Friday, September 30, 2005


The axe did not fall upon me today at work. However, I didn't have a meeting at all with my boss, so I'm not sure of my status at this point. I know this is a bad personality trait, but I hate conflict and try to avoid it at all costs, so often I stick my head in the sand and ignore things rather than confront them directly. I don't think in this case I will be able to do that indefinitely, the stress will be too much after a while. In what may be a positive development I was asked to fill out vacation plans for the rest of the year, which would seem to imply that I will be there the rest of the year. However, everyone was asked to do this and if I was left out it would have probably been awkward. At this point I am thinking it would be good to keep my job even if I really don't enjoy it that much. The best scenario would be to keep working so I can pay the bills, and work on finding my calling in my non-work time. If I want to be serious about this though I need to set aside time to really think about these things and investigate my options instead of watching so much damn TV and so many movies.

On the lighter side of life, I have a date with Mabel on Sunday. It has been five weeks since the last time I saw her! Seems like a really long time. The romance quotient will be quite low - we're going to check out IKEA (sounds like something married people do - Anne I'm looking at you!). In addition to that, my friend who set me up with Mabel will be there with her boyfriend. So, hopefully a fun afternoon of good 'ol American consumerism (with a Swedish twist) will be had by all. I'm just glad to be finally spending some more time with Mabel. I'm going to have to really try not to like something enough to want to buy it - with the job uncertainty I don't think dropping $800 on a couch is a good idea right now (and man do I need a new couch).

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Book Learnin'

I'm really enjoying the book that I have started reading about finding your calling. I am a little less than halfway into it right now, and so far I am finding it to be very inspirational. The way it described how people feel in jobs that they don't enjoy and how it can affect their lives perfectly describes the situation I find myself in now. I can't wait to read the rest of it (it's a pretty short book too). It's called 'The Money Is the Gravy'. Oddly enough, Amazon has the title incorrectly listed as 'The Money Is In the Gravy', which makes no sense.

TV Quick Hits

It’s been a busy last week in the TV department. Lots of shows to watch! Here is a short breakdown of what I’ve seen so far:

Arrested Development – Great so far, although Buster has been pretty much absent. My favorite characters are Gob and Tobias, and there’s been some pretty good stuff with them. Watch it while you can, the ratings are pretty much sucking. It’s getting beat by 7th Heaven in the ratings. Ouch.

Curb Your Enthusiasm – The first episode of season 5 was classic Larry David. Larry gets a sandwich named after him at a deli, but the sandwich consists of whitefish and sable, so he tries to switch sandwiches with Ted Danson. Hilarious.

Extras – The first episode was very funny. This show looks like it has potential. There are only six episodes, so it won’t take up too much time.

My Name is Earl – The first 2 episodes were pretty funny, with the second being better than the first.

Rome 4 & 5 - These 2 episodes were better than episode 3. This is a solid show, but I can’t really say that I love it.

America’s Next Top Model - During the first episode I was thinking how embarrassed I was that I like this show, but during the second episode I found myself being totally sucked in again. A guilty pleasure.

The Office - Off to a good start. The second episode was surprisingly abrasive, but in a good way.

Nip/Tuck - I’m out. I can’t take the gross surgery scenes and the story line just doesn’t interest me anymore.

CSI - Mighty gross as well with the car trunk soup, but I’m still watching for now.

Lost and the Simpsons are still solid.


Wednesday, September 28, 2005


As much as I dislike our current government, I will say that I am still glad that we have some of our freedoms after reading this article. Just think, if I lived in China my blog would be even more boring than it already is!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

On Edge

I'm feeling very on edge this week because if my boss sticks to her schedule I get to find out if I get to keep my job on Friday. I really have no feel for how this is going to go. I think I've been doing pretty well lately, but is there too much water under the bridge to save this thing? What's the deal with so many people having work trouble lately (Holli, Cassy, and myself)? I haven't had much time to work on my resume (oddly I've been too busy working), but I did get my 'self-help' books in the mail today. Nothing to do but keep on truckin'.

No Shame

Did you see the testimony of that scumbag Michael Brown aka 'Brownie' , formerly head of FEMA, on the news today? What a douche. He basically blamed everyone but himself for the shoddy federal response to hurricane Katrina. He sat up there and basically lied his ass off in front of this congressional committee. You can read about it here. And now he's going to lead the investigation into what went wrong at FEMA while he was head of FEMA. Sometimes I really think America is circling the drain folks.

Monday, September 26, 2005

The Nuge

I got a phone message last night from a friend of mine who happened to be passing through DFW airport. He called to tell me that he met Ted Nugent. He said that of all his friends he thought I would appreciate this the most. He's probably right. It's totally stupid, but I'm fascinated by celebrity sightings. We still talk about the time that we met Weird Al Yankovic on Bourbon Street in New Orleans one spring break.

My friend said that he went up to Ted and asked him, "Excuse me sir, are you Ted Nugent?" to which the Nuge replied "Full time, brother." It's still making me laugh.

Date Not So Great

The date last night wasn’t all that great. I may get some flak for this, but I strive for honesty: This girl was a bit larger than the type of woman I am usually attracted to. I realized after meeting her that I have only seen 2 pictures of her, and those pictures were pretty much of just her face. I am OK with someone being of average weight for their size. I would consider this girl to be above average in the weight department. In my defense I will say that Mabel is by no stretch of the imagination a waif, and I find her quite attractive. I also think it’s true that some people carry a little extra weight better than others.

Beyond that, the conversation didn’t really flow all that well, it felt a little forced. She offered to pay for her half of the meal, and I let her. She seems like a nice enough person, but I just didn’t feel a connection. Let the flaming begin…

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Date Night

I have a date tonight. And it's not with Mabel. Ugh. I really don't want to go, but I guess it's too late to back out now. This was a girl that I met online back in June. She basically stopped writing me from about mid-July to mid-August, when she finally sent me another message. So chronologically she came before Mabel, but then I met Mabel during the one month no-communication phase. However, I probably wouldn't be doing this if Mabel was more available. I didn't bother to ask Mabel out last weekend, I just sent her a note saying that I hoped everything was going OK. She sent me a note back on Monday saying that she was going out of town this weekend but would like to do something next weekend. We shall see. So, I guess I'm not all that enthused about tonight, but I'll have to fight my way through it.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

There's a Drive Through For That?

Maybe it was the Hair Force One thing, but something made me think of this picture that I took a couple of years ago. There's a local barbecue chain called Dickey's, and sometimes their sign doesn't quite work too well:

Do You Want Balls With That?

Are Those Guys Still Alive?

Today when I went grocery shopping I noticed for the second time that they were playing uber-cheesy '80s music in the store. Today I heard such classics as Air Supply's 'The One That You Love' and Olivia Newton John's 'Physical'. Last week I heard the ultimate punch line courtesy of Wang Chung. That's right, 'Everybody Have Fun Tonight'. Come on everybody, you know the words - 'everybody have fun tonight....everybody wang chung tonight'.

The strange thing was that when I went to eat with my friend, the restaurant was playing songs from the same era. I heard Ratt(!) do 'Round and Round', and then there was Air Supply again! I can't remember the name of the song but it wasn't the one I heard earlier in the day. Obviously there is some kind of demographic being targeted here, but I'm not sure what it is yet.

And I did get to watch the modeling episode (otherwise known as The Prettiest Week of My Life) of 'Get a Life' today. Chris uses 'Sparkles' as his modeling name. I wish I could get some screen shots of this!

Mr. Spontaneity

Today I took my second stab at going to see 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' on the IMAX screen. This time I was successful. Overall I enjoyed it, although there was a potential snag. I got there in plenty of time for the start of the movie. I picked my seat on the back row and was quite happy to not have a lot of people around me. Low and behold about 10 minutes into the movie a family with 2 young kids came in - and these people were movie talkers. I loathe the movie talker. They are right behind the butt flickers on the shit list. So, I got up and moved a few rows forward. I could no longer hear them, so everything was cool from that point on. There was also a bit of poetic justice. The movie talkers' kids were mighty freaked out by this movie. One of them started wigging out when Augustus Gloop got sucked into the pipe, so mom left with child to recover in the lobby. Well, they came back in right before Violet turned into a blueberry, so I knew this was going to be trouble. Sure enough by the end of that scene the whole family got up and left never to return. I'm sorry that their kids were traumatized, but I'm glad they left. I bet Dad was pissed to have dropped $40 for 20 minutes of movie.

Since I was 'in town' I did my coffee run and then my grocery shopping and was planning on having a nice relaxing evening at home. Well, I got an e-mail from my friend who lives (or lived) in New Orleans. He is in town for a few days and he wanted to go see a movie. So, we went and ate dinner and then saw a movie. He is a big fan of the $1.50 movie, so we ended up seeing the god-awful movie 'Stealth'. This is the one about the talking airplane. Usually I wouldn't be caught dead anywhere near this movie. The funny thing is, my friend is actually a filmmaker and he has seen way more movies than I probably will in my entire life. He's actually the person that got me interested in film around 15 years ago. He's worked with the lead actor in 'Stealth' and I think this is one reason why he wanted to see it. Plus I think he's interested in the technical aspects and seeing how other directors do things. So, since he was the guest in town I went along and kind of treated this as an exercise in camp. Make no mistake, this was a bad movie. Metacritic gives it a 35. I did have a few laughs at the movie's expense. I haven't been to the dollar movies in a long time, and I was amazed to see how crowded it was. It was quite the teeming mass. So the quiet evening at home turned into the not-so-quiet evening out. It was good to see my friend though.

p.s. We got no rain whatsoever out this hurricane. Zip. I looked at the radar and the edge of the rain stopped about 30 miles from here. Which really sucks because we need the rain very badly. We did get and are still getting some pretty high wind gusts out the deal.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Still Want to Call Them Freedom Fries?

We may just want to go ahead and call them cancer fries. If you love french fries and do not ever want to hear anything bad about french fries (or for that matter any type of fried potatoes), you may want to move along now. I read this article today (if you don't want to register at the NY Times, view it here). Kind of disturbing, I had no idea about this. I have pretty much already given up french fries after Super Size Me, but I wonder if this applies to the baked potato chips that I eat for lunch every day? I also may have to bid adieu (French, get it?) to my (and Napoleon’s) beloved tater tots. It’s always something.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Lost 2.1

Possible spoiler alert. I just got done watching the first episode of season 2 of 'Lost'. I really enjoyed it. This show has more character development than any show that currently comes to mind, and in my book that's a good thing. Do we get to see what's in the hatch? Oh yes. I had no idea what was going on with that opening sequence until the end of it. The part with Walt was suitably creepy. I like how they left us hanging with the raft people. I love how this show makes me want to see the next episode immediately at the end of each show. That's the first show like that for me in quite a while.



Today at lunch I noticed a hair salon named ‘Tangles’. Aren’t tangles what you try to avoid when you go to a hair salon? It would be like naming a tanning salon 'Sunburns’ or a restaurant ‘Searing Gas Pain’. I just don’t get it.

Here We Go Again

Here comes another hurricane. It looks like this one is going to hit Texas. There's no way that this one will create the same kind of problems as the last one, but it could still cause a lot of damage. Everyone is being super cautious this time due to the well-documented failings of the response last time. Also, the geography of New Orleans is a unique case, with the city being below sea level in a bowl-shaped depression. If this follows the predicted path we should get a lot of rain here in Dallas this weekend. Yes, the response will be much better this time -after all Texas is about 67% Republican.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Premiere Week

Get those Tivos ready people, Arrested Development season 3 starts tonight. And The Office season 2 starts tomorrow. And Lost season 2 starts Wednesday. And America's Next Top Model season whatever also starts Wednesday. It's like Christmas!

Ah, TV, is there anything it can't do?


Sunday, September 18, 2005

Handsome Boy Modeling School

Yesterday I had a fair amount of dread during the day because I told my new neighbor that I would come to her housewarming party. It was kind of sprung on me a couple of weeks ago while I was out in the yard, and since I didn't have time to think of a good excuse I said I would go. I could have claimed to have forgotten, but on Friday my neighbor happened to be outside when I went to check my mail, so she asked if I was still coming. Being too polite to say no, I said yes. So, yesterday I was trying to think of how I could claim to be sick or something. Sad, I know. It's just that being in a situation like that without anyone I know to fall back on makes me extremely nervous. When I moved into my house 4 years ago I went to my other neighbors housewarming party by myself, and it was pretty rough. Since I'm not very outgoing I just don't feel comfortable in those situations. Anyway, I ended up going, and like most things that I dread it didn't end up being that bad. I thought I would leave after an hour or so, but I felt bad about it so I ended up staying about 3 hours! The people that were there seemed pretty laid back and nice, so overall it went pretty well. I had visions of creating a Curb Your Enthusiasm type of scenario by knocking over the food table or something, but it didn't happen.

I did a little bit of job searching on the internet over the weekend and I found one listing that I thought was kind of funny. JC Penney has their corporate headquarters here, so for shits and giggles I looked to see what kind of openings they have. They are looking for a 'fit model' for men's medium size. I thought it was kind of funny because I match almost all of the measurements, although my chest might be too small. Basically it sounds like you try on clothes and provide feedback about how they fit. But it also sounds like when you're not trying on clothes you're a secretary. It also says they pay up to $25 an hour depending on your experience. I don't have any modeling experience so they would probably pay me much less, but if someone wanted to pay me $25 an hour to try on clothes, I would ask where to sign up. The hard part would be that you have to maintain your measurements within a half-inch. Yikes. I don't know if any of you ever saw the TV show 'Get a Life', but this job listing reminds me of Chris going to the 'Handsome Boy Modeling School'. Of course, for this job you could be as ugly as me and it still wouldn't matter because all they care about is what size you are. Check out the listing here. I'm not sure, but I don't think this is the career that will will emerge as my fit (ha!)after reading the books I have on order.

p.s. After the nice weather on Friday, it looks like Mother Nature will be bitch-slapping us here in North Texas with highs in the upper 90s all week. Drag.

Friday, September 16, 2005

TV or Not TV

There is another reason beyond football that I like this time of year. Fall also brings the new television season, and I watch more than my fair share of television. I usually pick out several new shows that look promising to watch, but this year I'm trying to limit myself. I already have enough shows to watch, I don't really need a bunch of new ones. At this point, I plan to only watch one new show –– My Name is Earl –– because I think Jason Lee is pretty funny. Here is the breakdown of what I will and will not be watching:


  • The Simpsons – I can’t believe this is the 17th season! I’ve been with this show since the beginning. Sure, it’s getting a little long in the tooth, but it still causes me to laugh out loud every now and then, which is a good thing.
  • Arrested Development – I’ve sung the praises of this show before. One of the funniest shows around once you get sucked into its strange little world. I can’t imagine this show lasting another year past this one due to its low ratings, so enjoy it while you can.
  • The Office – I’ve also mentioned The Office previously. Again, another one you want to enjoy before it’s gone.
  • Lost – One of the most movie-like shows I’ve ever seen. The large number of characters that can have shows centered around them tends to keep things interesting. Has a potential danger of falling into an X-Files or Alias-type trap if they string along some of the mysteries without paying them off well (and it's from the same guy who created Alias), but for now this is a keeper.
  • America’s Next Top Model – Laugh if you want, but this show is strangely compelling. Hot chicks + crazy Tyra Banks = frequently entertaining train wreck. This is my only venture into ‘reality’ TV.
  • Rome – I’ve seen enough to be interested in watching the rest of the season.
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm – A lot of people don’t like this show because they don’t like Larry David. I think I like this show because I am Larry David. The awkward social encounters, the selfishness, the pettiness. There's something very humorous to me about the uncomfortable situations Larry finds himself in. I would be very interested to know how much of the TV Larry David is acting. I tend to think there’s got to be a lot of the real Larry David in there. If he’s not like that in real life, the man deserves an Emmy for acting. This and Arrested Development are the 2 funniest shows on TV.

Scrubs would be on the ‘In’ list, but unfortunately it’s not coming back until January.

In for Now

  • Extras – It’s from the creators of the BBC version of ‘The Office’, which was genius, so this gets a chance from me with a fairly long leash.
  • My Name is Earl – Like I said, I like Jason Lee. If this sucks, it’s gone from my rotation.
  • CSI – I’m getting a little tired of this show. Occasionally it will rise above mediocrity and deliver a truly weird episode like the one with the convention of people who dress in furry animal costumes. I like the characters on this show, they need to show more character development. I’ll keep watching for now but I will re-evaluate at some point.
  • Nip/Tuck – I liked the first season. The second season started to get on my nerves. This show is just too outlandish. They throw in everything plus the kitchen sink. It’s like they’re trying too hard to be unusual. I want to see what becomes of the cliffhanger from the end of last season, but after that this show needs to get better very quick or it’s out.

Used to Be In But Now Out

  • Desperate Housewives – I watched the first episode last season and decided this show wasn’t that good and that I wasn’t watching it. Around this time, I dated a girl who watched this show. I thought it might give us something to talk about, so I started watching it again. After she kicked me to the curb, I kept watching the show partially because by then I wanted to see how the mystery was wrapped up, and partially because it still gave me a connection to this girl who broke my heart. Now that I no longer feel the need to connect with this person, I no longer feel the need to watch this show. To me, it’s just not weird enough. It’s faux weird. Another problem is that the tone of this show is strange. It can’t decide whether it wants to be a comedy or drama. It’s true that there have been shows in the past that have pulled this off, but this show is not one of them. Last year I heard people try to compare this show to Twin Peaks. These people are on crack. Desperate Housewives isn’t worthy to be a pimple on Twin Peak’s ass.
  • Alias – I watched this until about halfway through last season. I just got tired of the ridiculousness. It started to feel like X-Files where you thought they were going somewhere cool with all of this stuff, and then you realize that they’re just making it up as they go along and the explanations aren’t very good. I hope this doesn’t happen to Lost.

May Be In If I Get Bored

  • Veronica Mars – I heard this show was good but I have never watched it. I may just wait for the DVDs to come out some day.

Damn I need an editor. In a totally unrelated note, you could actually feel a little bit of Fall in the air today. Nice.


Thursday, September 15, 2005

I Guess That Makes Me a Complete Idiot

Today I finally decided to get serious about finding a new job, so I took a look at my resume. This thing needs some major work. I haven't updated it since 1999! The last time I looked for a job in 1998, I bought 'Resumes for Dummies', which I thought was pretty good. I gave that book to my Dad when it looked like he might lose his job (he ended up moving to keep it). Seeing as how they have probably updated that book quite a bit I decided to buy the latest version, so I went to the bookstore today. I ended up with 'The Complete Idiots Guide to the Perfect Resume' instead. Hopefully I can get the resume in decent shape soon.

I also wanted to find a book about discovering what it is that I really want to do. I think I have found three possibilities, which I will order from Amazon. These books may be total crap, but what have I got to lose? You can see them here, here, and here. It's kind of exciting to at least have the beginnings of a plan.

Rome Episode 3

I almost forgot to post about this. There may actually be a reason too. Whether it just wasn't very interesting or my caffeine addled brain just couldn't absorb anything, I didn't find episode 3 of Rome all that compelling. However, I've seen enough good things about the show that I am in for the full season.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Headaches and Chiles

Dammit, I got another headache this morning. I think I have to take the blame for this one, I stayed up too late last night. I require at least 8 hours of sleep, preferably more, to feel my best, and I didn't get it last night. I'm like everyone else - there's too much stuff to do and not enough hours in the day to do it. I really struggle with going to bed on time, there's always just one more thing I can squeeze into the day! At least this headache fit my normal pattern of starting out small in the morning and slowly getting worse. Those ones on Friday and Saturday really freaked me out because they started at night. Today the Imitrex helped again, and by the time I got off work I felt good enough to do my 5 mile run with no problem. Guess I have to be good and get to bed early!

I am kind of behind on posting, but one of things that I wanted to write about was that last Thursday I actually took the time to cook something that took some work. I used to do that a lot more often, but lately it's been mostly prepared foods. Anyway, I got hold of some Hatch chiles from Central Market and made some green chile sauce. If you've been to New Mexico you've had this stuff - they seem to put it on everything. Last year I made this sauce for the first time and this year I was waiting for the chiles to appear again, they usually start selling them in late August for about 2 weeks. I almost missed out because I was waiting for Whole Foods to get them like they did last year, but if they did I never saw them. On Labor Day I saw the sign at Central Market on Greenville about the Green Chile Festival being the previous 2 weekends. I stopped in and they didn't have any. So, on the way home I stopped by the one in Plano and they had some of the pre-roasted kind. I bought one of the large size containers. I decided this weekend that I would try to get some more, but they were all gone. At least I got to make a pretty good batch of sauce, and I froze a few chopped chiles for later. I don't know what makes that stuff taste so good, but I love it. I could have done without having garlic hands for 2 days afterward, but it was a small price to pay.

Now off to bed!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

'Tis The Season

I think I'm pretty much a woman in a lot of ways. That said, there's at least one area where I feel safely ensconced in my manhood - I love football season. The first weekend of just college football was good, but this past weekend when the NFL started up too was even better. I'm not sure what it is that I like about it so much. I enjoy poring over the stats - checking out the game totals to see who had the most rushing or passing yards. I like trying to predict who is going to win and why. I like seeing the strategies of the opposing coaches. I also can't help but feel that there is something primal going on, that I enjoy seeing people beat the shit out of each other for some reason that I can't fully explain (maybe it's a way to channel my own aggressions and frustrations that I can't express physically). I've noticed that I tend to feel a little better on the days after one of the teams that I root for wins than after days when they lose. Kind of sad, but it's true. Maybe it's the way that with the start of the season you get that feeling of a fresh start, a clean slate, that I enjoy. Whatever it is, sometimes you have to find the pleasures in life through something seemingly small or unimportant, and that's what I do with football.

No headache today! At least not of the physical variety. Maybe I'll live.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


Today when I was going to eat lunch I did something that I usually don't do. I stopped to pick up a cup that was blowing down the street so I could put it in the trash. I was soon reminded why that's not always such a good idea - it was sticky with something like vegetable oil. Gross. You try to do a good deed and you get goop on your hand. Such is life sometimes.

I have had a couple of strange headaches the last 2 evenings, and I felt one coming on again this morning. I am prone to migraines, and one thing I have learned is that sometimes caffeine will help, so I loaded up on coffee today. I think I went a little overboard. I've been kind of jittery all afternoon, and kind of manic in my actions. I have been a whirlwind of activity with laundry and cleaning up and reading. No headache though! Of course I'll probably still be awake at 3AM.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Rebuilding New Orleans

In the wake of the hurricane, there has been lots of talk about whether New Orleans should be rebuilt or not. I came across a good article that basically says that we don't have a choice. You can read it here. I thought this article was very interesting, these type of thoughts hadn't really occurred to me.

In a related note, tonight as I was going to get dinner, I passed the old Wal Mart here in town where they are housing a number of hurricane evacuees. I noticed that they have rigged up the old garden center as a recreation area with basketball hoops and things to play with. There was a young child riding a big wheel around, and someone in a wheelchair rolling around. Kind of nice to see that they have a place to let off some steam. Of course, it's hotter than Hades during the day out there since they removed the roof of the garden center, but at least it will be cooling off soon.

I saw on the local news that the Red Cross is saying that they have plenty of used clothes here in Dallas - they showed a huge warehouse full of clothes. They are asking for new underwear and socks at this time.

Gas Man

I've really been trying to reduce the amount of gas that I use in my car lately. I was averaging about 29 miles per gallon in my car. I have started keeping closer track of my tire pressure, minimizing use of the air conditioner, and trying to drive the speed limit. Around here this time of year, eliminating the AC entirely is not an option, so I have been turning it off for as long as I can stand, and then I will turn it on for a while to cool off. At least lately I haven't needed it on my way to work in the mornings. The speed limit thing is a little tough for me, because I like to drive fast. It all seems to be helping, on my last 2 tanks I have been averaging about 32 miles per gallon. Doesn't sound like much, but I drive 27,000 miles a year so if I go from 29 mpg to 32 mpg and gas costs $2.80 per gallon, that saves $244 a year, which comes out to $20 a month. Sounds pretty good to me.

One thing I have noticed is that some people get really pissed off when they get passed by a Toyota Corolla. I'll pass someone going really slowly, and then when they figure out that they got passed by a Corolla they'll speed up a bunch so they can get back in front of me. Kind of funny. And I've been wondering why no one is talking about lowering the speed limit on the highway back to 55 miles an hour. It would save a lot of gas, and that's why they did it back in the seventies. It really doesn't save you that much time to drive 10 miles an hour faster either. Of course, I guess the concept of national sacrifice is pretty much nonexistent these days, so maybe that explains it.

Charlie and the Constant Gardener

Today I was all psyched up to see "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" on an IMAX screen. I've been wanting to do this for weeks, but the timing has never worked out until now because it's only showing at 12:30PM and 9:30 PM. So I get to the theater, which is about 30 miles from my house, about 30 minutes early and walk up to the ticket window only to see a 'Sold Out' sign on the showtimes. Shit! I stand there looking like a dumbass for a minute or two, and then I think "Maybe they just made a mistake" and I ask the cashier if CATCF is really sold out. She tells me that there is some kind of problem with the projector and that they have cancelled the 12:30 show. I'm a little discombobulated at first since I had planned this so carefully, but that's life sometimes. So, I went to see "The Constant Gardener" instead. It was good, but I found it a little on the slow side. As a sidenote, this theater had special pricing for all the movies due to 'Katrina Relief'. All movies were $4, which would have been quite the steal on the IMAX movie which normally costs $11(!). I'm not sure exactly how charging $4 for a movie that usually costs $5.50 helps people affected by the hurricane (maybe they are donating the extra), but what the heck.

On the way home I was stymied in my effort to buy Season 1 of 'Lost' on DVD for $33.99 at Fry's (they were sold out), but I was not stymied in my effort to buy my yearly 12 pack of Oktoberfest beer. Why is Oktoberfest in September anyway? I could probably find the answer somewhere on the internet, but I've already got a buzz so I don't want to.

She Lives

There was a break in the Mabel case today - I received a reply to my Wednesday e-mail this morning. She apologized for not getting back to me sooner and said that school and work are basically two full time jobs right now. She even said that she had a small nervous breakdown this week (I told you!). She says that she's not the best company right now and that she would like to hang out but things will have to calm down a little bit first. Shit, now I feel kind of bad for being so selfish about this.

p.s. Sorry about the word verification, I've been getting spam comments every time I post!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Did I Mention Life Sucks Right Now?

Life's not going all that great for me at the moment. I think the job situation is deteriorating. I am one pissed off MF'er and everyone knows it. The tension between me and my boss is pretty thick. The gallows humor has begun, I introduced a guy from another part of the plant as my replacement yesterday. Some of the people totally thought I was serious there for a minute too. There's no doubt that I want to leave that place as soon as I can. I have found a couple of jobs to apply for, I just need to get my resume in order and send it in. I'm not sure how long I can keep showing up at my current job if they don't fire me in the next few days. I feel like I'm going to tell someone to fuck off pretty soon.

Things aren't going too great with Mabel either. At least that's something I'm used to. I sent her an email yesterday morning and so far no response. I know she's busy and all, but if you like someone you find a way to spend time with them. If she's playing hard to get, then she's barking up the wrong tree. I'm not very persistent, so I'm more likely to just lose interest if someone starts playing that game. Kind of reminds me of something I heard somewhere (but can't remember where): Some people play hard to get - I play hard to want.

I thought I was feeling OK with all of this shit earlier, but now after thinking about it I guess it's going to be one of those "I have my good moments and my bad moments" things. At least this ought to make for some bitter and rant-filled blogging. Woo-hoo! I guess I should put it in perspective, I could have had my house destroyed in a hurricane and I could be living in a shelter with about 20,000 other people. That would be worse.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Mmm, Chemicals

I used to have a lot of faith in the fact that I thought the FDA did a good job of protecting citizens like you and me from being exposed to things that were harmful to us. I have slowly come to a realization over the last few months that this is not the case. Companies are not required to perform testing on many chemicals that are used in their products. We are the guinea pigs for many of these chemicals. If a company claims that a new chemical is 'substantially' like an existing chemical, it is usually approved with no testing whatsoever. The thing is, changing even one small part of a chemical compound can have totally unexpected effects. You can go to the store right now and buy products that have known human carcinogens in them. Would you do that if you knew what those products were? Why is this allowed to happen? I admit it may be partially due to the fact that life expectancies have increased over the last 100 years, but it sure does seem like an inordinate number of people have cancer nowadays. Think about this for a minute - once upon a time, DDT and asbestos sounded like good ideas. In any case, I have found the following web site useful. It rates personal care products by the chemicals that they contain, and can help you choose less harmful products if you're so inclined.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Rome Episode 2

If you don't want any spoilers for 'Rome', you may want to check out now...

OK, I'm starting to get into this show a little bit. The first one was a little overwhelming with all the characters with the hard-to-remember names and everything. This week things are starting to gel a little bit more. I loved the way they set up how Vorenus came home to his wife and freaked when he saw her with a little ankle biter. She claims it's his grandson, but then the big reveal at the end is the little guy suckling on her teat. I sense problems in that relationship. The head surgery scene was appropriately cringe worthy. Although, what is the deal with HBO and all these grossout scenes? This scene reminded me greatly of when Al was passing his kidney stone on Deadwood. I guess they have to give you something extra for the subscription price - nudity, cussing, and gore! You could definitely see it last week too, but that Atia is going to be trouble! I also enjoyed the Senate scenes, the gladiator scenes, and the scene where Titus Pullo gives the guy cheating at craps (OK I know it wasn't really craps) his comeuppance. For some reason though, I could have done without the 'When Harry Met Sally' scene. If you've seen it, you know what I'm talking about. Then at the end you've got Caesar coming to kick some ass. This show definitely has potential.

p.s. If you need help with who's who, check out the HBO site here.


I Need One That Says 'Asshole on Board'

Okay we now return to regular programming. I saw something else today that struck me as odd right before I saw that bitch throw that butt. I saw an honest to God 'Baby on Board' sign (2 actually) on a car today. Aren't we about 20 years past the expiration date on those things? For cryin' out loud The Simpsons satired those things in 1993! I know there are a couple of moms who may read this blog sometimes and I want to get your input. Is there a reason that someone would have these that I'm missing? Am I supposed to react in some way to this vehicle now that I have been properly warned? I suppose I shouldn't run her off the road, but bitch shouldn't have given me the finger! OK, just kidding on that last part. I guess I should drive extra carefully around the car so as not to jostle junior? Anyone?

Up Your Butts

Und now, ve rant:

I've been sitting on this one for a while folks, but I today I got pushed over the edge. If you're easily offended - get the fuck out of here now!

Son of a bitch do I hate cigarette butts. Today as I finished my 'run', I found 3 more cigarette butts in my front yard. I usually find about 5 or 6 of them every week. How fucking lazy do you goddam smokers have to be? Do you think these fucking things sprout into flowers after you throw them on the ground? Do you think these fucking things melt when it rains? Well, I got news for you assholes - they don't. On top of that I watched some mouth breather throw a butt out of her car on the freeway today. Haven't any of you assholes heard of ashtrays? The parking lot at work is fucking disgusting with butts too. You know what? If you want to slowly kill yourself, do us all a favor - buy a gun already and get it over with. At least then we wouldn't have to deal with your fucking trash. The fucked up thing is that neither of my immediate neighbors smoke, nor do the people across the street. However, the people 2 doors down in both directions do, and I'm thinking this is where most of the ones in my yard come from. Fucking pigs. I'm going to start collecting these things, bake them into a giant fucking casserole, and force feed it to these fuckers while they get anally raped by horses. Or something like that.


Bad Idea Jeans

We have received a bit of a break in the humidity around here, and I thought last night when I stepped outside that it felt rather pleasant. So, I planned to go for a run through my neighborhood this morning since I don't have access to the treadmill at work today. This turned out to be a pretty bad idea. I didn't hit the road until about 9:30. I didn't think that it was that hot outside, but about halfway through my second lap, I started feeling it. I haven't had any problems covering 5 miles on the treadmill in the air conditioning, but I think I only went about 3 and half this morning, and some of that was walking. I was pretty shocked when I came home to check the temperature and it was only 80 degrees with a relative humidity of 42%. It seemed a lot hotter than that to me! I am a wuss! It's been about 2 months since I ran outside. I can't wait for the weather to cool down enough to run outside comfortably again.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

The Week in Review

This past week was my first since my receiving my latest kick in the ass from my boss. It definitely had its ups and downs. I worked pretty hard this week. If they still don't want me around after a week like this, then fuck 'em. I feel that I am giving my best and as the cliche goes that's really all you can do. There is definitely some tension between my boss and I, which worries me some. My emotions bubble very close to the surface, and I can't help getting just a little pissed off every time I look at her. I don't think most women welcome receiving a sense of anger from a man, and I'm afraid that I may be projecting that. I was planning to sit down and ask for a status report, to ask if there was anything that I should be doing that I was not, but when I finally decided to do so around 3PM my boss had already left. I have noticed my temper has seemed pretty short this week. There is lots of hemming and hawing when I have asked people to do certain things, and that kind of pisses me off since that seems to be what has gotten me in hot water myself.

Today has been somewhat of a return to form for me. I used to have lots of Saturdays where I hardly left the house at all, and so far that is what has happened today. I had to venture outside to mow the lawn, but that's about it. I do have plans to eat dinner with some friends later, including a couple who I haven't seen in two years since they moved to Indiana. I'm looking forward to seeing them, but I'm also feeling a sense of inertia. I feel like I just want to 'dig in like a tick' as a friend of mine used to say and stay right here. I even have a valid excuse since gas is costing so much and Dallas is 30 miles away. Feeling like this always makes me think of that scene in 'Boogie Nights' where Julianne Moore and Heather Graham sit in that room all day doing coke. I guess because one of them says 'Let's go for a walk' and the other one says 'I don't want to leave this room' and then the first person says 'Me neither'. I probably watch too many movies...

It will be interesting to see how I respond to being around people tonight after being alone all day. Not that I'm going to wig out or anything, but the energy level required is just so different.

The Good Old Days

I was thinking about the high price of gasoline lately (as I'm sure many people are), and it made me remember a picture I took a while back. I took this picture right here in North Texas in October of 1998. I remember thinking at the time that I didn't think I would ever see gas so cheap again, and I'm sure I won't from here on out. If only I had bought some oil futures back then...

Friday, September 02, 2005


No date with Mabel this weekend. I'm not surprised because I sent her an email on Wednesday and hadn't heard back before I left for lunch today. I'm also not surprised because I know she is very busy with school and work right now. I have no reason at this point to doubt her reasons for skipping out - her Mom's birthday and having to study. She's also volunteering with the Red Cross to work with some of the hurricane refugees who are being housed at Reunion Arena in Dallas, which is certainly a worthwhile endeavor (she works in the medical industry). So, I guess I will just have to be extra nice to my hand this weekend. Maybe I'll take it out to dinner or something.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

May Be Worth Watching

I saw this blurb about a show on PBS tomorrow night that some of you may find interesting. The show is NOW, and the topic is how the building of the Mississippi River levees around New Orleans helped create the conditions that made things so bad for that city in the recent hurricane:

What you don't know about Katrina and the Gulf Coast. NOW investigates why the devastation was so bad.

With the death toll rising and the damage estimates in the billions, NOW reports on why New Orleans was virtually defenseless against hurricane Katrina. On Friday, September 2, 2005 at 8:30 P.M. on PBS (check local listings), NOW explores how one of the biggest civil engineering projects in US history-the levying of the Mississippi River-set off an environmental chain reaction that helped destroy the natural barrier protecting New Orleans from catastrophic storms.

Update: This was pretty interesting, if short. The NO segment was only about 17 minutes. Thought it was pretty interesting how if you really wanted to, you could actually blame this whole thing on the French - they built the first levee! Ought to go over well here in Texas...