(3-12 November 2003)

12 November 2003
Happy Birthday to Aubrey Ingraham
-Having to eat on a regular basis is one of the greatest annoyances I face.  Yes, I know I should be grateful that I am able to eat.  But I still would rather that I didn't need to eat.  Not that I'm wishing to not eat again.  I just get tired of having to eat all the time.  It gets in the way!
-So do headaches.

11 November 2003
-Sixteen years after the snowplows didn't come & seven after writing a scathing column on the subject, Veteran's Day is still getting in my way.  This time it was only at the post office, but I was fooled along with an old man who was just in front of me to park & behind me to get to the locked door.  Meanwhile, Vietnam II:  Guerillas in the Desert rages on & seems to be getting worse.
-Confirmation is always good.  Getting things off one's chest is often necessary.

10 November 2003
-My motivation with my webpage is something that I'm really trying to figure out right now.  I've never been less motivated to keep it in working condition since it's advent early at 'Deis.  I still have failed to put up wedding pictures of any variety.  The graphic at the top of this page advertises events of 5 months ago.  The Search of the Week & Country Quiz stats have gone entirely dormant.  & the greatest issue of all, I have allowed almost 3 weeks to go by without uploading my updates on this very page.  I've still been tracking my time here & there, but haven't been motivated to send it to the web.  Finally I've done it today, but it seemed arduous at times.  Why the sudden drain in inspiration?  Natural ebbs & flows are bound to happen over the course of the years, especially the 3.5 years I've been maintaining Introspection on a daily basis.  But this is low tide.  & intellectually, I'm still just as inspired to post my daily perspective to a public forum.  That hasn't changed.  But something about it seems to have lessened when it comes around to actually executing on the project.  Am I getting lazy?  Feeling that I don't have much to say?  Maybe a little bit on both counts, but still not enough to explain the drought.  I'm feeling very disconnected from writing & creativity of all forms, it would seem, & while I feel very motivated to get out of that rut, I'm looking for ways to make that motivation manifest.  In so many ways, last October broke all the rules & traditions of my Octobers as energetic, powerful, mood-driven months.  Instead, I felt very little one way or the other, & creativity took a brutal beating.  Now I wait for October to strike late or, as is seeming more likely, not at all.  I need what we give the kids all the time, a refocus sit.  But one that lasts for perhaps days, rather than the typical 15 minutes recommended by the behavior modification people.  There is something amiss.
-Again, I apologize that these updates have only showed up today.  Keep reading, this won't happen again.

9 November 2003
-Today I asked one of our kids who was being silly & discussing that he was "off the hook" to go back on the hook, please.  The other staff working with me absolutely cracked up, some uncontrollably for minutes.  I didn't think it was that funny, but it can be so good to make someone laugh sometimes.  Especially when one is unsure that the person in question ever laughs out loud.
-Why I have great bursts of energy at the conclusion of 15-hour shifts, I'm still trying to figure out.  I still wouldn't want them every day though.

8 November 2003
-Had some small approximation of a poker night, but it was really short & not terribly sweet.  One of Em's PIRG friends & a friend of said friend were the other 2 at the table & we initiated our poker set that Em won at Yale last year with its first game.  We didn't play for money since Em's friend was just learning for the first time, but Emily & I still came out ahead, with Em the big winner despite losing $3 in chips for a bluff in the 2nd hand.  Was fun, but social interaction seems to be short & awkward at this age.  Or maybe it's just me.

7 November 2003
-I took the setlist of last night's show, by the way, but Stina has it & will hopefully e-mail it to me soon.  Though looking at it now, I've listed a good deal of the songs in some form or another.  Complete setlists are always best though, & I'll post it when I have it.
-I wish they made heater pilot lights so that the average human could re-light them.  Doesn't that seem like it would be easier on the power company?

6 November 2003
-Surprises seem to be a major focus of the Garin family.  I don't always agree with the given surprise (meeting Emily's whole family being a surprise comes to mind), but this one seems to have worked.
-My life took a major step toward being utterly complete tonight when I saw Simon & Garfunkel at the Arena in Oakland.  The show was indescribably amazing, they opened with "Old Friends" which began the floodgates of my crying through much of the show, most of it because it was just so amazing that I was actually seeing S&G perform live.  They countryed up "I am a Rock", making it pretty disappointing, but I'd seen it years ago in Beantown with Paul Simon solo, so I was less focused on that one.  They pulled out "The Only Living Boy in New York" & prior to playing it, Paul said very simply "In 1969, Art flew to Mexico to begin filming on 'Catch-22' & I wrote this song."  It was heartbreaking.  "Sounds of Silence" was phenomenal & shook the whole audience to the floor.  Perfectly delivered.  The Everly Brothers showed up & played their big hits & then "Bye Bye Love" with S&G.  After a while, a complaint with the show was gradually building up that it was obsessed with the Bridge Over Troubled Water album & failing to play anything obscure from either Sounds of Silence (my favorite album of all-time) or Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme (my 2nd favorite S&G album & one of the ten best ever).  This was disappointing mostly because I think Bridge is my least-favorite S&G effort & they wound up playing all but one song from it during the show.  Meanwhile, there was no "For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her", "April Come She Will", "Flowers Never Bend with the Rainfall", "Richard Cory", or "A Poem on the Underground Wall".
 HOWever, after the first encore (featuring more Bridge hits), Art & Paul returned without the rest of the 7-piece band they'd been playing with all night.  Paul stated "I haven't played this song in a concert since 1967."  Then they played "Leaves That are Green", one that would have been on the top of the list of songs I missed had they not then played it.  It was a perfect rendition of the song & turned the experience from a fulfillment of seeing a band I needed to see into an utterly exceptional performance.  To both hear that song & know that Paul had kept it on the shelf for 36 years prior to that night was incredible.  Especially considering that S&G toured for 3 years after 1967.  Wow.  They closed on "59th Street Bridge Song" & the night was complete.  Ah, joy.

5 November 2003
-Met the person who will be the 4th staff on the first-half of the week shift at our house.  She seems like she's energetic & positive, which are always good for working this job.  The week wound up pretty chill, & I continue to feel increasingly confident about my role in this job.  Can I guarantee that this means I've stopped considering switching it soon?  Nope.  But I can be pretty sure that I won't be leaving before, say, summer.  & maybe it'll even be a year or so!

4 November 2003
-Seething with frustration regarding work at the moment.  Found out that I would have to do a half-awake half-asleep overnight shift at the house on the only night out of three in a row that Emily would be home.  She was in the midst of a long drive in the wrong direction so she could be home for that one night when I was informed of this fact.  Most of my frustration comes from the fact that the on-call administrator scheduling the timing of this had a better alternative that did not involve some staff having to be awake while they worked between two full shifts.  I could explain further & seethe more, but I don't have the energy.  The insult to injury was that when I finally got off work at 9:15 (18 hours after starting work), I hit rush hour traffic (morning commute to SF) on my way home.  Ah well, I have to be back there in 4 or 5 hours anyway.

3 November 2003
-"Tom, get your plane ride on time..."
-Meanwhile, I did not get back from the airport on time (entirely my fault as I underestimated the drive time from SFO to work).  As a result, I missed the first 45 minutes of work, the first Seneca time I've missed since taking the job in August.  Which is pretty remarkable, when you think about it.

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