The Next Village
(26 July - 4 August 2003)

4 August 2003
[from Clovis, California]

-In a somewhat bothersome note, I am apparently gaining lots of weight at a high rate of speed.  At last count, I was pretty much confirmed to be over 140, yielding the shocking realization that I have gained more than 10 pounds in the last 6 months.  The previous 10 pounds took me about a decade to gain.  This once & for all proves that my stomach, recipient of 98% of this weight, is indeed getting fat.
-"Owning Mahowny" is a beautiful case study of gambling addiction, presented as accurately as possible.  If you're looking for more than that, though, you probably won't see much in the movie.
-Anything beats driving into the sun.

3 August 2003
[from Clovis, California]

-Megan (Dean, now my official niece) spoke to me!  Like Miranda Gray was for many many years, Megan has been someone in my life who has never said a word to me, despite my being around a fair amount.  I guess Megan, just having turned 3, is in a slightly different category of shyness, but I'm digressing.  Over a game of foosball against Megan & my nephew Paul V, Megan just started chattering away to me.  Now she won't stop talking to me, but that's certainly an improvement over being ignored!  Maybe she was just waiting for me to actually be her uncle...
-Life just got much, much easier.  Little pieces of paper can do a great deal.
-Pinochle is a strange, strange game.  Reports of its similarity to bridge have been greatly exaggerated.  Nevertheless, it's pretty fun & is the Casa Garin special after all.
-Nothing brings out the subtle differences between Em's & my perceptions of temperature like this house!

2 August 2003
[from Clovis, California]

-I am still extremely weary of driving.
-I would say that my comfort level with the whole family has increased by a solid notch or two.  It basically feels like the past year & a half has been a gigantic family interview of me, & that after the wedding, there's nothing more they can influence, so the interview's over with a successful result.  Not surprisingly, it's an incredible relief to have nine people no longer interviewing me.  An incredible weight has been lifted & I think it's making everything more comfortable.

1 August 2003
-Ended up having a 5-hour interview at Seneca.  Most of the intricate details are covered under a confidentiality agreement that I signed, but I can say that I spent a lot of time with kids there & that after the first hour of "regular" interview, it was a pretty tough process.  I was basically thrown into a situation with kids & adult supervisors as though I were another supervisor but without any training or much knowledge of the rules.  It was fun, but exhausting.  & now I wait again, confidence renewed that this would be a good job for me in zillions of ways, but also knowing that I could really use the job training that everyone gets.
-When people get so tired that they wobble, it amazes me.
-Amazon has finally started selling Loosely Based!  They are making some fuss about it being a hard-to-find book, but I think that will clear up once they sell one or two of them.

31 July 2003
-"Northfork" is two movies in one, spliced the way that a Ray Bradbury story outlines with drunken antics in the editing room.  One of the movies is as advertised in the preview (for once, the preview movie is better than the movie), a wonderful story about a bygone era & some great characters.  The other movie is a surreal subplot that is poorly explained & hopelessly bizarre.  I'm not sure Em & I have exchanged so many befuddled looks at any time since we last debated together.

30 July 2003
-Em is becoming an expert at eluding jury duty.  Though this time was a straight-up time conflict with her once-a-year PIRG job training in Beantown, so it's a little different than their dislike of her having strong opinions & a history of persuasion from last time around.
-Em has this series on the six wive of Henry VIII that's allegedly an old BBC classic.  There are 6 90-minute films (9 hours total for those scoring at home) on each wife.  She has had these for at least 6 years without watching a minute, so we decided to start.  Em was hoping they'd be in more of a documentary format, instead they've been rather film-like.  But they're still interesting, & I was inspired to see them after visiting the Wax Museum in Victoria.

29 July 2003
-As the saying goes, the honeymoon's over.  But as Ryan Suarez wished us on his puzzle piece, may the honeymoon never end!
-Got dressed up in the wedding gear & brought a bit of the wedding to Em's maternal grandmother who couldn't make it to the ceremony.  She was very excited by it all, though this was a repeat of a stunt performed by my now eldest siblings-in-law.  Isn't it crazy that I have in-laws?!

28 July 2003
-Home again, facing a mountain of things to catch up on.  We sprung the cat out of her long residence in boarding & she seems to remember everything.  Probably will have an interview in the next 36 hours.  It's incredible that I haven't been on a computer in basically 2 weeks.  A fair bit to read & write, especially questioning my publisher as to why Amazon & friends have yet to actually be selling my book.  But right now I just want to kick back a bit.
-Reading my entries from the honeymoon as I've been retyping them from my notes, they sound a lot like a travel guide.  It's pretty funny.  Also funny is that I'm on the verge of having 3 full months on this page without archiving.  Plus of course the Search & Stats weekly updates are lagging well behind.  You know, the things that really matter.

27 July 2003
[from the Coast Starlight Amtrak Train southbound]

-The conversations of kids are sometimes amazing.  One of the benefits of growing older is getting to hear perspectives of younger people that are still well-developed.  It's nice not being the youngest person to think deeply about things in a situation like a train ride.  I realize that sounds strange & possibly pompous, but it feels true.  I guess I'm just used to being "the kid" in environments like that, & hearing much younger people demonstrate great intelligence is uncommon until recently.
-I dare you to find a person on this Earth who can play more card games without a break than my wife Emily.  I certainly can take myself out of the competition.

26 July 2003
[from Seattle]

-Pat Nichols got us excellent seats for the M's game & Megan Wernke of old APDA fame came along too.  The M's beat Texas 4-0 behind a 3-hit shutout from Joel Pineiro.  An all-around wonderful experience.  Then we spent ages in the team store resupplying some of my favorite clothing.  I still think the current jacket has another year left though.
-The 4 of us also proceeded to the Pike Street Market region.  I have no idea when I'll see either Pat or Meg again, let alone Pike Street Market.  But it was all a good time today.

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