Justin's Life... September 1997

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September 2, 1997


It's been a while since I last wrote... and I've got good reason. Life has been crazy. I honestly don't know where to start.

You know, I've pretty much blocked the whole last week. I remember that my car got hit when I was driving back from checking my mailbox. I remember that the seat belt in my car is broken and therefore the dinging warning doesn't stop. I remember that Windows 95 decided that it was time to stop saving (and a computer is not a whole heck of a lot of good if it won't save, I'll tell you ). I remember that when I tried to install a replacement hard drive, I couldn't get it to work. I remember that when I tried to install another hard drive, I couldn't get it to work either. I remember that after a new hard drive was installed, I couldn't get my old modem to work, so I charged a new one. I remember that I couldn't get that one to work either. I remember that koool.com decided to stop working as well. I remember that I couldn't get mail, that my password had been changed, that the scripts weren't (and some still aren't) working. I remember that if it could have gone wrong, it did. I remember having this idea that I could advertise my site and finally get it to make enough money that I wouldn't have to worry about my immediate future. I also remember depleting my checkbook to pay $539 to do that advertising and then that company disappearing. As you see, I'm trying not to remember.

Basically, I'm racking my brain trying to figure out some way to get into a space where I'm not always worrying "What if..." I just finished maxing out my credit cards for the hard drive, my checking account is nill and it doesn't look like Koool.com is going to be making any fortune too quickly. You know, I've thought of everything from auctioning my worn clothes (maybe some fan would want them enough to pay ? ) to creating a page where you send/charge me a dollar. I've thought about working out some little reward to say "Thank you". I'm basically just stressed to the limit.


September 3, 1997


Senior jumps to death at hotel

That was the headline I saw when I picked up today's Daily Trojan as I walked to my Comm 395 class. "Tate Crane" the caption under the photo read. He didn't look like the guy I sat behind last semester in Comm 201.

I began reading the article:

A member of the fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon committed suicide during the Labor Day weekend in Long Beach.

Tate Crane, a 21-year-old senior majoring in communications

A Comm major, the name Tate, and a senior. Then it hit me, his name was right by mine on the attendance sheet. It started with C.

I continued reading:

apparently jumped from the 12th floor of the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Long Beach at around 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, said Bob Taylor, deputy chief of the USC Department of Public Safety.

Witnesses of the suicide first saw Crane "perching outside a 12th floor landing" of the hotel and "swaying back and forth for about five minutes," Taylor said. He said they later saw him jump clear of the building to the ground, where he died upon impact.

Taylor said the coroner's report stated that Crane may have been "depressed for some unspecified reason and it was perhaps related to alcohol."

Detective John Boston of the Long Beach Police Department's Homicide Division said he was unaware of any particular reason Crane may have committed suicide, and the only way they may ever know is if someone finds a note he may have left behind.

And then I was certain:

He enjoyed and was involved in athletics, particularly weightlifting, football, and volleyball.

The Tate that sat in front of me was pretty darn muscular. It was him: No doubt whatsoever. Ironically, I'd just seen him last week, thinking about how I still thought he was cute. I'm certain he wouldn't have remembered my name, but we'd say "Hey Dude" and talked in class on occasion.

You know, like yesterday, I was bitching about the problems in my life, but they're not that bad, nothing that is life threatening. And you know, although I don't think Tate was gay, I have to wonder if some deep dark hatred of himself led him to that jump. The article in the paper said he grew up in Long Beach, yet he wore a rebel flag on the underside of his cap. Why would someone not from the south, where that attitude is a lot more prevalent, wear a rebel flag? If I've helped one person not commit suicide then this site is a great success, no matter what it makes financially.

Anyway, I'm still here on campus, sitting in the computer lab, waiting for my next class to begin. Today will definitely be a somber day.


September 8, 1997


I'm once again in the computer lab waiting for my next class to start -- at 2PM.

And ya know, the sights in the computer lab are a lot nicer than they were the other day.

Anyway, there was something that sorta pissed me off the other day that I've been meaning to write about. Nothing big, but just an observation of life.

ANYway, I was changing channels on the satellite late Saturday night when I came across some Cinemax cheesy movie with "Erotic" in the title. Just after the credits were off the screen, boobs were on it. I watched it for a bit, hoping to see perhaps a guy's butt, but eventually gave up. I turned on the VCR and figured I'd fast forward through it the next day.

The next day came and I fast forwarded through it. Boobs, boobs, two girls making out, full frontal female nudity various times... but wait, there was a scene with a guy and a girl. I put the VCR back in normal play mode and began watching... then I realized: He wasn't even naked. He was wearing some sort of strapless cover up. The first shot was just before a transition, but I could still see the wrinkles of the fabric. In another split second shot, it was harder to see, but there was definitely a strapless bikini of sorts covering him. What a crock. The girls had been totally naked and partially naked more than half the movie, and yet he couldn't even be nude for a split second.

Anyway, like I said, nothing big, just sorta offputting that that much female flesh can be shown to arouse straight guys, but not even one split second dick shot can be included for the rest of us, for what, for fear of offending the straight guy? I just don't get it.


September 16, 1997


Life has really been crazy lately...

Most notably, over the past weekend, I had to write three 2-3 page CD-ROM reviews, three 2-3 page website reviews, and three 1 page CD-ROM concepts for my Interactive Multimedia and Entertainment class. I typed and typed and typed... and remarkably, the concept which I came up with only a couple hours before the class was the one I presented to the other students. The instructors hadn't told us that we were presenting our ideas to each other, but they had told us to really focus on one. The one I thought was the strongest was an interactive CD-ROM for the USC's Admission Department's recruiting efforts. Unfortunately, some other guy also thought of that and presented his idea before me.

When it came to be my turn, I presented my idea about a promotional Christmas/Toy CD, and somehow or the other, it was pretty much the favorite idea of the class. I couldn't believe that my second choice, last minute idea garnered such a response, but I was pretty psyched about it. At the very least, it probably means that it'll be one of the projects picked to be the prototypes.

Of course, having spent so much time on that class this past weekend, pretty much everything else got behind. I've got to catch up on a lot of reading and should have done that today. Instead, I re-installed the access counter software which you may remember from a while back. I very conservatively guessed where the numbers should be from the last actual count.

Hmmm... nothing else too exciting to report. Oh wait, I did go see LA Confidential with Jeff this past weekend. It was a remarkably good film, and the new Eddie Munster sat behind us. ( His real name is Jason Marsden. He was in White Squall and "The Munsters Today." ) He was amazingly short (about five feet) and was making out with his girlfriend when I turned around during the end credits. However, he did hold the door open for me when we were exiting the theatre and I was pretty far behind him .

Guess that's it boys... Talk to y'all later...


September 20, 1997


I finally got a chance to breathe after school was done this week. That said, I still have a truckload of homework due this coming week, but at least I don't have quite so much looming over my head.

Anyway, life lately has been weird. Larry's been telling me that he loves me nearly nonstop and Jeff has pretty much gone into the abyss of law school never to return... not that the two are related or anything. It's just those two things that I've really noticed lately.

Regarding the former, I'm not sure why Larry's been so lovey dovey as of late. I haven't done anything special. Perhaps he's glad that I'm going to school and not bitching about it too much. I mean, he really places a high value on my college education and when I've heard him talk to other people about it lately, he always says something about how I'm getting into it more this year than last. Who knows, but it's definitely a positive thing.

On the other hand, Jeff's pretty much disappeared. It's almost impossible for me to imagine putting in that many hours at anything... let alone school. The other day, for example, I called his place since I hadn't heard from him in a day or so. (Before school started, we hung out practically every day. The first couple weeks after it started, Larry, he and I still hung out quite a bit, but this past week, hardly nothing...) When I went to bed at midnight that same day, I still hadn't heard from him. I was pretty worried. So the next morning I woke at 8AM to check my e-mail. If he hadn't written me anything, I was calling his house... but he did write. It said he'd been out with his study group until late. So when I did talk to him much later that day, I told him that I was really worried and had missed him. Instead of an "Ah, how sweet" or something on that order, I was greeted with something more like "I really have to study a lot." It didn't seem to even matter that I'd been worried or that I cared about not seeing him.

We talked about it and I told him that I knew he was busy, but I considered him a really close friend and I just wanted to know that he thought about me every now and then. A simple phone call, "Hey Justin, I'm busy with studying, but I just wanted to let you know I'm thinkin' of ya." would suffice. Under a minute.

Anyway, we planned on meeting for a movie yesterday. Instead, I got a voice mail message (wav, RealAudio) saying, "Hi Justin. This is me Jeff. Umm... I actually, we, I was talking to my group today at school and we're going to get together tonight and study, so I'm not going to be able to see the movie with you. So maybe, uh, like on Sunday or something, I can give you a call and we can maybe make plans or something, but tonight I'm just going to study with the group. So, um, I'll talk to you later then or you can e-mail me or I'll e-mail you or something. So, I'll talk to you later. Bye"

Was it just me, or was the "I'm sorry about cancelling" really not in there? For what it's worth, he didn't call later, nor did he send any e-mail.

I don't know, it just amazes me how I went from such an integral part of his life to something totally optional. I mean, he even baked white chocolate chip cookies for me because I only like white chocolate, even though the smell of white chocolate literally makes him nauseous. That's how much he liked me...

I'm trying not to think too much about it, because there's nothing I can do to change it. Either he realizes that although he's busy, he still needs to make time for friends, or he continues going to law school forgetting everything else. Either way, only had can make that choice/realization.


September 21, 1997


Last night Larry and I went to see In And Out. I must admit, while I did want to see the movie, I was a little hesitant, wondering just exactly how gay people were going to come off. I mean, I knew the premise; a high school teacher gets mistakenly outed at the Academy Awards® and then tries to explain he's not gay through a series of laughs. By explaining he's not gay, the implicit implication is that being gay is something bad. Yet In And Out pulls off the task of saying it's ok to be gay with such grace, such unexpectedness, such "Whoa, that was really handled great." that when I woke up this morning I was still thinking about how great a movie it was. Believe me, the gay jokes were there and numerous... but they were completely funny. I laughed out loud several times, especially when the joke applied directly to me. (Like the part about beaches.[sic]) All I can say is go see it. I know you think you've seen it all in the trailers, but you haven't seen anything. It truly gets the Beyond Koool Seal of Approval.


September 27, 1997


This past week has been one of the most busy of the school semester so far. On Monday I had a paper due, on Tuesday I had a midterm, and on Thursday I had a 15% of my final grade paper due for yet another class. Fortunately, only a computer program is due on Monday.

In other news, Amanda arrived from Colorado (where she moved immediately after the wedding). Michael had to go off on some secluded mission for a month, without contact with the outside world. She didn't really want to stay by herself, and thus, she flew here this past Sunday. Of course, having had all that work I mentioned above, I wasn't really able to do much with her until yesterday, when we went to Universal Studios.

I'd never been there before, and well, I don't think I'll be going back anytime soon. Compared with the one in Florida, it was pretty darn unimpressive. In fact, about the only things worthwhile were the Jurassic Park and Back To The Future rides. Indeed, the only interesting thing to report was that we kept bumping into a red headed guy in his mid teens. I mean, he was a little to young to even think about doing anything with, but we had to keep ourselves entertained somehow. (I even managed to snap a covert picture of the back of him while we were watching the animal show... what can I say, I'm obsessed. )

After we left the park, however, we did have a little more fun as we went to the Country Star restaurant on Citywalk. There, we had this really cute waiter and we kept trying to figure out his sexual orientation. Amanda thought he was gay and looking at me. I thought he was straight, but couldn't help noticing the rings on his thumb and pinky. Eventually, we decided that he might go either way, and so, we both flirted.

Before the meal was over, we had talked with him a lot, about things such as Amanda being married and of me living here in LA. I mean, I was really making an effort not to be my "short answer"ed self, but rather to come up with quick retorts and seem "koool." Amanda got so nervous about our virtual game of cat and mouse that she even got goose bumps. And so, with the check, we left a message saying, "If you're free later, give us a call. (213)###-#### Justin And Amanda" We honestly didn't expect him to call, and so far, he hasn't.


September 28, 1997


Well, as for the waiter, he didn't call.

But last night, Amanda and I did go out with Jeff.

Before he arrived here at the house, I wrote to Larry (who's in New York on a business trip):

Amanda and I are going with Jeff tonight to see In And Out. Actually, I could care less about seeing it again. I'm basically going because I know if I don't go, Jeff and I are going to drift so far apart that it's going to be near impossible to get back together. After the phone call Wednesday night, he said he'd call Thursday or Friday to arrange plans this weekend. Just as I suspected, he didn't... until a few minutes ago and even then, it was pretty lackluster.

Actually, I'd gone and seen In And Out with Amanda, in addition to the time I wrote about above. So going with Jeff was going to be the third.

Anyway, Jeff arrived and things were a little standoffish. On the phone, I'd said that I was a little ticked that he hadn't called as he said he would, especially after him saying he would was right after we'd talked about its importance to me. When he got here, Amanda sorta disappeared into the woodwork and he and I stood at the entrance talking.

Before long, things had lightened up a bit and Jeff and I were watching TV on the couch while Amanda was on the phone with Mike. Fifteen minutes or so later, it was time to leave for the theatre and off we went.

When the movie was over, we debated about who was the cutest actor as we headed back to the house. Here, Amanda said something about feeding the dogs earlier in the day, then Jeff said he wished he had a cat. I said that Amanda's cat was downstairs, and so we went down to look at her.

Once Jeff had petted the cat and we'd begun talking again, I started massaging his shoulders. While things had been "lighter" than when he originally got to the house, they were still way less "friendly" than they were a few weeks ago. It was just my little way of making contact and I figured he'd tell me to stop, but he didn't. It wasn't until like ten minutes later, when he realized that it was 10PM that he said something, that we should go upstairs and watch The Practice.

This time, he and I were again on the couch while Amanda was on the phone. During her earlier conversation with Mike, she'd found out that he could get a day off and if she wanted to rent a car, she could drive to see him. -- He's stationed somewhere here in California. --. This time, she was calling rental agencies to see about prices and age restrictions.

Anyway, this time, Jeff and I were a little friendlier on the couch. I'd hit him for some smart aleck remark and I remember him twisting the sleeve of my shirt. It didn't require anything to be spoken, but my worries that he no longer liked me were quelched.

When the show was over, he said he needed to head home, so I walked him to the door and thanked him for coming over. He thanked me for going to see the movie with him, we hugged, then he left.

I know Jeff's and my relationship has changed, but it's still there and that's what's important. He's busy with law school, but I do still matter to him.


When Amanda and I picked up Larry at the airport this afternoon, I was in a perfectly fine mood. The three of us were having a nice enough time, then Larry asked if we were seeing Jeff tonight. I told him that I doubted it, but he said we'd call and see.

So he dialed the phone then talked to Jeff. He was busy with his study group later, but said ok when Larry asked if we could come over right then. And so, we went to his apartment.

When we got inside, I immediately looked to see if my picture was still on his bookshelf. Originally, he had pictures of me in two different frames which he went out and bought specifically for them. I'd harassed him about how it meant he really liked me, and so he playfully said he was going to take them out.

For a good while, they both stayed in their frames, but the first time I went to Jeff's apartment with Larry, the more candid photo was gone. I commented on the frame, hinting that I'd seen that my picture was gone and he later asked if I wasn't glad that he'd taken it out (as Larry would have thought he was way too intensely into me.)

Larry and I were over at Jeff's a time or two since and my picture was still there, yet today, it had been replaced with a very poorly shot picture of himself and two girls. I mean, the picture was mostly background with the people shoulder up, occupying only the bottom half of the image. I was livid. When I'd insisted that he no longer cared, he'd said that I was just being paranoid, that he really still cared about me, that he was just immensely busy with school, but he'd taken my picture out to put one in that wasn't even worth framing. He'd taken it out to intentionally hurt me.

After I went on for about three minutes, I sat, not really saying anything for the rest of the time we were there. I was basically in disbelief.

By the time we left and drove back to the house, I was still dumbfounded. I honestly couldn't believe that he'd intentionally hurt me.

I wrote him a letter. It's sitting here in front of the keyboard. I can't deal with being purposely hurt. I won't deal with it.


I believe you intentionally removed my picture to hurt me, and while the number of people I care about is few, I cannot afford to care about those who purposely hurt me.

I am sure that if your intentions were not designedly hurtful, you could have figured out a way to display both my picture and the one with which you replaced it.

When you are capable of expressing a change in feelings in a mature manner, please let me know. I cannot, and will not, stand by as you hit me with stones to prove you no longer have feelings for me.


That basically sums it all up.

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© 1997 Justin Clouse


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