May 27, 2004
Original article posted by ravenpaine:
Entry 57 – May 27, 2004
If you have not yet seen Bubba Ho-tep then you are a fool. A very large sort of fool. The kind of fool that is pittied not by Mr. T, but by regular fools as a super fool.
The hypochondriacal side of me thinks that I am developing some sort of malignant and degenerative disease that will slowly eat away at my optical nerves until I go blind. The only part of my body that is tired right now is my eyes. This is not the first time that this phenomenon has been true. It occurs several times a week in fact.
Perhaps if I were to start blinking again they would recover to some degree. I have stopped blinking because, well, because…
That is when they GET YOU. As you may or may not already know.
The THEY in this statement will change from time to time, but rest assured that THEY are out there, and that you are their target. I will remain safe; I’ve stopped blinking.
The more I write the more I think and the more I realise that my last several years learning everything I can about people and reading less and less has taken a severe toll on me.
It might be risky but I might have to take drastic book reading measures in the near future. This will make me intolerable to speak with as I tell you what is what about new topics that I become interested in.
And the satire. You should all fear the satire.
I was asked once, some time ago, the differnce between a power and a skill. I had this to say: A power is the sort of thing that you unleash on your unsuspecting foes to instill fear in them and to save humanity in your own particular idiom. A skill is something that you work forever to perfect only to have no one notice that it is important until you start lying that it took no effort whatsoever to pull off.
The moral of which is… Nobody respects hard work and diligence, and evil can only be defeated through inexplicable means.
Sandwhiches are the same. Full of evil, and things that can only be explained by first dealing with radiation of some sort.
Kindly disregard the above sentence as the flotsam of a process that involves writing a journal entry and some email and a novel and a paper all at the same time.
You should see how well the other three things are going…
Bonne nuit, bonne nuit to you all.
May 26, 2004
Original article posted by Greg:
Unfortunately, these emails and messages go to many people of many backgrounds so they are lacking in some of the more spiritual aspects in order to appeal to the largest common denominator. (That means the most people, silly.) So for the super spiritual experiences, you’ll have to ask me in about 1.75 years and I’ll be glad to share. Or go on a mission and get your own.
So, since many people have not yet heard from me, I’ll start from the beginning. I’m currently in “Tangerine On-Line,” an online computer place, in the city of TUCHENG. Or as I like to call it, dirt city. It’s pretty amazing. In the travel guide to unusual smells, this place ranks in the top 5. Or at least the area of my apartment does, as I’m housed next to a color-changing river (a gentle blue coating of the dirt today with mostly clear water and a faint oily sheen today) sewer grates, fried tofu stands, and the industrial half of the city. It’s great.
Hey! We got air conditioning today! Isn’t that grand?
I’ve been here in Taiwan for about a month now. It’s really been pretty easy for me to adapt to everything except the language. I’ve had very few health or sleep problems or distractions. I feel very blessed in that respect. And really, the language is coming along pretty well. I get lots of compliments. But I know I need lots of improvement because sometimes peole just say “Okay, just give me the pamphlet.”
My companion is Elder Smith. He’s really great and full of energy, which is a big help to me. We get along well. We had a tough time the first couple of weeks finding people to teach. Apparently people don’t really like to see the missionaries. Some will cross the street to escape us. BUT TO NO AVAIL! For we cross the street willingly to share the gospel with beautiful families!
However, we are having great luck with a certain Chen Xian Sheng. He was my first “on my own” contact and was willing to hear our message. He’s super excited to be joining the church. I have never met somebody with so much faith. He gained a testimony of the truth of this message and it has carried him over every trial. He simply says “Well, this church is true and a prophet has asked me to do ________, so I will do it.”
Only he says it in Chinese.
My companion had his first car crash a couple of days ago. Well, it was a motorcycle. A motorcycle pulled out in front of him. We had the right of way and it was raining hard. Elder Smith couldn’t stop, so he jumped into the air. He flew right over the young couple on the motorcycle and slid across the pavement on the other side. It was great from my point of view behind him. He took a few moments to lay on the pavement laughing. But we only had 3 minutes to be in our apartment so we just got going after that. He was fine. It was hilarious. Now we have matching elbow scrapes. Mine came from a lamppost.
Last week we visited a shrine up in the mountains. There are tons of these things. It was peculiar because it was white with a green roof instead of red. Very beautiful, and a great walk Too bad my camera batteries died. No pictures for you.
The people are very nice here. I would say fully 3 quarts moreso thanAamericans. They always give us weird fruit when we teach them. Last week we had something called “Stinky Fruit.” It was awful. The guy who gave it to us said “Just like ice cream, isn’t it?” and I thought “Yes… Like onion and garlic flavored Ice Cream.” Then he gave us grass juice.
So here I am, Sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with the people of Taiwan. Many people are missing limbs from working in all the industrial joints around here. Even the dogs are mostly maimed. It’s pretty amazing. But there are so many wounded hearts as well. Sometimes we teach people that there is a living prophet, or that there is a God who really exists, and you can just see the suprise and happiness in their eyes.
Of course, they frequently clam up right away… But every once in a while you meet another “Mr. Chen” who recognizes truth and then refuses to let it go.
If there’s one thing I want to accomplish here, it’s to teach everybody I can to pray and read from the Book of Mormon every day. I think those two simple things done by anybody will change the world for them.
Well, my time is up. Much love to you all.
Elder Greg Hamblin
Taiwan Taipei Mission
Floor 4, No. 24, Lane 183
Chin Hua Street
Re: Patrols sited in the fourth quadrant, sir.
I have enjoyed reading your stories from Taiwan. Perhaps sometime I’ll have to share some stories from my life teaching music in the antartics of eastern idaho. Yesterday, on memorial day, we had such a major snow storm that they had to close the pass and no one could go anywhere. Don’t feel bad about your color changing river. I also want you to know that I was awe-struck by the Art Museum in NY as well. We spent all day there, and still didn’t see everything. Unfortuanately, while I was there they had the music section closed. I really would have liked to see that section being the music nerd that I am.
May 25, 2004
Posted by Ryan under Prose
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Original article posted by ravenpaine:
the Third Host
Olivier chapter 1 pages 1-20
Olivier and Raguel meet in an office to discuss Olivier’s plan to mobilize the Third Host to put forth the next step in the Earth project. Olivier explains the importance of the move and the readiness of the time. Raguel reluctantly agrees. Remember also the analogy of the baseball game that Olivier constructs to explain his point. Olivier looks up a list of identities and locations of angels of the Third Host and prepares to travel. Raguel informs Olivier that he must meet with a contact, Umbris, about something that is going in the rest of the supernatural world.
THE PUNK AND THE SHADOW
Raguel chapter 1 pages 21-40
Raguel travels to the Midwest to an unassuming gas station named Earl’s Gas. Here he meets with Umbris and Azer. Umbris reveals that Cthulhu is putting a plan into motion to rise from R’yleh and Raguel could play a key role in stopping or instigating the plan. Azer gets in a fight with Earl, the owner, and Raguel trudges off to find transportation to R’yleh.
Uriel chapter 1 pages 41-60
Uriel, having recently destroyed another angel, a job that normally falls to Raguel, is having second thoughts about his role in Heaven and the righteousness of his actions. He discusses the past of the previous 11 Angels of Death that Fell. Coming to no conclusions about what he should or shouldn’t do about the events of the past and getting less than useful information out of the stoic staff of death regulators he endeavors to travel to Hell and personally question three principle Fallen Angels of Death.
Olivier chapter 2 pages 61-80
Olivier travels to Seattle where he meets with Arael and Arimisael to discuss the mobilization of the Third Host. They hash out the psychological make up of current society and decided that it is indeed time to move the Earth project forward a step. They discuss the philosophical ramifications of what Olivier has planned and go over the steps necessary to complete the process. Finally he leaves for a show he has to catch.
Raguel chapter 2 pages 81-100
Raguel takes a boat to the center of the Atlantic and jumps overboard to the island temple of R’yleh, the resting place of Great Cthulhu the shaman of the Elder Ones. He trudges through the cyclopean landscape until he reaches the inner chamber and discusses with the heaving, sleeping Elder God his plan to “assist” in Cthulhu’s project for resurrection. As he leaves the island he is confronted by Daniel & Grace who try to convince him not to meddle, this time. Raguel shoves past them; he has his own agenda after all.
THE VOICE OF WISDOM
Uriel chapter 2 pages 101-120
Uriel travels to Hell where he meets with Samael, Azrael, and Teliel – three previous Angels of Death. He questions them as to why the Fell and are given three different answers along with a selection of old adages and snippets of wisdom. Uriel leaves Hell more confused than ever.
Olivier chapter 3 pages 121-140
Olivier goes to the east coast to catch a show of a small time blues band. While at the club he meets with Bardiel and discusses the difference between talent and marketable skills. Bardiel agrees with the plan and agrees to pick a selection of entertainment personalities to push forward the change. Olivier heads to his next engagement in New York.
SECRETS & LIES
Raguel chapter 3 pages 141-160
Raguel travels to the Vatican to retrieve the Codex. One of two items he is required to get for Cthulhu’s plan. While in the Vatican Raguel runs across two members of the Order of Alkire, who mistake him for a Corruptor and they get in a fight. The Jesuit’s that keep the library find them and Raguel has to flee to protect the Codex, he leaves Warren James, an old acquaintance to fight the Alkire members and the Jesuit Cardinal Varian.
Uriel chapter 3 pages 161-180
Uriel travels to Earth seeking more practical advice. He spots Raguel’s signature during the fight in the Vatican and catches up to him in Prague. There Raguel is meeting with Umbris, who has double crossed Raguel and sold the meet location out to agents of the Fain Academy. Raguel promises Umbris his end is near, but not near enough, and heads to New York with Uriel. They drop off the Codex with Israfel and Ireul before heading to the Oroborous Café to get some answers.
Olivier chapter 4 pages 181-200
Olivier arrives in New York and meets with Israfel and Ireul, who have already started to translate the Codex. Olivier proposes the advancement plan and they are overly enthusiastic, they chide him for not doing so earlier. They are attacked while at the bank transferring funds to several key corporations to mobilize the process. Olivier is gunned down, on camera, and Adrian Lucien proposes arranges to get the footage erased if Olivier will do one small favor…
DEAD MEN TELL TALES
Raguel chapter 4 pages 201-220
Raguel and Uriel enter the café where they discuss the current going-ons with Isaac and Daniel. Raguel seems lost on a couple of details and Uriel is caught up in a conversation with a section of dead writers at their weekly poker game. Dostoyevsky offers Uriel a piece of chance advice and Edgar Allen Poe solves the missing piece for Raguel about what Cthulhu is doing. Lovecraft only snickers throughout the explanation. Raguel and Uriel head to the Quantum Law firm.
Uriel chapter 4 pages 221-240
Uriel and Raguel arrive in Nowhere with the assistance of Mala Ilona. They dodge patrols of Clowns and Demons until they find the animatronic shell of Randolph Carter. To get him back out they have to travel to the Greater Spire or the Deliverance Pit. Uriel demands that they travel to meet Adrian’s sister and Mala’s mother at the Deliverance Pit. Raguel agrees with a lot of bickering and cussing and they leave to meet with Olivier.
Olivier chapter 5 pages 241-260
Olivier and Ramiel are having a conversation about the religious advancement of the project. In the background Umbris’ brother is attempting to kill Elden Locke to complete his vengeance and free his brother also ending his own curse of eternal waking. UB is wounded during the fight and Elden flees. Ramiel attempts to give chase but Olivier stops him according to the deal he made with Adrian. He leaves to the meet with Raguel.
Raguel chapter 5 pages 261-280
Raguel and Uriel meet with Olivier to get the translation of the Codex. Raguel bitches out Olivier for falling into an Adrian plot. Leliel, Mala, Harahel, and Qadosch enact the ritual described in the Codex to put Carter’s soul back into the shell that was retrieved from Nowhere. Oliver leaves to confront Adrian, Raguel leaves to confront Cthulhu. Uriel is left with the revived Carter.
TAKE A MOMENT
Uriel chapter 5 pages 281-300
Uriel must protect Carter from a variety of the Fairfax League’s plots. Though the act of protecting a life rather then taking a life Uriel begins to see what the previous 11 Angels of Death did not understand about mortality and the trials that the Earth Project represents. Uriel travels to Rhode Island to meet Raguel.
Olivier chapter 6 pages 301-320
Olivier confronts Adrian about his past and the things that Adrian has convinced him to do. Adrian attempts to manipulate Olivier into changing the advancement plan in two key ways. Oliver is finally able to refuse Adrian’s ploys and finalizes the plans final stages.
Raguel chapter 6 pages 321-340
Raguel goes to Rhode Island to stop Cthulhu’s entourage who intend to sacrifice Carter to enact the Elder God’s resurrection. Uriel arrives with Carter and Olivier arrives to get Carter’s help. The whole crew must fight off a number of Lovecraftian horrors and Raguel declares his job done. Oliver enlists Carter to use the Silver Key to teach humans to dream again. Uriel heads to Heaven.
Uriel chapter 6 pages 340-360
Uriel takes Olivier to the outskirts of Heaven and they discuss what has happened. Olivier shares his views on redemption and Uriel shares his findings on mortality. Olivier convinces Uriel and himself that there are more than two answers. There is a third choice. Uriel agrees to do his job according to his own will and chooses to ignore whether his actions aid one side or another.
I was going to comment that it seemed pretty solid, but how necessary were the Lovecraftian elements? A knowledge of the war in heaven doesn’t seem adequate to understand and appreciate this story if it’s not also coupled with an understanding of the Elder Gods. I was going to say that it seemed a bit like fanfiction, to use his characters for your own purposes. But then I thought about it, and realized that’s what the other characters are as well. The panoply of beings you have assembled are gleaned from others’ works. Which defeated my original comment. Which got me thinking about how much of religious literature is nothing but fanfiction. Which made me chuckle. Just had to add all this as a footnote. Carry on.
May 25, 2004
Original article posted by ravenpaine:
Entry 56 – May 25
The past few days have been less than easy for our old pal Rodney. Friday I experienced a complete lack of focus coupled with the loss of some notes and the need to write some important things in a very short period of time. I started dissasociating viciously, full blown with alien hand syndrome, and I had lost my glasses so staring at a monitor caused migraine as well.
I could have handled three out of five of these problems, but not all of them. Certainly not all of them.
Saturday I went to Kanab to visit my two families. My real family was as annoying as always and my need to escape from them prompted me to flee quickly before bad things could occur. Such as talking to my grandfather for any length of time. That man wasn’t all here when he was young, now that he is 70 some-ought there is no real hope that he will ever say anything useful.
My surrogate family offered a different problem. They did all the things that I think a family should do and exposed me, once again, to the dichotomy of my childhood constantly torn between a thing I did not want and a thing I could not have.
Like the old adage goes, “Now I’m dead and gone and I can’t do anything that I want or I’m still alive and there is nothing I want to do.”
TMBG are prophets from a distant land and there time has not yet come. But we are getting closer.
Sunday featured group activities that degenerated quickly. The wind made the picnic less than great, but it was certainly pleasent. The character building, though, that shit went as poorly I’m still worried about it.
The art of character creation is to have everyone discuss what they would want to do as a character and then translate it into the game system. Getting six people to talk and be excited about what it is that they want to do. Really getting into the dramactic personea of what they are creating is what gamins is about anyway. The rules and the dice are just there to make you feel good that you can succeed at games of chance.
But perhaps I digress. Perhaps I should get on to Monday. Where I skipped my classes and then only worked 4 hours instead of 5. Where I started to pull myself back together through careful dedication to a set of things. That kind of stuff. That should be mentioned.
My CD is skipping. Depeche Mode’s It’s No Good, one of my favorite songs, is chopping up and leaving me unable to properly think.
If I may recompose myself to some extent and switch up songs, with reluctance, then I can tell you that Patient Zero has returned.
Good old Zero has again found himself kicked from one plan in life to drift in a morass of other more terrible things. But, because he is Zero, he will come out of these events as well off and chipper as he always is. It’s both shocking and horrifying to watch that boy deal with life on such a massive scale.
Anyway, the following is a fun amount of what my novel outline is going to look like.
Bonne nuit, bonne nuit to you all.
you should have came to see me instead.
Yes, yes I should have.
May 23, 2004
Original article posted by thewendy:
for those who care I’m moving and leaving again.
my phone will be turned off next week and my cell phone will be accidently left with my mother-the real owner of the cell phone…
i’ll try to keep in touch while I am in Colorado-but i’m thinking a wendydisapearing trick is needed for me to feel real and not like i need to be on some form of anti-sad drug. so i apologize to all those i neglect over the summer.
i’ll try to get to Cedar to visit. but will promise nothing.
Cat: you should write some poems that describe the girl who dies. i want to know about her. i’ll email you some real comments soon.
Happy Birthday Rodney-a little late. your gift will be even later.
Enjoy the summer, plays, ets.
May 21, 2004
Original article posted by ravenpaine:
Entry 55 – May 21
Tomrrow is my Birthday.
I have yet to be excited about it. I’m not big into taking a day to celebrate me. Not because I don’t think that I, or anyone else should be celebrated from time to time, I think it is because I demand that all most everyday should be a tribute to Rodney day. So I give this day up as being one too many days of celebration.
Yeah. So… My novel project is going less than well. The characters are going really well, but the actual plot thing is not going anywhere for me. I have a story but I do not have a plot.
This, I see, is relevant to a discussion of my self and my life becasue I too do not have a plot. I have a great cast of characters in my life, I have a story that ostensibly that I am living in, but I don’t actually have plot points and things of that sort.
So I need a plot. A thing that I do from day to day that adds up to being a new and more together me.
That sort of thing.
Right now I’m really quire tired. I’m not thinking all that well. Fuzzy in the head. Things that definately need more salt, electrolytes are my friends. My enemies are things like low blood sugar and not enough food and the sort of things that I do with my day that do not ralate in any way to actual rest.
I haven’t had a ‘rest’ in something close to 18 days. And then I had that semester thing before that. I really need to take three days to call a “vacation.”
A road trip would be super. I’m taking one tomorrow, to Kanab, for a day, but that really isn’t much of a thing. I would much prefer to run to Salt Lake and see the Wendy for an afternoon and buy her some Chinese food and hit a club, but I cannot.
And I need to start posting some of these novel concepts up so that people can see them and stuff. Of course I also need to redesign the site with other software and such.
I’ve rambled enough that you have no idea what I’m going on about. I have no idea what it is that I am doing right now, why should you?
Bonne nuit, bonne nuit to you all.
He’ll have to talk to Rowsdower, then. Last I checked, he had it.
May 19, 2004
Original article posted by Greg:
But lots is weird to me. And I am weird to lots.
It’s crazy to think that the week is already over. I swear I just got here. And yet part of me says I’ve been in Taiwan for over 3 weeks. Like the part that thinks.
This week I had comparisions in my mind of riding bikes and the old Super Nintendo game, “F-zero”. (And what the heck does “F-Zero” mean anyway? Is it just a name that sounds like a fast racing game, where the cars reach insane speeds and hover in the air? I don’t know.) Based on my bicycle riding habits, if I were a car in F-zero I would be the yellow car. My compainion, elder smith, would be the red car. Which is a shame because I hate the yellow car. This paragraph will make sense to perhaps 3 people and I love it.
Yesterday I attempted to pass of the ‘first discussion’ on the path to becoming a ‘certified missionary’. I don’t think it went well, but that’s because I’m not going to be satisfied until it’s as close to perfect as I feel it can be. And yesterday it was quite distant from perfect. If perfect were a quaint country town in Iowa, my presentation of the first discussion was broken down in a purple river in Tucheng.
Yes, the river outside my apartment is purple today. And yes, my rendition of the first was broken down inside of it somewhere.
I really hate writing these emails in these gaming centers. They’re so cool. I want to spend hours and hours trying all of these spiffy Chinese computer games that I’m really not watching. It’s just frustrating to see new games, or new versions of old games (Defence of the Ancients is HUGE here. They sell retailed versions of DOTA in all the 7-11’s.) and wonder “Hey, what is that?”
Oh well. It’s really not a problem. Just a little reminder of fun times with friends doing geeky things.
I’ve started to get compliments on my Chinese, which is cool. I was contacting people on the street the other night and one of them said “Wow, how long have you been here in Taiwan?” To which I replied “Two weeks” to which they gasped and said “How long did you study Chinese before coming?” and I said “Two and a half months” to which they choked on something. It was fun. Then I asked if I could share the reason I’m learning Chinese and they were suddenly too busy to talk to me.
When you get a chance to watch Shrek again, pretend Shrek and Donkey are a missionary companionship. The general reaction of people is pretty accurate. Except for the romance part of it. That doesn’t happen really. At least not with me.
We’re teaching an awesome man named Chen. He is 50 years old and blind enough he can’t read the Book of Mormon. But he just LOVES to pray. It’s so fun to visit him. He is an amazing person and it’s a pleasure to teach him.
Mr. Chen was the first person I contacted all on my own. Or at least, the first to agree to hear the discussions. It freaked me out. I said “Hey, can we teach you about God and our relationship to him?” and he said “Sure.” (Except the conversation was all in Chinese.) I was so suprized that somebody said yes that I forgot how to say “When is convenient for you?” But after a few minutes my companion reminded me of how to do it.
I gots me a good companion. He has a bad habit of speaking in Strong Bad or Homestar voice because none of his other companions recognized it so they thought it was a funny voice – whereas I recognize it as part of ‘Babylon’ so he feels guilty.
I also knew what he was talking about when he said “Minor Sixth” to describe the ambulance siren. That impressed him.
Feel free to mail, but don’t expect anything back any time soon.
Rodney: Will send birthday gifts, but they will be late and may be merely a package of candy or two. Nova.
Blaine: Thanks so much for the LAN party. It was the best gift I’ve had for a long time.
Kayeleen: Thank you for being so good to me. You are a huge help. I will write you very soon.
Spencer: I can’t think of anything to say to you. Bwa ha ha ha.
Mom and dad: Um… Yeah. Whatever that thing was. I forget.
Life is good. I miss you all. The Church is true. In no particular order.
-Elder Greg Hamblin
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