Tuesday, March 30, 2004


I don't actually remember where I read about Fundrace.org (Ok, it looks like it was Interesting times), but it's popped up on the radar a couple of times this past week. It's...interesting. SHR IM'd me about it; he said he found my donation -- my first contribution to a political candidate, actually. I suppose that says something about me. Or the state of the country. Or both. (A former fencing student of mine who supported Nader in the last election wrote about how he thought a Bush presidency would spur people to action. I think he was right, but at what cost?) Anyway, I looked again. It was a little weird to see my name right there, complete with occupation, company name and full home address (it wasn't there last time); but I didn't think too much of it at the time. I did wonder how low-profile celebrities would feel about it, but I suppose that information is already a matter of public record and any fanboy (or fangirl) worth their mettle would have already figured it out anyway.

When I first played with it, I did a search of my neighborhood and the first thing that struck me was how the few Bush donations (Massachusetts, duh) all seemed to be pegged at the $2000 maximum. I had planned on writing about that, but upon further inspection, I found a few donations in the $200 range which blew away my premise. And I found the rankings page did the work for me anyway. I found it interesting to see that, although W was actually the FatCats leader just 2 weeks ago, Kerry had jumped in front sometime last week. It's interesting that W is 2nd in the Grassroots index, just behind Howard Dean.

Anyway, Betsy Devine makes a good point, riffing off of Scott Johnson's original post. And now it's more than interesting; it also feels a little scary. I don't know. Maybe we do need to just get over it. It's already public. And the internet has a long memory. I was reminded of this when I discovered old archives of this blog with my real name on it (even though I updated the template a while ago) and, of course, links to my old personal homepage. The world continues to move on. Just hopefully not so fast that we (personally and as a society) can't keep up with it.

Monday, March 29, 2004

and while we're on the subject of depressing...

The amendment to ban gay marriage passed in the third session of the state constitutional convention today. You can read about it here. The amendment that was passed today does explicitly grant Civil Union rights to same-gender couples and the language makes it sound like such unions will have equitable footing. But the principle of such an amendment at its core is still wrong, no matter how much you try to dress it up.

"The unified purpose of this Article is both to define the institution of civil marriage and to establish civil unions to provide same-sex persons with entirely the same benefits, protections, rights, privileges and obligations as are afforded to married persons, while recognizing that under present federal law same-sex persons in civil unions will be denied federal benefits available to married persons.

"It being the public policy of this commonwealth to protect the unique relationship of marriage, only the union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in the commonwealth. Two persons of the same sex shall have the right to form a civil union if they otherwise meet the requirements set forth by law for marriage. Civil unions for same sex persons are established by this Article and shall provide entirely the same benefits, protections, rights, privileges and obligations that are afforded to persons married under the law of the commonwealth. All laws applicable to marriage shall also apply to civil unions.

"This Article is self-executing, but the general court may enact laws not inconsistent with anything herein contained to carry out the purpose of this Article."
"Public policy ... to protect the unique relationship of marriage?" What a load of crap.

Why is it necessary to...? How can you...? What were you...?! ...?!


Ok, the more I try to think of calm and rational things I could write, the more frustrated and angry I become. Where do I start? I've gone through all these approaches before.

I guess it's just one of those days. I think it's time to go to bed.

I'll just leave this with the words of the court:

"The history of our nation has demonstrated that separate is seldom, if ever, equal."

Left Behind

So, in the last 24-hours I've seen two references to the Christian Armageddon series, Left Behind: this short article in Slate (which references this article from 1999) and this post in Halley's Comment. It's probably related; it's not like Halley gets all her information directly from God or anything.

Talk about armageddon as a real thing is scary. It was bad enough when we were talking metaphorically about da bomb, it takes it to a whole new level when you bring religion into the picture. (and at least I think it's fair to call it religious fanaticism if you're going to be talking about a Biblical Armageddon) Honestly I don't really know much about the big "A" other than what you absorb through cultural immersion (interesting just to think about that). I never even saw Armageddon OR End of Days (although I did see that Demi Moore movie made in the late 80's). The jist I get from reading the above articles, though, or at least the premise in the books, is basically:

  1. anti-Christ comes to earth as a world leader
  2. ...who befriends and then screws over the Jews (metaphorically, of course)
  3. Christ ...brings about? ...enacts? ...performs? the Rapture and saves "the Saved"
  4. leaving the rest of humanity is pick sides and duke it out for what's left
The first thing I think is: "oh, The Stand!" Right. It's all derivative works, I guess.

The second is... well, the second thing. I'll briefly explain. I initially had this idea where I'd have links to a particular world leader, some news about Israel, and maybe a link or two about a liar/deceiver. I thought I could make it funny. But it's been done. And really, the more I think about it, the more I find the whole thing sadly ironic, if not a little depressing.

public (dis)service

I know I'm at work, but I'm going to make an exception because more people need to see this article about Condoleezza Rice's credibility (or lack thereof). Even if it's just the 1 or 2 people who get lost and accidentally find themselves here every month or so. From the dates given for her quotes, it looks like much of it is from her (closed) testimony before the 9/11 commission. (Doesn't that mean she's still under oath?)

[UPDATE: Mon Mar 29, 2004, 05:40:26 PM EST]
Q: "Doesn't that mean she's still under oath?"
A: "Apparently not."

My friend SHR pointed me at a couple of links over IM this afternoon. Nothing seems to just go out and say it, but from this Reuters article:

"Rice is refusing to appear before the commission in public and under oath to answer allegations from a former White House counterterrorism official that the Bush administration neglected the threat from al Qaeda."
And from this transcript on Rice's 60-minutes interview:
" BRADLEY: On Thursday, the White House indicated its willingness to have you testify before the commission, as long as your testimony is in private, behind closed doors, and as long as you're not under oath. The Secretary of State, Defense, the Director of the CIA, have all testified in public, under oath, before the commission.

If you can talk to us and other news programs, why can't you talk to the commission in public and under oath? "
After explaining that she had "answered questions" from the commission in private, but was unable to testify officially in order to maintain the separation between the legislative and executive branches of the government, she goes on to address Bradley's point about other Presidential Advisors testifying in the past, saying:
"...the only National Security Advisors, sitting National Security Advisors that to our knowledge have testified did so in matters having to do with either criminal intent or criminal allegations, or impropriety -- not on matters of policy."
Fortunately for them, the administration has actually managed to learn from history that lying to the American people isn't actually considered a crime... unless, of course, you do it under oath.

Saturday, March 27, 2004


I posted a long time ago about googling for "W" and coming up with a link to the Whitehouse. No surprise really. The administration's media machine clearly knows what it's doing. (and if you followed that first link, you'd see that it now points to W's re-election website -- can I just say how tacky it feels to have the sitting President selling re-election swag?)

Anyway, my point was really about referring to the President as "W." I actually find it kind of funny, in a "to myself only, because it's a 20-year-old inside joke that no one even knows, let alone remembers" kind of way. I was by no means cool* in high school. But like all high school kids (I can only assume), we had our goofy inside jokes, our overquoted movies and stand-up routines, our slang. And "W" was one of them. You could just say it, or you could hold up your middle 3 fingers to your forehead while saying it, or you could just make the gesture. Kind of like the "L" you make with your thumb and forefinger when you're calling someone (or yourself) a loser, without fear of looking like a moron if you used the wrong hand. Very much like it, actually.

Since, "W" is just an abbreviation for ""Worthless."

Although I'm not sure how you'd convey negative value... but let's not go there today. It's the weekend, and it may not be sunny, but at least it's warm out.

* [UPDATE: now that I think of it, I'm pretty sure that all those things I mentioned are really proof-positive that I was decidedly UNcool. I need to pick up on this kind of thing waaaaay before I hit that publish button... Dumbass.]

forgotten tidbit

5 planets will be in alignment and should be visible in the evening for the next few days. They're also supposed to be visible again in the wee hours of the morning sometime around the end of the year.

Too bad it was overcast last night. Then again, I left the office around 9:30pm last night, so I guess I would have missed it anyway.

Friday, March 26, 2004

It's about time...

Spring made a cameo appearance today. I hope she'll get signed as a regular cast member soon. That cold and rainy (and snowy) business was getting old.

We played disc during lunch today. Four-on-three. Despite forecasts for an overcast day, the sun was out. It must have been over 60. I wore shorts. I didn't need the extra long-sleeved shirt. No more frozen-solid ground. No more patches of frozen slush.

I'd forgotten what grass felt like. Soft. And, well, springy. (I guess it is Spring, after all.) It SMELLS like Spring. I'll try to remember this time once the summer sun has baked the ground into adobe and I'm complaining that it's too hot.

* * *


Meta 1.5

Found this Blog survey after wandering onto chak.org. I thought it provided some context for the whole public/private thing about posting online.

There was also another point brought up in section 11:

" b) Performing for an audience
Even though blogs have been hailed as the ultimate venue for personal expression; a world that is all about the self, it turns out that blogs are not necessarily that egocentric. In this survey, various respondents expressed the pressure that comes with having an audience. Even in its current elusive form, a blog’s audience can become such a powerful element of the writing action that it can affect what the blogger chooses to write about. "
It's probably not something I have to worry about here since there is no audience as far as I know. But I also can't help thinking about how people interact in the "real world." Perhaps it's just me, but I'm often acutely aware of the public face that I put on when dealing with different groups of people. Nothing sinister. I play a highly knowledgeable and professional engineer (or at least I try, sometimes) when I'm at work. I'm a responsible adult that needs to make real financial decisions. I'm confident about who I am, and what I want, and where I'm going. I've got my shit together. I'm a grown up.


No, I'm not.

...but I play one in real life.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

we've been reminded

I keep forgetting this because we don't have real cable at the house (our channels end at 23), but... the Daily Show rocks! The SOOTTAD says, "Dude, Jon Stewart for President!" We are only reminded of this when we get links to video clips via email or I catch something in a blog I'm reading. The ones that had us cheering tonight were this one (on the fake Medicare news spots) and this one (on the recent Richard Clarke controversy).

Keep up the good work, Jon.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Meta, Part 1

I gotta say, this whole blogging thing has been kinda weird on a couple of different levels. I've got a couple of different takes on this, so I'm going to try and break it into several posts. Hopefully I'll actually get back to it, unlike some of the other things I've started which appear to be stuck in eternal draft mode.

* * *

There's a weird public/private boundary that gets blurred on-line. The SOOTTAD is extremely suspicious of this and thus is extremely careful about what gets posted about her on the 'net at large. There's a reason there aren't many (any) pictures of her floating around with her name attached. Quite frustrating, I must say, speaking as someone who was once trying to find out more about her when we first met.

I, on the other hand, dove in head first. Under the auspices of creating a website for my fencing club and the local division, I also created a personal homepage complete with a few photos, interests and geographical information. You know, so people would know who designed the pages. (I hate the new club site, BTW. It's certainly prettier and flashy, but to me senseless Flash is just a waste of bandwidth and CPU.) Really, it's just the 21st century version of seeking your 15 minutes. The SOOTTAD has definitely rubbed off on me. I've gotten a lot more careful about what I put out there in this brave new world of identity theft and web-enabled crazies. There's a reason there are no direct links to our on-line photo gallery or even my old site. Plus it's fun to use aliases and nicknames for people. (something that I'm only just starting to do, and probably not do very much)

Ok, it's getting late and there are a bunch of other things about posting that I'm just gonna bullet item here. Maybe I'll come back later and clean it up.

  • There's something inherently (narcissistic? self-absorbed?) ...perhaps a self-consciousness or self-awareness when you post about yourself to the great sea of the internet at large. (ok, maybe it's just me) Am I being totally honest and open with you? Probably. Maybe. (again, maybe that's just me, though) It's been easier to rant. Or point -- "Ooh look, pretty!" And sometimes there are also legitimate reasons to watch what you say.
  • Sometimes, by the time I get home from the office (I'm trying not to post when I'm at work -- ok, post less), the last thing I want to do is sit back down in front of a computer. It becomes work.
  • Sometimes, the spirit that moved me, moves on. The muse exits, stage left. Whatever.
  • Still other times, something interesting happens, but I'd rather write it in my "brick-n-mortar" journal. (Yes, if I really want to keep a thought, I want it on paper, in my journal, in my house. Not unseen on some server somewhere out in the ether.) And then, it's written, and it's a little weird writing it all again.

* * *

OK, bedtime. Maybe I'll get to the client-side commentary next time. Or fix up the stuff above.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

More signs of Spring, good and bad

Saw what looked to be a magnolia tree starting to bud out on my run during lunch today. And it was clear and sunny, too. (although not much above freezing) Some of the bulbs don't seem to be faring as well -- several that survived last week's snowstorm have been unceremoniously dug up, presumably by squirrels. I'd probably be less upset if they just ate them, rather than chewing them up, leaving them half-gnawed and strewn about the disheveled earth.

We had the same problem with the raspberries last year, although thankfully, they didn't take too many. But every few days, you'd find one perfectly good raspberry lying on the ground, or sitting on the fence (so you know it didn't just fall there), with maybe a little piece taken out of it. Maybe we're just lucky and we have squirrels that don't like fresh fruit.

Monday, March 22, 2004


Originally uploaded by foodnerd.

  • The tall asian dude is pretty tall... for an asian dude. The SOOTTAD (significant other of the tall asian dude) says that he's pretty tall for most people. Admittedly, while falling below the average height of the Boston Celtics, he is taller than their shortest player.
  • The tall asian dude likes to think that he still looks like he's in his 20's, even though he isn't -- and hasn't been for a while. He's really just a big kid pretending to be an adult, although recently he's been feeling like he's been forced to grow up some.
  • The tall asian dude lives with the SOOTTAD and their last remaining (crotchety old eccentric) cat in the cozy Boston suburb of Waltham, MA.
  • Having recently bought a new house and sold the old one, he is quite thankful that he first bought before the housing boom hit its stride in the late 90's.
  • The SOOTTAD spent almost 2 years living and working in Chicago after having lived in Massachusetts for almost her entire life, which really bummed out the tall asian dude. Thankfully, the SOOTTAD moved back to Massachusetts in early 2007.
  • In the summer of 2007, the tall asian dude and the SOOTTAD got married and are actively engaged in the process of living happily ever after.
  • Although the tall asian dude grew up in southern California and has willingly chosen to remain in Massachusetts, he is, in fact, not crazy.
  • The tall asian dude considers himself to be a pseudo-geek, mostly due to his occupation (engineer) and education (engineering degree). However, he much prefers getting irradiated running around outside than sitting in front of a monitor. Sitting outside working on a laptop would still fall in the latter category and thus is behavior to be avoided. He is geeky enough to realize that TFT screens, and really even CRT monitors, don't generate all that much radiation.
  • The tall asian dude completed a program in muscular therapy and now has a small part-time massage therapy practice in Newton, MA that he runs with a friend and former classmate.
  • The tall asian dude's primary passion, outside of the SOOTTAD, is ultimate frisbee. Technically, it's "ultimate disc" or just "ultimate" but generally when the tall asian dude used to say that, people would look kind of perplexed. The sport has grown in popularity so it may no longer be as much of an issue, but the tall asian dude is always just a shade behind the times, it seems.
  • The tall asian dude has been known to swing. (dance that is. Lindy hop, specifically.)
  • He likes running, too.
  • The tall asian dude is aware of how silly it is that he's writing this description in the third person, but seems content to continue doing it anyway.

[UPDATED: Fri Jul 29, 2007, 09:37:29 PM EDT]

Sunday, March 21, 2004

I probably should be studying right now, but I've had a few things on my mind that I wanted to write about. But I'm also beat, so it's been hard just to sit down and try to draw the things out of my head. Low on energy. I feel like all I've been doing recently is having the life sucked out of me at work and studying Chinese, with some sleeping, eating and driving between the two squished in between. I know it isn't really that bad, but sometimes it feels that way anyway.

I'm sure part of it is the crappy weather. I know this is New England, not California. I can appreciate 40°/50° temperatures, especially considering that we were talking single digits and below zero just 2 months ago. But Spring is supposed to be right around the corner. And yet when it hasn't been snowing or raining, it's still been pretty gray most of the time. Right now, I can see little glimpses of blue every so often, but it's a gradient of dark threatening clouds to the north, and when July and I took a short walk around the neighborhood an hour ago, it was mostly wind and gray. I should be happy it's not snowing, but I'm dwelling on the daylillies and tulips whose tips we had spotted last week which are only now reappearing through the melting snow, after being buried by the snowstorm Wednesday.

So anyway, it's not really that bad. I played hoops yesterday before class, had a great dinner at the John Stone House in Ashland with friends. I've been running during lunch with some folks at work (although only once last week because of travel and weather). I suspect the travel has been throwing me off. Hopefully I'll get back in sync next week, and maybe the current work crisis will finally settle down.

* * *

So while I was driving home from hoops yesterday, this cool song came on the radio. And I thought to myself, "Hey, this song is pretty cool. It sounds like Norah Jones. I wonder if it's from the same new album of that other song I keep hearing?" Because for probably the last month or so, I've been hearing the same last 30-seconds-to-a-minute of this one Norah Jones song on the radio. I'd be flipping around from station to station and I'd hit this song which reminded me of some other song. (I'll let you know if I ever figure out what that other song is.) And eventually I'd hear enough to realize that it wasn't this other song, but maybe a cover. And then I'd hear the chorus and I'd think, "no, it's a different song." But I still thought it was pretty cool, so I'd keep listening, waiting to hear the next verse. And then the song would end. Doh. This had to have happened at least six or seven times. I'd land on the song, think to myself, "This is it! I'm finally going to hear more of this song!" And then, disappointment. Ok, my bad. I flip stations a lot (certainly more than I used to), or maybe I'd be listening to a language CD ("Na, ni xihuan zuo shenme? Wo zhi xihuan chi fan, shui jiao...") and the current lesson would end and I'd switch back to radio. So anyway, I'm listening to this new song and it's playing along and I'm driving and it hits the chorus and I realize, "oh, this is that song!" Heh. Well, at least I've now heard the whole song now. I'll still have to wait to see whether another song gets any airplay and I can decide whether or not to buy the album.

* * *

Clouds have broken up; it's almost dusk. Maybe it's time to do some studying. Perhaps I'll write more later.

Friday, March 19, 2004

flying home; flying home

So I just got back from another whirlwind trip to the west coast. The 2nd in as many weeks. I flew into LAX on Saturday and came back on the red-eye Monday night. I hate LAX. And I hate red-eyes. But I made exceptions for this trip because this trip wasn't about me, it was about my dad.

I've been living on the east coast for pretty much the last 18 years now, and I'm generally back home only for the Christmas holidays and occasionally a random trip in late spring or summer. So I'm never around for things like... birthdays. And I hate to admit it, but I've always been bad at finding presents for my parents. Dad in particular. But this year was one of the big ones. Wo fuqin jinnian shi qishi sui. He turned 70 this year. When I talked to my mom about it the week before, she said that he had been saying it wasn't a big deal. But, apparently he'd also been talking up that this year he actually had 4 birthdays because in addition the date on his driver's license, on the lunar calendar, his month shows up twice this year. And, if you trace back the lunar date to the actual year he was born, you end up with a different date on the Julian calendar than the one on his driver's license.

Anyway, it was also important to me that I do something. And I realize that while we don't necessarily DO stuff when I'm home, he's usually happy I'm around, even if we're just sitting around watching a basketball game on TV or something. So I booked my flight, reserved a rental car, and Saturday evening I appeared at the front door of my parents' house and actually surprised my dad for a change. He's always been a big fan of setting up surprises for other people, (Mom, in particular) but I wasn't sure how he'd respond. I ran the idea by Mom; she seemed to think it'd go over well. It was also good to coordinate to make sure they'd actually be home.

Good thing, too. I forgot my housekey.

My brain also didn't actually get past getting my physical self to the house, so I also didn't remember to check the weather or I might have known that it was already summer in Los Angeles. It would have been nice to have packed a pair of shorts and maybe have something other than flannel shirts to wear.

Anyway, it all worked out. Dad was initially unwilling to open the door for some stranger carrying a bunch of bags, probably begging for money or something; Mom had to open the door for him. He was happy to see me. Pleased. Contented. Over the weekend we didn't really do a whole lot, but it was still good.

Spending time together with the family generally revolves around eating. We went to Sam Woo which is basically a franchised Chinese deli, had the tires changed on Mom's car, ate at JiRaffe (Mom and I both favored the scallop and ravioli appetizers, Dad has a thing for their roasted chicken), visited my grandfather (who was also surprised, and happy, to see me), ate at Sue's Kitchen (a little noodle shop in Torrance) and had a family dinner at home. I got a little help with my Chinese, too. (although it turns out that Mom's mandarin isn't so great, nor is Grandpa's.)

I tried to stay on Boston time, so when I woke up at 6:30am PST, I'd get up. Did a little tai chi. Studied. Unfortunately, I was still going to bed around midnight -- 3am back home. Whoops.

I got back into Boston Tuesday morning around 7am; not much sleep to be had on the plane. July picked me up at the airport. Home again(, home again), a short nap and in the office a little before 11am --mostly useless-- I manage to make it to 5pm; it takes a little over an hour to drive home through the... snow? (Wasn't it just summer?) I call home to let the Folks know I got in ok (I don't think the message I left at 3am PST on Dad's cellphone made a lot of sense), and tell them I'm going to bed. It's 8:30pm. i hear ringing and i think i'll let july get it but it's probably not for her so i should reach for the phone what time is it? Mom calls. It's 10:30pm. I guess she didn't get the message from Dad. Apologies... Sleep... Cat on my head... 3am? 6... 8:30.

Aaaah, much better. (Wow, just 12 hours. How 'bout them apples?) Reentry was a little rough, but I think it was worth it, all around.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

OK, I really should be working now, but clearly I'm not.

I just wanted to note (of all things) that since I started poking around the Bostonite webring, it's been strange seeing that other people are using the same template that I am. (I may have to address that when I have a real chunk of free time -- ha.) This shouldn't be a surprise to me; it IS publicly available after all. But it's like going to a party and running into someone else who's wearing the same fab red polyester jumpsuit (Ok, so these aren't necessarily red or polyester) that you are (I hate it when that happens). It's one of the reasons I stopped wearing company swag a couple of years ago (along with not being particularly fond of the logo golf shirt anyway). Perhaps equally strange is that I just noticed that the default colors are a pretty close approximation to the colors of my winter parka... hmmm, weird.

OK, back to work. Maybe I'll finally write something about last weekend after I get home from Language Exchange tonight.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

work distraction; armageddon

The continuation of the State constitutional convention is going on today. I made calls to my representatives yesterday; I wanted to thank them for fighting on the side on lightness and good by opposing the attempts to write discrimination into our state constitution and to let them know that I preferred that they not accept any compromise resolutions. I even called the Senator from Milton whom I read about online in the Globe:

"We are charged with exercising our judgment," Joyce said. "It is our responsibility to cast votes, even when the matter is controversial. . . . I am unconvinced that civil rights should be decided at the ballot box when emotions are so inflamed. Had the ban on interracial marriage or the decision segregating schools been put on the ballot, each may have been overturned. That does not mean those decisions were wrong."
Anyway, I did what little I could do. Today I was going to let them do their jobs and I was going to try to do mine, and get some work done. And I did OK until about 15 minutes ago when I broke down and read an update on the debate, and now I'm pissed off again and I gotta get it out of my head.

What upset me was several quotes from people who were opposed to gay marriage. From the Globe article:

"No Hatred. Just loving biblical truth," read posters held by some of the opponents of gay marriage who gathered on the Statehouse steps. . . .
"Unfortunately, they believe we don't like them," said Maria Reyes, 51, an elementary school teacher who came to support a same-sex marriage ban with the Hispanic Baptist Church. "That's not the issue here. We need to obey God's will."

What can I say here? It makes me so angry to see people trying to impose their belief systems on others -- on me -- that I have a hard time formulating a rational response. In America, we have Freedom of Religion. You know, that whole First Amendment thing, along with the freedom of speech, press, the right to peacible assembly and all that...
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."
That means that you are free to practice your religion; but it also means the government (and that includes you by way of the government) has NO right to tell me how to practice mine. The best I can do is pull a quote from one of the founding fathers of our country, Thomas Jefferson:
"Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights."
You go, Tom.

But I don't know if that's even enough. He talks a good talk, but it seems like a lot of people aren't listening.

I dunno. I think if I were to have taken Jesus as my personal savior, I'd probably think that W was bringing about Armageddon. And when the day of reckoning came (likely sooner than later), all those people who fanned the flames of hatred and bigotry in the name of the Big Guy, righteous, arrogant, holier-than-thou... all of them -- straight to Hell. And probably all the people who were only good so they could get into Heaven. And probably me too, for being so bitter and spiteful. But then I'd at least be able to say, "This sucks; but hey, at least it's fair."

Monday, March 08, 2004

Thinking back on the desert

[Kelso Dunes in the rain, March 2004]

I find it hard to believe that it's been almost a week since we got back from our most recent desert odyssey. It's probably because I'm still feeling sleep-deprived.

For those that don't know, we flew out to Vegas, met up with friends (Natasha from Maryland and Hae Jung from Los Angeles) to go camping and hiking around the Mojave National Preserve and then caught a show back in Vegas before flying home. Five days, if you include the days spent flying out and back. Tuesday was actually the perfect day. Despite having light rain at the Kelso Dunes, the rain also served to drive away any other people so we had the Dunes all to ourselves. Then, after our return to civilization, we were able to show Hae Jung the complete Vegas experience: sex (in the form of a Las Vegas show -- Cirque du Soleil's Zumanity), booze, good eats (oysters at NY, NY and a 24-hour Korean BBQ restaurant) and, of course, gambling.

It was a great trip; I just got a lot less sleep than I had originally intended. Unfortunately, it means that while fun, and a nice break from work, it wasn't the restful trip that I was counting on to energize me and get me focused once I got back to the office.

I guess there are worse things. But I am more or less back where I started -- restless and unmotivated, and looking for the next good opportunity to escape.

[Scaling the Dunes, March 2004]

[Pictures are up on the gallery, BTW, if you know where to find it.]