| sidebar of the people
In late 2002, back when social media meant "I have a blog", I grafted a sidebar onto my site for my friend Dylan's smart snarky commentary.

In early 2004 I added our mutual friend Sarah into the mix, and later that year opened it up to a bunch of friends.

It was a nice addition to my site, a miniblog that used the same kind of energy Facebook and Twitter tap into today, people observing the world, sharing their experiences, and often trying to be a little funny.

In 2008 the thing wound down, and I closed it up sometime thereafter. It was a lot of fun while it lasted, though! Here is the archive, one column per month.

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very happy that it is friday... i am supposed to go see some friends in a show but instead am sitting in my sweats around the house feeling sleepy

very rainy in SD - like the rest of the west coast

planning another trip next month to boston when tom is in RI with Music Man - Dec 7 or so.

hope you and the little woman can come see tom carry a pitchfork across stage
A Whole New World

I just read an article about restoring the Boston Opera House in Downtown Crossing. (Huh? What opera house?) Which is my point. Not only did I shop and bank near it, but I walked past it on my way to work everyday. It's this massive (and fabulous) theatre hidden in Downtown Crossing that has been left to mold and decay - and I never knew it was there.

And last weekend I stumbled into the bizarre world of retail display stores - where you can buy mannequins, counter tops, and jewelry cases. Right in downtown San Diego. I've past this warehouse probably 50 times. Never knew.

What else am I missing?
Since June, I have been working towards the launch of my e-Bay business. This Sunday was sort of my first day of putting up real merchandise for sale. ("Fresh merch" as we in retail like to say - wink wink) And the day was filled with a certain amount of self-doubt and worry that I was wasting my time. But my anti-ego went one step too far: as I launched an auction, I noted that the auction number ended in 666 and I thought, "Is this just the devil working through me to promote greed and desire?" WOW - you'd think I was Catholic or something.
When I bought my house I noticed a strange patch job in the wall at the bottom of the stairs. Tom and I wondered what it was - but never gave it too much thought. It's just a bad patch job. Now that my puppy has become old enough to skyrocket through the house, I suddenly know why the previous residents (dog owners) couldn't get the wall patched well - it is the exact spot where Jimou (my dog) slams into the wall about six timer per day.
From SNL in its 80's heyday: "A song translated from English into French and back to English... Many memories. Like the edges of my head. Scattered, shredded, wet memories of who we saw..."

I just made an ass of myself at work trying to schedule a meeting with west coast staff members while I am in Boston in a few weeks. West coast time zone converted to east coast and back to west coast. It went VERY poorly.
While my mother has been visiting me for Thanksgiving, the child-parent role reversal has become very evident. It first showed up while I was unsuccessfully trying to explain the details of my mortgage to my Mom. But it was my fried Sarah who brought the reversal to full light. She treated me and my mother to dinner. Simple act - but profound - ya know. When I eat with a parent and one of my friends, I happily feel twelve years old again - all pround and mature eating like one of the big kids. But when I WAS twelve none of my friends had a platinum card.
I hate paper. My house and office are overrun by paper: old bills, magazines, writing projects, letters, cards... Is it really worth trying to organize them? 99% will never be looked at until the day I say to myself, "Why did I keep this?" And for the 1% I need, will I just get more gratification by saying, "I keep nothing and so I don't have that."

Don't we live in the #@*&ing digital age anyway?
Just spent the day on an airplane. Saw the Grand Canyon from the air. I have crossed the country so much lately, I have developed an over-the-counter solution to air travel: Flying with Dramamine. One-half pill prior to each take-off and you are never bored or restless. I wake in just enough time to reach out and grab the free food or Sprite and then it's back to the happy place I like to call Opium Air.
Boobies and titties and hooters... oh my!

YEARS AGO our blog host Kirk tried to convince me that men who had an ass fetish (hetero ass fetish - nothing queer here) really just had a displaced boob fetish... that the ass looked like breasts and therefore a man's ass preference just went back to his need to suckle.

Segue... The TV station Bravo is now running a TWO-HOUR special on our culture's fixation with breasts. TWO HOURS! Self fulfilling prophecy if you ask me. "Show it and they will come." (don't miss the double entendre in that last remark)
Just saw Star Trek Nemesis...

A few words that really only just begin the summerize my thoughts. 1) Thank goodness they stopped putting Deanna Trio in hair pieces - SHE'S A PRETTY GIRL AS IS! 2) (more Troi) Thank goodness they FINALLY used her mind-reading skill in a real way. For seven seasons she did little but state the obvious. "He's lying Captain." DUH! She gets a great big telepathic FUCK YOU in this movie. 3) Although they did a great job in explaining why Picard's twin was less than perfect, they skirted the issue about how Data got chubby. And moreover... how HIS twin (lost for untold years) gained the same amount of weight. 4) I must admit they walked the fine line between outright copying and giving homage (to previous Treks and Star Wars) BUT they did a fine job falling on the homage side. Phew - close call. 5) Thanks for the buggy-ride: I had fun but what was the point?
Waiting at a light just before my turn into a gas station, I reached down and pulled the latch to open the gas door. (Just being efficient with my time.) There was just enough space to my right for a car to pass and make a right turn on the red light. In an effort to be nice, a passing driver reached out his window and closed my gas door for me. He was really enthusiastic to have been able to help me and I felt somewhat bad when he gave me a quizzical look after I snappily said, "Thanks."
I just sold some more stuff on eBay. It still amazes me that I am getting away with selling this jewelry for such a mark-up: 400-500 percent.

And I don't think eBay is successful because it's a great way to get great deals. It's successful in the same way casinos are successful: people are addicted to thinking they might be getting a great deal - or winning a lot of money.

It's a thrill ride. Like a mini-orgasm when you sell or win. "Oh my God. YES!" And there's nothing messy or smelly to wipe off yourself.
I bought a teddy bear for myself last night in the grocery store. That's not like me - at all. He was just sitting in the coffee section by himself. He poorly made with thin fur and an off-center nose, so I named him Crooked Bear right there next to the instant decaf. And then I almost left without buying him. But I did. Phew. Crooked Bear and I almost had to spend our lives apart.
I've been sick with a cold. Not just the sniffles, thank you very much. But the get - on - the - couch - and - sleep - all - day - who - cares - if - I - haven't - showered kind of sick. It was a really good, ideal kind of cold. The kind of cold I dream about when I am sick of work and I want a really good excuse for not going in.

Here's the twist. I got sick on Christmas day and stayed home the two following work days. How lame is that going to look on my timesheet? My boss is going to take one look and say, "Right. Two sick days at the end of the year, just before he's about the lose them. Liar."
With my "special someone" out of town for the holiday, I decided to spend New Year's at home watching Sex and the City, launching eBay auctions, and eating Lindt chocolate. By saying "decided" I don't really mean "had no other plans." In fact I went to dinner with friends and then... went home. They were moderately horrified. "What? You don't want to come to the movie? What will you do? How will you ring in the New Year?"

2003 Resolution: Make fewer co-dependant friends.
I saw opening night of "The Producers" national tour.    Very funny. But how could such one-dimensional humor gain so much respect and so many accolates? Boob humor and gay jokes are funny... but come on. They couldn't even dig deep enough to rustle up some irony. It was worth $42 of the $68 that I paid.

I am going to be performing my stand-up routine tonight (Oh dear. Oh my. It seems that we have some singed pussy in here!) And frankly, I am not all that nervous. In fact, I am nervous that I am not nervous. I am really hopeful that by the time I get ready to go on stage I am ready to puke. If not, I need to change professions and get a high-risk, high-paying job where fearlessness will make me rich.
Woe is me.

I am suffering from some nasty    alergy problems AND my office smells. I cleaned my car this weekend and over-Fabreezed it.

theatER = the building
theatRE = the art form

Theatre people need to get over themselves. And they need to realize they are not British.
I just wrote a very long entry for this site and deleted it fearing the very slim chance that a 50-year old crazy woman with a chronic illness would find this tiny corner of the web and read about herself and therefore hate me forever. (I know this woman, by the way - I don't run around fearing woman with Lupus.)

I mean what are the chances? If you Google me, all that turns up is some site about an infant model and something about a gumball machine.

Am I the crazy one?
In respons to Kirks very honest and frank reaction to the shuttle disaster I would like to say the following....

According, to US english grammer rules the period should always go inside the quotation mark

get it rite Kirk!

O=E and B=R


Rainy day in San Diego... rare as many of you know. And when I lived in my apartment I loved rainy days. Perfect excuse to stay inside and wallow in whatever self-pity I could muster up. Ideal for hot beverages and reflection on my sad state... blah blah blah. Now that I own a home with a questionable roof, I really do wallow in self-pity and my sad state. I can't enjoy the depressing pitter-patter of raindrops on my roof because I have a neurotic fear that the dreaded leaking will begin.
on the day of love... just off the top of my head...

Love, exciting and new. Come aboard. We're expecting you. The Love Boat. Soon we'll be making another run. The Love Boat. Promises something for everyone. Set your course for adventure; your mind for a new romance. And love ... won't hurt anymore. It's an open sky on a brand new shore. It's love!

1) I didn't feel the earthquake.
2) Threw a wedding shower this weekend. It was a day full of pleasantries with older British women. On the way home from the party, I had to pull off the freeway so that I could vomit violently behind a Denny's. (Probably not the first time that has happened.)
3) Saw a production of "Cabaret" last night. During the final number of the show, the director added a low grade sound under the seats to create a rumbling, shaking feeling. FREAKED ME OUT. Not unlike the final moments of "Signs" in which I was so panicked, I broke out in sweat and scarred my upper lip with my own finger nail.

I bought a take-out sandwich today - egg and cheese. It usually comes on an English muffin (as indicated by the little menu). Fine. Great. But the woman says, "We are out of muffins - how about a bagel?" Frankly, there is too much thick bread on a bagel for my taste. "How about on slices of bread?" I asked. Her reply, "We don't make substitutions."

Bizarre-o List of Accomplishments Today

1) Bought "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens"
2) Bathed both of my dogs
3) Photographed two Tommy Hilfiger handbags
4) Ate feted broccoli


I am currently throwing a fit with my bank about an interest rate. As we speak I am on hold waiting in a deadly silence for the answer. I am not screaming mad but I just spewed off a long case and sounded very stern yet under control.

Why then do I have a sick stomach?
Wouldn't it suck to have to move in 48 hours?

Given that I only loosely follow world events this isn't a political statement. I am just thinking how much of a pain in the ass it would be to figure out what to pack, where to go, and how to get there. If the governor of California gave me 48 hours to get out of the state and never come back, I would be hard pressed to make it happen. Frankly I would end up across the state line in Yuma with a bag of Freetos and my wallet.
Here is an excerpt from notes I took at a recent conference...

This man may, in fact, be one of the world's worst speakers. In addition, his voice seems to have a tone causing an automatic feedback problem with the speaker system. Slide after slide with lime green backdrops are hurting my eyes. The pain of looking at the screen is not unlike turning on the bathroom light in the midnight dark. "My eyes! My eyes!"
The smell of opportunity.

I am in a battle with one of my dogs - the young one. He wants to be the dominant dog in the house. For those who have never fought this battle you will think me silly - you will think I am anthropomorphizing my dog's actions. I AM NOT.

He knows when things change in the house. Tom is away in NYC. I am very sick and sleeping all day. I think he can smell that I am weak and he is starting to test me... again. He is not coming when I call. He is pushing ahead of me on the stairs. He tried to eat my food today. In short - he wants to be top dog.

To correct the problem I have to speak his language. So in my smelly, sweaty, sick state, I backed him into his kennel and stared him down. And I growled. I actually growled. BUT it works! He's back to being his obedient self.
I have sick for two weeks. Damn, this virus won't give up. It's so odd to me that such a little, itty, bitty thing can make me feel so drained for so long. Had I been attacked by a man with a knife two weeks ago, I would be feeling better than I do right now.

And no, I don't have SARS!
A Day of Drama

How does one process a day of drama? There was no fighting. No crying. Some shock. But just lots of "no way" and "you have got to be kidding me" and "holy crap!" Some people just sleep. Some take long drives. But for me... I don't know. Hot tea didn't work. Talking just makes me cranky. I am sick of TV and especially CNN.

Maybe if I stare at a computer screen all my troubles will fade.

Yeah well that doesn't work either.
Movie Moment

I have been having some movie moments lately...

Wind blowing in my hair, I turn and face the wind with new decisiveness and direction. I adjust my briefcase strap and march forward feeling refreshed with the energy of having left behind old baggage.

It's better than a week-long cruise - and just as cheesy!
Catching a lie.

I caught someone in a lie yesterday. I didn't mean to. I wasn't grilling them about the truth. We were having a pleasant conversation and ... PLOP ... contradiction. Silence. Sideways glances. I coughed.

And we moved on like it didn't happen.
I always visited Kirk during the summers of our youth. He would play video games while I cleaned his room for him. We were an odd pair.

When I was 12 or 13 his Dad taught me to cook home-made dog treats and gave me a wooden cooking spoon. To this day, the thought of either one of those makes me remember him. And I use wooden cooking spoons often.

I've always wondered if his Dad knew more about me than I did at that time.

I was stared at by a plumber today. He stared while I drove in the alley. He stared while I backed my car into my parking spot outside my office building. He stared while I walked to the gate. And the only thing he said was, "I am putting a toilet in today."

It was odd, but not quite as odd as the painter who left me a note in my old apartment back in Boston. "Changing the color can change how the molecules make our future."
I ate some gummy, Snoopy-shaped, fruit snacks today. They were tasty and they made me happy.

My heavy pockets
Force me to use a man-purse
Heavy is the shame
Dylan's definition of Pedeorology: The exact science of using children's health to predict the weather.

Sarah's warped interpretation of Pedeorology: Using children's SOULS to predict the weather.
Spent a few minutes in a casino this weekend. No natural light. The stale smell of gin and compulsion. I found it ironic that while I was urinating, the sound system softly played, "We all live in a yellow submarine. A yellow submarine."

Saw the Matrix...

Let's first say I have never liked the name... The Matrix Reloaded. Come on. For 100 million smackaroos I would have found a more striking title.

As for the rest... eh. They went too far going up the digital twat of that hot chick eating cake. The superman stunts were uninspired - and a cheap way out of too many jams.

And the matrix doesn't seem all too complex. What really seems to be happening is no different than your average showing of Days of Our Lives. Instead of beautiful people fighting with each other, it's... beautiful people fighting some damn petty machines. Sheesh. Program out the drama.

May 20, 2003

Comparing Kirk's old photo with his new one... I would say the $4,500 for the nose job was worth it!

In Boston this week...

Staying at the Sheraton in Harvard Square. It's an old, hot hotel with a hard bed and chairs so old I dare not guess as to the number of bare asses that have attempted to stain the fabric. But whatever that number is, it is one more today than it was yesterday.


Off the top of my head...

Now that I met the first baby of my last girlfriend (meaning the last one I will ever have) I have a growing parental call.

Hydrogen peroxide is a miracle worker.

Sand is a bitch to get out of a car's carpeting.

Denny's best item is the Moons Over My-Hammy - not just because the name makes me giggle but because it's tasty!

This is the note I found taped to the WINDOW of the door to my DARK office:

Dear Suite E:
Please do not leave your Halogen Lamp on unattended as they are known to catch fire. Thank you.
- Your concerned neighbors

When I asked these neighbors about the note, I was told, "Somehow the light turned off by itself." Ummmm no... I turned the light off. Impersonal AND crazy; what a fun combo!

Recent exchange with WaMu bank rep on phone:

WaMu: (lots of attitude) I guess I will have to pull up the ARCHIVES.
Me: (patience gone) Maybe I should hang up and talk to someone else. It sounds like that is a lot of trouble and doing it will just annoy you.
WaMu: Oh no. That's not why.


Overheard outside of my office:

"I had to give the inspector a tour of the house and he showed my how all of the food had been bagged in the wrong way."


Just a rambling of thoughts today...

My new laptop (refurbished and purchased on eBay) is ready to get picked up. I just got back from an eBay conference in Orlando - humidity is yucky. I love our modern world where I could run my life from the free internet computers set up at eBay Live. I am wearing some new clog-like shoes from LL Bean and loving them. I have crossed over the line to a part-time coffee drinker - though I don't want run-of-the-mill, low-class coffee - I am into drinking Americanos (espresso with hot water).

Bottleneck of thoughts:
cLaSs.WOrk!inSURaNcE.BillS! webSiTe.EbAY!CaSh.dRiVE.


What's up with the pointless sidebar?

Why so few entries lately.

For all of my loyal fans (3) I must alopogize for the infrequent posting to the pointless sidebar. I am sure Kirk has been muttering, "Pointless doesn't mean inactive, Dylan."

Life ran away on me. The good news is that I have been given the opportunity to send a full script (not a summary or outline) to a huge agency in Hollywood. Thanks to a former producer of Frasier (who took pity on me as a struggling writer) I was offered this one chance in hell.

More pointless points coming soon!

Personal Note to Kirk...

Hi Kirkles,

Got your voice mail. I am in Hawaii on vacation. Sadly, I don't have any specific plans for the lake house but I am thinking probably September 6-7.

Hi to Mo.


P.S. Kaua'i is great. And our first outing today... Wal-Mart!
Notes from Hawaii:

Although an incomparable experience, sitting behind the Wailua Falls - actually sitting BEHIND them in the pool at the bottom - was made all the better because these were featured in the opening sequence of Fantasy Island.

And what is a vacation spot if it hasn't been shouted at by a midget? "Da plane, boss. Da plane." And that makes it all the better.
Bad Haiku
Big Bad Meeting at Work

Some people will lose their jobs.
Am I one of them?
For now, it seems, I am not.

For me, sitting around the house on a perfect Saturday can either be relaxing and fun, depressing and dreary, or a combination of the two. The might start well with tea and pancakes but spiral down ending in a TBS broadcast of The Goonies and Doritos.

Lucky for me the day did start with the tea and pancakes. No downward spiral. Maybe it's my new wireless access to the internet keeping me happy.

Brush with celebrity...

Doing anything in LA can land you in the awkward position of running into a minor celebrity. I am "lucky" enough to have such an experience on a weekly basis now. One of the minor characters from last year's Spider-man is in my class. (A screenwritting class).

And what can I say... he played a big, dumb jock in the movie. And he seems to actually have a head on his shoulders... but he was the big, dumb jock. What am I supposed to say? "Gee the scene where you punch Toby MacGuire really changed me as a person."

In television advertisements...

A park ranger pours Metamucil mix into Old Faithful. Text on screen... "Please follow Park Service rules."

Desitin ad tells viewers about the recommendation from "baby doctors."

How stupid is the general public? Or how paranoid are corporations?

At Chili's Restaurant tonight, my waiter suggested that I NOT order the chili. Sad. Very sad, indeed.

The snowball survived hell!

Last month I finished a script in haste and sent it to a big agency in Hollywood. Yesterday, I got word they liked it.

There are thousands of writers in Los Angeles that are working very hard to catch a break, find an agent, and get paid writing. I just budged into the front of a very long line.
A first for me...

Ring ring ring

"Hello, this is Dylan."

"Please hold for Mr. So-and-so."

Pennies on the dollar...

How long will two pennies remain un-picked up in front of an ATM? (I noticed them last night in downtown San Diego.) I am guessing the thrill of finding money is diminished by the ATM. Yeah yeah yeah... cash from the ATM is not free, but two cents seems so silly when taking out $40.
Separated at birth... or something more???

Sarah has just pointed out that our dear host Kirk could, in fact, just be Geena Davis in drag.

You decide!

By the end of the month...

Tom will be in Massachusetts performing Titanic.
Sarah will have moved to Florida.
My night class will be done.
I won't have a job.

Sign of the Times

My friend Kim (who has been angry for not mentioning her to date) just graduated with her MBA. And this isn't some Time-Life Books version of a mail-order MBA but a degree from Simmons College. And her first venture now that she has many letters following her last name (which last name? I don't know because she has and uses two indiscriminately)... her first venture is to sell STICKERS on eBay.

Side note: Been watching the first season of The West Wing on Bravo. I love it all over again.

I had a small bag of car-trash (empty soda bottles, scraps of paper, old gum...) ready to go in a trash can.    I found a bin and tied the bag to toss it away. As I approached, another man looked at me and then reached into the can and started to sift through the refuse.

So there I was... we both knew I had a bag of garbage. I was just a few feet from my good-looking car and he was... picking through garbage. My instinct was to offer him my trash - there were some good bottles in my bag. I didn't. But was it rude to silently drop my trash and walk away?

Emily Post needs to write some advice about vagrant etiquette.
Note found on the street outside of my house...

OMG! I'm so squished, and then I have 4 books that I am carrying and my jacket. I just hope my dad remembers to come @ like 4:55 and not after. Write back. Don't forget to get online like @ 6:30. that's the time I told the "wanna-be"s HeHe. =) Sorry for writing sloppy. Don't let the bus driver see you pass me back the note cuz we will get in trouble.


Looking for a job sucks!


I attended a San Diego Chargers Football game over the weekend and could not help but notice how gay I thought everything was. By gay, I do in fact mean homosexual.

In my world, buffed-up men with no shirts, sporting goatees, walking in pairs, means that I am in Hillcrest or West LA. To me, it means these men were just participating in and/or about to be participating in some sort of man-man action.

So OK, they probably weren't all gay. (But we all know at least two or three of them have something in their past they DON'T talk about.) Trust me on this one, the gay community is not deliberately mimicking the straight world to this extent. I can't image the str8s are looking to be more fashionable. So did these mirror vanities arise on their own in their respective worlds?

And as much as straight men don't want to look gay, gay men would be much more upset thinking they looked legitimately straight.

Is is wrong to be hungover on your last day of work?

Is is wrong to be hungover on your last day of work?


Or is it worse to stay up until 4am on your last day of work?


Calling all recalls... calling all recalls...

My vote: No and the Green Party Guy.

What, that's just giving the election to Arnold. Indeed it is. But I would rather see a viable third party twenty years from now, than Cruz in Sacramento for the next 24 months plodding along in the same old way.

When my printer ink cartridge "expires" is that just a way of making me spend more money? Do I now have to race against some two-year time clock in order to maximize the cost of printer ink. Balance out when I print... Is it worth it to print this page with all that blue? Can I wait until the magenta ink is lower than the cyan?

Down with HP printers!
You're a Google Star. That's what you are.

Low and behold, is not the only web page that features both me and the Monsenior Israel.

1) Go to Google.
2) Type glens falls
3) Look under photos and you will see me and Kirk wearing our 6th grade geek chic in full force.


Walking through OB today (Ocean Beach) - a mecca for surfers and slackers - my friend Laureen pointed out a pile a AAA batteries just sitting on a bench.

Not 2.
Not 5.
But like 18.
Why? What happened there?


Stephen King Creepy in San Diego

So all of San Diego is bathed in a creepy red light from the sun trying to shine through the ash of the forest fires east of here. The sky is grey and streaked in black. The light is orange. The air is filled with falling ash. and it's quiet. Very very quiet.

When the super-rich get freaky on Halloween!

Spend Halloween night in LA at a friend's house in a fancy-dancy part of greater LA (Santa Monica near Montana).

Just a few streets away, some neighbors put on a MASSIVE power point presentation in their front yard about damnation. And they handed out tootsie-pops with "scary" pamphlets about "hell is worse than being attacked by a T-rex."

It was the spookiest thing I've seen in years.


I made a little whoopsie with the IRS last year. And in an effort to ruin a perfectly good Saturday, I summoned the courage to call them today and just fix the problem. Ummmmmmm.... they're closed on the weekends?

It's the modern age. They should be open until 5 on Saturdays. Can I blame Bush for this?

IRS follow up...

They were so nice. I mean pleasant and humorous and understanding... I felt like I was at Nordstrom. Happily giving too much money (for a decent product) to a well trained service agent. They have put the SERVICE back in IRS.


Bad news for a friend yesterday... she got fired. Over e-mail. E-MAIL. And for calling in sick. The whole thing is just wrong.

But this feeds into my "Psych 101" philosophy of how we treat other human beings. Typical experimental psychology... If you can see another person - physically SEE them - you are less likely to give them an electric shock for doing something wrong. Once a curtain drops - and you can't see the person - you start zapping without a care in the world.

And my friend just got zapped over e-mail.

Went to Vegas this past weekend.

There is a reason why we have a movie and a song named "Leaving Las Vegas." I just don't know exactly why. I could say it's the absurd lights, leaping water, chapped lips, or shark shows. But frankly I can't put my finger on it but to say, leaving Las Vegas is like waking up from a dream and saying, "You won't believe the dream I just had!"

California Holiday

Two elderly Mormons, a 76-year old Columbia liberal, a gay couple, a sterile straight couple, and Ralph.

That was my Thanksgiving. Family and friends for sure... certainly not Normal Rockwell. But who has one of those anyway?

P.S. The "Normal" was an honest Freudian slip. How funny.


Overheard at the gym...

Two men coming out of the shower.
"Hey that's my towel, Ted."
"Sorry Bill. I guess I have the blue one."
"That's right. Mine is green."
"Better than if it were pink."

If these guys want to avoid "homo" situations, they shouldn't use the shower at the YMCA.

This afternoon, I had a dream about cleaning my floor. Is that how shallow my subconscious is? At least when I dream about peeing, I really have to pee. Am I so neurotic that I have put cleaning in the same category as the basic necessities of life? My pyramid needs adjustment.

What the hell happened???

I was using the restroom at Starbucks and found the following "crime scene." There was a bottle of restaurant soy sauce (it had the funny pour top you find in restaurants) on the back of the toilet and a puddle of soy sauce on the floor.


And it's very unusual to find a puddle of brown liquid in the bathroom - even if it is soy sauce.

White Kermit at Barnes and Noble...

In response to Kirk's entry about the anemic Kermits at BN ...

They do look sick, but I had a very odd interaction with a semi-offended B&N employee who told me that it was the trend to "white-out" characters for the holiday season. I guess Disney did it with Pooh and Eeyore.

It's just so sad. Kermmie looks sick.
Smaltz alert!

Making a house feel like a home... I have not had a functional heater in my living room since I moved into my house 2.5 years ago. A heater? In San Diego? Indeed! (Check out the lows.)

Now, I will grant that the lowest temp in SD is still above freezing, but when it's 42 degrees in my living room, it's not homey.

So, I got the heater fixed (side note: we should all just go to trade school and retire early) and my house feels more like a home.


I feel like Kirk... (finding cool links and all)

Here is a nifty New Year's countdown clock.


Dork alert! Dork alert!

I am watching PBS and logged onto completely absorbed in our successful mission to Mars.

But I am giggling about the (now lame) attempt of PBS to build tension in their programming - Will the rover land? Can we handle the crater?


The Tijuana Clink

For those of you who want to read about my trip to a Tijuana jail, read no further. I didn't go. But I was in Tijuana today, and I did legitimately fear that I could end up in jail. Now granted, it was my neurotic, girly head that went there - but I did see an actual path to the The Tijuana Clink.

It all involves unemployment, pills for anxiety, and a Mexican pharmacist who took me and a friend on a little trip.

Read more in the next installment of my Pointless Sidebar!!!

Oh great, not only are these pointless stories, Dylan is dragging them out in a self-important manner.

The Mexican Doctora

Just like most Americans, I have been to a variety of doctors in my life. Dr. Leach my pediatrician, Dr. Kramer in Boston, Dr. Marin in San Diego... and I can't forget those nameless, faceless clinic and ER docs I have seen throughout my life of food poisoning and broken glass.

But I never would have imagined that a most thorough and complete exam would have taken place in Tijuana. And it didn't - for me. But I was witness to a friend's examination in Mexico that would put any doctor in my past to shame.

My friend, suddenly without insurance, was running out of her "crazy" pills. They are very expensive in San Diego, but with a 15 minute drive and walk over the boarder, they are affordable. But you still need a prescription to get them in Mexicol - you have to visit a Mexican doc. So we did.

And let me just say... Dr. Esmeralda (60 year-old female doc in Tijuana) gets some major points and broke some serious prejudices in my book.

Tromping Through TJ

The scariest part of buying medication in Tijuana (TJ), is simply how easy and safe it is. It was clearly more dangerous tromping through the rubble and ruined sidewalks towards the taco stand once we had completed our narcotics transaction.

I don't pretend to know the ins-and-outs of the US healthcare fiasco, but in Mexico I can get a doctor's exam and prescription drugs for a year for $80 cash.

In the US, my copays alone would have totaled $250 - I have no idea what the actual cost to the insurance companies is. But it's probably $80.

You're a Super Star. That's what you are!

In a exciting turn of events (exciting for a bore like me), I have recently made Power Seller on eBay. WOO HOO!

It means that I get a little star logo next to my eBay name. It's an elite club (of thousands). And of all the benefits that I get from it (mostly just e-mail support from eBay staff and that logo I mentioned), the strangest one is qualifying for (self-paid) health insurance for me and my staff (of which I have none).

Who knew? I sell a few wallets... I brake my leg... and it's a wash.

To see said logo (and my store listings), go to: snappysmercantile.
The FUNNIEST thing I have ever seen on eBay!!!

OK so there is this woman on eBay who has been selling country candles (and whatnot) for quite a while. She has lots of good feedback - but I am guessing she is NOT a silly grandma but a force to be reckoned with.

Her most popular eBay auction:
"Sister In Laws EXTRAMARITAL AFFAIR Photos!"

"Hey let's swing back around. I think that was a transgender whore."

Does it make me a bad man for turning the car around to see if the prostitute was really a man? There is no doubt about what she was selling outside of the El Uno Bar. I swung the car around and looked again. (And it was a man in a bustier.) But I turned that human being into a sideshow freak for my curiosity.

Or am I just a witness to humanity?

Kirk is getting fussy with me...

I admit it, I have not updated my pointless sidebar in the last week. But doesn't that make it all the more pointless.

The real culprit is my trip to sunny Palm Springs where you can still here Bing and Blue-eyes on the radio like it's 1953. Palm Springs is nearly as surreal as Vegas - there are hundreds of tall while windmills standing guard on the edge of town, a mini Palm Springs Walk of Fame (where you won't recognize any names), and coutless nudist gay resorts.


And why did her mother have to insist on anything? Did she actually want to keep it? Or think that she could?

(Sorry for that, Mo.)


I found a job that I want and that I would be good at. But I am left with the hopeless dread that there is no way I could ever get it.

And I blame George W. Bush. If he did a better job getting the economy in shape then there would be fewer people looking for work and my slacker attitude wouldn't work against me.


Sarah's first truly pointless sidebar:

At work today I was asked to come up with an imaginary persona for some usability testing.    We came up with the seemingly random name Bob Rickert and created an entire identity for this imaginary man.    It occured to me to google the name to see if there really was a Bob Rickert out there somewhere... and sure enough... there are quite a few!    This prompted an odd thought... Have all the imaginary names been used up?    Fearing the worst I immediately began to try and think of new names... names never been said before let alone googled...    the best I could come up with was "Baldzar Gargarfram", which I then googled.    There were no results for Baldzar, but Google asked me if I meant "Balzar Gargarfram", as if it was completely obvious that I would have been searching for Balzar!    Oddly enough, there were no results for Balzar either!

Well... I'd say that was fairly pointless!

Pointless indeed. But hardly Sarah's first pointless story.

And almost certainly not the last!

Sarah's second pointless sidebar!

I deceived a kindly old lady today.    And I don't feel good about it!    We're buying a house, and we're going to have to leave our nice little apartment, and break the heart of the lovely little lady who owns the place.    She came over today and gushed about how she loves having us as tenants, and then I told her I had to go, that I had a dentists appointment.    Though, technically, I do have a dentists appointment (in July), I actually had to go to the inspection of the house we are buying!    I'm a deceiver!    Oh god... what have I done!?

Sarah's 3rd Pointless Sidebar

Funny Kirk should mention fearing for his job!    I have been fearing losing my job for the better part of 2 years now.    It's no fun!    I also constantly deal with the fear that at any moment someone is going to realize that I am a total moron and a fraud.    A few weeks ago I picked up a copy of Folio Weekly magazine, and there was a picture of the Duval County Superintendant of Schools wearing a giant dunce cap with the letter "F" scrawled on it!
What kind of a nightmare is that?
I fear I too will wake up one day and find myself on the cover of a newspaper with a big dunce cap on my head!

Now that I HAVE been let go of my job, I live in fear that folks back in Boston at the organization's HQ are snickering and saying things like, "Dylan wasn't really laid off. We just discovered porn on his computer and didn't know how to say anything. So we just said it was a lay off."

The Highlights of Dylan's Trip
  • Driving onto the Universal Studios lot with my own car for a legit entertainment meeting.
  • Getting stuck in the plasters floor of the scene shop where there were no workers, no windows, and every wall was covered with "stone" and "brick" plastic molds.
  • Peeing in the metal shop urinal - waterless and smelly. (These people MADE Jurassic Park and they can't afford water!!!)
  • Watching the tour buses filled with tourists pass me by while I stood outside the Amblin Entertainment bungalows talking to Sarah. The lot is filled with fake reality - so I played along with my own fake reality. (Me as a Hollywood player.)
  • Getting lost in the backlot and realizing Who-ville ("The Grinch") is on the same street as the "Psycho" house.
  • Pulling up to The Red Roof Inn in Palm Springs just as Tom runs out having just freed himself from the ties placed on his wrists by the gunmen who held up said Red Rood Inn but got no money.

Ummmm... I'd like a dose of reality with a chaser of normal.

OK so this really scary thing happened...

I just wrote a long description of what happened to Tom in Palm Springs but I erased it.

Basically he was held up at gunpoint. He's fine. And other than that, I really don't want to say any more (sorry Kirk).

The world is a bigger, scarier, and more random place than I ever thought it was and by writing about it here in this public forum, makes me feel even more exposed - not to mention how Tom might feel about it.

Repeating what a wise woman told me this morning... When they say, "shit happens," they really mean shit happens.

OK. Back to poinlessness...

Sarah was having a fine time filling in the pointless blanks when I came along and got all deep with my tragedy.

So OK... something pointless... useless... of no point or use... ummmmmm...

People use the elipse way too much...
Pointless/contradictory items today...
1) I haven't shaven but I like using the stubble to itch my hand psoriasis.
2) It's raining and sunny in San Diego today.
3) I am watching "Die Hard with a Vengence" despite it's weak title.
4) The cat is acting sick and I feel like I have a cold.
5) I am unmotivated because I feel so unmotivated.

The following text is an opinion about Kirk's impending divorce. I am only taking his lead in exploiting this event for the public's consumption. In an effort to shield anyone (read as "Mo") from an inflammatory glance, I have posted the comment in transparent font. Highlight the text to read it.

After some pondering and over-analysis, I have come to the conclusion that Mo left at least two clues of her marrital doubts via unconscious / psychosomatic conditions.

(please image that I am now speaking in my bad German/Freud accent)

1) Mo LOCKED her wedding ring in the hotel safe the night before the wedding. She then FLED home (my words) only to arrive back at the hotel the next day with NO key. Very interesting.

2) On the honeymoon, Mo came down with a sickness that lasted for most of their first year of marriage. It took some sherpa-shaman-witch-doctor (again my words) to get Mo healthy again. She vas very very eel durik zca fist veer of di marreege. (bad German accent, remember)

I feel obliged to mention now that I have always liked Mo and that I hold very few negative feeling for her. I recognize that she has had her own burdens to bear and (while I do actually blame her for the divorce) I would gladly hug her if I ever see her again. (The blame thing is mostly because it's my job to take Kirk's side even when he won't let her take all the blame. It's my obligation.)

The Dallas-Ft.Worth
Highway System

A bit phallic? Only Dubbya's state could make a dick out of their highway system.

Selling my house = Married to a Vulcan

Well the house is going on the market. Why? Oh mostly because of the money. The San Diego real estate market is going to stop growing so quickly and I want to get selling while the selling is good.

But my real estate agent nailed it when she asked why I was so hesitant. "You feel like it's a failure." And she's right. It feels like I'm failing. Even with the money I'll make I feel like I am letting the house down.

But guess what... the house doesn't care. At all. And THAT makes me even more sad. This must be what it's like to marry a Vulcan. No feelings.
I am in HELL...
Hell apparently is a dank little server room on the Microsoft campus in Seattle, in which I am forced to work like a troll, 14 hours a day, for pod people who say things like "hey, I've got a great idea... let's all work late and order in food!" ... to which the rest of the pod people say "wow, yeah... great idea!"

NO... you bunch of freaks... let's all get the hell out of here for a few hours before we lose our minds!!!!!

Somebody help me!!!
My goodness!!!    Look at that!    My name on the Sidebar title?    When did this happen?    What an honor this is.    Thank you Kirk!    You are most gracious and benevolent!   
So on my last night in Seattle, I returned back to the Craphole Inn and Suites where I was housed for 9 days, only to find the neighborhood swarming with police cars.    I rolled down my car window and called to one of the police officers, "I'm staying around here, anything happening that I should be concerned about?"
"No, no... everything's fine, no cause for alarm," he said confidently.
So on I proceeded to the Craphole Inn and there right out front was a policeman using his car door for a shield, pointing his rifle in my general direction.    I stopped the car immediately and he yelled "MOVE... MOVE..." at me.    At which point I frantically peeled out and drove away as rapidly as I could.
Never did find out what the deal was... it certainly alarmed me though!       
So on my last night in Seattle, I returned back to the Craphole Inn and Suites where I was housed for 9 days, only to find the neighborhood swarming with police cars. I rolled down my car window and called to one of the police officers, "I'm staying around here, anything happening that I should be concerned about?"
"No, no... everything's fine, no cause for alarm," he said confidently.
So on I proceeded to the Craphole Inn and there right out front was a policeman using his car door for a shield, pointing his rifle in my general direction. I stopped the car immediately and he yelled "MOVE... MOVE..." at me. At which point I frantically peeled out and drove away as rapidly as I could.
Never did find out what the deal was... it certainly alarmed me though!

I just love this time of year. Spring has sprung. The birds are singing. The weather is getting warm. And everyone I know is getting a gun pointed at their head.
Today I am in a foul mood.    There is entirely too much going on.    The phone won't stop ringing.    My mum is coming to visit and will be here in a matter of hours, while the house is still filthy.    A strange man named Domingo just delivered something that I suppose could be considered a bed for her to sleep on, but it smells as though something crawled out of a dumpster and into the mattress, laid eggs, vomited, then died in there.    The roof is leaking... all over the television.    I haven't even had my morning coffee yet, and it's almost 1:00PM!

But you still have great hair!

Thanks Kirk!    Actually, I did feel that it was a particularly good hair day, despite it all.    I've been experimenting with the diffuser lately, and it's been a grand success all round!
My grandmother was actually from Dublin, which I believe qualifies me for Irish citizenship.    That pleases me and makes me feel quite international.    However I already have a UK and US citizenship, which makes matters very confusing at border crossings.    I was once held at the Canadian border for 3 hours by border guards, who were confused by my British accent, California Drivers License, Boston home address, Michigan license plates and lack of a passport.    Imagine that!   
I've just had to go into tedious detail about why my recent work-related car rental bill was so high.    It was so high because at DFW you have to pay an enormous amount of money in strange "fee's" and "taxes".    There is the "$5 a day surcharge", the "11.11% fee", the "One Way Fee/Misc", and then there is just regular ole' "tax".    What on earth is an "11.11% fee" supposed to be for??? In the end it works out to an additional $60.93 for a three day rental. Yipes!    No wonder I am getting the third degree about it!   
I am most pleased to report today that a new law has been passed in Colorado... a most important law that I can only hope will be mirrored throughout the rest of the country:

"The law said the left lane on highways with speed limits of 65 mph or more will be reserved primarily for passing. The law will take effect on July 1.

Owens said vehicles traveling below the speed limit often create real traffic hazards if they are in the left lane. The new law is aimed at improving both safety and traffic flow."
- Associated Press

A certain sidebar writer seems to think it's acceptable to crawl along in the left lane, forcing other drivers to go around him on the right.    Evidently the state of Colorado disgrees!

Oh Where Art Thou Pointless Dyl?

I realize that the avid reader of Kirk's blog has been subject to Sarah's sad and mad ravings of what "good" driving is for far too long.

So I am here to save you from the smug with a dull tale of a long and pointless road trip.

Tom's car broke down and so I had to drive two hours to Palm Springs to pick him up. We then drove two hours to Long Beach where we slept a whopping 4 hours. Tom got on a jet to NYC while I sat in Southern Cali traffic for three additional hours. Then I had crazy dreams sleeping on my couch while painters painted my bedroom balcony.

Pointless... check
Tedious... check
Seeminly without end... check

I'm back!

When Will High School End...

OK so like Candy - which isn't her name but I don't want to use her real name or anything - so like Candy isn't calling me about doing this one thing but I know she is doing it with the other people in our friend group - and by "doing it" I don't mean "doing it" but I mean like going to a play or whatever - so she isn't calling me and then someone started talking about doing this thing while I was there and she got really really really quiet and wouldn't look at me - or maybe she like didn't even care - but she isn't saying anything and it's not like I HAVE to go or ANYTHING but it would be totally better if she just said something like "sorry I can't invite you" because it kinda hurts my feelings more that she isn't saying anything than that I'm not getting invited. Whatever!
Today is April Fools Day!
I got up very early this morning, and snuck over to my friend Eric's house.    Using white shoe polish, I wrote a bunch of propaganda for the local high school all over the windows of his Suburban.    His rear window now says things like "Seniors Rule", "Go Senators", and "Juniors Suck".    The true beauty of this is that Eric is far too lazy to bother washing his car, which means the writing will remain on the back window of my 32 year old friends truck until the rain washes it away!    And to my further delight, Eric, not remembering it's April Fool's Day, is now convinced that a rogue band of spirited high school students is roaming the city grafitting their enthusiastic phrases all over people's cars.   

Mission accomplished!    Happy pranking everybody!
Don't you hate when you return to your computer after mere minutes away, only to see that someone has IM'd you, and just as you go to respond to that person, who you are genuinely excited to chat with, they log off.    Curses!!!    If only I hadn't wasted all that time sitting down.    I should have just typed something... anything... a single letter, just something to let them know that I am here... I am trying... but alas... it's too late "snappy" signed off at 12:08:43 PM.   
Kirk's story this morning makes me think of the valuable lesson I learned about blenders and hot liquids a few weeks ago, now known as the "Appley-Pork Nightmare".
I decided to make a pork roast recipe I found in a delightfully chic cookbook.    It involved using my pressure cooker, and all sort of new stainless steel cooking implements.    Very exciting.    Feeling like quite the domestic goddess I pulled the roasted pork out of the oven and embarked upon the final step of the recipe... the apple sauce!    The pork had been roasting in the pressure cooker with apple slices and liquid, which had all melded together into a wonderful smelling sauce.    The recipe said to pour the mix into a food processor and blend to a smooth sauce.    Not having a food processor, I substituted with our blender.    I put my hand on top of the lid, turned the blender on and my hand was propelled into the air by the force of the sauce exploding out of the blender and all over the room.    I squealed like the pig I was roasting when this happened, which caused Wes to run into the room to see what had happened.   
Stunned by the atrocious mess I had made, and my obvious incompetence with the blender, Mr. SmartyPants then attempted to demonstrate proper use of the blender, by repeating exactly what I had done, this time sending the "appley-pork nightmare" all over the rest of the room, his shirt, and a good portion of his head!   
Mandatory network password changes are extremely irritating to me.    I have run through every possible confabulation of my usual passwords to satisfy our greedy network servers and I can't come up with any more. I'm all tapped out! And for cry eye... what's the big security issue anyway?    It's not like I'm protecting national secrets.    Nobody in their right mind gives a flip what's in my email.   
Unfocused Rage
So... it seems Dylan is experiencing a little bit of pent up hostility, which has turned into him having a big hissy fit for no apparent legitimate reason.

REASON? You want reason? There is no loyalty to reason. There is no inherent truth to reason. There is just crap from people who you "love' and "trust."

Clearly, Dylan is upset at something, and I can't imagine what on Earth it could be... but I'm guessing, that whoever pissed him off... whomever that person might be... wherever that person might be... they know the wrong they have done!    Oh yes... they know!

Bad but meaningful song lyrics of the day

Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got!
Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.
Wouldn't you like to get away?

Sometimes you want to go...
where everybody knows your name,and they're always glad you came.

You wanna be where you can see, our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows your name.
You wanna go where people know, people are all the same,
You wanna go where everybody knows your name.
You want to go where people know, people are all the same;
You want to go where everybody knows your name.

Have you hugged your Barista today?
I am currently enjoying a lovely extra hot, grande, decaf, non-fat latte, courtesy of my neighborhood Starbucks.    It's a rainy and dreary day, and I am very pleased to be sitting at my desk, in the warm light of my desk lamp, comforted by my hot and tasty beverage.    Additionally, while purchasing my beverage I had entertaining banter with the Barista.    I believe the good people of Starbucks provide a wonderful service to the citizens of the world.    Giving me the hot beverage fix I need wrapped in clever, semi-flirtatious banter... what could be better?!    Cheers Starbucks Barista's everywhere... this one's for you!   
Amusing eBay auction of the day
Here is an entertaining link to an eBay auction demonstrating how one man has chosen to do a little healthy venting during his post-divorce spring cleaning.    Click Here
I have become completely obsessed with a band I have just discovered.    I'm sure everyone else in the world already knows about them, as I am usually behind the arc on these trends... but on the off-chance you haven't heard of them yet... they are called The Darkness and they are awesome!    They are like an 80's glam rock band, and they have a great video that appears to be some kind of homage to Freddie Mercury and Queen.    It's called "I Believe in a Thing Called Love".    Check it out! Oh... and they are from the UK, so they must be cool!    :)
Surprise... you're throwing a party!

So about 2 weeks ago, my husband gets an email from the HR lady at his job.    The email was an invitation that went out to everyone there... to a party... at our house. Fortunately for me it said "spouses welcome".    That's nice... I'm welcome to attend a party at MY house that neither my husband nor I suggested having, or even agreed to have prior to invitations going out.    How thoughtful! I suppose I should be grateful that I don't have to clear off for 4 hours while people I don't know take over my home.    Still... it will be our first party in our new house.    That's kind of exciting!    Odd... but exciting!
My note to Dylan enclosed in a package to him containing a book I just finished (Trading Up by Candace Bushnell):


Here is a totally unredeemable book about a completely awful and unsympathetic character who I can only assume represents how utterly reprehensible Ms. Bushnell herself must be.   

Read it, or burn it... it doesn't matter to me.

Ok... look at the title... it says Dylan and Sarah's Pointless Sidebar... not Sarah's Pointless Sidebar!!!    Where the heck is Dylan?    Where are the snappy retorts, and sarcastic remarks?    Where are the tedious stories from San Diego?    Where is the teamwork people???    WHERE???
Ok... look at the title... it says Dylan and Sarah's Pointless Sidebar... not Sarah's Pointless Sidebar!!! Where the heck is Dylan? Where are the snappy retorts, and sarcastic remarks? Where are the tedious stories from San Diego? Where is the teamwork people??? WHERE???

I think that Kirk made a few fundamental whoopsies in creating Dylan and Sarah's Pointless Sidebar.

First, I am not a team player. Never have been. I don't share well. I don't think I'm selfish or mean, I just avoid groups and I despise "group-think."

Secondly, Sarah doesn't lead a pointless life. Pointlessness is my deal. Sarah needs a Sidebar of Slip-ups and Mishaps. (i.e. the black sign incident on the "Titanic" cruise ship)

SO... the sidebar needs change. Maybe a point and counter-point. Maybe it should be turned over to Sarah. But sharing in my pointlessness isn't working.

No hard feelings. It's just time to adjust.

Black sign incident?

And why does Sarah's slipup and mishaps interfere with your seperate posts? I mean, you had your fair share of not quite pointless as well...
Fearing conflict...

Kirk has requested that either Sarah or I post something on the sidebar, just so that "our little tiff" isn't up for the world to see.

OK number one...
Kirk, you posted your divorce for public consumption.

And number two...
Conflict drives story. We are at a pointless crossroads here with three (THREE!) conflicting factors at stake. (And what stakes they are!)

THIS IS DRAMA! (kinda)

Well, at least the previous description of "our little tiff" was punched up so it lived up to its AMAZING DRAMATIC POTENTIAL!!!!

Dylan versus Sarah....FIGHT!!!

Wait... what?    Tiff?    What tiff?    We're not having a tiff that I am a aware of, I was just being my usual antagonistic self!    There's no tiff!    I'm a lover, not a fighter...
So what's next?

Everything from my home to my job has changed in the last six weeks. I am no longer an unemployed home owner, but a rentor who works at Starbucks (a.k.a. The Buck).

It's good times at The Buck. And very poorly paid. But work is engaging and fun. Everyone else who works there is a child (like 22) so I have to wear my pucca shell necklace, spike my hair, and say, "dude" a lot just to fit in. (They all know I am an old fart dork - but they humor me.)

For now... that's it. I am becoming the California writer dude with the coffee house job. At last, my life looks like a sit-com again.

I have grown weary of trying to come up with new passwords.    Our servers at work have once again demanded that I come up with a clever new kerebos (or however you spell that) password, and I just can't do it anymore.    I can't come up with any more unique passwords that are clever enough that I can actually remember them for more than 12 hours.    Yet alas... I have no choice...    damn them... damn them...!!!

P.S. in an unrelated follow-up question to Dylan... what ever happened to grocery store Crooked Bear?   
Today I ran around the house screaming like a baby and ultimately hid in the upstairs coat closet for a few minutes.    No... Dylan wasn't visiting again... it was a passing storm that sent me into a panic.    I thought a tornado was coming.    It was really quite scary.    It blew over our heavy metal patio chairs!    And by that I mean that they are heavy and made of metal... not that they are covered in Pantera stickers.    Anyway, it was alarming, and it made me feel like a 5 year old!   
Greetings from big D (that would be Dallas).    I have been out here all week for work, and I am struggling with being back in an office environment.    I am quite used to being able to sing loudly at my desk at home, run around in my pajamas and slippers, make tea whenever I feel so inclined, and web surf when ever I want to.    That behavior isn't quite as well received in the office it seems!    Ah well... I'll be home soon!

Kirk sez: You could come to my office and run around in your pajamas if you want, Sarah.
Tales From the Buck: One

Tomorrow I work from 11 pm to 3 am - it's the overnight cleaning party. Upon my suggestion, we will start at Denny's at 9:30 pm to fuel up - and then on to the Buck for a massive cleaning project.

I have just been on a big geeky emotional roller coaster regarding the in-production movie of "the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams.    This is probably my favorite book, and I feel very strongly about it.    I am intimately familiar with the PHENOMENAL original BBC radio production of the books, and I don't think the movie is going to measure up.    I just watched the teaser and actually became almost irrationally excited... then mere moments later sunk into Marvinesque levels of depression upon reading the cast list and learning that... gasp... American actors have been cast in several of the lead roles.    This is like blasphemy... these parts are meant to be played by proper BRITISH actors... the only thing that could be worse than having Americans play the roles rightfully intended for Brits would be, God forbid, if they actually attempted to put on British accents.    I mean for God's sake...    Trillian is supposed to be from ISLINGTON... not San Freaking Diego!!!    I'd rather listen to nails on a chalk board for 3 hours than Zooey Deschanel doing a bad east-ender!    Ugh!!!!   

Last night I took a highly undignified fall!    We were out on the beach playing beach bocce ball (my new favorite game) and discovered a wacky patch of soggy sand that you could almost sink into like quicksand.    Delighted with our discovery I was stomping around like a child when I hit hard pack sand unexpectantly with my left foot.    When I then went to put my right foot down, thinking the sand would be hard there as well, it sunk right into the ground and I totally lost my balance.    I fell, fully clothed, straight over backwards like a drunk and landed in a big puddle of boggy tide pool, submerging myself literally from head to toe.    Wes was paralyzed with joy at my comic prat fall and was doubled over pointing and laughing... which reminded me just how much more amusing something is if you actually point while laughing!       
So I watched the big John Kerry speech last night at the DNC and I was reasonably impressed by the whole thing.    I have now moved from supporting him just because he's not W, to supporting him for his own merits.    However... I did think the end of the speech was lacking a little something... apparently it was lacking balloons... Click here to read the transcript and then listen to the amusing rantings of the frantic DNC Convention Director Don Mischer.   

Having just come from finally seeing Farenheit 9/11 I am now awash with fervor to elect JOHN KERRY!    Despite thinking what a twit Michael Moore was at the Oscars I am now reminded that we do indeed have a fictious president, and to re-elect that buffoon would be a real travesty to our nation!    Being a resident of the electorally challenged "America's Wang" I have decided that since I live in a state where it has been proven that every vote really does count, I must take this opportunity to become seriously politically active in this campaign!    If I can get even one other person to vote for Kerry... I could actually make a difference!   

Oh, and if you haven't seen the movie yet... go see it!

So, as a part of my newfound John Kerry fanaticism, I have decided that I would like to put a John Kerry sign in my front yard.    This has brought about the topic of what benefit such signs actually serve... and it's kind of a good question.    I mean I don't actually think that if I put a sign in my yard some random undecided voter is going to pass by and say... "wow... if the people who own this house are voting for Kerry, then by golly I am voting for Kerry!"    So what IS the point of these signs?    Do they just serve as feel good reminders to other like-minded passerbys... hey, I'm not alone here in Republican-ville... someone else likes Kerry too?    Or do they just serve to anger ones Republican neighbors and alienate one from the community?    Thoughts?    Kirk?    Dylan?    Anyone?
Kirk's photoshoot yesterday has inspired me to rant about men's shirts for a moment.    In particular... undershirts... to be even more particular... Dylan's nasty vee-neck undershirts.    The vee-neck undershirt should be outlawed.    Unless you are The Rock, no one wants to see man-cleavage, and even then I think it's still debateable.    I object to men in vee-necks in general, unless it happens to be a fairly fitted charcoal grey merino wool sweater from the Banana Republic, worn with a white regular neck undershirt, but the concept of the vee-neck undershirt leaves me totally cool.    Dylan... have you burned those white-trash nightmares yet?
Mwa-ha-ha... finally!!!    The much coveted gmail address is mine!    Finally I can ditch my crappy hotmail account and all the cursed spam that comes with it.    HA HA HA... finally I am one of the elite... the few... the proud... the INVITED gmailers...   
There is a lie being perpetrated at the Dallas Galleria Westin Hotel, and I aim to expose the fradulent linen hype right here... right now!    A Heavenly bed is a wonderful thing, not to be taken lightly, when making my reservations at a Westin I feel all a glow at the thought of snuggling up in the fluffy light goosedown comforter, the supple egyptian cotton sheets, the soothing neck roll pillow.    So when you say you have a Heavenly bed, you better damn well have a Heavenly bed, not some polyester fiber filled SHAM of a set of bed linens.    I have confronted the front desk about this mockery of fine bedding and they insist that I am crazy!    How can that be?    Is there no more reason in this mad mad world?    WHERE IS THE GOOSEDOWN???    WHERE????
After yesterdays rant about the beds at the Westin, I would now like to take a moment to applaud the Heavenly Bath at the Westin.    Apparently the addition of the Heavenly bath is slowly making it's way through the floors of the Hotel, and has finally made it to 14.    The double shower heads, rounded shower curtain rod—that makes the bath appear twice as big—and the delightful fluffy robe have mananged to quiet my complaints about the sub-par Heavenly bedding.    I am sure you are all extremely relieved to hear this!
After watching weathermen for 6 weeks now standing on beaches making fools of themselves, yesterday I decided to head out into the storm and in the middle of Jeanne's wrath I took my digital camera down to the beach and "reported" from the storm.    I discovered something, it's really fun out there.    That's why they keep going out there, and showing us how their hats keep blowing off and that their jackets are really flapping.    They are having a good time out there... and though they might pretend otherwise, I now know better.   
Hurray for Hollywood

I just set up a meeting with a manager in Hollywood. The fun part is that it's in "Hurray for Hollywood" Hollywood. Not Burbank or Santa Monica or Silverlake... but old fashioned Hollywood. With the freaks and the sign and a security guard named Sergio.

And if I asked Sergio for a headshot, I'm sure it would take less than 12 seconds for him to give one to me.


So there it was. Driving up Gower (in LA) and the Hollywood sign could NOT have been more directly in my face. The studio for Six Feet Under on my left and my meeting spot on the right. The lobby didn't just look great, but it SMELLED great. Beautiful people everywhere. Camera equipment.

And then the meeting. "Thanks but no thanks. Send me the next script."

Gee. Thanks.
I am only just now managing to crawl out of the pit of depression I have been in since late Tuesday night.    I am still in a state of confusion and disbelief.    Watching John Kerry's concession speech made me weep a little.    I honestly believe that he is a great American, and would have lead this country honestly and fairly.    But I suppose the time for rallying around Kerry has passed.    Now I am left to contend with the consequences of 4 more years of the same and possibly worse, and a nightmarish old hag of a neighbor shrieking victorious republican propaganda at me everytime I leave my house.    Ugh!       
So this is the new sidebar. I really love the work Dylan and Sarah have done in it over the past two years, but they're probably tired of me nagging them for more updates, so finally I'm throwing open the sidebar to all the regulars of the site. Hopefully enough of the regulars will have enough to say that this sidebar will have nifty stuff added to it on a regular basis.

It's still a work in progress, so hang particular, I'm trying to think of some better name for it...
(Since none of the 10 or so people I sent out invitations to have yet taken up the challenge of the sidebar I thought I'd give it a whirl, as lame as that sounds...)

Hershey Kiss technology continues to improve. Someone brought a set labeled "FUDGE" into work and man are they creamy (well, as creamy as a solid can be) hot chocolate.

Looks like Hershey's site has everything you need to know about these wonders...sometimes a nice way to settle a chocolate craving without eating too too much. On the other hand, "If stranded on a desert island, more than half of Americans surveyed would rather have an unlimited supply of HERSHEY'S KISSES Rich Dark Chocolates than their favorite book." Well, duh. People don't eat books.

Kirk!    Posting to your own sidebar!    Why not just make it "Sidebar of THE MAN" while you're at it?

OK ... let's try this.    My wife and I are building a new house in the Cleveland area (about 5 minutes from where we live now).    Feeling a little selfish as my main reason is to have some area for myself (a basement that we don't have now).    I am conflicted as this will be pretty nice and I constantly think of those that don't have a place at all.

Butch ... is this proper use of the sidebar?

Yup! Nuthin' wrong with craving a basement workshop even if everyone thinks it's "for the family"...
Heh, I remember hanging out in your basement Sunday afternoons between meetings, watching football and playing Atari...
Tonight I called a friend whom I had thought would've been back from visiting -- and staying with -- her best friend in Burlington VT.    She asked me to call her back, and gave me a hotel number.

A hotel? Yes, she was still in VT, shelved by the airline after airline reps cagily suggested that there'd be a delay when, in fact, the plane intended to take them to Detroit was still on the ground in Detroit, delayed and bound for Burlington. Fortunately the $13 food voucher could validly be exchanged for alcohol.
I dreamed intensely last night. Do you know that song, can't remember who it's by, "How to remember your dreams?" I think it's basically just drums and electric guitar (Kirk will know), and the lyrics are simply, "in order to remember your dreams, you must think of them as if they were little kitties, here kitty kitty, here kitty kitty, put out a saucer of cream. When the kitty gets the cream. The dream. Is. Remembered." I wish I could remember where I have this song.

Random remembrance of the day.
To keep on the topic of dreams ... the other night I had a dream (nightmare) that someone took Caden (my son) and I couldn't do anything.    I woke up suddenly sweating and was so shook up that I couldn't go back to sleep.    Man this sucked ... just the thought of losing your son is enough to really freak you out!!
Neat. I've finally gotten around to making my first sidebar entry. Now I've only got about half a month left of e-mail to catch up on.    Woohoo!
--Mr. Lex
A friend and coworker is leaving today. One thing that surprised us all about him is that, though his main vocation (or avocation, these things being what they are) is theater-- so is his educational background. Yet he took really well to his admin-assistant job, and its large left-brain elements including budget forecasting, accounts management, and an arcane fundraising database.   

We asked him about this at his going away party, figuring all along that it was just his brilliant and authentic can-do attitude, but he told us that he worked for Goldman Sachs for two years, and according to him, Goldman Sachs likes to hire actors because they don't have designs on their bosses' jobs, and their ambitions lie outside the company.    Ingenious!
Kirk, the Sidebar should have a spot for comments!   

In the spirit of the season, and because there has been a lot of hard work to do here recently, I want to give the senior members of my team some nice gift.    All three are women about 30 years old.    One is very annoying, two are very nice.    I need to keep it relatively inexpensive - and I'm feeling booze and chocolate are played out (and fattening!).    What's a girl to do?


It's 10 time.    10:10 am and about 10 degrees outside in Cambridge.    I am off to Braintree to deliver pies my wife and I made for a charity.    Our apartment is about 800 sq feet, so holiday projects like pies, cookies, gifts and such tend to occupy more than one room.    I am getting ready to leave,    packaging pies and putting them by the door.    I put on my scarf and gloves and just start howling with laughter.    On Friday, I had a job interview that won't produce results until some time today.    I have no idea how to call it and am quite anxious.    The de rigeur question "What do you see yourself doing in five years?" sticks in my head, as well as my canned dryly professional answer.

Five years ago, I did not see myself as married,    looking for work heading into the holidays.    I certainly didn't see myself doing charity work, doing yoga regularly, or still living in Cambridge.    To be blunt, life has surprised me on almost every front, if I was to try to measure based on my expectations five years ago. Old plans I had came undone, new plans were made in haste to suit opportunity and came to fruition.    I have been surprised pleasantly in most cases, granted    undeserved grace in others, and bracingly dissappointed on a memorable few.

God's rest to ye, merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay.    Chances are it will all have changed in five    years anyway.   

Merry Christmas.
--Evil Bastard
Have to do one of those tough things in life this week ... bury a relative. My Grandma Hill passed away (or as Butch would understand was "Promoted to Glory") on Sunday.    She was 94 and lived a wonderful life.    It is nice to believe that someone you love is going to heaven and you will be reunited someday.    (I know Butch gave his thoughts a couple of weeks ago on the whole topic.)

May God Bless you all this Christmas and Holiday Season.   
OK, something that really annoys me:

The recent spate of people who take all types of pride in saying "Merry Christmas" and making a huge fuss about some kind of pressure they feel to act all PC and say "Happy Holidays."    Now, if they just said, "Merry Christmas," I would have absolutely no problem with it, but when these people have to make this whole huge speech about the injustice and reverse discrimination going on these days, I really have to let this little murmur of anger grow in me.    It just feels so dumb and petty of the "dominant society" to get all worked up about it.

Even though, on some level, I guess I can kind of understand with local, state and federal government basically just stripping away any Christian sentiment, celebrating a little of other religions, or is it cultures, and not trying to make any attempt to celebrating and educating equally of all religions and cultures to our children.    Now. . .that's just dumb.    "Let's encourage ignorance rather than teach kids about culture and the stuff out there."    That's really made the world a better place in the past. . ..

Some interesting links on this topic, one of them very much slanted toward the Christian unhappiness side of things:
--Mr. Lex

I understand what Mr. Lex is saying about the stripping of holiday values and so on, and while I'm not angry in the least with Christians complaining about the loss of the meaning of Christmas, I'm certainly bored to tears with it.

On the other hand, I get the sense sometimes that stores and other public spaces think that calling their bread-and-butter holiday by its name,    Christmas, saying "Merry Christmas" to customers and vendors, and so on is somehow exclusionary.    This, I resent.

Somehow, "After-Christmas Sale" is a valid store function, but "Merry Christmas Shoppers" is anathema to a store that doesn't want to offend the jews who need to shop their anyway for their usual winter needs (or goyim friends).    In fact, I say we should embrace the secular side of Christmas, just people from every religion can partake of the fun, family, loot, and, as now, the huge discounts after the holiday passes.
Just because I'm sick of the old "saying Merry Christmas" debate that was over here...

Isn't it odd that it's always MERRY Christmas, HAPPY New Year? I guess Merry is the odd one out, since every other holiday goes with "happy". Including birthdays. And you don't see Merry in too many other places except Edna St. Vincent Millay poems and Tokien Hobbits.
OK Butch ... something else for the sidebar.    Had a new guy start at work on 12/10/04.    Was suppose to be a peer of mine.    After spending probably 60 hours with him getting him as "up to speed" as possible he no longer works here.    That is really frustrating!!!    Talk about a true waste.    I am disappointed cause he could have really been a huge asset to the organization ... but ... oh well!!   

All is well in God's time!!
ok, another work-related gripe.    how does one give criticism to subordinates when they have meltdowns when you do?    it's really the hidden downside of managing people - lots of folks have never learned to take constructive criticism well, even (or especially?) in the workplace.    argh!
another dream:

to preface, i'm having a few folks over to watch football on sunday.    my email failed to remind everyone of the day of the week, so i got a few notes asking which day.

i dreamed that everyone showed up on friday night.    this was ok with me, i like to have people around.    johnny depp came, too, with wife and kids.    my friend alea was thrilled and was surreptitiously pointing and mouthing, "johnny depp!"    laura was asking for iced tea.    i told her i didn't have any, but she should run out and buy some.

something evil was coming and johnny was helping me figure out what was going on.    he was carrying one of his children on his back, in a carrier, while showing me some moves with a katana.    then we were waiting for the something to show up.    fortunately, we had a cozy bed to cower in, and we weren't wearing too much!    the bed was in a small room.    people opened the door occasionally, but no one was the something we were waiting for.    one person offered massages.    wish i'd taken up that offer...
Mitt Romney's new plan to "save" failing city schools has its good parts, but I really take issue with the idea of creating yet another standardized test, this one in science, as a graduation requirement. Our students need to learn how to think like scientists, not how to memorize the acceleration rate due to gravity. Only an incredibly well-designed test could even begin to assess a student's ability to think scientifically. Certainly the math and verbal MCAS tests have not proven to be so well-designed.
It is always nice to get your taxes done early.    Even nicer to know that the government didn't get that big of a loan from you throughout the year.
Being a fairly new dog owner, it kind of sucks taking that dog out in near blizzard conditions and zero degree temps.    But seeing pictures like this make it much easier

haiku on snow

drifts over my warm earmuffs
like rice mounds to eat
but colder than a witch's

it's five seven five,
not the other way around --
nailed the "season" though

ok, revised:

drifts over my head   
like yummy rice mounds to eat
colder than witch's
Insensitive gripe of the moment ... our house is up for sale.    Had a couple that went through it a few times to purchase for their daughter who is in a wheelchair.    Went through the entire purchase process (after three times negotiating price).    Didn't know it but the daughter hadn't gone through the house.    After the papers were drawn up, the daughter went through and didn't think it was extremely wheelchair friendly.    The family then backed out on the deal.

Just disappointed that the daughter's approval wasn't granted before going through all the hassle.    Oh well ...
A glass of wine, a fine french meal, and a very small piece of warm chocolate cake topped with almond
sherbert are all I need to give me the most bizarre dreams.    It's 4 am Feb, 15th and my mind is spinning through the lucid cobwebs of nightmares
and disturbing conclusions.   

Here they are, enumerated in the order they fell into after consciousness.   

1. At 31, dreams of monsters don't phase you; dreams that you are in Borders looking at a Dummies "pregnancy and infant survival guide" authored by one of your less than favorite ex-gfs will wake you in cold sweat.

2. I've known how to work for a while, but I don't know how to make money yet.

3. My twenties were the most self-indulgent part of my life.    If I expect to retain _anything_ of value thereafter, a lot of the self-indulgence needs to be dropped.    Is this the reason people become more rigid in their beliefs as they age?    Their fear of loss kills their self-indulgence.

4. Self deprecation only gives others an excuse to join in.

5.    Just before bed, don't read about "energy economics" (reconciling the cost of oil production and delivery in units of energy relative to the amount delivered, as opposed to human-defined dollars)    and the complete unsustainability of an economy built on foreign oil and production in light of a more organized and industrialized 3rd world.    The dreams it makes for are much worse than scary monster dreams.

6.    Are dreams about the city blowing up the house you just bought and then charging you double your closing points to do it common in people looking for a home in this market?

7. In the course of my life so far, whenever I've used the phrase    "I need to " to describe an action, it should have almost always be followed by the phrase "in order to distract myself from 'thinking about'/doing the important stuff".    The splits between being a good or foolish thing about 25/75.    Anyone out there living with a better ratio?
--Evil B.

so, finally got around to watching the unaired episodes of wonderfalls which, if you don't know, is sort of like joan of arcadia, but funny and irreverent instead of quasi-religous.    we never know if the voices speaking to the main character, jaye, are god or not.

i'm about 10 episodes deep of a total 13.    jaye got together with her love interest, eric, in ep 8, and in ep 10 she loses him.    and i feel like absolute shit about it.

how could i have gotten so attached to a character so quickly?    granted, the actor is extraordinarily hot, but he's just an actor.    i feel almost as crappy as if i'd just broken up with someone myself.

i'm sure the feeling will fade in a few days, but i'm finding it very distracting and uncomfortable...

gahh, it's just television!!!
it's impossible for a true believer to get baseball tickets these days.    a few weeks ago, when the sox began selling for most regular season games, i sat in front of my computer and waited for hours in a "virtual room," hoping against hope that i'd be selected for the opportunity to drop several hundred dollars on tix.

today, albeit in the background, while i worked, i waited in an identical room for cubs vs sox tickets.    by 1.00p, the waiting room page noted that the series had sold out.    my heart broke, a bit.

Jeez. . .

The beginning of last year, two of my friends think about dating and get together. I urge the girl not to do it. I even suggest to the guy friend when he asks for suggestions for a place for a date that he should take her to some cheap restaurant. They start dating. They become boyfriend and girlfriend. What do you know. . .three or four months later, he dumps her, pretty much leaving her in tears and angry. Everything's generally all cool, but there's two more situations. I did tell her, though.

One guy friend starts annoying everyone more than usual. I tell everyone to talk with him, let him know that he's annoying them, etc. etc. They just talk behind his back, more and more. He flips out then decides one of the people I advised to talk with him wasn't his friend anymore. I didn't see that happen so much, but I did see the flip out.

Recently, another guy and another girl start dating, just at the end of last year. Seemed OK to me, except everyone talking about how they're moving too slow physically and how they should crank it up a notch. I keep telling everyone to let the two go at their own pace. If they're going to do it, they'll do it at their own pace. Last week or so, they break up and it's kind of messy. The guy had grown more attached to her and wanted to "take it to another level" while the girl wanted out. She waited weeks to break it off with him while his feeling and desire grew stronger. I talked to him right before she broke it off and just told him, if anything, to do things subtly, take it at his own pace, show and compliment rather than talk about feelings and just stuff that a guy should do when first dating a girl. He had already sent her roses for Valentine's Day with a note about taking it to the next level and had called her a ton of times in one day and made plans when she had already told him not to do so (not necessarily the greatest communicator, but still. . .). Anyway, explosion of a break up, girl just wants it over with while guy felt all these mixed messages from everyone and the girl. . .everyone (but me) is telling him to kiss her and maker all these moves while he picks up on the girl's body language of "don't kiss me." All the while, I get to hear all the gossip about how the girl just wasn't attracted to the guy but told him something about being too screwed up to date anyone while the guy feels that everyone in this little group of friends had basically urged him to "to take it to the next level," physically, especially one girl in the group who, pretty much, was "advising" both of them. But now there's a big blow up and no one's talking to each other and just has all this anger with the talking down about one person or the other, especially when those people aren't in the room. I friggin' told people to just leave these two alone, but no. . .!

So yeah, I'm a little frustrated by people not taking my advice then having this stuff explode all around me because of one person acting like an idiot or a whole group of people gossiping.

Stupid heads.
--Mr. Lex
[A nice, short sidebar after Lex's lengthy manuscript yesterday.    You need friends who listen to you, Lex!]

Dustbusters have really come a long way.    At the Black & Decker outlet store in Kittery yesterday, we picked up a new DustBuster 9.6V "cyclonic action" model.    In a literal sense, this thing sucks.    Unlike our old Dustbuster Plus, which always sounded like it was struggling to pick up bits of hair (and, indeed, did struggle), the new one sounds like an airplane taking off and captures everything near it.
n front of everyone in the office, I pretty much told my dad that he had a fat ass.

Then again, he announced to everyone that I was adopted.


I'm not adopted.

I think that's why I got away with telling him he a fat ass.
--Mr. Lex
UGH ... tonite (3/11) we had an employee appreciation dinner.    Got through all the festivities and such and then I forgot to say a special thanks to our HR person who coordinated the event.    Hate it when you forget something important like that.    Really is hard to make up for.    One of those things that you wish you could go back in time for (I understand it isn't the end of the world but employee morale is very important to me).    Guess an apology, flowers and lunch will have to do.
Don't know how much all of you are interested in gasoline quality, having you gas cleaning up your fuel lines or the environment, but I've been reading about Shell's V-Power 93-octane gas quite a bit, especially about how it has the most cleaning agents to clean your fuel line (one downside: you'll have to replace your fuel filter more often), which allow for a cleaner exhaust that provides more power to the car and helps reduce bad emissions for the environment. I filled the car up today with some of this V-power and, maybe this is just that kind of psychological thing of trying to notice a difference in something, the car just feels like it does have more power and that it runs much smoother. As I mentioned about the pscyhology thing, though, I had a 1/4 take left in the car and only drove it for about 12 or 14 miles after fueling up, so I could've just been creating my own effects of getting this V-power. Would love to hear if anyone else has any knowledge about this topic, whether on the psychological part or the gasoline/auto part.
--Mr. Lex
"If the Stepford Wives designed a retail store, it would be Crate and Barrel, I think." --Bill Harris on his blog

Of course, my wife and I are DINKs (dual incomes, no kids) and stereotypically registered at Crate and Barrel for our wedding. But I do think that Bill has a point.    It's a little too perfect, and some of the products really make you go hmmmm.
At 12:20 I woke up with a start and realized I had missed the KRS-ONE show in favor of crashing after a long week.    I got out of bed, started cleaning, did some technical reading and in general was about 1000 times better behaved than I was durring this week of extended crisis. Upon coming home after work these days, I have been at best difficult and selfish about my time.    This is brought into stark relief by having a very kind and reliable wife.        While being difficult after long days is rather typical, I am curious whether other people bounce
as far or as quickly in the opposite direction, and how long their bounce lasts.    It took about 20 minutes for me to realize how very differently I was behaving and thinking as opposed to durring the week.    I woke up very refreshed, very clear and very embarassed at how outright childish I was.   
--Evil B.

evil b: it generally takes me all weekend to start behaving normally.    then on sunday nights i exhibit all kinds of stress.    it's suddenly monday again and the vicious cycle continues.
Exhaustion from Friday decided it wanted a bigger role, and decided to try out for lead cold in the Spring staging of    George Mucus's classic "Snot!" this weekend.    Rave reviews, "Mucus's return to Snot raises great expectorations!"    and "Mucus makes his way right next to your heart with Snot"

Why don't I ever get sick during the work week?    No it only happens when i think I have time to rest: weekends and vacations.    Last year it was two weeks of misery in Hawai'i as a sinus infection had its way with me.    This year it is a come home and collapse on Friday, malaise Sat, Sun, Monday cold that will linger in my chest for the next week.    Yech.

So last night I start feeling better, and decide to do the first "wash the floor boards and window sills" since December.    This would otherwise be known as spring cleaning, but since I started at 6 pm and gave up after 2 hours, I will call it the "kill the dust bunnies"    emergency cleaning.       

Cambridge air is evil.    I had done this soap and bucket cleaning in December and I still managed to go through a bucket of water for every two windows.    The towels were coming off the sill black,    I had no idea that much gunk had accumulated in 3 months, even with regular sweeping and vacuming.
The blinds were truly horrific.    If you haven't cleaned your blinds, then don't, just throw them out and get new ones.    It will be less traumatic.

Nyquil is evil.    I took some on Sunday Night because of the    lousy sleep I got on Saturday.    No luck, I was up at midnight and couldn't get back to sleep until 3 am.    So Monday morning comes and I still feel crappy, but I intend to work from home.    I figure what harm can a second dose of this stuff do, since the first failed to knock me out.    Wham, flat on my back on the couch( fouton of doom, not a good sleeping surface) until 3pm.    Finally found the Robitussin, which tastes just as yucky.

My wife, on the other hand, is an angel of goodness and light.    She brought me nasty, msg-loaded, Nissin Cup Noodles, my favorite "I'm Sick, Coddle Me" food. And she got oranges, orange juice, tea, more honey for said tea, and made sure I had Robitussin instead of nasty Nyquil.    Yay!
--Evil B.
Happy Birthday to Kirk!
Happy Birthday to Kirk!
Its not a    holiday,
you still have to work.

Happy Birthday to Logan!
Happy Birthday to Logan!
If this was an advert,
there'd be a slogan?

Happy Birthday to Israel!
Happy Birthday to Israel!
If you go to Old Navy,
We hope stuff is on sale......

Oh Lordy, this is utter doggerel, but at 6:13 am what do you expect? Still under the weather myself, but the wife and I hope you have a great birthday!
--Evil B.
With what pause do you suffer,
under blood blue skies with evening star.
For what cause do you suffer,
for untold reward, uncertain by far.

Dwell in the dust of your own making,
Trapped unto mirrors' reflections untrue
Smell cinnamon lust your heart its breaking
Take taken forgiven and given anew

Bound in life, found in love, stolen from harm
Sway to the strings of sweet song so near
Bade by heart, fade in toil, create by charm
Claim proclaim exhort exclaim all that is dear
--Evil B.
Wow, further proof that either
a. Kirk's readers are the most polite readers
b. The Sidebar is largely ignored.

Come on folks, know a joke when you see one.    It was a montage of the more striking bits of high school    angsty poems that I found when cleaning.    I thought it would provoke some reaction, aside from the polite cough.    I hoped it would at least cajole one of you into putting up an entry to get the dang thing off the page.    Instead it turned into an endurance test, how long could I stand to see it with my moniker attached versus how long until some one else posted.

You won, I want it off the front page!   

Someone else has to use this space, post your grocery list, the names of all your pets in chronological order, a type of cuisine you've only had once, anything.   

If you don't, I have some more great Vogon poetry waiting.    Don't make me use it.
--Evil B.
OK ... am pretty excited that we sold our house.    Good timing as they want to move just a few weeks after our new house will be done (5/20).    This is just awesome.    Didn't get quite as much for the sale as we wanted but close enough.    Also, we didn't realize how much of a headache selling a house really is and some of the not so evident costs the seller must pay.    Oh well, it is a learning/life experience.   
Twilgiht, dear god, thank you for twilight.    I finally figured out what is    truly wrong with winter. Its not the just the short days.    Its the utter lack of twilight at the appropriate time.   

In the winter, by the time you get home it is already dark.    You don't get to fade away with the evening, you just get stuck with darkness.    A darkness, mind you, that if you commute you must endure alert. Then you are home, undoubtedly in some state of agitation after your drive.    Not ready to shut down? Too bad,    you missed your cue by not going home at 3:45 p.m.   

But once Easter has passed, you can get home in time to savor the twilight.    Your house chores can be accomplished by the remaining daylight.    After the sunset, you have a whole hour to fade and let the day fall away from you.   
--Evil B.

Culling my bookshelf, I came across the Book of Common Prayer.
Forgot I had it, inside the cover was a small toy doller bill.
Oh, yeah, I used it as a prop one Halloween when I dressed as a TV evangelist.    Funny thing is, next to it on the book shelf was the Communist Manifesto, also can't remember where or why I got that (class?).
My bookshelf is an ironic statement of me.
I don't know where the Prayer Books and Manifestos are, but I can find the erotic picture books no problem.
National Do Not Call Registry:
"This registration will be effective until 4/13/2010.   
Please print a copy of this page for your records."
I'd have to be some kind of superhuman genius to be that organized, that I could find this page in 5 years.
This sidebar has some lightly raunchy content and has been rot13 encrypted for your the button to decrypt.

A friend of mine claims that...

...I couldn't find much Google corroboration, however.

The same friend also points out that what might be the best Sicilian pizza in Boston might be from Sicilia's Pizzeria on Comm Ave. Good stuff.
I've been thinking for a while about what to write for my inaugural sidebar entry. it shouldn't be too personal, but it should be something about me, or something that the lovely Kirk's readers could relate to. As I live in a different country, that counts out a few things, but I think now I've cracked it - music!

I love music. I'm basically without any musical talent myself, which - after my efforts at rock karaoke - you should all be very glad about - but isn't music the best thing? What else can affect your mood so much? It has so many memories attached to it, and can affect me so much, and when hearing a new album, or one I haven't heard in a while, or just something that really hits the spot mood wise, I get an almost visceral pleasure from every single note, screamed or otherwise.

Right now I'm listening to Strapping Young Lad - their brand of screaming incoherently over a hard metal background may not be for everyone, but it really suits my mood right now. Which is not to say that's all I listen to; earlier I was listening to Bon Jovi and Tyketto; the other quarter has seen to it that I have an unhealthy liking for all things big haired and Spandex wearing.

I suppose the final thing to tell you is a recent search of all my music for something happy showed two albums out of about 150 -200 possibilities. Bloody goths!
Lego! It's the best thing in the world!

That's about it, really. Lego is t3h r0x0rz. A quick straw poll of my housemates has shown that they would try and make, say, the walls one colour and the roof another, and get all the colours aligned - but one housemate says that he'd look at what he had and try to make something out of that, so the question never really came up. I wasn't that bothered about the colours, was the creativity that mattered more.

And modern Lego is awful, all premoulded into set shapes. It's like DRM for kids (Sort of. Maybe.)
Two places on our street just went up for sale, both condos.    1400 Sq Feet for 495k,    667 Sq Feet for 319k.    Plus condo fees.    Plus insurance. Plus water. Plus electricity.    While I just sit here renting and building no equity.   

I don't understand it.    And I mean that in a core, emotional and intellectual way.    That kind of debt goes against everything I know about money.    That kind of debt goes against the only portions of the Christian ethos that I retain.    It smacks of servitude to money lenders, who produce nothing save the manipulation of an illusion.    It is hung upon the kind or irrational optimism that believes that life never takes a wrong turn.    I have yet to meet someone who has put themselves into that kind of debt and said," I read the entirety of my mortgage agreement and I think its reasonable."    It is putting all your money on the table and saying "let it ride" for 30 years.    The house always wins.

I could tell you stories about my friends parents, who bought their first home outright in a time when any kind of debt was shameful.    Mortgages were taken only by those who had fallen on hard times. And you would be bored to tears and tell me to grow up.    I could tell you about current friends who have had their first house purchased outright by either family or church.    You would wonder why I give it a moments thought.

It isn't a case of biting the bullet.    Its an insight that lets me know how small and alone we are, that we will ask a stranger for 30 years of debt.    It troubles me to know that I will have to indulge in it without the blinders others enjoy.

Then again, there are people like Kirk, who barely pay attention to the whole house buying schtick and end up considerably richer.    Maybe I should grip it about as lightly as he does.

Whine Whine Biatch Biatch and so on.    Anyone else feel the same way I do, or should I just climb the mountain now and preach to the chipmunks?
--Evil B.
I am having some great fun this week, I am teaching my wife how to play chess.    She knows the basics, but has never been exposed to strategy.    There are these phenomenal moments of "Oh, I get it" and of interpretation and re-invention which are    just immensely satisfying.

Perhaps that's why children are such a joy, because of those moments.    And maybe that is why there is so much frustration in the teen-age years.    The "Oh, I get it moments" shift from being about what you are trying to teach to being about what you were trying to occlude.
--Evil B.
Ok ... this took me a little while to get around getting it off my camera.    But this is the snow in Cleveland from earlier this week (april snow).    May take a few minutes as it is residing on my father in laws machine.

cleveland snow

Adult life has boiled down to two things: sleep vs distraction.    If I get enough sleep, I am not as distractable.    Bed by 10 up by 6 and everything falls right into place.    Work goes smoothly,    little tasks get done,    and in general I am more pleasant.    But then I can clearly see the larger issues in my life; I get concerned and I want to be distracted.

Let us speak truthfully, distraction is the true American product and pastime.    Just like high fructose corn syrup, distraction is package in a mind-numbing variety of eye-catching ways, all of which are bad for you.    I go for the engrossing distractions: games that never end, 1000 page books.    Bullshit so deep that it has time for meta-bullshit and self-referential bullshit.        The distraction that lets you say, "Just one more " followed by "page", "chapter","message", "level", "city", "fortress".   

When I lose myself there, sleep goes by the boards.    What was once 10pm becomes 1am, or worse.    Everything suffers, until I reset the clock and hope that I have a bit more traction against the issues that drive me to distraction.

There are three key things to come out of this:
#1    The cycle is getting shorter, but deeper.
#2    The people I know who have succeeded have married their money to their distraction.
#3    This is a difficult lesson to actually learn and respect.

--Evil B.
Ever since the discussion in the last sidebar about distraction, sleep and adult life, an existential question has stuck in my mind:

I'm always hearing stuff about how we should be thankful to our parents for bringing us into this world and giving us life.    Sometimes, I wonder: do we have have obligation to be thankful?

Sure, there's probably plenty of philosophical discussion fodder to be had regarding what we were before we lived and whether as some other thing, whether we may have petitioned to come onto this Earth and such.    From a purely existential viewpoint, though, it's not as if we have asked for this life.    If anything, somehow, we've all but just been about dropped into this world.

But, then again, some of this wondering may come from my own sentiments and resentments toward my parents.

Other than that and my questioning, though, I really don't have any other thoughts about it other then, "Hey, that's interesting. . .if only I had time to think about it some more and maybe even research it."    Oh well, such is life, I guess.
--Mr. Lex
So, you may have noticed we had a general election, and that Labour got back in.(I stayed awake till 5am watching the results come in :-) ) All told this is I think the best possible result in the circumstances - no-one wanted to see the right wing Conservatives get back in and while we may love them dearly, also no-one really believes the Lib Dems (traditionally moderate, currently most left wing) would have half a clue of what to do in government - the Liberals haven't won an election since 1929.

In general everyone really wanted Labour to get back in, despite the fact Tony Blair clearly lied to the country about the war and then tried to cover it up in a really clumsy way - but the many protest votes for other parties has given our Tony a greatly reduced majority, which is what he sorely needed. Perhaps he'll take opposition seriously now?

Being a crazy young hep cat, I voted (could have doen twice, having been given two different poll cards *for the same city*) and would never not have done - but there's been fierce debate among my friends about why you should at the very least spoil your paper rather than not voting at all. And I'm pleased to say a few people went to vote for the first time on the strength of this. Hurray!   
I had an annoying run in with an "activist" crossing guard today.

On my drive to work, I go through two school zones, one in Watertown and another in Belmont. I made it through the Watertown without incident today.

In Belmont, they didn't have their blinking lights going. On that road and the other thickly settled roads that pretty much go on a straight line from Watertown Sq. to Waverly Sq., they don't have speed limit signs, so I actually go around 25 mph. So going by this school in Belmont, I went 25 mph because the school zone lights were off.

All the sudden, at the cross walk where the crossing guard lady usually positions herself, she jumps in front of my car and gives very ambiguous signals. I slam on the breaks, stopping in the middle of the crosswalk. While people walk across the crosswalk, the guard points at me and gives me this disapproving look. After the people cross, she comes close to the car then walks over to the passenger side. My girlfriend opens the window. The crossing guard tells me to watch my speed because I'm going by a school. I tell her that the lights weren't blinking. She says that she doesn't care, I should be watching my speed limit because I'm going by a school.

You know, I can understand her viewpoint to a degree, and that's why I go 25 mph instead of 30 mph down that stretch of the road. Nonetheless, the lady pretty much jumped in front of the car! Even if I were going 20 mph because the lights were blinking, I would have had hard time stopping as fast as she would have wanted me to stop!

It's very annoying. . .and with all the bad drivers on the road this morning along with stupid obsessive compulsive thoughts in my head, I believe the cosmos has something against me today.
--Mr. Lex
Don't fall in love.

1. I had an obsessive compulsive work related dream that kept repeating.

2. I forgot to clean my teeth this morning.

3. I came into work late.

4. I've got a sour disposition today.

Screw it.
--Mr. Lex
Moved into our new house this week.    Been quite a lot of work.    Thought it would be less than the last move but was wrong.    You hardly realize how much stuff you accumulate!    Took from Saturday until now (Friday evening) to get to a point where I feel relaxed.    Finally there aren't essential projects that need to be done.    Last three items are a medicine cabinet for Kris (my wife), organize garage & basement.    Will be great to be totally done ... but then it means back to work (ugh!!).
Ah, Americans. You may have pretzels, Fisherman's Wharf and those tasty sweets that look like corn, but what you don't have is Eurovision!

It's like Heaven in televisual format.

Obviously you can't enter (actually, since Israel enters, and they aren't in Europe, there's no reason you shouldn't) but I don't know if you can see it.

24 countries from the European area compete in a singing contest to see whose song will be most popular...and they're generally the tackiest Eurodisco with stick thin girls and obviously gay boys. (Except this year with the JOY that was Norway's Glam entry).

All the voting is very political between countries, and in Britain we have Terry Wogan doing the gently sarcastic and ever more drunk commentary just for us, and many people have parties and play drinking games, and it's such fun.

And it just occurred to me that you miss out on all of this! And I couldn't think of a similar event that you have - can you?
Does anybody know if there's some special way to dispose of regular ol' non-rechargeable alkaline batteries? For some reason, it just doesn't seem environmentally safe just to throw them away.
--Mr. Lex
Why is it, that sometimes you can go out and drink loads, and not have a hangover at all, and sometimes, you drink very little but feel terrible?

Today, I am mostly feeling fine, despite the entirely too much vodka I drank last night. Time for a bacon sandwich!
ok ... here is my latest submission.    Been a really tough week around the Hill household (on the outskirts of Cleveland).    My wife and I were 22 weeks pregnant with twins (boy & girl).    Unfortunately there were some pretty severe chromosomal problems with the girl and we ended up losing her.    What an incredibly difficult thing (second time for our family).       
Gah. Bored. Bored and unemployed and it's sunny outside and I could just ring a friend and we could go to the park....but I have to get a job. In the last couple of days I've got any amount of housekeeping (computer, not actual - be reasonable!) done, sewed buttons on trousers, chatted to people I've never met before (also online) and done all kinds of useful things.

But no forms.

Somehow it seems that if I'm sitting in front of the computer (which I did yesterday, with only a break for dinner, from 9am till 1am) then I'm doing something productive - even though I'm really not.

And this is another displacement activity....
The recent news
that Microsoft have blocked certain words like 'democracy' or 'freedom' from their new MSN Spaces portal in China has just disgusted me to the point of not wanting to ever use their products again if I can help it.

I don't play computer games, so can any of you think of any reason to stick with Microsoft? I'm not looking for Gates bashing, but genuine thoughts.

(I'd be replacing it with Linux - Ubuntu's my distro of choice, built on Debian).
Pet peeve of the moment ... it is so difficult to deal with individuals that have a preset agenda and you don't feel they have the best interest of the organization/company at heart.    While I understand that most of us want to better ourselves (skills and financially) by moving up in the organization, it should always be with the intention and idea that it would be best for the organization and not only self-serving.    As a cultural thing it is about getting as much power and money as possible while not caring about who you step on.
Witty observations and situational humor has never been my cup of tea ... sorry!!    At least my previous post (which was pretty lame) is now not on the front page.
Just saw my little boy very carefully put on his shoes, what a site ... don't quite care that they didn't make it on the right feet.
So today is my boss' last day ... a new one will be here next week.    Tensions are high & everyone is nervous about their jobs.

(Damn, I don't mean to push Beau out of the way, but there's never been an entry when I've wanted to write before.)

There was a once a painter called Wayne, who was very interested in making money, so he would thin down paint to make it go a wee bit further.

As it happened, he got away with this for some time, but eventually the Baptist Church decided to do a big restoration job on the painting of one of their biggest buildings. Wayne put in a bid, and because his price was so low, he got the job.

And so he set to erecting the trestles and setting up the planks, and buying the paint and, yes, I am sorry to say, thinning it down with turpentine.

So he started out, but just as he'd finished the first wall, the heavens opened and washed the thinned paint off.
Wayne was no fool. He knew this was a judgment from the Almighty, so he got on his knees and cried: "Oh, God! Forgive me! What should I do?"

And from the thunder, a mighty voice spoke...

"Repaint! Repaint! And thin no more!"
Some observations that I've made on myself and other people trying to get other people to participate in a 'zine or BLOG: 1. Having some kind of focus, broad or narrow, helps, 2. Stoking people's egos helps and 3. Public remonstrations, public pleadings and repeated public statements of desire for a medium sounds desparate, even though a permaneant post of purpose or mission statement goes a long way to supporting the beginnings of an "institution."
--Mr. Lex
It's such an odd historical artifact that every Windows main hard drive is C: even after most computers skip B: and many don't even bother with A:. I guess it harkens back to when 2 floppies were standard, either dual 5.25" or a 5.25" and a 3.5".    Future generations will have no idea why it's "C:", or that it ever meant "my third diskdrive" instead of "standard name for my main disk". It will likely stay that way forever, or until Windows gets a "singly rooted" filesystem ala Unix.   
Lesson from Chicago: Approaching a revolving door made up of shaded glass can be disconcerting and a bit scary (especially coming in from the outside on a sunny day)...the doors seem to start speeding up or slowing down of their own accord, so you're never quite sure when to make your move. Way too much excitement for such a mundane task.

The cable modem supplied to me by Comcast started acting haywire last night. It acted haywire when I first bought my Linksys Wireless router (the third router in four/five years: how long do these things usually last?) about a month ago but then started behaving by the end of night. It's even worse now -- at least then, I could plug the cable modem directly into my desktop and they would work, now they don't seem to. Unless the modem started working since my girlfriend plugged it in today, I don't know what I'll do.

There's more of a description in the comments section, but I figured I'd post it in the sidebar. Maybe someone has a good idea (haven't found one yet on in the Internet).
--Mr. Lex
Things you probably didn't know about California: It gets misty at night, esp. in the hills-like where I live on top of Echo Park Ave. Brown Lizards the size of chemealons running around.    The highways actually do get deserted in the wee hours of the night. Everyone claims to know for sure that Tom Cruise is gay. You give a thumbprint to get a drivers license. The post office has clear walls between the clerks and the public (with drawers that open only on one side at a time for passing letters and packages) but the banks don't. Regular gas is $2.43 a gal. Small tin of Fancy Feast is $.68. Many hybrid cars.    Kosher Chinese restaurants. My old, lazy, declawed cat chased a miniture doberman.    Peace!

Sorry for the dwelling, but fixed the computer/wireless network this morning. At some point, connecting the modem directly to the computer actually worked this morning. I went to Windows update. It looked like there was an update for the Wireless atenna or whatever you call them connected to my computer. My question, though: If that was the problem, why did the cable modem pretty much go haywire and why didn't the direct, wired connection from my desktop to the cable modem not work?

I probably will never know, and if it keeps working fine, I don't really care. Technology can really just kiss my butt. Labor saving devices, my ass! When they go haywire, there goes the labor saving. . ..
--Mr. Lex
Folks, another chapter in the story. I came home from work today. The Internet wasn't working again. After browsing the Internet, talking to a Comcast tech who didn't help me more than to try selling me network hardware, chatting to 5 Linksys techs then browsing the Internet a ton more, I discovered the problem: the cable modem and the wireless router sat too close together. The signal from the wireless router pretty much shorted out the modem. Stupid simple, elegant solutions.

Candi, maybe you should give it a shot. Try moving the wireless router across the room from the modem.

Sorry, folks, if this took up too much time.
--Mr. Lex
How many of us share the childhood frustration of trying and failing to get that perfect little curly-q of toothpaste on the end of the brush, like they had in all of the toothpaste commercials?

(In double checking to make sure I hadn't previously kisrael'd this thought, I made the discovery that I have never used the word toothpaste in any journal entry, neither palm- nor web-based)
I found out today that, when my employer, a science museum and science education facility (plus IMAX theaters and all that) started its merchant (credit-card) account with our bank, they had to go through a list of codes that describe merchants, and the closest the could manage to come up with to represent us was "Art Dealer."    They swear they went through the whole list at the time and that's the closest the could come to a Science Museum.    However, some of the corporate credit cards are fixed such that they cannot be automatically run to give money to merchants with the code that means "Art Dealer;" presumably someone there went through the list and decided what sorts of businesses need authorization, and which charges can just go through.

Our accountant head worked this out and asked them to re-code us as something like "Exhibits and Attractions," which is a so much closer than "Art Dealer," I'm stunned that they couldn't have found anything in between.
Going on vacation can suck sometimes. It's not really the vacation, itself, that sucks but the catching up with everyday life afterward that sucks.
--Mr. Lex
Aargh! I'm afraid to throw out the boxes that stuff comes in. Maybe I'll need to take it back to the store! Maybe it'll be useful to pack when I move someday! Maybe I'll want to sell it on Ebay! Maybe it's useful for something else that I want to sell on Ebay!

And of course, if I do decide to get rid of it, I'll be condemned to ecohades if I don't properly break it down for recycling.
Got this email from someone who works with me regarding a Word document.    This is a direct copy & paste ...

I detached the document sent to me by XXXXX in the hope of making some changes.    However, in the present format,    I am not able to do this without a very powerful microscope. The document is only readable after I print it.    I tried making changes by hand,    but there is not enough space and it is too time consuming.    I would like to give my input and try to coordinate my brief version for the consumer with your detailed version for the workers.    However, I would need to have the pages sent to me separately for editing.    Let me know if this can be done.

As the resident (?) Brit, albeit not one who lives in London, I suppose a few words wouldn't hurt (and you're going to get them anyway!)
Basically, it's stiff upper lip city. Within hours Londoners of my acquaintance were complaining about the lack of transport and (what else) the weather. It was raining.
I know a few people in London and I felt a bit sick with nerves until I knew they were okay, but as my mother says bad news travels much faster than good, so I would have heard if anything had happened.
Many of the aforementioned Londoners are of course used to all this sort of thing from years of IRA bomb threats. Of course, it's terrible and very disturbing, but people are just getting grimly on with business.
To sum up: not terrorised, not panicking. What else is new?
Watching the first big hurricane of the season pass by a few hundred miles from here. This area had two direct hits last year, I'm hoping to avoing that this year. We're going to get a lot of rain, no biggie. The wind has been really creepy over the last 12 hours, constantly gusting and blowing in an unsettling manner. It is full of portents. Or contents, that's right, it's full of contents. Dennis is heading for Alabama, but could take a sudden right turn into my face.

Have to admit that I feel kinda guilty about the cynical anger that I feel about 7/7 in London, anger at the governments, anger at the people in office, anger at Bush, anger at Blair, anger at terrorists of all types, anger at the structure of politics in the world, anger at the economics in the world, anger at me for not having the power to fix these things or to even start to try fixing them, anger at myself for if I did have the power, I may also try to force my vision on the world rather than do what's best, anger at human nature, etc. etc. Sometimes, I wish I could express sympathy as well as everyone else has been showing these days.
--Mr. Lex
A couple summers ago, I noticed that I had less of an attention span than during the rest of the year. For some reason, last year, it wasn't such a big deal. Now I'm noticing it again. There a reason for this or am I just weird (please don't say weird!)?
--Mr. Lex
Am I the only person disturbed by the name of faux-Australian "Outback Steakhouse's" heavily-advertised dessert "Chocolate Thunder from Down Under"? I mean, please.
Helloooooo! Back! Back to terrorise teh interwebs!
It's been an interesting few weeks, comprised mainly of a crash course in networking, specifically network trouble shooting and crazy, crazy routers of craziness.
Of course, it was nothing to do with us at all, but a stupid typing fault at our ISP. D'oh!

It's been odd, actually. I didn't really miss the internet so much; it was a bit frustrating not to keep in touch with people but I didn't miss it half so much as I'd expected I would.
With luck, I'll keep reading and socialising as we've had to in these dark 'net-free days.....I'm on a strict schedule of an hour of Perl a day :-)
Some do-gooder has used an empty bulletin board at work to post a "good home wanted" sign for a cat ("Maxy") now at the Marblehead Animal Shelter... they play up her nice quantities, but are pretty open that this cat has not had a good life and likely won't be traditionally affectionate.

So now with all my other issues at work I can have a twinge of guilt about not adopting this cat every time I walk down the hall. Fantastic.

Janeane Garofalo was right: "Cultivate the Switzerland of your soul and remain delightfully detached" indeed. There are just too many awful stories out there.
Anybody know of a good way to dispose of useless computer equipment like a dead wireless router and a dead stereo setup, including a subwoofer. Should I just throw them in the trash?
--Mr. Lex
German music notation is a bit different...instead of the usual A through G letter progression, what we call "B" they call "H", and what we call "Bb" they call "B".    This let Bach do some cute stuff like including the progression "B A C H" in some of his music.

I find this surprising.    I thought if anyone would strive for
consistency and good engineering principles in their musical notation, it would be the Germans.
Initially, I was going to post about some terribly self pitying and mopey personal stuff which I'm sure you don't want or need to hear. Plus, it would make my upper lip wilt, which would never do.

So instead...I shall recommend you all join a book group. They're great. I belong to one that meets once a month (in a pub!). It's got me reading again, to the extent of having about 5 books on the go right now, it's brought about some interesting discussions (a group of scientists reading Richard Dawkins The Blind Watchmaker, and discovering we don't all hold the same views on The Big Issues) and further more it's made me read books I never would have done. Plus, contacting people you know who are in the group and discussing the book with them all mysteriously in front of non group members is more fun than you'd credit, and as secrets go considerably better for you than having an affair.

What are you waiting for?
Stupid, not-quite-awake thought of the morning:
Canada needs to be strictly reorganized into exactly three parts: Can, a, and da.
Had an odd dream where all these people were getting together for "Pirates vs. Ninjas", a massive "real life" roleplaying game.

I was trying to figure out which side would have more fun. I think the pirates, because they can be flamboyent and say "arrrr" and all that stuff, whereas the ninjas have to be all stealthy and whatnot.
i recently started a new job (early july) and i'm having to adjust to working either alone at home, or at my boss' home with him.    both locations are very comfortable and my new boss is charming and fun to work with, but i'm starting to really, really miss the peer interactions i used to have at my old job.    today has been much better than monday and tuesday were for missing people, but i'm still looking for some advice on how to feel less isolated...    any thoughts?    there isn't much in the immediate neigborhood in terms of coffee shops or other quiet but communal places to work.    we have lovely office space on 128, but it's for entertaining clients, hence no internet service and no way i could work there...

The article about Germany brought home some issues for me. Mostly because it provides a contrast which helps illuminate my own thoughts about America. Speaking about our relentless "freedom" rhetoric got me thinking because he is right. In many ways we are less free than we think. I'm particularly cognizant of this because I am discovering some rather onerous housing codes down here in Florida. We were just cited by the Police for code violations including such horrible terrorist-loving offenses as: peeling paint on the house, bare patches on the lawn, a torn screen on the BACK PORCH. Yes, the police will begin charging us $200 a day on the 1st if we don't fix these things. And apparently they can wander into our back yeard any time they want to check the screens. I hadn't realized I was moving to FascistConformityville
We moved into our new house about 3 months ago.    There has been ongoing issues with the basement taking in water.    Tonight there was major rain and we couldn't drive down our street.    We had to park one block over and walk ... what a headache.    The only good news is that while we had a little water in the basement it wasn't as bad as a bunch of others in the community.    What a headache!!
In Chicago I saw a guy wearing a shirt proclaiming "No One Is Perfect But Me". I was tempted to run up and ask "shouldn't that be '...Except For Me'?" but he didn't look like the type of guy who'd get the humorous nuance of that.
I have to admit big SUVs like the "Hummer 2" do still grab my attention.

It makes me think that people in H2s have at least two things in common with special needs students: they're both riding a short bus, and neither are concerned with telling "good attention" from "bad".
Looking at the crescent moon low in the sky, I realize that it's a big rounded arrowhead pointing at the sun, and suddenly I can almost feel the whole solar system in 3D around me.
Looking at the news and Katrina.    HOLY COW!!    I am glad that we don't live in the Big Easy.    This will make the 5.3" in 1 hour that we received in Cleveland last Saturday look like a little drool!    Gotta pray for all those down there!
I just installed a carbon monoxide detector in my bedroom.

It's kind of odd to admit, especially since it was so long ago, but it was the sad death of "Weird Al" Yankovic's parents by CO poisoning, and the message to his fans after, that put the need for a detector in the back of my mind.

Anyway, consider getting and installing one.
1 - I have to pee right now.
2 - Kris is watching Days of our Lives ... never understood the whole Soap Opera thing.
3 - Caden is sleeping on Kris, what a great sight.
4 - Being a father is tough, you often feel like you fail.
5 - Same feeling as 4 about being a husband.
6 - Wish that Katrina wouldn't have caused as much damage as she did.
7 - TiVo is such a great thing.
8 - Wireless networks & hi-speed internet are great too.
9 - Drinking Coke Classic, is there anything else?
10 - Looking forward to being a Dad for the second time this month.
11 - Our second sons birth though great will be a reminder of the girl twin who was lost.    That is hard to deal with.
12 - My father in law is in town and he loves teasing my about my conservative viewpoints and liking of "shrubbery" (he won't say Bush).
13 - Remember fondly Kirks nasal tricks.
14 - Enjoy keeping up with a childhood friend through his blog, the only blog I read.
15 - Think that Bush gets a bad rap a lot of the time.
16 - Wish that my Christian faith was stronger.   
17 - Don't spend time with my faith the way I should.
18 - Eating is such a wonderful pastime.
19 - 210 right now, a result of my love for eating.
20 - Am truly thankful for the wonderful friends & family that I have.

This OK Butch?

1. I'm at work right now, so as I type this, I'm making money.
2. I work Tuesday through Saturday, which I tell people is because I like to avoid Mondays, but it's because my predecessor, like me, likes to roll in late and leave late, and they kick people out of the office early on Mondays.
3. Aside from Hawaii, I've never been outside North America.
4. It's mostly because the prospect of travel doesn't motivate me to save money and go places.
5. I'd like to navigate a barge on the French canals, from the Loire to the Seine.
6. I own a web domain for no particular reason except as a mail-drop, even though I've always had big, hazy plans to make something great about it.
7. I'm constantly flipping back to kisrael for leads on where to carry this.
8. I've got the BBC drama of "Vanity Fair" in the mp3 player right now.
9. The other things in my MP3 player are "Pelican West" by Haircut 100, and a BBC reading of "Day of the Triffids."
10. My beverage of choice is a mix of Diet Coke and Dr. Pepper, mixed about 3:1.    It's very sweet.
11. I'm in a long-distance relationship and it's fairly inert, yet I'm not particularly inclined to either move to her or find someone local.
12. My entire family on my dad's side has evacuated from Nawlins except my Dad's aunt, who were last heard from on the roof of their condo awaiting rescue.    This week I'm finding out that nobody who knows me at work, nor my current lot of friends, knows I have family there, since it's been so long since I've visited NO.   
13. I've made every effort not to bring my family up in defense of my fairly unpopular (i.e. not Bush-hating) views on the topic.   
14. I've been in the eye of a hurricane, and it was awesomely serene. The streets were flooded by a few inches, but the gutters were handling it pretty well.
15. I download most of the TV I view from the internet using bittorrent, gambling that the copyright owners will go after the distributors and not the mere users.
16. The movie I've seen more than any others is Spaceballs.    I can't swear it's my favorite, but it kills me every time.
17. I want to sail, but I also shun the sun because I burn easily.    Which ocean is perpetually overcast but temperate?
18. Though Joseph Conrad is my favorite author, I sometimes think he's just the most skilled and brillaint that I've ever made the effort to read.    Sometimes reading him is work, and so I still haven't finished Lord Jim, even though I count it among my favorite stories by him.
19. I consider this a motivation problem, really.
20. I never tag people to reply to LJ memes or the like, but if I did, I'd have to tag 16 people.
Perhaps our ten-fingered decimal thinking colors our thoughts a bit too much. A binary "order of magnitude"-- being interested when something is two or four times as great--can be a more useful concept than the decimal one. A ten times difference is often overkill.

Heck, I'm the size of a refrigerator...within an order of magnitude. Also the size of as big as a microwave oven, within an order of magnitude the other direction.
Went to work early this morning and got a call about 7:30.    It was Kris saying that she is having pain.    Thought it was baby time ... turns out baby didn't think so.
If you'll excuse the crudeness, and the thing I learned in eating National Guard mess hall chili is that it can lead to repurcussions.    In fact, it risks one becoming a bit of a re-percussionist.

So to speak.

OK ... Liam Elijah Hill was born on 9/10 @ 12:15 AM.    7 lbs 3 oz. 19 in.

Both Mom & boy are doing well.

Liam's Picture Page
My Google startpage showed me this eHow article titled How to Catch a Horse. Am I the only person who (mis)reads that and wonders if there's a companion article about how to get one thrown to you in the first place?
(I don't mean to be hogging my own sidebar! Fellow sidebar-ers feel free to chip in!)

Anyway...can someone think of a reasonable "kitchen science lab" demonstration that matter is indeed divided into atoms? It occurs to me that I've been taking scientists' word for it all these years.
While driving today it hit me: Arnold Schwarzenegger is actually the frickin' governor of California! I mean how weird is that?   

I guess people who thought Jesse Ventura's governorship of Minnesota as the epitome of absurdity of life in America were just that wrong.
Ksenia has a decided fondness for white bread dunked in Coca-Cola.

I have not the words.

I guess my usual "abomination before God and Man" comes close, but not quite.
Huge moment of guilt: seeing some recent coverage from New Orleans and thinking " that thing still going on?"
Some @#$%^&@!! is sending SPAM looking as if the author is Gmail doesn't catch all the bounces as SPAM. "Postmaster, Postmaster, Mail, Mail, Mail" would seem like a great cheer if it wasn't showing up in my Gmail notifier as a list of "Froms" for the bounces.
Just got an aftermarket alarm w/ keyless entry for my Scion. The keyless entry was the big appeal...makes me wonder why we don't have that and power locks for houses. (Or if it's out there, why it's not more popular.) Suddenly regular key and lock systems seem so quaint and a bit irritating.
What happened to the days when other people posted on the sidebar?

I know I started my Blog at .

Has anyone else done anything exciting?
--Mr. Lex
I am lame too ... been incredibly busy with two kids and all now.   

Actually, today (10/22) is Caden's 3rd birthday.    Had a little "shin dig" at the house.    Was a good time.
Ksenia is the first person I've heard of who doesn't like zombie movies not just because they're scary but because she feels kind of sorry for the zombies.
I find it hard to get a balance of working hard to make yourself feel valuable to your company & working hard in your personal life.    How often is a persons sense of self-worth tied up in what they do?    Seems when you meet someone,    what do you do? is often a question in the first few minutes.    What happened to wanting to know who people are, rather than what they do?   

We are often so busy at getting to the next task, meeting or project that we don't take time out for people?    If we take time out for people, then we question if we are not productive enough.
Tonight is Bonfire Night, also known as Guy Fawkes' Night, commemorating the hideous torture and death of the Catholic Guy Fawkes who attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament with gunpowder, hence it's being known as the Gunpowder Plot.

Across Britain, families are having bonfires, burning effigies of Mr Fawkes, known as 'guys' and eating toffee apples and parkin. I used to love this when I was younger, but sadly as a skint city dweller I no longer have the space or the funds for such an event.

Fortunately, everyone lets off fireworks, too, which as I'm living in the top room of a house over a valley, I can see the best display in the city - and all for free, in the warm!
Having one of those days at work ... anybody hiring?

I noticed my gmail spam filter is getting "leakier"...usually (I think) by being fooled by the insertion of random character strings to defeat the Bayesian filters. You'd think they could make a "reverse" filter, than too many non-dictionary words should be a clear warning sign as well.
I've got a new PC, and it needs a name.My previous machines were named Oppie and Teller, for Robert Oppenheimer and Edward Teller.   

I'm thinking Nobel or Ulam would be good, but I'm open to suggestion.
After discovering that there is now a viable alternative to Quicken that can run on Linux, I figured it was time to finally become a full-fledged penguin and use Linux as my primary OS.    So, I repartitioned the hard drive, installed Ubuntu, and started configuring and installing apps.

Unfortunately, I found no viable replacement for the app I use the most in Windows: Outlook.    I had assumed that either Evolution or Kontact would do the job, but I was wrong.    While both are decent (and quite fast) barebones PIMs with Outlook-like interfaces, neither offers the flexibility or power that Outlook does for managing tasks.    (I also found some of the design decisions incredibly frustrating, like the fact that in Evolution, deleting an open message automatically opened the next message, with no option to change the behavior.)

So, while I love the idea of free software and enjoy a number of things about Linux, it looks like I'm sticking with good ol' Windows for a while longer.
Missed any new entries.    Seems like withdrawal from Kirk.
My name is Candi, and this is my first sidebar entry.    In fact, some of you may have seen my name or my journal link floating around Kirk's entries!

The past few days I have been thinking of alternative universes.    Why, you ask?    In the history of science class I am taking, we just began covering quantum physics, not so much the math aspects and the more in depth theory of course, but the basics.    Anyway, I was wondering if perhaps there was a universe where everything is perfect, where things go how I want them to, and everyone I care about, myself included, is healthy and happy.    But isn't perfect just a state of mind?    Everyone has different views of perfect, so do all those universes exist?    Am I living someone else's ideal of perfect?
While sidling on over to, have you ever forgotten the 's.'

I found it entertaining to do so. Try it.
--Mr. Lex
Just an interesting note regarding the concern we had in the past what to do with broken and obsolete electronics.

I just read that Best Buy collects these things. I didn't read too much into it, but I guess you can go to this page on their website to learn more about it.
--Mr. Lex
When it's cold and/or the loveseat seems a bit small for two tallish people to snuggle in it's nice to be able to bring the projector into the bedroom and project onto the big wall there (actually a bigger picture than in the living room...) Then I can use my PS2 or laptop as the DVD player.

So I was was catching up on some websites with the laptop waiting for Ksenia, using the laptop's own screen, with my back to the projected version. I suddenly realized that I could totally control the room's ambient light level just by scrolling to lighter or darker parts of a webpage.

Ok, I guess you had to be there, but it seemed pretty cool, and funny how it took me a bit to catch on.
Just one more thing to tick me off about Microsoft: Outlook "helpfully" rearranges the taskbar so that "compose message" windows appear next to the main Outlook button, rather than in the last position on the know, WHERE EVERY OTHER DAMN PROGRAM PUTS ITS NEW WINDOWS.

It's not too bad to get used to I guess...but even beyond the onconsistency, it's the sheer hubris of it that annoys the holy living sheet metal right out of me.
Last night I took a shot of sake from a bottle I've had since before I moved.    I was very surprised to find that it tasted more like water than wine.    I took another sip to be sure.    Sake flavored water.    Since wine doesn't turn back into water, I concluded that my crazy @#$%*&! ex-roommate had gone into my room, and drunk my sake, trying to hide it by refilling it with water!    The sure sign of a cheap alcoholic.    Just for the record, she stole all my sudefed too (an upper for some people).    I am sooo glad I moved, even if I am paying $200 more in rent.   

You know, it really bugs me that, even in a state like Massachusetts, people still think it's a good idea to teach "abstinence education" (i.e., "just say no to sex") to high school students.    It's been shown not to work (duh!), plus it's not education, it's preaching.    Education is telling people relevant facts and a variety of theories/beliefs, and giving them a chance to analyze those theories/beliefs in relation to the facts.
Put on a little TV this morning, around 9am...Comedy Central, just to procrastinate a bit before cleaning the house. The station breaks had a lot of those "train for a new career" spots. I almost want to yell "Give it a rest! I'm gainfully employed! It's just the day after Christmas, is all! Yeesh!"
New Years is kind of odd.

It's about the only time you can make an educated guess about what pretty much all of your former loves are up to, and when.
In you Kisraelians august opinion, is it easier to look for a job when many other people are, cause then you don't feel like such a loser?

Or, is it easier to look for a job when no-one else is because you've got the field all to yourself - but hell, everyone who was looking for staff has hired everyone you know?

In case you haven't guessed, I'm looking for work. Meh.

Did everyone's elementary school have that ultimate "you're dumb insult" where you'd do an "impression" of, say, Mike, by putting a low "dumb guy" voice and saying "DUHHHH, my name is Mike I think...."
I guess it seemed like the sign of true and absolute dumbness was not being able to remember your own name.
Russian Traditions I've Learned:
* If you step on someone's foot, they should step back on yours (lightly) to prevent bad luck.
* A floral bouquet should not have an even number of blossoms, which are for funerals.
* If you rush back in the house because you forgot something, look in a mirror. (I think the idea is to make it look like that was why you came back in.)
* Empty bottles go on the floor, they're kind of like "dead men" that are bad to have on the table.
My Christmas gift to Ksenia was a decent Epson printer (refurbished) that can print on 11"x17" paper.

So now my question expensive of a printer do you have to buy before they give you the damn USB cable?    When the hell did they decide to make this like an extra luxury?

(PS... people who aren't Kirk, please feel free to write sidebars! I'm looking even more pathetic than usual here.)
OK ... am in Nashville at an American Correctional Association conference.    Pretty allright time but miss my family a ton.    We had a program review and the audit team was very difficult, so we got an opportunity to appeal the audit team's decision.    The appealing committee agreed with our appeal and we maintained our ACA certification through 2009.    A big win for us and a huge relief off my mind!

Sorry for the lack of content lately ... will try and do better.   

Couple of weeks ago went to Cinci and saw Jeff Shaffer, was a little disappointed because I had to buy 5 new pairs of pants ... size 38 ... UGH!
Fun prank!

Quietly move someone's (preferably wireless) mouse out of the way, and then put their cellphone there. They'll likely start trying to use the cellphone as a mouse!

Fun fact!

You might even be able to pull this prank on your self! More than once, even, if you don't take action and move the phone away.
For all of us questioning our lives and careers, some words of wisdom from Atom Egoyan, Director of The Sweet Hereafter (from My Golden Rules in MovieMaker Magazine)

"Don't get depressed about not being whre you want to be.    This nagging feeling of anxiety is actually called ambition.    Ambition is your friend."

Philosophy and soul/job searching aside, I thought I would rub in y'all's face the fact that today is a lovely 80 degrees and sunny day in L.A.   

And the techies of Santa Monica are pretty hot too.    ;-)

How's Boston??
My friend Laura performed wonderfully last Thursday with her band Ghost Town. Three other bands went on that night in a tiny bar & grill.    Three weeks ago I saw her and 4 other bands perform across town at another venue.    Driving home, I saw multiple music venues open.    It seems there are thousands of bands playing for hundreds of clubs every night in L.A. Thousands of artists that will never get signed because they don't look like Brittney or InSync boy toys. I heard Jessica Simpson was just signed to a new record deal. Will the internet revolution ever change the music business?    It seems inevitable, like hybrid SUVs, and I've heard stories of small bands getting signed to small labels from internet reviews that boost their sales.    But, the impact seems small. Will devices like ipods and sat. radio birth a creative boom that can actually support an artist?
On Wed. my doc screens at the Pan African Film Festival.    I'm getting excited! Had a real job interview today and everything.    If anyone is in L.A. on Wed., come down to the Majic Johnson Theaters at 10pm to see You Got It Twisted playing at the Pan African Film Festival.    Weee!
A smashing success!! It's 1:30am and I am happy to report that the viewers loved You Got It Twisted! They laughed a lot! Thank God.    A good crowd showed up, the theater was actually stadium seating with awesome speakers. I heard things I'd never heard before while editing. The Pan African Film Festival gets to use the Magic Johnson Theaters at Baldwin Hills Plaza, a state of the art commercial venue. The screen was huge. I got to check the picture and sound before opening the house, like a real editor!    Like Walter Murch!    I didn't get a photo of the electronic board of movie schedules that listed our movie right under Pink Panther and Big Momma's 2.    That was the coolest, like getting to feel what it's like to have your movie playing in the local multiplex. Now, to submit to other festivals or not?
Figure this would be something Kirk might appreciate:

The fiancee and I applied for an apartment we think we love over the weekend in Chicago. Not only is it a couple blocks away from Wrigley Field and Lake Michigan, but it's also a couple blocks from the Salvation Army's College for Officer Training.
--Mr. Lex

Holy Christing Bleep!

This DP World purchase thing is generating more hysteria than that time Dan Quayle set all those dogs and children on fire. The thing that bothers me most about the whole mishegas is that nobody is reporting it correctly in their headlines. Even NPR, who usually throttle the panic-making headlines has been doing it. They say, not in so many words, "terrorist company to take over US ports", then maybe, if you're lucky, they mention that there are tenuous links between the 9/11 hijackers and the country of Dubai, and they will only control a single terminal at each port. Also they are not in charge of security.

So that's the first problem. Beyond that we have what straight up racism behind it all. Every story I have heard so far has posited implicitly that "some arabs are terrorists, therefore all arabs are terrorists." They even go so far as saying the the governments of those arabs are also terrorists. And as soon as they start running a terminal in a US port, they will bring in thousands of pounds of plutonium and anthrax and OMGWTFBBQ!

At the same time they point out that Dubai is an ally in the war on terror. Well which is it? Either they need to be referred to the UN Security Council, or they can run terminals in US ports.
As a "business traveller" geek, I've started to go a bit crazy with the gadgets and gizmos, not to mention the other assorted junk. Here's what I brought with me this trip:

In my pockets:
  • cellphone
  • palm
  • digital camera
  • wallet
  • sunglasses
In my courier bag:
  • extra camera battery
  • camera battery chargerTufts-branded USB thumbstick
  • Cheap "MuVo" MP3 player / USBthumbdrive
  • USB cellphone charger
  • headset for cellphone
  • charger/datacable for palmsmall wireless router
  • wireless mouse
  • a few extra adapterplugs for usb cellphone charger
  • laptop/power adapter
  • network cable
  • work ID/doorthing
  • 2 checkbooks
  • nailclippers
  • soveneir sears tower coin
  • business cards
  • misc cards, mostly store related
  • way way way old giftcertificate to levi's store
  • graphpaper
  • book
  • penbag

Last week I noticed that my usual commute was getting longer.    I drive north on Highland Ave. through Hollywood and then over the hills to Burbank every day.    First they closed off Hollywood blvd. at Highland and then they put up tents and stands.    Then I saw a traffic sign explain that the road would be blocked off till the 6th. That's when it hit me:    it was Oscar weekend and I was passing the Kodiak theater where they hold it.    Duh!
Yesterday I tried cutting up a selection of a movie for a DVD menu screen.    Gave me tons of trouble.

I have to say, Erin, have to respect the editing profession all the more now. . ..
--Mr. Lex

That's from some road signs archived in the The Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum in Cleveland...where I learned the first electric traffic signal was in Cleveland, and I got to see it.

I wonder how many neurons I'm using up, carrying that text around in my head.
The second night at our Brooklyn Hotel was disturbed by an endless car alarm loop that stretched at least well into the next morning. Once I double checked that it wasn't my own, I got to wondering if the owner just wasn't in the area...then realized that if the owner was Hassidic, he might not be allowed to operate the button, it being Shabbat and all.
"Wednesday" is just spelled wrong.

Even if it came from "Odin's Day", it's still just wrong.

Someone else should write a sidebar.
I absolutely love going out to lunch.    It is great to get out of the office and not be bothered.    Peace and quiet for a little while is priceless.    Really the only excess expense I allow myself.   

WHEN GADGETS GO WRONG, Or, I've reached a pathetic new low:

At home, I have a device (a promotional freebie) specifically for cutting open CD plastic-wrap without damaging the case.    Since I buy so few CDs, I've used it perhaps twice, and to me it's a novel-enough gadget that I want to use it more.    So I've got a new CD here and, though I really want to listen to it now, at work, and rip it to mp3s for my Creative Micro N200 player, I'm conflicted because I want to take it home to open the plastic.
Russians have a tradition of loading up a person heading back "home" with lots of gifts to convey to the people back there.    By their own admission (well, one of 'em anyway) this is kind of a pain-in-the-ass tradition for both the folks having to buy stuff (often clothing) for kids they haven't seen for years, and presumably for the traveller who needs to use about twice the luggage space they'd otherwise need.
I hope you are all watching "The Real Housewives of Orange County" on Bravo Tuesdays at 10pm, and watching for my name to go by in the credits.    And if you really love dirt on the rich, check out the website:

It is so weird to have worked on something that is generating so much press/promotion!

Something I found out at my recent birthday dinner: my grandfather (Papa Sam) often used "NMI" for his middle name, an abbreviation for "no middle initial" assigned to him by the military during WW2.
I was going to write about how surprised I was that TCP connections take so long to finish, but it occurs that most readers aren't very technical.

So instead, I shall say that it's nearly Easter, and it's having pretty much no effect on me or anyone I know. The whole country stops for Xmas, Xian or not, but Easter seems to be something you have consciously to make your own celebration for. Thoughts, anyone?
My town of Arlington used to be called Menotomy, a native word whose meaning is either lost to history or "swift running water". (Actually I think "swift running water" is the default translation for any phrase the whitefolk don't quite get.) In 1867, after a brief stint as "West Cambridge", they renamed it "Arlington" in honor of the people buried in the national cemetary.

That's kind of morbid. And there are so many Arlingtons around. I think "Menotomy" is a much better name.
I read an article in the Wall St. Journal about Chicago commuters forced to take trains after highway construction made their already long commutes hideous. The whole article was a bitchfest about how they LOVED driving the hour to work and how much they missed their cars. They whined about waiting in the cold for trains and having to wear more sensable (read: ugly) shoes for hoofing it. One lady had to transport a three layer cake for a coworker's birthday and boy was that akward!    Hadn't it occured to this dingle berry to just buy one near her work? The regular commuters complained that the new commuters took the good seats and talked loudly on phones. No talk of a silver linning to the situation, like getting to know neighbors, saving money or the environment,..What a bunch of babies.
They just resurfaced and repainted the parking lot around where I work. The guys were surprisingly effecient, especially the man with the rolling paint sprayer... he seemed to be eyeballing it but had very precise looking results.

They removed the barriers blocking off that part of the lot, so now I'm tempted to duck out of work and drive my car into one of the spots, just to get that "completely fresh parking space" feeling.
Wikihow is on my Google custom homepage. Today's entries: How to Have a Successful Day of Shopping and How to Overcome Serious Regrets. The juxtaposition of the profound and the frivolous appeals to me.
Why O Why is it so hard to get focused, to tackle my TODOs, to concentrate and get down to business, to settle up my old 401ks and move on? Or even to get to the books and games I'd like to make my way through?

And what should I do to get more people to write sidebars?

I was thinking of an arbitrary limit for the sidebar: 3 or 4 sentences max... it might be a cool restriction to work against, or it might just lead to big ol' run-on sentences like these.
so i was lucky enough to attend a taping of the colbert report in nyc on monday night.    unsurprisingly, everything is smaller in person.    the audience is only 100 people.    the set was wide enough but not as tall as it looks on the small screen.    as for the man himself...    well, i suppose i'm not accustomed to seeing actors in person.    on tv, he's always talking directly to me, but in person, he doesn't know i exist.

but what a guy!    what other person on the face of this planet would have the balls to stand mere feet from the leader of the free world and lambast his policies, his administration, his war, and his wife.   
today i decided to bring my nintendo ds with me on my way in to work. this, along with my cellphone and ipod, made me acutely aware of just how many electronic devices i had on my person this morning.

okay, i'm sure that some people lug around far more personal electronics on a daily basis than my mindbashingly huge number of three but it still struck me as kinda odd that one of the reasons behind my bringing a messenger bag with me was to bring along each device's associated power supply as well.

My laptop trackpad responds well to my finger (obviously) but not to a marble pressed with equivalent force. Nor a small rubber ball (one w/ the blinking lights, a common bit of dotcom schwag). But it does move the pointer in response to an apple.

The theories we've come up for this empirical data are numerous. But now I have to resist the urge to rub various things on my laptop trackpad to see if the pointer moves.
Unfortunate April rushed by, blowing us like dry leaves on November pavement.    Instead of scattering, we landed together, closer than we expected, somewhat closer than we would have been comfortable with a month before.    Now, half way through a damp and scentless May, we begin to dis-entangle and resume March's labor.    Twelve May days had to pass before we could be grateful for the lesser events of April. These smaller, happier, to-be-expected parts of April fled past us, unable to share the frame with April's burden.           

In April, we were held up by the gentlest hands.    In May, we have been set right and on our way.    Thank you all.   
--Evil B.
Moving mathematics is based on more than simply floorspace.    Our previous 730 sq ft contained our posessions more compactly than our current 850 sq ft.    Even subtracting out the 100 sq ft given to the new baby's room,    our storage    should come out comparable.    But it isn't floor space that matters, its wall space and closet space.    In that respect, our new place loses, having 1/3 the closet space and less than half the wall space of our previous digs.   

Thank goodness we have basement space, which is currently housing 15 plastic bins of books, clothing, athletic good as well as two baker's racks worth of junk.    Not to mention the inordinate    amount of periodicals, paperbacks, and old clothing I have thrown out or donated in the last few weeks.

The larger, more open rooms of the new place came with a price.    And that price is measured in trips up and down the stairs.   

--Evil B.
Ugh. Watching that blaxploitation Wizard of Oz, "The Wiz", years after playing its music in jazz band.    Not bad, a few too many slow songs, but the Emerald City is a dressed-up WTC plaza. They use the fountain I kisrael'd up here as a stage... they even add a Z to the center sphere to make "OZ".

blue sky of springtime
so close but i'm stuck indoors
what price a career?
Rob at work was explaining how his brother got to talk with Peter Fonda when the brother was going to film school in Montana. Says it went pretty well 'til he pitched his idea, a sequel to Easy Rider... something about some scientist managing to preserve Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper in ice or stone or something, then they get revived, and they have to go hang around with a bunch of gen-xers.

Rob also says his idea of spreading cheese from those litle cracker packs onto Pringles (both among the free snacks cupboard at work) was a bad idea.
Have you ever noticed how when Kirk swears, he swears in one long streak?    Have you noticed how this tends to happen more in front of video games than other times?   

There is relief!    If he is playing video games with his ever lovin' mother (YELM), he doesn't swear at all.    Not a peep.    Barely even a "Jeeeeeeezzzzz" passed his lips.

Of course right after his mom left the room, the engine sputtered to life.    A few fitful four letter forays into foulness escaped his mouth.    But when he got loud enough that his mother could here him upstairs......    a simple "Kirrrrrrk" in a warning tone throttled the engine back to neutral.        Even the next "Jeeeeezzzz" to pass his lips was muted.

Now I did not write this to put Kirk on the spot.    To know Kirk is to have heard him swear at least once, so this is not a secret.    I wrote this because I am in awe, with my impending parenthood, to be reminded that , "Mom is always Mom".

PS.    Even if you are a 30+ year old urban hipster playing video games in your Mom's basement on Memorial day. :)    (Yes, I know, I was there with my wife too.    Pot, meet kettle, kettle, meet pot.)
--Evil B.
We are in the home stretch, folks.    We are 8 days shy of the due date.    My wife woke me up this morning, simply by saying in a calm voice, "I think the baby is coming this week."    That catapulted me out of bed.   

I understand the last week is when you start to get seriously nervous.    I have also been led to believe that its a relatively short bout of nervousness; especially when compared to the teenage years.
--Evil B.
Leslee and I went to the Ob/Gyn on Thursday.    Since we were gone for a month, we are still meeting everyone in the practice.    Thursday, it was Dr. Hernandez, who is very lively and quick-witted.    After a quick physical examination, she picked up Leslee's chart and said, "I will be very surprised if you make your due date."    My ears pricked up,    the official due date is the 12th, unofficial the 6th.    I asked her to clarify. She continued, "In fact, I think your baby may arrive this weekend."

--Evil B.
As the guy, waiting on contractions are just plain weird.    They come, they go, and you have to keep track of how many and how often.    Once they get closer than 5 minutes apart for about an hour,    you will scoot to the hospital.    Until then,    you wait, you watch, you worry, you wonder why the heck its taking so darn long.    So here we sit, at home this evening, tick tock.

Let me put in terms appropriate to the town and time of year for the non-pregnant.    It feels like the bottom of the ninth inning of a tied    Red Sox - Yankees game.
--Evil B.
Still waiting......

Here's the way it goes.    If the wife spends the entire day in bed reading and sleeping, not too many contractions.    If she goes out for dinner and walks around a bit afterwards, contractions.   

So the question is, "Do I work from home on the basis that I might need to drive to the hospital right quick, or do I go into the office on the basis that it has been going like this with no change for the last few days?"
--Evil B.
Now I understand why a guy gets hyper defensive of his wife right before labor.    Your wife will be in quite a state of "ow" for a while before contractions start in ernest.    "Ow" like worst menstral cramps you have ever heard of.    "Ow" like she    hurts to turn over in bed.    "Ow" like I am right now googling for her symptoms to make sure its within the "normal" range.    (Turns out it is normal, not fun, but normal)

Suddenly, husband fainting episodes don't seem that far fetched.    A few dozen hours of this before getting to the hospital would do me no favors.        Imagine getting to the hospital, totally exhausted and completely at your wit's end.    She lets loose with a soul curdling scream of exhaustion and pain as she starts to push.    The guy's brain does the only thing it can think of.... shut down.    I am hoping this does not play out in real life for me.

Now I know why you sometimes hear a husband apologizing for getting his wife to go through with this.    'tain't for the faint o'heart.
--Evil B.
Thanks to Kirk for posting the first online pictures of Catherine.    Leslee is doing very well for someone who just went through a C-Section.    She is already up and walking around.    Daddy is proud as can be, and much of the family has already been in to visit.

Unfortunately, Catherine has jaundice, which makes her very tired.    She is currently undergoing light therapy, which involves covering the baby's eyes, strapping the little baby into a little tanning bed in a combo fitted sheet/nighty, and then turning on these really bright blue lights.    Any time not spent feeding or cleaning is spent in light therapy.    I sent Kirk the picture below to illustrate.   

PS.    The whole fainting thing almost did come to pass.    After 14 hours of labor, Leslee hadn't reached the pushing phase.    Her doctor advised that we consider an immediate C-section.    Leslee asked for the consent form.    My mind, which had already packed its bags, left.    C-sections have received such bad press lately, and I had been consuming quite a bit of it.    I felt faint at the decision, but then I did some simple math.    I counted the number of doctors in the room,3, and nurses, 2.    I figured an average of 16 years experience.    That's 90 years of medical experience saying its time for Caeserian versus 9 months of indiscriminant reading saying "maybe not such a good thing".    The math was simple, I kept my mouth shut on my concerns and focussed on Leslee.

It was quick, and Leslee was up and walking by the next day, albeit not comfortably.    If you are giving birth,even if you would prefer natural, you are best off someplace that has the staff and equipment to make the decision and act quickly.    Surgical speed and accuracy are the determining factors for recuperation time.
--Evil B.
It was a while back that I chose the moniker Evil Bas***d for this board.    It was a hold over from a previous relationship whose principle characteristics need not be discussed.    Suffice it to say, the words "Well, I guess I am just an Evil Bast***d for (saying, doing, thinking) that, now let's get on with the rest of the day" were an almost daily occurence.

Quoting Clint Eastwood in "Unforgiven", "I ain't like that no more."    I don't feel terribly malevolent, ill-willed, or even irritable.    I have a lovely, loving wife, a healthy baby girl,    and a more wonderful extended family    than I had given consideration.    So two strikes against the name, I didn't renew my Evil license, and my family and friends treat me better than a "Bas***d" would deserve.   

But I kinda like the initials e.b., and I would hate to make Kirk do all the work of changing it everywhere.    Anyone have any good suggestions what eb could stand for in lieu of the old moniker?
--Evil B.

OK ... today was Dad's day and pretty special.    Love getting woken up by the boys (wish it would have been a little later than 7:30).    They got me a green Tilley hemp hat ( which is great.    Went to church, had a buy one get one free sub at Penn Station and steak for dinner.    The only thing that would have been better is if the "hefty lefty" would have won the US Open.    Oh well ... the day couldn't be totally perfect.

Butch ... don't know why but for some reason I thought of your dad and the picture of him doing the moose or elephant ears.    Couldn't find the picture ... what a great funny guy.
I going to leave the whole EB thing alone for a bit, it got way too weird and none of the alternatives really zinged me.    I'll let Kirk know when I have settled on something.

Moving right along:

Home early from work
Sleeping infant on my chest
Mommy sleeps nearby.
--Evil B.
Kirk, YELM, and YELAS dropped by to visit with Catherine.        YELM and YELAS have been wonderfully generous to Leslee, Catherine and me.    We had some baby time, a simple dinner, and some conversation.

With all the time spent rushing about, its pleasant and calming to have a quiet meal with friends.

Thanks guys, you made our night,


PS.    In one of those odd symetries of life, both Kirk and I have a YELAS.    However, "EBELAS" sounds like a new strain of something icky, and KELAS would just add to the confusion.    So note to EB relations who might read this board, all "YELAS" refers to Kirks ELAS, not mine.

--Evil B.
This is for EB, who at least twice has expressed schaudenfraude over the recent Limbaugh news:

"Rush Limbaugh was detained and questioned for transporting a possible illegal Viagra prescription into the country.

Well... a least we know his back is feeling better."

(from Mike Basinger in rec.humor.funny)
There is one thing that I can do more effectively than my wife for our daughter:    burping.    Seems that I have the touch when it comes to coaxing those painful gases out and putting her to sleep.    "Belch consultant" was not previously on my list of jobs I would find rewarding in life.   

My only concern is that I might be conditioning my child to belch just at the sight of me.    This might prove socially awkward during her teenage years.
--Evil B.

Why I am a little loopy:
1. It's a bit after 4PM before a 4-day weekend.
2. Speaking of 4, that's about the time I was up to finishing that silly Sci-Fi idea generator.
3. I suspect I'll be eating a lot with when FoSO and FoSOSO come over to vist with EB and family, so I've trying to save calories for later, so I'm coasting on fumes. And gum.
The problem with Chinese food is not a problem with the food per se.    It is a problem with your appetite for a few days after.    Since our Friday evening dumpling free-for-all, I have had much greater and insistent appetite.    Trying to sate it with Chinese left-overs proved less than futile.    The only thing that has taken the edge off of it has been fresh fruit.

I've been trying to take some weight off recently, with moderate success.    Thanks to Kirk and his geekery for finding the "Eat Watch", it's weight tracking has been a big help.    One of the key concepts this time around has been distinguishing between appetite and hunger.    Hunger is internal, while appetite can be generated by external stimulus.    Hunger can be demanding, but we rarely actually let it get past that point.    Appetite can be overwhelming, and we frequently find ourselves reaching for food to sate what it engendered.    This in itself is a weak paradox.    We go towards the thing causing the pain on the basis that it holds the alleviation of that pain.    Is this just our failure to recognize it as the source?
--Evil B.
A long time ago when kisrael was green,
there were more kinds of postings than you've ever seen!
They could be quite snarky, others quite deep
But from Dylan and Sarah, we ain't heard a recent peep!

And this goes double for the rest of you varmits out there: post dangit!    Don't make me resort to bad poetry!    Or the overuse of the exclamation point!

--Evil B.
Who would win in a fight, Devo or Blue Man Group?
Nice... I think New England is developing its own Monsoon Season.
Some dreams linger well to long into the day, but just at the edge of memory. All it takes to bring them back into focus is an afternoon nap.    When I woke up I remembered both the night and nap dreams in full clarity.    I woke with this powerful urge to apologize to someone who doesn't exist.    And I can't apologize to the three people she was a synthesis of, because I don't think I ever wronged them all in that exact fashion.   

My subconscious is an efficient bastard, one dream could yield three apologies.    Not terribly likely, as I don't plan on seeing any of those people again.

Thank goodness!           

--Evil B.
Hey Evil B: I saw a license plate that could provide you with a parody of your current alias: Lawful B
--The_Lex Sat Jul 29 22:22:15 2006

I like it!    Mostly because "evil" and "lawful" are not mutually exclusive.    In fact, the most ruthless, unkind people I know are also the most rigidly law following.
--Evil B.
In case you didn’t notice (and I’m sure you did, being web geeks that read sidebars on blogs and all) but we are in the midst of a new Internet Boom:    Media on the Web. Studios sell downloads of T.V. shows, Itunes provides music videos, is the Napster of videos, and most ominously, Rupert Murdoch bought MySpace, adding it to his media empire. And now, after going to film school and dedicating myself to a new career, I find myself editing for a company hoping to cash in on subject based programming for the web. That’s right, 7 yrs after the dotcom crash, I work for a F*cking Startup... AGAIN.
Alright… cue the ‘Lion King’ theme.

So, Wes and I are walking along the beach a couple of days ago and we see a dead sea turtle washed up on the shore.    It was very sad to see this gigantic, once beautiful creature, now all bloated and distended, cooking in the sun.    I tried to tell myself if was probably 189 years old and had lead a long and happy life, but I’m all “Inconvenient Truth”ed at the moment, so I had a hard time not feeling melancholy for the sad state of the environment.

Then last night we are out walking again, and we see this cluster of people gathered around near the dunes, so naturally, we join them to see what they are all looking at.    Turns out they are looking at a sea turtle nest hatching, and right as we get there 100 tiny baby sea turtles come crawling out of this crater in the sand, and start marching towards the ocean, in probably the most effective demonstration of natural instinct I have ever witnessed.    It was an amazing sight… and definitely illustrated for me the whole circle of life business.   

Isn’t that a lovely story?
I declare Kirk the winner of our race to lose weight.    For the last month I have been stable at 208 at about 1800 calories a day.    In fits and starts I have tried to get back on the 1400 calories a day wagon.
But its the little things that get you, never the big things.    So here is my list of foods that have proved my undoing, along with the ones that should be more tempting than they have turned out to be:

Cannot Resist:
Thai Summer Rolls (Deep Fried Goodness)
Dark Chocolate (60% Cocao or bust)
Honey Whole Wheat Pretzel Sticks
Trader Joe's Tamari Sembei (Tasty Rice Crackers)
Home-made baked anything (especially with baker staring at me wondering why I took such a tiny piece)
Fresh Raisin Bread from Panara
"Seasoned" French Fries

Can Resist:
Cheesecake (Factory variety used for test)
Big Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Coffee (as long as I haven't had any within last 24 hours)
Second Half of Lunch Sandwich

--Evil B.
Never leave Cape Cod on a Sunday afternoon.



It took us two hours and forty minutes to clear the Bourne bridge.    An accident at exit 5 backed up traffic past exit 3.    It took us an additional hour and change to clear that.    The rest of the way was just slow.    My tonsils were floating for most of the journey.    When did they remove all the sanitary facilities from the smaller rest stops?    It was a brilliant move on the state's part, as now they can guarantee a demographically homogenized urea sample from the ground just beyound the chain link fence which encircles their "rest stops".        I don't consider it "restful" to run the length of the stop looking for the port-o-john, or at least the spot of ground that smells the least like the backside of Ren-Faire.

Three and a half hours into the journey, baby was out of milk and not interested in sleep.    Thank goodness breast pumps have cigarette lighter adapters.        And of course a good Sunday dinner was sacrificed to the convenience gods of gluttony and the deep fryer.   

So an otherwise restful weekend in the woods in a little cabin that smelled of mothballs and drove my allergies into overdrive had the finishing touches put on it by my own stupidity.    I sat in the Masshole parade, cursing my own bad timing, and considering using the breakdown lane to get my Masshole Honor Badge.    Passing two cars that had evidently had the same idea at different relative speeds cured me of that consideration.

--Evil B.

The taste was indulgently bitter.    Not excessively bitter , like cheap candy being too sweet.    Rather it introduced itself gently as bitter and expanded to fulfill the initial promise. It was bitter without acidic tartness. Like good lemonade, I felt my stomach contract as I drank, but it lacked the tartness that would burn the esophagus.    Expelling breath from my mouth after the first draught, the taste did not linger.    I was left with the distinct feeling of being satisfied, of wanting no more, yet finding what I had pleasant.

Anyone want to guess which plant derived substance I was drinking?

--Evil B.
So while stopped in my car at a red light.....

I was rear-ended......

by a priest.

The jokes just write themselves.    Unfortunately, the jokes don't take care of my whiplash.    The ER doctor prescribed muscle relaxants, so now I am seven shades of dopey.   

Note to God:    If you are hoping this will get me off the fence about joining a church, it did.    The Episcopal's are off the list.
--Evil B.
After dinner, a fair sized contingent of "we" took a walk down the minuteman bike trail from Arlington Center to Spy Pond.   

The moon is full and bright tonight, so much so that moon shadows were distinct from streetlight shadows.Spy Pond is black and still, and you can just barely hear the cars on the otherside as they race up Route 2.

There    is something about walking on a September night with five other people that reminds me strongly of college.    The hint of fall in the air, the meandering conversations about everything, the way your eyes adjust to the darkness between streetlights are all fine reminders of what brought us together in the first place.

Thanks guys, you made my evening!
--Evil B.
So this weekend, MDES showed up at my place to help me move stuff to the basement.    He did this because I was injured and in need of help.    He sacrificed a big chunk of his Sunday afternoon to carry small, heavy boxes down two flights of stairs.    He ended up listening to me gripe while packing boxes. He was as helpful by virtue of his patience as he was for going up and down the stairs.

Thank goodness for friends who make drudgery light.        Thank you.

PS.    Kirk also showed up later in the day, and was quite filling to help.   
--Evil B.
healing hands of fall
cool me down to a small knot
fireplace to untie
Here is to Kirk!    Yay Kirk!

Kirk came over, rotated a futon 90 degrees, and then returned to other pressing matters.

The "hiding bodies" bit is over-rated.    Friends move furniture, even when their own lives are pretty busy.

Thanks Kirk!
--Evil B.
above twelve thousand
for the first time; i'm not scared
of october bears
troll, how you like to
confuse by using a false
pseudonym, how odd
I like foglights.

They're the best way I know of making bright fog.
i asked when the party was.    kirk said 5 pm.    i thought that sounded pretty early and asked when i should actually show up.    i received the tasty response below:

"Obviously the answer must be a carefully calculated equation of how much you like us, how cool you expect the party to be, what stage of the party you hope to arrive at, whether you'd rather be an instigator or a coat-tail rider, how much you'd like to drink, do you want to stake out an area in one room in particular, how late do you plan to stay, are you going to sneak off to watch meteors, how much food do you plan to consume, are you going to play any games, how(un)comfortable your outfits will be, what do you think the odds of EB and family showing up are, how early you have to get up the next morning, how much does the decor bug you, would you like to get distracted in my book collection, do you or FoSOSO have some built in time/crowd limits that could be at risk of being tripped, how much do you think you'll like the music, etc etc etc.    You should probably calculate a weighting for all of these factors, plus a scalar factor for each one of how much it should impact the designated arrival time. Your "mad excel skillz" may come in useful for this one, or FoSOSO might be able to put together a small program in PHP or some other scripting language.

Or, I dunno, like 6, give or take 20 minutes? How the heck should I know!?"

kirk, in order to properly derive a formula for an 'arrival time model' i would have to take observations of at least 30+ parties, decide what kind of probability distribution was appropriate for the data, devise the weightings and factors, perform significant back testing and real trials upon the resultant formula, and then be prepared for it to function quite poorly.    since much of this data is impossible to know in advance, there would be an extra layer of error from my undoubtedly poor forecast of the party conditions.    some of these data points would have no bearing at all on the optimal arrival time and others would indicate a high level of predictive ability which might well be spurious.    still more error comes from not having a good enough statistical package to do all this properly - excel sucks.    while this might be acceptable in such disciplines as money management, i fear that i'd be QUITE partied out should i make an attempt...
who knew?    who knew that bryan fuller, creator of 'dead like me', is also the guy behind FoSO favorites such as 'heroes', 'the amazing screw on head' (catch this on the sci fi website - i can't recommend it highly enough), 'wonderfalls', and some 'st voyager & ds9'.    this man is the television producer of my dreams!

(n.b., try youtube for 'screw on head', i notice that sci fi doesn't appear to be streaming it anymore...)
crackberries sounding
bells from a crossing and suits
make acela sweet

1. go to
2. download a copy off "Little by Little"
3. Listen to the whole album.
4. Return here and comment.

(Hrm, I just realized that the only distinction between this post and the occasional comments spam is that a registered user is posting it.    I feel dirty now....)
--Evil B.
Sinced my last set of instructions failed, I thought I'd try my luck at other *uctions.


1.    Go to the beach at low tide.
2.    Position yourself half way between the high and low water marks.
3.    Push a bunch of sand together until it forms a knee high pile.
4.    Shape pile into something castle like.


1.    Watch the incoming tide remove your creation.
2.    Ponder the meaning of it all.


1.    Wonder why you can still comfortably make sand    castles on a New England beach in the week prior to    Christmas.
2.    Deduce that global warming will change your way of life.

1.    Concede that the problem is too large for you to change.
2.    Think that a few less cold days is not that big a deal.

1.    Go back to your car, get in.
2.    Insert the key.
3.    Turn the key.
4.    Drive home.
--Evil B.
Just joined the forces of HDTV.    A little early Christmas gift.    Pretty amazing!    As long as the broadcast is in HD, I find myself watching the craziest shows.    Never knew I cared about how the Pyramids were built or details of bugs ... the pyramids were pretty sweet actually (the man-power it must have taken would have been awesome to witness).
since deciding to look for a new job i've felt completely happy and relaxed.    which will likely only last until the new job starts...

The sidebar was a bit stale so I thought I'd say: biggest decluttering issue--should I keep my varsity jacket or let it go? An irreplaceable chunk of nostalgia, a thoughtful gift from a deceased grandparent, a warm companion with a clever built in hood...
it might stay around for a while. In any case I'll probably do some goofy tribute on kisrael one of these days.
How I know I'm a geek: (beyond posting to my own damn sidebar)

I see that an address is "404 Concord Ave" and my first thought is "Gee, I hope that isn't hard to find."
According to wikipedia, Pachelbel's Canon includes a "gigue in the same key".    According to the Wikipedia page for gigue, a gigue is a dance.

Could someone explain how you dance in D-major?
--Nick B
You know, despite my intense childhood interest in both of these characters, I'm not sure if I ever noticed that "Luke Skywalker" and "Luke Duke" shared a name. Along with that guy in the Bible.
Gmail just a momentary connectivity issue... but in watching the chat portion try to reconnect, I just watched it do a count down:
"trying in 3s...2s...1s.....

...And We're Back!"

That was lovely, software with a sense of humor, if you catch it at just the right time.
Note to self: spicy horseradish mustard on steaming hot Udon noodles = face full of tear-inducing mustard-y steam.

Live and learn!

Cute new guy casualy remarks he likes the new girl he's started seeing, tactfully sending the message he's not interested in my flirting. My cute haircut, low cut shirt, makeup, all for nothing.    Burnt to cinders in my

How cool was this dude? He's going to London next month for fun, has tattoos, likes Japanese snack food, appreciates the environmental issues of the show we work on, and did I mention for his day job he is cutting commercials for Oceans 13?   

Well, maybe the security guard from Camaroon who's going to architect school will give me call.
At Film School there was a huge Transformers fanbase. One guy was 23 & knew enough of the names to use them as call letters for the slate. As in "Scene 1-Autobot, Take 1" for scene 1-A, take 1. Usually you would say Apple or Alpha. Of course B was Bumblebee. He even new the more obscure letters, 'E' anyone? For non-film people, the number is the scene and the letter is the camera set-up or shot. Perhaps it's a sad sign of student production that we got to shot 'Starscream' for a five minute scene. We only had 6 hours to shoot and 'S' means 18 camera setups.
It is 6:06 AM on Saturday, April 14, 2007. I have just ended a conference call with my outsource team, and I am packing up the family to go to granma and granpa's house.    We will be interviewing contractors today for work on another house. After that, its the drive home and some more work for my employer.   
If I am lucky, I will get in a much needed trip to the gym or a walk with my parents dogs.

I never realized how busy and full being a boring suburbanite is!
--Evil B.
As you get older, you realize that you have different kinds of friends; friends from work, college, childhood, former romances, and family.    These classifications describe division, not quality.    In quality, there are only two measures: trust and duration.    Kirk is one of my oldest friends, and I trust him implicitly.    He has supported Leslee and me through labor and loss.   

There are very few things I can say to adequately thank him.    I can only hope that I have the opportunity to be as dependable and generous to him as he has been to me and mine.

Thanks Kirks!
--Evil B.

I might be working for the company that makes Project Runway.
oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh Tim Gun is Hot please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please
oh please let them like me!!
It's a Bank Holiday in the UK today, which means that, since no-one's at work, it's pissing down. [1] Marvellous. Instead of going to the planned, annual, Goth Picnic, whereby a large group of people in black drink/eat/play games/try not to get a tan whilst sitting in the sun, I shall be going to the pub, which will be expensive.   

What did you do on your last public holiday?

[1]Also, how rude do you think this is? I don't think it is, much, which is why it's here, but how do you crazy USans feel about it?

Birthday parties cheese cake jelly fish boom!
--REM,It's The End of the World as We Know It

My daughter's first birthday was last week.    The song was just a litany of pop culture references with a catchy tune.    I never thought about its theme.    Its shaped to sound like the rush of information we take in from the childhood through adolescence.

For an instant, the lyric became palpable.    We just finished her birthday party, the confusion and exhileration of her experience is fresh on my mind.    What will her first taste of cheesecake be like?    For how many month's will it be her favorite dessert?    Will an Aquarium trip leave her fascinated by jelly fish, or will finding a dead one on the beach disgust her?

What will be the boom?

Am I projecting too much on this poor defenseless song,    or is this how we are supposed to treat our pop culture prayers?

--Evil B.
Wife is good, baby is good, my parents are relatively good. Having them all together up in Rockport is really good.

Having two days alone in Belmont to clean, organize, work and sleep is fantastic.

Thanks Honey!
--Evil B.
Been a nice summer so far with the family.    Hard to believe my boys will be 5 and 2 this fall. Get to enjoy the bike rides around our neighborhood and them playing in the back yard.   

I guess I still see myself as being 21 so being a dad and all is still surprising.   
"it were better to be a prince in hell, than a servant in heaven"
-- Milton, Paradise Lost

There are no princes in heaven, because princes must fight among themselves for their claim to the throne.    In conflict, in ambiguity, there is hell.    There are no pure servants in hell, because everyone must be trying to escape, to advance their own lot, regardless of the suffering they inflict.    Pure servitude is a state of acceptance, of resignation to the current state being as good as it is going to get.    This is heaven, where everything is accepted as being currently optimal.

Some people take the phrase as a comparison between what their status in either place would be based on their moral value here on earth.    I take it as a comparison of how individuals must behave under either circumstance.

Of course, there must be some poor deluded fools acting as servants in hell. Do they find redemption, or do they just turn on the wheel, serving one prince no more worthy than the last?    Or are they so lost that they believe it is heaven in their servitude?

And if you have any spare time after answering those questions, I am having a heck of time getting these angels to balance on the head of this needle.
--Evil B.
Babies are a lot of work.   

A baby is a lot of work.

Catherine is still getting up in the night.    Last night she got Leslee up three times.    Leslee is a wreck this morning, I am not much better.    But I got up at 5:45 and started chores.    Catherine started to howl,    and I went in to see her.    Once I realized it wasn't an emergency, I put her back in the crib, gave her a few toys, and went back to work.    She howled a bit more, ran out of steam, and has been asleep for the last 30 minutes.

Sleep deprivation, it's what's for breakfast.    If anything, you learn to admire your own parents for their endurance.    Anyone have any hints on this?

--Evil B.
Schedules and plans are important.

Schedules and plans make things clear, they let you know where things are likely to break down, how much time you need for an activity, and how much money it is going to cost you.

Babies, houses, are large software projects are the best plan solvents money can afford you.    Plans and schedules disolve on contact with any of them.

I imagine that someone is working on an enterprise application for monitoring babies in peoples' houses.    The application will be the crowning achievement of the Orwellian state.    Fortunately,    they are off schedule ......
--Evil B.
Just to get this out of the way:    a relative has a phase IV cancer, I'll skip the angsty stuff, and I would prefer that it wasn't brought up.    Here is what I have learned so far:

#1.    Write your will, now.    If you already have a will, review it once a year.

#2.    Write your health care proxy form, now.    This proxy provides instructions as to how you are to be treated if you are incapacitated and appoints someone to make decisions for you.    It saves your relatives a lot of agonizing, they just follow instructions.    Make certain to include your disposition on experimental treatments (Phase I, II, and III trials).

#3.    When the first thing a doctor wants to talk about with you is the phase I trial they are doing to treat the condition of a family member, tell them you want to know about the standard treatments.    Phase I is for "we don't know what we are doing" experimental treatments. If you are having trouble sorting out whose interest the doctors represent, consider:    you aren't paying the bills for the trial, the drug company is.    The intersection of your interests is an illusion.    If you don't believe that, read the waiver they ask you to sign before participating.

#4    When a doctor starts spouting numbers from treatment studies, make sure they are relevant to the condition being treated.    A 50% survival rate for a treatment is meaningless if everyone in the sample was a left-handed bald mature female and the person being treated is a right-handed hirsute elderly male, regardless if the disease is the same.

#5 Immediately establish an assertive relationship with the doctors treating your relative.    The loud relative gets the doctors to visit the patient.    You need someone capable to act as advocate.    Doctors live a high stimulation life, being polite gets dismissed as noise.    Always have a pen and paper, always write down what they say, and quote it back at them when they contradict themselves.    Five extra minutes of their time to clarify what they said will make them upset, but you may only get one chance to ask.

--Evil B.
I celebrated a birthday this Tuesday.    Kirk came up to have dinner with us.    It just doesn't seem that any family event is complete without Kirk these days.   

Thanks Kirk, for everything.    I don't think either of us knew how long and varied a college friendship could be.    Here's to the next 12 years .... and the ones that will follow!   

(Damn, we are getting old)
--Evil B.
The odd thing about Fall this year is that it arrived all at once.    It went from 55-65 T-shirt friendly days to jacket-required low 40's in the space of a week.   

And is it just me, or did anyone else shiver when they mentioned snow in next weeks forecast?

--Evil B.
"Cheesy is the new edgy".    That's my theory going into 2008.

There seems a Moore's Law of edgy content.    Every 18 months, horror movies get twice as gory, celebrity news gets twice as shameless, SomethingAwful goons and /b/tards get twice as annoying, and political bloggers get twice as strident.    Sexual arousal, disgust, annoyance, and outrage are easy emotions to pump, and I'm getting tired of it.

Is it any wonder we're so enchanted with YouTube?    "Chocolate Rain" has a lot of lines in it that are definitely about serious aspects of racism in America, though the complete message is a little more elusive. But the song itself, by Tay Zonday's own admission, is SO CHEESY. And it took the Internet by storm. I downloaded it and put it on my iPod.

That, my friends, is the future. Adding a pleasant cheese coating to make things easier to digest, not more difficult.

Don't believe me?    Chuck Norris endorsed Huckabee for President, with many references to those Chuck Norris "facts".    How will the Democrats respond to this historic use of an Internet meme in a Presidential campaign?    It's a strategy that Ron Paul overlooked, that's for sure.
--Nick B
Seen on a license plate holder... "Box of rain. Eyes of the world." If that has a meaning it is lost on me like a sports reference at a gay bar.
--Dylan's Blackberry
Last night my kitten and I came to an emotional compromise. He wants to sleep near me while I want to smother him with love.

We agreed that he can sleep on my pillow if I can hold his paw while I fall asleep.
--Dylan's Blackberry
The Frankie Valli version of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" sounds exactly like what (I imagine) Elmo of Sesame Street fame would sound like singing that song.
--Dylan's Blackberry
Favorite phrase of the day: "Shut up, bitch. I'm trying to drink my juice"
--Dylan's Blackberry
Hand sanitizer + hemorrhoids = BAD idea.
--Dylan's Blackberry
Three quotes from my voicemail:
1. "The Duke is knock knock knockin' on my butt-hole door."
2. "The man handed her a bag of poo and said, 'There's my poo in that bag.'"
3. "I need a pork pie, damn it. Where can a reasonable woman get herself a pork pie?"
--Dylan's Blackberry
We need to have an adult toy drive for all of the homeless transvestites. Because homeless trannies deserve Christmas too.
--Dylan's Blackberry
A co-workers Christian camp song for saying grace sung to the Superman theme:
Thank you God for giving us food.
Thank you God for all this good food.
Thank you G-o-o-o-d.
Thank you G-o-o-o-d.
Thank you G-o-o-o-d.
For all this food.
And Jesus.
--Dylan's Blackberry
If I were a lesbian, I would want Captain Janeway of Voyager to be my husband.
--Dylan's Blackberry
Wishing me a Merry Christmas Even is like giving a horse a pet chicken.
--Dylan's Blackberry
5 year summary:
# times poop in public bathroom:
< 10
# times vomit in public bathroom:
# times orgasm in public bathroom:
Scoring System
1pt / poop
10pts / puke
100pts / orgasm
--Dylan's Blackberry
I was scolded the other night by a fellow 30-something gay for thinking Beaches came out in 1989. It came out in '88.
--Dylan's Blackberry
There is no Loch Ness Monster.
The US government has dead aliens.
There are ghosts.
Deal with it.
--Dylan's Blackberry
Doesn't Rudy G know that he can't win with a last name no one can spell?
--Dylan's Blackberry
I just watched "The Number 23" On Demand. I want them to remake the last 23 minutes and make it original.
--Dylan's Blackberry
Proud moment: I picked a booger so big it cast a shadow when I flicked it on the ground.
--Dylan's Blackberry
Unexpected discovery of the day: gender-bent homoerotic native american painting.
--Dylan's Blackberry
Radio DJ weather reporter's name: Ann Fibian. K-Frog Country Station in SD, CA.
--Dylan's Blackberry
Saying "I'm sorry" doesn't change the future. That's up to you.
--Dylan's Blackberry
Confessional: in college, I mutilated a library book about Venice by tearing it apart and stuffing it down my pants to get it past security. I needed the photos for a graphic arts project.

I got an A.
--Dylan's Blackberry
Am I alone here? At night school I seek out easy-to-find but out of the way public bathrooms so I don't have to interact with (or ignore) other men.
--Dylan's Blackberry
Most women under 40 in California have at least one tattoo. Over here, tattoos are the new pierced ear lobes.
--Dylan's Blackberry
Auf Wiedersehen. Pack your knives and go. You're out. You're fired. And the original... you ARE the weakest link.
--Dylan's Blackberry
Young Asian women account for more than 50% of my grad-level accounting classes. If I was a straight perv I would be in heaven.
--Dylan's Blackberry
Lebanese and Greek Restaurant was "Lesbian and Geek" at first glance.
--Dylan's Blackberry
Is it surprising that I don't see sea gulls at all in San Diego? I am 5 miles from the ocean - no gulls. Except today. One on the roof of a cafe. FYI I'm in shorts. (Feb 8 2008 8PM)
--Dylan's Blackberry
My psycho-pharmacologist discovered that I am a St3bucks manager and pulled out his secret stash of discontinued orange syrup from Sux. He asked me to snag him a bottle. We are drug dealers swapping drugs.
--Dylan's Blackberry
I couldn't find a cart at the grocery store so - being the white male racist I have apparently become - I assumed the small Asian man with an empty cart was bringing it to me. He wasn't. He passed me with a scowl and continued into the store to do his shopping.
--Dylan's Blackberry
Having a few Russian students in class feels like a bad movie from the 1980s set in 2010 when the Russians would be free to leave the country. Futuristic cliché.
--Dylan's Blackberry
Starbucks Store Manager + Grad Student = naps in my car once per week.
--Dylan's Blackberry
What does it say about me if I parked in a handicapped space at the adult bookstore? A Freudian slip. So to speak.
--Dylan's Blackberry
Paxil withdrawal sucks!
--Dylan's Blackberry
The other evening I drove past an 80s Volvo on the side of the street with man sitting in the passenger seat playing his flute.
--Dylan's Blackberry
I miss everyday city living: the woman on the trolley next to me is flossing and licking her hands.
--Dylan's Blackberry
Sign on campus:
Vietnamese Student Ass.
Come eat our authentic food.
--Dylan's Blackberry
Bumper sticker:
Jesusisreality. All one word. I am guessing they forgot the ".com"
Oh well. Reality sucks.
--Dylan's Blackberry
Quote of the week - from a California college co-ed with her gay pal: "ok right... Like I totally shat on myself."
--Dylan's Blackberry
EB doesn't need an XBOX to play GTA!    This chat was recorded live before a Kirkles audience:
kirk: anyway, I should be home 6:15-30ish
people say this game is really amazing
me: well, it should be for $150 bucks
kirk: !! ?
me: farking scalpers!
kirk: please tell me you're kidding
me: went to three stores, all of them sold out
kirk: please tell me you're kidding
i didn't want you to spend that kind of money! i wanted you to preorder
me: farking circuit city kid was scalping them by the loading dock....
no worries, its all good
for a $150 I got the game... then I turned him into his boss, got the cash back and the game for free.
and got him fired
win-win, as near as I can tell.
kirk: whoo.
are you serious about all this shit ? or are you just making up stories so I don't feel bad about you shelling out?
me: unfortunately, he was waiting by my car and tried to start shit when I came out.
But the cops showed, I guess the boss had called them to escort him off the premises.
kirk: holy fucking weirdness
no wonder you sounded so wartorn when you left a msg
me: he took off running when he saw them, he was pretty fast.
faster than they were, at least.
once he got out of range they just went back to their cars and milled around.
kirk: sheez, it's like your own GTAIV adventure right there, fortunately w/ a bit less gratuitous violence
--Evil B.
Only now, at 33, did I realize that the lower urinals are actually not for children but for the handicapped.
--Dylan's Blackberry
There is a higher than typical number of hot people at the San Diego airport whenever I visit.
--Dylan's Blackberry
Trend in San Diego radio stations: give themselves odd names like Jack 105.2, Sophie 102.7, or The Walrus 96.5
--Dylan's Blackberry