Monthly Archives: June 2007


OK, I am completely out of it. I forgot about World Juggling Day this year. And I did not make it to the Flamenco Festival in Albuquerque. I know that I was worried about getting a new job and other personal problems, but come on! I can’t have been that dain bramaged, can I?

Mad Science is Not Just For Breakfast Anymore

Do you ever have days where you wake up bright and early, the sun is singing. The hummingbirds are shining. All about you are signs that the world is awake and alive and ready for something amazing. And on those days, do you find yourself taking a deep breath and at the top of your lungs your soul must cry,

The laws of nature must be destroyed!

No? It must just be me, then.

On the First Day of Summer My True Love Gave to Me

I woke up before sunrise, walked out the door and watched the dawn fluffify on the first day of summer.* For some inexplicable reason, I found myself humming “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Now I find myself filled with the desire to re-write the song, substituting “summer” for “Christmas” and different gifts (not necessarily summer-related) into it.

Maybe later. For now, let us see what the longest day of the year has in store.

[*] Yes, “fluffify.” It was far too soft and arrival to “break.” Pastels seemed to spin and puff over the blackened peaks like cotton candy. I could imagine taking a small hunk of sky and letting it melt in my mouth. I wonder whether it would leave a hole of night or whether the depth of sky is enough that it would simply leave a dent?

Jaws Was Never My Scene And I Don’t Like Star Wars

I have a bike once more! No longer am I bound by the the rules of pedantic pedestrians nor dimwitted drivers. Once more I have the freedom only accorded to the two wheeled!

Ah, pedal power. How I have missed you. From the ages of six until seventeen, bicycles were my main form of independent transportation.1 Actually, there was a time when it was my main form of dependent transportation as well. Mom used to take me everywhere on the back of her bike.

I remember learning to ride without training wheels. I remember jumping over ditches on my first mountain bike.2 I remember convincing neighborhood kids that if they strapped on wings that I designed and then rode fast enough over this bump before a dried up lake bed, they could glide over the whole thing!3 I remember pretending that my bike was actually a horse and naming it Shadowfax and trying to convince people to joust with me.5 I remember riding my bike 8 miles each way just to visit a girl upon whom I had a crush.

Ah, good times.

And now I have a bike once more! Let the world tremble in fear!

[1] Obviously, by ¨independent¨ I mean anything where I did not have to rely on someone else to get me from point A to point B.

[2] I was living in Illinois at the time. There were absolutely no mountains to be found. I felt slightly gypped.

[3] I did not do the dangerous stuff myself (usually). I just convinced other kids to try out my crazy ideas. I think that the first boy who tried sprained his ankle. The second almost hit a tree. The third scraped up his hands. And the fourth broke a finger.4

[4] Yes, I am as amazed as you are that I got four consecutive people to try this. What is more, they all watched the previous person try it, so it is not as if they did not know what to expect!

[5] Yes, I was mixing Lord of the Rings with Arthurian legends. Do you have a problem with that? If so, write an email to

Whatever Happens, I Leave It All To Chance

The new job is ok. I am learning. I am not sure if I am learning fast enough, but I am learning.

One really good thing about it, though. It really accentuates just how isolated I was in my last job. Here I am in an office where people are actually around. They meet for lunch in the cafeteria. They come and talk to each other. Before Libertad, on an average day I would see only one other person … three if I was extremely lucky. It took me a year and a half to make a friend, and that was because she moved into the office next to mine. Now, I could easily make several within only a few days.

I’m a little overwhelmed. I feel like I am just barely starting to get the hang of juggling five balls and someone is putting me on a unicycle. Or more to the point, I feel like I am starting to figure out how to build an enjoyable life in Los Alamos, just before I have to leave for who-knows-where.

Oh well, time to get on the unicycle. My public awaits.

adding spices to the sauce

Salsa dance class let out early tonight. Many of our regulars did not show up and at the end, there was only one girl and six guys. I wanted to dance with her, she is one of my favorite partners, but I was getting tired and none of the songs seemed right. Maybe the next song would have been better, but it was obvious that most of us did not feel comfortable with the situation, so the instructor turned off the music and ended the class about an hour and a half earlier than usual.

I taught a girl to dance bachata though. That was fun. And I danced several times with her mother. All in all, it was a good evening.

I have been dancing salsa for almost exactly a year now. I feel a lot more comfortable doing it than I used to. Or at least, I feel more comfortable acting silly than I used to. I do not always try to keep to the moves we learn in class anymore. I make up my own moves, add my own silly flair. It feels right, I stay in rhythm, and my partners have fun. That’s all that matters, really.

A New Beginning

First day on the new job coming in just a few minutes. Heading to the badge office to get a new badge, then possibly to make sure that Cesar can get to work without me for the rest of his stay in the US, and then off to my first day.

Can you say “nervous?” I knew you could! They went to a lot of trouble getting me this job. It would really suck if I can’t actually do it. I picked up the Perl and SQL cookbooks from O’Reilly Press yesterday in the hopes that they’ll help me not make too big of a fool of myself. I guess we’ll find out!

Actually, if this is like most jobs that I have had, I probably will not do much work today. Any remaining paperwork will be done today. If I am lucky, I might even get trained in what I am supposed to do! That never happened in my last job and I kind of hope that flaw is not a pervasive LANL quality.

And in other news, last Tuesday I weighed myself and found that I weigh 158 lbs. I am hoping that I will continue to gain weight. It would be nice to make it up to 170 someday.

Thoughts After a Santa Fe Trip

Prairie dog on the sidewalk, sniffing the air as I drive past. Santa Fe, NM is so different from Columbus, OH. It is not merely the flora, the fauna, or the weather, although all of those things probably feed into it. It is the attitude of the latitude and the altitude.

Santa Fe is obsessed with its appearance. It calls itself “the City Different” and it does its best to show that face to newcomers and casual visitors. It forces all its architecture to be that faux-dobe style, but it keeps true native influence hidden, subverted, or contained. The native jewelers may only sell on a small strip by the Governor’s Mansion on the plaza. I have been told that they used to be able to sell anywhere in the city, especially the plaza. The plaza contains a memorial to soldiers who died oppressing a local tribe. Chains prevent people from coming too close, but it is obvious to the observant that people have permanently defaced the memorial and that the barriers are to prevent more of such actions. Prairie dog cities lie beneath the ground; small holes reveal some of their whereabouts and the government continues a neverending battle for territory. The prairie dogs occasionally lose ground, but they always return.

I guess that is not so different from anyplace (or anyone) else, really. We all try to put forth the image that we want to show. But like acne, or like the aforementioned prairie dogs, the things that we do not want to show still pop up.

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raindrops keep falling on my head

Rain, thunder, lightning and hail. Sunny skies and mild temperatures. All of these passed before my eyes today. At least when I looked out the window. Most of today was spent indoors, working on computer programs.

Still, the staccato drumbeat of precipitation was an invitation. I wanted to be outside. If I am fortunate, I might get to go out tomorrow. It is funny how much I want to be outside when I am forced to remain in.

Perhaps I am part cat?