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January 1, 2000
two years ago

First Day

Oh wow, that was really weird. It is very strange to see how my numbering system rolled over into zeros for the first two digits. There is a whole lot of odometer-watching awe today. It was really funny last night when we were on our way to the grocery store and John was talking about how wasn't really the millennium anyway and I said that millennium counting systems being correct or not had nothing to do with it, it was one big odometer watching event. John started and looked at the odometer of the car, going, "What what? Is the odometer turning over to something?" I nearly laughed myself sick.

This entry is also brought to you by the goodness of Bryant Durrell in getting me the 2000 gif in plenty of time for this date. Whew.

We spent most of today watching various screens. I didn't get up until after 10 a.m., and then made coffee cake from a quick bread mix. Pillsbury makes a good crumb-based coffee cake mix that is fairly quick to make, but in the loaf pan I chose to bake it in it took a while longer than I really wanted it to take. So wasn't until about 11 a.m. that I actually ate anything, and then what I made 10 gallons of MirAcid for all the pine trees. It turned out that yesterday, while I was dictating upstairs, when the basement guys left John had actually gone out and done a lot of yard work. One of the things he had noticed was that a number of the pine trees were starting to brown. That was the indicator last summer that the pine trees weren't getting enough acid, so I wandered around the yard today, feeling very mundane while using a watering can to feed all the pine trees.

I also watered all the indoor plants, including a giant Christmas plant that our housekeeper gave us a couple weeks ago. Someone also gave us another house plant for Christmas dinner. I often feel like getting a house plant is like getting a puppy, in that someone just gave me something that I really have to take care of, keep alive, and worry about when I'm away. It really becomes another responsibility. I guess if I just killed house plants easily, it wouldn't become such a responsibility. On the other hand, people would also be less likely to give me plants. There is one plant I have at work, that was given me on the day I arrived, and it is pretty much as dead as a doornail because I never remember to water it. When the soil get so dry that water runs right through it and the container it was planted in drains right onto whatever computer equipment I have underneath the bookshelf its its own I really do tend to stop watering it completely.

Maybe I should bring in one of my African violets with a good catch basin.

Immediately after finishing that chore we left for Lynn's house. He was having a New Year's Day marathon of Lonesome Dove. All I ever knew about the movie was that it was a Western and that when I saw advertising for the miniseries that it was always associated with some lonely woman. I really didn't want to go, but I really like Lynn and John, being John, was willing to try anything.

The movie turned out to be very different from my expectations, and better yet it was very different from my expectations of TV scripts. I really enjoyed it. I really liked the complex cast of characters, the really unexpected plot turns, and fact that it didn't have anything like a happy ending. There were even a few unresolved threads at the end, and the good guys didn't always win. One of the things I love about really good role-playing is the fact that there are consequences for one's actions and inactions. I guess I've come to a point in my life where reality means more than expectations; and sometimes reality really is hard.

We actually stayed the entire six hours and watched it to its end.

It's a very violent movie, and Lynn had actually posted a warning to everyone he invited over that it really wasn't a movie for children; but someone brought over their little girl anyway and she was really scared about half an hour in, but the guy just stayed and held her but it was really going to get a whole lot worse. Just before the really bad parts Lynn talked with the dad and he and the kid left at a good time for her to be leaving. I know that at that age I probably would have had nightmares for a week if I'd seen the whole thing. I thought Lynn was really good and responsible about the whole thing.

Lynn had set up an entire board of chile, corn bread, vegetables, crackers, and cheese. We didn't go hungry. He also had a nice selection of soft drinks. We got one break four hours into the whole thing, and the plot moved along quickly enough that that was all I needed.

We didn't get home until about 7:30 p.m.. I was soaking beans for the Hopping John, and since neither of us were particularly hungry yet, I went ahead and cooked up a batch. I went upstairs, while it was simmering, and made a significant dent in my dictation. Catching up with most of last week and yesterday.

A copy of Geoff's Devil Tigers arrived in the mail a few days ago, but got buried under some newspapers. I opened it this evening, and wandered through the pages and stories. It really reminded me of one of my old characters I once drew up for Malcolm, and it made me wonder why it is that the hunters of evil are so often portrayed as good when, so often, they're actually two sides of the same coin. Lonesome Dove had some heroes who had very definite moral standards and lines that could not be crossed; but to the modern heart, there might not have been that much difference between some of the good and some of the bad. Experiencing the one and then touching on the other resonated.

I guess, now that I'm more grown up, touching and thinking upon evil and the nature of it seems to be something that is intrinsic with growing up in any human society. It really does seem, however, to be something that one grows into. Knowing that it isn't always fair seems to be a realm that only those old in experience seem to realize, it isn't really dependent on age; but what one still does despite that might be the mark of what wisdom is.

The Hopping John turned out really well. Redolent with garlic, onions, green peppers, green chiles, and ham hocks, it was rich with two kinds of beans and plenty of spices. It made for a very hearty dinner for a very cold night, and filled all the spaces for simple bodily content.

After dinner, I couldn't sleep, so I went back upstairs and started to dictate some more, filling in something earlier in the week and then working on today, not really finishing until 1 a.m.. I really hope I can get up tomorrow morning in time for Fezzik's walk.

I can't believe it, the damned rooster is crowing.

Brought to you by Dragon System's Point & Speak.

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