Monday, May 26, 2008

holiday weekend

What to do on a long weekend in the city with perfect weather.


Wonder what to do.

Oh yeah - beer garden!!

Thighs, Spaghetti, La La La, Marathon Man, and assorted friends stopped by for some beer and laughs. And we had plenty of both. Simply. Awesome.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

my favorite analogy

About ten years ago my sister and I did a whole west-coast trip. We started in LA and worked our way north to San Fran for a cousin's wedding.

On the way we stopped to spend some time with our cousin Steve. Being that we had a week to get from one place to another and see all the sights in-between we had a pretty tight schedule.

The morning that sis and I were ready to leave the southern part of the state and head north, Steve convinced us to take a slight detour with him and his girlfriend. On a hike.

He swore up and down we had to do this. The destination was AWESOME, and it would only be an hour or so. We were headed to these natural waterslides - waterfalls that you could ride down in succession.

Sounded cool. We packed up some backpacks with water and snacks. We drove to the spot, parked the cars.

At the entrance, Steve pointed to the hilltop in the near horizon. "That's where we are going,” he said. And we were off.




Back then I was a pack a day smoker and a good twenty pounds heavier. Even though Steve, Moe, and Katie carried the backpacks I had to stop the hike several times to catch my breath.

Three hours later.... we reached our destination. And indeed, it was awesome.

It was an oasis of tranquility, like in the movies when people discover those waterfalls and swim around in bliss. We rode down the 'slides', jumped off of cliffs into deep pools of water. Rested, relaxed, enjoyed.

Then trekked the three hours back to the car.

In case you couldn’t tell, we were not able to drive north that day as planned after all. After seven hours on the expedition we needed to shower and rest. Because that hike was a bitch.

Later on in the evening when I pointed out the deception to our deceptor, Steve said, "I knew it was worth it. We just had to get you started. I knew the hill that I pointed to wasn't where we were going, but it didn't really matter. Did it?"

It didn't. Had we known how hard the journey was we might never had taken the trip at all. Which would have been a shame, because it was totally worth it. He was right.

From this, a major lesson learned. Pick a goal and start moving. It doesn't matter if you end up where you thought you would, or if the path deviates from where expected. If you don't try you won't get anywhere. And then you quite possibly could have missed something spectacular.

As for that last post? I remembered my own favorite analogy and said to hell with it. I'm pointing to a visible hilltop, getting started on a path, and the rest will fall into place. Because that is just how it works. Start on a journey and see where you end up.

It is always worth it.

Monday, May 19, 2008

unconscious growth

For the longest time all of my stress dreams revolved around me waiting tables Whatever my current job, if I was under undue stress never did my sleep contain current life situations or people. Inevitably in my dreams I found myself right back into a server nightmare.

It has been a while since I have had any of those dreams. Maybe I'm not as worried about failing at my job or not doing what I should. Whether it is confidence gained in myself or confidence lost in my superiors I couldn't tell you.

Last night I had a dream about my longest job in Michigan - being a server at the Mongo. I was employed by that place for four years. Not always full time, half the time I had a second gig.

What was weird about this latest dream is that the tone was entirely new. It wasn't stressful. It was sad. In the dream I kept trying to arrange a shift, to come back for a special engagement. But for one reason or another I kept forgetting to show up when I should. Then someone else from the store would set me up with a shift, and I would not make it again. And on and on.

Waking up it struck me that I've had that dream a couple of times in the past year or so. But it wasn't until today that the meaning hit me.

As much as I would like to sometimes I can't go back. God, there was so much about that life that I loved. Every person around me was some kind of friend, and we all enjoyed each other for our differences. We were carefree and joyous, thrilling in the freedom from responsibility.

And I was fun. Fun to be around.

Every day I spent most of my time and energy being and having fun. Now I spend my days putting everything in order. Acting the traffic cop, directing who and what to go where.

It isn't that I feel I can never be a good time anymore. It is that I wonder if once having taken on the authoritative role can I ever let it go and just be one of the crowd again. Different but the same.

This explains the jobs I fantasize about having now. They all allow me to step back from being the boss man and step a little bet closer to enjoying life.

Now that my dreams helped me clarify that a little, if they could just point me in a direction that would be mighty handy…

Sunday, May 18, 2008

pearly whites

Before and after photos!!

Here is the pic of my original god-given teeth. Note the dead tooth is more discolored than the rest. So much so you can barely see the Texas birthmark.
Two weeks of not being able to bite into food or eat anything crunchy, I have my new and improved choppers.
Pretty nifty, eh? They even have the whole color fade from top to bottom thing going on like my natural teeth. The doc had pointed this out when I was choosing the brand of veneer.

That is definitely enough dental work for a while. Between that and my knee I've had at least one doctor appointment a week. So many waiting rooms, so many Highlights magazines...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

you better work

Not being a big reality TV fan, I gave in and fell in love with Project Runway.

I have a feeling I have found my second reality series of choice.

Sashay, shante!

never a dull moment

Okay, the pseudogout is gone. Nary a calcium crystal to be found. And my vitamin D levels are back to normal, no more prescription vitamins are needed.

But now I have a cartilige tear, my medial meniscus is detatched. Back to my orthepedic surgeon.

Have I ever mentioned that my body hates me?

Monday, May 12, 2008

slow brainwaves and fast emotions

Whenever I'm caught in the pantry at work with someone and am in need of some small talk, I fall back on speaking about my theory of caffeine. That it helps me think.

In college I learned that the theory behind Ritalin and ADHD had to do with the optimum brain activity level for thought. If your brain is of the type that runs slow it needs to be sped up, say by physical activity. Or a stimulant. Being that my productivity improves exponentially with coffee, I always put myself in this category of people.

What can I say; my brain is slow and runs on red bull.

(Some people are fine au naturalle and some need extra calm as well, but I am too busy drinking coffee to think about how they deal.)

On the flip side, going through the death of my employee last month left me wondering what kind of robot I was. It seemed that I got past the whole experience pretty quickly, and I worried that I was compartmentalizing or some such. Then it hit me.

I have a fast emotional metabolism. When dealing with emotions I just work through them more quickly than others. I burn through them like a SUV does gas.

Why not? Why can't we categorize how people react emotionally with their rate of reaction? It explains why I’m so often in a good mood. On a basic level I go through all the crappy stuff that other people do, it is just that for whatever reason I eat through it like lightning and then am back on stable ground.

Well, it is either that or I’m really good at rationalizing. Yeah. Hmmmm.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Almost everything I know on this earth has been gleamed by reading. How to breakdance, how to talk to people, hell even how to give a blowjob.

(The Sensual Woman written by "J" when I was 12. Hell I was curious)

As a result my vocabulary is wide, but ironically being a lazy bastard I gleamed meanings from context instead of a dictionary. This isn't news, I talked before about my approximate discovery.

Sometimes my self-taught language slips out. This week I used a big one, and I'm still reeling.

Every week my division has a big meeting where just about everyone attends. You know, heads of sales, all the publishers, management, and all of us peeps who give them info.

When the spotlight was on me I was doing what I normally do - giving information, insight, and opinion. It was a bit of a heated debate, and in explaining myself I got interrupted at one point. So when I got back to presenting I said it.

"To wit..."

One of the publishers actually stopped me and repeated the phrase back to me. At which point I repeated it as well. "Yes, to wit."

This is not the first time this guy has done this to me. The last time was when I used "ad nauseum".

Now I know that he is doing so in good humor, appreciating my unique use of language and playing with it. But I gotta tell you every freakin time I get paranoid that I misspoke and used the word incorrectly! And then obsess over it for a week! Seriously, I'm still double checking definitions to make sure I really didn't look like an idiot.

That is of course if anyone besides him ever even heard the phrase before. But still.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

quitting by default

For my entire life I have had Texas in my mouth.

Not quite literally of course. My left front tooth has a refrigerator white birthmark in the shape of the lone star state.

Growing up this always drove me crazy. It made all my other teeth look more yellowed than they were in reality because of the contrast. Then of course as I have gotten older my teeth all actually have stained a bit...what with ten years of smoking and sixteen years of several cups of coffee a day. Oh, and then of course there is the fact that I almost knocked my tooth out about eight years ago when a car braked suddenly, effectively breaking the nerve and killing it.

Really. It is a dead tooth. Which means that you can't whiten it. At least not much.

So in the most vain decision of my life I decided to get veneers. I would have gotten just one for ole' Texas, but they need to do both the front ones at once to match.

It was kind of a hard decision, because there is no turning back. A dentist shaves down your teeth to make space for the dental work. The permanence of this totally freaks me out, but I decided to go for it anyway.

Tuesday I took the first step. Went to the doc, he took a mold, shaved my teeth, and set me up with temporary veneers that last two weeks until the permanent ones are done and ready to be put on.

Of course being me I lasted 24 hours. That would be a whole day before I knocked one loose. Not sure if I was going to have to make a trek to see the doc again or if I could use denture cream to secure the sucker back on I hit the world wide web. I hit it hard.

You would think before deciding to get this done I would have done some research? Heh. Surprise. Not so much. Know what I learned?

With veneers you can't bite your nails. Because the nails are too tough and the veneers will pop off.


Yeah, I have been a lifelong nail biter. A whopping 36 years old and I've quit like twice for over a month. Never lasting more than three. Until now of course. Because holy crap my teeth are already shaved and I can't have these things popping out all of the time.

Guess I'll have to learn how to type with nails. And do research before making irreversible decisions. Yep.

Monday, May 05, 2008


Well, after suffering through three weeks of a very swollen knee I made it to the rheumatologist. When it popped back in I was able to manage the stairs but I'm afraid the swelling stayed high and my overall motion was still limited.

After waiting two hours I finally saw my doctor. Obviously she was behind and a little rushed. I gave her the rundown of what happened while she read over my file. Then she took one look at my leg, said she would drain the fluid, give me a cortisone shot…

And I should take up cycling. As an alternative to running. Because running seems to be aggravating my knee.


While she went to get the needle I started to tear up. Not run? I love to run! This sucks!!

Then I grasped my last straw. This injury is not like the last. Not at all. Stairs were never a problem in the past, and the swelling was even proportioned differently. When the doc returned I pointed this out and she conceded that I could have developed an injury and scheduled me for an MRI. Oh, and a kabillion blood tests. Seven vials of blood, people.

God, I have to say that it will be such a disappointment if I have to give up running. It is a sport and a pastime I truly have come to look forward to.

On the bright side (Note: inevitable that I find one. Given lemons will make lemonade.) Running has only been a part of my life for a very short time. Probably the past five years. If I was able to fall so completely in love with something that I never had really done before who says my next sport won't be even more enjoyable? Also, I have to wonder if I was focusing on racing so much that I was distracted from becoming proficient in other activities. Say, like yoga. *cough*

So now I gotta buy a bike. Advice anyone? I know NOTHING about them. Not since my huffy in junior high have I had one. But I have heard something around to the effect that if once I had learned how to ride...

Sunday, May 04, 2008


At this time I am a proud owner of a guitar, a microphone, and two steering wheels.

All Wii game props.

Just when you think one game is fun and addictive, then they come up with something else. How many hours did I spend with Guitar Hero 3? I was ashamed to say. Was. Until I started playing American Idol Kereoke. Heh.

For the record, I am relieved that Grand Theft Auto IV isn't made for my system. The idea of driving through a digitally rereated city that I currently live in is waaaaaaayyyyy too tempting. For gods' sake they even recreated the Astoria Beer Garden. In shockingly accurate detail.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

selling stuff

Wow, selling things on ebay is kind of fun! Well at least if people actually bid on your item.

Just finished the sale of my futon for $51. Quite a relief as my new couch and chairs were delivered yesterday. Kind of hard to relax in an apartment where you have a ton of furniture but can't manage sitting down on any!

On the flip side of my futon success I have put up about 26 CDs on to sell, and there are no nibbles at all. None. Nada. Zilch. Boring as hell, and not helping me sell down the clutter.

Seems the best way will be to sell in bulk, boxes at a time. Because I'm cleaning up and packing out baby! Rockstar's got a brand new bag!

better than expected

I saw the title of this movie "Hamlet 2" and kind of inwardly groaned. Hoping for a comedy I pressed play...

Now I need to figure out how many times I can say "rock me sexy jesus" without offending people. And when I say figure out I mean discover by living it. Sweet.