George's Marvelous Medicine
(14-23 August 2005)

23 August 2005
-Finally getting some things done, but my computer seems to be in trouble & there's just a lot going on these days.  We shall see.

22 August 2005
-Archived 50 days of Introspection, which is pretty nifty given that I usually seem to archive hundreds at a time.  Today has been a Day of Productivity.  I've also finished all the questions for the upcoming Trains & Railroads Quiz, so now it's going to be plug & chug time till the answers.  Maybe by the end of the week this will be done.  That's a bit optimistic, but we'll see.  Meanwhile the world of payment gateways continues to elude me a little bit, especially given what seems to be proprietary & what doesn't.  Frustrating, at times.  I still have a little congestion, but I'm virtually well.  You won't even be able to hear sickness in my voice tomorrow, I'm hoping.
-After their self-titled effort of a while back, I was starting to worry a bit about Hootie & the Blowfish.  But "Looking for Lucky", which came out about 2 weeks ago & I got yesterday, has allayed my fears.  It's truly excellent.  So Hootie is back & this will be my album of choice for the foreseeable future!

21 August 2005
-New graphic up top.  It's nothing that special, but the graphics have to change from time to time, right?  Two thousand days is a long time, after all.
-Enter Brandzel.  The August flood just keeps coming!
-I'm thinking about having to discontinue the Yahoo! portion of the Search of the Week II, as there are so few Yahoo! searches & they're all pretty normal these days.  So that accounts for the lameness of the second part of the second SOTW the past few weeks.  Also this is a function of overall much reduced traffic, as August is traditionally the low month for traffic at the BP.  Hopefully all this will be up in September.

20 August 2005
-Love is such a fickle beast.  It appears to rain on some & hide from others.  It dances, it strikes, it does what it will uncontrollable.  It's come newly to many in these past couple years, making my own heart go pitter-patter on their behalves.  But to those still in the proverbial wings, I am at such a loss for consolation or good advice.  Were I alone myself, I would long since have gone to online dating services &/or personals, as that at least brings some sort of order & rationale to a vastly scary world.  Shy of that, I have little to offer anyone but shrugs & sighs & sympathy.  I feel so inadequate, like trying to talk to a depressed friend about how I rose out of it... fall in love is the only advice I can speak to from experience.  & how to fall in love?  Well good luck with calculating that one, tracking it down, cornering it, & making it do your bidding!  For myself, I can be grateful.  For those who have picked up their golden tickets, I can celebrate.  For those not in those two categories, I am woefully unhelpful.  I'm sorry.
-Phone spamming seems to have been invented today.  I have received two (2) calls from people that sounded almost identical to e-mail spam.  Call #1, which I picked up, involved a discussion with an India-based "Craig Latman", who told me that I (actually the previous owner of the phone number, who he refused to accept was not the person at the number still), had just won a $500 shopping spree.  I was so incredulous that I went along with it for a while, seeing what address they had on file (very much not the right one), & then cutting bait when they started asking for bank information.  I couldn't believe that he actually had the gall to straight-up ask for my bank & its account number over the phone under the "you've just won a shopping spree" guise.  It was amazing.  I guess hiring call centers has gotten so cheap that spammers are diversifying.  But worse still, I got another phone spam call, on the answering machine, later in the same day!  This one had a chipper woman telling me I could choose between Las Vegas & Orlando for my free five-day vacation that I'd just won.  If I get a call about "enlargement" or a wealthy Nigerian in need of transferring some funds into a stateside account, I'm disconnecting the phone.
-Not only was "The Skeleton Key" good, but it was (yet again) another example of how out-of-touch movie reviewers are with their material.  The same people bashing this one are probably the ones singing the praises of that silly "Broken Flowers" nonsense.  Don't get me wrong, this wasn't a top-tier thriller like "The Others" or a Shamalyan flick; it was much more along the lines of "Hide and Seek"... solid, but not flawless.  Definitely plot-driven, though, with a plot that can be tracked & evaluated & works.  & a great ending.  Like so many of the thrillers I see, I went to this one by myself, whilst rediscovering the Jack London theater, which offers free parking across the street, a very close location, stadium seating, & matinee prices on weekends!  The film also was great as it dwelled in so much of my romantic image of spooky ghostly New Orleans, which Ariel has promised to try to show me if I ever visit there, since it was elusive to first-time visitors Emily & myself when we rolled through three summers ago.
-It looks like I forgot to mention that amidst the burgeoning illness (almost gone now), I finished The Time Traveler's Wife, which may have been even better than everyone said it would be.  Far & away the best book I've read this year, amongst some very stiff competition.  A very powerful tome, & one that off the top seems to contend for top twenty-five of all time.  To say much more would give more away than I would want to a potential reader.
-Finally tonight, if you're looking for a great laugh, check out this article.  After trying to found the Second Republican Party, Kerry finally sees it was a mistake.  I guess losing will sober one to reality pretty quickly.

19 August 2005
-Quite a poker night last night... good crowd, I still kept the commentary going with a hoarse cracking voice (the "mock-Elena" dance was the triumph of the night), & I managed a $60 haul.  I feel like I'm playing the consistently best poker of my life, given a lot of online small-tourney wins & the last two live nights.  Just can't complain.
-So being called by my wife to see if there really was an explosion a block from her office & current location was not my ideal way of waking up this morning.  Fortunately, it appears to be an electrical explosion that was PG&E's fault, so it was nothing that major.  It was, however, exactly one block from Emily's office.  She's fine, everything's fine.  I guess we're past the point in history where a gas main can just be a gas main.
-Also, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram article on online quizzes that I was interviewed for will appear in the 1 September paper.  It looks like the paper is going to send me some clippings, which is good since I don't think anyone I know is in the circulation range.
-It is good, so very good, to remember that change is in some ways always for the best.  & that change, no matter how positive or beneficial, is still scary at base.  It's a trained human response... we try to rely & fall back on our routines because we associate them with stability & safety, even when these routines can be painfully harmful to us.  So change, change is good & yet can be so difficult to embrace.  It always brings us to the blissful terror of the precipice of the unknown.  I know, like the clicking of my heels & chanting to myself, that it's for the best.  But standing here, it still seems like a long way down.

18 August 2005
-The first of the last four days that I've really been able to stumble out of bed.  Spent much of the day hanging with Drew, & often Fish, & a little Skipper.  Feeling a fair bit better, but I've also been expending energy for the first time, so that's making up for the better I was feeling.  Given that I've dropped below 120 for the first time in years, I mostly should make sure to eat.

17 August 2005
Happy Birthday to Matt Frese
-My cold is progressing quickly, which is very good, but I'm at the hacking cough stage, which leaves me out of breath after every cough.  I might be almost well tomorrow though, as this cold seems to be spending 24 hours on each stage, which is about as short as one can hope for.

16 August 2005
-Still sick, after a horribly restless night.  But maybe a tiny bit better, since I made sure to stay very warm.
-Fish gets in today, but still no itinerary has been seen.  He'll figure it out, right?
-Did my e-mail interview for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  I'll keep people posted when the article comes out.  Incidentally, is anyone out there currently living in the distribution range of said paper?  Em thought it might be available somewhere in Albuquerque, though I highly doubt this.  Maybe in New Orleans?  Let me know.
-Enter Drew.  I hate being sick.

15 August 2005
-Started really working out the question tree for the upcoming Trains & Railroads Quiz which will appear at the RMI website before too long.  It's flowing remarkably well thus far.
-Saved Fish's car from being impounded by Piedmont PD, though we couldn't save it from being hit by some apparently honest driver 10 days ago.  It's a pain, but it's so much nicer to know, to have someone be responsible.
-Oh no.  I seem to have managed to get a sore throat.  I can be a real idiot sometimes.  This is going to be rather miserable...
-Stands to reason that I get a little bit of downtime & I get sick.  Ah well.  At least I have a really good book.

14 August 2005
Happy Birthday to Marj Garin
-Yesterday's DMB concert was sorely disappointing.  It was a great anniversary gift from Em, & SBC Park was a very fun venue in which to see the band.  But the setlist just managed to weave its way away from almost any of my real favorites.  "Crash Into Me" & "Two Step" were the only offerings that would be on a top twenty or twenty-five list of songs from the band for me... & both were good, but the obsession with being a jam-band is also not my favorite part of DMB.  "Two Step" lasted very close to half an hour, & that is just too long for a song when you're only adding maybe half a verse of words & the rest of the extra time is music.  I know that DMB's reputation is all about the jams, but this may be a reason to avoid future concerts, despite how many of their songs I do like.  I made a list while we were waiting for the show of 5 songs that would make the whole concert great if just one of them were played, regardless of what else was played.  Went 0-for-5.  But it was still great to share a show with 40,000 people, to watch the Bay, to know most of the songs despite not having the new album, & to spend a lot of quality time with Emily.  Summer's almost gone, thank goodness.
-Yesterday when we took Em's mom out for her birthday, Paul IV gave me these crazy USB-based Christmas lights for the computer.  Now they're lighting up my writing experience & it's great fun.
-Had a lazyish day today, but managed to see a pretty lousy movie, in the trend of the lousy movie year that is 2005.  "Broken Flowers" is trying way too hard, & ends up wasting about half its screen time.  & it has no point.  It seemed fortuitous that we just happened to show up for a showing at just the right time at Shattuck, & it was even in their Egyptian theater, but it was the most dull movie I've seen since "The Story of the Weeping Camel".  During the movie, it wasn't so bad, but it really gets worse as it goes leading to a useless ending.  Sigh.
-I seem to have rediscovered my reading pace of days long gone.  I don't want to jinx myself or anything, but I'm reading more than I've done since 2001, & probably getting close to the voracity that marked most of my childhood.  This is very exciting, if it keeps up.  I have a long list of to-reads that will hopefully continue to keep me riveted.  Now if only I could find a way, also like it was in 2001, to read AND write a lot.

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