Friday, June 30, 2006

domestic help!

okay. don't laugh. but i need laundry help. my freaking khakis only last 6 months or so before they start fraying around the cuffs like crazy. my mom could wash the same pair of pants and 5 years later they'd still look new. me? i'm cutting them off and turning them into shorts in 6 months. i'm a 33 year old man. i wear my pants up around my waist like they should be, they don't drag on the ground when i walk. i suppose when i'm driving they might drag on the floor of the car, but that shouldn't be enough to cause the fraying. ideas?

Monday, June 26, 2006

it's all a matter of perspective...

so today i was walking through a house, and it was spotless. really looked beautiful. very bright, very stylish. but zero clutter. i'm cluttered, but not filthy, not disgusting. there's no week old pizza boxes in the corner, no mold growing anywhere, no fear of roaches... you don't have to kick stuff aside to get from the bed to the bathroom or bags of trash anywhere. just clutter. some of it is the lack of focus. go through my garage or my office area, and there's stacks of papers or items relating to unfinished projects. now at work, that's not entirely my fault, we work way understaffed. but at home...

but the really weird part of this house was the complete lack of books. no magazines anywhere, nothing. they had a room set up as an office, and in that room they had a three or four shelf bookshelf and probably ten or so books on the top shelf and that was it. in the master bedroom there is a "retreat" area (as the realtors like to dress it up on the mls sheet) with a recliner and great light and not a book within arm's reach.

looking at the photos on their wall, i see tons of drunken fun. and lots of nomadic ramblings. i suppose such people might walk into one of my living spaces and take pity on me, seeing the stacks of books and papers and what not, and assume that i've got a small, tiny life. but it's funny, i couldn't help but think the same of them for the lack of.... not stuff. i've got way too many damned trinkets and knick-knacks. but input sources. books, magazines, newspapers, internet... whatever. just ways to go in sponge mode and suck stuff in besides the toob.

and i know nothing about these people, i shouldn't be making such judgements. i'm sure a large part of it is just the fact that they're trying to sell a house and are trying to make things nice and pretty. but first impressions are funny. you can't control them, they just happen.

Friday, June 23, 2006

this blows...

... i'm bored silly at work, everyone else is out of the office today. i've got not blog topics right now. well, i've got some, but... long story. and i'm craving salt. like, pretzel salt for some weird reason. like, let's go out and get margaritas after work, and when you look away, i'll lick the rim of your glass kind of cravings. not that i've ever done that, but it sounds good right now for some reason.

yes. i'm weird. but we knew this.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

it makes the world go round....

when i was young, i got pre-approved for a bunch of credit cards my first semester of college. well, 2 or something. i did okay with those for a little bit, but then my dad got laid off. we had an agreement, as long as i made the grades he'd pay for half of my tuition. well, i felt like i couldn't ask him for the money after that, so i put it on my cards. i was still doing okay for a little while, but then more cards came and it kind of snowballed. the bad part was when i got engaged to a girl ten years older than me. before we met, she'd applied to get her master's degree at harvard divinity school, and not long after we got engaged she got the word that she'd been accepted. the original plan was for me to head out there and get a job out there, but after she got out there, she realized that she needed to be alone. she got married immediately after high school, and stayed married until a couple months before we met. i think i was the third guy she'd dated.

anyways, getting dumped kinda put me into a funk, and i spent a couple months drifting, didn't go back to school and decided to enlist. that was a huge pay cut, and that was the beginning of the end. i didn't realize that there were programs to protect your credit when you joined the active duty military, i just started getting behind on bills and it kept getting worse and worse.

i realized it was getting bad, i just didn't know what to do and spent some time ignoring it and hoping it'd go away. fast forward 10 years and i finally just decided i had to fix it. at this point it had gotten just about as bad as it was going to get, but it wasn't getting any better. i've spent the last couple of years seriously trying to improve my credit. paid off the debt, took alot of money out of my 401k plan to pay stuff off, got the secured credit cards, etc... and it's worked. i can buy a house or a car or whatever on credit now. i've got normal credit cards. today amex sent a letter that started "because of your excellent credit history, we'd like to..." those are words i never thought i'd see again...

so how/why did it get so bad? i dunno all of the factors. alot of it was the fact that my parents grew up dirt poor. so they saved and cut every corner they could. so when we were growing up it was k-mart clothes all the way. the flip side to that was they sent us to exclusive private schools at different points in our lives. going to the local public school where everyone is wearing sears jeans is one thing.... going to a private school with a kid who's already got a $million trust fund is another. then there's a basic lack of impulse control. then the weird thing is a parent's urge to provide nice things for their family. my dad got us the nice t.v., stereo, vcr, etc... which was cool, but when i was out on my own, i felt i NEEDED those same things. i didn't take those for the luxary items that they were. and alot of it was just the stupidity of youth. i got out on my own, got those cards, and just bought stupid, stupid stuff with them.

a couple good things came out of the experience though. my parents have paid for none of my schooling. while it's taken me a long, long time to get to the final two courses for my undergrad degree, the degree means a helluva lot more to me now that it would've if i'd completed it in four years. i've taken alot of weird roads to get where i am now. roads that i might not have otherwise taken had i not gotten myself into the situation. i've got a definate appreciation for the possessions i have now (not that material items are everything... but i'm kind of in the same boat my parents were in. i've experienced a little poverty, even if it was a self inflicted wound), i've got an understanding of the importance of not running up debt, of having savings in the bank and of showing some fiscal responsibility. i've got a weird sense of pride for climbing out of the hole that i dug for myself.

here's hoping that i can keep the self destructive urges at bay and maintain the tiny bit of impulse control that i've gained over the last decade....

everyone needs an office mom...

when i'm not playing g.i. joe, i'm a jack-of-all-trades computer geek for a medium sized manufacturing company. i think my official title this week is "exchange administrator" or "senior network analyst" or something like that. who knows. anyways, about a decade ago, they decided they needed more space for the info-tech department and they weren't going to pay the $/sq foot to house it in the high rise office building with the rest of the corporate office. so they banished us to the dark-side. one of our manufacturing plants is located on the other side of the city, in industrial hell and it had a 2 floor wing that was sitting empty. insta-office. i came to work for the company a year or two later and it was just me and the i.t. director at the time. but we've grown, and so has this part of the city. back in the day, if you wanted lunch, you needed to bring it. that or you went to one of the two nearby truckstops or the hole in the wall bar next door. now there's a couple options within a ten miles radius, but you still run out of options pretty quick. well, alot of the sales staff is single, so they'd go to the bar next door for lunch everyday and were going through 70-80 bucks a week on just lunch. so one of the girls had her maternal instinct start to shine through, and decided to take up a collection and go to sam's club.

the told me about this when i came back last month, and i decided "what the hell" and pitched in my $20 bucks. money well spent. i ate GOOD for the last two weeks, and she just stocked the fridge again. about 6 different types of microwaveable sandwiches, chips, two huge fruit bowls, celery and carrot sticks, apples, oranges... if they sent me, i would've come back with 4 boxes of microwaveable burritos and told them to be happy. she's got silverware, disposable bowls, plates, orange juice... and my 20 bucks is going to last me for two weeks. i love her. i know. what in the WORLD makes this story blog worthy? nothing. but it's my blog and i'll write about whatever i want. heh. i'm just finding it funny because this lady is one of the most caustic people i've ever met. it took awhile to figure her personality out and now i think of her as a friend, but there's no way i would've pictured her as going through all this trouble and effort to take care of us.

when i was a kid i worked in a shop that actually had an official "office mom". it was great. they figured you were more productive if you weren't worried about 6 million personal errands during the day, so they paid someone to do those for you. needed someone to pick up a present for you? tell her what you want, give the the money and away she goes. like a certain type of soda? tell her what it is, give her the money, she stocks the fridge for you. need to renew your car registration? away she goes. the cool thing about it was she didn't find it degrading. she came to the company, pitched the idea, convinced them to hire her on a trial basis, and proved that she saved them money in the long run. she liked taking care of people and was hyper organized and hated working in an office. it was great for her. she'd sit on the phone and get your cable connected for you, whatever. she especially shined when we'd get a new employee moving to the area. set everything up for them. it was one of the best corporate perks i've ever had.

okay, i'm pretty much just rambling about nothing. bye-bye.

Monday, June 19, 2006

ha-ha! look what i got to drive today!


actually, it wasn't that big of a deal, nice as the car was, because i just wanted to mosey along. it was just kinda nice to have the top down and listen to the music, that i kind of forgot i was driving a high performance car and i didn't really go nuts in it.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

i'm such a bad fan boy...


... i got caught up in some drama earlier this week and totally forgot that the replacements had a new greatest hits disc coming out...

here's hoping that my short term memory holds out and i stop on the way home and pick it up...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

sorry... writer's block...

haven't written in awhile, but it hasn't been for lack of trying. i think i've popped open this window several times this last week or two, but either haven't been able to write anything down, or when i have, i've either been unable to save the entry after i wrote it out, or i kept getting distracted before i finished it.

so the various rants and raves have been discarded, but i do need to ask the question i spoke of earlier. sorry, it's not that big of a question, definately not worth the buildup. and it's not that controversial of course, just one of those "things that make you go hmmmmmmmmmm...."

so. trucks and guns. i go shoot a pistol or a rifle, i have a good time. i zone out for a little bit, shut my brain down, and really focus on the task at hand. normally i'm a little bit a.d.d. and my brain is all over the place, so it's a good little mental exercise. but when it's over, it's over. the gun gets cleaned, put away, and i carry on with whatever i next have planned. i like big trucks, but because of what they represent. either getting from point a to point b when alot of other vehicles couldn't instead of me having to walk that whole distance, or because they look cool, or i know they can haul all my gear or whatever. (have i mentioned having an appreciation for a singer sewing machine? i just like a well built, functional machine.)

but in more than one case, especially in the military, i've seen lots of women get excited after they've driven one of the big trucks for the first time, taken it off road and slung some mud around, or after they've fired weapons. i frequently hear them talking about how powerful they feel after doing one or the other. that's not quite something i get. where does that sense of power come from? i've heard alot of possible explanations for this, but these have mostly come from drunk males, and i wouldn't consider them to be experts on the subject. probably the consensus among them though, is that men are generally physically larger than women, and while there are extremes, either really large or really little men, for the most part we've got an average. and we're not used to being surrounded on a constant basis by people who are physically larger than us. so driving that bigger truck or shooting that weapon doesn't change things for us. but the non-tomboy women who don't do alot of the racing and chasing with the guys and who aren't competing with men in the physical arena are... i dunno. something the first time they climb up in the cab or put lead down-range. i dunno, is that reading too much into it? are they full of it?

the other interesting thing that has been pointed out is that some women's personalities almost seem to change when they get behind the wheel of the big SUV or pick-up. they become significantly more aggressive than when they're driving the little compact car, and don't seem to realize it.

thoughts? anyone experienced it that can break it down into small words for me?

thanks.

Friday, June 02, 2006

ladies...

Thursday, June 01, 2006

jackasses...

So I'm riding home from work today and I hear a siren behind me. When I was a kid, my parents always told me to remember that that ambulance, policecar or firetruck could be rushing to the aid of someone that I knew or loved, so I've always been diligent about getting out of the way when one of those vehicles is coming my way. Oh, and it's the law, right?

So back to the story. I'm riding home from work, I hear the siren, I start pulling over to the side of the road and braking. The jackass behind me starts laying on his horn. I'm a little concerned because, you know, I'm on a motorcycle and car usually beats motorcycle... He FINALLY stops and proceeds to start yelling out of his sunroof at me, threatening to kick my ass and what not. Have I mentioned fears of having an anger management issue? Apparently not as bad as his, because I was actually able to restrain myself from putting down the kickstand, getting off the bike, taking the helmet off and beating him with it. And his pretty little car. But mostly him. So the ambulance finally goes by and I start to move again, and this guy made a very purposeful effort to peel out and try to force me off the road. Still totally not grasping the fact that an ambulance had passed us. And as much as I wanted not to, I still couldn't help hoping that maybe it was a loved one of HIS that they were rushing to help.

I'm a petty, petty man.

serious question...

... can you make stereotypes when writing these things when asking a question of your readers and soliciting their input so you can understand situations better without seriously offending people?

I was reading this post by BSlawG yesterday and it tapped into a question that I've had about the different ways alot of men and women will react to certain situations. I've asked the question face to face with friends but still haven't received alot of articulate responses to it, so the lack of understanding is still there. You all seem like a very bright group, and this medium forces us to think things out before responding, so I think I'd get more satifying answers here. But at the same time I don't want to offend or lose any of the precious few readers/friends that visit here. And when you're asking a question like that you have to break it down into groups and make some gross generalizations that definately don't apply to everyone. We're all mature here though right? Friends?