Tangents on Philip K. Dick, Journal #2

I was writing this in class yesterday. It has bits and pieces of the classes’ conversation in it, as well as just some tangential thinking into my own personal literary world/project.

Spoke the transmission, invigorated in post-apologetic desire, discontinued, slowly falling off of the shelves. The packing is worn, perpetually warm, the words fading and at last incomplete. The particulars remain unseen, unheeded. Uprooted, blast from aghast. Swollen tendrils, no tomatoes to top or topple. From this corner a tangle will arise, twisted—then laid straight, sixty hands (that’s 30 women with the heave-ho) and a mining town where the transmission was built.

A thousand of our agents cascade through the streets, input/output asphyixiants attached to their hides, hidden—agents not knowing their own agency—feed conflict and resolution into the populace, from which the original transmission was made, interspersed with radio announcements and television advertisements. We’re interested in maintaining a certain fiction in order to never divulge the clemency of our arms.

Tasmo sleeps on a parched boat going down Heraclitus’ muddy river, one of many paper boats. Ahead of him the water, creating a current to which Tasmo’s boat is a tense resistance, feeding a metal grating. All the other boats are spinning—there are no skippers. Tasmo twists his craft, shifting the weight—all around him the rushing of water and nothing but—no west or east bank to make for—no west or east. Just Heraclitus’ river, many pilotless paper boats and himself and his thoughts, approaching the drain…

There is a static world, in between many canvases. Lemmings, unattached by simile walk through paint and paper to arrive, bit by bit swallowed, inverted—another fuzz to the white noise static constant, dropping from one cliff into the bodies of other beings, in other dimensions. Sometimes two lemmings to a new container, what about three? And then all are behind the new eyes that see.

Isn’t it weird to you?” she asked, “I mean, here we are trying to fit into these misshapen bodies, to be these things as if directed and somehow…”

“Somehow you’ve wound up with someone who finishes your sentences.”

“ But that’s just it! You aren’t that person! You’re just calling upon that part of your connection. You’ve pulled that trait from sure, sure…”

Experiencing other realities. I know some of them. I’ve only had glimpses. I don’t know how deeply I’ve sunk between. I know I’m part of multiple. From various experiences I’ve had, the layers of reality and been ripped. Much like Mr. Dick who said that everything they write is somehow part of these implanted memories. I’ve been through these thoughts. I’ve rolled on down Heraclitus’ River, or Chapel Perilous quite a few times. There is a plant that is unfortunately a secret to most of the world. Also fortunately at the same time. It is called Salvia Divinorum, and it comes from Oaxaca, Mexico. The possibilities with it are astounding. Even with experience with other substances, nothing ever prepared me for the things I’ve found in it. The relationship of static sounds.. electric buzzing, white noise, fuzz on more than just the brain but the makeup of what we call reality itself.. I’ve never been able to clearly talk about it. It shows up in my work all the time. I’ve known people who’ve had experiences with this plant whereas they “wake up” (it usually lasts about 15 minutes, and is sudden in its occurrence) in an alternate reality. Sometimes part of our own, sometimes more in a cosmic consciousness sort of way. One I know have has woken up to being a Tibetan Monk in an indeterminable age. He knew the Tibetan language for that time being, could speak in that tongue, etc.

Philip K. Dick’s descriptions of his exegesis experiences are digestible by me. I can imagine that intensity of what he has felt. But for the durations he was exposed to it—it is a wonder he did not go totally mad. Some of us are predisposed, in some way or another, to hold court with alternate realms. I am eager to read more about this time, this realization of chaos that he experienced.

E2: Someday, when I'm afforded more time, I'm going to be distributing a lot of this stuff into respective nodes about various Dick novels, coherently and less in a day log format. In the future...

For You Know Who,

I hope you have found what you are looking for.

Learning to Drive in my 40th Year

I grew up in New York and have never felt the need to drive, even when living elsewhere. Having spent most of my time in big cities, I have always managed either to walk or take public transportation, and have never really even felt the need to drive. When public transportation wouldn't do, it was usually possible to cadge a ride from a friend, and I have gotten into the habit of repaying these occasional chauffeurs and chauffeuses with meals, either home-cooked or in good restaurants, and for better or worse no one ever really complained. It was more a source of bemusement for them to meet a non-driver. Europeans, especially, with all their cinematic preconceptions about Americans, found me anomalous. I know several other non-drivers, though, all New Yorkers except one Berkeleyite. It happens from time to time; take note, European brethren.

I did take lessons when I was in college, at age 20, but I did so badly on the road test that the inspector had to wrench the wheel from my hands to prevent an accident. For some time after that I was resentful toward the driving school that had taken my money for lessons, but now that I think back I suppose those inspectors must experience a lot of stress every day, not knowing what nut will get into the car with them, and mainly I just feel sorry for my part in it all. Anyway, I spent the next 7 years abjectly impecunious in Taipei and New York, and there would have been little sense in trying to drive then. I took lessons again, from a friend in graduate school, when I was about 30. My friend had a stick-shift, and I got to the point where I felt I could take and pass the exam. But it took longer than I had planned to schedule a road test, and by the time my date came up I had had to leave the country to do research in China. It was two years before I was back in the U.S., and somehow the urgency of it had passed. Between 1992 and 2000 my wife and I moved a total of 6 times, and lived for two of those years out of suitcases in inns and guesthouses in small Chinese towns.

This year I will turn 40. Is there some sort of obscure biological cycle that makes me think of learning to drive every ten years? I don't know. We have been living in the same place for almost two years now, so perhaps being settled has something to do with it. Anyway, for some reason, as of last August the idea started coming into my head that I really should learn. I took and passed the written test at the old Department of Motor Vehicles (closed since 11 September), and in December I began taking lessons.

This past April 15th I took and passed my road test at a run-down Bronx testing site. It wasn't at all hard, and even the pre-test stress was minimal for me. I live in Maryland, but I now have a New York State license.

I'm still rather amazed at myself. Why did I do it, and what am I to make of the whole experience? Where will it lead me? Those are my sensations since the exam. I'm not worked up, but there is something slightly unsettled in my mind.

I have no intention of buying a car - actually, I can't think of any place I really need to drive to. Possibly it would be fun to take my wife out driving somewhere. The only places I can think of - nearby cities - would be just as easy to get to by train. Well, I suppose I'll think of something.

The truth is, although driving is fun, I still can't stand cars. I love the pedestrian life, the rides in subways and buses and trains. I do sense that I've proven something to myself, but I don't feel my life has changed in any appreciable way. Mainly, I think I have created what may prove to be a set of new options for myself in the future, and it evidently satisfied some need of mine to do this before turning 40. For that matter, as of yet I don't really have a sense of what "40 years old" will mean to me. I don't fear it; in truth, I seem to foresee feeling it to be, as the old saw says, the real beginning of my life.

Perhaps the most seductive thing about passing the test is to anticipate being able to watch new options, as yet unglimpsed, develop in my life because of it.

last day-log entry: April 11, 2002 | next: April 19, 2002

And another Bermuda Shorts Day has come and gone, leaving in it's wake a trail of empty beer bottles, hamburger wrappers, and hung over university students.

I love the last day of classes. I hate professors who schedule stuff worth marks on BSD. Fortunately I don't have one of those this year, but I've got enough friends who couldn't go wild on Tuesday like the rest of us.

I'm not sure how things usually are at other schools, but here at the University of Calgary, the last day of classes usually envelops most of the drinking places in the city, well at least all the ones near the school and most of the ones downtown.

This isn't always a good thing. Apparently last year there was a big fight in the beer gardens. And now, ever since the Den finished renovations, there have been more and more problems like it, with non students coming onto campus and making trouble. There have been several incidents at the Den, including one guy who got stabbed in the throat, most of them only involving people who don't go to the University. It's been enough that they started closing down the Den an hour earlier every day.

This year, in order to prevent something like that, the SU changed it so that only students and one guest per student could get into the beer gardens or the Den. You had to get a wristband the week before, and wear it until Tuesday. I got a wristband, but never made it onto campus. Instead, I was at the

Phi Gamma Delta's 3rd Annual Great Canadian Couch Party!

The premise is simple. We take a bunch of couches from the basement of our fraternity house, and drag them across the street onto the neighbour’s lawn, and drink. Starting at about 9 AM. Nothing gets you more weird looks than sitting on the lawn drinking in the early morning. At least it wasn't snowing this year.

Now, I had missed the bus home the night before, so in order to get home to fetch my booze and my party clothes, I caught the first C-Train headed south, so I could go all the way down and catch my bus home, grab my stuff, and head back.

So, I wake up at 5:15 AM, hit home at about 7, hop back on the bus and head back to my fraternity house after a quick stop off at McDonalds, getting there at about 8:30. I was hurrying because I didn't want to be too late.

So, of course, when I get there, there's only two other people awake, one of whom is studying for an exam at 10. We wake people up, dragging some couches outside. Of course, I'm the only one who brought some CD's. It woulda been better if Tom's CD burner hasn't broken, well, been broken, because then I could have had some copies of music to get drunk to. But alas.

Later on, Adam decides to put up some Molson banner's, trying to use scotch tape. <sarcasm>Yeah, that'll work. I swear, I had to do everything around here.</sarcasm> So I pull out a roll of duct tape from my backpack.

'twas fun, sitting around, enjoying our refreshments, and listening to music. I was drinking Lemonhart Rum in Pepsi Twist, and some Peach Schnapps. Mmm... Eventually that party winded down, and some of us headed off to a small house party, where I saw one of the weirdest things in quite a while.

We were sitting around, chatting and watching the Simpsons when this one guy collapsed onto the floor and started twitching and kicking. I think he was muttering something, and one of his roommates was trying to calm him down, which consisted pretty much of moving any tables away and repeatedly saying his name and telling him that they did call his ex-gf and left a message.

Apparently this happens on a somewhat regular basis to this guy. When he gets drunk he starts letting out all the issues and such that he's been repressing, or something along those lines. Either way, it was weird. And then he eventually got up and looked just fine a few minutes later.

So we left soon after that, headed to get some fast food, and then went down to the Embassy. It's a cool nightclub that has a rooftop patio. Was fun but nothing really happened there. We headed back to the fraternity house and I crashed on one of the couches there. And god was I sore this morning. Was a fairly restless sleep.

After suffering though forty minutes of tedious, dangerous, ritualistic pointlessness, I managed to have a fabulous day. Due to the intense (in comparison to earlier weather, anyway) heat that has infused the city over the past week, I finally gave in and decided to wear shorts. This is a big decision for many important, subtle reasons:
  1. Michigan experiences winter-like weather more often than not, leading to a lack natural tanning opportunity. As I refuse to patronize skin cancer salons, this means I am more pale than usual after these long months of no sun. I managed to overcome this flaw by realizing that being tan this time of year should be the weird thing, not the other way around. So that was settled.

  2. Shaving is a long process, and social norms dictate that women be very smooth or else face the potential ostracizication (potential to be ostracized?) by most people living in the United States. Conformity is not always the answer, but in this case I’ve always favored being in the norm. Not only is it more acceptable, but prettier too. However, give the vast surface area of having lengthy appendages, according to my calculations:

    surface area = (2 * pi * r) * h (for these purposes), and legs are generally of two sizes, the calf and thigh. So, since I can’t measure the radius of my leg, I must convert from circumference. This varies, but the average for the lower leg part is approximately 10.5 inches, and the top is about 12.75 inches. Since circumference = 2 * pi * r, we can set the equation. So I guess r is equal to calf: 10.5 = 2 pi r, so r = about 1.59 inches. Other part: 12.75 = 2 pi r = 2.03 inches. So, now we r.

    Going back to the original equation, we also need h. I assume height is about the same as one’s inseam, so for my case it would be 35 inches divided by two. Here we go:

    Surface area of a calf = (2 * pi * 1.59) * 15 = 149.778 inches 2
    Surface area of a thigh = (2 * pi * 2.03) * 15 = 191.226 inches 2

    So one leg has 149.778 + 191.226 = 341 inches 2, and as most people have two legs, that’s a total of 682 inches 2 that must be dealt with, give or take. That’s a lot of work.

  3. The last complication I must deal with is the scarification on my legs due to unfortunate circumstances. Being fair skinned, scars tend to be extremely visible and not too nice. But, given that they are on the inside of my calves, hopefully no one even notices. Unless I sit funny. Or walk. But, this ugliness can be overlooked when the temperature calls for it. Besides, most people who do notice the neat rows of scars between ankle and knee tend to understand, and therefore say nothing to my face. Be that good or bad, I don’t know. On a lighter note, these unsightly things are fading with time, going from a nasty red to pale pink to white, in some areas. My right leg is almost completely healed and thus less of a concern. Given the fact that I have not added any new adornments in over two years, this process will continue until no one can even guess what went on.
So, I wore a skirt today. It was very nice and people seemed to like it. I also found a dollar and got an A+ on one of my final chemistry exams. So it all worked out.
I Raise My Middle Finger, and Take it To Greener Pastures (tm)
by Weasello

A fun and insightful dance of finger waggling and pointing accentuated with real-world-events and other dreadful things.

TOPIC: Today I am going to quit my job. I haven't done it yet, but I'm going to. I am typing this on company time.

WHO: Internet PM, my employer, no longer interests me, no longer suits my requirements of daily life, and also, sucks ass. Internet PM deserves a node on it's own. In a nutshell, Internet PM (www.internetpm.com) is a subsidiary of SexCo (www.sexco.net). Visit SexCo's website and draw your own conclusions. Or heck, form a conclusion by the name of the place.

WHAT: My current job title is "Executive Assistant." To my boss, this means "Vice President or close approximation thereof." To the rest of this world, this means "Overpaid Secretary." This is problem #1 with my job, but more on that later. I was hired to work for $25 (Canadian) per hour, as a sales person. I am now making $15 (Canadian) per hour as a "Vice President." This is problem #2. I now do all hiring, firing, sales, and accounting. I also do everything else, but not exclusively; I do have co-workers.

WHEN: As soon as I've finished this node. I will save this node, speelcheque, cheque grammzr, fix my pipe-linked squarey brackety thingies, and then go drop "da bomb."

HOW: By utilizing my middle finger, accompanying speech, and a backup letter in case I chicken out. Which I likely will, news at 11.

WHY: For pay reasons, or lack thereof technically. My paycheque was due on the 15th of April, and I still have not received it. (Today is April 18, 2002.) Job description also plays a big role, as well as working environment. My boss has a way of screaming his head off when, for some reason, his company is no longer financially sound. Meanwhile, he reaps a paycheque worth more than three times our highest paid employee - who is, by the way, in Tech Support and is not in fact the Vice President.

Oooh it gets worse than this, but I cannot divulge trade secrets - not with the 14-page non-disclosure agreement I had to sign - which, by the way, also prohibits me from working anywhere with a computer for 15 years.

CONCLUSION: It is nigh time that I Get a REAL job! Tomorrow I will be able to say that I quit my job yesterday.

"You said you should quit your job and become an inventor, or you'd torch the house."

Shut it, you!

Job satisfaction? HAH! Try job dissatisfaction. My job is a drug, but one of those bad drugs - I just don't know when to quit. I'm hopelessly addicted to money. Someday I will learn that you are not your job, and less importantly, the difference between good job and bad job.

Today, weasello. Quit your job.

That's it. I quit team sanity.
Wedding plans continue unabated- the invitation address collection has been by far the most work. Calling everyone up, trying to get addresses etc. But making up a database for everything really has worked out well. I use lots of check boxes and queries and can quickly find out whatever I need to (how many people for rehersal, who needs addresses, etc etc). I wondered at first, but it's really great. Plus I can use it again when it comes time to send out thank you cards.

The new house things is all sorted out. I have to move out earlier than planned, but I've got a place to say. I'm using movers this time - moving appliances and stuff into and out of storage is not really my bag, paying someone else to do it is. It was a tough decision to take an early closing date on my current house, but once the decision was made many advantages became apparent. I can move anytime I want (because I have an opened ended place to stay), so if the new house is a bit late, no big deal. If it is done early no big deal. I can schedule moves away from the end/beginning of the month, making the movers much more amiable to making deals. Heck if we close early on the house and want to paint first we can do that also.

My current house is wired with Cat 5E cable everywhere. It's been grand. However 802.11b wireless is actually cheaper than buying cable now. So wireless it is. Heck maybe I'll get 802.11a stuff it is affordable and available around here in time. Love to be able to just wander around the house or the elevated deck with my laptop, surfing the web (then dropping my laptop off the deck while swatting mosquitos).

In my shrinking quotient of spare time i've been playing away at Dungeon Siege. Hate to nodevertise, but it's such a fun little game. I may not even be done playing by the time Morrowind comes out. -heh to appease my finance I concocted a scheme where I plan ahead the games I'm going to buy, instead of buying whatever I see at the store. Actually it's been a great idea, it's ridiculous how many games I have sitting around, hardly played. Morrowind should be a fine strategic purchase if it lasts me even a quarter as long as Daggerfall did.

Among the games I haven't finished yet:
Twisted Metal Black
Virtua Fighter 4
Rally Trophy
Medal of Honor: Allied Assault
Return to Castle Wolfenstein (well in all fairness I've beat everything but the last guy, and he just seems to be more trouble than he's worth)
Gran Turismo 3
Advance Wars Okay so the Gameboy Advance screen is so sucky that playing this otherwise excellent game is almost painful.

Please note that in saying 'not finished' what I mean is that these are games I love to play, but the purchase of a newer game (or finding shiney objects, noticing blinking lights, etc) has interupted the play of the previous game. May it's time to admit I have a problem! I really should finish up those games before buying new ones! I mean if I played through each game as I got it I'd probably save tons of money on games, especially since some titles would probably be greatly reduced in price by the time I got to buying them! Ah well after Morrowind, it's just Tekken 4 and Soul Calibur 2 for me...I swear!

Fine weather has finally arrived this week - actually had to open the windows last night. I can only hope walks on nice sunny days further reduce my game playing time :)

A small airplane heading from Switzerland to Italy crashed into the 26th floor of a Milan Office/Government building this afternoon. The pilot reported trouble and tried to land on the Milan airport. As of now this is clearly an accident.

If this had happened a year ago no one would be in doubt that this is an accident. However, because of the dreaded events of 11/09 people panic. Stock markets panic too - the DAX in Franfurt dropped considerably as the news hit the screens of all major news channels. I think people should just calm down. Being paranoid will just do more damage. I don't think that Europe is safe from terrorists. Especially as the NATO is participating in the US' trigger-happy escapade in Afghanistan. But please take a deep breath before you point your finger and start screaming.

I'm feeling a bit better today. Maybe I got some valid sleep last night, or maybe it's just the fact that you can only sustain unrequited anger for so long towards someone. Or maybe it's the fact that I spent most of last night on a long walk to the library and Best Buy and back again, while the rest of my family was out of the house. Yes, I think that's it.

Because while I like having a family, I also like not having one -- being able to take time by myself, go where I want, enjoy what I want, without having to worry about anyone else's desires at that particular moment. It's not selfish, it's just private. I like being able to move quickly and change my mind at a whim without having to convince anyone else to go along with me. It's more a matter of efficiency than anything else.

Of course, that still leaves me with the fun of my job. This morning the company was rounded up and informed that one of our sales guys had cleaned out his cubicle last night and delivered his two-week notice this morning by e-mail. Apparently he was concerned about the financial stability of our small operation and decided to abandon ship while the getting was good.

Small wonder, really, since we've probably all been thinking the same thing. Ever since the monthly financial reports for our tiny, twenty-odd person operation started going south last year it's been looking poor, but just a month or so ago we learned five employees were being laid off, five more were taking a 20% reduction in hours (and therefore pay), and the rest of us were taking a 10% reduction in pay whether we liked it or not.

I was relieved at the time to discover I wasn't among the fired, naturally enough, but I was never confident it would last, and I'm even less confident these days. Financials don't seem to be improving quickly enough, and now this.

So once again I'm looking around, and passing out résumés, and talking to friends and doing whatever I can to cover my own backside so that when, not if, my position vanishes, I'm ready to move on. My family, and mortgage, depends on it.

I'm not sure moving on would instantly help things, but I'm sure not enjoying this job as much as I used to. Once there were three of us back in this corner of the office doing Internet development; now it's just me, and when I'm stuck I'm stuck by myself.

And as is universal for people in my line of work, the clients are usually (I use this politely) morons. I'm currently dealing with a client with whom we agreed to develop an e-commerce site for fencing supplies. Not the sword-fighting kind, the backyard kind. Chain link, vinyl and wood, tools and accessories and gates and all that. The client saw a competitor's site written up in some kind of national magazine, decided he wanted one just like it but better, and we agreed.

Which was stupid, because (a) the competitor's site is, to be bluntly honest, an unsightly piecemeal chunk of crap. Why he'd want to recreate it is beyond me. I've also been given a couple of Photoshop designs from a freelance designer to be used as templates for the site, which of course have none of the fonts I'd need and need to be rebuilt anyways because the categories have changed. The reason they've changed is because I changed them, because the original ones were copied from the competitor's site and were fundamentally illogical. They're still illogical, because there's only so much anyone can do with this assignment, but at least they're more organized.

Today I finished working up Dreamweaver templates for the site, and now I need to start dumping some content in there. I can't build the e-commerce side of the site yet, because the client can't or won't give us enough data to build a comprehensive database for his products, and I now doubt he ever will. I've been telling people that I can't create content out of thin air, especially about fencing supplies which I know less than nothing about, so the client needs to supply it or at least help me work some up that makes sense.

That's not happening, so I'm giving up and going with the client's original plan: take the stack of product brochures he's handed us, scan the photos and copy the descriptive text, copyright matters be hanged, and build some content out of it.

I'm going to forget the database or anything so efficient. I don't ever expect to get to the e-commerce side of this site. To be frank, I don't ever expect to get any more product information after this, so a dynamic and easy-to-update database would be pointless overkill.

Oh well. At least we've already been paid for some of the work. I'd hate to spend my last paycheck begging for some return on my work for this thing.

back -- forth

Today's little ditty...

My country 'tis of thee


Of which I sing.

Our president's a joke

Our government is broke

Dick Cheney's gonna croak

Let chaos reign!


The thing with Nolan is, I rarely get to see him socially. There are really only two types of such occasions: a party at WolfDaddy's house (who's a mutual friend), or the rare times that he needs a ride home after work.

Warning: What follows may be considered angsty, and contains more than one excessively long parenthetical comment....

I like seeing him at the parties, because hanging out with a small group is my preferred way to be with friends; I don't generally stay until the wee hours, and neither do he and his girlfriend (unlike at the other parties he attends -- the kind which apparently revolve around drink, and stronger (or at least different) psychoactive substances, and others even stronger -- but that I do not). And when I give him a ride home, maybe once or twice in four months, it often turns out that we hang out there together for a few hours, which is just grand. (Not always though, and that's generally when his girlfriend isn't home, which is presumably related to why he needs a ride anyway. Twice in the last month, I drove him home; both times, not only was she at home, but the car was there, too. I'm still happy to do him the favor, but I can spell being taken advantage of.)

But what I really miss, and I've told him this, is doing other kinds of things: sports, other outdoor activities, etc. This is really rare. In fact, despite regular entreaties which I stopped making over a year ago, the only one was a weekend camping trip (which was stupendously wonderful), and that was way back before I fell in love with him. There was a company party at the beach almost a year ago, when we were playing Frisbee on the sand, and later bocci, and I was, dare I say, deliriously happy. I realized later that I had been playing, in the sense that a child does and that I basically never do. It is that that I so want to share with him.

The Bad News

About two months ago, he got into kite flying, presumably influenced by another guy at the office who's an enthusiast. At least one, and possibly both, of his officemates got into it also, and they go out occasionally to indulge. A few weeks ago, I told him that I would like to join him in that. He said, Sure!. Last Thursday, he came to my office in the morning, said he'd be flying his kite that day, and invited me along, which I accepted immediately. When I came back from lunch, I saw that he and both of his officemates were out. I saw him that afternoon on a work issue, and then, at about 5:15, I saw them all gone again. I almost screamed. I was so hurt, and angry at him.

Now, maybe it turned out that he didn't go after all, or maybe he went after work, or during lunch. (I never asked him, which I'm ashamed of because that constitutes a failing of the friendship test.) The thing is, it's terrible either way. Obviously if he did go (scenario 1), he just went without me. If he went at lunch (scenario 1a), not only did he go without me, but he didn't mention later that he had already done so. And if he didn't go at all (scenario 2), then he didn't care enough to let me know that it wasn't going to happen (and he knows how important it was to me).

This is the latest, and darn strong, support for my theory: I know his friendship for me is sincere, but I think that quite often, if I'm not in the same room with him, I just don't exist. Now, it goes without saying that I would be very sad if he just plain didn't like me, but of course it can be the case that a person you greatly enjoy has no desire to be your friend. But apathy from a friend... well, that might hurt even more. I spent that entire night playing over the day in my head, and crying a lot of the time. I told myself that maybe I really should just put him aside, even to the extent of moving away from here. Friday, I was struggling with myself as to whether I should bring it up with him; besides being afraid to, I was afraid that I would let my voice become accusatory, and I didn't want that. So I didn't. My thoughts continued on that way throughout the weekend, but then Sunday evening I found myself calling him and asking if he and his girlfriend would come over to my place and hang for a while; something I virtually never do. He declined, saying that he was about to go to bed, having been up almost all the previous night. I was saying okay and trying to get off the phone, but he didn't seem to want to leave it at that, and finally suggested that maybe later in the week that could happen. I didn't know for sure if that (phoning him) constituted an act of excessive need, but I was leaning toward "yes" on that question, and that didn't make me feel any better.

The Good News

Well, I had a great time this evening, because I was out on the beach with him after work, watching and learning about this kite flying deal. And while he did ask me along, I think it likely that that was only because I happened to be in his office at 5:00 when the guy who started him on kites came in to get him (as it had been planned earlier that they would go).

Those kites were sure different than the paper ones I flew when I was a kid! Whereas most of the time then was spent trying to get the thing into the air, and have some fun for ten minutes before a tree ripped it to shreds, these are made of vinyl or some such, with plastic or fiberglass ribs, and they want to fly. And if you happen to crash them into the ground, they probably won't hold it against you, and will leap back into the sky at the lightest tug. Our progenitor in this activity, who is not in the office most days, gave me one of his kites so I could go out with Nolan next time.

Other Good News

All was not terrible for the last week, though. panamaus spent two days in town, visting with me and WolfDaddy, during his post-gathering jaunt through California, and that was fun. Be sure to ask him his opinion of Isla Vista, a small non-incorporated enclave bordering the campus of UCSB, where you can't buy anything with a traveler's check, there are often plenty of shirtless college guys, and a dog's hair grows backwards.

C-Dawg's Office Chessboard Cam
Current streak: 60 wins

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