Wednesday, June 30, 2004

When you're all alone and lonely
in your midnight hour
And you find that your soul
it's been up for sale

And you begin to think 'bout
all the things that you've done
And you begin to hate
just 'bout everything

But remember the princess who lived on the hill
Who loved you even though she knew you was wrong
And right now she just might come shining through
and the -

- Glory of love, glory of love
glory of love, just might come through

Coney Island Baby, Lou Reed

Sunday, June 27, 2004

I promised Dad I'd put up a pic of my new pad. It's too large to fit neatly in this blog, so just click here to see what my living room looks like.

That's all. Go read a book or something now.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

"I Thought I *Ordered* You To Get A Life."

I bought the season one DVD of Stargate:SG-1 a couple of weeks ago. SG-1 has always been one of those shows that, when I sat down to watch it, I pretty much knew I would be in for an hour of solid, well-written, and well-acted TV. There is an overarching storyline throughout its seven or eight seasons that I haven't quite been keeping up with, but individual episodes do a great job of drawing me in nonetheless. It helps that it is always a hoot to watch Richard Dean Anderson, Amanda Tapping, Michael Shanks, and Christopher Judge (Col. Jack O'Neill, Maj. Samantha Carter, Dr Daniel Jackson, and Teal'c, respectively) interact with one another and with the things going on around them.

A lot of characters in sci-fi shows wind up looking extremely self-conscious and humorless... Star Trek:Voyager and (ack) Mutant-X are guilty as sin in this regard. Although Teal'c has a consistently morose expression on his face, he plays well against O'Neill's irreverent candor, and actually somehow manages make that face work during the truly dramatic moments. Carter and Jackson are the perfect geeks (albeit extremely attractive geeks... how convenient), and some of the show's funniest recurring moments involve O'Neill telling them to do something along the lines of "Get A Life".

So I've always enjoyed the show, and it made sense to me to finally go out and start collecting the DVDs. A word to the wise: I paid $70 for the season one set, but later I found it for $40 at Sam's Club. It's only $30 to get a membership, so if you're intending to collect them all (pika-pika!) it's actually worth it. Anyway, I've been going through the DVDs at a good pace, and so far it's what you'd expect from a first season. The pilot was alright, and set the characters up quite well for what is obviously going to be a long, ongoing conflict with the Goa'uld, SG-1's resident villainous aliens. The rest of the season so far (I'm about two-thirds through) has been a hodge-podge of extra-planetary visits. A couple of them, are, unfortunately, quite lame. So I've already seen something I've never seen on SG-1: a lame episode. I guess you could say I've gotten my money's worth.

The other episodes are mostly in the above-average range. There's only so much they can accomplish with planet-of-the-week episodes. I suspect the payoff for sitting through these will come later when the SG-1 team revisits planets they've been to before, and the war with the Goa'uld gets into full swing.

There is one episode, however, that stands head and shoulders above the rest. It does something that every good sci-fi show ought to be able to accomplish at least once per season. It made me weep like a sissy. Seriously! Any sci-fi show can throw fictional characters and their fictional toys at you, but *good* sci-fi leaves a dent in your heart. I won't say much about the episode (that would take too long), except that it's called 'Cold Lazarus', and it shows the soft and broken side of the tough and crusty O'Neill without ever compromising the character's plausibility. The way they accomplished that, I thought, was absolutely brilliant, and (SPOILER ALERT!) the best use of a doppelganger I've ever seen in sci-fi.

Ok, well, I've still got a couple more DVDs to watch, and I also just bought the second season. That's a lot of time to spend on the papasan chair, so I'd better get cranking.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

I've been the lowest of the low on the planet
I've been a sinner all my days
When I was living with my hand on the trigger
I had no sense to change my ways
The preacher asked if I'd embrace the resurrection
To suck the poison from my life
Just like an existential cowboy villain
His words were balanced on my knife

Devil to pay, on judgement day
Would Jesus strike me down if I should pray?

This Cowboy Song, Sting

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Well, That Explains A Lot

My frightening and highly unstable childhood in Malaysia suddenly makes a lot more sense, after reading this.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

No Stupid Jokes Today. No, Really.

I've just got to get something off my chest today. I've been paying a bit more attention to the news in Iraq lately. To be specific, the kidnapping and beheading of Korean Kim Sun-il is what interests me. The whole thing has just got me mad. Mad at the cowards who decided killing this man is their ticket to heaven, and quite frankly, mad at the Korean public who thinks their government ought to to have kowtowed to these a-holes.

Now I have plenty of grief for this fellow. He was there to do a job, and I read that in fact that he had dreams of being a Christian missionary in Iraq. My heart goes out to him and his family, and I'm in no position to tell them how they ought to feel about the whole thing. But every one of their fellow countrymen ought to be condemning the murderers, not the South Korean leadership. They ought to be cheering on the troops who are going in there, hopefully to bring some of these bastards to justice.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not one of the people who was all gung-ho about the US invading Iraq the way it did. I think the invasion was completely screwed up, not because they didn't succeed militarily, which they did, but because the US completely failed to gain the confidence of a sufficent number of allies to make sure the occupation would be adequately manned, which it isn't. It didn't help that they pretty much flipped the finger at the rest of the world, and then went in under pretenses that no one else was buying. Smart. Real smart. Politics 101... not even.

But now the fact is Saddam's gone, and the Iraqi people need help dealing with the brainless low-lifes who've sprung up among them, gotten their tentacles on machine guns and camcorders, and decided it's ok to kill people who're just doing their jobs. I have absolutely no confidence in the character of people who will do this sort of thing, and leaving them alone with their countrymen is *not* going to result in a stable, happy Iraq. A lot of Iraqis are dying now because the White House was all too eager to prove a point. How many more Iraqis are going to die or live a life of fear and oppression just so the rest of the world can tell Bush that "We told you so?".

Monday, June 21, 2004

It's A Doggy Dog World

Feel free to roll your eyes in disbelief at this blog entry's incredibly bad title. Anyway, Gretchen brought a dog into the office for a bit today, which, as far as I can tell, is a mutt, but a very happy and energetic mutt. It also understands Spanish only, so you can't tell it to sit, you have to tell it to sentarse. Of course, I start saying "Sentarse senorita!" with abandon. As is the case with most animals who meet me for the first time, I get completely ignored.

I brought Brie in when I had her last week, but it was after hours and Cherie was the only person in the office. I thought Cherie'd appreciate that, and she probably would've, except I managed to get her a mad at me with a couple of off-color dog jokes (hint: what's the dictionary term for a female dog?). So! I'm linking to her blog as of today. No, there's not really a logical connection there, but she gave me permission to do so, and for that I am humbled and grateful.

Finally, to round things off, I did a search today at Yahoo's breed selector website to try and figure out what sort of dog would be good for me. It asked some questions about my preferences and then gave me a few results, ordered by how closely they matched my preferences. Guess what was #1?

An Italian Greyhound.

I kid you not. Stuff like that is too good to make up. I still don't know if I'm going to wind up getting a dog, but if I run across an Italian Greyhound pup for sale, I'll take it as a sign and bring the sucka home.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

More Hardcore Blogging Action

A colleague at work started a blog that he said I'm allowed to link to, and it has a really nice design. I'm seriously considering learning php and getting a webspace that supports it. In the meantime, go look at Paul's blog here, and post comments on anything that interest you. I'm sure he'd appreciate them. Adrian, Jason, CK, none of your tomfoolery here. Well, maybe a little bit.

On a related note, I've activated comments on this blog, so your insults and criticisms can be more specific than ever before! Just click on the comments link at the bottom of an entry. You have to be a blogger member to post as anything other than 'anonymous'. If, however, you believe that Blogger sign-ups are nothing more than a CIA ploy to build a case against you, nothing's stopping you from saying who you are in the post.

War. Uh. Whatever Is It Good For. Saturday Night LAN Parties.

Paul also happens to be leaving for Memphis next week, where his wife Amanda is going to be in school for the next three years. We had sort of a final LAN party at their house last night. Starcraft was the game of choice. We played a quickie map Paul had made for the occasion so we all could be in on the action, vs the computer. It was a little too easy for my liking, but what the hey. After that, we watched Monty Python's Holy Grail with Shakespearean subtitles on, which added a whole new dimension to the movie. Finally Travis, Marvin, and I decided to put in one more melee game.

In order of skill, everyone at the party last night would probably agree that I and Marvin were roughly equal, and Travis was the least proficient Starcraft player. My philosphy, however, has always been that in multiplayer melee, as long as there's more than two players, all bets are off. You skills may be helpful, but ultimately they will amount to the same general significance associated with *squat* if everyone else in the game decides to screw up your plans at every turn. However, that's not exactly what happened last night. What happened was a little more bizarre.

For my part, the mistake I made was to underestimate the tenacity of my opponents. Early in the game, I hit Marvin hard, decimated one base, and then left it just so the game wouldn't be *too* short, and then went to work on Travis. Well, the moment I attack Travis, Marvin comes in with a load of crap from a secondary base I knew nothing about. I fend him off, spend a good while hunting him all over the map, and when I'm satisfied that I've crippled him too much to ever be a threat again, I go back to work on Travis. The problem is, Travis during this time has built up a force of carriers too large to be taken down easily, and so I take some losses, run home to lick my wounds, and along the way realise that Marvin is still in the game, with a nice shiny new base and a couple of expansions. I'm just numb with shock at this point, and from there it all goes downhill. My desire to build anymore units ebbs until I find myself eventually just staring at the screen for long stretches without doing anything. The map we're playing on has near-infinite resources, by the way, and so it was looking to be a long, long, game of attrition.

My will having been utterly broken, I threw in the towel and surrendered. Now initally I thought at this point that it was Marvin's game, but as we watched him run headlong over and over into Travis's wall of 24 carriers (cloaked by two arbiters), I realized that Marvin was suffering from pretty much the same problem I had: his brain was fried. He kept attempting to take on Travis's force with less carriers, which obviously wasn't going to work, especially since Travis's were cloaked to begin with. So about an hour later, Marvin surrenders, and Travis wins.

Travis tried to be nice after that, saying stuff like "Well, if you guys had attacked me earlier, I would've lost". Now could'ves and should'ves are fine and all, except

a)We didn't attack Travis earlier, and
b)We lost

I don't like it when losers bring up a bunch of hypothetical scenarios to explain why they should've won, and while it's a little more tolerable for the winner to say stuff like that, it's not alright for him or anyone else to tell themselves "Oh, he didn't *really* win". It's melee. Travis won. This is why melee is a great mode. You can't say. You just can't say.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Where Moth And Rust Doth Corrupt

It's Thursday and I'm taking a YAMs break, so I'm staying home tonite. My living room is almost at the point where it's presentable. I haven't gotten some furniture in yet.... I booked a settee, a coffee table, and a papasan chair at Pier 1 yesterday, and Brent's gonna help me get all that stuff either tomorrow or on Saturday. I bought a wicker shelf and a TV stand earlier this week, so I no longer have to look *down* at the TV, which was very annoying. My 20th anniversary Optimus Prime arrived a couple of days ago, and I brought him to work to show him off. Paul and Travis were, um... well I'm not sure 'impressed' is the word, but they were congenial. I also bought the Transformers movie and the entire first season of Stargate:SG1 on DVD yesterday.

Hopefully I'll be done fixing up the living room soon, after which I can start working on the bedroom. My old mattress has a hole in it, and the end of the spring sticks out and pokes me if I lie on it, which gives me sad dreams :(. But when I wake up, I just look at the top of my TV and then I don't feel so bad:

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Nobody Likes A Wet Dog

I took Brie to Metcaff Bottoms yesterday, with the idea of sitting by the river somewhere close to the picnic area, but there were too many people out having picnics. On a Saturday afternoon. That made no sense. Anyway, I drove back along the road until I found a quieter spot. The beach wasn't as big as the ones I had in mind, but we were alone, at least for a while. Brie loved the water I'm sure. I read for a while, and she splashed around a bit. I tossed her some Alpo treats from time to time. Not sure if she ever had those... I bought them for the occasion. After a while, a few other folks showed up, and then I had to leash her, not because they were bothered by her, but because Brie would definitely want to play, and I didn't want Brie getting too wet. Brie cried a bit, and soon after I decided it was time to take her home. On the way back, I stopped at another spot to take a picture of her by the river.

When we got back, I started playing fetch with her to make up for the decidedly blah trip to the river. I used the tennis ball, which is her favorite fetch toy according to Marci, and threw it with a plastic ball tosser. A few minutes later, just as I was ready to go back into the house, Cliff gives me a call, saying he wants to go to Quaker Steak and Lube for dinner. I didn't know where it was, so we spend quite some time talking as Cliff gives me directions, which I can't understand because I have no idea where any of the roads on the East end of town are.

I'm still tossing the ball absentmindedly to Brie as we talk. Toss and toss and toss and toss. Finally, at some point, I toss the ball, but Brie doesn't run after it. I look at her and say "Brie?", but she turns around and heads to the front door. I'm totally confused. Brie never gets sick of fetch before me. I walk to her and then she turns around to look at me, and when I see her face, I burst out laughing. You know the expression "dog-tired"? I know what it looks like now. She had this look on her face like "Dude... *pant*... Can't... *pant*... fetch... *pant*... anymore".

Brie may have been a little uncomfortable around me the first couple of days, but she had really warmed up to me by that evening. She actually sat and listened as I played guitar. Maybe she just needed time to get used to me, or maybe I'd won her respect and admiration as the only human being to ever out-throw her fetching capacity, or maybe she thought she'd get more Alpo treats. In any case, I enjoyed our little weekend together. I'll know if she did when I meet her in the hereafter, I guess. All dogs go to heaven, you know.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Dog Tales

I drove over to Brie's house this morning to check on her, fill her water bowl, and play fetch. I'll probably take her out to the mountains later today. On the way back, I heard an NPR story involving a dog. A guy who worked as a middle-east correspondent was talking about buffets in Israel:

Every Sabbath, the hotels in Israel would put out these kosher buffets. People who walked in would be asked by a person at the front: "Meat or Milk?", because meat dishes could not be mixed with milk dishes. So the hotels and the people are having a great time every Sabbath, until a religious tourist from Cleveland visits one buffet, and complains that the steam from the Swedish meatballs on the buffet line is settling on his milk dish. This causes a minor uproar, and the head Rabbi in Israel is forced to figure out how to settle the matter. Can the steam of meatballs be considered food? He and all the other rabbis talk for a few days, and finally come up with the test for what is considered food: If a dog will not eat it, it is not food.

So a dish of steaming Swedish meatballs is set up with a tube over it. At the other end of the tube, a bunch of towels were bunched together to capture all the condensed steam, which then dribbles down into a dish. They place the dish in a hotel dining hall and the head rabbi says "Bring in the dog!". The dog starts sniffing everywhere - the whole place smells of food - and eventually arrives at the dish. It takes one sniff of the dish and keeps moving. So it was settled: Swedish meatball steam isn't food. The buffets are kosher. Everyone is happy and the hoteliers shake everybody's hands.

What the rabbis didn't know was that one of the hoteliers had slipped a little pine-sol at the bottom of the dish.

The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said.
He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs."
"Yes, Lord," she said, "but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table."
Matthew 15:25-27

Friday, June 11, 2004


Brent and Marci have gone out of town for the weekend, and they asked me to look after Brie, their dog. They've been gone since yesterday, and I slept at the house with her last night just so she wouldn't feel alone. Alas! All she wanted to do at 11pm was go outside and play. It's hard to turn down such an earnest, stupid animal, so I got me a glass of wine, went outside, and threw frisbee with her. The wine helped.

Today I pretty much left her alone from 7am to 5pm, so to make up for it I took her to Sequoia Hills. We took a pleasant stroll through the fields by the river. At one point we found a branch on the ground and played fetch with it for a while. A couple walked by soon after with their dogs, and I thought the new dogs might be a problem when they ran after the stick with Brie. Oddly enough, when Brie, in her enthusiasm, overshot the stick by a good three yards (we took a while to figure out each others default throw-fetch distances), the other dogs were polite enough to not pick it up. When Brie eventually brought it back, I threw it again, and again all the other dogs ran after it, and again they politely stepped aside and let Brie pick it up. They was some kind of dogs' honor-code going on.

I did get really worried, though, when they started sniffing her butt. That's when I called her back and waited for them to leave. That's how dogs greet each other, of course, but I didn't want to risk anything untoward happening in broad daylight. There're kids in that park.

Brie didn't have a leash on, and on the way to the car, I regretted that. She ran quite a bit ahead of me at one point and then disappeared from view into the bushes by the river. She hadn't indicated any desire to get wet, yet, so I wasn't on the alert for that. I got real worried though, when she stayed out of sight for longer than I liked, so I started calling her name and picking up the pace. I arrived at the spot where she'd disappeared, and found two girls sitting by the river, their dog, which was in the river, and Brie, who had decided that one dog in the river is reason enough for two dogs to be in the river. I wasn't too happy about that, seeing as how she was supposed to be in the front seat of my car very soon.

After we'd sat around a bit and she dried out some, we got back into the car and headed home. We played a little more fetch with her ball, and then I tried to sing her a couple of songs on guitar to see if dogs appreciated that sort of thing. At the very least, I found out that Brie didn't appreciate that sort of thing coming from me. That's ok. Not all girls dig the singing-songwriting tragic hero act.

My Soul And My Blog

Ken, the other guitar player and all-round okay fella on our worship team (the first all-round okay fella would be Tyler... I'm just a jerk) had this to say when the subject of blogging came up during practice on Tuesday: he would blog, except he didn't really want his friends to know any of the disparaging things he might have to say about other folks. There'd just be too much he couldn't say. Of course, I told him a blog didn't need to be that way. A lot of them are. My sister's blog, for instance, can be pretty honest and introspective. But then you can also find a blog like Dave Barry's, which is basically a collection of funny links. I recently read through a co-worker's blog which is composed of truly random tidbits: songs, sarcasms, links, anecdotes that may or may not go anywhere, and lines from comicbooks and movies. A blog can talk about as many or as few aspects of life as you want it to.

This blog is whatever it is. I do talk about my thoughts sometimes, but mostly they are the carefree ones. A person might protest that, for that, this blog lacks honesty, and paints an incomplete portrait or its author. No one has made that protest, yet, but if there was such a person, I would say in reply that I don't give a flip. I don't consider this a proper or adequate forum with which to share my deepest, darkest, and most sorrowful concerns. They are there. If my manner seems aloof, both in person and in writing, it's only because I have raged and still rage constantly against myself, and have, on many occasions, taken my own intellectual and spiritual frustrations far too seriously. I think in circles all the time; I don't feel a need to write in circles too. I think most of my friends are smart enough to pick up on this, from the songs I've written or the places where I choose to speak, or, in many cases, remain silent. The rest probably think I'm a funny and/or annoying idiot, which is fine, because in many ways, they are not wrong.

Where then do my concerns go? I do have friends I confide in, friends whom I often think of as brothers. They are very few, which is actually exactly how many you want for this sort of thing. More importantly, I try and try to bring my concerns before the feet of His throne. I don't always succeed, mostly because I don't always believe that He who makes all things new would know the proper way or even care to make me anew, over and over. But He is always good and faithful. Maybe, someday in this lifetime, He'll see fit to fix my jerk-ness.

And yes, that was a pretty unimaginative title for a blog entry. Hey, it's not like I'm paid to write these :p.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

I got a membership at Sam's Club yesterday, because I couldn't figure out where the grocery store was (I found a Food Lion later, hidden next to the Home Depot, darn!). I didn't quite know what I was in for since they didn't let you in without a membership. I can safely say that was the most unique grocery shopping experience I've ever had. It has given birth to three new immutable laws that will govern my life henceforth. In no particular order, they are:

New Immutable Law #1

I Will Never Run Out Of Cooking Oil Again.

New Immutable Law #2

I Will Never Run Out Of Cheerios Again.

New Immutable Law #3

I Will Never Run Out Of V8 Juice Again.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

It's Time To D-D-D-D-D-D... Um, Time To See A Speech Therapist.

I have a confession to make. Well no, not really, because anyone who knows me reasonably well knows I watch Saturday morning cartoons. But that's my confession, that I watch Saturday morning cartoons. I just sat through another episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! (the exclamation point is part of the title), which is the only TV show I know which has an exclamation point in the title. That probably tells you a lot about the show already. It also happens to be my favorite Saturday morning cartoon. That probably tells you a little too much about me.

There used to be prefectly legitimate cartoons to like on Saturday mornings. Batman Beyond was a good example. That was a great cartoon: engaging plots, vivid themes, brilliant characterizations, and gobs of perfectly-timed dry humor. They used to review it every week on IGN, when they had a sci-fi TV section. Brent and I mourned its loss when it went away. Assumedly a lot of the creative talent migrated to Justice League, which only showed on Cartoon Network, and so we didn't get to see that.

Other good shows: Big Guy and Rusty (why didn't this show last longer?), Jackie Chan Adventures (much better than his recent movies, go figure), and, um, actually that's all I can remember. Currently the closest thing we have in the mold of JLA and Batman Beyond is Teen Titans, which is a fun cartoon in it's own right, but a little too different from its predecessors for me. They've taken a japanimation approach to its presentation, complete with giant sweat drops and oversized eyeballs. The intro song is actually fairly entertaining. When I first heard it I thought it was in Japanese. A few weeks later I listened closely and realized it was in English, sung in a heavy Japanese accent. I laughed pretty hard and clapped.

So right now, my favorite cartoon is Yu-Gi-Oh!, which airs on WB at 11:00 am. There's no good way to talk about this cartoon without calling my credibility as a thinking human being into question. I'll do it in FAQ format, because it's easiest that way.

What's Yu-Gi-Oh! about?
School kids playing a card game, with multi-million dollar corporations and the fate of the world at stake. Lots of Egyptian pseudo-mythology thrown in for good measure.

Why does it have an exclamation mark in the title?
Assumedly to make the work of hentai writers easier ("Yugi! Oh! Yugi! Oh!"). I don't know.

I don't understand the title of this blog entry.
Listen to the show's intro music.

Why do you like it?
I'm not sure I do... I just can't stop watching it. It's like a fat naked woman. It's ugly as hell, but you can't look away.

That's not very helpful.
Okay, okay. It's bright, it's colorful, it's over-the-top and corny has heck, and you can't help but enjoy it. Unless you're epileptic. I used to play Magic The Gathering, and it was fun to spoof the show's protaganist and his overdramatized plays.

Player A: I play... A Mountain!
Player B: What???!!!
Player A: Yes, now I am able to use Red mana! You are about the witness the power of the Red Magician! Behold! I summon... THE JACKAL PUP!
Player B: NOT SO FAST!!! You've forgotten I have two untapped islands! And any amateur Magic player would know that can only mean one thing... Counterspell! Target his Jackal Pup spell! Now your Jackal Pup goes straight to the graveyard!
Player A: No! I was hoping to end this duel quickly! But now his control strategy is falling into place! I promised my uncle, my friends, and my dog who is in a coma that I'd win this duel for them! (cue flashback scene to when dog is hit by Player B's car and goes into a coma)

And so on and so forth.

Should I watch it too?
Um, no. I may be damned, but I don't have to take you good people with me.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Don't Worry, Be Bloggy

Blogging from the comfort of your own home is good. This is the first time I've ever had cable internet in a place of my own. I can start a blog entry, walk to my fridge, get a glass of milk, and finish my blog entry. What more can I ask for? Aside from medical insurance, a decent car, and a girlfriend, I mean.

Oh, great. Now I'm depressed. Aarg. Must... not... think!

Of My Efforts To Be As Much Like A Poof As Heterosexually Possible

Okay, I never had this problem before when I was an undergrad living in my own tiny little hole on White Avenue. Back then, my apartment was basically a place where I slept, stored my clothes, and ate from time to time. It never occured to me that the place should look nice. And so it looked, and smelled, like a pig sty. That pattern hadn't really changed when I started living with Brent and Donald, and pretty much persisted throughout grad school. But now that I'm on my own again, something wierd has happened. I've started shopping in the household section. For hours.

Take today for example. I spent half an hour at Wal-Mart looking at table clothes, trying to figure out which color matched the walls best, or would make a good contrast. Then I looked at table mats, and picked a really nice cotton-and-straw mat that matched the table cloth. Then I picked up a pot holder and an oven mitt on the way out. An oven mitt. What the hell. I don't even have any immediate plans to use it. Maybe I could box the wall with it from time to time, and pretend I still have some remnant of normal guy tendencies.

However, if you want to know where you can get a great deal on papasan chairs and cushions: Pier 1 Imports is having a sale on those until the fifth of June. You can get a chair AND cushion of your choice for only $99! EEEEE! I want!

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

You Gotta Move

I've finally moved out of Laurel Apartments. I'm now comfortably situated at Washington Ridge Apartments, so kindly update your address books and send your chocolates, money, and threatening notes to my new location. I had quite a bit of help moving, for which I'm thankful. Brent and Marci brought the truck, and Jim and Cliff from small group brought themselves, which was plenty. I had woke up that morning, surveyed the mess that was my apartment, and wondered how on earth was I going to organize everything and get out of there in a day (Well, I actually had three days since I was moving to Washington Ridge early on a pro-rate, but I did want to get as much stuff out as possible since I had help for that one day).

The problem solved itself, though, because once Marci showed up, she started throwing everything within reach into anything that looked like a box without so much as asking 'May I?'. I came out to the living room at one point and found saw her stuffing things into places I'd never intended to put them. She kinda just smiled goofily the way she does, and said "Um, I'm packing your stuff for you". She kept right at it as I stood there, eyes blinking and mouth agape. Good ol Marci, what would I have done without her?

Later on as we were piling things onto the truck, we realized nobody had thought of bringing rope or bungie cords. Brent tried his best to make do with one cord that he had in the truck, but it clearly wasn't enough to hold everything. Cliff went up to the apartment to look for something useable... I told him I didn't think I had any rope we could use. Then I hear him say "Oh, hey, how about this?", and he's holding up my old karate white belt. "You got anymore of these?"

So a few minutes later we had chairs, a table, and a disassembled bed all haphazardly piled onto the back of the truck, held precariously together by white, yellow, orange, and green karate belts tied together like streamers. It looked more like a parade wagon than a moving truck. Can you say "Rednecks Moving"? I did. If only I'd had my camera with me at the time.

While we were carrying things into my new place, Jim pointed out I had a slight pest problem: The living room window had a small hole in the bottom left corner where ants were coming through. I went to the office a couple of days later and told them about the problem. A couple of hours later, Billy-Bob (I don't know his name, but I'm calling him Billy-Bob because he talked like one) knocks on my door and comes in to inspect my ant problem. I show him the window, where the flying ants were congregating at the top and the normal ants were holding an Irish drinking contest on the window sill (I think). Billy-Bob takes out his flashlight (this was in broad daylight, mind you), points it at the top left corner, then points at the the top right corner, and back and forth for a bit.

After he's done shining he flashlight all over the window, in broad daylight, he puts it away, and proceeds to look intently at a few of the ants as they crawl across the window. Then, with his forefinger, he crushes one, and then looks at the dead ant on the tip of his finger for a while. I'm watching all this, and half expect him to put it in his mouth. He then proceeds to crush another one, and then another one, all with the same forefinger. I'm like "Oh crap, dude's gonna stand here all day doing that". After a bit, though, he stops, turns to me, and says "Hee-yup. You got an ant problem."

Genius. Pure genius.

Which brings me to my next point. I'm in the East end of Knoxville now. I'm used to moving about the West end, where people seem fairly normal and well-educated. But here on the East side... well lets just say I figured out real quick why they don't have a Borders on this side of town. That's not to say these aren't decent folk; the race is not to the swift, nor the glory to the wise. But as I was walking about the Wal-Mart near my place, I had to look in the mirror a few times to make sure I still looked alright, because everybody else in the store looked like they had been beaten at the entrance with the ugly stick.

Okay, okay. I'll stop making fun of my neighbours. I'm actually thrilled to be in my own place for the first time in years. And like I said before, Washington Ridge is a really, really nice place. The geese I saw before are still there, escorting their young from house to house like comic sentinels. They gathered outside the stairs to my apartment once, and looked a little annoyed that yet another featherless bloke had come to make a mess of their haunt. "You watch yourself, now", they seemed to say, "No funny business on our watch".

No sirree. No trouble at all. Not from me.