On a whim, I went to Iowa, this weekend, and hurried back last night. As I drove south, the countryside around me began to sparkle with occasional blasts of ignited fireworks. When I crossed back into Missouri, they went from occasional to constant, and were soon accompanied by the spectacular backdrop of lightning storms. I rolled into Kansas City surrounded by exploding fireworks and torrents of falling rain.
Today, I took it upon myself to take it easy, and spend a quiet day at home, and quiet the day was, until the sun went down. If there were a lot of fireworks going off last night, it was nothing compared to tonight. I was a bit despondent, earlier, when I looked up which places would be having public displays tonight. Among about 40 or 50 places listed, downtown had a show scheduled, but not tonight. This amazed and frustrated me. How can you have a Fourth of July and not have fireworks downtown?
The answer is: the public shows have nothing on the private ones.
Even as I type this, salutes and crackling rosettes, booming in all directions, continue to shake the walls and ceiling, and the odor of spent explosives is thick in the air outside, along with the drifting haze of smoke.
I love Kansas City.
We lost our second kickball game of this season to some team that's far too serious about winning. At least, that what we say to console ourselves. Erp and I went to the Quaff for the free pitcher, afterward, only to find that the "coupon," they give you for winning a kickball game(which the winning team gave us, because it was a 10PM game, and everybody just wanted to go home), is only good for grey beer.
I have a bit of large news. Josh and I will not be living together when the new lease term begins in September. We both agree that it makes sense. In light of this turn of events, I am in the market for a roommate again, and have posted my intentions as such on the list
. I hope something comes up. If I don't hear anything within a couple of weeks, I will start personally whoring the apartment to attractive renters.
I am in Lisle, IL, killing some time while my brother takes his sweet time to shower, and waiting for 3PM, when my cousin Clare will be getting married. It's great to see all these cousins, who have not been in assembled company like this since my Dad's wedding in 2000. Go, go gadget not being home much in July!
The wedding in Chicago was a lot of fun. I had a great time with the family, and I suppose I'll have to post some pictures now. I have some laziness and a relatively big project(web development for free golf) to complete first. With this website turning three and another friend turning 26, we now enter the most active part of the year: high summer. Work is colossally slow, and the unbearable heat and humidity tag team leave me with plenty of reason and opportunity to leave town, and leave I shall.
Already, I have spent the first two weekends in July in Iowa and Chicago. I will spend the next two weekends in Portland, OR, and Chicago again. Then, I'll have the majority of August to pay off my credit card and air conditioning bills and enjoy some time in Kansas City, before my lease is up, and I will hopefully welcome a new roommate into the fold of downtown living.
The perl is coming along very well, and I have already started rewriting some segments of the website to this much more favorable format. I have promised visits to about twelve different people, across the Midwest and the USA, and I think it might not be quite as easy as imagined.
9:40 AM, Jul 15, 2005
The wedding pictures are currently queued behind some other pictures, which I haven't gotten around to yet. Be patient, but don't expect anything until after the 24th, when I get back from Oregon. I will probably have another mess of pictures from that, too.
I've been busy for the last couple of days, because we released a new application at work, that I wrote, and now that we have people actually dumping real data into it, I can finally see problems, and work them out. The downside of this is that I can no longer sit around counting fibers in the carpet. I have to get to work, supporting an application. It feels kind of like waking up after a several-week sleep.
I will depart for Portland, tomorrow, for a very nice vacation, but not before picking up a book
2:31 PM, Jul 18, 2005
The City of Roses
We arrived safely in Portland on Saturday night. I had never flown on a Saturday before, and I'm not sure if I ever will again, without great hesitation. I have never seen so many children on a plane before as I saw on flight 308. They were bouncing around, kicking my seat, yelling at each other, and otherwise being children. I had two beers, and watched three Family Guy episodes, and made a futile attempt to sleep.
I arrived in Portland, and met Alex to find that he had largely lost his hearing in his plane's descent. He described everyone's speech as a Charlie Brown adult-style "wah-wah." This did not stop us, however, from getting some drinks when we got to town. Including the beer festival yesterday, I would say that I have probably had about 30 beers since I have been here.
Today, I met up with Rob, the Portland counterpart of my partner, TJ, in my program. His system administrator left the company back in April, so he's been completely without technical assistance since then. I hlped him out with some things today, and he bought me lunch at some outdoor burger place on the Columbia, as we talked about this and that, and watched F-15s and F-16s take off overhead.
I am now going to give Mary Kay a call.
Tuesday in Portland
Yesterday, I got up, completely un-hungover, as a result of the early beer-light night we had, and walked down to Sisters of the Road
, where Mary Kay works as volunteer coordinator, and put food on plates for a couple of hours. They are a great organization, and I wish them all the best. I had a great time volunteering there, and then went upstairs to see that Mary Kay is using Firefox, but unfortunately, is using a computer that is completely inundated with spy/ad/virusware, from before Firefox was installed.
Bear directed me to the Tugboat Brewery, which I was unable to find, so I walked to the Full Sail brewery satellite, way down on the south end of downtown, inside a McCormick and Schmick's. I sat down, had a couple of delicious Full Sail beers, a calamari steak piccata, and read about 70 pages of the new Harry Potter book.
After that, I walked back north to meet Alex at a taproom close to our hotel, called Henry's
Tavern, that had over 100 beers on tap. I helped myself, and started slurring directly. Alex arrived, and joined me, before we headed down to 6th, where we picked up the #8 bus to the Northeast, where we were meeting with Mary kay at the Kennedy School
for some more microbrew and a salad, conversation, and an all-around enjoyment of the atmosphere, and Portland's fantastic weather.
Tuesday was excellent.