Saturday, February 21, 2004

Don't worry tooooo much about reading my inane blather. What you'll catch here in the next couple of posts are what has been missing since my last post waaaay back on Feb. 9, 2004. The stuff that follows will detail the ten day lapse. Life is returning to normal but I reassure you, I never left normalcy. I am sitting here with messy hair after showering and still haven't decided on a shirt to wear yet. It's gonna be one of my tasteless-I-can't-wear-this-during-the-week-type shirts. Something dirty but not offensive.

So here are a few posts which i had saved on my home PC. The rest are in a jumble on my work computer. And where might that be, YOU ARE CORRECT, at work of course.

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Thursday, February 12th, 2004

Quote of the day (2-12-2004)

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press referring to Britney Spears:

"Poor Spears has been held up as a poster girl for a lot of things lately — the empty-headedness of pop music, unfortunate fashion choices, bad parenting and the dangers of being both very rich and very dumb. Now this week she's serving as the symbol of all that is unholy about our culture's relationship with marriage."

Today also marks the day that same-sex couples can register in some sort of life partner ceremony at the courthouse in Minneapolis. I am not quite sure if this is something that is truly acceptable in conservative Minnesota but I consider myself to be very liberal so I say "Go for it". It's their lives and last time I checked this isn't classified as a marriage ceremony so even by definitions of laws it's okay to do. Whether or not the sexual acts that go on in private are seen as alright in the eyes of God, that's another book right there. I won't touch that topic here in my corner of the world wide web. Not even if you paid me with a semi load of sweet potatoes. Mmmmm, candied sweet potatoes. Excuse me, must wipe drool from keyboard.

On another, totally unrelated topic, there is a reason this isn't posted on the date it was written. I will tell you the story about a bedroom ceiling which decided it was tired of being where it had been put many years ago by a construction company.

One day, Tuesday to be specific, this ceiling decided to leave its pre-determined location and begin to relocate to whatever happened to be beneath it. What happened to be beneath it was my bedroom. More specifically, two computers and my bed as well as the desk those computers sat upon. I was enraged when I enetered my living space that fateful Tuesday afternoon. I wanted nothing more than to turn on the TV and watch a couple episodes of the Simpsons and write about a much cheerier subject - much better than what I actually ended up doing.

I moved. In two hours. Everything. To a different apartment. The management company made it up to me, to a certain degree, but it was still such a hassle. They knew about the problem of the leaky ceiling due to ice dams ans it had already caused great alarm for myself before Christmas of this previous year. I called in a small army to help in the move and as of Wednesday night was over half-way settled. I had no choice. The only bright spot in this gloomy situation is that I moved from a one bedroom apartment to a two bedroom. For the same price. They owed me. THEY OWED ME!!!

Stay tuned for Friday's rant.

Friday starts early...

Thursday PM, 2/12/2004 1:24 PM

This link details, in numbers, how George W. Bush (I refuse to call him by his official title) has performed during his first three unelected years in office. (Remember, he LOST by a significant amount in the popular vote in November, 2000).

Just how is Bush raising SO much in his bid for a second term in the White House, a man who worked for the GOP locally in Hastings, MN tells the story. In just a few words, "It's a zoo."

More Friday - Stay tuned.

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Friday, February 13, 2003

I never really noticed until I just typed this that it is FRIDAY THE 13TH. Oooooh. Beware of black cats, stay away from ladders, AVOID MIRRORS AT ALL COSTS. Live in fear of what might happen! Yeah. Sure. Whatever you say. I am oh so afraid.
My lust for life is back. I used to be aware of the days of the week and more importantly, what the date on the calendar was. That all changed when I moved and accepted a different job much like the one I previously had. It is amazing what effect that has on a person. My last job made me painfully aware of what day it was due to daily deadlines which fell at the same time each day. Some days had two deadlines. Some even more. A newspaper, especially a daily, is hectic. It was no big city place but seemed much like it with the excrutiatingly small staff. I won't dwell on that whole topic but it seems almost bizarre to be in the same line of work where staffing is more plentiful and the deadlines are only weekly now.

As I listen to the radio while typing this, the Minnesota Timberwolves General Manager Kevin McHale has just reaffirmed the point that it truly is FRIDAY THE 13TH. What is everyone's obsession with something as ridiculous as a date? Is it the number? Is it superstitions in general? Is it all a ploy by those damned Canadians? We'll never know because the aliens among us are desperately struggling to keep the true origins of this day covered in deep secrecy.

That's right, I just ragged on Canadians. They seem to get picked on quite alot on American television. I can think of the Southpark movie and the famous chorus line sung by the children, "Blame Canada". The barely noticeable arcade-style video game in a Simpsons episode wher young Bart played "Nuke Canada". An episode of That 70's Show where the group of young guys drove to Canada for beer and were stopped and detained at the border. The popular phrase of "What's your business in Canada, eh?".

Maybe we should just accept our neighbors to the north for what they are. A bunch of jelly-spined, maple syrup drinking, hockey playing, polar bear riding, ice loving pansies. I think Minnesotans could take on all of Canada in a thumb wrestling competition and win - easily. We'll never know until this actually takes place.

Stay tuned.

Monday, February 16, 2004 1:42 PM

They apparently still owe me. I contacted my insurance company about filing a claim under my renter's insurance. The pleasant female on the opposite end of the phone in my hometown told me that this claim lies in a gray area. What, exactly, is a gray area. Well defining the term "gray area" is tough. It's sort of a gray area. Awww, crap! I don't like such undefinable terms. Give me something a bit more definite. An answer will suffice. As it turns out, they will send out an adjuster but to quality, apparently, the damage must have been caused by the building. I guess the whole thing about many gallons of water seeping from a ceiling doesn't qualify as a problem with the building. What the hell do I know? I've only been through many years of schooling, lived 25 years on the planet and been brought up by what are probably some of the most street-wise and book-smart people on the planet today. (That last one refers to parents.)

I am still hungry. I just polished off a Kudos brand nutritional treat. (Candy bar) They come 10 to a box and are sold in the cereal aisle so therefore qualify as nutritional. Just like the boxes of Bart Simpson Peanut Butter flavored cereal my roommate convinced me to purchase a couple of years ago. Cereal=nutrition.

Back to my insurance haggling. The adjuster will apparently contact me to set up a time to view the damage and, hopefully, with some convincing I can SQUEEZE a claim out of all this hassle. If not, the next step is to after the management company. Those dirt merchants can sure as hell pony up some cash to me. I have been inconvenienced twice now in three months by this same pre-existing condition. I noticed after the first time before Christmas that there was obviously a large patched area on the ceiling and wall from this exact same sort of damage. I wisely took a picture of this area just a couple of days before this latest demise of the ceiling to prove that all was well. Now, as of Sunday night, there are at least three holes in the ceiling and now two large fans and a dehumidifier running to dry out this situation. I feel sorry for the next unsuspecting bastard who rents from this despicable company. They should be sued completely out of existence and wiped from the face of the Twin Cities metro.

I hope that some good comes of this and I am compensated, sort of making up in a round-about way for all those who have been mistreated by these greedy corporate henchmen and their underhanded management schemes.
Stay tuned.

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Monday, February 16, 2004 7:52 PM

It dawned on me tonight around 7 PM. Network TV, possibly all TV, sucks. It has all been declining slowly but has seemed to bottom out in the last three years. Before that, it seemed simple to turn on one of the big networks on any night and find something great to watch. It was a different time. It seems to correlate with the media deregulation known as the Telecommunications Act which was passed by congress in 1996, I believe. After my revelation I turned the channel to one of the two PBS channels in the Twin Cities. Tonight I chose TPT 17. I actually found a program that held my interest. It was NOW, hosted by Bill Moyers and the topic struck a chord with my. The topic was about media consolidation and how the latest proposal is what is sure to be just one of many in the future if changes aren't made within the FCC.

His first topic was the saturation of conservative talk radion on the AM dial. Nearly 90% of the talk shows on AM radio are from the conservative viewpoint. That is also true in the area of syndicated radio. Conservative (Republican) radio may be just so popular and widely heard because of media consolidation. Republicans control the FCC and media conglomerate Clear Channel and its over 1,200 stations need the FCC to be leniant to expand their control of America's media. The latest step in deregulation allows one company to own a majority of the radio stations, up to three TV stations, what could likely be the only newspaper and the cable company. This seems somehow wrong to me, but our elected officials have allowed it to happen.

My next fear is that the FCC will begin to auction off total control of the internet to the highest bidder much like it did in auctioning off portions of the digital broadcast spectrum. Come to think of it, they already have - in a way - sold the internet. Customers have to pay a fee, usuallt from $10 to $60 or more per month for access from their computers to the internet.

America is, for sure, all about money. Who can tell where it will stop?

Stay tuned.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2004 7:22 PM

I am really beginning to dislike my internet provider. I pay nearly $60 per month for my internet service and when everything is all said and done, I will have waited ten days to have my service switched to my new residence which is one door down from where I had lived. Good God, what is the deal with the way those companies operate? I almost forgot to include that it is cable internet access. That probably has alot to do with the extremely slow pace of service. Jacked up rates and service that makes a snail look like a cheetah. It's great when they have a monopoly in the cities they serve. They can keep increasing theur rates and your only way out is to simply go without. I am spoiled, though. I have had cable internet access for two or so years and would be going through something comparable to what a junkie goes through while in rehab. Yes, withdrawals. Severe. Oh, sure I have access at work but I try to keep that for work things. I also like to do some of my art-related stuff at home which is made easier with a speedy internet connection. It is also quite handy for my daily writings which maybe, just maybe, has one person reading them by now. Wishful thinking never hurts.

On another somewhat related note, having no internet access has allowed me to become a vegetable in front of the TV or do what I am doing while writing this. Dig through my music library which could use some much needed organizing. I am listening to what I consider one of the greatest groups in the history of punk/alternative music - Social Distortion. The song which is playing right now is "Story of my Life". It strikes a chord when you hear the chorus - "Life goes by so fast, you only want to do what you think is right, close your eyes and it's past, story of my life." "The poolhall that I loved as a kid is now a 7-11." Those lyrics stand true through the years. It makes me nostalgic for the simpler days of not-so-long-ago. The days before bills which arrived that totaled into tthe thousands. Working a job with varying hours and having the world as your playground. Doing whatever you wanted because you weren't tied down.

Those times are slipping away. I will be 25 years old in about two months. That age is a sort of turning point in life. It is the age when most people consider that you are an adult. At least I wasn't the type of person that got married almost immediately after high school. I am lucky in the respect that I don't have kids to support. I am living fairly comfortably. I have a steady job that pays a fairly decent wage. I have my weekends free to do whatever it is that I want to do but that, too, is changing. Having a steady girlfriend who is now my fiancee has taught me that it is not ME, it is US. Compromise. Never been one for that. I am stubborn, too. That sort of goes against the whole concept of compromise but I do my best to suck it up and - "compromise".

At least she has come into the relationship with a fairly open mind and we have many similarities. She isn't fond of my collection of concert-related items which I have collected as a music fan over the years. She has, however, come to accept some of my likes. Particularly my tastes in music. I like to think I have good tastes in that department. I write this paragraph as I listen to "Such Great Heights" by The Postal Service. I've had this in the library for quite a while now but have neglected to listen to it. It is sort of a electronic beat but still has an alternative type feel to it. Sort of brit-pop music. Hard to categorize it. It isn't techno but has the electronic beat. It also has lyrics, making it not-techno. I like it already on my first listen particularly because it has a fast beat and catchy lyrics. Something that I would listen to at work to fend off impending sleep. Work will tend to do that to me. It makes me sleepy. Maybe it's the snail's pace at which the day passes. Hard to say.

I can now classify The Postal Service - indie - that's the genre they belong in. Maybe tomorrow I will classify another lesser known band.

Stay tuned.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2004 7:42 PM

-- WARNING: Profanity follows in today's post. Read at your own risk...-- Muaaaaaahhhhhhh.

I though off an on during the course of my time at my job today just what I would wrangle together to write about. I try half-heartedly to post on a regular basis. If anyone is reading this, they may notice that the posts happen around five times a week. Sometimes I skip Friday and other times I skip Sunday. I may miss a day here and there but, hey, I am not making money by doing this. I just do it to chronicle my life and have my opinions and such in print.

The music tonight while I type aimlessly is Gavin DeGraw. You may have heard one of his songs if you watch The WB network's drama "One Tree Hill". It's a powerful song with great lyrics that provides a great into to a show which I am beginning to follow with some regularity. I was a bit more than ticked off that I missed last week's episode by having to move. Stupid ceiling. I will never forgive you, ceiling, for failing me in my time of need.

In the short amount of time it took me to write the previous paragraphs my jukebox has moved on to "My Immortal" by Evanescence. Relative newcomers which are getting an amazing amount of airplay due to a track being of the soundtrack of Daredevil. The Ben Afleck movie from last year which DIDN'T suck. Don't even get me going on Gigli. I only heard bad things about its lack of plot, the way it could spell the end for both actors, although Afleck is far more accomplished than his ex, J-Lo. Come on, "Maid in Manhattan". That was crap.

You'll have to forgive me if my thoughts sort of skip around tonight. I was exposed to a SIGNIFICANT amount of car exhaust earlier this evening or later this past afternoon depending on how you choose to look at time. All was well as I arrived here after my drive from work. I enter my apartment just before 5:00 PM and open my mail. I find a credit card bill which still reads an enormous balance. A few minutes later I proceeded to turn on the TV and watch a combination of The Simpsons and On Air with Ryan Seacrest. About half an hour later I noticed the smell of exhaust. I live on the second floor away from the stairway and elevator. This seemed weird to me. I eventually wandered down to the basement, expecting to find some toothless dumbass in a wife beater leaning under the hood of a rusted out '84 Caprice Classic revving the crap out of the engine by pulling the throttle.

Well, there was some jackass in the garage. It was some idiot who had backed a truck into the garage with a trailer attached carrying two snowblowers. Of course fuck head had left the engine running for God only knows how long. Seeing nobody around to give a piece of my fow-mouthed mind to, I returned upstairs and ovened my deck door. At a few minutes after six o'clock the fire department showed up with what would eventually be three trucks. By after 7:00 PM the air was returning to breathable quality and the knock on the door explained what I already knew. "Uh, someone left a motor running in the basement. Just turn on the ceiling fan and crack your patio door." Ah, yes. Wise words from Mr. Fireman. Thanks for telling me what is so painstakingly obvious. My tax dollars at work.

What adventures await for the rest of the week?

Stay tuned.

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Thursday, February 19, 2004 11:29 AM

Fuck you. That's my attitude du'jour today. Fuck you. Take your exclamation points and shitty attitude and stick them up your overused ass. I am normally quite good at juggling multiple projects but today has pushed me right the hell over the edge. Shrink this, change that, don't do that. FUCK YOU. Why is it when I do EXACTLY as something written out says, it is ENTIRELY FUCKING WRONG? I can admit to being wrong, obviously some people can't. To them I have something to say - FUCK OFF. I am literally at the end of my rope and I am SURE that some drivers on my way home tonight will see my finger waving in the air and hear the blast of my horn if they so much as make one TINY slip up and piss me off in the slightest.

America is increasingly becoming filled with people who have CRAPPY attitudes. Maybe we are continually overworked. Maybe we need more vacation time. Maybe we need to take life a bit less seriously. Maybe we need to be allowed to say exactly what is on our minds and have someone available to listen to what is said. It helps to just let it all out. Sometimes I am criticized for doing this and I know at my last job I was notorious for speaking my mind and freely telling people to "Go to hell" or simple "Go fuck yourself". I never suffered the consequences due to the fact that I did a good job. Maybe I did a good job because I let my stress out before it could get to me on the inside.

Some people who know me say that I have mellowed out since I have moved. WRONG. I still get plenty angry. I still let it out. I did that by a combination of writing this and by bitching to my boss. She listened and we went back and forth with our own stories of anger. It makes work a bit easier to tolerate when people listen. It makes it even easier when people take action. Maybe that's what's wrong with our country. Too few people take action on their words. They're all talk. I admit that I am too, sometimes. However, I tend to take action when it needs to be taken. Understand that? Great.

I am under a fair amount of stress, like many other individuals. I don't want special treatment, just recognition for a job well done. That's what really makes a person feel all warm and tingly inside. And you fools thought that was the prescription medication. WRONG. The stress comes from the ever-growing mountain of debt I am incurring from this upcoming wedding. I am letting the bride to be just have her way with it. What do I know? I've never been married. Come to think of it, she hasn't either. Wait a minute, we need to talk compromise. Maybe we can go for those classy tux t-shirts. Those have class written all over them. That would save, oh... wait a minute - groom's tux free... scratch the tux t-shirts. She wouldn't have gone for that idea anyway. Oh, well. I'll just work a whole bunch of extra hours. She makes plenty of money but also deserves to buy things she both needs and wants. I can get by with the clothes that are slowly falling apart. It's the role of the guy. Sacrifice. It's her day. Splurge.

I am sure all will work and I'll stay cool, calm and collected. If that damn photographer proves his worth to me, that is.

(See, I can write without using ANY excalmation points - and it was easy. Others should try it.)

Stay tuned.


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I hope you have enjoyed some of my bits of wisdom of lack thereof. Now we can return to something resembling normal. Maybe.

Stay tuned.

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