Visions of Johanna
(8-17 September 2004)

17 September 2004
[from Clovis, California]
-Em's press-conference went quite well, & was marked by many elderly protesters who were backing her stance on prescription drugs.  The media seemed to eat it up, especially when they asked to be shown the dead Canadians resulting from all those unhealthy northern prescription drugs.
-It seems I might really enjoy being an uncle as these many young'uns grow up & develop personalities & start learning.  More than anything, it's nice to hang out with kids who actually actively like me, as opposed to the norm I find at work.  Funny I just called the work kids the "norm", but those are really the only kids I spend time with, or have since I was myself a child.  Who, as I recall, hated being called a "kid".  I wonder when that word gained acceptability in my lexicon.  I remember telling adults that I wasn't a baby goat...
-Jalapeno pizza!
-"Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" was sufficiently anachronistic, but was fun nonetheless.  & it was preceded by the tour of much productivity!

16 September 2004
[from Clovis, California]
Happy Birthday to Ben Brandzel & Greg Wilson
-Em has a press-conference tomorrow so we're back in the land of her youth.  It took a while to get here, but the night driving was ever preferable to day driving, so we didn't leave the car once from the gas station on Lake Shore till the Garin homestead.  Rockin' robin.

15 September 2004
-Came out of the meetings feeling actually really good.  I'm putting the nonsense behind me & trying to look forward.  The job isn't so bad, it's going to be tough but nothing so ridiculous as camp.  So for months & months, no worries.  & I have some time off!
-Silly Radio Shack & it's non-functional adapters!  Ah well, being a deaf-mute is fun...

14 September 2004
-Tonight was out of sync in many ways.  The whole mood of the house was in slow-motion & I looked around at many points unsure of what to do.  There were the increasingly typical bedtime woes as well, but it all got handled.  I'm just truly exhausted.

13 September 2004
-Still feeling fairly bad, but much more in the category of normal everday migraines.  Of course, I have been in bed for the last 17 hours, with about an hour of sitting up & trying to eat cereal.  It's like a day of my life just vanished.  But it's time to get back up & move on.

12 September 2004
-Ended up capping yesterday with a visit to Tracy to play board games with Paul & Colleen & see the young Paul & Natalie.  The kids have grown & become much more verbal, which puts them ever closer to an age where I feel like I can really relate to them.  They seem to like their crazy aunt & uncle already, though a lot of that's just because I'll play trains with the youngest Paul.
-Had one of the most sudden & debilitating migraine attacks of recent memory at work today.  An impressive aura after playing tag with the kids at the park led to nearly collapsing in the comic book store later & then actually collapsing to throw up in the yard of the house upon returning home.  Fortunately Em was home & I was shuttled out of there before very long.  Much throwing up & extreme head pain ensued.

11 September 2004
-An absolutely splendid day.  Emily & I went to breakfast, saw a film ("Garden State", which I thought was one of the best-written films I've seen in a long time, with impressively real dialogue & even some great messages to boot!), played a game of Scrabble (apparently both vox & fondler are valid Scrabble words), & just hung out for a long time.  It's been amazing having Emily really around again, after the summer where it seemed we never saw each other.  3 years after the event that brought us together, we're getting to see each other again.

10 September 2004
-It kind of amazes me that people really believe that John Kerry has a chance of winning.  Now I know I said this about Al Gore 4 years ago, & while I was really wrong about the margin of Bush's victory, it still doesn't seem that wrong to look back & say Gore had no chance of winning, in a way.  I really focus on the idea that Bush is already ahead before the debates, & I really think Bush will whip Kerry in the debates.  He's more charismatic, & his much more simplistic explanations of things play better to a sound-byte debate audience, especially when Kerry's long explanations can be couched as extended flip-flops.  As we all know, contradictions with one's own logic are about the most damning things to catch a debater in during a round, & this will clearly be Bush's strategy.  Meanwhile, there's still the eerie issue of whether Osama will allegedly show up sometime in late October.  I wonder what would happen if reports flew around on October 30th about Osama being found, Bush won in a landslide, & later investigation revealed that it was all a hoax.  With a Republican Congress & Supreme Court, I think he'd be in the clear.  Then again, I don't think he'd be in enough trouble in late October to have to worry about this at all.  Another reason, folks, why voting for Nader is more powerful than the lost cause of Kerry.

9 September 2004
-I wrote a lot of mental health notes today, finally.  Shoulda done it a lot earlier, & I'm not quite done yet, but on with things I go.
-So we were watching "The Apprentice" & this guy who just graduated college is claiming to be a national debate champion.  From south Florida, no less, where I did a lot of high school debating.  I'm actually pretty surprised not to recognize him.  A bit of Googling later, I realize that he did Extemp Commentary his senior year (1999), which I think (not sure) is a distinct event from actually Extemp.  Maybe he was the Extemp champ.  Either way, while Extemp is one of the speech events I most respect, it's still not debate.  Any event where you are the only speaker in your round is NOT debate.  Now I will grant that good Extempers often did well in debate, but being champion in one is a far cry from the other.  Then I dove headlong into a web-based retrospective of all sorts of debate stuff, mostly mining for information on NFL champs past & present (there really isn't a good website for this, strangely), & reminiscing about high school & college debate.  It just makes me sad, staring into the maw of a history that will always be past.  & while I still think of coaching from time to time, it's just not the same.  But we'll see.  These days my concentration is flitting about like a hummingbird on speed.  When it lands, I swear something worthwhile & significant will be underneath.

8 September 2004
-So to top off the last couple weeks, I had to do an overnight/sleepover split shift at the night's end last night as we were out of overnight staff.  Wasn't so bad & gave me plenty of overtime for the week.  Then I had a frank talk with my boss for a while about all the things that are frustrating me at work, which could just barely fit in a wheelbarrow right now.  He told me to go home & write notes.  But he really was supportive overall.  Now I just need rest.  Some kind of real rest.
-My life owes a good deal to some elite board games that have provided me with endless fun.  I would say there's a shortlist that comprises the Hall of Fame.  Risk, Diplomacy, & 1830 (though most of its joy was on-screen not on a board) have long been inducted.  Settlers of Catan, welcome to the Hall.

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