Sunday, June 29, 2003

chair from behind the garage

chair from behind the garage
chair from behind the garage
chair from behind the garage

chair from behind the garage

Saturday, June 28, 2003

I think I'll consider this morning's race as punishment for all the morally dubious things I've done over the past several months. First race of the season, and my time showed it. I wanted to start out w/a time comparable to what I finished w/last fall, but that didn't happen. I'm trying not to care, but I guess I do. I still hope I can finish in the fall w/a faster time than I finished w/last season, but I need to start doing some speedwork instead of just thinking about it.

Disappointing results aside, it was a beautiful morning. Probably 3/4 of the course was in the shade, and it was a fast (macadam) surface, which would have made for good times if I had actually been in shape. The first half of the course was harder than the second half, lots of hills. I'm looking forward to testing it again next year.

Catherine took some pictures of me before the race and I look absolutely surly. I'm not exactly a morning person, and at 7:30 a.m., I can't even fake being pleasant. I look slightly less angry in my after race pictures. I won my age group, even w/my lousy time, because hey, no one else my age likes to run, apparently. Too busy shopping at the outlet mall in Edinburgh, it would seem.

Red-faced by the river:

CJ and her gift certificate

JR looking a whole heck of a lot like her sister

Friday, June 27, 2003

I'll join Francis in his happiness for the Supreme Court ruling. I think. I know I should be very happy, and I do hope it signals great changes, but after reading the dissenting opinionsy by Scalia and Thomas, I just feel depressed. I should have stopped at the concurrence by O'Connor (was I ever surprised).

I think I've recovered from this week's trip to Tell City, but I guess we're going back down on Monday. We really shouldn't have to, but my boss made a mistake, so we have to, and I guess that's all I can say about that. I am so tired of driving through Indiana! Tonight (late, after my Habitat training), we drive to Columbus (Indiana, not Ohio). Tomorrow we come home, then drive to Indy for a Fever game. Then we come home. Sunday, I drive to Indy for hockey. Then I come home. Monday, we drive to Tell City. Hopefully, we come home, although during the last two trips my boss all but fell asleep behind the wheel, so coming home is always kind of a hit-and-miss thing w/him driving.

Endure happy or endure sad? Let's try happy this weekend.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Kind moments to end an evening: arriving home after dark, we simply sat in the driveway, listened to a song we liked on the radio, and watched all the fireflies. Fireflies are almost proof that there is a god.

I should sleep well tonight. The double test is over, a little anti-climactic, I think. I was worked up to the point of wanting to throw up, but by the time we had to break boards, I was so worn out I couldn't be nervous anymore. The hapkido part of the test was abbreviated, which is good because none of us really knew what we were supposed to be doing, anyway. I'm bailing on hapkido as soon as possible, it is really hard on my wrist. The taekwondo part of the test went much better, except my pivot foot on the roundhouse kick. Really got to work on that. Broke my boards, bowed out, went home. Glad it's over, and I'll be glad to have my new belt.

Catherine is so funny. After I broke my second board I carried it over her to hold during the rest of the test, and I could tell she was trying not to cry. Just like a proud parent, probably some people there really did think she was my mom. Sooooo cute, she was. That's the kind of partner everyone should have. She even thanked me afterward for letting her come watch me test. How many spouses say, "Hey, thanks for letting me support you in all your weird hobbies" at the end of the day? I was proud that she was proud, so now I guess we're all proud.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Confidential to Palo Alto: Happy Birthday :)
And now I need to decide how I feel about Howard Dean. On one hand, I think he sounds good. On the other hand, he's still a Democrat, and I'm afraid that party has lost me for good. I can't with good conscience stand inside a party that did absolutely nothing to prevent U.S. war-mongering (amongst about a hundred thousand other political crimes) after Sept. 11, 2001. A group of weak people sitting on their hands, doing absolutely nothing to prevent the Bush administration from having its way with the world. Plus, what did the last Democratic administration do for me as a queer? Nothing. Clinton didn't even bother to show up to the March on Washington in 1992, probably because he knew he was about to sell us down the river w/don't ask, don't tell. And don't even get me started on Clinton and the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act."

Anyway, Howard Dean is going to have to work very, very hard to bring me back into the two party system, that's all I can say. Let's see if he's up to it.
When Marcela said she'd send me a couple of books on Chilean architecture, I had no idea she meant books that she herself had written. Very pleased to have my own copies of Las estancias magallánicas and Cuidades y arquitectura portuaria--Los puertos mayores del litoral chileno. I'm a little short on time, but I'm way excited about the station book. I'm interested in typologies as a concept, actually, and I'm looking forward to reading the section on the typology of the sheep station, starting w/Australia and New Zealand. Anyway, I feel doubly bad for taking so long to get that balloon frame book in the mail to her. I can't even give the excuse that I was writing on it and therefore couldn't send it in a timely fashion. It was just laziness on my part.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

A dozen things to write about, no time to do it. I forgot my lunch, so I might as well jot some things down.

[good things]

  • I finally got paid for my first two weeks of work. Thank god.
  • Our beans, peas, tomatoes, and cucumbers all have blossoms. As long as I don't have to eat any of the resulting fruits or vegetables, I'm happy with their growth.
  • I get one of Rob's dad's flowerpots. Too cool.
  • I finally started writing again yesterday morning, scribbling on a pad while I was waiting for that freaking stupid Paycheck 7 update to run itself to death.

[bad things]

  • I discovered that I get paid roughly $200 more per month working as a student employee for the FS than I do for teaching 5 classes as an adjunct. That's messed up.
  • The baby rabbit ate the watermelon, and some bug got the eggplants. I don't really care about the eggplants because I'm not into the whole aubergine thing, anyway.
  • I stopped writing again last night, totally discouraged after listening to Achy Obejas describe something as simple as taking a shower.
  • I knew my parents weren't telling me the whole story last time I called. My mom said my dad was having "good days and bad days." I knew that was a rotten understatement. Pretty much in my family if someone says they have a paper cut, that means "I've severed a major artery." If they say they're not feeling well, they're really saying, "You'd better damn well call 911." So, I knew it was worse than they were saying. The optimistic part is, my dad saw the cardio-pulmonary guy in Wenatchee last Thursday and they're trying a new drug regimen. His care is being totally mishandled, and it pisses me off.
  • Working for the gov't. Enough said.

[things that could go either way]

  • I haven't had enough time to think about any of the Supreme Court decisions. I'm at least 1/2 way pleased w/the affirmative action ruling, but haven't been able to clear my mind long enough to consider the other half. And I really haven't been able to wrap my mind around the Holocaust/American Insurance Company ruling. Maybe this weekend. I'm anxious to hear what they rule on the sodomy issue on Thursday.
  • No one in our household is applying for jobs in either Seattle or San Francisco, despite two weeks of discussion on the matter.
  • Someone in our household applied for a job she may or may not want, that she may or may not get. The issue is tabled until the human resources office makes contact with us.
  • Someone in our household is working on a new research project. The paper proposal is due September 1. It may or may not be co-authored by a) someone else in our household or b) a former colleague or c) all of the above.
Sort of a tag team intellectualism going on in our household this evening. While I was in one building listening to A. Loudermilk, Achy Obejas and Alison Hawthorne Deming, Catherine was in another listening to John d'Emilio and Martha Vicinus.

I don't know how Catherine felt about her evening, but mine was worth the trip to campus, even if I might have lost my stick bag rushing out of rehearsal (and more importantly, all the sticks and mallets it contained). I expected Achy Obejas to good, I've been hooked on her writing ever since her first collection of short stories came out, but the truth is, it was A. Loudermilk (aka Thomas C. Jones) who really blew me away. I could have listened to his poetry the entire evening. I've read a couple of his poems here and there--in The Gay and Lesbian Review, for instance--but now I'd like to gather up everything he's written and spend some quality time with it.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

[past tense]
Sunday: drive to indy, play hockey, drive back. don't go to bed until almost midnight.
Monday: work all day, perform in a concert in the evening, don't get to bed until late.
Tueday: work all day, drive to indy, watch a basketball game, drive back. don't go to bed until almost midnight.
Wednesday: work all day, do two tkd/hkd workouts after work to make up for the one you missed on tuesday.
Thursday: drive to tell city and back. wonder who is going to fall asleep first, you or the driver. realize you don't have the energy to go to tkd even though you should.
Friday: work all day, collapse in exhaustion on the couch after your drum lesson. wait, you have to go running first, so do that, then collapse.
Saturday: perfom in a concert, cap off the night w/a five-hour dinner and coffee session w/a few friends. realize you're not going to get to bed early as planned.
Sunday: get up, run errands you've put off all week. perform in a concert in 80 degree weather. try to listen to your partner when she tells you that you haven't eaten anything yet today and you really should.

[future tense]
Sunday: come home dripping w/sweat, try to catch up on few things. drive to indy, play hockey, drive back. moan about being tired and dehydrated.
Monday: work all day, decide whether to be responsible and go to band rehearsal. if irresponsible, spend the evening on campus, listening to achy obejas.
Tuesday: work all day, go to one last tkd/hkd workout.
Wednesday: work all day, try not to think about double belt test this evening. don't get psyched out.
Thursday: work all day, think about crying.
Friday: work all day, go to habitat crew leader training after drum lesson. finish at 8 o'clock, drive to columbus, try to find a motel room.
Saturday: get to the road race by 7:15 a.m. run 5k. don't get psyched out. clean up, drive to indy, watch a basketball game, drive home.
Sunday: drive to Indy, play hockey, drive back. wonder how your life got so complicated. cry.
Today, I received in the mail a rather thick manila envelope from my aunt. I would have thought it was from my mother because of the handwriting, but I guess it makes sense that her handwriting is exactly like my mom's because they took the same Calvert School correspondence/home school lessons when they were children, and thus had Calvert script beat into them. Anyway, in the envelope was a photocopy of this totally fascinating piano book, A Simplified Method of Sacred Piano Playing, Evangelistic Style. Who knew there was an Evangelistic Style of playing the piano? No note or anything else from my aunt, just this copy of Leenetta Scott's piano book, copyright 1945. I'm kind of thinking this might be the book my mom and aunt had to use for piano lessons when they were kids, but I can't get through on the phone to ask my mom.

Even setting the evangelist hymn part of it aside, this is the strangest book I've ever seen. It makes no sense whatsoever. I play the piano passably well, and I can't figure out what the heck the author is taking about. This is some whacked out teaching method, that's for sure. I've been sitting here studying the introduction, and I do understand how her notation works now, but geez, wouldn't it have been easier to buy some staff paper and just teach the kids to read standard notation?

All I know is that I sure wouldn't want to play this during church.

Saturday, June 21, 2003

I am so damned tired of trying to lose weight. I can play this game, try to convince myself it's all about being fit and a better athlete, but after a year and half of that story, my mind ceases to be fooled. It's all about the pounds, baby. To make matters oh-so-much worse, it's not even that I'm not losing weight, it's that I'm gaining weight. I seriously need to go have my shoulder checked out, it's totally fucked up, but I don't want to talk to my doctor about why I'm no longer losing weight, or worse, hear her nurse tell me exactly what number I can attach to my body right now.

It makes perfect sense that I've gained weight. I stopped playing hockey in March, sat still and depressed for two months, and didn't cut back on my caloric intake. Of course I gained weight. All I need to do is take another look at my eating habits, give my body time to transition to a new sport, work a little harder to get back on my running schedule, and be patient. Logically, that makes sense. Emotionally, it feels like one big lie, and all I have to look forward to the rest of my life is my mind trying to convince my body it needs to go away.

While I was out running in the park today, I passed (repeatedly) by this little girl on her bicycle, and everytime we passed, I wondered how she was going to handle her body when she got to be a teenager and an adult. You know you're old when you suddenly get the urge to talk to other people's kids and warn them about life: "Don't do drugs! Stay in school! Keep riding your bike! Don't talk to strangers! Don't ever, ever, ever, EVER go on a diet!" Anyway, she was such a cutie, smiling at me everytime we passed, and it made me a little sad, because by the time I was her age, I'd already stopped making eye contact with people, much less smiling at them. I hope she gets to keep her joy.

God, I hate the fact that I'm looking toward my 36th birthday and I'm still struggling w/the negative body image routine. That is so screwed up.

On the other hand....I think I impressed the wife this evening by dropping and giving her thirty push-ups on my knuckles. I guess my bulk is good for something.

Friday, June 20, 2003

Well...yeah. I do have to stop and wonder on occasion how I lucked out, ending up with Catherine. It's not that I think I'm *totally* unlovable, even I can see I have a few good points. I'm fairly intelligent, I do a good job at making people laugh, I'm pretty handy around the house, and my hair sticks up in an apparently very adorable way in the mornings. But I still have to wonder how it is that I haven't managed to drive Catherine off yet, especially since I've upped my nervous breakdown schedule from once a month to once every other day. It must drive her absolutely insane to have to drop everything she's doing to talk me back from the edge several times a week, but you wouldn't know it to listen to her. She's definitely the emotional caretaker of the household, and I keep expecting her to get tired of it, but she never seems to mind. I know I couldn't live with someone like me. Hell, most days I'd divorce myself if I could, and she's never even threatened it.

It boggles the mind.
How do straight women do it? I mean, how do they feel about going out on a date, getting into a car with a man about whom they know nothing, and heading off to who knows where?

Driving home from Tell City today, my boss decided to take the back roads instead of drive up 37. Which was fine with me, I'm willing to drive through the hollers as long as there isn't any banjo music playing in the background. As we were driving out in the middle of nowhere, though, I did have the passing thought that we were taking the back way so he'd have some place to dump the body after he murdered me. Not that I really seriously thought he was a serial killer--I'm sure he'd be horrified to realize I had even a moment of "wait a minute!" going through my head--but I suppose the possibility is always there.

Anyway, it made me think a bit about what it must be like to have to get into a car with a strange man and go out on a first date. You're going out with a friend of a friend of a friend, and what do you really know about the guy? It must be hard to willingly put yourself in such a vulnerable position time and time again. I'm not sure I could do it.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

What do you learn when you work for the Forest Service? Yesterday, I learned how to make a meth lab. Well, I think I was supposed to be learning how to avoid getting hurt by a meth lab in case I stumble across one on forest, but really, the knowledge I took away from the safety meeting could be applied in a number of different ways.

The number one thing I learned about meth is: if you want to avoid meth users, avoid shopping at Walmart. Almost every story the guy told involved someone at Walmart. "If you see a guy standing in line at Walmart, and he's buying fifty cases of light bulbs, chances are good he's on meth." "If you're walking around Walmart and you see a guy holding 16 cans of cold engine starter even thought it's July, chances are, he's on meth." "If you're in Walmart and you notice all the blister packs of Sudafed have been emptied, chances are good a meth cooker took the pills." Lesson learned, stay away from Walmart.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

And truly, I'm running out of angry words to send to my elected officials. Still plenty of topics, just nothing new left to say. However, it's not like they're listening, anyway, so I guess I can take a break.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

As long as I'm living with Catherine, I will never lack for headshots to send to my publicist. Scenes from a departure (before my concert this evening):

Day one vs. day twenty-seven. The most significant additions: the rabbit fence and the support strings for the beans and peas (designed after a cable stayed bridge--I knew watching Superbridge four times would come in handy). It keeps out the big rabbits, but yesterday I found the tiniest baby rabbit out by the garden. It could easily slip inside and have the biggest dinner.

Sunday, June 15, 2003

About twenty seconds before they started biting each other:

Jack and Luna
Today's ten dollar purchase: a very cool toolbox. I got it with the intention of refinishing it, but once I scrubbed it down with a citrus solvent, I decided I liked what remained of the green color. The bottom was rotted out, so I cut a new one from an old paint board I had laying around the garage. It's funny how objects can make me feel totally pleased with myself.

Green Toolbox

Bottom Board Replaced

Saturday, June 14, 2003

When I hear someone say "I don't like sports," it's all I can do to keep from shaking my head in disappointment. "I don't like sports" is one of the most intellectually lazy statements I've ever heard an academic make. What exactly do you mean when you say that? I don't like college basketball? I don't like pro football? I don't like watching my niece's Little League games? I don't like throwing the frisbee around in the backyard? Does it mean you think rugby is too violent? Does it mean you think people who marathons need to see a shrink? What exactly does the phrase "I don't like sports" mean?

Not liking golf is a whole heck of a lot different than not liking lacrosse. Not liking to play baseball is different than not liking to go jogging in the morning. "Sports" is such an enormous term, it's almost an empty signifier. You can't possibly know what it means w/out elaboration, and people who tend toward the phrase "I don't like sports" never seem to think it needs any more explanation.

Anyone who can go to a college football game and not find something to engage with intellectually is more shallow than the stagnant pool of standing water next to my garden in my backyard. Like mathematics? It's there if you want to see it. Like cultural criticism? It's there, and you don't even have to dig very deeply. Like history? It's there. Like drama? It's there. Physics? Sociology? Law? Economics? It's there.

I guess I really don't understand how all these educated folks standing around me can so easily dismiss such a wide range of activities, especially when they'd be hard pressed to name a civilization that hasn't produced some sort of athletic competition or leisure games. How can you know anything about a culture if you choose to ignore such a significant part of its structure?

Well, all I know is that once someone has lost my respect with the "I don't like sports" statement, they have a hard time gaining it back. It can be done, but it's going to take some work.
Tonight's dinner conversation revolved around my confession that I don't have the energy to be angry at how screwed up the world is anymore. Ten thousand points of fury around the globe, and no desire to engage with any of them.
I saw John messing w/a CD on the side machine in the server room today, and assumed he was making a copy of it with the external CD-RW. I told him that I wasn't sure it was working, that I had re-installed the driver, but couldn't actually find the software that came with the CD drive, so I hadn't reinstalled it yet. He was giving me a "what the hell are you talking about?" look, so I just kind of shrugged and stopped trying to explain it.

Turns out he wasn't copying the CD, he was just putting on a music CD. I've been there two weeks, and I've never heard him listen to music. But there I was, sitting at my desk, and all the sudden pop music comes blasting out from the server room. And I'm thinking, "Dude. Surely we're not listening to Celine Dion cover Cyndi Lauper." But yeah, we were.

Two weeks over, and I've about worn myself out trying to work slower. About the third time John said, "If you keep working so fast, you're going to work yourself out of a job," I realized that a) he was right; and b) my multi-tasking was starting to freak him out.

Friday, June 13, 2003

Today I visited the Land of 1,000 Kicks, which is infinitely better than visiting the Land of 1,000 Push-Ups. For one totally insane moment I considered going for a run afterward, but surprisingly, my common sense convinced me that was a stupid idea. Throwing a thousand kicks isn't necessarily difficult, if you choose the right ones--front kick or half-moon kick, for instance. Start throwing in back side sicks and crescent kicks, and you're about to start yourself sweating. It was pretty fun, but I'll be tired in the morning. Especially since I'm washing the whole workout down with a blackberry wine cooler. That's a smart thing to do after you've sweat out all the fluids in your body. My common sense didn't stick around very long.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Leave the fireflies? Leave the cardinals?

Couldn't do it.
Just thinking about packing up everything we own and moving across the country makes me weep w/exhaustion. Some days, it seems like a really fine idea, going home. Other days, I can't imagine why we'd want to leave such an easy life. There's a lot to leave behind--I'm involved in about a million extracurricular activities, for one. And there's a quality of life we'll never be able to reproduce in an urban environment. It seems insane to throw ourselves into the rat race somewhere else where we'll never be as comfortable. But, still, it would be going home, wouldn't it? And that has to be better than being so far away, I guess.

I think this is just one of those "I'm trapped" weeks, where I'd rather be anywhere in the world but where I am at the moment. Wait awhile. It'll pass.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

I am too fucking old for hapkido.

Monday, June 09, 2003

A nice weekend, full of laziness. Spent most of this morning drinking coffee and playing chess with Catherine. She would have won except she finally made a fatal error w/her queen. Up until then, I really thought she was going to take the game.

Hockey was better tonight. I felt more comfortable w/the group that showed up. In fact, one of my linemates was there, and it was good getting to skate w/her again. We played cross-ice 3-on-3. I could type a ten page essay on the whole hockey subject, but it's midnight, and I'm tired. However...

1. Hockey is good enough for now. My identity as an athlete is still suffering, even w/running and tae kwon do, and I'm not sure what I'm going to do about that. But I have so much free time now. I hadn't realized how much of our lives was dedicated to my hockey until it was gone. I think playing pick up for a while is fine.

2. Although I'm sad about a lot of things re: hockey, I guess what I'm mostly sad about is that I didn't realize that if I left the team, I'd leave my friendship w/Jenna. Apparently I'm naive. I keep trying to puzzle through it, but it all comes back to the same thing, hockey was more important than our friendship in the end. I wish Rough Guides would publish a guide to friendship. God knows I'm lost often enough, I could really use a map and a guide in an easy-to-read format.

3. My identity as an athlete is in limbo, but my identity as a musician is starting to re-emerge. I'm not sure when the anxiety and emotional turmoil I always associated w/band disappeared. I can still find the pain if I want to, but what I've mostly noticed is that I've just grown up and relaxed. No more throwing up before performances, no more beating my head against the door frame because I'm not good enough. If I could go back to my freshman year in college and take the confidence I have now w/me, I'd definitely go through w/being a music major (conducting, though, not performance).

Argh, a few notes before I go to bed so often turns into a few paragraphs into a few pages. Must. Stop. Talking.

Sunday, June 08, 2003

Well, Catherine, Garry, and Amanda are watching an incredibly violent film, and I finally had to give it up. I tried to sit there and read, but kept flinching, so I'm taking refuge in my office.

My first week of work is over. I'm not sure I could spend my life working for an organization that operates according to the whims of whoever is in the White House. For instance, how do foresters really deal with Bush's Healthy Forests Initiative, when they know it might drop off the list of FS priorities if Bush get voted out of office (please, please, please)?

I sincerely believe that Bush made the Healthy Forests statement w/the intention of opening up the forests to large scale logging; that doesn't seem to be how the FS is interpreting it, but I do think that was the main goal of the initiative. The FS seems to be taking it more literally--managing forests in a manner that reduces the threat of forest fire. To do this, they've created "categorical exclusions," exemptions to the regular rules by which the FS has to abide in order to ensure "hazardous fuel reduction." The two categorical exclusions basically say: in order to promote hazardous fuel reduction, the FS can either thin trees or burn off so many acres (I can't remember how many acres) w/out doing an environmental impact statement before hand. In other words, they can't be sued by private citizens as long as they stay w/in the number of acres covered in the categorical exclusion.

Well, I'm not a forester, and I can't say w/any sort of authority whether thinning and burning will reduce the impact of fire on humans. Probably they do. But, if I wasn't working for the FS, I'd have to say I was nervous about the whole concept of a categorical exclusion. Foresters aren't necessarily preservationists, the FS does sell timber. Hopefully, they do it in an environmentally responsible manner, but then again, if it falls under a categorical exclusion, they don't really have to. And again, I'm still holding the position that I don't like to see forests managed at all. Why should humans be privileged? I don't particularly like to think about little animals being burned up, but I also don't like humans mucking about with nature. On the other hand, if someone doesn't step in and manage the forests and abide by at least a few rules, Bush would clear cut the entire country.

Anyway, the point is, I've spent all week thinking about the Healthy Forests Initiative, and in two years or so, it might not even matter. If Bush is booted out of office (please, please, please), the Democrats might just drop the whole thing, then a whole new set of rules will govern the FS. How can you really manage a forest if the major framework is handed down from a political party instead of distinterested group? I think it would suck to really want to do the best you could by the forests, and have the gov't tell you, "Well, we need you to raise this much money w/timber sales this year, so go cut down all those trees."

We studied our finances, went downtown, and talked to Bobby, and I now have a great set of bells in my living room. I made a down payment, Bobby wrote up a contract, and even though I have three more payments to make, they let me take them home. Very, very nifty.

Next Saturday, I'm taking my drum kit in as a down payment on a new kit. I'll probably be without a set for a couple of months, but that's okay. I can play on a practice pad for awhile if I get the kit I want in the end.

We also took four boxes of books into the used bookstore, and ended up with $160 credit. That should last awhile, since I can only stand to be in the store for five minutes at a time. I'm always afraid some shelf or stack of books will come crashing down on me when I'm not looking. Rich used to work there, and he told me that it's not exactly an irrational feeling, people get hit by falling books all the time.

Saturday, June 07, 2003

Yeah, that would be a bruised ego. So, maybe I need to get thicker skin, but it kind of hurts my feelings to know that Bobby and Brian discussed the fact that maybe it isn't the instrument that sounds bad, but the musician. In other words, the bells are fine, but my technique sucks. Rationally, I know they're wrong--I'm absolutely competent--but emotionally, I'm not very happy about it.

I'm going to buy a better set of bells, yes, I am. I found a set downtown that sounds angelic compared to the bells the band own (even though they are still fairly low end), and I'm putting a down payment on them tomorrow. I'd save myself about 50 bucks if I bought them off the web, but if I buy them downtown, I can put them on layway for a mere $23. I'll have ten months to come up with the rest. Hopefully, it won't take that long.

What I really want is a Mapex M series drum kit. My kit so needs to be upgraded, and at $880, the Mapex I found today is an absolute steal, but I'd have trouble coming up with the 10% down right now, much less the rest of the money in months to come. The set is so beautiful, a nice burgundy w/a natural wood hoop on the bass, and I do like the Mapex sound. I just have to let it go, though, 'cause we just can't afford it. My one hope is if someone steps forward to buy my existing kit. It's probably worth a couple hundred, maybe $225 or $250 w/cymbals (which I don't really want to sell but would if it would get me my Mapex kit).

I guess it's just one more thing to put on my list for when I get a real job w/a real salary. Someone needs to endow my life. I promise I'll name a chair after them if they do.

Friday, June 06, 2003

I'm sure all the taxpayers I know will be glad to hear that I earned 4 hours of overtime pay today, in addition to the 1/2 hour I earned yesterday. Yeah, I bet they'll be happy to hear they're paying me time-and-a-half, too.

It's a little surreal to find myself suddenly working for the very gov't I despise. At least it's not the Department of Defense or something like that. And at least I agree (more or less) with the end goal of the Forest Service, if not all of its actual practices. I think the idea of "managing" forests is pretty arrogant, but I like the idea of being a caretaker of all the little living things. My boss has already been suggesting pretty hard that I stay on Forest and work for the FS the rest of my life. Unfortunately, every suggestion is followed up with the realization that there are no jobs for me on the Hoosier (nor anywhere else). I'm betting IT will be outsourced if not next year, five years after that--not that I want to spend the rest of my life in IT, god no--and engineering tech jobs, where my real qualifications are, are hard to get.

Anyway, I'd love to stay on Forest, but I'd rather be doing trailbuilding and construction work than IT work, and that's definitely a seasonal kind of gig. And I'm getting old. And I hate the gov't. Just a few stumbling blocks.

Thursday, June 05, 2003

My wife has spent the last two days hanging with Liam Neeson, Bill Condon, and a couple other Hollywood people (I think a screen writer and a set designer). I've got pictures to prove it, but it seems like an invasion of Mr. Neeson's privacy to post them on the web. One of them is really cute, though, a group photo w/Tom's dachsund licking Bill Condon's face.

Mr. Neeson and friends were in town to scope out the Institute and do a bit of research for the movie they're making about Kinsey. Catherine says he was as nice as you would ever hope he would be. And he's tall (again, I have photos to prove it, etc.).

Me, I spent the afternoon being (re)certified by the Red Cross in first aid, at the taxpayers' expense. If you ever get bit by a cottonmouth, I'm your woman. I know exactly what to do for you (mostly? call 911). Tomorrow I'm off to Tell City. It's amazing how tolerable meetings become when you realize they absolutely no bearing on your life because you'll be leaving your job in two or three months, anyway.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

It occurs to me that this is actually the second time band rehearsal has drawn blood. I scraped up a shin tripping over someone's trumpet case a couple weeks ago. And they say band kids are wimps.

My teeth are killing me, despite a handful of ibuprofen. I couldn't have hit myself harder last night if I'd tried.
I am just very pleased that Kes got back in touch with us. Very pleased, indeed.
Another 10 bucks, another cool toy. A very beautiful toy, I might add. Supposedly functional, but I won't know until this weekend when I feed her a bit of 8mm film. I'm way excited, I can hardly wait to watch Catherine's old home movies.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

I think the job will be okay. I'll admit I'm a little over-qualified, and it's not going to be full of intellectual challenges, but there's something to be said for just doing something that feels comfortable for awhile. My supervisor seems like he'll be easy to work with, so that should make for a decent summer. My first road trip is later this week, we're going down to Tell City to work on some printers and go to an all Forest meeting. My first big road trip is next week, an overnight trip to the Shawnee (southern Illinois? No idea, I'll have to look it up) to configure some routers. So, at least I'll get to see some new places. My supervisor said we might even get to go to Milwaukee (the regional office) later this summer. That would be cool.

Anyway, no stress or strain over the new job. I got there, started working, pretty simple. Installed two new systems today, pulled one down, re-configured it, and will re-deploy it tomorrow. I think that may describe my entire summer.

The most exciting thing that happened to me today--and by exciting, I mean painful--was I busted myself in the face w/a music stand at rehearsal. I thought I knocked a tooth out, but I guess I got lucky. A straight-line cut across my lower lip, nicely highlighted by bruising. It didn't bleed too much, but it hurts. That is exactly the type of person I am: play hockey with the guys, I don't get so much as a muscle strain. Send me to band rehearsal, and I come home in need of first aid.

Monday, June 02, 2003

I got a lot done today, my last day of freedom before starting the summer job tomorrow. Slept in, went for a run, worked on the lawn furniture rehab project, finished up a rocket, put up a rabbit fence around one of the garden beds, had a late lunch with Catherine on campus. The most significant thing I did today, though, was play hockey. This was the first day of summer hockey, and I decided to give it a try.

I had totally forgotten how much crap it takes to play the game. No wonder my feet always hurt, my hockey bag adds 100 lbs. to my body weight. It took forever to get everything put together this evening (I didn't even know where my hockey bag was--how do you misplace a bag the size of a coffin, I'd like to know). Wrist brace, ankle brace, knee brace (at least, I picked it up once, it didn't actually make it into my bag). Neck protector, pelvic protector, mouth guard (which I even washed). Hockey tights, sports bra, regular socks, hockey socks, snug-fitting t-shirt. Knee pads, chest protector, elbow pads, gloves, helmet. Dark jersey, light jersey. The glasses I wear so I don't break my good ones. White tape for my feet and wrist, clear tape for my socks, black tape for my stick. Towel for wiping down my skates. Miscellaneous personal hygiene items (for afterward, there is no hygiene in hockey). Oh, an a stick, which I almost forgot.

Well, the whole thing was pretty surreal. For one thing, Pan Am had trouble finishing up the ice on the American Rink, so they had two sessions scheduled and only one rink available for use. We ended up sharing the Olympic Rink with the men's pickup hockey session, which definitely wasn't ideal. Of all male athletes, hockey players are probably the worst. I know I have a lot of frustration built up in the back of my head, it's been a long week, but I think I let a lot of it out when I finally yelled at a guy on the opposite team, "Do you think you could just stop being such an asshole?" Unfortunately, I don't think he heard me, and one of the guys on my team thought I was yelling at him, but since I was generally annoyed with all of them, I didn't bother to correct his misimpression.

But the really weird part was the locker room. I looked around and realized that most of the women there had either been kicked off or left the Sirens because of disagreements with the team. Gosh, when did I become a rebel? I've always been the good kid, played by the rules. And suddenly I find myself skating with the untouchables. I tried to keep my head down and only spoke when spoken to--in other words, acted more like myself, and less like JR--but I couldn't help hearing some of the team gossip. It sounds like the whole act went up in flames before the end of the season, and I'm glad I missed the drama. I have enough mini-crises in my life, I don't need to go looking for anymore.

Anyway, my hip flexor feels as if I'd just spent seven days at hockey camp, so I have to do something about that. Other than that, being on the ice was okay. No injuries, no major incidents, just regular old hockey.

Sunday, June 01, 2003

Albert J. Dremel is my hero.
That Bridget Pettis is such a cutie. The way that woman plays ball...mmmm.

Today was the home opener for the Fever--good game against the Mystics. It's just such a fortunate thing we didn't trade Pettis, the energy she brings to the floor always swings the momentum back to the Fever, even when they're down. I'm trying to cut Stephanie White some slack. It's obvious she's been working hard, her legs and arms look good, you can tell she's been in the weight room. I'm not sure what the tan and blonde hair are all about, but if it makes her play better ball, I'm all for it. I will say, if I have to listen to the women behind me call her "Whitey" all season, heads are going to roll.

I know the ticket office was trying to do us a favor by "improving" our seats this year, but I'm annoyed. We were in row 14 last year, and I really liked the sight line. We asked to stay in our same seats, but they moved us down to row 9. I guess most (taller) people would be happy, but it ruined my view of the game.

The crowd was noticeably more heterosexual today. Usually, I can walk into the Fieldhouse before a game, open my arms and murmur, "My people!" Today, though, I would have been encompassing as many men as women, and from the looks of it, as many straight women as lesbians. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, because more fans in the seats is definitely a plus, but it does change the dynamics. I guess crowd diversity will be good for the sport, and admittedly, it's going to take a lot more straight people to really dilute the dyke density of the crowd, but still.