Monday, March 31, 2003

Wow, unexpectedly cool weekend -- my thesis is, for all intents and purposes, finished. There are a few sections that may require tightening, extending, etc., but it's in a form that I feel ok handing out to my committee members for approval. Which is pretty much what finished means -- whatever suggestions they have will bring changes anyway, and it's certainly easier thorwing in new bits that they want than it is trying to second guess them. So, it's finished. Bring it on, eggheads!

And I found a Japanese restaurant that serves tuna onigiri, just like they make 'em in convenience stores in Takamatsu. Mmmmm -- tuna, rice, and seaweed. After completing the thesis, I guess simple pleasures sort of blow themselves out of proportion.

And today was the opener of the baseball season, as two teams I could care less about (Anaheim and Texas) battled before me as I scarfed down a spinach and artichoke calzone and a pint of Red Hook ESB at Old Chicago. And, eventually (a very applicable word in baseball), Texas, a team that sucks, trounced Anaheim, a team that won the World Series last year. When the Cardinals open their own season tomorrow afternoon, I'll start caring.

And I satisfied my curiosity about the Church of the Subgenious, an organization I'd heard something about over the years, had seen their half-sinister, half-ridiculous insignia (a fifties-era smiling male head smoking a pipe) here and there, and thought they might be interesting to investigate. I'd gotten the impression that they were an absurdist pseudo-religion pandering to those too intelligent for low-brow religious convention, and too hip to be Unitarians. I was wrong. What I saw was a George Carlin rant minus the humor, philosophizing endlessly, in much the same vein as those crazy Christian freaks that shout at students on university campuses until they find someone who'll shout back at them. Except the Subgenius guys didn't invite debate. Actually, they just didn't make any sense and said "bullshit" a lot. Being absurdist and low-brow is not endearing.

And got a call from Heather this evening, which is always good. Except when she's trying to convince me that the car I felt very clever for buying (a VW Jetta), what that's it's a VW and so well built and reliable and all, is a piece of crap and is just waiting to fall to pieces at any moment. She's got one (a model 2 years older, natch!), and it's the bane of her existence. Obviously, she did something very wrong to make it rebel as it has. I treat mine like a son. It's my Metro that I treat like crap, and it still loves me. Go get one o' those, I say.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Just got a supremely cool graduation gift from my Dad (arrived yesterday, actually, and I spent most of the rest of the day playing with it and bending it to my will) -- a Sony Clie PEG-NX70V handheld computer. Organizer, digital camera, voice recorder, datebook, address keeper, etc etc etc, plus (with additional memory) an MP3 player and video camera. And probably gobs of other functions that I haven't discovered yet. The only thing I'm worried about is junking the thing up, as most of my earthly possessions tend to get. My old Visor still works well, and has been a faithful companion for over a year, but part of the nifty blue plastic molding has snapped, and is hanging off one side of the screen. The ersatz vinyl screen covering I fashioned (in lieu of the $25 kevlar space fabric or whatever the hell it is) is looking ratty, and the whole deal looks like some grizzled bum should be tapping "8:00 am: drink self into oblivion" into the datebook.

So now everything's jake. Especially with the Vicodin. Ahhhh.

Monday, March 24, 2003

Wow, hey, the vicodin's kicking in. Just had my wisdom teeth -- all of 'em -- torn free from my mouth a couple of hours ago, and I'm feelin' noooo pain. Yet. I was told by the jocular oral surgeon (who was humming "It's Now or Never" while prying my teeth out of my gums) that when the anesthetic wears off in another couple of hours or so, I'll be feeling all the pain I should have been feeling during the operation. Which is why, I guess, he started me off with 2 vicodin, and more as needed. Which may turn into a kind of Ben Affleck-in-Daredevil kind of thing when I'm chewing them like Tic-Tacs while spitting blood in the shower. Still, not too bad an experience overall -- aside from the sounds and vague sensations (reminiscent of the sounds of de-boning a chicken), it was alright. And it was kind of fun hearing the attendant/nurse/whatever-she-was go into hysterics when I tried to talk. Wonder if she laughed at Kirk Douglas last night on the Oscars. Janine thinks I sound like Christopher Walken after a stroke.

Meanwhile, since I can't do much else than sit here in a drug-induced bemusement, I've been goofing around with my new website, which contains, among other things, a copy of my thesis. Good resource for those looking for information on Chinese archaeological sites in Arizona. Not good for those interested in anything else. Such is academe.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Well, too bad -- not really in the mood to emote about the war and all. I've been listening to the news all day (both actively and passively), from waking up to hearing that the Iraqis had drunkenly lobbed a few Scuds over the Kuwaiti border, bouncing them off the desert surface like they were trying to win a tennis match, to now, with Ted Koppel posing next to a line of M1 Abram tanks trekking across the border into Iraq, the drivers no doubt whistling "Over There" with their sardine-esque buddies. Definitely was surreal watching the initial bombings this morning -- very odd seeing live, static views of a city bombing. Sort of like a Jerry Bruckheimer film directed by Aleksandr Sokurov (film geeks: cue laughter).
Guess I'll have to spew out a few thoughts about the impending war tomorrow -- just finished up a three-paragraph musing on the current situation (as of Hussein possibly being buried under a few tons of concrete and missile debris), pressed the wrong button and erased it all before publishing. BLOGGER ADMINS! Hotmail is set up so that if you accidentally navigate away from your typed message, it'll still be there when you think, "oh shit!" and navigate back. PLEASE SET UP BLOGGER TO EMULATE THIS LITTLE TRAIT!!! For some reason, my typing has gone to shit over the last few years, and my fingers hit all the right keys in all the wrong order, and typing has become a pain in the ass. Let alone thinking.

Here I go -- better hit the right BUTTON!

Sunday, March 16, 2003

Well, I think we may have aced the "modicum-of-style" quandry -- on a pessimistic mission to (ostensibly) review a 1898 mansion in the heart of Tucson for our wedding site, and (realistically) score a free hour-long tour of an otherwise off-limits mother lode of restored antique Americana, we kept an appointment with the owners of the Zellweger mansion. The experience was almost surreal. Regardless of the fact that we were offered an impossibly "reasonable" (read: downright freakin' cheap) deal on the use of the mansion for our wedding, we were treated to the the company of a creature perhaps more rare than a panda with antlers: the selfless businessman.

Saturday, March 15, 2003

The weekend's here, and nowadays that can only mean one thing: trying to get the work done that I didn't quite over the course of the week while touring the town looking for cool, cheap ways to get married with a modicum of style. So far we've checked out Feast, a hole-in-the-wall gourmet lunch counter with a menu that will make you forget to ask for a reuben. And they cater, and they're actually pretty reasonable, price-wise. So, if we do have the wedding in Tucson, I may actually be able to set a table that will make eyes pop out, with elitist delicacies the ingredients of which I am neither familiar with nor can pronounce.

Of course, this is probably all just a reaction against a high school friend's mother's wedding. With a different kind of eye-popping spread. Ham spread. And Wonder bread. I don't know how to spell that sound that Homer makes when he shivers in revulsion, but I'm making that now...

Friday, March 14, 2003

Hmmm... there are just some things you don't want to get into at 10:22 at night, right before you have to go to bed because you have to get up at whatever freakin' hour of the morning that would make roosters shake their head in pity and compassion. OK, so we'll just leave it at the funniest thing I've seen today -- this involves my basset hound, as it often does (sickeningly, acknowledged). My dog is being fay and swooning in the arms of Janine, who sits cradling him. And, of course, the one word that comes automatically into my head is "Pieta." Janine is the Virgin Mary and my basset hound is Jesus Christ with floppy ears, whining and sighing, as I'm sure Jesus himself did, having just been crucified. Then he (sorry: He) looks up at me with those huge, "I got mine" eyes and I feel sublime.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Damn, boy. I know it sounds like some kind of Oprah "Livin' Well & Feelin' Right" segment, but I took to riding my bike around town for the first time in a while, and I feel like a million pesos. Actually, since I live about 8 miles from campus and I have to be where I'm going at 6 in the morning, I'm driving my bike to work, then riding around campus and wherever else I have to go. It's how I got svelt in China (I can't remember how I got svelt in Taiwan -- probably something about walking everywhere, which really doesn't work when you're out in the suburbs/sticks as I am). Actually, the only time I can remember being in really knock-out shape in the States was when I graduated from college and went through a concurrent traumatic romantic experience, and I got so pissed off I worked out to the point where I woke up one morning and my muscles didn't work. So now, I'm thinking back to my overseas regimen.

And now I weigh 171 stark naked. I'm waiting for Janine to start sleeping around so I can get down to 150.

Monday, March 10, 2003

Alright -- I have just enough time to add some time depth to this fledgling exercise in verbal exhibitionism. At this point, of course, nobody knows this thing is here, so this is somewhat like a flasher wondering the streets of a small town at 3 in the morning. Anyway, this week promises to be a bang-up one -- much more free time than usual, which will enable me to administer the coup-de-grace to my thesis, which is hanging on to its incompleteness like a narc having his fingers stomped on a fifty-story ledge. And from there, I can go onto the assault and murder of a variety of other projects on the horizon -- more on this in the days ahead. For now, the sweet strains of the siren coffee pot waft in from the kitchen, and I must heed...

Sunday, March 09, 2003

Looks like the first entry of my uncertain blog will be a test. I wrote a nice intro a bit ago, and it was summarily swallowed up by some sort of connection error or server lapse or something else I don't quite grasp. Oh well, as Tom Lehrer said, what the hell. It's my blog. And I love it.