Here There and Everywhere
(20-29 July 2006)

29 July 2006
-I now feel bad for not putting the University of Miami into the University Quiz.  They were a late cut.  They would now have no problem making it, for they have the first known university library copy of Loosely Based!  Very exciting.
-Not exciting is the fact that Em is terribly sick.  It's just a cold, but she's become obsessed with checking her temperature with her new thermometer, even though she has no fever.  Em is also having trouble being patient with slowing down long enough to let her sickness run its course & heal.

28 July 2006
-Yesterday, a four-year-old boy from our Center (my work) was hit by a car about a block or so from the Center.  Today, he died.  He was on the sidewalk, not even crossing the street.  Many of our other kids at the Center saw the event as it happened.  I didn't really know him at all, but it's a terrible shock to our whole Center, the staff who did know him, & anyone who has compassion for the young who pass away, especially in the face of our Faustian bargain with motor vehicles.  It was an eerie, spooky day at work as we waited for the news.  It had looked late yesterday like there was some hope, but not so much.

27 July 2006
-I had no real conscious idea of how invested I was in the Google matrix until all Google-related sites started experiencing massive slowness & timeouts late yesterday.  Suddenly, half my e-mail, my website ads, & my ability to search were all hampered or gone.  I have yet to find out what's going on, but whoever would hack Google clearly has no regard for anyone's ability to use the internet.

26 July 2006
-Work was a breeze today, especially after the crunchiness of yesterday.  I learned yet again that sometimes one can do more with Word than Photoshop.  Big fancy programs are overrated.
-It's a shame that the Mep Report requires any structure at all.  We have little enough as it is, but if we had less, we'd have even more quality moments.
-I need to remember to have patience for my creative life as well as everything else.  That's the only place I ever have trouble.

25 July 2006
-It's so weird to not dread work.  It would be like looking forward to writing an essay or getting excited about doing laundry.  The plausibility of joy in so many things gets drained out early.  But somehow, not this time.
-If I drop-kick my work computer out the window, just know it was all the fault of trying to make Photoshop work on a Pentium II.
-I started my NERT (Neighborhood Emergency Response Team) training for work tonight & was very concerned for a while given that one of the sign-up sheets had this scary "Loyalty Oath" about defending the US against foreign & domestic enemies.  It was coated with perjury warnings about anyone signing it lightly.  I began contemplating how to explain to my job that I didn't risk going to college & 7 years of freedom for a cause only to give it up by signing an equivalent form for 18 hours of disaster preparation class.  But my concerns were interrupted by the SFFD course leaders noting that "refused" was a valid response to the Loyalty Oath for those who had any reservations about it.  I love the Bay Area.

24 July 2006
-Today I got to pretend I was a journalist at work, spending almost the entire day on the newsletter that I created & debuted at the beginning of this month.  It was a bit startling & sad to me to think that people release enormous daily papers & I'd spent 5+ hours not quite completing a one-page fold-over newsletter.  Then again, I have a couple extra writers, but otherwise I'm putting the whole thing together, from pictures to supplemental articles.  I can't complain about anything work-related... except dumping rancid salad & chicken that spent the weekend baking in a van in Oakland.
-Red Sox 7, A's 3.  This was a great game, made even better by going with Zimmy, a die-hard Red Sox fan.  Even watching the Sox, Zim can't be kept from shouting Portland Sea Dogs (AA BoSox affiliate) references, but we saw Ortiz, Manny, & Alex Gonzalez all hit the shortest home runs I've ever seen.  Two of them hit the yellow stripes atop the wall, & Ortiz' just barely cleared the wall.  Still, very few lineups have their 3rd & 4th hitters combining for 61 dingers.  I enjoyed this game so much, of course, because of the frenetic AL West where I'm furiously rooting against all non-Mariners teams in the division.  We were squarely across from the out-of-town scoreboard, where I got to witness the M's jump out to a 4-0 lead & hang on to a parallel 7-3 win over the Jays.  Now they're only 3 games out... & still in 4th place.  It's going to be a stretch run for the ages.
-You'll forgive me for not feeling like it should be 18 years to the day since anything in my life...

23 July 2006
-The process of making this stuff for CafePress takes a lot longer than would be ideal.  I feel like I have to subcontract the work to someone since it's rote but highly time-consuming.
-I could play catch forever.  My friends could not.

22 July 2006
-"Lady in the Water" is by no means Shyamalan's best work, but despite its flaws, I loved it.  Mostly, my reasons for liking it are entirely personal... there were a variety of personal references of significance, from a proliferation of Dylan music to a martyred writer to a Watership Down-style intro to the first character I've ever seen on screen who shares my name.  The last of these gave a whole extra eerie dimension to an already spooky flick.  The mood was great, but some explanations were skipped over & the creatures just weren't scary enough.  But on a personal level, Shyamalan's still got it.  Comparable to "Signs", with only "Unbreakable" being worse from his repertoire.
-Migraine:  17 hours, left side, significant, caused by movie.
-Just my luck to get 2 migraines in a half-week after none for 6 weeks.  Like I said before, I was due.
-Spent most of today in the City, including a 5-hour stint at the family picnic for my work (Em got to meet most of my co-workers & helped run the pinata festivities) & Zim's birthday dinner, wherein we met his co-worker, who is approximately the least like us person I've ever shared a meal with.  Wow.  I felt like everything that was wrong with America was encapsulated in everything he said.  Should I stop holding back?

21 July 2006
-There's really only one way to really get to me.  I mean to really make me worry.  Sigh.  Why?  I just don't know.  Maybe it's my fate.
-The way the world is going, it's hard to even feel good about being in a good mood.  When I'm up, I just think of where the world is going & it's easy to get down again.  I finished A Man Without a Country last night, & it resonated so deeply with all the time that's transpired since it was written.  Vonnegut asks where today's Mark Twain is, but I think he must secretly know it's him.  I certainly don't agree with all his rants, & I'm always a little skeptical of pure humanists, but there are so few public pacifists that I'll take him as a living hero.  Plus he talks about the brilliance of Bradbury.  I think the book may have just eclipsed Dorian Gray as the best book I've read this year, but they're basically about the same thing.  How selfishness, greed, laziness, & above all the desire to cling to this stupid planet & its material properties have corrupted a seemingly unending line of people who have, in turn, destroyed the world and its well-intentioned residents.  Vonnegut admits that he joins Twain, Einstein, (& although he doesn't say it, I would argue Jesus) in giving up on humanity shortly before death.  So many are critical of my "first, do no harm" arguments, but there's something to be said for being a watchmaker in this era.  I need to start doing more good.  But some days, I think it might be enough to rail & resist.  In the cacophony of wills, there often isn't much more we can do.
-Uh, wow.  The Mep Report just won the largest podcast contest in history.  There were 7,060 'casts competing.  We got 1st place.  I'm just baffled, overwhelmed, & ecstatic.  This could be big.

20 July 2006
Happy Birthday to Drew Tirrell
-Migraine:  12 hours, right side, moderate, cause unknown.
-Waking up with a migraine rather than developing one over the course of the day is awfully rare.  It's been a fantastic summer for migraines (i.e. I've had very few of them), so I felt due, even though I ostensibly did everything right today.  So it goes.  I was already scheduled to only work a half-day today so I can go to a picnic we're having on Saturday, & I probably wouldn't have made it to work otherwise.
-I just spent altogether too much time reading a blog that had just posted a Book Quiz result.  It was one of those raw, emotionally honest blogs with visceral wordplay combined with daily accounts of events.  I got pulled into it, like a gripping fictional memoir.  After a few posts, I decided to read the beginning & noted that, like so many blogs, it was born in turmoil.  The writing was actually very reminiscent of Try-Before-You-Buy's style.  So interesting to see feelings evolve & develop over the course of the months, to have a fast-forward button on this person's life.  It's something almost unprecedented in the human experience to have access to this kind of perspective.  Some diaries in the pre-web era were published or passed down, but never within a year or a month of it being written, & certainly never outside of the famous or a person's family.  In the course of the reading (I read almost half of the whole archives), I ran across a posting of the Book Quiz more than a year before the posting today, with the same exact result.  & I was stunningly reminded that I had been brought into this person's world because she had spent a little bit of time taking the Book Quiz.  Like I said, unprecedented reality this internet has created.

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