Paths of Victory
(11-20 May 2004)

20 May 2004
Happy Birthday to Stina Robison
-Yesterday the Big Blue House was joined by Paul IV (Em's brother) & the acclaimed John Dolan for a night of board games.  It was a great time.  Paul may be coming over a lot on Wednesdays & Dolan is here for the whole summer!  Good times, good times.
-Fish has a great deal of control over how much he works.  Sometimes work can include running errands & then doing the NY Times crossword with me at his office.  Which, incidentally, we nailed completely.
-What a kickball game!  A triumphant 6-2 win, our biggest scoring & biggest margin of victory ever.  The other team had been 4-1 going into the game as well, while we stood at a mere 1-2-2 (the last column being ties).  I had 2 hits, Fish had a 2-run double, & Em would've gotten a hit if the first basewoman on the other side hadn't been blocking the baseline.  When we had our 5-run 4th inning to come back (again!) from down 2-1 to take a 6-2 lead, every single person on the team was screaming & jumping up & down.  It was a wonderful experience.  Kickball gives you that rare chance to feel like you're good at sports when you never really were.

19 May 2004
Happy Birthday to Guen Mesco
-Yesterday was my first day in quite a while not being in a funk at work.  The last 2 weeks have been slumpy for everyone.  Maybe it's just that I've been listening to Great Big Sea in the last 36 hours & their outlook on everything is so sunny.  It's a band I probably never could've liked before the past couple years, but now I may just be ready to embrace.  Either way, I anticipate that it's a rough Wednesday ahead, as my boss will try to crack down on the slumpiness.  Slumpiness, by the way, is even less of a word than slumpy.
-In the latest amusement of the Quizzes' success on Google, the Book Quiz's entry for The Guns of August is 4th (of 5,680 pages) on Google for a search of the title.  This puts it 2 slots above B&N's page for said book.

18 May 2004
-So I'm very seriously thinking about putting up sample chapters of Loosely Based for the purpose of tantalizing interest in said book.  The trouble is that the first 41 pages of the book involve only Matt Norton, & I think a lot of the strength of the book is in the interwoven plotlines.  We don't meet Antigone or Ewing till pretty deep into the book, & including them would require putting up around a quarter of the book, which just seems excessive.  The alternative I'm considering is putting up chapters 1-4 & not putting up the Prologue.  This way readers would get a glimpse of the interweaving without thinking the book is all about Matt Norton, but also without getting so much of the book for free.  Thoughts, comments, suggestions?
-You can stop it in San Francisco, but then it pops up in Massachusetts.  Like any civil rights movement, it will soon be impossible to get in the way of gay marriage.  There's this amazing power that being on the right side of things can bring to a cause, because it's easier to convince people to do what they know to be right.  & since this gives me another opportunity to dig at John Kerry, I'll ask how liberal & progressive this guy is if he's far to the right of the legally-mandated activities currently taking place in his own home state...

17 May 2004
-Fish's alarm won't stop going off.  This is entirely my fault, since I keep inviting him to play in PokerStars tournaments with me, & then he does significantly better than I do (he's been in the top 250 out of 3-4,000 the last couple nights) & then gets very little sleep.  I am a bad influence on my friends.  But he thinks it's worth it, I think.
-Did another (brief) round of archiving, so I could establish the new look for the Archive page.  Now it should be easier to understand the phases of Introspection.  No similar guarantees are made for the content.
-Good thing we had 4 on tonight, because 3 of us were slumping.

16 May 2004
-You can't ask for 15-hour shifts to be much better than today.  Everyone was positive, the kids were fun, one of them even volunteered to braid my hair & did a couple of pretty good strands.  With luck, today was the trampoline at the bottom of my attitude-about-work chart.
-I started a trend at work & now all the staff have caught it, of saying the phrase "& by x, I mean y", where x is a word just said in the previous comment & y is a word that often is greatly exaggerated or even contradictory to x.  It all started where I informed them tactfully that a certain kid was "slightly unfocused" & then quipped that by slightly, I meant ridiculously.  From then on, it's become one of the many things we say on shift.  & by many, I mean only.

15 May 2004
-Spent most of today in Stockton with all the Garin crew (sans Will), watching Holly graduate from the University of the Pacific.  She invited us to the little School of Education ceremony rather than the all-school one, but I guess this is where she was handed her diploma case, so it makes sense.  Congratulations to Holly, & to Stina who also graduated today.  Today's graduation reminded me, among other things, how much I never want to go back to school.
-Sometimes I'm just caught off-guard.  But that's to be expected.  Of course, if I expected it, then I wouldn't be caught off-guard.

14 May 2004
-People asked me earlier for evidence that Nader would detract just as much from the Bush campaign as from that of Kerry.  Here you go.  In a 2-way race, Kerry leads Bush 51-46 (+5).  In a three-way race, Nader gets 6%, but Kerry still leads Bush 49-44 (again, +5).  Kerry lost the same percent that Bush did to Nader & maintained his lead.  Boo-yah.
-Everybody's coming home today.  It'll be like living with people again.  Wow.
-Holy cow, I actually archived.  Even I was beginning to wonder if it would ever happen.  I also removed the superfluous [from Oakland]'s that littered the last 24 days & are now needless since the Era beginning 21 April is based in Oakland.  It will be the Bob Dylan Era, by the way.  Starting with the 1,501st day in a row of Introspection.  Now it's up to 1,524.  That's a lot of days.
-Special thanks to the newest 5-star Amazon reviewer.  I have a hunch I know who it is, & it has the distinction of being a review with real content & a discussion of WHY they liked Loosely Based.  This is very exciting to me, & somehow coincides with B&N selling LB again after a couple-month refrain.

13 May 2004
-Kickball was truly a kick today, finishing in a 4-4 tie, our second draw of the season.  We came back from down 3-0 going into the 5th inning to score 4 runs, including an out prevented by me challenging the ref on the rules & being held correct (I had reffed in the first game & read up on the rules).  We gave up one in the bottom of the 5th, but we were all too excited by our comeback to mind much.  I went 2-2, upping my kicking average to .667.  I think I have a distinct advantage by being one of the only folks on the field who isn't actively drinking beer while playing.
-Driving home through San Francisco & across the Bay Bridge in the late twilight was breathtaking, even though I've made the drive many times now.  It's really a beautiful place to live, & the right light can easily remind me of that.  I don't want to lose that feeling.

12 May 2004
-I'm considering posting the first 4 chapters of Loosely Based for online download on the LB page, which badly needs fresh material of some kind.  It's been suggested to me by a couple folks as a way of stirring up interest in the book & hooking potential book-buyers, or at least demonstrating that the my writing is superior to the lone negative review on Amazon's characterization of it.  I have mixed feelings about the idea & am open to feedback.  In other LB news, I ran across a mini-review at the bottom of this random livejournal post.  Sometimes I need to be reminded that I am young according to conventional wisdom.
-I tire of debating politics with Jordan Segal, since we come from such entirely different perspectives.  But he continues to bend reality to his endless devotion to the Democratic Party, such as making the comment "Kerry recognizes that we're now entrenched, for better or for worse" in his 6 May response to me.  I'm sorry, but I don't think that voting for a war can really be equated to accepting entrenchment.  Kerry is not as responsible for the war as Bush, but he is very responsible for it.  This is a good deal of why I don't trust him, or his motives.  Segal then implies that Kerry somehow can get more international troops into Iraq.  Does anyone really believe that the outside world thinks Kerry's running of the war will bring moral justification to the same war that Bush started?  When the opposition party won in Spain, the first act of the new leader was to bring the troops home.  Most Iraqis want all Americans out pronto, with no hedging or advising.  So why is Kerry somehow beholden to maintain an unjust war that has been fought immorally?  Because otherwise it would destabilize Iran, you say?  Give me a break.  What hurts me so much is that the current regime in Iraq has less legitimacy & is probably less mindful of the rights of Iraqis than Saddam's was at the time the war started.  At that point, despite a cruel history, Saddam had granted amnesty to most of his prisoners, had stopped torturing, hadn't produced a weapon of mass destruction in over a decade, & was fully open to international inspection & cooperation.  Now the standing government won't even let Saddam's prisons be inspected by the international media without a fight.  But Kerry isn't calling for war crimes tribunals, or ending the fighting in Iraq so that a real coalition of Iraqis can be built to run the country.  He's calling for a quagmire.  Now Segal is right to talk about tax cuts as an issue that Kerry is better on than Bush, though many of his other issues that he cites are either unclear that Kerry actually is much better (civil unions don't excite me when Kerry says repeatedly that he is "strongly against gay marriage") or unclear who is right (abortion & the mysterious "science" issues that Segal mentions).  So taxes are the only reason to vote for Kerry over Bush.  But how is Kerry going to get his tax-raising through that Republican Congress?  & when will the tax structure matter when all the tax money is going to fund an endless war with more troops than ever in Iraq?

11 May 2004
Happy Birthday to Megan Dean
-Spent a few hours last night hanging out with work folks after the shift.  I think it was grounding as far as why & how I'm frustrated at work.  We spent so much time talking about work that it sometimes felt like an extension of the shift, but I think it really helped.  This job creates so much mental chaff.
-I guess I'm trudging back today, mostly because I don't want to waste PTO on a day when Em & Fish are out of town.  But I have a pretty bad feeling about what'll happen today... still I should be there to lend that support.
-By the way, I'm not intending to have a whole year be displayed on this page.  I just haven't had motivation to work on the page in a long time.  Archiving should be in within a couple of days.  Sigh.

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