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Obvious

People love to state the obvious. I have one coworker who is always commenting on the things that are basically facts. He loves to ask about them? So, your eating lunch, huh? No I was planning on giving myself a taco facial. A lot of people love even more to state the obvious when it's negative. After a night out of drinking your coworker in the morning might tell you, "You look like shit." People really do love to be negative.

When I started as a contractor at my company during my first week I was nervous when I approached one of the artist for the game Mafia Wars. Today was my first day encrypting user machines with PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) and the first set of people we approached kicked us out of the suite. I asked the artist if he had time for me to PGP encrypt his machine. He said sure and gave me a funny look. "Would you like to be a bellhop?" Without any hesitation or questions I answered the obvious answer, "Of course I want to be a bellhop!" I had no idea what he was talking about but when someone asks you such a strange question the answer has to be yes. He pulled out a camera and snapped a picture of me then told me I would be a bellhop in vegas. Cool!

Two months later I was in the Mafia Suite again this time with a Slushy in my hand and I went to talk with my new friend Lynn. As I walked up to her she smiled big and said, "I am so Jealous?" "Because I have a slushy?" I asked back. "Because you'r in the game, I always wanted to be in the game, have you seen it? It looks just like you." she replied back. I wondered what my bellhop would interact with the players. would I give them a task, would they have to bribe me, or would they have to whack me. Awesome!

A few weeks later I got to see the picture, it does look just like me. Lynn sent me an email and I found out I was a free gift in the new Vegas expansion of Mafia Wars. I immediately started to make jokes that I was a slut because I was free. This week the game was released and I logged in to the game to see if I could send myself to all my FB friends, sadly I did not see myself. within the games you get different free items you can send. My coworker did a quick google search to find out how to get the bellhop in mafia wars and we came to a link with my picture and a description. At the bottom of the page is a space for comments. The very first comment had me laughing so hard. My coworker who did the search had the most horrified look on his face until he saw my reaction. The comment was just one word but to me it was so obvious it might as well said... white guy. What did the anonymous comment say?

Faggot!!!



P.S. please don't defend me on the wiki page, I think it's hilarious because I am a big old faggot.

My Best Freind's Wedding

Tom and I flew down on June 4th to LA for my best friend phinny's wedding. I was incredibly stressed out because I was in the wedding and was giving a speech during the ceremony. I was also stressed over trying to organize the Bachelors party despite the fact that it was starting before I even landed at an hour away from where it was being held. I'm so glad Kirsten, Melanie and Wendi were able to take care of everything for me. Poor Phinny his bachelor party was thrown by two lesbian, a prissy girl and a homo. The Party was great; here is a picture of me and Fatty Patty in the pool as photographic evidence.Collapse ) We spent the night at Kirsten's house and the next day had to make our way to Malibu for the wedding rehearsal. I've been to wedding rehearsals and they are normally a small affair with core family and friends, this wedding rehearsal lunch was 80 people. We split ourselves into two cars forming a caravan for the trip to the rehearsal. As is usual with our group of friends we were late, Tom and I are rarely late so this was stressing me out as well as the thought of rehearsing in front of 80 people who were not actually needing to rehearse. The traffic on the 101 freeway was horrible something I just couldn't understand for 11am on a saturday.
I was driving my dad's car and following Wendi a motorcyclist starting driving in the lane next to me. the cars in front of the cyclist began to slow so he lane split sharing the lane with me but I didn't really see him when he started to do this as he and his female passenger were in my blind spot right next to me. As he began to speed up I became aware of him and he scared the crap out of me, I jerked the wheel in surprise and it looked like he was going to hit my side mirror. I started cusing at him for scaring me and not knowing how to drive a motorcycle. All of a sudden all the traffic in both lanes stopped. The motorcyclist stopped lane splitting and moved to the other side of his lane away from me... walking his motorcycle. I asked Tom what the asshole was doing as stopped traffic was the perfect time to lane-split. His passenger threw a hand in the air flipping off... I have no idea, the general direction of in front of her.
For the next ten or so minutes the motorcycle paced us as the traffic would start moving then stop suddenly, I was worried several times the people behind me would crash into me. Then Tom's phone rang, it was Kirsten, Wendi had some asshole a few cars in front of her who kept stopping his car to take pictures, and Wendi realized the person was taking pictures of the motorcyclist and decided to get a better look. Yes the damn Paparazzi were almost causing accidents and killing people let alone the traffic to get a picture of George Clooney. I firmly believe the Paparazzi should be fine a million dollars if they cause an accident while trying to get a shot. Since I was driving and not an asshole trying to steer and use a camera at the same time, there is no photographic evidence.
The rehearsal lunch went well but immediately afterwards I had another rehearsal to attend. It had been decided that Phinny's friends were doing a Beatles musical number ala Glee. I have fear of my own voice and don't sing, But I figured since I was basically chorus I could force myself. This was a good thing to push myself on. When I get a copy of the video I'll post it here. I did a good job and it was a great success. I did a lot better than I thought I would at singing and speeches alike. I was so glad when the wedding was over, and I didn't have to worry about ruining anything on Phinny and Andrea's big day.

These dreams go on

I awoke from a very vivid dream early this morning. Grumpus was digging on me to get under the covers. I think he didn't really want under the covers I think he wanted me to wake up.

The Dream

I’m at Amoeba Records with Tom and I have two throw pillows under my shirt giving me a small pouch. Someone has told me it will make me feel better; it will calm my stomach. I’m not sure if it has but I don’t want them there any more. I am about to drop them on the floor when Tom asks me what I’m doing; he hates it when things get put on the floor. I ask him if he wants to keep these dingy old pillow, why not throw them on the floor when he won’t ever see them again. He tells me I should put them in the slackers lounge and we walk to this small room that is full of mattresses covered in clean white sheets and pillows. It looks like the ultimate sleepover, the whole room is wall to wall bed.

There are a few people sitting in the room. I throw the pillows into the room and I almost hit one of the two big old beautiful record players in the room. The pillow almost hits the ornate needle arms that seem so large they should threaten to scratch the record but the song that is playing sounds perfect and it’s a song I like as well. I guess my pillow didn’t bump it. That is when I notice some of the people are sitting next to a tiny projector so I turn to see what they are watching. It’s striking, a close up of a clowns face only it’s all white with black lines and black numbers. On his cheek is the number 69, his lips have the number 7 and around his mouth in the stubble area is 24. I chuckled to myself about the numbers. There are a few other numbers on his face when I realize he’s talking, he has a British accent and his voice is posh and sophisticated. The paint by number clown in a black and white movie is giving advice. “The key is to figure out what colors you want to use, you don’t have to use a guide, just decide what colors you want to use and do it. That is the key to life.”

Behind the clown I notice a boy spinning in circles he is on one of those metal spinning circles that used to be in parks. It was so much fun, you could sit on the stool in the center or hold onto on of the four railings that when from the stool to outside of the circle. I liked to be on the edge of the ride so I could feel the gravity trying to throw me off. This boy was in that spot on the edge but something was wrong with the carousel. It wasn’t a circle, it was just a wedge of the the circle, only one arm coming out from the stool and actually there wasn’t a stool, or a floor for that mater. The boy was just holding onto the arm, his feet were placed where the arm should meet the floor. It seems odd this spinning arm with this single boy smiling and holding on with ease. I remember when I was a kid you could never get it to spin very fast if you were using it by yourself.


This year for halloween I think I might go as a paint by numbers clown, or possibly a computer Zombie.... RAM.... mmmm... RAM!
You only realize how bright your computer screen really is when you wake it up in a darkened room after trying to sleep for an hour or two. The same goes for me with emotional states. The events of 2009 had left me damped and I had no idea the extent of it. I thought I was recovering really well.

When I was laid off I made the most of it and gave love to John our 20 year old cat for his last few days. I was grateful to have the time with him. I went out for drinks and lunches with my fellow unemployed friends. The weather was beautiful and I tried to do what I always wished I could do on those few San Francisco days of warm weather. I updated my resume and started to send it out. I immediately got a few nibbles that led little breadcrumb trails to dark forest or fantastical candied homes that were just beyond my reach. But I still kept telling people I wasn’t putting my heart into it because I was waiting for the right job for the first time in my life. Then I found out my mom was in the hospital because she couldn’t shake a flu. I decided to go visit and cheer her up, it’s just a flu. When I arrived the situation turned and she was fighting for her life. She told me she knew she wasn’t ever going to leave the hospital and she was ok with it, she had a wonderful life. She was right on both points.

Tom became very worried about my behavior. I cried very little. I focused myself on making a slideshow for her wake. Tom thought I should be screaming and crying, but that just isn’t me. I don’t see the point of it. Screaming only makes you hoarse and crying doesn’t really accomplish much either. I know it’s a release but I’m not one to cry all day. I wanted to move on.

I sent out more resume to places I didn’t really want to work at and secretly hoped I wouldn’t hear back from these companies. For the most part I didn’t. This sent me the frightening message that times had changed and despite my skills I was no in demand at all. My decade of experience in tech support and specializations in Apple computers was not worthy of even an email for a phone interview. I started to think about changing careers but had no idea where to go, so I didn’t take many steps towards anything. I just kept sending resumes out to companies I may or may not have wanted to work at. I kept telling people how well I was doing, how I was proud of the garden I had grown, leaving out that I was losing a battle with white mold, insects and the water bill. I bragged about the work I completed around the house; I wasn’t really meeting friends for lunch or drinks very often anymore. Most days I never left house.

I thought I was fine, I was my normal self, just unemployed and a little battered. I had to spend more time worrying about my dad, I had to spend more time on the phone with my brother. I spent time working on making a slideshow movie for my grandpa. I made a slideshow for Tom’s dad on his 80th birthday with panning cropping music and effects and it was a huge hit but ever since I have been making these wonderful sideshows as memorials. I felt that for reaching the age of 100 my grandfather deserved one of my slideshows. I gathered all my grandpa’s photos and paid to have them scanned (by the way scan café is a great deal and has amazing prices) Finally I heard from a former boss of mine that he wanted to hire me. YAY! It would start off slow and ramp up. Unfortunately I hated it and it never really ramped up. It just made me stressed out even when I wasn’t working. There are about a million post I could do on this but to give you and idea, I found out if you are sent to the home of Russian Mafia they like expect free tech support, like Obama, hate Jews, and will randomly stop understanding English.

When 2010 rolled around I was watching too much apocalypse television and by this time I had created an amazing survival kit. Living in earthquake territory that is overdue for a “big one” not really a bad idea, but once again Tom thought maybe I should worry more about leveling Grumpus on World of Warcraft... What? Like you don’t have characters named after your cats on World of Warcraft. I was around this time that Tom began to lose it at work... Well really lose it. He’s been losing it for years because he is smart and have seen the signs for years. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that being the largest record store the west side of the Mississippi isn’t going to keep the store open in the age of iTunes. He had to fight get the owners to sell online. They wanted eBay to start bidding high and then lower it by a dollar every day until someone would buy it. Tom would come home ranting each day about how they were driving the company into the ground. Everyone would point out that he was an employee and not an owner. But he just couldn’t separate himself, He had worked there for over a dozen years.

The inner circle of friends all agreed that he needed to save his sanity and quit before the ship pulled him under. Eventually he listed and gave his notice. He even went to London and Paris to visit our friend Alex the day after his last day. I know it sounds crazy but it was what he needed. The last time Tom left the country without me my mom passed away. Have I ever mentioned that Tom is insanely superstitious. This time my grandfather who walked 2 miles everyday and still drove at the age of 99, drove himself to the hospital found out he had cancer decided he wasn’t going to eat and he was ready do die. So 6 months short of 100 he passed. I was making another memorial slideshow.

I decided when Tom gave his notice to get my butt in gear and also lower my standards. I applied to work at several Applestores, I posted my resume on DICE (the techie version of Monster). I never heard a thing from Apple, but the number of viagraspam I got from posting my resume jumped. I also got several phone calls from potential employers all of course contract to hire or just plain temp work. Some company in the midwest kept asking me to interview for three week temp jobs hundreds of miles from my home. Then I got one that sounded wonderful, three weeks then perm if I worked out. I accepted then I got a call from Dolby and despite telling them I had already accepted another position they kept calling me, that made me feel good.

I started working at the new company and I instantly felt back. The bright lights of the display blinded me. I didn’t realize the room was so dark and my computer so bright. I felt a sense of usefulness that I hadn’t felt in over a year. I was excited about the company. I was bummed that I somehow misheard 8 weeks to be 3 weeks. But I think I am doing a good job impressing everyone. I think this one is already mine.

I think that God has a sick sense of humor

A year ago today I advised my family to pull the plug on my mom and she quickly passed away. Part of my grieving process was to create a slideshow in iMovie in tribute to how wonderful my mom was. I would wake up and start scanning photos before I had even a cup of tea. I revised the movie quite a few times before her wake. Everyone loved the movie and I kept thinking how sad my mom never got to see it and how wonderful it was when I made a similar movie for when Tom's Dad turned 80. We threw a huge party and projected the movie on a screen and Tom's dad just loved it. We made him so happy, it was wonderful.

I decided I would make a slideshow movie for my grandfather for his 100th birthday in September. I sent out old slides and negatives to scancafe (an amazing deal I highly recommend) in November I contacted different relatives who might have access to great photos that I didn't have. I talked with them about sending them boxes to have their slides, negatives and photos scanned. Everyone was enthusiastic about this project. I sent the last box out three weeks ago.

Today I am back in Long Beach, I flew down today after putting four hours of work. My Grandfather's health has taken a turn for the worse. It really came as a surprise to me. The man seemed like he would live forever, he walked three miles everyday, still drove and people constantly would not believe he was over 80 years old. He belonged to a computer club and could fix his own computer. I used to harass people that my 99 year old grandfather could do it so they should just try a little harder.

I can't believe that once again I'm working on yet another wake video, it's the third one in the last year. This one should be quite amazing, My grandfather was at one point the worlds youngest telegraph operator, a post master and he even worked on a train. It seems we shared quite a few interests because he took a ton of great pictures but he was almost always behind he camera.

The thing that saddens me the most is my poor dad. He lost his wife a year ago and now he is losing his father and he has no ability to express his feeling at all. He feels he has to hide his emotions, that he shouldn't cry, he can't show his vulnerabilities. He can't even bring himself to end conversations with "I love you" unless it's a obligated response of "I love you too."

Seriously, I ready for the deaths to stop and a good job to come my way. You listening up there? Don't make me start some "Blasphemous Rumors" about Your sick sense of humor.

Text of excitement and EDD

Todays' Tech Messages

Tom- "Just saw the f'ckin' Queen!!!!!OMG!!!!Got pictures at some westminster abbey event!" He's fond of the exclamation point.

Kirsten- "OMG Tim Curry just walked up to me at the Gym, introduced himself, and said he worships at my alter." she likes the comma.

I also got an email from my Friend Matt with the pictures of Meryl Streep's Dress from the Academy Awards that Chris March designed. Beautiful.

Tonight I have plans to go for Sushi so I can talk with a very predictable unemployment employee about my difficulties. I swear sometimes it doesn't pay to tell the truth. Every time I contact EDD, it gets worse.

I reported that I earned money from a contracting job. they stopped paying me.

I contacted them again, they still didn't pay, so I went into an office and they said they would fix everything. I Then got a check and a phone call from the people I have been contracting with who have had plans to hire me when things pick up. EDD has filed a claim against them that they let me go. Their unemployment insurance is going up. So I contact them again to get them to fix the mistake... and the reply I got was your claim has expired, please file a new claim.

Someone please find me a real full time job so I won't have to deal with this crap anymore. Keep your fingers crossed I get hired at the Apple Store.

It's been a year since I was laid off, and became Death's Magnet, I ready for things to turn around for me.

F.U.P.A.

The kitties are now 7 and 8 months old. Grumpus has grown into a lean, athletic Alien kitty. Mason has just grown wider and wider. He looks like an obese kitten. When we picked up Mason he was the fattest cat in a the basket of nine kittens. There was an e-coli outbreak in the cattery and he had just finished all of his medications. When we got him home Grumpus was much bigger than him and yet Mason would push Grumpus out of the way and eat his food or treats. Tom and I came hope one day to find a bag of treats on the floor covered in teeth marks, we then found out the bag that contained their dry food had been chewed open. Why mason wanted that food instead of the same dry food that was in his bowl, only he knows.

Our cat John who died last February had been a fat cat too. He loved his wet food, and treats and dry food and people food when he could get it. He would steal Emma's food before she passed. Emma wasn't fat but she had kittens before Tom saved her from Kitty Auschwitz, so she had a saggy belly. Mason has a saggy belly only it looks full like there may be a kitten in there. Tom and I have grown more and more concerned with it, the litter after Mason's had an outbreak of FIP. The breeder was devastated. She took the kittens into the vet for their shots and that's where they caught it. Horrible. One of the symptoms of FIP is fluid in the abdomen, so Tom and I have been keeping an eye on his FUPA (Fat Under Pussy Area).

The other day, Mason was laying on the back of the couch on his side underneath a lamp he uses like a heat lamp. His massive belly jiggling underneath hung down over the side of the couch. Tom and I both looked at him in horror as he purred away. We felt his belly to feel if it felt liquidy, it's didn't really and much to our surprise it didn't feel like he had a kitten in there either. The next morning we made a same day appointment to see the vet.

I took Mason in and left Grumpus at home, Mason was pissed to separated from his brother for the first time, and when we came home Grumpus was even more upset than Mason. But at the Vet I explained our fears and the e-coli and FIP situations. The handsome vet quickly ruled out FIP. Our old vet moved away so it was my first time meeting this new vet. He instantly fell under Mason spell and during inspection kept having cute-tourettes "Let me check his breathing and Heart... Oh my god you are cute. Are his ears normally like... What a lover you are... um, are his ears always like this?" Mason can charm the pants off anyone, unfortunately the vet's literal pants stayed on. After a full inspection the vet narrowed down his F.U.P.A. to two causes: Hernia or just plane fat. He recommended an ultrasound to be sure and warned that he may have to shave Mason's belly, that caused me to laugh and I assured him, he wouldn't but if he did that was fine. I think he forgot what his belly looked like in the 10 seconds he was talking to me. He told me it would take 20 minutes and warned me about the cost.

Ten minutes later he came out with mason and a big smile, "It's not Hernia, it's just fat. That was easiest ultrasound I've ever performed so we are only going to charge you half price." That's yay but why is he so fat when Grumpus is trim. We feed the kitties dry food because mrhavisham a former breeder told us wet food was bad for kitties unless they aren't getting enough water but we leave them a bowl out all day. I told this to the vet and he tilted his head and said, "Dry food is pretty fattening, maybe you want to not leave it out all day. I think this little guy is just eating too much. He weighs twice as much as the last time you brought him in and while he is a kitten and weight gain is normal... this is a bit extreme."

So yes, I made my child obese. It's going to be hard to reign in his eating and get him into better habits. I worry that Mason will continue to stay fat and Grumpus will starve. Wish us luck.

P.S. Yes I want the new iPad, but I think I'll wait until it has an isight camera. Second Generation for the Win please Alex!

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On Religion with a bit of focus on Buddhism

When someone asks me if I'm an religious I normally say, I consider myself spiritual but not religious. I've always held beliefs that were similar those of Buddhist. My parents had a strained relationship with religion, My father says the nuns at the Catholic schools beat it out of him and my mom's father was poisoned by his new wife because his Christian Scientist beliefs in no medical intervention or autopsies. My parents didn't want to deprive my brother and I of something so many found comfort in so they dropped us both off at the local Presbyterian church. I asked lots of questions, I tried to make logical sense of it and couldn't. They wanted me to just believe in the illogical things and everyone got upset at all the questions I kept asking. I spent a lot of time with my chair in the corner and one day I told my mom I didn't want to go anymore, and that was the last time I had to go.

In high school I worried that I was being made gay to punish me for not going to church. It took me a while to become ok with that aspect of myself. I was very open to all the religions of my friends I went to Jewish temple, Mormon Temple as well as a gamut of Christian churches. I was always freaked out by people who shared a cup, I'm sorry flu and halitosis are not scared of a priests handkerchief. I almost always was able to find something nice and something completely absurd about everyone I attended.

In College I met a Buddhist nun named Dong. She was in a Photography class I was in and I always helped her in the dark room. For one of my projects I put a fake barcode tattoo on her forehead and put her in a police line up. I'll have to see if I can find that photo somewhere. She amazed me in how happy she was and how she would light up if you asked her questions. I was always worried I was being rude and ignorant. I had asked her how often she prayed and she told me she prayed some insane amount of hours a day. I then asked her what she prayed for and she told me she prayed for everyone and that she even prayed for me every evening and night. Normally if someone told me they were praying for me I be tempted to take offense but I knew Dong thought I was wonderful.

A few years later I read a book that was a weird mix of eastern religions and while some of it I saw as wonderful other parts seemed downright stupid like if you believed you didn't have cancer hard enough it would go away. I know the mind is powerful but I think telling people they are sick because they don't believe strongly enough is horrible.

I talked a lot with my friend Nancy who due to her efforts helping Tibetan refugees has met the Dalai Lama many times and she always had the most wonderful things to say about him and the Buddhist religion despite the fact that she held her Jewish beliefs very dear.

When Dalai Lama's "The Art of Happiness" came out I bought the Audiobook and listened to it multiple times. It all made sense to me and quite a few concepts and beliefs were already ones I held. So I checked out a few more books. I just finished "See yourself as you really are" and there was quite a bit I just didn't get at all. The funny thing is one of the big things sounds like a block buster sci-fi movie to me. The buddhist pray for the end of cyclic existence for everyone in the whole world. Mmmm, so would that be the end of humanity? It sounds like the end of Arthur C Clarks "Childhoods End" to me. Why haven't they made that a movie?

I personally like Cyclic Existence. Yes I suffer, but I also enjoy. I like being alive in this physical world. I like feeling the range of emotions. I also think if only the most peaceful are able to getting out that is leaving more and more of the dregs, no wonder the world is so corrupt. Can non Buddhist escape cyclic existence? I think it will be a long time before I understand the Buddhist concept of I and inherent existence. "There is no spoon" only only makes sense to me in the Matrix. It's OK with me not to get it, I wouldn't mind another cycle or two to enjoy future flavors of ice cream.

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Blooming darkness drops fragrent petals

I've been having very minor feelings of panic. They are not panic attacks, it's more the realization that something really horrible just happened or is about to happen. Like you just emptied the trash and that paper you spent all day writing isn't on your desktop anymore... you deleted some other files but not that one.... oh god where is it.

I've been freaking out over work even though I've gotten nothing but positive reports. I have been driving Tom nuts worrying about any little freckle that is dark. Right now I am convinced he has a kidney stone or mrhavisham has made a voodoo doll of Tom. Probably the most unhealthy thing is my belief the work is going to end in 2012. I've watch too many documentaries playing up on the end of days predictions, not that I really put too much faith in them. It's more that the theory of how we got our moon and so much water was that the earth was hit by a comet during it's formation. That coupled with the extinction of the Dinosaurs and the Mayan Fifth World belief and a comet storm that happens every 200,000 years to restart the mess on earth sounds plausible to me.

I think in reality I'm just responding to all the deaths of last year, the recent earthquakes, landslides and end of the world shows I've been obsessing over. Like a true addict I need to just finish the new Life After People episodes and of course Apocalypse Man (so I will feel prepared) and then quit watching all these unhealthy end of the world programs.