Friday, July 30, 2004

"You Need a Role Model"

I watched a movie last night. I know, to the untrained eye, this may seem like a usual event, but this is me. I hardly ever watch movies, unless I go on a date, and you can probably guess how infrequently this occurs.

The movie of convenience was Gone in Sixty Seconds with Nicholas Cage. It was about an ex-car thief returning to his trade for one day to steal fifty cars and save his brother's hide. It wasn't a bad movie. In one scene, as they are boosting cars, they get car jacked. Some young punk shoves a gun in the car and says, "get out of this car now."

The car theif responds by saying, "lazy ass man's way of stealing a car," opens the door to the car, knocks the carjacker over, and then yells, "you need a role model!" I think we could all use role models. Heck, I wish I had one now, as I'm writing this. I suppose too that I do have one, I just don't know who it is.

Another movie that's come out, which would make a great date movie, if HE were to ever ask me, is The Village. I don't know why, but scary movies make for great date flicks. Something about that "being on the edge of your seat" adrenaline rush that makes all the girls want to get lusty. At least, I have to admit, it works for me. It's kind of fun cuddling up in the dark, covering your eyes, and wondering who's going to get the axe next. At least it's more entertaining then the current round of layoffs at work.

Speaking of women, I heard a quote the other day, which I'm sure men just won't understand. Somebody (another woman, actually) said to me, "she dresses like us. She doesn't show too much leg and all her bras are all lightly padded." In hindsight, I think most males would be very confused by this remark. Needless to say, I knew exactly what she was talking about.

What, today's Friday, were you expecting me to talk about something deep and meaningful? Sorry but, I got a date tonight. And, no, we're probably not going to see The Village.

Until next time...

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Going, Going, Gone for It

It's a baby step from wanting to "go for it" to the realization that you've just shot yourself in the foot. Sometimes though, it's the choice we have to make.

We sometimes play this game at work. It's a card game that involves taking "tricks." If you take all the right tricks, you get a lot of points, If, however, you take cards of the wrong suit (color), you end up losing points. It seems like I just can't play this game very well. If I decide to take a trick, it almost always turns out to be a mistake. And, if I decide to hold, it always seems like lady luck would have shined her light on me, if only I'd "gone for it."

So, how do you decide if and when to "go for it?" How do you decide that you've grown tired of the shore and want to plummet head-first into the surf, to Hell with the chilly water? It's a cold, hard choice we have to make, when we're faced with it and, I guess, the real "trick" is learning to live with the choices we've made. Good or bad, they are ours and ours alone.

It's kind of funny how we feel trapped and hostile when left without choices yet often their presence does little to comfort us. We'd kill for the opportunity to choose but often can't live with the decisions we make. And, all along, we know deep in our little black hearts that we can never get ahead if we're always second guessing the choices we left behind.

I like to think that some of our past choices burn into our memories so harshly that they almost become part of us. Like little t-shirts in our emotional baggage, they sit there all folded up and pretty, waiting for our emotional bellhop to carry them away into our permanent consciousness. I do know that my bellhop carries more than his fair share of crap in that emotional baggage, and I suppose some of that is related to choice, despite my best attempts at pawning things off to chance or some other unsuspecting act.

Hey you, yeah, I'm talking to you hope. It's time to pop up out of the suitcase and show your ugly face again. Take that, Mr. Bellhop. And would you get those damn bags back there? They're killing me!

Until next time...

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

The Un-Blogger

What I want, what I really really want, is a capability of un-blogging. Sure I know you can go back and edit your prior posts. I know you can trace back and wipe out what you've posted long ago, in the dark ages, in that galaxy far, far away, but that's not what I'm talking about.

Have you ever said or done something you wish you could just un-do? Maybe deleted a file you realized that you actually needed? Blogger is great because it encourages us to freely post our thoughts, and provides a one-click "put it out there for the world to see" mechanism; kind of a knee-jerk reaction on our daily grind. But, every now and again, I say something I wish I hadn't, or make a comment I wish I could retract. Nothing major certainly, nothing along the lines of, "I know you did it in the den with a candlestick" sort of remark, just sometimes those little burning items you'd wish you'd kept off the gossip buffet.

Wouldn't life be so much better if we had an undo button around us all the time? Cut somebody off in traffic and wish you hadn't? Click. Post something on the web and then realize you were wrong? Click. Buy a great new pair of shoes you think matches the dress you have at home? Click. Send an email before you really finished typing? Click.

Then again, maybe life wouldn't be all that much better with all those little clicks running around. Maybe, the thought of having that safety net there would prevent us from really jumping into it all heart and soul. I don't know. But I do know I sometimes wish I'd had that little button, "undo," for all of the universe to share in it's delight.

Franz, your hogging the time machine, and I need to get back to the future so I can reset the cynical clock and make us all happy again.

Click.

Until next time...

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Earth over Water/Mind over Matter

I was thinking the other day, as I always seem to do, about life in general and my current circumstance in particular. The one thing that struck me as odd, if not enlightening, is the fact that my boredom appears to be intrinsically tied to my ability to learn new things. If I'm stuck (or I feel as if I'm stuck, which are, basically, equivalent circumstances) in a situation where I'm not learning new things, but rather continually applying that which I already know, I grow bored.

I don't just grow bored, rather that's a bit like saying the old man near the sea has a short beard, or the Jack from Jack in the BeanStalk went "up a few steps to get a better view." No, I grow insanely, comprehensively, exhaustively bored out of my skull. Completely to the point where I become submissive, passive, and uninterested in almost everything. This, I believe, is my current state of mind; I've become "mind numb" to all but the most pressing issues.

It has a lot to do with the economic conditions of the last year, as much as it has to do with my own laziness and inability to apply myself. Sure, I've taken to clean out stuff and my surroundings, and it's always good to purge yourself every now and again. But, there's something more brewing here. There's only so much boredom a semi-good mind (like mine) can take before it begins to protest. Before, as Jack says, "something's gotta give."

If you read the I-Ching, it asserts that the universe is nothing more than an endless sequence of random events. Moreso, it infers that the random events may be not so random afterall. Kind of like great marionettes in the sublime puppet show of the cosmos, we are all pulled by puppet strings. Some are just more aware of their tethers than others. If this is the case, you could speculate that as they say, "sometimes you are the pidgeon and sometimes you are the statue" or, specifically, in my case, "sometimes you get to learn new things and something you get to just coast along knowing what you know." The hills and valleys of knowledge have too their plateaus but it's this state of coasting that's left me feeling like I'm endless adrift on the sea of life. A random boat person in search of a far away island paradise, destined to be eaten by sharks.

But, if you believe the I-Ching "puppet theory" on random happenings, you should too believe the I-Ching theory on change. Enjoy your token, Earth over Water, or "that which coasts" while it's yours because we are all but a mere tug of the marionette string away from the only known constant in the puppet show of the cosmos: change. Earth over Water today, Water over Earth tomorrow. As the river flows, the earth changes, as the sands shift, the water rises. Such is the universe according to I-Ching.

I shall enjoy my boredom as best I can, for tomorrow the winds of change shall bring me a bounty of new thoughts to process, and I will then yearn for my prior state of emptiness and clarity. I am only as bored as I think I am and, someday, I may look upon this boredom in a favorable light, recalling with fondness the free time I had and the clear head I could apply to solve new problems. I shall look back and wonder in amazement at how the most pressing issues I had to deal with were unpacking boxes in my home and worrying over frozen food cooking too long in the microwave at work.

By the way, today's frozen lunch cooked to perfection in six minutes and thirty seconds in the microwave at work. Maybe the spell has been broken, the I-Ching was right, change is imminent, and we know that but play along with the game.

Until next time...

Monday, July 26, 2004

Modest Mouse

There's been this song I keep hearing on the radio. I kind of like it, in a cliched anthemy kind of way. For a long time, I didn't know what it was called or who sang it. I just kept hearing it, and in the strangest of places too. I was in a toy store and it came on over the loudspeaker. I was in a train station and it came on in the distance. I heard it blaring from a passing car when I was stuck in traffic the other day. That sort of thing. It just keep popping up, without warning, at the oddest times.

Turns out the song is by a band called "Modest Mouse." The lyrics are about "floating on" which I found rather amusing. Not the greatest of songs, but I was getting a little froke out about how it kept just turning up in the strangest of places at the oddest times.

Speaking of modesty, I was talking with somebody at work the other day and he said that he thought guys were not very modest. I think he even said something along the lines of "guys don't usually care, they just let it all hang out." I think this is incorrect. I know a lot of guys who are modest. More modest than women, in fact.

So, I was talking with a friend yesterday and I mentioned the conversation. "Do you think women are more modest than men?" I asked.

"I don't know," she said, "most men probably aren't but, those who are, probably trump the women."

That's true. But we still came the conclusion that men can be more modest than women, it just depends on the particular man and woman in question. Which brought me to the stage where I'm at now. The particular person, who is of the opinion that men are not as modest as women, will not take to me telling him he's wrong. Just won't listen sort of a thing. Ok, so I will just deal with it and not say anything about this particular point, but it can make things difficult.

How do you communicate if another person just refuses to see your point of view? Some programmers are so pig-headed they just don't see the forest for the trees. Is it worth the fight? In this case, maybe no, but, can you just keep accepting it? I suppose I can but that's because I'm too busy being an artist to care about the "right/wrong" labels. And this is so much more important to me than what anybody has to say. Go ahead, have your "right," as long as I get to paint, I don't really care.

Do I? Should I? Think I need to just pick my battles and deal with the consequences?

Until next time...

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Freedom of Pizza

There's been a story playing out on the news for the past few days, that I find amusing and perhaps a little frightening. As we all know (perhaps too well) the Democratic National Convention is about to start, being held in downtown Boston. Seems the folks in Beantown have decided that, with security being a concern, it would be best to shut down some of the businesses along the convention route. Immediatly across from the convention is a pizza place. Hanging from the top of the pizza place is a rather large, blowing in the wind, banner which reads, "Go Bush!"

I guess the pizza man was a bit miffed at having to "take vacation" due to the convention. Either that or he's just a Republican. Either way, one would expect that it's his constitutional right to wave whatever flag he so chooses, so long as he doesn't disrupt the convention (akin to shouting fire in a crowded theater) all too much, which presumably he would not be doing with a fixed banner (despite the message emblazened upon it.)

A lot of folks have been talking too about Linda Rhondstat and her "freedom of speech" in defense of Michael Moore. While it's true I'm not a big fan of downtown Boston, or of the coke-sniffing Linda, I would have to find these combinations interesting.

Freedom of speech and censorship, as it's defined, can only be granted or revoked by the government. I cannot grant you, myself, or anyone else who happens along, the freedom to speak, nor can I censor you. In order for someone to be censored, the government would have to impose a fine, imprision you based upon your words, or torture you. That's the textbook definition. What I want to know is, where's the ACLU now? If Michael Moore has taken such a hardline against censorship, why doesn't he stand up for the pizza man?

I've grown very tired of the "Hollywood" types trying to convince us how hard they have it. It's the latest crazy from the crazies, "I'm being censored and blacklisted for my policial beliefs." Hey, dudes and dudesses, welcome to the club. The rest of us working schmucks try to avoid talk sex, politics and religion at work, why should you be any different? What makes you think you're so special that you get your very own soapbox, where you can stand up and shout out your spew whenever you want? In the middle of an awards show? I know, I'll get up on my own personal soapbox and splatter out political spew. The folks at home have to listen to it because, afterall, I'm somebody important, right?

Um, yeah, keep believing your own press clipings and keep blowing that smack up your nose. It's doing you wonders.

Until next time...

Friday, July 23, 2004

Lack of Imagination/Off with her Head!

Like everybody else in the civilized world, I've heard some news reports concerning the 9/11 commission. The most striking statement, to me, being the big "lack of imagination" assertion. I find this almost amusing, just in the choice of words.

What exactly is a "lack of imagination?" Does this just mean something simple, akin to, "dang! I shoulda had a V8" or is it something deeper? An interesting sentiment, I suppose you would never accuse an artist of having a "lack of imagination" although, in theory, you could (I've actually seen some photography work that suffers from what I'd call a "lack of imagination" although I wouldn't dare put it so bluntly.) It just struck me as rather odd, an unusual phrasing, that I wasn't quite expecting. The English language is so vast, open, and expansive, having multiple synonyms for various words close in semantics, yet will still sometimes find the specific turn of a phrase unexpected. Sort of like you wouldn't expect to hear somebody walk up to Eric Clapton and say something along the lines of, "well, you're an ok guitar player but, if you really want to get chicks, I'd suggest you take up the bagpipes." While grammatically correct, it bears an odd tone on first listen.

I'm also going on record, and using this blogger as my witness.

If I ever, and I do mean EVER, get captured by some indignant foreign insurgients who threaten to be-head me, unless US troops pull out of their mamby-pamby rat holes, DO NOT, under any circumstances, pull out any troops in my name. In fact, SEND MORE IN.

Yes, you read it right. I want you to send in MARINES instead of Army Rangers (said without offense to my good friends in the US Army) Send in BAD ASS MARINES with REALLY BAD ATTITUDES who are just PISSED OFF. Tell them they won't get to watch football or do whatever they like until they EACH KILL 900 insurgients. And let them loose in that vast Arab wasteland with BIG GUNS and a LOT OF AMMO.

And you can say you did it all just for me.
Until next time...


Thursday, July 22, 2004

My Inner Nurdette

Today, in lieu of going for lunch, we went to Fry's, our local electronics mega-super store. For most people, a trip to a place like Fry's is nothing special. They go into the store, browse for a few minutes, maybe pickout a TV set or a comic book, and then payup and march on home. For me, working in high-tech, Fry's is like the center of the cosmic universe and the greatest black hole in the galaxy. It's kind of like a geek motel where "nerds walk in and they don't come out."

It started off easy enough. I had to get some cable and a surge protector for my new home office. Sure, you can try to tell yourself that, "I only need..." Never works, not on this crowd. Manzoor, who was kind enough to drive, wanted coffee, so we started out over there. We ended up perusing almost all of the electronic, TV, and computer equipment, including spending way too long looking at some sort of laser light-show-in-a-box type of lamp.

Still, as they say of fishing, "a bad day at Fry's is better than a good day at work." I actually have grown to like visiting there. It allows me to get in touch with my inner nurdette. I always seem to tell people about my visits afterwards too. And usually the conversations start off something like, "they had this really cool..."

Today's ubercool items were some sort of desk for an imac, which looked very iRobot and a wireless entirely flat keyboard, mouse, keypad combination, retailing for $279 or so.

So, that's all that's new and cool in Carol's Little World. At least for the next five minutes or so.

Until next time...

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Life, Death, and all the Trappings

I was talking with a friend the other day about 9/11. I told her about my classmate, Peter, and about how I thought he would have been one of the people who jumped rather than burnt alive in the crash. "Because he was so smart," I said, "He was a physics major in college. He would have thought it better to fall to his own death, taking a chance of falling onto something, despite the height, rather than suffer from burning alive."

"Which tower was he in?" she asked.

I didn't know. My initial response was, "does it really matter?" I've later come to find out that Peter was "Tower 1, 96th floor, Marsh & McLennan." Now, there's an odd label I would never have given him.

As I was driving to work today, there was this annoying lady in the middle lane, driving some really big SUV. I put my blinker on, not wanting to cut her off, and start to move into the middle lane, clearly in front of her. She races up to me, to where I'm faced with the choice of either really cutting her off, or letting her pass. I opted to let her pass, but then she wouldn't. She was just busy driving next to me, leaving me out in the left lane. So, when I finally cut in behind her, I pulled all the way over to the right lane. She pulled in behind me, and then me, wanting to turn into work, puts on my blinker and slows down. I'm sure she didn't like this manuever, but I had her trapped.

Today's blog was going to be about how bad Austin drivers can be. But, with the help of Peter, I've realized that we are all trapped. It's how we choose to deal with our circumstances, our reaction, our response, that dictates our freedom. At times anyway, it seems like our only purpose is to respond, to react, to counter-point an action. And sometimes this can make all the difference in the world.

Until next time...

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

I'm So Full, take That! Harumph!

As if feeling boxed in weren't enough, we went for lunch today to a Pho Vietnamese place up in Round Rock. It was rather odd being in Round Rock in the middle of the week, especially at lunchtime. I usually go there on Saturday's if I need something or if I just want to shop.

My new favorite restaurant is up there. It's called Baja Fresh and, while ultimately high on the "cheesy" factor, I really love the place because it's clean and fresh and I just love the seasonings that they use. Yum.

But, today we went for Pho and it was pretty good. I could only eat about half of it and now I'm sleepy. Eating a big lunch always does that to me. I really want my nap time. I think it's been made worse by the fact that I'm doing so much manual labor at home on the weekends that lately I've been seriously cutting into my nap time. No naps for me until I'm unpacked. Sure it's easy to say but I'm getting grumpy. I feel almost like the holiday grinch, "You're a mean one, Miss Carol. A grumpy old mean one, Miss Carol. Living in your own Little World, Miss Carol..." Yup, that's me. Little Cindy Loo Who who is only two would be very afraid of me. But, in my own defense, it's not easy being green.

Until next time...

Monday, July 19, 2004

I'm Feeling so Boxed in

It's official. I moved my computer desk, computer, and all into the front room of my house. Now I have a front-room office setup I refer to as the "front room," a studio where I work on my art, which I refer to as my "photography room," a "bedroom" (purpose should be obvious) and "a junk room" or "a box room" or basically a place where I put all the leftovers.

The good news is I'm down now to one "junk" room. The bad news is that it's filled with boxes and will probably take me months to go through it given my current pace. Even so, as I've said before, slow progress is better than fast regression.

My neighbor, Leona, passed away recently and today I attended her memorial service. It was rather sad. She was a funny lady, always out walking the dog, tending to the garden (she had lovely flowers) and such. She was always very cheerful, told clever jokes, and it used to make me feel happy just seeing her. She passed away rather suddenly, so I still kind of feel like one day I'll happen upon her sitting over there, pulling weeds or something. She had a cute little dog, Paulie, who was quite afraid of Charlie. Best guess is he's going to miss her the most, because he doesn't understand what has happened and, to him, she's just gone. Paulie, little buddy, I'll try and keep Charlie away or at least on a short leash for a while, just to make things better, ok?

So, I'm walking into work today, all dressed in black. Funny thing, as I tend to wear black a lot, folks don't really think about it. One of my co-workers says to me, "what's up with the all black? Who died and let out your wardrobe?" (rather jokingly)

I responded, "as a matter of fact..." Kind of caught him off guard but it was pretty funny. Leona would have laughed.

Until next time...

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Century City
 
It was 100 degrees today in River City. Hot and rather unpleasant. Despite the heat, I managed to get a few things done today, although it was mostly work around the house. It's even becoming difficult to do work around the inside of the house, as I don't keep the a/c up very high and it gets rather hot pretty quickly. I'll be happy when September rolls around and it's back down to something more normal.
 
I'm actually dilly-dallying, as I don't want to move my desk around and do some manual type labor tonight. Sometime around 4:30 this afternoon, I sort of bonked out from doing stuff and just gave up, deciding I would take it up later in the evening, after the sun set and the hottest part of the day had passed. I should know better than to do this, as now I feel I'll never get anything done. But still, slow progress is better than no progress at all.
 
Enough delaying. I think it's time to clean off my danged desk and get one with it.
 
Until next time...
 

Friday, July 16, 2004

Out of Time

Usually, when it's Friday, I run out of stuff to do at the end of the week. Fridays tend to be really slow for me, especially as I usually work late or pump stuff out earlier in the week, typically Monday or Tuesday. But this week is different. It appears that this week, I'm out of week at the end of the stuff rather than being out of stuff at the end of the week. Still, I guess it's better than being out of month at the end of the money, which also has happened to me before and I can assure you that's not a pretty place to be. At least, given these set of circumstances, I can always just work late or take stuff home to work on over the weekend.

My folks got back from Shreveport, LA and got me a T-shirt which reads, "Send More Tourists. The Last Ones Were Delicious." It also features a picture of an alligator chomping down some skulls and bones. Now you know what kind of family I come from. Actually, I rather like the shirt and decided to wear it today, mostly because it was clean and I thought it cute. The 'gator is kind of cute for a graphic.

Just got back from lunch at the Texican Cafe with Mohinder and Manzoor. Mohinder has accepted a position with the company that makes Quark Express (it's called "Quark" for those on the slow and narrow.) It's also probably safe to assume that now you know where I'll be working next, as Mohinder and I share something along the lines of five jobs. At least they make an interesting product and seem like a cool company, so that's good news. He'll be dividing his time between Dever, Austin, and India, where he maintains his family home. After talking with him, it sounds like an ideal position for him, so I'm very pleased that things appear to have worked out well for him, although I will miss seeing him around Sun. He's a great guy to work with and I'll miss that.

Latest news is that Martha landed her bad self five months in the pokey for her improper stock dealings. On the whole, what with the war in Iraq, Brittney's knee surgery, Janet's boobs, and all, Martha probably got the raw end of the deal, but that doesn't make what she did right. She should have just copped a plea, paid a fine, and been done with it. I'm convinced she's paying the price for her arrogance and, on those grounds, she deserves all that she got and probably more.

Reminds me of that old Tom Jones' song, "She's a Lady" An improper lady, I suppose, but a lady nevertheless.

Until next time...

PS Google/Blogger/ThePowersThatBee appear to have stung me with a chang to the interface for this blogger thing so, if this post should happen to appear in a different font, all squiggly, or just not making sense at all, don't blame me (well, I'll take credit for the "not making sense" part of it, but only if I have to and only on ALTERNATE Fridays, how's that?)

Thursday, July 15, 2004

No Felony Bagels, No, Not Today

I opted instead to avoid the entire ghetto scene up at the ritzy Avery Ranch subdivision and instead hit Tuscany, the pseudo-Italian cafe (complete with fake tile walls!) near work. I had lunch with Steve today.

Steve has started his new job and is actually quite happy. Unlike many folks who transitioned out of the "dot bomb" bubble, Steve emerged with a "real" job. By "real" I mean, he is working in his chosen field, for more money then he had last year, doing a job with more responsibility. Kind of hard to come by such a beast these days but it can be done, I suppose, if you are not lazy, stupid, or got caught up in a rotten dot com (not to be confused with rotten.com which is in a league all it's own.) Horray for Steve. Now get back to work.

For the rest of us, trapped in cubicle Hell, complete without any windows, doing crappy jobs we really don't care for, there's always good fantasy and fiction. For myself, I happen to feel I'm trapped in QA Hell and will never emerge again with a codebase, but I've decided I want to get back into photography and start doing more interesting things, like paiting again. I don't mind weathering the oh-so-crappy job as long as I have some quality down time with which to paint or take pictures. I suppose it's all part of life's little trade offs, right?

At least I didn't try to eat in the cafe at work. Phew!

Until next time...

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

It's a Food Omen from Vending Machine Hell

Those who regularly read my website, and I know about all two of you, know that I seldom write about my employer(s). There's a few good reasons for this, mostly because I don't want to bore you (you're welcome!) and partially because I keep an on-line journal in part to avoid work-related writing. It forces me to focus, for five minutes everyday, on something other than the standard "office memo" of which I've learned to churn out at a blindly fast pace. I even joke sometimes at work about have "a bullshit generator" which, after turning a fictious crank, produces brilliantly beautiful crap suitable for framing and hanging in your own cubicle (which is usually where I wish you'd retreat, since I'm too busy producing brilliant bullshit to talk with the likes of you.) But today, my friends, today is the exception to the rule.

I've already spoke about burning my lunch at work yesterday. About how the damned microwave nuked it on high power until it was left looking like charcoal. For lunch today I brought a bagel. Now, I know what you're thinking, "damn, I wish I could rent the bullshit generator!" (No, sorry, you can't. It shuts down when not put to good use.) And I also know that bagels are boring and predictable and dull and they make me look so much less exciting than I could be. If only I could be exciting, that is.

Actually, the subject of this rather round-about web log is that, while it's true I bring a bagel to work every day, and every day, around noontime, I go over to the "cafe" at work, and every day shortly after I go over to the "cafe" at work, I slice my bagel, put it in the toaster, and toast it, today was special. Today was like "omen day." You see, today, for some strange reason, we no longer have a toaster in the "cafe." Yes, it's true. Somebody swiped the damned toaster. Rather than blame this on one particular meanie, which would be entirely too easy, I've decided that there is some kind of conspiracy going here. Sun Microsystems has banded together in some kind of an attempt at starving me. And I bet they're doing it from a grassy knoll too. Oh sure, you laugh. But, let's see you try to eat lunch in this place. At least I've got a damned good head start on the entire starvation deal. Hey, go ahead, Sun, try it. Let's see you get past these hips! I've got enough fat stored up for something close to seven winters. Ha! Take that! And I even found a toaster behind the counter to boot.

The other day, while in the "cafe" (don't visit if you're hungry) Manzoor noticed that they had a vending machine, but he didn't quite have the right change. After sorting and sifting through various pockets, we came up with the two bucks needed to get him something that we both thought was a chicken sandwich. Trouble is it was a pork chop. (Neither Manzoor nor I eat pork.) After pulling the pork chop out of the machine, Manzoor smacked his head in frustation and said, "it's an omen. God does not want me to eat today!" I told him I would not have been so nice. I would not have blamed it on God's will and moved on, rather I would be pissed to the chins at the vending machine people for not clearly labeling the damned pork chops (are you listening, Ted?)

It's all a great conspiracy to starve us. I'm convinced. Either that or Ted's been stocking the vending machines round these parts.

Until next time...

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

It's a Big House for You!

I burnt my lunch today. I had one of those microwave lunches. Put the damned thing in the nuker, and started shooting pool. The box was really explicit saying, "don't heat on full power. Cook at 50% only." I double-checked the nuker and thought I had it on medium, but it burnt everthing extra crispy. So I tossed it in the trash and decided I would blow work early, work from home this afternoon, and stop at the grocery store on the way home to get stuff to eat (as luck would have it, that was my last frozen dinner and I was without lunch, after having skipped dinner last night and breakfast this morning. Yes, I was really wanting some of that foodstuff we take for granted.)

Turns out my luck wasn't nearly as bad as the next guys. As I'm pulling into my local H-E-B (Texan for "grocey store,") I see a cop car by the sidewalk (parked in the fire lane, of course, as the current motto is "to protect and serve" and so current logic dictates they must protect us from those big, bad fire trucks should one happen along.) As I'm pulling into my parking place which was surprisingly right by the door, I see a fellow running out with several Cedar Park police officers following in what I would have to call the closest to "hot pursuit" Cedar Park ever gets. Yes, it's true. Some poor chap got chased out of the grocers over in the ritzy new H-E-B near the Avery Ranch subdivision. Doubtful the golfers will ever know the difference.

After I did my shopping and got way more than I originally went in for, as I was walking out towards the parking lot, I saw the same aformentioned poor chap sitting on the ground in handcuffs while several police officers (which is Texas for "doughnut eaters") straddled him with guns drawn.

Now, for those of you on the slow and narrow, please allow me to summarize this story. Here's my take on tomorrow's headline for the Hill Country Gazzette:

THE CEDAR PARK POLICE ACTUALLY CATCH SOMEBODY IN FOOT PURSUIT

They question him for more than ten minutes, probably release him, and let him be on his merry way. You do know what this means, don't you?

He's either a serial killer or an H-E-B employee who took too long on break. What? I mean, you didn't think he stole the cherries right by the door, or just like walked out without paying, did you?

Michael Moore's watching the White House, EMS workers in NYC routinely beat people, the recent Cedar Park crime wave ended in a foot pursuit, and some internationally-wanted terrorist surrended in a wheelchair.

I feel safer already.

Until next time...

Monday, July 12, 2004

It's the Status Quo

Here's my latest status:

I still have a lot of boxes I did not go through or empty out. I fixed the drapery in my front bedroom, after patching the wall, and it all looks good now. I just have to move my computer in there and unload stuff into the bookcase. My photography room is still a mess, but it's getting better.

Current plans are to move the computer desk into the front room and then use the old office as a sort of box central. I'll then start going through the boxes and finish unpacking. The photograph room can also be emptied of boxes and setup. If all goes well, I could have my stuff setup in a week or two. This would mean that I would have the photography room setup, the office setup, and the box room almost cleared. I can then switch the old office into a home gym, purchase some hardware for working out, and I'll finally be moved in.

I can hardly wait. It's been a fun three years, but it's finally time to start getting my crap in order and moving into my house, I really feel like I want to know where everything is and I'm sick of looking at boxes wondering what's inside.

I think I'm suffering from having too many bedrooms and not enough energy. Sigh.

On an entirely different note, Steve has started his new gig today. I won't IM him (because it's RUDE to IM people when they are busy working) but I'll send him an email later on to see how it was. I'm hoping all went well for him.

Apologies for the boring "cheese sandwich" of a blog, but that's the state of affairs, the current status quo, the price of tea in China, and all the other cliches you can think of that fit.

Until next time...

Friday, July 09, 2004

I'm Still OFF work and ON vacation

At the sound of the beep, please leave your name and number and (maybe) I'll blog back at you.

BEEP
Mohinder writes, "Kalim (perhaps) is in Pakistan! Any day next week except for Tuesday and Wednesday would work for me."

Carol's Little World responds...
Woot! I'm finally going to try the Texican cafe. Am told this is El Paso Tex-Mex at near it's best. Yeah, yeah, I've been in the Lone Star State long enough to know what that means and how that's different from Chuy's or a more "Austin-y" Tex-Mex. Yum. Can't wait to go for lunch with Moninder, Manzoor, and maybe some other folks from Sun, Tivoli, or whoever else happens along. We can't be particular, it's still Tex-Max, right?

BEEP
Kanchan writes, "I am in Dallas going through my Second Trimester. Baby is expected in December."

To which Medway responds, "You're spawning? Oh no...."

Carol's Little World resonds...
Um, I'm not going to respond to THAT one. Ok, Ok, maybe enough to say, "hey, congrats Kanchan! I hope you weren't planning on naming the baby after Ken. Or, um (it goes without saying) Medway."

Do I get to deport Medway to Oklahoma if the migas are not up to snuff? Think he'd even survive north of the Red River? I doubt it. They have locals up there who speak English and freely wear mullets. Although, I'm told, they sometimes shoot at cats. Here kitty, kitty....

Until next time...

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

She Bangs, She Bangs

We celebrated the 4th of July this past weekend. It's a great time of year, made especially great by the fact that I'm off work all week. Yes, I said, in case you did not hear me the first time, I'M OFF WORK ALL WEEK. Shout it from the rooftops like rude names! Glory Bee! I'm on holiday! "Vacation, it's all I ever wanted." Time off for good behavior, um, er, something like that. I didn't blow any fireworks this year, but enjoyed watching some on TV and my dog, Charlie, wasn't too froke out from all the noise, so all is well.

Despite my being formally "on vacation" (God, I love saying that) I've been cleaning up the house and unpacking all weekend. Yeah, yeah, I know. "Unpacking? But you've been living there for three years?" Doesn't help much to remind me, I already know. I never did get around to unpacking because, you see, I moved in the middle of the "dot com euphoria" and was way too busy to think about things like boxes. Now I'm paying the cost. But, it's all good, as I'm working hard completing my home and getting it in order so that I may take up photograpy again, without going insane looking for odd slides and wondering exactly what is IN those boxes. Phew!

I'll post more as more stuff gets unpacked, moved, thrown out, discovered, etc.

So far, weekends best damage: I've unearthed a bumper sticker that reads "Our Beer Contains Vitamin P" which made Mom chuckle with delight. "I always said that," she says.

Maybe I'll find that exotic Pez dispenser or two and retire from all the ebay earnings. Ah, there's still hope for me yet. Gee, wonder what's in THIS BOX over here...

Until next time...