June 27th, 2006

Apropos Of Nothing

I can’t sleep. I thought I was tired earlier, but after lying in bed for 20 minutes staring at the ceiling, I figured I was lying in bed – lying to myself about being able to go to sleep. I don’t know what the deal is. I don’t drink any caffeinated beverages or anything else that would be doing this. I can’t remember the last time I had raspberry tea.

My new thing is water. I can’t really drink a lot of “regular” water, though. The taste of it bores me enough that sometimes I kind of feel like I’m gagging on it. I discovered, though, that Target has these wonderful flavored waters that I absolutely love. They have all sorts of really weird flavor combinations, and I’ve discovered I don’t like many of them (like “spearmint” – it sounds good, but it’s nasty), but I do like the lemon/raspberry and especially the blueberry/tangerine. So good! In fact, between that exclamation point and the beginning of this sentence I nipped downstairs and got myself one. I don’t understand how they can add flavor to the water without adding anything else, but all of the Nutrition Facts are at zero except for sodium, which clocks in at a paltry 5mg.

I’m actually thinking about going into work. If I knew I could work a regular shift, just shifted a few hours forward, I’d do it. I’d go in right now, work until 9:30, and then come home and sleep. You can’t call your boss at one in the morning and get that okayed, though, and I’m fairly certain I couldn’t go in now and work until 3 p.m. like I’m supposed to.

I started reading In Cold Blood the other day. I’d never heard about it before the Capote movie came out last year, but once I stated hearing about it, I got interested in it. The only other “true crime” book I’ve read was Helter Skelter, about the Manson murders, and the style of this one is completely different. Frankly, it’s really sad. I’m only a quarter of the way through it and it’s making me sad. I had to stop reading tonight because I couldn’t take it. Probably part of the reason I’m still awake is that by the time tears get to your ears, they’re cold and feel weird.

Earlier today I finished watching King Kong (it took me two sittings to get through it). It was about 2/3rds of the way through that I realized no matter how much I rooted for the CGI monkey, he wasn’t ever going to win.

I’ve had a real craving to buy a video camera lately and there’s no good reason for it. I imagine myself making little movies and editing them together on my computer and being all creative and stuff, but I know that’s not going to happen. And there’s only so many movies you can take of your cats (“Look! Now she’s sleeping!”) before someone calls the state to have you placed into custody.

The air conditioning in my apartment decided to break on Friday night. I slept on the couch downstairs and actually opened a couple of windows a bit to get some air into the place – that’s how bad it was. I never open windows. Frankly, I never open the blinds. I couldn’t take it, though – it was too stuffy. I called and left a message with my landlord on Saturday morning, but never heard back from them. I went over lunch to pay my rent and mentioned it again just to make sure they had it, and when I got hom from work, the guy was actually there, just finishing up. He said he’d been there about three hours, so he’d been sent before I made my second plea. Turns out the main AC unit, the thermostat, and the … thing outside all had shorted-out parts – he suspected there was lightning damage. So now I’ve got a spiffily working AC unit that’s even doing a decent job cooling the upstairs plus a new digital thermostat. And if you know me at all, you know that I am a firm believer in all things digital. Digital > analog by a long shot.

I was balancing my checkbook over the weekend and got to the entries from Canada. I only used my debit card a few times up there, but I had originally entered them in the Canada-given amounts. Well, of course, my bank made the conversions automatically, so my statement had the American equivalents instead. I had to change each of the entries and it turns out my Canada trip cost me approximately $7 less than I thought. Wooo!

Even though I own Guitar Hero it’s still fun to play it at the demo station at Best Buy for some reason. I was playing it there this weekend and a lady started asking me questions about it. I answered as best I could while Hendrixing out on “Spanish Castle Magic,” and she ended up buying it for her kid. That’s not the first time that’s happened to me, either. I think I should be getting some sort of cut on these sales. Or at least a free copy of Guitar Hero II in November.

I wish I had an answer for everything. I’ve got a couple of friends going through some really, really hard times right now, and I wish I knew the exact right thing to say to each of them. My brain knows that sometimes people just need to know other people are available for listening, but my heart wants to fix everything for them by saying that one perfect thing that will make them say, “Oh! That’s it exactly!” and go from there and be happy forever. Sure, it’s not a realistic wish, but I call realistic, attainable wishes something else entirely: “goals.”

The cats are weirded out by my being up this late. It’s like I’m upsetting their sleep schedule somehow.

Note For Future Scientific Study Purposes: First yawn was at 1:41 a.m.

And, actually, with that yawn, I’m starting to feel like maybe I could sleep a bit. I shall go try. The alarm doesn’t go off for another 4 hours, so I should be fine.

March 3rd, 2006

Apropos Of Nothing

Even though Sixth Grade wasn’t all that exciting, I’m really not avoiding it on purpose. I have every intention of following this series through to 12th Grade.

I have been sick this week with some sort of runny nose/coughing/sneezing/aching thing, and I never know if that’s a cold or a flu or what. I didn’t cough nearly so much today, but had a sore throat. Staying home from work for a day and a half helped, I think, as I slept a lot. NyQuil, as nasty as it is, does the trick at night, too. About 45 minutes after I take it, I start to have pauses in my speech pattern – “Yes, I believe I will have . . . . . . . . cereal.” From inside it’s like my brain needs to play catch-up. From outside, it probably just looks like I’m weird or intoxicated or something.

This past weekend, Kat and I took a desk up to Kat’s sister Mary in Michigan. Even though I’m tired of driving a minivan, it still comes in handy once in a while. It’s like having a truck, but not quite as useful. I just know that the back seats haven’t been in it for a long time.

When we got to Lansing, Michigan late Friday night, we met Mary’s new friend Sarah. Sarah is Mary’s first “townie” friend, meaning “someone who isn’t in Lansing to attend Michigan State University.” Right off the bat we were given the task of trying to guess what Sarah’s two unusual jobs were. After a couple of hints, we sort-of got the first one: a fancy cake maker. You’ve seen those shows on The Food Network with the statues made out of chocolate and stuff? She does that. Not only that, but she brought fancy cupcakes and chocolates with her and I’m here to tell you: not only were they neat to look at, they were good. Dang good.

Her other job we were never going to guess. For several months a year she works on a “tallship.” From what I can tell, those are the ones with all the riggings and crow’s nests and whatnot. She goes off sailing for a couple of months at a time and loves it. I didn’t even know people did this!

On Sunday afternoon there was a “Chocolate Festival” (I forget the actual name) at MSU, and the bakery Sarah works at (A Piece O’ Cake) had a booth and also a fancy cake entered in the “Cakes and Tortes” competition. The theme was “Rain Forest,” and this is the cake Sarah made:

Rain Forest Cake

And here’s a closer look at the tree frog:

Rain Forest Cake

And it’s all edible! Pretty sweet, huh? Er – no pun intended. Sadly, the judges were wacky on some kind of junk and awarded it 2nd Place, even though it was obviously the coolest cake there. Stupid judges.

The entrance fee for the festival was $30, but Sarah totally hooked us up with free tickets. Either she was really trying to impress us, or she’s just cool. I’m inclined to think she’s just cool like that. Congratulations, Mary, on finding a cool new friend!

While in Michigan, we also saw a 3D IMAX movie – “Wild Safari 3D” or something. It was pretty cool. 3D movies have gotten so much better over the years. Seeing lions, rhinos, giraffes, leopards, and elephants on a huge screen in 3d was pretty cool.

Couple of new things over on the right side of the page these days. First, a Movie Counter. Last year’s Hot Chocolate Counter was fun for me, so I thought I’d follow it up with how many movies I’ve seen this year. I included last year’s count as a measuring stick of sorts, and I try to update this year’s count every few days or so. Second, a link to my improv group’s web page. The new version just went live earlier this week, so I thought I’d link to it. Oh, and I designed it (with help from Kat), so that’s another reason, I guess. I’ve really fallen out of the webdesign loop. I used to do it as a semi-fulltime job, but it’s passed me by. Meh. This one was inspired by Creamsicles, in case you were wondering.

My second character in World of Warcraft, a human rogue, is now Level 42. I throw that out there for anyone who wants to know. My first character, the night elf hunter, is still a Level 60.

I’ve started replacing the lightbulbs in my apartment with those fancy twisted-up flourescent jobbies. They’re expensive, but they’re supposed to last for five or more years. I bought a new bed and a sheet set a little while ago, and the sheet set didn’t look like the color it was. Someone (Matt) suggested that the current lightbulbs were “yellow” and that was causing the problem. Since I was going to replace the bulbs, I thought I’d give these fancy things a try. Sure enough, my bedset looks like the right color (olive green) now, so I guess that’s cool.

Dala’s been sick lately and, while I feel bad for her, I don’t like cleaning up after sick kitties. Blech.

My dad turns 60 this month. It makes sense, I guess. I mean, that’s what people do, it just seems like an odd number. He doesn’t seem like a 60-year-old to me. Maybe it’s because I don’t seem like an almost-34-year-old to me. His birthday’s March 19, so mark that on your calendars. I’ll be in Wisconsin that weekend.

I think that’s about all the odds and ends for now. Thanks for stopping by today. Be well!

(Note: I’ve taken to saying “Be well” to people lately. Oddly enough, it comes from the Sylvester Stallone movie Demolition Man, and it’s meant to be a silly thing that the peaceful future people say. I like it, though. It’s like “take care!” but it’s more of a “I want things to be good for you without you having to actually pursue it” type thing. Anyway, if I say it to you (and I just did), please understand that I mean it for real and not ironically.)

October 12th, 2005

Apropos of Nothing

If you’ve been paying attention, you know that tomorrow is the one-year anniversary of me buying a Barnes & Noble discount card. That means today is actually the end of the year. You might, then, expect that I’d want to do a whole post about the experience. You’d be right. However! I learned earlier this month that the card is good through the end of the month! Therefore, since the savings still apply, I’m going to wait until then to fully report. For the record, here on this final day of the year my count stands at -56.

I’ve changed the kitties’ feeding schedule. Whereas they were getting fed at 6:00 a.m./p.m., now they get fed closer to 6:30 a.m./p.m. This is mostly because I have an upstairs at the new place and I quickly tired of waking up, going downstairs to feed them, and then going back upstairs to get ready. Now I get ready first, go downstairs to feed them, and then leave. They didn’t like the change at first (of course), but they’re fairly used to it now. A half-cup of food in the morning, a half-cup of food at night. I don’t understand why they’re still fat.

I know you’re wondering, so I’ll tell you: my World of Warcraft night elf is Level 40 now. No one’s more bothered than me that I am still playing this game. Brian keeps saying things like “Remember when you said you’d never hit Level 20?” and then laughing at me. Nertz to him. Level 40 is a big milestone, as now I could buy and ride a giant tiger…if I had the money. It costs 90 pieces of gold. I currently only have 16, and there’s no such thing as a Darnassus Express credit card. That’s probably a good thing.

I am currently in the middle of another chocolate-related project. This one is not nearly as long-term, so you should see the results by the end of this week, I’m thinking. Stay tuned!

My friend Carolyn has changed the URL of her blog, so I have made the appropriate change in my links. Troublemaker!

My friend Dave has a blog, but he won’t let me link to it. I’m not sure why, as he hasn’t really given me a good reason. I’m sure the ensuing influx of the 6 people that read my blog currently would be more than he could take, and the scrutiny would cause him sleeplessness.

Yes, Dave, I am publicly mocking your stance.

I like that it gets dark earlier now, but I sure wish I could sleep later with the later darkness in the morning. Here’s one area where the pioneers had the right idea – get up when it’s light out. I don’t know if they actually did that, but it’s nice to imagine they did. Of course, if they had cats to feed they got up earlier than they wanted to anyway.

We had improv auditions last night and tonight. Seventeen people tried out, and tomorrow five of them will be asked to join. It was strange to be in the process and watch these people and wonder who was going to be a part of my life from here on out. We had some really good folks, some good folks, some who were fine, and one who was just plain weird. I want to go into detail about just how weird this one fellow was, but I’m worried he’d somehow find out and then he’d … I don’t know, be weird around me or something. Weird. Needless to say, he won’t be joining the troupe.

Rosenplantz, my office plant, continues to live despite my best efforts. I haven’t set out to kill him, it’s just that I’m not very plant-inclined. He’s a hardy soul, though, and lives on, brown spots on his leaves and all.

My apartment complex is having a patio decorating contest this month. The winning decorator will win $100 off their rent next month. The way I figure, I’m saving $100 by not decorating.

I do have a small decoration on my front door, though. I finally purchased a label-maker a few weeks ago. I’ve been wanting one for a long time, I just never could find the exact right one. I finally settled on one, though it’s not perfect. The very first thing I labelled was my front door. It has been labelled “DOOR.”

If I didn’t think it would bother them, I’d probably label the cats.

It’s likely that I will watch my 200th movie of the year this weekend. I’m up to 198, with the most notable recently-watched one being Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. It’s easily the most amusing movie I’ve seen a long time.

I made another Twinkie Cake this past weekend, though it was technically a Suzy-Q Cake, since it was made with chocolate. I prefer the Twinkie version, but I’m still looking for an orange cake mix. I’m itchin’ for a Creamsicle Cake!

With that, I bid you adieu. Be well!