Come Together
(19-28 August 2006)

28 August 2006
[from Albuquerque]
-Got in last night around dusk after a very eventful, if shorter, day of driving.  There's a stretch of highway between Ouray & Silverton (both in Colorado) that is probably the scariest patch of road I've ever driven.  They have constant hairpin turns & twists on a mountainside with 500-1,000 foot drops straight down... & no guardrails.  Granted, the speed limit is 25 mph, but still... the Kia wants to roll in most situations, let alone those kinds of conditions.  I was freaked out most of the way, while Dad & Martin enjoyed the view & the former encouraged me to speed up.  Silverton to Durango had moments that were similar, but fortunately the southbound lane was mostly against the upper part of the mountains, not the drop-offs.  Regardless, we did survive & cruised down Nuevo via 550 & into Albuquerque just in time for sunset over the volcanoes.  Not surprisingly, my Dad has vastly overhauled the house (mostly the yard this time), & we hung out on the new rooftop porch & watched for bats, which are apparently now common in the area.  Got a chance later to hang out with DK & Eliaii for the first time in ages, catch up on everything, & establish that the more DK changes, the more Eliaii stays the same.  Good times all around.
-If only for a day, it's so good to be home.  Got to go to school with my Mom, meet her fellow teachers & see what Manzano looks like after the new building was constructed.  Went to the Frontier late last night (but only got it to-go).  Bummed around the house today, seeing new nuances & remembering old times.  I really do love this city.

27 August 2006
[from Grand Junction, Colorado]
-Yesterday on the road was impressively long, but not as taxing as expected.  We drove across Nevada & much of Utah on US 50, which uses the moniker "The Loneliest Highway in America" as an advertising slogan.  They aren't really kidding.  We toured some ghost towns, noted the constant discernability between the Nevada/Utah sides of the border, & met up with I-70 near its point of origin.  The sign told us there were no services for 109 miles, & said miles proved to be roughly the most desolate of any interstate.  Peppered with a handful of "Ranch Exit"s, this stretch had no radio signals, no services of any kind, & barely any traffic.  No one seems to occupy this land in southeastern Utah, but someone still put a major interstate there.  Green River, Utah, on the eastern side of this abyss, seemed like the seven cities of Cibola after the lonely night drive, though the meal we had there was quiet & tiring.  Then it was on across the Colorado border after a brief judgment call on whether to stay or go.  I ended up driving all but about 50 miles of the 750 trekked yesterday, & despite what one dubious proprietor of a hotel in Grand Junction told us, we were able to find an affordable & reasonable hotel situation here.
-I'm never going to argue with free breakfast, long wait or no.
-Albuquerque by nightfall seems like a possibility.

26 August 2006
[from Sparks, Nevada]
-Had a bit of a tough drive last night, toughened in part by spending all yesterday taking CPR/First Aid classes & thus watching gory videos, many of them set on roadways.  Suffice it to say I was a little concerned by poorly illuminated mountain roads as we came into Nevada via US route 50.  But when my Dad has cataracts (though they're not as bad for vision during night as during day), some driving had to be done.
-Enter Martin (my uncle), stage his house.  On we go to Albuquerque via points unknown!

25 August 2006
Happy Birthday to Sarah Brook
-My Dad got to come into work with me today & see what my day looks like.  San Francisco has changed a fair bit since his heyday here, but it's fun to discuss what's changed & what hasn't.  Plus, I got to show off my new office.
-Afghan Oasis in Berkeley is neither Afghan, nor an oasis.  It's marginal Indian food, served in a surly fashion, with half the menu missing.  What I was hoping to be a great Afghan experience for my Dad turned out to be one of the most disappointing meals ever.
-Heading out for a roadtrip with my Dad & probably my uncle to take the Kia back to Nuevo.  Updates upon return (though the last few days haven't been posted yet, so...).  Just run out of time on this sometimes.

24 August 2006
Happy Birthday to Dad
-Enter Dad, stage Oakland Airport.  I had briefly thought his flight was very late, but the board had confused his with another.  I was starting to lament another case of the airline website deliberately misleading me into spending money on airport parking when I realized that my Dad was over at the baggage claim.  Getting a good chance to catch up though.

23 August 2006
-I think the Mep Report we just wrapped recording may be the best show we've ever done.  It was crazy, frenetic, bopped around subjects, & was actually legitimately funny throughout.  It'll be a while before you can hear it, but it was really good.  & I don't tend to be that high on Mep Reports, so this means something.

22 August 2006
-Migraine: 17 hours, right side, severe, caused by reading while standing on BART.
-I was a spammer today at work.  I feel like I sent a hundred e-mails, most of them group e-mails of some sort or another.  This actually reflects productivity, but given my output/intake ratio of e-mails, I sometimes wonder if my co-workers get overwhelmed.  "ANOTHER e-mail from Storey?" they might muse, "Well at least it isn't about getting a free prescription!"
-These NERT classes do give me an opportunity to eat Chipotle for dinner, & they definitely train me in some important skills, but I'm really looking forward to putting them behind me.  Not only do they manage to be tiring, but a lot of them are in the genre of things that make me more aware of my body & its functions, which leads me to freak out.  There was one point tonight where I literally felt I was going into low-level shock as they were describing elements of blood flow.  I don't think I need to understand these things this completely to know how to save lives in an emergency.

21 August 2006
-Noticeably exhausted, but glad we were able to pull off the trip without having to request any time off from work.
-Since I've started working at Glide, a lot of people have commented negatively on how our organization does certain things.  It wasn't really until today that I noticed some of what they were talking about & agreed with the assessment.  Some things just run a little slowly, two steps forward & 1.99 steps back.
-But... I now have an office!  So that's pretty nifty.  I will miss the buzz of activity around my old half-cubicle, but the space & the ability to not deal with fluorescent lights changes everything.

20 August 2006
[from Los Angeles]
-Angels 3, Mariners 2.  Returned to Anaheim for the second half of Em's anniversary gift to me... my first ever visit to the Angels' Stadium to see them play the M's.  For the second time in a week, the M's squandered a lead in the bottom of the 8th & promptly lost.  I cannot express how frustrating being a Mariners fan has been this year, to say nothing of them going 0-7 in games that I attended.  Russ joked that they were close to .500 without me being there, but I was dragging them down.  Of course it's mostly that I can see them when they play the A's, who they can't beat, & then this other AL West team, who also gives them fits.  Oh, for a balanced schedule this year!  We'd probably go to the playoffs in that case; instead we're on a losing streak for the ages.  I still enjoyed the game, especially since the M's led for all but 1.5 innings... sadly, 1 of the 1.5 were the bottom of the 8th & the top of the 9th.
-Everyone (well, Russ & Dolan) was pretty tired & bailed on the last couple hours of our time in LA, so we headed to a diner with Mesco & Afsheen for a stunningly good meal.  It's been a whirlwind trip, but a near-perfect one.

19 August 2006
[from Disneyland]
-Hung out with Russ & Jake last night, eating out & catching up in downtown Pasadena.  'Twas Jake's last night in town before pursuing his last term of school, where he'll nab a graduate degree from Georgia Tech.  Then we returned to Russ' & played video games for hours, taking more of a sample approach than just plowing through one over & over.  Now we've arrived in Disneyland & I'm very excited, if a little starving.
-Despite the crowds, we've managed a pretty impressive array of rides, & Pirates remains the crown jewel of them all.  Even Russ liked it, & he hasn't particularly enjoyed much of Disneyland, finding it a little childish I fear.  He's at least liked the roller coasters & teacups, while Mesco & Afsheen & Emily of course like just about everything.  I really don't get tired of this place... it always manages to be a ton of fun.  Even Small World was back open, making Em ecstatic & Russ nearly throw up.
-A perfect photo finish to our time here, catching a second run on Pirate, the teacups, & the Matterhorn all just before close.  Even had a bizarre discussion with a Mariners fan attendant at Pirates who noticed my M's hat, talked in detail about the M's while we were in line for a boat, then told me as I got off the boat that Jamie Moyer had just been traded to the Phillies!  Such a surreal but cool interaction.  What a great day.

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