June 2004

Original article posted by Greg:

We invite those who investigate the church to read and pray, etc. But we recieve ‘invites’ from our higher-ups as well. They say “I’m going to invite you and your companion to do _______ today.” or “Are you willing to follow that invite, Elder?” or “I am inviting the zone to _______.”

From my companions reactions to invites, you would think they should be called commandments. I asked him the other day “Why are we going on exchanges, again? Even though we know it’s going to interfere with our teaching of the liu family.” To which the answer was “Because elder petitt invited us to.”

I had no response to that.

And in a lot of cases I see a lot of good. And I see the good in the principle – that is daily improvement.

The thing that I haven’t gotten over yet is seeing it as a bunch of appendages to the law, turning the mission rules and standards into a squirming squidlike beast crawling up from the underbelly of the sea.

mmm…. underbelly…

It reminds me, as I am rather religiously oriented right now, of the Jews in the time of Christ, who added on so much to the Law. Okay, it’s not nearly nearly so bad. But sometimes I think “Can’t somebody invite us to simplify instead of complicate? Can’t we have the same invitation every day for a week instead of changing it every day? Can’t we keep our focus on one area of improvement for a while?”

Which brings me to the other thing that’s been bugging me. A lot of people here don’t seem to understand the difference between a goal and a vision or a mission or a strategy. They say “Let’s set some goals.” then say things like “Our goal for the day is to be more loving.” To which I say “How?” and they say “What do you mean? We’re going to be more loving. That’s how. What more do you need?” And I say “Specifics.” And nobody believes me because I’m the new guy.

Grr. Why wont anybody let me steady the ark?

The work continues very well though, and I continue to follow president perkins advice: when you can’t follow every invite and rule at the same time, pick the most important ones.

A couple of beautiful children are having their baptismal interviews tonight. That means I’m going on exchanges with the zone leader’s companion, elder Chow, again. He and I have fun. Hopefully we’ll be able to teach a bit tonight instead of just contacting.


Me: Hello sir. *sir raises his hand in a “I don’t want to even look at you” expression and continues walking. I am forced at this point to choose between giving sir what he wants, which is to be left alone – but incurring the wrath of my companion for not trying hard enough, or trying really hard to get him to listen. I walk after him* Hey, sir, we have a very important message that can help you have a lot more happiness throughout your life, can I talk with you a minute?

Sir: *interrupting* Don’t use. *literal translation of chinese rejection phrase.*

Me: Okay, love you bye bye. *turning to a family* Hey guys! Where are you going?

Family member: Going home. *continues walking*

Me: Hey, can I talk with you for a minute?

Family: Oh, so sorry. Really… *walks away*

Okay, I think I must be feeling cynical today. Sheesh. How did that happen? Oh well. Really This could sound pretty bitter, but I’m in a great mood, so don’t mis-read.

Sometimes, every once in a while, it goes like this:

Me: Hey, sir, how are you?

Sir: Good. Want some candy?

Me: Oh, I couldn’t possibly.

Sir: Nonsense, my good lad, this is also good for your throat. I insist.

Me: Well, if you insist, mr….

sir: My Honorable surname is yellow.

Me: Oh, mr. yellow, my honorable surname is hamblin. It’s not a color. But the point is I’m a missionary. I want to share a message with you about how you can *insert one of the many things you can get from hearing the message, like come to know god*. Could we come visit you and your family tomorrow night and share about our church and these teachings?

Mr. Yellow: Sure. Have some more candy. You are very hard working.

Me: Is not ba.

Tune in next week for tracting. Could be good.

Impressions of the day lately:

Lately the sky has been clear and blue. The sun has been hot. It’s almost to the point where it is right overhead during the afternoon. Some days you can see the mountains behind the mountains behind Taipei City.

The Hurricane south of the island is throwing big great clouds in chunks across the sky. The wind is blowing down the corridors of the streets in great gusts. I think of a castle in the sky, hidden in the clouds. A city of zion transmuted to myth throughout the generations.

I invite you to woot at least 3 times in the next week.
are you willing to do that?

See you next week.

-Elder Hamblin

“Postmaster” made the following annotations.

Orginal comments:

Nickname: Cornelius
Re: I’d like to invite you to consider my words carefully…
Well Greg, it’s good to hear from you. I hope you have found the answer to the question about what you would do if a million roaches came out of the pantry.

In other news, my papers are in the same state of limbo that they have been in for the last two months, except that they are in limbo on President Jones’ desk. I still haven’t gotten my shots record from my unit. They are willing to believe now that it doesn’t exist instead of that it is simply missing. I asked them what they plan to do and they said, “You’re going on that thing to Kentucky, right? Talk to us when you get back.” The thing in Kentucky lasts until August. This is further complicated by the fact that I never had my booster shots as a child. ALL of that was taken care of in basic training. I am better immunized than most people in North America and nobody knows it but me. I explained this to the Stake President and he said, “You’re going to be gone for a month, right? We’ll talk when you get back.” I understand that there are rules to follow. I’ve grown to accept that. It did make me a little angry, afraid, and short-tempered, but I think I’m over that. After all, anger, fear, and aggression; the Dark Side of the Force are they.

It seems clear to me that the Great Satan (i.e. Satan) has it in for me and my immunization records. For him I have a quote; “You do not seem to realize my position here. I will not be stopped. Not by you, or the Confederates, or the Protoss, or Anyone.” Take that. Despite this, I accept your invitation to w00+ thrice.


Original article posted by Cube:

I have lived many places, seen many things, and sometimes I have an unbearable itch, (right between the shoulder blades), that consumes me with the desire to pack what measly things I might posess and move onward and away. This desire makes me surmise that perhaps I am afraid that if I stay to long in one place I may be found and caught. By whom I do not know, but if ever it should happen, it would take more then persistance and flatulence to make my way free of them.

What is it then that makes an artist create, to take the raw materials of this earth, (whatever the artist is imaginative enough to think of as a material), and use them to express the inner part of himself.

Someone once told me that an artist creates in an attempt to become a diety over his creations. As if the basic and rudimentary forms he might mold with his hands upon paper or earth might in some way make him closer to emulating the diety that created all. “The master Artist, if you will.” Unfortunatly such is the beginnings of fantacism and a path once troden hard to turn from. For with such desire comes a loss of what makes you “real”. Since when we try to emulate beyond what is natural, we begin to lose a part of ourselves to the madness of our own minds.

I have taken a different view on this subject, for I like to consider myself an artist in some fashion, Though often I only refer to myself as such when the opposite sex is in the room and for the short feeling of granduer the title might lend me. You see some are just born with a fire that cannot be put out. So much is snuffed from our essence in this world. We are trained to conform to government and law from the very beginning of our life. We are given identification numbers and serials to let people know, that yes I am who I say I am. There are jobs created in society that do nothing more then allow people to tell other how to act and behave to be considered “normal”. Individuality is a crime once seen to exist, must be severly punished or hid in case of embarrasement.

Yet a humble few will not allow themselves to be smothered under the pressure of conformity, they must create, or else go insane themselves from lack of expression.

So you see the life of the wandering artist is not a sad tale of debt and grumbling belly’s, but one of rejoicing in the act of rebellion against the masses. So I find myself creating and molding in the brightly lit and furnished recess’s of my home, becuase gosh dang it, not all artist’s lives should have to suck.

Whisper ni’Nellaf
“It is the darkness that defines the light”

Orginal comments:

Nickname: gandhi2
Re: Musings of a Wandering Artist…
I like that you title this “Wandering Artist”, a break from the two views of artist that I’ve always had; that is the “Starving Artist” and the “Tortured Artist.” You either create what you desire and starve because it’s never appreciated( at least in your own lifetime), or you become the whore who hates his work because he’s catering to an audience who will never appreciate what he really has to say. I’ve heard it said that all great art is about pain and suffering. I disagree. I think that all great artist are passionate, and they are more likely to dwell on the negative while it’s occuring than notice the positive. The idea of the wandering artist, however, would constantly be an observer of new things, and therefore could be passionate of everything he sees.

Nickname: Cornelius
Re: Musings of a Wandering Artist…
Damn straight!!

Original article posted by ravenpaine:

Entry 64 – June 28

I suppose I just need a set a more definate standard about what consititutes a good day.

Sure I got paid today, and I’m enjoying work enough to keep doing it for a while yet without freaking out and running to the hills.

I have a new bank account that is in the positive.

I found a place in town that will serve me Mu Shoo and at a price that I can purchase every week or so.

I just pulled four groups of black/orange/yellow Reese’s Pieces out of the bag with no extra anythings.

And I got to talk to Jordan today… for roughly 10 minutes before everything went completely to shit.

Not the regular sort of shit either. Not the sort that you get when life doesn’t like you. Not the kind that monkeys fling at you with wild abandon. Not even the kind that your mother told you to make shit-ade out of. This is the sort of flaming shit that occurs when space craft burn up on reentry and the septic tank comes loose and survives only to split apart in the lower atmosphere and hit your home, which is incinerated instantly, and you are only badly burned and left bald, scarred, and with a difficult story to tell that becomes the sort of thing that everyone says yeah, I know the flaming shit man Bob, hell I went to high school with that guy.

I try to avoid the violent rages of my past. I strive for a life where I sit quietly at home and have adventures in my mind and travel the world and write about the things that I think and the people that I meet when I get there.

But, alas, I must constantly be bombarded by people who think that I’m not only not worth their attention but that every action I take is in some way a direct and vile attack against them and their being.

I live to destroy the happiness of others. That is why I am depressed, karamic guilt from all of the lives I’ve purposely destroyed over the years for giggles.

I don’t giggle, so the rest of it is probably untrue as well.

Certainly, I might have, at one time or another, said something to you that you did not want to hear. That does not mean that I’m out to get you or that I hate you. With this in mind remember that when I offer you some piece of advice because you are having a crisis you are not allowed to tell me off and act as if the advice I was giving was a deliberate attempt to sabotoge your life or mock you.

It could be I actually want to help because I do things like that, if somewhat poorly at times.

And even if you don’t want to follow the above general guideline, you sure as fucking hell are not allowed to tell me that i’m only out to mock you and harm you and then call another person and be told the same thing and take it as great and sage-like wisdom.

That kind of hypocrisy will not stand. Will not stand, this agression will not stand, to paraphrase “the Dude” paraphrasing one of George Bush Sr. crappier and more misguided speeches.

So, I’ve been upset for most of the last 6 hours. what with all of the things attacking me and telling me I’m a bad person and all.


I don’t want to keep typing some messages that make me seem like a deranged homicidal psychotic person, but I would like to point out, once again, that if you tell somebody they are something often enough it is entirely likely that they will believe it.

So why not say what a great and benevolent person I am from time to time instaed of just spitting bile at me. I would actually enjoy the opportunity to live up to a positive standard rather than always trying to get away from a horrific one.

Is it really that much that I’m asking? Really?

Rodney TGAP
Bonne nuit, bonne nuit to you all.

Orginal comments:

Nickname: thewendy
Re: Flashpoint
i don’t think that i can comment without knowing what it was that was said.

have a better day.

Original article posted by Minty:

Ah, its been over a month since I returned home to the bickering, the heat, my alcoholic, crude, unmotivated, stoned friends and family. Fuck I missed this place.

Oh don’t get me wrong, I still sense this city giving me the perpetual finger, but its home ya know? And yes, you can get used to anything. Case in point, my skin. Some of you may know that I am Hispanic though my skin is quite pale and fair. Though I still manage to avoid sunburns unlike the rest of you damn gringos. Lately though I notice I don’t tan, but toast for a few hours. It seems that my skin tolerates a brushing of color before quickly reverting back to its original hue, or lack there of.

So why is this relevant? The nature of my skin? Well its not. Not in the least. I’m quite aware that my life and the subtle nuances it plagues me with are either comical or easily over looked by every other living person on the planet. Meh. MEH I say.

Actually “meh” seems to be my attitude towards this arm pit of a summer. I have been hired twice, fired once, and laid off once. This is distressing when I consider that I am usually a very good employee and until this month some odd streak, have never even been reprimanded at a job. Also I despise the DMV, once more I loath any sort of test that involves practical driving skills. Have failed twice on my drive exam. For different reasons on each. And what really chaps my ass is that the reason I failed on the first was rectified by the second. Though the action was fairly good at on the first test earned me a failing grade on the second!

Fuck. Fuck all I say. And no, I’m not dead but my spirit is getting there.

Original article posted by Greg:

I was on exchanges with a native Taiwanese person yesterday, as well. He said “I love Dragon Ball Festival.” Then looked around guiltily and said “I mean… Dragon Boat… festival… of course…” Funny to me. We then saw a big spotlight in the sky. He said, “Hey, a spotlight… Um… You stay here. I need to go do things that are neither caped, nor crusadey.”

Fun guy.

But the big news is that I found out I’m the most blessed person I know. I have recieved everything I have asked for in my prayers during the past week. That includes people who want to get baptized. Last week we had 0 people in our “Baptism Pool.” Today we have 8, with probably 4 more by the end of the week. The best part is that the Liu family has finally decided to get baptized. It’s so exciting. We still have to teach them 3 more discussions, but they seem pretty determined.

What’s interesting is that not one of these people were found by us. The liu family we met through a member. The Chen family we inherited from the area that closed down and we took over. One lady, Lilly, called the mission office herself and asked to learn about the church. And one guy just walked in to church on sunday.

Also, I’m pretty jazzed about Lilly. I taught her a first while my companion taught a family. So it was just me and a couple of members. It was a little scary, but I talked with her afterwards and invited her to be baptized. She said she was willing. Then when we taught her the 2nd discussion, she said “Elder Hamblin told me this is true, that’s how I know.” It was very… flattering…? But we then made sure to teach her about how important it is to know for yourself and not just rely on the testimony of others. But it was exciting to have somebody really find strength from my own testimony.

In our new area there is a burned-out BBQ restaurant. It’s huge and made to look like Mt. Rushmore. But with only Washington and Jefferson.
Weird. And then nearby is another restaurant with the name
“Delicously.” This stuff cracks me up.

Well, we’re orderd to move apartments. So tomorrow we have got a lot of packing and moving to do. And Saturday as well. They’re closing the lease on this one. But I’ve heard the new apartment has it’s own cockroach book-clubs as well as tennis leagues.

So… That’s the news from this side of the world. Chinese remains a harsh and subtle mistress whose wily ways confound me at about 45% of turns. My time emailing is up.

Cogito Ergo Woot.
Somebody trademark that for me if possible.
-Elder Hamblin

Original article posted by ravenpaine:

Entry 63 – June 22, 2004

One of the most annoying little bonuses that come with having more than one personality is that while one of you falls apart and succums to grief two other voices have to comment on it. One of them says that everything is as horrible as you imagine it and only the righteous act of hurting everything and everyone around you will fix the problem. The other thinks that you’ve gone to far and that every word you type is only one more strap on the straight-jacket of your life.

I’m going to be ignoring both voices for the moment. One is busy coping with Rodney’s new support everyone around him policy and the other is so concerned about losing a job that I need so desperately that it actually makes my bowels bleed. The following sentence was not hyperbole I’m in that kind of trouble.

Right at this moment I am penciling in my 3 am journal all of the terrible little ways that life can spiral out of my grasp and that I can go on a multiple day bender where things will disappear and people will be hurt and I will surface only when the damage is completely irrepairable so that the only remaining course of action is to have myself committed and sections of my head chopped out to protect the majority of the rest of you.

The loneliness, which was once somewhat amusing, and then a topic for meditation, and then the subject of a derisive series of rabid poetic thoughts has gone beyond the type of thing that you make jokes about and has gone straight into the sort of thing that will cause the end of my existance because it is an issue that must be dealt with. NOW. And at no other time.

I should have seen it coming. Or at least that is what I say so that some portion of me retains a semblance of self respect. I should have seen it coming because there are a number of things that have occured that fall into a “do not feed the animals” category. Rodney has been doing to many things in the past six months that do not befit Rodney. Certainly they made a certain form of peace within the mental community that we have here, but Rodney has been making all of the comprimises and demanding no changes of us.

We are almost completely in control now. It is an odd thing to say, to think, to type. I have long stood here to make sure that Rodney survives until he can do what he is here to do. But now?

But now…

Acceptance of the Nameless One was a useful comprimise. I have protected Rodney from the darker ravages of the Nameless One for a few years, but it was never the Nameless Ones intention to be “evil” he had a purpose one that Rodney had ignored and misused until it was twisted and vile.

The Nameless One has recovered a lot of its original purpose in the past three months but all of the excess emotion that it supplies, the love and joy, the hope, the grief, the sorrow, the anger… all of it has been relatively untouched. Rodney isn’t reading or writing enough to deal with all of this without an outlet. Gaming has become to commonplace and of so little use for this purpose. No one has mattered enough to talk to.

Some people will take that to be an insult, I assure you that it is not. You are all aware that you have a particular value in the eyes of others. We all do. But no one in recent days has had the value that Rodney will often place in one or two individuals to take care of him when everything else seems to be turning and shifting in ways that he cannot deal with.

Greg is too far to be reachable and all his remnants can do is point to a situation that is veering quickly out of control.

Usually a female is selected and handed the power to stop this sort of psychic, mental, emotional meltdown.

Currently picking one of those would only act as a catalyst to the situation.

This is because of the final comprimise, the one that I knew would occur someday but was trying to prevent.

Rodney has decided that everyone is more important than himself and has been giving more and more of his effort to keeping other people happy and motivated.

Rodney is an egoist. He may try to deny it and may try to come across as something of an alturist, albeit a violent fascist versions, but we all know that the world is about him and everything else is only important because he likes the world and its peoples so much.

Now that Rodney has decided that living for others is so much more important than living for himself he has made a crucial error.

I think I need to make a point here, a point that I neglected to make a moment ago. Living for other people is a wondeful thing. The sort of thing that many religions and philosophies will point out is the end result of an awful lot of searching, praying, thinking and so on. It is the second step before enlightenment and God.

Given that living for others is such a wondeful thing I need to clarify what happens when you are part of a combined consciousness and decide that living for others is your primary goal. Consider, if you will, a constuct of society where everyone is given a specific task to do and everyone doing their personal task continues to motivate and perpetuate society. Now, imagine what happens when one of the jobs within that society becomes pointless in the minds of the people who do that job. Soon their portion of the social adhesion comes into question. If they were to actually stop working would everything fall apart? And if it doesn’t fall apart then what use are they?

Perhaps that is too complex of an analogy for what is such a simple point.

You cannot have multiple personalities and ever stop fighting to be the dominant personality. When you decide that a personality is no longer necessary it drifts off, as I someday hoped to do. But you cannot abandon the core personality! It doesn’t work that way. If for no other reason than the subsidiaries are merely fragments of the whole given more sentience. If Rodney completely abandons what he has been doing then we are all in for a gradual fading and then….


Rodney cannot be allowed to give up on himself. We are here to support him, we cannot take over for him because without the central portion we do not actually exist.

Not that I actually have a plan. I can barely get away with typing this. To many delete keys and the message does not get anywhere.

Do something.


i’m out of ideas.

the Nameless One

Orginal comments:

Nickname: ravenpaine
Re: WARNING: Writer Feels Fragile, Alone, Psychotic
I would just like to point out for all of you in the home audience that I had very little to do with this article and disagree with most of Vincent’s claims.

Sure, I’m feeling worse than I normally do in the I’m all alone and there is something wrong with that category, but mostly it’s just insomnia.

Insomnia being a wholly new phenomenon for Rodney, normally I just fall asleep and stay there, last week I was sleeping 10-12 hours a day and this week I barely get 4 and I feel great.

I really don’t know what that means, and while I am certain that it is physically worrisome in an illness and fatigue sort of way I doubt very much that it is actually effecting/affecting my overall mental health.

So in conclusion I appreciate the warmth and so on that I have recieved today but I am doing pefectly fine in my own way and I would appreciate it more if I wasn’t treated like I”m about to die of a terminal illness and was instead treated like the kind of guy who just hasn’t been himself recently.

Particularly because I really am a new kind of me and don’t want to be held to too many of my previous habits.


Rodney TGAP
The one, the three, the guy in charge of the other two; usually.

Original article posted by thewendy:

i need to write something. spill some thoughts about some stuff. just because i don’t have anywhere else to do this but here- because i want the feeling of someone hearing my thoughts- even if no one comments. even if no one reads them.

i am happy in my writing. tired, exahsted. broken. rebuilt. broken. rebuilt again and again moment after moment of this program that is not just academic. it is political, spiritual, and very personal.

this is where my writing will take off. will turn differently. will do something different with my insides. even though i am not living here- the online prgram from what i hear is just as intense.

i am filled with hope. that i can do something with my writing- besides just write.

and i am scared that when i leave here that feeling will be gone.

it is strange- the timing of things. my decisions.

i am a teacher. i can not change that. so online program.

joseph cooper from new york- residency student. will be here in boulder. and some of you will be saying- my hell, isn’t there always some guy? yes, usually- i fall in love easily- i love the energy of people. but this guy. this one is different.

and the universe sucks because both of us are in places where we were not planning on meeting someone. we only came here to work on writing and then we meet each other and neither of us can do anything about the fact that i live in utah. that he may not stay in colorado the full two years. that we are both uneasy and unsure about commitment. that we are both in love and that there is a strong chance that the universe may not swing in our favor.

i am happy.
i am writing.
i am learning.
i am loving each moment, and living in each moment.
but tonight
i want something to be different.
i want the universe to make more sense. i want it to be easier. i want to be able to love this man. to be with this man. the whole marry and have 1 kid type thing.
yeah. scary.
me saying marry and kid in the same sentence dealing with me.

i knew it was a sign when i lost my pentacle on the way here.
i always lose neclaces, rings, etc at the start of change

when i leave here
i will be broken and rebuilt in more ways than one
all of them for the better
and i am excited-but sad.
i have no doubt that my bitter-sweet outlook on life will get even bigger.

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