25feb02 . . . . .
the return of antics
So, the new airport situation really wasn't so bad. I think the tightening of regulations
means that sloppy-ass people who can't read signs or follow directions get weeded out, or pulled aside and nice law-abiding
folks like myself with shoes and belt in hand get breezed through. This is such a change from the bad old days where every time I'd show up at an airport I was subject to the so-called random search
. We even got bumped
voluntarily from our flight. I was loitering near the desk so when they asked for volunteers, I signed up up. $200 each, they said. Then we waited for the interminable paperwork that accompanies getting bumped
. When the airline guy was done, he scooted a piece of paper across to me "Is this amount okay?" The paper said $359. "Um, for both of us?" I asked. Turns out, through some miracle of our weird vacation package
, we deserved more reimbursement than the average traveller, so wound up with over $700 in combined travel credit which can get you basically to China on Southwest [though it will take you eleven days eating nothing but peanuts].
Then we were in Vegas for a few days. Stayed at the Westward Ho which seems to be a casino for the elderly. The place had nice quiet rooms, free lunch every day and free drinks even if you weren't gambling. The drawback of course is that the two beers they had on tap were Budweiser and Miller Lite. We went to my friends' lovely wedding and -- surprise of suprises -- they gave all the guests Cirque du Soleil tickets. I was blown away by the performance which involved a largeish pool of water on stage and parts of the floors that raise and lower to accomodate dance numbers and high diving.
We walked everywhere which meant miles every day and generally spent a lot of time outside marvelling at that bright hot thing in the sky.
19feb02 . . . . .
Valentine's Day 2002
roomate: "You guys will never find anyplace to go out to dinner tonight if you haven't made reservations"
me: "We're going out for cheeseburgers and malted milk shakes; when we called, they said there wasn't a line."
It was a very nice cheeseburger. Saturday we went to brunch at the house of a friend who I work with at the bookstore. Almost all vegan. As I understand it, Thursday night is dumpster diving night. My friend makes tofu on Fridays. The Food Not Bombs people give away some of the food to the low income folks at Yesler Terrace, save some for the free feed on Sunday and then use some of it to make a drop-in brunch meal on Saturday mornings. Everyone sits around and swaps stories and gets to know each other and the coffee flows freely.
Then we went to Portland -- by bus, more time to read that way -- and hung out with my multi-talented friends including my friends who recently bought a house and painted the insides of it every manner of cheery lime green, brilliant orange and sunny yellow. We all ate at a cajun restaurant that nearly killed me; all the food was so good I could not stop eating. They serve 40 oz's of Colt over ice in little buckets -- classy! Also hung out with my friend who just published a book [which I read on the way home -- thumbs up] and her husband, who draws Batman. For a living. I read comic books until the wee hours and then we headed back today where I got a late V. Day package containing, among, other things, a headlamp. Thanks Kate.
Thursday we go to Las Vegas where my friends are getting married. They are having two weddings. A family wedding and a friends wedding. This will be the friends wedding and I am only going because they promised that I could 1) bring a date and 2) wear overalls to the ceremony. Greg claims to not like roller coasters. I hope to change his mind.
13feb02 . . . . .
Okay, a reporting on some of my antics. Yesterday, for the first time, I participated in the making of a lasanga
. I don't know how I missed this particular milestone previously, but I've just never made one before, or even watched. To be fair, my part of the whole cooking event was mostly limited to preparing the sauce, taking a nap and cursing loudly when some of it burnt. We made it half without mushrooms because I'm just not one of those fungus-lovers
We won $56 at bar trivia Monday. You'd think that totally dominating at something like that would be fulfilling, but it wasn't really. By the end of the second round, the other teams were calling us Enron. We lost the thind round and I was grateful.
We tried to go see the Soundgarden but it was closed. Locked up tight in fact. It's on the NOAA grounds so maybe there's some sort of national security reasoning behind it. Or maybe it was because we were there on a Sunday. Either way we went for a long walk through the dog park where we met many of the Happiest Dogs on Earth. Greg thinks I have been lying to him all this time about the rain we get -- the weather has been crazily sunny.
Also caught an all ages show at the Local 46 with Dub Narcotic [ woo hoo, Calvin Johnson! ] and the All Girl Summer Fun Band. It was unusual and fun to be at a show where many of the folks there were underage. They sold sodas and cheese'n'crackers at the snack bar. Anyone who is into the future of all-ages music in Seattle should check out The Vera Project. They do great work.
In other news, I'm applying for a job to be a test reader for the California High School Exit Exams. Even though I have signed numerous confidentiality agreements, I think I can at least tell you that much.
10feb02 . . . . .
black history month
Not to be too awful about all this, but this seems apropos. I have been reading a book about circus freaks
. More of a dry academic tome really. You know how sometimes you pick up a book with a fascinating subject in the library and get all excited, and then you bring it home and realize the last 100 pages are footnotes and you think "Shit, suckered by a PhD thesis again!" Well that is like this book. Anyhow, the chapter I am just finishing up is about Ota Benga
. Ota Benga is the African man who was exhibited in the Bronx Zoo
starting in 1906. Ishi
is often known as "The Last Yahi" or sometimes just "The Last Indian" and was on display, though theoretically free to leave, at UCSF for four years 1912-1916. Ota Benga
, though thought too fragile or too poor to return to his native Africa, was able to kill himself with a revolver. Racist
commentators felt this was because he "....would rather die than work for a living." Ishi
caught tuberculosis and died four years after arriving at UCSF.
The thing about this I find the most interesting -- besides the horrific fact that my great grandparents lived in a world where many thought it appropriate to display other humans in zoos -- was that when I went to do some online research on Ota Benga, the most frequent pages I came across were made by creationists. If I follow it, the creation argument goes something like this "Evolutionary theory indicates that man came from monkeys. Keeping this man in a zoo means that the evolutionists were racists. Since evolutionists were racists then they were wrong about everything else..." and then you get to fill in the blanks. Am I the only one who finds that logic completely specious?
Greg arrives today. The journal will likely devolve into many cute stories about our adorable antics. You have been warned.
07feb02 . . . . .
why the hygenist hates me
Stewardesses and hygenists seem to dislike me and I have never known exactly why. Today the hygenist at the clinic
actually argued with me about which tooth was giving me trouble, feeding me the line I often hear and never believe "Sometimes people think a tooth is hurting
when it's actually a completely different tooth
, happens all the time. Let's mess with the other
tooth instead of the one you think is hurting." On the one hand, I feel like a jerk arguing with a health professional, on the other hand I think health professionals enjoy this "we're never wrong" reputation where you're insulting them to even suggest they might not be right
. Or to suggest an alternative
. I can be a truculent patient. I ask to have the right-wing talk radio
turned down or off. I refuse to get more silver fillings
. I admit that I don't floss as often as I should. On the other hand, I brush before I go, I say "please" and "thank you", and I pay my bills on time.
I also have a new side job -- post office under-the-stamp-machine checker. Today when I picked up my mail, I dropped some of it, While picking it up, I noticed that the floor under the stamp machine was littered with change, including a one dollar coin. I walked out of there with almost two bucks!
05feb02 . . . . .
the man, and associations with same
Did my taxes today. Four digit income last year. I did them so early because I have to prove my income to the dental clinic people so I can get my teeth looked at for cheap. I have been having conversations with my fiends lately about ambition. My friends worry that they may have too much, or too little, or misdirected ambitions. Me? I just feel like if I can maintain myself at the style to which I have been accustomed and not break the 10K mark, I am doing something very right.
In a book I have been reading lately, I came across a new concept/word: skhole. It's from ancient Greek and is the etymological root for the word scholar. As Plato envisioned it, the word meant not only having plenty of time, but also living a life -- an academic one, in this case -- where a person was free to organize their own time, to choose how to intermingle work and leisure activities. Not having this ability, or askholia, was tantamount to slavery. It also sounds a bit like the word asshole, to me.
02feb02 . . . . .
getting up to date, 2:02:02 02/02/2002
. There are stylesheets here, somewhere, and if you can't really tell, then I guess I'm doing okay. Learning stylesheets to me is like learning to drive a stickshift car with about seventy-three gears, only some of which work on your particular model, and some of which work differently depending on whether your car is in the driveway or on the highway. Netscape
users, I'm sorry, I did the best I could
with what I had to work with.
Other new "features" include permalinking ability which is guaranteed to work over half the time, and some new system for archiving old pages which will be complete sometime this month. In the meantime, last month's entry is here.
Oh yeah, and I have a job or two. Older readers may recall the times when I would frequently have two or three jobs. I'm happy to say I took a well needed vacation from all that and took most of 2001 off. Now I'm feeling the need to be productive and useful and have started doing some work stuff again. This includes: freelance tech support for some local lawyers, web architecture consulting stuff and [maybe] some test scoring for ETS next month.
In other news, I'm getting an article published by American Libraries in a few months. It's about doing reference work "on the fly" and is loosely based on the experiences I had working at the Info Desk at Burning Man [yes, this does make my entire trip a tax write-off, ha!]. If I can find a picture of me working at the reference desk, they will print it. Anyone got one?