Justin's Life... January 22nd - 30th, 1998

If you're an avid Justin's Life reader, bookmark the Justin's Life Gateway
to keep track of when the last update occurred
Who Are These People?150_pixel_space.gif 0.05 KThe Diary Index

January 22, 1998 - Thursday


I got a really amazing response for my professor. She wrote:

--- Edited For Clarity ---

First of all, I AM sorry that you dropped the course.  [Last semester's class] was also one of the coolest classes I've taught and YOU (along with the rest of the students) were a big part of that.  Even now, in the second week of classes, I wish you would reconsider.

There are a couple of things I would like to clear up.  I do apologize if you felt that I made you the butt of the class.  To be perfectly honest, I don't even remember (I mean, I REALLY don't remember) telling you in a sharp way to "go back to your seat."  I was frankly furious about the VCR (it also happened in my earlier class and I had requested that it be looked at by 2:00), about the fact that there were so many different room assignments so that people were late, and that my syllabus was copied wrong.  I was feeling pretty out of control at that point, and so when you interupted me I called you hard on it (and again to be perfectly honest, I REALLY was trying to make a joke out of it, but I imagine from your reaction that my tone was quite harsh), and when you asked me a question that I thought was beneath you (do you really think that I would EVER say don't comment on something that you are interested in?  You know me better than that. . . ), I jumped on you.  I needed to establish control at that point, and that meant telling everyone --not just the new students-- that I was the professor. . . because I am (doesn't mean that we can't be friendly, it just means that these boundaries have to maintained). 

I was very surprised that you decided to drop the class, since you had explicitly told me that you weren't going to.  That aside, Justin, if you think that I would make a habit of ridiculing you in class ("in your words, "burn" you again and again), again, I thought you knew me better than that.  But that really is up to you to figure out. 

About the fake smiles around campus.  There is nothing fake about my smiles.  As you know, if I don't feel like smiling, I don't!  I assume that you decided to drop the class for the reasons you have told me, and I also assume that that was one episode among many that we have had.  You and I have always had plenty to talk about (and argue about), and I assume that that will continue.  My office hours are [time and date], and you know my e-mail. . . do you watch Ally McBeal?  if so, then "bygones."  If not, come in and I'll explain it to you. 


I don't think I'll be re-joining the class, but it was definitely nice to be asked.


Monday was a new day for me. I went to Gold's Gym in Hollywood, got my hair cut, and decided I was going to get to a better mental and physical place... but yesterday that new mindset took it's toll.

Long story short, I've been wanting to "get buff," but trying to find the motivation has been tough. When I dropped the other class, there was no reason for me to stay on campus all day. I thought being here on campus anyway would be the motivation I required, but once my two morning classes were over, I could leave, and so out went that Weight Training class.

But all hope was not lost This past month, Larry began offering gym memberships as part of his employee's benefits. He, too, joined and asked me if I wanted a membership as well. I told him I didn't know, and instead got a two week trial membership Monday.

Well, Monday, I rode the stationery bike, worked out on the weight machines, and ran on the treadmill. I was sweaty and sore afterwards, but that was it.

Then, on Wednesday, between classes, I went back with Larry. We rode the stationery bike for 20 minutes just as before then began working out on the weight machines. Without much warning, I felt like I was going to throw up. I told Larry that I had to quit, that I was going to puke, and he said, "No you aren't." or something like that. --I have a habit of saying I'm going to throw up, just joking after a meal or whatever.-- I responded that I really was and that I had to quit... then as we were walking to the door, just to take a break outside in the air, I started gagging. I ran to the bathroom and into a stall.

As I stood above the toilet spitting up, I started feeling dizzy and my vision was getting worse and worse. Pressure started building up in my ears and then I realized, I was going to pass out.

I opened the stall door, at that point, not being able to see anything, and told Larry, who was standing just outside, "I'm going to pass out." He said come here and I leaned on him as he led me to the bench. He told me to put my head between my legs and breathe. I did and slowly my sight came back and the pressure relieved.

Looking back now, it's hard to believe I was working out to the point of passing out, but... All those times I thought those people were crazy for saying, "Remember to breathe."


January 24, 1998 - Saturday


Confronting that fear of possibly passing out head on, I went back to the gym yesterday and did a complete workout. Needless to say, though, I was breathing like crazy.

Oh yeah, and for what it's worth, I sincerely thanked Larry for taking care of me. If I'd been there alone, who knows what would have happened.


Completely out of the blue, I got this e-mail on Tuesday:

From: "Sean [Lastname]" <emailaddress@somewhere.com>
To: Justin Clouse <justin@koool.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Jan 1998 21:56:06 MST7MDT
Subject: Re: You still around? :-)

Are you at this address?

Sean, you may remember, is the red headed guy from Utah with whom I first talked in 1995 and with whom Larry and I stopped and visited when we were driving my car across the country.

The last I'd heard from him was this past May and that was just a couple e-mails. Basically, I was cleaning house and found a couple postcards he sent way back when, so I e-mailed him just to say "Howdy."

So, anyway, I was quite pleasantly surprised to get his e-mail this past week and responded:

To: "Sean [Lastname]" <emailaddress@somewhere.com>
Subject: Re: You still around? :-)

Yep, I'm still here... and yep, I remember who you are. ;-)

How goes things?


He wrote back, "WOW!!!  I'm happy that you replied so quickly!!..." and proceeded to give me the ten sentence update on his life. Nothing much had changed since the last time we'd written, but basically, from what I could tell, he was sitting in the computer lab and thought of me for some still unknown reason.

The next morning (when I read that message), I wrote back:

--- Edited For Brevity/Continuity ---
To: "Sean [Lastname]" <emailaddress@somewhere.com>
Subject: Re: You still around? :-)


No problem about replying quickly... I tend to check e-mail a lot. :-)

There was still a little part of me hoping that you'd be coming to California for grad school. In fact, what _would_ you say to a weekend in California? I know it's spur of the moment, but it wouldn't be that big a deal for me to pay for you a plane ticket out here. I don't have Friday classes and class doesn't start until 7PM on Monday night. I'd be more than happy to show you around, take you to some tourist traps, and just hang out. Most weekends, Larry and I go to either the house in La Jolla (near San Diego) or Bakersfield (northeast about two hours), but staying in LA and showing you anything from Disneyland to Six Flags to the Hollywood sign would be fine (or we could still go to the ranch (Bakersfield) or La Jolla if you wanted.)

Anyway, I gotta read before class this morning, so I have to sign off for now, but give that LA weekend trip some thought.

Talk to you later today,

Actually, between Christmas and taxes, I didn't have the money in my checking account to pay for it, but I knew the power of a good credit history would allow me to buy a plane ticket without a problem... especially since the limit on one of my cards was just raised by $1000 .

So, anyway, I checked the idea with Larry, and he, too, thought it sounded koool, so off went that letter.

Thursday morning, I received:

A trip to L.A. sounds great!!!  I'm game if you're offering!!  I actually have this weekend off, but that's probably too soon.  I could ask for a weekend off and cruise on down there for some fun in the sun.  I could use the time away...just say when... Presidents Day weekend there are three days off from school, is that a good time?

And the rest, as they say, is history. The ticket has been purchased and Sean'll be here next month.

In the meantime, though, Sean and I are currently playing phone tag. He first left a message Thursday night, with his phone number and a heart-flutter inducing "bu-bye." And I called back Friday to leave a simple, "I'm going to ticket this" message.

Today I re-read some of the messages we exchanged more than a year ago and wrote:


Great to hear that you're looking forward to the trip. With each message, I keep thinking I'm going to see that "Oh, something came up" message... but I'm hoping pretty darn hard that I won't get it... 'cause it really will be koool to see you again (well, that and the non-refundable ticket has already been paid for. *grin*)

I re-read some of the letters we sent back and forth, so long ago. In one, you wrote:
"By the way, email is great and all, but I like to get real letters, you know, the hand written kind.  Would that be at all possible?"
I'd be happy to send you a real letter with the tickets if you want. There was a lot of flirting going on back then and I remember the feelings I just re-read. The constant checking of the e-mail, the phone calls, etc. etc. (Not that THAT level of "giddiness" can be re-attained... but I must admit, I am checking e-mail a tad more than normal, reading your letter first.) I haven't really gotten much of a feedback from you as of late, but I figure since you sent that "Is this your address?" letter, you had some re-establishment of contact reason. Why did you send that letter? *smile*

Anyway, I gotta install a new piece of software, so I have to reboot my computer.

Hope to hear your voice soon,

I must admit, re-reading (remembering) those letters was pretty darn koool... warm fuzzy inspiring.


January 26, 1998 - Monday


You know that point in a "relationship" where you want to contact the other person, but don't because you think it'll come off as too intense? That's where I'm at now. I really want to e-mail Sean... and would really like to talk to him on the phone. In fact, I would e-mail him just to say something like, "How about I call you tonight at 10PM?" but... I'm waiting for him to respond to that last letter.

In all honesty, even though I did look back and read the pretty intense flirting letters we sent each other more than a year ago, that was more than a year ago. Our ten sentence letters in February and May had absolutely no flirting in them whatsoever. I just sorta took a leap asking him if he wanted to come to California, and so far, he's made no flirting indication at all. But knowing him, I would think that he'd be flirtacious if I were. I'll let you know...


Well, I broke down and called... but no one answered, so I didn't leave a message.


Well, Sean responded to my last message, but he didn't say anything about the whole "What's the story about flirting?" paragraph. That was the largest section and pretty much the whole tone throughout, so I wonder what that means. I mean, was he just being extremely subtle with his answer, or what?

I wrote back, in part:

You didn't answer my question about why you sent that first "Is this still your address" letter... or more importantly, about flirting. From what angle are you coming at this? I mean, either way, it's fine. We'll hang out, goto Knott's Berry (an amusement park), etc. etc. whether you come here with purely platonic ideas or with a little more mischievous mindset. I'll be honest. I'm having fun at this little cat and mouse game, checking e-mail, wondering if I should call, etc. etc.... but I don't want to be making a fool out of myself. I'd really like to talk to you on the phone, but I don't want to "scare you off" or whatever. Basically, I'm having fun... but I do want to know that I'm not appearing like an idiot on your end. I mean, I know that once upon a time we had a really great time flirting back and forth via e-mail and the phone, but I'm not sure what you current state of mind is.

I called just after sending that and one of his roommates said he was in the shower. He took my name so that Sean could call me back, but I didn't get that return phone call and no one answered when I called back like an hour later. This time, though, I did leave a message saying that I'd be home after 10PM.

Who knows...


Well, I finally got ahold of Sean. I asked him about the whole not answering thing and basically he said that he thought we should keep it at the platonic level. Not too exciting, but... what can you do?

Part of me knows that when he gets here, there'll be some flirting going on. (Well, at least part of me desperately hopes there'll be some flirting going on.) Until then...


January 27, 1998 - Tuesday


Class is just going on and on and on. I've tried passing time by playing solitaire and by writing Sean a letter (even though he was apathetic about it when I asked him on the phone.), but this class just will not end


January 28, 1998 - Wednesday


Well, I've calmed down quite a bit concerning the whole Sean deal. Amazingly, I think it was just the unknowing of whether his visit was totally platonic or not that was driving me crazy. Now that I know (or at least know that no flirting will happen until he's here), I'm ok, perhaps even fine, with that.

I did write him this letter the other day... but I'm pretty sure I won't be sending it with his tickets. It doesn't really add anything and instead is just overkill.

You can skip this and not really lose anything. -J
Hey Dude,
Howdy! I got on campus a few minutes early, so I thought I'd write you this letter (even though you don't really want it :) instead of goofing off reading the campus paper or playing in the computer lab. Hmmm... now what to say? :-)
First off, I just want to make sure that you know your trip here will be nothing like in Utah with regards to Larry. (In our phone conversation, he expressed some concern over a replay of the situation in Utah. A situation where, at times, he felt totally uncomfortable.) It sucked the first time it went down and if time had not been such an issue then, it would have played out differently there, too. So, don't worry any more about that... but speaking of Utah, I really was remember us lying (laying?) on the grass bank on your campus... between the cold and the nervousness of the situation, I was shaking. It's been a while since something that "nervousness making" has happened. That was the reason I've been so flirty yesterday. (err... lately.) It would be koool to be that excited about something again... I must admit, your "bu-bye" and calling your place have both been heart=pace increasing ;-). BUT, if you want to keep it more platonic, that's ok, too... no, seriously, it is. I'm not into forcing myself on anyone. (Of course, if you get here and decide to change your mind, I'll try to deal with it :)
OK, I gotta sign off for now. Class is about to begin.

Another day of class... last night it was "Motion Picture Editing" (After all, this is Hollywood; might as well take classes you'd only find here.) [Actually, the class, though long, has been pretty koool. Yesterday we discussed the editing techniques of "Hoffa" versus "Citizen Kane"] Today is "Empirical Research in Communication" and "Communication In The Virtual Group." The research class's professor, I would almost swear, was the voice of Frosty The Snowman in that animated Christmas special that plays every year. It's so odd, looking down to write something, then realizing it's Frosty teaching the class. :-) As for the virtual group class, a major part of that is creating a website, so I should be all set. ;-)
Geez, dude, it sure is more fun writing a letter when you can thrown an overly flattering remark in every so often. :-(
Oh well... class is beginning anyway.

Class is only thirty minutes (or 1/3rd over) but it seems like it's been going on forever... listening to Frosty talk about concepts and constructs is not fun.

Well, dude, I'm at loss for interesting things to say, so I'm gonna close this letter. Have a great time 'til I next see you. Justin

In unrelated news, last night Larry and I went on a date. After we worked out at the gym in the afternoon, I suggested that we have a date. A novel idea, I know, but I figured that even a married couple needs a date every now and then... a time just to get away. Of course, we didn't get "all gussied up" (i.e. I didn't shave.) but we did just have a nice long, semi-romantic dinner together, not worrying about the outside world.

In yet more unrelated news, I'm sitting in my BASIC programming class being completely bored. The only things remotely interesting are the computer sitting in front of me (where I'm typing this) and the total closet case sitting behind me. He caught me looking at him and then quickly glancing the other way. I mean, he looked up towards me but I didn't move my eyes away from his direction quick enough, so he saw me looking at him and then moving my eyes away when he looked, which of course, was way worse than catching me staring him dead on.

Oh, for what it's worth, by "total closet case", I mean a frat boy type who, to all his friends, is completely straight. The only reason I even know he's gay is because he looks at me just a little too much, in a way that's just a little too different than the way straight guys do.


January 29, 1998 - Thursday


I was going to write "Ever have those days where you hate your life?", but as I perioically have that thought, I'm sure I've written that before. Actually, as I walk across campus each day, I often have that thought... but I quickly tell myself "No you don't. You're going to be perky today." Amazingly, it works... to a degree.

Long story short, Larry's mad at me... but since I haven't been accurately detailing the good things, like working out together and our date, I'm not going to detail the "why" of this. I will, however, say that I think he's overreacting exponentially and that it regards no one else (It's an eternal conflict.).

So, anyway, on this dark rainy morning I was walking across campus, having left the house after being unsuccessful in an attempt to get a hug, and found myself walking behind this really short, cute guy who was in my class last semester. I found myself wishing I could hug him like a teddy bear. His stocky stature and cute face, as well as his being a whole head shorter than me, caught my attention last semester. Today he was especially cute as he was wearing jeans. All last semester he wore shorts, but today it was obvious why... the bottom of his jeans had to be cut off. How cute!

I guess there is a part of me that wants to be the protector. I know it's crazy to think I could be his protector just because he's short... but it's a nice little fantasy.


Oh, for what it's worth, I am in a better mood now... though I think it was because of writing this much more than the simple statement I told myself in the rain.


January 30, 1998 - Friday


Well, today's been pretty non-eventful. Larry and I are back on good terms. I went to school to meet with a couple of other students who are in my research group (which was completely pointless... we met for all of ten minutes)... oh, and, Sean wrote back.

He said, in part:

I am sorry I haven't written back for a while. No excuses. I am still very much looking forward to my trip down there!! don't ever think different! I have a test today and I have been up all night doing a paper that is due right after the test, which is at eight am...I am stoopid I know. It is now about four thirty am and I am ready to die. Not finished with my paper yet though!!!! 

I can't wait for presidents day weekend!!


I'd actually figured he'd decided I was too intense and therefore was quietly saying so... but if he says otherwise, I'm not going to argue with him

Click here to move on to the next set of entries.

© 1998 Justin Clouse


Justin's Koool Page