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BY Domitan

11/01 Direct Link
"Oh nothing important."

How I despise these words. I stand among some blokes who were yakking their heads off. Their animated body language, bobbing heads, awkward gesticulation, and amused chuckles whenever someone yammered a "point".

I want in, not just as a presence, but as a vital contributor to this social circle. I don't want to be a Victorian child, seen and not heard. I tap someone on the shoulder and ask for the topic.

"Oh nothing important."

They not only left me out; they diminished my humanity. Let me choose if the topic is worth shit or worth engaging.
11/02 Direct Link
Your smile

Yes, just your smile. I feel a positive twinge whenever people smile at me. But YOUR smile melts the greyness around me, temporarily assuages the troubles in my heart, gives me strength of otherness. If I was a full-fledged believer, I'd say you were an angel come to earth in imperfect human form.

We drive each other crazy at times. We have seen our good and bad sides, but still remain close friends. Lucky be the man who has your heart now. Your vital spark, idiosyncratic eccentricities, outrageous stubbornness, dragonfire passion, and sultry charm make me smile inside.
11/03 Direct Link
I bummed around for a bit on the Phlog and on ICQ with family and friends. Suddenly, a former officemate dropped by and asked if I wanted to go for lunch. Been a while, so I took off to the university HUB for baked potato lunch. We caught up on old times and the hi n lows of our worklife. Halfway through lunch, she dropped a bombshell: "I have cancer."

Being a conservative Albertan, she said it was a "woman thing". No further info needed. I felt crestfallen for her. Very treatable, she says. She, a fighter, should make it.
11/04 Direct Link
Starved after a long day, I entered a local restaurant. My stomach growled for some Chinese instead of the usual deli. A young Chinese lady seated me. I wanted the meal deal but wanted ginger beef instead of shrimp. Turns out that she was brutal to lipread and didn't gesture or read English well. I raged inside at this communication barrier. Very tempted to jolt, but I stayed. The manager came forth…still brutal to lipread, but we managed to get our points across. Yes, ginger beef for shrimp! I should have gone to an Italian or Arab restaurant instead.
11/05 Direct Link
Sitting comfortably sipping my vodka, I gazed around amidst a great invisible din. An university volunteer club set up this house-party that included diverse personalities. Really nice chaps and lasses…yet, I felt alien like Lovecraft's Outsider.

I didn't know too many people well. I tired of stilted communications due to difficult lipreading and my voice not understood well amongst the din. I sat bemused lost in my imagination and sea of observing. Suddenly, one energetic woman sat by me. I didn't know her but she knew of me as she introduced herself in sign. There, my alien shell melted.
11/06 Direct Link
What is the horror beyond horrors? What is the hell that even Hell dreads? Halloween arrives soon. Let's commemorate this dark festival. Our generations have seen nearly all: vampires, werewolves, spectres, witches, devils, etc. Mere caricatures! Even the true horrors that touch our nations instill deeper fear than these black fantasies. Before September 11, that may be have been debated, but no longer. Yet, what horrors are so vast and dark those even black humour struggles in vain to soothe? A hint: the unknown. Not only unknown but there…invisible yet powerful, gnawing in the deep recesses of our unconscious.
11/07 Direct Link
For my first two years, I never uttered or signed a word. No one knew of my deafness. My uncanny alertness to visual details and to tiny vibrations enabled me to fool my otherwise keen family and family friends. One day, my mother called out to me as I waddled away. No response. Something was "wrong". Doctor appointments followed. The diagnosis was final: "Your son is deaf."

Naturally, my parents underwent the grieving process. Life changed. Nonetheless, they remained determined to meet two goals: full communication in family, and equal access to proper education. They were pioneers beyond their years.
11/08 Direct Link
After my parents discovered my deafness, they plunged fulltime into finding out the best methods to enable our communication and for me to learn as much as I could. To make a long story short, they adopted the Total Communication system (use everything). I learned how to read, sign, speak, write, and learn. I absorbed information like a sponge but it was a little while before I expressed what I learned. My father stood before me one day, and all of a sudden I made this little sign, extending my index fingers and bringing them together side by side. "Same"
11/09 Direct Link
Was I an unusual child? When I was 2 or 3, one of the first words I ever voiced, if not the first, was "MOON!" My parents drove o'er the countryside ‘neath the burning full moon. Mesmerized, I stared at it from the car window. Then I screamed gleefully, "MOON! MOON! MOON!"

During my daydreams at that time, I pondered what we were, where we came from, and where we were. I imagined carpenters at an old factory making humans. I envisioned our population being infinite. I thought our geographical terrain endless. Learning of planet Earth containing us constricted me.
11/10 Direct Link
Between and underneath the computer keys lie caked accumulations of dander and hair follicles. Lowering my head to peer at the mess, my casual disgust transformed to pondering wonder. But, is it art? It could be, it could be. Carefully remove the keys and preserve the pattern of dander intermingling with follicles. Give it a fancy moniker and enter it in a modern art gallery. Ah, pay off the rest of my tuition! A chilling tentacle of thought burrowed its way to consciousness. How so easy it would be to grab a sample and learn about us via DNA analysis?
11/11 Direct Link
Teaching is an incredible art and science. People have told me that I have a natural flair for it and should become a teacher. I dismissed this beforehand because being a teacher seemed too ordinary and prevalent. Being unique meant more to me. Throughout my university years, I have taught some classes either as a sessional instructor or a guest lecturer. The joys of seeing students learn something new and treasure it as a new possession in their lives truly is something to behold. I marvel at the differences that good teachers make in people's lives. We need more teachers.
11/12 Direct Link
He stands outside peering at the festivities. Gelatinous darkness seeps inside his guts. As strange lifeforms spawn in the murky bogs, something alive swirls inside him. It now ferments. The Outsider acknowledges the inner torment. It alternates between draining and seductively energizing him. Repressed pain fuels his blackfire, which the Outsider realizes dolorously. He does not belong. It hurts. Something has to give. No opportunity for a rot-melting embrace. Angry, yes, but no right to take it out on others, especially with this darkness as his fuel. He gazes at the light; the darkness drains colourlessly out of his eyes.
11/13 Direct Link
Thirteen: my second favourite number. Actually, my favourite number is 13 backwards. I just like being subversive. *spits at ridiculous superstitions* Pity the triskaidekaphobics, for they know not what they fear. Tis amazing how many well-educated people fall prostrate before the power of 13. Why else would many engineers, technologists and developers omit the 13th floor or bypass 13 in number-related tasks? Just a pathetic case of playing Pascal's Wager: the "better safe than sorry" mentality. Its self-fulfilling prophecy power is the most likely unfortunate consequence. However, I admit that being a hormone-riddled angst-filled 13 year old can be unlucky.
11/14 Direct Link
Words are so powerful.

"The pen is mightier than the sword", is not a tired cliché by blind chicken soup drinkers. Tis the simple truth. A fist or a gun can permanently transform one or several lives at once. However, the printed word permeates many more souls. A devastating blow against one's jaw or chest may shape the recipient's behaviour, but not necessarily his heart. Whereas, words that strike the heart can very well transform a person's soul for better or worse.

Brave is the person who dares utter words from his heart to plant seeds for a better world.
11/15 Direct Link
This is one of the times to be brave.

An old face has come to haunt the regions. Phloggers can think of him like a Canadian version of Logic. During my few years of friendship with him long ago and stories from his recent ex, he is a classic borderline personality case. Given his history of erratic behaviour and cyclic explosions, his recurring dreams of shooting people at his work cannot be easily dismissed. He admitted wishing that but not saying the key "will" word.

He begins to stalk her. Will I also be the target of his deluded anger?
11/16 Direct Link
I have consulted with a professional counsellor. She admitted that so far there are not many grounds for the police to take action. They tend to laugh off cases like this. How incredulous!!! I thought enraged, "How could they just dismiss something especially in this day and age where threats were taken lightly with deadly consequences." Remember the ominous warnings before the high school shootings, and how edgy the world is now after September 11. Nothing may happen, but burying this issue under the rug is not the answer.

I contacted the RCMP asking for advice about a "hypothetical" situation.
11/17 Direct Link
Ahh, nothing like having lunch with an old dear friend and just talk about anything. They say that friends are the glue that hold us together on this wretched planet. I definitely agree! We may not be able to choose our family members but we can choose our friends. Without someone who I can vent with or share common interests, I'd feel much more empty among a sea of strangers. One most rewarding thing we can say to one another: "What are friends for." Doing things for each other not out of necessity, but out of free giving and love.
11/18 Direct Link
I hate office work. It's a necessary bother for me, being a graduate student and intern. Yet, just leave me stuck with only office chores to do for days. I become extremely bored and listless. Indeed, I must create! I took a creativity test that indicated a 98 percent creative spirit. To not do creative things will leave me depressed and extremely dissatisfied in life. It doesn't matter what creative endeavours I choose; it's the act of expressing that stirs my spirit.

Stuck in dull routines: I am a murky squalid bog.

Being creative: I am a whirlwind of colours.
11/19 Direct Link
Lucid dreams. Those dreams feel so real. I recently had an unpleasant dream but I was not spooked because it was simply just a dream. However, the week before, in a lucid dream, I believed I was truly moving, that I was in a waking world. Trapped in the twilight zone between the waking and the sleeping world, I felt myself in control and yet not in control of my movements and what was to come. At best I felt most enthralled especially if I flew, and at worst it was most frightening for I realized the meaning of "ominous".
11/20 Direct Link
Ahh, the Advent of Xmas has come upon us. What does it mean to me? Compared to my childhood, nearly nothing. Santa Claus and presents don't do it for me. No more butterflies in my stomach. Being a skeptic, celebrating the birth of the Messiah in the manger just does not have the same feel like when I was a devout believer before. The crass commercialization only adds to turn me off more. However, when I arrive at my parents' abode, I again appreciate the good Christmas cheers shared by those who hold steadfast to the true meaning of Christmas.
11/21 Direct Link
I just finished teaching my sign language class this term. Out of the classes the past four years, this has been my favourite. Being a more seasoned pro at doing this does help. More than that, the students this year seemed to really be into learning a visual language. Such enthusiasm and quick understanding. Those things please a teacher. A normal sign class should have 15 students at the most, but due to idiotic university policies, I got 35 students!!! Nonetheless, my assistant and I managed to make these classes productive, fun, and very educational. I hope they continue learning.
11/22 Direct Link
I did a handwriting analysis test for fun. Most of the so-called results gushed of my positive traits. My pattern of dotting the i's did not, though. I tend to slash above the i's instead of placing dots above them. What does this mean? According to the analysis, this is a sign of a harsh personality where a person tends to be too abrupt and tough to get close to. Hmmm, there is a kernel of truth there. I tend to be laid-back and good to socialize with, but at times, I show little patience, especially for fools and twunts.
11/23 Direct Link
I am thankful for the 100 words site. This creative spirit needs an outlet. Yes, I could just write for myself, but without focus and an audience, I tend to procrastinate terribly. Sometimes, I envy the very self-motivated types. But no matter, I'm still growing up. Creative people like me must be continually creating lest they stagnate in a pool of boredom, depression, and burden of suppressed feelings and spirits. Those creative sparks need not lead to major projects, but can be expressed in small endeavours such as cooking, exercising, taking new walk-paths, and trying different things. Seize the day!
11/24 Direct Link
My friend told me about going for treatment regarding early cancer stages. Another friend's mother is undergoing major surgery. My far-away chum is suffering the doldrums of a loveless marriage with a control freak. My buddy struggles over what to do about his troubled son. My officemate's ex (still good friends) is in Afghanistan for a covert mission. In my work, I learn of many people suffering as they fell through the cracks that our society has neglected. Indeed, my problems seem trivial compared to these. That guy who gave up on life because of a lost toe: so absurd.
11/25 Direct Link
I have my candidacy soon. Should I pass, I proceed with my dissertation research. People keep asking me, "Am I nervous?". Nah, not at all. Perhaps I should be. A lil anxiety goes a long way to enhancing performance. I haven't even scoured my books to be sure that I know every itty-bitty detail. I reckon I have faith in my ability to talk my way through most situations. I've worked hard on my proposal before, so I'm just biding my time. Why be wracked by anxiety? Just a review of my proposal materials and a quick mind will suffice.
11/26 Direct Link
"The Leonids are coming!!!" I learned about this through a website. The night skies promised to be caked with dashing lights from these meteors and comets. In my area, they would appear at 3 to 5 in the morning. All my friends were busy, but I remained determined to catch this once in a lifetime show. Impulsively, I revved my car at 2 am and drove out of the light-polluted city to a remote park an hour away. Perfect seating with the car-roof off. I marveled at the intermittent blazes that streaked across the ebon sky salted by shimmering stars.
11/27 Direct Link
My galpal who's a beer-buddy wrote this for me:

There once was a guy named Jon Who didn't have anything on He tried cooking for Easter But burned his keister And now he's just Jon with clothes on

Then I wrote this for her (yes, I can be so terrible at times):

Once upon a time was a gal, Keller She'd go helter-skelter over a feller. "Lucky bastard!" thought the many patrons, Who when allowed out to drink by their matrons. Keller gave not a whit while her dimple beamed. With the bloke in mind, she creamed while she dreamed.
11/28 Direct Link
Last summer I learned of my first alumni death (from elementary school). She killed herself in England. I felt sad and befuddled by all of this. Her father who also taught at our school died naturally a few years ago. What a holy terror he was with his sadistic disciplinary ways, especially over trivial matters. Just look the other way during lessons, then a clonk on your head or devastating gripholds on your shoulders. His daughter was quite well-behaved and bright. A true wordslut, but what pains did she hide? So much to offer but cut short. Such a shame.
11/29 Direct Link
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

I have waited 27 years to find this. In my elementary school, we had a giant book on horror movies from 1900 to the 60's. Why it's there, don't ask me. Ask the warped staff. Anyway, I remember that book very well, especially those photos that either primordially fascinated or gruesomely horrified me. One photo featured a pale man in black carrying a damsel in his arms. The power of film noir burned in my mind. Could I hope to find reference to this obscure photo? With the power of the internet, I just did!
11/30 Direct Link
Harry Potter, ye are of your father the Devil! Woe to the parents who allow their children to be seduced by this angel of light that practices the dark arts of the most foul Satan below! Under the guise of encouraging literacy amongst our children, this scourge of what is godly and righteous permeates our national consciousness. Even Christian parents are encouraging this trickery into Hell! Let God spew out those lukewarm followers of His!!! Let us who are true to Christ stand on the last bastion of truth and fight the darkness!

Don't you just love those silly fundamentalists?