Jun 262005
 

Originally Posted To LiveJournal-

On Friday I got to go over and hang out at my daughters house for a couple hours. It was pretty cool. Pepper, Zaira and I watched Ice Princess while Gavin played Star Warsrelated computer games. It was nice to just kinda hang out and veg for a bit 🙂

I also borrowed a copy of Dan Brown’s “The DaVinci Code” from Pepper. Pretty much everyone, from every walk of life, has recommended I read this book. I shoulda known better. Whenever a disparate group of people tells me I should read/watch/hear something, it always turns out to be mediocre. I generally give whatever it is a shot because I hate people who constantly make the claim that “if it’s popular, it must be garbage”. But I keep running into this mediocrity. Sigh. 

There’s simply nothing really compelling about this book. The first “mystery” of decoding the clues at the murder site is somewhat intriguing, but all of the grand mysteries and revelations are blatantly foreshadowed hundreds of pages before they’re revealed. The most boring portions of the book turn out to be essentially irrelevant anyway as they’re a giant red herring (which was fairly obvious all along). The main characters are set up to be experts in their fields and brilliant people but miss the most obvious of clues. Not only is their logic faulty, but the characters continually use data that they haven’t been presented with. I HATE THAT!! Not to mention there are at least a half-dozen pointless references to the previous book in the series that serve no purpose other than advertising.

Dan Brown has a knack for finding intriguing tales, but he simply doesn’t have the talent to make them truly compelling, in my opinion. Overall, I’d say 6 of the 8 hours I took to read this book last night were basically a waste of time. Just trudging along hoping something interesting would happen or there would at least be a twist of some sort. But, of course, there was no such thing. The ending could have been predicted when less than halfway through the book and isn’t very emotional rewarding anyway. Bleh.

In happier news…

Although I don’t get to see Zaira at all this week (conflicting work schedules between Pepper and I), next Saturday we not only get to spend the whole day together, but we’ll be spending that day at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk!! I haven’t been to the beach in years and don’t think I’ve been to the Boardwalk in nearly a decade. It should be a blast!

Jun 192005
 

Originally posted to LiveJournal-

 

Yesterday was wonderful, but exhausting (in a good way).

Short Version-

Finally fell asleep around 9am, woke up (late) at 11:30 headed over to Children’s Discovery Museum. Met up with Zaira and Pepper a little after 2pm. Read Zara’s report card and watched part of her school play on DVD, explored the museum, played in the park, stopped by another park to visit a family picnic, stopped by they’re house, stopped by my house, said goodbye, came to work (late), went home (early), slept from 11pm-1pm, came to work.

Long Version-

I finally gave up and decided I wasn’t going to sleep around 8:30 so, of course, fell asleep around 9. Alarm went off at 11:00 but I ignored it for about a half hour and then rushed around getting ready for my big day. We were scheduled to meet at the museum at 2:00 and there was no way I was going to be late, cause when I was a kid my father was late every single time he came to pick me up (except when he didn’t show up at all) and I simply refuse to do that. That’s actually why I’m early almost everywhere, but this case was all the more important.

So I get there around 1:50 (late for me) and wait around 25 minutes for Pepper and Zaira to show up. I had assumed Pepper would be running late, so no big deal. Zaira waved to me from about 150 yards away and my heart just melted. There’s definetly something special about your daughter being excited about seeing you 🙂 We sat in the park for a bit and I looked over Zaira’s 3rd grade report card and then watched a part of her recent school play on a portable DVD player.

Report cards have definetly become more complex since I was in primary school, with individual scores earned for almost every skill learned as opposed to just one score each for Math, Science, English, etc, but Zaira’s scores were something to be proud of: all 3’s and 4’s (out of 4) and her State Test scores are all excellent as well. She’s definetly a smart little girl 🙂 She was also adorable in her school play as “Brain” in Monster In The Closet.

Then, it was off to the Museum:

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This is by the bear statue in front of the Children’s Discovery Museum
(Zaira’s the one on the right 😉 )

Inside the museum we played with/learned about/saw/experienced weather measuring devices, bubbles of all shapes and sizes, generating electricity, life in the late 1800’s, making music and even a little Jazz Singing:

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We also played on the big fire truck they have inside and Zaira decided that we should become fire fighters when we grew up:

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That’s my favorite picture from the day because Zaira orchestrated the whole thing. It was her idea and she figured out what each of us should wear, then positioned us so Pepper could take the picture. It was a great experience 🙂

After we’d adventured through the entire museum we dashed across Discovery Meadow and Zaira and I played on the giant Monopoly board they have there (Zaira craftily won the game), then dashed over to a park near their house where Pepper’s family was having a Bar-B-Que. Zaira, Gavin (her little brother) and I played on the swings while Pepper chatted up her family and we took this shot:

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Then it was almost time for me to go to work, so they took me to see their house. Both Zaira and Pepper were embarrassed because they hadn’ had time to clean, but I assured them that it could be no worse than 476. We then headed to my house and they got a chance to see what a REALLY messy house looks like and to meet my hamsters. Hamopolis never fails to impress and this was no exception.

Well, that was the day that was. A good time was had by all and hopefully we can do it again soon…

Jun 092005
 

Originally posted to LiveJournal-

Yesterday I’m sitting at the Japantown light rail station for about 5 minutes waiting for my train and I randomly look up from the book I’m reading to see…  My ex-wife roll by with her two kids in the car (one kid mine, one not).  GULP!  She turns around comes back up the other side of first and pulls into the Mexican consulate parking lot.

(For the benefit of those who might not be completely caught up on my story I haven’t seen my daughter, Zaira, since she was 3.  Roughly six years ago.)

Six months ago this would have been a nightmare scenario.  In fact, six months ago this WAS a nightmare scenario as I was working at the mall in pretty much daily fear that aira would show up to do her Christmas shopping or (God forbid) my mother would show up for the same reasons.  Luckily that didn’t happen.

I’ve spent the last 4-6 months basically cleaning up some of the mistakes I made when I was younger.  I’ve paid off a ton of old bills and even went to jail for a while to clear up some 5+ year old tickets for driving on a suspended license, without insurance, etc.  It’s been a serious period of growth for me since I had a gun stuck in my face last December and I not only feel like a better man, but I’m happier far more frequently then any other time in my life.

I knew the next step was to get reacquainted with my daughter.  I just wasn’t sure I was ready for it yet.

So,  I walk over to the car, greet my wife, meet her son Gavin, and re-meet my daughter.  It was a very awkward situation for all involved but I think it went well over all.  Zaira comes off very well.  In fact, she was actually the first one to verbalize what an awkward situation it was.  We ended up standing in that parking lot for nearly a full hour making small talk (something at which I have almost zero skill under even the best of circumstances).

Pepper, my ex, gave me her email address and phone number.  But, more importantly I gave Zaira my email address and told her she could write me any time she wanted to share anything or if she had any questions about anything.

She emailed me last night 😀  It was just a little note to open the conversation that will last the rest of our lives, but it was sweet.  I, of course, emailed her back.  I really think I can handle this now.  I’m more comfortable with “me” than I ever have been in my life and she’s definitely smart enough to understand what I’m saying at this point, so we can actually build a relationship.

One of the main reasons I no longer communicate with my parents is that they kept way too many secrets from me and told me way too many lies “for my own good”.  I simply don’t trust anything they say anymore and not trusting your Mom makes it difficult to trust anyone.  So I’m going to be upfront with Zaira.  No family secrets, no lies, no evasive answers.  Is this the wisest thing to do?  I dunno, but I’m not going have my daughter discovering things about me later in life and hating me for not telling her.  It’s just not gonna happen that way.

 

So anyway, that’s one of the prime motivators for this journal.  There’s finally someone out there in the universe who wants to know what I’m up to on a daily basis that I feel deserves to know and is worth the effort of daily updates (no offense to y’all).  Of course, I’ve still got to get her set up here on LJ, but that’ll happen soon.

 Posted by at 1:08 pm  Tagged with: ,