Happy Birthday to Me…

Hey! It’s my birthday. How ’bout that. I actually forgot until I got to work and saw two birthday cards on my desk.

Don’t feel any older. Still in my late 20’s. Got my presents last weekend. No cake on Atkins. Um… yeah.

I’m going to bed now.

Weirdness on my street

OMG. You will never believe what I just saw out my window.

I was sitting here at my computer, contemplating going to bed, when I heard a car pull up the road. (One of the benefits of living on a dead end: all traffic is either lost or coming to your house.) It didn’t sound like any car I knew—the muffler was pretty noisy, so it wasn’t Aaron. Then I heard it pull up the driveway and turn around… but it didn’t go away. The rumbling chug was still outside. I started to get a little freaked out, so I headed up to the front door to look out the peephole. All I could see was that a car was parked with its lights on, somewhere behind the giant pine tree (which is to say, by our house somewhere) and it had gotten close enough to trip our motion-sensor floodlight. I decided I needed a better vantage point.

I went upstairs again to the small bedroom and looked out the open blinds. I figured I was relatively safe, standing in near-total darkness inside. From there I could tell that there was a bluish station wagon parked on the opposite side of the road, and as I watched, the driver turned off the headlights. It looked like two people in the car, or a person and a dog—I couldn’t tell which. Then I remembered that the crate of camera equipment was in the room with me, including Aaron’s binoculars. I foraged for those, and looked out ever so carefully, so as not to be spotted.

The driver was a black man, a young adult, and his seat was in the reclined position. His head turned toward me, and I freaked for a second as I thought he’d spotted me, but he turned away again. As I was trying to ascribe honest motives to him (maybe he just needs a place to grab some sleep?), I saw motion in the car. It became a particularly rhythmic motion. And you’ve probably guessed it by now: it was someone giving him a blow job.

I felt kind of bad for the guy on one hand, because I’ve been there: trying to find a place, anyplace, to go and get it on. To make matters worse for this fella, though, the wind kept triggering the motion-sensor on the floodlights by the garage, so it kept interrupting them. I wonder if it was good for him, anyway; I heard his car rumble away as I was writing this entry.

I’m glad it was just someone getting nookie, though, and not someone casing the joint. I was seriously freaked out for a few minutes there.

Civilization III is Evil.

Oh, yes. Civ III is perfectly evil. I think I got five hours of sleep last night, and waited until this morning to take my shower.

So, on my way to work, I rolled down both passenger-side windows just an inch or two and turned on the panel fan, to help my hair dry. Of course, I ended up running a couple minutes late, and just barely got caught by the damn train that crosses Holland-Sylvania on my way out to Airport Highway. D’oh! At least I didn’t catch the School Zone lights, too. At any rate, I got to work just in the nick of time, hustled in, and clocked in only one minute before I would have been officially late.

…Did I mention I’d rolled my windows down?

Fast-forward to 5:00pm. I went to get in my car, and my seat was damp. WTF? Then it hit me: Hey, dumbass, you left your windows down! It had rained like a motherfucker all afternoon, so not only was my seat damp, but the passenger’s seat was damp, the digipak that had been sitting on said seat was damp and warping, and the dashboard and gearshift and the inside of the windshield were all beaded with rainwater. Good Lord! I was almost afraid to start the car. I mopped some components dry with my sleeve and hoped for the best.

In the end, I arrived home with a damp ass and a full dose of God-I’m-so-stupid. Toweled off the inside of the car for Aaron’s trip to UPS, and left the towel on the driver’s seat for him (driest side up). Aaron’s so good to me, though; he was only moderately miffed at all the CDs that got wet (mainly because all but one were CD-R copies), and he kept telling me not to get down on myself about it. He told me he loves me, and I told him that doesn’t make me any less incompetent. But I felt better, anyway.

On a lighter note: I’m working on programming my The 90’s: Volume 2 mix CD.

Aaron and Kris Heath have told me that Volume 1 is more of a 90’s-in-Cleveland mix, rather than a 90’s-in-Toledo mix. Hey, it’s where I grew up. Volume 1 goes a little something like this:

  1. The Smashing Pumpkins: Disarm (1993)
  2. Collective Soul: December (1995)
  3. The Sundays: Wild Horses (1992)
  4. The Gin Blossoms: Until I Fall Away (1992)
  5. The Lemonheads: Shame About Ray (1992)
  6. Nirvana: Serve the Servants (1993)
  7. Bad Religion: Infected (1994)
  8. James: Born of Frustration (1992)
  9. REM: Losing My Religion (1991)
  10. Michael Penn: No Myth (1989)
  11. The Judybats: Being Simple (1993)
  12. Toad the Wet Sprocket: Walk on the Ocean (1991)
  13. Bush: Glycerine (1994)
  14. Martin Page: In the House of Stone and Light (1994)
  15. Oasis: Champagne Supernova (1995)
  16. Red Hot Chili Peppers: Under the Bridge (1991)

Obviously, I was going for more early-90’s, not mid- or late 90’s. Oasis was a little after the time frame I’d wanted to stick with, but I had run out of ideas at the time. But this mix was made in May 2003, so I’ve had a year to ruminate about my other favorite 90’s tunes.

When Amy was visiting, I bought some used “huH” CD’s from Finders. (Remember that warped digipak on the front seat…?) huH was the best music magazine ever, even though it only lasted a year. The magazine itself was a square format, with cutting-edge design, and it came with a sampler CD of bands that were featured in the magazine. (I forget the name of the famous cutting-edge magazine I learned about in my Graphic Design classes, but the people who designed that magazine also designed this one.) Anyway, these CD’s reminded me of some almost-one-hit-wonder bands from the 90’s, like Letters to Cleo and Buffalo Tom. There are a bunch more bands like those that I’ve completely forgotten about… but maybe, with a little help from my friends, I can come up with a better mix of 90’s hits (and not-quite-hits) than my first one.

Here are my thoughts so far: Buffalo Tom (what was their big song?) / Letters to Cleo (same here) / James: Laid / The Cranberries: Linger / The Sundays: Where the Story Ends / Nirvana: All Apologies / Stone Temple Pilots: Sour Girl

Again, I want to keep it early to mid-90’s—nothing after, say, 1995. Those songs are different memories for me. See, the early 90’s are high school and summer and hanging out alone in the apartment I shared with my Mom, while the mid-90’s are college and staying home for a semester (in a new, nicer apartment, but with Gary) and returning and meeting Aaron and later living with a hellish fluffy roomate for two weeks. The late 90’s are living with Amy and working for RCC and beginning to get disenchanted with popular music. So, first, we’re going for the early 90’s.

Main goals of the mix: 1.) Stay in the early 90’s. 2.) Make it stuff that got radio play, especially on the alternative stations. (I miss 107.9 The End out of Cleveland. They were my favorite station EVER.) 3.) And help me find some less mellow stuff, please? I need at least a couple rockin-out songs to balance the happy relaxed mellowness of the rest.

Any ideas?

The Ultimate LJ Obsession Test

I was curious how lame I was, so I took…

The Ultimate LiveJournal Obsession Test
Category Your Score Average LJer
Community Attachment 11.83%
You have one or two loyal pals on LJ… But you probably have better things to do with your time.
22.44%
MemeSheepage 22.81%
Only trendy when it’s sufficiently entertaining
28.23%
Original Content 37.1%
Some stories must be told – and you’re the one to tell them
38.23%
Psychodrama Quotient 4.82%
Warning: Can Flame When Necessary
17.11%
Attention Whoring 15.91%
Slothfully Seeking Susan
20.67%

In other news, I am so glad to have my PC back up and functioning that I’ve been sitting here playing Civ III for about two hours, instead of doing dishes or getting my shower. My eyes are burning and my neck is sore.

Oh, and in case anybody forgot, today is Timmay‘s birthday! It’s 4:20, dude… huh. And two days before my birthday, which makes it even easier to remember. Like Dan‘s, which is five days before mine.

I gotta go shower and go to bed. Now.

Kill Bill Volume 2: Less Blood, More Plot

Upon seeing the “sequel,” I could really tell how the two halves were supposed to fit together as a whole. Watched in succession, the pacing of the two movies would be perfect. While Kill Bill Volume 1 focused on The Bride and her single-minded revenge, Volume 2 focuses more on the backstory and why her revenge is so necessary (and so flawlessly executed). The alteration of pacing would be a cleansing of the palette after two hours of jam-packed hack-and-slash gore—you’ve got it out of your system, so now let’s see more of why she’s on a murderous rampage. If you didn’t enjoy Volume 1 because of the over-the-top blood and guts, you may enjoy Volume 2 more for its drama and plot and character development. However, if you enjoyed Volume 1 solely for the gratuitous violence and much fast-paced kicking of asses, you may be mildly disappointed in the lack of equally massive gore in the second installation of the story (although it does still have its share). Remember, The Bride has fewer people to kill in this movie, anyway. 🙂

Apart from seeing Kill Bill, Amy and Aaron and I went to Subway for lunch, then the Low Carb Solutions store for the infamous pork rinds, then to Allied and Goodwill and Savers before we got our movie tickets. Fun weekend, great weather, and Amy’s visit most certainly saved us from doing yardwork all weekend.

Ah, well. There’s always next weekend.

…All’s Right With The World

Amy’s asleep in the living room, Aaron’s asleep in the bedroom, and I’m wide awake and hanging out in front of my computer in the basement.

Yesterday was fun: Amy arrived around 3:00pm, we hung out for a while and talked and gave her the Grand Tour of our new house, and then we opened presents. Aaron’s birthday present (from November), Christmas presents for all, and Amy’s birthday presents (from January, which ended up in amongst the Christmas presents). Then Amy and I went to BG to walk around and shop—we hit Finders, and R&B, spent lots of quality time in Grounds for Thought, ducked into Ben Franklin, browsed around 2 Play, wandered around Hatter, then realized that we needed to get home for dinner. We got some chicken and beverages at Kroger and headed back to Toledo. By the time we got home, it was 8:30pm and Aaron was starving. We barbecued the chicken on the grill and had dinner, then I opened my birthday presents (April 22nd, in case you were wondering). We all talked for a while, and finally went to bed around 2:00am, I think.

Overall, it’s been a fun visit so far. Today we’re going to go out to lunch, make Amy eat some Cinnamon & Butter Flavored Pork Rinds, and go see a matinee of Kill Bill Volume 2 at 3:15pm. Then she’s going to take off shortly after the movie, and Aaron and I will continue with our normal Sunday of food shopping and doing laundry. 🙂

Good times… I miss having Amy around. A lot.

Bye Bye, Blue…

Step one of the website overhaul is accomplished: I have changed the color palette for the entire damn site. It doesn’t have as much contrast as the last version, and I may have to do something about that. The dynamic contrast was what kept the site visually interesting for me, despite some sub-par header graphics from time to time, and I’ll miss that if I don’t re-implement it somehow.

My Mom always used to say to me, before I would go out with my friends, “Just remember who you are and where you come from.” At the time, it was a pleasantly sappy way for Mom to remind me to be good, and I took it as such. Remember, people know you’re a Mormon, and are watching you, so don’t mess up. That sort of thing. But recently, I find I’ve forgotten Mom’s advice (which, incidentally, was given to her as a youth by Memaw). I frequently forget who I am: web designer, amateur photographer, et cetera, and how I got to be where (and who) I am today. It’s not until I get into conversations with people who don’t know who I really am that I remind myself.

There’s a guy at work, name’s Mike, newest member of our department (about a month newer than me, though he’s worked for Sky longer). I think some people think him simplistic or goofy or whatnot, but I find him pleasant and honest and funny and forthright, which is refreshing in the corporate environment. He’s maybe a couple few years younger than me, I’d guess. Anyway, we always end up taking our morning break at the same time: around 9:45am, I’ll go into the break room to read whatever book I’ve brought with me that day—and shortly thereafter, Mike will come in to buy his can of Mountain Dew. We don’t plan it that way, and it doesn’t always coincide like that… but when it does, Mike’s quite the talker. 🙂

Today, through a series of random topic changes, we managed to start talking about my time at BGSU. I’d mentioned that I had supervisory experience, but that I was no good at disciplining employees (Sheryl… ahem). He asked about my job there, and I explained how I moved up through the ranks of RCC, from peon to supervisor, but had to leave when I graduated. Mike was surprized and amused that I knew more about computers than I’d let on. (When at Sky did I have the opportunity to flaunt my computer skills, I wonder?) He wanted to know why I never tried to get into the techie programming section of Sky, and I had to explain that I’m more of a designer than a programmer. I ticked off the media qualifications I got with my VCT degree: web design, photography, multimedia, video, print…

And I remembered who I was and where I came from. And I was ashamed that I had forgotten.

OMG Gibby…

Ahh… sitting at my computer—no, make that my computers—listening to mp3’s, with Outlook Express open, posting to my LJ. Cheerfully ignoring my external Mac CD burner giving me a tracking error; remaining happy nevertheless. Trying to decide what to work on next. Thrilling in the quick response of mouse and keyboard and a two-point-something GHz processor.

So, work has been so slow that I’ve been frequenting all the news sites: CNN, MSNBC, ABC News, Channel 13 out of Toledo. See, news sites are allowed, while blogging is not. A almost got canned when she tried it, but only because our supervisor saw and tattled on her. Not from any sort of monitoring, which makes me feel a little better.

Anyway, I found an article that you might find… intriguing. About binge drinking and its effect on brain functions. An excerpt reads:

Brain scans show clear damage, and tests of reading, balance and other function show people who drink more than 100 drinks a month have some problems, the researchers said.

Now, this might seem like a lot, but think about it in terms of college party-goers. One hundred drinks a month equals out to 25 drinks in a weekend. For the average college student (of the heavy partying variety), the “weekend” consists of Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Heavy binge drinking would then be about 8 or 9 drinks in a night. That’s completely within the realm of possibility. That’s about how much I drank at my bachelorette party, although I can count on one hand how many times I’ve been that drunk. Some people really do get that trashed every weekend, though (and Amy and I used to live nextdoor to some of them in the dorms).

Doesn’t this explain some things?

“Oh my God, Gibby, we’re not brain damaged! Why won’t you wake up? You’re passed out in your own vomit!”

Ah, the memories…

Thank you, Sheryl!

Ye Olde Frankenstein PC is back up and running, thanks to a working power supply donated by Sheryl. I installed the new power supply with little to no difficulty, and was delighted to hear that lovely little “beep” when I hit the power button. Then I spent even longer hooking up the PC to my little network of crap (gotta make sure the Mac is all finished being connected before cramming the PC under the desk, which means hooking up the external CD burner and the monitor switchbox, gotta feed both PC and Mac keyboard cables through and figure out where they live when not in use, etc, etc). Then I got to pick up where I left off back in freakin’ January when my computer had its little blowout, which was figuring out why Norton LiveUpdate wouldn’t update my virus defs. Amongst all those things, I spent all evening with my computer and didn’t even get the stuff done that I wanted to do with it (time-sensitive alumni web page updates).

So, now that I’ve downloaded a nice LJ client for my PC, and updating my personal page is no longer a chore, the question arises: do I keep blogging on LJ, or do I return to manually updating the.details? I intend to do some updates to it, anyway: changing the header graphic and menu system, adding a few sections (like gardening… I’m a dork), maybe even changing the color palette (oh the horror!). Can I get some feedback from my loyal readership? Blog here, or blog there?

It’s way past my bedtime. Lemme know what y’all think.

P.S. – Amy’s coming to visit this weekend! Schnarf!
P.P.S. – How I’ve missed having a speedy computer. I like my Mac, but I also like not having to wait for shit to load.