, and sign a sales log. Some states, such as Oregon, are adopting even tougher laws, requiring prescriptions for drugs containing pseudoephedrine. The law is designed to make it more difficult for people to get their hands on pseudoephedrine to make methamphetamine."

That is complete bullshit.

28 July 2006

A strange invite...and a diagnosis.

I have a yahoo.fr email address, so I'm not sure if that's what targetted me for it, but I got an invitation from the US State Department to enroll in the green card lottery. I know a guy from Romania who won about 6 or 7 years ago and I know it's a real thing. But it certainly wasn't expected. In fact it was a little weird.

I'm negative for lupus, which is odd because I'm positive in every aspect for Antiphosolipid Syndrome; specifically, Primary Antiphospholipid Syndrome. The good Dr. Kingsley says that's rare but not unheard of. I've also been having very small strokes, as per the MRI. So I'm not going on a permenant anti-coagulant yet, he wants to re-check my platelet count (they're low) before that but I will definitely need to stay on Folbic and aspirin.

For info:
Antiphospholipid Syndrome (also called "Hughes Syndrome" or APL, APLS, or APS) was discovered relatively recently as being separate from lupus. It's not a clotting disorder in itself, but an autoimmune disorder. Basically, I make an antibody that attacks my platelets and to a larger degree the membranes around my blood cells. It's made more severe by the fact that I don't have lupus, and also because I'm positve for 2 copies each of the PAI-1 4G/4G and ACE D/D mutations, which are clotting problems, and 1 copy each of MTHFR C677T and A1298C, which are less of a problem as far as clotting goes...but a problem nonetheless.

These small strokes are only in the smallest blood vessels of my brain and looking it up, sometimes the only symptoms are sudden and flu-like (headache, nausea, fatigue.) Interesting. As for the mitral valve prolapse, the rest of my heart is so "grossly normal" that its really a non-issue. No meds needed.

26 July 2006


At work, on the 17th floor this morning...oh, it would have been funny if no one had gotten hurt.

Two carpenters. Carpenter 1 unplugged Carpenter 2. Carpenter 2 got pissed off and hit Carpenter 1 in the face with his drill. So Carpenter 1, in retaliation, took his hatchet and hit Carpenter 2 in the head with it. Sliced his hard-hat right open. Carpenter 1 then ran (still bleeding himself). So after the investigation, the witness statements, and the emergency first aid care, no one's pressing charges. I wonder if they'll have jobs tomorrow. I wonder if they'll pass the drug test. I guess I shouldn't worry too much about it. It's just sad that people get so worked up over spider boxes and cords. Granted, I get frustrated, there's never enough power, but I've never hit anyone over it. I guess that's the difference between having lots of testosterone and lots of estrogen.

24 July 2006

"Sad Day..."

Well, not really. My sister's 2nd anniversary with her husband. But what the title refers to is my nephew singing that same line over and over, the only line in English from the KYO song of the same name. It's so cute.

I love my sister and her family. I miss them.

Otherwise, America wins the Tour de France! Go, Landis! Even with his screwed up hip...and that had to be excruciating. I didn't follow it as closely as last year, since the World Cup was on, but I still checked the standings and all. I noticed that both Ivan Basso and Jan Ullrich weren't in this year. Doping, presumably, or that's what I heard, at least. I wonder if that had anything to do with the win for Floyd Landis.

Also, this weekend: the Lifestyles Convention, in Vegas at the Stardust. It's for swingers to meet and...um...do what swingers do. To be honest the idea is interesting. Not that I'd do it, I would be way too shy and creeped out I think. I don't think I could even walk past it. But how the mind dictates to someone that "Hey I think I'd like to borrow her husband while you take his wife" is, to me, fascinating. I know people into polyamoury and they insist its completely natural. And if it works for them, that's great. I'm not judging. I just don't think that I could do it.

21 July 2006

Gravy job.

Change can be nice. Today Paul and I pulled string. That's it. He ran the fishtape through all the flex in the media centers of each room, and I caught it, tied on poly-string, he pulled it back, and we both tied off. Including jumpers, we did around ten pulls a room, 28 rooms a floor. It took us a full day to do the west side but still. It was easy, the day went by fast, and Paul and I knew each other from first year class so we actually talked. (Nothing's worse than when your toolie has nothing to say.)

Also, yay for electricians, we're about caught up, and doubletime Saturdays will be on a rotation basis only. That's so awesome. My checks will be about $200 short, more or less, but I really enjoy having the time. I'm lucky to not need that money.

20 July 2006

I failed his test.

This is so ridiculous I couldn't help but to laugh.

Early in the morning, before inspection, Julian had be check all the floor boxes, to make sure wire was pulled, only on the east side. (John's crew does the west side.) So I worked south to north, opening the boxes, checking for wire, and closing them back up. At the very end is a room that isn't completely framed, and there was a floor box, but with nothing in it. I told Julian via radio, and he told me he wanted me to take care of it: mount any boxes, pull any wire, make it happen. Kep in mind, I told him where it was.

So for the next two hours, I'm gathering material, only to find that there are no elevations for where the box should be. I looked on the west side, and their floor box is empty too. I saw John, and asked him about it; he told me that it was a B-suite, and our crew handles both east and west B-suites. I called Julian to let him know that I needed prints for a B-suite and also that there were no elevations, so I needed those, too. He asked me where this was, and I told him: "North side, all the way down." He asked, "By the manlift?" I said, "No, the exact opposite end." He said, "Those are C-suites, use your prints for the King rooms, the lay-out is the same." I asked him about elevations. He told me, in an exasperated tone, "They're on the floor. Like they always have been."

So then, I spend the next two hours using clear spray paint to try to find elevations. (It makes marks visible on the concrete.) I checked for elevations on the west side's suite, too. Nothing. I went to the floor below, to see how it had been done, and it was a completely different layout. I even asked two journeymen, and both of them didn't know what to tell me.

Right before lunch, Julian called and asked if I was done yet. I told him no, I hadn't even started, I really couldn't find the elevations or anything. He came up and I showed him the room. He said, "This is a B-suite. We don't do these. Don't you remember me telling you that?"

What the fuck.

17 July 2006

16 July 2006

La Fête de la Bastille

Sure, a few days late, but...it went alot better than I had hoped.

I didn't get to do the shopping for it until this morning, really. I made a taboulé, which was okay. Not many people touched it because no one knew what it was, or what semoule was, or couscous either. But that's okay. I know how to make it now. I made also soupe à l'oignon gratinée, which most everyone seemed to like except the kids but really, kids don't usually go for onions anyway. Some wanted the soup with a crouton and others not, it was pretty easy-going as far as that went. There was plenty of baguettes, and cheese too: brie, camembert, roquefort, comté and chèvre. I wanted to get gruyère and emmental, as well, but they were both about $20 a pound, so I settled for a pâté made with pork and cognac instead. And the salad that Aunt Debbie taught me...everyone loves it! Every time I make it someone wants the recipe. Then my family brought an extra baguette, a fruit bowl, and Madeleines (which are little tea-cakes). And of course...Orangina!

We watched Kyo, in concert on DVD, which was awesome because there was an excuse to watch it, and it's good music, too. My mom brought up a Jeunet & Caro film, La Cité des Enfants Perdus (in English: The City of Lost Children), so I grabbed that and we watched it. I was surprised that anyone took an interest really, I was just going to show a preview to give an idea. If I knew we were going to watch an entire French film, I would have chosen Amélie, since it's a lot less dark and by far a better film. And my dad, I think would have liked it.

So in the meantime, while watching all kinds of fun things, we finished with a merlot by Thierry & Guy called Fat Bastard (nice!) and crêpes sucrées...just basic, with an assortment of fresh berries and cream. I had alot of fun. I think most everyone did.

My dad though...I really didn't think this through, I don't think. He doesn't much care for French cheese. He doesn't like movies with subtitles, because you're too busy reading you can't catch the subtleties in the acting, which takes away from the feel of it. And I just don't think he enjoyed himself. He thanked me for having him as he left but I think now St. Andrews Day is really just going to have to rock.

15 July 2006


Watching my sister Kelsrin today, who's six. She's always fun and energetic. She's old enough that we can watch decent movies and young enough that she can still strike us with awe at how much a six-year old is capable of. I think she might be getting a little old for Molly though...which is sad. I mean, more sad than I'll prolly ever admit. But completely off-topic, Logan finally started moving his blog to a real blogging site! So aside from him now being unable to lock me out of entries (hehe) it'll be more functional. I think he's going to like it alot better. And yes, he can thank me for the idea...he's using Blogspot.

There is a Bastille Day party going on right now, and because of my uncooperative work schedule I couldn't go. I mean, it started an hour and a half ago. I still have to go grocery shopping for mine (tomorrow) and prep all the food, and get the house looking good and all. Plus, it's going to take some extra time as it is, because I hurt my hand at work and it makes things a little awkward.

(So you're wondering why I'm sitting here writing this if I have so much to do...I don't know, either.)

Mada m'a demandé qu'au sujet des Autres... il n'est pas certain il comprend comment ils vivent. Mada dit que j'ai la commande totale, mais ce n'est pas vrai. Je ne peux pas l'expliquer. J'ai essayée de rechercher les différences entre les Autres et la schizophrénie, et j'ai également essayée de rechercher comment ils utilisent la Porte, par Asche. Mais sachant il se produit et essayant de l'expliquer, c'est trop différent. Il me frustre, parce que personne ne comprend. Je déteste me cacher. Je déteste la déception. Peut-être il est plus facile pour eux, peut-être ils ne veulent pas comprendre.

12 July 2006


I got written up...I can't believe it. And I deserved it, too, I mean it was my fault, entirely. Luckily, it was a written verbal warning, which doesn't hold the same weight. But still. Yo fui con Alex y John para un descanso para comer, esta mañana. Compré el jugo durazno, y un taco de asada del estilo norte, los mismos que siempre y asumí que John, que es un capataz, tendría en cuenta la hora de darse la vuelta en el trabajo, pero en lugar, no. Devolví quince minutos tarde. Es mi falta. Era tan madreado. Quizá escribiré más, más tarde, pero ahora, tengo ganas de dormir.

11 July 2006

News today:

Random happenings...

~My sexy handgun! A Sig Sauer P-229. Oh, it's so sweet. I can't technically own it yet, so it's going to be Tannah's for 3-1/2 more years. But still...I fell in love with it the first time I saw it.
~A local mother rented out a room to a guy whose surname she didn't even know, only to walk in on him raping her 8 year-old daughter. Aside from it being devastating in the most obvious sense, it was so completely avoidable.
~Rotation's up at the J.A.T.C., and no word if I'm included. I decided I might just turn out with Bombard.
~Terrorism in Bombay. What sparked it? Who carried it out? Just altogether sad.
~I have a "pretty moderate" heart murmur and the cardiologist wants to rule out a mitral valve prolapse. And my new hematologist, Dr. Edwin Kingsley (who ROCKS...I mean literally, he's got side-gigs in a band) is positive he found the root of my clotting issues. I'm like a classic textbook case. So after 17 vials of blood, we'll know in about 2 weeks.
~Found a really good copy of Scotland the Brave on the bagpipes. Very cool. Which got me thinking...when we were in Scotland last summer I found out that St. Andrews Day is 30 November. If I can find decent recipes that don't involve haggis, I think that may well be another international tradition I start...but for me, definitely without the cèilidh. I'll just have to work it around Mada's birthday.
~I still want to give Fabien Barthez a hug.

10 July 2006


I got a transfer at about 10h00 today. I'm going to be nice and say that things just "didn't work out" between me and my foreman. There was a conflict, let's say, and I told the general foreman I was tired of the harassment. Less than two hours later, I was working for Julian, roping rooms.

Julian turned out just a year ago, but he really seems to be on the ball. He doesn't scream or berate, and he's fair, it seems, as far as my appointments go. He told me flat-out that if me missing time becomes too big of an issue, he'll just lay me off, and a layoff isn't bad. He said if it comes to that, I'll just go to a jobsite with an earlier shift and it'll work out fine for everyone. I agree. But I'd like to stick around; I've never run circuits or anything in a room before, and I've never been in a tower before, and it's something I really need to learn.

Everyone's still asking, "Pourquoi, Zidane?" And he's still not talking. What Materazzi said must have been really brutal.

It's been awhile since I wrote in French, or Spanish. I need to get on that. But for now, it's time to sleep, I think. I've been avoiding things, alot, and it's making me a little unfocused and exhausted.

09 July 2006

Awesome match, unhappy outcome.

I'm going to get so much shit at work, tomorrow. I've been bashing Italy's team, Azzurri, for a good week, in favour of France's Bleus. It was such a good match though...Zizou scored on a penalty kick in the first 7 minutes, and then Italy countered with a goal about 10 minutes later. (Then honestly, it was a little uneventful...a few yellow cards, and plenty of unnoticed fouls from both sides.) Then Italy scored a goal...but the off-side flag went up and it was taken off the board. What got me was the extra time...two fifteen minute periods, where still nothing...except we lost Henry to cramping, Vieira to an injury and Zidane to his uncontrollable temper. Now really, head-butting an opponent while not even in play? Did he think the refs wouldn't give him a red card for that? Even if it was because Marco Materazzi called him a "dirty terrorist" and for that should have been ejected from the match...for Zizou to end his career in such a manner baffles me.

So, anyway, there was only one other match, ever, decided by penalty kicks...that was the 1994 final between Brazil and Italy, when it was held in America. Roberto Bagnini missed and it went to Brazil, I remember the huge deal over that, because it made Brazil the first five-time World Cup champion in history. And after the 30 minutes of extra time this match, it went to penalty kicks, again...I was so hoping for a replay of Italy as the losers, but with Zidane, Henry and Vieira all out...I was scared. And rightfully so. Trézéguet missed. It hit the goalpost and that was essentially it. I saw Barthez, one of my fave footballers, and he just kind of collapsed on the field. He's an amazing goalkeeper but, nonetheless, France lost. I was so heartbroken. And so were les Bleus. It was evident.

08 July 2006

Lies in the name of morale?

So why is it, when the American media mentions that former private Steven D. Green is accused of raping Abeer Qassim Hamza and killing her, her parents, and her 7 year old sister, do they skirt around her age? She was fourteen, possibly fifteen years old, and they refer to her only as "a young woman". The FBI says that their official investigation finds that she was 25 years old. However, her surviving extended family, those in her town that knew her, the doctor who examined her and was not allowed to perform an autopsy by American investigators, and even other news media worldwide seem to tell the whole story. I also heard about Pvt. Green's anti-social personality disorder, and the fact that he was discharged for being a "danger to Iraqi civilians" weeks before the American media reported it.

I understand that in a time of war we need to maintain morale, but I hate the deception. It just makes me distrust those in charge. I wonder if Britain, still suffering a year yesterday after the terrorist attacks on the Tube, has such media issues regarding their soldiers stationed in the Middle East? Or is it just that the PATRIOT Act takes away more of our freedoms than we realize?

To quote Benjamin Franklin:
"They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security." Sure, wiretap us, we'll be safer.

07 July 2006

Britain remembers: so do we.

A year ago, and terrorists attacks on the Tube. I remember seeing the footage at Russell Square Station, recognizing it, realizing that just a month earlier we were there. It shocked me, a little. And saddened me. What upsets me is I hear some cold-hearted individuals saying "London only lost like 50 people." Is 50 not enough? I remember the Rodney King riots when I was in 8th grade; they lasted a few days in Los Angeles and about fifty people died. That was tragic, was it not? (Though, by comparison, the riots here in Vegas during that time lasted three weeks, and only barricades and the National Guard kept them from spilling out from the West-side onto the Strip and Downtown.)

It shouldn't be about how many died, or who was hurt worse by a terrorist attack. It's the fact that people were hurt, people died.

06 July 2006

My foreman lied about my time.

The assistant director of the apprenticeship came out to see me today. Apparently my foreman had called him and told him I was missing too much work, including leaving early on Friday and having a "suspect flu" on Saturday. First of all, everyone went home early Friday, we topped off. Secondly, it wasn't suspect, I was puking my guts out all day. That's not something I can fake, or would even want to.

So then my foreman pulls out this sheet of all the times I called in to work. An hour here, a few hours there, so that for the month of June, I supposedly missed just over 44 hours. What my foreman didn't mention is that days he had me as calling in included two Saturdays I wasn't even asked to work, and a Saturday I missed for an approved apprenticeship class. The rest of my hours were from other approved apprenticeshiop classes and time off for doctor visits. I have documentation for every appointment I made, and the J.A.T.C. has documentaion for my classes...but since I wasn't being written up, just warned, no one seemed to care. The steward wasn't even there. Basically, my foreman exaggerated my time missed to get me in trouble, and I think it's retaliation for not working hot circuits by myself, and for giving him shit about it.

And you know, working the shift I'm working, it's simply impossible to make doctor appointments any other time. And I'm skipping most of them. I'm not seeing one about my problems with my bladder or kidneys, and even though it's been suggested numerous times to see a shrink over Gabriel, I haven't. It was reiterated that what I've got is a training assignment, not a job, and there's no such thing as an excused absence, ever, even with a note. I came real close to doing something really stupid.

The great thing is, though, Les is getting a reputaion as a shitty foreman. Other apprentices know it, journeymen, even other foremen...on this jobsite, and at others. It'll come back to bite him, I know it. I just hope it doesn't take an injury due to carelessness for that to happen.

04 July 2006

Independence Day!

230 years of independence. Our nation has changed so much in so a short amount of time, and still America is just a teenager as far as nations go. We're so lucky to have the best that every other nation has to offer: scientists, linguists, inventors, leaders. We represent every ethnic group and nearly every language in this country, offer refuge to those less fortunate, and the freedom to practice faith in whichever way we wish. America is the land of opportunity, and I'll share with you a story we heard while in France, by a rather enthusiastic man from Ghana named (I believe) Toussaint....you'll see why he changed his name, below.

Tannah and I were walking through a parking garage at, probbaly close to 22h00. A man ran up to us from the darkness and we both became a little apprehensive, but he asked us breathlessly, "Are you Americans?" (Our clothing must have tipped him off.) We said yes, and he was so overjoyed to practice his English...which was already excellent, by the way. He gave us his name from his native Ghana, but he chose to use the name Toussaint to be able to properly integrate in France. Toussaint asked us a ton of questions about America, mostly about employment, culture, and opportunity. He was so amazed that anyone could make somethign of themselves. He swept the floors in the local MacDo (McDonald's) but because of his lack of fluency of the language, was basically guaranteed never to move up in the ranks. His French was actually pretty skilled, from what I heard. He understood what was said to him, and he was understood, as well, by others. He told us that, alot of the time, if your name wasn't French enough or your religion wasn't accepted by the employer, you weren't hired. Immigrants were especially scrutinized, which is why he changed his name. Toussaint's wife was native French, and because she was afraid of anti-French sentiment (and inability to speak English) she wasn't willing to move to America, where Toussaint wanted so badly to live. He wanted the opportunity he'd never have in France. I think it made all three of us sad.

This country has problems...just like everywhere else. But it's my home, nonetheless, and I'm proud to be American.

02 July 2006

Why America owes her liberty to France

I guess the first show of alliance was from (get this incredible name) Marie Jean Paul Joseph Roche Yves Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette. He was 19 when he came to Philadelphia and pledged to serve without pay in mid-1777. A little over 6 months later with the diplomatic help Ben Franklin, France and America signed 2 treaties in Paris: the Treaty of Amity and Commerce and the Treaty of Alliance. France from then on recognized America as a sovereign nation, and France did much to fund our war for independence, supply us with rations, clothing, ammunition and arms. They sent literally well over a hundred thousand soldiers, commanders and officers to us to help our cause. (This according to Fils de la Révolution Américaine, and multiple studies.) Compare that to American soldiers fighting, which at it's peak was just under 50,000 and got down to under 15,000 in less than five years, largely due to mutiny and desertion.

Then add the thousands of soldiers and strategic brilliance that Comte de Rochambeau and French Admiral Comte de Grasse enlisted to our cause, plus the treaty France had with Spain to force Spain into alliance. Also, Germany was not yet a nation, but nearly every German-speaking soldier from Europe who fought for America's independence was in the service of the French Royal Armies or sent under French governmental influence (namely, General Friedrich Wilhelm Augustin, Baron von Steuben). Consider Holland joining due to Britain's attack on their fleets for daring to trade with America and France, it turned into a true world war.

5 years after France recognized America as sovereign, Denmark, Spain, Sweden and Russia followed...and then, finally, a defeated Britain. Quite a history lesson. What I think is cool is that there is a July 4th celebration in France annually at Lafayette's grave, and France also celebrates February 6th as Alliance Day.

And lastly, something LaFayette wrote to his wife, in 1777:
« Le bonheur de l’Amérique est intimement lié au bonheur de toute l’humanité. Elle est destinée à devenir l’asile sûr et exemplaire de la vertu, de l’honnêteté, de la tolérance, de la qualité et de la liberté pacifique. »
“The happiness of America is closely related to the happiness of all humanity. She is intended to become the sure and exemplary asylum of the virtue, honesty, the tolerance, quality and peaceful freedom.”

And later, to America's then-president of Congress, Henry Laurens:
« Au moment même où j’ai entendu parler de l’Amérique je l’ai aimée. Au moment même où j’ai su qu’elle se battait pour son indépendance j’ai brûlé du désir de verser mon sang pour elle. Et le moment où je pourrai la servir, n’importe quand ou dans n’importe quelle partie du monde, sera le plus heureux de ma vie. »
“At the time when I intended to speak about America I liked it. At the time when I knew that it fought for its independence I burned in desire to pour my blood for it. And the moment when I will be able to serve it, any time or in any part of the world, will be happiest of my life.”