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Sun Nov 10 1996


Playing D & D again.

Right. So I met up with Rick who grinned so much. A charming man, and interested in what he does so very much. I wonder though about flitting about from city to city for months, must be exhausting and fun. Like having a purpose for a while, future set out in front of you in most ways, generated by your vision and energy, and pursued on schedule. Seems relaxing too.

I couldn't help but be very thrilled myself. Nervous and energized to be included in this project, and now to be included perhaps more than anyone at first thought would happen. So manyprojects come myway, and most really are foolish and many, though intriguing, one person oriented. Rick pulls thousands and million sof people together with grace. A shared moment of interest. A shared form of entertainment to contrast with the louder clusters of plot development we see in the movies, and continuous campaigns in the consumer layer of info. Let a moment shine and bring forth into the future a glimpse of the is, of what is, in detail and depth.

Surprising to me is the reaction around me as others watch this occur. Concern that I'll wonder away seeking more successful replacements. I'm concerned in return that people wil lstart to perceive themselves as only of secondary interest just because I want something for myself. I don't think it should be necessary that I must molt my friends off. I think it is necessry not to, even as I grow into something more that I want to be. Butterflies have friends too, even catapillars. But why people see things in these terms - of leaving behind people to get to new places - I am not sure. I leave behind only those who volunteer not to feel confident around me anymore. Those who feel they are in my shadow will not be able to smile at me refreshingly from their own goodwill.

Those I meet anew will of course find knowing me so very turbulent, and it is these persons who will not always stand the test of fire, blowing flames higher until they or I must part ways. Old friends know whta they got into and by this time are at peace - or ought to be. That really is the point here. They ought to know the difference to me.

An ode to friendship indeed. Stay close and do not look directly into the brightness I will generate. Enjoy the warmth and feed the flames of your own devising too. I am too naive. I arrogant to think this will really happen. But it already does. Places I have not travelled await me. For life to be worth living, I must not flinch.

[ ... one year ago today: Miau ]


Mon Nov 11 1996

After the other night, Gregory Woodruff wrote to say he had met me at the lecture, and that he wondered how Rick Smolan would react to my ensuing insights. I asked GW to elaborate so that I could try to get a grasp of how this all looks.

Date:  Sun, 10 Nov 1996
From:	    Gregory Woodruff 
To: 	    Carolyn L Burke 
Subject:    Rick Smolan


"Who the hell writes their innermost secrets down and post them for the world to see. In my mind this person cannot exist. Anyone, they know friends/co-workers can daily check what this person thinks. I'd like to blow this off, but if this is actually happening it's actually a profound statement on human society. Everyting this person does has to be shaped by this delayed reveal cycle." (Not that's this is what you were holding out, the cyber24 guys got a bit carried away.)


"Well that's apparently her, it's a good picture too."

me: (enter acutal you)

"This is insane, obviously Smolan read's this thing and 'knows her'. She doesn't know him. (She really not going to have any material). This is insane. Arrives in the middle of the presentation, black dress, rifty skirt, come on brain you got to be able to make something of this."
(I couldn't draw anything good from this.)

(Smolan throws in wife mention)

"Smolan, that was absoultely brutal, hold it togeathor."


"This person is 30, and the president of a company, what can her clients possibly think about this diary business ?"


(I read some thing about waterloo and some guy I think it was old.)

"O.K. this is acutally a collection of sort of life events/thoughts. It's possible that a real person does this. Who the hell reads this ? I mean it's got to have a following of people intersted in what she has to say. And their has to be some dievient following."

Inside I feel like I really want all of htis to happen. I know that "really wanting" anything is a bad strategy in getting it. It blurs the image beyond reality into surreality.


I don't understand peter and richard really. They sort of get along in this truncated male bullshit way. One tries insistently not to do the posture dance at the other. They both claim this. One feels the other doesn't really lik ehim, but wishes it was otherwise. niether can relax around the other. it is important to look competent and brilliant around the other. or detached and uninvolved, unhurt. they want the same things. I watch this wishing it didn't happen. I try to hold the friendship I have with each of themas independent of how they deal with each other. I try to let each of them know I am loyal, but it never quite sets firm. people walk away from me, not me from them. it has been years since I did anything but fail to return a phone call in bringing a relationship to an end.

I'm in Macleans today.

[ ... one year ago today: Ironic twists of irony ]

truly normal hoops to jump through.

Tue Nov 12 1996

Fear doesn't always burn in one's blood. It can infuse through the pores leaving thin trails of meantic horror. It burrows gently through the vein walls from the outside. Accumulating terror of the mundane clogs the flow of freedom and spirit in private spaces in your liver. White rabbit twitchery emits the terror back to others reinforcing your feedback hoops so you jump a little higher, a little more off balance.

Cats can see the rodent quiver and will not sit on your knees. Hope shines through the circular stained glass of your perception hoping it will become real. And someone jiggles the hoop out of disgust.

Is standing in the gas chamber line at the IGA any different if you hum the nation's melody under your breath, a call to action? The trembly song breathes past your lips as the tattoo card swipes the public cash exchange machine without a condom. Can you feel any more exposed?

The antidote to fear is not to be the sort who thinks fear is a reaction of any purport. Fame can meddle with the negative aspects of exposure, where exposure becomes the negative to be developed by prospering artists, and the print hangs on the walls of the mundane, recognized and cherished simply for volunteering to be exposed. Why do I write? Can you understand now?

The fear wiLl not exist in the future.

[ ... one year ago today: The owls are not what they seem. ]

scared to talk.

Wed Nov 13 1996

I am wanting to cry a lot now. Why.. I don't want to fight or to compete for any territory, and yet as I want things that go beyond consumer shopping that is whati find available. Cooperate n a territory or fight to get it exclusively. This I think ceilings most people into the nice and consumer only category. Teeth, nails, strategies, something that will help int he territory primitiveness.

The bell rings. Time to leave now. Smile instead as territory passes under my heeled feet.

[ ... one year ago today: Caricature ]

High hills afar.

Thu Nov 14 1996


There were remnants of concern bouncing in and out of awareness. How is she doing? Is she really such an asshole? Will she be troubled by the breach of several agreements, legally as well as the already painful reality of hurting her friend and herself?

I spoke with my landlord last night to break the lease she and I both signed last summer. It was left to me to do this. I did it. I feel wrong and ashamed. But also a little proud athaving stared down the problem and dealing with it in a day. No lingering and festering. Maybe I learned that from her? No one would like that, but I think it might be a little bit true.

I don't miss her. Her irrational political beliefs, irrational because she inherited them from parents who she doesn't evenmuch respect. And yet she takes up their lines as if they were a party that will look after her. And I guess they do. She lives with them, cooks for them, tidies and preens for them. A livein spinster daughter. It's funny that I am not a spinster because I have refused the categories we create in society. But she acts like genetic loser for not having married and spawned. The daughterly nursemaid. She's a different thing than I thought she was. Perhaps she should have been a libarian after all. Brilliant and creative were not enough, for her or Norbert or so many others.

Will he try to recover lost costs from her as he did from me? No. We can all see the reality is she cannot play fair when she has no playing pieces to make a move with. I feel like the ony ones she ever had were those I leant her. I never used to think this, but she did. I am sorry for this.


The morning is chilly, the first really cold spell ahs settled over the city. High bright skies and small terse snow flakes. Tell me again why we are not in San Francisco or Perth?


People go places that make them feel good or satisfied. But what counts as a place? There are countries and towns, caves and deep sea depths. There are homes and haunted houses, schools and tax offices. There are doctor's offices and massage parlours, family reunions and festival rituals, places to worship and places to die. People travel afar and stay where it's warm. But the place I most care about, that whcih makes me warm and satisfied, is the realm of the abstract. The place where concepts grow up and carry on of their own accord. Perhaps this fictional realm is transparent to many, but it is there that the future is born. Look with the verbal scalpel of the philosopher and the emotional savvy of the psychologist, adn there you will see the concepts, some shiny and others mildewing with forgotten bliss.

cozy pickels.

Sat Nov 16 1996

I slept very armly last night with every single flat peice of cloth laid over my blankets. And a hangover in the morning. Is there innuendo in my heart? Hmmm. I shall think on that.

* Good things and bad things. If you talk with me while walking down the street, you'll notice a subtlety. I'll ask about whether you think what you just said is a good thing or a bad thing. Everyone understands this vaguest of value questions, and will answer it. No preconceptions except which of the two adjectives I might mention first. "Is that a good thing?" A light load at worst.

"Is it a bad thing?" What am I doing? Am I sorting things into two heaps, or perhaps two heaps for any given person? around here, and perhaps elsewhere too, its kinds important to fail to step on others toes even if you are opinionated yourself. I defelct my own iopinions aside in asking such vague issues, and find out where another stands.

But am I giving anyone a chance to really grasp my position and chew on it in return? I feel like its another [Greg, if you're reading... how did its and it's work again? I've forgotten in a muddle once more.] way to catch up those loose threads that let another weave into the conversation with me. Is this a good thing?!

Passed the butter.

Sun Nov 17 1996

Thin unravellings.

I'd rather do stuff today!

nothing in particular catches at my fingertips.

Mon Nov 18 1996

My friends all independently, so they wish me to believe, feel I don't give enough back. I haven't really changed on this. Perhaps I should be more giving now, rather than more demanding. I am more demanding. That may require more in return. Funny thing was I had intended to be giving too much in return. All the excess should be theirs. If I felt there was any excess, this would still be working. But I don't. Toomany save don't squander types in the environment. And we all got hurt a little by giving beyond the reasonable to another who had to leave due to personal greed - his.

I want to examine this more though.

Smile. Feel good. Get dressed!

[ ... one year ago today: Aesop ]

Edges on the walls.

Tue Nov 19 1996

Moppins nudges my nose with hers saying hello this morning. I look around to wake up. It isn't sunny yet, darker than that.


Let go of the thoughts of finite walls and bridges that hold up only without wind. Darker spirits hold tight. They wo't float away.

Somewhen, I know my dreams will rejuvenate leading others and me into future positives. Isn't this a dream too though. A meta-dream.


I thought earlier to write about why I want to be alive. Most people don't feel a need to justify this. It is a default, their right, their lot in life, etc. Or so it seems. I think it is less true inside whenthey are asleep. I live in this doubt. I feel a need to be more that neutral in life. I want there to be a reason so badly, and there canonly be the ones I placethere for myself. How often did I want this to be otherwise. To serve humanity. Ha. Service requires subservince and cooperation. I am cooler at heart when I lead, and this it seems makes for inappropriate service. I lead a little now, and a new form of service appears tome.

Create beautiful and useful things for everyone. What a hokey idea. Could work. Cats do this. So can I. It worries me. Fighting for space to be this way is superficially contradictory. Deeper though it is idealism. I feel like a fool.

Saddened now... For there lie the lies of the heart. Do not believe too storngly in your own stories.

eight am.

Wed Nov 20 1996

Frost covers the roof tiles outside my window. Cats drift in and out trying to stay warm in their long fur. The dawn brightens the ground between long buildings with smoke in their chimneys.

I try to stay warm with my open window nearby. I am readying myself for another day in the world. The feeling of understanding the social situations is starting. I am warming to society again. Thawing out a smile.



I've been speaking with journalists and reporters this week, today [Bob Mackadory who was sick] Ellaine Lorrey on Global and also WTN, yesterday Robin Ward and Kate Wheeler from Eye on Toronto, and the day before I chatted with Rhonda from Images and Erika Ehm on the Life Network.

I'm saying that you can do everything in your dreams, that the Internet tech is amazing stuff bringing people closer together intimately. Robin was duly and amusingly concerned that talking with an online diarist might lead to curious tangles. Indeed. But he's safe for now having shared some of that amazing chocolate they made on the show!

It's simply a matter of acting without approval. I think you're an outsider the moment youexpect anouther person to approve of you. Evenif they feel so, they won't expressit. Why would they? It would be demeaning to you for them to do so. I've been an outsider for somuch of my life, and I just got it. There is no conspiracy. There are no cliques. Ask anyone if they feel they are insiders. Very few will say they are.

I smile an dact curteous to another person, and suddenly they open up, smile back and share warmth somehow. It's not about approval.

Funny. It seemed to be from the outside. :) I wonder if Tracey or Peter will hear this from where they are.

Always, it is a change of metaphysical perspective that straightens outthe crinkles in one's own personality.

five pm.

Wed Nov 20 1996

SO there's a cool camera crewhere filming me live... but I'dlike to try thinking beyond this distraction.

... yeah right! It's fun to really understand why things ar happening, thebig picture, people's motives, my reason for doing this stuff. The diary thsat is. And the filming. I wnat to learn about the things so many people already know. I was thinking this morning about how to understand the comventions of situations.. thiese conventions are discussed before hand in theis media and then carried out as planned as oftern as not.

And off I went. :) A smile from my thought. Abstract barriers of surface thought as I wade in deeper. And away t bed.

to be continued.

Fri Nov 22 1996

I'm in a rush this morning. But things look up a little in my heart. I'm trying to keep my life in some sense of good while things change so fast. I have motion vertigo.


acerbic rembrances.

Sat Nov 23 1996

20 years ago today.

got email from my cousin's cousin from 20 years back, what I do remember? born the same day as me in the same hospital. and from a high school chum who doesn't remember I was never invited to the party he mentions in his retrospective. fascinating. and welcome.

as the past seems to return to me, merging withthe present, perhaps I will remember more of it. the secondary memory storage ofmy life, that supported in other peoples' minds, will awaken things.

g b.d v

A bath overflows formy presence.


The tub is emptied, Moppins chirps despondantly as it rains outside, and I wonder at my own lack of perception. I have failed to notice my effect on people. I'm getting it slowly.

It's a combination of lessons from friends and professionals, and a glimmering understanding that is my understanding of the social world. Letters from people I haven't seen in 20 years, 15? Invitations to parties, get-togethers, RSVP please. Requests for personal time socializing - dates? Things link together as my life becomes more within the bounds of what I thought this was all about. Slightly more.

How does it feel? New. Refreshing that whenI tlakpeople at least try to get it. Relaxing to speak within my own set of understandings and be given the benefit of the doubt, a doubt normally that makes people wince until years after they know me. It's like language blosoming in a two year. Attach the whole Quinean language bubble to a few iconically shared, holophrastically developed motes.

An emergence from the cocoon at last? Probably a few layers worth.

What can I understand from this? They need an indicator into what I am doing saying. My little innovation generator in my mind never lets people settle stillly enough to pin an indicator on me. Ah, but I have tricked myself, causing and requesting others to pin the pin securely where that 3d blindspot is in all stereoscopic vision. And it is becoming pinned, first here in a diary, and then a diary in a bathtub, and now my face to all these past things. A structured anchor for the pin, an indicator that here lies an interesting person, even if some might read only the pin -- at first. :)

Into the general How many people have themselves unindicated like I had? Did I really, or was it only a perceptual blindsightedness? God, how I wish I knew. Others must be stuck behind in this way to. Why people with brillinace too confusingly dazzling. Artists with a beyond-the-now palette. Maybe my cats?

I know this experience is my creation, my drive in causing it. I want something truly and witha singular and yet temporary passion. This latter because it seems obvious that passion should not transmit beyond the bounds of the destination. For to take passion further than it canreach is to be obsessed beyond. Let passions grow into new understandings and future goals.

Babble babble babble. Self critic alert. [ Should anyone listen to me? Of course not. Will people listen to me? Perhaps. Would I enjoy it? Yes, as would most. Am I ---- on my mind lies a letter from the other day. Heavily and with due honesty I wonder if she is right.

whispering in print.

Sun Nov 24 1996


I've been learning about the insider / outsider parameter that so much differentiates people into two communicating bodies. It overlaps with the why / how people distinction in various that make me think the two distinctions may not be independent. And it allows the creation of organizations based on the two settings, the institution of insiders and alternative structures that I am less tempted to consider as institutions so much.

I've been touching base with my past more and more, and with each touch memory flashes. I am off to the University of Waterloo this Tuesday to interview potential co-op students for FSC. I'll be sitting on the opposite side of the table since the last time I was at Waterloo. After doing the co-op student thing myself for three years back in '82 my life simply fell to peices in shock, the shock arising from the lifestyle, the academic expectations and my desire to do more int eh world than learn calculus.

The newer view of the institution from the other side must be the oldest story of mankind. From the youth perspective (mine at least), membership in society has not been granted yet. The hoops are still being held high, and the youth jumps higher still when so asked. The officials, and these number qute high as well, create artificial and seemingly pointless quests and queries to run thorugh your mind until you submit to the institutional setting. They don't spell out why this occurs. They don't feel a need to. Conditioning works.

Or so it seems to the outsider. I suspect now that the aliens in my class back then - the insiders - were simply insiders. They just already knew the reasons for being there. They weren't jumping through hoops. They weren't surprised in an environment of chaotic regulations. They knew something I did not, that they were already members of society. As I could have been had I simply peeped up.

Of course, I did in the end peep. I couldn't but do so. leaving after a few years without a degree is peeping. I didn't know why I was there, nor why I should have wanted to be there. I knew somethng more esoteric. University was that heavenly place of licensing if only you could kiss ass appropriately. Outsider thinking. Learnign, I concluded, happened on your own time, where they didn't bother looking. Of course, "your own time" was supposed to be consumed with calculus problems. Ooops. I did get that one very wrong.

The institution itself made sense. It just didn't bother explaining to me whatthat sense was. Now I see it is the accredation for insider thinkers and outsider sell-outs. Those persons who did not sell out, those like me, couldn't have sold out. That was the catch. The notion of selling out emerges in the outsider perspective to explain the insider willingness to do all the accrediting things, horrifying and meaningless things.

The perspecti [CRASH .. I'm back now.] ve of the outsider is complete. It emplains all the facts, accounts for each other persons' intentions and it is but one of many possible complete interpretations. The trick for the outsider is to grasp how those other interpretations could be similarly true. What sort of worldview must be embraced to hold one of these other interpretations?

From what persepctive or worldview id the institution a positve and effective thing to have around oneslef, or at one's fingertips? We should be given the directions to thegestalt switch in the human mind.


Tue Nov 26 1996

Quick skim over email letters. answer tomorrow. hair dried. smile a bit at the silliness of the last few days. back still sore, no longer crippled, from air hockey turny last Friday. decisions on my own datig life policies to make. no thoughts as I rush to hold interviews at U of W. too much fun tables turned. am I any different than they were [IBM] then? let me hope so ... I know so. It's a new age for people. more humane and informed about how to be. smile

[ ... one year ago today: grey and rainy Sunday... with Moppins ]

A Real World Example.

Wed Nov 27 1996

While tinkering a littlewith the environment, I guess I'll try to calm down. TIred ... it's late and I am a sleepy fish.

And the tinkering worked. time for sleep. My new computer, Mercury, is purring I think. Thanks Richard.

I wonder though what I should do about the future.

x & y.

Thu Nov 28 1996

Slow headachy thoughts.. not really. A little hurt as one of our constructions, I don't know, explodes, fizzles? Bad timing on our part. So many other great things, and yet these little things indicate our own economy of scale. Wonderful grand scale projects. I'll keep this in mind.

I'll continue this from Mercury in an hour.

day beyond days.

Sat Nov 30 1996

Day beyond days I learn about me. Thinking about .. who I am and how I am to be in the world. Perhaps I need to know too much. No.

Carols echoing in the corridors tell of optimism and hope, lightened hearts of rushing consumerism leading the oyster clad into their day of starving. I feel so very included in these rituals as people who work in FSC simply expect these things. Having never been closer to those oysterly clothed, I am priviledged now to finally walk inside too. Without having personally the xray vision to compliment the telepathy I generate here for others, walking into carol-ridden environments with smiling faces reporting to me what I ask about, I learn.

Can you see too?

Two days ago, being morosely depressed, I hid from writing here. Funny. Foolish. It felt like my having spoken about writing created a vortex where the honesty was sucked away. To be the chronicler of one's own life - how interestingly odd. I have not been so before. Here, I chronicle if youwill only my own feelings for me. Out there thougyh, the physical world takes photographs. It opens the windows onto material being. People fail to see in and only see upon the pretty face. Inside, though where I live, is prettier still. That is the funniest thing. Oldest story?

One day ago, after having lived in the sadness that is volcanic, pressurizing without release, and yet wiht potential to explode .. I released the sparkling refractions of light in my soul. Energies renewed and battery stored. Used with the rate necessary not to dazzle or blind. I found in me a competent person beaming reassurance and confidence. The unusualness of this worries me. How can I build the reliable with strength of character when it is that very thing that wobbles here and there and everywhere.

Themes and variations. I noted to Richard that I do not like change and yet I do not like repetition. Both irritate annoy. But how?! Themes ought to stay the same over long periods allowing the change of beautiful variation to colour, to allow for exploration of the theme with new methods. My first language was music theory. Really my first and only complex structural system. Later I would take to algebra, logic, computational modelling, and graduate school level mathematics... all in pursuit of what I did not find in my mother's tongue - the language of communication.

It is true (to speak like a philosopher denoting security in what noone but a philosopher would doubt) that sturucture is not sufficient to carry meaning. We need more. Vocabularly, meaning, context, connection to real things and to concepts. Travel into the unknown with the power tools of a rich language.

I use the theme and variation model with every structure I know. And oops others don't use variations, get confused. Need anchor points - constancy. Boring.

Where life breeds mutations as experimental forces for change, I play around with the wordlettes we all use for basic communication. Theme and variation plot a general course and dream with the possibility tree opening to blossom where the sun shines. A language made up out of language. A chinese puzzle which really has an intelligent being inside and not just a perfect dictionary.

I couldn't be the only one with this incommensurability problem. After all, teh problem in theoretically stuck to every non-telepathically linked being. Am I the only one who tries and struggles to get beyond the impassable barrier? Those who look at me with misty covered grey eyes wanting so desparately to hear somethng they can parse in teh consensus language no one bothered to teach me. Filmy responses until I consede with a pencil sketching out the strucutre of my utterances.

[ ... one year ago today: Odd ]

remeber those Sundays.

Sun Dec 1 1996

Today is quiet. More thinking.

Pulling people together, family, plans, company, success, status... together we do things that are so wonderful. But..

I have to become more attuned to being personable. More generally so. Less grumbly, less high strung. It would be good for everyone to know I am reliable - I am but it is not an obvious thing. I should make it so. I think too many times things are resolved through an emotional wall-breaking, rather than the use of osmosis percolation. Try, Carolyn.


Got to teh office just now, and set off the alarm. Eeep. I've forgotten every single password I know. Complete overload. I wonder why this and not phone numbers. I'm such a completely incompetent how person. :)

But how can I know?.

Mon Dec 2 1996

I have this silly inability to know how biology works. I'm so squeamish, I won't listen to the explanations. WHnever any single thing changes in my bodythat has never done so before, I try to determine the fatal disease this must be a symptom of finally. I hope I'm never right. Today, I have swollen groin glands. Surely I must have soemthing awful this time. But every other time, the doctors kind of giggle at me. Not a rational system, but what t do about it?

My tick when I feel this panicked is to schedule a rush general physical and not tell them whatis wrong. I'll let them know something hurts but won't tell them what I think it is. So far I'm having trouble believing I have bubonic plague... but still, it's the only thing with this symptom I know. Fucking crazy.

I should have been a doctor .. I could have imagined mush worse things.

When I get hands onwith a computer, I always always find a bug, sometimes in the operating system, sometimes in the software application. if you want to believe that your computer is just fine, don't let me sit at it. I travel its options differently, using the way I expect them to work well. They don't. But I learn very quickly how to use that new system.

Perhaps I bug find in biology too. Looking for what changes slightly, what hurt that didn't yesterday. Noone should have left me in charge of any mechanical device. Although I can fix things, I too easily find more things broken.

Gotta run off to the office again!



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