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.

DSCN1546

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.

DSCN1559
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.

At one point, she tries to kiss me while I’m on the phone with the muse. That’s complicated.

On the way home, we stop and look at movie posters.

So what do these movies have in common: Flash Gordon, Legend, Conan the Barbarian, Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, Beastmaster, Ladyhawke, Heavy Metal, Neverending Story, Beetlejuice, and Priscilla Queen of the Desert?

DSCN1547 DSCN1548

…that’s right. They’re all playing at the Castro Theatre this month. Oh yes they are. I’ll see you there.

By the end of our romp around the city, the blonde is pretty tired. She falls asleep right on the floor.

DSCN1539

Random assertion: When you go to a double feature, you have to stay for both movies to get that dizzy feeling. One won’t do it.

Steganographic data: 1822/2.8

Published in: on August 8, 2008 at 8:11 am  Comments (3)  
Tags: , , , , ,

Day 15: Time for Projects

Speaking of sci-fi (weren’t we?), if you like intelligent analyses of good films, take a look at Haden’s blog. I’d swear he and I grew up in the same house.

So there’s a hopping-night-spot-which-also-serves-breakfast place nearby, Cafe Flore. My muse and I have never had breakfast there, so that’s where we go.


This bar also serves coffee.

This place gets crazy-busy at night, but for breakfast it’s mellow and tasty.

After food and a walk, we spend most of the day at home, working on projects. She’s building something, and I’m not allowed to say what it is, but it’s cool.

I’m working on Secret Plans 18 and 159. SP18 is a geek-book for programmers, and SP159 (which I’m hoping will make a worthwhile contribution to BQIC) deals with using a bunch of crazy-huge computers to simulate a type of quantum computer which doesn’t exist yet.

I don’t have any crazy-huge computers at home (just this small slow one which I love using), but that doesn’t matter. If you know where to find them, the folks who run them are usually nice people who like logic puzzles.

It’s a quiet and productive day, except that these two slackers hardly got anything done at all.


She’s 2 years old, and he’s 18.

In the evening, we walk down to the Castro Theatre to see Indiana Jones. Remember I mentioned there’s an organist? His rendition of the Indy theme was excellent.

Random assertion: Cats can’t type, though they try.

Steganographic data: 1888/2.9

Day 5: Playtime

I had some excellent curry with Erick at the Liberties Bar on Guerrero and 22nd, then went face down (read: sound asleep) in a good sci-fi book at the sunny park nearby with a nice view of the city.

Collected info about volunteering at the Exploratorium and the National Parks Conservancy (hoping for some kind of manual labor which doesn’t involve computers). I’ll fill out applications and see where it goes.

Wednesday nights every week are for acrobat training. Specifically, flying trapeze. This is what I was doing when I met my muse.

Note: You can take a class on any weekend morning! You’ll love it. Check out the class description: “Beginning drop-in class – Prerequisites: none.

Remember the training room from Day 3’s post? Here’s how it transforms into a serious aerial playground:

The “board” is a thin platform high off the ground we use as a jumping off point.


Scott and Melissa on the board

Scott Cameron (in the picture above) was my first flying instructor. If you’re just there for fun, he can help you have a great time. If you’re ready to get serious, he can teach you anything.

Here, Melissa’s ready for takeoff, with Alan and Jonah standing by. She’s wearing safety lines, because the trick she’s doing is a new one. On the right, Jennings is ready to keep her safe, no matter what.

. .

Jennings has a great many special abilities (more than most in the school), and an awesome sense of humor. I’ve literally trusted him with my life, too many times to count. Including tonight:


That’s me on the left, with Jennings catching.

Notice that there’s padding on one of the ceiling beams:

Why on Earth would you pad a 35-foot-high ceiling beam?
…eh, so we don’t bruise our knuckles and foreheads on it. That’d be me in the rafters:


Melissa on the board, while I’m getting all up in the ceiling

Here’s one of those difficult-to-photograph moments. That blurry smudge in the middle of the picture is some rapidly-flipping UFO wearing the same red shorts and black t-shirt as me.

It’s actually good that the photos don’t come out so well. When you need to use this stuff for real, you’re usually trying not to be photographed. If there’s no proof, there are fewer awkward questions to answer.

It’s late when I get done flying, I’ve got net marks on my back and parts of me hurt, but I feel so good that I won’t even try to sleep yet. Wednesdays rule.

So instead of sleeping I took apart my computer to repair some damage my cat did to it today (everything’s a toy for her, as you can see in this post). The computer is old, but it’s been through so much with me that I’m kind of attached to it, and I really like using it. Repair job worked again, so I’m able to type this sentence. Whew. Now a walk to Firewood to get some quick late dinner.

There’s a line around the block to see the midnight showing of the new Indiana Jones movie at the Castro. I’m not in the line, but I’m sure proud of my friends at work who made it happen.

Random Assertion: Technology will never be so advanced that whacking it on the table can’t fix it.

Steganographic data: 1880/2.7

Day 3: Good friends with special skills

Was contacted by Erick “flying is my day job, but the other stuff I do is even cooler” Methot. Friends in Ixtapa need a flying trapeze catcher for the week. Alas, being “on call” for work means no leaving the country for me. Maybe next time. Erick does a brilliant Austin Powers impression, baby.

Science: Mom and Dad had joined forces to write for three different biotech training grants, and today they were awarded all three. That’ll create a lot of future scientists. That’s something my folks do well.

This post is going to be a little too long (I swear tomorrow will be short), but there are things you need to know about.

Today I went back to the place I met my muse. I go there to get my ass kicked about once a week. For almost fifteen years, here’s where I’ve been going after work for acrobat training:

The location’s not secret (755 Frederick St.) but most people never notice the building. It’s one of those places you just don’t see unless you know to look for it.

Here’s what it looks like on the inside:

Dominic is hanging by his feet, almost 30 feet in the air. He’ll zip toward the ground head first, stopping suddenly just above it.

. .

On his first attempt today, the strap burned right through his glove. Tomorrow he’s going to try another material for the gloves. Where would you use this move? It’s a tall city. Where wouldn’t you use it?


Master Lu Yi and Sam Payne

Sam is a smooth one. I’ve seen him use tango to captivate a lovely woman, without either of them touching the floor. That doesn’t work for everyone.

Master trainer Lu Yi is respected worldwide, and very charming. If you train under him, he will find your weaknesses, and then he’ll pound on them until they are your strengths. Need to learn levitation, vanishing, or telekinesis? Lu Yi can teach you this and more, if you’re dedicated and unafraid. Over the years I’ve watched kids who train with him grow up to be young adults with startling superpowers, each unique.


Master Lu Yi with a student

After acro, I got punched by a standup comedian I work with. (adult content warning for this link) In the evening, I was planning to go to Berkeley for some special skills training, but had to postpone so went to see Goldfinger at the Castro instead.

Random assertion: If you think you don’t know any serious acrobats, you’re probably wrong. They don’t always talk about it.

Lesson taught: These things are going on around us every day, but you won’t see them unless you’re looking.

Steganographic data: 1890/7.0

Day 1

I’m still technically “on call” for the next two weeks, and I will be called, but I’m starting the 3-month Secret Plan now, and bumping it to 3.5 months. That’s fair.

Morning: I spent the morning with my muse, and then put her on a plane to Hong Kong. I love HK. It’s like a spaceport; people from all over the world have found a sort of hyperproductive coexistence. There’s just something cool about major port cities (says the guy in San Francisco).

Afternoon: Captain McGee’s Birthday. Chris is one of those guys where the strength-of-character is built in so deep, you’d trust him with your life instantly. I’ve known him for many years, and worked within 20 feet of him for the past few. All this time, and I just found out he lives walking distance from my place. His neighborhood reminds me of Van Nuys, but in SF.


Cecil
/Chris

These guys all helped me stay sane when the project was in crunch.


Piper/Brett/McG/JT

Standing on Chris’ deck, looking toward my place, the fog looks unreal.

Night: The Castro Theatre is just a few blocks from my place, and it is one of the finest places on Earth to watch a movie. They’ve even got an organist who plays before the feature.

Tonight they’ve got a double feature: Moonraker and The Black Hole. I got home too late for the Bond flick, but Ran down like a 10-year-old and said “one please” and watched Vincent and Maximilian show that robots can start a pointless bar brawl just like the rest of us. Science fiction, without a lick of science anywhere. Check out the films they’ve got coming up. Seriously, this place rules.

Random assertion: Bad sci-fi is better than no sci-fi, always.
Lesson learned: If I’m really going to blog during Secret Plan 158, I need to get a lot faster at it.

Steganographic data: 1920/4.0

Published in: on May 18, 2008 at 6:15 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , , , , , ,