Eeyore is 40, and I feel fine.

Man, Saturday was such a blast. Eeyore’s Birthday Party is always fun for me. It’s the perfect place for people-watching. Definitely.

I left the house around 2pm and headed up to Mojo’s for some tea and a parking spot. Having successfully done that, adding to the previous successes of the day (see Saturday’s journal entry), I ran into my friend Kate who was heading down to Eeyore’s as well. We swung by our friend Collin’s house to pick him up, and the three of us walked to Pease Park from there.

The crowd there was amazing. Bigger than my memory of last year’s turnout. Before we even reached the main area, the smell of pot wafted across as a welcome sign. We took a tour of the scene and found a place on the hill to spread out the blanket. Sat there for about 20 minutes, people-watching, before my feet got antsy and I left them to go walk around. Now, this is where I say, “This picture here is of the red-girl,” or “Here’s the green people who look like the incredible hulk and his three bitches.” However, even though I had a camera, I didn’t feel like taking pictures. Had I had a digital camera, I think the story would’ve been different. Something about the delay and expense of film processing, y’know?

So anyway, the oddballs and freaks turned out in droves, and once again my faith in this town is fully restored. Some amazing costumes. Not as many topless women as was expected this year, but there certainly were more than last year. An oddity, though, was that of all the women “going free,” not a single one was bare-nippled: every one of them either had pasties or wore paint. An oddity, to be sure. Not that I’d mind, of course. Mmmmm.

The drum circles were excellent, as to be expected. The vibe of the main circle was different, though. The usual two guys in the core drumming circle were oddly absent. They’re like metronomes. In their absence, the circle kind of had this odd habit of keeping a shifting beat until the shouts arose in the crowd, which would drive the drumming into a faster pace, steadily increasing tempo until it splintered apart to settle back into some slower, more dominant rhythm. Funnier still is how I constantly draw similarities between drum circles and neural networks; a sea of randomness kind of settles in this odd emergent behavior of complex rhythms. Heh. Yes, that’s how my mind works. Didn’t get to “trance-out” this time around, like I usually do, but I still had fun nonetheless.

I ran into several friends of mine, some I knew were coming, some others I hadn’t seen in almost a year. Ran into Sean and Claudia; they’re the gracious souls who offered me their futon for three weeks when I first moved here. Ran into one of the barristas from Mojo’s. Saw several other folks. About an hour before sunset I was found by my friends Patrick, Bart and Sarah. They had just gotten there ten minutes before their search for me ended in success. I guess they got that radar. Zen Navigation at its finest. We hung out, walked the loop twice, before sitting down for a few before we all left to Bart and Sarah’s place for the evening.

Out of the whole day, not once did I drink booze or smoke-out. I just ate some of the festival food and drank gatorade and lemonade and, with all the sweating and allergies, by day’s end I was completely dehydrated and exhausted. At least I have my first “sweat of the season” done and over with. (These pores are now clean!) The rest of the summer should be fine. But boy did I get trashed. And it feels so good.

I spent most of today recuperating. My allergies kicked me in the head yesterday, neverminding my dose of Claritin yesterday morning. I went through half a roll of toilet tissue before I finally slowed down enough to go get some antihistamines. A nap earlier today helped in that regard, definitely. By the time I showered, got dressed, did some help around the house, left to go to Walgreen’s for antihistamine, and ate some dinner, I was feeling much better. And now, after my first dose’s “medicine-head” effect is over, I’m feeling quite good. A little sore, a little tired, but good.

This whole “going out and doing things” thing makes me feel so alive. Wow. It’s a nice change to simply wander around, without aim, without schedules. It’s in this space where Serendipity plays. She should have a bigger role in my life, just like my first 6 months here in this town. I’m thinking this might be a good idea; shake things up a bit. Hmm. This has the potential to turn into an interesting summer. Stay tuned.

It’s a ROLLERCOASTER!

Man, today has been a rollercoaster, and I haven’t even been awake for two hours yet.

Ok. First things first: I wake up just before noon, a few minutes before my alarm was set to go off. Have to pee real bad, and I had to do it in record time, before my alarm went off (didn’t feel like jarring myself with its noise). Happily, that whole thing went off without a hitch.

So. Bladder emptied, alarm disabled, I go to my computer to wake it up. Waitaminute, it’s not on. Did I turn my monitor off? Can’t remember. Not unless I did it in my sleep. I sleepwalk? Wait a minute: I can’t hear the CPU fan. Aw, shit. It’s shut off. We had a power outage. We had a power outage? Damn. Battery backup hasn’t turned back on. Ok. I reach down and toggle the backup’s switch, my system turns on. Feh. Have to tweak with some BIOS issues, then I continue booting. Mmm. Norton Disk Doctor, yes I want to fix errors, no I don’t want to make an undo disk. Feh. Ok. Finally, I can log into windows. What? I can’t get online? Christ, this is gonna be a long ride.

I go to the kitchen to grab a coke, notice the coffee machine’s clock was flashing. Ok, yes we *did* have an outage. Ok. I turn on the linux server’s monitor and log in as root. What? There’s no trace of the power outage in the system logs? Huh?! That server’s UPS lasts for, like, half an hour. The server would’ve noticed a power outage. Not a trace. I am confused.

I check the internet connection. Appears fine from the server. Hmm. Go back to my room for a smoke, check again, nothing. Ok, something is definitely gone south. Back at the server, I check the firewall settings. Hmm. The firewall kernel module isn’t even loaded. I load it, tweak a few things, still nothing. I do a shutdown and reboot. On the reboot, the server’s init notices the drives weren’t unmounted properly and does a scan on the drives. Reboot continues as normal. Log back in, check the connection. Still fine from there, but the firewall module still wasn’t loaded. Good gawd. I load it again, and this time I run the firewall config tool. Ok, good. It’s loaded and working. Back to my bedroom computer — what do we have? We’re ONLINE!

I am much relieved.

So, a few smokes and a sandwich later, I check my bank account. What? There’s more money in there that I didn’t put in there! Could it be? Well, paint me green and call me money, the Feds decided to let me have my tax return! Hell yeah! I immediately place a large portion of it in my poor little flagging savings account and badda-bing, I’m a happier man.

You know, I’m a simple man with simple pleasures and simple needs. All I need is sleep, elimination, nicotine, caffeine, nutrition, an internet connection, and surprise money. And I got all of those needs in the first hour of my day! Fuck yeah!

Ah, today’s gonna be a gooood day. I got Eeyore’s Birthday to attend. Let’s see if I can get some of my other needs taken care of: booze, fun, community, companionship, and luuuuv sweeeet luuuuv, baby.

Pop a top and raise a can; this might be Shawn’s luckiest day.

Six Hours to Home

I’m heading off to Texarkana in an hour for the weekend, for 3 days of fun and frolic.

Wait, uh, hmm, um, nevermind that last part, I’m just, uh, I’m going to Texarkana. Ok. For 3 days. To visit family. And friends. And, um, to get out of Austin for a while. Yeah.

GO [HERE]

Um, ok. Praise satan.

Laid-out flat

Having trouble sleeping lately.

With the warmer weather, I’m going to bed with the window open, which may or may not be a good idea. It’s good in that I get the benefit of ventilation instead of suffocation, but it’s bad in that I get outside noises which, in an apartment complex, means I get neighbors, traffic, and A/C heat exchangers. Sunday night I laid down around 1am and finally got some deep stage-1 sleep around 5:30 am. Would’ve been no problem had I not needed to get up at 8 to go to work.

But sunday night presented me with a lot of problems for getting some sleep done. First off, a desktop fan I’ve had, and nursed back from death, for 10 years has finally given up the ghost. It was rattling, buzzing, grinding, groaning, and making all manner of god-awful noises, with barely a hint of breeze. It’s had a long, long life and has served its use in this world. It’ll now be sent out to pasture and be relegated to occasional spot-chilling of my computer tower.

Add to that the occasional noise from outside, the slapping of the miniblinds on the windowsill as a breeze blows through, some hunger, some stomach cramping, allergies, ear pressure, and BLAH it’s no small wonder that I was able to get 2 1/2 hours of sleep.

*yawn*

Luckily, when I got home from work (after buying a new fan and some over-the-counter Claritin), I poked around online for a short while, then laid down to nap. I slept for what I think was an hour, tossed around a little, then my roomate came home, after which I promptly decided continued sleep was a good idea. Around 2:30am, freezing my ass off, I got up to close the window and turn the fan down and here I am, making a journal entry. Not sure if I’ll stay up or go back to bed. Jury’s still out on that.

Without sleep, nothing else matters.

(post script: I went back to bed. Wow. Slept long and deep enough, in both bouts, to actually have dreams. Was nice, really nice.)

Little Discoveries, Great Voyages

Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard some small rumblings from friends of mine who I’ve known for years, people who I respect for their music preferences. They’ve made mention of a band called [Evanescence]; figured that since there was a small bit of buzz about them, I picked up their CD last night.

Oh. My. God.

I never really would’ve figured it, but these two people from Little Rock (of all places) can really write some seriously good music. It’s thick. Rich. Layered. My friend and college-mate Jeff S. was correct in saying it takes some serious talent to do those arrangements. The album has a few slow, orchestra-based tracks, but the real stars of the show are the tracks “Bring Me to Life”, “Haunted”, “Tourniquet”, and “Whisper”. Wow. This stuff is hard and deep.

It’s about time we had the return of progressive metal. I love the genre. Actually, I like really deep, thick, rich music. Give me hard beats, yes, heart-racing rhythms, yes, crunchy guitars, yes, but also give me melody, counterpoint, harmony, something other than “verse / chorus / verse / bridge / chorus” once in a while. Some bands that come to mind here are Tool and Dream Theater – those bands really get my juices flowing with the music they provide. Evanescence provides, and, hoo-boy, I gladly accept.

As a sidenote, I suspected, with the band originating from Little Rock, that Evanescence was Christian in their leanings. After listening to the lyrics, I can almost confirm. Lyrics are a hard thing to judge sometimes, but my supposition that they’re influenced by the spectre of the Arkansas State Baptist Convention (evil as a whole, but with nice members) is highly probable. Arkansas is a Baptist state, after all. Luckily, this lean in their lyricism doesn’t detract from the band or their music; they’re not ones to flaunt their God in our faces, which is good. The world needs more Christians like that.

So again, wow. They’re in my heavy playlist rotation. Evanescence goes down like sweet milk.

In other news, I’ll be taking a trip to Texarkana next weekend to visit the family and friends for Easter. Taking off a day early to head out of here on Thursday night. Maybe that’ll help alleviate my long-distance-driving-in-traffic anxiety. Man, do I dislike driving that long by myself. At first, it was a pleasure, but it’s now a pain, a hassle, and a bore. Damn, I hate driving through Dallas. ugh.

At least I have some new musics to drag along. Wish me luck.

¡Vaya con Diabolo!