Day 92: Return to the Mouse

Summer’s not over until the roller coasters are closed. When we get to Christine and Shannon’s place, there’s a car we don’t recognize parked out front. I think this might be their pedal-powered vehicle for Burning Man. Once at the park, we got to meet Spongebob in person! He’s smaller than you’d think. Here he is standing on Shannon’s hand, right before Shannon ate him. I understand he had a pineappley flavor, and a crunchy center. Apparently you can ride this one without pants, but you won’t enjoy it. This is the curve right before we all plummet toward certain … Continue reading Day 92: Return to the Mouse

Day 91: Sun vs. Fog… Fight!

It’s so foggy this morning that it looks like the sun’s never going to cut through. It’s foggy and lazy, and the cats are good with that. During our Plum Day jam-making activity, a couple of the jars didn’t gel. This happens sometimes, for a few different reasons. It’s still sealed and safe, just sloshy. Some of them can be repaired, by re-boiling and adding some sugar and pectin. It’s a good foggy-morning thing to do when you don’t feel like typing. A few of them gel afterward, but those that don’t will be fantastic on ice cream. Holy cow, … Continue reading Day 91: Sun vs. Fog… Fight!

Day 88, 89, 90: Roadside Demon Machine

This is some else’s secret plan. They thought of this and built it before I even realized it was needed. There’s a gasoline engine and a propane tank… but what’s it for? Aha. “A machine for adding that hometown textured feel to crosswalks.” Those three rows of pressure-stampers are patiently stamping brick patterns into the new asphalt. Then they get painted. The part of the machine labeled “HOT” has a little skull hanging from it. Inside the tank, I’m picturing a pentagram with a demon sitting inside it, generating heat for the brick stamper. He’s got an orange vest and … Continue reading Day 88, 89, 90: Roadside Demon Machine

Day 87: Staring Down the Barrel

If you’re auditioning for a stunt job or an acting role, the probability of getting it is exactly equal to the number of roles you fit, divided by the number of candidates. P = R / C, always Today the audition is for a dramatic role. No stunts, no acrobatics. Stunts are a lot easier than drama, and safer. Part 1: The Monologue It’s a fun crew, and we chat for a while, but now it’s time to get down to it. At the director’s request, I’ve prepared a 90-second monologue. Here’s how this sort of thing goes: You shake … Continue reading Day 87: Staring Down the Barrel

Day 85 and 86: Napa Valley Swine Tasting

If you remember how much my muse enjoys the opera, here’s some fun contrast. Warning: If you’re a vegetarian, or a person who doesn’t like bacon, you should probably click here. This weekend we’ve gone to Napa, to attend a livestock auction and buy a pig. This is the Napa Town and Country Fair and it’s great. There’s music, barbecue, rides, funnel cakes, and farm equipment (both antique and brand new). None of the old tractors have cup holders, but the new ones do. Cups must be a recent invention. Yep, there’s even a demolition derby. Awesome. If this isn’t … Continue reading Day 85 and 86: Napa Valley Swine Tasting

Day 84: Lasers, Sugar and Dizziness

For the past few weeks, Mom and Dad have been in the Alaskan wilderness, and they’re blogging it. I swear I’ll never get those two to behave like parents. So this is what the German Wheel looks like when you’re lying on your back because you’re too tired to stand. That’s how Scott found me. Hands blistered, shins bruised, and probably grinning. I spent most of the day working on the wheel, with the goal of getting tired. It totally worked. Not much else went on, so it seems to me like a good time to open another Secret Plan. … Continue reading Day 84: Lasers, Sugar and Dizziness

Day 83: Tracking

My muse returns today! That’s hot. The brunette steps off the plane looking fabulous as usual. Aly and I are both there to meet her. The rules regarding well-behaved dogs in the airport aren’t clearly defined unless you can read the signs, which she can’t. So she politely curls up under the table as I get some tea. After playing chauffeur, Aly and I skip town and head for the Air Force station. On the way there, we stop at Crystal Springs reservoir. It’s a beautiful place. The Pillar Point Air Force Station is out on the coast, about four … Continue reading Day 83: Tracking

Day 82: Check Please

My muse is still away, so after spending the morning with Aly, I’m meeting Amit. No swordplay today, just a movie about swordplay. We’re seeing Mongol, which is an Oscar-nominated film about Genghis Khan. It’s really good, and the landscapes are striking. Afterward there’s an escalating discussion about Mongolia, cinematography and quantum mechanics, over lunch at La Med. If I try to explain what happened next it won’t make any sense, and will almost certainly get one of us in trouble with the authorities, so I’ll just post the photo as its own mystery. You can make up your own … Continue reading Day 82: Check Please

Day 81: Training

In the balance between science and acrobatics, my lack of injury tells me I’m spending too much time on the science. Time to learn something new. First, more time in parks and cafés with Aly. She needs to put those eyelashes to use, and flirt with random people. While we’re out, my muse calls on a secure line. The noise in the background sounds kind of like she’s rappelling down the side of a building. All on schedule then. I mentioned she’s got a police record. If you know what’s good for you, you won’t ask her about it. She’s … Continue reading Day 81: Training

Day 80: Serious Lashes

My muse is away on assignment, so I’m spending the week with a cute blonde who’s got a police record. Aly is just in town for the week, and she’s staying at our place, relying on me for entertainment. It’s hard to get work done when she’s around, so we head downtown. While we’re at a cafe, a ladder truck pulls up. The firemen are making a coffee run. Aly doesn’t mind at all. She loves firemen. They love her. I don’t get much done today; we basically hang out in cafés all day, and then head to the park. … Continue reading Day 80: Serious Lashes