Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Nothing to see here

I'm attempting to convince people at work that a blog would be a great way for distributing information to our sales force. I just wanted to test a couple of things before presenting my blog (which to say is dormant would be seriously understating the case) for them to look at.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

I'm Back

Since June 29, 2005, this blog has lain idle and that is entirely too long. I gave up on maintaining this blog for a few reasons:

1) I live, basically, a mundane life - title of this blog notwithstanding. About the only thing mis-spent about my adulthood is that I don't spend nearly enough time doing anything.
2) About the only people who read this blog were my friends and family, who already know about my life - oh, Internet fame! You cruel and fickle woman!
3) It can take me quite a while to write even the simpliest of entries. I struggle with everything from topics to write about to word choice to punctuation.

I'm not promising that I'll be posting on an hourly, daily or even weekly basis, but I will post! In fact, I've a few topics in mind already... perhaps taking over a year off was a good thing?!?

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Can the RIAA Come After Me Now?

Okay, for reasons which I don't particularly wish to discuss, it became necessary to find the lyrics to "On Top of Spaghetti". This is the first site that was listed Google (and I'm not helping the cause any by linking to it). Not only are the lyrics available, but it automatically starts playing some 6 year old practicing the piece. At first, I didn't even think that it was the same song. Eventually, it does get a bit better....but you've moved on long before then.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Dang'd Kids and their Music

This past Saturday, I fell asleep on the couch as will happen from time to time. I woke up about 4am or so and toddled off to my bed to complete my slumbers. Unfortunately, it would be about an hour or so before I finally was able to fall back asleep. Not because I wasn't tired or anything of that nature. No I wasn't able to sleep because of a vicious row that my neighbors were having. Before I go on, a little history...

I have lived in a myriad of locations and apartments. From my parent's house to a dorm room to a student apartment to a studio apartment to 3 different "real" apartments. I've lived in Chicago, Mount Prospect, Lisle, Springfield and now, outside Dayton, Ohio. Up until recently, I have had no problems with my neighbors or the amount of noise that they make. Actually, I'm not including the dorm room or student apartment since raucous behavior and noise just goes with the territory. Nor am I including my parent's house since I like to have some place to stay when I return to Chicagoland. Nope, nothing until I moved out of my parent's house once and for all at the somewhat obscene age of...well, that's not really important to this story.

In my first apartment, a small studio apartment, I had only one incident where I was disturbed by a neighbor's music. I can't recall if I was actually awoken by the music or I was trying to get to sleep after being out (I am assuming the latter for reasons that will be clear in a minute), but I do remember hearing "smooth" jazz. Since there is only one reason that anyone listens to "smooth" jazz that late at night, I wasn't going to go downstairs and complain.

At my next apartment in Mount Prospect there was a single incident also relating to music. This time, my neighbors were having a party and the music was up a bit, but once I got into my bedroom and closed the door, it was barely noticible. The problem was that the host (or hostess - I never actually met the person living right next to me - seems to have passed out at some point and the whatever CD they had on started skipping. Now, one would think that having to listen to the same 5 seconds of a song over and over and over and over for about 3-4 hours would burn it forever into your head, but truthfully, I have no clue what the song was.

While living in Lisle, I had no complaints about music or people walking to loudly, etc. There was one minor irritation, but it's not something that could be helped. It seems that the couple that lived above me had recently had a child - again, never actually met them - so for the first few months, I did have a baby crying at regular points during the night. But, since I was now in a two bedroom apartment (actually a one bedroom with a den) the only time I could hear the baby cry was when I was up really late watching TV or on the computer.

Another thing that you have to understand is that once I fall asleep, there is hardly anything that will wake me up. I once stayed at some friends' condo in Chicago when a building right across the street from the bedroom I was in went up in flames. The firemen, more concerned with putting out the fire than letting people sleep, made no attempt to keep quiet. The fire trucks came tearing down the street sirens blaring and lights flashing, they extended the jacks with a great hydraulic whine, shouted orders and sprayed upteen gallons of water on the house and, generally, made a nuiscene of themselves. Actually, I have no idea if this is what really took place, since my friends had to tell me about it the next morning. I thought they were kidding until they made me look out my window and see the destroyed residence for myself...and damned if there wasn't a fire gutted house across the street! So, you see, I sleep pretty heavily. Although, I will always hear the phone ring. Explain that if you can.

Anyway, back to the main point of this whole entry. The incident on Saturday night/Sunday morning was not the first time that this had happened with these particular neighbors. Now, these neighbors - who I have said hello to - are a couple of 20-somethings who are most definately night-owls (but then who isn't at that age?). Another issue is that their entryway/front room is directly behind my bedroom so I can hear anything above a normal conversation. The first happened a couple of weeks after they moved in. I'm guessing that I wasn't sleeping well because I was woken up at 3am or so by their music. It wasn't bad music - no rap, hip-hop crap or "smooth" jazz - still it was 3am on Thursday morning. This went on until about 5am, at which point I was able to get back to sleep.

You may be wondering why didn't I just go and knock on their door and tell them to keep it down. Two reasons. First, I'm normally able to not only sleep through anything, but also fall asleep through anything. Second, this is not an apartment building, it is a "complex" (for some reason, as I was typing complex my back got a whole lot straighter). In order to go and bang on their front door, I would have to go outside and who wants to deal with that kind of bother.

From the sounds of it, the fight the other night was a doozy. Though, I have no idea what it was actually about. I came into it late and I couldn't make out half of it. My theory is if you are going to wake up the neighborhood with your screaming and fighting at least do it loud enough so that people can hear through the walls. All I got was the a lot of indeciperable words with the occasional swear word that I could recognize - including the "C" word. What took me by surprise was not the use, but the user - she said it refering to another woman. I'm pretty sure that that is illegal.

Maybe I can get them to play classical music next time. That's always nice to drift off to.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Warning - The Material You Are About To Read May Be Inappropriate For Small Children

"Perhaps, just perhaps", I said to myself when first contemplating this entry, "I'm about to reveal a bit too much about myself." Then I realized that my second post was entirely about the consequences of going to the bathroom with cold hands and decided that this is, if not any better, at least no worse.

You see, at some point in the past I seem to have become some sort of mad scientist. This is actually pretty surprising since:

  • Madness does not run in my family - cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease and age-related dementia, sure! No madness though.
  • I never really excelled in the sciences in school. Even though I somehow managed to get into the honors section of high school chemistry the only way that I actually passed the class was by borrowing other student's lab books and cribbing on the exams.
So with these two facts in mind, even I'm confused as to how exactly I descended into madness and bleeding edge research.

It is now apparent that I have become the Dr. Frankenstein of the refrigerator - trying to create life from lifeless flesh. Unlike the good Doctor, I think that, among other things, I'm using chicken (at this stage it is both difficult to remember or recognize what I started out with) and not human bodies for my experiment. Also, I don't have a trusty, humped-back assistant (Hump? What hump?) named Igor (pronounced either ee-gor or eye-gor, your choice)

The problem is that I only rarely cook so when I do, I generally make enough to have left-overs. Once I have sealed the remaining morsals of the meal into one of those nice Zip-Loc storage containers - this, by the way, is where Igor would really come in handy...he could do the dishes - I gently place it into the refridgerator and....promptly forget about them. Now since I don't cook that often, I don't shop that often, because I don't shop that often I don't generally have anything in my refridgerator, because I know that I don't have anything in the refridgerator I don't look in it for food, because I don't look into the refridgerator for food it any leftovers that I may have so carefully placed in there end up looking like the creeping crud.

Actually, it is a pretty good example of anerobic mold growth. What is anerobic mold growth, you ask? Besides being one of the countless useless pieces of information taking up space in my head for no real purpose (which is kind of the definition of useless), it is a when mold grows in an oxygen depleted state. Okay, enough real science for now, back to my story. Now, I'm not taking samples and putting them through the battery of CSI-esque tests that could reveal not only what type of mold it is, but also where it spent its childhood, when and with whom it last had sex, maybe - just maybe - answer that age old question...well, you get the idea.

I've actually become a bit scared to look in the fridge any longer. I've kept it trapped it trapped in the refridgerator for so long, who knows what a really, really pissed off mold is want to do. I suppose that when I do finally screw up the courage to confront this homicidal mold sample, I shall just have to do it wearing my official protective suit, just like the military wears. If you don't hear from me in the next few days, well, it's been nice knowing you and I'm leaving everything to Natalie...except the porn, which Kevin gets. specifically it's Kevin D who is getting the porn and not Kevin U - sorry, but I don't have any of the porn you like Kev.

Other Thoughts
I watched the entire Democratic National Convention - fine, it was like 2 months ago, but who's counting - and after listening to each of the speakers, including John Kerry, I decided that I'm voting for Bill Clinton again. I don't care that he is constitionally banned - because of the actual Constitution and because his constitituion isn't quite up to after the quadruple bypass surgery the other day - I'm still voting for him. Of course that assumes that I get my Ohio driver's licence and register to vote. I still have a few days.

I also watched President Bush's acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. Which is really a shame since I missed Zell Miller (a Democrat) lay into the nominal head of his party. Though I guess we still come out on top...they get Zell Miller and we get John McCain. There is no possible way that I could do the President's speech justice...I'll let The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and John Bliss's Your Weekly Reader do it for me in a much smarter and funnier way than I ever could hope to acheive.

Oh, and in case you haven't yet figured out that I will not be voting to re-elect the current occupant of 1600 Pennslyvania Ave, here are a few other Bush related sites that I found very amusing.

Bush Yoga - Yoga Poses by George Bush

Bush Flip Flops

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Catch Up

A lot has happened since I last set fingers to keys, so let's not waste any time on pleasantries and get right to it. Shall we?

I returned to Chicago about two weeks ago for the Chicago Pride Parade. After visiting with my niece (and by default my sister and brother-in-law) on Saturday, I headed downtown to my friend Stacey's "cute" apartment. Anyone who has ever looked for an apartment knows that "cute" is code for small - very small. After she cleaned up the apartment a bit, we headed out to see "Anyone Can Whistle" (an early musical by Stephen Sondheim) directed by an acquaintance of mine followed by drinking at a local bar. This was not our original plan, which called for going directly to a bar without passing go, collecting $200 or stopping in a theatre, but our friend John Bliss called and was able to arrange a couple of free tickets. Stacey hadn't been to see a show in a while and I'm a huge Sondheim fan, so off we went. After the show and two bars, we went back to Stacey's and crashed.

Gay Pride Parade
Attending the annual Gay Pride parade, which is always the last Sunday in June, has become a tradition among my friends, several of whom, as it turns out, happen to be gay. Sorry, but there will be no long description of the twinks, lesbians, trolls, bull-dykes, leather men, sugar-daddies with their boy toys or preoperative transexual lesbians that were on display. There will be, however, a short digression on the benefits of mixing vodka and Gatorade.

Vodka and Gatorade are the perfect compliments to one another. Vodka, like all alcohol if ingested to excess, will lead to drunkenness, the saying stupid things, and the possibility of hitting on a preoperative transexual lesbian. It will also lead to that ugly feeling the next day know as "The Hangover". While I am generally able to avoid hangovers, simply because I understand what my limit is and switch to water before I get too drunk, there have been times that I have not heeded my body's advice and continued on drinking. One of the hallmarks of a hangover is dehydration and that's where the Gatorade comes in. One of Gatorade's taglines is "Nobody does hydration better" So, theoretically, as you are dehydrating yourself with the vodka you are concurrently rehydrating yourself with the Gatorade, thereby alleviating (or at least reducing) the hangover. Now, I haven't conducted a scientific study on this, but I think the theory is sound. More research will need to be done. Any volunteers?

Back on the main topic...After a short, post-parade recovery period back at Stacey's apartment, we hit the streets in search of additional alcohol, specifically in my case - Corona. Five of us started out originally, but we ran into a couple of friends along the way. About all that I have to say is that we drank excessively, visited several gay bars and I even got out on the floor and danced. All this and not once did I get hit on. Bitches!

Oh, the pain, the pain.
Most of Monday morning was lost to the recovery effort from the night before. We mostly laid around watching various scenes from Kill Bill: Vol. 1. Eventually, I was able to meander back to my car and drive to my parent's house and spend some more time with Natalie.

Speaking of pain, I suppose that now would be a good time to describe two incidents relating to my car, specifically to my back bumper. The first starts about three miles from the exit for my parent's house. I'm nearing the end of a 6 hour drive when a car comes flying up behind me and starts riding my ass. Now, I'm in the middle lane with cars on both sides and another car no more than 50' in front of me, so it's not as if I'm holding up traffic. Does this mean anything to the idiot behind me? No, in fact, it means that he should start flashing his brights. I'm quickly approaching my exit, so spotting an opening, I move over to the right hand lane. Thank God I won't have to deal with that asshole anymore. Oops, spoke too soon. When next I look in my rearview mirror there he is again. Fine. As my uncle used to say while teaching me to drive a stick-shift, "whatever is going on behind you is behind you" or some such stuff. Anyway, as I take the exit off the tollway I can't help but notice that this guy is still riding my ass. As I approach the automated toll booth, I simultaneously start slowing down and looking for 30¢. Suddenly, I lurch forward as this nitwit bumps into me. I pull over to assess the damage to my car (some scraped paint)and the other driver (doesn't carry any insurance) and decide that both I and my car will survive, but not until I have a few cross words with Mario Andretti about his driving habits. With him properly abashed, I get back into my car, pay the toll and proceed onwards towards my parent's. And isn't just my luck, this nimrod ends up going the same way that I am. Only this time, he keeps about 400 yards behind me.

Story Two begins when I am trying to find parking near my friend Stacey's apartment. Parking in her area is no easy task. It is a horrible confluence of issues - too many apartmentt buildings, too many "No Parking" zones and fire hydrants located every 30 feet. Eventually, I see a woman approaching her vehicle making every indication that she is just about to leave. I pull over to the side as much as possible and turn my turn-signal on. Ten minutes later, the tick-tick of the turn-signal is starting to get to me as the woman makes yet another dash inside for some forgotten thing or another, though this time she gave me that universal shrug and smile that says "I'm sorry, but this is the last trip, I promise...really." So there I am sitting waiting for this woman to do or get whatever it is she forgot this time when I notice in my rearview mirror two bicyclists that have obviously had one (or two or ten) too many coming around the corner. The first manages to avoid the huge maroon object that is my car. However, the other, busily trying to finish yet another beer, is not quite so lucky...and neither is my back bumper. With a thump down he goes, in a tangle of metal, flesh and black plastic bag. He lays there, sprawled spread-eagle in a pool of spilt beer right in the middle of the road for a few moments before I decide to get out and see if my car is okay (and,incidentally make sure he isn't dead). Gradually, he stumbles his way to his feet and with barely a coherent word gathers the black plastic bag, which I now realize contains several more canned beverages of the alcoholic variety, and starts to wheel his bike away. His equally non-sober friend, possibly sensing that this incident may not be the last before reaching their final destination, urges him to hand over the plastic bag. No way that is going to happen...if there is one thing that is truly universal, it's the fact that there is just no reasoning with someone who is 30 sheets to the wind. Apparently, crashing into my car had caused his front wheel and handle bars to become un-aligned. I watched as this fool attempted to realign the two by slamming his tire against the tire of a car up the road. This set the bag in his hand to swinging, eventually leading to it slamming into the bike and bursting the cans open. If I hadn't of been seated in my car, I would have fallen to the ground in hysterical laughter. Needless to say, there were many profanities said and an almost equal number of recriminations by the friend for losing the last of their beer.

That's it for now. There are a couple more stories that need to be told both about Pride Weekend and the Fourth of July weekend, but I've been working on this post for over 2 hours so I think that I'll save them for another day.

Oh, one last thing. July 5th was Musings of a Mis-Spent Adulthood's 6 month birthday. In those 6 months, I've posted 22 entries (not including this one) and written nearly 15,000 words. I've learned recently that several people, besides my friend Kevin D, actually do read my rambling stories. However, he is the only one that ever writes comments. Come on, start a trend, a post a comment today. What is there to be afraid of? It's fun, easy and I promise not to make fun of you in any future posts.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Chronicles of a Ken Doll

This story begins a few weeks ago at a "Welcome to the Team" gathering for my new boss at a local pub (yes, that's right - a pub!) I can't recall the name of it right off the top of my head, but it was Irish...Definitely Irish...I think. Most of that evening seems to have passed in a bit of a haze since the beer was flowing freely because the director of the division was picking up the tab and no expense was to be spared.

Anyway, at some point in the evening, two of my co-workers, both attractive twenty-somethings, turned to me and started dissecting my "look". Needless to say by the time they finished with all the things that are wrong with me, I wanted something a bit stronger than beer. Thank God for Jager! It was then that it was decided that I needed a make-over. Nothing radical mind you just new glasses, haircut & clothes. Like I said, nothing radical.

Now, I have several friends that are gay and ever since Queer Eye for the Straight Guy first hit the airwaves, I've been patiently waiting for them to show up at my door to redecorate my apartment, teach me how to prepare coq au vin, introduce me to the world of couture, show me how to apply pommemade to my hair and...whatever the hell that pixie Jai does. Now mind you what I'm about to say is purely theory so it could be horribly wrong, but I think the reason this hasn't happened is that they are scared. That's right, scared. Scared that they just might succeed too well and I would become the center of attention. No queen wants someone else to be the center of attention. What's the point of a tiara if no one notices?

Originally, we planned the makeover for the Tuesday following Memorial Day. Due to several things, this did not work out so we rescheduled for this past Tuesday. Please let me stress that we did not leave work a half hour early. That would be wrong and I would never condone not putting in the full eight hours that are due to the company in recompense for my paycheck. Again, we did not leave early. But, supposing that we did, we might have started out at LensCrafters. Having just had my eyes examined for this express purpose, all the remained was to look over the selection of frames.

A lot of time was spent looking at different versions. Well, I should say that they spent a lot of time looking at me in different versions. As you may recall, without my glasses I can't see anything but blobs and shapes. It is very difficult for me to actually see what a particular frame looks like on me without squinting really, really hard which just ruins the whole effect.

I do have certain requirements regarding my frames, such as they had to have clip on sunglasses because I really don't care for the idea of having to buy two pairs of glasses and the tint couldn't be bronze. Other than that, I was open. Should the glasses be rimless? No. Should I get transition lens? Another no. How about these round ones? No, yet again. What about these beige ones? An emphatic no. Eventually, we settled on a nice pair of frames that were both to their liking and mine.

Off I went to get the glasses made and off they went to The Gap (for a little shopping of their own). Unfortunately, LensCrafters couldn't fit my prescription into the nice $119 frames that we picked out. Actually, the prescription would have fit fine but the clip on sunglasses wouldn't fit over it. So, with this bad news, I went to find the girls at the Gap. After they tried on a couple of outfits and returned some items, back we went to LensCrafters where we eventually settled on another pair - a $200 pair also with clip on sunglasses but don't clip to the lens. There was a bit of sticker shock since this only was the frames and not even the lens, but then I was reminded that I'd had my last glasses for about 6 years, so assuming that these last as long that works out to $33 a year or about 9 cents a day. Plus, I have vision insurance, so I suppose I could handle that.

I've looked around on the 'net and can't find a picture of the glasses. Surprisingly, LensCrafters doesn't actually show any of their available selection - guess it's because that selection will vary by location. I tried everything that I could think of, from the model number to various keywords on Google. In this case, Google was Garbage. Perhaps, I shouldn't type that what with having only recently re-established my #1 position with the "musings adulthood" keywords. Oh well.

Glasses out of the way, it was time to tackle the hair, which included any and all hair that happened to be on my head. My guides to a brand new me had made a 6:30 appointment so inevitably it was about 6:50 before I was led to the chair with them trailing not far behind. I told my stylist, Janice, that the women were in charge and to do what they said. I figured what little of my hair remained would grow back eventually no matter what they asked for. It turns out that I basically got the same cut as I normally get (see my previous entry about habits). The only twist was the introduction of "product". Yep, the only difference between the old and new me is a dab of gel - who knew it would be so easy?

Au contraire, mon frere. The worst was about to come - not because of the result, but because of what I had to suffer to get there. After getting my beard trimmed and my moustache slightly reshaped, it was decided that the "skunk" look that I normally sport (not by design, it just grows in darker on the sides and lighter in the middle) just wasn't appropriate, so out came the hair dye.

For the next 50, GQ filled minutes I had to sit in the chair as the hair dye did its job. For those of you who haven't had their hair colored, the smell of the dye is nothing short of caustic. Generally, the dye is applied to the hair growing out of the top of the head and not to that growing right beneath the nose. Just as I would grow accustomed to the smell, Janice would come around and "freshen up" the dye..."just to be sure we got everything" was her reason. I suspect it was because she took a certain sadistic pleasure in seeing a grown man cry.

All told, everything came out well. Due to length of time that was required for the coloring, the girls abandoned me so we never made it to the clothes portion of the makeover. We were going to go today at lunch but one of the two was out sick today. I don't know exactly if/when we are going to go but there will definitely be another entry.

The big unveiling at work went well. I was a few minutes late, but now that I have apply product, I blamed it on that. Everyone likes the new glasses and the consistent color of the facial hair. One weird comment that I heard a couple of times was that I looked more tan. That took me aback a bit especially since I don't tan - I red. My sister got all of the Italian genes from the pool, which left me just the German. And Germans are not well known for their olive skin. About the only thing that I can figure is that the combo of the new, smaller glasses and the dyed moustache/beard somehow gave my skin the appearance of a deep, rich, George Hamilton tan.

Oh, one last thing. There are some before and after pics of the transformation which I will post once I get them. Until then, remember the immortal words of Fernando Lamas..."it is better to look good than to feel good." And man, do I look good - everybody says so between fits of laughter.