February 2005

Original article posted by ravenpaine:

You step up to the microphone, insecure in posture, unsure of your material, and afraid of your audience. Too many thoughts racing through your head. You tighten your grip on the sheet of piecemeal fiction in your too-moist hand.

They know, they know.

And they can see. They have eyes, eyes that see how you failed. The fight you had that summer.

Years of degradation and neglect and now you’re standing at a microphone and everyone can hear you screaming your crimes into the silence created by your shuffling feet and voiceless fiction.

Tap out the beats between words with your tread-worn shoes. Look to the left and then to the rest and know that your time is up. Depart the stage to mingled nods and weak smiles.

“You finished here?” grunts Raguel, sneering over a filterless Lucky next to the door.

You frown as you leave the parish, “It’s not my best eulogy.”


“But they don’t have to know that.”


Original article posted by Olorle:

Shadows stepped off the wall wearing the faces of their creators. With this new found life, they began where their creators left off. The shadows worked. They loved. They ate. They played. One became bitter and killed another. Seeing death, others began to age. The first shadow, fearing the uncertainty of death, sought escape and delved into dreams, far away from the fear.
Faceless, hazy people dragged across the ground and walls attached at the heel to busy shadows. The first shadow walked through the crowds, once again at ease. All was right with the world until a tap on his shoulder drew his attention. His person grabbed the shadows face, pulled it free, and re-attached it to himself. The shadow slid back into place on the ground. The other shadows turned on him, trying to take away the face, to show that this would not be allowed. As attacks rained down, darkness rose up and claimed him.
Death stood in the darkness, waiting. Desperately, he tried to sleep, to lose Death in dream. Death tsked once, took him by the hand, and pulled him off into the darkness.
Shadows slid back to the walls, again mimicking the actions of their creators. One shadow hung limp, unmoving, trapped in place to be hauled off by the other shadows and buried away from the light, into nothingness.

Original article posted by chamblin:

Apparently my mission president told my parents I’m an exceptional missionary. I have my own thoughts. And they are “NyQuil, NyQuil, NyQuil, We love you… You giant Q.” Which may be a sign of lack of focus on my part.

I had the opportunity to read some governmental forms about piracy between China and Taiwan. I don’t think it’s normal to let foriegners read these things, but they wanted help translating them from english. e did pretty well, I think, but had trouble with the sentence “He said the shipment arrived in Shanghai, but really it’s all bosh.”

Bosh… bosh… good word.

Last week I experienced the lowest numbers – that is, the numbers that reflect work done by my companionship – since my arrival on island. It was not a pleasant experience. The twin devils of Doubt and Fear have, therefore, been able to sneak their way into my previously doubtless and fearless mind. And while some of the lowness in numbers can be attributed to meetings and a 3 hour bike ride, all of which took away from the work time, my fear (there’s that word) is that it reflects lack of aptitude on my part.

Or maybe it’s just all bosh.

Friday night a member called in a pretty stressed state of mind. He was from my first area. He said he was in a hospital in a place called Shou Feng, and asked if we could visit him. We didn’t have anything Saturday afternoon, so we said okay. So at about noon we took off for Shou Feng, about .5 hour away by bike. The problem is that Shou Feng is a really big area of land. This member had said that the hospital was just inside the Shou Feng area, but it turned out to take us 1.5 hours to get there. So that was frustrating.

He’s going through some kind of rehab right now. It’s pretty rough on him, and he feels pretty lousy about himself. We talked about how we can rely on God for help, and trust him to lead us to happiness – But that the change is usually hard and painful. He cried a lot and thanked us and took pictures with us.

Then it was back to JiAn. I thought that we had an appointment in about an hour and a half from that point, so we went pretty fast and I pushed myself pretty hard. I had been feeling that I kept making poor decisions, or maybe I wasn’t working hard enough. So I guess I just made myself work a little harder that day. It was pretty tiring, but we made it in time to grab a bite to eat and be at the church in time for the lesson.

Probably I should have said to myself: “Self, You have only just got over a cold recently, you should take it slower.” But rather I said “Be sure to drink plenty of water and you’ll be fine.”

Can you tell this is going somewhere?

I should have said “Self, you had asthma as a kid, and even though it’s really warm and you aren’t short of breath, better safe than sorry.”

At about 7:oo that night I noticed a little pain in my throat that wouldn’t go away when I drank water. Kinda like that pain that comes when you cry a lot, you know? Not that I ever cry. Anyway, I thought “Self, the last time you had a pain like this, it got worse and worse and spread all over your body until you went to the hospital.” To which I replied “Nonsense, it’s just that cold coming back a little bit now that it’s night time. You just shut up. I hate you. You’re ugly.”

Sorry.. Self confidence issues.

Well, by 9:30 it was hurting in my jaw, chest, and arms. And quite a lot. “Now you’ve done it,” I said. “Now you’re going to have to call the mission mom and bother her.” So I did. She was woried that I was having some kind of allergic reaction and my lungs and throat might close up. But I told her about the last time it had happened, about 6 years ago. She made some calls to the mission doctor and to my mom, which culminated in her calling me back and saying “Why don’t you go to the hospital and have them diagnose it.” So my companion and I went to the hospital, where people speak a great form of medical English.

They were just as stumped as the American doctors the first time, so they stuck me full of some kind of liquid and made me lie down on a bed. They left the needle and tube thing in my arm for easy access, which made me feel really important. Like at any moment somebody would say “Hook him up to an IV, quick, we got to stabilize his system.”

But nobody did.

But a lady came over and put a blankie on me.

Anyway, the drugs worked fast and miraculously, but they made me stay until my blood tests got back. When the head doctor lady came over with the paper, she said “Look! Your blood is really quite beautiful!” Then gave me a paper that I didn’t understand at all. (not because it was in Chinese, but because it was in doctor.)

Anyway, the after effect was some pretty major exhaustion and a resurgance of the cold, with which I do mortal combat to this very hour.

So sunday I was very beat up feeling. Plus that was the day we totalled up our week’s numbers. And I lost my voice.

So it was a pretty low day. I thought to myself “Self, not to worry, it can’t get much worse.” Then my pants ripped. (really.)

But since then things have turned in the upwards direction quite a bit. We taught my first “First lesson” with me as senior companion. And it was to a great family. Then yesterday we taught another pretty great first discussion. Plus my companion has been really good to me. So I’m still here and still pretty okay.

I’m even managing to overcome doubts and fear. Which is great. I put a Goku sticker on the back of my nametag, and surely that helps some.

Well, my time is up. My love and thanks to: Blaine, Rachel, Ghandi, Russ, Ruth, Tom, and Kaye, all of whom have written to me. (posting comments on the site counts) I really appreciate it, and hope to reply someday. But not now, as the counter on my computer says 2.


Don’t amp it up too much, or you won’t be able to amp at all.

-Style Lizard

Orginal comments:

Nickname: squishous
Re: Ole vs. Au Lait
Good news!! I got an up-to-date list of all Terry Pratchet books in release date order! (the English release, not the US release). I know you have other things to read over there, so I will just say that his newest is called “Going Postal” (It has chapter headings – which are cheesy, funny and scary at the same time) The only probelm with the list is that it doesn’t include any of his adolecent books, which I think are just as good as his adult books. Anywho, I will send said list to your family so that it will be awaiting your scrutiny. I am sorry to hear that you are sick. I will always remember my mission as the best and absolute worst time of my life. Stay strong, read your books and drink lots of fluids.

get well soon (its as close to a card as I send)

Greg’s Fam. You can email me at squishous@hotmail.com with your email address or ask me to post it here, either way works for me.