Saturday, May 31, 2014

FLASHBACK SPECIAL: Day Runner Notes, March, 1998

March

Mainly this month and most of the next months of the year follow the same routine as was established in mid-February when I "put my nose to the grindstone" and began my mission to get back on my feet and into a more stable, higher-paying job. Notes detail my weight, exercise, and drinking.

For the whole month I stayed between 181 and 186 so my weight was pretty stable and these weights reflect my reduced drinking (average of about 12 drinks per week this month) and exercise (average 3 X per week this month).

1 - GLCS Volunteer Party, Phoenix Bar, 7124 Aloma Ave. Chatted w/ Lee M. in social setting - not as bad as orig. perceived. (Ya, I crammed all this in the square for that day!) Lee came across as a snitty prick at the Center since he would usually be coming in on Saturday's, the day I was there each week, only if there was some "issue" that had to be taken care of regarding finances since he was the Finance Director for the Center. So when I usually saw him, he was stressed. Here at this event, he seemed much more relaxed and friendly.

4 - Romenz/Wilde's. It was a regular mid-week after work outing with Chris to these bars every week. He never drank, but he plunked quite a few dollar bills into the dancers' skimpies let me tell you. It was actually a bit embarrassing how he overtly flirted with them and I think he really misunderstood their receptiveness as genuine affection back. He was so infatuated with the go-go boys. Also, it appears that I now start to note the names of the bars as what I think in retrospect was their correct spelling.

14 - Miami Weekend. Met Francisco and his boyfriend @ Boardwalk, Miami. Chris and one of his stripper friends (Diego?) and I drive down to Miami Beach for the weekend. Well, actually, North Miami Beach...not so much the hot spot as South Beach but a lot more economical. We actually got a nice motel on the beach. Never mind the roaches, they were just passing through. The bar I met this guy Francisco was apparently Boardwalk, but it was in Ft. Lauderdale, not Miami. Francisco and his boyfriend propositioned me to have a three-way with them and I almost did but since Chris was driving I couldn't abandon him and Diego. I've always regretted this decision. I just know it would have been one of the hottest experiences I'd ever had. Damn. Diego was hot but he was totally platonic even in jesting with both Chris and me. Not sure if he was straight or gay. He stayed quiet about that. He was hot though.

15 - Return from Miami. Spectrum Awards 6:00. Sat with Lee. So I guess our Miami Weekend was only one night since I'm back in Orlando for the big awards gala dinner and ceremony for GLCS volunteers. This is the more formal party in conjunction with the casual one from a couple weekends before. I remember I wore a grey double-breasted blazer with black dress pants and a red and black paisley bow-tie with a white tuxedo shirt all gotten from a vintage secondhand store and I thought I looked very nice. I certainly got a lot of oogles from the ballroom full of gays. Oh if I only was more socially adept, that room was jammed full of Thornton Park sugar daddy money.

20 - Met Jay at Southern. (guy from Phoenix) Said Hi to Justin, kinda snubbed. This is not the Jay I would later befriend from DM around a year later but some hot sandy-blonde from Arizona. No hook-up here. Notice I'm still focused on Justin. of course I knew he'd be there.

30 - Met Domingo @ DM  I was even flirting with guys at work. LOL

31 - Promotion official! I become a part-time supervisor working about 25 hours a week and making a lot less than a sales rep. But it was a necessary stepping stone to full-time management there.

Friday, May 30, 2014

FLASHBACK SPECIAL: Day Runner Notes, February, 1998

We continue:

February

4 - Swapped out MAG monitor with Gateway 2000 from John for $100. I had a nice MAG monitor (CRT, of course, this is before LCDs) and I was planning on selling my PC but wanted the most buck for it so I convinced John (at great pains) to buy my MAG for a cheaper Gateway 2000 (remember when they were known by that name?) in trade and a hundred bucks.

5 - Sold Mildred VI to Wayne for $650. Pay to CORE last payment on fees. Yes Mildred VI an Intel Pentium I MMX 120MhZ 32MB RAM. In case you aren't familiar, here's a post where I detail my PC naming convention. For context, I'm typing this post using my latest PC, my HP laptop named Mildred XV, nine computers later. CORE was the probation agency which I had back late fees to pay.

7 - Out to Gregg's in Warwick with Wayne. This was a family style restaurant Wayne worked at part-time server in addition to his full-time job at Blackstone Valley.

8 - Leave RI, 9am. Arrive Weldon, NC 8pm. What? What caused the change of heart? A number of things, see here for details.

9 - Arrive Orlando @ 7p,m.

10 - (Arrow right) 50, bal: 260. Paid out $50 for my first week's rent to Claudia. She would have waited 'till I started making income but I wanted to be fair and square with her. I was so appreciative to have a place to stay. bal: 260 is what cash I had left.

11 - Start back @ DM Orlando. Yep. Back to DialAmerica. This time, I was on a mission. I was determined to do my hours, make money and eventually get promoted to management. I was tired of being dirt broke and nearly homeless.

16 - Out to Southern. Latin Nite. Met Michael, latino, a bit chunky, waxy hair. I remember this guy was one of those Last Call hook-ups. The lights came on for last call and everyone who hasn't found a "date" starts scanning the smoky room looking for Mr. Right. Er, I mean, Right Now.

Much of the rest of the notes each day detail what I was making in sales and commission as well as what I spent. Then adding daily weight, exercise and drinking totals as the month proceeded into March. I was on a mission. For instance, in tabulating one shift's earnings I noted this for the 18th: DM 4:30 -10, 44 (in a box) $106? Which means: Worked 5.5 hours, made 44 sales, earned estimated $106 commissions, works out to $19.27 per hour. Yikes! Maybe I should go back into telemarketing?

25 - Out to Wylde's/Roman's. Met Evan, slept w/him. Thin, cute, young, large curvy dick w/ a wart. Ya, I can be a detailed freakin' bitch! Funny story regarding this night: Chris drove us home in his Chrysler Lebaron while Evan and I sat in the back seat to make out. Cops pull up behind us, turn on their flashers and give us a burst of their sirens. We break our suck-face session, look back at them and they blare out on their loudspeaker "Passengers must NOT block the rearview window!" Fuckers! They saw two guys kissing and got all perturbed. Fine with me. Instead of going back to kissing, I unzipped Evan's fly, took out that weird looking cock and went down on him right there. Too bad the cops couldn't see us doing that!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

FLASHBACK SPECIAL: Day Runner Notes, January, 1998

Last May, I posted my long-stored-away Day Planner notations written down some 16 years earlier. We continue that FLASHBACK SPECIAL series with the final cache of ancient appointments, reminders and journal entries from the way-back year of 1998. As before, the comments in italics are present day explanations/elaborations.

January

2 - Hock TV and VCR. Packing up for "window of opportunity" to go back to RI. More on this wild plan in my explanation of actions for the 6th of January below.

4 - Out to Southern. Saw Justin; met his friends Michael and J.P. Slept w/ Justin @ Michael and J.P.'s house. As you may recall from the 1997 notes, Justin was by this time my ex-boyfriend. I remember when we got to his friend's house, we started snorting coke off Michael's key he'd dip into his little brown coke bottle and were all four of us making out and groping on Michael and J.T.'s king-sized bed. I was willing to have it evolve into a foursome but Justin broke off, went to the guest room and I felt pressured to follow.

5 - More sleepin' (ya I wrote like that like I'm so used to just "sleepin'" around, LOL) w/ Justin, supposedly back together by 10pm. On the rocks, though. So the morning after the previous night's activities, Justin and I drove our cars from Michael and J.P.'s in Thornton Park to Justin's apartment in Lake Mary. There we slept together some more and hung out 'till later in the evening. By around 10pm though, we'd had time to have quite a long conversation of where "we" were going from here and when I admitted facts that I'd been quiet about until then, like I had a job paying only $8/hr. and I was broke and several months behind in rent plus I was very late with probation fees due and was looking at a possible warrant for VOP (Violation of Probation, in case you didn't know). Oh yeah, and I admitted the truth about my DUI and the aftermath I was dealing with. Upon revealing this less-than-glamorous info about myself I could see his stance visibly change towards me. I knew it was over.

6 - Abort RI return plans. Ok. So the 2nd to the 4th was a weekend and I decided to make my move out of Florida. I was something like three months behind in rent and had a horribly depressing Holidays. When I went to Southern (on the 4th) my car was filled to the brim with various possessions of mine. Basically, everything I could fit in the little Metro. I was planning on skipping out on my roommates in Altamonte and moving back to RI. No plan as to where I'd stay in RI or what I'd do from there but I was ready to leave Dodge. Then I hooked up with Justin and the situation above noted ensued. Even though I knew I wouldn't be continuing with a relationship with Justin by the evening of the 5th, I decided that I'd give Florida another go and unpacked my shit from my car and rearranged my bedroom in the Altamonte condo - all this unbeknownst to my roommates.

9 - I [officially] breakup with Justin via email. Out to Southern with Chris Porter...see Justin, breakup in person. Snub him. I guess I told him. This was the first entry, I believe where I mention Chris Porter. He'd become more important in a few more weeks from this time.

11 - DM 2-7  190°  Working only about 5 hours a day, I'd kept up a pretty full schedule at work in the previous week when I'd decided to stay in Florida but by this week I was already taking days off since this entry is only one of two for the week. Also, the 190° is my weight and the ° indicates No Exercise (ie stepping) My weight rose in one week from 182 to 190 and this day's notation of my weight is the last one for the month.

15 - Out to Wylde's. Wylde's was a Levi-Leather bar on OBT, long since closed down. Being a Florida bar it was decidedly more Levi (ie redneck) than Leather (ie Bear). The real Bear bar was down up OBT aways near Parliament, Full Moon Saloon. I was not what you'd consider Levi or Leather, but it was a relaxed atmosphere bar without all the club noise, smoke and attitudes. And I didn't think I'd run into Justin here.

20 - DM only 1 hr. They didn't have 1hr. shifts of course. I remember getting in and sitting at my station and my supervisor Yolanda started giving me grief about my lack of hours. I left within a few minutes of our "discussion." I wasn't planning on ever coming back.

21 - Saw Titanic @ AMC Downtown Disney Abandoned your job and got nothing to do? Go to the movies!

22 - Saw In and Out Park II Cinema Winter Park. Out to Wylde's. Oh, and I fail to mention another even for the day...pack shit up in car again...ugh!

23 - Left Northlake for RI 10am. Stayed overnight in Weldon, NC. On the road again. 12 hours from Northlake Blvd. in Altamonte to border of North Carolina and Virginia. 

24 - Arrived Wayne's house 6:00 pm. Visited John. So I left NC early in am, got to Cranston, RI then had to look up Wayne in the phone book to find out where he lived. Went there unannounced, knocked on his door and was welcomed in. Gotta love my good ol' friends. They sure got used to the unexpected around me without batting an eye. Wayne had a previous engagement to meet with friends at a Monster Truck rally (he likes that shit, go figure?) so even though I was welcome, I felt uncomfortable in his house without him so I went to visit John C. in Providence. He also wasn't put off too much by my unexpected and unannounced visit at his doorstep a year after I'd last seen him. His house was still a mess though. Gotta say, with my entire worldly possessions all crammed in the back of my little Geo Metro, I looked around a little sadly at all the stuff I'd left him when I moved a year before to Florida. I think he may have been worried I'd ask for some of it back now that it appeared I was back.

25 - Saw Titanic again with Wayne in No. Attleboro. This theater was a lot older and smaller than Downtown Disney but the movie was just as good, of course. Wayne and I both balled our eyes out.

26 - Dinner with John... Karaoke @ Mirabar with Wayne later. Met guy named John. I don't remember where John and I had dinner. Mirabar was traditionally one of my old haunt gay bars originally located on Allens Avenue near the Providence waterfront docks. It had recently moved to the location we went this night somewhere downtown. It's long closed now of course. I don't remember this guy John.

27 - Bowling with John and Brooks team. 4 strikes in a row. My first turkey so I was thrilled, especially as I hadn't bowled in years. The Brooks team were John's co-workers. He was an IT guy at Brooks Pharmacy headquarters in Cranston. He was looking into a possible help desk job for me there. I didn't follow up much on this potential since I wasn't then at all interested in inbound call center work.

28 - Talked with Jodie @ DM - Warwick. Jodie was my team supervisor last time I worked for DM here in Rhode Island now she was the Branch Manager.

29 - Went in to DM but thwarted by bitchy attitude of Kathy Daglish, chose not to start. Now I always thought that it was Jodie who chose not to hire me since she contacted Orlando and found out I averaged about 14 hours a week there and she had a mandatory 30-hr. week rule. See why old notes from the time are good? Memory can be inconsistent. The conversation with Jodie may have been after I'd decided to not continue there? Or maybe I made the note about Kathy D. (a by the book bitch of a supervisor) placing blame there and empowering to me the decision of working there or not? I just don't remember, really.

30 - Out to Mirabar. Met Michael. Short! Hearing impaired but cute tight body. Michael was this cute hottie who approached me. We danced and made out a bit. I remember he had hearing aids but we didn't talk much. He left me his number before the night was over. BTW, while I was with this guy, Wayne was in another area of the multi-level bar with his friends, so I snuck a couple of Sam Adams. I say "snuck" because Wayne was still under the impression I was abstinent and I feel he wouldn't have taken me in if I admitted I'd gone back to drinking.

31 - Siam Square at Thayer Street with Wayne. Our old fav Thai restaurant on the East Side of Providence.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Veruca At Bay

My inner Veruca has been tamed well. My credit stabilization efforts of the past few years has progressed nicely. Here's a current rundown of my credit situation:

Major Credit Cards:

BankAmericard Cash Rewards VISA
Credit Limit: $4,000
Opened 8/11
Current Balance: $516
APR: 18.99%
Annual Fee: $39

Fairwinds Credit Union Platinum Rewards VISA
Credit Limit: $5,000
Opened 3/12
Current Balance: $0
APR: 18.00%


Chase Amazon.com VISA Rewards Card
Credit Limit: $800
Opened: 6/12
Current Balance: $0
APR: 21.24%


DISCOVER Card
Credit Limit: $3,000
Opened: 9/12
Current Balance: $0
APR: 22.99%


Citi Simplicity Card VISA
Credit Limit: $2,000
Opened 12/12
Current Balance: $0
APR: 16.99%


First National Bank of Omaha AMERICAN EXPRESS
Credit limit: $3,000
Opened 12/12
Current Balance: $657
APR: 0% on current balance, new purchases: 15.99%


Barclay Bank Choice Rewards VISA
Credit Limit: $2,000
Opened: 2/14
Current Balance: $860
APR: Intro 0% until 2/15



Merchant Credit Cards/Lines of Credit:


Walmart Credit Card
Credit Limit: $2,600
Opened 11/11
Current Balance: $180
APR: 22.9%


Dell Financial Services
Credit Limit: $3,000
Opened 11/11
Current Balance: $0
APR: 0% if paid in 12 months.



Auto Loan:


Fairwinds Credit Union Auto Loan on 2013 Chevy Spark
Initial Amount Financed: $8,000
Opened 10/13
Current Balance: $6,677
APR: 8%



Got to work next on getting these interest rates down. Not that I plan on carrying over amounts that would rack up interest charges much but it stings when I let an account carry even $500 over...that's like $6 to $10 interest! 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Timeline Of An Addict

Monday, May 26, 2014

9:25 PM: I woke up after a good eight hours satisfied that I'd caught up on some much needed sleep which I'd felt deprived of recently and that it worked towards replenishing myself. I felt a cortisol cascade, and subconsciously stretched my muscles in preparation for a healthy awake "day." (Since I work a night schedule, this is an expected time frame of waking bodily function.)

10:00 PM: I made a small pot of coffee (5 cups) and drank it along with a 12 oz. glass of Diet Coke for a nice jolt of caffeine to begin my day. I saw that I had some leftover greens to rejuvenate a healthy salad of romaine lettuce, fresh spinach, pickles and tomatoes and eliminated some of the negative foods in my fridge. I partitioned the cherry/raspberry pie I made, threw out some old salad dressings, and made a personal vow to eat healthier.

10:15 PM: I took my daily medication of Lisinopril, Metformin, Vitamins B2 and D, 81 mg Aspirin and Levothyroxin.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

12:15 AM: After taking care of some minor financial issues over the phone, I decided to browse the web and suddenly I recalled a recent waking dream where I remembered my conversation years ago with my primary care physician. During my initial introduction with her she'd evaluated my new patient questionnaire in which I'd indicated that I drank up to an average of 5 drinks per day of alcohol. She looked at me as if I was a freak of nature and asked me if I needed a prescription of Antabuse, instructing me that more than one drink per day is considered abnormal. (Actually, that's the case for women, for men it's two per day.) I'd declined it and said it was being reduced by myself (a lie). Her reaction to my honest assessment of my drinking behavior was yet another in a succession of reactions I'd received over the years to my until-then "normalized" perception of my then-current drinking habits. For my tiny social group (ie. only Ric) my drinking was not "out there."

12:30 AM: Though I've thought back to this interaction with my doctor many times and how it impacted me, I coupled its memory with my recent dissatisfaction of my increased drinking in relation to months ago with my escalating weight gain and physical difficulties resulting from these changes. I started searching sites related to not only Antabuse, but other, newer medications available for the treatment of chronic drinking.

12:45 AM: As I read several articles from various medical websites on the issue of alcoholism and alcohol dependency I started to inquire about alcohol withdrawal syndrome and the effects it has on the brain. Though I'd never in all the years I'd been drinking experienced symptoms like DTs or seizures, I related to the anxiety and excitability noted as a result of alcohol withdrawal and further read that alcohol withdrawal syndrome can result in brain damage or death. So I interpreted this as an excuse to go ahead and buy some beer since I haven't drank in a couple of days and wouldn't want to fall into a alcohol-deprived state bringing on DTs, seizure or death. Basically, I was trying to legitimize and sanction my urges to drink. Of course, it worked.

12:55 AM: I drove over to my local 7-11, bought two premium beer six-packs (New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale) for a total of $21 or so (convenience store prices) and drove home.

1:30 AM: Within 10 minutes of my arrival back home I'd sucked down three beers.

1:50 AM: I'd cooked up a six-pack of Sabrett beef franks and a 20 oz. can of Bush's maple syrup baked beans and ate it all within a few minutes.

2:30 AM: I'd consumed most of my beers by now but noticed I'd slowed down a tad. I still had 3 beers left.

5:30 AM: I woke up and looked over to my side table where a full bottle (the last one) was sitting. I'd obviously passed out, but it still looked good despite being a tad warm so I drank it and went right back to sleep for a few minutes.

6:15 AM: Feeling hungover, but not horribly so, I decided to post my night's experience online for posterity. Perhaps it will help a future me in determining the solution to my addictive ways. Good luck, future me!

Friday, May 23, 2014

SCRAPBOOK: Beep, Bop, Boop

When I was a kid in the '70s, handheld electronic games were all the rage. Here are some pics of some favorites my siblings and/or I owned:

BLIP


A dinky little PONG-like game in your hand. It actually lasted only about a month or so before it started failing. These Taiwan-made games were sold for only a few bucks and their cheap construction showed it.

ELECTRONIC FOOTBALL


Not knowing the rules of football, I had no idea how to play this. It was my brother's but we all used it. That was usually the case with these things, since, even though they were cheap there wasn't much need to have three of them. I think this one physically lasted longer than the BLIP but we lost interest in it we before it eventually would have broken.

SIMON


Now this one was really fun. A musical concentration game that got progressively more and more challenging. A testament to its popularity is simply the fact that electronic games like this are still popular to this day.

MERLIN


This too was quite popular and we loved it. This one I remember we actually would fight over so much we eventually smashed it in one of our all-out struggles for it.

160-IN-ONE ELECTRONICS CONSTRUCTION KIT


I guess 'cause I loved science my parents got me this. I'd never expressed interest in electronics per se before but this kit was really interesting. You connected wires to various leads and made little electronic tools. One tool I made was a biometric pulse emitter. It made a repeating transistor "blip" noise that was supposed to help plants grow. I put it next to a pot plant I tried germinating from seeds I got in a bag of weed I bought from the cooks at HoJo's. It didn't help.

There was another game that I really enjoyed. It was white plastic and had a grid of pressure pad squares that you pressed with a plastic little "bonhomme." I think it was a maze type game and you had electronic bleeps along with red or green LEDs that guided you along the maze that was programmed into it. When you solved one maze, it progressed to others each successively more and more difficult. Despite remembering these details about it though, I can't recall the name of it or who made it so Google is no help and I haven't stumbled across it by chance when viewing images of electronic games of this era. :(

Monday, May 19, 2014

Cocoa Beach Weekend Getaway

For the first time in a while I took a spur of the moment trip over to Cocoa Beach for the day. The weather's been perfect and I really enjoyed the beach. The surf and wind were wild yet it stayed dry and perfectly warm.

This is also my first post from my Windows Phone.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

304.8

So said the readout on the scale.

The evil, evil scale.

LIES!!!!

No, not lies, unfortunately it's the truth. It's all back. All the weight I lost last summer is back. And the way I've been behaving lately, it looks like I may be heading for even higher numbers yet.

The fatigue is back, the aches and pains, the heavy breathing when walking from my car to my door. My clothes fit tighter, I can't sleep well since I can't get into a comfortable position that will accommodate my big belly and I can't bear to look at myself in the mirror.

I feel like such a loser. Depression and apathy are starting to take hold. When will this downward spiral end?

I've tried to cut out drinking. I do okay for a couple of days but it's gotten to the point where I have to stay indoors day and night, not going outside for fear of pulling into a store and "buying." And while there, I figure I may as well get some crap food to go with the beer. They put the junk food in the same aisle as the beer. They know what they're doing, those evil grocers. Fuck you, Publix! Preying on us carb addicts.

That's what I'm inclined to think is at the root of my addictions, by the way: Carbs. The cravings I get for beer are the same I get for pasta, pizza or snack chips. All carbs. It has to be, right? I've heard of starch addictions before. Something to do with the glutens or shit like that. I guess I'll scout it out a bit more, when I feel like it.

You see, right there, that last bit I said just then..."when I feel like it." That's the dangerous part of all this mess. The apathy. Like I don't really give a shit. Huh?! I mean, who ever thinks they'd get to a point where they don't give a shit about themselves? Is there a polar opposite to narcissism? Self-loathing, I guess.

I'd type more shit about how fat and lazy I am but my pants are tight and it's uncomfortable sitting up at a keyboard. I need to sit back to make room for my massive stomach.

*Creak* Oh shit, the chair sounds like it's fixin' to break right under me.

Where's Jay with that gun when I need him?

Thursday, May 08, 2014

FLASHBACK SPECIAL: Kids Do Stupid Things

What!? A FLASHBACK SPECIAL? Okay, okay, I know. What's it been a couple years? (EDIT: A bit less than a year, it seems.)

I recently commented on Renetto's (aka Paul Robinette) vlog about a stupid prank his 16-year-old son pulled over the winter that caused the family some financial and legal trouble (it involved him dressing in a gillie suit for fun and defacing someone's automobile) and it got me thinking about some of the stupid things I've done when I was a kid. Here are a few (ie. there may be more but I'm not gonna comment on them...wink, wink):

1969: I'd just gotten a shiny new Mickey Mouse watch for my 5th birthday. I felt the urge to do endurance testing on it so I repeatedly dropped it from the third floor porch of our Olo Street tenement apartment to see if it would break. It eventually did, of course. And so did the switch my father used to whip my ass when he found out.

1971: Finding a chunk of gypsum drywall on the ground during 2nd grade recess, I discovered I could use it to write on walls. The brick wall of the school building looked like a good candidate to me. Sadly, all I could think to write was the word chalk...and to make the matter even more embarrassing, I scrawled it out as "chaulk." In the Principle's office, I was schooled on both vandalism and spelling.

1972: As I mentioned in the "Run Forest, Run" FLASHBACK SPECIAL, I "ran away" from home without a thought as to where I was going or any other necessities like food, clothing or money. But shit, I was only 7.

1972: Not really sure to this day if it was me or my sister, but one of us used a souvenir pen knife to slice some of the rubber trim off the rear passenger window of my aunt Ruth's Chevy Nova during an outing to Lake George, NY. It probably was me but at the time neither of us admitted to it when Ruth found out. Man, was she pissed.

1973: My sister and I played a little game of William Tell. Needless to say, I was the one with the bow and arrow, she held the balloon (which I totally missed) and then bore the scar in her forehead ever after to show for it.

1977: I ran away from home again, this time with a friend Mike D., also ill-planned and executed. Details listed in the prior mentioned post.

1977: Stole popsicles and ice cream bars from a Schwann's truck parked right in front of my house. The driver caught us in the act but my friends and I ran faster (away from my house, of course) than he could and he didn't know I lived right there.

1977 (a busy year for stupidity I guess): My buddy Mike D. and I broke into 2 different vacant properties. One was a creepy old fraternal order lodge right near my house and the other was an even-creepier old abandoned convent. For the latter we had to quietly hide out for hours as the afternoon slipped into the dark and scary night since some neighbor heard us smashing shit up and called the cops. We cautiously laid low somewhere on the third floor of the vast building while the cops briefly searched the first, then sat out in their car for hours. Did we hear the moans of dead nuns haunting up the place? Maybe.

1978: My friend David C. and I were trying out my new pellet gun on a railroad sign just over the town border in North Smithfield. The police pulled up within minutes. They actually took us in and our parents needed to come to the North Smithfield Police Station to pick us up. My father wasn't too upset. I think he was glad I was a little "JD" (as he would call it, ie. juvenile delinquent) like he used to be. Chip off the ol' block.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Riding The SunRail

Monday I took advantage of a free ride on the brand-new SunRail commuter railway here in the Orlando area. Opened to the public and running a regular weekday schedule since May 1st, there's no fare collection for the first two weeks and many other people not necessarily commuting to and from work were trying it out as well. And I do mean MANY other people. Some trains were filled to standing-room capacity during the first few days but the rides I got on were not too bad.

It was a great way to meet people. I sat with these tattooed country folk from Volusia County and then a threesome of "family" and struck up interesting conversations with both groups. It seemed like everyone was in a get-out-and-meet-someone mood.

I rode from the Sand Lake station just a half mile to the west of my house through downtown Orlando and to Winter Park. I joked that I went to Winter Park and had a free ride but paid $21 for breakfast.

These double-decker trains are smooth and have the potential to get up there in speed if traffic allows. Would have been great to have this ten years ago in the midst of the transportation nightmares of Koyaanisqatsi. Ah well.

Well enough of me talking about the train ride, how about you watch me on it: