i'm working on a poem. it begins with old, tsarist Russia (troika=trinity), goes into Soviet Russia, then into the rebirth of Orthodoxy. so far, it sounds like this:

immediately, immediately
red lesson
second gathering.

and another, same style:

to talk among
to arrive
to shout
director of time
he looked

i'm going to Triad's homecoming game tonight. it's a highschool in Troy, Illinois. i'm going to have fun!

i'm going to get into scrapbooking. it's basically what i'm already doing, with journals (my paper-ones), but with art. :)


i simply want this next week to RUSH by. i want it to be Oct 4th, so i can get in my car and DRIVE and DRIVE. i'm going to Pensacola. i'm stoked. it's going to be fantabulous. i'm going to the Navy Birthday Ball!!!

i went running at the indian mounds again. this time i took my roommate Carly and my friend Tom. it was nice to run with other people for a change.

i am tired. sleepy.


yesterday was noneventful, although i did go for a run at sunset. i like running around the cahokia indian mounds. there's something mystical there, something empowering. there's nothing like being on top of monk's mound (the biggest one) and being able to see all around, with st. louis in the west, the mississippi river snaking along to the south, and the bluffs in the east. i feel like i'm in an upside-down bowl because the sky is so perfectly domed around me. truly, i feel like i'm in the center of the world up there. it's best to be alone, too.

then i came home, received TWO letters at once from someone in Pensacola -- :) -- and then read a little of "The Bear and the Dragon" by Tom Clancy. i thought i should read that novel. i was asleep by 2330 and didn't wake up until 0830. yeah, i know. i slept too much.

now i have to go to "History since 1500" --- ugh. i usually sit and read in this class. and the teacher always calls on me, especially since he knows my name out of the fifty other students.


Parks Guard Rifle Drill Team (yeah that includes me) marched in Dwight, Illinois' Veteran's Parade today. i was in the color guard, carrying the US flag. i was so proud. i love that feeling.

here's a really adorable poem my friend Valerii wrote for me. he's taken only one year of English, and it's such a good poem...

The sound which the forest gives
On a cold day of September
When the wind rustles by leafs
It brings me a word – Amber.

isn't is sweet? now i need to write one in Russian and send it back to him.

i felt like a boy today, in uniform, with my short hair and the black beret.


biked a lot today. fun. tired. i want to go running (*gasp*) but my ankles won't let me.

cut my hair today as well. spiky. it's about an inch long all over. i like it.


my physical was postponed until Tues.

here's a haiku:

the boy screamed out loud
(cantankerous fiesty brat)
--but he stubbed his toe!


Thursday. I woke up this morning feeling calmer than usual. Kind of Enya-ish. It's a nice change. However, I do not feel like going to class...

I feel like I'm forgetting something. What is it?

I have my AF Physical tomorrow. For commissioning. I hope they don't find anything wrong with me.


This summer I met an old man on a Greyhound bus leaving Biloxi, Mississippi who said something so obvious I had never before stopped to think about it. “Honey,” he said, “there is something every single human-being on this planet is guaranteed, and that is that there are twenty-four hours in a day.” I sat there in the darkness as we rode to Memphis and thought about it. Obviously, he's right. That is, unless a person does not know how many days or how many hours are left. As soon as we realize our “guaranteed time” is up, everything changes. Our sense of immortality crashes and we realize how fragile each individual life is.
Obviously, I have never died, but I have dealt with the death of someone close to me. My Uncle died suddenly of a heart-attack this July. No one could believe he had died because he didn’t have any symptoms and he was healthy. My life was as it always had been, and I was absorbed in my petty, daily problems when I got the call that was so undeniably permanent. That was what made me realize the finality of death.
During the first week of his death I stayed with my Aunt and watched everyone’s reactions. My Aunt would drift between moments of stability (“We are women of strength, Amber. We have to be practical.”) and moments of such painful sobbing I was afraid she would suffocate. My Grandparents were angry because he was their “helpful, good son.” He was only forty-seven years old, with a left ventricle that blew out. My mother cried the whole time, more often than my Aunt. My cousin, their only child, disappeared. He would be with his girlfriend until everyone had gone to bed, and then leave early in the morning only to work all day. He needed to keep busy.
I was not surprised at anyone’s reactions but my own. I could not cry. I could not even make myself cry. I ran errands, I microwaved the pot-luck that had arrived, and I ran miles and miles at night with the dog just to get away. I was calm, but concerned with my own rigidity. Uncle Larry was dead. He had lived well, and I knew it. There wasn’t anything to be done but move on. I was afraid my austere reaction would get noticed. Everyone talked about him being in heaven, and how he’d “gone home.” I didn’t think of his spirit being in any specific place. He was just dead. On the Fourth of July, three days after he died, we lit tons of firecrackers. As they exploded beautifully into the stars, my Aunt yelled out, “how do they look from up there, Larry?” It startled me. She really thought he was in heaven. I became afraid to let anyone know what my feelings were because it would hurt their image of him and of me. As I walked around the house on glass, I wrote down how I felt. After the memorial service, my mother and I drove back home to South Carolina where we were able to conveniently continue on with our lives and with our twenty-four-hour days.
What should a person do when someone else dies? I could never answer that question. I know how I reacted, but only in that situation alone. If my own father were to die it would be different. I do not believe anyone can prescribe a label to anyone’s manner of grieving. Every single member in my family reacted differently once they were over the initial shock and disbelief. They all dealt with his death as they needed to, on an individual basis. This way, they have been able to move on. Everyone recognized Uncle Larry would want them to have a good laugh and remember him doing just that. My Aunt Linda is alone now, and is certainly not happy, but she will live. It’s what we do when we’re not dying.
When the man on the bus talked to me it had been over a month since Uncle Larry died. I thought about him and how he spent his hours. I thought about myself, and the hours I have left alive. Now I think about death often, and I know it’s coming to everyone I know. Why must we die? I do not know. I do not have any beliefs that explain that. Sometimes I wish I did. What happens when people die? I cannot say, and I don’t think anyone can. It cannot be proven, so far, that anything does happen, and in reality, there is no use thinking otherwise. While we’re alive I believe we should remember the dead by how they managed to weave themselves into the pattern of life, and into humanity. We waste time thinking anything could have been avoided. We cannot bring them back.
Again I ask, why must we die? If we did not, we would not be a part of this Universe. Everything in it has a span of life, and on our planet we have hours. Am I callous if I think this way? I sound unemotional, but I am an emotional person. I love life, and I attack it like a hungry person does the feast. I have faced death myself, twice, and I was calm. I was also totally numb from anything, most likely to protect myself. Now, I am as full of fire as Lance Armstrong. I know I will die. I also know that right now I feel invincible because I have, as I said, started to attack life. I am happily gluttonous. Uncle Larry was as well, and it was that much easier on everyone else to know his life was full. He cannot come back, but it hurts less knowing he loved his life. I want to be like him. Every moment I have, even if I’m sobbing in the loneliness of my darkened hours, I will be living. It’s what I want to do.
i wrote this last month, when i was in Monterey. now that i'm online again (as of yesterday) i can post it....

For Greg

Were you happy
When you were a street kid?
Liberated, running on the
Roofs of Monterey?
Sleeping in Alcoves-by-the-Sea?
Hungry but meeting people
Who shared,
All the time knowing
All the time thinking
Of me
Warm and clean but restless
Not in a ’79 Mustang, curled in the seat
But Fusz Hall, a private room
Running in PTs with a pack
Who could not share (but would protect)
My thoughts.
Were you happy
When you were a street kid?
Because I tried to kill myself
In the preppy village on campus.


may i have an early commission please? i am ready to go kill someone.

who are we declaring was upon? "war of the 21st century"


ps my friend Zany Matt has been ignoring me. he will pay.
i am working on lyrics for some music Matt left with me before he went to OCS. it's harder than it sounds because i have to come up with most of the melody too, and he only left me a bit of the music. it's fun though.

my flight is now the "Echo El Caminos." quite fun, if i do say so myself. we're paired with the Delta Desperados. Low Rider....

i've been eating nothing much. slim fast. it's not fun. air force requirements, and i'm too heavy. i ran this morning, too. running is more difficult when you haven't been eating as much.

i'm reading a book about Naval Aviators. it's been handed down to me with instructions, "read, so you'll know what i'm going to do."


second week of school starts tomorrow.

st louis is nice... 80degrees. the canoe trip was great. blah di blah.

i have a new pair of snowboarding shoes on at this very second. i've suddenly been handed a free pair. i have a feeling that i will soon be spending money on winter sports as weel as my biking passion. starting this may i will have the money for all of my materialistic tendencies. i've never snowboarded before. if i'm lucky and i get to go this december, i will find out if i have the knack or not.

oh yeah. PFT was saturday and although on the situps and pushups i didn't push myself, i kicked butt on the run. hear that? i actually pushed myself those two miles. thanks to Iveta, of course, who ran with me.