I’m Baaaaaaaaaaaaack!

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Well, it?s been quite some time since anything?s been done here on the Stasistech Network. With my budding journalism career, and Archon?s potential move out of town, there hasn?t been enough time in either of our lives for this ?trivial? website stuff.

Lately, things have been busy in my life to be sure. But recently, I?ve felt an inclination; a feeling that I?ve been missing something in my life. Maybe I miss my family and friends knowing what?s going on with Avelino. Or, maybe I need the relief from stress that I see when I do write here. Or, maybe my work with The Mustang, which requires a balanced approach to the news, has left me in the dark. I might just miss the opportunity to write whatever the heck I want, without worrying about the topics, or the writing style, or whether my sarcasm will offend somebody.

There?s been a lot going on in my life since I last wrote here. And, while there have certainly been a number of developments, I?m still the same liberal cynic who still chooses to be optimistic about the direction in which our society is headed.

For example: the New Mexico Lottery Scholarship. Governor Bill Richardson recently announced that he wanted to shift the Scholarship in a way that would benefit need based students. In its current incarnation, the Lottery Success Scholarship doesn?t touch on need based students in anyway ? I think the criteria boils down to residency and GPA.

However, the amount for federal funding for need-based initiatives has dropped sharply in recent years, as the national economy has slowed. That means students expecting need-based funding on a national level can expect something like 47% less than they could just 2 years ago.

So, why do I bring all this up? Well, the student government here at WNMU, the Associated Students, has teamed up with the student governments of several other universities in the state to lobby against the governor changes. Their basis: they believe that they?ll be losing the scholarship if it goes to a need-based system. And turns out, guess what: they won?t!!

Anyhoo, that sort of thing always gets my chaps in a bunch (or something like that). I?m sure our regular readers (all two of you) know this and expect it by now. But, I thought I would toss some thoughts down, since it would be ?inappropriate? to do so in my legitimate rag.

I went for a bike ride on Friday night, such as I haven?t done in over three years. I met up with my old friend Jonathan ?Froof-Dawg? Mullen in Las Cruces, and we decided to go ride our bikes around campus. At 2:00 in the morning. Yes, a night ride is a special thing, and nothing can punctuate how special more than the Star Spangled Banner, bellowed out in the middle of a University dorm complex at 4:00 AM. Sure, the R.A.s were a little upset, but nobody shot us, and the campus population of cats didn?t join in, so I guess we weren?t that bad.

The next afternoon I went for another ride with Jonathan, along with my very good friend Joshie and his roommate Joseph. Yes, I rode with three guys whose names all begin with the letter ?J.? We took a spin around ?A? mountain (I guess that was for me, since there?s no ?J? mountain in Las Cruces? and I was reminded of how pitifully out of shape I am.

But, the ride was magnificent. Climbing up the little switchbacks around here is fun, and there?s some great downhills all across the Silver City area. However, nothing is quite like that technical trail in Las Cruces. The climbs were insane, patched with basketball sized rocks everywhere. There were some definite technical sections of downhill trail as well ? the backside of the mountain contains a few spots that are positively tricky if you?re not paying attention. In fact, I crashed out pretty hard, though on one of the tricky climbs ? I managed the downhill sections OK.

But, this weekend?s bike rides did serve to remind me why I love the sport so much. Why, no matter how out of shape I am, I still struggle to get up on the saddle again and finish out that last section of trial. You can get Bike magazine and read all the sappy letters about the beauty of nature, or the companionship of friends, or the exhilaration of a nice set of singletrack. But for me, it all comes down to one thing ? out there, you?re on your own. Just you and the bike, fighting the trail to find your way home.

Sickness

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Well, Avelino is sick. I?m not sure what I have going on, but my throat is just a wee-bit tender, and I have a little fever. Yes yes, I know it?s not the end of the world, but you could show just a little compassion.

I?ve received a pretty good response for my ?Mysogination of the Western Male? article. Then again, I doubt that anybody who reads my site in the first place would be of a mind to disagree anyway. Regardless, I?ll say once more that I had a great time writing that one. Maybe I?ll make that a series here: taking apart a load of tripe that somebody else wrote, exposing its flaws and errant thinking. Hmm?

I have to feel bad for my Mom, though, when I recommend an article like ?Mysongination.? Not because she would take offense to the article itself. She thought it was funny. No, I feel bad because she comes by and probably sees the headline which reads ?Headstart Stuck in Bush-Gear.? Then, I see the sequence of events as something like this:

She looks at the monitor in disbelief. She asks herself how things could have gone so wrong. She thinks, ?I?m a smart woman. How did I manage to raise two kids who are not only Democrats, but Liberal?? That?s when the helplessness and despair sets in.

OK, that might have been a little overdramatic, but you get the general idea.

Next week is a big week for me. My student club/organization is going on a trip to Las Vegas. We?re going to participate in a mock United Nations. Our school is representing four countries: Palau, Guyana, the Dominican Republic, and Paraguay. The issues chosen for discussion this year look interesting: intellectual property rights, arms control, African development. I?m definitely looking forward to it all.

The conference takes place in Las Vegas, a city I?ve visited before but not exactly on my own terms. Let?s just say I wasn?t of age during my previous trip to the Sin City. And while I?m not planning on spending all my free time sitting in front of a slot machine, I do plan on checking out some of the gambling areas. I want to try out some craps action: my grandpa was incredibly good at it, and I?d like to see if that might have been passed on to me somehow.

Regardless, I won?t have regular access to my comp here. However, since I can update news posts and blog entries from any computer hooked to the ?Net, I?ll try and keep everybody informed. If Archon will let me borrow his camera, I?ll be more than happy to show you some pictures as well.

OK, I just popped some Nyquil. I?m gonna crash.

Grandmas

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I went and watched Kill Bill: vol. 1 today. I must say I liked it. I could name good things and bad things about it, but I?ll save that for a review. Which I?ll start once I?m finished with the Homecoming photo-pages. Which I?ll work on once I?m done with this mid-term my professor gave me.

Kill Bill though, don?t wait for my review. I know, I know, I?ve made the Don?t-Wait-For-Me-To-Write-Something™ joke a million times now, but even so: the movie is good, and if you get a chance, go check it out.

I couldn?t sleep last night. My stomach was upset, and I have a suspicion that was the reason. Whatever the case, I found myself playing SWG. As much as I hate to play the game, it is incredibly fun. More importantly, it?s an easy escape from some of the worries that plague my thoughts during the day. In much the same way I went to see Kill Bill tonight, I play SWG as a means of getting away from things. Which is also a perk of hiking and biking.

I spent some time with my grandmother (on my mother?s side) this weekend. I visit my Dad?s mother almost daily (we watch The Price Is Right and The Young and the Restless together), but my Mom?s mom is a hard lady to get a hold of. She has a circle of friends who she meets with on a monthly basis, every second Monday to be specific, and whom she also sees throughout the month at other functions. She goes dancing almost every Friday and Saturday night, staying out until 12:30 sometimes. I?ve made this joke in private before, but in short, at 73, she has a better social life than I do.

Now, I?ve known both of my grandmothers for quite some time now (as could be expected) but only recently have I truly began to treasure how much they mean to me. I never really listened to their stories before I moved away and came back. I never really understood the wealth of knowledge that they possess. I never really knew that they were both incredibly funny women, but as I?ve learned recently, they both have remarkably witty minds. When I took my Dad?s mom, Marie, to Wal-Mart recently, a little boy was pushing a cart in front of us. My grandma said, ?Look out, crazy driver.? Her timing is impeccable.

Spending time this weekend with my Mom?s mom, Flora, was a welcome treat for me. So often our schedules conflict that I don?t see her as much as I would like to. We just talked about the usual things, but the talk was refreshing in that her viewpoint on life is sometimes drastically different than my own, yet also incredibly similar in so many ways. When she said, ?The weather has been so wonderful lately, I didn?t want to stay cooped up inside,? I understood myself a little better.

I think that in this day in age, when we spend so much time worrying about work or school or whatever, the thought of spending a day outside makes sense. Heck, during the spring she would go hiking with me, and I?d be keeping up with her, not the other way around. Days like those, outside, with or without company, are truly the best of days.

My grandma Flora said something else which got me thinking. She recounted to me that some of the members in her group had recently passed away, and said, ?I was telling my friend the other day that we?re lucky we can go out dancing. We?re lucky we?re even here at all.? I couldn?t help but think, ?Yeah grandma, you?re right: I am lucky you?re here.?

Nostalgia

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This evening I experienced a little bit of nostalgia. I call it that, though it more closely resembled home-sickness. However, since I?m in Silver City now, and I was born and raised here, I don?t know if I can call it home-sickness. Oh, heck, whatever. I experienced it. The reasons are two-fold, I think.

Before we talk reasons, background is in order for some people. In 2001 I moved from Silver City to Sunnyvale, CA, located near San Jose. For those who have never really been to San Jose, it?s part of what people call the ?Bay Area.? San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland are the major centers. However, the whole area is populated, and Sunnyvale is a fairly large city that shares its borders with San Jose and several other cities, to create one large metropolitan area that stretches right up to San Francisco. I lived there in Sunnyvale until the winter of 2002, when I moved back to Silver City.

Now that the background is out of the way, we can move on to the reasons. First off, I recently received an e-mail from my best friend out there, Christine. Christine and I worked together at Netflix.com. She recently married a real stand-up guy, and she sent me a link to a photo-album of their honeymoon in Hawaii. And, while the pictures of Hawaii certainly didn?t make me nostalgic for the Bay Area, seeing my old friend (whom I haven?t seen since November of 2002) really made the heart go thump. She helped me overcome my initial apprehensions and hesitations about being in the big city, and was there for me in one of the more trying times of my life. A true friend, I miss her immensely, though we try and keep in touch via e-mail and AIM.

Additionally, I caught the last five minutes of ?Sweet November? on TV, this evening. While you can say what you will about the movie, seeing the sites of San Francisco was something. I only visited San Francisco a few times while I was there, but the city was fantastic, especially for a liberal like me. I really think the city is under-rated, in a historical context, as a cultural center for many of the movements in the 60s and 70s which brought about so many good changes to our society. That?s just my opinion of course, but then again, that?s what this site is all about.

Regardless, I really miss living in the Bay Area. I miss being able to order my lunch online and have it ready at the restaurant when I get there. I miss being able to see whatever movie I wanted to on a particular weekend. I miss the variety of food, the sports loyalties, and Fry?s Electronics. I miss driving over the Bay on a clear day, and seeing the coastline for miles around. I spent only a year there, and know that I didn?t see nearly enough of what the area had to offer. I never made it to a vineyard for some wine, or went to Tahoe to go skiing, or saw the aquarium at Monterey.

As I sit here at home, and I think of all the time I?ve spent recently playing SWG, my life kind of comes into perspective. I?ve lived here in Silver City most of my life, and I?ve yet to explore all there is to see here. I?ve not biked in the Burros, nor have I been to an astronomy night at the City of Rocks. And the more I think about it, the more I know I?ll move back to the Bay Area when I have a chance. Sure, the rent is pricey as all heck, but really, it is worth it.

And the more I realize I?ll be moving back there one day, the more I realize that I need to spend more time doing things here besides sit in front of a computer screen playing a video game. I want to get more active in the political science club I was supposed to join four weeks ago. I want to hang out with some of the people I?ve met on campus this semester. I want to get back on my bike, I want to pick up my tennis racket again, I want to cook dinner like I haven?t done in two months. In short, I want to explore, I want to get involved, I want to get back into shape.

It won?t be easy. I?m lazy by nature. I?ve tried changing in the past, unsuccessfully. But, I?m gonna give it the old college try this time around, and hopefully, the results will be good. I?m optimistic. I hope you are too.

Mmmmmm……Vodka

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Whew, been a long time since the last blog entry, hasn?t it? Sorry about that. I have been busy. I recently posted another article, which you should check out if you haven?t already. Additionally, I?m working on my ?coverage? of the Homecoming festivities last week. I?ve run into a little problem. The gallery over at the main site isn?t exactly available. As such, I?ve had to think of another way of posting numerous pictures. I thought of doing something similar to the Gomez Peak article, but really, I have hundreds of pictures from Homecoming. So, I?m still working on a way of getting that done.

The Some Devil review is coming along, though it probably won?t be up until the end of next week. I have a rough draft due for a term paper this week, so I should probably better get going on it. Also, Galaxies has been taking up a little time recently. The game is fun, in a buggy, inconsistent sort of way. I remarked to Archon last night that I would almost pay to have the game work. Then I realized the game carries a monthly fee with it.

Shit.

My sis was going through a dilemma yesterday. Nothing serious, but she mentioned to me that she was thinking our Mom was going to say, ?I told you so? if my Mom was brought into the discussion. I told her not to worry about it, that Mom would just give her some good advice. About half an hour later, my sister called me back and said, ?Mom told me what to do.? I replied, ?Told you so.? I?m so funny.

If you haven?t tried out Absolut Vanillia yet, I highly suggest you do so. The stuff is smooth, with great flavor, and is the best all around mixer I?ve ever seen. Girly-Foo-Foo drinks?, shots, and a few hard-hitters all benefit from the subtle vanilla flavor. The Absolut website has some great Vanillia drink recipes(if you can find them), and you can also pick up the Absolut Metamorphosis add-on for Outlook or Windows. Plus, the Vanillia bottle is smoking! All good things coming out of the Absolut camp right now.

Anyhoo, I?m off to another football game today, and then a bike ride. I need to get on that GT of mine and hit a trail. I don?t care where it is, or how long, but I need to ride. It?s been too long since I?ve really cut up some singletrack or tackled a hill. So, wish me luck.

Food Is Good

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Howdy again, and welcome to Avelino?s Happy-Action Fun-Time Hour-Thingy™! No, just kidding, there?s no fun to be had here. Or “happy-action,” whatever that is. Only sorrow, misery, and pain. Lot?s of pain. With the poking, and the stinging, and the hmm-hey.

Alrighty, now that I got that nonsense out of the way, I want to take a moment to wish my Mom a happy birthday. Why not send her a quick little “Happy B-Day E-mail?” You could thank her for having such a wonderful son, who takes time out of his day so that you can have a few laughs. Yes, I know, I?m always motivated by selfish reasons. I can?t help it, I was raised that way.

The WNMU Football Team has their home opener this weekend, on Saturday, to be specific. I?m looking forward to watching my first game in the new stadium, and taking a few pictures for The Mustang. I?m considering the Editor?s position with that publication, trying to determine if I can fit it in to my schedule, decide whether it would be worth my while. I?m sure that if I did take on the workload my time here would be drastically reduced, and that has as much bearing on my decision as any other factor.

Might be heading out to Meadow Creek this weekend, with a few new friends. We?ll see how it goes. Hopefully I can borrow Archon?s camera again, so I can take some pictures out there. Meadow Creek is usually beautiful this time of year: lot?s of flowers, and some decent water running in the waterfall. If so, it?s swimming time. I?m gonna take the Banana Dog, and if anybody has a problem with that they?ll just have to sit in the bed of the truck and contemplate their miserable existence. And let me assure you: it will be miserable.

I?ve taken a liking to the caf? located on WNMU?s campus. They sell these fatty sandwiches made with focaccia bread. For those of you not in the know (would you stop that, by the way), focaccia is an Italian flat bread seasoned with a variety of herbs. The focaccia that comes as a hot sandwich at the caf? is conspicuously not “flat,” but that didn?t lessen my appreciation for it by any measure. Lemme tell you, those be some tasty sandwiches.

My cousin invited me to Jalisco?s for lunch today, so I had better get going. This will mark the second time in a week I?ve been invited to Jalisco?s, and I can assure you it is not helping me stay fit and trim. Not that I am either fit or trim, but that?s besides the point. Their chicken tacos are perfect for dipping in ranch. As I?m sure you?re all aware, ranch dressing is the ultimate condiment. Those in disagreement should seek professional services at their local mental health center.