Lessons from living on my own

1) Life is a constant battle—against expiration dates. Used to be, back when my sister and I lived with our folks, that we could pretty much buy any food, in whatever quantity was even remotely reasonable, and it’d be devoured before it started growing things. Not even close, now. While the most that’s gone bad on me has been some grapes and an onion, I find I’m cutting my milk and bread expirations much closer than I’d like.

2) Mopping is a pain in the ass. (I knew this before; I’ve just reaffirmed it.) Sweeping, dusting, vacuuming, washing dishes, scrubbing counters and sinks, cleaning toilets (provided they’re my own)… I’m cool with that. Give me what I need to get the job done, and I’ll do it. But sweet jeebus do I hate mopping.

3) It gets awfully quiet without others around, which is why the drunk guy outside yelling WOOOoooOOOOO!!! was created. Thank you, drunk guy. You’ve done your service well. Now please go home.

4) Some things are still shipped by train. And all the trains that pass through town—more than I ever imagined—go by my apartment. (Fun times!)

I love my new socks

Whenever I forget what I am, all I have to do is look down at my feet:


Rising again, like the phoenix

I know the question you all have on your mind: is this blog dead, or what? To answer that, I’ll just point out that a few days ago I spent the bloody time to upgrade my Movable Type install to version 3.31.

My time management skills remain dormant, however—and moving has just exacerbated everything. I’m all but done pulling my stuff out of boxes, though… feeling good about that. I also have (ultra-basic) cable, and high-speed internet, so I’m pretty much set.

I still need to mop the linoleum, though… and it seems that the trains that run next to my apartment knock up a huge amount of dust. I live on the fourth floor of my complex, and the dust has just been huge. (Yes, I’ve been keeping my windows open—looks like I’m going to have to modify that.) Ugh.

Just a few more days…

I’m more or less moved in to my new place, but getting internet access has been a major PITA. Surprisingly, most of that hasn’t been Comcast’s fault (in fact, Comcast has been the most pleasant company to deal with); most of the pain lies at the feet of Circuit City’s broken “sign up for internet through us” website. (If you want in on those types of deals, do the deed in-store! Learn from my pain!)

Long story short, I signed up for internet service—but then got cut off at the knees when I tried to order my (free after rebate!) self-install kit and modem. Without the service activation happening on the same order as the purchase of the modem et. al., I wouldn’t get my rebates—so no free stuff for me. Perhaps more importantly, no bloody internet (not even an unrestricted wireless router!) for all of this last week—and multiple hours wasted either on the phone or in repeated trips to the closest Circuit City (just under an hour-long drive). Gya.

I anticipate rejoining the modern age on a permanent basis sometime Monday, when my not-free-but-at-least-cheap cable modem arrives from NewEgg.

So, for now, I stop at my parent’s house and use their bandwidth every once in a while. There’s nothing quite like checking my email and loading as many web pages as I can for later perusal.

Note to the Dixie Chicks

Your latest album is not a rock album. You’ve failed to shed the country-rock shackles you were so desperate to flee after alienating your fanbase. (Not that I care about your political views; you’re as qualified to have your views as I am mine, and I don’t hold that against either of us. Still, though—that was a dumb career move.) Not Ready to Make Nice is the closest you come to pure rock, but… one song a CD does not make. Usually.

If my opinion isn’t enough, consider that my sister bought your album from the country section of Best Buy. There might not have been a lot of thought involved in that decision—but it’s certainly a decision made by a rather large player in the distribution channel.

(Incidentally, I haven’t listened enough to be able to tell if this album is good country-rock; that will have to wait for repeated listening. As for country-rock versus rock, though… uh… I know it when I hear it.)

There’s no point unless you goal

(The above is a bit of wisdom from Battle Athletes Victory.)

I’m finishing up a few details, but am all but moved into my apartment. I’m using the term “moved” in a literal sense, meaning “all my stuff is in the apartment.” Next up is getting things into a semblance of order.

The downside of this move is that I’ll be cut off from the internet for a while. If I want cheap internet access, I need to be a Comcast customer first—and the Comcast guy isn’t going to be out to provide me with ultra-basic cable until Thursday. Add in the setup time to get cable internet after that, and… unless someone’s foolish enough to provide unprotected wireless internet, I’m going to drop off the map for a while. Not that y’all would notice, the way I’ve been sporadically posting lately.

Profanity index: green

Profanity and I have a bizarre sinusoidal relationship: there are periods where I swear like a sailor, and then there are periods where I’m all but repulsed by swearing. My peaks tend to occur when I swear enough to offend myself; I have no idea when the opposite extreme occurs.

At the moment I’m ready to physically cringe every time I hear someone casually swear (though, at the moment, I still have a bit of a potty mouth myself); without fail, it ends up sounding so horribly childish, so terribly hollow, that I actually feel sorry for the person.

Swearing because you feel pain is another game entirely, however. At least there’s legitimate force behind those words, in those instances.

Crazy crane… kids

Last Thursday evening, Brian and I went to the downtown Beanery per tradition. When we arrived, damn near everybody was outside, staring up at the building under construction across the street. A number of police officers were on the scene, as were an ambulance and a fire truck. While Brian plowed his way to the door, I stopped and chatted with the first group of people we passed to find out what was going on.

A bunch of guys had climbed up the crane being used in the building’s construction. They were apparently quite loud… until the police showed up. Then they got reeeeeal quiet. (I clarified that these were just stupid guys, not suicidal guys.)

This unusual experience (hey—this is a small town!) had sucked all the people out of the Beanery as if the place were on fire. The Beanery staff even took the opportunity to put all the unused chairs up for the evening, the place was so dead inside.

There was a decent line of customers, though, even if they all chose to sit outside. Of note was a cute EMT who was getting a cup of joe; as I told Brian, I was tempted to call 911 to find out who she was.

Before we ordered, Brian asked the Beanery staff if they had put those kids up to climbing the crane in an effort to drum up business. One of the gals we don’t know as well called that the most horrible thing she’s heard all evening. Ashley—the gal we know better—just said “no.”

After we obtained our food, we trucked outside—to rubberneck the rubberneckers (meta-rubbernecking, if you will). The people actually weren’t all that interesting to watch; more fun were the group of officers across the street, huddled together and sharing one set of binoculars to try and see what in the world was going on up at the top of the crane. (The idea of officers fighting over binoculars amused—and amuses—me to no end.) Brian thought he saw one officer on the roof of the building (ostensibly part of a sweep for other people), but otherwise there just wasn’t much action.

Brian also commented on a difference in styles: had we climbed up the crane, we would have just sat quietly and enjoyed the view—and most likely wouldn’t have attracted the attention of the fuzz.

As we chatted inside the Beanery, right before it closed, we heard that the guys on the crane had come down without incident. I was disappointed, because if they had stayed up there longer we would have had the perfect opportunity to break the law anywhere in town that wasn’t near the end of Second Street.

Twenty-five MPH? HA!

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