anywhere but here

Sleep is comfy.
Late post. I had big plans last night for a nice meaty entry today – then lost all steam once the television came on. That thing is a brain-drain man, taking ideas right out of you. I have much better luck writing while sitting in front of the window and listening to tunes. Anyway, didn’t post earlier this morning because I was giving a training to some of my Taiwanese buddies… went well, I find I feel much more confident up in front of people I’m familiar with. So, it’s gonna be thin again.. but I actually dig this one more than most of the entries I’ve been responsible for lately. Read on.

You ever get that feeling? The one where, no matter where you are, you think that at that second you’d rather be nowhere else than warm in bed with the person you love? I get that feeling sometimes… I got that feeling today at work. Sitting in a conference room, thinking about nothing. All of the sudden I wished it was 6:30am on anyday and I was wrapped in blankets and smelling my wife’s hair while the alarm snoozed. Usually right after those moments, I wonder where she is… what she’s doing, is she alright? Since I couldn’t call, I text’d her: “Hey, thinking about u. In a stupid meeting. Miss and love u.” There, that should do it… that should help. Ahhh… 1 New Message: “Love u too. Call after your meeting.” There; all better for the time being. It’s not warm blankets and soft skin and sleep-breathing, but it’s the best I’m gonna get until 6:30am tomorrow – so I’ll take it.

I dunno what was up with my writing this week. I can blame it on the usual suspects: being too busy at work, laziness, whatever. But in some ways, a slow week on some internet page where I write means a very not-slow week in the real life I live… where I don’t have to or don’t choose to write about things because I have something better to do. Besides, I honestly think I drained myself writing last Friday’s entry. I invested so much time in it, so much thought. It really wore me out, which I find kinda awesome. I mean, that you can write something so “hard” that you’re actually strained afterward. If only I could write that hard all the time. Y’know, that might be a good blogger motto: “blog hard.” Actually, that would be awesome in all-lowercase black arial font on a white t-shirt. I could make some money maybe. Except… isn’t there some shoe company or sports-liquid drink whose motto is “play hard?” Bummer.

Today was productive, with a visit to the dentist and a much-needed haircut. It turned out to be sunny, where I’d heard earlier in the week it was supposed to rain. Since I had rain in mind, I didn’t set the alarm early enough to bike in… which I was kinda bummed about once I saw the blueish sky through the shower window. If you’ve been reading this rag for a while, you know I get off on “accomplishing” a lot in a constrained time. I love days where I manage to bounce from one thing to the next, getting all kinds of productive junk done in what feels like record time. So when I can have a good day at work, make a teeth-cleaning, grab a haircut, and still have time to grab a beer with a buddy from work… it’s a good day in my eyes.

Oh, and I was far and away more amused than anything. Until Monday, have a good weekend.


Take that, unrecognized papal authority!
Remember the six extra paragraphs I mentioned on Tuesday? They were mostly a boring narrative about the history of the Catholic church, and where other major world religions came into the picture. Don’t ask me, some overreaching effort to aggrandize mankind’s role in defining the divinity of popular faiths. Problem is, it was boring and soap-boxy… and I’m hardly educated enough to point out the mortal makings of supposed God-breathed dogma. But, I couldn’t bear to get rid of so much writing, so I condensed them into a one-paragraph analogy to rap feuds. Seemed like a good idea at the time.

Religion is full of interesting history. For instance, did you know that the whole “eastsiiiide” vs. “westsiiiide” thing started with Christianity? That’s right, the Pope was throwin’ up the westsiiide ‘W’ with his fingers, and the Emperor in Constantinople was flippin’ it sideways to show he was down with the east like four flat tires. The result was much like the divisive rift that developed between Biggie and Pac, ‘cept instead of simply polarizing rap fans by the US coastlines, it effectively polarized world religion into two major camps. I guess you could say that Leo IX was the 2-Pac of the Great Schism… spittin’ vicious rhymes dissing Michael Cerularius (the Schism’s Notorious BIG, or Big Poppa, or Biggie Smalls). Pac was only emulating history when he dropped the notorious east-coast dis “Hit ‘Em Up.” A history established when the pre-Schism westsiders penned a fiery dis-track called the filioque clause, to which the east responded to by refusing to unleaven their bread. It was a confrontation, y’all, be sure of it. Too bad the rap-world equivalent of excommunication is to have several caps popped in thine ass. Dirt nappin’…

Ahem… well then, now that that’s over.

I get criticized a lot (mostly by Sharaun) because I say I wanna do something to get in better shape (eat less, exercise more, etc.), but I don’t actually ever do anything. I think the disparity in what I say I care about and what my actions show bothers her more than the fact that I’m not really doing anything at all to get fitter. I’ve always been like that I guess. Motivated, but not quite to the point of action… if that’s possible. Anyway, sometimes I’ll get frustrated and make a statement like, “I’m gonna eat less from now on,” and then renege on it moments later because I just really don’t care. I hate exercise that’s forced for some reason, maybe it hearkens back to my awkward uncoordinated days in middle school gym. I really enjoy things like hiking and… OK, mostly hiking. Any activity that’s a sort of exercise in disguise thing.

I get carried away sometimes. I sat down to write one paragraph about considering biking to work, and the intro sentence for that one paragraph morphed into the entire preceding paragraph. I guess that’s OK, since it makes my entries look more substantial. But back to the point: I was thinking today about buying a bike and using it as my primary mode of transportation to and from work. I live ridiculously close to work, a 5-10min drive. I’m not sure, but I’m guessing that’d be something like a 15-20min ride by bike. It’s not much of a time adder, and with some headphones on it would even enable me to get a few more tunes in along the way. Plus, I think I’d like having the time to think… or not think, either is just as well.

I haven’t mentioned my idea to Sharaun, since I know she’ll just write it off as another one of my un-acted-upon “get fit” whims. I can’t blame her, really; and that’s why I kinda just want to go do it, y’know? Go out and buy a bike and just bite the bullet. I suppose winter in Northern California isn’t the best time to decide you want to start biking to work, with the rain and all… I’m also worried I’ll invest in a bike and then never use it, the danger of knowing yourself too well I suppose. But, I almost feel like I could get into it… maybe not from the “healthy alternative” angle, but I figure more likely from the “non-polluting, hippie, holier-than-thou” angle. Maybe if I keep writing, I’ll end up convincing myself. We got a little bonus at work recently, and it would go nicely towards the purchase of a serviceable bike. Yeah… that’s the ticket.

Seems like this article made a much bigger splash in the international media than it did here. A Google news search today finds it running lead on several overseas media sites: the BBC, Turkish Press, Lebanon Daily Star, etc. To me it seems like a big deal, being that we voted for war based on the premise. If they were wrong, why not say so? People have been wrong before… it wouldn’t be the first time, although the stakes me a be a tad higher. I know we have to stay the course now… but isn’t this just a little bit more than simply an excuse for liberals to say “I told ya so?” I wonder sometimes what the history books of my grandchildren will say about this war. Will time uncover an alternate justification that was kept under wraps as a matter of national security? Or will time conclude that a nation voted to go to war based on bad intelligence, or worse, something that amounts to nothing more than utter fabrication and chest-pounding? Ahhh… time… you cloistered little bitch… you keep your secrets well.

Lets see now… we got religion and politics… maybe a paragraph about abortion next, or capitol punishment? Social Security solvency, Medicare? Welfare reform, gay marriage, NAFTA? Shit, who’m I kidding? I could care less about Medicare, I’m no geezer. Alas, I once again feel I’ve bitten off more than I can truly chew… and mayhap overburdened you, dear reader, with ramblings too thick with uncomfortable topics. I call for a return to levity (a bit of brevity wouldn’t hurt either, my good man)! Egad my writing hands are in a strange mood… schisms and rap, liberal huff-n-puff, exercise!!!

Great, now Sharaun’s gonna be mad I swore on the internet again. I can’t win.

cell one

Listen and learn.
Sharaun asked that I stay home from work today, as she’s not quite ready to go it alone. It’s fine with me; really. The weekend was largely uneventful, you can read about it all out-of-order in the paragraphs I wrote below. Saturday was spent being Mr. Domestic… cooking, cleaning, and administering Vicodin at the proper intervals. Sunday we slept in, and in the evening Pat and Cynthia graciously came over and cooked lasagna, while Kristi and Erik chipped with a salad and some homemade toppings for the ice cream. I heard it said once (and I bet I’ve even said it on here before) that, in your twenties, your friends are your family. I couldn’t agree more.

As life goes on, I get more torn about using my weekends to sleep. It used to be that I’d look forward to Saturday and Sunday because I could sleep until 10am, or later. Lately though, I’ve been trying to get up at my normal hour even on weekends – all out of the desire to be awake and use as much of my offtime as possible… even if it’s to sit around doing nothing. It’s easier when the mornings are bright and cool, the kind of mornings that just call you to yardwork. Winter makes it more difficult, and rain makes it near impossible. When I roll over and hear rain, nothing seems more appropriate than another hour of slumber.

This weekend, I installed this cool little script that integrates with Winamp (my MP3 player of choice) and uploads data about what you’re listening to. So, when I’ve got Winamp open, it’ll show what I’m hearing real-time. I modified the script a bit to make the artist names clickable to a Google search. The style sheet was being stubborn, so the links are blue… even though I wanted them plain black. It’s a nifty little plugin and I can configure it to work through the proxy at work… enabling the world to see what I’m rockin’ to as I slave away for the man. You can check out the list at the very bottom of the sidebar on the right. I’m all about content… or something.

Being house-bound to look after Sharaun’s post-surgery needs isn’t that bad, or, at least wasn’t that bad today. I managed to get quite a bit done: de-Christmas’d the house, including using the one hour of non-rain all day to climb up on the roof and take down the house lights. Also managed to finally clean out the guest room (which also doubles as the “junk” room when we have no guests). Anyway, I also felt pretty good about managing things with Sharaun… making sure I kept a steady flow of Vicodin in her blood, making her some oatmeal for breakfast, a grilled-cheese for lunch, and some soup for dinner. Now, if that’s not a sickness-tailored menu, I don’t know what is. She seems to be doing well, putting weight on the surgered knee and doing the exercises her doctor recommended. Not much complaining either, which is good.

I’ve talked before about my tendency to let the mail “go.” Since I’m the one that does the finances, I’m usually the one who collects the mail. Lately, I’ve taken to doing this only once a week. I don’t need the mail anymore. For me, it’s gone the way of the print newspaper. I mean, I realize that there’s still a lot we need mail for (like receiving goods bought on Ebay and stuff), but I care less and less about the ceaseless crap we get. Every day, I could choose to refinance my house with any of the five mortgage offers we receive. I also believe I could hold the world record for most credit cards held if I responded to the pile of crap we get daily. Recently, however, I’ve gone beyond just neglecting to check the mail… I’ve started to not even read the dang stuff. I have a huge pile here in front of my monitor… just sitting there. It sucks, because I know there must be at least a couple bills in there that I haven’t even looked at (the damned stone-age holdover ones that still don’t offer online or automated payments). I don’t know what to do with it all. Bank statements for instance… for some reason I feel like I should save these. Why? I dunno. All I do is cram them in a drawer and throw them away eventually. Again, paper mail is dumb… sorry to ramble.

Although it may sound stupid, and uber-Californian, I’ve been thinking lately how I’d like to write a screenplay or book. I did some research online, and found out that there’s a lot of crap that goes into either, but I was more intrigued by the screenplay thing. I downloaded an OpenOffice template to aide in screenplay formatting (these things have formatting rules that are more strict than my 10th grade term papers), and read up on the do’s and don’ts of the whole process. The rigidity of the whole process took a lot of steam of my initial idea, there seem to be so many rules… I think reading a good book on the whole process would be advisable before every putting pen to paper (just a colloquialism people, you know I can barely hold a pen anymore for typing). Anyway, there are several really cool sites out there to help aspiring screenwriters, but one of the coolest I’ve found is Mr. August wrote the screenplays for Go and Big Fish, and he actually offers the real things as downloads on his site. He offers the original spec (speculative) scripts, final shooting scripts, and does frequent reader Q&As on his blog. Really cool, although I can’t really tell if I’m serious about trying to write something.

Man, I’ve seen so many “top” lists for 2004’s musical output, and this dang TV On The Radio album shows up high on every one. I remember downloading it when it first came out, and hating it. But, with all these people saying it’s so good, I decided to give it another try. Guess what, I should’ve trusted my instincts… it’s not my bag at all. Toplists are sometimes really good at opening my ears to new tunes, and in some cases re-opening my ears to things too hastily shelved. Some of the albums that scored high across multiple top lists really surprise me. Fiery Furnaces?, that album blew. Bjork?, that album blew. Devandra Banhart?, that album blew. I won’t go so far as to disparage you, dear reader, should you like these albums… after all, you’re certainly not alone… however, you also have no taste.

Good night my friends.

under the knife

I must have acid reflux or something. Lately, I mean, within the last couple months, I get hearburn from everything. I get heartburn from drinking water, from a piece of gum. It seems like the simple act of swallowing is enough. A couple times, I was even awaken from sleep by the crap. That’s bad, right? I sit at my desk and drink coffee while some burning acid-gasses from Hell sit right at the bottom of my throat. Those generic chewy stomach pills seem to work OK, but not for long enough… and I don’t mind the tropical fruitchalk flavor too much. But, I think the whole mess is merely a symptom of my being fat. You know, needing to lose weight and all. So, to the fire-demons living in my belly: I hate you.

Sitting in the hospital room with Sharaun. She’s all dressed for the knife, the requisite blue “gown” and the word “yes” in capital letters on her left knee, “no” on the right. Waking around 3:30am to get here at the appointed time has left me a little sleep-dazed, but I’m as awake as one can be under the circumstances. My plan was to bring the camera, to take some good action shots of her in the hospital… but I forgot. In a few hours she’ll be all done, with a fixed up knee and all. During those hours, I’m going to do my best to catch up on some work I have to do. I have a 75% review this afternoon for a presentation I’m working on, and right now I’d say my material is at about 10%. Not really, I guess, since I have all the material I’ll cull from… I just need to cut, paste, tweak, and assemble it. Still, I wish it was done… this place doesn’t “feel” like it’s gonna be that conducive to progress.

Last night she got a little freaked out (I’m back to talking about the surgery thing again, if you couldn’t tell – that work-talk was just a lengthy trip off-topic). She has this fear that she’s going to have a reaction to the anesthetic and die or something. Crazy enough, she got a text message on her cellphone yesterday that said “Hey baby, sleep with the angels.” It was obviously a wrong number or something, but the “sleep with angels” part sounded a little too much like an ominous foretelling of death to her. So, ‘round midnight the tears and the “I don’t wanna do its” came… but it was short-lived. Even as I sit here now watching them put her IV in she seems fine. That text message was weird tho, I’ll give her that… I mighta been a little freaked out too.

Well, just kissed Sharaun off into surgery… and I’m in the family waiting room. About an hour and a half, the doctor said. Netstumbler says there’s an access point here, although it’s not broadcasting an SSID… but I can’t seem to get on it. The signal/noise ratio is a little high… I must be too far away from the thing. Would’ve been nice to be able to check my e-mail or surf the web while I wait. As it is though, I’ve managed to make huge progress on the work I was complaining about just a paragraph or two above. My presentation is now something I won’t feel stupid presenting as 75% content, not bad for two hours work. I seem to have stalled though, as is evidenced by the fact that I’m writing this…

Well, an hour or so has passed between paragraphs. The surgeon just stopped in to tell me the whole thing went well. Following him into the room was another man outfitted in scrubs, face mask also hanging to his chest. Turns out it was a doctor from Japan who had come to observe Sharaun’s surgeon’s technique. Apparently, he’s virtually patented this particular kind of ACL repair, and spends lots of time (and I’m sure makes lots of money) teaching the procedure to others. Anyway, when he introduced me I remembered my Japanese-style greetings from previous experience with work greeted the doc with the appropriate “san” attached to his surname. He seemed a bit surprised, but it made me feel all cultured and stuff. Anyway, she’ll recoup for an hour or so before I can see her again… so back to work here.

Ahhh… back home. Later.

mud and weeds

I'll cleave you in two.
Sharaun and I rented Garden State tonight, what an excellent movie. Made me think a lot about some of the times I go back home to Rockledge. Seeing old friends, seeing old places. It was a really, really good movie (at least, to me). I think that Scrubs-guy is my hero… writing and directing such an awesome movie. And great Lord in heaven… Natalie Portman is the single most attractive woman on the planet (both physically and a little bit because I think I could make her be in love with me). Seeing her in that movie only helped to cement her into that position atop my list of “best” women (non-attainable women, mind you). Maybe I liked it so much because it centers on people who are my age, going through what people who are my age go through when they “go home.” The scene with Simon & Garfunkel’s The Only Living Boy In New York nearly made me cry. So good.

A while ago, Sharaun got these neato print-your-own iron-on sheets to make t-shirts with. Today, since I’m taking full advantage of being on vacation and indulging in laziness, I decided to make a couple of shirts. I made one shirt full of alchemy imagery, and one full of Voynich Manuscript imagery. Sharaun said they’re “stupid” and “devil-worshipy.” Yeah, so maybe it’s kinda “dumb” to have t-shirts with stuff from old manuscripts and stuff… dumb indeed. Owell, it’s not the first time I’ve been dumb.

It has been raining on our little house for nearly two days straight, without so much as an hour break. Our half-done backyard is all mud and weeds… the little trees all bare for the winter. Because of the rain, I’ve been hold up inside a lot these past couple days… I actually like it. Back in high school, I’d sometimes get the urge to hide away in my room for an entire day and make “songs.” Fancying myself a brooding artist or something, I dunno, I’d purposely not shower… just wallow in grease and pluck a guitar with the tape running. My “songs” sucked. Most of them are sung in my I’m-afraid-of-singing, cartoony Adam Sandler voice. I made two tapes though… edited down into songs and everything… Sharaun still has one, and I have it on the headphones as I write this. So. Effing. Terrible.

I guess there are a limited number of way to approach a “blog.” You can write about what you did that day, like a running ticker at the bottom of CNN or something. You can write super-introspective, raw, personal-type stuff… riddled with bad poetry and a depressed, lonely air. You can be a political pundit or social activist. I guess, actually… there are probably an infinite number of ways to approach a blog. My way, I think, is haphazard… but the semi-permanent theme is always “make ’em laugh.” I guess that’s what I’m trying to do, overall. Tell stories, pontificate, make fun of myself, whatever.

When I was a kid and we used to take long trips in cars, I’d sometimes pretend I could shoot a laser beam from the tip of my index finger. The laser beam was molten-hot, or razor-sharp, or both, and whatever it fell upon was cut right in two. I’d sit in the seat and “aim” the beam out the window, slicing everything in the car’s moving path to the same horizontal plane. Trees, people, buildings, other cars, whatever… I could slice them right in two along the plane of the moving laser. An odd daydream.

If there’s one thing good about being up at 11:30pm on a Thursday, it’s that, on this particular Thursday, I don’t have to go to work on Friday. If there’s two things good about it, it’s that I don’t have to go to work, and that the garbage truck will come take away our garbage tomorrow morning while I sleep in.


to the rescue

Too soon homies, too soon.
Now, I know we just saw the Arcade Fire… but they are coming back in mid-January for a rock-star binge 3-night stand at the Great American Music Hall. I knew about the shows when we saw them at the first show, but just assumed we’d seen them once – so why again so soon? But man, reading all the hype about their LA shows selling out in less than 20min… and hearing that two out of the three nights in January have already sold out, it makes me wanna go see them again. I told Ben that since Suzy didn’t get to go last time, we might be able to use her missing them as an excuse… y’know, we’re doing it for Suzy. Yeah, that’s it. Problem is, that’s a mere week after Sharaun will have had her knee surgery… do I leave her alone to fend for her gimpy-self? Such a dilemma.

Hey, I’m starting this paragraph now! It’s “evaluation” time again at work, I’m sure most big works have something like this each year. Y’know, it’s where you’re compared to your co-workers and ranked for possible raises and promotions and whatnot. Some people hate it, but I have a theory that those people are just sucky workers. I don’t hate it, although I do get kinda tired of writing “reviews” of myself and others. It doesn’t scare me though, like it does some, I guess because I’m confident that I’m a decent worker, and that there are a lot crappier employees than me. The sucky workers who always complain about the process must have something to fear, I figure. The guilt of knowing you suck, or something. I don’t get too worried, I just tire of the long formal process of giving feedback about others, “assessing” myself, and then waiting for what seems an eternity before hearing how the money and promos finally pan out. It’s a necessary evil though, so I always do my best to write good reviews of my co-workers (the ones that don’t suck, at least). So, bring on the review… do your worst corporate-America… I’ve been not-sucking all year in preparation. Rank me, rate me, compare and contrast me, for I am a cubicle dweller known to his company as a number… and I am to be feared.

Speaking of work, got word the other day that it’s likely they’ll be willing to bring Sharaun to Taiwan – providing I stay for a monthish amount of time. So, that set us planning and scheming ways she might wrap a weekend in vacation days or something, so that she could be there for near a week with the minimal amount of time away from the classroom. If the whole affair gets approved, she essentially gets a free ride to Taiwan, and I get a little break from the hotel-room masturbation doldrums. I really hope it works out, I think she’d get a big kick out of the city, and I’ve been there enough now to show her around pretty well. We could hit the night markets, Taipei 101, dig on some real Taiwanese food, and both party in the palatial hotel. I won’t miss home nearly as much if I can take her with me… so I’ve got my fingers crossed.

Tonight, when I asked Sharaun to pause the OC so I could do the dishes, she decided she would take that time to run up to the store and pick up a gift for her “secret santa” at work. She left, I went about my business: putting away clean dishes, putting new ones in the dishwasher, taking the house trash out to the bin and the bin to the curb, and feeding the cat. Somewhere just after taking out the trash, my cellphone rang. It was Sharaun. “Hey babe, do you see my wallet on the kitchen table?” “No… no I don’t,” I replied. She sighed heavily. See folks, this is not the first time she’s gone shopping only to get to the register and realize she forgot her wallet… in fact, it’s not even the first time this week she’s done it. I looked around the house with her on the phone, and finally located the wallet in the guest bathroom. I told her it was here, she sounded sad, and we said goodbyes.

After that, something happened… I can’t explain it… I guess it was like my “good husband” instinct kicked in. I called her back right away and asked where she was. I grabbed her wallet, threw on some flip-flops, and headed out for a wallet-delivery. Running out in my standard after-work ensemble of shorts and a t-shirt, still slightly damp from dish-washing, I got some strange looks from the people bundled up for the cold. At Target we did a little shopping, and overheard a highly-comical conversation between two white teenage Target stockboys, who were restoring order to the rifled rack of Christmas cards, about who’s lyrics were more poetic: 2 Pac or Biggie Smalls’. It was highly entertaining, their recitation of accolades for the two gunned-down gangstas drilled into their heads by MTV’s “Diary” and VH1’s “Behind the Music sounded so serious.

I’m outta here guys, goodnight.

nickel and dime

It even comes in a bag.
Monday come and gone, busy again at work. Got home and found my mother-in-law had sung me “Happy Birthday” on the answering machine, complete with custom lyrics (sounded freestyle, y’all) about missing me and whatnot. A nice thing to come home to, makes a guy feel good.

Saturday night I spun a big wheel at the sushi joint and got a free bag of rice; Monday morning I got a hard rock in my chest, the kind I get when I feel bad about things… things like fucking over 9 people reveling in my honor. It’s lunchtime on Monday right now, and that sentence came to me on the drive home from work. I put “No Cars Go” on the wireless-thingy, made a yummy sandwich with Italian turkey and pepperjack cheese, and sat down to watch last night’s Arrested Development. Remember I said it was the anniversary of my birth this past weekend? And that we all went out for sushi? This morning I caught wind of some unhappiness within the group, seems the meal-ending activity of bill-settling had, in fact, unsettled some.

I hate settling bills from large group-meals, it’s tough, and people inevitably pay more than they should. It may seem so small, but I can understand the frustration of paying 4x the price of your personal repast to keep from making waves. Anyway, being that it was my birthday, I had decided to splurge and get four rolls between Sharaun and I (the breakdown of who ate what isn’t that important, but yes I ordered three and her just one). Beer, sake, and seared tuna appetizers also filled the table. In the end, people kindly decided to chip in and cover the expense of my meal (a very much appreciated sentiment). Come Monday morning, the birds were singing in my ears of discontent over the bill’s breakdown; and I was left feeling the summary heel for over-indulging and passing the cost onto the very people who had gathered to applaud me into another year of breathing.

Two paragraphs. Two paragraphs on the details of a weekend’s sushi meal and the fallout. Ahh.. the problems of the modern American man. No longer do I fret about being able to kill enough meat for the clan before winter comes, or dodging tyrannosaurus rexes while moving my nomadic family to greener pastures. No longer do I worry about my crops, polio, communist superpowers, nor the black death. Nay, what worries me, friends, what worries Joe America 2004, is the division of the damn multi-hundred dollar check from our gluttonous meal of hand-prepared delicacies and the alcohol of other countries. What’s that brain? You want me to write “fuck it” and be done with this subject? Well, let me consider that.

Fuck it.

Saturday Sharaun and I decided to go grocery shopping together. We don’t normally do this. But, I had been getting frustrated with the lack of food in the house. Not that there wasn’t food, if we were for some reason locked inside the house I’m sure we have enough provisions to last several months (we could live on rice alone for quite a while, thanks to the bag I won at the sushi joint. “Fuck it.”) My complaint, however, had been that there wasn’t any “easy-access” foodstuffs that I could enjoy for, say, a low-cost lunch or perhaps pre-dinner snack. So, we hit the local market together. In my mind, I was there to stock up on things I wanted – this was to be one trip to the grocer that I would do right. I wanted the makings for escape-from-work lunchtime sandwiches; breakfast materials; and small goods to nibble in anticipation of the evening’s meal.

Sharaun and I, however, shop very differently. For instance, did you know that, for some reason, you can only have one type of cereal in the house? Yup. And, it should be a cereal that you both can eat. Not Cocoa Pebbles, because I love it and she hates it; not Mini Wheats, because she loves it and I hate it; not Raisin Nut Bran, because despite the fact that we both like it, it costs like $12 a box. Nothing from the “Bed and Breakfast” line that looks so regal in its ridiculously small-sized and high-priced miniature boxes. Nothing with dried fruit, nothing that’s too sweet, nothing that leaves that nasty slick film on the top of your mouth (you know who I’m talkin’ to… Fruit Loops, Apple Jacks, and gum-rending Cap’n Crunch). Apparently, it’s against the law to purchase, prepare to recoil in horror at the mere suggestion, two completely different types of cereal – one of each that best suits the tastes of each eventual consumer.

I also was not aware that you are always, regardless of any rational reasoning, supposed to buy the store’s own generic alternative to name-brand foods. Even when you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the “Sunshine Pride” version of Suddenly Salad’s “Ranch ‘n’ Bacon” pasta salad is repulsive in comparison, the $2 price differential is reason enough to buy it instead. I am not allowed to pay more for something that tastes better, which, to me, makes no sense. Sometimes, things cost less not simply because they are a deal, but because they suck butt as a product. There’s some truth to the saying “you get what you pay for,” even if we are just talking about mayonnaise.

Tonight we finally finished the Christmas tree. And I gotta say, it looks awesome. While we decorated, we tried to listen to the year’s best album (IMHO) over the new wireless media-thingy. Much to my chagrin, the thing almost immediately began sputtering and freezing during playback. Several times it completely restarted the song only a few seconds in, only to freeze again. I didn’t do any comparison testing, but I think the “buffering” problems may have had something to do with the fact that I was downloading mass amounts of MP3s at the same time (the entire Trans-Siberian Orchestra Christmas canon for a friend). Not that I was in any way saturating the wireless connection in downloading, since it was all happening on the wired PC, but I can’t think of anything else. It did a similar thing yesterday, but not quite as bad… I’m gonna keep an eye on it – but I’m hoping it changes its attitude because it’s a really cool idea..

In the third letter Shaine has managed to scan in and send me (background here and here), it seems I have become a 6th-grade fireworks salesman. I can remember when we discovered that the fireworks store on the island about 15 min away would sell illegal fireworks to kids. We would ride all the way there (which was a daunting ride, over a huge causeway and probably taking an hour or more), and ask to see the “back room” where all the “boomers,” bottle-rockets, and roman candles were hidden. I guess I thought being able to score fireworks made me cool, so I decided to get into the resale business (across state lines and through the postal service, no less). I doubt Shaine ever really purchased anything from me, but the letter is hilarious nonetheless.

A lot of writing tonight. Time for bed now, midnight says so. Goodnight.