Friday, August 28, 2009

FLASHBACK: December 1983

Here we three were on a chilly December evening huddled together for a group snapshot. A fellow tourist was kind enough take our picture for us with my borrowed Kodak Instamatic.

What a sight we were, three former restaurant co-workers just at the point in each of our lives when we were just setting out to explore new horizons. But tonight, the horizon could be seen far off in the distance in the fading twilight, co-illuminated by the thousands of lights twinkling across the landscape of all of New York City. For tonight we were on top of the world...or at least as close to it as we could manage...on top of the Empire State Building.

I had dreamed of this magnificent city for years. I ran away from home with the ill-thought out plan of coming here when I was six. I collected postcards, photos and other memorabilia of this city since as far back as I can remember. I was allowed to let my muse run wild one day in 6th grade after a drawing I started depicting my minds-eye view of a New York City panorama during the morning art lessons turned into an elaborate project. I dreamed of being a famous artist, attending avant-guarde parties with the likes of Truman Capote, Jackie O and Andy Warhol and after a long night of revelry, retiring to my fabulously appointed penthouse overlooking Central Park.

So for me this trip was a landmark event because it was my first visit. My first trip to a city I'd long ago fallen in love with from afar. So you can imagine I had high expectations. And of course, my beloved Big Apple didn't let me down.

This was the first trip here for any of us, actually. Michael P. who always tried to impress everyone he met whether it was at work at HoJo's or out in the gay clubs of Providence with his worldly demeanor, had not yet been here 'till now. Michelle was kinda new to everything. Before HoJo's she'd lived a very sheltered North Smithfield teen-aged life. After a few choir practices, she was warped goods for life, like all of us. HoJo's had that effect on you. And due to her naivete, she was the biggest gawker of the three of us, yet I knew I had to forcibly restrain my awe and amazement over the sights of this town, as did Michael, I'm sure.

We planned this trip a couple months before. We picked this time just before Christmas so we could see seasonal sights like Rockefeller Center's Christmas tree, shop Macy's and Sack's Fifth Avenue for gifts and smell hot roasting chestnuts from the street vendors carts. Turns out it was everything we could have hoped for.

The weather was cool but very mild...perfect for lots of walking and sightseeing. We hit the museums, shopped, ate at great restaurants, saw "42nd Street" on Broadway...the whole touristy thing. Due to the fact we wanted to stay within a tight budget we stayed primarily uptown so we didn't venture downtown to see the Statue of Liberty, Wall St., or the World Trade Center. We even squeezed in a hansom cab ride through Central Park. That was a hoot!

We went on a tour of Radio City Music Hall and our obviously-"family" guide told us that not long ago he met none other than Barbara Streisand in the very elevator we were in and when he innocently told her how much he was a fan of hers, she looked at him as if he were a bug and shrieked "Why do you people have to bother me all the time!" and stormed out of the elevator once it came to a stop. Needless to say, he relegated her albums to the bottom of his pile from then on.

As our group exited the elevator, we had our own brush with greatness. "Ladies and Gentlemen!", our guide halted us in mid-step and exclaimed, "That man right over there is famed designer Calvin Klien!". Calvin Klien heard him from across the room, peered at us and gave a slight wave...and then quickly left. I think Michael's heart skipped a beat.

On another night we were walking from our hotel towards Broadway to have dinner and then go to our show. On the way, we passed by this trailer parked outside a theater and I noticed it was filled with all sorts of electronic equipment. I recognized it must be a sound trailer for some TV broadcast inside the theater. Thinking it might be for someone famous I asked the guy inside who this was for. He told me it was for a new up-and-coming comedienne. She was doing a one-woman show. "Her name is Whoopi Goldberg", he informed the three of us as if we might have some sway over the future of her fledgling career.

We thanked him and Michael, Michelle and I continued on our way. "Have you ever heard of her?", I asked Michael. "No, you?", he asked Michelle who just shook her head. "Hmm, maybe someday she'll be famous and we can think back to when we "knew her" back in the day.", I thought.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

FLASHBACK SPECIAL: My Credit Card Roller Coaster Ride

At work (a place I'm not at today because of "sickness", *cough*, ya right...oh oh, here we go again?...) I see the whole spectrum of different credit card accounts. Some in fine standing, with solid payment history, low balances and stable rating. Others are just the opposite, maxed out, lots of late payments and over limits and poor rating. And the whole gamut of those accounts in between.

In general, it usually follows that younger cardholders' accounts are more likely to be in disarray than older ones. It's simple financial wisdom. The older ones have lived through their own learning phase in dealing with credit card debt when they were younger and have applied what they've learned to their current practices.

It got me to thinking of my own relationship with banks, financial institutions and credit cards, and brought me back. Back to revisit a timeline of dramatic peaks and valleys of my own financial graph as I have lived and learned through the years:

1983: Applied for my first credit card. A department store credit card from the now-defunct Woonsocket retailer McCarthy's. I applied for this since I was advised it was easier to get department store cards as your first, then you could build credit to qualify for a VISA or MasterCard. McCarthy's rejected me due to a lack of credit (and probably low income). Though the rejection letter didn't say so, it probably didn't help that there was a recession going on at the time and that McCarthy's very existence was nearing its end.

1984: Once I got a full time job making a more decent income, I wanted to try again to enter the world of the credit worthy. This time I applied for a Sears card...and this time I was approved. It had like a $300 line of credit but I was ecstatic. I had the incorrect notion that I had just been given $300! I mean, I knew it wasn't a gift, that I had to repay it, but I went and bought a 14K gold necklace and a new 35mm camera almost right away. And all I had to do was maintain payments of about $10 a month to pay it back. Sweet! Little did I understand or care that I was paying nearly 22% in finance charges...it only cost $10 a month, dude!

1984: Now with one card in my wallet, I wanted more to join the family. I thought of that scene in "Trading Spaces" where Dan Ackroyd, playing a wealthy snob, shows Jamie Lee Curtis, who's playing a hooker, that he has clout. He lets his wallet open and out cascades an array of credit cards in a long plastic protector strip. "I have Carte Blanche, Diners Club, American Express, VISA, and a GOLD MasterCard...they don't just give these out to anyone, you know!" That's it...I wanted CLOUT! I re-applied to McCarthy's...and this time they approved me! Woo Hoo! I got two!

1985: A couple months after getting the McCarthy's card (and racking it up to it's limit) the credit monster in me needed more. I applied for VISA, MasterCard and American Express. The VISA and MasterCard were rejected, but after what seemed like a very long wait (probably about 2 weeks) I got an envelope in the mail from them. At first I thought "Well, if I was declined by VISA and MasterCard, surely American Express will deny me too so this must be the rejection letter." But I felt something stiff enclosed inside the envelope...could it be? Yes, it was a pretty green American Express card and it had a $750 line of credit!!!

Oh the party I threw for my friends that night! The rub, of course, was that charges couldn't revolve. It had to be paid in full each month. So while it was a beautiful status symbol I could flash around, I was cautious about using it.

1985: I caught on to the fact later in this year that an application for a VISA or MasterCard was not approved or rejected by VISA or MasterCard themselves, it was the bank which you applied for them. And my earlier attempts were through traditionally conservative local banks. I found out I'd have a better chance with one of the new banking concepts, a non-local bank which specialized in offering credit cards nationwide. So I applied to First Bank of Chicago from a application brochure they had placed in Caldor's at the check-out line. A week or two later, a pretty gold MasterCard was in my hands! Only a $500 limit, but within a year they had automatically raised it a couple of times so it was soon a $1500 limit card. Within a few months, I'd gotten 2 VISA cards to join my little plastic card menagerie I was building in my wallet.

1986: I had left my Wrentham job for a new prospect working with Linda in Pawtucket, but there was a delay in the job opening up for me when it first should have. So though I worked a few hours a week for Linda's parents at their sporting goods store in Taunton, I was having trouble making ends meet. Once the job started, I was earning money again, but it wasn't as high as I had gotten used to. To make matters worse, I moved to East Providence to be closer to my job in Pawtucket, but now I wanted to buy things for my new home. The cards shot up to their limit.

I was still holding on to paying them down despite the burden to my budget when my '81 Ford Escort caught on fire and I needed to quickly get a new car. In haste and ignorance, I signed a prohibitively costly lease on what turned out to be another lemon of a car and before long I was facing the abyss. One by one, my cards fell. I tried to bide time with them but eventually even the payment arrangements I'd made couldn't be honored. They all threatened me by mail and telephone, but they eventually wrote me off and the collection agencies tried to come after me but eventually they stopped writing and calling. Sears sued me and I swore to the court that I'd make payments under oath. Kept that up for a month or two, then sent nothing more. They left me alone after that.

Except for American Express. They held on to my account and wouldn't write it off as readily as the others. I had one guy who must have been assigned to my case who would call all hours of the day and night (this was before newer legislation forbidding this) and called me "less than a man" since I didn't pay my debt. I found out he was calling from a call center in New Jersey and when I told him I would drive down there and kick the shit out of him he taunted me and dared me to do it. Man, I came this close to doing it.

All in all, by the end of this year, I had no cards left, and my credit was in shambles.

1992: After some idiot smacked into my car when she ran through a stop sign, her lowlife husband talked her into suing me. Since I had no insurance, I had to show financial responsibility and place the amount of the lawsuit, some $6500, which, of course, I didn't have, into escrow until the trial. When I consulted with a lawyer, he offered me the only other option...declare bankruptcy. So I did. The suit was discharged in bankruptcy court along with all the credit card, utilities, defaulted checking accounts, bad check debts to merchants, skipped rents to landlords, broken car leases, etc., that I'd accumulated over the past few years. Only the defaulted federally-guaranteed student loans remained, as well as a couple of local municipal tax debts.

1993: Times were stabilizing by now and I tried to work towards re-establishing my post-bankruptcy credit. Since that bankruptcy was on my credit reports and wouldn't go away for another 6 years I knew my only option was to get a secured credit card. I set one up through an outfit called Signet Bank. They actually allowed a credit line at one and a half times your secured deposit, so it was a small amount of actual credit. I sent in $500 and my credit limit was $750. After a year of using the card and making timely payments, they eventually upgraded the card to a true credit card and I was returned the deposit amount. By this point I'd been sending in regular deposits to the secured savings for months and I was up to a $3000 line of credit. Soon thereafter, they changed their name from Signet to Capital One.

1997: After several years of excellent history with my one and only credit card, I had built it up to a $3500 credit line, but I had also built up the balance as well. It was teetering near the limit. After I quit my NRIARC job to move to Florida, I paid the card off with funds from my cashed out 403b retirement account. I still had some $2000 cash left from the 403b and when I moved to Florida, I was sittin' pretty with a clear credit card and two grand in the bank.

But the telemarketing job I had wasn't really to my liking. I tried looking for a replacement but unlike my preliminary scopes I'd done from RI before moving here, I found finding a good job at a decent pay very challenging. And, what's more, I fell into a vacation attitude. The hot summer weather and my robust savings and ample credit polluted my drive towards working. So I abused my job and hardly ever showed up. I would take months out, sucking back Coronas every day, work a couple days or so, and take another month off. Meanwhile I siphoned funds from savings and started to ring up charges to the credit card to meet everyday expenses. Soon big bills like rent and electric were coming from the credit and savings, not from my pitiful income.

1998: By the time the new year came around, I had already skipped out on one apartment and was on the verge of doing the same in my Altamonte roommate situation. I borrowed $350 from my sister but I used that for other expenses rather than the rent bill I said it was for. My Capital One card? Well it had finally gotten close to the limit around the time I met Justin and I racked it up past the limit, destroyed the card and pretended to myself that it never existed. By the time it would have gone to collections in early '98, I'd already moved 3 times and no longer had anything in my name. So I didn't have to hear from them. They couldn't find me.

2001: After I got back into management at DM and then later with Sears, I tried, yet again to get some credit cards back. Though no guarantee just because I worked for them, I tried Sears again. I figured they wouldn't since they'd actually taken me to court in the '80s, but they did! Albeit a tiny $200 LOC. I applied to a card issuer (Providian) notorious for granting cards at high interest rates and burdened with all sorts of "fees" to what would now be called the "sub-prime" market. People with poor or no credit. They approved me! Woo hoo, I was on my way back. This time, I told myself, I'll not fall into the same traps as before...I'll work very hard to keep my good credit. Before long I added another card to my wallet. Orchard Bank, another high-risk lender with exhorbinant rates and fees. Then another sub-prime lender, Direct Merchants Bank. This card had a pretty picture of a tropical beach on it, and what I thought was a whopping credit line of $5500!

I teared up a little when I received this since I knew it was yet another chance to do right and establish a good credit foundation so that I might eventually escape the endless cycle of high interest rates and diminished prospects for bigger credit opportunities so I might, one day, perhaps buy a home. Plus, it coincidentally was issued to me at a time when I might need a bit of financial help...I'd just gotten convicted of my second DUI.

Ric, who was also trying to rebuild his credit after prior problems, which, according to him, were no fault of his own, of course, had also gotten a card from Direct Merchants. His also had a beach scene on it. As we individually fell into our own separate financial quagmires throughout the next couple of years, we jokingly remarked how our "beaches" were becoming slowly but surely metaphorically polluted with increasing debt.

2003: By early 2003, with Koyaanisqatsi underway, the Providian and Sears cards had been trashed and the metaphorical pollution on my beach had become a full out major oil spill disaster. And I was the drunken ship captain who ran the doomed tanker aground. Now, when lumped together with the other debts incurred as a result of my post-DUI, post-Sears job, nearly homeless soon-to-be New Orleans wayfarer life, I was looking at over $30,000 in debt.

2007: With the worst of Koyaanisqatsi seemingly over, I tried, yet again, to get back some meager credit. And meager is what I got. I'm approved for another Orchard Bank card, but this time for a very conservative $300 line of credit. Then a Credit One Bank card with a $400 credit line.

The credit lines have risen slightly over the past couple of years and I don't have even one late payment between the two. But all those others linger still on my credit reports. Oh, Capital One eventually found me and sent me letters for a while, but since so much time had gone by since they went into default, they dropped off my credit report. Most of the others are set to drop off by year's end.

So by early 2010 I may be looking at a refreshed credit rating.

Time to start gathering the applications soon.

Ugh! When will I learn.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Man Oh Manta!

Last Sunday Ric and I went to Sea World and I got to experience the park's newest attraction...a unique rollercoaster called MANTA.

I wrote about the soon to open coaster, among other new attractions, earlier this year and now that it's open I've been hankerin' to ride it. But when I checked out the sample seat they have on display at the front of the entrance I thought I might not fit. Indeed, when we got on the ride, the restraint barely made it down into a locking position and sure enough the right side latch came loose just before we were about to take off. I started to freak out but luckily the head attendant saw that I was unrestrained on her computer monitor. I guess each seat has electronic sensors that can detect if the lock has disengaged. So luckily she was able to come to my rescue to push the restraint down tighter to ensure I was safe. It was a snug fit, but I was safely secured.

But I was still a bit freaked out and I started to imagine that my weight plus the outward pushing g-forces would unloosen the restraint in mid-ride and I would be flung mercilessly to my painful death. So I didn't really enjoy the "flying sensation" of the ride. I was too busy screaming. Of course Ric was loving my hysteria.

Later, after lunch and a few of the shows, we made our way to Kraken. Now here was a coaster I really loved. It's a bit higher and faster than Manta but I was familiar with it. I'd ridden it many times since its debut here at Sea World back during our theme park heyday year of 2000. So being familiar with it, I was less fearful. Plus, you sat in it like a normal ride. Straight up and facing forward...the way it should be.

But much to my chagrin, I found out that I couldn't even fit in the "big guy" seats anymore...the seats designed for "persons with chest dimensions greater than 52 inches". Oh brother. I watched other fat guys get on and off the ride the whole time while we waited in queue to see if I'd fit. No one else failed to fit. Except me.

So I had to exit the ride and just watched on the sidelines as Ric rode alone.

Perhaps it's appropriate this happened. It's yet another wake up call. Yet another moment of truth when I'm forced to face reality. If I've let myself go to the extent that I am presumably the fattest person in the theme park, rivaled, perhaps, only by Shamu himself, I think I have to do something about it.

At least I kept the promises made...

I specifically wanted to come to Sea World again and go the entire day without a drink. As if to somehow metaphorically turn back time, I wanted to revisit the park where, in some respects the whole sad drunken downward spiral got it's re-start. Those "innocent" sips of beer no doubt contributed to the rekindling of a dangerous and deadly flame. A flame that burned hotter and hotter each year since, and like all growing fires, threatened to destroy anything in its way.

But I digress. Suffice it to say I am proud of my newfound sobriety and my symbolic return to this park and remaining dry the whole time. Ironic for a park owned by one of the largest breweries in the world.

Now the challenges are to continue steadfast in my new lifestyle despite the ups and downs of day-in and day-out everyday life. That'll be the true test. After all, dealing unadulterated with real life issues is the scariest rollercoaster of all!

Here's a little video memory of our day:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

SCRAPBOOK: A Few Of Ric's Favorite Things

A while back I posted a few images of my favorite things. Now here's a smattering of pics depicting things Ric likes:

Biking: Ric is a biking fanatic.











Golf: To say Ric likes golf would be an understatement.











CNBC: This channel is practically burned in on his big screen LCD TV.











Ric's Religion: A blend of New Age Christianity and just totally misguided shit, Ric is the quintessential "Cafeteria Christian".










Chuck Barris: I don't know what it is about Chuck Barris but he is infatuated with his life, his legend and his campy gameshow legacy.










Civilization IV: Ric is crazier than I ever was about this game...











Rico Suave: Still livuiing menatlly back in the 80s, Rick fancies himself a sort of Rico Suave type.










Hunky jock types: He likes 'em with a bit of a bad boy streak though...like ex-drug dealer or some other sort of street thug.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

How's This, Regis?

"Who Wants to be a Millionaire" is back on prime-time this season replete with Regis and his manic personality hosting again for this 10th anniversary edition.

This time round there's a new lifeline called Ask The Expert (kinda like one of their competitor shows used during the heyday of prime-time quiz shows a decade ago) and the 50/50 lifeline has been replaced by Double Dip, essentially a second chance guess. And, to no doubt quicken the pace, the unlimited time to answer scheme is gone. Now the contestant has a ticking clock to watch as they try to figure out the answer. Also, a preview of the questions' categories are hinted at through a quick exposure to their somewhat relational titles (ie: a question about culinary arts might be called "What's Cookin'?")

There's an At Home component played live as the show airs too. As you watch on TV, you play along on the game's web site. Like many online games, you're placed into "rooms" with other players and you all compete for highest scores by answering the questions correctly as quickly as you can. The faster you are, the bigger the point reward. No negatives (other than a zero) for a wrong answer. Once Regis presents the question on TV, you must click on the correct answer before the TV contestant answers or the clock runs out. At times there was a bit of a lag between what appeared on TV and what popped-up in your computer monitor, and the rapid reduction in points would commence in the game even before Regis was done his old man delivery, often interspersed with stumbles and mispronunciations. Oh brother. What we have to endure for a doddering TV icon.

Well, my end-game performance is pasted above for your admiration (or yawning lack of concern, whatever the case may be). That's right, Baby, 110th out of over six thousand players! I missed one high-scoring question which cost me an even loftier lead.

Still, not too shabby, if I may say so myself! :)

Question: I think of myself as:
A. I pretty smart guy
B. A brilliant trivia buff
C. The most intelligent person on Earth
D. The Central and Most Significant Being in the Whole Vast Universe

The actual answer is B. I mean c'mon, you didn't think I'd believe C. or D., did you? Well, at least not yet...;)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Return Of "V"

Oh man! What news!

First there was the excitement a few years ago when I got word of a re-imagining of the classic Battlestar Galactica.

And that new series was everything I had hoped...and more. I was in Sc-Fi Remake Heaven.

But alas, it ran it's very successful five season run and it suddenly was no more.

I've been left with a sci-fi TV void ever since.

Oh yes, of course there's LOST but it appears on my TV set so infrequently it's like the orbit of Halley's Comet for cryin' out loud. The next "season" of that show isn't 'till 2010. And besides, it's not space-based. I like my space-based stuff. It's what gets me going most.

And I can't satiate my thirst for good space-based sci-fi with no low-budget mindless crap like Stargate SG-1 either. Ain't gonna do it. It's gotta be big network, heavily-pushed stuff.

Well, it looks like ABC has heard my sobs of SF loneliness.

They're going to debut a new space-aliens-visit-Earth prime-time sci-fi drama starting in November. And it's a re-imagining of none other than one of my all-time early 80's favorites..."V"!!

Yes "V". The plot for which I "borrowed" (ie: stole) heavily from for my own Nastralia Cobalt Sky story.

In "V", spaceships filled with very human-looking aliens arrive from another planet and offer to make our less-technologically advanced lives oh so much happier. No more war, famine, sickness and the like. Utopia offered to us freely on a silver platter. But we soon find out they would like a platter handed back to them in return. A platter of human meat, that is! Yes, Virginia, they want to eat us!!!

The trailer looks like it'll be well-funded offering great special effects and the actors seem top notch too. For television, that is. But have you noticed TV has attracted a lot of Hollywood movie stars lately. I guess the economy being what it is, even if your an A-lister it can't hurt to do a stint or two for the small screen.

But I digress. I can't wait 'till this show premieres. Hopefully it'll be as smartly written and funded as BSG and gets high ratings. Otherwise it'll end up like a Visitor's meal...swallowed whole and out of sight, with just a polite burp to indicate it had ever been there at all.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Smash! (Again)

As a non-existent god is my witness, today is, yet again, but this time for sure, the first day of the rest of my sober life.

That's right. I'm giving up the hooch for good.

It doesn't take a psychoanalyst to see that I have a continuing problem with alcohol. A LONG continuing problem. Too long.

I've had it!

Around 12:30am I woke up, again, because my heart was racing so fast it felt like it was going to pop out of my chest.

Nauseous, I stumbled to the bathroom, puked in the toilet and tried to go back to sleep. Only to be faced with yet another night of insomnia. After a couple hours of just restless tossing and turning, I got up, pulled the 18-pack box holding the remaining 12 cans of Busch beer out of the fridge and one by one, opened each can and dumped the shit down the drain.

Yesterday afternoon while driving home from work, I was just planning to go home for the first evening of the week without stopping for beer. Unlike every other night, I was going to fore go drinking and give my body a rest. But instead I found myself making a turn into the neighborhood 7-Eleven. Why? Well, I remembered from the beer run the night before that they had their 18-packs of Busch and Busch Light on sale so, of course, I couldn't pass this savings opportunity up. So even though I didn't feel like drinking, I had to buy some since it was on sale.

Oh, and of course I had to buy Busch as opposed to Busch Light since I know that one of the reasons light beer is light is because it has a slightly diminished percentage of alcohol by volume. Less than one percent, but to my alchy mind, that was enough to be concerned over. Mustn't be cheated out of even a small fraction of that addictive chemical component.

Yes I'll go this journey alone again. The freakish atmosphere of AA meetings is not my cup of tea. I'm not a huggy-share-y sort, let alone the whole enormous conflict with the entire "Higher Power" business.

I expect it'll be rough, but as I've mentioned a thousand times, in written form, verbally, and just plain "thinkin' it", the payoff would be so very worth it. If only I can make it.

But it's like that trite saying which actually resonates so true:

A journey of a thousand miles starts with one small step.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Billy Mays Coke Death

Ok. News out today. Billy Mays' death attributed to cocaine use.

Wow. (Stated in an anti-climactic, bemused sort of way).

Is anyone really surprised by this?

The guy was the definition of HYPER. If you looked it up in the dictionary, you'd see a picture of him. Hello people!

Sad about the situation and the grief his family is going through but really folks...it should not come as any surprise.

Yet another affirmation for the much slower fatality rate for my drug of choice: alcohol. It too will get you but it takes a long time and if you time your binges right, your organs have time to recoup between your jags. It's a much more user-friendly and adjustable way to bid thee farewell to the world.

So on that note, cheers Mr. Mays, a toast to your contribution to the marketing business of the world...

For all that's worth but not a penny more because I acted NOW and I want my early bird discount!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

EDM LIST: 1993

Tonight we start a new feature on the blog. The EDM LIST for a specific year in my life. Similar to the FLASHBACK series, it'll focus on details pertaing to the stated year, but it will be restricted only to the answers of a series of questiosns which will be repeated in subsequent posts for other years in order to note and record the evolution of likes, dislikes and trends over time.

So like so many of those "100 questions" style posts on so many blogs, it should shed a little light onto the real me. But over the course of my life, captured snaphot-style one random year at a time.

The first year to be highlighted, by total random selection is:

Drumroll please since I am choosing this as I type...

1993!

Without further ado, here are the standardized questions along with the answers:

(BTW, it starts off rather mundanly with simple choices about food preferences, then drink, then entertainment because I recently realized my tastes in beer, coffee and some foods had changed, so I thought I'd catogorize my preferences starting with Eat, Drink and be Merry (EBM) and then go on from there...enjoy!)

breakfast item: 4 cups black coffee and a PPA
lunch item: 2 liters of Diet Coke and another PPA
dinner item: A Weight Watchers/Richard Simmons/Covert Bailey approved 600 calorie meal
dessert item: an apple
snack item: Mr. Phipps and fat-free cream cheese
beer: NONE, I AM ALCOHOL-FREE
wine: NONE, I AM ALCOHOL-FREE
mixed drink: NONE, I AM ALCOHOL-FREE
coffee brand: Melita
soda: Diet Coke
non-carbonated soft drink: Poland Spring bottled water
prime time tv show: The Nanny
late night tv show: Late Show with David Letterman
late late night tv show: Late Night with Conan O'Brien
cable tv show: The Larry Sanders Show
comic: Jerry Seinfeld
actor: Tom Hanks
musician: C.C. Peniston
visual artist: Tom of Finland
film director: Steven Spielberg
techno gadget: a 9600-baud modem, a long-distance BBS and about $80 a month
trendy item: non-stop replay of Rodney King beating video
computer game: Doom
aerobic exercise: Cardio-glide
weight-training exercise: 10-pound dumbells
active pasttime: walking
passive pasttime: cruising AOL
porn star: Erik Houston
sexual fantasy: threeway
total number of porn videos owned: 36
best friend: Wayne
worst enemy: Jen Cournoyer
real person around me I'd most like to fuck: Jeff Cooper
favorite current pop song: "I'm Every Woman" - Whitney Houston
favorite current pop icon: Madonna
current (top) record/8-track/cassette/cd/mp3 in my player right now: C + C Music Factory
most time-consuming hobby: working out
biggest cheap thrill: a PPA buzz
biggest fear: drinking again
most outrageous dream: to rule the world
most realistic dream: to be happy in my job
biggest pet peave: stressful people
quickest killjoy: my inconsistent erections

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Cue The Circus Music

Oh what a three-ring circus it's been this past week.

Mildred: Of course you know Mildred had to be reformatted. A first for this version and because she's a Dell, it was so much more complicated than any I've done on any previous Mildred. You gotta remember, I either built from scratch each prior PC on my desk or heavily modified it so I knew its every wire and circuit. This one had only been opened once before (to add more memory) but it was mostly all the OEM shit that caused headaches. And the drivers, oh the drivers...

Well, she's running on her original, aka: replaced via overnight mail by Dell but free, OS (Windows XP Media Center Edition) and she's all fast now and shit, but, the odd graphic problem, especially noticed when running Civilization is still there. How can it be? It's so perplexing.

Work: We graduated 2 weeks ago and I've been up on the floor. It's okay, I guess. I have my good days and bad days about it. And yes, I've already called out sick one day last week. They treat it like you're killing a baby here so I won't be abusing my sick time with carefree abandon like in other jobs.

Don't worry I haven't forgotten the Roast...it's coming.

Ric: Scott came down from Indy to visit with Ric this weekend so I had a refreshing weekend without him. Yea!

Home: More problems with the homefront infrastructure...now the driveway is almost engulfed by the out-of-control strip of weeds on either side of it. They hang over the brickwork threatening to snare and gobble up Nugget. Well, maybe not that bad, but certainly ugly. About 2 months worth of overgrowth. And they have seed pods that stick to the legs of your pants which are hard to brush off. Oh brother, has the landlord gone on a bender again? (I mean, what else can it be? I last saw him about a month ago!)

Maybe he fell victim to the Attack of the Humongous Weeds?!

Now cue the "Twilight Zone" theme...Do da do da do da do da do da do da....