Wednesday, February 26, 2003

My illness: Now entering it's second week!

I went to the doctor this morning and it was kind of funny, because he couldn't just come right out and say, "I'm stumped. I have no clue as to what you have." Instead he asked some questions, made some notes and then said, I don't have strep, but obviously something is giving me swollen glands, so he wrote me a prescription for amoxicillin and some more (and stronger) cough medicine. I can tell the amoxicillin is already kicking whatever I have out of my system because the swelling went down very quickly today. Hopefully I'll be back up to speed very soon.

Otherwise things are okay. I missed half the day because of the doctor and the second half of the day was spent in a long meeting discussing new products for 2004. It was very interesting and it looks like we have some great things to propose to upper management.

My Saturday gaming group officially self-destructed today as two of the guys backed out spontaneously. I don't mind too much, because the games just weren't clicking like I wanted them to. I'll see about hooking up with some of those guys again because I like most of them a lot. The game just didn't work out.

No gym until I'm feeling a bit better. I just don't think it's a good idea to push myself, even though I feel like a slacker for not going.

Still no call from Cyndi, but she said she'd call "sometime next week", so I figure if I haven't heard from her by Sunday that I've been blown off and I'll get in touch with her to see what happened. That would be too bad, because we really seemed to get along well. Who knows, maybe she's just too busy -- and it's not like I'd have been able to do anything in the last week anyway with my cold.

Bed now. Hooray!

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

The continuing story of the ongoing saga of my illness! Now that I have laryngitis the nurse told me to contact them if I feel like I'm getting sick again. Well, today, I started feeling a bit fevery, my glands right under my jawline felt swollen, and my throat started feeling a bit sore. So I called the nurse and she scheduled me for an appointment for tomorrow morning at 10:15. She thinks I may be on my way to strep and she wants to head it off right away. Sounds good to me! (Yep, definitely something in my throat is swollen, I'm having a hard time swallowing. Ugh.)

Because of the laryngitis I've been trying not to talk. I did really well this morning and barely said a dozen words. It was funny becuase even that little bit of self-imposed muteness was off-putting to some people. I was going to go out to eat with one of the guys from work and he said, "This really isn't going to be a very fun lunch since you can't talk. Let's just grab something and come back." It made me feel a little odd. Like I was being left out of something because I couldn't talk. It was also odd to see how incapable some people are of changing the way they talk to me. By that I mean, most people continued to talk to me normally; very open-ended questions that I had no hope of being able to answer easily. While others quickly figured out that they should only ask yes/no questions.

Anyway, the second half of the day I had a long meeting -- one on one -- so I had to talk and that really blew the whole plan, because then I talked for most of the afternoon and evening.

Shortly after the meeting is when I started to feel sick -- I don't think there's a connection -- so I called for the appointment.

This evening I cancelled the game I was supposed to run and instead had dinner with my boss and one of the other designers. We talked about some good stuff that my boss seemed interested in pursuing.

I'm really tired, so I think I'm going to go to bed. Oh, but if you haven't read the post I made earlier today (immediately below) go do it now. It's very cool. One more thing, I still haven't heard from Cyndi. Bummer.

My friend, Dr. Chris, is a vet and he recently removed a bone from a tiger's jaw while it was awake. Here's his story of life, love, and tiger surgery. Thanks to Seth for giving me a copy of the story that's posted on his site.

A bit of background for those who don't know: in addition to running his own vet clinic, Chris volunteers at a large animal sanctuary in southern Wisconsin, the setting for the tale:

"The Brave-Stupid-Instinct Triangle"

Last fall, I vasectomized a lion named Chaucer. Chaucer had just lost his brother, his sole companion of over a decade, and was as lonely the lioness across the hall from him. With no risk of cubs, we paired them up, and they got along quite well, after a fashion. Unfortunately, Chaucer took great exception to having his new girlfriend being looked at by their neighbor, Goliath the tiger. Chaucer decided against a leaflet campaign and went straight into combat, tearing down what had until then been a perfectly serviceable barrier between their cages.

If I could choose any half-ton predator to meet in a dark alley, it would be Goliath. He's a thousand pounds of very amiable fuzz; wouldn't harm a fly. It's tragic that Chaucer had to pick on the sweetest cat in the sanctuary. I won't detail the fight. Suffice to say they were quickly separated, but Goliath's face was full of holes. Big ones. We put him on antibiotics and only a month later, he was totally healed, save for one nasty spigot of pus on his left jawline. I was asked to take a look. In the cage. Without anesthesia. Goliath would be awake, too.

The singular attitude I purposely invite as my "instinct canvas" for dealing with big cats is that my life is in jeopardy every single second. No matter how friendly, no matter that we meet each other with a greeting chuff or a mutual shoving of shoulders, these top predators react to annoyance with alarming speed and stupefying might. Every assessment, every approach, every detail about their cage security is life and death for me and all the cats there. The mantra at the sanctuary is, "If anyone gets hurt, we bury them all." Which reminds me of the second thing that goes through my mind when going into their cage: "I don't have to be faster than the tiger, I just have to be faster than you."

Let me slip into present tense to give you a better sense of what it was like in the cage:

Even knowing that Goliath is the only animal we trust enough to enter his cage, he is hurt--and that means all bets are off. As usual, Goliath gives me a greeting puff, and shoves his head into my hand. It's a head the size of a quarter barrel, his nose is as big as my palm. Examining the open sore is difficult, because he's trying to play. He's sniffing the flashlight, he's sniffing my shoes. Imagine trying to dress a half-ton two-year old. Eventually we manage to distract him with petting from his "mom,"--the owner of the sanctuary--and I'm able to look at the wound. It's a two-inch pink hole, the hair around it is slick and matted with pus, and the smell is rank. (I promise, you have no idea what it takes to make a veterinarian think a smell is even "bad", let alone rank.)

So I brace myself to take flight and risk touching the fur near the wound, intellectually knowing there is no way I could react fast enough if Goliath gets angry. I'm kneeling on the ground in front of him, and even though Goliath is relaxing on the floor his four-inch canine teeth are only a foot away from my eggshell-thin skull.

No reaction to the touch. Whew.

I move the hair out of the way. No reaction.

Now I can see something sticking out of the wound edge. It's a round ball, dime-sized and dark yellow, like the fat on a leftover steak that's been in the fridge too long. I figure it's just that--connective tissue or fat that was torn loose in the fight, and is now simply doing what dead flesh does. (Eat your heart out, James Harriot.) My medicine-man desire is to touch it, explore it a brief, fleeting moment for texture and firmness, hoping it helps me guess what the heck it has to do with this oozing hole. I touch it, and it surprises me by being rock hard. Petrified hard. The next 5 seconds are a seizure of images and primal urges.

I recall three distinct and simultaneous surging "voices" in my mind. Let's call them Doc, Captain Safety, and Monkey Brain.

T minus 0:

Doc discovers the thing is petrified. "Fascinating. That should not be there nor feel that way."
Captain Safety says, "How can that not hurt? Where's the door? Let's find the door."
I say out loud, "What the heck is that?"

T minus 1: My thumb and forefinger seize upon the thing almost as a reflex.

Doc: "I wonder if that thing is loose. Let's find out."
Captain Safety: "What... what am I doing? Why am I grabbing this so hard?"
Monkey Brain: (Nervously pacing back and forth up until this point, stops pacing and stares intently at my fingers) Imagine a Tim Allen "puzzled monkey" noise: "uuueh?"

T minus 2: Goliath's "mom" asks me, "What is it? What did you find?" All I can eek out is a puzzled, "It's...."

Doc: "Hmm, it seems unattached. Let's rotate it back and forth to see just how loose. I wonder if there is any feeling in this area."
Captain Safety "Wait. What? Teeth. Death. Dismemberment. This can wait. Knock him out, and then do this."
Monkey Brain: (Eyes widen, pupils dilate.) "hoooh?"

T minus 2.5: My fingers gently rock the hard ball back and forth. I feel the unique sensation of bone grinding against bone.

Doc: "Huh. It's grating on something. I can't let go now. That has to come out. Pull on it."
Captain Safety: "Sour idea. Bad plan. Flashing teeth, roar, death. Stop, STOP."
Monkey Brain: (Fear grimace, and a low keening.) "hoooooo.........."

T minus 3: I begin to pull.

Doc: "Neat, it's coming out. Gosh it feels big. I wonder what this thing is? This is why the wound won't heal! Gosh, I am going to solve this. I rock."
Captain Safety: "Is pulling this out worth dying for?"
Doc: .... .... "Yes."
Monkey Brain: "Hoo, hooh, HOOOH, HAAAH, HOOOOOH ! !"

T minus 3.5: I feel a sliding, sucking, and gentle grinding. The thing keeps coming and coming.

Doc: "Wow. Freaky. Huh, interesting that Goliath isn't reacting to this at all."
Captain Safety: "Stupid. Stuuu-piiiid."
Monkey Brain: (In shock, lying down awaiting the oblivion of death, hoping it doesn't hurt too much.)

T minus 4: Pop. Out plucks this enormous piece of bone. Two huge plunks of saliva drip from Goliath's mouth, and he glances at me. Two enormous golden-green eyes focus on me from two feet away. I feel the breath exhaled from his nose on the back of my hand.

Doc: "Huh. Interesting. Bone. Jaw? Zygomatic arch?"
Captain Safety: "Gah... gah... mub... NAH."
Monkey Brain: (feels his adrenal glands screaming like dry ice squeezed in a pair of pliers.)

T minus 5: Goliath turns and shoves back into the noogies his mom has been giving him the whole time.

Doc: "I am a healer. I have helped my friend. He will get better now. That was worth 8 years of college."
Captain Safety: "I am a fucking moron. That was the stupidest thing I've ever done."
Monkey Brain: (Woozy with adrenaline, he lifts his eyes from the dirt.) "hoooo?...haa? "

I walked around in adrenaline shock for an hour. I'm going back in 2 days to check how he's doing. And there you go.


Doctor and patient shortly after surgery.

Monday, February 24, 2003

My voice hasn't recovered, so now I and the doctor think I have laryngitis. I've never had laryngitis before, so it's kind of interesting. Something new! The upshot of this is that I'm going to try not to talk very much for a couple of days. The doctor said that's about the only thing that will help it. Oh, but since I'm not sick anymore I can go to the gym, so I'm probably headed there after dinner tonight.

I bought my ticket to Vegas for March 15th to the 19th. I'll get to do some work and hang with some friends that will be in town during that time. It should be pretty darn fun. Now I have to save up some moolah.

Sunday was pretty relaxed for me. I watched more of The Fellowship of the Ring's commentary track, came to work to write some things for my magazine, and then went to see Shanghai Knights with Matt (also at work on a Sunday). I really liked it. Sure, it was a brainless action/comedy, but it was pretty darn entertaining brainless action/comedy -- and it had Jackie Chan. I'd place at at least equal to the first movie in terms of cheesy fun.

I'm going to have some dinner and get to the gym for the first time in a week! Agh!

Saturday, February 22, 2003

This illness thing has taken up most of my posts for the last week -- mostly becuase I've been sick for the last week and haven't done a whole heck of a lot outside of sleep, work and be sick. I'm feeling better today finally. I went home last night, wrapped myself in my sleeping bag and watched some more of the commentary track of The Fellowship of the Ring. The sleeping bag actually managed to keep me warm; the first time I've felt warm all week, actually, so that was nice. About 11:00 I was feeling a little too warm, so I unwrapped myself. I don't know if it was the fever itself, or the warmth of the sleeping bag, but I think my fever finally broke because I wasn't feeling chilled all the time. When I went to bed I was still warm enough that I laid on top of the covers to cool down and actually fell asleep that way. The night before I was freezing under my covers, so sleeping atop them seemed really amazing to me.

My voice is a bit better today and my cough is pretty much the same, just not as painful. I'm still keeping up with my medicines to help me out a bit.

I slept in until about 10:00 (another night of way too much sleep! Ugh!), watched some more of the movie, then I was tired of sitting around, so I showered, dressed and came to work for a bit. I didn't actually do any work, but I started on some things for the game I'm supposed to run Tuesday. I also played a few games of cards with Matt. At about 6:30 we took off for Cafe Bizarro for Heather's birthday dinner. There was a group of about 14 of us. Dinner was very good and Heather was happy to see everyone. After dinner they were all headed out to go dancing, but considering I'm not well I opted to go home. A couple of them gave me hell, but I don't care; I don't go out when I'm sick.

I stopped at work to update this quickly and now I'm headed home to relax, take some medicine and go to bed.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

I made an appointment with the doctor for this evening and when I went in I found out that I don't have strep. Thank goodness. Instead, he sent me home with some cough drops and said to take some Advil or Tylenol regularly. Cool. That's what I've been doing. I sound like Barry White trying to talk in a lower octave, but my throat doesn't hurt, so that's good.

I just wanted to let everyone know what was up. I'm good. Time for dinner now.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Feeling better than I have the past couple of days, but I'm only running at about 60%. I have a hard time concentrating because my head hurts, my throat's sore, and my eyes burn if I look that the computer too long. Fun, eh? I'm really glad I didn't have that date tonight, it wouldn't have been a good thing.

I'm headed out of work now, after running to pick up some comics. I need dinner (I'm starving -- probably because my body's working overtime trying to burn this virus off) and I need to sleep. I'll probably spend some time watching the commentary track on The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. I finished watching the regular version of the movie yesterday and I started the commentary last night.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Just a quick update before I head out for my bi-weekly Shadowrun game. It looks like I won't be going on my third date tomorrow because she has to work on three papers that are due soon. Hopefully next week will work out and we'll go out. She seemed interested in doing something, so I think it'll happen.

In other news, I have some flu-like thing that's really kind of a bummer. I'm all sore, achey, and tired. Yuck. I even got about 9 hours of sleept last night -- unheard of for me. I felt much better this morning when I woke up. Hopefully by tomorrow I'll have cleaned the whole thing out of my system.

Despite the fact that I was ill, I still went to the gym last night. I don't know it that's good or bad to do while you're sick. I certainly felt better afterward.

I'm almost completely caught up on my work. I mean, almost completely done with everything I need to do! Dang! That's amazing! I may have time to work on projects that I've been trying to get to forever.

Now I'm going. See you later.

Sunday, February 16, 2003

Remember all those months ago when I posted on an almost daily basis? Me neither.

Okay, actually, I do, but I'm either not at work as much as I used to be, or I am at work as much as I used to be, but I don't have time to post. I don't mind either way, because I like what I do. I'd like to update more often so that all of my fans out there can get a more regular dose of the exciting happenings in my life. I'll have to see if I can work that out. Really, it comes down to the fact that if I update daily, then my posts seem kind of boring. If I update a whole bunch at once, then it seems like I have an exciting and interesting life and that I'm an exciting and interesting person.

I really like this Jack Johnson CD. (I post that link in your honor Jefe.)

Okay, the week ended with a taxing day of going shopping with my boss for a new Fisher space pen! I'm way excited about it, so please forgive my enthusiasm. I had a bunch of these years ago when I worked for Capital City Distribution and either gave them away or lost them all. But now I have a new one! It's black and sleek and fits comfortably in my pocket from now until I lose it!

Anyway, the real reason my boss and I went out shopping for three and a half hours was so that we could get pens (he'd lost his) and then go pick up reference material for an upcoming release for one of my lines. By reference material I mean comics. I know it's rough, but somebody's gotta go out in the middle of the workday and spend $150 on comics for work. And now I have to read them, too! Oh, the humanity! I guess I'll just have to suffer through. I'm sure I have your sympathy.

After work I went to the gym to do the new workout again. It went well and it's doing a good job of making me very sore. Afterwards I got a call from a couple of guys from work who were going to the Crocodile Cafe to see Carissa's Weird and The Prom (sorry, no site). We had a good time, but it was sort of a "none of us have dates on Valentime's Day so we're going to go out and do something anyway" kind of thing. Carissa's Weird was very good and I think I'll try to find some CDs by them. The Prom was okay. Sort of Ben Folds' Five-y.

Oh, I called Cyndi to see if she wanted to join us on our night out, but she had to study because she didn't get to on Wednesday. Hopefully I'll see her next week.

Saturday I hit the gym first thing in the morning, then the guys for the Saturday game showed up. We finished the "Pulp Cthulhu" game and started making characters for my Deadlands: Hell on Earth game that will start in a week or three. I vacuumed, cleaned the bathroom, and picked up a bit in order to prepare for moving my desk and computers from the bedroom to the living room. Once I get that done I'll be ready to buy a new computer. It was good to clean up, though, it needed it. I have a problem with clutter -- not dirt -- I just have piles of stuff that I know I should put away, but it's so handy to just set it aside and worry about it later. I guess lots of books and mail will do that.

In the evening I picked up a friend, had a good sushi dinner at the local sushi place, then went to Jefe's party. It was fun to see everyone again. I especially enjoyed hanging out with Kevin, Jeff, Meredith, and Jo. I was bummed that Matt wasn't there, but he's in France, so I'm sure he didn't mind too much. We all had some good talks and it was great to see that group of people again. There are a number of people there that I'd like to see more often. It's a very diverse group and many (note that I didn't say 'all') of them are very intelligent and interesting. I made plans (sort of) to get together with Matt and Meredith at some point soon. I always have a good time with them.

Sunday I went to the gym, saw Daredevil, and came to work. Okay, about Daredevil; it was a good movie. Waaaaaaaay overly dramatic, but still good. I don't think I'd recommend it too highly to people who didn't know the character, but for fans, it's a lot of fun. Especially all of the names of bit characters that are all taken from writers or artists of the Daredevil comic over the years: Miller, Mack, Bendis, Quesada, Kirby (played by Kevin Smith). It was pretty funny. Part way through we were even treated to a fire alarm and had to leave the building. That was fun. I'm sure everyone was thinking, "Terrorist attack" or, "We've gone to war, " or some such, but it ended up being nothing as far as we knew, and 20 minutes later we were back in the theatre.

That's really about all. I'm going to take off soon and go grocery shopping. Then read some. Then go to bed.

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Now it's Thursday and I've been lax in my updating. Actually, Tuesday was pretty normal -- other than being really sore from my meeting with the trainer -- and Wednesday I was out so late I didn't get a chance to come here after my date. I'm sure at least one of you want's to hear more about that, so here we go:

I crammed all my work into my morning, so I could leave at 2:30, which ended up being 2:45. I found my way over to Cyndi's house in Ballard, got the tour of her house, and then we hopped back in the car to hit the Cinerama to see The Two Towers at 4:00. The theatre is pretty cool and I'm sure the technology involved is pretty impressive, but really, it was just a big theatre with a curved screen so more of the movie was in your peripheral vision. The screen wasn't as big as and IMAX, but that wasn't really the point. Anyway, it was a good movie-going experience. Cyndi hadn't seen the movie before and I was happy to see it again. She liked it better than the first movie.

After the movie we hopped back in the car -- happy to have not received a ticket for an expired meter -- and went to El Nino for a light dinner of Mexican food and margaritas. For most of the time we were the only ones in the place, so service was great! After talking and eating for about an hour and a half we walked across the way to another bar that was next to empty (Wednesday night must not be a big date night, or something. Who would'a knew?). We had a couple of drinks there and talked for another couple of hours. I learned some things about her that I won't write here, because they're her personal business and I don't really have the right to post them online. I'm sure you understand.

After finishing there we were going to go home, but as happened on Saturday when we were out, we really didn't want to end the date. So, we walked to another bar about a block down that wasn't closed yet and had a drink there (water for me at this point because I knew I'd be driving. I'm all responsible and stuff.) We had a good time talking with the bartender, who was a diver in the '80, '84, and '88 Olympics -- pretty cool -- and a handful of older guys who came in off the street and were drunk and talkative, plus they kept trying to buy us drinks, so they couldn't have been all bad. After that it was about midnight, so I took her home, said good night and was in bed by about 1:00. We had a great time and will see each other again.

At one point we were talking and she said that she was worried because she's so busy she doesn't have a lot of time to dedicate to dating and she wasn't sure if I'd be up for only seeing each other once or twice a week usually. I told her I'd thought about the same thing. Between all the time I put in at work, my own company, and the gym, I only have a day or two a week free. Anyway, we were both happy to hear that our expectations matched. Woohoo! We may get together on Friday, but if we don't it'll be next Wednesday. Either way is fine with me. I could handle going to the gym Friday since I missed going Wednesday and I wasn't able to go tonight.

Today I had to cram everything into the early part of the day because I left at 2:30 to watch a focus group look at and play a new game I wrote. It went well, but we were there from about 3:00 until 8:30. Interesting stuff. Afterwards I came back to do some work and update.

Oh, the trainer (at the gym) gave me a new menu of food and I've been really, really good about sticking to it. I'm very happy about that.

Now it's time for bed!

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Today's Monday, but it feels like Tuesday. (Hmmm, actually, as I look at the clock I realize that it is Tuesday.) Work has been pretty much nonstop lately due to things for upcoming conventions and all the mockups of the new various games we're working on. Happily, everything seems to be coming together pretty well. Unfortunately, it means I have very little time during the day to get other things done, like, say, pay the tax on the car I just bought, visit my insurance agent so he can look over the car, tranfer the car to my name (actually I think the seller takes care of that), or finish up some things with the bank. I already told my boss that I'm going to skip out for a while Tuesday morning to take care of that stuff. If I need to stay a little later in the evening to make up for it, I'm cool with that.

I talked to Cyndi last night about seeing The Two Towers at the Cinerama in downtown Seattle. She hasn't seen it before and the theatre is supposed to be really, really cool. I've been hearing about it for a long time, so I'm pretty happy to finally be checking it out. And, y'know, it's a second date, which is good. In fact, the movie starts at 4:00 in the afternoon, so I'm leaving work early to go. I feel only slightly bad about that, but I figure I put in so much overtime that I'm due, plus, on Thursday I have a meeting from 3:00 all the way until 9:00. Ugh. It should be an interesting meeting, but still. Anyway, movie Wednesday. Very cool.

I met with my new trainer at the gym tonight. She seems very together and we had a quick but good workout. I can tell if I follow the advice she's giving me it should make a real difference. She has me doing things that I haven't been doing before. My muscles already hurt and I just got back from the gym a couple hours ago.

I decided to come to work tonight for a bit and work on some things for the second installment of my Mutants & Masterminds game tomorrow night. I made some good notes and wrote up a couple of characters. Things are looking good for that game. It's all coming together very well.

Okay, time to go crash. Very sleepy.

Sunday, February 09, 2003

I didn't actually go to the gym late Wednesday night like I said I was going to. Instead I went on Thursday. I just thought I should clear that up. During the day Thursday and Friday I arranged for my car loan and settled all of that with the previous car owner, so now I'm the owner of a new car! Hooray for me! I'll miss my old one -- I've had it for abot 8 years -- but I really needed a new one and this was a very good deal for a very good car.

Friday night I went with a bunch of people from work to have a farewell dinner for the woman who's moving back to Japan. It's too bad she's leaving, she was very good at her job and a great person, but neither she nor her husband are U.S. citizens and he's out of work, so he can't stay without a green card or work visa. Bummer. And she's 6 months pregnant. I hope they make the move without too many troubles. After dinner I went to the gym.

Saturday I woke up later than I wanted to and went to the gym for a while, then came back and played a game with some friends until about five o'clock. It looks like I'll be running the next series of games using the Deadlands: Hell on Earth setting. I have a couple of weeks to come up with a story, but it should be pretty fun. I like the Deadlands stuff.

Saturday afternoon I stopped by work for a bit to check some sites and print out directions for where I had to go that evening. Then I went to Ballard to pick up my date. Wow, did we have a good time. It's very odd to go out on a date with someone who's pretty much a complete stranger. I've typically dated friends, or women I at least knew a little bit before going out with them. This was different, though, because she's the co-worker of a co-worker's roommate -- and the two of them don't even really know each other well. Very weird. We had a lot of fun. Went out for a very good sushi dinner at Wasabi Bistro (the site seems underdeveloped at the moment). We ordered too much, but damn was it good. Afterward we drove to Pike Place Market and had a drink at El Bistro (I think), another at The Alibi Room, and then we stopped by another place, the name of which I don't remember. Then I drove her back to her car. We talked a lot, had a very good time together and will be going out again, soon.

Today (Sunday) I went to the Emerald City Comic Convention with a bunch of people from work. All told, there were eight people from work and the daughter of one of the people. It was a good time, but I picked up way too many books that looked like a lot of fun. A collection of 20 issues of Grimjack, a couple Elementals, some T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, and a fair number of Weird War Tales featuring the Creature Commandos and G.I. Robot. Oh, I'm gonna have a good time reading those. Anyway, last night's date combined with today's trip to the comic con mean I have to be a little frugle for the next couple of weeks. Oh, and y'know, that whole "new car" thing, too. Lots of money going out the last couple of days.

I'm going to do a bit of work and then I'm off to the gym. Later!

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

First off, I want to congratulate Seth for his recent mention on MSNBC and Slate for his coverage of the Columbia disaster. I know you mostly did all that work for yourself, but apparently someone out there was paying attention. You did very good work on very little sleep, in a timely manner, in a very professional way. Good work. I know I, at least, appeciate it.

Now back to the regular stuff.

I just finished some work and I'm off to a late night at the gym. It's better than nothing. Oh, yeah, I forgot I haven't written about this yet; my first meeting with the trainer at the gym was cancelled. Her CPR training expired and she couldn't train again until it was renewed. I'll start up with her next Monday. In the meantime I'm coasting along at the gym and trying to get myself back in line with regards to eating and being active.

One of the women from work has to move back to Japan, so I'm going to buy one of her cars (her husband's actually). It's a silver, 2000 Subaru Impreza Outback. I wasn't sure if I wanted it, but it's a good deal and I was going to get a new car this spring anyway. This was a bit sooner than I was thinking, but even so, I need it. I'm going to try to get the loan set up tomorrow and Friday. That should be fun. Yeah, right.

Last night I played Shadowrun with a bunch of guys from work. We had a lot of fun. It's good to be gaming regularly with a couple of groups that really seem to click -- for the most part. I have to get ready to run the next installment of my game next Tuesday.

I borrowed a CD from one of the guys at work; Meat Beat Manifesto's album Actual Sounds + Voices. It's very good. A weird mix of techno, funk, and...trance, maybe? Anyway, it made for good listening at the gym the other night and is still pretty enjoyable on a second or third listen. In other media news, I'm still watching the Spider-Man DVD. This time I'm checking for all the behind-the-scenes stuff.

I called the woman from Friday night today and we have a date set up for Saturday evening. We had a good time talking on the phone -- and luckily, her life sounds as busy as mine because she's going to school full time and works two jobs; one at a law firm, the other at a restaurant. More on this later.

Off I go! Tomorrow I get a new car! (Well, maybe not tomorrow, but you get the idea.)

Monday, February 03, 2003

I gotta make this quick. It's 20 to 2:00 and I want to go to bed. I'm still up and at work because I came in to write an article, got distracted by some games of Magic and only now just finished the article and sent it off. Ah, well, the games were fun and the article wasn't difficult.

Friday I went out with some friends from work to a bar in Ballard called "The Old Pequiliar". It was, um, well it had a good band. (I didn't notice their name.) The bar itself reminded me, in a couple ways, of a frat house. Even so, it was okay. The roommate of one of my co-workers brought some friends from work, one of whom thought I was pretty cute apparently, so we talked a bit and even traded numbers. She seems nice, but I don't know too much about her yet. We'll see.

Saturday I got a call early in the morning from Scott (sorry, I didn't hear it ring) and Seth. Both of whom called to tell me about the Columbia breaking up. Seth spent most of the day blogging like a madman and did an excellent job of culling a lot of good information. If you want to learn more about what happened you'll definitely find something there. (Look down the page a bit, he's resumed some "normal" blogging since yesterday.)

If you read any of Seth's blog you'll notice that it really affected him. He's a big fan of space exploration and this touched him pretty deeply, I think. For me it didn't so much. I knew it was a horrible thing to have happened, but I didn't have an emotional response to it. Until. Until I started to do some reading on various sites (via Seth's blog). It's amazing to see the amount of information out there about the Columbia already. From satellite pictures, to radar shots, to news stories in India, to international outpouring of condolences, to Presidential speeches, to eBay auctions, to national news stories, to commentaries by public figures, to aerial photos, to local newspapers, to websites of people in Nacogdoches with stories and pictures of actual debris, to artifacts of the event including wreckage and the story of a drawing made by a boy who survived the Holocaust, to condolences from friends of the astronauts, to statements from familes, to a recounting of how (at least) one of the astronauts had reached a lifelong dream to get into space...right before she died. And every step gets you closer and closer to the astronauts and their lives. It was amazing to take all those steps, from the event itself, down to the people it affected most. It got to me, but mostly it allowed me to empathize with everyone directly involved. It's...unfair that this happened, but these people knew the risks, beleived in what they were doing, and had worked their whole lives to get there. It sounds silly, but I'm really proud of them and I know they'd want us to continue. They didn't dedicate their lives to this for fame or money or for the hell of it, they really beleived and they worked like hell to get there. For us to give up on their dreams would be irresponsible, unintelligent, weak, and cowardly. We take what we can from them. We learn. We improve. We go on.

I've gone on too long (mostly because I want to go to sleep), but I wanted to say something about that. Today things were back to normal. I went to the gym and then hooked up with Heather to go to the Experience Music Project. Wow! Very, very cool. I really liked it and I'll definitely go back. There's a lot of stuff to check out there and I want to spend some time in the instrument room. It'll be fun!

Going now. I should be rested for my first meeting with the trainer tomorrow evening. 'Night.