Justin's Life... May 22nd - 31st, 1998

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Who Are These People?150_pixel_space.gif 0.05 KThe Diary Index

May 22, 1998 - Friday


For what it's worth, I found out my grades while I was in Vegas:

Program of Study: Bachelor of Arts, Communication


Course ID


Course Title
ITP-2102.02.0A2.08.0Multimedia Applications for Windows
ITP-1022.02.0A2.08.0Introduction to BASIC Programming
CTPR-3353.03.0A-3.011.1Motion Picture Editing
COMM-3214.04.0A4.016.0Communication in the Virtual Group
COMM-3014.04.0B+4.013.2Empirical Research in Communication
Term GPA: 3.75

This was the hardest semester ever, so I was remarkably and pleasantly surprised to get my highest college GPA.


For several months, Blonde Eric has been harassing me about hanging out... and for several months I've been too caught up in my own stuff to even think about spending a night driving an hour or so to meet him, eating weird food, and watching a strange movie.

But, this past Wednesday night, his requests caught up to me and I agreed to meet him in Santa Monica at Starbuck's, have dinner somewhere, and then go see the 9:30PM showing of The Hanging Garden. I hate coffee, figured dinner would be some vegetarian Thai place, and summarized The Hanging Garden from it's review as "a gay fat guy hanging himself then coming back ten years later." A night of "fun"... but I figured that was the least I could do as I'd pretty much said "No" to his dozen or so implied, "We should go to a club" e-mails.

So, anyway, I arrived at Starbuck's and found Eric at the counter. Forgetting that we were going to go eat, I purused the menu and asked the lady what she had for people who hated coffee. Apparently, she'd never heard that before and acted completely dumbfounded. A few seconds later, though, she suggested steamed milk or tea. I chose the latter and began drinking it as Eric and I headed out the door.

Walking down the street, Eric asked me where I wanted to eat and I said, "Anywhere normal." I figured I'd still get something non-American, but with that request, something hopefully not too bizarre.

"Schatzi" (Arnold Swarzenegger's restaurant) and "Wolfgang Puck" were his suggestions back.

I'd had dinner at both of those places before and both sounded great to me. Nevertheless, we ended up stopping at a Mexican restaurant and viewed the menu that was placed next to the door. I didn't particularly care for any of the food there, but like I said, I'd not hung out with Eric for so long, basically whatever he wanted to do was going to be ok.

Luckily, he decided that wasn't to his tastes either and so we walked some more until coming to a place called Jake and Annie's American Cafe.

When my ultimate Kentucky white boy dinner of turkey and stuffing was done, we headed back to the cars and drove both of them to Parking Structure 4 near the Santa Monica Promenade.

Speeding ahead...

So, we got to the Promenade... and all I could think about was Eric... no, not Blonde Eric, but Eric The Lawyer. Long story short, his Mormonness fucked him up and he went back to being "straight." It was the first time I'd been to the Promenade since I'd last seen him there, and well, like I said, all I could think about was how fun it had been there with him. Of course, thinking about how fun it had been wasn't fun at all...

So, anyway, we walked around the Promenade for a while, me occassionally talking about Eric The Lawyer, then got in Blonde Eric's car to drive to the theatre. When we went inside and began watching the movie, I was still intermittently thinking about Eric The Lawyer while thinking about how the night hadn't turned out to be as bad as I'd expected. And then an unexpectedly "OK" night instantly turned into a "Better Than Average" knight... a cute red head appeared on the screen.

As the movie went on, though, it became obvious that the red headed guy had only a bit part... until...

Spoliers Follows:
Should you wish to see the movie without knowing more about it, please skip past the bordered area.
the audience is shown a flashback... but, being a flashback, it makes no sense (or rather has no real relevance) without what happened earlier in the movie.

In short, the movie opens with Rosemary getting ready to marry Fletcher (the red head). She can't go ahead with the wedding, though, as William (her once 300+ pound brother) hasn't yet arrived back home. Nevertheless, when William doesn't show, she goes on with the ceremony and a skinny adult version of William arrives during the exchange of the vows. The marriage occurs, with William watching from afar, and that's that.

The story continues and everyone's shocked to see William after he's been gone for ten years without contact, especially considering he's much thinner.

So, anyway, the movie goes along and then we see one characteristic art film subdivision title screen of particular note: "Lad's Love"

William (the 300+ pound younger one) and Fletcher (younger as well) are shown being friends looking at yard sale items and generally being teenagers. Eventually the two of them end up on a pier where Fletcher (the red head, don't forget) takes off his shirt. In a timid display of affection, William leans his head back on Fletcher's shirtless stomach... and well, I was gone.

That was Chris and I to the letter. While we were never on a pier, but we were by the water, he was shirtless and red headed, and I did lay my head on him in a timid show of affection. Everything from the tone of Fletcher's skin to the red tuffs of armpit hair to the shape and color of his nipples made me think "Chris"... but what a great feeling that was.

The movie continues and young William goes with his sister Rosemary to a high school dance. Of course, Fletcher is Rosemary's boyfriend, so when the dance is over, she and her friends go to someone else's house and the two guys return to William's. Mom opens the door, tells them that they're soaking wet and should therefore leave their clothes at the door. They get naked, and well... end up feeling each other until Grandma sees them from her window. (Now, that part only existed between Chris and I in my mind, but well, suffice it to say that watching and thinking was enough to elate me for quite a while now.)

Back in present day later in the movie, when William is getting ready to go back to his life in the big city, Rosemary gives him a kiss and then asks Fletcher if he's jealous. Long story short, or rather, not telling you E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G, I got an instant hard-on in the next five minutes of the movie. You'll have to see it to figure out exactly why.

So, needless to say, I was replaying the movie over and over in my head as Eric and I walked out of the theatre.

Yet, the night wasn't over... because when Eric dropped me off at the parking structure, I couldn't find my car. I looked on Level Five where I'd thought we parked and where Eric had said we'd parked. I looked on Level Six. I looked on Level Four. It wasn't there.

"Surely, someone didn't steal my car?" I thought... and so I went to Level Eight and began walking downwards, circling each level... until I made it down to Four. My car was no where to be seen, so I called Eric to tell him as much and to ask if he'd come back. I mean, I had no way to get home (other than a cab) and I had no idea what I was supposed to do in regards to calling the police and such.

So, anyway, Eric talked to me for a couple minutes as I continued looking then the digital cell phone cut out. When I called him back, he said he was turning around and would be back there shortly... and then he suggested I try crossing over as parking structures sometimes have one way which goes up with the other way going down. I knew what he meant as when you enter my parking structure at USC via one entrance, you either park on first level or the third level, but never on the second and the other way you always end up on the opposite floors.

So, I crossed over and began going back up the ramp... it still wasn't there... until magically, it was. I called Eric back to tell him that I'd found my car and to thank him for coming back to get me. He called me back a little later to see if I was still ok "as I sounded pretty freaked out" when I talked to him. I was freaked out... but I survived... and didn't feel too idiotic about it as I did look very extensively for my car before thinking it had been stolen.

Anyway, it turned out to be a really nice night... full of memories.


May 27, 1998 - Wednesday


As I wrote a couple weeks back, I started a weekly newsletter called Friday's Thoughts.... When I was writing the May 15th issue on my way to Las Vegas, I half-seriously suggested a "Meet Justin In Las Vegas Convention" just to see what kind of response it would get. Well, it was far from all 300 subscribers writing back to say, "I'll be there," but it was still enough that that weekend is now a reality.

Yep, you read it right. Come Thursday July 30th, 1998, this diary will be transcending into the real world in a major way... in Las Vegas! And I'm pretty darn psyched about it.

At the very least, it'll be one heck of a diary entry... and at the very most, it'll be an absolutely fun weekend. I've got the itinerary planned and have done the preliminary hotel searching. All that's left now is for YOU to make your travel arrangements and get to Las Vegas.


May 30, 1998 - Saturday


Yesterday was pretty darn sucky... so sucky, in fact, that I couldn't motivate myself to write about it even though I had the time.

Basically, the "fun" started on Thursday when I had a majorly hard time trying to come up with anything coherent and worth reading for the newsletter. It continued through Friday, though, after I responded to an e-mail from my high school friend Amanda, which she'd sent earlier in the week. Long story short, I'd bought her a barebones 486 used computer from an online auction and upgraded parts of my computer to give her the parts from mine that hers needed. Of course, trying to make a computer work with used "where the heck are the drivers?" parts wasn't an easy task. In fact, I couldn't do it and so, I gave the computer to Larry's computer guy so that he could fix it.

At least a month later, maybe two, after harassing the computer guy repeatedly to please get the computer working or simply return it, he gave it back, in working order. A week or so after that, when the income from the web site got deposited into the bank, I had the $200 more I needed to get her a monitor and so, I sent the computer and the $200 on its way.

She got the computer and eventually got it working, eventually being within a week from when it arrived... but her whole attitude about it pretty much pissed me off from the start. I mean, sure it took a really long time for me to get it to her from when I first told her about it, and yes, it wasn't a super duper fast Pentium II, but I harassed the computer guy the only way I knew how, it was certainly fast enough to run America Online (which was what I figured she'd being doing at least 85% of the time it was on) AND I gave her $200 cash for the monitor. Instead of the daily e-mails she'd promised before she got the computer, I got complaint after complaint about what wasn't working... stuff like the CD-ROM drive wouldn't play audio CD's. "Why the hell would you be using the computer to play audio CD's?" I mean, sure, in a perfect world, your computer would play audio CD's, but it's soooo much more than a CD player. Why focus on that not working?

Anyway, the next thing I really heard was that her computer just up and died one day and that her gay friend in Colorado, where she now lives, came to the rescue by giving her one of his computers after he spent days trying to get the one I gave her to work.

Needless to say, by this time, the gift of the computer was much more a headache than it was worth and I was glad that someone else was there to deal with all the problems. In fact, by this point, I pretty much wished I'd never given her the computer at all.

Of course, I didn't say anything like that to her.

Then about three weeks after she sent an e-mail to me, Larry forwarded me a letter she'd written to him in which she said, in part, "Write us back some time, now that we have a computer that runs we will write more often."

That was just the icing on the cake and the slap in the face that I needed to really just say, "Fuck me for being nice." "Now that we have a computer that runs" That was it. I'd had it, school was bogging me down, and I wasn't taking the time to write her the nasty e-mail to say what I thought.

And so, Friday last week, I got:

OK, you aren't in school now so what gives.  We never hear from you.  I call everywhere...you are never anywhere.  Send you e-mail, but NO response.  What's up?  Try taking a look at a different perspective...it looks like you are ditching us.  We miss you, and think of you often.

So, this past Tuesday I wrote back:

Hey You Two,

What gives? Well, to tell the truth, I was (and am still a tad) pissed. I mean, I gave you a computer and instead of the daily e-mail or the thanks, mostly all I heard was bitch and moan about how parts of it didn't work. It was sort of "Screw you for being nice." I mean, ok, so it didn't work the way it was supposed to... or at times even at all, but you knew the crap I went through getting it and I did give you $200 cash for the monitor, and well, the last thing I remember is you sending a letter to Larry saying something to the effect that you'd e-mail him more often "now that you finally have a computer that works." when you got your gay friend (Jason's?)'s. It just sorta made me not want to give anyone anything for a good while... and so, combined with the oh-my-gawd-I'm-busy-ness of school, I didn't write back. I figured you'd figure it out sooner or later.

So, anyway, that's WHY I haven't been writing.


I don't know what I was expecting back... not really an apology, but at least an explanation. Instead, I got:


Well, I guess you said it all in a nut shell. It is now my turn. Never were we ungrateful about what you went through. I repeatedly expressed my thanks to you in person (which is the way it should be done, it just seems more sincere that way don't you think?) Did you want us to fall at your feet? And, thanks to the computer you sent, Jason was nice enough to trade the computer he had built for his brother so we could have a computer without any worries. I was having medical problems the last time we talked, and I had a lot on my mind. Let someone tell you that you could have cancer and see how you react. Then I was working a lot, and trying to contact as many people as I could before falling asleep. You have no other worry on your mind than school and writing in your diary. Well, we have a lot to worry about, and the last thing I would expect was that you were playing a petty game. I should have known that something like this was going on. BUT...silly me thought you only played games with other people. The ones who didn't give you the full attention you wanted, or didn't praise your every move. Well, I was ALWAYS there when you needed someone to talk to, or someone to be on your side. I'm guessing it is because I am NOT a guy that I am not worth the time. I thought a friend was someone you could always count on without having to worry about the frivilous things. I was here when you called and needed to talk about all of your "problems" (i.e., Larry, and the guy that happened to have your attention at the time). When I called you to talk about me and what [was physically wrong] you told me that if you wanted to talk to me you would call. At the time I should have thought selfish, but I didn't. WHY??  Because that is you and I have learned to accept it. It breaks my heart to think a friendship I felt was strong has now come to this. Lack of maturity?? Your guess is as good as mine. So am I sorry?? Yes...sorry for what your e-mail said?? NO!  Sorry that this is our friendship......


"You have no other worry on your mind than school and writing in your diary." That was the line that really stood out. Again, screw me for not having it rough enough. Screw me for not having the financial worries of newlyweds and for not having medical problems (that I know of.) All I've got to worry about is that stoopid school and diary stuff.

Still, wanting to speak my mind, but not wanting it to get too much more out of control, yesterday I wrote:


Well, the way I see it, we can either bitch fight for a while, or move on. Personally, I'd go for the later, but it's up to you. I mean, I can either go out and buy a cross to mail you so that you can put yourself on it for "ALWAYS being there" and take it to the next level or not. I mean, really, I didn't expect you to fall at my feet, but I did expect a little appreciation... especially coming from the GIRL who said that she was going to e-mail me every day. Had it been Scott instead of you, I would have felt the same way. I mean, even though he has access to the computer at his work WAY less than you have one in your own house and even though he has his share of financial problems with two kids and two jobs and all, he still finds time to write more than you do... This is not a pissing contest of "Who writes the most" I'm just making the point that it's not because of your gender that I got pissed. Hell, Mom's e-mailed me three or four times more than you ever did in the less than the month she's had WebTV. Sooo... this is only about your getting the computer and knocking it off as nothing. I mean, really, you're STILL talking about how expensive the remote control watch was that you bought (for me for Christmas) who knows how many years ago. So, please, don't give me crap about my wanting more adulation than normal or than you. I mean, and now your criticizing me because I don't have financial problems? Once again, screw me for something good. Sorry my life isn't as rough as yours and that I ONLY have to worry about school and the diary. That may be petty to you, but it's quite a big deal for me... ask Larry. There were many times this semester when I was this close to a total breakdown.

So, I don't know what else to say... except what I said before, we can either move on or go to the next level. It's up to you.


She didn't write back... but I did see her unsubscribe request for the newsletter. So, combined with the foolhardy sucky time I was having because the newsletter sucked this week, I had the added yuckiness of this to deal with.

Then, later in the day, I was working on updating my sheet of names, addresses, and phone numbers. I hadn't updated it since I met Chris from Baltimore, so when I was adding his information I decided to give him a call. We talked for a few minutes, but it was like it just wasn't there... we just didn't click like we did when he was here, and so, that lowered my mindset even more.

Of course, kicking a dead horse, I saw Curt's name on my sheet and decided to give him a call as well. We talked for a bit and it was good to hear that he was in a better mood than the last time we spoke and was actually checking out the personal ads for a possible date... but then he got on his computer and was having an Instant Message chat with someone while we were talking. I don't think he's ever called me since I've lived in LA, but when I call him for the first time in say six months, he can't even give me his full attention and instead is umm'ing his way through while he types.

Talk about feeling like I was the King Of England. Amanda pretty much hated me, Chris talked to me, but sorta had a take it or leave it attitude in regards to me, and Curt couldn't even give me his full attention when I hadn't talked to him in forever. I mean, I don't know how I could feel more special... and so, I got wasted. I drank some amaretto and some vodka and managed to forget it all... well, not forget it, but not really think about it.

I was asleep shortly thereafter... and thanks to Larry's love of me, in a much better mood today.

You know, it's days like yesterday that really start me wondering about everything... Why do we all bother trying to connect to one another?... What's the whole point of everything?... I mean, really, why are we all here? Why do "All good things come to an end"? Why does "No good deed go unpunished"?

Why? It's the three letter question that rarely has an answer.

The only thing I know for certain is that days like yesterday make me appreciate my mom and Larry all the more. In fact, yesterday I actually had the thought that if Larry and Mom died, I'd be completely alone without anyone to talk to. That thought is so terrifying that even now, when I write it, I'm somehow not perceiving it. It's as though I've shut it out of the realm of possibilty in a method of self-defense.


May 31, 1998 - Sunday


Well, like I mentioned about four paragraphs ago, my mood was much improved, though still slightly stoic, from when everything initally went down on Friday. Today I'm pretty much fine... just sitting around the ranch house, taking a nap, and watching The Simpsons.

Earlier today I placed a $99 bid online for a video camera/video capture card combo. My intention, if my bid wins, is that the camera will serve as a webcam sometime during each week during an interactive chat. I'm really trying to make this site more interactive while still maintaining some sort of life besides it.

Anyway, perhaps you'll be seeing me (in a near real-time manner) soon

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© 1998 Justin Clouse


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