houston reminds me of florida

Y'all come back now, y'hear?
Houston reminds me of Florida. The landscape and the weather are Florida all the way. I’m staying in some “executive” suites place where the room is more like a little apartment than a hotel room. I’ve got a kitchen, fridge, etc. At least they have free broadband, that’s cool. Tomorrow’s my presentation – I’m ready and just want to get it through with. Then it’s another six hours of flying and I’m back in time to go to bed. Yeah.

I don’t know what it is about this room, but it makes me feel lonely. I think because it’s kind of like a little living quarters, it makes me miss Sharaun. It seems too long-term or something, glad I’m only here for one night. I shouldn’t be tired, since I slept on both legs of the flight out here this morning, but for some reason I’m sleepy right now. It’s nearly midnight Houston time, so I guess that’s a good thing since I have to be up early tomorrow. I should probably turn in and get some rest, I plan to be up early to run through my presentation one last time.

I like being up high. My room is on the fourth floor. Even when I was an apartment-dweller in college, I always wanted a place above the ground floor. To me it provides an element of safety, and I also think it’s neat to be able to “look out” over things. I’m sitting here looking at a pair of golden arches through the fog, kinda nice. I used to love the 5th floor condo we had when we first moved to Florida. Frank and I would sit out on the balcony and watch the birds dive into the waves to catch fish. Sometimes I’d look at the ships that were just dots on the horizon and wonder who was on them. High places are good thinkin’ places. Maybe that’s why gurus in cartoons are always on top of mountains. Hmmm…

Goodnight all. I did my best to come up with three paragraphs. I guess I’ve kinda stopped pre-writing blogs way ahead of time. Now it seems I mostly write day-to-day, which most likely makes these entries less and less exciting to read. I’ve got plenty of stories left, and lots of ideas to write – I guess I’ve just been busy lately. I’ll try and step it up a notch so I don’t lose my entire audience. Until then, keep reading and I’ll keep writing.

From Texas, Dave out.

a unabomber shack in alaska

Old timey grammar school photo.
Guys, I gotta admit? I’ve been spelling the word “won’t” wrong for as long as I can remember. Anthony confronted me on it yesterday, saying that there should be an apostrophe in the contraction of “will not,” that I usually write as “wont.” Incredibly, I have apparently been misspelling this word since forever. I quick search through my old journals finds the non-apostrophe spelling all the way back through the 1st entry in 1995. Spellchecker doesn’t catch it because the word “wont” (no apostrophe) is an actual word. Strange thing is, I was actually familiar with the use of the word “wont,” but because of it’s pronunciation I always assumed it was an alternate use of “want.” I’ve even used it before to mean “inclined to,” like “I am wont to take walks outside.” Jeez, all this time I’ve been making no sense. It’s gonna be a hard habit to break, but I will start integrating the apostrophe into my won’ts – I promise.

I got a boatload of new music last night. Some kind soul has been posting his top 25 albums of 2003 to absmi, and looking at his list I saw that we appear to have similar tastes so I decided to grab all of them. Found some nice new stuff in Dolorean, Spearmint, The Legends, and more. Thanks nameless absmi poster guy, your cause is just and true, and you are appreciated. I burned a dvd of all the new tunes I’ve got recently and brought them for Ben and Anthony. Benz made the comment that there were over 60 albums on the dvd, and that some people don’t even own 60 albums in there entire music collection. We really do devour music. Guess some things don’t change.

I was using a pair of binoculars the other day and realized something, I’ve never been able to make the two lenses converge into one in my vision. I mean, that’s what’s supposed to happen right? Aren’t you supposed to adjust them so you see a stereo image? I can get close, but never perfect. One of the first things I ever bought on my own was a pair of binoculars. I saved up and bought them, and thought they were the coolest thing. I think they demanded a kingly price of $35 back then, which was a lot of saving for someone in the 5th grade. I still have them, even took them to the Radiohead concert last year.

I had a much better day at work yesterday. Kinda shook the cloud that’s been hanging over me, kicked the childish pouty attitude and dug in. It was what I needed really. I came home feeling better and more accomplished, which is nice. Sometimes I just get despondent about working, and that’s about when the Walden fantasies kick into high gear – and a Unabomber shack in Alaska starts sounding so good. I guess that’s a little extreme really. But I think I would love to be on one of those PBS shows like Frontier House or something? to get a better idea what it would have been like. I’m sure it’s not as relaxing as I think it is.

That’s about it today, didn’t feel like cut-n-paste so I wrote this on the fly. Dave out.

on the lam

Huddled in the trenches, gazing on the battlefield.
Ugh. The other day at work the sales rep from a company I purchase stuff from called and wanted to have a “meeting” with me. I hate having meetings with this guy. His job for the company is basically to go around to everyone who spends a certain amount of money with them, schmooze it up with that person, give them t-shirts and goodies, and make sure they continue to buy. I can’t stand the “meetings.” We’ll meet at my cube and go down to the cafe where he’ll buy me whatever I want: coffee, donuts, etc. Then we’ll sit and talk about the current “business climate,” something I know nothing about and care even less to speculate on. After that he’ll talk about what exotic places his job takes him too, where he golfed last, his family, maybe show me some pictures from his last dive expedition, and I sit there and pretend to laugh at the right spots, act surprised when warranted, serious on cue, etc. It’s absolutely terrible. Having to pretend I’m best buds with some dude and that I’m interested in his rambling. Just sell me stuff and drop the swag in the mail please.

So anyway, I hid. Yup, that’s right – I totally went into hiding to escape the mutual-masturbation that is meeting with this dude. Took my laptop, found a nice hidden corner of the building, and hid out for an hour working from the shadows. Do I feel guilty?, yeah a little bit – but I have a history of this kinda behavior so I’m pretty much used to it. I remember back in high school an old boss from the CPA place I once worked called me up. He told me they were moving into their own building and they needed some “manual labor” type help, would I be interested? I wasn’t working at the time and money sounded good – so I agreed. I showed up at the empty lot where the building was being framed at 7am on a hot and humid FL Saturday. My former boss rolled up and told me that he wanted me to take a sledge hammer and go around the entire property, breaking large rocks into smaller ones. Then I would get the wheelbarrow and pick them up so I could move them to a truck. I brought that hammer down on one rock; and then ran away through the woods, through a swamp, over a fence, and got the hell out of there. Oh yeah, I’m a bastard. Man, I hope he never sees this… he’s actually a pretty nice guy.

Tuesday night was chili night at Anthony’s. He makes this awesome chili, which is most famous for being crazy hot. I love hot food. I love having my mouth burn while I eat it, I love the spicy taste. The chili that he makes is notorious for turning away people who can’t handle hot stuff. Sharaun can barely stomach the “mild” batch (he has to make a “mild” and “hot” batch so the wimps can come too). Anyway, it was awesome – but it sure tore me up on Wednesday. Ugh. Super hot food is usually only good in one direction. I’m a hot food and hot sauce nut tho. I used to think that the hottest sauce in the world was Dave’s Insanity Sauce, that was until I had Da Bomb Ground Zero. One dipped toothpick point and you’re on your ass. Turns out I was wrong, as this stuff outdoes them all, and then some. Nearly 7000x as hot as Tabasco (~16mil Scoville Units), it will actually burn the skin on contact. Awesome.

I thought I was pretty good at grammar, but this quiz put me in my place. I got a 7/10, missing the I/me, lied/laid, and affect/effect ones. Stupid grammar, it’s the tricky ones that get me.

I guess that’s it. Pretty dumb one eh? I’ve been working on some little upgrades to the blog page… hoping to unveil them early next week. Until then… Dave out.

fake your way

the forest I wearily tread on a daily basis
Some things can make me feel so stupid. At work, I sometimes find myself in a situation where someone is asking me a question – and I have no idea what the answer is. Thing is, I should know the answer – but more likely than not I haven’t cared enough about it previously to learn it. I may have heard it a thousand times, but I just filter it right out. Thing is, I usually don’t learn until I’m burned. By that I mean I really only learn things that I don’t care about in one of two ways: by rote, or because I have to learn them. I don’t learn the answer to a question until I’m put on the spot and embarrassed for not knowing it. I don’t pick up on things unless I’m immersed in them every day. I ignore important details because I simply don’t care. It’s all about what I find interesting I guess. I am able retain knowledge I don’t care about – but if I do it’s either because I know it by heart and don’t have to commit brainspace to it or someone’s called me out for not knowing it before. It somewhat comes down to being selfish I think. I don’t want to be embarrassed, so the memory of feeling like a heel spurs me to commit something to memory.

If I care about, or am interested in, something – it sticks up there whether or not I will it. Even tho I didn’t intend for the derivation of the quadratic formula to be burned in my head, it’s there. I didn’t purposely memorize the lyrics to “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” they just stuck. My dumb old head just works that way. I don’t care about stuff I don’t care about and I don’t like doing things I don’t like to do. My selfish head will bypass stuff I should know; or commit it to rote for the short-term so I can get by, then trash it when the immediate need to remember it is gone. I’ve always been about “just getting by” when it comes to learning stuff I have no interest in. However, when it comes to learning about something that intrigues me – I attack it with some kind of hunger. Devouring all I can find and retaining a surprising amount of it for the long term.

That’s one of the things that bugs me about work (not my specific job, but work in general). Ideally, my job would involve a knowledgebase that I enjoy having and knowing. I want to have a job where I want to learn more, where I want to know that extra tidbit that sets me apart from the other guy. My best example comes from working in the music store. I used to get so much respect for how much I knew about music. My recommendations were pretty much always lauded, and eventually I had a returning-customer base who asked for me because they knew and trusted me. I liked knowing what I knew, and what’s more, it fed my ego to know it.

A job where you’re respected and praised for your knowledge, that’s what I enjoy most. I have occasional burst of that now, but the thing is – I have to care about every bit of the material related to my job in order to gain enough expertise and win that respect. If I don’t care about it, I don’t learn it, and then I don’t get that respect. Bottom line?, gimme a job doing something I intensely enjoy: webpages, music, writing, etc., and maybe it won’t even seem like a job. I shouldn’t complain, I do like what I do right now – but I find myself saddled with that same attitude of “who cares” in way too many instances. So, like so much of my academic past, I fake my way through and buckle down when I have to – and somehow get good at it.

Back in gradeschool they used to tell me, “You just can’t fake your way through middle school David, it’s the real deal.” Then, as I was graduating from three years of faked-through middle school they’d say, “Mister, you better really buckle down come high school. You just can’t breeze your way through there, there’s no ‘faking it’ in high school. You’ll be swimming with the big fish there.” Shortly after I faked my way to 6th in class and a full scholarship, my guidance counselor said “This is it David, you’re an adult now and this is your life. You won’t be able to fake your way through a job, so you better get straight.” Screw ’em, I’ll keep on fakin’. Feigning interest in whatever it takes to keep a paycheck, but secretly (between you, and me, and the entire internet), not giving a damn about anything but what I want to. Bollocks to them all, this is one ne’er-do-well who will always work the system as much as possible.

I’m truly happy when I’m listening to music and writing or reading. I’m truly happy when I’m camping or hanging with my good friends. I’m truly happy every day when I come home to my wife. I’m truly happy when I’m working on our house or yard. I’m truly happy when I can wake up in the morning knowing I have no set plans for the day, even more happy if I know the same for the next day too. I’m truly happy when I can “get away” and spend time with family or even by myself. I wonder if, regardless of vocation, there will always be that need for release via “getting away” from whatever it is that becomes your “daily grind.” Maybe true happiness only comes with the autonomy that retirement or winning the lottery brings? Yeah right.

I’ve said it to Anthony many times. While drifting down the river on his boat, no destination, no time to be back, nothing on my mind but what a nice day it is and how comfortable I am: “Dude, this is why I work.” It’s true. I work not to “better myself,” or “get ahead,” or “make a name for” myself; I work so I can enjoy the times when I’m not working. So I can pay my bills and afford to buy Anthony a tank of gas for the favor of a day on his boat. So I can afford the gear I need to take three days off and climb Half Dome with my friends. So I can take Sharaun to a nice steak dinner and still afford her favorite candy at the movie. All those self help books that talk about getting ahead and getting noticed or whatnot, you can have that trash. I need surprisingly few things to make me truly happy, and work is not one of them. Unfortunately, by way of association – money is. Not money itself mind you, but money nonetheless. So, I work. And will continue to do so. Work is a (by and large unfulfilling) means to an end.

Wow, a semi-personal entry, a thing of blog lore. I admit to a bit of job dissatisfaction (in that it’s not my #1 dream job), I admit that my learning is largely selfishly motivated, and I admit that I need some ego stroking to make me truly happy.

In other news, I found this article quite relevant.

Dave out.

frank leaves for the army

Well, it’s another slow day at work. My boss didn’t come in again and that makes me want to be here even less. I’ve been working with my good buddy Bob in FL to get the comment count below to display without the additional space before the closing parentheses – but we can’t figure it out. So for now it’s gonna be there, better get used to it.

My mom wrote me this morning about Frank leaving for the Army, and wanted to give me his number so I could call before he ships off. I guess I hadn’t talked to her since he last called me, which surprised her when I mentioned it. Here’s what I wrote her, mostly to test my style sheet 😉


He called me 2 days ago. Called everywhere looking for me, work, home, cell… I finally managed to be there when he called on my cell phone. I talked to him for about 20min or so, about nothing much really. He is really excited to go, and I could also tell he’s a little nervous. He talked about how the drill instructors only try to “break” those who are new and green, and he (being physically fit and somewhat experienced in life) shouldn’t get picked on too much. You could tell he was as much reassuring himself as he was telling me. He said he’s having a massive party tonight, a “going away” thing with all his buddies.

I told him I’d call him again before he left, I really enjoyed talking to him. OK, I’m off. Peace.

Anyway, today is Friday, and I don’t really have any plans. I want to work on the yard tonight, but not sure. I’d also like to work on some of the Halloween props for the house haunt we’re doing. More about that later. That’s it for this entry.