Empty Days

Saturday, September 25, 2004



My suicidal friend turned out ok - a bit of good news :-0




Speaking sedentary.

Surviving to myself is pretty much the more constant state with me - I wish I rather had to survive to catastrophs and terrible or banal disasters instead of this tedious unending effort.

Imagery: Tantalus reaching for the fruit - forever and ever, in vain. Hunger and drought. Watching distant constellations from a city street flooded with dull electric light. Leaving a party before wine is served. Amnesia.

I walked a thousand miles and barely moved one step - how's that possible? No matter - it just is.

*

The turbulent nagging feeling somewhere in the solar plexus is the physical manifestation of this state - I do regret that our civilization completely denies the fact that this turbulence in the body, all these mighty waves rocking the boat on the inside, are directly sitted in reason - and that mind and passion and humours or shakras or god knows what else are all one and the same. Our latest stupidity re this emerged with Descartes - who was simply able to express it more clearly - but it's been there for so long it's a shame to think of it.

The inability to accept the unity of mind and body is the founding principle of western civilization - Socrates be damned, as he was nothing but a more complete Descartes, expressing and glorifying this fundamental stupidity, dancing on the grave of being. Nietzsche was perfectly right to call him an ugly difformed dwarf (or something worse, heh) - redeeming lack of life with denial of life.

Can't get away from this, ever.

*

All those half-baked dwarfs out there with their big brainy heads. What a picture! Yet it's our world. Bill Gates is a bastardized applied version of Socrates. Warts and all - eat it.

*

But let us suppose "gods" have willed it this way - in which case my laments are nothing but erruptions of bad humours. And so they are indeed - ask F.N., heh.

*

I am waiting - for clouds to pass, for mind to spring back to life, for hope to arise in some yet another absurd form. I'll take whatever comes by - if I can reach for it from where I sit.




Dereliction of duty.

This world has some structure and I got myself out - where is the world?




Joe Gould's Secret.

What a fine fine movie. Finally gods had pity on me and sent me a little food for the soul after a couple of days of aridity. Ian Holm, who is one of my favorite actors out there (The Sweet Hereafter), fills his character to the last nuance - it's a feast to watch this guy, especially in such a complexe gaping role as this.

In fact it's a study of a certain type of inner tragedy, folly, and dereliction that forces some individuals to live a life of misery and glory all at the very same time. The man is clearly mad - and brilliant - and hopelessly doomed - and loving. Quite an impossible man in fact - almost barely human and yet fighting to stay human.

I've met such people - they're full of emotion, they're open, they're hopelessly broken, they cling to life, they trust, they lie, they love. They usually end up in the looney house because that's where they essentially come from in the first place - from a world broken into madness, that can only be lived and never understood.

Basically it's about the truth of life and just how much lies it sometimes takes to just survive to that truth.

There was another film dealing pretty much with the same type of personality - called "Henry Fool" (directed by the famously marginal Hal Hartley) - which also dealt with art or myth as the saving lie and force of life - and personal inspiration.

When you run into such people in real life you are always their fool because you are too dumb-by-birth so as to be willing to see through their blossoming lies all too soon - and yet those wanton fabulations are so much more vivid than your own little idea of reality. It's madness, yes, and the looney house looms in the background - but your own backstage is nothing but a vast feckless prison. So? Hope and desperation - all in one package.

Friday, September 24, 2004



Intangible practicalities.

A week to go to october 1st - next cheque. I got less than $100 left on the account which also means it will blow a bit with the upcoming electricity bill. Not a big deal. It only gets rough when by the end of the month the balance drops to zero.

*

So i never did anything about that idea to go apple-picking. Just as I never did anything about anything else in the end. And why the fuck is that? that's because I can see nothing at all beyond these seemingly worthwhile activities - it's a wall out there and a boundless emptiness - and why push for whatever if the road ends in a ditch?

This is a description of what it feels like to have no faith - got nothing to do with doubt, it's basically just like looking at a wall.

*

Kierkegaard was saying something somewhere about how a desperate man is simply in need of possibilites - the only thing that can break despair is a sense of possibility. He wanted to invent it for himself - I am not sure he was able to, for all the books he wrote about this.

*

"May the Lord have mercy on you" - said they and shot him dead.

*

These overtures to people through online chatting was probably quite an instinctive survival strategy. When you feel closured and emprisonned in a maze of endless dead-ends, searching for people is equivalent to searching for rescue - something to breach a passage through all those walls inside yourself. People have life in them and a mind of their own - the possibilities there extend beyond what you could ever imagine on your own. Just touching on this sense is something of an overcoming of the closed mind.

At the same time you can never get enough of that sense - because you can't really get through either to yourself or to others. What sustains me imposes the limits of what I can grasp - and when this sustainment itself is precarious and limited, it becomes a swamp of my own that pulls me back every time.

*

What sustains me? I simply don't know.

*

The great rule though is that the more you are able to give out the more you get back, and never the other way around for some reason - Richard Rose the mystic guy talks about this as a matter of experience. This somewhow correlates with the dynamics of never focusing on result while engaged on some task - not expecting anything beyond the process of engagement. I guess this is the way one gets to open up - almost unknowingly, just by expending energy and desire without exactly knowing why or what for.

I always interrupt this process in myself by getting selfish out of fear - I immediately lose energy by doing this but I can't seem to get away from this fucking bad habit. Basically it's like this: when you imagine you can somehow "manage" your relations with people and the world in general, everything gets interrupted - because of course you can't, as all this is far greater than yourself, beyond your control.

What comes about of its own is a gift - and what you are able to give away is a gift too. Because oftentimes you can't.

*

Kafka was about a million times more intelligent and perceptive than I and he was able to express these things to a depth I can hardly even grasp.

His greatest intelligence was in the fact that he could tolerate not to understand - he could not understand people and instead of rushing into stupidity by replacing reality with a small battery of preconceived ideas, he sat there in the midst of his woeful incomprehension and he looked at it with eyes wide open, without blinking. This is how he created some freedom in himself.

This is a rare art - entirely humane.

*

I've been waiting for my time all these years - and yet the door is open. Why can't I enter into the kingdom to make it mine? It's already mine yet I dare not enter.

(parable of the guard and the law)

*

There are strange things about lack of will, procrastinantion and what the world prepares for you. There is an imperceptible correlation somewhere there - it is called "luck", or coincidences, or possibility - ultimately fate or destiny.

The only thing I can see is that when I finally cast my dice the number that comes out is not predictable - the very casting of the dice is not predictable, even though it is seemingly only a matter of effecting will at any given time. The problem with this whole thing is that we think of everything only from our own perspective - that controlling mind yet again. But how can you control results that emerge from the world as it meets you at every step?

If I had gone on my bike-trip sometime in July (which is something I blamed myself for due to lack of will or procrastination) I would not have met the people I met (who left a definite impression and changed some things in my thinking), and perhaps would not have seen any wild animals (as that french guy said - that in July there were too many people everywhere), and would not have had the trail all to myself as I did for lack of tourists at the end of august.

It would have been entirely different - if my will was nothing but a motor-engine so I could start it up any time I wanted and effect any of my reasoned plans without any hesitation - how would my will and my reason be related to the world then?

There would be no relation actually.

I guess that's why it's so hard for some very rational people (and I am basically suchlike myself) to understand such a simple concept as intuition - that one might be able to listen to the distant echoes of the world evolving, of the upcoming future and its unforseen consequences, right inside one's own mind. Basically against one's own reason and its plans - understanding that the will is not regulated only by reason...

There is such a thing as esoteric psychology - as if the "science of the soul" could be anything but esoteric :-0

*

All this is not a very deep insight - I am not able to see further though because I am perpetually afraid to allow raw experience and observation.




Scheisse.

I feel for that poor guy out there - don't know what's happening with him. People are struggling in their own hell all over the place, it's just amazing to what extent there's just no way to do anything about it. I suppose I am not the most compassionate and generous person out there, but it's kinda hard to just completely ignore what's going on - no matter how useless that feeling might be on the whole.

I have a strong sense of having literally sinned against that individual by denying him mere openness. That's all it takes - openness. It's a sort of unwitting charity without all the self-consciousness. It's always been my problem anyhow, that I can't tolerate being needed - which is basically why i have such difficulties with having people in my life. So I don't have any for any significant length of time. I guess this is just one of those things - and I can't forsee it ever changing, unless I become something else myself.

Thursday, September 23, 2004



Lullaby for the rotting corpse.

I left my cat outside yesterday all night long - he didn't want to come home when I called him, so I decided to just leave him "out in the cold" (though it was actually a very warm starry night). This morning feline cries under the balcony finally woke me up and I realized the poor cat has been out there ever since dawn, wondering how it is I wasn't yet serving him breakfeast. Heh. Now he's kinda upset with me and also happier than usual to be back inside. Right - that was the idea, basically.

*

I have a bad feeling about missing out on so many wonderful days - it's indian summer right there and I am not moving. There is something desperately stupid about this inertia but apparently there's just no way I can do things right.

*

One of my bad teeth is playing tricks on me - I am again faced with the boring and bothersome task of feeling out for a dentist I could at least trust and count on in the future. I am deathly tired of all this but I have to do it and I can't postpone anymore.

Did I say I really-really hate dentists? Right - I hate them because they're a bunch of greedy fucks - and to find a human being inside that pile of mercantile crap is something of a desperate prospect. These fucks go to dental school to make huge money by screwing up people's body parts - the vast majority of them should really just learn to sell cars or something, as in any case it's a less utterly inhuman way of making a buck.

Goddam assholes.

A root-canal costs upwards of $350 for one canal and as you might well know quite a few teeth have 2 or 3 of those goddam canals. Extracting the nerve is perhaps a delicate task, surgically precise, but actually it's a pretty boring skill - you just sit there and fiddle inside the tiny canal screwing out bits of that tiny rotting nerve until it's all out. Basically it's just boring actually - the less skilled you are the more time it takes. The more humane dentists are the young ones - and that's only because they're so unsure of themselves, taking too much time and all. Once they've grown into their element their real nature transpires. Hopefully some of them still stay human - I just need to find one like that.

I might have to pull out that tooth though - however it will probably mean that the same thing will soon happen to the tooth next to it, for lack of support. It's a rotting range out there, what can I say. I am not sure what to do about this. Either put it on the credit card or borrow from my parents - whatever.

*

Another rotting realization is that this whole bike-trip idea has lost some of its more fundamental purpose - the dream of liberty it afforded is now gone for good, all that remains is the hope for a temporary relief. Yes, it's very pleasurable to be out there, to smell the earth and the air, to be away. But it doesn't lead anywhere farther than that bit of pleasure. And that's why I can't pull myself together and hope in it like I used to before I went and came back.

Desire based on pleasure is never sufficient for me - I don't want to enjoy myself merely, what I crave and long for is a way out, a new life. And I don't know where to look for it once again.

*

One of my newly acquired online contacts turned out to be suicidal. Well - what a surprise. I hope it doesn't rub on me too much because, fuck, it's not my life and there isn't much i can do about it. It's a coincidence like that - when you run into people who are desperate, it's because they've somehow needed some relief and you happened to be there on their path. So i guess one is obligated to everything that occurs during one's presence in the world - even if it's only online world.

*

Whatever happens will happen - I just have to take it in stride.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004



And here it goes again.

Went to walmart and got another sheet of tarp - blue but with a dull silver ligning - which is what I am going to use for camouflage. I suppose I'll have to go back there if I want to get some serious rain-suit as opposed to the thin vynil thing i've been using on my last trip - the funny thing with vynil is that besides keeping rain out it also admits some inside as a sort of inexplicable condensation - well pretty much the same condensation as under the tarp sheet during night-long rains. I was lucky i wore nylon pants under the vynil ones because they sure got all wet in there - none of this was ever a sweat problem.

I guess one line of vynil is just not enough - though I don't remember any of this happening with plastic bags, for instance (like my shoes stayed all nice and dry under grocery bags). Perhaps instead of looking for anything water-proof i should just wrap myself in garbage bags? Or get a piece of really thin plastic they use to cover the floors while repainting a house. I am not sure how this shit works but it may just be that vynil and polyesthere tarps are too porous compared to just plain plastic.

Food for thought - i am going to do some october riding, can't count on no-rain-ever situation.

*

I also think I will manage with the sleeping bag and wool blanket I have even without a mat (I looked at those rolls of foam at walmart - they're insanely huge, not at all something I can use on a bike). I guess I will wrap the tarp around the bag with myself in it, and the tarp will already be in several layers at least. Oh mother Earth be kind to me! Do not freeze me to death out there, please. Looking forward to near-zero night temps.

*

One problem is that I don't really have a fall jacket except for some pretty heavy leather things that i would hesitate to bring on a long trip. I have a down jacket of small stature yet bulky - it might work fine for evenings and nights but during the day it will likely be way too warm. Right. I saw pretty cool warm-yet-light stuff at walmart but this shit goes for $50. Just forget about it already, heh.

Shoes? Still those very same canvas sneakers. Hopefully wool socks will save the situation - if I travel all the way to really chilly temps I will likely buy something on the road with credit card.
Bad idea maybe. I will take a look at the salvation army store tomorrow - just in case some gods of the universe really care for that next trip of mine.

*

Besides that I am pretty much all set. Yeah, those rear-rack bags of mine are a bit of a pain in the ass as the capacity is very small, but I'll manage, I guess. And you know what? When those experienced world-travellers tell you "take 2 shirts and 2 pairs of socks max" - they actually mean it. Taking one more is useless. I wore the same t-shirt for several days and when I changed it, all I had to do is take a moment and wash that first shirt. Right - what else do you need, really? Same thing for underwear. As well - it is actually true that syntetic underwear washes faster and dries faster. It's also true that it gets smelly faster. But I guess it's still saving some space only to take two pairs of all that first-layer stuff. A bit of stink on the trip is nothing new - as long as you're the only one to notice, you're in the acceptable average.

However I am sure I will still experience packing problems with these bags - even if I take the strictest minimum. Such generally insignificant things as a wool cap that is a bit bulky as opposed to a wool cap that is thin and stretchy - it makes a difference actually. And when I first thought I might take that big thermos with me for early morning coffee? It might require a third bag all to itself. I might consider adding a front rack for such a luxury (though wouldn't it be nice etc - no, it wouldn't!).

*

Oh yes - the tools. Right. I've been stupid about tools. I gotta take *one* screwdriver, one *small* wrench, and a tube repair kit. That's it that's all. All the rest is superfluous and adds "enormous" weight. It's true that i've been using those additional screwdrivers as tent-stakes. But there might be a better solution to that. On the other hand cisors came in handy a few times and I only took a very light aluminium alloy pair with me - from the cheapest dollar store out there.

Other essentials: candles, zip-lighter fuel to start campfire in wet weather, small pocket torch, twine rope, matches, *spare tube new*.

*

On this trip I will have the luxury of a generator and head-light for night-riding. Don't know where I will go with it but days have sure gotten shorter since august - might come in rather handy, as I don't see myself going to sleep at 8pm just because I can't move and got nothing better to do.

Do you know that it gets pretty lonely at night when you're in the dark, all alone in front of that campfire? Not to mention when there is no fire at all. Sleeping is the only option - basically.

*

Surfed a Finnish hiking site where they advise hikers to make sure their campfire leaves no trace by cutting a large piece of surface ground and actually roll it over - to put it back in place over the fire spot the next morning. I don't see myself doing that - maybe earth is different in Finland. Here you can't just roll it away like some lawn sheet.

Actually, now I know I can make campfire on the lawn or in the field - all it takes is some fresh grass over it to hide any trace whatsoever (animals would still be disturbed by all that smoke of yours, so no point being too particular here).

*

Life is short - I intend to live some of it now - and we'll see for later.






Runes - Sol




Monday, September 20, 2004



Skybound.

Went out to do groceries. Rush-hour, metro spitting out harrowed crowds. But - the skies are open high and wide. And I am skybound.

I am - I laughed from the joy of being able to.




Last spring I was so convinced I was going to off myself shortly I didn't fill out my tax forms - the one useful purpose of these forms has been to give me back some of the federal sale taxes in 4 installments of $50 each over the year. It helped to pay my electricity bills which are bi-monthly. Now no such cheques are forthcoming. So let's just say I still managed to die a little - paying bills posthumously, heh.




In the end I don't like preachers - I prefer people who have a problem with themselves - it makes them think.




Another critique of the same article:
For strategy I look not to political movements like revolts or strikes or radical parties, but to cultural movements like gay liberation or feminism or pagan spirituality. First define a clearly understood identity, then proudly claim that identity, then build public acceptance through entertainment and by each of us earning the support of friends and family outside the movement. I'm envious of gay people -- I've spent years mastering written language just to halfway explain myself, and all they have to say is "I'm gay."
Oh yeah? Poor guy - don't you see this whole "I am different" crap is just another prison? But of course you don't - if you're out to reform the world then of course you need a clearly defined program and an "identity" to impose yourself. But in that case just quit babbling about freedom, my friend. There is no freedom in enslaving yourself to belonging. Gay identity is mostly about having sex in the way they like. That's a bit short-sighted, I figure - there is slightly more to life than that. Similar for feminists, pagans etc. You are looking for something to define you and give you a place in the world. That's usually why people join various ideologies - to get that place for free, de facto. That got nothing to do with any sort of freedom but simply security. Bullshit, man, serious deep bullshit here.




Resentment, by F.N.

From an essay called "How to drop out":
This is the low-budget universe: I ride around the city on an old cheap road bike, in street clothes, often hauling food I've just pulled out of a dumpster. Sometimes I'll be on a trail where I'll invariably be passed by people on thousand dollar bikes in racing outfits. Why are they riding around if they're not carrying anything? And why are they in such a hurry?
Ok - this is not right, man. As long as you keep being upset by people on their thousand-dollar bikes you're not out of the scheme yet - you're hanging off it like some pathetic bundle of worries and you can't see past the comfy life out there. I know well how this is a problem - being secretly envious of things others have, while pretending (being "convinced") you don't need them. Heh. Gimme a break, please. Once you're truly out of it you'll love these people - you'll bless their naive gullibility because you're finally free from it yourself.

Not yet though - you're not. Hold on on the preaching, man.

I also ride around the city on an old cheap road bike and all that. And I know I am not out of it because I still wish sometimes I had a lighter faster bike to go farther etc etc etc. And I also wish I had more money to go by sometimes. And I wish I didn't have to live in this crappy area and be dependent on a thousand unpleasant things like landlord and welfare and what not. You're right - freedom starts in the head. Well - stop pointing out to how others are wrong and how you're so right etc. That's not the way, man.




I think I know what I need to do to free myself from this rut - I need to come to terms with things exactly as they are. Stop being disgusted by my limitations and landscapes here. Once I am over the rejection-mode I'll be back where I want me - that is in a mental space free enough to envision something else beyond the jail-cell.




Michel Montaigne in the attic.

This chatting business has sure taken me into one of those "other" dimensions where no man has gone before - in the sense that no man ever goes there of his own accord. The problem of extensive socializing is that it takes you away from yourself for an indefinite length of time and you basically never know where you are at any given moment while so occupied.

For one thing though it temporarily delivered me from the awful landscape I am necessarily exposed to by my still living in this goddam spot of space here. The city is vast - yet to me it is no vaster than this godawful place I've chained myself to in my own inert mind. I wish I could see some perspective here - instead all I see is that I can't move.

*

Yesterday was a particularly chilly night at 2C and probably worse at the ground level. I wondered how I would fare on such a night in the open. Probably not so good - perhaps running aroud in circles trying to work up some heat.

*

The bike is still on the kitchen table, like some sort of derelict idol, and I am still stuck in front of the computer screen. Bad lame habits develop much faster and stay longer than good active habits. I wonder why that is. My half-dead nature must be longing for a point of no-return and no-movement. I don't believe that's called balance - I believe it's called inertia.

*

How about doing some laundry? I tried - in the end I forgot the load in the dryer downstairs, somebody took it out half-done while I was away, the whole thing got all packed and wrinkled, I believe I would have to redo it all once more. And that was only "colors" - whites are still waiting their turn.

Laundry forecast: uncertain.

*

In the same vein it took me an incredible effort of organization and coordination to just cook meatballs. As anyone out there knows meatballs are the easiest food to cook - all it takes is a pot of boiling water, some chopped onions and running hot water to warm your hands while you're rolling those fucking meatballs. However the difficulty consists in not forgetting the meat in the fridge after you've brought it home from the grocery store - it might go bad. Knowing my current lack of time-sense I stuffed the meat pack into the freezer and when finally the moment came of no-food-to-eat I took it out in the hope of cooking the whole thing on the spot. Unfortunately it turned out the meat has frozen stiff and after a whole day out on the table it didn't seem any more malleable. So I put it back in the fridge and had to go through the same critical stage of not leaving it there too long.
In the end I am not sure how I was even able to coordinate and organize enough to effect the making of those meatballs that I just finished eating btw.
What I am saying is that I need to cook some more food again - I am uncertain as to how it will go this time - I am still in this awful ineffective forgetful state and all these basic elementary things seem like a complicated improbable chore.

Incredible dissipation - I don't understand how it is I am not an alcoholic yet.

*

Yesterday, in one of those strange moments of synchronicity, I turned on the tv and happened direct on that film called "My own private Idaho" - just after having talked of it in a chat. I can never explain such moments - it doesn't make sense that when you think of something it's suddenly delivered to you presto-subito from the supposed chaos of the surrounding world. How is that a chaos then?

Of course the easy argument is that it might not have resonated. Alright - but it did. And it does. And sometimes it resonates more than other times.
What is luck?
I don't know - but it's out there and it works together with your mind.

My conclusion is that life - one's own and of the world - is neither mechanical nor rational nor theoretical. It's rather somewhat organic - where improbable situations abound and are interwoven into some growing whole that doesn't really work according to any known laws. I don't know how this translates in physics but it might just very well be that it doesn't - physics and sciences being a theory all through and thus fairly mechanical in principle.
Yes, you will build a space rocket and explore stars - but you won't know how it is the rocket exploded having collided with some unaccounted minor rock - the accidental entangled nature of evolving reality is not mechanical nor is it predictable.

*

When I am unable to be driven and certain of my direction I like to draw runes. The best internet site I found is in Russian - it has some jungian ideas and though there is some esoteric bullshit involved it still gives a pretty interesting insight into how things are going at any particular stage. I tried to do it with tarot sites but they're a bit too vague and are too focused on prediction - while it's obvious that no prediction is possible if you yourself don't understand the first thing about your own life.
All you can do is interpret - and even that requires taking a stand.

I use it as some sort of meteorological station - it gives me an idea of my mental temperature and emotional state. That's all it does - I get no specific inspiration from it, or hope for the future or certainty. Otherwise the only remaining barometer is how the environment and people react to me at any given time - but that's tricky because then I affect the world too much and it affects me in return, and I get confused.

In any case I am mostly confused these days.

*

There is no question however that with me the desire to communicate is basically driven by a certain sexual energy that tries to find a way out into the open, affording dissipation. I strongly suspect that this is in general the principle of human desire to communicate - even when it's expressed as mostly intellectual activity or what not. What we call love - love of life and of people - is actually that love.

Please don't listen to christians - they lie to themselves a great deal but that's basically because they're always trying to escape the obvious. They're also the ones who discover the true meaning of things by falling into their own mental traps - and then they say it was a mistake and a sin :-0

Unfortunately we're all a bit too christian for our own good in that sense.

*

Once again: on my dying bed I will say my life has been lived in vain - and how greatful I am that I never uderstood.

*

Another film after Idaho was Woody Allen's "Love and War" - slapstick hilarious stuff, nothing very special there but I like Woody bein a silly sex-obsessed fuck. All his films are in the end centered around that one and only theme - how people fool themselves with their head-stuff. He's a sexual humanist - he declares that love rules the world.

Too down-to-earth perhaps? Perhaps not. I think he's right - mostly.

*

With these hilarious statements I am slowly getting back to myself from the chatting fields of wheat (cf. Woody). I've approached strangers on the internet and I made them open up and talk to me. I've been approached by strangers and made them welcome and at ease. Others I've scolded and told them to fuck off. Isn't that how social life is in general? Right.

*

May the gods take pity on me and let me see the light - by which I simply mean: let me do what I seem willing to do.





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