Saturday, July 20, 2002

I've been looking over the last couple entries, and I've decided that even I'm tired of hearing me bitch. So this will be a nice mellow post, you dig?

And really to tell you the truth, lately I've been happier than I've been in awhile. I look at myself in this infamous picture and realize that even though that was taken only about 15 months ago, I've already changed a lot. That pic was taken at about 4 in the afternoon, but I was aleady half-sloshed. Back then my days consisted of work, daytime TV, downloaded porn and aimless surfing. My relationship was estranged and I rarely, if ever, had coversations worth remembering. My ambitions consisted mainly of moving home and at best maybe moving up a notch in my current job. I had absolutely no desire to try anything new and my perspective consisted of either day-to-day survival of impossible pipedreams of luxury, lassitude and adoration.

Through a whole lotta happy accidents and some fortunate encounters with some good people, things have changed radically. I've stopped smoking, I don't get loaded anymore and me and Lisa are tighter than ever. Rather than just suck up content, I'm starting to create things and it feels good. I've made new freinds, I'm changing jobs and residences. It's scary, but fear is better than slow death, lemme tell ya.

I'm also trying new stuff almost every day. I just had my first Snickers bar. That may seen strange coming from the king of weird snack food, but it was only 2 months ago that I found out I liked peanuts. I'm contmplating other things I never thought I would: going back to school, switching to Mac..whatever. I'm looking forward to finding out what'll be revealed next, which is a big change for the better.
The company bought us lunch today at work. Originally we were gonna do Chinese, then the boss decided that was getting to complicated with all the special orders and all, so we switched to pizza. It's amazing how difficult it is to get 5 people to agree on pizza. We wound up getting one Hawaiian, one cheese, one pepperoni, one pepperoni and mushroom. I had a couple of slices of pepperoni. We also have to wear thee corny-assed white promo t-shirts today, so I ate it very carefully to avoid getting a big old grease stain. But, it was free, so I shouldn't bitch. In other news, I did make some cookies last night, some of those instant break and bake toll house cookies from Nestle. I followed the directions put them in the oven and waited. Then I heard Lisa, who had been sleeping, mumble, "is something burning?" Yup, I managed to fuck up instant cookies. Sometimes, I'm amazed I haven't blown myself up yet. They werent too bad, though just kinda charred around the edges. they weren't burnt, just well done. Not to mention, I don't think I've ever met anyone who actually calls them 'Toll House Cookies' around my house they were always just 'chocalate chip.' That's kind of like people who refer to Rice-A-Roni as 'pasta.' Just sayin' is all.

Friday, July 19, 2002

For the past couple hours it's been raining that relentless type of rain that makes you wanna run outside, shake your fist at the sky and scream, "cut it out!" My customers today have been either spoiled teenyboppers and their clueless parents pricing laptops for college or decaying old people who need the concept of "memory" explained to them in minute detail. Of course none of them actually want to buy anything, they're just here to suck my air and demand my complete attention for an hour or so.. My usual webhaunts have been kinda blah today. I've also had only two cups of coffee and one cherry Starburst to eat .Also there's some unexplained leak in my car roof, resulting in the drivers seat getting all wet during rainstorms, giving me a wet ass, which does in khaki pants looks lovely. I've also been told that on my next day off, we're having a mandatory meeting that I have to commute forty minutes for at 10 am. You could say I'm feeling a mite grumpy.

Well it's only an hour and fifteen minutes till my shifts up. I'll go home, make some cocoa, pop some cookies in the oven, put on The Last Waltz soundtrack, grab my favorite book and try to forget that I woke up today. If that dosent work, I'm just gonna run out into the street and scream bloody murder.
I need something to pursue wholeheartedly. Something that'll pay the bills without making me hate all of humanity. I know, I know aren't we all. But after 10 years,(I'm slow bear with me)I've figured out that sales isn't it. Yeah, it's an honorable way to make a living, my Dad supported a family on it, but it just ain't my cuppa tea anymore. So I'm carefully considering the alternatives. I say carefully because, I don't wanna pick the wrong horse.

First Idea:something in technology. I like computers and know my way around them as a user, which makes laypeople think of me as "technical," but there's a difference. Everytime I read a programming or networking manual, I'm fine for the first coupla chapters, then my head starts to spin and my mind starts to fog. Besides, I know plenty of people in those feilds and even with all their skills they're having a rough go of it.

Second Idea: Something scholarly. Go back to school, get a sheepskin to polyurethane and put on the wall. Maybe, but I never did too well in school post 5th grade or thereabouts. I remember when Lisa was in grad school down in Miami, I'd go to parties with her classmates, and they all seemed so smart that I had absolutely no idea what they were talking about and I'd get an urge to go outside and play with my big red rubber ball.

Third Idea: Quixotic Dream Jobs, Disk Jockey, Writer. Nice Ideas, but they don't put frozen dinners in the microwave. No station on earth would let me play the stuff I like and it looks like internet radio is gonna be illegal. Writing: the worlds fulla smartasses who can turn a phrase, so I can't bank on that.

I'm not trying to do the self pity thing here, I'm just kinda brainstorming. I'll come up with something eventually.

I just looked out the window and there's this 18-year old kid with a ring in his eyebrow wearing a t-shirt with a Exxon logo restyled to read "Exxstacy." Makes me fear for the future. Who am I kidding, someday he'll probably be my boss.Ok, time to get back to the grind.

Yesterday, before I went out to the bookstore, I went to put on deodorant, but the dispenser of Ban solid was at the poit where you had to dig out little chunks of stick with your fingers and smear em on your pits hoping something will stick, which is of course what I did. Now, my hairbrush was sitting right next to the deodorant on the bathroom counter, so unbeknownst to me some of the deodorant fell onto the brush. Then I ran the brush through my hair before leaving and got tiny hunks of Ban embedded in my locks. But on the upside my head smells powder fresh.

In other news it's Harley Davidson's 100th Anniversary this month. The anniversary bikes look terrific. If I wasn't completely broke and could ride a motorcycle I'd buy one. Really, ever since I was a 15 I've wanted to do the Peter Fonda thing, but it's yet another interest I've never pursued beyond an armchair level.

Harley's must be the ultimate in brand loyalty though. I mean, plenty of people love coffee, but have you ever seen someone tattoo a giant cup of Starbucks on their back? Women love makeup, but I have yet to see an outlaw Avon gang spring up. The only close comparison would be the Linux community I suppose. Both groups have a fierce devotion that sometimes surpasses logic. Both groups are attractive as much for the comradeship between the memebers as for the product itself. Both groups have an avian mascot- Linux has a penguin, Harley, an eagle. Both have figureheads of admiration, Linux has Linus Torvalds, Harley, Willie G. Davidson. But I have yet to see boob flashing, coleslaw wrestling or drunken brawls at a Linux conference,(although I'm sure it would be welcome) so that's where the comparison breaks down.

Thursday, July 18, 2002

Mick "Mankind" Foley and the young jonmc.

Separated at Birth? Father and Son? The same person before and after Dexatrim? Or do they merely shop at the same stores?

You decide...
I was reading this entry over at Layne's and it's a pretty funny story, like most of her stuff. But I gotta set the young lady straight on one thing--Bo Diddley ain't no pimp, Bo Diddley's A Gunslinger or even a surfer, but never no pimp. I've actually seen Bo live twice, first time on Central Park Summerstage, where me and my buddy got to meet him before the show. He was a true gentleman, freindly and gracious, answering all our fanboy questions then putting on a raucous show. Second time was at a huge multi-act blues tribute to John Lee Hooker back in 1991 at Madison Square Garden. During the first few acts, everybody had been all scholarly and chin-strokey. Bo came out with that square guitar slung on his hip, stared at the audience and said "Everybody get the fuck up!!" , ripped into a booming version of "I'm A Man," and the place freakin' erupted. Beautiful moment, that.

While we're on the subject of music and other peoples blogs, I read this over at nstop's and it got me thinking about that odd thing, the poetry/rock connection. Sure, there's been the occasional Nick Cave who can bring his talents to the printed page, or a Jim Carroll who can make the jump from literature to rocking out, not to mention Henry Rollins who is sometimes terrific and sometimes annoying at both.

Then there's Phil Lynott. Now, I'm a huge Thin Lizzy fan, "Cowboy Song" is one of my all time favorite jams. But, even being no kinda poetry scholar, I gotta admit that Phil's poetry is pretty mediocre at best. But he craeted Jailbreak and the charitable trust established posthumously in his name does some good works, so he's forgiven. I say chalk the whole poetry-rock thing up to a misguided quest for "legitimacy" kinda like hip-hoppers tendency to want to become actors. Many try, but few succeed. Oh well, back to the coffee.

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

On the way to work today, I saw a sign for a Pre-School, under the name of the place it said, "Where Kids Kount!"

Whether they spell or not is a different matter...But it's kool just the same.

Also, I was a hit in a search for shaman pen pals. First of all, I'd love to know what a pen pal letter to a shaman would be like. Secondly, would a letter even be neccessary? Couldn't you just fling your message cosmically outward or something? You wouldn't be a pen pal then, more of a "metaphysical mate" or "cosmic chum" I guess.

First phonecall of the day today, literally just as I'm walking into work, went like this:

"Thank you for call BlahdyBlahShop, How can I help you today?"

"I'm looking for a paralell port card.."

"Well, we don't actually have any parts in stock, sir, I could ord-"

"[loudly]Hmph! I'm probably an idiot for asking!"


Quite a flying start to the day, that. I had an almost irrestible urge to *69 him and say, "Yes you are and you're ugly too."

Oh well, here's some musical advice. I really love the song "Where's Johnny?" by James McMurtry. I first heard this song back in the early nineties and I remember upon my first listen, sitting dead silent for ten minutes in the shock of recognition.His other work is equally impressive, if not quite as personally momentous. The son of novelist Larry McMurtry, James crafts lyrical masterpieces which are matched by hauntingly spare musical backdrops. They make their point with a minimmum of bullshit and a maximmum of emotional resonance without being overwrought. Everyone I've ever played him for has walked away impressed. More bloggin' later perhaps.

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

I want the ColdChef to make me a Mefi meal. First we'll shoot the acridrabbit with BarneyFifesBullet which we'll sautee in a pan full of dong_resin. Then get the iconomy-sized box of wonderchicken which should be put through the evanizer with the setting on fold_and_mutilate. On the side, five fresh fish. The proper beverage accompaniment would be a big bottle of BaliHai wine. For dessert, Special K and a slice of cake, which of course, you should drinkcoffee with.

Just sipping my morning java from my 7-11 travel mug, before hitting the dusty trail for the job. I'm not in the mood for it today, but I rarely am lately. I know I've gotta do things to change my situation and I'm doing 'em believe me. But sometimes I get these crippling attacks of self-doubt, then I'll talk to Lisa and they'll go away. I still haven't figured out exactly what the future holds, but for the first time in about 12 years, I'm thinking about it beyond the pipedream level, which is good.

BTW, commish, I gotcher CD in the mail. Nice work, my man. I'll be putting both the MeFi and 9622 mixes very soon, rest assured.

I promised y'all a happy music blog, right?

A couple of days back I mentioned purchasing an album of Texan Polka Music. Well to be more accurate, the album also contains waltzes and scottishes as well. This album may catch some eyes strictly out of curiosity value or for the more scholarly among us, historical value, but there's much better reasons to buy this record, like the fact that it's not only listenable but really pretty damned good.

Texas has large Bavarian and Czech populations, and in similar fashion to what happened to music of Louisiana's French-speaking population, the travails of life in America have mellowed and warped traditional Bavarian tunes to the point that the slow numbers have this wonderful warm looseness and the fast ones have this Teutonic Funkiness that makes you wanna hoist a stein and oompah the night away. Particular standouts are "Once Upon a Sunday Waltz" by Vrazels' Polka Band and "Texas Scottische" by Ray Krenek and his Orchestra, but all of the tracks are good. This music is still thriving in the Lone Star state, judging by this list of band links and this MP3 Archive of radio shows. Also Klang,a UK disrtibutor I stumbled across while researching this entry, has tons of info and purchasing links to other fasinatingly unusual music. It sounds crazy but trust me, youll like it.

Monday, July 15, 2002

I just got through talking to a woman who was very upset with us. Apparently she had bought one of our "legacy-free"(read:USB only) systems through AOL. Then she bought a scanner through AOL, a parallel port scanner. She was angered that her computer had no "scanner port" and she wanted a new PC for free. After a few moments of contemplating fling some choice obscenities at her, I tried to explain that most scanners these days used the USB port and that it might be easier to return her scanner and get a new one, and that since she had bought said items through AOL, she should talk to them. She didn't seem to quite believe me. Putting aside the more obvious insanities of his particular call, who the hell buys parallel scanners anymore? I know, same people who buy stuff through AOL. Aaaauuugh!

Refresh my memory, why exactly did I come back from vacation?

In other news, I'm domain/host shopping and I kind like the sound of Dreamhost's deals. If anyone knows better ones, lemme know. "" seems to be available as well, which is good news.

I'll do a happy music blog later, I promise.

Sunday, July 14, 2002

I just made a run to the gas station for some coffee, and the guy in front of me asked for a book of matches. The clerk said, sorry but they had none. Apparently, somebody ran into the store earlier that day and stole the box of matchbooks off the counter. Of all the damned things to steal, why those?

As a former smoker, I can appreciate the idea of having some lights handy but come on. Perhaps, they had other reasons; maybe there's a black market for matches among the Pyromaniac-American community or something. But still it's strange, for an area that puts such an emphasis on being "normal" an awful lotta weird shit happens around here, lemme tell ya.
First of all, it's Lisa's birthday today, so do drop by and say Happy B-day.

In other news, I'm back here in the land of strip malls. At work, my co-workers have been issued matching t-shirts to wear for some promotion this week. Thankfully, this happened during my vacation, so I wasn't issued one. I'm looking at my co-workers and at the moment they resemble a dance troupe of note(although without the entertainment value of the ventriloquist's dummy). The assistant manager told me that they had a t-shirt for me, I asked if it came with a paper hat. He didn't seem to find that funny somehow. Just to drive home the fact that vacation is over, I've gotta visit the folks tonight. Oh, well. More later.