Carpe Diem

I would now like to apologize for being such a damn whiner in my last post.

I spent some quality time surfing around Tomato Nation and reading random long-forgotten personal sites in my bookmarks. Ended up reading Eric Schroeder’s blog, and got an earful (screenful?) of what I needed:

its that time of the year again: time to LIVE. that’s right, no more of this crap i’m doing now. you’ve heard the arguments before, but i’ll present them again:

make it a day. why? today’s not just any day. some people get married today. some people die. some have their first child. imagine having your firstborn son or daughter today! you’d always, always remember it as one of the happiest days of your life. so the fact that you’re probably not having your first child today doesn’t mean that you can’t make today one of the most memorable and happy days of your life.

so live for it. don’t let it pass you by. what can you say you did today? sit in an office, talk on IM, is that all? some people died today. and they don’t have ‘today’ any more. sometimes i feel like i need to seize and take hold of today just out of respect for those who can’t.

so make it a day. do something great. look at a calendar and know that you lived life to the fullest each day. don’t fake your way through life. don’t eek your way through life either. take it, grab hold, and live it.

So, enough whining. I have a kitty on my lap, music on my WinAmp, and friends on IM. All is right with the world.


I don’t know what my problem is. I feel all blah. To be a little more specific, I feel extremely bored and disconnected. I think my attempt at marathon websurfing is my brain trying to combat my disconnectedness.

FYI, my definition of “bored” isn’t necessarily “there’s nothing to do,” but more of “nothing I can think of sounds good.” I mean, I could go make some candles, or I could put my clothes away, or I could exercise or practice my mellophone, or I could try to find something on TV. I could even go eat. But none of that sounds good.

I feel physically bleh, too, which isn’t helping. Either the Slim-Fast low-carb snack bars or the sugar-free Halls cough drop I had at work today acted (as promised) with a “laxative effect” —eww. Actually, it’s more of a grumbly-gassy-slightly-queasy effect for me during the day, culminating in said final effect upon arrival home after work. On top of that, my lower back’s been all funky and feeling out-of-place for the past couple of days (and nights); and, of course, once I got that all stretched out and cracked and popped and what-have-you, my left ankle / heel / Achilles tendon started feeling all funky and tight and making me limp. I have no clue what I did to make it do that. And the back of my neck/shoulder hurts, too, like something’s grinding wrong. Oh, and don’t forget the band-aids on my right thumb and left toe where I’m trying to finally stanch the wart epidemic I’ve been experiencing. (Don’t worry, they’re common warts. Says so on the Compound W box.)

Am I a freaking wreck, or what?

I’m gonna go find something to do. Hopefully. Blah. *sigh*

I Need More Reading Material

There’s something pathetic about this. I just spent an hour surfing off of strangers’ blogs and websites, looking for some new daily online reading material. I have about three friends who update their blogs regularly, and a couple strangers whose blogs/sites I find interesting. But I need… newness.

I enjoy being a bit of an online voyeur, reading about strangers’ lives and tribulations and what-have-you—but only if said strangers have interesting web design skillz and the capability to write a coherent paragraph. This counts out anyone under the age of 19 (for the most part), anyone who regularly types in 1337 (that’s “leet” for you non-geek-o-philes), or who uses “u r” or “cuz” or “wuz” or any such thing.

Strangers’ sites I’ve located today (or previously) that I enjoy reading:
+ Maniacal Rage
+ etherf@rm
+ Authentic Boredom

And… um… that’s it. I require more intellectual stimulus. Gah.

Yay, Quiz!

I don’t usually do quizzes, but this one wasn’t too stupid…

1. FIRST NAME: Diana

2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE: Diana Prince, Wonder Woman’s alter-ego. The story goes that Mom was pregnant, watching 70’s TV, and Wonder Woman came on. She thought about it, and decided Diana was a pretty name.

3. DO YOU WISH ON STARS: No, but after I played the song “Moon” with the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps, I was known to gaze at the moon for a few months and wonder what my corps-mates were doing.

4. WHICH RESTAURANT IS YOUR FAVORITE? Right now, Ruby Tuesday’s. Mmm, low-carb cheesecake.

5. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY: Really hard? When my Mom and I were standing by my Memaw’s hospital bed, and Mom started singing the lullaby Memaw made up for me when I was little. Although I’ve also been known to mist up while I’m listening to drumcorps CDs.



8. ANY BAD HABITS: I pick my nose when no one’s looking, among other things.

9. WHAT IS THE MOST EMBARRASSING CD ON YOUR SHELF: Depends on who’s looking. Could be Boston or Kansas, could be Janet Jackson’s debut album, could be my barbershop quartet or BGSU Men’s Chorus CDs. I’m not terribly embarrassed about my eclectic musical taste.



12. HAVE YOU EVER TOLD A SECRET YOU SWORE NOT TO TELL: Only to a third party who had no connection to the secret-originator. Sometimes you just have to tell, and telling someone who doesn’t know and doesn’t care is your best bet.

13. DO LOOKS MATTER: Sometimes, and depending on the situation. Sometimes not.

14. HOW DO YOU RELEASE ANGER? I get all pissed-off and sulky until I realize how stupid I’m being.

15. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE? Oh, Jeebus, don’t make me pick! Um… maybe Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan?

16. DO YOU TRUST OTHERS EASILY? Not generally, but possibly more than I should.

17. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE TOY AS A CHILD? My Smurfs and my Hot Wheels / Matchbox cars.

18. WHAT CLASS IN SCHOOL DO YOU THINK IS TOTALLY USELESS? In retrospect… totally useless? None. My least favorite was probably Social Studies (or History as I got into middle and high school), although I now wish I knew more of what I didn’t pay attention to back then.

19. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? I used to keep a paper journal, but now I just use this. Sometimes I still write things down that are too private to share.

20. DO YOU USE SARCASM? Who, me?

21. WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A GUY/GIRL? Notwithstanding the fact that I’m no longer “looking” for a guy… a sense of humor and overall acceptance of who I am.

22. WHAT ARE YOUR NICKNAMES? Aaron calls me Boobie-Doobie (after a Bill Cosby bit we listened to once on 8-track). My Mom used to call me Boogie when I was little.

23. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Um… now that I’m not quite so obese, maybe. If I was confident I wouldn’t end up on Faces of Death or Max X.

24. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? No, but I do untie them before I put them back on.

25. DO YOU THINK THAT YOU ARE STRONG? Yeah, but odor isn’t everything.

26. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? Oh, jeez. It really depends on my mood (and whether I’m eating low-carb), but I used to be partial to Denali Moose Tracks.

27. SHOE SIZE? Women’s 10 or 11, depending on the shoe. Men’s 8 1/2.

28. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE COLORS? They’ve been changing lately. I really like the light green that my webpage is right now, but I also like dark reds and burgundies and hunter green and navy blue. Again, it kind of depends on my mood.

29. HOW MANY WISDOM TEETH DO YOU HAVE? Four, and one’s coming in sideways.

30. WHO DO YOU MISS MOST RIGHT NOW? Nobody in particular, but if I had to pick someone, I’d say my Memaw.

31. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE YOU SEND THIS TO SEND IT BACK? Well, I snicked it from Sheryl, and that leaves about three people who might see it and respond, of which maybe one will when she gets back from

32. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? The sound of my too-loud computer humming.

33. LAST THING YOU ATE? Three cheddar bratwursts and a slice of leftover low-carb pizza.


35. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT THE OPPOSITE SEX: Overall build. Muscular, slight, chubby, tall, short, medium.

36. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON THAT SENT THIS TO YOU? Sheryl is the bomb-diggity.

37. HOW ARE YOU TODAY? Not too bad. Got a little bit of a headache, but the Aspirin-Free is chasing it away.

38. FAVORITE DRINK? I dunno. Seems like it should be water, since I drink so much of it lately.


40. FAVORITE SPORTS: To watch: skateboarding. To play: I liked soccer and field hockey in elementary school. Since then, I haven’t really played any sports. Maybe badminton, which I haven’t played since high school gym class.

41. HAIR COLOR? Brown.

42. EYE COLOR? Hazel-blue.

43. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? I did until I got a staph infection from a rogue cigarette ash blowing into my eye at a concert. After that, I got some more stylish glasses than I had in high school, and realized that glasses weren’t so bad, after all.

44. SIBLINGS? Step-brother, Philip, 17.

45. FAVORITE MONTH? *thinking* Don’t really have one. Weather-wise, probably September.

46. FAVORITE FOODS? Used to be pasta. Now, I don’t know. I just kind of eat because it makes me go.

47. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? The Last Unicorn on DVD, I think.

48. FAVORITE DAY OF THE YEAR? Day? Uh… *shrugs* I dunno.

49. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy endings, if I had to choose between the two. I’d actually prefer weird endings that make you go hmm.

50. SUMMER OR WINTER? Summer, most definitely. Drumcorps. Plus, heat isn’t physically painful like cold can be.

51. HUGS OR KISSES? Hugs. Long, drawn-out, squeezy hugs.

52. RELATIONSHIPS OR ONE NIGHT STANDS? Duh. One-night stands are weird and ungood. Even strange relationships are better.

53. WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Beth, when she gets back.

54. WHO IS LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Any one of a (small) number of people who don’t read my LJ on a regular basis, or don’t have one themselves.

55. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? Asimov’s Caliban by Roger MacBride Allen

56. WHAT’S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? “Last Dead Mouse” with a dead mousie (title of a Mighty Mighty Bosstones song, and purchased at one of their shows).

57. FAVORITE BOARD GAME? Currently, Scrabble. I didn’t used to like it so much when I was a kid.

58. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? *thinking* Channel-surfed with Aaron. There wasn’t crap on last night. Ended up watching part of Dateline, I think.

59. FAVORITE SMELLS? Valve oil and diesel fumes. Heh. (That’s the drumcorps nut in me.)

60. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU THINK OF WHEN YOU WAKE UP? “How much longer can I sleep and not be late to work?”

61. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU AND ONE THING NICE ABOUT THE PERSON: Ganked this from Sheryl. She’s almost always willing to give you stuff if you need it and she has it, or help you do stuff if you need help (like parsing an RSS feed).

Unproductive Evening

Spent all day at work chomping at the bit to get home and work on web page / drum corps stuff. Got home, ate dinner, messed with my computer a little, got bored, went upstairs and read on the couch, fell asleep for an hour, woke up with the cat asleep on me, then watched American Chopper and 20/20 (with the cat still sleeping on me).

I’m only just now getting down to researching more on RSS feeds and planning to create one for my alumni site, even though it’s rarely updated. WTF. It’s purely for my own benefit—I don’t expect anyone to actually take advantage of the Saginaires Alumni Association syndication.

I’m tired but not sleepy. :-/  Blah.

Girlfriends Rock

Got to spend an evening with Sheryl. It’s been a while since I had an evening of chillin’ and discussing schtuff in general. Went to Wally World (aka Wal-Mart), went to Sheryl’s apartment (where I freaked out her dog somehow), finally went to my place and talked about RSS feeds and geeky stuff and girlie stuff and kitty stuff.

Yeah… we need to hang out more often, yo.

Memorial Day Parade

…went well, overall. After leaving the house at 7am, I did zone out on the way up to Novi and missed my exit at the I-475/23 split, and had to backtrack down 23 from Michigan to get back on 475, losing about 15 minutes or so. Then, of course, Mapquest failed to mention that 8 Mile Road was under construction at the I-275 ramp, so I had to do a U-ie in the “Authorized Vehicles Only” lane to get on 8 Mile coming from the other way. All told, I was a good 20 minutes late to meet the hornline. At least they waited for me, though—we were all meeting at the end of the parade route, and carpooling to the start to save us all some headaches after the parade.

Our brass caption head and his brand-new wife were off either getting married or starting on their honeymoon, so we faked our way through warm-ups. That was pretty fun. We also got to fake our way through F-Tuning—anyone who’s heard a marching band or drumcorps warm up just before a performance, facing backfield, playing six chords in a row, you’ve heard it before. (Beth, I’m sure you’ve heard it. Donna too, if you still read this thing. Dan, certainly.) No sheet music for us, just listening to our drum major rattle off notes to play.

“OK, concert pitch. We all start on F, then you guys stay there, and you guys go up to C and stay there, then you guys go to A, then you go to D while they stay on F and you guys go to B-flat, then baris go to C and…”

Confusing, sure. But fun. Oh, so fun.

The parade itself was… long? Weird? Yeah. Two miles or so, which isn’t killing, yet also isn’t comfortable. And apparently Novi has no actual downtown area, so we just marched down a stretch of 10 Mile Road. There were stretches with gobs of people, then smatterings, then absolutely no people for a good quarter-mile. We did get to chill out in the spots with no people, though, which was cool.

Senior corps is increasingly different from Junior corps. In Junior corps, all members are expected to stay at attention during the entire parade, be intense, eyes front, watch your posture, no smiling and waving, etc. Remember, this is your time to practice basic marching technique, so make the most of it… blah. Yesterday, we all did stay in step, and we were serious when it mattered; but once we’d played through the parade tune a few times, we had no qualms about calling back to the drumline, “Cadence or taps for a while? Our chops need a rest!” The baritones also switched which hand they held their horns with every now and then, since their left hand would get tired from holding the horn down at their side after a while. And topping the category of Never In A Junior Corps: our tuba player, Russ, unabashedly answered his cell in the middle of the parade. 🙂

By the end of the parade route, we’d played through Moorside March at least seven times, and once we got to where the TV cameras were, I’m sure we sounded like the freakin’ Salvation Army band. But we made it.

And my lips are still swollen.

After the parade, we all drove our own respective vehicles to Pizza Hut, where we overtook the joint with no one having called ahead. The one server and one pizza cook suggested we all go with the buffet, for the best service. They weren’t very happy with us.

It had been a long time since I met up with a bunch of music folks at Pizza Hut. Back in high school, Mel and I used to do Pizza Hut all the time with our woodwind section (and we left the best tips, though it was all change). Anyway, it was also great to get to actually socialize with these people I’ve been rehearsing and performing with for a while now. I did that a little at the picnic after the Birmingham parade, but not so much as at Pizza Hut. I finally got to hear different corps stories—I think that, by now, Paul knows all mine and I know all of his, since we’ve carpooled to so many events over the years. 🙂

And, best of all, I was home by 2:30. Rock on.

Next parade: Frankenmuth, June 13. Definitely finding a carpool buddy for that one.

Memorial Day Weekend So Far

Productive weekend so far. Saturday, we went to Fort Meigs in Perrysburg to watch the Siege of 1813 re-enactment, where I easily burned off two rolls of film. (I’ll post photos when they come back from Dale Labs.) Afterward, we went thrifting and I picked up some candle containers (pint-sized mason jars) and a super-8 projector that looks like a little TV. Very cool.

Today, Aaron mowed the grass while I mopped the kitchen and bathroom and swept the garage; then we went to Wal-Mart and bought car-washing implements and batteries for my projector; then we washed both cars; then we trimmed some tree branches away from the house; then Aaron went shopping while I did laundry. For dinner, we attempted something new: Low-carb pizza. It actually turned out to be fairly good—we plan to try it again, after we invest in some real pizza pans.

Tomorrow morning, I head up to Novi to march in their Memorial Day parade with the Lakeshormen. I’ll be leaving the house around 7am, if not earlier, arriving at Novi around 8:15, warmups at 8:30, parade starts at 10, two-mile parade (yeeks), lunch at Pizza Hut afterward (salad for me), then another hour-plus to get home. Heck of a holiday.

Long-lost Relatives

Not long ago, I contacted my great-uncle’s case worker in Florida to see how he was doing in the nursing home there. I’m not technically his next-of-kin (my Memaw was his sister), but I’ve been told by my family that I’m his sole inheritor (if he had anything left to inherit). So, I feel obligated to check on him every now and again, to make sure he’s still hanging in there. He doesn’t write much, and he could never hear well, and he was never really all that mentally cohesive, for that matter. But his case manager, Patrick, said he’s doing OK. I told him that, if he ever felt the time was right and that Uncle Charlie could take the news, to go ahead and let him know that his sister died. Last year.

Man, do I feel like a dick.

Anyway, there’s one other relative to inform yet: my Uncle Donnie. Yep, that’s him on the left there. He’s my mother’s older brother—and he’s only 50, though he looks pretty bad these days. Uncle Donnie is a carney: a basically homeless vagrant who works for the carnivals as they come around. Ever since I was a very small child, I’ve known that Uncle Donnie is a carney and sleeps under overpasses and hitchhikes to get where he wants to go. It seemed perfectly OK to me then, and only in ensuing years have I come to realize that no one else even knows a carney. This is not a normal career move.

Anyway, after thinking and thinking, I finally Googled the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department in Hillsborough County, Florida. That’s where Donnie prefers to spend his time, for the most part, having grown up there. And, whaddaya know, I found him in the online arrests database. That’s where the mugshot came from. And, surprisingly enough, the most recent arrest report (from February of this year) gave a P.O. Box in Ruskin where he could be reached. I’ll be damned. We can contact my homeless vagrant uncle!

I e-mailed the link to Mom and told her that it’s her responsibility to tell her brother that their mother’s dead. I’m not taking that on, too. I found him—the rest is up to her.