The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
(6-15 May 2005)

15 May 2005
-Flights are really fun again when they only last an hour or so, especially when they're as empty as this one was.  I got a little saturated on flying at some point in high school or college, but little puddle-jumps are great.
-Do I really have to go into work today?

14 May 2005
[from Pasadena]
-Hung out a great deal with Jake today.  Hit up JPL for the first time, which was a zoo with its annual Open House taking place, & reminded me entirely of a college campus of only science centers.  Also saw "Layer Cake", & toured area restaurants including a Thai place where a 3 on a scale of 1-to-10 spiciness was enough to kick me around pretty thoroughly.  It was a great day & gave us a chance to catch up on the good deal that's been going on, not the least of which is research into poker programming.  The next scheme awaits us all!
-Once again, it arises just how much our lives are determined by other people's decisions.  Being one-six-billionth of the wills deciding things can feel a little overwhelming sometimes.

13 May 2005
[from Los Angeles]
-Went to play basketball with Russ at his local court, but on the way found that he had a flat tire.  It seemed suspicious that it should go from filled to flat so quickly, but when I saw that chunks of the tire seemed to be missing, it made sense.  So we drove about on the donut a bit, though not as far as that night after the Fordham tournament when I came back in Zirkin's car from western Connecticut after his tire had been slashed at a rest stop.  The basketball was fun, but was just like Albuquerque outdoor basketball again & drained me, like fluoridation, of all of my bodily fluids.
-Mesco's cat (Max) looks like a clone of Pandora, but is almost the opposite in temperament.  He seemed as though he wouldn't mind me swinging around by his tail as long as he was getting attention.
-Dodger Stadium marks the 8th active major league baseball stadium I've been to (as I can recall, & not including the deactivated Kingdome, which would make 9 total).  It's somewhere in the middle of the pack, though we had nifty seats that were the very first row of the very top deck, with a short fence in front so that one could lean over the railing & feel like you were in a dugout, suspended high in the air.  The game itself was a phenomenal one... I wasn't invested in either team (Dodgers vs. Braves) at all, so I could appreciate the no-hitter going into the sixth by Jeff Weaver as well as the grand slam for each club in the 8th inning.  When did Milton Bradley become so good?  I'm liking how much MLB I've seen so far this year, though.  The view behind Dodger Stadium of the hills & mountains above LA was also pretty neat.  A great experience, except that Mesco & friends were rooting for the Braves what with their Atlanta connections, so everyone was morose on the ride back.
-I should really pop down to LA more often.  It's been very relaxing, though we'll see how I feel going straight back to work after getting back north.

12 May 2005
[from Los Angeles]
-Got in yesterday afternoon & immediately commenced hilarity & video games.  I was hanging out with Russ, after all.
-I really miss nice hot weather a lot of the time.  LA is enough like Albuquerque in that regard to make me nostalgic.
-MVP Baseball 2005 is impressive.  Most impressive.  A little too impressive.

11 May 2005
Happy Birthday to Megan Dean
-Trying to get my house in order before this trip... I have a strange sense that I'm forgetting to do a couple of important things, but I'm not going to get too caught up about it.  After the next 4+ hours of meetings, I'm sure I'll be a lot more excited.  & after coffee, of course...

10 May 2005
-The day at work did not end up reflecting my optimism yesterday.  Instead, it was a classic Monday for our kids & involved the old "revolving-door quiet room".  To only be home half an hour late was pretty impressive given all that went on.  But of course, I'm falling behind on my notes again.  One day shouldn't hurt too much.
-'Twas another dubious day at work tonight, making 48 hours of extended difficulty that rival any in recent months since the riot.  One of the kids tried to start another riot, & when he failed tried to surprise me with throwing a heavy blunt object (paper towel holder that I've always wondered why we allowed in the bathroom) at me.  Fortunately he wasn't exactly clever about it so I had a pretty good idea what was coming when he came out of the bathroom & was able to sidestep his throw.  It ended up being really amusing to me, just because he had telegraphed that this was what he was going to do while trying to be sly.  Still, in the last 2 shifts we've had 4 of the kids use the quiet room 6 times total, which is a record for my shifts as far as I can remember.

9 May 2005
-It's been a strange swirly day so far & it's not even work time just yet.  I think I get disoriented when I'm up too early in the day... it gives me too much time to meander.  I do much better when the bulk of my free time is after the designated tasks for the day, when it's dark outside & the world is asleep.  I awoke this morning after a startlingly vivid dream that entailed me writing again, a good deal & seriously, though it was a children's book as I recall.  I remember a gripping debate with, strangely, a Seneca co-worker about whether "responsibility" was too difficult a word to place in a children's book.  It may have been as close to a good dream as I can ever recall in this life.  It just felt vibrant to be writing again, to be motivated, to have it feel effortless.  Maybe it comes from reading more lately & maybe from working on a project, even if it is merely another quiz.  Though given their track-record & audience, I've got to stop undervaluing those quizzes.  Regardless, my mind is everywhere & looks to be pretty scattershot heading into work today... ne'er a good thing for Mondays.  But there is a great intensity of things to look forward to... my trip to LA this weekend, Star Wars & the wedding festivities the next, & the sense that the standard yearly April/May blockade on happiness is receding like one of Harry Potter's dementors in the face of a powerful spell.  I might even feel motivated enough to shave this week.

8 May 2005
-Done with Prisoner of Azkaban, on to Goblet of Fire.  While I'm going at breakneck speed for me these days, I expect this to slow significantly as I reach books that are not mental retreads of the movies.  An unfamiliar plot is afoot!
-First day with yet another new team.  We'll see how the dynamic shifts.
-After four shifts this month, I'm still caught up with all my notes.  What's more, I've done 700 minutes over that span, when the benchmark for a month is 1,000 minutes & my high for a month was 1,800 & some minutes.  Granted that 2 shifts already have been 15-hour Sundays, but with 15 scheduled shifts this month, I'm looking at a pace well over 2,500 minutes.  That would be absurd, & perhaps record-setting.  Raise your hand if you can tell by now that I'm still in need of something competitive & productive for the channeling of my energy.  I'm just glad I've gotten motivated enough (& help enough doing the other stuff at work) to stay timely with these silly things.

7 May 2005
-Exit Em, stage Santa Barbara.  It's going to be a very long week.
-Well we upgraded our PS2 again at BestBuy, this time moving to a PS2-thin as the old one started making loud clicking noises & refusing to load games.  If anyone's thinking of getting a game system at BestBuy, get the 2-year product placement plan.  Keep in mind how much I hate insurance of all & any kinds, then remember that I'm recommending an insurance plan to you.  It's that useful.  The thin PS2, by the way, is TINY.
-So... much... sweeping!

6 May 2005
-The Animal Quiz is quite more of a project than I had really anticipated.  For reasons that, with any luck at all, will soon be clear to everyone.

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