12.02.02 - 6:05 p.m.
nearing the end of the day after a long morning that found me ripped out of the womb 6AM into a flurry of trains, planes and automobiles. even though waiting in lines stresses me out (in line to get boarding passes, in line to board, in line to deplane, in line for a taxi, in line for bart, and some of these lines were tense vicious affairs) i overall am still amazed that you can get up in las vegas at 6AM and be in walnut creek by noon. in the Olden Dayes, we'd have to travel by covered wagon, dodging angry native-american arrows, and probably at least one of our party would have succumbed to the ravages of cholera and dysentry by the end. at least that's what always happened in "oregon trail".
thanksgiving/my birthday passed pleasantly, though uneventfully. on thanksgiving we went over to marcela's house, where everybody there seemed to be cuban or spanish and i was painfully reminded of how much i've forgotten. a year ago today i was in santiago de chile, marveling at wild dogs in the street. a year goes by fast.
az. and i had a good time in vegas. we went hiking in red rock (though rain dampened the fun on day one, we managed to scramble around more on day two) and did the 3d imax "race for atlantis" and other vegasy stuff-- buffets, stratosphere, jazz at pogo's. i loathe the strip but it was tolerable this time around, and once again ended up at the peppermill, which i hadn't been to since last time in vegas with a. (who isn't talking to me these days, a long and melodramatic story that i will spare you. at times life can be truly springer-esque.) i like the peppermill a lot. penn jilette had a replica of one of the low-slung red leather booths built in his house, so he could always enjoy that ambiance.
i'm sniffly, and listless. it was good to see cody again; he lent us numerous tapes such as new kids on the block merry christmas, rem murmur, orb adventures in somethingworld, etc. murmur is a great album! it made me remember what all the fuss was about. (it's been years since i cared about REM) went to see "in the shadows of motown", which was overlong but corrected a great injustice. (basically it's a documentary about this group of musicians, the Funk Brothers, who played on *every* major motown hit. it's amazing to hear their stories about sessions and gun-toting, hiding out in funeral parlors to avoid berry gordy's minions, learning cuban rhythms from exotic dancers... the defintion of cool. they never got much credit for their work.)
the last couple of years i've felt increasingly guilty about not being a good son. i can honestly say i admire my parents more than anybody else on earth. they are incredibly intelligent, cultured and caring people. my greatest fear & the thing i least like to contemplate is the thought of my parents getting old. i mean they're 60 but in great health, and it's quite possible they'll stay that way into their 80's or 90's or even 100's. but time takes its toll on everyone, physically if not mentally. i just hate to think about it, it makes me sad & scared. whenever i go home now i try hard not to take anything for granted.
nevertheless, sometimes rules must be broken. i've been thinking about the connection between guilt and pleasure, w.r.t. sex. on the one hand, for me sex is a completely natural aspect of being human; i have no truck with religious edicts forbidding this and that. i dislike the puritannical streak running through america, the finger wagging that results in a movie like Clerks getting an NC-17 (just for TALKING about sex, for crissakes-- not even for nudity) while Terminator 2 and any run of the mill bloodbath violence fest gets a free pass. etc etc, but-- at the same time, there's some part of me that gets turned on by the notion that sex is dirty. the whole concept of being 'bad', or naughty, or whatever. and also the fear of discovery. some of the most intensely enjoyable sexual experiences i've had have occurred when trying to make very, very little noise. why is that?
what else, gambled a little and lost, read a book about the clay problems, riemann hypothesis being the most famous. i think i finally sort of get it, and i have to admit that prime number theory is fascinating; if you think about the primes it quickly starts to seem almost mystical. how is it that there's no formula to generate them, yet their density falls asymptotically and neatly into a logarithmic distribution? melding of the discrete and the continuous. do you think the r.h. will be proved in our lifetime? who would have guessed fermat's last theorem would cave? i wish i had a head for math because 'mathematician' is a hell of a job.
davids is engaged. the world shudders on its axis. at a cafe this girl brooke (who i didnt recognize at all, looked totally different) came up to me and said "are you a--- p--?" turns out she's now in medical school in arizona, finishing up rotation in vegas. it was strange to talk after so long-- she was linsey's best friend in high school. she said linsey's now married, with a kid, in florida. one more mystery solved. i'm at the age where friends of friends are starting to get married, to settle down, and though no one in my inner circle has done so yet, it's bound to happen soon. i can't visualize it for myself, but i don't have much imagination in that regard.
ok i'm gonna go home to jack some cars. it's bigtime baby.
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