Thursday, May 31, 2007
Well first off as a whole my family when moving had a lot of crap. Really you never really know how much junk you have until you move. We seemed to accumulate more junk when we lived in a house as opposed to an apartment. I'd say I'm kind of a packrat. I mean really I don't keep a lot of stuff. I have lots of things but they are small and minimal and don't take much room and are light weight.
I (my family included) used to keep everything I owned in clear Rubbermaid containers and only took out what was needed then put it back. It helped in the yearly packing process, and took less time than finding boxes and filling them with my junk.
But as anywhere you live you accumulate a lot of stuff, and you never really know how much till you move. Seemed like everytime I moved I'd have a new Rubbermaid box that came along with me.
A few moves back I stopped to see what on earth I had that I had to take with me. Going through these boxes I realized I had a lot of junk. Old magazines, empty boxed inside of empty boxes. Receipts for things I threw away, tons of loose pennies, (which I rolled and cashed in). Lots of electronic wires, and computer stuff, things I didn't need anymore. I spent a whole weekend going through it all and throwing away useless trash.
Now it's not to say that I'm a packrat that keeps everything. Just things that remind me of the past, little trinkets from here and there that brings back memories. All of them carefully stored away nice and neat to go through at a later time and reminisce. But too I also have the boxes of hastily thrown crap from sudden out of the blue, (in other words "pack your stuff now we've got to go") kind of moves.
Having somewhat settled down my stuff is really no longer in boxes. I've just about everything out and in it's place. However recently a few months ago I did notice that I was becoming cluttered with junk again. So I made a special trip to The Container Store. (Don't know if you have those in GA, Beth, but you probably do, I think their nationwide, I think). Anyways it's a organizers Mecca or boxes, bags, organizers, anything imaginable to store stuff in.
I went in was taken back by all the stuff and bought things to store my loose items at home. I bought the same Rubbermaid boxes, for clothes and misc items. Nice cool manly boxes to store some colognes, and other products. A nice storage unit for my cabinetless bathroom. And some more misc, stuff to put my junk in. All in all a good hall. So I organized all my junk and put it away. I have nice neat resting places for my records, tapes and CD's, DVD's etc.
All my packratish gypsy stuff I've collected over the years, which really isn't much but still. I don't know why I have a box of receipts of stuff I don't even own anymore, I really need to throw that one away.
Where was I???...oh yes. Anyways I'm a semi-clean packrat. My junk is neat and organized and I did keep only the basics from things from the past. But that's me. After organizing my stuff I felt funny. Not that it was all put away nice and neat and could easily be moved in an instant if necessary. No it wasn't the feeling of moving now that I boxed all my stuff, that got to me. I think it was the feeling that I spent about $150 on empty boxes and storage at this store. What was I thinking!!?? I could've spent less than half that at Wal-Mart. So lesson learned? Yes, next time I'm gonna be a more economical packrat.
Well hope that answers your question. Oh and from one more answer to a question a friend asked me. No I don't speak gibberish like Brad Pitt in Snatch. Well, at least my folks can understand me, anyways from my own brand of gibberish. I have been told I have an odd accent despite the fact I'm from Texas, and it isn't a Texas Southern accent. I dunno how'd you'd describe it. English/Spanish/French/Latin kinda thing going on is the best I could say. Do I speak all three, "Oui". But that's another story.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
I decided to pan fry some shrimp and make noodles with lemon butter sauce. (I can cook now, I've been learning and getting pretty darn good at it).
AD: I'm going to make you something more than soup for dinner.
MTG: Shut up wretched. (She says jokingly)
I'm forever teasing MTG about eating soup. If you know her it seems like that's all she ever eats. That or South Beach Diet or Weight Watchers crap. Yes I call it crap. Ok so maybe like that sesame taco South Beach thing tasted ok, but for the most part its crap. MTG seems to be always cautious about what she eats and runs every chance she gets. But still every so often I like when she eats food and not some tiny microwave bowl of soup or some diet stuff that smells god awful.
I take out the ingredients from the fridge and cupboard and set them in an order to easily be used and accessed when needed. I heat my pan for the shrimp and start some water heating to boil the noodles.
MTG flips through one of my books I have about and just stares at me smiling. I put some olive oil and a spat of butter in the pan to cook the shrimp in and let it get nice and hot before I sauté the shrimp. I watch as the butter and oil combine letting off a wondrous aroma.
MTG: Can I ask you a question?
AD: Ask of me anything and I will only answer in truth.
MTG: Why did you move so much growing up? You weren't military or anything like that. So I don't understand.
My gypsy life, it always comes back to me in one form or another.
AD: It's hard to explain. The easiest explanation is that I moved due to my parents work situation.
I'm always asked about my upbringing. It's a very odd story one that would take many pages and time to tell. Of course all of your stories would as well I'm sure dear readers.
Most people think that we moved cause of military life, which is not the case. Or that we were perhaps migrant workers. Not the case either. No my parents were never really happy were they were. They wanted the best for me and my brother there is no doubt about that. But in doing so uprooted us many times.
My mum really was the only one that worked. My dad had to retire very early on. He contracted polio as a child and in his late 30's early 40's he had what's called post-polio syndrome. Where he pretty much suffered as much if not more than the original disease. I watched him go from moderately strong physically to very weak in a matter of years. His muscles deteriorating more and more with every year. But he tried to work more and more, doing what he could. He even took a job after he retired from his original one. Only to be beaten by the disease into submission and eventually had to realize he couldn't work anymore.
This hurt him the most. But he was at least always at home for us doing what he could. My mom worked various jobs but eventually worked her way into the hospital where she's been working for countless years.
I explain to MTG that we've been moving from town to town for years in search of something better. My parents never quite satisfied with our surroundings, or moved due to work transfers from my dad's old job. Basically we've been up and down the I-35 corridor in Texas. Usually moving around Aug or Sept of every year since as far back as I can remember. Some moves good some ending really bad.
It's a learning experience never really calling any place home, having no roots to tell people about when they ask you. You learn to live differently and adapt to new places and people, especially as a kid going to a different school every year and always being the new kid. I've lived in just about every situation imaginable, meeting new people along the way, making friends and more, only to be ripped away from them in a years time. Or so it felt.
I could go on forever and explain in detail the things I've seen and done that some people would never experience in a lifetime. But it's too long and too late to type it all down.
MTG: Do you ever feel the need to move right now?
AD: I do. Very much so.
Moving has become part of me. I don't really call where I live now home. I've been in this place a little over 6 years now. It's one of the longest places I've ever stayed. But do I call it home, I do, it's a dwelling, but in my heart it's not home. I'm not sure where home is, or what exactly it would feel like. I'm sure when I find it I'll know. I hope I know. I often wonder this and for whatever reason think of Metallica's "Where Ever I May Roam" in my head as cliched as that is. Although I think I have lived a good majority of the lyrics. But times are when I'm "at home" that I look around me. Six years is a long time to stay in one place. Sure I could leave, but my things are no longer mobile. Everything is fixed and has it's place. But I get the itch sometimes. I get anxious and upset and itchy in my fixed environment. It feels like somethings not right, that I should be on the move, especially come Aug or Sept. It calls to me like some phantom beckoning me to the unknown. But I resist and deal with it. This is what it's like to have roots, I tell myself. No more running.
AD: I don't want to go. Not right now. I'm happy here. I'm making this home for as long as possible. Besides I feel at home here with you.
MTG: (Laughs) That'll get you some extra points.
AD: I know.
I take the shrimp out of the pan and drain the noodles. I take the lemon butter reduction off the burner and let it cool just a bit before pouring some over the shrimp and noodles.
MTG opens a bottle of wine and pours us some glasses and hands me one as I set the table.
MTG: To Home
AD: To Home, It's where the heart is.
It's a God awful small affair To the girl with the mousey hair But her mummy is yelling, "No!"And her daddy has told her to go But her friend is no where to be seen Now she walks through her sunken dream To the seats with the clearest view And she's hooked to the silver screen But the film is sadd'ning bore For she's lived it ten times or more She could spit in the eyes of fools As they ask her to focus on
Sailors Fighting in the dance hall
Oh man! Look at those cavemen go
It's the freakiest show
Take a look at the lawman
Beating up the wrong guy Oh man!
Wonder if he'll ever know
He's in the best selling show
Is there life on Mars?
The drive seems uneventful, I'm about 10 minutes away from home. Suddenly time slows down. I'm going 70 but I'm stuck in a time warp. My windows are rolled down and I can feel the rush of wind from the cars across my arm and face and they pass by.
Looking straight forward I see a car veer into another lane hitting another car and another. They all slam into the baracade just over an overpass. Red lights start flashing infornt of me and cars begin to stop and end up slamming into each other. Then my time warp ends, I'm going 70 + mph into a mess of jumbled cars and metal. I can't stop, my brakes don't work.
But I'm not scared. I see what's coming, I'm prepared. I hit it dead on. I hear metal crushing around me, glass shattering, dreadful awful noises all around me. Then the darkness and quiet. I feel like I'm floating suddenly in a void of darkness. No light around me, but it's peaceful. Did I die? What the hell? I'm still not scared just impatient. Damn it what's going on?
Then I hear a voice. A strong voice. "Get up!! Get up, Damn you!! It's not time!! It's not time to die! You've got a hell of a lot of work to do before then! Get up!!" I see myself laying face down on the ground, my eyes opened. I feel warm blood coming out of my mouth, but there's no air in my lungs. I'm alive I'm messed up bad. I can't remember how to breathe. I can't remember, so I decide to cough, cough long and hard coughs. The blood making awful gargling sounds as it comes out of my lungs. I push myself upwards on my arms. There's no pain but I have blood everywhere. I hear the voice again, "Get up!! Stand up!! Shake it off!!" I make it to my feet dazed but ok. Not shock no nothing. I just look at the mess and walk away.
Then I wake up. It's 3 am. Still a few hours before work. Weird dream, did I stop breathing or something during my dream? Who knows. Then the song plays again in my head:
Sailors Fighting in the dance hall
Oh man! Look at those cavemen go
It's the freakiest show
Take a look at the lawman
Beating up the wrong guy Oh man!
Wonder if he'll ever know
He's in the best selling show
Is there life on Mars?
Hell of a way to wake up. It's the freakiest show.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
BFB: (Best Friend and Boss) "Someone's gotta save the world."
AD: Just chuckles, to myself.
This is most funny this saying to me. One of my best friends happens to be my boss. She asked me to come work for her and I did. It's been the best decision I've ever made. We can speak candidly to each other without bothering each other, we've known each other for so long that we have that ability.
Recently the office has had it's little spats, more like clicks turning against one another. None of the teams are really that close anymore. I do what I can to keep everyone laughing and in general, trying to kill each other. The thing with the office is that we've all worked with each other before. Basically when the big bank we all worked for before closed, they got rid of their special ops unit and so we went our separate ways. The attorney my friend works for decided that we could do for him what we used to do for our old job. So basically its just our old crew. So we can speak our minds to each other cause we've all worked with each other long enough that well...we just can.
Anyways, it's been rather stressful at work with these little explosions of emotions. Pterodactyl Lady went off the edge last week cause Mr. Dry Toast caused everyone to move again cause he kept complaining about the glare from the window. Even I was annoyed by this cause I got the direct sunlight from the window and I didn't say anything. Anyways long story short their little war escalated into a shouting match. It got ugly. So much so that I said "F this" and took vacation till tomorrow. But last week before I left I spent some time with my friend.
She's a very good person. She's only 26 a few months older than me. But she looks years older from the stress of the office and her home. She's got odd parental units, that makes her life...lets just say more interesting than necessary. Anyways, she's really going gray. Like literally gray headed. Not a good sign and she's got a lot of stress. She does any and everything for our main bosses the attorneys and will bend the earth to get whatever it is that they need. I worry about my friend cause even though she's on salary and has to do boss type things, there is no reason why she should be working 24/7 for our bosses and I tell her that everytime I get. She's literally running herself into the ground and I know when she crashes there'll be hell to pay.
It's a sad thing watching a friend do this to themselves.
AD: Why do you do this to yourself? Take a break!
BFB: Yeah right?! When? If I'm not working here then I have to do something for my parents at home. Sometimes I prefer being stressed her than at home.
BFB's parents are good folks. They just make life harder than necessary. Always paranoid about something going on with her. Or doing odd things that make life a little bit harder. It's too long to explain here.
AD: You know you can relegate more responsibilities to us. It would take the stress of you doing everything yourself. You can't do it all you know.
BFB: I have to. I have to do it all myself. "Someone's gotta save the world."
Now I read comics and have for a long time. In fact my office wall has a giant Superman poster the really cool Alex Ross one. So for her to say something like this got me laughing. Of course she doesn't read comic books. So this gives me reason to use a perfect analogy.
AD: Do you know about the JLA?
AD: The JLA? Justice League of America
AD: The JLA is a group of super-heroes consisting of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and various others. They came together because on their own they could save the world a few times. But as with all heroes that handle things on their own, they don't always win or survive on their own. Sometimes they'd loose on their own. So during a great battle, they realized that they were loosing by fighting by themselves. So the only way they could win was to team up together to beat the enemy. Thus saving the planet. Only by coming together could they win without exhausting themselves completely.
BFB: (sighs) I get ya. But still, everything is on me. If something goes wrong I have to answer.
AD: But by using the teams more efficiently those chances decrease significantly.
BFB: Whatever (she said with a smile)
I shake my head and start to walk out of her office.
AD: "Remember, even super-heroes loose from time to time." I say as I walk out.
Back to work tomorrow.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Hello boys and girls. Today we have a new game as taught me by Gizmorox. What you do is a friend gives you a letter and you have to list ten of your favorite things that start with that letter. I've been given the letter "D". So lets see what I can come up with shall we?
I've loved dinosaurs. Ever since I was a kid I have always been fascinated by them. My parents bought me a wall sized poster of every known dinosaur of the time way back when when I was just a wee little DJ. I remembered each and every single dinosaur name and backgroung to every dinosaur on that poster that all anyone had to do was point to a dino and I could tell them everything about it. Needless to say I was head over heels when Jurassic Park came out at the movies. I literally saw it 10 times at the movies itself and countless times on VHS and later on DVD. Sadly my love of dinosaurs wained. Sure I still love them, but I couldn't tell you the names of them all or their traits anymore. Sometimes I wish I could, but I'll make do with remembering the basics.
2. DJ (Disc Jockey) Hmmm...now I love music and on occasion I do DJ at parties etc. I started very young. And as you probably read from previous posts I still have tapes of me from when I was like 7 or 8 when I did my own DJ thing dubbing over DJ's from the radio and putting my own spin on things. I've always like music but I didn't really get into the whole DJ thing till right around after high school. And I do use vinyl when DJ'ing at times. I don't really thing being a DJ and not spinning vinyl qualifies you for that title if you don't do some spinning and scratching.
3. Depeche Mode: A band that starts with D. he he. I remember this as they were my first ever concert. I went with my big bro, and had the time of my life. I've been hooked on them ever since. Even my mobile rings "Enjoy the Silence".
4. Drinking: Not just water, juice etc, mind you. I mean getting nice and toasted every so often. Just enough to make you feel good but not drunk. Note that I have never ever been drunk. Which really surprises me cause I can drink a lot. Recently asked what my max intake was in one night, I had a shocking answer to the person who asked me this. From what I remember, I finished two cases of beer, (cases mind you not 6 packs) a 6 pack of Smirnoff, 20 Bourbon and cokes (I kid you not, btw this is always my drink of choice. It's to me like the Vesper is to 007), 5 apple martini's, and two tequila shots. And honestly all that got me to was when I stood up I immediately crossed my legs and yelled, "OMG!!! Where's the bathroom!!??" I know that sounds like a lot, but I've only done that once. Really honestly only once. Not to say I've never killed a couple of six packs since then but I always strive to be careful. Too many drunks in the family, I don't want to follow suit.
5. DVD (Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc) Ah gone are the days of chunky VHS tapes. I still have plenty and always try to rid myself of them at garage sales only to have people spend lots of time rummaging through the tapes and buying maybe one. It seems like we've had this device since forever. But really it's only really been mainstream since 2003. Doesn't seem like that long ago eh? I bought my first DVD player at Best Buy and still have it, works ok, but it sits collecting dust since I've upgraded since then. DVD are cheap and give better quality, or good enough for me anyways. I'm not really big on the whole HDTV thing, but it still looks good. Now though I worry. Seems like Sony is in a push to cram Blue-Ray down our throats and is already winning that war against Toshiba and Matsushita against HD-DVD. Looks like I'll be having to upgrade and rebuy every movie I own again. Oh and in case you don't know that in a year or two (2009) you WILL have to buy an HD-TV or HD-TV Tuner as all television signals will only be sent in digital and not analog anymore. So if you're still without cable and want to pick up local you still have to buy a tuner just to get reception. I kid you not, this is now law. Google it, HD-TV law and you'll see for yourself.
6. Dido- Another favorite artist that starts with D. I love her music. It gets me, and I get it. It's somber but pretty. It's not too poppy, but pop enough. It just feels good to me so I like it. Not to mention I think she's drop dead gorgeous.
7. Duvet. Yes it's a cover I know. But a cover on your bed makes a whole room. And the quality makes it so much more better. My friend called me crazy when I bought a 700 thread count Egyptian Cotton duvet. I'm sorry but I know that sounds crazy (the $250.00 was so worth it), but I have to sleep on and in this thing a lot. And I dunno about you but when it comes to sleep I want the best. And it makes the whole bedroom decor too. I'm nuts I know this, just humor me and my overpriced bed linens.
8. Dress Shirts - I'm not talking about the ones you can get at Wal-mart or Target even Sears. I'm talking about a true good fitting (there is a difference) dress shirt. In particular a white long sleeve button up shirt. One that you tuck into your pants, not the trend now days to go around unkempt in a dress shirt. But white shirts are the best. I'm partial to Brooks Brothers myself, and every time I make a trip to Houston I pick me up a couple at the store there. Of course I do have a few tailor made ones from a local shop in town. Now I know what your thinking. Dress shirts? Is he nuts. I am, but that's besides the point. A good dress shirt should fit a man like a glove. It's not paunchy, it's not scratchy, it's not overly long or too short, and the collar shouldn't cut off circulation to your head when buttoned up. It should be fitted to your form so it doesn't look like you've buttoned a blanket around your tummy. Most men though don't preceive the difference in a good "fitted" dress shirt and thus have a bad view of them. But if you get one that actually fits you and is made from good material, it's a world of difference. Oh and if a guys really lucky, nothing looks better on his gal than seeing her in your dress shirt. You know you've been there, don't lie!! :P BTW I guess you could say I'm kinda GQ. Hey but what can you say when your Pop got you subscription when you were 12, been reading it ever since and Esquire too.
9. The Death Star. I'm a big Star Wars fan. Not a Star Wars freak, just a fan. So you can imagine my little mind going crazy when I saw the movie for the first time and seeing that massive ship blowing all the little ones out of space and blowing up a planet and then blowing up itself. Very cool. I'm easily entertained by it.
10. Decanting. In particular wine. I like wine. I must've got that from my mum. Don't get me wrong I like beer too and my choice of drink is always Bourbon. But wines is on the top of my list was well. But to me, every man should know how to properly decant wine or for that matter any alcoholic drink that sediment builds up in. Honestly do you like it when you get a glass with a bunch of nasty looking little floating things in it? (Lil' Fishies as I call them) No way. So why serve it to anyone else that way? Having a properly decanted wine brings out the wine so much more. Trust me even in a bottle that looks crystal clear, when properly decanted you'll see and taste the difference, trust me. Not to mention knowing and putting it to use scores points with dinner guest or your date. Trust me it's worth knowing how to do. Here's a link to learn how.
So hope you liked my answers. If anyone else would like to play, drop me a line or comment and I'll be more than happy to give you a letter to play with.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Now I think this is a most noble idea. Why use a word that is demeaning and causes all manner of ill conveyance to people. But there is a problem. As long as people talk, the word will never go away. What bothers me more is that in most sense and in general terms the only people that are able to use this word without other people really caring are people of colour. (black people not to put too fine a point on it.) One of the many places I grew up in was in a very diverse neighborhoods. Especially when living in Austin. Most if not all of my friends were black. And even though I was not black I was referred to as by my nickname back then as "Shifty N***er", as I was constantly on the move. As a child I had no idea what this word meant or the significance behind it. All I knew is that people used it on each other and it was usually for kicks or just everyday slang. It wasn't until I moved from a primarily all black community to a Hispanic one that I became informed that to use this word was very wrong. But I was so confused as everyone I knew used it.
I'm not saying that people who use it are right. It's not a good word, but it's used so much and when used by a certain group of people a single word can convey totally different meanings. The "N" word has meaning to people who use it, either meaningfully or jokingly. It's all in the context. So why you may ask am I bringing this up. Well the other day I was talking to my mum. She's a nurse and works at the hospital with people of various backgrounds. There was a very nice old (as in late 60's) nurse that worked there up until recently. She had worked at this hospital for years on end, literally never missed a day unless called for and was one of the best nurses there is in their field. Why was she let go after so many years of service to this one hospital? Because she used the "N" word, it just slipped out. Here's what happened.
Apparently the staff was having a pot luck. Everybody brought stuff etc, you know the drill. Someone had brought an assortment of doughnuts. Now with out thinking really and just one of those things that pops out of your mouth. She couldn't decide what to pick. So out came, "Eenie, Meenie, Miny, Moe, Catch a "N***er" by the Toe". Unfortunately she was not alone when she said that. And a new nurse who so happened to be black and was only like her first week there or something, got very upset and caused such a big stink that the hospital let this older nurse go.
Now I know that the use of this word it bad. I don't condone it in anyway. But this woman didn't mean to use it on purpose. It was just something she said, something that she grew up hearing. We were taught "Catch a Tiger by the Toe" our parents were taught "Catch a "N***er by the Toe". Huge world of difference. But how can you really change something that has been ingrained into your upbringing and you've never been taught otherwise? No she didn't mean to do it on purpose, and yes it was a dreadfully awful choice of words. But how far do you take the matter? She apologized immediately to the nurse that she offended. It just slipped out.
I know it did, as my dad does this all the time and I get after him. It's just part of what he knows, and how he grew up. He calls liqourice pieces "N***er Toes". We'll be at the store and in the candy isle he'll say loudly without thinking, "Where are the N***er Toes?" I which point I shudder and firmly but silently tell him "Dad are you nuts, you're not supposed to say that!!" And then he remembers and calls them the candy the right name. But my point is it's just something that will always be with him, its ingrained in him to use this word in this context the was that nurse used it in the context of making a choice.
Now you're probably thinking. What would someone like me know about using the "N" word or racial profiling in general. Well I have experience. I remember it well. I know what it's like being seen differently. One of my most memorable experiences growing up was in Austin TX. For a brief time we lived on the North Side of Austin. In a very affluent neighborhood. And just like everyone else me and my older bro had to go to school. So we went to register. Only to be told that both my brother and myself would have to go to a school on the opposite end of town, as the north side schools already had their allotment of minority children and would be accepting no more. Now these were public schools not private ones we were told this at. I remember having to go an hour to and and hour from school everyday for a whole year because as the register at the school told us, it would be better if we were among our own minority group for our schooling. I will always remember that. I will never forget it.
It doesn't make it right either way, but how far do we take a matter like this before it blows up and huge matter? I feel at a loss when things are taken so far out of context that people push and push before all matter of their speech is deemed as wrong. Again I'm not saying it's right, I'm saying that if there is to be justice, justice can not always be blind. Justice in a matter like this has to be used in context. No matter how enraged people become over a matter. You have to look at it from all sides before becoming incensed to have someone fired. It's not like this lady didn't apologize, she did. It just happened, so move on. But today's society that is not possible. One word spoken becomes another persons platform for a personal vendetta to use it to spread like wild fire. The tongue is a two edge sword. It's words can heal or cut to the bone. It's how we use it that defines us.
Anyways that's my rant for today. I have more to write later but it's late and time for bed.
Needless to say work has been busy with it's own challenges. But for the most part going fairly well. And I managed to close a heck of a lot of cases. Whoohoo!!
An interesting thing happened the other day, while I was at the bookstore. I met a man who (I kid you not) looked just like Buffalo Bill. At first I thought this man was crazy, and in fact he wasn't all upstairs anyways but he was very nice. I actually wanted to get a picture of him but was too afraid to ask. It's not every day you meet a cowboy.
For some odd reason a lot of people that aren't from Texas (mostly other countries) think that it's a state with cowboys etc. Which nothing is further form the truth. There's hardly any here (true cowboys). People don't walk around in cowboy hats and chaps and say "y'all" all the time. (Ok so maybe we do say y'all all the time but still) I find it particularly funny when my friends from Japan come and visit, since this is what they expected. So you can imagine my surprise when Buffalo Bill (that's not his real name but I'm just going to call him that) walked into the bookstore and was perusing the shelves. At first the thought crossed my mind that this guy probably was loaded with guns and was going to shoot the place up. But upon actually meeting him while browsing through the magazines, he was very nice, and very nice to talk to. I still would've liked to get a picture. Oh well, see ya around cowboy.
In other news, I was surprised today by MTG. (Mix Tape Girl) She's been very busy lately so we haven't been seeing a lot of each other but always calling. Anyways she said she had a surprise for me today. And she did, she wanted to know if I wanted to go to Santiago for a few weeks next month. My reply: "Whoohoo!!" I mean yes I would like to go." So a huge plus that I've well over a month of vacation as I really didn't take much of it from last year, I'll be spending a couple of weeks up...way down south next month. Yay!! A new stamp for my passport.
Oh and last Friday my day was made (as it was a rather naff day) when while listening to XM online, a new song came out. By non other than the Smashing Pumpkins. I nearly fell out of my chair. The group of my not so distant adolescence, that fueled my awkward rebellion and yet another group that got me through my gypsy like upbringing was back again. Yay!!! Their new song is called Tarantula. I forget what their new album is going to be called. Starts with a Z, anyways that got me excited beyond belief. Although I believe the only original Pumpkins will be Corgan and Chamberlin. Iha definately said no from what I've looked up and there's no word on D'arcy Wretzky. But still something to look forward too. I shall have to blog about a whole day spent with one of my cousins going from store to store looking for a Pumpkins DVD...wait..ahem..VHS that came out way back when. He was an even bigger fan than I was.
Monday, May 14, 2007
I finally got my desktop PC up and running. Though I would actually call it a desktop. I built the thing with my friend and the actual shell is about twice the size of a normal PC. Anyways after it all crashed I decided to upgrade. So basically we remodeled the case and it's pretty much invisible and glows an eerie red from a light we installed in side. It look very cool and menacing at night. We've dubbed it the Death Star. It's that evil looking, but runs great. Sadly the hard drive that went kaput wasn't able to have any info saved. So having only backed up about half my music, I'm re-recording to my PC. Which is taking hours on end. But it's ok. I'm putting mixes and records and such that I've never put on there before. I'm copying my tape and vinyl to the PC too.
I'm actually very proud of myself today. I cooked. And I cooked very very good. Ok I should say I bar-b-q'ed very well. I had a feeling to bar-b-q and just had to do it. So after work I went to the meat market and picked up some short ribs and a few steaks and a few other things. And some fish. Now I usually stink at cooking fish. Ok well cooking in general. (Honestly I literally burnt microwave oatmeal. Don't ask, just know I've done this.) But every so often the stars align in heaven or whatever and I get a cooking bug and when I do, brother can I cook. So I asked Mix Tape Girl over and her sister since they had nothing to do. I cooked for them, etc. But I was determined to get my fish right. I can do it ok in the oven, lightly breaded with olive oil and it comes out great, along side a rice pilaf which I'm fairly good at making too. But thus far my attempts at BBQ fish have been less than stellar. Today I was determined.
Cleaning my fish thoroughly (catfish if your wondering) I decided what spices to use. I've never actually had much success at spicing up fish. And I hate using Old Bay spice all the time for it. So reaching into the spice cabinet I took out a bunch of stuff, determined to make it work. Kosher Salt, Pepper, a little dash of cayenne pepper, lemon salt, garlic salt and fresh lime juice made my marinade . It smelled pretty good. I just hoped it cooked ok. I wrapped it in foil into a small steam tent and placed it on the grill. Mesquite wood burning, nothing but the good stuff. I let it sit for about 15 minutes. Having prepared some rice and ranch style beans (from the can of course) dinner was about ready. The steaks were sizzling and resting inside with the ribs. Only thing left was the fish. I took it out. It was cooked. It smelled ok. But only if it tasted ok.
MTG made an awesome salad which after I ate would've been enough on its own. It was really good, fresh lettuce, spinach, a few other leafy things, sliced strawberries, peaches, walnuts, almonds, jicama, cucumber, avocado. She makes a mean salad. So I decided to try the fish. It didn't smell fishy which is good. I took a bite. To my delightful surprise it tasted good. In fact better than good. It was wonderful. MTG ate some too and loved it. I was beaming with joy. I finally concurred my fish failures.
After a delightful dinner we watched Music and Lyrics, which I thought was very good. Although I am quite fond of Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore so I'd probably like it anyways. But it was about the music and that hooked me.
Oh and since all my records and albums are out including long lost tapes. MTG sis went through my stuff. Ultimately finding my very first DJ recordings of myself from when I was like 8. Thoroughly embarrassed as her and MTG listened to my squeaky little voice DJ and whatnot to music and the like. MTG said for being 8 I was spot on. As if. But still it felt good to hear.
Oh and I've been thinking about getting a PS2. Simply for the fact that I still have and every so often play my PS1 and Dreamcast. I know I'm so out of date. And the price is so low now, its actually worth it. So I went to the store today Best Buy. They had a nice silver model there. But I didn't want to get it right then and there. I thought to myself do I really want to get it just to play this one game that's coming out. Do I want to get this thing for one game? I starred at it for a while. I thought I might become one of those weird crusty otaku gamer guys "Gamestore Girl" always blogs about. Then it happened. A rather scarry young looking otaku gamer guy that was very VERY CRUSTY came up behind me. He smelled horrendous and his hair was like nothing I've ever seen. I swear he looked like a dirty mop. He pushed me aside to get the silver PS2. He grunted and huffed on bending over. His XXXL Spider-man Venom T-shirt stretched to its max, looking like a can of popped biscuits. Looked like Venom after he retired or something. (That's mean I know I apologize). I gasped and decided. I think I can wait. That game I want to play will still be around. No worries. I can wait a while to get a game station. I just don't want to be a scary otaku gamer guy.
I would've wrote something profound and nice but like I said I'm tired and sleepy and snuggled up in my duvet. I have written some more things that are like that. I'll try to post them later. But for now, this update will suffice. To all my like 6 or 7 readers anyways. Will write more later. Night night bloggie world people.
PS: Next post I must tell you that I met Wild Bill (The cowboy guy).
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
For some odd reason where ever I go people have to talk to me. Not that I mind, but I always attract the odd-ball that won't shut up and talks about pointless mindless nothing. It's freak magnetism that I have for some reason. I'm the person at the party that gets singled out by the one person that talks and talks and talks. I get stuck in a corner and can't get a word in edge wise.
Talker: So then she said...."Blah blah blah blah blah"
AD: Oh yeah, well maybe next time, it'll go better.
Talker: No, but when it happened "blah blah blah" (He's oblivious to the fact that I'm trying to escape from his talkative grasp.)
I usually just end up and space out while staring at these types of people. I hear them but don't hear them. I dunno, I just attract people like this. These are the kind of people that must always be talking. Tele glued to their ear. And if they aren't talking on their mobile or regualr telephone, they're talking to you.
I should have known I would have this kind of attraction of people towards me. It started way back when. I was a little kid, and again in one of the many places I've lived at was an apartment complex. There was this upstairs neighbor kid that wouldn't shut up. He'd come over knock on the door and invite himself over. He ask for me and go to my brother and I room. He'd come and just start talking. I remember first meeting him and thinking "who is this kid". Everyday he'd come over and talk with me. Never silent, never ending, just blah blah blah.
Now I have friends that talk a lot. But I want to hear what they have to say. Ok so at times I do tune them out. But for the most part I pay attention. But there are times when people that are just acquaintances, and that I don't feel comfortable with just talk to me.
Like the time I worked for a bank processing real estate loans. A new guy came in. Went through training and everything. But he sucked. He really sucked. He couldn't get the work done. He was smart enough. But to get him on track they gave him to me to buddy up with. (Thanks boss) He immediately started pouring out his hear to me. Poor guy's girlfriend just left him, after some number of years. And he told me right off the bat, "I feel comfortable talking to you. I dunno why." I replied, "That's fine, but lets focus on getting your work done before you tell me about this other baggage." Needless to say for the month that he lasted he talked to me all the time. Every single problem, any little thing. Blah blah blah blah blah. When he was let go, I was sad to see him go cause of his problems. But then again I was happy to be in the surreal bliss of silence once more.
Then it reminds me of the time that I was sick with the flu. I was at home watching the Price is Right eating soup. I don't know why but just watching the Price is Right and seeing Bob Barker and eating soup just makes you feel so much better no matter how crummy you feel. It's like a magic pill. It's comforting. But then my comfort was shattered. A guest arrived, my arch nemesis (a long story I must tell sometime, and yes he is my arch nemesis). He came in and started talking. I've never really liked him and I sure as hell hated him now. Every time Bob would start talking, he would start talking. I appreciated the visit, but he was just talking on and on. Utter non-sense, just bloody awful inconsiderate crap about other people. My patience grew thin. I think it finally broke when he started to re-arrange my record collection. "You know, thanks for the visit, but I really don't appreciate you doing that." He looked at me and got the hint and left. My noise came back to me of the game show. Bob's voice telling Rod to call on down the next contestant. The comfort slowing creeping back to me.
Now why would I write about this? Well today, I was in the loo at work. (TMI, I know) And sitting there another guy comes in. I recognize his shoes. It's one of the attorney's from the other office. He goes in the stall and the moment he sits. (RING RING) "Hello. Hey what's up?" He goes on and on. Now maybe it's just me but talking in the loo on the phone is the most inconsiderate thing to me. How on earth can people do this. The woman on the other side is oblivious to the fact that the echo she hears from his voice is not from the phone but from the stall. It drives me nuts. They're talking about important client info and documents. After a few minutes enough is enough. I flush purposefully. The lady on his phone goes, "Uhm...where are you at?" The guys stutters.."Uhm..I'm..uh" "Call me back later." she says. I snicker to myself as she hangs up. Oh and another thing, unless you have a hearing problem, please don't have your mobile so loud everyone can hear it clear as day. Sometimes a call can wait. Quiet it bliss.
That's my rant for the day.
AD Bro. This swing set should be ok right?
AD: Yeah sure, I guess. I dunno, I'm not a kid anymore.
AD Bro.: I suppose. What do you think dad would want for the boy?
AD: Knowing him he's going to get something nice. It's his first grandchild so it'll be good. He's chopping down the tree in the back yard just for a playground thingy.
AD Bro: He's gonna hurt himself doing that.
AD Bro. Hey. Remember when we were little and I dared to you jump off the swing.
AD Bro points to a metal set that is very tall and could actually fit adults. I look at it and reminisce.
AD: Of course how could I forget.
One of the many places we lived at growing up was in front of a school with a playground. The playground was made of old rail road ties and sheet metal. Giant bolts and jagged edges every where. When you got hurt and cut etc, you wore the scars like badges of honor.
(Flashback harp type music comes to mind then.......we're on the playground many years ago)
AD Bro: Ok, watch me. (He climbs to the highest point on the swing and lets go of the swing at its highest and jumps and lands on his feet) Now you try.
AD: I dunno how.
AD Bro: It's easy just swing to your highest and then let go and jump.
AD: Are you sure?
AD Bro: Yes. Come on do it. I dare you.
AD: I dunno
AD Bro: I double dog dare you.
AD: Alright fool watch out. (Using my best Mr. T impression)
I swing, hard and fast. The old metal swings squeaking with every thrust of my body. I climb higher and higher. It's exhilarating. I get as far high up as I can go.
AD Bro: Now let go!! Jump.
I let go. I let go. Again I let go. I'm at the highest point I can go and let go. I'm so high I can see over the small tower of the playground and down to our house at the bottom of the hill. I'm a good 10-12 feet in the air. I should mention that these were old metal swings cemented in the ground and were gigantic, adults used them all the time. Again I let go.
AD Bro: JUMP STUPID JUMP!!!
I just let go.
I just let go.
I let go of the swing. I'm still in the sitting position. My legs are straight up in front of me. For a brief moment I'm completely weightless........weightless
Then gravity kicks in. I fall fast and hard. I'm still in the sitting position. I'm falling, feels like forever.
Still in the sitting position. Then for whatever reason instead of putting my legs to land in front of me, I put them straight ahead of me. I hit the ground. BAM!!!
I land ass first into the ground. Unfortunately most of the sand my the swing sets are gone from foot traffic. So now all there is was a little sand and hard hard earth. BAM!! I hit the ground. I felt my spine quiver and contract. I sit in shock for a moment. Then the pain sets in. I lie on the ground yelling.
AD: MY BACK MY BACK!!! I BROKE MY BACK!!!
AD Bro: You idiot, you're supposed to land on your feet not your butt!!!!
AD: MY BACK!!!! I BROKE MY BACK!!! (At which point I jump up and run in circles holding my back and screaming.)
AD Bro: You didn't break your back.
AD: How do you know?
AD Bro: If you broke your back you wouldn't be running around screaming right now.
AD: (With tears in my eyes) Oh....yeah.......MY BACK!!! I BROKE MY BACK!!!
AD Bro is laughing hysterically at me now.
AD Bro. Stop crying. If you keep crying I'm going to tell mom and you won't be able to come play outside anymore.
AD: (Still teary eyed) Ok...sniffle.. This is all your fault.
AD Bro: Shut up.
AD Bro gets back on the swing set. Still mad at him for daring me to jump, I pick up a rock and throw it at his meat and two veg, while he swings upwards and score a direct hit. He falls to the ground in pain and I ran like hell. I ran down the hill of the playground. But he got up and picked up a rock to.
Now from what I've been told I looked real funny in this next part. One of my friends was walking up the hill and saw what happened. I'm running down the hill, my brother right behind me. I can feel him throw the rock at me. I hear it coming. BANG!! It hits me right in the lower back really hard. I remember feeling the rock and my knees buckle. I threw my arms up in the air and fall to my knees and rolled down the hill towards my friend. My friend told me I looked like William Dafoe in Platoon when he gets shot. Said it looked really funny.
My bro ran down to me. I'm laying on the ground laughing.
AD: Lets do that again.
AD Bro: Ok
Back to regular time.
AD: Yeah this one is nice. But he's going to need a little bro to show him how to use it right.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
So I ended up at Mix Tape Girls house tonight. We watched The Wild One together. One of my favorite Brando movies. It's very balmy down here in south TX right now. The humidity is as high as the actual air temperature. The moment you step outside or some place with out air conditioning you feel drenched in moister. Like someone is taking a hose to you. For me I hate it. Talk about a bad hair day. At least on the beach you have a breeze but here the air is stagnant.
We finished watching the movie.
MTG: I'm a bit hungry. You?
AD: I'm ok. But do you want to go get something?
MTG: If you would take me, I'd like to.
AD: Ok let's go.
MTG runs to her room and quickly grabs a mix CD she made today.
MTG: I want to hear this in your car.
AD: So where do you want to go?
MTG: I dunno. No where around here. I don't feel like regular fast food. No burgers or tacos or junk. I dunno, I just need something.
AD: So do you want to just drive around till you figure it out?
MTG: Yes, please.
We take off in the car. Despite the heat and humidity its a great night to drive with the windows down. MTG puts in her CD. I get the feeling she just wanted to get out of the house so I just drive on meandering the streets.
The first song comes on.
1. Ain't No Sunshine: Bill Withers
I haven't heard this song in ages. It's definitely on my top 10 all time favorites list. Bill's deep and mild voice sets the tone for our drive. The melody fills the car and mix tape girl smiles at me and reclines back a little. For some reason I'm thinking American Graffiti the way we're just driving around.
2. Midnight Confessions: The Grassroots
"The sound of your foot steps, telling me that you're near". Yeah I love that part. MTG sings along to it, and I nod my head.
3. "Pres se toi" - Andrea Lindsay
It's french its beautiful, nuff said.
4. "Because the Night" - 10,000 Maniacs Unplugged
I remember watching them play on unplugged. I thought they were one of the best if not the best unplugged performances ever done by MTV. I could be wrong.
5. Here I Am (Come and Take Me) - Al Green
MTG: I feel like some waffles.
AD: I heard about a new chicken and waffles place that opened up. Want to go check it out.
The new chicken and waffles place is a new thing in town. We've never had one before. I've lived in some cities with them. I loved them, my favorite places to go. It's way on the opposite end of town though, and I'm driving dead on south. But there's no rush, I'll just cut from the south side to the east side through the back way. I've lived all over town so I know how to get there.
6. Diary - Alicia Keys
If you ever have a chance to she her in concert, do go please!! I kid you not she is much better live in concert than on record. I don't know how she does it, but she puts on one heck of a show and the music even sounds better. She's amazing one of my favorite female artists. The sub-wolfer in the trunk loves the bass of the song. I have it up a little less than midway just enough to feel and hear in the car with the volume up, but not to disturb the music and just be noise.
7. It's Oh So Quiet - Bjork
We laugh when this one comes on. I can only think of the video when Bjork is dancing around in that odd little dress of hers. Very funny.
8. No Woman, No Cry - Bob Marley and The Wailers
I love Bob Marley. As this song comes on we start to enter the south side. My old neighborhood. Nothings really changed much, a few new stores here and there but all in all it's the same. The air smells a little different down here. Lots of BBQ smoke in the air. I start to get hungry.
9. The 1812 - Bond
Bond is a all female classical group. Four main girls playing the violin, cello, something else. Anyways is a take on Tchaikovsky, I love their remake. I think of V for Vendetta when he blows up Parliment. That was a cool movie.
10. Swallowed in the Sea - Coldplay
MTG: You know, whenever I come to this side of town alone, I'm always scared. It's that prejudice, I feel so bad saying that. But I'm scared to come here alone.
AD: Yeah in a sense it is. But then again you've never lived anywhere other than the north side so you've been pretty much sheltered your whole life.
I know these streets very well. I lived all over this town and many others. To me there is nothing wrong with them. I know my way around and don't look like I'm lost. That's the trick act like you know what you're doing and have a purpose and you'll just go with the flow.
MTG: I feel safe though being with you down here.
I dunno what to say. I just know she took my hand and is singing to the music.
11. I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever)
I'll forever remember this for being on the Mix CD she made me a few months back.
12. God Only Knows - The Beach Boys
I remember this song because my dad always sings it when he plays their greatest hits CD's. Usually when he's ironing his shirts. Volume loud, he's in his bliss.
13. Sweet Surrender - Sarah McLachlan
I love Sarah. I remember hearing this song back when I was in the 11th grade. I fell in love with Sarah and have been ever since. That album got me through a tough year.
14. In My Life - The Beatles
Nuff said. Though it makes me think of a mix I had put this on a number of years ago. Of a former ex and a road trip we took, and the late night drive back home, and a thought of what could've been if only one thing had changed. But that's ancient history.
15. See the Sun & Bonus track - Dido
I love Dido. She's in my top 10 lists of female artists as well. This is the last track as it's over ten minutes long so it took up a lot of space on the disc. But it's ok. I love this song. Again it reminds me of another road trip and having a friend cry on me cause the song got to them. It was ok, a whole day of wine tasting will do that to you. But it's the bonus song that I love the most from the whole album. It doesn't have a name as far as I can tell. But it's beautiful. It makes me get a lump in my throat every time I hear it. MTG knows this and purposely puts it on there. If you have never heard that song you have to listen to it. Borrow it if you don't have it and just listen till the very end. You have to wait almost 3 minutes after the last song to get to it but it's worth the wait. I won't tell you about it if you haven't heard it. That way you can say it's a gem you discovered yourself.
We get the the restaurant. Fortunately it's still open. We eat and talk and laugh. I tell her I'll make her another mix as soon as I fix my desktop. She beams with delight. She's been a little down lately so I do all I can to keep her smiling and laughing. We re-listen to the CD on the way back to her house. I drop her off and she takes the CD with her. That was a good mix I think to myself. It hit the spot.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
So Cup of Coffey asked me to interview her, and I did. But only to be fair, interviews should go both ways. So here in all it's glory is Cup of Coffey's questions for me. Cause after all, it's only fair.
1. You love mix tapes and girls who make them. What five songs would you put on a mix tape for me?
Oh wow. Hmmm... Ok so partially quoting from one of my favorite books High Fidelity let me start by saying, "The making of a great compilation tape...is hard to do and takes ages longer than it might seem. You gotta kick it off with a killer to grab attention. Then you gotta take it up a notch, but then you don't want to blow it so you gotta cool it down a notch. There are a lot of rules." That being said the mix I would make for you from what I know of you would be.....
1. She Sells Sanctuary - The Cult - It's fast and fun
2. While My Guitar Gently Weeps - The Beatles - One of my favorite George Harrison songs. I just love the deepness of it.
3. Happy When It Rains - The Jesus and Mary Chain
4. Shiny Happy People - R.E.M. Might not be your favorite but I like it for the poppiness. Just a fun song.
5. At the River - Groove Armada To close out the tape, it's soft and sweet and just relaxing.
Of course I would have to record these songs straight off vinyl, for the best sound. Although I must admit when I probably read this again later I could think of much better songs.
2. Are you a born-and-bred Texan? If so do you have longhorns mounted to your car grill?
Yes I am a born and bred Texan. To tell the truth the only place I've ever seen longhorns mounted on a car is either on parade or on The Dukes of Hazard on Boss Hoggs car. However I will note that I was once in the F.F.A. and did learn to rustle up cattle and neuter calves, roping the whole nine yards. I also did dairy judging and such (if you've ever seen Napoleon Dynamite when he tastes the milk...yeah that was me sadly). Although that was for a brief year as this was one of the many (12 schools a different one every year) schools that I went to, again part of the life of a traveling gypsy. This one happened to be out in the sticks. But if you ever meet me you'd never know I could do these things. Again as for the car the only thing I have on it is a big Transformers Decepticon sticker that covers the hole in my bumper.
3. Do you enjoy working in the real-estate field?
Yes very much. I love it. Though I work it from a different end than most people are accustomed. I do more like the work of a researcher/detective/private investigator, all in an attempt to get my work done. It's challenging but I love it all the same. Despite the crazy things that our bosses promise to people. But that's another story.
4. What's your favorite curse-word?
Oh my. I try not to curse as much as possible. And I never curse in front of ladies. Never ever. But on occasion the phrase "Dirty mofo" does slip out. Usually when I almost get side swiped on the highway. I feel bad after I curse though.
5. How did you select the nom de blog "Artful Dodger"?
When I first went to Myspace. I had that moniker. I deleted that account cause I started getting weird cyber stalkers, both male and female. (Yikes, true story) But Artful Dodger came cause my dad loves the movie "Oliver". Of course my favorite character was the "Artful Dodger". Oh and the book is very good as well. I should also say that the Artful Dodger is also the name of one of my favorite DJ's as well. So I have a few friends that call me that as well, and sometimes on the rare occasions when I actually DJ a party I might go by Artful Dodger as well. But it just depends on the party.
Ok well I know my answers aren't that great but there you have it. So again kiddos, if anyone else wants to be interviewed or just want to interview me feel free to drop me a note or comment.
Want me to interview you?
• Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me!” If your e-mail address isn’t on your blog, e-mail me.
• I’ll send you five questions.
• You’ll answer all five questions on your blog.
• Include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.