Flying fish will never be able to walk

Friday’s company picnic turned out to be pretty boring. The turnout was much lower than last year’s at the same location (enjoy the 2007 slideshow!). I split around 1:30 p.m. and took a nice drive through Harriman State Park for the slightly roundabout trip home.

I’m not sure why I felt so disengaged from it; I had a couple of decent conversations with coworkers, but there were few significant others on hand for the event, which meant we were spending the day with the same people we see every day in the office. The young’uns (anyone younger than me) seemed to have a good time, playing beer-wiffleball or something, but I felt kinda intruder-y among them.

I bought the new Paul Weller record last week and it occurred to me that no one in my office would have any idea who Weller was, nor would they ever have heard the Jam or the Style Council. I don’t mean that in a snobbish way; it just struck me that my time isn’t theirs.

So I hung with some of my older coworkers, but their conversation led to a spirited game of beer-pong. I knew that the only way I’d have fun at this picnic was if I started drinking, and afternoon drinking makes me pretty sluggish. As opposed to nighttime drinking, which makes me witty, vivacious and impossibly charming. And invulnerable (to criticism).

Or maybe I was hungover from the previous day’s reading of Camp Concentration. The best books can do that. Regardless, I felt utterly out of place, and so I shot hoops for a little while with the worst basketball of all time, then started my drive home. Sorry I don’t have any fun stories or good pix to post.

* * *

On the plus side, it was a weekend of new milestones for Rufus! On Friday night, I gave him full run of the upper floor of the house (sans kitchen) for 2+ hours while I picked up Amy at her train and got dinner. I have no idea how to positively house-train a dog, and I was a little nervous that he might not be familiar enough with the lower floor, so I put a gate at the top of the stairs and lit out for Radburn.

He was typically (which is to say, unbelievably) excited when we got home, and I immediately conducted a room-by-room inspection. He’d gone up on both the sofa and my chaise (I put towels down on both to, and discovered paw-shaped impressions on them), but had no accidents! I took him outside and he relieved himself for about five minutes straight. So I’m going to take that as evidence that he’s house-trained! (Not that I’ll leave him outside of his crate for a full work-day, but at least I know I can go away for a couple of hours without a problem.)

A night later, a heavy thunderstorm rolled through the area. It woke us up around 4am on Sunday morning, and I assumed that our boy had already decamped to a corner of the guest bedroom to hide. But after another flash of lightning, I noticed that he was still curled up on his bed in our room, snoozing away. Given his past reactions to thunder, I was amazed. Especially because I was ready to hide in a corner of the guest bedroom at that point.

* * *

But it was a pretty quiet weekend. I read a ton, and now I’m trying to figure out how to get back to my Monday Morning Montaigne project without carrying around an 1,100+ page hardcover of the essays, since the edition I’m reading isn’t available on the Kindle.

What It Is: 7/21/08

What I’m reading: Against the Gods, and Bottomless Belly Button

What I’m listening to: Court and Spark, by Joni Mitchell, and Hearts and Bones, by Paul Simon

What I’m watching: Dazed and Confused, and Sunshine (not the 87-hour Ralph Fiennes movie of the same title)

What I’m drinking: Rogue Dead Guy Ale

Where I’m going: A mini-class reunion in Philadelphia next Thursday night, allegedly. I write, “allegedly,” because it’s taking place a hipster bowling alley, and I know of only one other attendee. I thought about using my frequent-flyer miles to take a 30-hour Fri-Sat round trip to San Diego for the Comic-Con, but decided against it, in favor of hitting my company picnic on Friday and trying to have another quiet weekend like this past one.

What I’m happy about: A new Paul Weller album comes out tomorrow, and so does the DVD of Spaced!

What I’m sad about: My dad almost destroyed his car by getting gas from one of those discount stations. On the plus side, he saved 8 cents per gallon, which would add up to a whole dollar in savings, based on the fuel tank in my car.

What I’m pondering: Why Roche had to go and bid for the remaining shares of Genentech about a day or so before my Top Companies issue comes out, in which I praise Roche for leaving Genentech independent. (I realize the integration is more about back-office functions, while letting the R&D functions stand on their own, but that trick never works.)

What It Is: 7/7/08

What I’m reading: The July issue of The Atlantic (on my Kindle!). There’s an article by Fred Kaplan on Donald Rumsfeld that I found fascinating, because it looks beyond The Big Mistake and finds that Rumsfeld actually pulled off a lot of significant accomplishments as defense secretary. Also, Zenith, which I just adored back in college.

What I’m listening to: Orblivion by The Orb and Illumination by Paul Weller. It’s been that sort of week.

What I’m watching: The Whole Nine Yards. It occurs to me that, not only have I never seen an episode of Friends, I’ve never seen a movie starring any of the six cast-members, till now. Also, the epic Federer/Nadal match at Wimbledon. Holy crap, was that an amazing match.

What I’m drinking: Now that my local supermarket has a good supply of limes, I’m back to Martin Miller’s G&Ts.

Where I’m going: To sleep, once this issue is done.

What I’m happy about: That I was finally able to work a Terence McKenna/Timewave Zero reference into one of my Top Comapnies profiles.

What I’m sad about: Still too busy to be sad. I’ll get back to you next week on that one.

What I’m pondering: How to outsource next year’s Top Companies ish to India.


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