"That which is overdesigned, too highly specific, anticipates outcome; the anticipation of outcome guarantees, if not failure, the absence of grace."
-- William Gibson, All Tomorrow's Parties
"The miracle of tiny life."

Got into Sky Harbor at 2120 last night. Liz called, saying she and Matt were going to watch the fireworks, and was I anywhere near Penn's Landing?

Yeah, unfortunately not.

Mike and my sister picked me up. Mike's car has a biohazard symbol on the hood. Stopped by an Albertsons for a bottle of Bombay and stood outside while they bought stuff, making calls. Jason called me, which was surprising and fun. I felt like a moron when I asked him where he was, meaning what bar, and he said "I'm in the City". I heard him say "I'm in the city" and thought he meant Philly. I don't spend enough time in New York to be hip to their slang, evidently.

Off to his girlfriends, where Mike cooked a superb steak my sister bought me. She makes a mean gin and tonic, by the way.

The two guys that were there, Alex and Brady, reminded me of different actors, though I can't recall their names. I suppose that works out, since I couldn't remember Berry Pepper's name, but instead said I was once described by a crazy woman as "that sniper from Saving Private Ryan." I was being the typical obnoxious Irish drunk, I think. Good on me.

Launching bottle rockets in the middle of the apartment complex was, for some reason, thought to be a good idea. I related the story of Ian setting his beard on fire, though badly. (I also related the Quinessential Philadelphia Story as experienced by Harry, and told that one badly, too. Ah well.) While they were turning a bottle of (I think) Mike's Hard Lemonade into a blackened, smoky outline, the neighbors tossed an M80 into the yard about ten feet from me.

My first, sluggish thought when I noticed something sitting there, smoking: "Mike, how the fuck did you get the bottlerock to land there?" Then it exploded and, ears ringing, I wandered back inside.

Genius.

Eventually the DDR was brought out and people began fleeing, as people are wont to do when those not blessed with the seeminly Asian-only gene which allows them to not look like complete dicks while DDRing DDR.

It took my sister and I an hour to get to the hotel, which is just unheard of. We got on the only goddamn road in the city which does not follow the grid topology of western cities but instead loops back on itself. We ended up in downtown Tempe twice before she said "Fuck this" and followed what I can only describe as a visual sense of direction. The cardinal points mean nothing to her, but once she has been somewhere before, she can rotate the area mentally and get where she needs to go. Me, I have to think about it; and me, I was intoxicated.

Get to the hotel and crash out. Woken up at 0700 by some fucker with a goddamn in his room, and it barks for a half hour. Then twenty minutes later, after it's finally shut up, some kids start running up and down the halls, screaming.

Eventually we get going. Check out, then drive-thru. Seven hours, of which I think I drove perhaps three. My laptop managed to hold power for a good portion of that, surprisingly. I will be picking up either CD-Rs or a tape-deck-thinger for my iPod for the return trip, however.

Drive-thru for dinner. And finally, around midnight (MST; 0200 EST), I take care of email and sleep. And four hours later, I'm awake... 0618 according to my laptop. It has the luxery of at least being confused about its location. Me, I'm covered in cat hair in the middle of the desert.

Hopefully I can get back to sleep soon. I have to go shopping in five hours...

January 2, 2005 6:26 AM