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Monday, October 19th, 2009
10:59 am - :-)
No doom. No gloom. No bad news.

I am full of joy in every facet of my life. I feel energized, alive, sane, productive, loved. Everything I want to be going well is going well. I'm not even cowering from the lightning strike I'm daring by shouting this to the electronic ether.


current mood: rejuvenated

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Monday, June 29th, 2009
10:49 am - A Soldier's Own Obituary

I came upon this document while cleaning out my desk. I faintly recall a professor giving me this to read back as an undergraduate. It seemed significant to record it here so that it didn't get lost. This brings back memories of the times I visited West Point as a delegate to the National Conference on Ethics in America and the remarkable people I met among the cadets there. With one sister out of the Army and another still in, it makes me think about the lives we choose to lead and the weight of those lives. I hope that I will one day have accomplished deeds half so remarkable as Major Hottell and that I can strive to live life with equal dedication and passion.

"John Alexander Hottell, II graduated from West Point in 1964, tenth in a class of 564. He was a Rhodes scholar in 1965. In Vietnam he earned two Silver Stars as commander of Company B, First Battalion, Eighth Cavalry, First Cavalry Division (Airmobile). He later became aide to the First Cavalry commander, Major General George W. Casey. Both were killed in the crash of a helicopter on July 7, 1970.. Major Hottell was 27 years old at the time of his death, which occurred one year after he wrote his own obituary and sent it in a sealed envelope to his wife, Linda.

I am writing my own obituary for several reasons, and I hope none of them are too trite. First, I would like to spare my friends, who may happen to read this, the usual cliches about being a good soldier. They were all kind enough to me, and I not enough to them. Second, I would not want to be a party to perpetuation of an image that is harmful and inacurate: "glory" is the most meaningless of concepts, and I feel that in some cases it is doubly damaging. And third, I am quite simply the last authority on my own death.

I loved the Army: it reared me, it nurtured me, and it gave me the most satisfying years of my life. Thanks to it I have lived an entire lifetime in 26 years. It is only fitting that I should die in its service. We all have but one death to spend, and insofar as it can have any meaning, it finds it in the service of comrades in arms.

And yet, I deny that I died FOR anything -- not my country, not my Army, not my fellow man, none of these things. I LIVED for these things, and the manner in which I chose to do it involved the very real chance that I would die in the execution of my duties. I knew this, and accepted it, but my love for West Point and the Army was great enough -- and the promise that I would some day be able to serve all the ideals that meant anything to me through it was great enough -- for me to accept this possibility as a part of a price which must be paid for all things of great value. If there is nothing worth dying for -- in this sense -- there is nothing worth living for,

The Army let me live in Japan, Germany and England with experiences in all of these places that others only dream about. I have skied in the Alps, killed a scorpion in my tent [while] camping in Turkey, climbed Mount Fuji, visited the ruins of Athens, Ephesus and Rome, seen the town of Gordium where another Alexander challenged his destiny, gone to the opera in Munich, plays in the West End of London, seen the Oxford-Cambridge rugby match, gone for pub crawls through the Cotswolds, seen the night-life in Hamburg, danced to the Rolling Stones, and earned a master's degree in a foreign university.

I have known what is like to be married to a fine and wonderful woman and to love her beyond bearing with the sure knowledge that she loves me; I have commanded a company and been a father, priest, income-tax adviser, confessor, and judge for 200 men at one time: I have played college football and rugby, won the British national diving championship two years in a row, boxed for Oxford against Cambridge only to be knocked out in the first round, and played handball to distraction -- and all of these sports I loved, I learned at West Point. They gave me hours of intense happiness.

I have been an exchange student at the German Military Academy, and gone to the German Jumpmaster school. I have made thirty parachute jumps from everything from a balloon in England to a jet at Fort Bragg. I have written an article that was published in Army magazine, and I have studied philosophy.

I have experienced all these things because I was in the Army and because I was an Army brat. The Army is my life, it is such a part of what I was that what happened is the logical outcome of the life I loved. I never knew what it is to fail. I never knew what it is to be too old or too tired to do anything. I lived a full life in the Army, and it has exacted the price. It is only just."

current mood: thoughtful

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Saturday, March 28th, 2009
10:12 pm - Fallout

Some stories cannot be told sufficiently with words alone. Chernobyl is one of those.

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Friday, November 14th, 2008
2:45 pm - Prop 8
This right here is one of the best commentaries on Prop 8 I've seen.


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Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
1:02 am - Yes We Can!
Congratulations, President-Elect Obama.

current mood: hopeful

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Wednesday, November 28th, 2007
8:48 am - Clockwork Ninjas (not steampunk)

Oh. Wow. This is the kind of ninja I want to be. Show me a pirate this cool.

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Thursday, November 9th, 2006
12:51 pm - Ok, don't screw this up.
So the Democrats have Congress. I certainly have high hopes, but I don't want to get ahead of myself. Everything depends on promises being kept, and only time will tell.

I am glad the wake-up call happened, though. No matter what, the voice of the people has made the dissatisfaction loud and clear to those in power. Go democracy!

current mood: hopeful

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Tuesday, November 7th, 2006
9:32 pm
I voted.

Now to see whether it counted for anything beyond fulfillment of civic duty.

Please, oh please, let us get some outrage-fueled checks and balances back.

current mood: anxious

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Monday, August 14th, 2006
4:10 pm - Best Weekend Ever
Friday night, Hilary and I got to enjoy the lovely company of filmgirl1977, sharing stories, dinner and a bottle of wine.

Saturday night, I threw Hilary's 30th birthday party at our apartment. About 25 people came out to celebrate. As per my beloved's request, the theme of the night was "Second Childhood" so I put out ring toss and pin the tail on the donkey and all manner of toys to play with (plus copious food and booze, of course). I got to watch people racing around shooting foam darts at each other, playing and laughing like kids. It was perfect.

About half past midnight, I brought everyone together to watch Hilary open up presents and cards. After she had made it through all of them, I killed the music, stood up, and thanked everyone for coming, explaining that the party was her big present and that I was grateful to them all for making it possible. I then said there was one more present.

With that, I kneeled down and pulled out the box I'd been carrying around in my pocket for the entire party. I opened it with one hand like in the movies, revealing the distinctive diamond sparkle I'll be happily paying back over the next year. While she just looked on, stunned, I said "Ani ohev otach. Hatinasei li?" (Hebrew translation: "I love you. Will you marry me?" Tears started coursing down her cheeks and she threw her arms around me while the crowd applauded and jaws dropped and few people made such outbursts as "Oh my god!" and "No fucking way!" Still to stunned to respond except to extend her hand, Hilary let me slip the ring on her finger.

It was magical and perfect and everything I wanted my proposal to be. Thank you to all my friends who came out to celebrate the occasion with us (not knowing the full extent of what they would be celebrating), and thank you to everyone who would have been there if they had been available or closer. I've tried hard to personally notify all my friends that weren't present, but there are so many of you that I haven't been able to reach yet. I'm a lucky man to have such a great abundance of good friends, and I trust you will not take it amiss if you learn about my engagement here.

I am also the happiest I've ever been in my life, and I love Hilary with all my heart and soul.

Pictures will be forthcoming.

current mood: Yippee!

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Tuesday, August 8th, 2006
5:39 pm - Happy Birthday!
Today, my beloved is 30.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have a hot 30-year-old girlfriend with whom I am madly and totally in love. I'm so lucky.

Happy birthday, Hilary!

current mood: happy

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Friday, July 21st, 2006
11:44 am - Interested in buying a house?
Hey locals,

My beloved is selling her house at about $20K below the market value for its neighborhood. It's in the Cartersville area. If you or anyone you know might be interested, here is a link.

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Tuesday, July 18th, 2006
6:16 pm - New Contract!
I've been offered work on a book again after a long dry spell. Yay!

current mood: chipper

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Wednesday, July 5th, 2006
2:46 pm - Death is your gift.
I went to Jonathan's funeral on Sunday. It was my first funeral -- or at least the first one I can remember -- and it was as triumphant and respectful a service as a man like Jonathan deserved. There were so many people present, so many lives he touched enough that they would come out to pay their regards. I saw a diversity of ages and races and sexual orientations and creeds. I saw life in all its many-varied splendor represented to show that this was a man who lived. I can only conclude that if people can say of me what was said of him, then I will have lived a very full and meaningful life. His father quoted the oath of the Green Lantern and read it aloud like scripture. His mother quoted Jonathan's own daily profanity-laden rants about Atlanta traffic. His best friend spoke of him most directly, who he was and the good he did. I signed a Green Lantern T-shirt with a final message to him.

The message of the funeral was that Jonathan's death is a gift to us. It shook us up and reminds us that we are not invulnerable. We will all die: our parents, our children, everyone we've ever cared about, everyone we've ever hated. So the question is not whether, but when. The question is the most pertinent of questions: what will we do with what time we have and will we use it meaningfully?

My final memory of Jonathan is certainly grief-filled. To say it was a happy occassion would be a lie. I cried very hard, before, during and after. Even so, that place was filled with the love of those who knew him: love for him and the love of those left behind for each other in his honor. We're better people for our time with him. Our world is better for his presence and a little sadder for his loss.

I still miss you, Jonathan. I suppose I always will.

Good bye.

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Friday, June 30th, 2006
1:16 pm - Rest in peace, my friend.
You think that their
dying is the worst
thing that could happen.

Then they stay dead.

--Donald Hall

A couple nights ago, my friend Jonathan died in his sleep. We don't yet know exactly why, and it's possible we may never know. He was in his early thirties, though I'm somewhat embarrassed to say that I don't remember exactly how old he was. His age never seemed to matter because he was always so young at heart in the way he lived life and treated his friends. He loved hard, played harder. He despaired sometimes, as all men do, but lived aggressively in a manner consistent with his atheist beliefs. I find myself deeply hoping he was wrong about the universe, because I miss him already and I would like to hope there will be some opportunity for reunion. I guess we'll see eventually. I miss his laughter and his witty comebacks and his scathingly accurate insights into those around him. Jonathan played in my Exalted chronicle for a few years as the first Night Caste. His character's daughter is still a major NPC years later, which I know sounds so trivial except that I think it would mean something to him to know that he is still part of an ongoing story that he invested time and energy into creating with us. Jonathan came to parties I threw and gave me useful relationship advice. He shared a deep and abiding love for superheroes and all things geeky, and I will always remember him being the only guy I've known who managed to look outright fabulous in a Green Lantern T-shirt.

Jonathan is also the first real friend of mine to die. I've lost distant family members and I've lost peers and classmates and stuff, but no one I had built a personal relationship with. I've spent the past couple days crying randomly and wondering how long it will take before that stops. I know it gets better. Other people who have gone through this assure me it gets better with time.

So here's to you, Jonathan, wherever you are and for for all you were: a good man and my friend. I wish I'd gotten to know you better than I did, and I'm grateful to have known you as well as I did. I miss you so much.

current mood: Mourning

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Tuesday, April 4th, 2006
3:27 pm - Book Signing #2 Friday
Details here.

I'm so excited. I'll see some of you Friday, I hope.

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Friday, March 24th, 2006
11:29 am - Today I Am 26!
Go me.

In other delightful news:
  1. I got a promotion of sorts at work. I didn't actually get a raise or a new position, but I'm doing more actual judicial work like advising faculty on academic misconduct hearings, learning to be an actual administrative hearing officer, and gearing up to be the primary manager and tech guru for the university's upcoming $40K judicial records database system. So the bottom line is more responsibilities without more pay, but responsibilities that have a professional future and are actually fun for me, instead of dead-end drudgery.
  2. I found a great ally and mentor in the Director of Residence Life at my school, who is guiding me and helping me flesh out the necessary skillset to successfully apply for my doctoral program in a few years.
  3. My relationship is going really well. Like... well to the point of tentatively browsing for jewelry.
  4. Exalted Second Edition came out this week. I wrote all the core rules with the amazing creative input of the astoundingly talented Rebecca Borgstrom and likewise advised her in writing up the Charms. This is the first time I've built an entire rules engine, though admittedly not from scratch. I may have another book signing next week. Details to follow.
  5. I am the happiest I've ever been in my entire life. I mean, I've had happier moments, but in terms of the overall quality of my life, I'm at a new high place.

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Wednesday, March 15th, 2006
11:23 am - Dealing with Detractors
Ok folks, I have a sort of dilemma for which I'd like feedback. This is a gamer/writer matter, so those who aren't involved or interested in either can just move along.

For the rest:Collapse )

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Monday, February 27th, 2006
10:18 am - Public Service Announcement
Reposted from the journal of roboguy on 2/25.

"last night david overduijn, an old friend, was walking down east piedmont/barret pkwy near swayze's when he was killed in a hit-and-run accident. here is the info posted on kelly's myspace:

There was a witness who described the vehicle as:
Nissan Truck (late 90s early 2000s model)
with EXTENSIVE body damage.

If you see this vehicle, or know of someone who was in Cobb County last night (Bells Ferry and East Piedmont Area), that owns a vehicle like this (and they hit A FUCKING PERSON LAST NIGHT)-please call Cobb County authorities immediately.


The more people that are looking for this vehicle, the better the chances police find it are."

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Thursday, October 13th, 2005
2:38 pm - Silly Fashion Test
Read more...Collapse )

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Monday, October 3rd, 2005
11:17 am - L'Shana Tova!
Blessings to all on this holy day.

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