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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

Here I am, lost in the light of the moon that comes through my window

The weather has been really wacky lately. The past four days there have been a string of cold fronts rolling through Northern California. It's been dumping rain and then the sun comes out. The days and nights have been really cool. Sheesh. I'm almost tempted to call it "winter." Today around 11:00 the sky opened up and dumped a torrent of rain and hail for about an hour. Fortunately, the rain had blown through by lunch time. While Don and I were on the way to Peets today, we heard on the radio that there was a tornado warning for the southeast corner of Sacramento County and the northeast corner of San Joaquin County. Apparently, the weird front pattern that rolled through here was weird enough to generate thunderstorm cells which managed to subsequently generate the proper hook and sprout an actual funnel cloud. That's the difference between a warning and a watch -- an actual funnel cloud was spotted. Wow.

I went to lunch with Tom, Don, and Robert again today, as usual, and with Tom and Robert yesterday. Yesterday, the fire department's ambulance was down the street from Peet's Coffee again, somewhere in the vicinity of Scobie's with the lights going. What is the deal with that? It seems like the ambulance and/or a fire engine are there once a week!

We're trying to get our act together with the company. We need to get employment contracts drawn up. We also need to get on top of the investment situation. We have one interested party, named Joe, who is almost ready to cut a deal with us, but we've been discussing things with a very sharp individual who started and heads one of the major firms in Silicon Valley. If we can cut a deal with this latter individual it would be a real benefit for us because unlike Joe, he knows how to get a technology company off the ground and can offer us useful direction and advice on top of any capital he may provide. Our corporate lawyer already knows him, and I think, is somewhat impressed that we seem to have the guy's ear. Our patent lawyer is eager to talk to this potential investor.

It wasn't a really productive day today. I spent some time picking up the thread of things on which I was working last week. I'm sort of between projects right now, but I'm trying to clean up some documentation problems which affect the capacitor bank control I just finished up and released. There are some mislabeled communication points.

This past weekend, Jackie came down for a visit, which was great. I picked her up at school Friday evening. That was the first time that I had seen the school. Gah, it's out a ways from where their mother lives. I spoke to Crystal when I took Jackie to the house to get her stuff for the trip down on Friday. She seems happy, which is good, but physically she seems to be having issues. Her weight has shot way up and she says that her hair is thinning, although I assured her that it was not noticeable (and it isn't). To me, this sounds like her thyroid problems are acting up. I asked Jackie if she was still taking her thyroid pills and Jackie said she didn't know. I remember all of the trouble and doctor consultations she had to go through to get the dosage right. I think she's not got insurance right now, so I'm sure she hasn't been doing tests if her dosage requirement has changed. Crystal is something of a spiritually hearty woman, but I have often regarded her as physically very fragile. She's allergic to damn near everything, at really big risk of diabetes, and has hypothyroid. In the year after we were divorced I spent time thinking vindictive thoughts about her degenerating and entertained fantasies of tap-dancing on her grave, but damn it all, I still worry about that troublesome woman, and now I feel somewhat ashamed and otherwise bad about delighting in her potential hardships. Sheesh. How warped is that? Why should I have gone through all that we have gone through only to still give a damn? Hell, it's not like there aren't plenty of other problems and tragedies in the world over which to be concerned. Of course, I mentioned a bit of my concern when I asked about whether Crystal was still taking her thyroid pills and Jackie wasn't having any of it. She was quick to point out that if her mother has dug herself into any holes, it was her mother's decision to do so. Well, yeah, that's true, but... Right. Teenagers can be so cavalier in their attitudes about life sometimes. Then she conked out, so I spent about 40 minutes of the drive between Sacramento and Lodi, where we stopped for supper, brooding on the matter. Feh.

Shannon had some other weekend activities arranged with a friend of hers so it was just Jackie and I. This is the first time Jackie's been to visit without her younger sibling and we had some nice time to chew the fat and hang out one on one. We rented four movies, Wedding Crashers, Just Like Heaven, Zathura, and Speak and called in a pizza strike on our location. I'm a sausage and mushroom fanatic where Jackie likes pepperoni with ranch dressing on it. This makes my hair stand on end. The movies were good. "Just Like Heaven" and "Wedding Crashers" I had seen before, but I like them immensely, and Jackie wanted to see them. Zathura was a total copy of Jumanji, as if the writer could not for the life of him come up with an original idea and resorted to pure formula. If it hadn't been the same writer it would have been plagiarism. As it was though, the movie was good for a chuckle. Speak, on the other hand was kind of dark. I was busy on the computer when Jackie watched this one, but I caught this evening. It's quite well done and an interesting story.

I let Jackie practice pulling the car in and out of the garage. She's fifteen and a half now and will be getting her learners permit soon. I used to let her sit on my lap and steer the car into the garage, while I worked the pedals, when she was little. Naturally she was jerky as hell, but she's catching on quickly. I kept reassuring her that everybody starts out like this and that it's important to get used to the feel of how the car responds to her operating the accelerator and brake and how the car turns when she steers. I pointed out that there is no book for that which can teach her and that it's got to be ingrained through the practice of physical feedback and training. We only did it a couple of times. Perhaps we should have practiced a few more times than we did. Maybe next time. She seemed to enjoy the opportunity to start mastering driving. It makes me wish that she was still living with me so that we could go driving more often once she gets her permit. Ah well, we'll see what comes up this summer.

On Sunday, we went to Barnes and Noble and picked up a couple of Japanese/English dictionaries. She's been taking Japanese in school, and acing it, without the benefit of a dictionary until now. She wanted to go to the bookstore and find the two in which she was interested, and we haven't gotten around to it until now. Frankly, I'm impressed with her dedication. She's very interested in it and has really been applying herself. I'm very proud of her. She and her friends are into a lot of manga and anime. She also does taiko drumming. Heh heh, I think she's turning Japanese -- I really think so.

While at Barnes and Noble, I picked up a copy of James Hilton's Lost Horizon for Shannon. The last time she was here, the family idealist came up with the concept of Utopia on her own and she and I discussed the literary concept of Utopia. Very often, her insights surprise me. She's a very sharp little tack, and very imaginative as well. I figure that she will enjoy the story.

After stopping at Jamba Juice and 360° Gourmet Burritos for supper, Jackie and I hit the road for Davis, where a couple of her friends were in musical rendition of Aladdin (based on the Disney version) at the Davis Musical Theater Company. Given that the actors were all high school kids, there was a certain amount of unsophistication in the performances. I think most of them were a bit too "audience conscious," but that is just an impression I got. All in all though, it was a good performance. Jackie's friend Joey is a really good performer. He was one of the best actors on the stage that night, seeming to be the most comfortable and natural in his role, and seems to me to have an aptitude for comedy. Jackie told me that he talked her into auditioning for one of the shows there and she took him up on it. Apparently, the show for which she auditioned was a really popular show and the competition was really fierce and thick with seasoned veterans, so she didn't get a part, but apparently the director liked her reading and said she did an excellent job for a first time and encouraged her to keep trying out for parts. Now that's cool! She was telling me of her apprehensions about arranging transportation to Davis to do a show if she got in, but I encouraged her anyway and said that perhaps her mother would be able and willing to accommodate her. I also told her that I would ask my theater geek LJ friends if they had any tips for breaking into the art that I could pass along to her. For any of you theater geeks reading this, consider yourselves asked!

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Your girls still sound awesome. It would be neat to have the three of you around for game night some time. ; ) I'd ask what anime/manga in particular, but if you're anything like my parents, you wouldn't know. :P Which dictionary did she get, though? I accidentally have two copies of a fairly nice one.

That's a good compliment for a first audition and it sounds like it was well taken. I've only stayed in the wings except during blackouts, though, so I can't really advise anything vis a vis getting into the spotlight.

Jackie was really encouraged by the feedback she got on the audition, apparently. She sounds enthusiastic about doing this, but on the other hand is skeptical of her mother's willingness to get her to all of the rehearsals and shows if she does get in.

Heh heh, thanks for the compliment about my daughters. I think they're awesome too. As for the Manga, well, I know the difference between manga and anime, but damn it, ya got me. She told me what she was reading... wait... Ah ha! I remember! It's called "Jenny W" it's about a boy who wants to be an actor against his father's wishes and is trying to prove that his dedication by dressing as a girl and fooling everyone for an entire year. He has a girlfriend who dresses like a boy. Heh heh, I WAS listening! Who's a cool parent!

Haha, nice work! 8) I don't know it but it sounds very typically shoujo.

I like hearig about the interaction with your daughters - and what you notice about them.

As to breaking into theatre - that seems to be a mixture of talent and luck. Since you can only really control the acting - I'd encourage her to take some classes, get involved in community and school productions and learn to take rejection really well ;)

I agree wholeheartly with that.
Sometimes it is who you know (and I don't return to those theater groups because they usually have WAY too much backstage drama happening).

I think it is also dedication. If the director sees you were not a slacker, even if you were only playing a tree in his show, he can feel confident you will give your next part all of your heart as well. When you become a familiar face year after year, you become favored over a talented newbie who might flake out.
I have yet to take voice lessons and I believe that is the only thing left that would change anything and perhaps get me a shot at a far bigger role.

Thanks! I was hoping you'd have something to say on this.

Yeah, that sounds like it makes perfect sense: an ounce of dedication and discipline is worth a pound of talent. I've got to talk to the ex and see if she'd be willing to encourage Jackie in this endeavor and reassure her that she'd have transportation if she really wants to get into this. She and Joey have been friends forever and from what I saw of Jackie when we went to see the musical, her pal has infected her with the theater bug.

From what I've read from you and other theater fanatics among my LJ friends, acting is a consuming love, and a terribly satisfying and rewarding art to pursue. I've never been much inspired by the participation part of performance art, well, at least no further than RPG's from junior high through college, but I am fascinated to watch and hear of people who are inspired to do drama.

There are thousands of interesting things to notice about them.

Heh. Being a father was the best and most satisfying thing I've ever done with my life. You know, you try to help your kids become the people you want them to be -- you can't help but have your own predjudices -- but they continue to surprise and delight you with the people into whom they are turning themselves.

Sheesh. I'm almost tempted to call it "winter."


Yesterday I didn't need a coat, today I needed gloves. Insane!

Sounds like you had a lovely time with your daughter. As for the ex, it's only natural that you should think about her or have some residual feelings. No matter what has happened, she will always be the mother to your children.

As for theater, have Jackie look into community theater groups as well. She can start with bit parts, backstage work etc... and really immerse herself. There are always acting classes as well. I wish I had done more with that but stage fright won out.

"...called in a pizza strike on our location"

Heh. It's adopted :).

Re: "...called in a pizza strike on our location"

That figures. That turn of phrase could conceivably be attributed to your influence. Heh.

Zbig is taking Japanese too.
And OMG, I am not ready to teach him to drive, especially since my car has manual transmission.

Re: Holy tofu! Ah, it's not that bad!

You just have to take things slowly, a little bit at a time.

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