Niall’s virtual diary archives – July 2001

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1st July 2001

War on cockroaches

9th July 2001

Big rave

14th July 2001

More ideas on the future

15th July 2001

Quick comment

22nd July 2001

Mmm Jessica ...

Sunday 1st July 2001: 4.12pm. Wow, we're now into the second half of 2001. And it also means that now I've given up drinking alcohol regularly, I was beginning to feel it was hampering my abilities to get things done, especially when combined with smoking. Now I suppose that I'm slowly getting over Ruth, I'm slowly reacquiring my abilities of self-motivation and making of ideas - but to put it all into practice requires being in a state to do so. So it's done. Let's hope for a period of great productivity.

Mmm, I want another coca-cola. I never really understood why anyone would want to drink a sugary sticky caffeinated drink like coca-cola, but since coming here I've reevaluated this. In 35+C heat, ones body as a necessity loses a lot of water and ones ability to drink coca-cola increases vastly. I must have drunk three-quarters of a litre yesterday which would in the UK have left me feeling quite sick, but here it rolls off. Expensive though, I really need to stick to pure water where I can.

My war against the cockroaches has entered a new, deadlier phase :) - I found two new of the bastard things a few days ago despite my best efforts to get rid of them. So I did some studying, and learnt that rather shockingly they can replicate every six days in this heat. Drop to 30C and it becomes like two weeks. Round 25C and we're talking a month. Hence why they don't exist in the UK I suppose.

Anyway, I reckon they're living under the fridge, certainly they produce a god-awful smell and under there it must be 45C plus so I'm thinking three to four days to lay new eggs. And since they can live off paint, wood, paper, some plastics and needless to say all organic products, it would seems stemming their food supply won't work. However, they do need a source of water, and given the <20% humidity that must be hard. So, I've taken action to cut that off.

I bought some finely ground boric acid powder (the same stuff ants use) and formed lines of dead-zone around strategic areas. The web tells me that boric acid crystals get between the joints of the insect's exoskeleton and being sharp they abrade its cuticle causing it to lose water. They should die in a few days being incapable of rehydrating themselves. Furthermore, said lines will prevent any future hatching of eggs from getting very far either. Anyway, I'll wait to see, anywhere they could get water's been cut off and I spread some round the fridge for good measure too.

Ugh, I don't feel the best. Possibly going out so late last night didn't help, there seemed to be some sort of homosexual party in Madrid last night. Certainly, there were a lot of blokes and women kissing, but not each other if you know what I mean. Also, quite a few people in gimp suits and crazy make-up and stuff. Anyway, the music wasn't too bad, so I was out until 5am and I smoked a lot which might explain my fogginess right now. Hmm, Red Bull? Best not ...

Ok, I'm off to watch a movie, Dark City, and hang out washing at some stage. Be cool and happy, see you later!

Monday 9th July 2001: 7.39pm. This weekend was quite interesting, I went to the Rave de Fuencarral which supposedly is the biggest rave event around Madrid for the year. I was going to go alone, but some friends of a French guy I know decided also to go so I went with them. I even ended up munching, and that was nice too after so long.

And yes, it was a big event. Certainly thousands, though how many is hard to say, maybe between four and five. It was very spread out anyway. Once again, the decor & facilities were fantastic and also the sound systems were excellent, very clear. In fact, nothing really could have been improved significantly except - yup, the music really sucked. Far too slow. And the drum n' bass stand wasn't playing what I could call drum n' bass, it was some much slower softer variant - if some DJ friends in the UK had heard it, I could visualise them making an attempt on pulling the plug :)

I've not really much more else to report. I have considered for the first time since Ruth asking a girl out, which is good. But I know I'm not over her yet, so it's best not to or I'll still be expunging my pent up post-Ruth tensions on new girlfriend, which would almost certainly kill it.

And that's it. I'm tired, long day today, expecting long days all this week as we go to England around the 17th for an unspecified time. As a result, I'm off to return to brain non-functional for a while, so cya and be happy!

Saturday 14th July 2001: 1.16pm. I was lying in bed a few minutes ago wondering what to do with today (surprisingly free as I had been expecting to work) when it occurred to me just how difficult it is nowadays to find any creative energy. It's like, I used to have loads, now I have none. A lot of the time I sit to write something in this diary, or god forbid one of the two books I'd like to start writing, and find I can't begin. It's clearly writer's block of some sort.

On the other hand, I appear to have no difficulty absorbing other people's creative energies. I've seen more art, sculpture & photographs in the last few months than I have ever done - and I certainly have read more intellectual books in the last nine months than I believe in all of my life up to that point. My knowledge was always received knowledge, the kind picked up off third parties and never from the source itself.

But for all this intake, there is nothing being generated and this, never mind being annoying, is also beginning to worry me. Is it possible my work is sucking me dry? Or is it a question of state of mind and attitude? Or perhaps, in uni, the fact that I never had time to write was the very same reason I had so many topics about which to think?

One's life is what one makes it. My life, presently, is not really very much at all. A few months ago, this preoccupied me, worried me, the question was always "which country next?". I suppose I must be becoming more settled, because this question doesn't cross my mind so much anymore, it's more becoming that I should move to another country in five or so months. Where and why is becoming less important.

But for this I still need a direction, a motive. I don't have one. I'm exactly like all those university graduates - still - what happens next? Answer: whatever you want it to be. But what do you want?

I used to say I didn't know what I wanted for the rest of my life, but I don't think that's true actually. In reality, I think I want to do so many different and conflicting things that I have no idea which to choose. How can I prioritise? Maybe that's why I'm sucking in all the information and ideas I can right now, to try and form some idea of what would be better to do first.

Interestingly, for the first time I think since my teenage years, the whole getting a female thing seems so less important in the long-term. Short-term needs are what they are, and hormones are difficult to ignore, but I believe I may well finally be accepting I will be lonely in this regard for the rest of my life ie; I will never find a compatible woman. Wow, I just said that without feeling that pang which usually accompanies it of "no niall, it can't be true, there must be someone out there for you". Well now I've written that, yes, maybe there was a little pang, but less than usual ...

I think the best method of prioritising is to look at all the available options for the next few years - say, until I'm twenty-seven when I'm quite sure I'd like to go reacquire my family's seat at Oxford University. Then I should decide which would enable me to cover the greatest number of things I am interested in, the ones highest up become what I will do next.

Regarding South America, I still believe it to be a good idea, but the question becomes where within a vast subcontinent? With the US's mad Bush's newfound interest in southern America, it's likely to become quite fucked up in the next few years - a world of opportunities and ever-changing boundaries, much as it was when Reagan and older Bush last stuck their greasy mits in where it wasn't needed. Where gets fucked up is as much random as it is based on logical rules - it's whatever's good at the time.

Right, I might go study some options, not just there but also here for the next five months. All be happy, hope to see you again soon and sorry for such a long time between decent entries! Let's hope that writer's block shifts soon!

Sunday 15th July 2001: 11.43pm. It occurred to me tonight that this weekend could be best described as a bout of the old depression. Makes sense actually, because tonight I felt quite paranoid - and as always, I'm never sure if it's my perception or reality. Such are the problems of socialising. Hence probably it was for the best I stayed in, avoided contact. However, it's a painful reminder of how vulnerable I still am.

I found BBC World live on the internet today. Milage can vary, but the low-res version plays nicely on my computer. Hires version is VHS quality but demands a little too much of the connection between me and the BBC. Nevertheless, it's watchable, and it bodes well for the future.

Ok, I'm off, bedtime very soon. I have my visit to England this week, so it's going to be a busy and tiring one. Bye bye, be happy!

Sunday 22nd July 2001: 9.34pm. Occupied myself this weekend by attempting to install Linux, but finally had to give up a few hours ago. No point, the installer hangs just after detecting the EIDE controller on the motherboard. Most annoying. Anyway, I have v7.1 of RedHat on its way, different driver system for the 2.4 kernel apparently, so it may work. I shall wait and see.

I watched my first episode of Dark Angel this weekend, partly because a friend was raving about it. And I immediately fell in love with the lead actress, Jessica Alba whom you can see on the right. She combines in her acting on Dark Angel a mixture of strength and vulnerability which has worked so well for Sarah Michelle Gellar in Buffy The Vampire Slayer except that Jessica does it better and additionally, I think she's better looking. Feel free to see for yourself at where there are lots of pictures to peruse. Or else, go get Dark Angel episodes off IRC (only ~500Mb each). Your choice

Do you know I've realised why I have felt so bloody awful recently: it's because I stopped drinking alcohol at the start of this month and when last night I rediscovered my lost corkscrew I downed a bottle of very nice red wine. As I became more inebriated, I realised that the fact I was staying drunk all the time was making me not realise how very unhappy I am. With that gone, despite the intake of a lot more weed, it's not possible to escape anymore. Weed doesn't aid escape like alcohol or other drugs, it can rather annoyingly force self-reflection on matters you'd prefer not to think about.

I was reading recently on the web about how my recent symptoms could be the start of CJD or some other neurodegenerative disease. Unlikely how that might be, it's strangely attractive to me, probably because it would mean I'm not really where I painfully know myself to be - alone, with no chance ever of not being alone.

And when I look at someone very fit like Ms. Alba here, I cannot help but to think past the image to the likely personality underneath. And then I think of all the incompatibilities, psychological hang-ups, fears & insecurities and elements of misfortune that would exist between me and any woman, especially on my side. Indeed, she could be relatively flawless, but it is very likely I couldn't hack it, especially given what I have seen inside of myself in the last few months. I am clearly a person with a lot more problems than he realised eighteen months ago.

And these were all problems that I've had since forever, it's just in the glow of liberation after moving to Hull I temporarily forgot them and with time, came to believe they didn't exist within me anymore either. But losing Ruth stirred up all that stuff again. Facing ones own demons is never pleasant, but god where did all these come from so suddenly?

I too have no solutions except that of change and time. Keeping up constant change, opening new potentials will hopefully allow avenues of self-exploration to be more easily followed. And time, I sincerely hope, will slowly repair my self-image and self-confidence. Maybe the two will unite to provide self-understanding, and an ending of the current reign of my inner demons.

Ok, I'm off to lose the next few hours before bed doing something stupid and mind-numbing. It's all I seem to be able to do anymore. I'm stuck somewhere between "creativity as outlet for pain" and "too much pain for creativity" :(. All be happy, see you again soon!

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