This first part is miscellaneous; i just wrote it while thinking about Ethan. or something like that.

Wake me up when October ends. The leaves are about to change colors, or should be according to normal weather patterns. But unusually warm weather is probably going to delay the ceremonious change from green to red, yellow, or orange. And I frankly don't care if I never see it again -- I like to think that I am choosing my own destiny at this point, and it just coincides with the fact that the destiny I choose will shortly reflect the destiny forced upon me. Actually, I am on the verge of not believing in destiny any more.

this next part, i wrote while sitting in the waiting room at the hospital with dan and friends. i found it appropriate to write about a dying man whil sitting in a hospital. 4 hours, ali, 4 hours. (there is more that goes at the beginning of this, but it isnt typed yet. it just describes the other useless news broadcasts.):



I can’t bear to listen to anymore.  I am in pure agony – this is my Hell: watching Channel 4 News.  Or any news program for that matter. 

“Fuck you,” I say to the screen, as the news anchor dives into some bullshit story about the dangers of pumpkin carving. “Who the fuck cares about fucking pumpkins?”

It’s a sign that the news has gone to shit when all that they can report on are teenagers drag racing and ideas for a “fresh and safe Halloween.”

I attempt to flip off the television set, but I decide that it takes too much energy to move, so I settle for more swearing. 

“You fucking cock,” I say to the news anchor – the fake looking one with the pasted on smile and perfect hair. “I’m going to fucking kill you if you mispronounce his name.  Fucker.”

My body dislikes this last exertion, and I am a bit short of breath. I never used to swear this much, but my situation warrants it. A dying man should be allowed to swear.

A dying man should be allowed to do whatever the hell he wants. 

I want the television off.  I would say that I could die a happy man if the television was turned off, but this isn’t entirely true. At this point, though, it is damn close to what would complete my life.

Outside my door, I hear a nurse messing with some charts or something.  The television is still on, despite numerous attempts to will it off telepathically. My brain is starting to hurt, on top of the perpetual pain that consumes most of my withering body. The most effort that I can possibly exert comes down to groaning as if I am in excruciating pain.

With less enthusiasm than I would have liked, the nurse comes strolling into my room.

“Hi Ethan,” she says somewhat smugly.  “How are you doing?”

“Martha,” I say. “I am in excruciating pain.” I don’t think that I need to fake a pained expression.  “Help me.”

“Where does it hurt?”

“Martha, my brains are melting right now.”

She raises an eyebrow. “Oh, are they?”

“Have you watched the news lately? Do you see this?” Appropriately, the Channel 4 News is reporting on a suspicious looking man they found on the side of the road.

“The dead man was carrying condoms and whipped cream.  Where he was going is not known..." the television reports. “Up next, learn how some parents protect their kids from the evils of the world – Home school, the Safe Haven.”

“And what, pray tell, do you want me to do about this, Ethan?” Martha asks.  I detect a hint of sass in her tone.

“Turn it off, Martha,” I plead.  “Please.  If you don’t turn it off I’ll rip out my IV.”

I am serious.

I will rip out my IV if she doesn’t turn off the television.

Luckily, Martha and I know each other pretty well, and she can tell when I am being serious.  The television shuts off with a satisfying click.

“I love you, Martha,” I tell her.

“I know you do, Ethan.”

Martha shuffles away in her shiny white tennis shoes.  Her shoes are always shiny white.  I don’t know how she keeps them so white. Or why.  It’s not like anyone besides me looks at them.

She comes back with some water. “Dr. O’Connell will be in soon.”

I sip my water silently.  I have mixed feelings about Dr. O’Connell.  I only rarely have doubts in his medical ability, but his bedside manner is peculiar.  Some days he comes in and tells you flat out that your chances of survival are dismal.  Some days he comes in and makes conversation and tells stories and is your best friend – and then he tells you that your chances of survival are dismal. I have experienced both sides of the doctor a couple of times each, hence my doubts in his ability.  It’s a strange feeling knowing that you surprise your doctor when you wake up each morning.

I wonder which he will be today.

An hour passes with no Dr. O’Connell.  I take the time to contemplate how and when broadcast news started downhill.  It can’t be a sudden thing, but I definitely did not notice it as much when I was a journalist.  I was incredibly narrow-minded sometimes; oblivious to how my colleagues where shitting around bringing the whole field with them. Narrow-mindedness in the field of journalism – that was supposed to be one of my best attributes.

I must have fallen asleep briefly, because when I wake up, Dr. O’Connell is checking out my chart. I can’t read his face, as usual.  I bet he flips a coin to decide whether to be friendly or blunt with patients. 

“How are you feeling, Ethan?” he asks with a vague tone.  He looks up at me over the tops of his square glasses. 

My eyes meet his.  I still can’t read him.

“I’m just dandy,” I say.  Not completely untrue.  I am awake and that counts for something.

Dr. O’Connell talks sports with me for a bit. Today is a friendly day. 

“You look tired,” he says to me.  His tone has turned more serious.

I nod as best I can. “My energy level is noticeably lower than usual. It’s the difference between being able to flip off the TV news people and having to settle for just swearing at their fake faces.”

“At least you still have your wits,” he says, almost light heartedly.  I agree.  My first concern when I was diagnosed was that I would lose my brain, my intelligence, my wit. So far, my mind is as sharp as ever, but each day there presents a new challenge. Fatigue takes more of a toll on my mental capacity than anything else.

Dr. O’Connell brings up my numbers. Apparently they don’t look good.  And when it comes down to it, the doctors have decided that my chances of survival look dismal. Again. 

But I am already in a bad mood, so hearing O’Connell’s vague bullshit sets me off.

“Give me a time limit,” I say to him.

“Ethan, you know how I feel about that,” he replies in his doctorly manner. “I can’t give you any kind of time frame and be comfortable with it.”

“Bastard,” I say roughly. “You and I have been doing this long enough.  I don’t want to hear that my chances look fucking dismal.  Tell me I am going to die and tell me when.”

I pause to catch my breath, and Dr. O’Connell squirms in his white coat. I glare as best I can. 

“Tell me, damn it!”

He sighs loudly. “I’m not promising you anything, Ethan.”

“Fine, you don’t have to promise anything.  You can’t think that I actually believe what you doctors tell me anyway.  I have been in and out of here enough times to realize that there’s nothing more that you can do for me. But damn you, you owe me this.” I pause again, this time coughing. I attempt to turn on my side, and have every intention of continuing on my tirade.

But O’Connell gives me a time period.  Nine months.

Martha hands me more water. I want thank Dr. O’Connell but I don’t know what for.


so yeah. that's it. i just kind of wrote with an idea in my mind of how that was all supposed to be, but i dont know if it matches with what you were thinking. i think that maybe i am still in jackson-mode, and i am making ethan sound a lot like jackson, which is not what we were going for? their personalities are different, so their voices in the novels should be different...idk. i just wrote because i couldnt concentrate enough to do my chem lab write up.

[oh yeah. i got a 70 on my chem test, which works out to a 3.0. eh. bad. not too bad. idk.] 


(no subject)

we need to make a character named Moose in IronicallyDismal. he should be ethan's bestfriend or something. or else the unexplained nickname of his love interest. LOL.

working title: IronicallyDismal

IronicallyDismal -- Outline



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premise: "let's write our next novel about some dying idealist (literally, who has cancer) who gets sick of all that bullsit, so he buys his own tv station to broadcast his own news. He's living off of his parents' insurance, they both died 2 days apart 5 years ago or something. so he's like martyring himself to provide america with the knowledge that its being brainwashed. of course there would be some interest -- a girl (no boy this time)"


ethan: a 36 yr old journalist who is dying of cancer and decides to illuminated the ignorant of america by broadcasting THE TRUTH on his own television station.

Ethan is strong and apathetic on the outside, scared shitless with many reserved feelings on the inside

~has difficulty expressing himself and what he is feeling about the disease that is killing him

~he's very like enthusiastic about what he's doing, it excites him, it's probably the only thing keeping him alive, but he doesn't want to share

~enjoyed being a journalist while he could and resenting having to give it up


~is very possessive in nature

~he's very smart. like, honors program as MSU smart. lol




first person, present tense


Chapter One: in the hospital, ethan listening (cursing&spitting) to another completely useless broadcast of the news; he has just had a relapse of his cancer>>background info about his illness, etc. appears in this chapter>>doctors tell him he has only 9 months left ["the dr says he has 9 months. and then it falshes to ch 2 and that's like 3 months later. he's FINALLY better again, enough to get out of the hopsital."] so he's like "fuck thearpy groups. i don't need to go cry on someone's shoulder about this. fuck it. this is what i'm gonna do with my nine months"


Chapter Two: skips ahead 3 months; this is ethan planning and getting his shit together for the tv station. uses his life savings and the insurance money from his parents' death (but the source of his money is unknown in this chapter; everything is vague and he just buys the tv station. parents' death is known at this point as well). talk about his former journalism career and ow much he hated giving it up. searches governmental websites for ideas for what to broadcast; like him just being so sick and tired of seeing like "MRS STEVENS' DOG WAS THEN FOUND BEHIND THE BIG OAK TREE....", and "THE SEVEN ELEVEN ROBBERIES ARE SUSPECTED TO BE GANG INITIATIONS......", "THE DEAD MAN WAS CARRYING CONDOMS AND WHIPPED CREAM. WHERE HE WAS HEADING IS NOT KNOWN..." {>>ali, those headlines are going into the novel verbatim. lol. <3} chapter 2 defines his goal in having his own TV station: to educate American society with what really matters, and he does this out of his newfound insight about life gained from the fact that he is dying


Chapter Three: hiring + background on his possesive personality. only hires like 6 ppl to work with him.


{more to be outlined later}




other things of importance:

~Ethan remains a mystery to everyone he works with; no one knows about his cancer, they just think he is always tired and run down because of the insane amounts of work that he takes on; he never turns down a story that he feels is important (like a true journalist)

~through all of this crazy research, he uncovers some huge scandal (to be determined later?)

~ppl, after initially resisting his form of media, start to rly like it; and they protest to other stations, boycott them, demand that these other stations (ABC, NBC, FOX, etc) stop brainwashing America and the other stations are like "WTF?!?! let's get this guy"

~then they start investigating him, turning him into the martyr because he is dying, which is exactly what he didnt want (which is the reason that he didnt tell his co-workers that he was dying)>>he is exposed that the martyr even though he didnt want to be, and when he dies the world remembers him as this great influence and the American public is thus still brainwashed by the media's spin on his death

~ends with like tom brokaw or whoever on some tv station reading his obituary and being like "he was truly a special individual, and he will be missed" and like fake-mourning his death for the sake of ratings even though they hated him.

~Ethan's biggest enemy is a mesh of all the major news anchors

~the big new is the one who tried to ruin him; they hate each other; and then when ethan dies, its like this big news anchor is then delivering this poignant speech about how great & important ethan was, and how they were friend etc (ridiculously hypocritical) but of course he does it for the ratings and no one knows the difference


~so the whole thing is like to educate ppl and lasso him working out his feelings of dying, of his own mortality, and he finally is ok with the idea (I guess towards the end) of him being peaceful and happy with his life, with his accomplishments, etc. he channels his emotions about dying into productivity because he doesn't want to deal with dying\



~like in CO&UC, i want to write in some ppl that we know.  well, ppl that i know, because you havent met them>>like Dan the Cripple, and Alex the Drunkard. LOL. yeah.




i got your letter today. <3! i love your novel idea>>a dying idealist who buys out a tv station to broadcast his own news. lovelovelove. let's do it.

i think i am going to save writing about my freshman year for nanowrimo, even though by november the year isnt even half over....oh well.


im not bitter

seeing as it is already september 6th, we are running late.  late, ali, late. hah.

i had a wonderful weekend that needs to be translated into part of a novel, because that's how amazing it was -- forget canada, im talking about getting stopped at the border crossing back into the united states by a bitch of a woman.  two azn chicks and two white boys.  priceless.  my favorite questions that were asked of me include, "so you went on a trip to a foreign country with people that you've known for a week and a half? you do know that canada is a foreign country -- its not ohio or illinois." "who in the car smokes pot?" <<to this one, valentine wanted to answer "your mom" but luckily decided against it. otherwise we probably would have been held there overnight. which would have been loads of fun. other close calls include, but are not limited to the fact that alex had his older brother's id in his wallet (which was searched by the bitchy woman) which is a felony, and that we had a rather large water bottle of rum in the back seat of the car, which was searched.  my duffle bag was also searched. fuckers.

so anyway, this needs to be incorporated in a story somewhere.  if you have any ideas for the rest of the story and/or some kind of plot, that would be cool, because i cant get over the incident itself. lol.

how was your labor day weekend?


(no subject)

so i changed the layout. im not sure that i like it, but i dont know how to change it to something better. of course, this is after i accidentally changed my own layout a few times. took me fucking forever to get it back. oh well. its cool.

i think our word count/page numbers are different because we both have different copies (you dont have chapter 7, and i dont have chapter 2) so, when put together, we have somewhere around 62k and 91 pages? maybe. just an estimate.

our new king looks like the queen:

Meh. Don't know how I feel about this shit.


I'm trying to think what else needs to be explained/covered. More about Jackson's job, I guess. What's the name of the company he works for now? Do you want me to write like, the interview there? Or...? I guess it's kind of explanatory.




“What do I do now, Amp?” I ask her.

My pure-white cat came inside today soiled and stained with dirt and mud caked into the roots of her fur. She seemed quite proud of herself. Now I’m rubbing her with a damp towel that I would normally use to dry myself when I come out of the shower. She also seems to be enjoying the attention, as if I don’t pay her enough attention.

“What would make you want to romp around in the mud?” I question in disbelief.

I throw the dirty towel into a large sack of other dirty clothes that I need to wash this weekend, and then sit down on the couch.

“Amp.” I say her name and she looks up at me.

“I have something to tell you,” I start.

“Come here.” I pat the cushion next to me, and she jumps up and makes herself at home with her two paws on my hip and closes her eyes and purrs as I scratch under her chin.

“I lost my job today, baby,” I say.

She keeps purring, and I don’t know what I realistically expected her to do. Give me a guilt trip, or yell and scream like The Girlfriend. Something more than act like it’s nothing.

“Sometimes I forget you’re just a cat,” I say. “Not to be insulting.”

She keeps purring and I pet her all night until I fall asleep on the couch.

When I wake up in the morning, I realize there’s nowhere for me to go. I realize there’s nothing else for me to do but move on. And no one to help me do it.

I figure I should find myself a job so that we can keep eating. Not having a high school degree really sucks at times like these. techTron to a chance on me, hiring me based on my supposed skills and the weird connection I felt with my interviewer the first time we met. I am infinitely lucky that I got a job there in the first place, and I owe them all my loyalty. But however dedicated I was to the company, I am now jobless , incomeless, and just shit out of luck.

Through no fault of my own.



I pace around my room, leaving tracks in the rug and drinking all the orange juice in the fridge. I put in two loads of laundry and sit on the dryer while they’re drying. I sit and think about what the hell I’m going to do.

Spurred by the heat under my ass, I grab the paper and look through the wanted ads. I can submit my resume to one of those secretary-fill-in places; a temp agency.

I have more than enough money to last me comfortably for a few months (or even more) and my rent is up to date and I’m not in any immediate danger. But without a job, without a habit to fall back on, without something to keep me going day to day, I feel lost.

I grab a pencil and start circling anything that looks promising.

I feel like I’ve been ostracized from utopia; I’m Dante, and there is no more Florence. Fucking Eve ate the apple and now I have to suffer. I refrain from sticking my head in the oven. I’ll figure something out.

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you're never too small for our attention (you watch tv, while we watch you):

(jackson losing his job)
hmm. not vastly different, but it definitely makes more sense now. don't know where to go from here. of jackson's life events, i've covered most of them. them meeting (laundromat/starbucks), TGF's house, jackson losing his job. should i mention where jackson's house is? the only thing that follows this can be jackson walking home and him talking to amp (first description of amp, i do believe) and talking about what they're going to do, and him reassuring her thereby reassuring himself.

anyway, let's meet for coffee and talk about it. hahaha. just kidding.




It’s a shitty, humid day in early September, and The Girlfriend and I are sitting outside at a restaurant of her choice in celebration of something trite, sappy and mawkish like an anniversary or whatnot. It’s completely uncharacteristic reasoning on both our parts, but The Girlfriend has gone on a new spiritual cleansing and needs to make amends with me. Maybe she’s an alcoholic; I wasn’t really listening.

Right now, however, she is lecturing me for not using my napkin, like the proper orangutan she knows I am inside.

“It’s just a fucking napkin,” I say. “It doesn’t matter if I itch my mouth with or without it attached to my hand.” My words are a little snarled as they leave my mouth; overly angry. Other people in this sidewalk restaurant are turning around to see what’s happening, like we’re the fucking soap opera of their daytime TV.

“If you wipe food from your mouth, you should use a napkin!” she restates.

“And when I do that, I will!” I argue. “I wasn’t wiping food from my mouth, I was just itching it. I had a fucking itch, ok?!”

I realize I’m probably a little more upset than the situation should call for. There is a pause between us that’s loud with tension and barely-caught accusations.

“What the fuck is the matter with you today?” she quietly yells at me.

“Nothing,” I not-so-quietly yell back.

“Why are you making a scene for these people?” she indicts me. “No one here thinks you’re a good guy. You kept me waiting fifteen minutes. I called you three times.”

“And I’m sure they know that.”

“They saw me waiting by myself.”

“Whatever. I don’t even give a fucking shit what these fucking affluent socialites think of me. And I certainly don’t care what they think of how I itch myself. I can fucking stuck my hand up my shirt and itch myself all day long if I want.”

I don’t even know what I’m talking about anymore.

I lost my job today.

techTron went under. Budget constraints were dragging the company down, investors were losing all faith in the final product (if there even was going to be a final product), and the whole thing stank of poor leadership or a money laundering scheme that likewise turned sour.

It has not been a good day – it hasn’t really been a past two months. The stresses and anxiety of work have taken their toll on me. I’m sullen, unhappy and whiney.

It feels like my dreams have gone down the drain with this company. I’ve lost the best thing I ever had. I lost my stability. I lost the thing I depended on the most. And not even because I fucked it up, but because some asshole who graduated from three different schools with more degrees than I could hang on a wall fucked it up for me. It’s not even my mistake. It’s not fair.

The whole day reeks of life, and not in the good sense of living, but the homeless, unwanted, problematic smell of death and dread.

This fucking city and its denizens. Its fucking way of life.

I don’t know why I naturally blame the city. But it’s at times like these I feel like I contribute to the mood of it. Like those websites that have “the Internet is feeling:  tired right now” on the front pages, because some asshole webdesigner somewhere thought it would be funny to personify the Internet.

I could have been that asshole if I hadn’t just wasted three years of my life at techTron, only to be fucked over with no benefits, no health insurance, no parting package, just a boarded-up door on the building where I’d spent 16-hour days for the last two months trying to make someone else’s dream come true so I could keep eating.

These motherfucking cunts just make me want to cry from disillusionment and disappointment. I feel like I’ve been dumped. Betrayed. Abandoned. Gutted. I’m severely offended at this hand life has dealt me. It’s shitty; it’s fucking shitty.

As I open my mouth to tell The Girlfriend this, she starts, “Jackson, it’s one thing to act childish in private, but in public, you should act like the civilized baboon that I know you are deep down.”

“Fuck this,” I say quietly.

I stand up, fold my napkin purposefully over my chair, and walk out. On my way out, I take care of the check, and then I walk home. It’s a long walk, but I have on sneakers, so my feet are okay. The Girlfriend yelled at me for wearing sneakers as well.

We seem to be lacking the spark that generated interest in the earlier months. We’ve been together five months, and I have one of those new-founded respects for married couples that reach their golden anniversaries together.
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