Vacation *insert Go-Gos tune here*

Eleven AM on a Tuesday, and here I am, chillin’ at my computer downstairs. Good times.

So, to catch everyone up on what’s been happening at the Schnuth abode: we’re both on vacation. I return to work one week from today, and Aaron doesn’t go back until the following Monday. Our original plan, way back when we requested our vacation time, had been to attend the Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas, but we had to choose between buying a house and going to our very first Star Trek Convention.

Then, I had thought that maybe we could use our new tent this week. However, Aaron brought up the fact that it’s the middle of summer, and it has the potential to get damned oppressively hot lately. With that in mind, we opted to wait until Labor Day to go camping.

So, what are we doing this week? All the shit in Toledo and the surrounding area that we haven’t done yet (or haven’t done for a while).

Ann Arbor Art Fair - photo by Aaron Schnuth (c)2004

On Saturday, we went to the Ann Arbor Art Fair. In years past, we’ve always missed when it was, so we were thankful to have gotten a flyer from one of the artists at this year’s Crosby Festival.

Anyway, Aaron and I went with Kris and Jamie, leaving Toledo around 9:30am or so. We arrived in Ann Arbor at the mall shuttle pick-up around 10:30am, paid our $3 per person round trip, and off we went. When we got to the fair, Aaron and I discovered that not eating breakfast had its disadvantages, and that we were starving. So, around 11am, we headed into Amer’s and were delighted to find that they have some pretty decent salads there. Yum.

The rest of the day was spent looking at art (obviously), sitting on the grass in the diag and talking, browsing various stores (including, of course, Wizzywig), taking pictures, and just generally enjoying ourselves. I think we left around 4:00pm, and by then we were completely drained from walking all day. Great time, though.

As for the rest of our mutual vacation… Sunday was our normal errands / groceries / laundry day, and yesterday we went to the Toledo Zoo. Today we’re planning to go to COSI, tomorrow we may go to Sauder Village, sometime this week we’re going to see Fahrenheit 911 (since I haven’t seen it yet), and we’re contemplating going to Cleveland to check out the Rock Hall in its entirety. (We browsed the first floor during last year’s Gravity Games, but we didn’t get beyond that.) We may also visit Aaron’s grandparents while we’re in Cleveland, but I think the jury’s still out on that. Although we would be allowed to sleep in the same bed now, if there’s one big enough for the both of us…

On Saturday, it sounds like Frieser’s neighborhood is having their ‘hood-wide garage sale, so we’ll be checking that out, then on Saturday evening we’re joining Kris and Jamie again for the Full Moon Walk at Oak Openings Metropark.

So, even though we’re not really going out of town this week, we’re still having a pleasant vacation. Oh, yeah… I was so ready for a break.

Just One More Thing…

I’m awfully prolific with the posts tonight.

Anyway, I just searched out and located a ZIP file with WAVs of the coverage of the Hindenburg crash of 1939. I’d never heard the whole thing through—just the reporter sobbing, “Oh, the humanity!” But, listening to the whole thing, it’s really fascinating to hear an example of radio reporters’ ability to convey what they saw verbally. The listener can almost see the majestic airship coming in and being tethered to the ground—then, after its grand transatlantic flight, suddenly bursting into flames.

The guy really loses it, too. I believe Aaron told me that journalists and reporters, especially back then, were expected to report factually and unemotionally, and that this particular man’s reaction to the scene lost him his job. Seriously, though—he’s almost sobbing uncontrollably and babbling by the end of the clip. I can see why they fired him, devastating though the scene was.

If you’re interested in hearing it yourself, you can download the ZIP here. Also interesting is the blurb that comes in the text file packed with the ZIP files: “This file contains WAV files of the most compelling moments of the famous Hindenburg Crash Radio broadcast of 1939.  They make for interesting Windows Startup sounds.”

What a fine disregard for history.

Popular Culture

Why does TV suck? Why can I not turn on the tele at night and find at least one decent program to watch? It’s all overdramatized gameshows or reality shows or home improvement / reality shows or makeovers or just crap. Have sitcoms always been completely stupid and I just didn’t notice? When did I become a fan of 20/20?

Add this to my distaste for popular music, and I’m completely rejecting American pop culture in general. Skinny hos, talentless hacks, and stupid bimbos just don’t keep my attention these days.

Potpourri

Like the Jeopardy category: snippets of random this-n-that I’m finding as I’m sifting through all my old Post-It® notes.

Quote from a 50-something woman in my old office to a 40-something: “You gotta get some old lady shorts! You can’t be bending over there on the golf course and everybody can see Christmas…!”

Really bad joke from the Sky intranet:
Q: How do you keep a skunk from smelling?
A: Hold its nose.

And then there’s this thought: I forget what class it was in, but I remember learning in college about the four levels of competence. First, you have Unconscious Incompetence: You don’t know how to do a given thing, but you have no knowledge of it whatsoever, so you don’t know that you don’t know. Then there’s Conscious Incompetence: You know what it is, but you also know that you don’t know how to do it. After that, you have Conscious Competence: You know how to do it now, but you still have to think about it. (This is me in my new job right now.) Finally, there’s Unconscious Competence: You know how to do the thing so well and thoroughly that you no longer have to think about it.  Learning my new job in Loan Corrections made me think of that.

Oh, and speaking of my new job, I was on phone duty for the second day today (my first day was Monday). I actually didn’t mind it today, although it got annoying around 2:00 when I got call after call after call for a half hour straight. I learned new things today, too: I learned how to cut a loan refund check, and how to fix the billing schedule on a screwed-up loan, and all sorts of other stuff that I didn’t know before (and would make you yawn). I actually felt like I had a good, enjoyable day… but that’s probably just because I’m going on vacation after tomorrow. Whee!

Speaking of, does anybody know of a good place to camp? I think Aaron and I were looking at Harrison Lake, Maumee Bay State Park, or Mohican. Neither of us have been camping in years, either (outside of Amy’s and my ill-fated October camp-out with the girls on our floor in Kohl). We have no outdoor cooking implements (well, I think we have metal skewers) and only a couple crappy flashlights. Of course, we do have our one sleeping bag (I don’t know where mine is, but we have Aaron’s), and our new-last-year-at-the-wedding tent, and our two folding camping chairs.

I think that pitching the tent will be a test of our ability to work together. 🙂

Make New Friends But Keep The Old…

I’ve heard a theory about friendships. I forget where I initially heard it, but it basically says that all friendships happen for a reason. Not in the sense of Fate or God, but in the sense that you and your friend are drawn together at a given point in both your lives for some interpersonal reason. Maybe your need to loosen up leads you to be friends with a nutty kind of gal. Maybe you and/or the other person can’t seem to find anyone else willing to befriend you. Maybe you’re drawn to someone with a common interest. Or maybe your individual personalities at that point in time just complement one another perfectly.

In each of these cases, the friendship can either grow to a dimension beyond the initial reason why you got together, or you can simply “grow out” of the friendship. In the latter case, the friendship isn’t (or shouldn’t be) cheapened or considered less meaningful than the longer-term ones; after all, it was what you both needed at the time. People grow and change, as do relationships, and you can’t expect that things will always be the same. Or that you would want them to be.

I know that some of my readership (all four or five of you; I can hear you breathing) is going through the same phase as I am: either growing out of friendships and acquaintanceships, or realizing that the relationship was over long ago and you didn’t even notice or care. Some old friends I try to maintain contact with, but then say to myself, “I don’t know you anymore.” Some friends try to keep touch with me, and I wish they’d go away, but I don’t dare burn bridges. And some friends just don’t answer me back anymore…

I’ve never had very many good friends at once, though. The fact that I currently have several people I feel I could confide in if necessary (or who could confide in me) is as much a blessing as an agnostic can have in her life. 🙂 So, thanks, guys. Even though Amy and Aaron will always be my two best friends (I’m not stepping on any toes here; you all knew that), I love all you guys.

In the most platonic way possible.

Micro-preemie = kitten-sized. Wow.

I’ve been finding some fascinating stuff off of BoingBoing lately. This one is a big heartwrencher—scroll to the bottom of the page and read from the beginning of the ordeal to get the full effect.

Am I turning into a big sap? I hope not…

Peel Me Off This Velcro Seat And Get Me Movin’

First: After a little reflection on my part, I’d like to apologize for the fact that my blog is not a collection of well-constructed essays, such as the blogs I myself like to frequent. I feel like my pre-LJ blog may have been a touch more coherent, but I must admit that having an LJ client instead of entering my journal entries straight into Dreamweaver seems considerably more convenient to me. One of these days, I’ll need to do a redesign and make my page more dynamic and less static. Until then, though, you’re stuck with my iFrames and my ranting LJ entries.

Today was another one of those two-hour-nap-after-the-news days. I’ve heard it said that you can’t really “catch up” on sleep; all I know is that, when I’ve only had six hours of sleep the night before, a nap just happens. It isn’t really planned. Which tells me that maybe I needed it.

I finished my compilation The 90’s: Volume 2 last night. It doesn’t have as much OMG-I-haven’t-heard-that-song-in-forever impact as Volume 1 did, but is more of a collection of the most-played (and perhaps overplayed, but not necessarily hated) songs of the early to mid-1990’s. This time, to make things just a little programmatically easier for me, I arranged the tracklist in (roughly) chronological order:

  1. Nine Inch Nails: Terrible Lie (1989)
  2. The Black Crowes: Hard to Handle (1990)
  3. Nirvana: Come As You Are (1991)
  4. The Lightning Seeds: Pure (1990)
  5. Screaming Trees: Nearly Lost You (1992)
  6. XTC: Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead (1992)
  7. Del Amitri: Always the Last to Know (1992)
  8. Weezer: Undone (The Sweater Song) (1994)
  9. Sponge: Plowed (1994)
  10. Stone Temple Pilots: Vasoline (1994)
  11. Green Day: Longview (1994)
  12. Soundgarden: Spoonman (1994)
  13. The Nixons: Sister (1995) *
  14. Goo Goo Dolls: Name (1995)
  15. Alice in Chains: Heaven Beside You (1995)
  16. Spacehog: In the Meantime (1995)
  17. The Wallflowers: One Headlight (1996)
  18. Faith No More: We Care a Lot (1996)

*This was The Nixons’ only single for so long that I thought (at the time) the band was called Nixon’s Sister.

I think I may try for one more album of early 90’s before I start breaking all-out into the mid-90’s (mainly ’96 and ’97). Once I do that, songs like Folk Implosion’s Natural One and Oasis’ Wonderwall and maybe some of the less-insipid Counting Crows and Hootie (now, now, I’m not ashamed to admit that I liked them back in ’94 and ’95, just like everybody else). Perhaps some more research on the 107.9 The End memorial site will be in order, in addition to digging out the mixtape I made from my college roommates’ CD collections (Sara the Two-Week Roommate and Amy).

Maybe it’s good that my all-time favorite radio station switched formats when it did. I would have hated to deal with the strange morphing of “modern rock” into what it is now, and have to listen to my favorite station play cutting-edge crap. What I need is an all-90’s station. Heh—another couple mix CDs, plus my MTV Buzz Bin CD (which is actually pretty good), and I’ll have an all-90’s party mix for the CD changer. 🙂

PH34R my wifeliness once again

Just to prove that I have that little bit of garage-sale savvy and a touch of HGTV about me, I will now show you how wifely I was this weekend.


I’d already hung this shelf up once, but I had to move it from the dining room into the kitchen to make room for…


…the $15 microwave stand we bought at a garage sale Saturday.


I also made a spice rack out of some cast-iron shelves I’d bought last month.


By the end of the day, I ran out of knick-knacks, so this shelf I hung in our media room features Martha Stewart candles.


And, in the midst of all this, I hung up our engagement photo in the living room so everyone can marvel at our melonheads.

Hmm. LiveJournal no likey the tables too well. Ah, well, you get the idea. Go me.

Blah Blah Bloopity Bloo™

Can’t get excited about doing stuff at the computer. Can’t seem to peel my ass off this chair. Guess I’ll blog.

Today at work was my first day of manning the phones. Sky Financial Centers call the team line with loan questions and issues, and we (supposedly) answer them. I actually feel that I did fairly well. Sure, I had to put probably 70% of my callers on hold for a minute or five while I got the right answer for them, but for all but a few, I did finally get them the right answer. It wasn’t nearly as nerve-wracking as I thought it would be. And everyone gave me a big “I told you so” when the day was over.

That’s OK… tomorrow, Scott (the other new guy) gets to be on phones. 😛

*interrupted by Chase Manhattan Bank calling for Aaron*

(Bitch of it is, I think Aaron might actually have a Chase card—I know I do—so I couldn’t really yell at the Indian dude I just dashed upstairs to answer.)

Perhaps later I’ll detail all the housewifey things I did this weekend, and all the garage sale finds we scored. In the meantime, though, I will point all of you to Dooce’s site. I know it’s creepy to feel an almost-acquaintanceship with a complete stranger based upon her writing style and choices of subject, but Dooce here really seems like someone I’d be OK with. Even though she’s a skinny ho. (And I use that in the kindest of ways. She doesn’t actually look like a ho.)

I’ve gotta get up and do something else. Maybe I’ll compile my latest CD project, The 90’s: Volume 2, set that to burn, then go upstairs and do some yoga or read a magazine or play Tony Hawk or SSX3 or something. I’ve gotta do something. Blah.