First day of classes. Students seem nice. They asked lots of questions, always a good sign. Got through first lecture OK. Gotta work on my voice, though — it takes a bit of warm-up to restore Teacher’s Voice, especially when you’re not loud to begin with.

Evil pet thread


I’m looking for some commiseration here, people! Who else has an evil pet?

We’ve got this cat we adopted from the local humane society, who apparently had an extremely rough kittenhood. She was wild and suspicious when we got her, and only gradually calmed down…and now she’s very dependent on me and Mary. Especially now — we abandoned (not really, but she’s acting that way) her for a week while we went on vacation, and since we got back she’s constantly looking for affirmation that we won’t leave her ever again.

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I have returned to civilization


And now I want to go back. It was a deeper journey into the wilderness than I expected — we left my brother’s house in Hoquiam and headed north, and after leaving wifi behind, we were a little surprised to learn we were also abandoning all of our cell phone carriers as well. We’ve been almost completely out of touch with the rest of the universe most of this week. We’d occasionally find a small trading post with slow, flakey wireless, and we’d fire off short Shackletonian missives to friends and family letting them know we still existed.

We also had slightly peculiar weather. It was lovely — fog and mist rolling in and softening the view everywhere.


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A day in a time machine


I attended my 40 year high school reunion last night. It was interesting and strange. When I was a kid, we moved around a lot…but always within the Kent school district, which meant I attended most of the feeder elementary and junior high schools that funneled students into my high school, so I’d known some of these people since kindergarten. It’s not that I was particularly noticeable, since on top of being transient I was also the shy bookish type who didn’t speak up much, so I suspect most of them haven’t thought of me in decades. Then there was this giant gap when I left this area after graduation and didn’t come back, while many of my high school buddies stayed right here and kept in touch with each other.

I felt a bit space-alienish, wafting in from out of nowhere and encountering these strange old people, and after a moment of peering at each other’s faces (and our name tags), suddenly saying, “I remember you! We played tag at recess in 3rd grade!” Or the inevitable memorial slide show, and you learn about everybody who has died in the last 40 years, and you are ransacking your memory trying to place that person’s face, and there’s that warm glow when you remember that good day or that birthday party or that time in the bleachers when…and suddenly it sinks in that they’re dead. You just hoisted up that nice memory and now it’s never going to be anything more, and you’re not going to clink glasses with that old friend and reminisce about it, because they’re gone.

So it was all a little weird.

But mostly pleasant. I know many people have horrible memories of their school years, and all too often public schools are nightmarish mills of cliques and bullying and ugly social oppression, but I was lucky. I was the wimpy nerd, I would have been the easy target for bullying, but it didn’t really happen, and I had friends among all the little petty in-groups — the jocks, the cheerleaders, the stoners, the AV weirdos, everyone — and they were always pretty porous and accepting. Dang it, I don’t have any good horror stories to tell from those years! I went through high school without getting beat up (which, I know, is a low bar to set, but still…)

I think the thing is my high school class was generally just a decent group of people. I was lucky that way.

Now today Mary and I pile into the rental car and cruise west until we collide with OCEAN. We’ve got undisclosed locations stacked up along the coast of the Olympic Peninsula, and will be relaxing in splendid isolation.

I am now officially on vacation

And you all know what that means, right? Cowards will try to sneak into the comments and leave asshole remarks, thinking they can get away with it. Just so you all know, while post frequency may diminish, I will be checking in every day, and kicking jerks out will be my prime priority. So if you try to take advantage of my distraction, all you’ll get is that I’ll be fucking pissed at you wasting my time, and the banhammer will be on a hair trigger.

So play nice, and use the report link on the left at anyone who tries to disrupt the flow of good conversation.

It’s a Cronenbergian thing


I was just in to the local clinic to have a misbehaving knee taken care of: I got a needle stuck in there, some fluid drawn out, an injection of steroids and an anesthetic, and then I had blood drawn for another test. I know some people have a horror of needles, but I think I have the opposite — I find my internal fluids fascinating, and seeing technology digging into them is actually kind of cool. Not that I’m going to seek out opportunities to be stabbed and poked, though…being a smoothly running machine that doesn’t need repair work is even cooler.

I also quite enjoy getting dental work done. There may be something wrong with my brain.

We shall find reconciliation


For those of you who are concerned about my wife’s apostasy, we shall overcome. We have booked flights to Seattle for mid-August! We’re going to take an actual vacation!

So we’ll spend a few days with friends and family in the Seattle area, and then we’re going to vanish into the Olympic Peninsula. Mountains! Oceans!

A few sea stacks and tide pools might be just the thing to allow me to forgive the abomination of a Windows 8 computer.

People change


It’s a tragedy when two people grow apart. I met my wife in third grade, and I thought I knew her well, but I have learned just this week that she…swings the other way. Bats for the other team. Has desires that I cannot satisfy. I am simply shattered.

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