It's not a blog. It's a midlife crisis.

Power Rankings for Week 23

Friday 6 June 2014 - Filed under power

Power rankings for the week of June 4 to 10.

Comment This week Last week Weeks on Peak
The Tony Kornheiser Show This show is never better than when the principals have nothing to talk about. 1 1 23 1
Fargo Only reason it’s #2 is that Kornheiser is five times a week and Fargo is only once a week. 2 2 8 1
Kindle Paperwhite Debating retiring this one from the rankings too. Is it a channel is or is it a consumed product? 3 3 22 1
The Girl of Fire and Thorns Have now recommended it to two friends. 4 4 2 4
NBA Was the air conditioning really a factor in game 1? I’m skeptical, but James missing the last half of the fourth quarter definitely killed the Heat. 5 6 5 5
Pardon the Interruption Like Kornheiser’s radio program, this show is best when there’s lots to talk about and when there’s nothing to talk about. 6 9 21 6
The Dan Le Batard Show Last week featured the moment everyone realized something had jumped the shark. It was kind of a cool thing to witness. 7 8 23 2
The Washington Post The Kindle subscription is super convenient and I feel myself getting smarter, but there isn’t enough time to read everything and I haven’t figured out a system for making the most of the time I do have. 8 5 3 5
Google Drive * This is proving more and more useful by the day, especially now that I’m teaching these computer classes. 9  – 1 9
Five Thirty-Eight Have you read Nate Silver’s article on the Burrito Bracket? It’s freaking genius. 10  – 8 10
Flickr Finally taking advantage of my premium membership and using part of my (limitless) space as a private backup photo album. 11  – 1 11
Jolie Kerr The Deadspin / Jezebel cleaning expert continues to impress with excellent writing and a unique voice. 12  – 1 12
Diet Pepsi I actually am drinking less, but I’m enjoying it more. 13 10 15 7
Spotify If I didn’t have an office-mate, I might have this on ten hours a day. 14 15 17 2
Facebook As I become more hermit-like, FB is becoming more and more necessary for maintaining some kind of connection. 15 11 22 8
Twitter Fun DM interaction last week about Rainbow Rowell’s _Fangirl_. I still love Twitter. 16 16 22 7
Scrivener It’s on sale at half price this week. Go get it if you don’t have it. 17 12 21 2
Kaley Cuoco Yes, I know she has a different last name now. I can’t heeeeaaarrrr youuuuuu! Lalalalalalala! 18 14 23 6
Highly Questionable Wow, they had Pablo Torre sitting in for LeBatard one day last week and it was cool. How many shows are hosted by a Filipino-American, an African-American, and a Cuban-American at the same time? 19 18 11 18
Hansen’s apple juice It’s still the least expensive brand on the shelf at my local supermarket. 20 7 2 6
The Millers I’ve decided to burn this on a couple of DVDs and hang onto them for a while. But I need the hard drive space for other stuff now. 21 19 6 19
Outshine fruit bars I had two last night. It was a rough evening. 22 20 11 5
Words with Friends I’m working on a little WwF project. 23 22 23 7
Scramble with Friends Come on and play me. 24 23 23 8
Baseball I actually expect to pay much more attention in the next couple of weeks. 25 24 15 2

*Biggest jump

 ::  Share or discuss  ::  2014-06-06  ::  me

Me and L, part 3

Wednesday 4 June 2014 - Filed under love

It occurred to me while I was re-reading that last entry that it’s tough to read with all those initials, so I’m going to assign some fake names. Henceforth, L (the cute, sweet little Japanese girl) will be Lynette. D (the also-cute, quirky, artistic, misunderstood hapa girl) will be Danielle. R will still be R because that’s what she’s always been.

There are a few details I missed last time, and they are worth sharing now, if only so that when I am an old man, sitting at home alone and yelling at the TV, I can be reminded of some of these better times.

  1. We went on a three-person date once, a few months before I went to Hilo. I think Danielle bought tickets for me and for Lynette, and we saw Dan Fogelberg in concert. We had pretty good seats, and Fogelberg did a great show and we had a great time and I think Lynette and I picked up the check for dinner, which in the long run wasn’t financially a great deal for Danielle, but that’s usually the case anyway whenever one person asks another out on a date.
  2. Danielle and I did get a fair amount of alone time here and there. We once went on a long walk through the campus, during which we shared some of the things that were confusing us at the time. I remember I sang Steven Curtis Chapman’s “My Redeemer is Faithful and True” to her as we went across the UH Manoa football team’s practice field. We also attended a Kenny Loggins concert together (front row seats), and one of these outings was date-like enough that when I picked her up at her parents’ house (so it must have been summer vacation or Christmas break) I went in and introduced myself to her parents.

My first few weeks in Hilo were tough. I hadn’t yet made any friends, my roommate was kind of a jerk, there was a delay with my financial aid money, and school wasn’t set to start until two weeks after I got there. It rained every day, just as I had been promised. It was a two-and-a-half-mile walk from the house whose downstairs I rented to the campus, a very wet two-and-a-half miles. For a while, I fell into some bad old habits with schoolwork and school itself, but I got to a point where I finally found myself taking it seriously. That’s what it takes, really, to get yourself out of bed early enough to walk two and a half miles through the rain to get to a seven-thirty class. On Mondays, I had a class that went to nine in the evening and that walk home was pretty rough too.

I wrote a few letters to Lynette and Danielle. They were getting ready to go on a semester to London, which was pretty exciting for them. I was feeling homesick, for really the only time in my life, and even wrote to my parents (and not just to ask for money, ‘though there was a bit of that). Then things settled down, as they always do, and I made some great friends and then there was a lot less communication between us for a little while. We were still all involved in the same campus ministry, only they were at Manoa and I was at Hilo. One of the best things about that was that there were two annual activities that involved the groups at both campuses, so I got to see Lynette and Danielle in that context and it was like reunion time.

During one long weekend in my second year in Hilo (I think maybe it was the summer between the two years), Danielle came to Hilo to visit. She stayed with me and my roomie (Captain Daveman) and we had a pretty good time biking around Hilo and having meals out. It was probably the closest we ever got, the moment when we were most likely to have made something happen, except R was back from Japan and it was pretty clear that something was going to happen with R, someone Danielle had never met and I had never mentioned (we live on a small island, so of course they later did meet and even went on a missions trip together). So on the last night of Danielle’s stay, I told her everything, and that was pretty much that.

She took it well at first. She said she understood. She said she actually felt encouraged by the fact that I felt the need to be honest with her about R, because it meant that there was something there between us. There was. And I knew I was making a huge decision at that moment and I knew it was one I had to make. Even knowing the outcome today, if I were to go back to that moment, I’d still do it, because it was the truest thing I could do. I won’t go so far as to admit I strung Danielle along while I was trying to figure out what was going to happen with R, because that’s just not the way it was, but I will acknowledge that there are reasons I never told Danielle about R while R always knew about Danielle.

When I graduated from UH Hilo, Danielle and Lynette both flew to Hilo to see me walk. My dad (who also flew in) took us out to lunch. R had to miss my graduation because she was already in Nashville to settle in for her graduate work at Vanderbilt. Honestly, it felt like the end of friends with potential and the beginning of just really good friends forever.

To be continued.

 ::  Share or discuss  ::  2014-06-04  ::  me

Me and L, part 2

Monday 2 June 2014 - Filed under love

I’ve decided to try to cover it all, even it takes a while.  I have never really gone over the whole R saga, and I may never in this space.  But I’m feeling the need to be thorough in this case.  Not really sure why.

In 1991 I was living in an off-campus dorm.  It’s officially the Baptist Student Dorm, but we all called it the BSU Dorm after the name of the student organization we were part of (the organization has since been renamed).  I’d been living there about a year and had a few close encounters with the lovely (lovely!) women who lived on the second floor.  Living in that dorm, I realize now, was the best part of my whole college experience, and the friends I made there are still friends.

We were expected to be pretty involved in that campus ministry in exchange for a ridiculously low rent (a hundred bucks a month, plus a dollar a month for parking), and I was.  After that first year, I was elected to some position whose name I don’t remember the name of, but my primary duty was to organize guest speakers and activities for our weekly Tuesday night worship/fellowship sessions, which we called Encounter (still a name I’m fond of).  My friend JB, who had held that position before (and, I think, every other position in that organization) joined my committee and helped out, and when the new school year began in August, we recruited two of the new frosh women a few weeks in.  We will name them L and D.

L and D were best friends, roommates in the on-campus dorms, who had grown up together.  Their families lived on the same small street, across a cul-de-sac from each other.  L was small and cute, about as close to the local Asian girl stereotype as it gets, I think.  D was a bit taller, hapa like me, with a Japanese mom and a Caucasian dad, also cute, but in a different way, with a big smile and playful, mischievous eyes.  JB’s first impression of her was also mine: she had a sultry, sexy voice, and was easily the more interesting of the two.

They both caught the attention of almost all the guys, but then we were in college and I suppose that’s true of all the women we hung out with.  D was the sort I’d always gone for: smart and creative with kind of  an artistic bent (she later declared English as her major, much to my joy), and probably cursed with the same misunderstood misfit qualities I’ve struggled with my whole life.  I was quite taken with her, and most of the dormies (as we referred to each other) knew it.

The guys were amused, because I’d put a few different moves on D but hit roadblocks all over the place.  I once called to ask her to attend a play with me and within a minute, I was added to this huge group of froshies who had already made plans to see the play.  I was already in my fifth year of college (it took me eight years to get my Bachelor’s degree), and on the night we went to the play, it sorta felt like babysitting, especially at dinner when some of them behaved like they’d never been out before.  Not L and D, of course, who were lovely and wonderful.

The play was kind of awful.  It was a school production of The Blind Giant is Dancing and the actors tried, but the play seemed to be aimed at an audience who wasn’t me.

And that’s how it went for most of that year. I’d flirt with them both, I’d try to manage some kind of alone time with D, and I would seldom get it. I kind of turned my attention elsewhere, not a difficult thing to do that year, as the froshies who lived in my dorm were much more available, and when you live in the same space with someone, things move pretty quickly. I hadn’t yet made my personal rule about never dating frosh girls; it was that group of them really who later inspired it.

L had a boyfriend, a kind of boring, what-is-she-doing-with-him kind of guy. It had been mentioned to me that L had always had boyfriends; she was that kind of sweet and cute. Although my heart was still screaming at me to wait on R, R was far, far away and not being especially responsive, and although it was D I’d set my sights on, L was always there, always cute, always sweet, always exactly the sort of girl I imagine my mom had always wanted me to be with. D was exciting, interesting, conflicted, confusing, and funny. L was cute, sweet, simple, thoughtful but not especially deep, smart but not especially intellectual.

I was running an after-school program at my alma mater and hired them both the next year, when they were sophs. They were both great with the kids. I put L on the kindergartners and she was just perfect. You could tell she was born to work with kids. D was good too, and I put her with the older kids who seemed to connect well with her. She could have been great with kids too, and did get a graduate degree in education eventually, but teaching turned out not to be for her.

I’ll be honest and say that L’s teacherly qualities were a huge draw for me. Teaching isn’t easy, and when someone does it well and loves it, it’s a major turn-on.

By the time I moved to Hilo in 1993 to finish my degree, L and D were two of my favorite people. I kind of fantasized about moving in with them as a lifelong platonic friend if none of us ever got married. They saw me off at the airport, the only friends I told my flight plans to (at my request, my parents just dropped me off at the curb), and they spent their junior year still at Manoa while I tried to get my act together in Hilo. At this point, I was hopelessly committed to R, and that friendship grew in wonderful, special ways even if not quite in the direction I was still wishing for. R was trying to get a job teaching English in Japan and before long, it would be another couple of years of living far, far away from her. L and D were always there, always on the edges of my long-term hopes, always in my friends-with-potential sphere.

To be continued.

 ::  Share or discuss  ::  2014-06-02  ::  me

Power Rankings for Week 22

Friday 30 May 2014 - Filed under power

Power rankings for the week of May 28 to June 3.

Comment This week Last week Weeks on Peak
The Tony Kornheiser Show Man, several laugh-aloud moments this past week. 1 2 22 1
Fargo Drop in rankings due probably to my not having seen episode 7 yet. 2 1 7 1
Kindle Paperwhite M <3 KP 3 5 21 1
The Girl of Fire and Thorns What a well-conceived, well-executed novel. Still working on it. 4 8 2 4
The Washington Post * I’m trying out a new Kindle subscription. 5  – 1 5
NBA Go Heat. 6 16 4 6
Hansen’s apple juice A.J. is a staple in my pantry, and for some reason this is the least expensive brand. It’s good stuff. 7  – 1 6
The Dan Le Batard Show Boy do I wish this show was just two hours per day. It keeps piling up on me. 8 3 22 2
Pardon the Interruption NBA playoffs make this a better show. 9 11 20 9
Diet Pepsi Still suckling at the DP breast every morning. 10 12 14 7
Facebook Not sure what’s happening, but I’m becoming fonder of it. 11 20 21 8
Scrivener I’m kind of stalled, partially from busyness and partially from not knowing where to go next. 12 4 20 2
eMusic Recent downloads: Filling in my C&K collection, Elton’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. 13 19 5 13
Kaley Cuoco They played the Leonard Nimoy napkin episode the other night, one of my favorite Penny episodes. 14 9 22 6
Spotify A good friend on Bruce Cockburn’s birthday. 15 13 16 2
Twitter Interesting discussion this week on quad-copter drones and public events like the lantern-floating ceremony at Ala Moana this past weekend. 16 19 21 7
iTunes I’m retiring this from the rankings. It’s like listing a web-browser now. 17 22 14 4
Highly Questionable Nowadays it’s just for the company of these three guys. 18 23 10 18
The Millers It’s actually kind of growing on me. 19 25 5 19
Outshine fruit bars Haven’t had as many lately. But I’ve been going out for froyo and ice cream a lot more, so that might be why. 20 10 10 5
John Green About to begin The Fault in Our Stars. 21  – 3 9
Words with Friends This is still fun. Why aren’t you playing me? 22 14 22 7
Scramble with Friends This is still fun. Why aren’t you playing me? 23 15 22 8
Baseball My attention span has been shorter lately, with an increase in my work stress, so baseball has been a victim. Still pay attention to daily scores but haven’t been listening to or watching games. 24 17 14 2
Rockstar cherry citrus This doesn’t make me break out into horrible sweats the way regular sugar-free Rockstar often does. 25 18 5 16

*Biggest jump

 ::  Share or discuss  ::  2014-05-30  ::  me

Me and L, part 1

Thursday 29 May 2014 - Filed under love

A week ago (that is, last Thursday), I wrote in this space, “I’m very fond of an elementary school teacher I know, someone I’ve been friends with for about twenty-three years.” and “I plan not to be deterred for a while. Once I get up enough courage to make an earnest move.”

The next day (Friday), I found out that two days before I wrote that (Tuesday, that is), she got married.

I’ve been super busy with this new short-term teaching gig and haven’t been able to reflect (in words) just yet, but that will be my project over the weekend.


To be continued.

 ::  Share or discuss  ::  2014-05-29  ::  me

Power Rankings for Week 21

Friday 23 May 2014 - Filed under power

Power rankings for the week of May 21 to 27. Darn it. I wrote this a couple of days ago and forgot to schedule it to post.

Comment This week Last week Weeks on Peak
Fargo This week’s episode was EVIL. 1 1 6 1
The Tony Kornheiser Show Usually listen in the car now, on the way to work. Instead of music. 2 3 21 1
The Dan Le Batard Show Listening in the car too. On the way home from work. 3 4 21 2
Scrivener Working on second draft. 4 2 19 2
Kindle Paperwhite Reading all kinds of stuff on it now, including the Washington Post daily. This is turning into a best friend. 5 8 20 1
The Big Bang Theory Caught up. And the season finale was just great. 6 11 21 3
Louis C.K. Wow. Caught up on the new season and it’s great. 7 17 6 7
The Girl of Fire and Thorns * This is so much better (so far) than Divergent. 8  – 1 8
Kaley Cuoco Boy is she looking good. 9 13 21 6
Outshine fruit bars Still loving them. 10 5 9 5
Pardon the Interruption Not a bad week. 11 15 19 11
Diet Pepsi I expect to cut down shortly. 12 9 14 7
Spotify I wish my laptop had speakers as good as my desktop. 13 7 15 2
Words with Friends I think I feel myself getting better. 14 18 21 7
Scramble with Friends I think I feel myself getting worse. 15 19 21 8
NBA Missed the Brooklyn series but getting back on track in the conference finals. 16 12 3 12
Baseball Boy do I want to attend a game in person soon. 17 6 13 2
Rockstar cherry citrus It’s not doing the job quite the way it used to. I may be developing a tolerance for it. 18 16 4 16
Feedly I’m retiring this one from the rankings after this week. Now it’s like putting a web browser up here. Pointless. 18 10 8 10
Twitter This has been the week of DMing. 19 20 20 7
eMusic Chantal Kreviazuk. 19 14 4 14
Facebook Recently friended by a former student I’ve known since she was in fifth grade. It’s nice to see them all grown up and stuff. 20 21 20 8
Starbucks (and Starbucks App) Man, I can’t get any work done at home. So yeah: more coffee please. 21 24 15 9
iTunes Constant companion while writing. 22 22 14 4
Highly Questionable I hate to say this, but it had me cracking up this week at video of people running into walls. 23 9 18
Kate DiCamillo Might put her on hold so I can read The Fault in Our Stars. 24 23 3 23
The Millers Almost finished with it. Don’t really like it. Want it to succeed. 25 25 4 19

*Biggest jump

 ::  Share or discuss  ::  2014-05-23  ::  me

A Couple of Memes

Thursday 22 May 2014 - Filed under five

Sunday Stealing.

  1. Last time you had butterflies in your stomach?
    Probably about a year ago when I interviewed for this job. I was nervous and spoke WAY too much and altogether too quickly, but my boss said I did okay.
  2. What was your last alcoholic beverage?
    I had a beer Friday night, some orange-flavored Blue Moon variety. It was extremely drinkable and pretty tasty. Would have been a good breakfast beer.
  3. Who can you trust?
    I trust almost everyone. It’s the only way to help people be trustworthy. And the world is a better place when we trust each other; I sincerely believe this.
  4. Where was your first kiss with your current significant other?
    I don’t have a significant other, but my first kiss with my most recent significant other was in Tennessee one summer.
  5. Favorite Band?
    The last time I answered this question, I think I said Spock’s Beard, but that was several years ago. Now I think it’s the Choir. Their new album, which I will be reviewing in this space before too long, is amazing.
  6. What is something you’ve learned about yourself recently?
    I’ve learned that I’m still capable of making myself feel the kind of stress that makes it impossible to turn my head in either direction, a debilitating stress I haven’t felt in a very, very long time. I kind of thought I was past that.
  7. Do you like anyone?
    I do. I’m very fond of an elementary school teacher I know, someone I’ve been friends with for about twenty-three years. I have a very strong suspicion that she knows about my fondness and is trying to discourage it. I plan not to be deterred for a while. Once I get up enough courage to make an earnest move.
  8. Do you know anyone who is engaged?
    I did, but they got married this past weekend. I’m trying to remember if there’s someone else and I’m not coming up with anything. How about Leonard and Penny?
  9. What’s your favorite number?
    The worst thing about these memes is that those of us who’ve been doing them for a long time get asked the same questions. Over and over. And over. My favorite numbers, in order, are 12, 32, and pi.
  10. Who was the last person to make you cry?
    Gregg Popovich, when he was interviewed by Craig Sager, Jr. Popovich is the head coach of the San Antonio Spurs, and he is notorious for being curt, abrasive, and downright rude during in-game courtside interviews (and I don’t blame him; those interviews are so stupid and they never really reveal anything). He has a talent for making even the most intelligent interviewers look stupid. But Craig Sager, Sr. had been in the hospital for a couple of days, fighting leukemia, when this interview took place, and when Pop did this, I got teary-eyed the first twenty times I watched it.

  11. Did you ever go to camp as a kid?
    I was a Boy Scout. Camping is the whole reason for being a Boy Scout. In some ways, I feel more comfortable in a sleeping bag in a tent than I do in my own bed.
  12. When was the last time you cried?
    When I watched that interview with Popovich and Sager Jr. Aren’t you listening?
  13. What is one thing you miss about your past?
    I miss being completely certain I was right, even when I was wrong. I miss being R’s friend. I miss being in the classroom. I miss my friend Ryan. I miss Mark Heard and Gene Eugene. I miss the metabolism I enjoyed when I was young.
  14. What is one thing you’ve learned about life?
    Ugh. What a stupid question. For today, I’ll go with this: I’ve learned that there is no reason not to keep smiling, no matter how things are turning out. The people around you deserve a smile and can be encouraged by a smile, so why not give it?
  15. Are you jealous of anyone?
    Jealousy is one of the least-productive emotions in the book, and I do my darndest not to go that route. I have felt twinges of jealousy in recent years, but I would like to believe I have risen above those twinges and stayed positive.
  16. Is anyone jealous of you?
    Ha. For once in my life, I think I can safely say no. There is much about my life to be envied, but I think the people around me have no need to be jealous about any of them.
  17. Has a friend ever used you?
    I suppose, but I like being used by my friends. That’s what I’m here for. Use me. One of the worst thing you can do is tell someone you’re his friend and then never ask anything of that friendship.
  18. Has anyone recently told you that they like you more than as a friend?
    Wow. No. It’s been eons. I don’t think Mochi Girl even told me that.
  19. Who was the last person you drove with?
    I took Anto home from his birthday dinner at Chili’s. That was about a month ago.
  20. What are you looking forward to?
    I’m teaching a couple of computer classes beginning next week and am itching to get started. Also, I’m going to try to get some long-overdue bodywork done on my car soon, and I’m really, really looking forward to getting that checked off my list.

These won’t publish until several hours from now, but here’s the Friday 5 a little early.

  1. A breakfast sandwich is typically made with some kind of bread with egg, cheese, and some kind of breakfast meat. What’s the best variation on this theme you’ve tried, or what variation would you like to try?
    I’ve seen this in a couple of places (Carl’s Jr. and the recently deceased Byron’s Drive-In) and it always puzzled me that the fast-food places don’t offer it regularly: a breakfast hamburger. Also, when I make a breakfast sandwich at home, I like it with a nice, yolky, over-easy egg, and I don’t understand why the fast-food places don’t offer that as an option.
  2. A sandwich cookie is typically made with two thin cookies with some kind of sweet, creamy filling. What’s the best variation on this theme you have tried, or what variation would you like to try?
    Can’t remember the name, but I really used to like those slightly thicker flower-shaped sandwich cookies with the hole in the middle. Also, the only Girl Scout Cookies I ever really liked were the All-Abouts, a vanilla sandwich cookie they discontinued a few years ago.
  3. A melt sandwich (such as a tuna melt) is typically some kind of bread with some kind of filling plus some kind of cheese, grilled or fried until the cheese is melted. What’s the best variation on this sandwich you’ve tried, or what variation would you like to try?
    I’m a big fan of the Monte Cristo: a turkey and cheese sandwich between slices of French toast (or dipped entirely in French toast batter and then griddled), with grape jelly on the side. Holy, holy moly. I would like to try a Monte Cristo with thin, Philly-style slices of steak and provolone.
  4. If all you do is smear some peanut butter and jelly between two slices of bread, you have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. What do you do in order to make yours just a little better?
    Have you ever had Uncrustables? Man, those things are great. So although I’m a crust-eater, for PB&J, I like to cut the crusts off. Also, I’ve taken to making my own peanut butter in my food processor, and the difference is astounding. This might be cheating, but I also prefer PB and honey, so that’s usually the route I’ll go.
  5. What are your thoughts on sprouts in a sandwich?
    Sprouts——especially alfalfa, onion, or radish sprouts——make a good sandwich great. I freaking love the freshness they add, and that little bit of bitterness and that little bit of crunch. Lettuce on a sandwich? Boring. Sprouts on a sandwich? Exciting!

1 comment  ::  Share or discuss  ::  2014-05-22  ::  me

In Dreams

Sunday 18 May 2014 - Filed under love

Well heck. My to-do list for Sunday was nearly identical to my to-do list for Saturday. And if Monday were a holiday, my to-do list for Monday would be pretty darn similar to my to-do list for Sunday. It was a horribly unproductive weekend. I did slightly better than the bare minimum on the personal items. On the professional items I did considerably less than the bare minimum, which I will pay for in the coming week. I’m quite disappointed in myself.

I had this dream Sunday morning. My friend Peter (a few years younger than me and now the youth minister at the church I attended when I was in college) wanted to set me up with a friend named Heather, someone I’d never met. So we agreed to a blind double-date with Peter and his wife. Pete made an early reservation at a popular Italian restaurant; I showed up at 5:00 and Peter and his wife and Heather were already there, along with this former student of mine named Jon, who Peter apparently knew because Jon attended his church. I’m quite sure that in real life, they don’t know each other, but this is dreamland.

Despite taking our 5:00 reservation, the restaurant wasn’t ready for us, and the staff was still setting out table linens and place settings, so we waited at a large table while they got the rest of the restaurant ready. I was at the end of the table and Heather was at the other, with Peter, Peter’s wife, and Jon in between. The lighting wasn’t very good, but I could see Heather in profile and she wasn’t especially attractive. She had a couple of blemishes on the side of her face I could see and to put it kindly, she was just south of average. It didn’t bother me. Pete is a good judge of character and he’d said she was really nice and really intelligent, and that means a lot more to me. Even in my dreams, brains are the sexiest part of a woman’s body.

We were awkwardly sitting all on one side of the large table, so Pete and I slid around to the opposite side, and now I could see Heather in better light and she was really pretty, with wheat-colored, ultra-fine flyaway hair parted in the middle and repeatedly falling into her face over her eyes. What had looked like blemishes in the bad light were a mole and a small patch of close freckles. She looked kind of like a grown-up Jan Brady. She asked in a kind of disguised way, so as not to insult Jon, if we should rearrange seating, but I mentioned that with just five of us, we could just wait until the other tables were ready for seating, and we could find a better arrangement then.

I didn’t know it, but Jon had invited some of his friends to join us, and they came in and sat at the big table too, and now we numbered something like ten diners, seated around the only table large enough to accommodate us. All I could think then was that we had to find some way for me to sit close enough to Heather for us to get to know each other. Speaking across this large table at each other was simply not going to do the job.

I won’t summarize the whole dream because it’s kind of long and tedious, but the basic plot is that we were joined by more and more acquaintances, and each time our numbers were added to, Heather and I found ourselves further and further apart. We were escorted into an adjacent room, which looked like those enormous Japanese palatial courtyards. It was a new party room for the Italian restaurant, only it had a different menu, this one featuring Asian fusion cuisine and dining on tatamis, which by itself is kind of great but not when what we planned for was a quiet Italian dinner for four. I didn’t even know where Heather was at this point, and now our party was like thirty, and we were surrounded by other parties of similar number.

I looked at Peter for some help and guidance. He whispered something to the guy sitting next to him, someone I didn’t recognize, and they stood up and gestured for me to follow them. We made our way through a maze of hallways (not unlike the hallways in Japanese palaces in all the old samurai films) and out to a helipad, where Peter’s friend led us to his helicopter. Then we went on this crazy, ridiculously beautiful flight (in broad daylight) around the southeastern tip of Oahu, where we saw hundreds of people dressed in Star Wars costumes.

I woke up, supremely disappointed. In my dream, I’d really been hoping to talk to Heather. She was so pretty and seemed so interesting, from what Peter had told me. Stupid dream. Stupid, stupid dream. I’ve been able to think of nothing else all day, really.

Yesterday’s Preakness Stakes was one of the best horse races I’ve seen in years, and California Chrome may be the most compelling horse to win the first two jewels of the Triple Crown since I don’t know when. Actually, I say that every time a horse wins the first two races, and it’s happened twelve times in the past thirty-six years. I haven’t been following for all those thirty-six years, but I have since about tenth grade. What’s that, like twenty-nine years? Man am I old.

I did finish that first draft of my novel, by the way. Have to revisit my New Year’s resolutions soon so I can assess my progress and make adjustments. My next deadline on the novel is a second draft by August 1.

 ::  Share or discuss  ::  2014-05-18  ::  me


Saturday 17 May 2014 - Filed under to do

I slept in. It just felt right.

Now I’ve got the Preakness on TV and am about to make brunch. Before I go to bed, I plan to

  • read enough of this book I’m on to write an article about team-building with millennials.
  • sketch a better outline than the one I have about companies’ social media policies. then write the article.
  • watch yasujiro uzo’s Dragnet Girl and do a review for 8Asians.
  • redo my course plan for the computer courses i’m teaching. the original was far too ambitious. also have to write learner objectives.
  • squeeze a crossword somewhere in between.
  • wash two loads of laundry.

If I have time, I’d like to read a little more of The Girl of Fire and Thorns, which I began this week and have been SUCKED INTO. Why is Divergent getting all the attention? This is (so far) much, much better.

My Preakness picks: California Chrome, Dynamic Impact, Pablo Del Monte.

 ::  Share or discuss  ::  2014-05-17  ::  me


Friday 16 May 2014 - Filed under work

And thus ends one of the strangest professional weeks of my career.

Strangely, in these first moments away from the office after the working week, I’m more awake and energized than I’ve been in several days. I’d been struggling with the revision of this article I’ve been working on, but I got it done last night and that was the only desperate thing I had, so this evening for the first time in a few weeks, I’m feeling the complete lack of the pressing of time. I feel like this Friday evening could last forever, like in the intro to fifteen Bruce Springsteen songs I could name.

I’m still tired, if somewhat less tired than I’ve been, so maybe I’ll start with a nap. Or maybe a decent dinner out. Then a DVD (I’ve had the same two Netflix DVDs in my possession since February). I don’t know; the world feels like it’s my oyster today.

The weekend will mostly involve working on a few articles for the side gig. I need time to read, and probably not that much time to write. The way it’s been going lately (except for that one difficult revision) the articles themselves are pretty quick once I’ve chewed on the content for a couple of days. The reading is what takes the most time, mostly because it’s just not that interesting. I have to get myself to a cafe to do it, too, and that’s not always convenient.

What I really want is ice cream and pizza. Or something indulgent like that.

I wouldn’t mind a couple of hours just listening to music.

Oooh, a nap. Yeah a nap.

To be continued.

 ::  Share or discuss  ::  2014-05-16  ::  me