Notes on Indiana: Football is popular here

18
Nov
2007

I have never really been a sports fan of any sort. When asked about my favorite spectator sport, if pushed I will say gymnastics. Although really if all professional sports went away tomorrow I wouldn’t give a toss. I find the sums of money spent on these to be obscene. I abhor the monopoly that these leagues represent and the appalling amounts of taxpayer money that flow into these private hands.

Since coming back to Indiana a couple of days ago, I notice an inordinate amount of interest in the Colts (the local football team). Is this something that has been growing in the past few years? Has the social makeup of my family’s friends changed dramatically? Have I just never noticed it before?

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Notes on Indiana

17
Nov
2007

As I will be back in the land of my birth and upbringing for the next few weeks, I will try to note what strikes me as different or unusual here. It will be as if I am a tourist (albeit one with 17 years of experience here). Here are a couple of things I have noticed in the last couple of days:

– It seems that everywhere I go, things are sold in JUMBO size. I went to get shampoo and toothpaste the other day and the only size was gigantic. People in the midwest enjoy value as represented by quantity. They are also clearly not as transient as I and so probably don’t worry about having to lug a gallon size jug of Head and Shoulders around from place to place.

– Seeing as this is November and we are miles and miles away from any warm, growing climate, fresh fruit is sparsely available and expensive. The other morning I ordered the “fresh fruit” with breakfast and was confronted with this:

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I guess by “fresh” they meant “freshly opened can”. blech.

Where I left off

15
Nov
2007

I am back in Indianapolis now. My parents picked me up at the airport and then we came back to the house they live in. I immediately launched into fixit mode (there were computer problems of course), and then we went for dinner at my brother’s house. As my family is wont to do, I got a lot of “what will you do now?” sorts of questions. This being my first day back, it is way too early to unpack all that I am, was or will be in the space of a few minutes. Stay tuned as I come to terms with family expectations as well as my own.

One of the surprising things to me was finding that I had deposited more stuff here than I previously thought. I was pretty sure that all I left was a box of letters and journals, and some (required by law) tax forms. I came back to find that there was also a small suitcase of clothes. Apparently I originally thought I would take them with me, then narrowed down the collection when confronted with the size of my bag. Lucky me, they are pretty nice. And after the beating that most of my stuff has taken over the last year, it will be nice to swap out for less tattered duds.

Boulderback Mountain

13
Nov
2007

Scott and I went on a little field trip to Boulder today, about 30 minutes from Denver. Boulder used to have a rep as a bit of a hippy town, and does maintain a fairly liberal political outlook, but this is clearly not a place for any bohemian or poor person to live (and seemed to have very little in the way of ethnic diversity). That said, it has a pleasant scale, pedestrian friendly downtown (Pearl Street Mall) and a few really cute neighborhoods.

A little bit of Denver

11
Nov
2007

It is so wonderful to see Scott and Mike again. There are some people in life who are really special, that you know you will never lose contact with, even separated by time and distance. You pick up right where you left off, get caught up and integrate what is new, but the core of connection is always there. I first met Scott and Mike back in San Francisco 14 years ago, and they left to move to Colorado about 7 years ago. We don’t see each other as much as I would like, but I know they are always there and they know that I am always here (wherever “here” is for me at the moment). I am lucky to know them.

We spent the past day or so exploring their new neighborhood, going out eating, drinking and walking the dogs around Denver a bit. This morning we walked around an interesting redeveloped part of Denver called Central Platte Valley and then over to one of the first (early 70s according to Scott) restored historic districts in the country called Larimer Square.

Click on the pic or link below to go to the Denver album. I will be adding more pics to it over the next couple of days.

Lateral vision

11
Nov
2007

One of the best things about the web is what an amazing educational tool it can be and how it follows a more natural (to me, anyway) way of learning by appealing to innate curiosities. This form of learning is lateral, not linear, and especially fascinating.

This morning’s web adventure started with an article in the New York Times about The Ulster Defense Association’s disarming, leading me to lookup Northern Ireland in a Wikipedia search. From there, I linked through to articles about common law versus civil law, The Napoleonic Code, codification, lacunae in the law, Chinese Law, tort definition, a biography of Napoleon Bonaparte, and finally the history of the French Revolution.

Pretty cool, huh? Then again, I am most probably a dilettante.

Bye Bye, LA LA

9
Nov
2007

I am leaving on a flight early tomorrow for Denver. It has been almost a month here, and it has flown by. I leave LA with better feelings about this city than before. Whether it is because I am a changed man, or that I am not working (much), or that I am not looking for the same things in LA, the city has seemed much more welcoming and warm. The city has appeared less hard edged, less angry.

Could I ever live here again? Only time will tell. But the present moment is not ripe to make such determinations. I am off to take stock of a few more things, test a few more waters and gather a few more experiences. See you soon lala, and thanks.