August 28, 2003
Last night started off okay. We were going to finish packing, grab some dinner and relax the rest of the evening. But then the storm hit. And our power went out. Now, I know I've got nothing on the folks who rode out the blackout in the Northeast a couple weeks back but we only regained power at around 4:30 this morning. When the lights came on, for some reason I felt the need to set the clocks and alarms in the bedroom so I'd be awakened only an hour later. At least I'll be tired for the plane trip, which brings me to the fact that...
...we're headed to Paris this evening. On a plane and I hate planes. I bet I sound like a total wimp. I honestly don't care. I'm plenty brave about other stuff but not planes...planes suck. I mean, I do want to go to Paris - I just don't like the method of actually getting there.
You might not see much of me over the next week and a half. Its not for lack of trying. Don't forget about me - I haven't forgotten about you. In the words of Bill and Ted, "Be excellent to each other."
August 27, 2003
Don't Think I Forgot About You
Tomorrow night, I'm headed out of the country for a little while. I figured I'd drop in on the French and see how they're doing. Occasionally, you just have to check in. With that in mind, please don't feel neglected if you don't see a lot of activity around here for a bit. If I can find an Internet cafe or something, I'll be sure to let you know how everything's going. But if I can't please don't be offended. This leads me to some very important questions:
1. What precautions should I take with the blog while I'm away?
2. Does anyone want to blog-sit?
3. Has anyone found the magic solution to cure the fear of flying?
I'm not gone yet. I'll check in as usual until I depart.
August 26, 2003
Iím curious what everyone thinks about the continuing battle in Alabama over the monument of the Ten Commandments. I fully realize that this may be somewhat sensitive to folks on either side of the issue Ė matters such as this tend to polarize society. But Iíd still like to hear what you have to say. If you donít feel comfortable using the Comments section, just drop me an email. For what its worth, my thoughts followÖ
I believe in the separation of church and state, I believe in the U.S. judicial system (for the most part) and I strongly believe that everyone should have the right to his or her own beliefs. While the Ten Commandments are, for the most part, wise words and good practices by which to live, theyíre not applicable to everyone. The simple fact is that some of the people protected by the U.S. judicial system are not Christian, do not follow the principles set forth in the Bible. Be they Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu or atheists, all deserve equal treatment under the law. No fixture within any public building, especially a stateís judicial building, should imply otherwise.
August 25, 2003
I know this should come as no surprise to anyone but...its Monday. It was a gorgeous weekend but it had to end (I guess). And now I'm here, getting ready to go on a long vacation but not quite finding the motivation to get everything ready to continue in my absence. My day was made more interesting (read crappy) by the same kind person who opened that virus a few days back. Because she might factor into life more often if she keeps this up, we'll give her a name. We'll call her Edwina: Mistress of the Insanely Stupid.
Here's what played out on Friday:
Me: Hello, Edwina: Mistress of the Insanely Stupid!
Me: How's it going?
Her: I'm kinda freaking out. I left my laptop power cord at home.
Me: Hmm. That sucks.
Her: Yeah. Do you happen to have an extra?
Me: No. But once Guy gets in, he does.
Her: Ok. Thanks.
Me: No problem. See ya, Edwina: Mistress of the Insanely Stupid!
What did she do? Did she ask Guy about the power cord? Hell no. She went home.
Fast forward to this morning:
Me: Good morning Edwina: Mistress of the Insanely Stupid!
Her: Good morning.
Me: How's everything going?
Her: Not good.
Me: Oh, why's that?
Her: Are you sure you don't have an extra power cord?
Me: Yes, Edwina: Mistress of the Insanely Stupid, I'm positive.
Her: Oh no!
Me: Did you ask Guy? On Friday?
Me: Ask him today. He has one. I checked.
Did she ask Guy? Hell no. She went home. So, I ask you Edwina: Mistress of the Insanely Stupid, what is your problem?
August 24, 2003
By Popular Demand
Okay, okay. For those of you who asked the co-worker's name I mentioned earlier is...
No, I'm not making this up. I always thought that would be a great name for a superhero. "No need to worry...Zolt is here!" Only he wasn't exactly the superhero type. He smoked way too much to be capable of flying, jumping off buildings or rescuing helpless children from evil sea monsters. I think he secretly drank in his office too. He was never all that coherent.
Anyway, for those of you who wanted to know, there you go. Zolt. I'm thinking that's the perfect name for my firstborn, boy or girl. Man, that would completely freak the in-laws out.
August 22, 2003
No Redeeming Value
I posted a lot yesterday and it seems I shot my wad, so to speak. I have absolutely nothing of any redeeming value to share. I do have several meaty nuggets of no redeeming value whatsoever. I direct your attention to the following:
1. It's Slacker Day. I'm serious. Check it out.
2. Fulfilling every man's dream (aside from this) is Anna Kournikova's latest endorsement.
3. Remember Speak & Spell?
Have an excellent afternoon. If you get bored, please talk amongst yourselves. Be happy its Friday.
Ooohhh! Ooohhh! Content!
1. When was the last time you laughed?
I laugh all the damn time but the last time I laughed seriously, major tear-producing, stomach-upsetting laughing, was last night when reminded about a former co-worker's name. Maybe if you're nice I'll share.
2. Who was the last person you had an argument with?
Probably my wife. I don't actually have a bad temper or argue. Maybe a disagreement here and there but never any serious arguments. My wife and I are both stubborn so that can be dangerous.
3. Who was the last person you emailed?
A co-worker. I needed some additional information about a project we're working on together.
4. When was the last time you bathed?
Last thing I did before I went to bed. I had to roll out of bed butt-early this morning.
5. What was the last thing you ate?
Unless you count gum, that would have to be the Pop Tarts I consumed on my way into work this morning. And before you say anything, I'm well aware that Pop Tarts barely qualify as real food.
August 21, 2003
Action Item #1:
Don't get me wrong - I have a deep and abiding respect for this country and the institutions that keep it working. However, I have very little respect for the current administration. And while I can sit here and bitch about it, it really doesn't do much good. So, for those of you who may happen to share my opinion of Dubya and his administration, check out http://www.bushrecall.org/.
Action Item #2:
I know this sounds utopian, idealistic and more than a little sappy but try this today and if it works well for you, try it again tomorrow. Do something nice for someone that you might not ordinarily do. Leave an extra-large tip at a restaurant, buy a couple copies of your favorite paperback and leave them in a few places for people to pick up...you get the picture. There's just not enough of that going on in the world right now.
This is some freaky shit. Don't worry - its not porn. Relatively safe for the workplace. Still freaky though.
...And One More Thing
I realize that I'm completely all over the place this morning with my posts but I caught a story on the news last night that talked about the new Lifesavers flavors. What this was doing on the news, I have no idea. Anyway, it turns out people voted on new flavors so they're doing away with three of the old ones. I'll never buy another roll again. Don't they remember New Coke? If it ain't broke...you know the rest.
August 20, 2003
Because of the technical issues I managed to create for myself yesterday, I didnít have the opportunity to get anything off my chest so I've got a lot on my mind. Like this:
Iíve never exactly hidden the fact that I donít agree with current policy on Iraq. Iím not convinced that we ever met the burden of proof necessary to go in there in the first place but thatís water under the bridge. What Iím sure of is that we were not prepared to reconstruct the country and thus, lost any opportunity we had of winning over skeptical Iraqi citizens. Aid trucks should have been swarming into the cities as soon as hostilities were over, engineers should have immediately begun restoring power and water and construction teams should have begun clearing debris, making it possible for the innocent people caught up in all this to return to their lives, hopefully made better by the removal of an authoritarian government. None of this happened and while the motives for the UN bombing yesterday still remain a mystery, I canít help but think that if we had done a better job, the Iraqi people wouldnít see as great a need to resort to violence.
Iím a vegetarian and really donít miss meat all that much. But the meat I do miss more than any is bacon. Iím certainly pleased that thereís a whole show devoted to it.
"The pungent aroma announced to passers-by
that the second annual Bacon Show was on. And
if the smell didn't bring people in, maybe the man
dressed in a bright pink pig costume would."
Is this the reason I have some anger management issues?
Me: "Did you see that email from -------?"
Me: "Thatís got a virus attached to it. Donít open it!"
Her: "So, what do I do?"
Me: "Well, if you donít open it and just delete the email, youíll be fine."
10 minutes pass
Her: "Hey Chris. I think Iíve got the virus."
Her: "Yeah, I opened that attachment on that email you were talking about."
August 18, 2003
August 17, 2003
Depression. In my view, it takes one of two shapes. The first, something like asthma. Itís a condition youíre stuck with and its pretty steady. Maybe a bad day or week here and there but overall, thereís an evenness to it. Second, like migraines. You know thereís something out there youíre susceptible to but you never know when it could strike. And when it does, its debilitating. Sadly, I know what Iím talking about here and for better or worse, I tend to fall into the second category. Unfortunately, Saturday was one of those flare-ups.
What triggers something like this? Iíve never been quite certain. It definitely always revolves around something I have some reluctance to do. In this case, an upcoming trip. Iíve known about the trip for a while. And itís a pleasant trip, not something I shouldnít be looking forward to. Except that it involves a plane. You know, one of those big flying things, make a lot of noise and occasionally crashes? Yeah, Iím one of those Ė a reluctant flyer. And before you say anything about me being better off in a plane than driving to work or setting one foot beyond my front door, much less making it out of the shower alive without suffering some fatal bathing accident, Iíve heard them all before and none of them make me feel any better.
Regardless, Iím getting on a plane in a week or so and thereís not a damn thing I can do about it. But that doesnít stop the fear.
Yesterday was chewed up by depression. It was full of sleeping, hiding under covers, listening to sappy music and generally zoning on life. Iím not asking you to feel sorry about that or anything. Just explaining how it is. But like most things in life, good or bad, it passed. Sure, before I get on that plane Iíll probably freak out again. Thatís just the way I work.
Whyíd I write this? Not real clear on that myself. But, when a coworker comes up to me tomorrow morning and says, ďWhatíd you do this weekend?Ē Iím sure as hell not going to reply by telling them what I really went through on Saturday. Thatís why Iíve got you guys.
August 15, 2003
I don't think that I actually managed time to form a proper response to Buzz's challenge. That's something I'm going to work on because I do think its important. We all need to find out stuff like that, learn a little everyday.
One thing that I think I did learn yesterday is that there is a lot of good in people. Yesterday was the day the lights went out on the East coast of the US. But no one rioted, no one looted - people just helped, acted like they should. Pedestrians started directing traffic, construction worked freed trapped people from elevators and bar owners opened their doors so everyone could grab a cold one. It was nothing if not impressive. There's hope for us yet!
Orwell, Eat Your Heart Out
2003 so far...
-the SARS outbreak;
-the rising threat of West Nile;
-random wars in the Middle East;
-increased nuclear capabilities in scary places;
-the insane Winter and even more insanely hot Summer around the world; and
-the massive blackout
Is it me or does anyone else feel like they're playing a bit part in some second-rate, dystopian science fiction novel?
The Interview Game
Interview game:THE RULES
1. leave a comment, saying you want to be interviewed.
2. i will respond; i'll ask you five questions.
3. you'll update your website with my five questions, and your five answers.
4. you'll include this explanation.
5. you'll ask other people five questions when they want to be interviewed.
And...here are my answers to Anne's questions!
1. Describe the current contents of your stomach.
We were out past our normal dinner hour so I quickly threw a few things together for dinner - a mushroom risotto and something I think I just made up that I'm calling zucchini parmesan. Fresh zucchini, tomatoes, pepper, basil and a lot of parmesan cheese.
2. Are you superstitious?
Kind of. I'm curious about deja vu and wonder if someone's trying to tell me something. I believe what goes around comes around. I believe that there are quite a few things we don't have answers to. If these things form "supersitition" then I guess I probably am. Frankly, I just think its a lack of information.
3. What did you think of the last movie you saw in the theaters?
Strangely enough I saw Seabiscuit with my team from work this very afternoon. I was prepared to be disappointed but I wasn't. It was excellent, well acted, with a compelling story. Sure, it was one of those Hollywood "root for the little guy" movies but at least it was based, in part, on fact.
4. Describe yourself as you were when you were 8 years old.
When I was eight I was interested in everything. This included taking apart just about everything I could get my hands of. Of course, I was generally unable to put them back together again. I can remember, around that age, leaving several typewriters and a great deal of old stereo equipment in my wake. At eight, I was living in Texas, being taught how to play the piano by some crusty old guy I'm sure is dead now, playing lots of games outside with friends, attending the private school from hell but generally enjoying life.
5. Vehicle: zippy little car, or big honkin' SUV?
Somewhere in the middle. Honda Accord. I can't in good conscience drive something huge in this day and age. Hummers are all the rage around here and its just plain rediculous.
Drop me a line or comment if you want to play along!
August 14, 2003
Iím glad you decided to stop and spend some time with us last night. It was great seeing you as always. The last few times you blew through town, you brought a lot of people with you and while that was cool there was something special about you, onstage alone, that acoustic guitar over your shoulder looking huge on that tiny body. For someone so little you are such a huge presence, filling that place, that giant tree house, with your voice and that unconventional strumming of your acoustic guitar. You giggled, you rambled and you screwed up once or twice but we didnít care Ė we were just enjoying the evening and listening to what you had to say.
(if you have a chance, catch Ani on tour and support this incredible musician and person.)
Buzz has issued an interesting challenge. The Jimmy Durante story is pretty incredible as well. I'll post my own results later.
August 13, 2003
Lessons In Stalling Future Grandparents
My wife and I have only been married a few years but we've been together quite a while. When we decided to get married, it was no surprise to anyone but now we're getting heat from our parents about having kids. I found a sure-fire way to dodge that bullet temporarily. I thought I'd share.
When asked by my mother-in-law (who I dearly love, by the way) if we'd done any more thinking about having kids, I said that indeed we had. In fact, I'd already come up with names. She seemed elated until I proceeded to rattle off fake porn names I came up with on the fly: Champagne Flute, Crystal Chandelier, Butch Stryker, Misty Rain...you get the drift.
Needless to say she was suitably horrified. I think she eventually got the fact that I was joking but we haven't heard a whole lot about grandkids lately.
August 12, 2003
Random Topics For Tuesday
An issue that I knew I'd run into when I started this whole blogging thing was that I knew it was impossible to have something important to say everyday. And even if I did, how much do I really want to elaborate on what everyone else is talking about? So, to save both of us some time, here's what's on my mind. Perhaps I'll elaborate later. Please feel free to comment on any and all.
1. Senator Lieberman is not a smart man. What kind of idiot alienates left-wing democrats while the party is still searching for a focal point through which it may possibly win an election?
2. My wife and I were married by the first female Episcopal priest in our particular church. If they're willing to move past issues of sex, I don't see why its a leap to look past issues of sexual preference.
3. What's up with Reservoir Dogs? Is that actually supposed to be a good movie or something? Tarantino's clearly only got one trick up his sleeve and the dialog wasn't even good. I might be the only one, but I didn't think it lived up to the hype.
4. Glad to see that some power's back on in Iraq. Too bad its a couple months late. But hey, we trash their country so we shouldn't be expected to rush to put it back together again, right??
5. I know its AWFUL (I mean, I really know what I'm about to say is crass), but did you know that Gregory Hines was 57 years old when he died? Wait for it...it'll come to you...
6. Who wins - Freddy or Jason?
August 11, 2003
A Word From Al
I never thought I'd be quite so impressed with something that came out of Al Gore's mouth but I am.
"Here is the pattern that I see: The president's mishandling of and selective use of the best evidence available on the threat posed by Iraq is pretty much the same as the way he intentionally distorted the best available evidence on climate change and rejected the best available evidence on the threat posed to America's economy by his tax and budget proposals."
--Al Gore, August 7, 2003
Start Off With A Laugh
For a laugh this Monday morning, check out this.
Courtesy of One Girl's Life
A Haiku For Monday #1
The weekend is gone
And now I'm trying to work
Crap crap crap crap crap
August 08, 2003
Too Close To Home
In late July, a New Hampshire man was apprehended and charged with kidnapping and murdering his two children. It wasn't clear to anyone why he'd do such a thing and, as you may expect, it has left all the families and friends in turmoil. Sadly, this hits a little too close to home for me. The two kids were the niece and nephew of a very good friend of mine. Their father, the man who did this horrible thing, is his brother.
I'm not going to dwell on it here. I'm not actually sure why I brought it up. But that's a slice of my world and I guess that's what this blog is here for. Just a request - please be nice to each other out there.
August 07, 2003
Who Cares About Kobe
"Kobe Bryant's first day in court lasted all of seven minutes, and the NBA superstar said just two words."-The Associated Press
I don't mean to sound heartless but who cares? If he did it, its just one of many sexual assults that happened on that particular day around the country. Let's talk about solving that problem, not glorifying one particular case because this one happens to involve a celebrity.
Where is the line between news and entertainment? Does it even exist anymore?
August 06, 2003
I watched Queer Eye for the Straight Guy last night. It wasn't as good as a couple of the previous episodes but it was still entertaining. And it gave me an idea - Straight Eye for the Queer Guy. Here's how it'll work...
Get five straight guys together who know very little about grooming, fashion, food and wine, popular culture and interior design. Find some of the few gay men who may want to fit in with "straight guy culture" and turn 'em loose. I can see it now. From dapper to beer-swilling-Cops-watching-wifebeater-wearing in a day. From caviar and pate to velveeta on Triscuts. Forget the high-priced colognes - try Old Spice in the new 1 liter bottle. Tired of high-priced salon shampoos and conditioners? Try Dawn dishwashing liquid.
Think it'll catch on?
August 05, 2003
Ew! I was standing in line at the grocery store today and who did I happen to see? Why, you, of course. Staring back at me from the cover of the Sun, Globe, Enquirer or something like that, you were a sight for sore eyes. But you looked just gross!
First, there was the whole thing with Jack. Now, Iíve never understood that but Iíve been perfectly willing to trust your judgment when it came to him (but did you see One Flew Over the Cuckooís Nest or The Shining?). But then there was that whole pink thing at that awards show. I never have quite gotten my head around that.
And today, I see that youíve suddenly shrunk! What is it with you and those Kelley girls? First Calista, now you?
You were plenty hot enough in that Vogue piece a few years back when you weighed in at, what, ninety pounds? If youíre going for the body of a 13 year old boy, youíre set. But whatever you do, eat a cheeseburger soon. Hell, maybe even an apple. A pea? Something. Damnit woman, eat!
August 04, 2003
Since I've been doing this, I've noticed a definite lull in both my own blogging activity and that of the bloggers I frequent during the weekends. What does this say about our jobs!?
For me, at least, its a nice break in the day to kick back and read a few blogs, to catch up and see what people have been up to.
August 01, 2003
Common Sense is Too Easy
I really wanted to log in and bitch about Bush. After passing a tv on the way into my building this morning, I decided I'd rant about the lack of aid we've given to the Iraqi people. Then I figured I could start in on the Pope as well. I figured, I could probably alienate the majority of the handful of people who drop by to read what I have to say on a regular basis. But then, I didn't want it to seem like all I do is complain.
I'm not sure what I'm actually trying to say here. I think I'm just frustrated. I look at the world and I see so many things that don't make sense, such a feeling of disparity between the haves and the have-nots, the left and the right, the Christian and the Muslim...the list goes on and on. I keep thinking, "gee, just worry about the stuff you can fix" but that seems a little close-minded to me.
Since I've been doing this whole blogging thing, its probably become reasonably clear how I feel about certain issues. Never would I chose to impose my feelings on others, nor do I expect everyone to agree. I'd be frightened if they did. But this is my outlet to rant. And right now, I'm frustrated. It sounds idealistic, but this can be a better place if the good people would just stop getting fucked over.
Sure...I'll cave to the Friday Five to generate a little content!
1. What time do you wake up on weekday mornings?
5:30. Traffic in the area isn't to great around the normal rush hour times so I try and get into work early and leave early. I'm usually the first one in the office.
2. Do you sleep in on the weekends? How late?
I certainly don't get up at 5:30 but I don't exactly sleep in. Maybe until 7:00 or 7:30. If I sleep much later, I feel like I'm missing too much of the day.
3. Aside from waking up, what is the first thing you do in the morning?
Feed my cats. If I don't, I'm concerned that I might lose and arm.
4. How long does it take to get ready for your day?
20 minutes tops.
5. When possible, what is your favorite place to go for breakfast?
Breakfast is usually something that happens in my car on the way to work. When I can actually do the normal breakfast thing, I enjoy going to a nice hotel not far from our house. Really, as long as there's coffee, I'm not going to complain.