Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Every now and again I post something that inspires one of my legion of fans to write me. Recently I've heard from a number of friends who wanted to congratulate me on having a girlfriend. Today, I received this missive from a truly lovely person that I haven't yet met -- but I hope to!

I know two women who answered one of your former dating profiles. One would think that a man (I am being generous) your size would have big enough testicles to tell women when you are seeing someone. Enjoy sweet Jen while you can. How long do you think she will be satisfied with you? In the back of your mind, you probably wonder if [sic] what she sees in you. You better start throwing serious money at her if you want to keep her eyes off the muscular young hotties her own age.

Worth it? You definitely aren't.


P.S. If you are so concerned about who reads your blog and censorship, take your morbidly obese ass to a store and purchase a journal.

I responded to Ryan, but I'm not sure if he'll actually see it because my bet is that he didn't use his real email account, or probably his real name, or possibly even his real gender. You can try to reach him at, but I doubt he'll respond.

Okay, frist impressions: I was hurt and offended for a second -- then the second passed and I did a little mental checklist and ran through how I handled everything during the time that I corresponded or met with people, then met Jen, then went away for the holidays, then went out with Jen again. And I remembered that I hadn't actually done anything wrong. At no point did I do anything inappropriate.

I played it safe. I didn't run out to the people I was chatting with online and say, "Hey, I went on a date last night with someone else. I have no clue if it will lead anywhere, but I thought you should know." I think that's pretty much understood to be standard operating procedure if you're dating in general and not dating someone in specific. When you're "on the market" you "play the field" until you find someone you get along well with and then you see if that will lead anywhere. Am I right?

When things seemed like they were going somewhere with Jen, I stepped back and thought, "It's not really appropriate to go out with anyone else until this goes one way or the other because I really don't want to mess things up with her." So, I didn't make any more dates, but I continued to chat until I had some resolution on the whole situation. When Jen and I formalized things, I let the people I was chatting with know about it as soon as possible. I had no interest in leaving anyone hanging, or being cruel, or mean, or whatever.

All of you, except this Ryan fella, know me well enough to know that I'm not like that.

Anyway, I responded to Ryan via the email address listed above. I told him I was sorry if I hurt a friend of his, but that wasn't my intent. Who knows if he'll see it, though.

Ryan's email has been a real highlight to my day. Even Jen thought it was funny. I hope you do, too.

And, Ryan, if you're going to try to insult someone, you should really get to know them first. Your blind jabs about the fact that I'm morbidly obese (and I am, my doctor says so!) mean nothing coming from a faceless stranger over email who has no clue what I'm like or what's going on in my life. As for you, well, I know your email was motivated from a good place, but you're really an ass. I hope your friend feels better soon. I didn't mean to cause her any pain.

Can I get an amen?

Monday night Jen and I went to see Carmen at McCaw Hall in Seattle Center. I can't say I was pleased with the opera as a whole, but a couple of the singers/actors were great, I recognized a lot of the music (many classic pieces from this opera that I recognized), the sets were great, and the orchestra was excellent. You read all that and you might think, "Well that sounds like a pretty superior first-time opera-going experience." And that would be true except for the fact that the story was...boring. There just wasn't a whole heck of a lot to recommend it as a story. I'd go to another opera -- and I'm certain I will -- but I doubt I'd see Carmen again.

Work on Monday and Tuesday was filled with meetings, so I got very little done other than that. A couple of the meetings were very constructive, but nothing really stands out over the last couple of days that bears mentioning.

Today, we tested one of the upcoming projects that is being sped up right now, so we can get it out in a timely fashion. When that was done six of us played the new Xevoz action figure game. The game was...simplistic, not very compelling, challenging, strategic, nor did the game really interact with the action figures. They acted more as "life counters" than anything else, which was a real bummer, because the figures were really cool. I like them now and I'd have loved them as a kid. In a lot of ways they remind me of Micronauts. Man, I loved those toys. So, if you want to see a couple of cool, interchangeable action figures, check them out; otherwise, the game is kinda lame. Even for kids.

Here's something that's come up a couple of times in the two-plus years I've been keeping this blog; as more people I know read it, there are fewer and fewer things that I can safely write about. Clearly, if "Steve" pisses me off and Steve reads this, I can't write about what a jerk he is. Or if something is happening to Steve that is deeply personal, I can't write what I think about it because Steve or a close friend will probably see it. Or, if I don't want Steve to know some things that are happening in my life because Steve really doesn't need to know them -- or I'm not comfortable with him kowing them, then I can't write about them. See the problem? Anyway, there's some things I just can't write about here and it bothers me -- but if I could write about them freely, then there probably wouldn't be many people reading this, so it's kind of a double-bind.

I guess that's fine. This is a living media and it will change over time as more people are introduced to it. It started as a way to keep up with friends back in Wisconsin and those that have moved to other parts of the world. In the time I've been here it's become a way for me to get my thoughts out of "paper" and become a place where family and new friends can keep up with my life. That's definitely a good thing, but I still wish I could freely write about anything I want.

This is just about the coolest book ever: Sammy Tubbs, the Boy Doctor, and Sponsie, the Troublesome Monkey. I think I need a copy.

Okay. It's time for me to get some sleep. I will return!

Saturday, January 24, 2004

It's been a heck of a week. There are a couple of things that have happened that are pretty amazing.

First off, I heard from some people at work that Shane (my friend who was sent back to South Africa due to some problem with his visa) has a lawyer in S.A. finally. The lawyer went in to meet with some people at the consulate and they were very nice. They told the lawyer that they don't see anything wrong with his visa or his records, so all Shane has to do is come in for a meeting and they should be able to clear everything up. weird. Shane, the lawyers involved, and everyone who's been involved is very confused by this turn of events, but it looks like he'll be able to return after he has his meeting -- the soonest he could get one was next month. I hope everything goes well and he makes it back soon after.

We had our distributor meeting at work this week, so I spent a lot of time preparing for that and having everyone in the department clean up our work area so that it looked a bit more presentable. I even, finally, managed to get all the comics we've been receiving from DC separated into "useful" and "not-so-useful" piles and then placed in boxes that look a lot nicer on the bookshelves than the brown boxes they came in. I still have some organizing to do on them, but it was a good start. The distributor meeting itself went very well. There's more to say, but this isn't really the place for it.

The other big news for the week, definitely the biggest for me, is that I have a girlfriend. Her name's Jen and I like her pretty well. She's a lot of fun, 25, lives on Mercer Island, just a little ways from Bellevue, and she's trying to become a back-up singer -- so of course, she's working as a choir teacher and restaurant hostess now. She's making some progress though, and will likely start singing with a local band soon. She had a disk of their stuff and they're very good.

It's very strange to be in a -- hmm, I have a hard time calling it a relationship since it's only four days into it, but I guess that's appropriate. I haven't been seeing anyone since I left Madison in late September of 2001. It's very odd, but everything is going well and we've been having a good time. Her mom got her some tickets to Carmen which is playing in Seattle right now. I've never been to an opera, but it looks like I may be going on Monday evening. That should be interesting.

Other than that, well, I've been trying to get my apartment in order. Before the distributor meeting I had to get some cases of product out of work (the free sets I get of our releases), so I took the opportunity to get a larger storage space. I moved everything from my old space over and I still have some room to move some things out of my overstuffed closets. It will be nice to have a bit more space to organize things.

I mentioned going to Ikea last weekend and I found a great desk that I think I'm going to buy. The table I'm using for a computer desk isn't doing it for me and it makes my wrists and arm hurt if I work for long.

Since I set the computer up and had a cable Internet connection installed, I haven't watched any DVDs. It's weird. Like I only have time for one thing in my freetime. Right now it's the computer. Actually, now that I think about it, it's probably because I was editing that project and now I've been busy with other things. Once I'm back into a more normal schedule I'm sure I'll go back to watching some of my DVDs. I look forward to it, actually, I still have a number of new ones from Christmas to watch, plus the Buffy season five disks.

Okay, I'm going to read some comics and relax a bit. Tomorrow will be spent at the gym and at work trying to get some things done for the week.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Regarding my post of a couple of days ago: My company has a new C.O.O., not C.E.O.

The Web has ears.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

See? This, here, right now. This is the problem.

It's 1:15a.m. and I'm awake. More importantly I have no desire to go to bed. I could sleep if I laid down, but I don't want to. There are things to do. Things I'd like to do. Now.

I'd like to put together the cabinets I bought Sunday at Ikea. I'd like to vacuum since I bothered to pick up a bag for it the other day. I'd like to take things to my storage unit and get everything reorganized. I'd like to go through all the boxes I have hiding around my apartment and get rid of what I don't need and take the rest to storage.

It's not even that I'm not tired. I am. I could sleep. It's just such a freakin' waste of time. I don't know how everyone can't feel this way.

But I have to force myself to go to bed because I have to get up and get to work in the morning. Man, I wish I didn't have to sleep. That would be great.

I still don't want to go to bed, so I'm going to write some more.

Today was good. I had a productive day at work and managed to finish the presentation for the distributor meeting this Thursday. After work I played Magic with Matt and Ethan -- and I went out to dinner with Ethan and Cathy to the newly reopened Eating Factory. Yes, it's a horrible name. The food was a little better than that, but I was more than a little surprised to learn that the dinner cost about $20.00. Sure, it was all-you-can-eat sushi and seafood (with that name, how could it be anything else?), but it wasn't worth it. Apparently lunches are only about $12.00, so maybe that will be more worthwhile.

After finishing the games with Ethan I headed home, stopped at the grocery store since I didn't actually do any shopping last night like I thought I would, and then picked up around the apartment for a while. And now, here I am.

Ugh, I'm just going to have to go lay down and fall asleep. That sucks. Of course, the sooner I fall asleep, the sooner I wake up. I guess that's a good thing, right?

Okay, I'm going.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

I don't understand how time can move so quickly sometimes. I refuse to believe that the last time I updated was last Tuesday. That's just weird. Lemme think about what I've done in the meantime.

Wednesday was a crazy day at work. I was in an interesting meeting with some of the sales people and we had a good talk, but there were a few times that voices were raised more than I've ever seen at work. Pretty odd, but necessary in a couple cases. I may have been the loudest. That evening I went out with a friend for dinner and a movie; Big Fish again. It was still very good and I still didn't cry, though she did.

Thursday I left work at a reasonable time and finished up the editing I've been doing.

Firday was a particularly good day at work. Out of the blue, someone in another department sent me an email that said how much she enjoyed working with me and how good I was at my job. I thanked her and told her to tell me if any of that ever changes. Secondly, I had a great meeting with the new CEO, one of the V.P.s and another Director to go over a proposal for how to change our product releases. They all liked it and think we should switch to this method of release as soon as possible. That's good because I was already heading that direction in my department, so it will be nice to have the rest of the company in on it, too. On the way out of that meeting he called me back and told me I'd done a good job on the proposal. That was pretty cool. Made me feel good, too. Those sorts of things don't often get said around my workplace.

Friday evening was the birthday party for Brian (one of the sculptors) at Illusionz. It's basically a glorified arcade with some food, but we had a pretty good time playing arcade games, indoor golf, air hockey, and especially watching some crazy-fast-footed people play a "game" called Dance Dance Revolution. You dance along on a footpad area to the pattern the screen shows you -- and these guys were moving fast!

Saturday I ran all over town to get comics, some vacuum bags, to look at some new luggage, get a new lightbulb for the bathroom, pick up some software for my computer, and just take care of errands. I looked into expanding my storage space, which I'll be doing this week so I can get some of the new cases of product out of the cube next to mine at work and also clear out some more useless stuff from my apartment. I may even look through it and see what I can get rid of. Y'know, I never look at the stuff, so why keep it?

Saturday evening I went to the gym and then to work for a bit to do some things that needed doin'.

Today, Sunday, that is, Shana and Cathy came over to give me advice on how to change my apartment a bit; new furniture and such. Then we picked up Carter (another sculptor) and went to Ikea. I found a lot of great things to get for my place, but I have to do some measuring before I go too crazy buying furniture. Carter needs to furnish his entire apartment so he spent some big cash; I only spent about $160, but I'll be back. Yes, I will.

Tonight I finished my editing and will send it off in just a few moments, then it's time to go to grocery shopping, then to bed. Later.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

A laser that cuts cheese? And Kevin laughed at us when we pestered him about making a plasma-toaster! Now look! We've been shown up!

Hey, isn't it funny that I got my Internet connection set up at home and then I haven't really updated all that much? I think it is. It's weird, but I really fell into a routine of updating at work late at night, since I got things up and running at home, it hasn't felt right. I've also been busy, but that's besides the point. I will endeavour to update more often.

Things that have been happening lately? Let's see. I've been busy doing some work on a side project that's due Thursday. It's nothing major, but it will earn me a little money, which will be useful.

I went to a dinner party at the house of some friends last Thursday. And when I say dinner party, I mean we all sat down and ate at the table and talked and had a good time.

Most of the weekend I spent indoors working on the aforementioned project, but I did escape to go to dinner with some friends. It was a good break. We also watched the Chris Rock movie Pootie Tang. It was funny, but I'm pretty sure you have to be in the right mood to think it's humorous at all.

I went to see Big Fish, Tim Burton's new movie. It was very good. I went with a few other people and many of them were in tears at a couple of points during the movie. For some reason the movie just didn't affect me that way. Being good friends, they called me a heartless bastard. Actually, I was much more interested in the style of the movie than what was happening in it. It was a story about a storyteller and the stories he told were much more important than what was happening in the film. I don't know if that makes sense, but I was interested in it for the way it went about saying what it had to say. It ended up being a pretty uplifting movie for me. Probably because it felt to me like a story that I would write -- modern, but with lots of weird fantastical bits that are important for what they represent as opposed to what they actually are. I recommend it.

The fella I work with and am very good friends with is still stuck back in South Africa. I don't think I've talked about this much here, but he's from Durbin and was sent back to clear up some problems with his visa. All I know is I miss having him around and I really hope he's able to return soon. Whether or not that will happen at all is up in the air, but he really deserves to be here and he's probably one of the best people I know. If anyone out there has any pull with the government/INS/or the embassy in South Africa, please contact me.

Hmm, the Crysal Method is coming to the Showbox on March 2nd. Hmm.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

I remembered that I wanted to post this a while ago and managed to find where I'd seen it (a calendar from last year).

So, here are words/phrases invented by Shakespeare:

money's worth
on purpose
shooting star

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Wow. That'll teach me to take a month off from working out.

I went to the gym tonight and did what I'd consider my lowest-level workout and it made me lightheaded. It's a workout that I'd have to work to get my heart rate up to 150 bpm and I was at around 170.

I figure if I watch my food starting right now and work out regularly, I may see results again.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

It's chaos! Madness! Pure insanity!

Actually, it's just snowing in Seattle. A pretty good snow, too...a whole three inches. You'd think the world was coming to an end.

Unfortunately, since the cities in the area are so incredibly unprepared for any amount of snow, this minor storm has paralyzed the area. I guess that's what happens when you only have five snowplows and a dumpster's-worth of sand to cover a city of 2.5 million people for the winter.

No one is out in their cars either, so the pressure and heat created by cars driving on the snow isn't high enough to melt the snow on the street. In places that actually have seasons like winter, all the cars on the road clear off the snow pretty quickly.

And because the area never gets snow, no one knows how to drive on it. Here's some pointers:
1) Drive slowly.
2) When taking off from standing still, step on the gas gently so that your wheels can get some traction. Stomping on the gas only makes the wheels spin. I swear it's the truth.
3) Start to gently brake a long time before you have to stop.
4) When you start to slide, steer in the direction you're sliding.
5) If a section of road looks like ice, it probably is.
6) If a section of road looks like snow, assume there's ice underneath.
7) Don't try to drive up or down steep hills with stop signs, stoplights, or some obstacle at the bottom.

And here are a couple that aren't just for this time of year:
8) Yellow lights mean "clear the intersection", not "step on the gas, the intersection is yours until the guy with the green light can enter it."
9) When driving on a multiple-lane highway, slower traffic keeps to the right, so that faster traffic can safely pass on the left.

Admittedly, I'm a little annoyed with how everyone treats the snow out here, but the Seattle area is pretty damn hilly, so even if everything were being well taken care of, it still wouldn't be a great place to drive in the snow. I'd certainly avoid downtown.

I can't believe I've written this much about snow. And I really can't believe I've written this much about snow that will be gone by the end of the day tomorrow.

The weather had the effect of getting me out of work early, so I spent the early part of the day organizing things at work and the latter part of the day doing some editing. I have a project due on the 15th and I'm doing well -- although the second half has been more of a challenge than the first. It's amazing what a difference a good writer makes.

Now I'm off to bed.

Sunday, January 04, 2004

After more than two years in Seattle I'm finally online at home! Woohoo! The cable guy showed up today and hooked me up with the most basic of cable along with an Internet connection. I am very excited.

I've spent today catching up on some things that had fallen by the wayside while I was traveling, so now I have a haircut, clean clothes, and my apartment is pretty much livable again.

Having this connection at home will make it easier to leave work earlier, too. At least, that's the hope.

I'll post something about my last couple of weeks in a while. I still have things to take care of around here.