Mini Me Mod
Location Denver, CO
» More info.
Sprocket's Training Milestones
Came home (Aug 2, 2014)
Asked to go outside (Aug 5, 2014)
Slept 4 hours straight (night) (Aug 5-6, 2014)
7/3/13 - 8
7/4/13 - 30
7/5/13 - 36
7/10/13 - 54
7/11/13 - 57
7/18/13 - 67
2/17/14 - 83
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- Dream of the Red Chamber
- Time to Kill
- Scent of the Missing
The whale and the silver car called home
Saturday. 1.4.14 2:44 pm
I was almost halfway around the reservoir before I remember the last time Zanzi and I had attempted this feat. In the shadows of my memory, I could not recall if the full trek had been completed or if Zanzi had completed it herself beforehand and I had chickened out as I stood at the edge of the reservoir and calculated the distance against my strength. I was not in very good shape back then.
I had planned the trek online, observing the short one mile paths that crisscrossed across the map and piling them together into a fixed set of miles. This distance resembled the successful hike that I had attempted on New Years Day, again a hike whose rock formations reminded me of something that Zanzi had told me about or shown to me, but I could not put my finger on the time or place of. So, I set out in our car, one with a park sticker on it, and set about walked the course around the reservoir.
At the mouth of the park, there is a lot in which great stone whale tails are posted. These obscure pieces of ergonomic/modern art, reminds one quickly of the relative proximity of the yacht club. After all, who needs whale tails for a campground? Further, who needs a yacht club in a landlocked state? I parked, locked the car and headed out.
I followed a bike path, which went out onto the lake. It took me into a muddy thicket, where I fought the mud like sand and wobbled, crunching branches and the few remaining dead leaves on the path. I had recently been reading a book about search and rescue dogs called “Scent of the Missing” and I thought about how easy I could be found if my body ever when missing in the wilderness (hopefully alive).
Just as I was contemplating these morbid thoughts, I ran into a boy in the thicket. In hopes of not alarming him, I told him good morning, which put him on guard, but did not surprise him too much. He was pulling and piling sticks in a fashion that most likely made a lot of sense to him and his brother. His brother I came upon a bit more unaware since he mistook me for the former. They both waved to me and I continued on into the forest.
As I exited, I was alarmed to find my path, padded out my previous pedestrians, went out across the reservoir and the frozen ice. Some part of me reeled against going out onto it. Whether it was an ancient PSA or that early scene from It’s a Wonderful Life, I cannot be entirely sure, but as I looked out onto the ice, I found consolation for my fears.
Out on the ice, like so many potatoes bound up with fishing line, I saw that the ice fisherman had come to make the most of the weather. I stepped out confidently into the tracks that had gone before me. The ice fisherman closest to me stood up, alarmed for a moment, waving at me frantically, but as the footsteps of my forbearers proved true, he sat down and we both went about our way.
The set of paths I went through were all gnarled and soft. I tried not to step off the path and further attempted to keep my feet from being completely covered in mud, but neither could have truly been honored to any kind of satisfactory degree. I continued through the mud, keeping an eye of the frozen reservoir to my left.
After a short while, I came upon a bench. It said something to the effect of, “One must never judge oneself based on where they are, but instead on where they are going.”
I fought deeper and deeper into the wood, only to hear the pop, pop, pop of rifles. I recalled there being a firing range nearby. I kept an eye out on the horizon, but while their noise pervaded the area, I could not see them anywhere. I continued on, pushing on underneath the peppering of pop, pop, pops. I followed what looked like the trail that reminded me a field spaniel, easy and swaying with long grasses to catch up in the tail of it.
Two little old men with a little old man dog were walking along a paved path and they waved to me as I passed them. As I came to the rest stop, I began to see the signs. The firing range was across the road and they faced away from me.
I crossed a small bridge and in so doing, came around a rather ragged looking group of travelers.
“Oh thank goodness, someone else. We aren’t completely lost,” the woman in the back exclaimed.
Onward I went until I ran across a path I could not cross, not because of any natural or civic blockage, but because the whole path was built up with horse jumps. I climbed to the top of one, musing about the rigorous scramble it would take to climb over them and decided it would be best to just go around.
I’m not sure how much longer it was before I started to grow tired of the rocky outlooks and the thickets of sticks and leaves, when, I started to wonder at my judgment in trudging through this great quantity of muck, but it was about this time that I caught wind of that old memory, that time we, Zanzi and I, had attempted this path before and I had balked and asked to go back. I could tell that I was most of the way around now and my wristwatch was telling me that I was just short of the 10,000 steps that had become my goal since I got the fitness device for Christmas. Today, I would not balk. I decided, and the ambivalence that whispered against the edges of my mind quieted into stony resolve.
I went on through the thickets and the mud, on across the beach, on underneath the specter of the arch that belonged to the dam and instead of finding a scramble of rocks as I had chanced to remember, I found a long easy path that stretched across the foot of the great dam that loomed overhead. I was a weekend warrior on my own rainbow road and as I walked, I saw the great whale tails on horizon, my Valhalla. There, before me, the yacht club, closed for winter, the funny little trails past well-appointed picnic benches and home, a great silver car called home.
Monday. 12.23.13 7:06 pm
I could have stayed in bed all day. The bed was warm and the air was cold, and while I did not feel the kind of strange malaise that overtook me just before I went to sleep, I could have still excused myself saying, “Not yet, not yet.” My computer was within reach, and so were many other gadgets of the day. I rested, then, and waited. I waited for it to be too late for me to do my workout, to go hiking in the mountains, to do all those things that, in a vacant hour, I dreamed of, but never got around doing. I drifted downstairs for food and drink, losing myself a moment in a television show.
They were showing a television show about all the wonderful restaurants here in the Denver area. I wrote down all of their names, knowing I would forget them as soon as they said them. I looked down at the list and I thought, ‘why don’t I go’?
I had been listening to one of those motivational audio programs that I am so fond of, this one about fixing your dating life. The speaker talked about a lot of different pieces of advice, but the most obvious and most shame-provoking observations was that men will find you wherever you happen to be. Based on my lifestyle, I am afraid that my only chance of being met was some Twilighteske scenario in which the man sneaks in through my window… in which case, I am afraid I would have to hit him over the head with a baseball bat… or perhaps my Swingline stapler as, sitting here, I realize that I have no baseball bat in my room.
I will go, I decided. After I- I will go, I repeated. But which-? I will decide in the shower- and so I marched up the stairs into the shower and decided to go adventuring in the district up near my mother’s work, a recently developed area that I did not know much about. I got that address of a local bookstore that was nearby and the address of a Pho restaurant not for from there. I loaded my computer in my car and off I went.
The first place I went was the bookstore. The bookstore was a fragment of what used to be the crown jewel of our mountain city. It was a local bookstore, filled with nooks and crannies and stuffed with books of all kinds and varieties. It was this store (or these stores, I should say now) that caused me to discover “The Great Book of Amber” “Windup Girl” and that new non-fiction book “Quiet.” But a fallout in a real estate deal caused this much beloved four-story bookstore to fall to the earth shattering into three branches. The bookstore industry is struggling, far more than the free counterpart that currently employs me.
The collection was weedy, the top shelves, bare. The books slanted this way, as though ransacked in a surge of apocalypse survivors. I found a book readily enough and another and another. I asked after a set of language books, and an obsessive quality (ingrained in by my new profession) provoked me to straighten all the shelves, choosing beautiful volumes to put face out as I went along.
“Boys!” I reminded myself, and I looked around. There were not a whole lot of people my age randomly perusing the bookstore this Christmas season. I suppose I should not have been a surprise. So, I decided to play a short game. “Who looks approachable.” No one. No one looked especially approachable… except possibly the folks in the café… possibly.
So, I went to the restaurant. I wanted to pick up take-out, but the restaurateur was on the phone when I arrived and I felt hesitant about objecting to her. I ordered a single entrée and she bustled off to get it for me. I saw a family out of the corner of my eye. They had a small boy who kept making goofy faces at me. A group of them left to go to the restroom, leaving me alone with whom I thought to be the mother of the family, so I decided that she would not mind my speaking to her and I started to ask her about where they had come from. When he spoke, I realized my error. He was a fifteen-year-old boy. Luckily, I had not said anything to give away my prejudice and he seemed to be friendly enough. He was perfectly willing to tell me the tale of how he and his family happened to be where they were that day and, I feel, was entertained until the remainder of his family returned, the little boy, eager to show me his new ‘cookie’, which was, in fact, a lollipop.
I finished my meal and was on my way. The right lane was a terrifying one to drive in. It was as if it fought to pull me into the curb every one hundred yards or so. I could see that the cars around me were starting to give me a little space.
It was not long before I had to make a decision, again. What do I want to do now? I decided that I was in the mood for donuts, and since today was one of those spontaneous days where I was not going to take great pains to deny myself anything, I decided that I would get a donut.
I pulled into the parking lot of the grocery store and lot was packed. At the end of the row was the old ski shop. We used to go there all the time for our skis. It is cheaper to rent the skis in town and then take them up to the slopes then it is to get skis at the resorts, and since skiing is an expensive hobby as is, we had spent a lot of time in this little ski shop over the year. When I entered, I was immediately greeted by ‘Sven’, a tall skinny red-haired guy who looked to be about my age. I never did get his name, but it seemed fitting, as he reminded me of someone I had made up a number of years ago by the same name. I told him I was a snowshoe-er and that I was trying to figure out what they had for me.
Well, I got a very fine tour and he told me all about the gloves and the shirts and how its nice to have light things in case you have to strip… well, you know… when you get hot and you have lot of layers… Which, of course I understood. Then he asked me where I hike and I told him Estes Park (because that had been the last place I went) and he told me about a 9 mile hike which seemed quite nice, all things considered. I thought that I would have to take Zanzibar to see it when she was back in town, as it ends in a large glacier with gorgeous views of the sky. It keeps snow on it, even in September, so it seemed like the perfect sort of place to go. I told him that I would have to bring him pictures of it when I went. I said goodbye a bit awkwardly and went off to get my donuts.
I listened to my tires crackle against the rocks as I pulled into the drive. I had been out today, and it felt good.
Saturday. 12.21.13 10:37 pm
"It is my mission, therefore, to help the poor, and if Mother Theresa is right, the greatest poverty is lonliness."
Jin's 5 Filing Tips
Thursday. 12.19.13 11:34 am
1.) Never File Envelopes
2.) Put new stuff in the front (The dates end up working themselves out)
3.) Look at the stuff lying on your desk. If there is a theme to what doesn't have a place, chances are, you need a file for it.
4.) Keep it simple. Complex system improve retrieval, but that does not matter if you don't remember how you would have filed something in your own system.
5.) Weed periodically. Some things you just don't need anymore. If you don't remember that it existed and it doesn't serve any future tax purposes, get rid of it.
Tuesday. 12.17.13 9:47 am
I don' t tell people about my dreams anymore. Sure, I tell them about how I want a dog and a house and how I would love to ride in a hot air balloon someday, but I don't tell them about my dreams. Like the one I had this morning where I had a G.I. Joe doll that turned into a talking little boy and even when I took out its batteries, it was still smiling at me imploringly and how I called it a ghost and screamed and ran away… I don't tell people about those dreams. At least not in polite company.
Monday. 12.16.13 12:13 pm
When I first met those boys sitting around playing dice, I have to admit, I was mostly looking at the dice. I had recently started a collection, since I did not really collect anything else at the time and so I thought, “Oh my, isn’t that nice, they’re playing a game with dice,” although I might have not rhymed twice. Since then, the Geekdom has been good to me. It has provided me with virtually all my friends and all of my relationships. I have socked a lot of time into making myself a good geek, too (although I fail at it as much as I succeed). I watch all the right shows and read most of the right books. I have developed novel opinions on different things, learned to speak the language and the way I have tended to dress places me firmly amongst their ranks. I know it seems a bit contrived, in some ways, it is, but then again, fitting in has always been something a bit contrived for me, someone who, like most geeks, grates with a grim determination against any kind of catalog.
In a way, being a geek has become my class, not socio-economically, but like in D&D: ranger, wizard, druid, bard, sorcerer … geek! However, in spite of acquiring a considerable amount of levels in this class, I find myself at a point where I kind of want multi-class. I mean, you cannot reroll yourself, after all, all you can do is learn new skills, but then there you are, back at level one and you don’t even know what to call this class that you are trying to get in to? "Health nut"? "Climber"? "Jesus Freak"? I'm not sure, but maybe this time, I might want to take a look at the boys.
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