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Montecristo Captain Quixote


The World Line of the Horizon Star

Some would say I was a lost man in a lost world

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Montecristo Captain Quixote

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I'm sitting here eating supper. It's "le steak au poivre de boeuf a fait cuire avec le rayonnement électromagnétique grave",1 served in a tastefully decorated cardboard dining box. Hmm, emmabovary is right: things do take on a certain sanctity when expressed in French. Yum. Dogs may be dandy but the microwave is man's real best friend.

Work is a bear. We are fighting over methodology and process again, and of course, schedule issues and bugs. Management is in complete denial: "We won't have bugs if we deny that they exist." They never go to the bathroom, either. Something's rotten in Denmark. They're losing money they could otherwise be pocketing but they don't know where and I can't make them see it.

Two nights ago, just as I was leaving work, I got a call from a woman named Brandy. Apparently, my younger daughter, Shannon, left one of her art notebooks on the light rail in Sacramento. My cell number was inside, designated "Dad," so I was the go-to guy to negotiate the book's recovery. I was loathe to just give out the ex's number to a stranger so I got hers and said that I'd have them call her. I called and told the children to tell their mother to get hold of Brandy, because their mother would know what kind of information with which she would feel comfortable giving out. Both of them promptly forgot. Teenagers...(well, technically, Shannon's just turned twelve in August).

I got the news about the mass case of offspring amnesia when I called up last night to see if they got the notebook back. I actually spoke with the ex. We had a surprisingly civil conversation. Since the divorce, I have not always communicated well with her, and it is perhaps somewhat my fault more than hers. She rubs me the wrong way, since I've had to deal with her in this context, and frankly I'd just as soon not deal with her at all, because it rouses in me a powerful ennui and frustration sometimes. Sometimes though, it is nice to recall that whatever else she has become to me now, she still has a lovely voice. It's very sweet and often soothing, when you are in the mood to hear it. Heh.

Go figure. Last month I was strangling her in my dreams. It was actually rather disturbing and I only have a couple dream fragment images that I can remember. I don't know how it started, but it kind of opened en media res. I was strangling her and angry, about what I don't know and she was bleeding from the nose and mouth onto my hands and arms. It just happened suddenly, and I got disoriented and freaked and pulled the plug on that dream and woke up all jangle-y, nauseated, weird, and appalled. It took me an hour to get back to sleep. The vibe stuck with me all day. I don't usually have nightmares. In my waking moments I got finished being angry with her about a year ago. I really don't know from where that came.

Jackie's birthday was about two weeks ago. I called her on her cell and she was skating with a pack of her friends. Jackie doesn't see herself anything like the belle of the ball, but she's actually pretty popular among those who do call her friend. She's a very personable and dynamic person. At any rate, she was having a good time, and apparently felt like talking to me again. This is good. She's decided to come down and visit the weekend of the eighth of next month.

I guess that both Jackie and Shannon like the visual and performing arts school they're attending. They're both taking some advanced English courses, which is really good, since they have always been voracious readers and writers. Jackie is taking Japanese this year and also taking taiko drumming. I didn't know what in the heck that was until I looked it up. Fascinating. She's told her mother it is a lot of work and is perhaps having a couple of doubts. I hope that she is able to stick with it. I've been too much of a dilettante in life myself, in certain respects. Ah well, she will be what she will be.

Shannon is in color guard and also some kind of gifted and talented creative writing class. The little bug has a very busy schedule. She's got color guard events all over the Central Valley and Bay Area. According to her mother's report, she seems to be enjoying herself with it. I do hope so. Shannon has a streak of alienation running through her personality. I'm familiar with that as well. I keep telling her that it is under her control and that what she believes about herself influences what she is, but that is probably just too abstract to get a handle on at twelve. Perhaps participating in color guard and making friends there in circumstances of shared goals will help her feel a bit less like "the odd-girl out."

I need to sack out. I took a day of vacation tomorrow and I'm going down to Silicon Valley with my esteemed partners in crime and talk to a corporate lawyer who is helping us re-incorporate. The four of us dissolved the first incarnation of our company because it wasn't working out, and our previous lawyer had differing ideas than ours over where he envisioned the company going. Fortunately for us, this time around we have a very respectable patent law firm behind us as well as a corporate lawyer more in tune with what we're trying to accomplish.

Note 1: beef pepper steak cooked with severe electromagnetic radiation

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French? You call that French?

*staggers around picking up shattered fragments of linguistic aesthetic sensibilities*

Ow :).

Re: French? You call that French?

Yeah, and I have a French last name. To paraphrase Mel Brooks, my French stinks on ice! I think at one time the lovely and linguistically most excellent emmabovary had delusions of being able to help me with my French, but if she heard me actually try it in her presence, she'd most likely tell me to stick to Slobovian -- I don't speak that at all, mind you, but statistically, I'll problably offend the linguistic sensibilities of far fewer people! I had two years of French in college and have forgotten most of it. In this instance though, The Babelfish is bears much of the responsibility (passing the buck as smoothly as possible). Merde. Now I've gone and created an international incident.

Re: French? You call that French?

It was interesting, though, and I guessed that you meant pepper steak in a microwave, though I believe "au poivre" is a rather different preparation of a full (rather than sliced and diced) steak. I've retained a bit of French, though I have the excuse of being thirty years (and a few months) removed from my last formal classes in la belle langue. :-)

Ah, microwaves. Were it not for them, and toasters, I'd have never eaten a hot meal unless my mother or wife were around. I'm a disgraceful willful incompetent in the kitchen.

Re: French? You call that French?

I'm not entirely incompetent in the kitchen...I'm "culinarily differently-abled!" Actually, cooking is rather fun, but I view it as almost entirely a team sport, and don't feel inspired to go to the trouble when it's just me.

Re: French? You call that French?

I understand the "team sport" notion, and I've done that two or three times. However, it was the company that I enjoyed rather than any aspect of the cooking. Eating, on the other hand - now that's fun. Too much fun, alas. :-)

I keep telling her that it is under her control and that what she believes about herself influences what she is,

That is a fantastic thing to teach your children. Even if she doesn't "get it" now, just keep reminding her until it sets in.

I wish someone told me this... oh, ... 20 years ago!

Yeah, well, I think my parents were trying to tell me the same thing at her age...

I had to grow out of it myself. Like Benjamin Franklin said: "Experience keeps a dear school, but a fool will learn in no other." That was me though. I keep hoping that my daughters will prove wiser than I in some of the life experiences I would spare them if it is possible. Heh. One thing is for certain: I am tennacious. If they're receptive to any nuggets of wisdom me, I'm fully prepared to repeat myself to the point of obviousness. It's part of the parental job description.

Last month I was strangling her in my dreams.

Knowing you, this does not surprise me one bit. You keep so much inside of yourself; it has to come out somewhere...thus, to sleep, perchance, to dream of strangulation.

Yeah, I wondered about that too...

...but I haven't been able to work up a good head of anger at Crystal for about a year now -- not really. She is what she is, and sometimes that's a very annoying and frustrating person with which to have dealings, but it's not like I waste any time hating her guts or something. Certainly I don't miss her any more, and believe me I did, at first. I don't know. Perhaps I was feeling guilty about some things I said to her last month.

So fun to hear about your girls. They sound bright and lovely. They do come with their personalities! It is really all about guiding them into their very best selves...that's how I see my role as a parent!

Good luck with all of your business stuff today!:)

Yes, they're wonderful. I don't know what their best selves would necessarily be. I prefer to help them learn to figure that out for themselves. Teach a child all you know about the truths of existence and they'll go far.

As little bearing as this has on absolutely anything, I think you would be a very neat dad to have.

. . . which should not be taken as a suggestion that I think of you as even old enough to be my dad ; ) which I don't know or care if you are.

Heh heh. I'm 42 in October. Yep!

Re: Who's yer daddy?

*counts on fingers* So, yes. I trust you're planning an adequately surreal 42nd year?

Why wait twenty-five arbitrary days for my birthday? It's already headed that way now! Hel-lo Dali!

Hel-lo Dali!

Bwahaha. 8)

Phil is disappointed that neither of us caught that it will be your forty-THIRD year. Oops.

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