Cough, cough

I am *so* tired of being sick. This has now been going on for over a month. Every time I think I'm better I go off and do my normal level of overdoing it, and then end up losing my voice, *again*. Bah humbug. I'm done with it.

Other than the endless illness life is pretty good.

All grown up?

Sometimes I hate being an adult. Today I want to go back to not having all these pesky responsibilities. I don't want to do the right thing. I want to do the wrong thing, because it will be great fun. But instead I will do what I think is right. I will take care of things. I won't run away. But I might whine about it.


Yesterday we bicycled up mount diablo. On a tandem. It was great fun, and today I am physically exhausted. For those of you not familiar with tandems, they don't climb worth a damn. Going downhill is very fast, but uphill... Not so much. I need to do more tandeming.

The weather was pretty much perfect. Sunny, but not too hot. The views were breathtaking (hey, look, we were down there). There was a bit more traffic than I would have liked. Next time earlier in the day, or on a weekday. Anyone wanna bike up a mountain?


An update

It has been a while since I wrote. I went to Burning Man for a week. It was mostly good, other than the day that everyone had a tantrum (myself included). I won't bore anyone with details (hot, dusty, cold, lots of shiny things). I am *still* not cleaned up from that. I made some progress, but I still have quite a bit to do on the vans.

I've been back for a week (after a 24 hour trip home), and I've spent a good chunk of that recovering and dealing with social issues. Life continues to be exciting. Now I really must start applying for jobs. I was going to start yesterday, but ran away to Santa Cruz instead. Bad Ruth, no biscuit. I have leads. I have a resume. Now I must write cover letters, and then actually apply for the jobs.

I haven't been reading lj, so if you want me to know about anything email me or call me.

I think I'm coming down with a cold.

"May you live in interesting times" has long been a tag line for my life.

That is all.

The lake- August 18

At the cabin we've had a lot of discussions of trimming, fluffing, and waxing. There has already been an accidental sighting of Chris naked, down at the dock. Embarrassment of each of the guys has been accomplished at least once. Last night we had alcoholic coffee and blueberry pie while we all sat around discussing foreign relations and telling stories.

We've seen a white tailed deer, a bald eagle eating, quite a lot of hummingbirds, and oodles of sparrows. Sitting in the living room I can watch 4 or 5 hummingbirds fight over the feeder. I wish I knew what type they were. There was a large seagull sitting on the lake, several crayfish down by the dock, and a wide selection of dragonflies and butterflies.

Breakfast today was pancakes with blueberries, peaches, and maple syrup. We also had coffee, orange juice, and bacon. Lunch was snacky, and cut short due to interruptions. Dinner was grilled salmon, sauteed mushrooms, baked potatoes, two kinds of salad, and red wine. For desert we get to have leftover pie. We eat well.

Most of the day was lovely. We went out for a short trip in the rowboat. None of us really knew what we were doing, so we spent a lot of time going round in circles. We watched Jeff douse Mark with a bucket of water, and then get chased up the hill. We all went for a swim. Chris and Tina and Ping went for a long swim while the rest of us sat around in the sun reading the paper and watching the animals in the shallows. We snacked on cheese and veggies until the rest of the folk came back, and then we started planning lunch.

Our plans were interrupted when someone noticed that zestyping was bleeding all down his leg. We all ran around getting supplies to fix him up, and clean the blood up off the deck. He had a couple of deep gashes in his left calf, which I eventually got covered with bandages. It was only after that was done that Tina noticed that he also had a gash in his toe. To be on the safe side Ping decided that he should go to the hospital to see if he needed stitches.

We waited an hour and a half and then went out to see if Jeff and Chris wanted to leave and come back when we were done. We got a quick estimate from a doctor that happened to be at the triage window, who said that he definitely needed stitches, and that it would be less than an hour more. So, we sent folks off, and they went to run errands. The entire time waiting we got to listen to an old, very cranky, racist woman complain about the fact that she and her husband had to wait to be seen.

The same doctor that had looked at Ping before was the one that eventually did his stitches. He apologized for the wait, and informed us that there had been a couple of car accidents. He was very charming, and chatted with us both the whole time he was working. We decided that Ping was just like a big hamster, only with less fur. Ping was given shots of local anesthetic directly into his gashes, which seemed to hurt him surprisingly little. He then was rinsed using a large syringe with a cup on the end. The cup worked to cause a vortex, which rinsed his injury very well. The doctor then put 4 stitches in Ping's large gash, 1 in the small gash, and used super glue to glue Ping's toe back together. It was really neat to watch. It's just like the hamsters. No more swimming for Ping, and I may be nominated to remove his stitches in 10 days (shh, don't tell).

Now folks are playing Wise and Otherwise, eating sweets, and still talking politics.

The lake- August 17

We arrived at the lake a bit after 3. Everyone else was already here, and after greetings were exchanged we started to plan for the week's meals. Mark, Ping, and I ended up mostly taking over that task, and after figuring out what all we were going to make we conscripted Chris and Jeff into accompanying us to the grocery store.

The grocery trip was surprisingly fun. I ended up sending everyone else out on errands around the store, and we filled the entire shopping cart with food. There were plenty of smart aleck remarks, and monty python quotes. At the end Chris had to go find soap and such, so he gave us the keys to load up the car, and we just managed to start driving away by the time he came running up to the car.

Back at the cabin we decided that the lasagna dinner still sounded like a good idea for today, and I made nearly everyone else my sou chefs. Dinner was done in probably around an hour, despite plenty of distractions. We had a truly magnificent thunder storm that was right on top of us. A couple of the strikes were loud enough to be deafening. It even managed to knock out the power for a bit.

Dinner was vegetarian lasagna, caesar salad, and garlic bread. All of which was eaten. One of the best compliments a cook could get. There was also plenty of red wine and rum and coke. After dinner Chris went for a swim in the lake. I wasn't quite in the mood for cold, dark, and wet, so I stayed behind to write. It's now a quarter to 10, and folks are mostly sitting around quietly chatting. I think I'll go join them.

Naked women, dancing, and gambling- August 16

Tuesday we had leftovers for breakfast (around 11:30). This consisted of noodles with vegetables and fried rice. It was quite tasty, but it's not exactly what I usually think of as breakfast food. After breakfast we headed out for a walk in the park.

We drove to Assiniboine Park, and went for a walk through the english garden. Wide brick and grass paths between dense plantings. The plantings were heavy on the herbs, which made the whole garden smell lovely in the heat. At the far end of the english garden was naked ladies. Well, at least bronze sculptures of naked women. It's the Leo Mol sculpture garden.

Many of the sculptures in the garden were quite impressive. They are mostly life size of larger, and there are several of Taras Shevchenko, who apparently was a poet. zestyping figures he was just famous for being really dramatic, and having the largest forehead around. The sculptures of the men were quite detailed. A lot of attention was paid to faces and postures and even clothing. The women, on the other hand, were almost all nude, and almost all had very bland, unexpressive faces. Beautiful bodies, but no detail in the faces at all. The one exception was a bust of an exotic-looking woman. She looked haughty and proud, and had far more detail in the face than anywhere else. I liked that one.

After the park we decided to try to hunt down Ping's friend Christopher, and his wife Tina. We couldn't get ahold of them on the cell, but we knew that they were at the mall, so we figured we just walk through and see if we could spot them. Ping showed me a picture of them, and we wandered down the middle, peering into shops. After the initial pass I got Ping to call Christopher's parents, who informed him that they were probably clothes shopping. Armed with this new information we went into the nearest department store, and walked towards the men's clothing department. There I spotted two people standing at a checkout counter that at least looked somewhat like the picture I'd seen. I pointed them out to Ping, and indeed it was them.

After exuberant greetings we all went off to have coffee and chat. After a while Tina went off to buy "beaver jumpers" as gifts, and when she got back we all went off so that Christopher and Tina could buy iPods. That was a long, drawn-out process. They ended up buying a 60 gig black, and a 1 gig nano. And a lot of accessories. Too much shopping. Tina and Christopher had to go off for a family dinner, so we left them and went off to see what we could find at Folklorama.

Our first stop was the Indian pavilion. There was fairly good food- mediocre naan, but fairly good bean and vegetable dishes. The dancing and music was quite enjoyable. It was very high energy and bouncy. The costumes were very elaborate, and everyone looked like they were enjoying themselves. For dessert I introduced Ping to gulab jamens. Milk balls cooked in a honey syrup. I hardly ever eat them, since they're ridiculously sweet, but I felt compelled to get Ping to try them. After the dancing was over we went downstairs to look at the "cultural display". I got to learn about the area of India called Kerala, and about a new food called channa.

Off to the Brazilian pavilion. We got there to see that there was a three block line. We decided to wait for a little and see how fast the line was moving. It soon became obvious that the performance was full, and the next performance wasn't until after we were supposed to be back at Ping's parents' house. No capoeira for us.

Back at the house Ping's mom taught us how to play mahjong. These lessons started with her telling me that I needed to learn the Chinese words for all the characters. So I spent the next half hour or so learning to recognize the symbols for the 4 directions (east, south, north, west), the names of the suits, the special symbols, and relearning the numbers. I probably butcher the pronunciation, but at least I can remember the words now. After that Ping's mom taught us how to set up the tiles, the elaborate rules for drawing, and some of the scoring rules. There are a lot of scoring rules, and I'm still not clear on most of them. We played for a couple hours, and by the end I was finally managing to win some. I have decided I need to own my own mahjong set.

After the game Ping checked his email, and discovered that he had work that had to be done right away. His laptop had been accidentally left in Christopher's car, so he borrowed mine, and I amused myself with puzzles, and then fell asleep. When Ping finished with programming he woke me up, and we got to talking about languages (I blame the earlier Chinese lesson). We started talking about Italian, and eventually we looked for Italian web pages. This brought us to the Rosetta Stone website, where we discovered that they have a free trial version. We were up ridiculously late playing with that. I may need to own that too. Sigh.

Today we left for the cabin. We've been on the road for the last 3 hours, including a stop at a roadside cafe where we had fries covered in cheese and gravy. We're almost to the cabin. Soon, soon, we will be lazy, go swimming, and eat too much. Oh, wait, I've been doing a lot of that this summer already.

I'm back

I got back to California today. Most of my day was spent in various airports and on planes. Not very exciting. One of the few things I could write about is the horrible children that sat in front of me on the last plane home. But I won't.

I didn't have internet for the time I was at the lake, but I did write. I figure I'll do what I did with my Kenya trip, and post them over the next few days. They're long, and I don't want to inflict 3 of them on your unsuspecting friend's page all at once.

This week will be spent getting ready for Burning Man and trying to fit in more social things than there is really time for. Should be good.