Monday, September 29, 2003

I think my swing is broken
Every morning I wake up and find that things still suck (no job, no money, IRS woes, sick Dad, etc.), but I managed to tweak myself into a decent mood and get through the day without too much trouble. It's been a real struggle to do that this last month (I'm not counting the week I was sick) and today I simply can not get out of my funk. Maybe it's just PMS, but I wonder if it's time to reach for the Prozac? Then again, I might just be overdue for a good pity party.

Friday, September 26, 2003

Back in the swing of things (I hope)
Sorry to be gone so long, but after having a wonderful birthday (that came complete with my dad going home from the hospital) and a busy computer-fix-install-reconfigure-stuff the next day, I came down with the sinus infection from hell. I spent many days and nights without much sleep due to the headache and no, I didn't bother going to the doctor. If I had a job or even an interview scheduled, I would have probably gone to the doctor because I wasn't fit to partake in any human interactions. Unless the interview was for a BOFH (Bastard Operator from Hell), I would have definately not made a favorable impression and I had the sense to stay away from the blog to prevent others from having to read the incoherant rants running through my head. I had the luxury (?) of being stuck at home alone for most of the time so I got to skip the doctor's antibiotic and other prescriptions routine and just get better on my own. It took a while, but today I feel like a normal human being again instead of some evil, short-tempered villian from a comic book.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Well,I got my left leg's amazing how we heal.Tattoos peel like a sunburn and I'm already peeling...testament to my metabolism or Hez' technique...I suspect it's a little of both.
We didn't get past drawing on the right leg...not wanting to be impulsive we opted to wait until he could draw something up beyond a thumbnail...
I get a call this morning...he is sick...reschedule for this friday...DAMMIT!
So...I gotta talk about something else.
There's a link to your right to full metal jackass...It's my attempt to make sense out of the majority of my adult life. Career wise anyway. I guess I picked the wrong one.
I've tried to tell this story several times witrhout success...everytime I try to tell it I have a buzz and do stupid shit like start a new blog.
Currently, I'm a parts guy at a pool and spa company...I started out as a pool cleaner,moved into repair,left for awhile and came back as the counter guy...I like my job.It pays well and I can go home at the end of the day without carrying the souls and secrets of people who met me under less than pristine circumstances..or even worse, (punctuation is NOT my strength) psychopathic circumstances. I'm a regular worker doing a regular worries,right?
I feel like I carry the weight of the world with me no problem...the people I deal with now are just as damaged as the people I used to deal with...only they don't know it and I can't put them into a security room until they are ready to deal with it.I just watch and record...for no one in particular.
Our world as it grinds to a hault...grinding hault.
Because of the world as I experienced it...I'm a mess.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

The last time I got tattooed was way back in January...Andreas was visiting from toronto and I bought my son a tat for his 18th birthday and had to get one to make it a truly father and son experience.(I had warned my son if he got tattooed before his 18th birthday I would remove it myself by any means necessary and he actually bought it!So how could I say no...he drew it himself,a cheshire cat image from alice in wonderland...very cool...Andrea's did him right it was fun to watch my son make the bitch face...which he did ,alot.)
Still he was a trooper,so I got one in his honor and to let him monitor me for the bitch face,which I made once...and he saw it...still,it was a bonding experience I will never forget.(The bitch face is when the machine hits a tender area and you a bitch) For the record,I got a sailor jerry style horseshoe with a 13 in the center made of bones....
So...tomorrow I get tattooed by my buddy Hez...I'm finally finishing the leg sleeve on my left leg,45 minutes tops...and then I'm sleeving out my right leg with stars...both from the knee down.
I remember when I first got ink in 82...just one I said...then it was two...then three...always bigger than now,when people ask how many I have the answer is "just one big one"...I probably have 2/3's of my body covered .
Do I like the attention? No.
Am I a rebel? No.
Can I blame it on my upbringing? Yes.
My Father was heavily tattooed...from the military during WW2,Korea and Viet Nam.
Can I blame it on culture? Yes.
Austin was a punk hotbed in the 80's and tattooing was a hallmark of being in the scene. I was in the scene.
Do I blame it on these things? No.
Well,maybe the Dad part.I'm colored by choice,plain and simple.
Plus...when I die,Ann can have me stretched and framed for
So...tomorrow I cover up some more skin...the buzz of the machine...the realization of art.The creation of something that won't go away,something that is unequivocally mine.
I love it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

About a month ago I was instructed by my doctor to return to my ideal weight, which calculated out to 2 pounds a week through the month of november.
I eliminated red meat,fried foods and all of the old stand by coke either.
At this point I have lost 10 of the pounds I need to achieve my goal.
I started to ride a bike too,but it was too hot and I am waiting for decent temps to begin this part of the plan. I haven't always been an active guy,but in the past I was a 3 time a week at the local health clubs are different than they were 20 years ago,so I opted for the bike/swim route.
I have limited my beer consumption...some who know me would say that I have been a poster child for substance this I say...yeah,I like to party.To my surprise, this aspect of my diet has been easy,in fact,it's all been easy.
But one sinister aspect has presented itself...I am now a card carrying member of the compendium of nutritional facts...available on food labels everywhere in your local grocery.
I never looked at this shit before...never gave it a second thought,but now my trips to the grocery are a protracted, brow furrowing field study into which foods will kill you and which foods won't. I almost enjoy it, but to admit that I do would somehow tarnish me...imagine that,'re a label freak.
The payoff for all of this is a longer, healthier life...but I'm not focused on that.
I'm focusing on that day in late november when I can look in the mirror and say "This is why you've been doing this...your not 'husky' anymore."Call me shallow, but being thinner is important...the health benefits are a welcome, secondary benefit.
Next on the list is to quit smoking...but that's a later battle for say, my next new years resolution.
The joy's of middle age after a misspent youth...if there is an ode for you it was written by the Cure, probably in 1982.

Monday, September 15, 2003

You know who I mean...that Dean character that's running on the dem ticket against Georgie girl. I think he bears a striking resembelance to ol' Barn...friend and foil of Fred Clinto...I mean Flintstone.Let's face it...the whole gaggle of democratic candidates look like they just walked off the short bus for a field trip at Pioneer farms.
What are we gonna do?We cannot allow Dubya to usurp another term in the whitehouse, but alas, our choices for a legitimate candidate are severely limited.
I have an idea...why don't candidates from both parties start telling the truth?
NO ONE is telling the's all marketing and script writing and image building (and on the seedier side, if there is one, payoffs and tax breaks and favors).But it's all corrupt in degrees in the end...everyone of them corrupt leaving the voter to choose the less corrupt on a hope and a prayer...that thier particular corruption is more akin to the america the voter wants...or the other (I believe) more frequent choice is to just say fuck's all a game and no matter what I say,do,or vote the most corrupt will prevail.So what's the point...I know the polls are open till 7, but dammit I have beer to drink.
Take Texas for example.
The gub'ner,pRick Perry(hair,outfits) has called a THIRD special session for the sole purpose of redistricting Texas to give the republicans a majority...with the benefit of giving bunnypants the electoral votes in the next primary.That's the agenda,the only agenda.There is nothing fair and right about's the equivilent of one crack slingin' crew kicking ass on a corner until it belongs to them...only in this case there is no payback...we just roll over in the end.
Similar kinds of criminal behavior are occuring in states across the country under the guise of due process,the gub'ment,the "will" of the people...which people?
RICH people. All across america there is a kind of ethnic cleansing leaking into the "american way".It's these rich people who don't give a shit about the middle class...or poor people...if they have thier way there will be a two class, one party majority in this country...a majority bought off by the corrupt leaders buying thier way into power through lies, manipulation and malfeasance on a level unpresidented in the memory of my lifetime. They only care about themselves.
So...what do we do?GET OUT AND VOTE...even if it is a Barney Rubble,it's better than what we've got right now...You know, I heard Hitler had a bad temper...only people didn't snap to it in time.
Take a look around.
Just call me Cinderella
One moment I'm scrubbing the walls and the next thing I know there's a beep from my Nextel phone (the modern fairy godmother) informing me that my Prince Charming will be here in an hour or so to whisk me away for an afternoon of adult beverages and scintillating conversation at the place of my choosing. Dinner to follow if I wish and Prince Charming knows this chain of events is Cinderella's favorite thing to do, smart man that he is. Unfortunately he seems to have forgotten that the modern fairy godmother doesn't provide a handy change of clothes. My clothes were in the dresser we got rid of and are now in a box somewhere pending reassembly of the bedroom. This might be Austin, but I seriously doubt the "lounge pants" and old T-Shirts that I put aside to wear during this home improvement venture would garner me any appreciative looks. However, all is not lost because Cinderella happens to wear the exact same size jeans and T-Shirts as Prince Charming whose dresser is still intact and accessible so while she may not be wearing a ball gown, she will at least be wearing something other than pajamas.
Wax On, Wax Off.
Much to my surprise, the wall paper removal goo is working. My arms, however, no longer want to make the "Wax On, Wax Off" motions required to remove the loosened wall paper paste from the wall with a sponge. Nor has this meditative experience answered the question of what to do with the next half of my life. Instead, it has caused me to think that maybe I should not have let my ex-husband keep everything but my clothes and some books because the car polisher would have come in real handy right now. I wonder if I can duct-tape the sponge to a drill?
Turning Point
Once upon a time I was bored and played around with various longevity tests and statistics and math involving age of relatives, expected future life expectancy increases and so forth and decided that my 42nd birthday would be the half-way point of my life. Age 42 was a long way off at the time that I did this, but the idea of that age as the mid-point stuck in my mind. Well, I'll have to change the question of "What to do with the rest of my life?" that I've been asking myself since I was laid-off from my job last year to "What to do with the second half of my life?" since today is my 42nd birthday. Unfortunately I didn't wake up with the answer this morning. Wouldn't that have been a nice birthday present?

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Today has been home improvement day. As in cart all the furniture out of the bedroom, go to Home Depot and spend too much money on paint and other miscellaneous needs and scrub and spackle walls. The original plan was for us to just sleep on the couch and loveseat and not set up the bed until the bedroom was finished. I threw that idea out the window once I realized the bed would actually fit back in the den if we nestled it in the L formed by the couch and loveseat (and moved the coffee table.) I couldn't find a tape measure, but determined it would fit because the mattress was "fingertip to fingertip of outstretched arms plus an arm" X "my height plus arm upraised, minus a wrist and hand". Am I the only one that measure things this way when one can't find a tape measure? Rob: "What are you doing laying on the floor?" Ann: "I'm measuring to see if the bed will fit." Rob looks at Ann likes she's crazy. But hey, it worked and the bed is all set up back there and ready for my tired body. I'm off now to go take a shower and experience what I hope will be a wonderful night's sleep. I'm going to need one of those because tomorrow I have to tackle cleaning the wall covered in 20 year old wallpaper paste that REFUSES to come off even with a super strong solution of TSP. I'm hoping the wall paper removal gel I ran out and bought works better. If not, I have a wall-paper steamer I can drag out and try since I'm pretty sure steam will clean anything (but steam and warm humid days don't mix very well so I'll save that as a last resort.)
Patriotism and Citizenship
This post from Jim at Snooze Button Dreams really struck a nerve. During WWII, some of my family refused to renounce Germany when the US government demanded that they do so. They didn't approve of Hitler at all, but to renounce the Motherland completely was unthinkable, US citizenship or not. That caused some real problems for them, but despite that they remained fiercely patriotic to America and willingly sent their sons off to war. Their sons (my father included) willingly went forth. I find it very strange that a country built on immigrants is so intolerant, then and now, of the immigrant's point of view. Even I, two generations removed from Germany, still feel a strong emotional tie to that Motherland. Maybe it's a cultural thing and while I don't have a Späten to offer as a toast, I have something a bit closer than Budweiser - a Shiner Bock. So here's to Germany with all it's flaws, past and present, because that's land of my ancestors. (And for those of you without a clue, it's about the land and family, NOT whatever government happens to be in power at any point in time.)

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Health Insurance around the World
I'm finally catching up with my blog reading, including my own comments, and I'd like to thank Blue Witch for her comment about the lack of communication by medical staff. I have been trying in vain to reply to this all day with no luck. Perhaps Enetation is having another server fit or it's Blogspot's problem or my ISP's DNS server is feeling crabby - you just never know when so many things are out of your control. I really miss running this blog on my own server and network. *thinks about the maintenance that was involved and recants* Anyway, I got to wondering if I had ever heard anyone say they were satisfied with the healthcare plan provided by their country. Obviously this doesn't apply to US residents, but I used to be a Benefits Coordinator and one of my responsibilities was to help the new employees sign up for the company health insurance. A good part of the civilized world has automatic health coverage and some of these people chose to come the to US and work for the company that was my employer. Some of them were more than happy to sign up for the company health plan, but there were a few exceptions. No one from Finland ever wanted any part of our benefits. The same with anyone from the Netherlands. The Germans were usually on the fence and wanted to take the information home for further review. Without fail, anyone from the UK, Canada or France signed up on the spot. I must admit it gave me a bit of a negative view on socialized medicine, but that was many years ago. The deductible on that health plan was $250/year. The deductible on my current health plan provided my my husband's employer is $5000/year. I have a feeling things would be very different if I were a Benefits Coordinator today.
The suspected major complication
I held off on posting this because I thought more information might come to light on the status of my dad. But alas, all I know at this point is that they might have to do more surgery and he might be there for at least another week. Dad's somewhat medicated so he's not the best source of information. Mom was just too exhausted for me to ask her for details she probably didn't know when she called tonight for help on installing her new "Learn to speak Spanish" program. In my family, reaching for the learning material is a definate sign of emotional overload and all four of us (mom, dad, brother, and myself) do this. I've never thought about it before, but I wonder if any other family behaves this way. Does anyone else find a sudden desire to learn Spanish or how to be a Linux network adminstrator in the midst of a crisis? I've been itching for a book on Cisco certifications myself. Interesting...
A little less hippy, a little more middle aged
We finally did it. We went out and bought our first brand new American Surburbanite bed. You know, the kind with the spring coiled orthopedic mattress, box springs and metal frame. The kind that costs four times what I've ever paid for a bed since I've always bought waterbeds or futons. It's also a king size instead of a queen (better to fit two large adults and the three dogs who will, no doubt, join us on the bed this winter.) That meant a trip to Target for new cheap sheets. There's no point in buying expensive sheets when you have three dogs since expensive sheets wear out just as fast as cheap sheets given the number of washings involved. We picked up our traditional black (called "charcoal" this year) and went searching for a new comforter only to find there was no king size in, charcoal. That's when we found the leopard print set. I decided that was perfect to offset the surburbanite vibe that the new bed would impart upon the room. And if it ends up reminding me of 70's porn movies, so much the better ;-)
Thoughts about 9-11
Essay over at Stupid Angry Canajun reminds me that I made no mention of the events of 9-11-2001. I've been a little preoccupied and haven't had the chance to sit down and really think about how I feel in regards to this subject, but I'll give it a try.

It was a tragic event made even more tragic by what has transpired in the aftermath. I fear that our government has thrown the baby out with the bathwater. I simply cannot understand why they would respond to an attack by foreign fanatics against freedom and liberty with their THEIR OWN attack against freedom and liberty. Each anniversary brings more rhetoric and more requests for "Big Brother"style legislation. It boggles my brain and I feel it does a great injustice to those who died on that day and to those who have subsequently perished in the "war against terror". Consider the thought that the terrorists' objectives were to damage the freedoms of Americans and wreck economic havoc. This may or may not have been their actual objective, but I've certainly heard that stated often enough by various politicians. And from what I can see this has certainly come to pass, but it wasn't the terrorists who accomplished these things. It was those very same politicians. Irony is definitely not dead.
Goodbye to the Hot Tub
Today we say goodbye to the used hot tub we bought several years ago. We never hooked it up because we discovered that we only had a 100 amp drop to the house. The hot tub needs 50 amps all by itself. A check into getting a 200 amp drop revealed that we would have to update and relocate the service entrance (which would require tearing down the carport or the patio or maybe both) AND rewire the entire house. Oops. We should have remembered that this house was built when the only major electrical appliances were a refrigerator, a washing machine, and maybe a TV. After all, we've had plenty of experience arranging the house by electrical circuit rather than any sort of interior design concept. No, the TV can't go in the logical spot for it because the 'fridge is on that circuit. No, the computer equipment can not all go in the office where it belongs, but instead must be scattered strategically around the house. Did we remember these little facts of life when the opportunity to get a "deal" on a hot tub presented itself? No, we did not and so I've had a hot tub sitting in my back yard taunting me; reminding me on a daily basis that I can be a complete idiot at times. I'm very glad to see this memento of my stupidity leave the property.

Friday, September 12, 2003

The minor complication
My dad didn't make it home today because of yet another minor complication. Only we didn't know it was a minor complication until 7:00 pm tonight. No, instead we got to wonder for 12 hours just what the hell was wrong and why they were keeping him knocked out with drugs and not letting him go home. A "nothing to worry about" sure would have been nice around, oh say, mid-morning or so, but the nurses wouldn't explain anything and so Mom spent the entire day at the hospital waiting to talk to a doctor who would tell her something. I spent eight of those hours calling her every hour and talking for 30 minutes about what ever topic I could pull out of thin air. I don't think I have ever had a politically oriented conversation with my mother in my entire life and I had at least two of those today (turns out she doesn't think President Bush is such a stand up guy either.) If I had known this was going to be a whole day ordeal that would result in a severe case of cauliflower ear then I would have spent the hour and a half it takes to get to the hospital by city bus. There's the kind of quiet, supportive silence that you can offer in person which simply doesn't work over the phone and I was forced to "chitchat" instead. I don't do "chitchat" very well and for that matter, neither does my family. A family get-together dinner is followed by long periods of silence where we are content simply just to BE with each other. If anyone has something to say then they say it, but no one makes small talk for the sake of small talk so today was a rather surreal experience. At least at the end of all that waiting it was good news. If the blood tests look okay in the morning, then he can go home. Whew.
The Friday Five
1. Is the name you have now the same name that's on your birth certificate? If not, what's changed?
Different last name because I took Rob's last name we married. My first name matches my birth certificate now, but it didn't match for the first 30 years of my life because they made a mistake and chopped the AnnMarie in half and stuck the Marie in the middle name slot and just threw the middle name of Jane out the window. My mom finally got around to correcting it when I was 33. That's why I'm known as both Ann and AnnMarie. I tend to be known as "Ann" to friends and "AnnMarie" to family and coworkers.

2. If you could change your name (first, middle and/or last), what would it be?
Right now I can't think of any other names I'd rather have, but once upon a time in grade school I wished my first name was Tina. I have no idea why. I didn't know anyone named Tina so maybe that was it.

3. Why were you named what you were? (Is there a story behind it? Who specifically was responsible for naming you?)
My first name is from a relative several generations back. Her name was Annamarie, but Mom went with AnnMarie for some reason. Maybe to make it more English rather than the original German. I have a feeling that if she had left it Annamarie, my birth certificate probably would have been correct the first time. My middle name is MaryJane after my Godmother as far as the Catholic church is concerned, but it was shortened to Jane for the birth certificate. However, Jane never made it on the birth certificate until I was 33 and shortly thereafter poor, neglected Jane got replaced with my maiden name.

4. Are there any names you really hate or love? What are they and why?
I used to hate the name Ann when I was in school, but only because I knew I was supposed to be AnnMarie. I never understood why the teachers insisted I be called Ann just because that was what was on my birth certificate. After I while I got used to it and didn't hate the name anymore.

5. Is the analysis of your name at / / astroexpert accurate? How or how isn't it? says:
Your first name of Annmarie has made you happiest when you are expressing in some creative, artistic way, and not conforming to strict routine. In a large group of comparative strangers, you are quiet and rather shy, unable to express yourself, not really wanting to become involved in conversation. On the other hand, among friends with whom you feel at ease, you are expressive, witty, and quite charming. These contrasting natures make it difficult for people to understand you and can lead to friction in your personal life. You are deep, philosophical, and refined, but your extremely sensitive nature causes you to become depressed and self-pitying over any real or imagined slight. If you are not careful, people take advantage of your generous nature. You find the beauties of nature, fine music, art, and literature--all the deeper things of life--inspiring. The reserved, sensitive side of your nature brings aloneness and friction into your life, although you crave affection and understanding.
There are things in this description that I don't like, but that doesn't mean they are not true. I'd have to say this was right on the money. Spooky.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

That would be Irene...fortyfive pounds of bottomless pit of need & main dog. My canine bizzel fo'shizzle....but that's not what I'm representin' 2-nite....
Regarding the IRS....Hey!FUCK YOU IRS....You know I'm gonna pay you, but...FUCK YOU.
There's another domestic terrorist. I sent in a return that was owein' and they we owe you you and send me a refund...I say you wrong but they say we never wrong and send the year later those assholes renig sayin we owe...the exact same amount we sent in in the firz place.When i challenge this they say "we neva wrong"...So what be the lie?
Who lying?Not me.
Am I bein' ethnic enough?
Prop's to my pop's Hugo...home soon scalliwag.
Another quick update
Dad still in the hospital. Another minor complication today, but he still may go home tomorrow with the hope that it resolves itself over the next couple of weeks. Rob has his new browser, but not sure if he'll have time to blog tonight. We had a friend stop by to borrow a microphone and visit a bit so dinner is going to be late and it may be bedtime for him before we are done with dinner and feeding the dogs, etc.

One of my friends, who has been on vacation, got back in town yesterday and we spent a good part of the day chatting by email and catching each other up on the latest events. So much for my idea about blog reading and news watching today, but it was very good to talk to her again. She was only gone a week or so, but I sure did miss her. It seems I have been learning a lesson this week about the importance of friends and family.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Quick update

My dad had a minor complication this morning, but he's fine now. Well, I guess being in pain and grumpy isn't exactly "fine", but health-wise, he's doing good and may get to come home in a few more days. Rob has agreed to stay off the web until I can get the Mozilla Firebird browser installed on his machine. The object tag exploit for the IE browser was the last straw. I could go edit his registry as a way to stop this one, but there are enough other unpatched issues in IE that I'd just as soon Rob never use it again. He could have bumped me off my computer to surf and blog tonight, but I figured he didn't ask because he HATES my trackball. And I HATE his. We are definately not compatible when it comes to trackball styles :)

Tomorrow I'm going to try to catch up on all my blog reading and watch the news so maybe I'll have something more to say.
And another thing...
This color coding sh*t with the airplane tickets. I will never fly again even though I'd be a "green". I think the worst part was to see a Texas Senator, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, on CNN talkiing about what a great idea this is. Have you lost your friggin' mind?

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Out of pocket
My dad's been in the hospital this last week so I haven't been blogging any (reading or writing.) All is good at this point since they found a problem, did surgery and a full recovery is expected. I thought I'd be blogging about that experience tonight, but instead I received a certified letter from the IRS today that freaked me out even more now that my dad was out of danger. Maybe it was the fact that my stress levels were already high or maybe it has more to do with my deep seated fear of the IRS, but in my mind, these are people who will seize your house, your car, your bank account and put you in jail. The woman I spoke to today for an hour and a half was definitely the best "customer service rep" I've spoken to in a long time, but that didn't stop me from shaking from head to toe by the time I hung up the phone. Later in the day I described my reaction to Rob (and my confusion as to why I was so freaked out) and he had this great analogy. Rob described it as being in a room with a Doberman who was wagging it's tail. You are not sure exactly what to do, but you know if you make the wrong move you are going to get bit. Bingo!

Things are cool with the IRS and as long as we "stay in touch" and do this, that and the other before November 7th we are not going to lose our house because we owe a measly $6000 to the government. A government that wants to spend BILLIONS on Iraq while ignoring all the American people like me that are out of work and can't pay their bills, much less their back taxes. ARGH! How about at spending at least a couple of billions to help create jobs to replace all the ones that have gone out of country?

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Here's the agenda...get up early,do the hygiene plus a shave.Put on the appropriate clothing(in this case,favorite green mother T-shirt...impossibly big clunky black shoes).Are we lookin' cool?Oh yeah buddy.Everyone there will know that you,without a doubt are the shit...
Race to the venue...get in had to outpace some people to get in line and for the effort you are #4 in line man...Not too shabby my man.
If one was going to see (insert your favorite post grunge anti new pop rap but no rap hard rock but sorta heavy metal in a post grunge nu metal sorta drop D tuning band name here),it would make perfect sense.
Where was I going?
To clinpath laboratories for a "four stick GTT test" other words..I had blood drawn four times in two and a quarter hours with some orange soda tasting stuff as a cocktail...not your intimate club experience with be sure.
I am at a lab...a place where people come to give up bodily fluids to test for figure out what's up...what's ailing you.There are no appointments,it's first come, first poked.
Blood,urine,bowel...they take everything here...most people are in and out...but for me I had two and a quarter hours to sit,and in between draws,observe who came through.
And come through they an assembly my estimation watching the sign in sheet approximately 250 people came through in the time I was up blood and god knows what else to find out what was ailing them.
The staff at this lab were amazing...a well lubed extracting machine working with each other to move us through as effeciently as possible...the phlebotomist that took my first three was amazing...(let me insert here that I would rather have my eyes burned out with a BBQ butane lighter than have blood drawn...a "contradiction" not lost on the vampires drawing my essence...they see my tattoo's and comment "I can't believe you are afraid of needles."There is a difference,trust me.)
...she was awesome.I didn't feel a thing,plus...she had tattoos...she told me about them.(a bonus for heavily tattooed people is that we get to hear about other people's tat's...always unseen)but she was cool...I liked her,which contributed to my ease about the dreaded needle...god bless her.And she was hot with a 10 pain-instant vien.
The vampire that took my last tube took to a different room...she was just as good,but her shelf had a bandolier of smelling salts...ammonia something or other ampules to crack under the noses of fainted depositors...I asked if lot's of folks fainted from this procedure and she said yes and then told me it was ok to relax my fist....done...thank god.
And then I was nout of there...heading to work thinking I'd rather have been in line for Slayer tickets...I took the evaluation form,I filled it out,I mailed guys rock...but not like Slayer.
Time article

I implore this article...and then,after your'e done washing your eyes and mind out with soap...go find this charles krauthammer and kick his nuts all the way to pluto.Then kick them back to earth and crush them with channel locks before his beady little "something in the groundwater in ohio" eyes.
Who told the UN to fuck off? Busherica.
Who told France and the other opposing countries against this insanity to fuck off? Busherica.
Who said in essence "If you won't help us we'll do it ourselves."Busherica.
Whose in so far over his head that he doesn't know whether to shit or go blind? Bush...and by proxy this place you and I by in called america.
If I was in charge of the UN, I would tell that redneck fucking imbecile to piss made your bed now lie in it...with the emphasis on LIE.
"Go ahead...DO IT yourself...and oh,by the way North Korea just tagged in to make it more interesting".
I read at CNN tonight that Bulgaria has commited troops...HOORAY!!!Cabbage rolls in the mess tent tonight!
Big deal...who gives a shit about Bulgaria? That's like bringing a bat to a gunfight.
I have a theory...
Bush can't make good on those huge contracts to halliburton et al until this shit is under control...and it appears that monkey retard boy has finally accepted the fact that he needs the help of the UN to stitch up the gaping hole he's opened with arrogance and ignorance with the help and advice of a bunch of idiots in his cabinet...or is it cupboard,or better yet his empty jacks bag?
Some say this insanity isn't about terrorism at all, but I is.
And the head terrorist of them all is Bush...failed business man, horrible governor, and favorite dupe of the republican party..."let georgie do it...he'll do anything".
The republican party is killing the ideal of america in front of the rest of the world...and the only people not getting it live here.
I know I keep asking this question, but:What's wrong with us?Bush should be tarred and feathered and run out of washington on a rail...
God (or somebody just like him) help us.

The nature of your oppression is the aesthetic of our anger...

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Break Time
I'm about half way through my big project for the day which is to rearrange, clean and straighten the office. This is an attempt to prevent the "dog carpet" phenomenon that occurs when Rob and I are both in the office on our computers. All three dogs like to join us and the limited floor space turns into a solid "dog carpet" in the pathway between our desks and the doorway. This causes trips to the bathroom or kitchen to frequently turn into, well, "trips". As in, tripped over the dog because he/she decided to stand up at the precise moment one of us stepped over him/her. The other goal is to block dog access to the window because Theo has suddenly decided after 4 or 5 years that he doesn't like cats wandering around in the front yard and absolutely freaks out every time he spots one. As a result, all the software CDs have been knocked off the rack and even the trash can has gone flying across the room several times. Anyway, the half-way point seemed a good time to fix a little lunch and do some blog reading. My list is getting a bit long and I suppose I'm already at the point where I couldn't read them all once I do finally find a job, but for now I have still have plenty of time :)

My first chuckle of the day came from Lorraine with this post about alternatives to nursing homes.
Better day
Apparently six hours of solid, restful sleep can go a long way to improving one's mood or maybe I've found those invisible rose colored glasses again. Either way today seems to hold a lot more promise than yesterday. It's nice and cool in the office at the moment which makes the temporary demise of the window A/C unit a tolerable event. Somewhere on this A/C unit there is a clogged drain hole, but that's outside in an area where there are several yellow jacket nests. The wasp population is starting to get on my nerves now that dinner has been interrupted twice in one week because one wandered inside the house and felt an affinity for the light fixture over the dining room table. One of the dogs caught and ate the first one (how do they do that with no ill effects?) and Rob swatted down the second one after I fled to the hallway. I'm not sure Rob understands how much I appreciate that little act of heroism, but I get that warm, fuzzy feeling of love just thinking about it. Ah shucks, I'm getting all mushy and sentimental now. Time to go clean house!

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Some days
Today was a lousy day for no apparent reason. I have no rational explanation for why today was a lousy day rather than a good day. Nothing bad happened, but I seem have misplaced whatever it is that usually keeps me in a decent mood. It was a blah day and I'm in a blah mood. If I had to pick a color to represent my mood, I would pick beige. Not gray since that color is too exciting and reminds me of rain clouds or thunderstorms. No, I pick that boring, bland beige that designers like to claim is a soothing color. I don't think of it as soothing, I think of it as dull and uninspired which happens to be a very apt description for myself today. Oh well, I suppose we need blah days from time to time so that we can appreciate the good ones.

Monday, September 01, 2003

Odds and Ends
Oops, I haven't posted in a week. So much for the promise to post every day, but let me offer you a lame-ass excuse and a really long post to make up for it. As for the excuse, I entered "Fall Cleaning Mode". I think this is what other people experience as "Spring Cleaning". Austin doesn't really have a spring and we don't really have a fall, but each year there comes a week in late summer when the temps go down a bit. Sometimes this happens in late August, sometimes in September and occasionally not until October. When ever it happens, I feel the urge to clean house, as in "deep cleaning" along the lines of scrubbing the walls and such. This is a very rare thing and something that needs to be taken advantage of should it occur. Normally I'm working a kazillion hours so the moment is lost, but this year I happen to still be unemployed and can answer the calling. I didn't get very far before it was the long holiday weekend and in the spirit of the "holiday" I avoided any more "deep cleaning", but I plan to be back at it tomorrow provided the mood holds. Meanwhile I have spent the long weekend admiring a kitchen wall cleaned of nine years of gunk and promising that I will clean the rest of the walls starting tomorrow.

On another subject, there are a few things that I think should never have been invented. The atomic bomb qualifies as one of these items, but something that is a more frequent occurrence in my daily life is the powered leaf blower. Whoever invented this abomination deserves an endless night of sleepless hell enduring the drone of the damn thing. What was wrong with the rake or the broom? Is it really THAT much more effort to QUIETLY scoop up the leaves? There doesn't seem to be any less arm movement involved and that leaf blower is bound to weigh more than a rake or a broom. I can only hope that this was the last day of my having to listen to the damn thing because the house appears to be rented to someone new so maybe Mister Daily Leaf Blower is gone now.

And speaking of the rental house next door to us, I really miss our old neighbor. Louie lived there long before I moved in here nine years ago (that's why there was at least nine years of gunk on the kitchen wall in above paragraph; I had NEVER cleaned that wall since I've lived here.) I'm not sure that Louie was the most upstanding citizen in Austin and we suspected those weeks away from the house might be due to jail rather than work or visiting family in Mexico, but all the same he definitely was a good neighbor. Thinking about it now, I can't really put my finger on what made him a "good neighbor". It's not like we had dinner parties together though if we had leftover barbeque we gave him our extra and vice versa. I never went in his house once, though I think Rob did a time or two. It's more of a sort of indefinable camaraderie even though we had little in common other than living next door to each other. He looked out for us and we looked out for him and while we definitely had completely different cultures and lifestyles, sometimes people "connect" with each other irregardless of other circumstances. I was really sad when the landlord raised the rent far above what Louie could afford and I thought her cruel and callous until I paid attention to my own property tax increase. Ouch! After that we've had various neighbors to our north side, but no one stays more than a year if even that long. Usually it's a revolving door of college roommates, but this last group didn't speak English so there was no way we could "connect" with them. Maybe the days of really knowing your neighbors have long passed, but I think there needs to be at least some minor level of interaction with the people who live next door to you. Then again, thinking about some of my neighbors from past neighborhoods, maybe no interaction is best! Oh, the stories I could tell from my days living in a Section Eight neighborhood.

Section Eight is a designation for low-cost or supplemental housing. My former house didn't have that designation, but all the houses around me did. This meant that the residents were disadvantaged in some way, usually by virtue of mental illness but sometimes it was just economic status. I usually got the crazy neighbors. They came and went, but some hold special memory status. Like the family to the south of me where the husband worked on cars obsessively day after day. He was definitely nuts and would do a brake job over and over when he wasn't screaming at his wife or his kids about something stupid. He would also wrap rocks in plastic bags and put them in my trash can which would weigh the can down so much that the trash men wouldn't pick it up. It became a game where I had to keep my trash cans in the garage until right before trash day and hope that he wouldn't stuff it with rocks before the trashmen came that day. He also liked to put empty cat food cans wrapped in plastic bags in *my* trashcan instead of his own. And he would obsessively saw wood into little pieces on his back patio, but I never saw those scraps in my trash can. I guess they were "pure" enough for his own. And then there was couple to the north of me where the wife was breastfeeding her three year old in the backyard while talking to me over the fence. I'm not against breastfeeding, but that was kind of creepy - breastfeeding a three year old! Ah well, I guess you do what you have to do with a limited food budget. They moved after repeated robberies which were common in my neighborhood, though never at my house. This despite the fact that I had several windows with no locks and a hollow core front door with no deadbolt. I lived in a neighborhood rife with gangs and drive-by shootings were routine, but I never had any trouble. My lawnmower sat happily in the front yard for years with no theft. I attribute this success to the fact that I had a pit bull, a race car and listened to heavy metal. Therefore, I was "cool". All the same, I was more than happy to move into Rob's house in a safer, saner neighborhood. Oh, the one dude I do miss from my old neighborhood was a man I called "Rip Van Winkle". He lived at the end of the street in a house where the windows were all boarded up. He was tall and very skinny with a beard down to his knees and only came out in the neighborhood in the predawn hours in his white boxer shorts. He would scamper down the streets picking up trash, furtively looking to and fro and if he spotted another human out and about he would rush back to his house with his bag of trash. Fortunately for us in the neighborhood there were few people out and about in the predawn hours so we had the cleanest streets in the city.