The problem with still being awake at 6 in the morning

is that I really want to nap for a few hours, but right about now is when all the e-mails from the East Coast start coming in, and because I'm awake and conscious of their arrivals into my inbox, I feel guilty for not attending to them ASAP. Also, I'm already in the midst of an e-mail volley with someone in South Africa, so it would be kind of rude to up and vanish all of a sudden.

In other work-semi-related un-news, it is honestly kind of awesome that I can honestly kind of claim playing games on Facebook to be work-related research, but at the end of the day, I honestly kind of resent the lost time. It would feel more justified if my specific job was to review games and game trends and game mechanics, but then again, I would tire of that job in no time. (That's a lie. It would take time. But only like a week or two.)

RANDOM TIP: scraping your tongue won't make your mouth feel more clean, but it does make your mouth feel less dirty. (oho! let the double entendres and so forth ensue)

APPROPRIATE OPPORTUNITY FOR EXPLANATION: TheNoah wants me to post more. I figure, a) he doesn't ask much from me, and b) he didn't ask for quality, just quantity. Hence, this.

TIMELY APOLOGY: Sorry.

A MORE SINCERE VERSION: I deeply regret the fact that you've been subjected to this useless post wholeheartedly lacking in substance for the primary purpose of attempting to appease the rare request of my significant other, though it behooves one to remember that all activity such as continued return visits to this shambles of a thought-log website is purely voluntary upon one's own part and is not even understood by this author, so, yeah.

LET'S TRY THAT AGAIN WITH LESS SARCASM: n/a

IN CONCLUSION: "my extemporaneous thought-log" = methlog? YES.

It was denied. Obviously.

I got a Facebook friend request from a complete stranger, which is usually grounds enough for me to hit the "Ignore" button in response, but just to make sure I didn't know him from anywhere, I clicked through to his profile.

His "About Me" section started with this:

I'm really not one to talk about myself, I like to let my actions speak for themselves …..

Which was then followed by 488 words. About him. With 35 instances of a sentence or clause beginning with "I" or a contractive variation ("I'm", "I've", "I'll").

In case you're not sure just how much text is comprised of 488 words, this is what 489 words looks like (taken from George Washington's farewell address, minus formatting):

The period for a new election of a citizen to administer the executive government of the United States being not far distant, and the time actually arrived when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person who is to be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed, to decline being considered among the number of those out of whom a choice is to be made. I beg you, at the same time, to do me the justice to be assured that this resolution has not been taken without a strict regard to all the considerations appertaining to the relation which binds a dutiful citizen to his country; and that in withdrawing the tender of service, which silence in my situation might imply, I am influenced by no diminution of zeal for your future interest, no deficiency of grateful respect for your past kindness, but am supported by a full conviction that the step is compatible with both. The acceptance of, and continuance hitherto in, the office to which your suffrages have twice called me have been a uniform sacrifice of inclination to the opinion of duty and to a deference for what appeared to be your desire. I constantly hoped that it would have been much earlier in my power, consistently with motives which I was not at liberty to disregard, to return to that retirement from which I had been reluctantly drawn. The strength of my inclination to do this, previous to the last election, had even led to the preparation of an address to declare it to you; but mature reflection on the then perplexed and critical posture of our affairs with foreign nations, and the unanimous advice of persons entitled to my confidence, impelled me to abandon the idea. I rejoice that the state of your concerns, external as well as internal, no longer renders the pursuit of inclination incompatible with the sentiment of duty or propriety, and am persuaded, whatever partiality may be retained for my services, that, in the present circumstances of our country, you will not disapprove my determination to retire. The impressions with which I first undertook the arduous trust were explained on the proper occasion. In the discharge of this trust, I will only say that I have, with good intentions, contributed towards the organization and administration of the government the best exertions of which a very fallible judgment was capable. Not unconscious in the outset of the inferiority of my qualifications, experience in my own eyes, perhaps still more in the eyes of others, has strengthened the motives to diffidence of myself; and every day the increasing weight of years admonishes me more and more that the shade of retirement is as necessary to me as it will be welcome. 

I can only imagine what his actions say.

A hoarse is a hoarse, of coarse, of coarse

Hey! I can't talk. Or, I can talk– that is, my vocal cords are capable of producing sounds that exit past my lips– but I prefer not to, because I get tired of having to repeat myself over and over due to the fact that my voice is half-gone. Sometimes it's only a quarter-gone, and then other times it's fully gone. Apparently it depends on the pitch? And it's frustrating as hell because I know exactly what I'm trying to say.

What I say: Hi, I was just wondering if you had any more of the soy turkey in stock?

What other people hear: Hi, _ was __st __nder___ if __u __d an_ more of the so_ tur___ _n stock?

It's lots of fun.

(It's not fun at all.)

And I guess my general, fully-functioning speaking voice is already pretty hard to understand? My mom complains constantly that: a) I'm too quiet, b) I'm talking too quickly, c) I'm mumbling ("just like your dad!"), or d) all of the above. Even TheNoah tells me I talk too quietly and there are moments where I can tell he's trying very, very hard not to throttle me and instead just asks me, as patiently as he can, to say what I just said again for the 57th time.

Which isn't to say I'm not capable of hollering; my lifetime is riddled with instances of people telling me to use my "indoor voice" (especially in my childhood and in high school). I think the major issue in my finding a happy middle ground is that the acoustics inside of my head are all fucked up. Everything is set to MAX VOL/REVERB, so what sounds to me to be a perfectly audible tone is in fact only a few notches above a whisper. Either that or I just have superior hearing and all you other people have some serious wax buildup problems.

Anyway. I've been traveling! I was in the Bay Area for almost two weeks last month, followed by another week in Seattle; then I was in L.A. for a couple of days, and now I've just gotten back from Denver. So the traveling hasn't exactly been exotic, but it's been a nice break from the peaking Vegas heat (although because my body has acclimated to triple-digit days, whenever I've been in other cities and the temps have been in the 70s-80s and everyone is prancing around saying, "Oh, this weather is so beautiful and perfect!", I'm huddled in a corner and shivering pitifully).

In the Bay Area, the highlight was probably getting to drive myself around everywhere. TheNoah had to take off for Kentucky for a few days to deliver a keynote and speak on some panel for a conference, so I was left to my own devices and was handed the key to the Fanta. Now, I've certainly spent enough time with him up there, zooming through all the crazy freeways between San Jose and Berkeley, but I've always been the passenger, and thus I had no idea how to get anywhere. My entire knowledge of San Francisco locales was based on proximity to either a BART station or Ike's [1].

So, armed with Google Maps, I quickly piled my plate high with some SF city street (and Bay Area freeway) learnin'. I got to experience glorious rush hour traffic AND fog AND night driving/parking (finding a parking spot in the City is a unique adventure all on its own) and remained unscathed, and to be honest I felt like I deserved a goddamned medal for it. I despise City driving, and I've ultimately come to conclude that the reason I didn't absorb any navigational know-how in the hundreds of hours I've racked up sitting next to TheNoah while he drove everywhere is because I would just zone out as much as possible in order to forget the fact that we were driving in the City.

We were in Seattle for a conference, and on the second night there was a sponsored "Casino Night" at the aquarium. Highlight of Seattle? Wandering into the room with the touch tank and proceeding to touch everything in the touch tank, including the anemones and hermit crabs and some weird fancy shrimp and a fish. And then the fish bit me, whereupon I looked for the identification cards so I could find out what the hell had just bitten me, whereupon I read on the backs of all the cards, save for the sea cucumbers and urchins and sea stars: "Please do not touch this animal."

Note: if you are an aquarium and you have a touch tank and you put things in the touch tank, EXPECT THOSE THINGS TO GET TOUCHED.

Denver was incredible. The last time I'd been there was ages ago when I was a little kid, so I didn't remember anything about anywhere. Downtown was fantastic– the hipster congregation in the Tattered Cover bookstore [2] (where TheNoah managed to rescue me from this crazy creepy guy even though TheNoah was in Oakland at the time), the snob appeal of Larimer Square, the fact that there is nothing writer-ish (or squarish, for that matter) whatsoever about Writer's Square, the grandeur of the Performing Arts Center, the bear outside of the convention center, the gondolas that go up and down Cherry Creek… and everything was walkable! My first night there, I met up with (the one, the only) Devin Reams, who generously gave me a thorough wandering tour of downtown Denver, and I think we covered 2-3 miles easily.

The funny thing about downtown Denver was how much it reminded me of downtown D.C. No "instant home" feeling, but I was certainly very pleased to be there. I think I just like walking cities. 

This is no proper way to end a post, but for lack of a better wrap-up, my favorite quote from the weekend in L.A., when a group of us was having dinner at a Thai restaurant:

"That's not a drunken noodle, that's a shitfaced noodle."

I am nothing if not an exemplary citizen of class.

[1] Fact: during the time when TheNoah and I thought we would move into the City together, one of the things I took into consideration while looking through apartment listings was how close the place was to Ike's.

[2] Interesting story: I visited Denver multiple times as a kid, but the only lasting memories I have of those trips that aren't based purely on photographic documentation are a trip to the Museum of Natural History and Science and a trip to some bookstore that had massive bookshelves on a staircase landing and green carpet (and where this book was purchased for me as a gift). Upon arrival into downtown Denver, I went looking for a place with wi-fi so I could work and ended up, upon Devin's recommendation, heading into TC. Where I eventually found myself marveling at the staircase. Which had a landing. On which there were bookcases, massive and wooden. And, oh, the carpet is green. A quick phone call to my mother confirmed that this was indeed the bookstore of my memory– craziness, no?