S’Mores and Ambush

Now I don’t recommend taking apart your barbecue; it’s hot and dangerous, and there are almost no user-serviceable parts inside.

Still, if you can get it apart just enough to get access to some open flame with a skewer and a marshmallow, then you can treat some cute brunette to s’mores in the city. She’ll like that.



After a night of chocolate and ghost stories, we’re more than ready to spend a day in the park with some urchins.


We’ve seen the de Young Museum’s Chihuly exhibit already, but sharing it with kids is like seeing it through different eyes.

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Clark Kent called to say he’s not coming to this part of the exhibit.

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Next time we’re here, the Academy of Sciences will be open. That’ll be fun.

After the museum, we head out into the wild and dangerous park. I barely get fifty feet before I’m attacked by monkeys.

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Right about now, they’re wondering if the lake is just decorative, or if you’re allowed to play in it.

As it turns out, playing in the lake is encouraged.

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There are other boats about. The urchins tell us they’ve seen the folks in this boat before. They’re scurvy pirates all three, and not to be trusted.


They’re getting closer, so we dodge them, escaping under the stone bridge we saw earlier. As we emerge on the other side, though… Aaaaah!


With an evil grin, they hook onto our boat, using the kids’ energy for their own evil propulsive purpose. It’s a pretty good idea really.


And if pirates and monkeys weren’t enough, we find gigantic and dangerous creatures at every turn.

Yep, there are actually two animals in this picture.

Somehow we survive, making it back to the relative safety of our base camp.

Yes, one of the cats is doing headstands again.
No, I don’t know why.

Random assertion: It’s unclear how fire, chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers found each other, but I’m glad they did.

Published in: on September 30, 2008 at 5:09 pm  Comments (1)  
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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.

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I mentioned she’s got a police record. If you know what’s good for you, you won’t ask her about it.

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She’s just here to con people out of muffin fragments, and it’s working.

The rest of the day is spent in acrobat training.

My instructor is one of those guys who can actually do everything he teaches, and then some. He’s also my brother. I’m planning on learning all I can from his experiences, good and bad.

The wheel is great, but unforgiving. It’s heavy and made of steel, and the floor is hard. Roll over your fingers, and they’ll all break. Kris has a lot of other advice for me, such as “protect your back at all times.”

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The helmet is a good idea, as serious head injury would complicate the day.

The spine shield is non-standard; it’s actually designed for ski racing. It does a great job of preventing impact-related injuries.

(If you’ve done a somersault on a wood floor, you know it’s not comfortable. Imagine doing a fast one from a few feet up, maybe with metal rails in the way. Hooray for spine shield.)

The shield also provides some back support, but as always, the most important back protection comes from muscle control, keeping abs tight and trunk solid. No device can give you that. Having had two spinal fractures in the past, I take back safety seriously.

Kris gives me a bunch of basic exercises and gruntwork, so that I can get my butt kicked, collect some bruises, and learn how the wheel moves. I spend hours and hours on them.

By the end of the day, I’ve got a bunch of new bruises and blisters, and I’ve put “shin pads” on my shopping list. I’ll be back every day this week.

Tonight I’m meeting up with Jon and Donna for some excellent pizza at Haystack. It’s great to catch up and plan future shenanigans.


They’re amused by this picture, taken just out side the circus school:

Random assertion: Being the oldest brother doesn’t always make you the teacher.

Steganographic data: 1826/2.8

Published in: on August 9, 2008 at 10:18 am  Comments (3)  
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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.

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?

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…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.


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)  
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Day 36: Ballet and Irish Dance

Today is an all-day event we’ve been looking forward to: a lovely dancer we know is giving a special performance, with an invitation-only party to follow.

Our niece is 8, and she’s fantastic. Backstage after the show, she’s grinning ear-to-ear. The party afterward has cake and ice cream, barbecue, and kids running amok everywhere while the dog tries catch any food they drop. I love this.

On the way home my muse and I stop by Mission Beach to relax and say hi to the guys, grownups-only. Being the aunt and uncle does have some advantages.

Random assertion: Kids measure time by events they’ll remember forever. You did that too.

Steganographic data: 1860/0.8

Published in: on June 22, 2008 at 9:29 am  Leave a Comment  
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