Archive for January, 2004

Woohoo, Friday

Okay, let’s see. I got my first east-coast paycheck! (Actually, I think I got the stub yesterday, but still, kickass.) I’m not trying to sound money-grubbingly materialistic here or anything – this whole moving thing tends to leave you broke, since everyone wants your money before you’ve got any. And now I’ve got some, so hah, take that, ya big bad world. Anyway, this morning, my senior engineer guy says, “Hey, we’re going skiing today, you in?” Of course, since this guy’s never serious, I’m like, “Are you serious?” And he’s like, “Yeah, we leave at 4:00.” Riiight, like senior engineer guy and pals are going to skip out of work early when there’s a deadline coming. And encourage me to skip out with ’em. So I’m like, sure, I’m in. So 4:00 comes along, and guess what? He was serious. So me, senior engineer guy, Jac* and this other guy ditch work and hit the slopes. Now, by slopes, I mean slopes; that is, an actual mountain about an hour and a half away. I was asked at some point if I had skiied before, and I said yes. Looking back, I’m not sure if we had the same definition of “skiied before”, or “skiied” for that matter. My previous experience was referring to strapping on some skis for a couple hours at this sledding hill; maybe a couple hundred feet tall, with a little rope to grab onto to be hauled up to the top of the hill, while waiting for people to show up to this one guy’s superbowl party some years back. And I “knew” the basics from that one South Park episode (you know…”pizza…french fries…”)

Our destination for today was NOT a sledding hill. This was a mountain with an actual lift that your ears popped on as you went up. So, I get up to the top of this mountain I wasn’t exactly prepared for, and there are “easier” and “more challenging” directions. So I take the designated “family slope”, because it was definitely the easiest they had at the top of this lift. (I hope a blue square means ‘easy’!) And it was, for the first hundred feet or so, a nice gentle glide. And then… I’m not sure if ‘cliff’ is exactly the right word, but I think the slope decided it was done being nice; seeing people fly down it at ridiculous speed yelling “OHHH SHIIIIIIIII….” is far more entertaining. This is the point where I wish I’d learned how to STOP, or at least prevent acceleration in a way that didn’t involve hitting the ground, rolling a lot, then climbing back up to look for your skis :-)

So yeah, I wiped out. Luckily, I seem to lack the ability to injure myself. (Whether it’s falling out of trees, diving headfirst over fences, or doing any other stupid thing that results in an unassisted 3-point landing, I can’t seem to tear or break anything.) Got back up, made a valiant and futile effort at maintaining a non-deadly speed, failed, wiped out again. This happened maybe 5 more times. Nothing discourages you from wiping out like a crack-full of the cold stuff. Wooo! Snow wedgie…..*refreshing*.

As I approach a speed where the path before me starts to distort in wierd ways and everyone else starts aging faster than me, I hear G* yelling from higher up, “Make a ‘V’!”, which I attempted in various permutations to no significant result. Just as it looked as if gravity just might kick my ass all night, he explains the big secret to dropping speed, and it is explained thusly. “You know when you’re in an outhouse and go to sit down, and there’s that very last moment, when you’re not sure you want to sit down at all because it’s so filthy or whatever? You should have that feeling. Like you’re sitting down for a big crap, but haven’t quite gotten there yet.” And that made all the difference in the world.

So, with this new get-low-and-lean-back advice, I was surprised to find that I could cut speed, provided the slope wasn’t too steep. Look Ma, no fall down! And this whole skiing thing started to be really cool. By the end of the night, moving at ridiculous speeds again, but on purpose. Almost habit-forming… :-)

QOTD: “If you’re not confused by quantum mechanics, you really don’t understand it.” – Niels Bohr

It’s official! My card came today.

Yup… I have officially joined the ranks of the loser. Yes, that thar’s an internet singles site, and yes, I’m on it. Now, to join a hotornot

S*: im bored…… come and get me
Me: hehe
Me: sounds like a sandwich’s last words
Me: oooo, new form of matter
S*: what bout sandwiches\????
Me: a sandwich’s last words… “I’m bored, come get me”
S*: how are they bored???
Me: nvm
S*: where do u get that shit
Me: Idunno…if I were a sandwich, sitting in a refrigerator all day or something, I would be bored
S*: lol
Me: and I think at that point, as a sandwich, I would welcome being narfed

Modes of failure

“Here I sit now, broken-hearted…”, goes the familiar bathroom-stall scrawl. While not exactly reveling in my single-ness, watching the supernovae of relationships of those close to me has me re-evaluating this position. At the present moment I am consoling my brother’s fiancee, who sounds just absolutely despondent over feelings that he doesn’t care about her any more and treats her like a friend and not a fiancee, and never calls, and losing him, and thinks he’s gonna dump her, and thinks he might be cheating, and that it’s all her fault, and more along those lines than I really can/should express here. This might tie in somehow with a previous entry, but I can’t be sure. Tonight, he’s told her that he’s out with his uncle doing something, which is highly suspect (considering hanging out with my uncle means my uncle’s kids as well, and he’d rather have his gonads in intimate contact with a running belt sander). This is all quite saddening. But not as much as the next one. I have today found out that my good college friend A* has just gotten a divorce. I stood up at his wedding last year. It seems like only yesterday I was at his bachelor party introducing his prudish cousin’s face to strange tits. Now his wife has decided she’s leaving him for some random dude in Tennesee she met on the internet, exchanged some not-so-nice words, and divorced him. Granted, getting married at 19 may not be the best idea in the world, I did not at all expect their relationship to fail so suddenly or catastrophically.

The worst part of it all is hearing his surprising (facade of) unbitterness, and just knowing that beneath the surface he’s ready to snap at any moment. I’ve known this guy (and been roomates for some time) long enough to recognize this state when I see it. Another thing I’m confused / bugged by the level of kindness and compassion he’s demonstrating to her even in the middle of all this. He’s letting her still live in his house rather than go back to live with her parents, whom I understand are nut-jobs, but even I, doormat of the world, would have a hard time not kicking her ass (figuratively speaking) directly to the curb.

QOTD: ‘Hmm, that’s odd. There’s a grid reference here of zero zero zero, zero zero zero.’ I stopped shovelling beans as a shiver went down my spine. Where had I heard those words before…?

I am roastified

Ah, hey, warmness. Well relatively speaking, anyway. The past week or so the mercury alcohol bimetallic strip weather report has been hovering in the single digits and occasional negative ones. Today it was a balmy 30 or so, so I came out of hibernation this morning early enough to finally get a bank account while the place was still open. That done, I tooled around for a bit gathering groceries, multimeters, epoxy and so forth. Man, the you’re-fuckin-nuts looks I got from people. I was in my car with my coat partly on, and heater running to thaw the puddle of ice on the floor, and it wasn’t even freezing out, and I tend to run hotblooded anyway, so I was starting to roast. So I had the windows cranked down, my arm hanging out tapping along to some nice loud classic rock, occasionally trying to peel the coat off a bit more (damn seatbelt laws), and people in SUVs with 15 layers and mittens were giving me funny looks, can you believe it? I was like, yeah baby, CHI-CA-GO! You east-cost pussies don’t know what cold is.

Tonight, chilling (literally) in my apartment I detect a familiar and rather unique odor drifting in from the general direction of the roomate’s room, an apparent by-product of the combustion of naturally-occuring plant matter. Interesting.

What next, 0xDEADBEEF?

Man, being the evil microcontroller genius is nice, but being it for 8 hours a day at work gets inside your head, or something. I was up last night nuking a late-night snack (leftover thai noodles from Sweet Chili’s). When the microwave finished, it dislpayed ‘F00D’ in big letters… and I couldn’t decide whether I should read it as a value or an address. (Hmm, I says, that’s 61,453 in decimal…)

Methinks it is time for me to find some mindless entertainment.

All the wrong reasons

I learned today, through a grapevine of extraordinary magnitude, that someone I know has been cheating on someone I care about with someone else I care about, which bugs me a bit. (Sorry folks, I don’t do that private-entry crap, so you’ll have to take some educated guesses here.)
Since I have no stake in the matter whatsoever, this bugs me more than it probably should–however, awareness of this fact has not made it bug me any less. You see, this cheater-person is one of those guys who typifies everything I can’t stand about my gender. Like a parasite jumping from one host to another, this type will, without a thought, sacrifice an arbitrary amount of investment for an incremental perceived improvement…or choicest piece of ass, to use that authentic terminology. “Heehee, I’m tradin up!” A person who will not even talk to someone if they are not attractive. In other words, not the kind of person I would want to get involved with anyone I actually care about.

After over a year of uncharacteristic faith and devotion, I was kinda hoping he’d actually outgrown that shit.

QOTD: The AUR shall not support fungus growth when exposed to USDA Fungus numbers QM 386, 380, 432, 474, and 459.

Operation shag-pad II!

Well, I have officially moved into the $635/mo place. Which is good, because I will need the extra cash to sink into my car, which has decided to make its last stand in the office parking lot. It was only a busted starter (as far as the ‘necessary’ repairs; the soup can and duct tape on the muffler can stay for awhile), but this does break the car’s dubious record of having failed a lot, but never actually left me/itself stranded anywhere (e.g. requiring a tow truck). Fun. Anyway, once that’s taken care of, I’ll have to go get a bed and some furniture, deck the place entirely in leather and faux woodgrain, some mirrors for the ceiling, etc., and make my room a tribute to shagging the world over. That, and find someone to actually shag. That’s always the difficult part, my interior-decorating inabilities notwithstanding. Hey y’all out there, I’m a skinny geek-dude living just north of Boston. Will you shag me? Umm…please? ;-)

This weekend, I’ll really have to get offa my lazy dead ass and get a bed. This sleeping-bag-on-the-floor thing is not conducive to shagging, nor to the happiness of my back and negative-body-fat butt.

Operation shag-pad!

Wow, that feels wierd… typing ’04. Anyway, apartment real-estate dude never got back to me, but I did find this other place and check it out. Holy crap! Rent is $635/mo, dirt-ass cheap for this area, walking distance from where I work, and already has a fridge/microwave/tv/etc. All (most of) the comforts of home. Ahhh… cable modem! And a couple cuties for roomates, too.


All packed and headed out. Parents getting all teary and stuff. Come on guys, I’ll only be a metric fuckload of few miles away, globally speaking. You could drive there in a couple days if you really wanted to. And I promise I’ll keep in hiding touch.

Headed out for real this time, after saying last goodbyes to the brother and Nando clan. Plenty of caffeine packed for what will prove to be a long boring ass-sore-making ride.

Squish, squish…my car is a piece of shit. That’s the sound of my feet, which are colder and wetter than they ought to be on this side of the windshield. It appears I must have a hole in the underbody somewhere. Pull out the drivers-side floormat to drain for a bit.

Ooo, Cleveland is all pretty colors. I think that was Cleveland, anyway.

Gassing up near this little unpronouncable-named nuthin’ town somewhere in Pennsylvania. End up shooting the shit with 20-something gas station attendant dude for about half an hour. Heard war-stories of the recent drive-offs and this crazy biatch who, surprisingly recently (this year), nearly blew the place up (lots of fire) by plowing into one of the pumps at about 30mph. Learned about the Big Red Button in as much detail as anyone would care to. Politely escaped what could easily become an all-night bull session, bailed out the drivers’ side (up to an inch or so now) with a ripped-in-half Coke can and got the fudge out of there.

Feeling a bit tired, so figured I may as well see about a motel. Pull into the parking lot, looks like it’s time to bail some water again. By now, I’m beginning to wonder….it IS just the front drivers’ side, isn’t it? Hoping for the best, expecting the worst…..worst confirmed. Nice deep puddle in ALL four places-where-feet-go. Start unpacking to survey the damages. Nice soaked bedspread and both pillows, sucking water from the floor by double deuce capillary action. Computer sitting in a couple inches of sloshing dirty water; water streams out when I pick it up. Big crate of engineering textbooks on the floor of the other side, also sucking water and now weighing more than an equivalent crate of bricks. My envelope of most-important papers (car title, birth certificate, etc.), cleverly concealed under the passenger seat so that nothing would happen to them, also nicely soaked. Next 20-30 minutes spent bailing out these other compartments, and trying to repack the car so as to keep the non-waterproof stuff out of the puddles. Eeew, all the caffienated beverages also submerged under filthwater. On the bright side, now I’m too pissed off to be tired anymore. Which is good, because check-out at this motel is 9am or something. (You people insane?) Gassed and had a nice long piss at Flying J, and back onto I-90.

Ah, New York State… I have come to the conclusion that this state serves no purpose. For those of you who see it on a map and don’t think it looks very long, that fucker’s long. And there is not a single intersection, cloverleaf, offramp, house, building, cornfield or anything visible from the highway for the entire 400-whatever miles. Anyway, New York, you’ve thoroughly bored the hell out of me, so I pull off at the next eat-and-get-gas plaza, crank my seat as far as it will go against all the crap in the back (not far), and have a nap in the parking lot for a couple hours. I wake up to a cold-ass car, but feel suprisingly refreshed. Back on the road with some non-floor Coke and odd-tasting Mickey D’s. Not *bad*, just…odd. Like the McD’s in Tahiti that’s made with sheep. Could it have something to do with this mad cow scare? I smell a dilly of a conspiracy theory.

Still in New York. Does anyone actually live here? Hello-o-o-o… you mean to tell me, there’s nobody living within bb-gunning distance of the interstate? Why, in Illinois, the anonymous tickytack houses are all up on that shit.

I also have realized that I’m waay past Pennsylvania, and havent seen any of those mountains Nando’s mom warned me about driving over. Did I sleep through them? Hm… Nando’s mom, you’re an idiot.

Dammit New York, go away already!

Finally, this must be Mass. The roads are semi-curvy and all the interstate signs have little pilgrim hats on them. Woohoo, here’s the city of Boston already! Hi, Boston! …Bye, Boston! You’re no Chicago, but you look nice and friendly, and the perfect size for a snow globe. Thanks to Big Dig, all the highways go right under the city, which is about the size of one of our subdivisions.

Hello Medford! Here’s my office. Can you believe it? All these electronics and mechanical geeks on the 1st floor, and a Workout World in the basement. Just in time to grab some engineer-grade coffee (not my famous Weapons-Grade brew, but it’ll do) and continue the search for an apartment. Went home on the subway with this dude from work, and found out what kind of sparse little apartment $1200 a month will get me.