Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Happy Cinco de Mayo

I’m not really in the mood to write any kind of in-depth, well, anything, so here are some talking points:

  • Tuesday evening marked four months of not smoking. For those really counting, that’s seventeen weeks. Yes, I’m very proud of myself.
  • I was hoping to spend this holiday (if you can call it that; we are in America, after all, and this is really just an excuse to drink, like St. Patrick’s Day) with friends, but no such luck. Seems to be par for the course, really.
  • Speaking of “par for the course:” The first official week of the golf league got cancelled due to unstoppable rains. Naturally, the day after, it stopped raining and has been some of the nicest and warmest weather we’ve had all year. Go figure.
  • As this post’s bullet-point style would indicate, I have almost no desire to do anything requiring any kind of actual work at the moment. My job has sapped me, I have no money (despite the fact that I just got a raise; I think it’ll take a little while before that really starts to have an effect due to the amount to which I’m in debt at the moment), and I seem to be some kind of pariah lately, if the fact that my friends seem to be avoiding me is any indication.

Let’s hear it for staying positive. *clinks glass* Cheers.

Like I wouldn’t have stopped. The nerve!

I was going to write an entry here about how incredibly stupid a golf swing looks when you really examine it. I had it all planned, about how I went to the driving range today and realized that I completely suck.

But alas, I’m not going to write about that. You’re crushed, aren’t you? Here’s why:

So I was sitting in my apartment eating dinner and watching The West Wing (it was “Galileo,” for those who would be interested), and I heard a knock on a door that sounded distinctively like mine. Not knowing whether it was my apartment door or not (and knowing that anybody I opened my apartment door to would be exposed to the horror that is how dirty my apartment is), I carefully peeked out my door and saw through the small porthole window on the door in the hallway a man.

At first, I assumed he was just another guy trying to get in, possibly to see the guy next door to me (who I think is some kind of drug dealer), until I noticed that there was a small shield on the left breast of his shirt. Upon noticing that it was a police officer, I opened the hallway door for him, assuming that he just needed to get in. But then he surprised me and asked me if I was the driver of a black Hyundai out in the parking lot. I said that I was, and he told me that somebody had called and reported that I had bumped into them on the way home today. He said that the guy had pulled my license plate and called it in as some kind of hit-and-run.

Now, having not hit anybody at all, I was quite taken aback and incredibly confused as to why there would be a police officer at my home telling me that I had. I went outside with him to look at my car, because even I will admit that it is entirely possible that I could have missed something so monumental as a car crash. But there was nary a scratch on my car, save for one scrape from misjudging how close the dumpster in my parking lot was, and that was easily proven given that the scrape on my bumper still has the telltale green paint that was plainly visible on the dumpster from even all the way across my parking lot. I told the cop that I had no idea what he could be referring to when all of a sudden it hit me (no pun intended).

I asked him, “Was this a guy in a white truck?” When the cop nodded his head, I explained this situation: There’s a stoplight at the end of the offramp from the highway, and I stopped behind this guy in a white truck. Not a big deal at all, as it’s your average stoplight. The light turned green, or we both stopped at the red and turned after seeing that nobody was coming (to be honest I really couldn’t tell you which it was; I’ve stopped at that light countless times since moving to this town and it’s not exactly something I pay attention to). I’m guessing that the light turned green, given the fact that I was close enough behind him that he claims I hit him, which would indicate that we moved together. All of a sudden, the guy practically stops in mid-traffic and pulls over. I, having no clue why the hell he was stopping and assuming he was going to pull into the auto-parts store parking lot that was right there, pulled around him and went on home.

So apparently the reason the guy pulled over was because he thought I’d hit him. And when I drove by him, he took down my license plate number, because obviously, waving me over and making sure that I stopped when he clearly looked me right in the eye as I drove by him would have been too difficult.

Now, just to be sure I wasn’t delusional, I gave my car a thorough once-over, and having satisfied myself that there were no telltale scrapes (white paint on a black bumper, even a trace amount, would have been incredibly obvious, right?), I handed the cop all of my information—license, registration, insurance information—so he could submit his report, at which point he informed me that he was going to put down my statement just as I had told him: that I didn’t think I hit the guy, that I was confused as to why he was pulling over, and that I couldn’t find any damage whatsoever on my car, and that most likely that’s as far as the whole situation would go.

Truth be told, I think he’s right. I mean, even if I’m absolutely looney and I did somehow hit this guy without leaving a trace of it on my own car, who would be stupid enough to file an insurance claim for a scraped bumper? I think, just to be on the safe side, I’m going to take photos of the front of my car in the morning.

And whew, enough of that. On a much happier note: I’m seeing my first medical professional since a long while. Here’s the not-so-great part: It’s an ophthalmologist, and it’s because in the last week or two, my vision seems to have been very blurry or at least inconsistent. Given that I only have one good eye (thanks to the genius of my Kindergarten screening, my lazy right eye was never detected), that worries me. Since my health insurance is pretty damn good and I only would have to pay fifteen bucks for a checkup, I figured it was time. And maybe this time I’m going to finally need to get corrective lenses for my good eye, which has been slowly slipping as I’ve gotten older. Guess we’ll see.

Something in the water?

I seem to be getting a lot of blow-offs lately. It seems like nobody wants to spend time with me or talk to me lately, but mostly it’s the spending time thing that I’m getting a lot of, recently. Every time I try to come up with plans to hang out with my friends, everybody’s “really tired” or has something important to do.

Is it just that I’m boring and nobody wants me around, or maybe it’s just one of those strange coincidences where people really do have all this stuff that they have to be doing. Whatever it is, it doesn’t really feel that great.

On a similar note, I spent some more time doing further thinking about moving in with my brother. Friday, I asked him if I could come and take a look at the bedroom, to see whether I could make it work out. He informed me that he had taken in a coworker who had also been interested in moving in, having made the assumption that I didn’t want it. It would have been nice for him to tell me, so that I didn’t continue to labor over the whole thing.

Maybe that’s what’s really bothering me, lately. Maybe it’s just that I feel that my entire environment just isn’t really noticing me, or doesn’t have the time (or perhaps the interest) to include me in it anymore.

Maybe I’ll just go to bed early and get up to do some exercising in the morning. At least my stationary bike doesn’t blow me off.

Swing and a miss.

I had my first practice round for the new golf league I joined today. My ankles are killing me, after only nine holes, and on top of it, I scored a freakin’ 66.

For those who don’t really follow golf, par for an entire 18-hole round is usually 72. I scored as many strokes on half a round of golf as Tiger Woods usually scores on an entire round.

But then again, part of the reason I’m choosing to do this is so that I can get better. And I did, even just looking at the scores I had on the course today. The second half was MUCH more consistent than the first, although I made quite a few mistakes even on the second half.

The other reason I decided to do the golf league was for my health. It’s part of my new thing for myself. Yesterday, I got up early, climbed on the exercise bike and rode for half an hour before going to work. Today, I played nine holes of golf. Tomorrow, I’m going to make every effort to get my ass up early again and climb on the bike. That’s the most difficult part for me, the getting up part. Can I do it? Absolutely. But in the morning, when I’m lying in my warm, comfortable bed, it’s so difficult to get up, despite how great I feel when I’m done.

Not really sure how to feel about this one.

Well, I had my review today. The company gave me a pretty big raise—pretty big as far as they see it, at any rate. I feel kind of torn about it. On the one hand, I’m certainly glad to get more money (who isn’t, right?), but on the other hand, I feel like with the amount of work I’ve been doing for them I deserve more than what they offered. But at the same time, I know that it was probably the biggest raise, percentage-wise, of anybody in my department, and for that I’m grateful.

I guess what’s left now is to see what I can do with it. I’m not really certain of whether or not I can use it to move closer to work as I’d hoped.

My brother asked me if I wanted to move in with him a few days ago. Since he and his girlfriend broke up, he’s had to cover the mortgage all by himself, and it’s not really feasible. I’m seriously considering it, because it would mean saving quite a bit of money that I could put towards my debts and important things like keeping my car safe to drive. But it’s really no closer to work than I am now (it’s about the same distance, only it’s north instead of west), and in a lot of ways it’s a bad move, like the fact that it’s out in the middle of nowhere, the house has no air conditioning and the wiring isn’t really safe enough to handle it plus the load of our computers, and the bedroom is quite a bit smaller than the one I have now. And it’s living with my brother. Not that we don’t get along or anything; in fact, we get along oh-so-much better than we did when we lived with our parents. It’s just that I don’t really know if I can get adjusted to that kind of thing again.

Maybe it’d be worth it as a shorter-term thing. Maybe I should just look seriously for apartments closer to work and leave it at that. I dunno.

“I’m not even supposed to BE here today!”

Ahhhh, Dante Hicks, you certainly hit the nail on the head. I’m not even supposed to be here today. I’m supposed to be relaxing and maybe cleaning my atrociously dirty apartment right now. Perhaps catching up on some of my TV shows I didn’t get to watch this week. But though I am indeed at home, I am not relaxing, nor am I watching television or even cleaning. No, I’m on this computer, working. And not just any work.

I’m doing exactly the same thing that I was doing last night until ten o’clock.

The tape restore of the server that I rebuilt last night was successful, but only partially so. Apparently, the data that was restored was correct and had no errors, but it was a backup of already-corrupted data. So we essentially restored bad data back to the server. So now, I get to rebuild the server again, and we can put a previous backup on it instead.

I’m over the moon. This is my over-the-moon face.

On a more funny-yet-disturbing note: The over-the-moon comment is a line from The West Wing, spoken by Toby Ziegler (check the link). In doing my web search on the URL for the link, I found out that there’s a (pretty horribly designed) MySpace page for Toby Ziegler. I really don’t know whether to laugh or cry at that. There are other characters, too, if you look at the comments…


So after that last post, I was still at work for another two hours. When I left for work today, it was 8:45. When I got home, it was almost 11 pm.

They don’t pay me enough for this shit.

Is it opposite day? It is, isn’t it.

I wanted to get home at a decent hour tonight. Not because of any particular reason, just it’s been a slightly stressful week and I was hoping to be able to really relax tonight, maybe with a glass or two of wine, maybe a movie…

But apparently when I made that assertion to the heavens, I ended up tempting the wrath of the whatever from high atop the thing. Because a server died on us and I was (of course) picked to go rebuild it so that it could be restored from its tape backup. Naturally, this process is taking about three times longer than it should have, and here it is, almost 8 pm and I’m still at work without any semblance of a light at the end of the tunnel in sight.

The fates just looooove me.

Very sore, but still smoke-free

The subject of this post is referring to two things.

First off, the more obvious of the two: I’m still smoke free. I say that because it’s April 2nd, and it’s three months since I quit smoking. And I haven’t had one since. According to QuitMeter, it’s been almost thirteen weeks. In a similar vein, I also have given up most of my soda drinking; I drank a lot of diet soda, an average of at least 2 liters a day. I decided it wasn’t worth it to keep drinking it all, so I’ve been drinking a lot of water lately, which can’t be bad, right? I figure that if I can do this stuff successfully, I can move up to the next step: the much bigger and more challenging task of losing about 70 pounds. That’s more daunting to me than quitting smoking ever was.

As for the other thing. Why am I sore? Well, for a couple reasons. First, I went out on Friday night, with some friends. It started as a going-away party for a friend who was leaving for a new job. It ended at about 3:30 am when I went to sleep after going out to a dance club, then had eggs and bacon at one in the morning with my friend Heather. There’s definitely something to be said for evenings like that.

However, a night of dancing, for a fat guy (see above comment about needing to lose 70 pounds), is really rough on the legs. I’m not exactly in shape, so I’m not so much with the muscle endurance, and my legs were quite sore afterward. Keep this in mind as I talk about the rest of the weekend:

Saturday, I woke up before my alarm clock went off at 8. I showered, got dressed, packed some stuff and then drove down to New York City. I met with a couple friends, had some drinks, and then attended a Dream Theater concert at Radio City Music Hall. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. I had a ticket in the sixth row, and the show was being filmed for a DVD, which pretty much guaranteed that there would be no sitting down for the entirety of the show. Which was three hours.

Now, mentioning again the prior mention of my hearty girth, and noting to you that I have a congenital ankle condition, and you may be able to see the dangers of being on my feet for a continuous three hours. And then, after that, we went to Applebees (about five blocks from the venue), ate a way-too-overpriced meal, and then walked another, what, seven blocks? to the hotel. Really not good for my feet.

When all is said and done, though, I’m not going to complain at all. It was a combination of great friends, a little exercise, a few beers, a slight case of temporary tinnitus, some limping that’ll go for yet a few days more, and some cool memories.

Pictures to follow.

Thems the brakes.

After driving around in what was a thoroughly unsafe vehicle because my brakes were wearing low, I went to my friend Kayte’s place today to get them replaced. Kayte’s husband, Jim, is a mechanic, and has a pretty nice home garage set up, and he graciously offered to do the brakes for me.

So I drove down, we jacked up the car and took the wheels off, and took a look at the brakes. However, after working on them some, we looked at the rotors that I had and realized that I only had half of them. Not only that, but the half that we did have… didn’t fit.

So I called the local Pep Boys where I’d special-ordered them and spoke to somebody about it. They had it on record that I’d already picked them up, so i asked them to check their inventory and make sure, at which point they realized that they still had them (duh, since they weren’t in my possession) and I told them that I was coming to pick them up.

So Jim and I drove the 45 minutes to go pick them up, and brought the incorrect ones with us. They gave me the rotors they had in stock, we verified that they were the right size, and drove the 45 minutes back. Somehow, the idiot guy at the counter convinced me to test the rotors on the other wheels, even though I knew that the holes drilled into the rotors didn’t fit the wheels at all. It wouldn’t have mattered if I’d returned them anyway, because they don’t carry rotors in stock, so I wouldn’t have been able to replace the other ones anyway.

So, the upside: I learned how to replace brakes on my car, and it’s easy as hell. The downside: I only got half of them done. It’s really not much of a downside, though, because it was the rear brakes that were the ones that really needed to be replaced anyway.

I am kind of pissed at the guys at Pep Boys, though, although they really don’t have much to be responsible for, since it was listed right there in the computer as a part that fit my car.

(Please excuse the pitiful pun of a subject title; I couldn’t think of anything wittier.)

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