Saturday, December 31, 2005

On The Road Again!

I'm not quite sure where to start, it seems like the last week and a half have been a really busy blur. I do have some Christmas pictures to post but they will have to wait until I get home to my scanner. I've hit the road again and have landed at the Holliworld auxiliary compound (aka The Last Normal Place on Earth) in Oklahoma City. I'm very glad to not have to drive anywhere else for a few days!

Christmas was very nice. My parents and I stayed at my grandmother's house. My sister was not able to be there since she's relatively new at work and didn't get a lot of vacation time. I drove straight through to and from Alabama, which ended up being around an 11 hour trip this time. 11 hours driving by yourself isn't the most fun in the world. I did get to listen to a couple of audio books thanks to Holli: The Lovely Bones and Shopgirl. I had a couple of small quibbles with Bones, but I could find no fault with Shopgirl. I wish I hadn't missed the film version when it was in the theater, but the book is probably better anyway.

We all ate way too much food. My grandmother is really big on cooking breakfast everyday. It was nice at first, but towards the end of the week I needed a break. I don't eat much breakfast at home, usually just a bowl of cereal and some coffee. It kind of messed up my eating schedule, leading to some headache issues. The coffee at my grandmother's house was also half-caf, so I had to drink a lot of coffee to get my usual dose of caffeine. My parents and I went to see Capote, which I was shocked to see playing in Huntsville, Alabama. Including my parents and me, there were only 5 people in the theater! I also got in a couple of runs while I was there. I found out that I can run wearing only shorts and a T-shirt when it is 38 degrees outside. I didn't know how cold it was when I first stepped outside. The first lap was little rough, but I warmed up after that. I think the couple that passed me running the other way thought I was nuts (they were quite bundled up).

It has been nice being a bit of a layabout (more than usual) here in OKC. We are going to a New Year's Eve party tonight, I think we all need a nap or it will be tough to make it to midnight! Happy New Year to everyone!


Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Where Am I? Who Am I?

660 miles + 6 hours of sleep last night = dog-ass tired (and crazy) JC

I made it back from Christmas vacation! Sorry about the no posting thing. I think I had maybe 2 chances to use the computer, for maybe 5 minutes at most each time. I declined because by that point I think it would have frustrated me more than it would have helped me. Sheezus I have a lot of catching up to do! More at some point after I feel human again.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

On The Road Again and Weird Dream

Weird dreams have been in short supply lately, but I did have one the other night. I had to wash some of my dishes, so in order to save money I took them out behind the Luby's Cafeteria which for some reason had all of their dishwashers outside behind the building. I placed my dishes in the dishwasher, but then I started thinking "How will I get them back? They'll mingle with all of the regular Luby's dishes, and I won't be able to tell them apart." So, I removed the dishes from the dishwasher and went home. I guess in my dream my dishes are indistinguishable from dishes that say 'Luby's' on them. Hmm.

Tomorrow I am hitting the road to go to Alabama for Christmas. This time I am not sleeping in the computer room. There is no computer room when you don't have a computer - which my grandmother does not. My aunt and uncle live in the same town and they do have a computer, but if the past is any indication the time available on it will be pretty short. So, I'm not sure if I will be able to do much posting over the holidays. I will do my best, and if I can't post much I will try to catch up after I get back. I also probably won't be able to keep up too well on everyone's blogs. So, if you don't hear from me now you will know why. I hope everyone has a great Christmas, or Kwanzaa, or whatever! Bye, see ya.

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Jingle Balls

I didn't decorate for Christmas this year. I'm not sure why, but I just didn't feel like expending the energy. The last 2 years I put lights on my house and put up a tree. My grandmother bought me an ornament every year to go on her tree until I got a tree of my own. About 4 years ago I got all of my ornaments, which I have put on my tree the last couple of years. I have nothing against Christmas, I always enjoy the holidays. I tried to rationalize it by saying that I didn't want my electric bill to go up because of the lights, but I don't think I wanted to put them up anyway. I guess I'm kind of bummed about not being employed, maybe that's why I'm not feeling particularly festive. Maybe next year.

Side note: Anyone else want to slit their wrists whenever one of those Kiwi carpet cleaning commercials come on? Holy shit. Someone needs to be fired or flogged for these fucking commercials.


Don't Let the Door Hit Ya Where The Good Lord Split Ya

That's right McRib, I'm talking to you. In the interest of investigative journalism, Holli and I sampled the McRib from McDonald's last night. I have had one McRib in my life before, the first time they introduced it around 1983. I remember being really skeeved out by a piece of gristle, and I thought I was done with McRib for good. I thought maybe the fact that my tastes have evolved since then would give me a different impression of McRib. Not so much. While I didn't encounter any massive pieces of gristle, the meat was just weird. I thought the sauce was pretty good, and I love pickles on barbecue sandwiches, but the meat just ruined this thing. So, I have satisfied my curiosity about m crib. They are claiming that this is the 'Farewell Tour' for McRib. To which I say, "What the hell, since when do sandwiches go on tour and especially 'farewell tours'?" But I digress. Let us all hope they aren't teasing us with this farewell business, you know like Ozzy Osbourne or Cher. Goodbye McRib, and good riddance.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Lie Down With Dogs, Wake Up With Fleas

OK, not really. I just like that phrase. Day 2 of dog sitting went pretty well. I should have given thanks for the 4:30 wakeup on day 1, because today it was 4. I did get to go back to sleep, though, so everything worked out.

I wanted to post again yesterday, but something happened to the computer at my friend's house. In the morning I was basking in the glorious speed of the DSL connection (I have dialup at home). I went out to the store in the afternoon and when I got back and powered up the computer there was no internet connection. In fact, there was no internet connection for the rest of my stay. Technology! One thing I forgot to mention in my first post was the life-sized 3 Stooges cutout in the computer room. I think by the end of the weekend I finally reached a point where I was not surprised to find someone standing there. The first few times I think I peed a little in my pants every time I walked past that room. They looked real!

About the only other item of note for the weekend is that I discovered a stash of the beloved Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale. The 2 stores where I had purchased this beer in McKinney sold out over a month ago. The dog sitting took place in a town about 30 miles north of McKinney, so I guess they're not hip to the pumpkin up there. The madness can continue for another few days! Hey, it's seasonal so I have to stock up when I can!

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Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Dog Whisperer

This weekend I am dog sitting for a friend who is on a cruise. I am watching 4 dogs. One of the dogs exudes the foulest-smelling gas I think I have ever smelled. I am supposed to feed him a tablespoon full of yogurt before each meal to keep the gas in check. He floated a couple of pretty bad ones before I fed him his dinner last night. As I got in bed, he got on top of the covers and laid down. He audibly farted a couple of times (most of the other ones were SBDs), and after the second one I guess he got embarrassed because he left.

One of the other dogs sleeps in the bed also. He is a miniature dachshund who is partially paralyzed in his back legs from his back going out. He doesn't have complete control over when he poops, so my friend has sewn some sleep shirts for him to wear to bed so if he poops it doesn't go places that you don't want it to. Unfortunately he also likes to wriggle out of them.

The thing that scares me the most about staying here is that these dogs like to get up early. I don't. It's kind of ironic since they probably sleep about 23 hours out of a 24 hour day. I guess it's because the only thing they like more than sleeping is eating, and they get fed first thing in the morning. So, at any sign of me stirring in the morning the dogs are raring to go. This morning that happened at about oh, 4:30! I tried really hard to fight it and try to get them to go back to sleep, but the dachshund had wriggled out of his sleep shirt and pooped on top of the blanket. The smell was pretty bad so I thought I would get up and feed them and dispose of the poop. Luckily after feeding them I was able to go back to sleep until a reasonable hour. I'm sure you moms out there are thinking "Hell, I do that every day!".

I have the world's worst case of bed-head this morning. There is a digital camera here by the computer so I took a picture:

Hmm, it looks worse in person because there is a big piece sticking up in the back. Here is a picture of the gas master:

Here are 3 of the dogs sacked out:

And here's a picture of the dachshund:

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Friday, December 16, 2005

But Mom, My Tape Was Full!

Tuesday on my way to the job fair I passed one of the local googolplex movie theatres and noticed that there were about 6 or 7 school buses parked outside. What the hell - do they take kids to the movies for school now? Or was this just a bunch of bus drivers going to see Aeon Flux for their own edification? Or maybe Rent?

In any case, for some reason this made me think of an incident that happened in my 8th grade history class. We were all settled in to watch a video about the American Revolution or somesuch. The video started and we were magically transported to the 1700's (OK, not really). But we were watching the video when all of a sudden a scene from the movie Bachelor Party appeared. I haven't seen that movie in a long time so I'm not exactly sure which part of the movie this was, but I do know that a woman suddenly became topless. Much to the delight of the class and the chagrin of our teacher. I'm convinced no one else ever saw that woman move as fast as she did to reach up and turn off the television. Apparently her teenaged son had used Mom's tape to record some ta-tas for posterity. Heh.

On another note, the turkey and gravy soda may happen after all. I deemed the original price of $10.99 too steep, even for this noble experiment. However, through the magic of 'clearance' the price is currently at $7.34. If we can get that stuff down to $5, the stoplight of purchasibility may turn green. And what was an unemployed, on-a-budget person doing in Target you may ask? Shut up.

Krazy Kroger was also spotted again last night. Unfortunately circumstances conspired to deny any pictures or quotes. Someday the truth will emerge.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Umm, Where Are The Fried Oreos (or Are You Going to Joborough Fair?)

Today I went to a job fair. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, since I have never been to one of these things. So I put on my monkey suit, put some gel in my hair (side note: I finally found a good organic hair gel! Commence eye rolling), dabbed on some rouge (OK not really) and headed to the fair! Geez, I felt like such a dirty whore on the way down there. That's another thing I hate about corporate America - you have to pretend to be something you're not. I don't wear a suit every day. However, preserving your personal dignity doesn't pay so well.

The event started at 11AM, and my original plan was to be there right at 11 so I could get out of there as quickly as possible. Well, I think my reluctance to go is what led to my not leaving the house until 11:30. I got there about 11:45. I'm not sure why they call it a fair - there were neither ferris wheels nor corny dogs. There were tons of people there. It's a bit discouraging to someone who is unemployed to see that many other unemployed people in one room. There were only about 12 companies there. I picked a line for a company that I was interested in and commenced standing. This gave me a chance to look at the booklet they handed out at the door that listed the companies present and what they were looking for. I was able to cross off about half of them, as they were mostly looking for IT people.

The line I was in was extremely long, and I didn't think I wanted to stand there that long only to have them tell me to go to their website. I had looked at this company's website over the weekend, and they have many jobs listed, so I decided I would just apply online. I found a couple of lines that were much shorter and may have jobs in my area of expertise. So, I ended up just talking to 2 companies. Both of which referred me to their websites (but did take my resume). I think it was good to get some leads as far as which companies are hiring. And I gave the organizers my resume at the door, so I will be in the pool of resumes that the employers present will have access to. So I wouldn't characterize it as a complete waste of time.

Word of the day: fagwad.

This is actually left over from yesterday when I was frustrated at having to go to 2 grocery stores to get everything on my list.


Monday, December 12, 2005

In Hiding

OK, here's a post for those sick of 'Tea Time'. Sheezus!

This morning I was awakened by some odd noises. It sounded like someone was snooping around outside my house. I tried to go back to sleep until I heard the doorbell. I got up, looked out the peephole, and saw a large man with a clipboard. Hell no, I'm not going to answer the door, I want to go back to sleep! I watch the man start to dial his phone, and then a few seconds later my phone starts ringing. What the hell? Who is this guy? I look at the caller ID and have no idea who this guy is. I watch him for a little bit out the front window, and finally I see that he has a Comcast sticker on his pickup truck. The cable guy? What the hell does he want?

Last week my poor ass cancelled my HBO subscription (that's going to hurt come Sopranos time, but notice I did finish Curb Your Enthusiasm), and digital cable (I only needed that to get HBO). For the moment I'm keeping the basic basic cable that is pretty much just local channels. Last Thursday I turned in my digital cable box in person, so I'm not sure why they sent a person out to traumatize me first thing in the morning. I can't receive HBO without the digital box, so I really don't think there's anything for this person to do here. I have a goal to interact with the minimum number of humans possible, so my first reaction was that I would hide from this person as long as I could. However, I think the goal of not having people ring my doorbell or call my phone at weird hours will beat out the misanthropic tendency this time. So, if he comes back I guess I'll see what in the hell he wants so he'll stop bothering me.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Tea Time

I guess I can admit that there is one good thing about cold weather. And that is that a cup of hot tea tastes so much better when it's cold outside. My parents live in a town that has a Trader Joe's. I love Trader Joe's - I wish we had them here. For my birthday my Mom sent me a giant box of their Irish Breakfast Tea (something like 80 teabags, which will probably last me years!). The last couple of days that stuff has really hit the spot as an afternoon pick-me-up.

Friday, December 09, 2005

In Praise of Meatwad

Multiple post alert!

This week I finally got around to renting the first season of 'Aqua Teen Hunger Force' on DVD. This is a show that airs on Cartoon Network (which I do not get). I had seen the DVD set at Target and thought it looked interesting, so I decided to rent it. Damn, this is one trippy show. I'm not sure I would actually call it good, but it does have 3 things that I think are great:

1. Every episode starts with the exact same opening shot, and then Dr. Weird goes on to create some hideous monster to terrorize our heroes.
2. The next door neighbor, Carl, a Jersey dude seemingly stuck in the 1980s. His above ground swimming pool is a frequent setting of the show.
3. Meatwad! Meatwad has become one of my favorite cartoon characters. I'm not sure why, but the combination of his voice and his genial stupidity make me laugh. A lot. If you want to hear Meatwad, check out this, this, this, this, or this.

Domestic Disturbance

This morning I planned to watch this movie that Michelle blogged about awhile back. I have Netflix, so I had planned to watch the movie and then get it in the mailbox this afternoon. I also decided to start a load of laundry about 10 minutes into the movie. I was washing colors, so I set the dial to 'cold', turned the knob, and pulled it out to start the washer. Hmm. Usually the water starts flowing immediately. I opened the washer door, closed it, and tried again. Nothing. It is still fairly cold here, and the pipes that feed my washer are on the north side of my house, which doesn't get direct sunlight, so I figured maybe the water was frozen or something. Alright smartass, I'll use warm water. Bingo, the water started flowing and I got back to watching the movie.

About 10 minutes later, smack in the middle of the 'jimmy ha ha' scene, I heard what seemed to be water pouring out onto a floor. Low and behold, the noise was water pouring out onto the floor. Lots of water. Hmm. I turned off the washer and stared at the water as it started flowing out of the utility room into my kitchen pantry. Not good. I grabbed my mop and bucket and started attempting to get the water up. Eventually I also enlisted 2 big sponges that I use for washing my car. One of the sponges turned out to be the best tool for getting water off the floor quickly. I finally got the water mostly cleaned up. I couldn't find the source of the leak, so I started the washer again and everything continued without a problem. I guess the lesson for today is: don't try to run the washing machine if the water won't run. Damn I hate cold weather.

Eventually watching the movie turned into quite the piecemeal experience stretching over a good portion of the day. Not the best way to watch a movie, but I did enjoy it. It kind of gave me a 'Happiness' vibe, but not quite as dark (to me). The listing on metacritic is pretty positive too. I thought it was very interesting and well worth checking out.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Ice Ice Baby

Well, it finally got cold here. Whereas Saturday afternoon the high was 89, at this moment the temperature is 31. In addition to the cold we also got some ice yesterday afternoon that made driving a bit treacherous around here. Holli had asked me earlier in the day if I would be interested in watching 'Project Runway'. I'm always up for watching unstable people do unstable things on television, so of course I said yes. As the weather deteriorated Crazyworld let people leave early, so Holli came by to pick me up right after she picked up Faith (about 2 blocks away). It looked like I would be held prisoner in the Holliworld compound for the evening (although are you really a prisoner if you go willingly?).

A good time was had by all, watching bad (in a good way) TV. America's Next Top Model starring America's Sweetheart Tyra Banks. Then The Apprentice starring America's Other Sweetheart, Martha Stewart. Then Project Runway starring Germany's Sweetheart Heidi Klum. A very pregnant Heidi Klum I might add. At one point Heidi was wearing a pink dress, and Holli said she looked like a giant pink gumball. The 'I'm So LA' guy is definitely headed for a major meltdown. There was also some Oobi and Sesame thrown in for good measure.

Faith pretended to paint my nails and apply makeup to my face. And she ate like a champ as long as someone cheered every time she put food in her mouth. She started saying "bye bye broccoli" and "bye bye chicken" after each bite, which was pretty funny. I got quite the workout as Holli was taking a shower, because to keep Faith entertained I came up with the idea to run from the kitchen to the guest bedroom with one her blocks, and she would chase me. Then I would run back to the kitchen where it would start all over again. It did keep her entertained! So when Holli came back into the living room after her shower and asked if it was a little cold in the room, I had to say no - no, it wasn't. I got the opportunity to take Nate out for his pre-bedtime stroll since Holli could not move without waking up Faith. I'm glad Nate decided to take care of business fairly quickly, because it was damn cold out there and the wind blowing only made it worse!

I have to admit to being pretty sleep-deprived and punchy today. It's always difficult for me to sleep well the first night in a new place. I'm also extremely sensitive to light and need cave-like darkness to sleep well. There is a light outside one of the windows in the guest room that apparently is on all the time, giving the room a nice sickly-orange glow. At home I usually wear one of those sleep masks to keep myself from waking up at the crack of dawn. That used to be only a weekend thing, but right now it's more of an everyday thing since I don't actually have a need to get up extremely early. I did my best to compensate by draping one of the sleeves of my shirt over my eyes, and actually that worked surprisingly well!

Holli dropped me back at my place on her way to work, after the requisite stop at 'Buck (thanks for the mocha!). I waited in the car with Faith as Holli went inside to get coffee (we watched 'Madagascar' of course). There were a couple of police officers inside, and when the 'Buck employee asked Holli where 'the baby' was, Holli made a point to say loud enough for the officers to hear "In the car". To which both officers apparently responded "Unattended?!" I thought that was kind of funny.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Interview

Well, I don't think the interview went all that well. The interviewer started out by stating that this job was not a 9 to 5 job, that it took the willingness to work as long as necessary in a given week to get the work done. He lost me right about there. I've already done that. I don't want to do that anymore, unless it's something I really enjoy doing. This job would be too much of a struggle for me intellectually to enjoy doing it 60 hours a week. And yes, you can get compensated very well financially by working your ass off, but my soul can't take that tradeoff anymore. Could I handle this for a limited period of time? Maybe, but I don't think I would enjoy it much.

The interviewer really didn't ask a lot of the typical interview kind of questions. He did kind of zero in on why I left my last job, and my answer was poor and pretty much made me look like a dumbass. He was also very curious to know why I would leave my last job without already having another one. Of course the real answer is that I was fired, but I wasn't going to say that unless totally backed into a corner. But I think he had his suspicions. This is one question that I really need to come up with a better answer for in any future interviews.

I pretty much lack any experience in the field that this job would be in, and I think that was pretty obvious. I think from their standpoint hiring me would be about the same as hiring someone straight out of college due to all the training that I would require. And they can probably get away with paying someone right out of college less. So, at this point I'm kind of hoping that they don't offer me this job. I don't think it would be a good match. I can chalk up this interview to being good practice. This was my first job interview in 7 years, so I guess it's not too surprising that I would be a bit rusty.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

You Can Get Arrested Tomorrow

Holli - Multiple post alert!

For those so inclined, Arrested Development is on tomorrow night. This may be the last chance to see this episode before the DVDs come out, so get those VCRs/Tivos/eyeballs ready! I know that Holli mentioned that she saw on the news that the show may be in the process of getting picked up by some other network. I hope it's true. I've been trying to find some reference to this on the web somewhere, and the only thing I have been able to find was on the message boards at the AD site. This transcript is supposedly from an interview on CNN:

Transcript of Interview:
ANDERSON: And from movies to television. As we mentioned, you were behind "Arrested Development, " one of the most critically acclaimed TV shows out there, won an Emmy for best comedy. And then, Brian, it gets cancelled. How do you make sense of that?
GRAZER: I don't know. It's -- it's just the art form itself, maybe. I don't know. There's some sort of food chain. But I think we'll get it picked up by some other network, possibly. You never know.
But going back to your original question, it's hard to know, you know, how the life of a series or a movie can -- can go. So have hope that it will stay on the air.
ANDERSON: Well, is that in the works, moving to, possibly, another network, another home?
GRAZER: It's -- yes. It's in the works. I'm hoping it's in the works.
ANDERSON: What can you tell us about that?
GRAZER: I can't tell you anything other than I'm hoping it works out in the way that we want it to. But I'm optimistic, Brooke.
ANDERSON: Well, I didn't mean to put you on the spot there.
GRAZER: That's OK.

Car Battery and a Haircut - Two Bits

Since I do have a job interview coming up, it was time for me to get my hair cut. Especially since it hadn't been cut in about 3 and half months! People I know described it as 'fluffy'. Now, I'm not someone who puts a lot of effort into my hair. I usually get it cut at one of the discount chop shops. This time, however, I tried something different. Holli convinced me that I needed to get my hair cut at a proper salon. I was curious to see if my hair would look different, and I figured I needed to look my best for the interview.

So, yesterday it was off to the salon. To me, the results were OK. I don't see a big difference between the two haircuts, but maybe someone who knows more about hair can. I'm not convinced that my hair can see the full benefits of the salon treatment - it's very unruly. It sticks up, curls around, and generally just looks like a mess. About the only way it looks nice and straight is when I get it cut really short. Now, I will say that I'm not ready to give up completely on getting my hair cut at a 'real' place. I may have to try it again at some point after thinking more about what I want my hair to look like, and seeing what works and what doesn't. What can I say - I'm a hair idiot.

Something happened after my haircut that I felt was definitely blog-worthy. After my haircut I got in my car and tried to start it - and nothing happened. I tried to start it again, and again nothing. My car battery was dead! Panic momentarily ensued since I was about 25 miles from home with no cell phone. I opened my hood to try and make sure that the battery was really the problem, not the starter or alternator. I was standing there with the hood open and a man approached and asked if I was having trouble. I told him it wouldn't start. Luckily, this guy was parked about 3 cars down, and he had one of those gizmos that will jump start your car. He hooked it up, and voila, the car started right up. Thanks to anonymous man with gizmo!

I figured that it would behoove me to replace the battery as soon as possible. I knew where a nearby Wal Mart was located so I headed there. I try to avoid Wal Mart as much as possible, but I didn't know where any nearby auto parts stores were, and this was an emergency and I knew I could get a battery at Wal Mart. I was just in the mode where I needed this fixed and that was the best way I knew to do it at the time. I parked my car near the auto center because I figured that I might get them to install it for me. I parked my car, turned it off, and immediately tried to restart it. Sometimes if you don't let your car sit very long it will still start if the battery isn't completely drained. Nothing. That thing was deader than fried chicken. I was definitely getting a battery.

I went inside, picked out the proper battery for my car and went to pay for it. I had decided by this time that I would attempt to install the battery myself since there appeared to be tons of people waiting on oil changes and whatnot. You have to pay a $7 fee when you buy a new battery if you don't bring in your old battery for recycling. The lady asked me if I had my old battery and I said no, but that I could bring it to her in about 5 minutes! She waived the fee and I headed out to my car. I broke out the toolbox that I keep in the back seat. I had the negative terminal disconnected when someone approached me. "Sir, I can see that you've already started there, but we're not supposed to allow anyone to work on their cars in the parking lot." WTF!? This guy was one of the Wal Mart mechanics. He probably wanted to add "Mr. Fancy Hairdo" to the end of his sentence, but he didn't. I told him that this car wasn't going anywhere until I changed my battery since it was dead. I guess I convinced him because he let me continue without further harrassment. I suppose they want everyone to pay for their services, but the weird thing is that they don't charge anything to install a battery. So it's not like I was cheating them out of money or anything. Sheezus.

Situations like that make me extremely uncomfortable, so I finished changing out the battery as fast as I could so I could get out of there. It took me about 10 minutes I guess. I made sure the car would start, and it did. I carried the old one inside so the lady would see that I wasn't trying to scam her, and then I was on my way. All in all, this situation was resolved about as smoothly as possible, so I was pleased about that. And Michelle, 'Changing a car battery' is definitely going on my Can Do list!

Why I'm Freaked

I made mention the other day of not feeling good mentally. Well, here’s the deal on that. I’m starting to get really freaked out about not having a job. I’ve figured out that my unemployment benefits will only last for 6 months. I calculated how much school will cost, and I don’t have enough money to not work for the next 6 months, pay for school, and not work while going to school. I’m also getting tired of having to account for where every single penny goes. I’ve always hated sticking to a budget!

I have been looking for another engineering job to take until I can get into school, but the offers aren’t exactly flooding in. I am starting to seriously consider taking a job, any job, just to have some money coming in. I guess one thing that kept me from doing that before is that I would have to get a job paying more than $10 an hour to make more than unemployment, and I don’t think those jobs are just lying around for anyone to have. I figured that if I couldn’t make more than unemployment benefits, why bother. I’ve learned a little bit more about the nature of the benefits, and there is a pool of money that they draw from, not a time frame. So, you can still have a part time job without completely losing benefits. It will reduce the benefit payout, but it will also extend the length of time to receive benefits. So I could either not work at all and run out of benefits in April, or work some and possibly extend the benefits a few more weeks or months depending on how much money I earn. That may be six of one, a half-dozen of the other.

Now, all this said, I do have a job interview for an engineering job coming up on Tuesday. This will be my first interview since I have been unemployed. It’s not a company that I would be all that excited about working for, and it doesn’t fit my long term career plans, but it could be a good bridge until I get into school.

I’m not sure the world is ready for JC the waiter. We may have to find out though!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Good Morning, Nutbar

Last week I went out to eat with the fam at a barbecue restaurant. This place had the weirdest songs playing over their sound system. It seemed to be mostly seventies stuff, but it was obscure seventies stuff. Like 'The Night Chicago Died' by Paper Lace, an early Billy Joel song (not sure which one), and then the capper - 'Good Morning Starshine' by Oliver (cousin Oliver?). This song has got to have the most f'd up bridge as far as lyrics go of any song I can think of. To wit:

Gliddy glub gloopy
Nibby nabby noopy
La la la lo lo
Sabba sibby sabba
Nooby abba nabba
Le le lo lo
Tooby ooby walla
Nooby abba naba
Early morning singing song

The drugs must have been good back then...

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Holiday Leftovers

I think I am on the road to recovery (at least physically) - I have felt better the last 2 days. Mentally, not so much. I'll save that for another post.
I just wanted to wrap up the Thanksgiving posts with a few more pictures and a few more anecdotes:
* I had to sleep on an air mattress at my sister's house. When I first saw it, I thought "This is going to suck!" Surprisingly enough, it turned out to be very comfortable. It had a pump that plugs into the wall that would let you adjust the firmness by pressing a button. I set it to be about the same firmness as my mattress, and I didn't have to adjust it again all week.
* I kept seeing those commercials on TV for Target where they said you could get a wake up call for their day after Thanksgiving sale. I talked my sister into letting me sign her up for one. When I registered I found out you could also get a 'tuck-in' call. My sister said she wanted 'boring guy' as the tuck-in call. We were still awake when the call came, and I have to say it sounded more like 'creepy guy' than 'boring guy'. He read a math equation or something, but it sounded like some kind of serial killer. For the wakeup call my sister wanted the mariachi band. We were all asleep when this one came in, but we gathered around the answering machine later to hear it. It was a big disappointment. All we heard were about 2 notes of music and then someone saying 'Adios!'. Lame. It's possible that maybe the first part got cut off.
* Overall I really liked North Carolina. I liked being surrounded by so many trees, and there were some really nice old houses. Especially driving around Winston-Salem I was struck by how each house was different, unlike the suburban area where I live where every fifth house looks the same. It could stand to be a little warmer, though!
I tried to download this picture for the lemur post but it wouldn't work. Here it is now!

This is my sister's dog. He's cute but not the sharpest pencil in the box. Every morning he forgot that he met me the day before and would bark at me as if I was a stranger.

He was a total basket case anytime anyone would eat anything.

This is one of the buildings in Old Salem that I thought looked cool. It dates from the late 1700's.

This tree looked really pretty with the sun behind it.

This was the walkway that led to Old Salem. It was so cold that day!

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