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December 30, 1996, Monday

At the Rising Sun Bakery I started work on the illustration of a rising sun for the top of the outdoor sign. I was using acrylic paint bought at deep discount from Follette's Bookstore on the Corner and at inflated prices from Studio Art near Trax. The colours used were bold and complementary: turquois sky and hot orange sun. A group of parents and their bratty stick weilding ADD children annoyed me as I wrapped up work for the day.

The weather couldn't have been better for painting outdoors; the sun shown brightly and temperatures were in the low seventies. As I know from the Storm of the Century and other phenomena, this was not a typical early winter's day on the Piedmont.

At 8:30pm my sleep was arrested by Jen Fariello, who, along with her housemate Amy, had stopped at my house during a planned first-ever jogging outing. Jen is very forceful, aggressive and even somewhat manipulative when she knows what she wants (thus her reputation for being somewhat of a bitch, which, if you read the definition, is not an insult). In this case she wanted me to tinker with her computer. I was, however, still sleeping, and desired to remain so.

The hopes of Jen and Amy for jogging soon were dashed against the shores of vice and they ended up drinking beer, smoking cigarettes, watching a Madonna movie and hanging out with housemate John and one of his male friends in the living room. I joined them after a couple hours. My beverage was vodka and Echinacea. One might conceivably make light of Jen and Amy's failed jogging attempt, especially given that it all turned into unhealthful activities in the end. But it occurred to me today that I myself get very little excercise these days. Most of what excercise I do get comes from walking a couple blocks to and from work and then walking to the bathroom to pee every hour. Other than that I sit and type or netsurf or I sleep. I'm going to get a gut and hemorrhoids if I persist in this physically degrading lifestyle.

I watched some Washington DC local news with John and his friend and found it rather amusing for some reason. Apparently there is a strong incentive for news organizations to make their news interesting in urban areas. There isn't the incentive and thus there isn't the talent to do the same for local news in the Shenandoah Valley or even in Charlottesville.

I went to Jen's house to fix a problem with her housemate's e-mail, which I'd screwed up last time I was there. I also played around with her scanner's SCSI (scuzzy) addresses and, just as I had given up, it scanned perfectly! Success was ours. Jen made a few comments about the Bakery sign that I will probably ignore. It's in my hands now, and in the absence of freedom of expression it is doubtful it will end up being any good. The day I have to pay careful attention to what my client wants will be the same day I earn the market value of my work.

I feel kind of bad for not seeing Deya much on this, her winter break. I can at least watch her move in this HTML-table aquarium.

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