Stumblers: If anything strikes your fancy, cover up your fancy and click the "I like it!" button on your taskbar.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Friday, December 28, 2007
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
I want to reiterate that Murphy's a funny pooch.
Last night I wasn't at my best. I had made dinner, put in some movies and had a few (read: a lot of) drinks. I fell asleep on the couch somewhere during the second feature. Now through the first movie, Murphy was asleep on my legs. But towards the end he got up, glared at me a sec, and said, "screw this, I'm going to bed." And he did. Stopped off to get a quick sip of water and then headed upstairs.
Sometime later, I must've turned off the tv and decided to just sleep there, because I was awakened at 3am to a pitch black room and a cold nose on my cheek. It was similar to the times that Jean would come into the computer room and say, "Honey, it's late. Come to bed."
Hell, it was EXACTLY like that. Murph nudged me a few times, and then stood at the foot of the stairs, waiting. He didn't move until I walked over, and then he silently followed me back upstairs and jumped into bed, falling immediately asleep.
It was that point that I knew for certain that he was happy being here, with me. That's a good feeling.
Anyway, he was pleasantly surprised when he woke up again that Santa had left a Kong, a chewy and a tug rope for him right on the bed. He yawned, gave me a wink and licked the hell out of the chewy until he fell asleep again with it in his mouth.
Off to make breakfast for about 80 people downtown. I 'll check with you later.
UPDATE: I just got home to take a shower and pick him up, and he was asleep on his blankie, his head resting on all three presents in a pile. Too bad he got up before I could get out my camera.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Heading over to ChaCha's to exchange gifts this afternoon (BTW, I'm going to win again. Did I tell you I give kickass gifts?), and then back home to watch movies with the Poot.
Like I mentioned before, this year the holidays are a non-event for me. After listening to Christmas music constantly, plus the shopping, the wrapping, the giving, I still can't really get into it. Maybe seeing ChaCha will help.
Update on tomorrow: I got a call from my oldest sister, inviting me to join them for dinner. I may go after my volunteer stuff. I don't know what prompted it (my guess is my Mom said something to her), but even if it is a pity ploy I appreciate it. Those of you that are familiar with me know that I'd normally stay at home just on sheer principle. However, I could use the company and it'd still prove to be fun. I'd Love to play with my nephew and niece, PLUS they live out in the country so Murphy would have a blast running around like an idiot, barking at cows and finding dead stuff to roll around in (he's done that before. It took three baths to get the smell out).
Anyway, Happy Holidays from my home to yours.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Now that I'm off for the holidays, I decided to finish up some projects I've been putting off for the longest time.
One that I've promised for ages was a Jolly Roger Shower curtain for a friend's pirate-themed bathroom. Originally I thought this would be easy. A search online found none. The closest thing I could get was this:
Which is just wrong on two levels. First of all, I don't do vinyl. Period. Secondly, it's...well... gay. I mean look at it.
The next idea was to find a 6x10 flag, add some metal grommets, scotch guard the whole damn thing and be done with it. That'd be fine, but the largest flag I could find was 3x5.
So ideas were running short. Then I got a DIY bug up my butt and said, "To hell with it, I'll make one myself." After scouring the hobby shops, the Targets, the Wally World, and the home furnishing stores, I finally found a black polyester shower liner at BB&B that may work. I ran back to the hobby store and grabbed a couple of bottles of white fabric paint, a brush and four poster boards for making a stencil.
That was a couple of months ago.
Fast forward to today. I was feeling like crap. Sore throat, aches, coughing. So much so that I had to cancel a date I've been trying to get for weeks (And note to Miss Presley...I am sorry). So i decided to take my mind off it by working on this project. The only place I could possibly consider doing this was on my dining room table.
With all the presents I've bought/made for the holidays, my table looked like an elf threw up on it, so I did the next best thing. I went to work. Luckily I live across the street from my office, so I could jump over there in a couple of minutes. My boss just changed offices, and his old one was perfect for this project: two large empty desks, and it didn't hurt that I was the only one in the building.
I duct-taped the four poster boards together and printed out a jolly roger from the web. Sketching out the stencil turned out pretty well considering I used a graph method and eyeballed the thing. I was even careful to keep a piece of cardboard when cutting out the pieces beneath it to avoid scratching the desk. I like the woman that's going to be taking over that office, but she's the type you do NOT want to piss off.
Having finished the stencil, I secured it and proceeded to swath copious amounts of paint over the open areas. I wanted it to look weatherbeaten and older, so I put just one layer over it and blotted it with regular dry paper towels when it got tacky.
After all was said and done, it turned out pretty well if I do say so myself.
The white areas look a lot whiter in that picture. In real life it looks faded.
So allowing myself a break, I ran downstairs to have a smoke (I know, I know) while waiting for the paint to tack up a bit.
I decided to take it into my office and let it dry overnight. So I lifted the cloth up off the desk and a familiar feeling made my heart stop a bit.
I remember one time when I was about 12, I was playing with matches and lighter fluid out in the back yard (I was the only one home). One thing led to another, and I started a minor grass fire. it was put out rather quickly, but at that exact moment, I heard my Mom's car pull up the drive, and knew that I would have to explain how a ten-square-foot patch of grass suddenly looked like the beach at Normandy.
I got THAT feeling.
That big "OH SHIT" moment.
Why? you ask....
Silly me for thinking that paint would gush through something designed to be water-resistant.
Honestly, it looked kinda cool, but doesn't really portray a "professional" image, in particular since our company does contract work for government taxing agencies.
I never moved so fast in looking for cleaning supplies. I grabbed a roll of paper towels and located a bottle of Windex, which worked out better than you would think. I got most of it off, and luckily I have another week and a half to go back over there and clean off the remaining white specks.
Anyway, my project is done, and I had enough adrenalin left over to clean up the evidence and get home just in time to pass out exhausted on the couch.
Survivor, Texas Style
Due to the popularity of the Survivor shows, Texas is planning to do its own, entitled Survivor - Texas Style. The contestants will start in Dallas, travel to Waco, Austin, San Antonio, over to Houston and down to Brownsville. They will then proceed up to Del Rio, on to El Paso, then to Midland, Odessa, Lubbock and Amarillo. From there, they'll proceed to Abilene, Ft. Worth and finally back to Dallas.
Each will be driving a pink Volvo with bumper stickers that read, "I'm gay", "I'm a vegetarian", "I voted for Al Gore", "George Strait Sucks", "Hillary in 2008", and "I'm here to confiscate your guns!" The first one to make it back to Dallas alive wins.
Friday, December 21, 2007
The long-time readers will remember the "Bukakke Brand Milk" vid I posted sometime back in 1955. Funny enough, recently that post has been making the rounds on several forums, including Fark, Ezboard, and I-am-bored. I wouldn't have even noticed, but I was checking my stats and got over 600 hits on one day (normally I get anywhere from 80-120). And now the "Machine Girl" clip is making the rounds.
But anyway, congrats on whoever stopped off from Canada yesterday on being unique visitor #10, 000 to Waiting For Coffee. If you shoot me an email with your mailing address (and if I can verify your IP), I'll send you somethin purty.
For everyone else, Thanks a million for stopping by. Love you all.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I'm jazzed, and a little thrown off.
I mentioned before that I got my tax ID for my new bidness. Those entrepreneurs that are old hat at this probably don't get the excitement I have right now and can probably skip the rest of the post.
But anyway, on Monday I got a letter from EFTPS (Electronic Federal Tax Payment System). Since I had already received my ID, I was curious about what else I could be getting. Right away the wee little pessimist inside of me was halfway expecting a "your tax ID has been withdrawn because of new evidence uncovered that you are a tool" letter.
But it wasn't. I opened it and had to stare at it for a bit to let it sink in. It was info and my PIN for depositing withholding taxes for my employees. Read that again. MY EMPLOYEES. That's when it hit me.
I mean, I don't have a business plan, grant,
website, etc yet, but they're informing me about MY EMPLOYEES. That's a good feeling.
Maybe it's that, maybe it's the caffeine, but I'm a little giddy about the process.
I'll let you know when I'm hiring.
EDIT: BTW, I registered my domain this morning. I'm guessing I'll be ready for clients within a few months.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
NOTE: I have found it is not only the duty of an über-blogger such as myself to entertain, but it is their responsibility (Yes, responsibility) to inform, to advise, and to educate betwixt all of the boob jokes.
It was a pretty eventful weekend. I cleaned and hauled a couch upstairs that had been previously been ravaged by ChaCha's cats (and yes, it's in my office and does NOT smell like cat pee. My truck on the other hand...). Yesterday afternoon I went over to my friend Lilith's, wine, dog and presents in hand for a wrap party. Today I spent most of the time trying to get those last few gifts so I could be done and finally relax.
So here's what I learned from the past few days...
- No matter how much a good idea it seems at the time, foam rubber does NOT belong in the washing machine. Ever.
- It takes forever for foam rubber to air dry (I wasn't going to tempt fate with the dryer).
- Something that by all accounts appears pure white does NOT mean it's clean.
- Don't think you can drink wine and wrap all your gifts.
- No matter how careful you are with wrapped gifts, if it is physically possible to punch through the paper with your thumb, you will.
- Whoever thought it'd be a good idea to make wrapping paper that you can SEE THROUGH, but not until you're finished wrapping the gift, should be fed to rabid weasels.
- No matter how common you think an object is, you will not find it until you have searched at least five stores in different parts of town.
- Dogs cannot be trusted when not in the same room. At any time.
- Coffee grounds do not vacuum up well.
- Neither does dog vomit.
Friday, December 14, 2007
I stumbled across a horrific article about how the military treats our soldiers.
For sense of duty, honor, or whatever reason, one decides to join the military (BTW:I salute you, as I could never do that). Once you enlist, you receive a $10,000 enlistment bonus. You get assigned to a war zone, conflict area, etc. where you subsequently get wounded and honorably discharged.
Soon after, you get...
a bill from the Pentagon demanding the prorated enlistment bonus back.
Really. THIS is how our government treats the soldiers that have made incredible sacrifices.
I am TOTALLY not making that up.
Click Here to read the story.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Word just went out that because of the MAGNIFICENT management of my company, there won't be a company Christmas party this year.
It's not that I'm too upset about it. Spending three (pretend jolly) hours with middle-aged people I really have nothing in common with and no alcohol is never a fun time.
I'm having a hard time getting into Christmas this year, and that might've helped. If you set aside the Agnosticism and the issues I have with commercialism and religion, I really like Christmas. It's a time of the year when people are a little bit nicer, there's more community, more sharing, and we spend time with those we love.
Maybe it's because this will be the first time in eight years I'll be single and alone on Christmas. What I'm really going to miss the most is having someone there with me that morning, to look into her half-closed eyes and whisper, "Merry Christmas, honey." But this year it'll just me and the pooch, kicking it. My family will be having ours on the 30th. In the meantime, my sisters and friends have their own family goings-on, my parents have stuff they're doing. Granted, I can probably head to San Antonio and hang out there in the afternoon but that'd probably depress me more.
So here's my plan for Christmas morning: Wake up whenever, take Murphy for a walk, snuggle up on the couch with a pot of coffee and a kung fu movie, then go do some volunteer stuff somewhere, and let Christmas go.
This is by no means a "Bah Humbug" moment. Simply a non-event.
And Happy Holidays to you all.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Yesterday I received a letter from the IRS. I know, I should've opened it right away. But because of stuff with Jean's family I get a lot of those.
So this morning I decided to open it up, just to see.
It was my Federal Tax ID.
For my business.
The one I've been promising to start for the last year.
Yeah, I stared at the letter in disbelief for a sec, while my brain tried to flip it over in my mind. Finally it sank in.
According to the Federal Government, I am a business owner.
Monday, December 10, 2007
You're a funny guy. I always liked the subtleness to his humor.
He always takes a while to wake up (DEFINITELY NOT a morning doggie), so typically I get up, make some coffee, get in the shower, check my email, etc. etc. and am ready by the time he decides to drag his ass out of bed.
Normal routine today. Coffee brewing, I giggle as I'm picking out my clothes because he's now snoring, curled up on my pillow ensuring the entire bed is now covered in dog hair. Clothes in hand, I jump in the shower.
While I'm drying myself, I peek at him. Still in the same place. I step to where I have my clothes, and nearly break my neck stepping on an empty food bowl. He looks up, yawns, and gives me this look as if to say, "Good morn... What? My food bowl? Now HOW did THAT get THERE?"
Now I want to point out at this time that his bowls are downstairs. So when I get in the shower, he apparently got up, went downstairs, grabbed his bowl, carried it upstairs, put it down where he knew I would step on it, get back into bed in the same place and position on the bed and pretended to go to sleep.
He's a funny guy.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
...with holiday shopping.
HO FRIGGIN HO
I only have 2 more things to buy, but they're quick and I know exactly what I'm getting.
Now I'm going to be materialistic here for a sec.
Want to point out that being single sucks as far as the gift-giving goes. Now, before you say anything, let me point out that I KNOW it's about the giving, and the sharing. Not the getting.
Let me put it in numbers. In my family alone, there are ten people to buy for. My folks, both sisters and their husbands, plus both have two kids apiece. In exchange, I'll most likely be getting four gifts. One from each of the "families," one from my parents, and my Dad will most likely be getting me something extra, usually a gag gift. Now it was worse when I was married, mostly because Jean's family was HUGE. We're talking seven kids and ten adults on her side alone.
I also want to point out that I make the least amount of money out of all of them (by a LOT), including my Dad who's been retired for seventeen years. So as usual, I go deep into debt each holiday, and the rest of the family makes out like a bandit.
To top it all off, I'm a kickass gift buyer. And it's not the money either. I don't play the "spend equal amounts on everyone" game either. That doesn't do a damn thing. They usually love the gifts, and rarely return them (I can only think of once in the last 5 years).
It's hard not playing the "compare game."
After this year, I'm going to talk to them about it. Once I get my business up and running, it shouldn't be too much of an issue, but until then I can't hang. Problem is, I know what my family will say. "Just get the kids something." Yeah. That'll happen. Might as well not show up at all.
So all in all, including the gifts for my closest friends, I've spent over $600. And I'll get about $100 worth of gifts, most of which I may not use (from personal experience). I try to not think about it in those terms, but when I look at my credit card balance, it's hard to not.
Oh, and if any of my family has located my blog, two words: Gift Cards. It's not that I don't dig what you give me, and I feel that they're impersonal as well. BUT, I'm pretty picky about the stuff I need, including clothes, electronics, and toys. And my kitchen is overflowing, so I don't need anything there (kitchen gadgets have always been a safe bet with me). It's okay. Really. That's what I want.
And a pony.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Looking for a business idea?
By following these steps, you can make charcoal briquettes in your own home with little effort...
(Trust me. It works! I accomplished this last night.)
- Stay out late at a friend's.
- Come home, grab yourself a drink, turn on some cartoons and relax on the sofa.
- Around 1 am, decide you're a bit hungry.
- Preheat the oven to 400°
- Put in some frozen chicken nuggets (the brand doesn't matter, but I prefer Tyson).
- Set the timer for 10 minutes.
- Grab another drink, and kick back on the couch again.
- Fall asleep.
I woke up at around 6:30, impressed with the smell permeating through my place, and a slight haze in the air.
But at least now I'm ready for a BBQ.
Monday, December 3, 2007
I made a birthday dinner for ChaCha last night. We sat around, drank wine, talked, and played with the dawg.
At one point we went upstairs so I could show her something online. We came back downstairs so she can scarf down some more shrimp. But the shrimp were gone, and Murphy was sitting there looking innocent, content, and happy, apparently in the hopes that we would not think twice about the fact that five shrimp mysteriously vanished along with about six tails.
But the shrimp were gone.
The bacon-wrapped shrimp.
The JALAPENO and bacon-wrapped shrimp.
Karma's a funny thing.
Anyway, I was awakened at about 4:30 this morning by a cold nose on my cheek and a soft whimper. He needed to go out. Badly.
I didn't even have to give him an "I told you so" as he was a hurtin' cowpoke. Even after he did his "business," you could tell that he was not enjoying life very much.
Of course you know, he didn't learn a damn thing from this experience.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
I'm a criminal.
That's right, stay away from me or I'll steal you blind.
I stole something last night. Not going to tell you where from as it could be used in court, but it starts with "T" and rhymes with Farget.
I had to pick up some things, most importantly ChaCha's BDay present, which turned out to be (at her request) stuff for Toys For Tots. I don't normally use a basket, because that just invites me to spend way too much.
Now the first thing I picked up was a pair of sunglasses. What happens to the 40,000 pairs I seem to lose each year is a matter for debate at the folks at NASA. But anyway, I pick up some ok ones, and when my hands start filling up, I decide to put the glasses in the buttonhole of my shirt, thinking NOBODY would miss that, especially with the poster-sized tags hanging off of them at odd angles. So I was wandering around the store, my hands full of goodies, none the wiser.
Not only had I forgotten about them, but the cashier missed them as well as the uniformed security guard who held the door open for me as I was leaving.
As I got in the car, I noticed them as I put on my seatbelt and drove away.
And there I was, a criminal who got away from the scene of the crime, a master thief.
(Or Ill-Booten Gotty)
So I've had Murphy for almost a week now, and somehow in his absence I had forgotten what a funny guy he is. Not so much dry, obscure humor like me, but funny in a sort of slapstick, sweet, innocent knock-knock joke way that "special-needs" kids are funny.
Yeah. Have I mentioned before that he's a candidate for the Special Olympics?
OMFG! There's an idea! A dog show with agility trials for stupid dogs! Anyone want to help me work on that?
So anyway, he's very expressive, and here are my favorite things he's done in the last 5 days...
- When he needs to go out, he rings this little bell on the door (old story). If I don't get up right away, he'll run back to me, then to the door, then back to me, faster and faster, until he becomes this blur of negative IQ, slamming his head on the door with each circuit.
- The wonderment of when he goes out on a "business trip," does his duty (heehee... "doody"), and I whip out a bag and pick it up. He looks at me as if to say, "so remind me again WHY I have to come outside for this?"
- On that same topic, when I'm "relieving" myself, he'll always be beside me. "Hey, Hey, HEY! I drink outta that thing!" He doesn't (I keep the lid down), but still.
- 9 o'clock is his bedtime. Not by choice, that's just when he crashes. You can tell he's not used to living with an insomniac. So at 9 each evening I notice he's nowhere to be found, and I'll go upstairs and he's curled up in bed, on my pillow, making sure to leave fur all over it.
- Usually at about 11, he'll come sleepily to where I am, sit down, yawn, slowly turn around and go back to bed. I guess that's his version of "It's late. Come to bed."
- Along those same lines, when I do go to bed, trying to move him out of my spot is an ordeal. He's dead weight, and if you try to move him he gets cranky and growls at me. It's cute as hell.
- He doesn't understand the link between commands and tricks. He knows about 6 tricks, but can't seem to connect any of those to a command. So if I have a treat (this gets worse if I have Pooter Doodles), I'll give him a command and he'll run through every single trick he knows hoping one of them will be the right one.
- The way he comforts himself with his Wooby. That's right, he has a security blanket. He'll shake the hell out of it, lie down on it with a big wad of it in his mouth, and watch tv until he falls asleep (He really likes Futurama for some reason).
- The amazement he has when I go to the big white magic box in the kitchen. You can see him trying to work it out in his head, "Waitaminnit, each time you open that big door you get FOOD? I really need to evolve thumbs."
- If I take him for a non-business walk, he'll crash HARD. We only walk about a mile or so; the boy has zero stamina. So later on I'll hear noises coming from the next room. He'll be dreaming up a storm. Legs twitching, ears wiggling, tail trying to remove itself, and the yips. My GAWD, he's cute when he's dreaming. It's scientifically proven to be impossible to not grin like a maniac when watching that.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
The Doggie Wars have ended, with casualties on both sides. As with most, this was an unnecessary war.
The visit with Jean was tenser than it needed to be, but it all worked out.
But Murphy is home.
Right now he's sitting next to me, looking absentmindedly out the window as I type these words. He looks over his shoulder at me, yawns, and rests his head on the sill, his eyes halfway closed.
Everything is as it should be.
Welcome home, Pooter.
Gonna get all Dear Abby on ya here...
The names are omitted for privacy (and I'm not telling. So don't ask).
To _______: It's easy to think that you don't need something when it's gone. But trust me, it's the lesser of two evils. You were risking much. I'm proud of you for knowing you needed it. Love you.
To _______: You're an adult, and you can choose your actions for yourself. I think I knew your decision before you did. Just don't be surprised when this comes back to bite you in the ass.
To _______: Are you sure your path is the same as theirs? I thought it was made fairly clear at the start. You may want to ask to be sure.
To _______: I'm guilty of this as well, but what have you done lately in pursuit of that dream? If nothing, then maybe you are trying to tell you something. I know it's a hard choice. Most dreams are.
To _______: As cliché as it is, a lot of times what you're looking for is right in front of you. Don't look at the past so much, listen and see what's happening in the here and now. Dur. It could be what you want after all, a different gift in the same box.
To _______: You're preaching to the choir. It might be time to move on. It's hard for a flower to bloom without new soil. Take what was good, and cherish that always. We are always growing. But leave the bad stuff behind. It takes up room in your luggage, and stinks up the clean stuff.
To _______: Remind yourself at these times how amazing and wonderful you are. Hell, remind yourself constantly anyway. Because you are, and if you lift your head, you'll see all that Love being sent your way. They're waiting for you to give it back.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
As I said, today was a good day.
The celebration is winding down, we had a nice day of turkiness and wine. I got to see just about all of my family. The only absences were one of my brothers-in-law and one of my nephews, who were hunting (no judgements here). I also upgraded my folks' computer and we had wine. Lots of wine.
I mentioned before, I have the greatest family in the world. A big reason for this maintaining in my mind (and others', I'm certain) is that we drink in bulk. It's not that my family is hard to deal with, but instead it seems that it makes the same stories we hear every time, little quirks, and idiosyncrasies endearing rather than annoying.
Anyway, back to my thoughts on Thanksgiving...
It occurred to me this morning that Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday. Not for the gluttony, drinking, or football, but instead because this day has successfully defended itself against capitalism and commercialism.
Think about it, the only thing that is involved, or expected with today is family, fun, sharing, and gratefulness. No shopping involved (other than for mastication pleasure), no gifts expected, no big to-dos...just sharing and being.
My Mom just brought out guacamole, so I'm gonna cut this short. But you get the general idea.
Make sure you tell those dear to you how important they are to you.
And Happy Thanksgiving!
Today started off great. I woke up a little sore from the workout on Tuesday, made me some coffee and breakfast tacos, farted around on WoW a little. I'll be heading out to the progenitors of my awesomeness in about an hour. They told me not to bring anything, but I'm showing up with wine. Lots of it.
A good day.
And yeah, I came up with an epiphany about Thanksgiving. I'll fill you in later.
Anyway, I'm thankful for a lot of things right now, so here's my most important ones (in no particular order)...
- Thanks to my family for always being there, for who you are and what you have given me.
- Thanks to the universe for showing me that anything is possible.
- Thanks to my friends, old and new, for loving me for me.
- Thanks to the creators of Pez, Legos, Origami and Vicodin for getting me through those off-days.
- Thanks to Mother Nature for coffee, tobacco, and the fermenting process of grapes.
- Thanks to ChaCha for letting me know what it feels like to Love.
- Thanks to Murphy for coming back into my life and all the puppy kisses that entails.
- Thanks to my readers for allowing me into your life.
- Thanks to Miss Divine for letting me know what it feels like to be Loved (and stalked).
- Thanks to Jean... You were a very important part of my life. I owe much to you.
- Thanks to the potential new Love interest in my life.
- And thanks to me for helping me find me.
Talk you soon!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
On Sunday I called Jean. I was feeling a bit off, but this was something that had to be resolved.
We had a fight.
HUGE, GINORMOUS fight.
Probably the worst one we ever had.
I won't give details, because she is a good person whom I care for, and anything I can say about the way the conversation went would make her sound like a total bitch, which she is not. Plus, you'd only get to hear my side. I believe in fair play, after all.
Regardless, at one point, I decided enough was enough. I stopped and told her that I would be picking up Murphy this weekend.
I feel great about it. The Pooter is coming home.
Guess I should get started on making some more Pooter Doodles.
And a "Welcome Home" sign.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
How dogs hunting in packs can bring down a huge alligator: At times nature can be cruel, but there is also a raw beauty, and even a certain justice manifested within that cruelty. The alligator, one of the oldest and ultimate predators, normally considered the "apex predator" in it's natural ecosystem, can still fall victim to implemented 'team work' strategy, made possible due to the tight knit social structure and "survival of the fittest pack mentality", bred into the canines over the last several hundreds of years by natural selection. See the remarkable photograph courtesy of Nature Magazine by clicking the link below. Note that the Alpha dog has a muzzle hold on the gator preventing it from breathing, while the remainder of the pack prevents the beast from rolling.
Click Here. WARNING! Not for the squeamish.
(EDIT: link now fixed)
THE RETURN OF THE POOTER
I had Murphy at the beginning of the month for a bit while the ex was out of town. We had a grand ole time, eating tater tots and watching Monty Python.
Then when I dropped him off, I decided to tell Jean about my decision to adopt a Golden. It was then she informed me that if I didn't take him, that she would surrender him to the SPCA.
I was aghast. She said that she was giving him up, and that I had "first dibs." She also said that she thought it was interesting that I "didn't want him" because he was my dog.
In addition, here's how she remembers the events surrounding her taking him...
I told her I'd take both dogs (I was still fostering Shadow at the time) and then after a week, I called and told her to "come get her fucking dog."
Yeah, that TOTALLY sounds like me.
Here's what really happened: We fought over him. In the end, we decided on joint custody. In fact, the first time I asked to take him she wanted me to sign a document ensuring his return. Granted, my memory isn't perfect but I sure as hell remember THAT.
Anyway, I'm going to talk to her this weekend. Meanwhile, I've put the meet-n-greet with Buster and Homer on hold until then. I've talked with my adoption coordinator, and she understands.
It may be Murphy after all.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Yesterday was not pretty. I started feeling sick on Sunday morning, and went downhill from there. It wouldn't have been that bad, but unfortunately I had some trips I needed to take for work this week, so I put my
death hanta ebola plague illness on hold until I could get back at home and collapse.
(SIDE NOTE: I know I said I would no longer be heading on business trips. I lied. I'll explain later)
So Tuesday I went to San Antonio, and came out that night. Yesterday I had to head back up north, about a 3-3 1/2 hour drive. Mind you, I've been running a slight fever and basically felt like various levels of crap for the last few days. My plan was to head out around noon, be in town and checked in by 4, then pass the fuck out until my meeting the next day.
The first part of that went okay. I left about 11:45. when I was about 15 miles out of town, I realized that I had forgotten my phone. annoying, but understandable with my memory and my condition. Run back home and get it.
On the road again.
Right outside of Temple (check Google maps from Austin for distance and perspective), I realized I had...
Who forgets shoes?
Me. This guy.
So, I had to turn around and go back. By the time I left my house (for the third time), I already had over a hundred miles racked up. And STILL had a 3 hour drive ahead of me. And I'm TOTALLY billing my company for those miles.
It wasn't like I could just run into Wally World and pick up another pair, not that I didn't wish I could. I wear size 15 1/2 EE, as mentioned before. So buying off the rack isn't exactly an option.
Anyway, I made it in after 6, and passed out in my room.
And I still woke up late.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Promises are very important to me. Normally I wake up every morning and instead of goals for the day, I make a list of promises. There's power in that. You make a commitment to yourself. It's the difference between "I want to" and "I must."
As I was looking at my promises for today, I came to the conclusion that they were small and insignificant in my life. The "pay bills," "work on my business plan" stuff is nothing. So I sat down and wrote another set.
To my family:
- to thank you for helping me be the person I am today.
- to return the love and support you have given me.
- to forgive the things that hurt me.
- to recognize the wonderful things about you I see in me.
- to hug you often.
- to make you proud.
- to make you an important part of my life.
To my friends:
- to not lose touch.
- to appreciate the time we share together.
- to make time for you.
- to be there when you need me.
- to not be there when you don't.
- to make you laugh when you need it most.
- to be your shoulder when you need it most.
- to be the one you can always count on.
- to not judge you for being who you are.
To my future Love:
- to hold your hand.
- to always kiss you goodnight.
- to always kiss you goodbye.
- to make you feel loved.
- to forgive you when you hurt me.
- to apologize when I hurt you.
- to cherish the moments we share.
- to Love you completely, without compromise.
- to remind you how important you are to me.
To my future children:
- to help you experience new things.
- to play when possible.
- to support and encourage your dreams.
- to say yes when needed.
- to say no when needed.
- to help you love to learn.
- to look through your eyes in wonder.
- to tuck you in at night.
- to listen to what you have to say.
- to teach you to give.
- to be a role model.
- to laugh often.
- to make every day more exceptional than the last.
- to Love as if I've never been hurt before.
- to leave the world better than I found it.
- to make a difference.
- to question.
- to learn something about everything.
- to learn everything about something.
- to learn something new each day.
- to live with passion.
- to cherish those who matter most.
- to remember the things that matter.
- to forget things that don't.
- to Love unconditionally.
- to forgive constantly.
- to keep my promises.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
As usual, I started thinking of costume ideas this weekend. I'm not going to dress up, partly because I have nowhere to go, partly because I'm broke, and the rest because I'm lazy.
But that won't stop me from using my superior intellect to give the rest of ya ideas.
So here we have it. Tenacious B's Top Ten list of totally original ideas (I think).
Costumes with a little more foresight:
10. Darth Vader costume with a cowboy hat and guitar, for an awesome Garth Vader (or Darth Brooks)
9. Aluminum foil Hershey's kiss with a beret (pencil-thin mustache a given) for a French Kiss
8. Dress up like a stick of HeadOn, and carry around a baseball bat with the words "Apply Directly to forehead" written on it.
A Little more obscure...
7. Dress up like Bert from Sesame Street, cover yourself in fake bumblebees, and tell everyone that you're Bert's Bees!
6. Still on the Sesame Street kick, you can dress up like Grover in an afro and Dashiki and go as Groover.
5. For an intellectual party (and one that you wouldn't mind explaining all night), dress up like a Greek God with a dirty toga. You can tell everyone that you're a Protean Stain.
4. Wear a white frame around your head and a black t-shirt that says "PROCRASTINATION: Yeah, I put this together at the last minute." That's right, you can go as a Motivational Poster.
And for the Geeks...
3. For all the Final Fantasy fans out there, dress up like a punker with a lance and flight goggles and go as Cid Vicious (Ask your local nerd to explain this to ya).
2. Dress up your kid in an adult Armor costume and oversized sword, and send them out trick-or-treating as a Twink.
1. Special one for ChaCha and every other Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends fan- Dress up in a blue sheet with a Windows error message written on it, and go as the Bloo Screen of Death.
Feel free to send me your ideas, and I may give out an award or somethin.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Just got back from working at the Halloween Carnival for Texas Hearing And Service Dogs.
It was a blast and a huge success. We were planning about 100 people to show up. The final tallies aren't in, but it was closer to 500.
As soon as I got there, I ran into my sister's family just leaving. Her kids were all dressed in their Halloween regalia, a knight and leopard. You couldn't get more cuteness piled into them without two men and a large dog. They were tired, and I heard the story about their fun from my 4-year-old nephew.
I bid them adieu, went up to my volunteer coordinator and she escorted me to the balloon animals table. Mind you, I have never made a balloon animal in my life, but have never been one to shy away from a challenge, plus there was a line at the table about 20 kids deep, so I took the job.
Armed with a pile of empty balloons, an air pump and two books on the subject, my first two attempts at balloon animals (a dog and a cat) kinda looked like what the animals were supposed to look like, provided they came from a genetic testing lab next to a leaking nuclear plant. The parents were great and patient, so I trudged on. There wasn't really time to follow the books. The kids were waiting patiently, but as I was working on this flower for the longest time, the parents were starting to get twitchy, so I looked at one diagram and put the book away. From here, I decided to myself, I'm going to make it up as I went.
Within an hour I was whipping out bunnies, swords, flowers, dogs, and swans like a professional clown on crack. We were a hit. And then tragedy struck.
We ran out of balloons.
The carnival was going on until 6, we were one of the biggest hits there, and we were out of balloons by 3. I went up to the head of the organization and volunteered to take the trek to Party Pig in Austin to get some more. Did I mention that was about 30 min away from the festival?
That wasn't the worst part. This is 4 days before Halloween, and the Party Pig was PACKED. I'm talking about a line for checkout that snaked around the front, down aisle 1, and across the back of the store. I waited about 45 minutes in line, constantly reminding myself that this was for a great cause; as well as the happy faces of the kids when I handed them their inflated giraffe that appeared to be injured in an industrial accident.
30 minutes back to the carnival. We were back in business.
Luckily, these were almost all kids under 10, so it was easy to steer them towards the easier ones. Swords were a popular choice, so were dogs. When one kid was undecided, I made something easy for another, knowing full well that they'd point at it and say, "Mommy, I want one of THOSE."
I was starting to understand how toy companies make a bundle. They get one kid to get gaga over a toy, and next thing you know all their friends are begging and pleading with their parents for the same thing. Preadolescent drug pushers.
There are still the smartass kids though. I had one towards the end of the day.
"Hi! What can I make for you?"
"A butterfly!" he said, with all the enthusiasm that any kid has when he knows that he one-upped an adult.
"Errr..." I flipped through the book. Nothing. I ran through a couple of ideas in my head on how to pull it off, and came up with nothing that'd look even close.
"Sorry, we don't know how to make one of those," I said. "Anything else you'd like?"
I actually had a decent idea this time that might worked. I tried it and it looked almost like one, if you closed your eyes and imagined one without actually looking at it. In actuality it looked like a giant inflatable Christmas ornament. Maybe if I drew dots on it I could pull it off. Yeah! The girl working the table with me heard my plight and ran off to grab a marker, which she found fairly quick. I drew one dot on it without incident. The gods of comic irony then decided it was time for action, and during the second dot half the "ladybug" exploded in my hand, sending the marker careening about 10 feet. The kid was now looking a little relieved, I'm assuming because he saw the work in progress and wasn't too happy with it.
He then asked for a scorpion. At this point I wasn't going to let inflated rubber tubes get the better of me. I made one that looked kinda cool, and the little boy skipped off happy, before I saw him trying to feed my masterpiece to a dog. Oh well.
Then it was over. all the kids were gone, the organization made over four times more than they had planned, I learned a new skill, and we all went out for beers and burgers after before going on our merry ways, tired and beat.
It was a good day.
Friday, October 26, 2007
I've received several emails over the last couple of weeks asking about my choice for roommate...
And here it is (kinda).
I've decided to adopt.
It's not that I don't want Murphy, not that I don't Love him dearly, not that I wouldn't dig having that little shit around.
But I decided to adopt a new puppy for a few reasons. First of all, as I mentioned before, Murph has a good home already. Secondly, I know for a fact that it's always difficult to get the older dogs adopted, and they deserve a home just as much as the puppies. Also, Murphy would be a constant reminder of my failed marriage (I know that's a shitty reason to admit, but it's there). And finally, my life right now is all about fresh starts, and we can both start anew.
SIDE NOTE: I spoke with the matchmaker at the rescue organization, and Shadow's doing wonderfully. He's in a family with kids, and is happy in his new digs. He's having the time of his life.
Now when I was talking with the matchmaker, we spoke about Buster (the one I mentioned earlier), and she also told me a little about another guy that needs a home. He's ten as well.
So here are the current contestants:
(Click on the name to see the profile. Included are some notes from the foster reports)
Our Returning Champion
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
I was tagged for this meme by ChaCha a couple of days ago. It's funny cause of a "Two Things" philosophy I've been toying around with lately. Some of you know what I'm talking about.
So without further adieu...
Two names you go by:
1. Kevin the Wonder Llama
2. SuperMegaUltraGigaMan, Lord of all he surveys
Two things you are wearing right now:
1. A hot and sexy smirk
2. A sock (guess where)
Two of your favorite things to do:
1. Smootching and cuddling
2. Laughing until my sides hurt
Two things you want very badly at the moment.
1. To leave my job
2. Someone to come in, empty a bucketful of money, and clean my kitchen
Name of two pets:
2. Geraldo, my tapeworm
Name 2 people who will fill this out:
1. Miss Divine
Two things you did last night:
Drew up schematics for a thermonu... Wrote in my journal
2. Came up with a new theory on insects
Two things you ate today:
1. Leftover Chicken Marsala
2. My pride
Two people you last talked to:
1. The receptionist at work
2. Cheri LeBouf
Two things you're doing tomorrow:
1. Going to work
2. Not working
Two longest car rides
1. Houston to Denver
2. Here to Eternity
2. Labor Day
Two favorite beverages
1. Coffee, with coffee... And oh yeah, coffee on the side
2. Nitric acid
Monday, October 22, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
I spent yesterday shopping with a friend. I was invited to a get-together after, but was beat and the only thing I felt like doing was kicking back. Besides, I wouldn't have known anyone else there and I get kinda chatty when drinking. So I ended up taking a nap and then watching Superfriends. It's odd seeing it on a big tv. Growing up, we had a 25" console with bad reception. You've come a long way, baby.
Then this morning I went to San Antonio, and spent it with a couple of cuties.
That's right, I saw my folks. They are still one of the cutest couples I've ever seen.
And it was a great visit.
I went down there because my Dad had a birthday this past week, and I HAD to drop off his goodies to him personally. He's getting up there. Or, as he put it, "One day I was 71, the next day I was 72, and this morning I felt like I was 83."
Did I mention he was cute?
Anyway, this was a REALLY good visit. No judging, they were so excited to see me, and we talked a lot about nothing. Oh sure, we talked about religion a bit which is always a tense situation, but they were more relaxed about it this time.
Anyway, I got him some reference books and a nature DVD set. That might not sound like a very personable gift, but trust me, he will get more enjoyment out of those than anything else.
After all, I'm just like him.
It's odd thinking that he was my age when I was born, the last of 3. And I'm still thinking about my first. I suppose I need at least a girlfriend first. :)
Do guys have biological clocks?
Regardless, Happy Birthday Dad.
I am who I am because of you.
I Love you.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
It's overcast, muggy and wet this morning, the fog hanging in the trees like a wet blanket. Some might even say dismal and dreary.
And I'm in a great mood.
In two days it will be one year since my divorce. That's NOT why I'm in a great mood, by the way. Just that every time an anniversary of sorts comes up, it triggers a preponderance of memories of that past year, and this one was a doozy.
In it I fell in Love, began to create this life for myself, made some marvelous decisions, made some bad decisions, made some realizations, started this blog, did about 150 hours of volunteer work, survived my job, had my heart shattered, decided to start a business, made some lifelong friends, created, learned that I'm a great guy, wrote about 200 pages in my journal, lost a house, lost all my money, worked hard, and learned a lot about myself.
This was probably the hardest year of my life, and up to now the most important.
Each one of these milestones makes me ask myself the following questions:
Did I learn anything?
Did I teach anything?
Am I closer or farther away from my goals?
How am I doing?
Did I make a difference?
Am I closer to those I Love and care for?
Is the world a better place now?
I like the answers I'm giving myself.
I am a better person than I was, and the universe is responding.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
I just got in from my volunteer orientation at Texas Hearing and Service Dogs.
Yes, another volunteer gig. So sue me.
It was a blast. Not because I was one of only two guys there (and the only one under sixty), but because this is a cause I really believe in. There aren't that many organizations that train service dogs for deaf/hard of hearing, and they also train "special needs" dogs for people that have physical impairments. In addition, they only use dogs rescued from shelters.
They're making a difference, and I really respect what they do.
So on that note, here's a shameless plug...
If you're looking for a worthwhile organization to give to, contact them through their website here.
In addition, if you have kids under 10, and are in Central Texas on Oct 27th, they're having a Halloween festival with fun, games, treats, and you might see some puppies too! I'm signing up to work it, so I'll see you there!
Monday, October 15, 2007
Believe it or not, this post has very little to do with World of Warcraft, gaming, or geekdom.
I was playing WoW this weekend (Shocking, I know). I was on my PvP server, on the Alliance side. I had a revelation that blew my mind.
*For the eight people in the world that do not play, there are two factions in WoW, Alliance and Horde. PvP means that anyone on the opposing faction can simply walk up and hand your ass to you, regardless of level. So you could be wandering around, running quests, and a player 30 levels higher could just smack you once upside the head and you die. You spend a lot of times running away, screaming like a little schoolgirl.
On this realm the Horde outnumber the Alliance by at least four to one. This makes us a large minority. Anyway, I was getting extremely frustrated this weekend because I couldn't get anything accomplished. I would be trying to get stuff done, and next thing I know I'm lying in a crumpled heap on the ground, a pool of blood oozing around me. Do they get anything from killing me? Nope. Yet they stand over my corpse laughing.
This is a common scenario: I'm wandering around questing. I see a horde player having trouble with some mobs (monsters). He's around the same level, and I help him out. I help him out of what would be a difficult situation. After he's out of danger, I wave and go on my merry way as he's healing himself. Next thing I know, he's attacking me. I've become a fairly decent player, so most of the time I successfully defend myself. THEN, before I know it, I'm lying dead, killed by a MUCH higher level character, that's been called in. I then spend the next thirty minutes running back to my corpse, only to be killed again. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Some might say, oh, he's just a dick. And you'd be right. But in all my encounters with Horde characters, only two or three of them didn't involve me having to die. They attack regardless. For the record, I only attack in self defense. Most of the Alliance players I know are the same way.
So should I say that the opposing faction are one collective herd of assmonkeys? Sure.
But then I asked why. The answer I gave myself shocked me. It's because THEY CAN.
Let's move to real life now. I'm a thirty-something white male American. I'm probably a member of the most advantaged demographic in the world. I used to joke that there should be a government program for those of us that haven't made it yet. [rimshot] We hold such a vast majority of the power in society, the world's wealth, every advantage the world has to offer. VASTLY disproportionate to the segments in our society. Look at our positions of power (don't worry, no pie charts).
According to the US Census, in 2005 the US was 74.7% white, 12.1% black, 14.5% hispanic (Hispanic overlaps other races); 49.2% male, 50.8% female. (and yes, I called them to verify these numbers)
Congress (including Senate) is currently 85.6% white, 7.7% black, 4.9% hispanic; also 83.9% male, 16.1% female.
Out of the top job positions (Management, business, and financial operations occupations), 86.2% are white, 7.3% black, 6.9% Hispanic, and 41.9% are women. (2006 Bureau of Labor and Statistics)
See the disproportion of power? Does this mean that minorities aren't able to succeed? Actually, it kind of does. A guy I work with put it best. "Keepin a brother down." This is sort of what's going on in WoW as well as society. So many that are in positions of authority by force or design, They do whatever they can to maintain that power. That means maintaining control, frustrating those trying to get ahead, and essentially making life more difficult for others. At the same time, on that "side of the wall" they can gain power quite easily and unfettered. Why? Because those in power encourage it, help it, push it along, while suppressing the plight of others to gain power.
Is it intentional? Most likely not. Perhaps those in power don't even realize it. I sure the hell didn't, and I have very little influence on a global scale. This was my mile in their moccasins (or Black Mageweave Boots, for that matter).
It's a form of control. They retain the influence by domination.
Taking a look at the other side, the Alliance "minority" of which I belong, it's interesting to see the sense of community. People willing to help one another, sharing in frustrations, loyal and friendly. I belong to a PvE (no risk at being ganged up on) server as well, and even though there is a more even division and much more people there, there's not as much of a sense of community. It's more like high school with warring cliques, annoying people and drama. You don't really see that on the other one.
It seems that through adversity, we have come together.
Wow. Write that down.
Speaking earlier of loyalty, it got me thinking. Nobody really leaves my server. Instead, we try to recruit people to come over. We are attempting to find our place in this world, regardless of the fact that it's virtual. We want to be left with the opportunity to succeed. Most aren't radicals, just nice people. When I typed that in chat the other night, I realized at that point what it was like to be a minority, to struggle against "The Man." This put all the things I learned in sociology and psychology in perspective.
And all it took for me to understand was to be a geek.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
I was on my way back from a business trip today (more about this tomorrow) and I got a call.
Normally I don't answer my cell while driving, but it was a local call, and I didn't recognize the number. It was Gold Ribbon Rescue. She had a very sad tone to her voice, and told me that Shadow was adopted this afternoon.
So YAY for Shadow. He has a happy home now.
And it isn't mine.
She told me that some of the people over there were kind of hoping the match wasn't made so they could proceed with me taking him. Apparently both he and I have a little fan club.
Regardless, I couldn't be happier for him. He deserves the best.
One would think that the decision was made for me on how to now proceed. But it's not. She mentioned there might be another that needs me.
WARNING: Do not look at the last picture.
I wonder what the universe is trying to tell me...
Monday, October 8, 2007
I had a guest this weekend. Intimate dinners, we snuggled, we walked in the park together, and I got A LOT of kisses.
And he shed all over my couch.
That's right, I got to take Murphy for the weekend.
It was a blast. I spoiled him. Like last night, we ate tater tots and watched kung-fu movies. He passed out during the second one, head in my lap, drooling on my leg. I also made pooter doodles (more about these later) and frozen yogurt. We also spent some time at the park on Saturday, chasing after squirrels and scoping out chicks. He had his eye on this one weimaraner but never had an opening. Doesn't matter anyway, since his more suspicious parts were removed years ago. Other than that, he spent most of the remainder passed out, having puppy dreams. I don't know if it was normal, the pure exhaustion he had, or just the change in scenery. But it seemed like every time he fell asleep he was dreaming up a storm.
My decision hasn't changed, though. And before you ask, I haven't heard back yet about Shadow. I do wish I could have both. But that's not feasible.
The choice did get a little shaky at times, especially when he would look at me with those big brown eyes and goofy grin.
So about the Pooter Doodles. They are treats that I developed when I was training Murphy years ago. He's motivated by his stomach. Anyway, I tried out various recipes (with very enthusiastic test tasters), and came up with one of my own. Not to pat myself on the back, but I have never met a pooch yet that would not voluntarily gnaw off his own leg for one. It's like crack for dogs.
I've posted the recipe below, but before you read it know that it's not very appetizing to make, cook, or even smell. You have been warned. But anyone that makes these will reap the rewards. These are treats made by people that spoil their dogs (or are on a diet and want to lose their appetite). If anyone wants to make these commercially, feel free to, as long as you send me a truckload of money.
Ten Things You should Know...
1. They smell. Be prepared.
2. Save yourself the agony and buy cheap disposable baking sheets.
3. If at all possible, make them in someone else's kitchen.
4. Someone you don't like.
5. In another state.
6. Monitor your dog's whereabouts while cooling. They WILL disappear.
7. They smell.
8. Cool completely before storing.
9. Once you make these, you might have to keep making them for the junkies you've created.
10. They smell.
1 lb raw chicken livers
1 6oz can boneless salmon
1 pkg cornbread mix (this is easier than from scratch. I prefer Jiffy)
~2 c quick oats
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c olive oil
1/2 c peanut butter
1/4 c honey
1/2 t garlic powder
Preheat the oven to 375°
Liquefy the liver in a food processor (Not for the faint at heart or weak of stomach). Combine all ingredients except for the oats. Add half the oats, mixing well. Slowly add the rest until you get the consistency of a thick, wet paste.
You have 2 options here:
The best way: using a piping bag, drop about 1/2 t onto an non-greased baking sheet, about an inch apart. Bake for 20-25 min.
The easy way: Spread the mixture evenly onto an non-greased baking sheet. On a standard 11X14, it should only be about 1/4'-1/2' thick. Bake 25-30 min. When you pull them out, cut into 1/2' squares.
They're done when they appear dry and no pink remains. Don't worry too much about overcooking.
Let cool for at least an hour. Makes about 3 million. Light a candle.
They keep for about a week at room temperature, so I separate the batch into 4, freeze 3 of them, and thaw them out as needed.
Now go and treat the doggies!
Thursday, October 4, 2007
See the first installment here.
I made my decision. Shadow needs a good home, and I'm the one to give it to him. Thank you all for helping me realize that.
But sometimes the universe makes other plans.
Every so often, like yesterday, I go to the rescue website for a puppy fix. On the home page, I just happened to notice the "Adoptables" tab, and guess who's handsome mug was on the tab?
I'll give you a hint:
Uh-huh. You guessed it. I'd know that face anywhere.
And if this wasn't a sign, I didn't know what could be.
I clicked on the link, scrolled down to him, and got kicked in the chest by two simple words:
I tell Miss Divine and ChaCha, and start playing the "hurry up and wait" game. But no more than 30 seconds later, I get an IM out of the blue from Ginger, a friend I hadn't really spoken to in a while, and didn't think I'd be hearing from again. The IM reads: "Maybe this is the universe's way of telling you to take Murphy." Just like that. And she wasn't even talking about THIS. She sent me that because she had JUST read Monday's post.
So I got her up to speed, she said something clever about being psychic, and we got off shortly after.
Regardless, I'm waiting to hear back from the Rescue, and I'll let you know.
If he DOES get put into a good home, I'll ask for Murphy.
"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." -John Lennon
(4:00 UPDATE: I just got off the phone with Sandy, one of the adoption coordinators. She told me that the meet with the applicants is this weekend, and she'll let me know. ALSO, she told me that Shadow is now heartworm negative!! YAY SHADOW!!! Anyway, she sounded extremely sad that I was a couple of days too late on the Application, and said that she was crossing her fingers that it wasn't a match. I told her no. I'm crossing my fingers FOR the match. It's not important that I wanted him. What was more important than anything was that Shadow has a great home, because he deserves one. She almost cried.
I won't know anything until this weekend, so I'll post as soon as I find out anything. Who knows, they have a lot of "Gems" (seniors), and I'm still in their system as a foster dad. Time will tell)
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Yesterday didn't get much better after I went home. So I woke up this morning, took a deep breath, and told the Universe, "Screw you! I'm taking my world back."
I had no idea what I meant by that, but it felt good to say.
Funny how when you decide on something you notice/think about things that would normally miss.
I got ready for work and had a few minutes, so I decided to start things out right by getting me coffee and breakfast. I went to the Church of St. Arbucks, and as I was walking across the parking lot, a lady got out of her car and not gracefully dropped a stack of papers on the ground. It was this point that the wind chose to pick up and almost immediately the lot became a flurry of white. This was obviously not her day either. We spent the next 5 minutes running after the impromptu kites, dodging traffic and other people walking in oblivious to our task like a warped version of Frogger. By the time we got the last recoverable scrap (some had blown into the street after all) we were sweating, disheveled, and laughing. She thanked me and she set about the task of resorting the clusterfuck of papers in her arms.
Ok, NOW I needed coffee. Good thing I still had $5 on a gift card I got for my birthday. I'm a bit of a purist when it comes to coffee. Never got the whole Skinny-doubleshot-mocha-nofoam-caramel-mocchiato thing. For me: Large Drip. Black. Period. Best part about it is I can usually get out of there for about two bucks. Anyway, after swiping my card and doing a bit of mental math, I told the cashier to put the balance of the card on the latte of the lady behind me in line. And no, never saw her before. I just felt like making someone's morning a little better. The lady gave me a look like I was going to pull out an assault rifle at any time and start busting caps all over the place. Instead, I gave her a smile and told her to have a great morning.
At this point I'm now late for work due to my tangents. Ah well, as long as I'm already late I'll grab breakfast. I got me a breakfast sammich and an OJ, and headed off to my WONDERFUL job. But at the first light, I saw a homeless guy holding a sign. I'm a huge advocate for the homeless, but still rarely give handouts (that's a convo for another time). Still, he seemed really sad. Not the "woe is me" face that most of the homeless in Austin give you to bump their take. This was a genuine sadness that you can feel. I rolled down my window and he walked over, a bit slower than you'd expect. I handed him my breakfast. A slow smile crept across his face and he thanked me, the sadness waning a bit, before walking back to his post. As the light changed, he waved as I drove past, his mouth already full.
So here I sit at work, late, sweaty, and hungry...
and much happier than yesterday.
Monday, October 1, 2007
I'm off today.
Not in a bad mood, not depressed, not wonderful, not angry...
Ever have one of those days?
(And anyone that makes a "case of the Mondays" remark shall be strung up by their ears and given a stern talking to)
It started before I woke up, actually. I had a couple of dreams which I think started the whole snowball. One was okay, and the other one was so out in left field I'm STILL wondering where that came from.
In any aspect, I woke up a bit early, plodded around for a bit. I could've made it to work on time (for once) but I decided to go grab coffee first, and sauntered into work at about 8:30.
Then the fun began. Here are the highlights...
First I get a visit from T, one of the few coworkers I get along with. He tells me that his apartment complex just called to let him know that the locks on his door were changed, as requested. He got the call by accident. He's living with his girlfriend, and apparently she broke up with him. Kinda subtle, if you ask me. Anyway, he's not on the lease, but is listed as a secondary contact. When they couldn't get hold of her, they called him. So I got to listen to this harrowing tale...
Then I get a text from ChaCha, telling me "Happy October" and reminding me it has been almost a year since my divorce was final.
Then as if today was scripted by the Gods of Bathos, Jean called. She let me know that she (and Murphy) were in a bad car accident Sunday. They're fine, but she wanted to know if I wanted to take Murphy for a bit. Now, I had made my decision (see here for the Doggie Wars), but because of the situation, it wasn't the right time to bring it up.
Mind you, all of this happened BEFORE LUNCH.
In all this I've tried to work. Really. But no matter how long I stare at a column of numbers, nothing sinks in. I attempted to work on my resume, but in 45 minutes added two words. See a trend?
I started this day three weeks ago, so these last 30 minutes should get me out of here by, oh, Thursday.
Some days I want a takeback. Where's the damn reset button when you need it?
Friday, September 28, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Let's say you're browsing around Blockbuster, and you happen across a favorite movie from when you were a kid. You get almost giddy with reliving the memories and the link to your childhood. You get a close friend to come over, spouting the praises of this marvelous part of your youth. You take it home, make some Jiffy Pop, and kick back as the titles roll.
And the movie wasn't nearly as great as you remember. Granted, you see some things, make some references that you didn't get from back then. But it's a disappointment nonetheless.
It's not the movie is bad, it's just not as good as it could have been or even close to what you remember. It's not the actors' fault. Their portrayal was great. They couldn't have played the parts any better. But the sets, the design, the editing, the script COULD have been better. The production values are lacking.
Now your friend is watching this, wondering what you've been smoking to think this was so great at any time in your life. But they watch it patiently, because they love you and they want to share a part of your life that was seemingly important to you. They would gladly sit through it with you, for you.
Yet they are gratefully relieved when you walk over and take out the disk.
Is it better to not have seen it and kept that memory? Or is it more important to know how bad it actually was?
I get a call from my Dad. At work. Since he's in his 70s, I get a little concerned about random calls.
Turns out he just got off the phone with a collection agency, and they were trying to locate me.
Three points need to be made here:
1) I fixed my credit months ago, and only know of two open accounts against me that I'm currently at war.
2) This wasn't either of those (I'm VERY familiar with their numbers), and they both know how to get in touch with me.
3) My parents' names haven't been on anything since 1999.
He gave me their number, and I immediately called them. They went through the regular spiel, and said that they were trying to collect a past due balance of $187.36.
I was puzzled. "For what company?"
I tried really hard to not laugh.
New points to be made here:
1) Southwestern Bell doesn't exist. In 1995, it was changed to SBC Communications, and the name and logo were finally discarded in 2001. Then in 2005, it merged with AT&T.
2) The last time I had a Southwestern Bell account was before I moved to Denver in 2000.
3) Are you friggin kidding me?
I decided to play it cool. "Ummmm... what?" were my exact words.
"Yes, we purchased this account to collect on this debt."
"What was the date of last activity on this account?"
"1998. We can take your payment over the phone."
I couldn't hold it in any more. I busted a gut laughing into the phone. I told her, "I am NOT going to pay this or even bother talking to you again. Even if I DID owe this (which I don't), you have no possible way to collect."
SHE: "Can you prove that this isn't your debt?"
ME: "No, because I don't keep my bills from the last decade. Besides, burden of proof is on you. Good luck finding any paperwork on this."
SHE: "Sir, this will be reported to all three credit reporting agencies."
ME: "They won't report it. It's past the seven-year Statute of Limitations."
SHE: "We can sue you for it."
ME: "Go right ahead. seven-year SOL on that too."
ME: "Look. Face it. you have no legal recourse, unless they changed the laws this morning and I missed it."
SHE: "We'll send you something in writing, sir." Click.
Looking forward to that, especially since she never got my address, and I've moved 7 times since I had that account.
It's good to be the king.