Friday, March 30, 2007

What dreams may come

I'm not sure how many people reading this know that I'm adopted.

Well, I am. From a small town in Georgia that I've never been to. Once I printed out driving directions, planning on going there, and at least seeing it. Something came up, and I never made the drive.

I suppose it might not have mattered; all the people there I've spoken on the phone with have been incredibly unhelpful, so I imagine showing up might be met with shotguns and possibly flaming pitchforks. Well, maybe it isn't that southern, but I've never actually been there and I always imagine Griffin with red clay dirt roads, and the heat of summer beating down mercilessly.

Last night in my dream, all the houses were far back from the road. Another southern trademark, in my mind at least.

In my dream, I'd finally made my way there, and found someone in the family, though he wouldn't tell me anything about my mother (This part of the dream was more true to life than my dreams usually are). Instead he called the whole family over to his house, a rough looking shack made of aged gray wood, and there were dozens of them, all crammed in there, the screen door banging back and forth as they kept coming in. And they all just glared at me, while being as polite as possible.

We had dinner, which amounted to barbecued chicken and potatoes, and right in the middle of it I started crying, because they were so hostile to me, and wouldn't tell me anything. None of them would really speak to me, just clipped politeness. These were unknown Aunts and Uncles to my mind, brothers and sisters possibly, maybe Grandparents.

And I was that sin that came home to roost, it seemed.

I left, and walked around in the yard down by the street. There was a woman down the street, taking out the garbage, but it was really a stack of photos and drawings. I went to help her, since she was getting rid of so many, and she sort of angrily let me.

They were pictures of a young black haired woman, who might have been pregnant. She wasn't showing enough in the pictures, which were black and white mostly, but I was sure of it. She wore her hair in two short pigtails, and looked miserable. Pictures of her strong armed in the back of a car, looking resigned to her fate. Pictures of her eating cake. Pictures of her... I don't know. In some pictures her hair was different, it was red and curly, and she looked so young, even though my mother was in her twenties when she had me.

The lady wouldn't tell me who the girl in the pictures was, just kept biting her lips and looking incredibly bitter. A notebook fell out of the stack, and I picked it up. There were colored pencil drawings on the few pages, of a red headed child, happy, and in one picture curled up with a dog that looked exactly like Cinnamon, my first dog. And our handwriting was the same, for the most part.

So close that I woke up, right then.

A few tears, and I made my way to my computer, penning a new letter to my biological mother. I sent one out a few years ago, to the man who is my biological grandfather on my biological mother's side of the family. Her father, and he promised the letter would be sent to her.

I got the letter back, unopened some weeks later. He never sent it anywhere but back.

A few months ago I called his house again, wanting to send another letter, only to have someone different answer the phone. They promised that if I called back the next day at noon, they'd give me her address and phone number.

I called back, but no one answered the phone.

So this time, forearmed with the knowledge that she, my biological mother, is in Hawaii, I've just decided to skip the family in Griffin for help. I wrote my letter to her, being a little circumspect in my wording just in case my letter goes awry... This time I'm making four copies of it, and I'm sending it to everyone in Hawaii that shares a last name with me.

God speed, and good luck, letters.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Greetings from Google Analytics!!

Hi everyone!

I know you're all out there, even if you're not commenting! Heh, see thats a bonus of setting up Google Analytics, which, in case you're suddenly scared of me, allows me to see pretty much nothing about you. It's not that scary, or informative, really.

What it does tell me is how many readers I have, and wow, am I impressed. There's more people than I thought. And there's a world map, too, that shows whereabouts you guys live. *waves*

Anyway, I just wanted to say "Hi!"

Hi to Morristown, whoever lives there! One time I was in New York (see? the map isn't that detailed. I mean, maybe that dot is in New York, maybe it's not. Upper eastern USA in any case. Google says New Jersey) and I got to go see the Met. Isn't that place great? Too bad I was only in there for one day. Thats a two month museum.

And Hi Eureka! Don't worry, you're not my only California reader; there's someone who lives in Mountain View, too. Which shares it's name with the Branch of the Library I used to work at, here in Cobb County.

And.... Lets see here....

'Ello Cricklewood! Wow, a reader all the way across the pond! Thats very cool. How's the tea? And the Cricket? Must be neat over there. And besides, you've got Tony Blair, who I've always admired for his name. It just sounds so darn cool.

And Hi Kennesaw, Marietta, Atlanta, Dallas, and Stone Mountain! I'm pretty sure I know who you guys are, so I'll see you Wednesday! Thanks for reading!

Hooray Cliff!

It's probably no secret that I have a bad case of Hero Worship for Cliff.

There's a lot of good reasons for it too.

First, he's probably the only person I still know who's read much of my writing. Most of my readers were other High School and Middle School students, and I can't even recall most of them.

See, it was a very, very cold winter and they changed the time of my bus stop, so that I had to wait outside forever... It was nightmarish. So, I begged my mother to drive me to school in the morning, and in order to facilitate her drive to work she had to drop me off before the school was really open. It was dark in the halls, and none of the rooms were open, even the library. Eventually I noticed Cliff's room was open, and he was there, and I think I asked him if I could wait in there until class started. One day he noticed I was writing, and I remember him asking me if it was for class. When I told him it wasn't, he wanted to read it. Not knowing who Cliff was, or that he was even a English teacher, I let him read something of mine, and considering the time it was probably fanfiction. *cringe*

And the thing I was proudest about in my work, the thing I liked the best, that none of my classmates were sharp enough to pick up on when they told me they liked a particular story, was what Cliff noticed and complimented me on. Characterization. Still one of the things I'm proudest about.

Much more recent was my car accident.

If you're familiar with Chastain Road at all you can probably guess where it happened. That sharp twist in the road near the top, when you're coming down the hill. Someone pulled out next to me, and my car went out of control, and I ended up crossing the median, with my car spinning around in a 180, then going backwards across oncoming traffic in the other lane. You see car accidents in movies, see professional drivers pull cars out of spins and circles, easy as pie, and after a car accident you can't imagine how they do that because it happens so fast. There's no time to turn the wheel, either. A good Samaritan and his wife got my car out of the road, and waited with me until the police showed up, then disappeared before I could thank them or get their names.

Next to the car accident the worst part of it was calling my mother, and asking her to come sit with me. Not that I was sitting, but you get the idea. Her response was something along the lines of "you've already called AAA and the police are on their way, what would I do?". So I waited with my car, alone. Crying, because from the time of the accident until about an hour and a half later I couldn't quit.

And Cliff came. Cliff came, and he sat with me. He looked at my car, and got an umbrella because it was raining, and even if I have umbrellas I never use them, and somehow him holding the umbrella over me in the drizzle was pretty much the most comforting thing ever.

He came and sat with me, when my mother wouldn't. I can't make it any more poetic than that, any more graceful, true, or heart wrenching.

I also can't adequately describe how much that meant to me. 'Heart wrenching' might be the best word, after all.

What inspired all of this?

Cliff's recommendation of a Lifetime TV show, Blood Ties. Just by this, Cliff has shown a mastery of a skill that my mother's boyfriend/ex-boyfriend Fred has never quite figured out existed. See, they've dated since... I was eight, I guess. Seemed like they might get married in my teens too, and then that just sort of angrily cooled into a sort of friendship. Despite knowing my mother and I that long, Fred has no clue what to get us for holidays. There's generally a lot of calling involved, asking what we specifically want and where he can specifically get it. And in my case, despite time spent explaining, this still usually results in me getting cash. Because it's easy, I guess, and no thinking is involved, though Mom likes to defend him sometimes by saying Fred knows I'd rather buy what I want, but I don't believe that.

Mom watches Lifetime religiously and she didn't see the commercials for this show, or think I might be interested in watching it.

Somehow Cliff did. Cliff called last night to tell me when it was on and that I might like it. So, right in the middle of a Scion Demo, I paused the game and turned on Lifetime to find, for the first time in many, many years, if ever, a non-mopey vampire. And I love vampires! All of them, probably. In my organization of my book collection I added a drop down for vampires as a topic, so I could see how many vampire books I actually have, and despite the fact that my whole collection of books isn't in the organizer I have 67 vampire books out of 398 books cataloged. And despite being on the up and up of vampire novels, and knowing who Tanya Huff is (since she's in every DAW Anthology ever) I'd never heard of the Blood Series. So, now I'm off to Barnes and Noble to get one.

Thanks Cliff, for everything I've written here and more. You embody, in a way the film never meant it, the description of Raymond Shaw, that Cliff is to me, "...the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life."

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The other side of StumbleUpon's Glory

Is it's complete and utter ability to find the most terrifing news online. Such as a logical explanation of the end of the Mayan calendar. I think I'm gonna go find my lifevest now, and make sure it's in good condition.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Glory of StumbleUpon

It's pretty much the coolest FireFox extension I've found thus far. Using StumbleUpon, which I've had for maybe a year now, you can 'channel surf' the Internet, finding sites that are almost as impossible, strange, and interesting as some of the books you see in a used book store and are pretty sure you're never going to see again. You have some drop downs on what kind of sites to find, things like that, and you vote on what you think of a particular site, but that's not what I really want to talk about here.

What I want to talk about is some of the cool sites it's found for me. Like,

Hungarian Shelf Directions which look so simple and awesome anyone should be able to build them, and yet claim to be the work of a physicist. a website that tells you all the songs used in all the episodes of House MD.

Squashed Philosophers
a site with condensed philosophy reads, which, once read make the original work much more accessible.

Cooking By Numbers which tells you exactly what you can make for dinner, depending on what you tell it you have in the cupboards.

The Letter Project which is basically a guy who will write you a letter. A real, physical letter. And you can reply back if you want.

Thinking Machine
which is sort of a chess AI, except you can see what it's thinking. And the thinking is pretty to watch.

And finally,

Tricks of the Trade a message board type site for insider tips and tricks. What kinds, you ask? Any kind. Everything from what kind of bike lock NOT to buy (from a french bike thief) to how to defrost your car windows faster (just put down the sun visors, to trap heat).

Why can't I own a Canadian?

Why Can't I Own a Canadian?
October 2002

Dr. Laura Schlessinger is a radio personality who dispenses advice to people who call in to her radio show. Recently, she said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22 and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following is an open letter to Dr. Laura penned by a east coast resident, which was posted on the Internet. It's funny, as well as informative:

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific laws and how to follow them:

When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15:19- 24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? - Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your devoted fan,

(copypasta from here curtisy of StumbleUpon)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A whole new massivly engrossing world...

I like series, sometimes. In the case of a trilogy I usually own all the books, but will put off reading the third one, possibly forever, because once thats done the trilogy is over. Done with. Finite. But this didn't stop me from mowing through the Narnia Chronicles, or the Dark is Rising series.

And I think I just found something to add to that list.

The first time I ever read a Garth Nix book was at a friend's sleepover. She had the ability to stay awake perhaps until nine PM or so, while I'd be awake until about five AM. When I was younger I suffered from insomnia more than I do now, but this wasn't a problem at her house because she owned EVERY Animorph book ever printed, and I could sometimes read five or six of those in a night. And if not those she had a lot of those R. L. Stein kids horror books. And one day, she pulled out a copy of the then new, Sabriel, by Mr. Nix. She said I had to read it.

I remember liking the book, liking the world, and the people in it, and Mr. Nix's level of craft in world building. But as much as I liked it I found the story kind of sad, and I never really felt the need to pick up the other books set in his "Old Kingdom" series.

Not so with his "Keys of the Kingdom" series, which is what I'm madly reading now. These are the kinds of books you have to read in one sitting. Like I did last night. I read all of Mister Monday in one really awesome sitting. And what a fun read it was.

A crazy world, sort of a King Arthur overtone, add in some Alice in Wonderland, Neil Gaiman at his darkest, spokiest Coraline-iest, and you might start picturing something of the "Keys of the Kingdom" series.

Basically, this lady called the "Architect" created the House as a giant realm withing a realm within a realm, and she built this on top of the Nothing that the universe was then made out of. Then, using the nothing she made all the "Secondary Realms" of which Earth is but one of many. Then, she went away and left a Will, that her seven trustees were supposed to fulfil, but didn't. Instead they tore the Will into seven pieces, and hid each piece somewhere it should never be able to escape from, and then one day, of course, a piece of the Will escapes...

And thats pretty much the end of Arthur Penhaligon's normal life. Literally.

The portion of the Will that escapes commands that Mister Monday, one of the trustees, is to hand over the Keys of the Kingdom to a member of a certain family. Locating a loophole in this process Mister Monday gives the key to Arthur just as he is about to suffer a fatal asthma attack. If Arthur dies, the keys go back to Mister Monday and he had fulfilled the Will's command, without loosing his massive powers for more than a few minutes; the time it will take Arthur to die.

But, being that the Keys are a legendary item granting god-like powers, something like Excalabur or the Witchblade, Arthur does not die. Instead he goes on to fight Mister Monday in and out of the House, attempting to make the Trustee call off his plague causing dog men (who wear Bowler Hats!!!), stop burning down his school Library (acctually this is done on orders of Mister Monday's Noon, who owns a flaming sword and a real silver tongue), and basically a lot of fun adventure stuff that mostly involves bizar fantasy the likes of which I haven't seen or believed in a very, very long time.

I now have Grim Tuesday in my possession, and must go read that. Hopefully no men with dog faces and bowler hats will disturb me.

Monday, March 19, 2007


Well folks, I keep packing my lunch, but now my camera isn't taking focused pictures. *sigh* But don't worry, you're not missing much. I decided to work out some more and eat less, so it's mostly been ultra healthy turkey rolls and whatnot in the lunch these days, and lots of apples. Lots and lots of apples. Soon I'll start making Jello by the bucket, too.

And as for the working out more... It's funny how you forget some things until you're doing them again. I started working out, and all the reasons I don't particularly like doing it came back to mind. I've got bad knees, which isn't a problem when I'm doing floor work stuff like sit ups and push ups, and stretching. However, if I'm following a video and they're doing anything that the instructor starts off with saying "put your feet shoulder width apart" then I'm in trouble. My knees start creaking and popping, loudly, enough that people used to stare when I worked out at the gym. And while it doesn't hurt eventually it becomes uncomfortable enough that I have to stop and stretch, or stop altogether.

The other weird thing is I'll be doing whatever exercise and the instructor will say "you should feel this here" and it never does. I feel it somewhere else. For instance, we were doing this weird ab exercise where you're supposed to feel it along your side; I felt it in my spine. Some kind of leg stretch you're supposed to feel in your calves, I feel behind my knees. Who knows.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

To be just like everyone else.

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Empress Whitney the Contrite of Great Leering
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Heh. "Leering".

Las Vegas Recap

I've acctually found this post rather hard to write. Everytime I sit down to blog, it just won't happen... Mostly I'm not sure what to say.

Dad and I didn't really do much. I hadn't seen him in a year and a half, and before that, for three years. It used to be that I'd see him every school holiday that there was, two weeks here, a whole summer there... If I took out a map of Florida I could pick half a dozen places I've lived... And Las Vegas, at least three... But in the last few years things have become harder. I've got responsibilities and bills to pay, so I can't just lark off for two months like I used to, which Dad can't seem to understand. Like all parents, I think he thinks I'm still small enough to swing around in his arms, or ride the carosel.

What we did do was go out with my friends, who also happened to be in town. That was the first night, and before we met up with them, Dad and I had a few rituals to comeplete. There are some things that we always do, when we get together, some even on specific days. Out in Vegas it's very important that the first thing we do is go to the Orleans and eat at their Buffet. Then we went to the International Marketplace to buy crazy Asian cookies and candies.

Saturday I'm not sure what we did; I was pretty tired after the plane flight and sleeping on the air matress (it takes a few days to get used to that thing). We did go to the Fantastic Swap Meet (another traditional stop) where I looked at the Jackalopes and found a nice Jade Rat. I think that might have been the night that we were supposed to see Tom Jones (primo free seats in the Lighting Booth, curtosy of a friend of Dad's who works there), but we got the time mixed up and missed the show. Which was fine with me, I got to see the MGM Lions, and Dad and I decided to be Serious Gamblers that night... We even had fun coming up with a Gambling Code of Luck, and going to and from Casinos all night as our Luck Code determined. I think I put about a dollar in the machines total, and whenever I got back down to that dollar I'd take it back out (which confused Dad. evidently the point of gambling is to just give your money to the Casino, instead of taking it home with you). Dad snuck a five into the machine I was playing at the Excalabur, and when we finally went home around four in the morning Atlanta time, I had seven dollars total.

Evidently my Lucky Gambling Code worked.

Next... I'm not sure. I think Joey came over Sunday (he's my Dad's Ex-Girlfriend's kid that she had with her Ex-Husband, after they were divorced. for simplicity sometimes I just refer to him as my little brother.) He wanted to watch Cars, which I found nightmarishly bad... I didn't even make it all the way through the drive-though-the-town-scene. Out of pity my Dad switched the video to Night at the Museum. Which was pretty freaking awesome, and probably illegal. I have no idea where he got his copy.

Sometime durring the week Dad acctually had a bunch of work to do in the mornings, and so he did it, and I worked on my Laptop when it would stay on, and I wrote about twenty more pages of "For the Glory of Rome". Introduced a new character, and finished a gladiator fight, and some other plot-forwarding things happened... But, when Dad wasn't working he kept getting these middle-of-the-night Drunk Dialing calls. From a cliant of his.

She'd call, blitzed, and leave a six minute message about Dad cutting her checks for thousands of dollars to give to some animal shelter in Kansas that was building her a log cabin. Then, she'd "hang up" and forget to press the end button, and there'd be several minutes of muttering and loud background music from Country Music Television, before she'd drunkenly slur a few curse words and fumble to turn off the phone.

We had to go visit her, to have her sign something. Dad's getting her house refinanced, I think, and what a house it was. I mean, it wasn't a mansion, but it was a grand old house, something like in an old black and white movie. There was a sweeping staircase, and a lowered living room with a pool table, and not many windows so it was dark and cool in there. The kind of dark and cool that you pray and hope for come hot summer months. The kind of cool and dark that festers alcoholism like Arkham festers mind rending horrors. She had this huge dog, with long hair, that hadn't been brushed in forever (her name was Bambi. Dad told me Bambi bit him once, but I've never been bitten and that record didn't change while I was in the house). The woman who lived there was loud, and cheerful, and focusedly graceful, walking with a gleeful determination not to grab the walls for help. She wanted to hug me a lot, and kept telling me how beautiful I was. What Dad needed her to sign was some kind of paper having to do with her truck that, suprise surprise, she's not allowed to drive by ruling of the courts. She tells Dad the truck isn't there. Dad asks where it is. She gleefully watches television and tells us a friend drove her to a bar the other night, and drove her home, and then she let him borrow the car.

Dad asks what friend is this? We need the car here to get the number off it, for the form. She says she doesn't know. Nor does she know when the car is coming back. Or where it is. When Dad asks her for some other form, she gestures to this massive chest of drawers where she keeps all her important documents. She has Dad go through them because CMT is wayyyyy to interesting right now.

I'm sure this sounds pointless here, but it'll come to in a second.

See, seeing this woman bothered me. Deeply. And not just in a strange-person-hugging-me way. She's got enough money from her divorce that she never has to work again, and she never really had to work in the first place. She's got the house from the divorce (oh, and while I was there she told me the biggest piece of advice *ever*(in her mind), that it's just as easy to marry a rich man as a poor one) and a pool, and Bambi, and her Alimony. I looked at her, and I realized this was exactly what she wanted.

All of her life, summed up quickly; money enough to buy all the alcohol she wanted, and CMT. Maybe not sum up, but...

And I think thats how most people would take it, given the chance. No great thoughts, no great conversations, no trip to Paris (I'm trying to quote Chuck Palahniuk's Invisible Monsters here, about the choice between a trip to Paris and a washer-dryer set, and how most people will take the second choice because you have something to show for it), no great novels read or written, no world cruises, no great foods tastes....

They'd take the money for the alcohol and go watch TV until they die.

And it was a terrible moment thinking this. How alone am I in wanting a great life, one filled with meaning, and reason, and grace, and books, and dogs, and museums, and classical music, and punk rock... I want to read the Unabridged version of The Count of Monte Cristo! I want to dig up Dinosaurs! I want to see Greece and Rome and go to Oxford! I want to live in Japan for a year! I want to learn Esperanto! I want to make the best sellers list!

And theres this woman sitting in her house in Las Vegas babbling to us about thousand dollar checks, and can we get her some cigarettes, and... She kept saying our names, and saying "Hey", and dialing people on the phone... It was like a train wreck crashing into a fireworks truck, basically.

We escaped, barely, but had to go back later in the week to have her house surveyed or valued or something, and she threw chinese food in her nice pool and kicked her dog (so we could see how funny it was when Bambi was wet from falling in the pool) and locked Dad in the backyard and gave me her truck....

*shakes head*

I'm sure this somehow ties in with Cliff's Let's not congratulate the High School Graduates rant. Modern people don't even aspire to mediocrity, most of them just slink into the most obscure, uninlightened way to die...

Dad and I went to the movies and saw the Number 23 and Smoking Aces, which were both pretty good. Smoking Aces looses it's manic blow everything up attitude about ten minutes from the end, but despite Dad's dislike of the ending I think that it ends on an almost happy note. Sometimes, there isn't a happy way out, and you have to stand alone and do what you think is right, and the main character does that. Hooray him. Number 23, is just about almost brilliant, until the big reveal. Whoever did all the number theory stuff is on the ball, but once you get to the end and find out whats happening you kinda loose interest... It's all vaguely supernatural and scary and then... Oh hey, suprise, it's not really.

The only other thing I can think to talk about Las Vegas was this piece of Cake I had at the Aladdin Casino. To go on the Buffet there is $24 a person, and all the food is really good. However, there's this one piece of cake there thats worth the entire $24, just for one slice. It was three very thin layers of black-as-the-devil's-nightgown chocolate cake, and between them was this sweetly dark choclate sauce that somehow wasn't stiff enough to even vaguely be called frosting, but was way too liquid to be sitting between all the cake layers as thick as it was without running out the sides. And the whole outside of the cake was covered in a thin light chocolate mousse, over which a glassy black chocolate ganache had been poured, but wasn't running off.

I have no idea how the chef did it, because even as I understood all the ways chocolate had been combined into one thing of glory, it all seemed so impossible. The ganache wasn't dripping off the cake, nor was it making the mousse float up or come apart. The chocolate between the layers was as syrupy as the ganache was, but somehow was there in quantity to hold up the cake... It must have taken me twenty minutes to eat the slice, it was so good, and I took a picture of it with my cell phone.

I don't know, basically. I'm going to go read "Journey to the West" and eat dinner. And avoid alcohol for a little while longer.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

First Night in Vegas

At long last, Vegas. And I almost didn't get here.

After the terrible bus accident in Atlanta yesterday, they diverted everyone off 75 and onto surface streets, which caused the road to seize up right around that long curvy hill that leads down to the Chattahoochee... Suddenly parking lot when there's usually that salom down the to the river.

That made me almost, kinda late getting to the Marta station. And despite Marta's unsavory legendary status, I like riding the tram. It's just that I so rarely get to do it. I rode the subway in New York and felt a million times more threatened than I've ever felt on the Marta; in fact, Marta people seem downright friendly in this "stay in your seat and I'll stay in mine and we'll both be friendly like that" sort of way. And the Marta is cleaner than the subway, I don't care what anyone says. The guy across the isle from me listened to his music too loud, but that was fine. I was busy looking out the windows.

And, while I was looking out those windows, the train stopped. Fifty something feet up, over some one's backyard, where their red Chow was investigating something. I watched the dog and listened to the people who seemed to more regularly ride the train to figure out if this was unusual, this stop. After a few minutes, the restlessness of the natives alerted me to the change in pattern. Finally the Conductor came on and informed us that the train in front of us had broken down, and we were going to be a couple minutes.

Twice more, the train in front of us broke.

I got to the airport well eaten into the time that security needs to see if I'm a danger or not. Check in, give up my suitcase, take off my shoes, set off the metal detector twice... And then the security guard decided I'd been on the same Marta train as him and he wanted to talk about the two Military Guys I'd been sitting near.

I had to run off before he could ask for my number, pretty much. And then the Atlanta Airport Tram, featuring the new intercom phrases "This is the A terminal, A for Alpha. This is the B terminal, B for Bravo.". It made me notice how many military people, in full fatigues were running around hoping flights. It felt very safe. But I kinda thought Military People had military planes to fly around in. Like that big thing in front of the AFB on 41. They all had neat badges on their arms, with flashing lightning bolts and leaping triangle mountains. And Dot Matrix Camo!

Well, I made it to my plane with about thirty minutes to spare and couldn't find the Nathan's Famous that I'd seen in the airport before... Very sad. Had to have Wendy's instead, which is a very poor, common substitute for the glory that is Nathan's. That's where they have that hot dog eating contest at.

After listening to the ENTIRE William Tell opera on the plane's XM Radio I arrived in Las Vegas. To find all sorts of new shows are here, like the Beatles' Love, and Phantom, and about fifty new Cirque du Soleil shows.

It was great seeing Dad again and we immediately went to the Orleans Hotel and Casino to gorge ourselves on their Buffet. And then we went home and had a nap, and then we went out to see my friend Matt, who happens to be in town, and Matt took us to a Comedy Club.

And then, after 22 hours awake, I went to bed. Hooray first day!