The Long and Winding Road
(2-11 March 2006)

11 March 2006
-Spent the night last night re-living very old times by playing a Winter Olympics computer game (this time it's Torino 2006 rather than the old Accolade The Games:  Winter Challenge) with Freez, Fish, & Gris.  I'd obviously had more practice at the game by owning it, but Gris demonstrated some Jake-like skills at speed-skating & Freez slipped into a couple medals as well.  To think that we had been playing such computer games over a decade ago was a little staggering.
-After wandering around Berkeley today, Freez & I joined Fish for some bowling, my second run in my new shoes.  I bowled a 505 series (that's a 168 average), closing with a session-high 190.  After slight deliberation, we all made the mistake of going for a 4th game, which led to Freez losing some significant bets with Fish, who rolled a XX8 in the 10th frame to overtake me & beat both of us.  My arm was just about dead to the world at that point.  There's a reason a series is exactly 3 games.
-I think Freez likes Chipotle as much as I do.  This should absolutely blow your mind.  Maybe there really are narcotics in the salsa.

10 March 2006
-It's really amazing how important it is to have something to look forward to in life.  As long as one has some relatively big events ahead, it's so much easier to stay motivated & get up in the morning.  Once one catches up with everything that one was looking forward to before, it gets very difficult to not slide into some level of depression.
-It just hailed heavily for about 2 minutes here.  Hail!  It's been so cold & raining so much that I'm not sure I'd be stunned if it snowed here.  The precipitation rates have almost reminded me of Oregon in the old days, & I can't remember it ever being this cold in the Bay Area.
-Enter Freez.  No, this isn't another comment about the cold, but about the arrival of a friend.

9 March 2006
-Does anyone have Gemma's contact info?  I haven't heard from her in far too long.
-New graphic up top.  It fits my mood, which should tell you something I guess.  But it reminds me that it is March, after all.

8 March 2006
-Has anyone else heard of the eBay Traveling Novel?  How much publicity does it have?  & where is it right now?
-I really love the grandstanding the US is doing with Iran right now.  Iran can say & do anything it wants because it knows the whole US military is already invested in getting blown up, bit by bit, for the next decade.  It's really a perfect time to be brave.  This is where, even from a pro-militaristic standpoint, the strategy of pre-emption just falls apart.  Talk about giving comfort to your enemies!  What happens if Iran gets to be an actual problem with actual weapons of mass destruction?  Could you really envision sending the invasion force over the same ground that witnessed the Iran-Iraq War of the '80's?  That would guarantee a loss on both fronts.  It's going to be a very interesting few years ahead for the US trying to act in the rest of the world.
-As of my writing this, you have roughly 8 hours to get into the Fantasy Baseball League!  There are but 3 slots left.  Not only will you get to do a fun league with nearly 20 teams, but your draft picks will be the subject of ridicule on this week's Mep Report!
-So it's looking possible that the Search of the Week will be shut down permanently.  This inspires angst in me, but could be unavoidable.  But, I think I'll have another feature incoming that's similar to the other stuff in the Imports section that will be almost as fun.  More details as they become available.

7 March 2006
-"I get so nervous I'm shaking.  Get so I got no pride at all.  I just need somebody to talk to me.  I'm thinking about leaving tomorrow.  I'm thinking about being on my own.  Think I been wasting my time.  I'm thinking about getting out.  I'm thinking about getting out."

6 March 2006
Happy Birthday to Thelma Garin
-When feeling self-destructive, best to follow the path of least resistance.  I guess.  It's hard to be disciplined about the way one lets out frustration, but it's a good second choice to just being disciplined, period.
-I lag behind so quickly when I have computers to take for granted.  These D&C's may be late, but I think they're worth it.
-Also, while I may not return to a debate tournament even to judge until a year from now, my last round ever is available in audio form.  So here are the files of Finals at BU (vs. Harvard) & Quarters at BU (vs. Mark & Rebecca).  We were Gov in both rounds, running Native American Reparations in Quarters & Omelas in Finals.

5 March 2006
-The only drawback of these tourneys is that the day after is such a let-down.  Debate always created a natural high for me, & even judging & hanging out with the team is still enough to do that.  So then there's a natural low to follow.
-Almost every Oscar turned out the way I wanted it to, except for the last one.  I'm pretty sure "Crash" was the worst of the 5 & I haven't even seen "Capote" yet.  "Crash" was a great idea with laughably absurd dialogue that undermined the whole thing.  But "Wallace & Gromit", "March of the Penguins", & Reese Witherspoon all very deservedly won, so I can't complain too much.  Except about "W&G" not winning Best Picture.

4 March 2006
-Stanford was, as with almost any debate tournament I return to, an absolute blast.  Nir & Collins had a rough road but won all their rounds today.  Brian & Lina made finals, Gov'ing all the way.  I got to judge two great in-rounds today, about history & politics (a nice change from ongoing medical cases yesterday) & then two fun out-rounds as well.  & I couldn't judge finals, which is always my goal at Stanford, & tends to work out.  This is the first weekend that 'Deis debaters have been in finals at separate tourneys on the same weekend since this weekend 4 years ago, when Tirrell & Sirota won Holyoke while Em & I were in finals at Stanford.  That Holyoke/Stanford split tends to work for us, as Mark won (also in a hybrid) Holyoke this weekend.  After the tourney, the team (minus Lina, plus Brian's brother) went out to a team dinner at a Mexican place in Palo Alto, while Nir told us how he deconstructed his roommate's room & rebuilt it upside-down.  If you're part of the 'Deis housing administration, that didn't actually happen.  I can't get enough of these team dinners & general time with the team.  If 'Deis gets elections next year, I think every debate alum should return to judge & have a little reunion.  At the very least, I can keep coming back to Stanford.

3 March 2006
Happy Birthday to Alisha Creel
Happy Birthday to Martin Clayton

-People to call & yell at (Comcast, Kaiser, etc.) cars to fix, & all kinds of various nonsense before I head out to Stanford.  Sigh.  At some point, I'll be caught up with mere maintenance, right?

2 March 2006
Happy Birthday to Anna Geer
-I HAVE INTERNET AGAIN!  Sweet heavens above, am I excited!  AT&T/SBC certainly isn't off the hook, but at least today they got everything taken care of promptly.
-As though to pay for the joy & relief of getting internet again, I had "one of those days" in a brief afternoon.  I was trying to show off with my internetedness & thus placed a "DSL" (Don't Stand in Line) online order at Chipotle & then went in to get it, neatly skipping the 10-person line that was present.  I picked up lunch for Pandora on the way home to eat my lunch, & came back to a profoundly flat tire.  So I called AAA & figured this would give me enough time to eat my tacos.  They seem to have sour cream.  I'm about to find something to scoop out the sour cream with when I discover that they have mild salsa rather than hot.  Doubly troubling.  Finally, I discover there is meat within as well!  That's a lot of ways to screw up an order of tacos.  I'm just about fed up, but Gris shows up to eat at the Subway in the same parking lot as the Pet Food Express.  So we chat for a bit & he waits with me for the AAA guy to show, but has to go back to work before he actually does show up.  So that took the edge off a very frustrating 45 minutes.  An hour & a half after picking them up, I exchanged my Chipotle tacos & they remembered the order because it had been switched with another guy's (no wonder there were 3 mistakes) & he had exchanged his as well.  "Exchanged" is a bit of a misnomer, since they made me keep the meat tacos as they were going to throw them out.  So if anyone wants some (pork?) tacos & lives in the Bay Area, let me know.  Zimmy, I think I might be looking at you.
-This car trouble would be a lot less worrisome had I not discovered some strange sort of lead pipe sticking out of the bottom of the Kia two nights ago.  Yeah, guess the dealership was a bit premature on the clean bill of health there.  So now if I want to drive somewhere, I have the choice between the car with the donut or the car with the deeply misplaced pipe.  Joy.  I should go get one of them fixed before this weekend's driving to judge at the Stanford tourney...

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