The Wind
(28 December 2002 - 6 January 2003)

6 January 2003
-So we're back in Berkeley & not a moment too soon am I off that plane.  The dinky commuter-plane (unmarked pure white Mesa jet) spent an hour in Denver just chillin' while we waited for "paperwork".  That's a new one in my experience, though sadly not the first time by any stretch that I've been grounded in Denver forever.  Then Brandzy came & picked us up (very nice of him) & we saw what's been goin on in the apartment under Brandzy's care.  Mostly, Pando went crazy, consisting primarily of unilateraly moving the catbox from the bathroom to our bed.  Without moving the litter & other sundries which make cat excreta more pleasant.  Yum.  There's a lotta laundry happening soon, & that's about it.  Meanwhile my computer is behaving rather strangely, in a trend that better not keep up or there's gonna be despair.
-All in all, it's going to be nice to get back into the routine of living back here, though I really will miss ABQ & the friends there & such.  I think I'll be happier to be home on a weekend... at this point, it was tough to get up the energy for work.  But the vacation was most excellent, so all is well.
-In a true testament to our neighborhood & the philosophy of non-paranoia about safety in general, we (accidentally) left the Kia unlocked all night last night on the street.  Nothing was of the many items within were disrupted, including the receipts & change that were easily visible/accessible.  I'm not about to make a practice of leaving things unlocked, but it does make me feel even better about my margin of error if I do.
-The last couple days I've still managed to be a bit sick after feeling really well on the 4th.  So I'm pretty sure I have some random head-based infection, either sinus or ear or something like that, because I've been unwell (at least not 100%) 17 of the past 18 days, which is easily 3 times as long as anyone should be sick from one illness (well, other than something really major, but that's not the point).  This feels a lot like my ear infection from spring '01 when I just didn't get fully well.  Blargen bjorgen.
-Pursuant to a prior promise, 2 weeks worth of Search of the Week are now available for your amusement.  I'm now caught up on that front & just need a new graphic.

5 January 2003
[from Albuquerque]

-The next time I see Megan, she'll be married & I'll be married.  But 'twas good to see everyone in fiancee status & hang out & realize that we all spent the new year in roughly the same place without even knowing it.
-Fish just left my door & I'll be seeing him again about the time I'm about to get married.  He did drop off my former entry, though, & for old time's sake, I'll reprint it here as previously alluded to... There are moments I have in life, often when listening to music &/or among friends, when I see all the open possibilities of this crazy life (or any crazy life, which they all are) & I KNOW it's going to be an adventure.  & it's going to hurt, & the heartache will damn near kill me, but it doesn't matter, because I'll live.  It'll be a life lived, no matter what.  & that gives me something a little like confidence.  Or at least a bucket of faith.
-The page has gotten its big year-in-review boost.  The 2002 page should be enough to get you started... the big features are (again) the best 5 books I read this year & my favorite 5 films released this year.  You'll also note that I did some archiving.  Next up on the meta-list is making a new graphic for the top of this page & getting current with the ol' Search of the Week.
-A few hours left in Albuquerque.  It doesn't seem like it's been that long, & it'll be quite a while till I'm back.

4 January 2003
[from Albuquerque]

-Saw "Bowling for Columbine" again last night, this time with the parents, & it's arguably better the second time around.  Truly an amazing film.
-More people to add to the list of folks I won't see till I wed.  That's just crazy-talk, but it's true, so true.
-Last full day in Nuevo.  I just about miss it already.  Berkeley's great, but I've really gotten attached to this city & state.

3 January 2003
[from Albuquerque]

-Last night a whole slew of us went bowling, with 9 people actually rolling.  Before that, though, Jake & I played some truly amazing Ms. Pac-Man, yielding my highest score of all time (82,030) as well as my best distance run ever (past one level of Act 4).  Emily was very scared by how animated I got about all of this, as were many bowling alley patrons, methinks.  When it was bowling time, Fish, Schneider, Emily & I took on Jake, Gris, Eliaii, Anna, & Leah (Anna's younger sister), & beat them 3 straight matches.  In 4 games, I averaged a 157 with a 195 high-clean-game.  Emily averaged a 101, which may be her top average, though her 119 high game was well short of the mid-150's game she rolled a while back.  Fish opened with a 197, setting his all-time high.  Schneider rolled lots of near-200's that he was disappointed with, & a 205 that I think he was even more disappointed with.  Eliaii joked with everyone.  It was a good time.
-People came over for cards after that late last night & we had bridge & Maui-Maui.  I probably won't see Jake again till my wedding.  There will be more cards tonight I hear, but Jake's on a plane back to Georgia.  This crazy hello-goodbye life.  So much fun when we get those glimpses of yesteryear.
-The 2002 year-in-review section will be programmed soon & should be up on the site before we return to Berkeley.  But we'll see.

2 January 2003
[from Albuquerque]

-Spent another night in good old Lost Dutchman State Park with everyone (only 7 now) in the tent, then packed it all up & headed east.  Suarez, Lauren, Draper, & Tara took off westward & we (Fish, Em, & I) argued about CD's & tracks on the way back on I-40.  I failed to stop at the Giant Travel Center in Refinery, NM for the first trip past it since 1984.  We sang a lot.  "You're gonna make me give m'self a good talking-to."
-I wrote this great note down amidst hearing a Vertical Horizon live track in the car on I-40, intended for this page.  It was about seeing life as a string (sorta the way Jake put it on his senior page so long ago) & being able to realize that even through heartache & pain that's inevitable, of losses unpredictable, of all the stuff that life hits you with, I realize that I'm going to be okay, that I'll have people as supports & my own will & everything else.  That life has a beauty that's hard to kill no matter what gets dropped on it & that's the whole idea.  This is how we survive.  I'm afraid the actual thought at the time was much more eloquent, but it's still in Fish's car, & very little gets out of that in one piece.  Maybe I'll reprint it sometime if it all works out.

1 January 2003
[from Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona]

-We did a pretty great thing for New Year's Resolutions, where we drew names out of a hat & made resolutions "Secret Santa" style.  Fish got Draper got Peter got Tara got Emily got Lauren got Suarez got Fish.  & then Alyssa & I drew each other.  I told her to climb a Chilean mountain during her upcoming semester in said country.  She told me to finish ADO, publish LB, & if all that failed, become an announcer.  Good stuff was said to all.
-After that, we all ended up in the largest of the 4 tents & then (after a brief story or 2) we all (9 of us) slept in said tent.  New meaning to camp-bonding.  Everyone's legs were in the center of the tent & heads were against the outside, making a stack of sleeping-bagged legs quite high at the center.
-Exit Alyssa & Peter.  One more night for the rest of us.
-A lazy lazy day.  No hiking at all.  Almost everyone nursing some stage of illness or at least soreness.

31 December 2002
[from Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona]

-The last day of a great year.  Will it be a great day?
-Went up a pretty serious trail into the Basin of the Superstition Mountains.  Suarez, his friend Tara, Alyssa, Draper, & I went up, then we did some rock climbing that tested my limits at such skills.  That yielded a great view at only moderate risk.  Then Draper & I continued up to the Basin (1.6 miles up with a 1000-foot gain in elevation) while the others came back.  Now I'm sore but very pleased I didn't fully face-plant into that cactus.
-Ultimate frisbee.  Bleh.  At least I got to announce & ref rather than play.
-A Mexican restaurant & random bar in Apache Junction later (told you it wasn't serious camping), we're all around the campfire waiting for the New Year.  Pretty sweet.  See ya, 2002.

30 December 2002
[from Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona]

-We have spent one night in the shadow of the Superstition Mountains, after picking up Fish's DC friends, Peter & Alyssa.  There's a fake mining camp, a restaurant advertising Dirtwater, & the largest Wal-Mart ever nearby.  Not exactly remote camping.
-When out of gas, the Marina will bail you out.  For $2.25 a gallon, that is.
-Too long since I've been hiking.
-Hey hey, the gang's all here.  & getting rowdy!

29 December 2002
[from Albuquerque]

-Late last night, Gris & Anna intoduced us to a (vaguely) new game, which they call Maui Maui.  Essentially, this is the Calvinball of card games, wherein the rules always change & never make much sense, but you always break them.  Everyone liked it a lot more before Emily declared that the near-winners had to name a college starting with the letter M that was in Miranda's top 331 colleges guidebook.  The game also makes you scared to ask questions (any questions) for the next few hours.  It's Orwellian.
-So in a couple-few hours, we're leaving for the sands of 'Zona.  It's a much wussier camping trip than I originally expected or hoped, but maybe that's good since I'm still sick, Em's been chronically tired, & Fish is just getting sick.  We're meeting up with 3 UCSD folk & 2 people Fish met in DC a couple summers back.  It's car-camping with day-hikes, which will mean some hygiene & notably lack the everything-you-need-on-your-back feeling that I so enjoy.  But I might not have been up to that anyway.  So we'll be back on the 2nd sometime.  Updates from the intervening time upon return.  Catch ya next year.

28 December 2002
[from Albuquerque]

-That takes a lot of gall, doesn't it?  Or does it, really?  & in the end, do I care?
-I am gradually learning what sinus pressure & sinus headaches feel like.  They're way different than migraines & until this week I'd only had them for something like a composite twenty hours of my life.  Hard to say if they're better than migraines... I'm less used to them for sure, so they probably feel worse because of that.  Mostly like one's entire front half of one's skull is about to shatter.
-Not surprisingly, I'm in a much better mood when my head doesn't feel that way than when it did...
-How I love TriplePlay Baseball 2001 (among Em's gifts for me for Christmas).  It doesn't have Ichiro, but it's still a very fun game.  There are too many fun games in this world.
-My Dad broke the FindYourSpot city quiz.  They told him to live in rural Florida, or maybe some other rural towns in the South, or perhaps Ketchikan, Alaska.  Only Miami & Jacksonville were on his list that you've even heard of, & he wouldn't really like Florida at all.  He did check every religion except Scientology on the nearby religions list, so maybe it thought he wanted the South, though I didn't know the South was high on Hindus, Muslims, & Buddhists.  Especially 5,000-person towns in 'Bama.
-Crazy Lobos games.  Those were about the best seats in the known universe though.  I also finally got to see Jaque, possibly (I really hope not) for the only time in a long time (my wedding, I guess, would be next).  But maybe when we get back.

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