April 30, 2012

Support This

Our internet connection has been up and down for a couple of weeks. This is odd. Since getting Verizon FiOS years ago, we've rarely had a problem. But this one drove me insane.

How It Went Down
Wednesday. After a day or two of random internet outages - fixable by rebooting the router every couple of hours - I called the Verizon tech support people. I described the symptoms and they diagnosed a bad router, citing a crapped-out wireless transmitter. I objected, quietly, since it wasn't just impacting the wireless connection but also wired connections. But it's the first thing my former help desk-running self would have done in their position so, whatever. The router came the next day. I installed it. Same problem.

Monday. Are you there Verizon, it's me Chris. I felt genuinely sorry for the guy I got on the phone. He sounded clueless-by-birth and stumped around this particular issue specifically. Apparently the old router-swap routine rarely fails. After I told him again that particular silver bullet didn't do it's thing, he put me on hold for a very long time. When he returned he said (and I shit you not this is how it played out and since, for quality control purposes this phone call was recorded, somewhere it's on tape):

Him: I have a solution I want you to try.
Me: Okay, let's hear it.
Him: After we get off the phone, I want you to unplug the coax cable from the wall and blow on it. Then put it back.
Me: Blow on it?
Him: Yeah, it might clear the static on the line.
Me: You're kidding.
Him: No, blow on it. And if that doesn't fix the problem, call us back.
Me: Oh, I think you can count on that.

So I blew on it. Five minutes later our internet connection dropped.

Wednesday. I gave my buddies at Verizon another call. They agreed to send someone over on Friday afternoon.

Friday. Five minutes before the Verizon guy arrives, the internet died. I left it that way. You know, you want the mechanic to be able to hear the terrible noise your car is making though it never makes it when you need it to. He verified that there was indeed a problem but couldn't figure out why. The best bet, he said, was replacing the box on the outside of the house where the cable came in.

This was an odd choice since I'd spent a couple of minutes earlier that day checking the log files. Something was clearly up but I couldn't tell exactly what. So I asked:

Me: Do you guys check the log files on routers before you start swapping out equipment?
Him: Nah, not usually. I'm not a computer guy.

And I'm thinking, you're not a computer guy? All this whole thing is is just a bunch of computers talking to each other! But no, he just replaced the hardware outside the house and everything worked fine.

Saturday. I woke up Saturday morning to a world in which no television, phone or internet existed. At least in my house. I got my ass on the phone (the rest of me too) and they promised to send someone out that day. They did. The battery backup unit was dead. They replaced it. Everything is working dandy.

The Actual Problem
The problem was actually pretty simple. Here it is in layman's terms.

Routers have tables - code, really - that direct traffic. Depending on the router you have, sometimes those tables are pretty big, sometimes pretty small. If you're an average user, it doesn't really matter. But if you have a lot of devices, lots of connections to the outside world and a pretty good deal of traffic, you want a router with a big table. When those tables get full, weird things start to happen. Primarily, your internet connection drops and our router has to be rebooted. Verizon happens to give out routers with pretty small tables and doesn't offer any alternative.

Why This Is Annoying
For the thousands of dollars on hardware and manpower they spent on my little problem, they never actually diagnosed it. They patched it with hardware instead of finding out the reason. Know how I know? Because I figured out the problem over the weekend. The answer's Googleable. It's all over and apparently a big enough issue that every single Verizon tech should have asked some different questions. And it had absolutely nothing to do with hardware. As a result they fixed stuff that didn't need fixing, actually broke stuff in the process, and cause a pretty major outage.

This is why your cable and internet bills are so high, people.

Posted by Chris at 7:39 AM | Comments (9)

Haiku For Monday #411

Get a load of this
info, jack. This is haiku

(I have no idea.)

Posted by Chris at 7:19 AM

April 27, 2012

The Weeklies #212

The Weekly Annoyance. My internet connection. And the fact that it has whims like former child stars with a pile of cocaine. Okay. I'm not really sure what that meant. It made sense in my head. Looking at it now? Not so much.

The Weekly Awesome Headline. "Giant Cannibal Shrimp Invasion Growing."

The Weekly Game. Enchanted Forest.

The Weekly Obsession. Counting calories.

The Weekly Source Of Confusion. Honestly I'm still wondering what the hell I meant by that child star thing. I mean, child stars are notoriously unreliable. But you can count on them for some rampant drug abuse. Which makes them somewhat reliable, nothing like my internet connection. Let's just say I was drunk when I wrote that and move on, okay?

The Weekly Read. I finally got around to reading The Hunger Games. The verdict? It didn't suck. In fact, it could have been much, much worse. I liked the premise despite the fact that Stephen King came up with it a few decades ago. I liked the characters. I liked the story itself. And I liked the way it all turned out. I didn't rush to read the second one - I'm giving something else a shot right now - but I liked it enough to know that the second and third books are an inevitability.

The Weekly Dumbass. Okay, sorry. Can't let it go. I? Am the dumbass if I can't come up with a decent analogy that parallels the Verizon-fueled anger I feel every time I try to load qvc.com cnn.com and get a Page Not Found: Your Internet Connection Blows Donkeys message. That makes me sad.

The Weekly Clarification. My browser doesn't say that. The thing about donkeys. It would be really cool if it did, though.

The Weekly Question. Are we all too reliant on donkey blowing internet connections or are we too far past the point of being able to change?

Posted by Chris at 7:10 AM | Comments (8)

April 26, 2012

You Don't Know Jack

In the last week we've lost a tragic number of folks who were influential in the music industry. Dick Clark, Levon Helm, Brian Jack...

Who is Brian Jack, you ask?

Jack fronted a hair metal band out of Baltimore named Child's Play. They released one album and it was phenomenal but, sadly, largely unnoticed. During my senior year of high school, my buddy Adam and I would pull out our acoustic guitars - his black Gibson, my sunburst Gibson - and play Wind. I'd sing the lead (badly) and Adam would add the high parts. Along with a handful of other songs (Tyketto's Seasons, pretty much anything by Whitesnake), it became our anthem during the summer we painted houses.

Jack died last week in Baltimore. I don't know why and I'm not inclined to find out. But, regardless, it makes me sad. With so many famous people famous for absolutely nothing - Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, any cast member of The Jersey Shore - it's sad when someone who has legitimate talent without anyone noticing.

Posted by Chris at 7:25 AM | Comments (1)

April 25, 2012

And Ode To Old Shoes

I worked from home yesterday and made myself presentable only when it was time to go pick up Mia from school after she stayed late for an after-school activity. Ripped jeans, a hoodie, a Foo Fighters t-shirt, and my Doc Martens. I looked like I'd just emerged from 1992 if only Dave Grohl had launched his band a few years earlier.


I bought these Docs in 1992. In them I've done a lot over the years - smoked a lot of cigarettes, drank underage booze, drank legal-age booze, made midnight pizza runs, rented an apartment, bought a house, adopted a cat, bought cars, been in accidents, written tragically bad grunge songs, and watched my kids being born.

These are damn good shoes. May they survive another 20 years.

Posted by Chris at 7:21 AM | Comments (8)

April 24, 2012


I read an article the other day (Why It's Okay To Leave A Tech Job At 5:00 PM) and it got my thinking. Primarily this:

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg recently set off quite a debate in the tech world when she told an interviewer that she works a 9-to-5 schedule:
"I walk out of this office every day at 5:30 so I'm home for dinner with my kids at 6, and interestingly, I've been doing that since I had kids," Sandberg said in a video posted on Makers.com. "I did that when I was at Google, I did that here, and I would say it's not until the last year, two years that I'm brave enough to talk about it publicly. Now I certainly wouldn't lie, but I wasn't running around giving speeches on it."

And this sparked something of a debate around what the workday actually means these days.

I used to get to work much earlier than I do now. Ten years ago, I'd be at the office by 6:30 AM. These days, not so much. I'm up later and it's harder to get out the door in the morning once the kids are awake. And it seems like Owen's always awake. But I'm generally online by 7:30. I try to walk away from my laptop by 5:00 but I know that once the kids are in bed, I'll be checking email until I fall asleep, tackling the important stuff if needed.

Two years ago I got promoted into a big-time position. But I vowed to myself that I was going to do everything in my power to strike the right balance. I would work hard, bust my ass for The Man, but then, as much as was humanly possibly, I'd go home, have dinner with the family and put my kids to bed. Sure, there are exceptions and some very long nights and very early mornings. But oddly I've been able to manage it. And I'm proud of myself for that.

What's your new 9-5?

Posted by Chris at 7:33 AM | Comments (14)

April 23, 2012


I have a confession. I weigh more now than I ever have in my life. Full disclosure. That translates into 155 pounds. I'm not tall but I'm not 4'3" either so this isn't an obscene amount of weight on me. But it is annoying.

Now I'm a vegetarian, gave up my Ben & Jerry's habit years ago, and do a really good job avoiding terrible stuff. My problem is exercise. I work ten hours a day, have two kids, and deeply value my sitting-on-my-ass time but I realized this wasn't a problem that was going away anytime soon. So I bought a bike. Oddly this doesn't mean that I sit on my ass less. I just sit on my ass faster.

The other day I took this whole obsession to a slightly new level. I downloaded a calorie counting app for my phone. This was a bad idea not because I'm prone to taking such things to a heretofore unknown level of fanaticism. No, I'm okay with that. It's bad because my average day is actually pretty good. Take Saturday:

- Two Morningstar Farms veggie sausages
- One bagel
- Two cups of coffee
- Total: 382 calories

- Penne pasta with spinach and cheese
- One root beer
- Total: 640 calories

- Four pieces of Papa John's veggie pizza
- Total: 800 calories

Now, I didn't exercise aside from a very short bike ride with Mia but still, not bad right? But wait until I get to the snacks category. Because snacks is where I record the beer.
- Four Torpedo IPA extras
- Total: 800 calories

See, I was doing fine until I got to the beer thing. Then I basically doubled the size of dinner. Which shot me up to 2,622 calories, 687 over the 1,944 total I was shooting for.

I've come to some conclusions:
- I need to exercise quite a bit more.
- I should worry less about numbers and more about how I feel.
- If I skip lunch I can have more beer.

Posted by Chris at 7:49 AM | Comments (12)

Haiku For Monday #410

Apparently spring
is monsoon season around
here. I need a boat.

Posted by Chris at 7:39 AM | Comments (1)

April 20, 2012

The Weeklies #211

The Weekly Buzzkill. Pollen. Everything around here is yellow. And Owen has been sniffing through the night.

The Weekly Thing I Wish Would Stop. Owen sniffling through the night.

The Weekly Customer Service Experience. I had one of the best customer service experiences the other day. With Verizon. No shit. I'm not being sarcastic nor am I about to launch into some expletive-laden tirade against corporate America. I called because our internet connectivity was spotty at best. I suspected the router. I was correct. I dealt with the nicest woman who seemed genuinely concerned that I remain a happy customer and told me stories of her heavily tattooed guitarist husband while we waited for all the wireless speed tests to play out. Very impressed.

The Weekly Read. Nope, nothin'.

The Weekly Product We Do Not Need. Pizza Hut in England just launched what has to be the worst thing ever invented. Pizza with a hot dog-stuffed crust. Here's how Pizza Hut describes it: "Succulent hot dog sausage bursting from our famous stuffed crust, with a FREE Mustard Drizzle." So, how long until Great Britain passes us in the obesity department?

The Weekly Tragic Musical Loss, Part 1. Levon Helm.

The Weekly Tragic Musical Loss, Part 2. Dick Clark.

The Weekly Losers. Know what happens if you're a secret service agent who picks up hookers in Columbia? People find out. Then you lose your jobs.

The Weekly Question. Are you generally late, early or on time?

Posted by Chris at 8:03 AM | Comments (9)

April 19, 2012

Meet The Parents

I have it on good authority that my parents now know about my blog. That's because I told them.

A couple years back I was convinced they knew. I wrote a similar post, asked you to say hi and promised things wouldn't change. But as it turns out, they knew nothing. On Easter that became clear when we all started talking about my site and my dad said, "you have a blog?"

Now I know things won't change because I've been writing under the assumption that they've been reading for years now. And that assumption certainly hasn't stopped me from speaking my mind. Or talking about midget tossing. Or saying fuck.

So, everyone, say hi to my parents. For real this time.

Posted by Chris at 7:40 AM | Comments (29)

April 18, 2012

Five Adjectives

Mia came home from school yesterday with a self portrait. On it was a fairly awesome likeness of herself along with five adjectives she used to describe herself.

- Smart
- Short
- Fancy
- Fabulous
- Pretty

That got me thinking of my five adjectives. Here's what I came up with:

- Passionate
- Stressed
- Kind
- Aging
- Cool

What are your five adjectives?

Posted by Chris at 7:50 AM | Comments (11)

April 17, 2012

Extreme Makeover: Washington Edition

I read the following (parts and pieces of a larger article) on CNN yesterday:

How about an ice skating rink on the National Mall, just a stone's throw from the Lincoln Memorial? Or a new, expanded outdoor amphitheater next to the Washington Monument, where people sit on the grass and watch a performance?

These ideas and more have been submitted by designers in a competition to spruce up the giant park at the center of the District of Columbia.

The non-profit Trust for the National Mall has asked for proposals that would improve how people use the park, and would add amenities like restaurants and bathrooms.

The Trust says no taxpayer money would be involved. Instead, it is aiming to pay for the renovations with private donations, and it hopes to raise $350 million with the help of former first lady Laura Bush.

Now, anyone who's been to DC in the last five years understands that it's an awesome but slightly shabby city. The Mall - seriously one of the most impressive places in the world - is starting to show its age. And lots of folks who live in and around the city have been pressuring the powers that be for a little cleanup. But as I scrolled past the story and on to the comments, I really got scared. What I saw weren't just the objections of normal people but partisan fanaticism. And racism. Some excerpts:

- DC should be abandoned and a new Capitol built in the center of the country, safe from Iranian nuclear weapons. The new Capitol could be the size of a Walmart Supercenter if Senators and Representatives were required to stay in their districts; with teleconferencing, a national meeting house is not needed.

- This is really just a plot to take away space that people use to congregate en mass and protest.

- Why spruce up DC when the rest of america is becoming a rundown dump?

- the best move to improve dc is to tear it down

- ....paid for with cash donations. So it will be just like buying votes but instead of getting something like Obama care we'll get a mall to glorify Obama's new America with hope and change. Were's the big grassy area going to be? You can't pound tent pegs into concrete.

- They forgot to pencil in all the police barricades that keep honest Americans out from enjoying our capital... and all the police vehicles and on foot police that basically move you around like cattle when you are just trying to enjoy the scenery. I have been down to DC several times trying to enjoy the beauty of our national mall with my wife... every time turned away and closed off by authorities with no explanation. Ehh, maybe next year if Mitt gets in they will relax a bit and let tax payers enjoy the stuff they pay for.

- All the different nationalities? When I visited DC all I saw were the 'rainbow shades' of black.

Look, I know that commenting on CNN is like writing a review on Amazon. You speak up because you're passionate and that passion usually takes overwhelmingly positive or negative form. I get that. But it scares me when people seen an issue like cleaning up the Mall - in the capital of this country - and installing some bathrooms as a partisan political conspiracy designed to shut them up. Or, worse, as a tool of some mythical black power or communist movement. And that - in my most dire and depressing of moods - makes me feel like we're on the brink of some rift that will be all but impossible to recover from.

I cross my fingers every day that there are enough people on both sides of the political aisle committed to working together and continuing the journey this country and her citizens undertook over 200 years ago. But I'm not always convinced that's the case.

Posted by Chris at 7:28 AM | Comments (8)

April 16, 2012

Old Friends, New Family

This weekend was kinda cool. Aside from the 17 cubic tons of dirt and mulch Beth and I shoveled and moved around the yard. That was decidedly less fun that most of the rest of the weekend.

On Saturday, Owen and I slept in, Mia and I went to her skating lessons, lunch, and the playground, and Owen had his first t-ball game. Each of these things were awesome but perhaps none quite so nice as seeing old friends Scott and Julie and their two kids. We've got some history - Scott and I instantly became best friends in high school and despite that he later moved to another country and now lives in another state, we've been in touch for the last 20 years. Julie and Beth met with they were three and became best friends. Scott and Julie met at our wedding. The rest is history.

I'm always pretty happy when spring comes around not just because stuff blooms, the yard looks pretty and the cold starts to that but because I know that Scott and Julie will bring the kids down for a visit. This year didn't disappoint and we had a wonderful time, so wonderful in fact that both Beth and I said about a thousand times I wish we lived so much closer.

Sunday introduced my first chance to go see my new niece. She is absolutely adorable and I'm a proud uncle once again. For a second, looking at her tiny little sleeping nose and her small fingers, I thought I might have made a mistake with that whole vasectomy thing. But then I remembered that, for the most part, I don't have to get up in the middle of the night due to screaming children. So no buyer's remorse on the vasectomy.

Now, I'm tired and my body hurts because of those 17 cubic tons of dirt and mulch. I'm going to get another cup of coffee and, perhaps, crawl under my desk for a brief nap.

Posted by Chris at 7:49 AM

Haiku For Monday #409

Cant. Move. Body. I
blame you, shovel, wheelbarrow,
and dirt. Fucking dirt.

Posted by Chris at 7:08 AM

April 13, 2012

The Weeklies #210

The Weekly Affliction. Vacation hangover.

The Weekly Pasta. Penne.

The Weekly Read. Over the past couple of weeks I devoured the five books that make up Hugh Howley's Wool series. I stumbled upon them on Amazon for cheap. And I'll admit that I expected to get what I paid for. But I got so much more. The Wool series is so good. In my mind, it ranks right up there with some of the best science fiction I've read. Reading the series is highly encouraged.

The Weekly Bandwagonesque Move. And now I'm reading Hunger Games.

The Weekly Brief Tangent. I remember buying Teenage Fanclub's album Bandwagonesque at a Waxi Maxis in the late 80s or early 90s. It was the same day I picked up Live's first album Mental Jewelry.

The Weekly Television. I was watching The Colbert Report the other night and found myself howling to the point at which tears began streaming down my face. Frankly there's not much that makes me laugh like that much less someone that I once wrote off as a one-trick pony. Colbert is funny but also a brilliant, smart satirist. Two thumbs up, Colbert Nation.

The Weekly Question. If you'd have won the most recent, gigantic lottery, what's the first thing you'd have done?

Posted by Chris at 7:46 AM | Comments (13)

April 12, 2012

Sunshine To Me

Parenting is hard. There are no rules. No one hands you a book and says read this and you'll be prepared. Every child is different, challenging in their own way. It's not binary - there are shades of gray without completely right and completely wrong answers to hard questions. But occasionally there are perfect moments, moments in which there exists a perfect clarity that borders on magic. Moments in which you understand that you are doing a good job as a parent and, more importantly, that your kids are going to be okay. Moments in which your children demonstrate that they are more than the sum of their parts. Moments in which you're reminded that they're exceptional beings capable of wonderfulness.

The other night I handed Mia my iPad. She wanted to play and it was a while before bedtime. Half an hour later, I scooped it out of her hands and returned it to my bedside. When I powered it on a few hours later, to read my book, I found something amazing. I stared at it for a solid five minutes. I was amazed. It was one of those moments. This is what I found.

Posted by Chris at 6:52 AM | Comments (15)

April 11, 2012

Cry Uncle

I'm an uncle. Again!

Yesterday afternoon my third niece was born. And yesterday evening, we got to hang out with my other two nieces. It was all kinds of awesome. We had dinner, played and rode bikes. They were adorable. Almost adorable enough to make me wish that I hadn't had that vasectomy a few months back. But I'm not getting that sucker reversed. It's one thing to have four kids in the house for a few hours. It's another to have four in the house for 18 years. As it turns out, I don't want four kids in the house for 18 years. My hair is gray enough as it is.

Instead - and in addition to being a great father - I aspire to being a cool uncle. You know, the cool uncle who takes you to the rap concert your parents don't want to see or buys you your first drink when you turn 21 or bails you out when you get drunk and arrested at a rap concert on your 21st birthday.

(Don't worry K and E. I totally won't let your kids get arrested. At least I won't tell you about it.)

Posted by Chris at 7:29 AM | Comments (4)

April 10, 2012

Egg Rolls

There are lots of fun things that are fun precisely once because of the experience. I can imagine that climbing Mt. Everest, going to a Barry Manilow concert, and participating in a flash mob are good examples. Another is the White House Easter Egg Roll.

Every year the White House holds a lottery, randomly picking around 35,000 people who applied to participate in the Easter Egg Roll. For the first time this year we both applied and won. We went yesterday.

This was for the kids, sure, but we found out pretty quickly that Beth and I were more excited than Mia and Owen. By the time we left the house yesterday morning it was apparent that they'd both woken up on the wrong side of their beds which is strange since both their beds are pushed up against the walls giving them only one option. Anyway, they were wrecked from the Easter festivities preceded by three days worth of vacation.

When we arrived we got in line and it was in lines that we stayed much of the time we were on the White House grounds. Oddly the kids - maniacs earlier in the day - were strangely well-behaved and almost serene. But still, we were in line. A lot. That said - say what you want about this administration - this thing was incredibly well-organized. After finally making it inside the White House gates, we walked around the South Lawn, visited with Chipmunks, Sponge Bob, Smurfs and others, participated in the Egg Roll itself then, at the kids' behest, we left.

The experience was cool for lots of different reasons. It was cool to be next to the White House, great for the kids to have that experience, to take photos they'll be looking at and thinking are awesome in twenty years. But it was one of those things you need to experience only once.

I'm glad we did it. And I'm sure the kids are too. Or will be someday.

Posted by Chris at 7:38 AM | Comments (7)

April 9, 2012

What I Did With My Spring Break...And Other Assorted Love Songs

Instead of going fishing as my previous post would indicate, we used the vast majority of our spring break to pack the kids, load the car and head out on a short family vacation. Our destination was three-fold - Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens. In three days.

(I'll state here and now for the record that we got back late Friday night and I'm still exhausted. And everyone understands the Chevy Chase Law Of Vacation Exhaustion which states that post-vacation tiredness is directly proportionate to the amount of fun that was had on the aforementioned vacation so long as said vacation wasn't spent fighting off hungry bears, escaping from hordes of zombies or locked up in a Mexican jail cell. Which certainly wasn't the case here.)

Day One: The Jamestown Massacre
Jamestown wasn't exactly a hit. The kids thought it was kinda fun but I suspect their overall opinion wasn't much better than that of cleaning their room. This was probably due, in part, to the fact that we'd spent the better part of the day in a car since Owen was struck early on by motion sickness (one day, once the trauma subsides, I'll share the touching story of the vomit arrow). And the fact that it was about a bazillion degrees (that's 89 on the Fahrenheit scale). We eventually abandoned the colony like Roanoke and checked into our hotel.

Day Two: Williamsburg
Colonial Williamsburg was a success. The kids donned colonial costumes and were immediately treated like real colonists. It was cool - cold, actually - windy and slightly damp but the kids were into it. It was hard not to be. We ended the day with a carriage ride through town during which the kids waved to everyone and formed a two-person welcoming committee.

Day Three: Busch Gardens
We woke up on Friday with Owen whining about going to Busch Gardens. Even after we'd tried to appropriately describe the miracle in which he was about to partake, he declined. Fortunately for him he didn't have options. We went. He said wow about 832 times. We rode rides from 10:00 in the morning to 7:00 in the evening after which we bundled two very exhausted kids into the backseat and headed for home. We arrived at 10:30. Beth and I collapsed at 11:30.

Now I love my kids with all of my heart but there are times when they are absolutely impossible. Don't get me started on Owen and his phobic aversion to socks which prompted Beth to text me last week I've decided I'm giving Owen to charity. Oddly none of those times occurred during this trip. They were awesome. Angelic even. It was quite simply a fantastic trip. Though, as I've already mentioned, I'm exhausted.

And how did you spend your spring breaks or Easter weekends?

Posted by Chris at 7:41 AM | Comments (9)

Haiku For Monday #408

Neither eggcited
nor eggstatic that it's a
post-Easter Monday.

(But all is not lost. I should have a good story to tell tomorrow.)

Posted by Chris at 7:05 AM | Comments (4)

April 4, 2012

Gone Fishin'

Okay, I haven't actually gone fishing. Despite my father's hopes in my pre-double digit years, I never thought fishing was all that exciting. Plus I don't like killing stuff. Unless the fish was some aquatic nightmare hell-bent on taking out my wife and kids then I'd fish his ass off and hand it to him.

So, I'm not fishing.

I am participating in my kids' last few days of spring break. I will, therefore, be absent for the next several days. Don't worry. I'm not quitting and starting a soul food restaurant or playing in a tribute band. I'll be back.

Posted by Chris at 7:56 AM | Comments (4)

April 3, 2012


This is why I'm no fun to play Legos with.

I mentioned this a week or so ago. I like to do some things in a very orderly way because it stops the voices in my head. Not everything. If you looked at my car or my closet you'd wonder where the hell that neat and orderly guy disappeared to. But some things lined up, color coded, symmetrical, just make me feel better.

Like Legos.

What do you do to keep yourself sane?

Posted by Chris at 7:54 AM | Comments (6)

April 2, 2012

The Last Goodbye

I've been writing here nearly every day for almost nine years. Nine straight years. Oddly, I haven't run out of much to say. Until now.

After nine years, it's time for me to say goodbye.

There are any number of reasons but first and foremost, life is changing and so are my priorities. Several months ago, Beth and I pooled all the resources we could scrounge up and bought a business. Actually, the remains of a failed restaurant in a questionable part of town. But after months of hard work, more paint that you can imagine and some strong, industrial pesticide, we're opening the area's first vegetarian soul food restaurant next month. In anticipation, I quit my job last week. Sure, the economy sucks but through the past year talking with people I know we're filling a strong niche and have every chance of being successful.

I've also spent the last several weeks practicing with Turn It On Again, a Genesis tribute band founded by a good high school buddy of mine. We're trying to capture the essence of Genesis' shows from 1978 to 1992 and are confident that there's an audience out there. We played our inaugural show last weekend to dozens and are booked into the area's prestigious Larry's Rib Joint in early May before playing the grand opening of the new restaurant. Look us up if you're in town.

Before I sign off, I want to thank you all for reading. You've invested hours, days, months over the course of these nine years following my ramblings, well-written or not. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope you'll keep up with me on Facebook and maybe drop by for some vegetarian soul food the next time you're in town.

Okay, so I realize that it's April 2nd, not actual April Fool's Day but I don't write on Sundays. It's god's day. I rested.

Posted by Chris at 6:38 AM | Comments (35)

Haiku For Monday #407

A cool Spring day and
Monkeytown in my very
near future. Hurrah!

Posted by Chris at 6:37 AM