Bob Dylan's Dream
(27 December 2004 - 5 January 2005)

5 January 2005
-Stace took some of us out for lunch, which was a big surprise & remarkably fun.  I asked him about the procedure for taking, say, 2-3 months off & he didn't seem to think it would be problematic.  I feel like I'm capable of doing a decent job for maybe a couple more months before taking those months off, but it's so hard to know.  This job really brings out the sine curve in me.  Today, I'm flying!!
-Tired, but happy.

4 January 2005
-While yesterday went pretty well, today was awful.  Not unbearably so, but it involved a messy & traumatic restraint.  I actually had to help someone out who pretty much never needs to be helped.  All told, it was a quick reminder of how bad the job can be, or at least how challenging.  But I'm all right with that, in some ways.  I'm actually amazed at how all right I was after being so close to taking time off right away.  I guess that neatly frames the question for me.

3 January 2005
-Got back via plane, after halfway staying up all night & having a breakfast at the Frontier.  Then took the bus to BART to another bus, in a total of 2 hours of travel from landing.  With a fair bit of luggage.  It was tiring, & then frustrating to discover chile had spilled out onto several books in my backpack.  But the kicker is having to work tonight.  Oh ugh.
-At least Pando got rave reviews from the boarding place.  They even said she liked toys of some sort while there!
-After testing this theory, maybe she was just bored enough to like toys there because she couldn't run around & such.

2 January 2005
[from Albuquerque]
-Last day in town & there's an aura of sadness already.  But I can't get caught up in that; have to just enjoy it as much as possible!
-Em & I ate lunch with Gris & Anna, then caught "The Aviator" with DK & my Dad.  It's so hard to believe that the ten days are up already, but there's nothing to be done about it but savor the memories of a generally stellar visit.  Sigh.

1 January 2005
[from Albuquerque]
Happy New Year
-Rang in the new year without an accurate countdown, as the variation between cell phone clocks & the atomic clock my parents have was too great to manage.  So who knows exactly when the year began?  We then spent the first 4.5 hours of 2005 playing an epic game of Settlers, wherein Soy & I went to war with each other, to the benefit of Elias & Emily almost winning in the same turn, but Em edging out the Bumpkin.  Though I was frustrated with how the game went at times, it was a great way to start a new year.
-I can't believe 2004's gone.  Compared to the prior 3 years, it was a real bust.  I don't know if it was quite as bad for me personally as it seemed to be for the planet... this tsunami thing seems to be a metaphor for the whole year.  It wasn't a year without merit, but things just weren't that great.  Other than sticking it out at my job, having the first full year of marriage, & moving in with Fish, there wasn't really any headline of the year.  Nothing significant accomplished.  I just sort of plodded through & felt bad about what I wasn't doing.  No wonder I feel such a need for change.
-DK! Finally got to see him after oh-so-long!

31 December 2004
[from Albuquerque]
-Saw the Lobo women's basketball team play at the Pit for the first time ever as a nationally ranked team.  They looked that way in the first half; not so much in the second.  But they still eked out the win & it just wouldn't be a trip home without some sort of Lobo game.  Eliaii is a real trip at any sporting event.
-Had New Year's Eve dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant that was one of the few places open (the Frontier was closed).  The food could've used more kick, but the conversation was great fun.  It's so neat to see people in happy relationships.
-Mafia!  I'd forgotten what a good game this was since my drama days.  I think the last time I played it was in 1998 at the one-acts cast party.  Ah, what a fabled night that was...

30 December 2004
[from Albuquerque]
-Is there value to the work if it doesn't result in widespread audience & publication?  Can I face myself if I don't ever find that audience?  Is my best road to that audience through my webpage & it's quizzes?  What can be said of pulling down 20,000 or so visitors a day?  How did I get to be the muddled human being I am?  Spent much of the day exploring these & other questions.  It was as bumpy as things have been in a while, but it sorta needed to happen.

29 December 2004
[from Albuquerque]
-Seem to be confronting the crossroads more & more.  No real conclusions yet, though I'm getting a lot of feelings towards taking a 2-3 month leave of absence to actually sit down & write American Dream On.  Though there's a voice in the back of my head that draws the parallels between my current state & the winter break of 1999-2000.  Over that fateful shift in the millennium, you may recall, I was strongly considering taking a semester off from 'Deis & getting a job.  In the end, after leaving in December fairly certain I would do this, I ended up returning.  Though the semester that followed was pretty rotten, the decision was the right one.  The debate successes with Steve laid the groundwork for what ended up being a both accomplishment & personal series of triumphs in debate.  Heck, Introspection was born in that era as well.  & the years that followed at 'Deis were the best years I spent there.  The biggest parallel is that I've been at my job for exactly the same year & a half (even dating from August) that I had spent at 'Deis when I returned to Nuevo to contemplate my future.  It doesn't mean that much else about the situation is similar, but there's something to be said for sophomore droughts in any setting, & the possible merit in slogging through them.

28 December 2004
[from Albuquerque]
-Saw Freez just two nights, & spent a lot of them talking about cards.  That was cool, all told.
-Saw Schneider for the first time since the wedding, which was great, though he had many of the same mannerisms that have been worrisome since the summer of '01.  But he seems to be enjoying things in Ann Arbor, & I just can't complain if he's enjoying things.
-Jake & Soy got the Big Blue House a beautiful & quite heavy poker set!  Chips galore!  We got to test them out & they were quite nice, I must say.
-Seeing Jake & Soy together & Gris & Anna together is just plain nifty.  It's just nice when things work out.

27 December 2004
[from Albuquerque]
-Things picked up significantly in the evening yesterday, though, as we ran into the sisters Creel at the Frontier, then met the guys for a trip to what is increasingly becoming The Most Random Gathering Ever, the shindig at Casa Durst.  I actually really enjoyed myself at the latter, between a game of Oh Hell & some catching up with people that I wouldn't often talk to.  Overall, it seems that age heals a lot of foibles about people, & that just isn't bad at all.
-Hung out with Mesco & Afsheen this afternoon & wandered from the Frontier to the Aquarium, on the advice of their Prius' GPS system.  We told it "I'm bored" in its voice-activated (actually voice-activated, no Chak-attack antics here) mode & it popped up talking about the Aquarium.  We were reminded of how it's pretty dinky, but it's still not bad at all for an Aquarium in a land-locked desert state.  Plus it's one off the list, if you remember that sort of thing.  I even came out of it with a sea turtle shirt!  We puttered around Old Town afterwards, but it's just too cold & I'm really concerned about getting sick, even though I've been sick thrice since August.  A good time overall.
-Getting together for some poker this evening with the guys & things seem to be in a nice even rhythm of hanging out a lot.

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