Sunday, December 19, 2004

An interesting week, which comes up to the minute as I have a 5-gallon pot of boiling IPA wort on the stove as I write. I started a little late in the day (maybe 2 o'clock), and spent a hell of a lot of time sanitizing and getting everything together. It's just starting to dawn on me that I might have to stay up significantly longer than I would've liked waiting for my beer to cool down enough to drop in the yeast. Right now, though, my apartment smells absolutely divine.

And for probably the first time ever, I'm having to choose between two jobs: my current position and one offered next month. Not an entirely easy choice --

Current job: probably the most entertaining and jocular crew I've worked with, with maybe the exception of the Playa Vista (Los Angeles) All-Stars, a selection of the most enjoyable of the Embassy Suite group. I've worked with Tierra for the past two weeks, dug the hell out of it (yes, pun), and just learned that this current project will probably extend through the end of next month. After that, I've been promised continuing lab work until the beginning of the following project, which will last forever or so.

Other job: Starts on the 10th of January south of town. I don't know anybody connected with the project, except that the woman who hired me over my e-mail is engaged to a guy I worked with a few weeks ago. I believe the work is still prehistoric, and the drive's about as far. And it pays about 30% more. And so I took it.

Meanwhile, somebody apparently broke into Janine's Jetta and made a very big mess of all the papers and worthless crap that was in there. Janine's pretty freaked out about it, but I can't help but think it's funny. Primarily because they didn't find anything to steal (that we've noticed, which is roughly equivalent), and because they didn't cause any damage (because, well, I think I forgot to lock it). They just risked at least a few months in jail squirming around, frantically digging through archaeology books and miscellaneous papers and Maxell tapes and a big purple blanket and some LSAT apocrypha, looking for at least a juicy cd wallet or some electronics to rip off. Silly felon. We value only accoutrements of the mind! Try fencing the Penguin dictionary of archaeological terms, you fucking dick.

I am still sending out resumes, so don't let up! I do consider correspondence with the company for which I'll be working next month as a sort of resume, so I'm really pretty much on task...

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Just applied for a local job that starts next month -- actually, just applied for a salaried assistant crew chief job that I'm probably overqualified for, but still can't count on getting. Lotta archaeologists in these parts, damn it. And there's a good-lookin' job in Moab, Utah -- full-time, permanent historical archaeologist -- that I'll probably apply for tomorrow but probably won't take if it's offered. It'd be so nice to be offered, though...

And I made some niiiiice beef jerky over the weekend and promptly ate it all. I have to stop making food I like. Which is why I'll be brewing an aromatic IPA next weekend.

And I found this!

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Dear Mr. Bockhorst,

Thank you for you inquiry. There is a chance that we will need to add a few more folks as field techs over the next several weeks. Be aware, however, that these are hourly positions with no benefits for which the rate is $9.50-11.00, depending on experience. Though the prospects are good for fulltime work over at least the next 2-3 months, if not longer, there are unfortunately no guarantees (i.e., there may be brief episodes with no work due to bad weather or unforseen circumstances that delay fieldwork). I don't mean to discourage you, but given that you would have to relocate to within commuting distance of Williamsburg to accept such a position, I want to ensure that you have realistic expectations of the type of opportunity we have to offer here, especially since you have an MA and may be overqualified for such a position.

On the other hand, depending on your career goals, I think there are lots of opportunities in this region given a relatively high number of CRM firms and academic programs in historical archaeology, archaeology, historic preservation, etc.

If you are still interested in the field tech position here, I'd recommend contacting me when/if you get a specific sense of your availability. If we still have an opening at that time, and can confirm that you'd be qualified, it would be a relatively quick process on our end to bring you on board without delay.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions, and best wishes on success in your job search.

Sincerely,

Joe

Okay, so I didn't apply for anything today. I went to the gym, came home and watched Jackie Brown. It's Friday night, whatdya want?!

Anyway, what the above seems to indicate is that there is archaeology back East for the likes of me, and the lower end stuff pays about what it does here. The question now (and feel free to jump in): How to proceed?

1. Stay here for a while longer. I might have to do this anyway, as Janine will be waiting until probably March to discover her law school fate -- she's taking the LSAT in February, and applying to schools simultaneously. If she gets in, a lot's going to depend on where she wants to attend. If she doesn't, there's nothing keeping us here besides inertia.

1a. Stay here for a while longer and possibly climb the career ladder until we hear about law school. There's already been talk of me being hired on as crew chief sometime reasonably soon, and there's a position open for a project next month for assistant crew chief. Either would be a promotion. And having that on a resume would mean being taken more seriously for bigger jobs back East. So maybe I get one or two of these in the upcoming months and then look for something substantial up Yankee way.

2. Bug out now and take something like the job essentially offered above for a few weeks, using that time and networking potential to land something more lucrative in the future. That would mean leaving Janine here, which neither of us would like much, but greater good and all. I'd probably come back to Tucson temporarily, after I'd made some contacts and secured long-term employment, and if law school falls through, we pick up, move East, and Janine starts a tea shop and I dig by day and knit doilies by night.

Anyway, that's me thinking out loud. Tomorrow, more resumes traveling at the speed of light.


Work. Kind of.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Only one today:

The William and Mary Center for Archaeological Research is seeking qualified archaeological field technicians for upcoming field projects in Virginia. This is full-time work on a project-by-project basis. Some of the work is local and any non-local work is completed on a Monday through Friday schedule, requiring crew to arrange their own accommodations within commuting distance. Preference given to those with experience in Virginia. Lodging and per diem is provided for weeknights, however, for projects located beyond an hour's drive from Williamsburg, Va. Starting pay for field technicians is $9.50-$11.00/hour, depending on experience. If interested, please email or fax a message of interest and availability with a resume and references to: Joe B. Jones email: jbjone@wm.edu fax: 757-221-2564

Dear Mr. Jones,

I'm an archaeologist currently living in Tucson, Arizona; however, I'm planning on moving back East soon, and am very interested in the position you mention on ArchaeologyFieldwork.com. I received a Master's degree from the University of Arizona last year, and I've got several years experience excavating in Arizona and California. I have a good deal of knowledge and some experience with archaeology of the Eastern U.S., having attended a historical field school on the Fordham University campus in the Bronx, and having taken graduate-level classes on the region here in Tucson.

Please let me know if I may be of service to you. I've attached my CV, and can provide further information and references if needed.

Thanks very much,

Andrew Bockhorst


Tomorrow, I'll be applying for a position with the Ottery Group in Silver Springs, Maryland. I'll have to ask Dan to appeal to his spirit animal for his assistance on my behalf...

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Ahem.

About that last posting -- that was actually supposed to contain some musings about working with local legend-in-the-archaeology-circuit Lyle Stone on an early 20th century dam south of here. Pretty cool, but maybe later.

As the holidays approach, I'm reminded once again that I'm only a few billion miles away from most of the people I want to be with, and that a.) airfare is expensive, b.) archaeologists don't make all that much, and c.) under most circumstances, I can't plan my way out of pair of styrofoam handcuffs. Ergo, I should live within driving distance.

So begins Project Carpetbomb -- as I feel I have enough field experience to make a run at actual permanent jobs in archaeology, I'll be commencing an assault on the contract firms of the Eastern U.S., and by "assault", I mean sending them resumes, networking, schmoozing, cold-calling, and other aspects of this horrible job-hunting experience.

And I intend to keep track of my resume-sending progress in this space. As many as possible per day, but at least one daily.

What I want from you people is to keep on my ass. Job hunting is one of the most noxious, degrading, soul-clenching experiences I can think of -- I've described it in the past as being like begging someone you don't like for a date. If I get a chance to procrastinate, I just might take it, and I can't let that happen. If I slack off, make sure I hear about it -- you folks are an articulate lot. You can make me feel bad, real bad. I'd deserve it. I'm a baaaad boy.

Today's Day One, and as Heather from Dub Narcotic Sound System says, "It's not good, but it's not bad either." I sent in a resume to ACS, a firm in Phoenix that's beginning a project here in Tucson next month. Yes, I know, but I doubt I'll get a job back East before New Years, and I must stay in the game, even if it is here. Tomorrow the real bombing begins.

And thanks in advance for the very welcome abuse.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Mad Dogs & Archaeologists


Saturday, November 27, 2004

TEEN VOYEUR SEX BONDAGE HARDCORE MILF!!!

The above, of course, is an experiment to test the drawing power of a few choice words to my fairly obscure weblog, drifting in the cosmic winds of cyberspace. I employed the (free) services of extremetracking.com two Marches ago after seeing that neat-o logo on Martha's (the good one, although the other one seems pretty good too, so what's up with that?) old website. Extreme mainly lists the IP address of folks that have visited your website and counts the number of hits.

More interestingly, I recently found that they also show how my website has come up in certain search engine queries, and shows the last 20 searches that have yielded my blog.

Oct. 15: Andrews Sisters songbook
-- Too cool. I don't remember what I wrote about the Andrews Sisters, but I hope whoever was looking for them got something out of whatever I said.

Oct 22: Pink's hotdog Tucson
-- I mentioned Pink's famous dogs in LA, but anyone thinking there's a franchise in Tucson is hopelessly optimistic.

Oct 29: blind melon bumblebee girl
-- No idea how someone looking for Blind Melon would stumble upon my site. I have no real interest in the band, and don't remember ever mentioning them.

Nov. 18: Margaret Hassan snuff video
-- That's just fucked up. I did mention Hassan's death recently, and how proud I am that some sicko clicked on my weblog, hoping that I might have some link to a streaming webcast of her being shot in the head. See two posts ago for how much faith I have in humanity as a result.

Nov. 22: Kelly Clarkson bikini photos
-- Huh?

Nov. 26: Janine and Andrew Bockhorst wedding
-- Well, shucks, that's very nice.

And, more to the point of the current excercise, Nov. 1: teen hair pie
-- I do remember listing among my ideas for candle scents, "Hair Pie," to compete with Apple- and Fresh Blueberry-. Now, with the title line above, may my readership grow exponentially! Read, perverts, read my blatherings!


Monday, November 22, 2004

You Must Please Remember


Be sure to clean out your mouse. I unlatched that little hatch on the bottom of mine and was thoroughly horrified. I've seen more dust and cat hair and fluff in old vacuum cleaners than I saw spilling out of that mouse. The rubber ball even had bits of stuff clinging to it -- and it was only acting a little hesitant, when I moved it off to the right. A little, and the little thing was trying to roll around in a mouse equivalent of a crack den! With a biker room-mate!

Clean that mouse!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

My Heart's in the Basement, and My Weekend's at an All-Time Low


My personal kaleidoscope of perspective on humanity has shifted slightly in the past couple of days, and the moderately content greens and beiges have given way to the spiked slivers of red and baritone purples of real, well, pissed-offedness. People suck.

1. Number One's gotta be that all of the below takes place in the nucular afterglow of the election. That means that over 50 million people suck right off the bat.

2. For the past three days, I've been helping a friend of mine fight a backruptcy filed by a long-time friend of hers. This "friend" revealed herself very slowly to be an accomplished con artist who lightened my friend's pockets to the tune of $22 Gs, and plans to Chapter 7 that and about $120,000 from other "gullible" creditors right out of her life. The deadline to challenge this bankruptcy was today, and (as a real lawyer would've cost an extra $5000 up front) we whipped up official-looking (but not really -sounding) complaints and summonses and other arcane bullshit that we hope doesn't (by way of ineligant wording or something) get my friend into potential legal trouble of her own.
I knew and liked this woman myself, and the revelation that she was, indeed, an amoral scumbag was rough. Throw on top of that the legal system's apparent enthusiasm for letting people like that off essentially scot-free, and you've got me thinking humanity sucks, yet again.

3. Inevitable, but it doesn't get any harder to swallow that Margaret Hassan was executed. The only consolations were that she wasn't slowly beheaded (she was shot), and that Al-Jazeera somehow saw fit not to broadcast it to an apparently eager international snuff film audience. Another deep, deep hole for humanity.

4. Somebody hit my Metro in the parking lot of the bankruptcy court and took off, leaving a large dent with traces of white paint, and a hard-to-open passenger-side door.

5. The news is suddenly full of a bunch of crazy Pro-Lifers screaming about what a liberal Arlen Freaking Specter is. And if you got my petition recently, you're also aware that Pro-Life crazies appear to be getting key appointments in government. If you're the prayin' kind, what the hell do you say to God at moments like this? "Are these guys with you?" "Is it really 'that time' for Planet Earth?" "Can you at least just give me the initials of the fucker that hit my car?"

6. A Pro-Lifer was elected Minority Leader?! Have we basically conceded Roe v. Wade? To paraphrase Shania Twain: Man, I'm glad I'm not a woman.

I'm sure things will look slightly more rosey tomorrow -- I'm beginning a new archaeology project in the morning, somewhere within commuting distance. Thanksgiving will be here soon -- we'll be spending it here, but with friends.

And maybe I'll just have some pie.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Ah, the domestic life.

I've got about a week off after the conclusion of my stint in Gila Bend and before another project coming up in Green Valley (south of here) beginning on Wednesday. This one includes one Lyle Stone, a big name in the local archaeology circles, especially if you're my thesis bibliography! Maybe I'll have him sign my Mobile Railroad Line site report. Golly!

Anyway, a nice, quiet Saturday night -- just got done watching Escape from New York, listening to the Moz's latest, and sipping egg nog that hasn't quite ripened into the Christmas beverage it shall be a few short weeks from now. A perfect time to ruminate on the past week or two (cue wavy lines).

One pretty cool thing about being an archaeologist is that you have, from time to time, access to areas that you normally wouldn't. I've spent the last three weeks wandering around on or near a bombing range on Luke Air Force Base near Gila Bend. The first two weeks were spent basically walking around, although I was officially demarcating archaeological sites so the Explosive Ordinance Disposal units (the military bomb squad) wouldn't drive their hummers over them while looking for 500 lb. duds. From the tire track evidence, both the EOD and illegal immigrants are driving all over everything out there, but we bother because it's there to bother over.

Last week was spent on something a bit more substantial, actually taking stock of a large petroglyph (ancient images pecked in rock) site -- off Range One, but still within hearing distance of the explosions and short bursts of 20mm rounds coming from the fighter jets sharpening their killin' skills. I spent most of my time there running around with a stadia rod, taking elevation points and soaking up the November desert deliciousness. As soon as Statistical Research, Inc. green lights a no-shirt policy, I'm getting myself a killer fall tan.

Speaking of SRI, I'm getting the feeling that I might finally be making an impression in the archaeology field -- talk has been bandied about there that I might be appointed crew chief in the not-too-distant future. I'm gonna have Survivor singing "DREW! DREW DREW DREW! DREW DREW DREW! DREW DREW DREEEEEEEW!" behind me in no time! Until then, I'm hoping business keeps up over the holiday season enough to keep both employed and awash in presents to give. At least now I have time to sit down and write out all those thank you cards left from the wedding. Didn't I already thank you people?!

And I don't want to talk about the Cardinals losing the World Series. I'm happy for the Sox, but dammit, that shoulda been a Series for the ages! Ah, hell, don't start cryin' again...

And the writing is continuing apace, but there's no real way I'll be doing the however many words I'm supposed to do. I think something more important's happening anyway, in that I'm successfully shaking the rust off after years of creative inactivity on any large scale. I like the story I've got going, and I'm getting the previously deafening choir of negativity to calm the hell down, so all's coming along. And that's the real spirit of the exercise, is it not?

Thursday, November 04, 2004

[Ann] Coulter writes a chapter [in Treason] claiming that the religious right is a myth dreamt up by the liberal media (which is sort of like saying that cows are a myth dreamt up by griffins)...

-- Ruthless Reviews.com



I had an opportunity to get a small sample of how the other half thinks over the past few days. One of my fellow archaeologists is a Bush supporter and probably a classic neo-con (registered Democrat who believes the party deserted him, etc.). A nice enough fellow, and we're both level-headed enough to allow for civil debate of our ideologies (especially at 5 in the morning, in a truck, on our way up to Luke Air Force Base, when I was still fairly certain that Kerry was assured victory). In this series of mutual interviews, I was sincerely, ardently trying to suss out why on earth ANYBODY would vote for GW Bush, being fully aware of the mind-boggling hatchet job he's made of such enormous and fundamental issues like international relations, the economy, the endless morass that the Iraq situation has become, etc.

And interpreting this political "push hands" that we spent a few hours on, I'm still not 100% sure what his take on these essential issues is. Our debates came down mostly to information bias in the media -- he trotted out the old "liberal media" chestnut; I pointed to Fox News, Sinclair, virtually all popular radio talkshows, and probably over half of all newspapers. I won't bother debating him all over again in this space -- his most impassioned response to my concern over the black-and-white, name-calling, "we're right and they're evil" approach on most overtly conservative media (esp. right-wing radio and fuckwits-in-print like Ann Coulter) was that people are intelligent enough to distinguish these as mere entertainment. And of course he poo-pooed Rush's "dittohead" army as simple playfulness.

And essentially that's where the debate ended. We spoke at length on other issues (as a hunter, guns are very, very import to him, and he thinks everyone should have one for home protection. I don't care about them at all, although I think every movie hero should have one if they're in a tight jam), but everything seemed to come back to "credibility" (read: news channel) of the information one consumed.

Which is really fucking scary, because I think a lot of the American voting public is doing what Adolph Hitler suggests early on in Mein Kampf: don't read anything that doesn't already agree with your viewpoint. That's what's so goddamn frightening about hacks like Limbaugh -- even if you are listening to him for entertainment purposes, he will never say anything that conflicts with the conservative agenda. He will not question, he will not suggest a different way of viewing an issue, he will not offer opposing opinions. Even if I were to assume that most people who listen to his show are intelligent enough to see his show as entertainment, I don't believe that they, like our president, are intellectually curious enough to go explore other points of view.

This election hasn't inspired me so much with despair or anger as fear. I fear that Americans have become big fucking chumps -- supremely gullible, close-minded, myopic, NIMBY-centric rubes, too intellectually lazy to digest anything more simplistic that Rush's brand of pre-chewed wrong-headedness, served with a side of smug insufferability. I am dismayed at America right now. There are no further excuses -- by electing George Bush, the United States has put its official seal of approval on all of Bush's inexplicable actions over the past four years. I find this jaw-dropping.

And maybe they didn't even really mean it like that. Maybe, for a lot of people, it was hopelessly irresponsible single-issue voting -- gays shouldn't marry, abortion should be illegal, I want the Ten Commandments in the classrooms. Nevermind the downward economic spiral we're in, nevermind we're in an unnecessary and appallingly expensive and deadly war that's seemingly endless. Bush is fiddling, and half of America has been persuaded to act as a happy, smoldering string section as Rome burns.

H.L. Mencken wrote, "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard." Well, the Republicans have the wheel, and pretty much carte blanche to do what they will for at least the next two years, and for every massive mis-step or outright travesty we're subjected to, there will be a legion of propagandists to blame everyone but the obvious culprits.

I think we'll all be getting it good and hard for the next few years -- the ones not smiling about it will be the Democrats.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

I've been meaning to sit down and type out a long-winded, detailed reflection of the past week or so, but things got busy over the past few hours and my well-meaning came to naught, which probably doesn't bode very well for the upcoming month of well-meant noveling. I have changed my strategy somewhat from last year, i.e. I'm not worried about being particularly good, let alone attempting to match Dan's knack for likeable characters or coherant, flowing storylines. I'll start with wordiness and see what emerges, and if it's monstrous, well, I'll just lock it in my basement.

Anyway, I'm back out to Gila Bend for another week of bombing range walking around (more on this in a while). Actually, this is a pretty good time to start something like NaNoWriMo, as I'll be holed up in a low-rent hotel room on an Air Force base during the evenings -- no baseball, no interruptions, and no bombings during off hours. So now I've gotta get my crap together, get to bed, and be up at 4 am and off for a full day wandering in the desert looking for manna and flagging sites. Yes, more soon.

And good luck to all those making the attempt to novel once again -- may you all be entirely seduced by your muses.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

I find this deeply disturbing (you have to register with Mercury News to read it, but it's more than worth it if you're interested in some clarity). I find it very awkward to write about large blocks of people in sweeping, blanket condemnation, but, y'know, when I have studies like this to back it up, it becomes slightly easier. I always wondered about the mental workings of Bush supporters -- the intellectual machinations that produce a bottom line that reads, "Bush is the better candidate." And I've seen polls that indicate the majority of Bush supporters aren't actively voting against John Kerry (it's much lower than Kerry supporters who are trying to oust Bush) -- THEY LIKE BUSH.

And according to the article above, nothing will stand in the way of their love for Bush (no snickering at that last sentence, please). Not facts, not Congressional reports, and especially not reality. The majority of Bush supporters surveyed believe that Hussein did indeed have WMDs or a major program to develop them, and provided assitance to Al Qaida. And a majority of these same people said it would have been wrong to invade Iraq if the above had been not been true. So these inner machinations aren't so much, "Bush is a strong leader and righteous Christian who will continue to guide this country through our current battle against terrorists and make us all safe," so much as, "LALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALA... is the news still on? LALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALA, etc."

So fuck campaigning -- I have no idea WHAT to do in the face of that kind of psychological blockade.
"Here's some critical information regarding the future of our country!"
"No, thank you. I've got my delusions just the way I like 'em!"

And this is just too freakin' cool. I got mine this week -- I think Orrin Hatch and Pat Robertson might be the most chilling, and Rumsfeld has a good "Demon King" vibe going on.

And this Monday, I'm off to Luke Air Force Base in Gila Bend (BF AZ, for those curious as to its exact location) for two weeks for some leisurely surveying and desert strolling.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

A really funny incident occurred over the weekend while I was listening to one of the final regular-season Cardinal games of the season. MLB.com has a Cardinals chatroom, where you can, well, basically waste your time with other Cardinal fans who are in the process of wasting their time. I log on occasionally to go ALL CAPS when we win or group-mope when we lose.

One of the participants was being an absolute pest -- if someone disagreed with him on even trivial things, they'd be labeled an idiot. He'd fill up the screen with obscenities. He'd be contentious and rude about pretty much everything. The guy gave the proceedings the air of a 13-year-old middle school bully in a sports bar. So I made the casual remark that it's a shame that you can't slap the shit out of someone over cyberspace. Apparently, that flipped a switch. The guy IMs me and does the internet equivalent of giving me that oh-too-familiar first shove. Over the internet.

"How bout I give you my phone number and we'll go from there, asshole!"
I wasn't really sure what to make of this. I'd never really been in a fight before, but from what I remember from middle school, the guy trying to indimidate you was usually supposed to be in the same room, or somehow able to physically affect you in some way.

Andy: What the hell is wrong with you?
Nutjob: You yanked my chain one too many times! Maybe I should kick your ass for you.
Andy: I'm in Arizona!
Nutjob: That's too far.
Andy: Yup. Too far.
Nutjob: Maybe you'll just make me change my vacation plans.

But that assumes that I would have actually given him my address, description, maybe scheduled a time (coordinated with his incomong flight plans) to meet out on a playground out back of a school or something and shove each other around some. Maybe he could pull my shirt up over my head and tackle me and we could wrestle around a little like they did back in the day. I've heard of people traveling cross-country to finally meet up and capitalize on an internet love affair, but I have yet to learn of a formalized conference by which satisfaction for a chatroom insult was had.

Strangely, it did feel a little bit good, though. I haven't had any interaction with bullies since middle school, and yet here was the genuine article going through the same routine, except disembodied and ridiculously impotent. I wound up laughing at him (again, ALL CAPS), and he signed off in a huff. Almost like he was signing me up in a program for systematic desensitization for bully-phobia -- next, I have to stand and look at one from afar before coming closer.

And at the very end of the program, you go to the nearest middle school and beat up the largest 13-year-old you can find.

Monday, October 04, 2004

I'm thinking I may have to think up a new title for my blog. I was dining with Janine not long ago at a local Mimi's Cafe -- I'm not sure how much of a chain restaurant it is, but there are at least two in town. The food's pretty decent faux-Cajun, but the decor is a visually cloying stab at the boisterous Mardi Gras palette. Anyway, I was glancing around and caught what's apparently Mimi's slogan: Fillet of Soul, next to an awful painting of a shambling saxophonist. I do like Mimi's, but I really don't want someone stumbling upon this thing and muttering to themselves, "Hey, I didn't know Mimi's Cafe had a blog... Who's the fruitcake with the teacup?"

Meanwhile, I gotta congratulate my friends Jana & Justin, who were wed over the weekend here in town. I'm pretty sure they don't read this, so I'll add that our wedding was better.

And take a jab at the globe and sign my new guestmap!

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Not much going on in the last couple of weeks -- I've been in the field, mostly, and learning oodles. Janine's been batting around the idea of going into the tea shop business with her mother sometime in the next couple of years, possibly after she acquires an MBA to guide her along. Which is perfectly fine by me; I do so like tea.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

I don't like sand. It's coarse and rough and
irritating, and it gets everywhere. Not like here. Here
everything's soft... and smooth...

- Anakin Skywalker, speaking about Andy's new job and finally being home with Janine


Things are pretty groovy here, although my job, although very interesting, is getting to be more like a very educational dare. My newest assignment is quite cool, digging ca. 12th century Hohokam pit houses in Marana, just north of town. We're excavating four days a week, ten hours a day in 100+ degree heat, with a fine, tan dust swirling around the nostrils when the breeze kicks up, sticking to the thick foundation of sunblock I apply every morning, resolving itself after many hours into a brown paste. The scenery can't be beat, though -- the sky today was a Smithsonian diorama blue with cirrus clouds lifted straight out of a child's bedroom wallpaper. Beat that, office dwellers!



Now if I don't come down with brown lung, this stint will have been an amazing success. As for everyone else, read this article that Kelli clued me onto, and then send me tribute.

I also came across the weblog of a local historical archaeologist, one with whom I've enjoyed working quite a bit, and one whose job I really wouldn't mind replicating somewhere back east. Now I guess he just needs a boyfriend. Anybody know any history-obsessed candidates?

Interesting also in that Janine is in some sort of bizarre transition from being a Davis to becoming a Bockhorst. She has Social Security cards to get and other applications and God knows how many bank accounts and subscriptions and phone bills and other crap to get changed over into her new name. And I'm not really sure why she's doing it -- up until now, we've had contrasting problems: she almost always has to spell out her first name to keep her interviewers from writing "Jeanine" or "Jeanninne" or one of the surprisingly infinite varieties of her name; I always always have to spell out my last name, to keep my interviewers from making jokes about sausage. Now she's completely screwed.

And do keep that concentrated laser beam of good wishes focused on Dan and his family this weekend. Hope it goes well, my friend.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Life, cont.

We're back in the Old Pueblo after a six-day road trip, and everything's strangely like it was before I took off to live intermittantly in Los Angeles, which, considering I get to live with Janine again on a not-just-weekends-only basis, is a definite upgrade. Or retrofit? Any mechanic readers who care to help me with my analogies?

Anyway, the wedding was wonderful -- not just the wedding, but the entire week, all the way through, was absolutely beautiful. On Thursday, a good chunk of my relatives and Janine's were already at my uncle Fred's (the wedding site), gourmet Fred probably effortlessly whipped up a large salmon feast and most got plowed on my brother Pete's fine wines, and you could have cut the love with a knife and spread it on the rolls. Friday was the rehearsal dinner, which was a repeat of the night before, but with more people and different food at a different place. Just as cool. Janine threw a tea party at a tea bar (or whatever they call those places) for the women from both (well, all) sides of the family -- they had a blast, but are mysteriously tight-lipped about the affair.

And we got married on Saturday. The photos do it a lot better justice than I can. It started late at 5:30 and ended sometime before midnight. We get the negatives this week -- the photographer said there were some "nice shots," and we're counting on his having a fine command of understatement.

Alright, so we're married and stuff, but on the way back through Tennessee... GRACELAND, BABY! Yes, we saw the jaw-droppingly garish and gorgeous/awful abode of the King, even the exact piano in the foyer of his personal raquetball court where he sat his impacted colon for the final time and serenaded his waning heart into that good night. Unfortunately, visitors aren't allowed upstairs where he later retreated to his bathroom and everything resolved itself so improperly. I like to think Sir Noel Coward expired in the early seventies because his fashion sense smothered him in his sleep out of ultimate kindness, but I haven't gotten that far in the book yet. Let's say the Fashion Fairy wasn't as kind to Elvis.

We also took in the Oklahoma City National Memorial late this past Friday, and it's hard to convey the chillingness. The monolithic gates at either end of the disaster area marked with the time immediately before (9:01) and after (9:03) the attack, and the hundreds of empty chairs were devastating, but I think the part that affected me most was the realization that the immense plaza that once led up to the Murrah building (steps, landscaping, ramps, tile, gates to the underground parking where McVeigh left the van) are kept entirely intact, and now overlook the Memorial grounds. The whole city block gives a intensely eerie air of frozen time, punctuated by the ongoing tributes populating a chain-link fence along the western sidewalk that are regularly updated nine years later.

So we're back in the Tucson, and I'm starting a new job digging a site in Marana (just north of town). Janine and I will be arriving home about the same time every night. How effin' cool is that? My only regret is that I'll miss the Cardinals when they play San Diego and LA this month in California. Life is... bittersweet.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Getting... chokey...



I know Janine (the bride) looks a little nonplussed -- we were actually a little inbetween official shots here. This was the only one we have at the moment with all the Bridal Party Members (I forgot the insigneated armbands), but trust me, we all smiled quite a bit.

Janine and I stopped at my brother's place in Tennessee on the way back (where I'm writing from), and we have to hit the road presently. Details (and many more photos) to come...

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Argh. Slightly more than two weeks until the wedding, and we still have a boatload to take care of. The plan as it stands is to drive out from Arizona to Virginia next weekend (the 21st), spend the week at my uncle Fred's place taking care of details and basking in my native atmosphere (+ humidity, - using 3 digits to calculate outside temperature), and then a five-minute ceremony, and then a big party. Barbeque and red linen. E-yeah. Music's courtesy of me, so you know the wedding's gonna be slammin'! Slammin' wedding! We're walking down the aisle to Rammstein's "Du Hast!" Well, no.




Friday, August 06, 2004

Tuesday, August 03, 2004


I, as a Cardinal fan, take no pleasure in this.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

OK, so we got on the topic of baseball.  While I shan't dwell too long, this is completely hysterical.  And not to kick the Cubs when they're down (10 games, 2.5 behind the Wild Card), while they're still mathematically a threat to the Redbirds, they're still fair game.

Note that I do not participate in the venerable Cardinal tradition of hating the Cubs -- when they made the NLCS last year, I was rooting for them along with everyone else who was hoping against hope for a Cubs - Red Sox Series.  And it took both the 2003 NLCS and ALCS to finally realize that, yes, of course, obviously, there really must be an immutable curse on both teams, delivered back near the turn of last century when goat farmers and poverty-stricken big-leaguers were competent in such black magic.  Ninety-six years without a World Series victory.  Man, that just can't be statistically possible, can it?  You really must have an honest-to-Whatever deity or some troll under a bridge who really really hates you.  Maybe that'll be Peter Jackson's next flick: an intrepid band of Cubs and Red Sox fans join forces to find and destroy the immortal wraith responsible for the curse, who skulks about the underworld with his scrying pool tuned to ESPN 24/7.

In other news, I saw Sophia Sunseri for the second time in Santa Monica last night -- absolutely fantastic.  Does the best "Summertime" since Ella & Louis.   And I got more hugs!  Musicians rock.

And much has been made about the Bush twins campaigning for their father in the upcoming elections.

And I am really, really worried about that.

 



Tuesday, July 20, 2004

I'm pretty sure that no one reading this cares one way or another, but the St. Louis Cardinals are the best team in baseball.  Better than the Yankees.  Straight up.  I give you the 2004 World Series Champions.
 
Oh yeah, and I'll be in Santa Monica tomorrow watching Sofia Sunseri at the Temple Bar yet again.  I cannot be bored in this town!

And I had an absolutely fantastic weekend in Santa Barbara this past weekend with my friend Tracey (proud Canadian I met in Taiwan, and adopted mother of Taiwanese shitzu dog Xiang Xiang -- that's what she calls him.  His real name is Xiang Rou, aka Dogmeat).

And I found out that Santa Barbara is a beautiful place.  And it definitely knows it.
 
Stay tuned for our regularly scheduled oddball crap.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Very long day in the field today, and I'm reminded of the Calvin and Hobbes strip where Calvin's scraping and brushing off things in the garden with his dad's shaving brush and concludes that archaeology must be the most mind-numbing job in the world. And he's only correct insofar that archaeology can be, at times the most mind-numbing job in the world, especially when you're not finding crap in a sea of dirt, mud, and sand. Like today.

So the mind wanders, finding ways of keeping itself tolerably amused. I'm digging around, jogging through the extensive jukebox in my head. I'm also reminded of the time I labored as a serf for Burger King during my undergrad years, when I'd get both insufferably bored and reeeeally punchy in the wee hours and start making up songs in my head about whatever I happened to be doing at the time. Washing off the burger pans? (sung to the tune of the Pixies' "Debaser") Carrying boxes! Whaa-ha-ha-ho! Thawin' out burgers! Whaa-ha-ha-ho! Feelin' so greasy! Wha-ha-ha-ho! Gotta go! Go and get! Get the degreaser! DE-GREASER! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!

And of course my work today was nowhere near so tedious, degrading, or downright scary, but I was getting a little distracted by the lack of productivity of the soil. So my mind is wandering, and I catch a glimpse of my red flagging tape, used for marking buckets of dirt or tying around poles to mark positions, etc. And my mind comes up with:

red flagging tape

+


Mediterranean-looking fiancee

=


Fun!

So it's these little moments of reverie that give rise to some really great ideas. Maybe. I might just be sleeping on the spare futon next time I'm home.

Thanks again for all the birthday wishes and kind words -- I'm very grateful for such friends. I might even have to meet some of you someday!

And lastly, I lob the hot Happy Birthday potato to Heather. I would wish her a happy day, but I spoke with her tonight on her cell phone, and she's waaaaay ahead of me.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Thanks for the birthday wishes (and Dan, 31 just feels like a reification of 30 -- kind of like the millenium really begins with 2001 blah blah blah. 2000 was the really big deal. Look how 2001 turned out)! My crew took me bowling. I suck. But I sucked for free tonight!

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

I know Martha (the Righteous) posted this indirectly via the Mosquito thing, but this had me rolling (via the politically-minded 15-year-old within).

And I'm 31 tomorrow! yay

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Please welcome the hard-hitting blog stylings of former Tucsonan, current Seattlite, and archaeological apostate made good Heather Krause. Congrats on taking up the cyber-bullhorn -- always good to read about a friend's intellectual exploits.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Here are some photos of the arch crew in Mexico -- photos you didn't even know you didn't want to see.

Here
Here
and Here

And I'll give you three guesses what there is to do in Rosarito, Mexico (hint: it's just down the street from Tijuana). The answer's here.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Big Top Indy

Here's a nice photo from the New York Times showing the site and one of the Native American monitors (the one quoted in the Times piece is shown here).


In other news, just got back from Tucson last night, feeling very melancholy about being away from Janine for another week. She is, however, going to be flying here this coming weekend -- I was thinking maybe dinner at Spago, but after tasting Wolfgang Puck's soup from Safeway, all I have to say about that guy is: Wolfgang PUKE!!! That stuff Wolfgang SUCKS!!!!! I'm thinking the crap in his restaurant has to be better than the gruel he lends his name to from the supermarket, but c'mon! What's next, Paul Prudhomme's cajun pork rinds?

Monday, June 21, 2004

Just arrived back at the Residence Inn in Manhattan Beach (my non-comped home away from home away from home) from Rosarito, Baja, Mexico with about 14 of my closest aquaintances from the excavation. Besides the beaches, it's not a particluarly impressive area, although the food's alright. It appears to be a slightly upscale Tijuana, which is anything but a compliment, but fun was had. My first experience with a mechanical bull, no less -- disappointingly lacking in violent lunging motions, but it still had me on the mat in a few seconds. But I didn't want to just hit the floor, I wanted to leave an impression in it. Oh well.

Addendum: I see from Matt's blog that he's had some recent experiences with mechanical bulls himself. Happy birthday to everyone's favorite mile-high baritone -- hope it was a good one, and I hope the good ole American bulls gave you a better thrashing than my panzy Mexican ones did! And nothing in that sentence was meant..., well, hell, take it anyway you want.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Here Goes!

At last (which was, incidentally, the only cover played last night), I saw Sofia Sunseri at the Temple Bar in Santa Monica, after about five years of wanting to. It was a stripped down set -- only her on vocals, her husband Rick on guitar and stand-up bass, and Hiro Goto on violin and Apple computer, but fantastic! Interesting thing, though -- Rick's a lawyer by day, who was recently looking into assisting the Indian groups involved with the dig I'm working on in an effort to close the site down and stop the exhumation of the Indian burials there. I suppose it could have been an awkward moment, but Rick's a great guy, and I'm a great guy, and we were two great guys appreciating the crazy morally ambiguous world we live in. And I got a couple of hugs from Sofia. It was a good night.

And bringing in the issue of morally ambiguity about the site, here's an editorial about the excavation from the LA Times, an opinion (along with Rick's, and a part of my own) that's hard to disagree with on the whole. The minority's getting screwed once again, and in grand fashion, by a developer and constructor of million-dollar condominiums. Contract archaeology does often seem to be a very melancholy occupation -- I've seen clips of archaeologists with mere hours to collect as much information as possible, digging literally in front of the bulldozers eradicating whatever they don't time to get to. And when you throw in issues like Native American land and burial rights and gargantuan ethical and legal dilemmas, it's hard to feel entirely good about one's role in the effort, even when the goal is to salvage what would have, not long ago, been plowed under. I don't really know what the Native Americans' legal options are in this case -- the fact that the land is private goes a long way in giving the developers control over the proceedings. I can only assume that the Tongv'a tribe would rather suffer the excavation and reburial elsewhere than see the remains summarily shoved into a pile by an earthmover. I hope so, anyway -- if not, the only ones who are benefiting from this exercise are us archaeologists and the very few whities who are interested what's coming out of the ground here.

And next, it looks like Pittsburgh has been chosen to host the 2004 Bockhorst family, effective anytime from next month to September. With a wedding around the same time. With me in LA for a lot of the time. I'm driving back to Tucson to plan and commiserate with Janine this weekend. Holy shit, YOU THINK YOU'RE BUSY?!

And last weekend's trip to the Sequoia National Park kicked ass; made me feel about thaaaat big, a very Alice in Wonderland sensation. And yes, Caren, that is some big wood. The biggest wood in the whole world! And believe it or not, I did not even see that one coming. I felt like a guy asking directions in a boxing ring. I tittered my ass off.

Big wood. Jeez.

Oh yeah, from Stacy's page
1. Who are you?
2. Have we ever met?
3. Give me a nickname and explain why you picked it.
4. Describe me in one word.
5. What reminds you of me?
6. If you could give me anything, what would it be?
7. Ever wanted to tell me something but couldn’t?
8. Are you going to put this on your weblog and see what I say about you?
9. What do you love like a fat kid loves cake?
10. What makes you come back here?

Sunday, June 06, 2004


The largest living thing in the world -- the General Sherman sequoia. The Galactus of trees!

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Four new things:

1. My dear, dear mum's sent me a spare laptop. I'm using it now in a posh-as-an-archaeologist-can-expect hotel room, and it's working quite well.

2. The Mock-Morrissey show, incidentally, was fun in a strange way -- the guy pulled off the well-known Moz mannerisms expertly, although he himself looked more like John Hannah (the goofy brother from the recent Mummy movies) attempting to be all Morriss-ey. The strangeness entered when I realized that there was no rock star in the room, just a bunch of fans -- we, as base fans, cheering on another fan-as-quasi-rock-star/kareoke artist/specialty actor and his cover band. It got really weird when he started talking between songs in a disorienting American accent. That's all I'll say about anything Smiths for a while -- I'm starting to bore myself.

3. We may be moving soon to Pittsburgh. Janine might be reallocating herself in the Bayada Nurses network, and it appears to be a choice between P-burg (the Greater) and one of the Carolinas. Nothing, let alone the timetable, is set, but the chances look pretty good. I recently found out that Pittsburgh is one of my Dad's favorite towns, which is interesting 'cause I always assumed it was a hole. I've been there all of maybe twice, I think, and I can't remember if one was for Robert Palmer or the Cure.

4. The job continues to be very cool -- lots o' bones, lots o' rocks, lots o' bad-for-you lunches from the freelance catering van that comes daily, lovingly deemed the Roach Coach by us. My diet's changed somewhat since watching Morgan Spurlock's Supersize Me over the weekend. It's a wonderful flick -- I insist you see it immediately -- and I defy you to come out of the viewing and not recoil in horror at the first Golden Arches you pass by on the way home to throw away everything in your refrigerator.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

I've Come to Wish You an Unhappy Birthday

It's my second weekend in LA, and I've found through the LA Weekly (surprisingly, much larger than the similarly formatted Tucson Weekly) that a throng of Morrissey fans is throwing him a birthday party, to which I'm sure he's enthusiastically invited but dare not go. There will be a tribute band and plenty of folks with horned-rimmed glasses and mile-high coifs and gladioli hanging out of their back pockets, and me, bewildered like a bushman in a Safeway, an uncloseted fan bouncing around like that bumblebee girl in the Blind Melon video. I just wonder if it really is all harmony and love for your fellow geek at one of these things, or if there are factions or cliques. Early Hatful of Hollow devotees who think Strangeways was a sell-out vs. Moz fans who are too young to have come in with the Smiths who think Vauxhall was his greatest achievement vs. the fey loose-shirt-wearing sort vs. the ridiculous pugilist wannabe greaser Boz apologists. My Moz-fu is greater than yours. Man, if that happens, I'm writing off the whole scene. If I want abuse, I could probably get it from the man himself!

Meanwhile, I'm going to try to get into the Getty Museum and actually absorb a little of what LA has to offer (for some reason a stroll along Rodeo Drive past the Gucci and Tiffany shops didn't leave me feeling fulfilled). And I'll be catching a Sofia Sunseri show on the 8th at the Temple Bar in Santa Monica! I've heard the recently reunited Pixies are also coming to town soon! We shall see if a man can be too entertained!

Saturday, May 15, 2004

I write from the strange location of Hollywood Blvd, in a cyber cafe, while the meter on my car runs out. I'm in the middle of my shameless barnstorming tourist phase of acquainting myself with LA -- spent the night last night in a Best Western in Long Beach, drove up a really REALLY lame stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway (perhaps like yourself, I got a glamorous image of something like the Big Sur during a helicopter-swooping car commercial-type-thing. Well, definitely not so between Long Beach and Santa Monica). Then up Santa Monica Blvd, over which the sun had already come up, so I guess I missed out on that. Then right on La Brea to the apparently-world-famous Pink's hotdog stand, and after half an hour of waiting in line for a goddamn hotdog and eating it in 30 seconds, I headed east on Melrose, back west to Vine, and thence to Hollywood Blvd.

And I haven't spotted any actual celebrities yet, but considering the number of bums and tatoo parlors right down the street from the Kodak Theater and Man's Chinese, I wouldn't be caught dead around here if I were an established film stud (Oscar night and Walk of Fame ceremonies excepted). I caught glimpses of the Beverly Hills off Santa Monica Blvd, and I bet they're probably all around there somewhere. And I also bet they wouldn't let me on their property to spot them.

And to answer Shonda's musing, I don't know where the hell I'll be sleeping tonight -- maybe something I read in the California Lonely Planet to the tune of Banana Bob's $15 Hollywood Hostel off of Cahuanga Blvd, which is supposed to be rambunctious and movie-oriented. Probably run by some guy who looks a lot like Divine. But hey, during the week I'm livin' bucks up! And I love it when our throng of archaeologists drags itself back from the field covered in filth and onto the elevators with the Polo-wearing, full-paying business types. It's all I can do to keep from asking them for a quarter!

And one last bit of very odd but exceedingly cool news -- James's own Tim Booth is rumored to be cast as a bad guy in the upcoming Batman movie. Probably gets killed when he's struck by lightning, and he's lit up against the sky like a sign. Like a neon sign.

And one more thing: 4 days until Morrissey's first cd in 7 years! Go. Buy. Validate!

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Well, I'm leaving tomorrow for La-La Land, where I'll be digging right here, and I'll be staying right here four days a week. Unfortunately, I'll only be comp'ed the hotel room those four days, and then I have to find some other accomodations on my own. Motel 6? Dorm room? Campground? Park bench? I believe I'll decide when I get there.

Actually, I'm really excited that, among other things, I'll be able to catch a Sofia Sunseri show sometime over the summer, something I've been wanting to do for the past three or so years. Click the link and listen to a few of her tunes (gloriously free of charge!) -- you = instant fan! I just hope she's still performing; the next show listed on her website is March 1 (this year).

I still don't know anything about the dig I'll be participating in, but I am very proud of myself for the preparatory reading I've been doing on California archaeology, as well as the refresher reading about excavation techniques. I'll be the dopest, rockin'est field hand they've ever had! Or at least maybe they'll give me a good recommendation...

Saturday, April 24, 2004

I say, it has been somewhat of a good week. Let me explain.

1) I got a job. In archaeology. It's temporary (from May 3 until anywhere between June and August), but it's on the California coast, somewhere near Marina del Rey, just south of Los Angeles. And Statistical Research (my soon-to-be employers) is setting me up for four days a week in the LAX Embassy Suites. And I'll be making significantly more than I am now. And I'm rather happy about all this.

2) After some initial unpleasantness, we might have our wedding mostly funded. I won't go into it too much, because as the situation stands now, it's very jinxable. I'll be collecting positive thoughts from all volunteers.

3) Well, I've been waiting for number 3, with the cliched assumption that all of these things happen in triplet. After the first two, I've been looking for it -- the Cardinals have been on a tear lately, which ended last night when they lost a pathetic 2-1 game against the lowly Brewers, but they did sweep the Astros. This may be #3. I'm open to the possibility that, considering the magnitude of the first two VERY GOOD things, some other GOOD THING may be around the corner.

So things are looking up, and I'm deliriously thrilled to have my foot back in the door of the archaeological profession, psyched at the idea of touring LA and the California coast on my off days, and bullish on my being able to parlay this new gig into a full-time staff position sometime in the near future. The only thing I'm not excited about is being away from Janine for possibly a few months (although possibly only a month or so), even though I will be making the 7-or-8-hour trip back every few weeks.

So today is Saturday, so I think I'm going to kick back, have a beer, do some reading, and wait for that last celestial boon winging its way like a golden paper airplane from God to crumple its nose against my forehead.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

This is just getting worse. The President has been getting nothing but negative press for the past month and a half or so -- the Iraq War becoming ever more lethal and unwieldy, several inside sources attesting that Bush is everything from detached to stupid (see books by Paul O'Neill, Richard Clarke, and Bob Woodward) -- what needs to happen for the American people to wise the **** up?! What in God's name does this administration have to do to convince folks that he's not the right man for the job?! Pick your issue: foreign, domestic, economic, environmental -- everything but the Bush-friendly business constituancy -- what is he doing right?! Who could not be a better President?! Who is siding with Bush in these polls? Bring them to me!!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

There's a scene in a favorite old comic book from the '80s where the Kingpin (the bad guy) finds out Daredevil's secret identity and proceeds to make Matt Murdock's life miserable by getting him fired, erasing his bank account, blowing up his apartment, etc. Murdock gets increasingly frustrated and manic, not knowing what's going on or who's screwing with him, until he winds up putting on his red longjohns and beating up entire bars full of riffraff looking for information. The scene in mind is one where he's screaming to a scattered pile of unconscious barflies, "Who's going to talk about Matt Murdock?!"

That's kind of how I'm feeling right now. Who's going to give me a job in archaeology?! YOU, SUCKER?!!!

Friday, April 09, 2004

"America's such a fascinating monster that we all think that it's just too grotesque to imagine waking up to every single day. But there are good aspects to it, even though the awful are truly awful. The arts are a struggle. Television's appalling. And after all the American enlightenment we end up with George W. That's frightening." -- Morrissey

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Back from the Abyss!
Thanks to the attentions of a retired jet fighter mechanic (and I think that may have made him the only man for the job) and all-round nice guy, the Metro is back on the road in all its shaky glory.

I am choking on my happiness! Glllaaaaaakkkkkkk!!!!

Monday, April 05, 2004

The hooks are in the water -- I've applied for exactly umpteen short-term excavation assignments all over the U.S., including the aforementioned Moose Pass, AK job, as well as stints in Utah, California, and West freakin' Virginia. Tomorrow, a line will go out to a cherry job in Alexandria, VA for a dig in a slave cemetery (the advert assures the reader that no actual bodies will be disturbed. What the hell kinds of archaeologists are these panzies? Disturbing dead bodies is the best part!). Still waiting for feedback, so wish me luck!

And one more shot of everyone's favorite Dan -- maybe the abundant images of him with a straight leg will remind it to heal faster. This comes from my dad's wedding in Marietta, OH, on the deck of a sternwheeler, ca. 1991. I believe we're in the middle of a portion of Romeo & Juliet, Dan competently and me less so. And look: real beard!

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Thanks to Martha's suggestion, I just signed up on Photobucket.com, a dumping ground for online jpegs, useable for online applications such as blogs. And since I recently scanned and uploaded a bunch of nifty photos, here are some.


St. Patty's Day: Janine tattoos me with her well-formed fists.


A long time ago, I said something about how my dog likes to re-enact Michelangelo's Pieta.


And I couldn't resist: Dan and I off the set of Twelfth Night, senior year of high school. Dig! Them! Tights!!!

And today's the inaugural broadcast of Air America, Al Franken's unapologetically liberal news talk network! Unequivocally boffo!

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

A couple of things that amused the hell out of me, before I consign myself to my work day.

First, a bunch of Smiths fans got together to protest the Iraq War, using modified lyrics for their protest signs, such as, "This war is a MISERABLE LIE!" and "Hang the Newsmen" (I assume they're referring to Fox News?), and "If it's not love, then it's the bomb[...etc.]". One of those post-geek moments when you're sort of stuck between admiration and embarrassment, like if a bunch of D&D enthusiasts (a group I can't really count myself out of) marched behind the Smiths guys in plate mail and robes carrying signs like, "Bush is CHAOTIC EVIL!" or "My brother lost all his HIT POINTS in Iraq!" I have to say I'm impressed by their gumption, although I'm not sure they're preaching to anyone other than the faithful.

The other thing is something my brother clued me onto after trying to make me think Arnold Schwarteneggar was trying to get ahold of me. The Arnie thing didn't work too well, but this is hysterical, although you have to see Slingblade first.

Friday, March 26, 2004

Oh boy (or son of a bitch! depending on frequently swinging mood), have I been busy over the past couple of weeks. There's the ever-present piece-o'-crap job that I've been keeping up, but also the hours I've ben putting in at the Center for Desert Archaeology, which is reminding me that I'm an archaeologist, and I should probably be getting paid for it. The work's fairly cool -- basically classifying hundreds of Late Classic period Hohokam redware ceramic sherds from sites along the San Pedro River. northeast of Tucson. Ah, the sweet stain of the ruddy 700-year-old smashed-pot dust on my fingers. There's a John Denver song in here somewhere.

Either way, I've seen a few more jobs come down the pike, like this one I'm applying for, which is here in Tucson for the Forest Service (an "advanced trainee" position with a strong writing component!). I'm also looking into spending a few months away from the Southwest, potentially renting myself out as a freelance shovel for hire (I think I mentioned this possibility in the past, although it was mostly in jest. It no longer is). This decision opens my working options WAY the hell up, allowing me to take a stab at positions like this, a temporary position in Moose Pass, Alaska! MOOSE PASS! Where people who look like Janine Turner will swap witty banter with me! Or I'll die of boredom. Either way.

Meanwhile, I blew off some steam at a local gay bar over this past weekend -- I was meeting a few friends there, who were watching a drag show. My friends identified me to the crowd as straight as soon as I got through the door, and the guy with the spotlight on some upper level made me the entertainment for the next ten or so minutes. One of the dancers (dressed like Tina Turner) incorporated me into his routine, pulling me onto the floor and grinding my face into his stuffed bra. And nobody bought me a freakin' drink! Nice to feel appreciated, though!

Wednesday, March 24, 2004




Janine and Carter watching Freddy Vs. Jason!


Wow, I didn't know I could post pictures! This changes everything! Or at least this particular thing.

An actual post of substance is forthcoming.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Friday, March 12, 2004



create your own visited country map
or write about it on the open travel guide

Good god, I've only been to 6% of all countries! And I'm 30! Am I going to be one of those 80-year-olds, hobbling from European hamlet to Masai village? Well, hopefully, but only if I hit some prime terrirtory in the meanwhile...

Thanks to SL-K for the link!

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

I swear to god, if I read many more stories like this, I'm tearing up my USA membership card.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

I wanna give a shout out to all my peeps in Precinct 127, Legislative District 28, Ward 2, Congressional District 8, Supervisory District 4! Where is the love, yo?

Friday, February 27, 2004

Woohoo -- busy week so far, in that I finally got my foot in the door of the archaeology world once again! After paying my $10 to become a member of the Center for Desert Archaeology, a non-profit group, today I solicited and was offered a volunteer position with one of their researchers. Not where I want to be ultimately, but I've got my hands on the artifacts again, and all looks promising.

And I'm gathering signatures on my petition to become an elected Democratic Precinct Committee-member -- whatever the hell that means. What I understand it to mean is that I'll be an official hardcore violunteer Democrat shit-kicker in this here neighborhood, shaking hands, getting people to register and vote for the good guys, and generally be a politico-nerd until the general election and beyond. The thought isn't necessarily the most welcoming I can think up, but things being the way they are, it's really something I don't think I can avoid undertaking and still feel I'm doing enough for the cause. This week, I think I've already swayed one under-informed Bush supporter toward the light, and registered another prevaricating Democrat to vote. Seeing as Gore won Pima county in 2000, it's probably a foregone victory anyway, but Arizona sure as hell isn't, so maybe I can make a dent.

Janine's pestering me to use the computer, so I better end it here. Will I be able to tolerate this abuse for the next 50 years?

Ah, who am I kidding?

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Rate my Valentine's Day stabs at Romanticism!

Didn't tell Janine where we were going, but grabbed over-sized picnic basket and dog and drove across town to new, highly touted Mexican joint for take-out, which went into the basket. Drove downtown to the lawn of the city hall to the Same-Sex Marriage Rights rally, where we cheered on the speakers and their sentiments while eating enchiladas and decent salsa.

Later, did Janine's laundry without complaining!

Circle level of Romantic oomph.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Monday, February 02, 2004

The last couple of weeks have actually been pretty dull, hence the absence of amusing, witty, confusing, senseless, etc. posts -- dull in some ways, interesting in others. Janine picked up a paperback copy of Smart Couples Finish Rich, by cookie cutter financial self help savior John Bach, and while I'm sure any financial self help book would have done the trick nicely, Bach helped me get my mind around the concept of money management, saving for retirement, and what the hell is meant by variable annuity, large cap growth fund, money market, ad infernum. My skills in personal finance have been absolutely wretched since I was able to crumple up bills with my infant paws, but things have been clicking over the past couple of weeks. Again, nothing anyone would want to read about, and really nothing I want to actually spend my time doing (a sadly neglected copy of Sinclair Lewis's Main Street lies frozen in Chapter 2 on my nightstand), but something that really really badly needed doing, and I feel much more grown up now (even though I'm inclined to subscribe to Dan's philosophy that this is a step in entirely the wrong direction).

All this is hopefully enabling us to save up for the big wedding day, now semi-officially to be on August 28 at my Uncle Fred's place, about an hour from DC. More details when I update my wedding website, which as it stands now still has us getting married in May on a yacht off of Sarasota, FL. Dinner will likely be BBQ. Vegetarians best like sauce.

Next goal: get "Girl From Ipanema" out of my head.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Shit's comin' together, man, but it's too late to go into it now. For now, I'll leave you all with my current desktop wallpaper.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

What the hell -- I'm still in a really great mood, and I'm still unable to account for it. Maybe it's the whole honeymoon period of the new year -- I so want things to work out between me and 2004, to be much better friends than my rocky relationship with its predecessor allowed me to be with 2003. We just met, it still has that luminous glow about it, coupled with a tinge of hard-won experience -- I think it just might work out.

And I just added a sci fi section to my DVD collection, which makes for 2 whole sections now: sci fi and muppet. Dark City is the new one -- very cool flick.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Very sleepy, but I've been in an exceedingly good mood over the past several days. I've gotten back into lifting weights early in the morning at the local gym, which I think is helping out nicely. Just me and the very old guys who carry themselves like they used to be asskickers in their day, and others who are either super-dedicated or health-conscious insomniacs. I kind of got scared back into it, when I recently read that from age 20 to 50, the average guy loses a half-pound of muscle every year and gains a pound and half of fat. Which means I'm short 5 lbs of muscle, and I'm already just over the edge of overweight.

So anybody got any dire stats to scare me into becoming more financially responsible? "If you haven't saved $40,000 by the time you're 28, you'll die early early, broke, and infested with earwigs and weevils." Anything to curb the Starbucks demon inside!

Thursday, January 08, 2004

The new year's been pretty dandy so far, although the Metro failed on the way home from a night job , stranding me in the parking lot of an auto parts store, which I believe was its way of telling me not to give up on it. The symptoms seem to indicate that something's going on in the fuel line, which isn't a very good sign, seeing as that in the fuel-injection era of Metros, the fuel pump and filter are both located inside the gas tank. Which could possibly mean that I can't mess with it myself. Dammit.

Janine and I spent Chirstmas and New Years with assorted friends here in town, had several good times, and drank a lot of Apple Pucker -- Christmas was the first time in a while I actually gathered around a piano and sang carols, most of which were requested by me from the Bing Crosby/Andrews Sisters songbook. I sang the part of Patty Andrews. Janine was somewhere between Maxine and LaVerne.

The wedding's taking somewhat definite shape, and is now planned for late June in Virginia. Janine wants to include some sort of plant in her wedding bouquet (a green amaranthus) that hangs down around her arms in these springy tendrils that swear-to-God looks like something summoned forth from the depths to occupy a flower bush. An excellent spooky-elegant flourish. Maybe I'll carve an elder sign in my top hat.