Pain. Excruciating pain. Ever since this morning's ortho visit, my mouth has been on fire. "Activating the flair on shunt 24." Are we flying a space shuttle or moving Luke's teeth? It feels like a little of both right now. Tried (and failed) at eating all day. Will it stop me from trying? Bah, yeah right.
I tried taking a picture of my head for Missy, but I failed. I look awkward in every shot. Not gonna subject you to my poor photography skills on a Tuesday night. But I do appreciate the IMs from fellow bloggers. Ever since that screen shot, I've been graced by several hellos. Forty-five visits today. I feel so honored.
I was totally hit on last night. Was a bit taken aback by the whole event. Not sure I'm interested in formalized dating right now.
Seeing how Erikku has threatened to bomb me if I don't answer a few of his questions, I will comply, because I'm a big wuss at heart. ;)
One machine you would like to spiritually possess and wreak havoc in when I'm pissed as hell: You know that robotic body that Sigourney Weaver wore in Aliens? The one that kicked the queen's ass. Yeah, that machine. *grin*
6 songs I listen to when I'm pissed as hell: SIX?! I enjoy songs that encompass hate & love, usually unreciprocated love turned hate. I'm a sap for love stories, but I love the hate that usually boils up due to love. I think that disqualifies me for a hopeless romantic.
One word I use the most when I'm pissed as hell: Does a growl count? I think more often than not I growl and grumble when I'm pissed. The other night I was mad as hell (insignificant reason) and did yell damnit really loud. Does that count?
My favorite color when I'm pissed as hell: Black. 'Twas my favorite color for the longest time. Went through my black stage in high school.
My favorite method of execution when I'm pissed as hell: See, I don't know about this one. But if you take all righteousness out of the equation, I think the laser squares in Resident Evil was by far the best execution ever.
My favorite thing to watch on TV when I'm pissed as hell: George Bush. No wait, that's what I'm watching on TV when I get pissed as hell. My bad. ;)
LAST trivia of the month!
Try again! - January Trivia
Which of the following places do I NOT have a birthmark? (excuse the verisimilitude)
a) left palm
b) right nipple
c) left buttock
d) right foot
Gross, huh? Had to end it on a high note!
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Monday, January 30, 2006
Bing bing. Ching ching. *WHAP* That's what I awoke to this morning at 3am. "Who on earth.. what the hell?" is all I could think. Is the cat in the sink? Is someone getting a bowl out for leftover chili? I jumped up only to find my candy dish (which is an old goldfish bowl) now half-empty with candy all over the floor. The cat... frozen in motion... as if I stopped a hockey player in mid-play. "Maybe if I don't move.. he... won't.. see.. me." "Bad cat!" Ugh. I love her to death.. but I didn't fill this bowl with candy for her... it's for my guests this coming weekend... (even if I've been sneaking a piece here and there).
My poor birds must be having a midlife crisis. Or perhaps its because "Cindy" is young, fertile and horny. Either way.. both of them spend most of their time sitting in their enclosed food dish. Why? Well, I can fathom a guess. Each day I empty the dish and find an egg. Birds, without a nest, still lay eggs. Usually they'll lay it on the bottom of the cage, then break it on purpose. Apparently, the time for throwing spare eggs away is over.. and it's time to make another family. So I pulled out their old pink nest from my closest and intend to buy them some nesting material soon. I used to collect the eggs for Jake.. since he wanted to make a finch omelet with them.. but when I finally handed him 15 eggs.. he looked at me like I was crazy.
So on my shopping binge last night.. I returned the second-class LCD TV I purchased in November and purchased a new Magnavox LCD TV which was on sale (it's for my bedroom). Why did I do the return & purchase that I'm so well-known for? Simply because the TV I bought then wasn't my first choice.. they ran out of the one I wanted on Black Friday... but I didn't want to leave empty handed. The one I wanted (and this one I just bought) not only is a brand name, but it also can hook up to: cable, s-video, RCA plugs, your computer and has a TV tuner built in. Plus it just LOOKS nicer. I just have to splurge and buy the wall mount and I'll be all set. I want to get it for under $20, so with shipping it'll be around $40. It's currently $90 in the stores. But damnit, I lost an auction the other night and it sold for $12. Damnit.
Win, Lose or Draw - January Trivia
How many siblings do I have?
Posted by Luke at 10:21 PM
Sunday, January 29, 2006
Does anyone else enjoy getting a hair cut? And I'm not just referring to the happiness of looking spiffy.. but during the process. For as long as I can remember.. getting my hair cut has actually been a pleasurable experience. I'm not talking sexually.. but someone taking the time and concentration to handle one's head gracefully always gives me chills during the experience. Perhaps its just their handling of my scalp... or maybe the vibrations from the buzzer. Either way.. today was no exception.
Except... my haircut didn't turn out very well. I have a very specific set of instructions that I have the fine folks at Supercuts follow each month.. and am wary to deviate from this known and comfortable cut. Today, however, they misunderstood what I wanted and buzz cut my head almost to the top. I took mostly bald and I don't like the way my hairline looks in the front. Well, I never have, but that's another story. I quite enjoyed the cut.. especially since they took about 35 minutes to do it. I don't have long hair. It usually takes 10 minutes tops.
So why the long time? Why the compliments? Why the scalp massage? I didn't ask for it. I didn't lead anyone on. Perhaps they were simply fishing for a tip? I always tip. And even though my haircut wasn't what I wanted, I ended up tipping $5, almost 50%. Gracious, comfortable.. enjoyable. Happy. But not the end result of what I wanted. Why did I tip so much? Shouldn't I have used it to punish said hair-cutter? Perhaps I was flirting. Perhaps not. All I know if my next cut is free, or it better be.
P.S. The grocery store is out of food. I bought it all. And somehow, managed to put it all away in my tiny kitchen. Chili is cooking in the crockpot... my stomach is rumbling.. and I have a new LCD TV/monitor to break in.
Is it C? No B. Wait. L? - January Trivia
What was the name of my childhood pet chicken?
Posted by Luke at 6:03 PM
Saturday, January 28, 2006
Hard to believe that in little over a week, I'll be in Ohio at a conference. I've never had to do more than drive down the street for a work conference, so this will be an experience to remember (and blog about). I'm leaving mid-day on Monday, arriving around 5, being shuttled for an hour out to a hotel and the conference starts at 8am sharp. Why am I talking about it already when its still a week away? Dunno, it's just on my mind.
Speaking of things on my mind. Some weird memories came flooding back to me last night while I was reading my book. I'm having a hard time concentrating when I'm reading and I'm not sure why. I keep remembering people and events from years ago. Last night, it was the horrible sleep-walking window accident of July 2004. I wouldn't recommend looking at the link unless you have a strong stomach. I won't rehash the whole story, but just that poor kid's yelps for help made my skin crawl. Or it could be that it was 60o in my apartment last night.
Today has been a fast-paced ride. Alison and I stopped by Saigon Palace in Greece to eat up Pho and the world's best egg roles, check out her new car and drive it home, do some shopping for more party supplies, reunite with my sister over chocolate candies, hastily read a chapter in Finance, meet up with my group for several hours of arguments, hibachi with Jake, beach volleyball & free drinks at Hot Shots, and then finally taking some time to unwind and blog about it. Not so much, I realize, and I still haven't gotten through half the stuff I want to this weekend. And I need a haircut. Tomorrow or bust. I don't look good shaggy. Not one bit.
Gonna try to catch a late night showing at the movies with Nola. I'll have nudge her to keep her awake.
Out of the 27 people I invited to my party, 9 have said no, 8 have said yes, and the rest are in limbo. A little smaller than I had hoped, but still decently sized. I suppose it will save on food.
Show me the money! - January Trivia
Which friend was I trying to score a piggy-back ride from in this picture from Spring 2003?
Posted by Luke at 9:19 PM
Friday, January 27, 2006
I don't think I'll ever get used to being called "Sir." Ya wear a new shirt.. pinstripes and whatnot and people start complimenting and wooing and then calling ya Sir. It's weird. I'm only 24. I don't want to feel like I'm old. Stop it. But when our customers are even younger than I, I guess it's inevitable.
I hate to rehash a tired subject.. but my cat has found a new way to be annoying. She's learned to unplug my laptop. Seriously. I come home and it's on battery power. How does she know!? Does she suspect I'm late? Does she know I'm on it through remote at work? To get my attention? You should see my desk. I have to cover everything up so she's stay away from the electrical current. She's gonna be zapped one of these days.
We learned a great deal about "free riders" in my course last night, and ways to solve the free-rider problem. You know, when one of your team members isn't pulling their weight.. doing their share. It's a big business issue, too, apparently. We've been working on incentives and agency costs when dealing with corporate structure and the free-rider problem comes up often for reward and discipline. How do you reward a team when a person isn't doing their work? How do you punish them when not everyone failed?
The reason I bring this up is because one of my current team mates has fallen into this free-rider category. It's interesting, because I didn't know it. But Carrie had him on her team last quarter and had a horrible experience with him. Apparently his back goes out several times each quarter and he gets sick often. He missed last week's homework assignment, which took us 5 hours. And he's already said he may miss this week. Man, we sure know how to pick them, huh? Since we know his MO, I may mention it to my group. But everyone must pull their weight.
Hot water has been fixed. I took the longest, warmest shower in the history of showers. Blessed be; how I missed thee.
This weekend is poised to be filled with fun and excitement. Plans are in the works to try a new Vietnamese Pho restaurant, a small dinner party, test driving a couple cars, make heaping piles of delicious chili in practice preparation for the party, working on Jake's new car, watching newly released movies!, and doing some hefty shopping to spruce up the ol' homestead. Oh, and hours upon hours of homework.
I am going to expand my goals. I want to replace my wardrobe, find more decorative items for my walls and improve the quality of my linens. Silly goals, but something I think I need to do.
Win Lose or Draw - January Trivia
What is the first initial of my middle name?
And no, I didn't intend it to spell "Cows" above.
Posted by Luke at 4:22 PM
Thursday, January 26, 2006
I was up far too late doing unimportant and trivial things. I should know better. I'm exhausted, forgetful, incompetent. It's worse than being sick. I have an entire 2-liter bottle of diet coke to keep me conscious this morning. It's not working. It's bitter BITTER cold out right now and I'm still too lazy to go and buy a winter hat. My workout routine is taking a dive since I don't want to subject myself to numerous cold showers, and its put me into a foul mood.
Last night I had the honor of Driving Miss Alison (news - research) home from work in the midst of rush hour with 2 inches of slush and snow on the roads of Rochester. It took me ten minutes to just pull off of my street, turning the opposite direction since the traffic was so heavy. I'm lucky I didn't end up in downtown. And driving 10mph is grueling, painful and annoying. Remind me never to drive again. And people wonder why I bike. It doesn't risk my life every day to get to work in the winter. It does in the car. And it's slower. But warmer. Ohh.. warmness. Can I go back to bed?
Vegas Update: I don't think I'm going. I told my family to buy the tickets without me. That week I'd be in Vegas is final exams week at Simon. I'm already missing midterm exams for a work conference in a week. I can't miss finals too. Though, the one instructor was extremely snotty when I asked him about the date of the final.
As a matter of policy, I do not change exam times to suit students' vacation schedules.I never asked him to. I wouldn't do that. I asked him for a date so I could plan my vacation. Sigh. Maybe it's for the better. Maybe I'll go out to CA in the summer instead.
We saw Saw II last night. Last year, Alison tried to get me to go see this movie. It's finally at the dollar theatre, so we dragged ourselves to a late show, through the slush, into a very empty Wednesday night showing. Blood. Guts. Nail head gear. All pretty mundane. But then the knives came out! Oh, how I abhore knives! The cutting, the slicing, the visuals.. the sounds.. the screams. I was wriggling in pain with just the thought. Alison told me to stop convulsing. I suppose. But what do you expect in a horror movie? Especially from me? I got scared in Sixth Sense!
Every time Alison and I spend time together, I end up pissing her off. To no end. Nothing I say or do will ever be sufficient. She started giving me 'strikes' and by the end up the night I was up to strike 32. ;) It's a good thing we're just friends, else I think I'd have the worst record for 'saying things to a woman.'
Carrie agrees with me on my Simon woes. She's been questioning herself on why she's taking classes, running ragged, falling asleep in class, being overwhelmed. It seems much worse this quarter than in previous quarters. We're almost through the cores, which means we can soon take courses that interest us. And then I can take courses that my supervisor will actually let me take tax-exempt. Phooey.
Now I'm just mumbling.
No. Wrong. Stop talking. - January Trivia
I have a major scar on my body which I've always been self-conscious about. Where is it?
Posted by Luke at 10:07 AM
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Graduate School.. homework, classes, group meetings, reading.. blah blah. I've always managed to fill my time with other more interesting things to do, perhaps at the sacrifice of the perfect grades. It used to be important to excel at everything, but now, it seems.. trivial. I'm losing steam, perhaps because I still haven't found anything to be passionate about. It's always been about getting a good job... making the money. Never about exploring options; always meeting the expectation of the people around me. Annoying. Fruitless.
Had a weird dream last night...
A polar bear. And not just any polar bear, but THE polar bear you'd fear the most. Playing with childhood friends (I was obviously much younger than I am now) at an old house we'd frequent, playing in the haystacks in the barn, having a grand old time. We saw some rustling in the corner of the backyard behind the barn, immediately recognizing the white fur and bearish demeanor. And this thing could leap and jump. It's fury ripped at our darkest emotions. I knew immediately we needed to seek shelter.Unamazingly, I was exhausted and sore from the night of dreaming. Who is this polar bear? Why am I wrestling with animals?
What felt like an eternity running and hiding from the bear, but eventually gaining enough courage to trap the creature in the front porch (after drawing it out from beneath the same porch), I played the hero role. Not only did I trap it, but I netted it and single-handedly hung this gigantic white bear in its cloth cage from a hook in the ceiling. Being all proud and exhausted, I awoke to my alarm going off.
LINK OF THE DAY: Due to the recent revelations about the Bush administration seeking search engine data for the Justice Department, I came across this exhaustive list of all possible excuses for the many search terms we all google each week. Enjoy.
I'm looking into getting a passport. I printed out all the information from the State Department website and it seems all swell and pretty simple. Looking ahead for possible trips to Canada and Mexico, as we'll need passports to cross the borders now. I've always wanted one, surprising I've not been forced to get one all these years. I'd like to do some traveling in the next couple of years overseas. Maybe to London, right Missy? ;)
I've been encouraged to put together a portfolio of all my best photographs. I went through the last year's worth of photos I've taken and have picked out about 30 choices. I went and presented them to a group of rather harsh critics and am getting amazing feedback. It's quite liberating and satisfying to know people enjoy my hobby. Perhaps it can go somewhere, perhaps not. Never will know without trying.
Trying to figure out what a good February Challenge would consist of. Since January is over in a few days and I met each and every one of my goals of this month, it seems only fit to expand upon my resolutions to something new and exciting.. and challenging, of course. Shall it be something of substance.. or something intangible? More than likely a combination. Any ideas?
Go! - January Trivia
Which friend is this? No cheating!
Posted by Luke at 9:18 PM
Monday, January 23, 2006
a) Jake bought his new car (pictured above)But that's it! No other reason. None.
b) Dim Sum and
c) I ran out of food
What defines a good person? Everyone has their own opinions and views of the world. Of morality. What makes one person 'good' will quite nearly make them 'bad' to someone else.
From a recent conversation: "Which is, if God doesn't exist, you are nothing; meaningless and cast adrift to blindly stumble through until you die and fade into nothing. Your actions have no meaning and nothing you do will survive you. There is no right and wrong, so you can do what you like, kill or be killed, be cruel or have cruelty visited upon you."Do we define it on a societal basis or on a personal level? What if someone obeys all the laws but simply is horrid personally? What if someone is perfectly charming but breaks the law? Who judges these people? Does redemption fit into this? Do past mistakes taint a future? I simply don't understand where some people get off.
New poll. Vote! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~>
The drama with Vegas is heating up. Will I go? Won't I go? The time has been tentatively approved by my bosses, as I requested it weeks ago, and the plane ticket price is very reasonable, and I have all 48 hours covered by my vacation bank, but I have this lingering feeling just telling that maybe I shouldn't go. I want to do Vegas, I should do Vegas. We'd be there many days and enjoy doing many things. I'd get to see my brother again, his other, and of course gamble into the wee mornings. But should I? Bah.
I'd like to get your opinion on good movies to see. So if you get a moment, comment on which 2 movies you'd recommend that I rent/borrow/view/steal. I'd like to put together a list and have that be my February thing. Watch a bunch of recommended-to-me movies and share my insights each week. Might work out, might not. If I don't get too many ideas, I'll have to use my own movie collection, which might scare all of you away.
I'm making final preparations on my apartment for the party. You might ask, what? Well, in the last 2 years I've lived there, it's gone from being a very empty, very hollow, very echoey white walled cave. It's turned into quite the home and I've got a lot of art on the walls, pictures from great times, and most recently, a collection of my best images printed to 11x17 frames. Trying to finish it up to be presentable. I'm entirely too pleased. I have several other todo's, as I redid a huge chuck of my plants and have a fishtank to finish setting up. Nothing like having 20 guests over to incite you to do work you've put off for months. At least my laundry's been put away.
Show me: Eggplant - 33 (Purple Foods) - January Trivia
Which bad habit am I plagued with?
a) chewing on pens
b) chewing loudly on gum
c) chewing on nails
d) chewing with mouth open
Oh, I guess your answer to this will tell me what you think of me!
Posted by Luke at 2:15 PM
Saturday, January 21, 2006
Another image which looks better when enlarged. Click to enjoy.
Thora tagged me (my first tag!) to do this meme, which I am all too happy to oblige on a weekend, since nothing exciting has happened in the last day or so.
4 Jobs You Have Had:
(these are all jobs I had while I was still without any education)
1. Office Assistant - my first student job; filing papers, checking out people's salaries and bad performance reviews; surfing the internet and writing love notes to a special someone: $7/hr
2. Webmaster - which consisted of fitting 5 hours of work into 40 hours of working time; I wouldn't recommend this job, because nobody respects a web developer: $7.50/hr
3. Bellman - Tips of less than 5%, looking fancy for the clients, carrying heavy bags, walking in on patrons in the middle of getting dressed. fun! $5.25/hr
4. Book Shelver - Yeah, I worked for 2 weeks putting books on the shelves of a discount book seller in an outlet mall: $6/hr (gag)
4 Movies You Could Watch Over and Over:
2. Practical Magic
3. Moulin Rouge
4 Places You Have Lived:
1. Fayette, NY (House 1)
2. Fayette, NY (House 2)
3. Fayette, NY (House 3)
4. Rochester, NY
4 TV Shows You Love to Watch:
(have you NOT seen my TV schedule?? I love too many)
1. Survivor (with Jacob)
2. Firefly (for all too many reasons)
3. Stargate (SG1 & Atlantis)
4. Battlestar Galactica (best show ever)
4 Favorite Books:
1. Lord of the Rings (trilogy)
2. Tales of the Grand Tour (15 of Ben Bova's books)
3. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
4. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
4 Places You Have Been on Vacation:
1. Montreal, Quebec (2003)
2. Daytona Beach, FL (2002)
3. Los Angeles, CA (2004x2, 2005x1)
4. Atlanta, GA (2004, 2006)
4 Websites You Visit Daily:
(not counting the 20 blogs I read daily)
1. Google News: http://news.google.com
2. JP Morgan Chase: http://www.chase.com
3. Pirate Bay: http://www.thepiratebay.org
4. Ebay http://www.ebay.com
4 Favorite Foods:
1. Anything Turkey (sliced, burgers, breast, etc.)
2. Buffalo Chicken Subs (yay for it being next door)
3. Chinese Dim Sum (going there tonight!)
4. Cereal (I'm a huge cereal addict)
4 Places You Would Rather be Right Now:
1. Hmp. I'm happy where I am right now.. :(
2. Taking a nap
3. Vacationing in Los Angeles
4. Winder, Georgia (t-minus 1 month)
4 Bloggers You are Tagging:
(four of my faithful daily readers)
Red, Green or Blue? - January Trivia
What is the natural color of my eyes?
Posted by Luke at 5:58 PM
Friday, January 20, 2006
Eh. It's been a long week, but it's finally over, thank Bob. Today was hastily a mess. I had three people breathing down my neck all day, a couple complainers, a lunch cancellation, a horrid last minute discovery, and then almost hitting a guy
lying laying in the road after work... it just wasn't ideal. Heh, lying in the road? "You sir, are a woman in a truck!" I meant laying.
One of the projects I was working on, and have been working on, and will be working on for some time, had a major showstopper on Tuesday. "Fix it!" Oh, yes'm. After pawing through documents from YEARS ago and flipping into binders smelling of OLD mustiness, I gave up and submitted a help request from the all unhelpful tech people in Ohio. Their response?
Is the situation that the course is in-progress and now the requirement is reporting IP instead of the previous status of OK? If that is the case, can you reject IP courses from applying to this requirement by placing the condition code representing the 7th position of the reserved condition code fields in the RC1 field of that sub-requirement?OH... well, why didn't I think of that? What the HELL does that mean?
It also doesn't help that my boss has been on a screaming fit all week long and everyone was on edge in preparation for their turn. I was never yelled at, but I knew my name came up in several shout sessions this week. Little birdies and whatnot. I spent several hours doing research to back up my ideas, just in case. But nothing is ever satisfactory and easy. Why we have to be so rigid in our processes, I'll NEVER know. And my phrase of the week: business practices. I think I've used that 25 times in the last 5 days. Buzz word?
I'm really getting angry at the OnStar commercials as of late. Imagine. You see a phrase come across the screen "it was just like any other day" and then you hear a horrific crash and a woman scream. "OnStar, ma'am, we detected an impact on your front bumper" comes a voice. The words "all she could do is think of her unborn baby" flash. A woman, crying and screaming comes on the line: "I'm dying. She's dying. Help me." Your blood freezes. "911, what is the emergency?" comes the operator. "Yes, this is OnStar, we have a car accident at 5th and Acorn. Pregnant woman involved." and the women cries "I'm bleeding so bad, help me!" It just makes me want to cry. How is this going to make me wanna buy a car with OnStar? It makes me never want to get in the car again!
Last night I took care of Jake's dog for the evening. I got there around 9 and let the poor puppy out into the back yard to relieve himself. Tipper loves me, for some odd reason. I brought over my laser pointer one day and played with him with it, and every since then (like 6 months ago), he always thinks I have it. I motioned to him to go out yonder and poo, but he stares back ready. "Poop." I commanded. "Laser?!" he returns. "Poop!" I said sternly. "Laser." he signals, cocking his head. Dogs. Dunno. He spent the whole night by my side like I was his hero.
But I guess I am lucky I only stayed there for one night. Rachael called me to tell me that their toilet broke today (not my fault!) and their back door fell off the porch! Now that's something that would have happened to ME just by being in the neighborhood. I guess it's bad enough I accidentally formatted Jake's hard drive while trying to fix his computer, but it's nowhere near as bad as breaking his house.
Agree with the Center Square! - January Trivia
Which of the following did I NOT do when I was five years old?
a) shot out the backseat window of a moving car with a bb gun
b) chucked rotten eggs at cows
c) rode barnyard pigs like a cowboy
d) neutered baby pigs with a razor without any anesthesia
P.S. I think my birds are getting a divorce.
Posted by Luke at 9:14 PM
Thursday, January 19, 2006
I'm stealing a couple ideas from people out there and making it my own. There is something called "Half Nekkid Thursdays" in the blog world, where you reveal something personal about yourself each Thursday, be it facts, pictures or something else personal. Since I love playing the games and enjoy sharing stories and information, each Thursday I will share something that can fall into this category. This week, I share my perfect handwriting. Don't be too amazed, there is no font that can match this:I am very loopy and curvy in my writing; I'm not sure what it means. I generally don't write, but above is from my scratch pad for my Vegas vacation planning. Sound like a good launching spot for my first HNT?
I had a fantastic lunch with Alison, and she's nervous as ever about her upcoming used car purchase. I try to reassure her that it's not as bad as she's fearing. Her previous car (now dead, r.i.p.) was given to her by her parents, and she's convinced her parents should give her a new car this time around too. Must be nice having rich parents. She told me of a funny phone call she had right before I picked her up with a salesman at a local dealership. He was giving her the runaround when all she wanted was a soft range of prices on a certain year and model. He kept avoiding it and trying to get her to come in. As she's been in sales for 2 years, she just kept reiterating to the guy that while she understood WHY he was being deflective, it wouldn't work and that he should just tell her the prices over the phone.
It's sorta amazing how connected we are to the internet, and how unavailable we feel when it's cut off. A server I run had crashed yesterday around 2:30p and it wasn't brought back online until about 11p. That was a full 9 hours that hundreds of people lost contact with messages, forums, email and more. Not only did I get many phone calls and IMs, I realized how little changed in real life. It's like the online world doesn't matter. I know in the largest sense it does, especially for trade, business, banking, etc., but individually, it's just an inconvenience, and no different than your car breaking down (sorry Alison!).
To do left today:
- finish invite for party in 2 weeks, email it to 25 people
- finish homework for tonight, t-minus 2.5 hours
- sort through my email, which is piling up with no end in sight
- organize my desk, which has turned into a heaping paper pile
- put away the laundry that's been sitting in its basket for 6 days now
- write up party grocery list since you'll need to buy $50 worth of beer in the coming days
- get more than 5 hours of sleep for 1 time in 9 days
the worlda small city
My dental hygienist went and got her MBA from the same school I am attending. Does it bode well that she's a dental hygenist now? We chatted the good talk this morning as she awed and admired how well I take care of my teeth. Damn right.
How much sleep do you get each night?
1-800-IDOLS-04 - January Trivia
What is the name of my car?
d) No nickname.
Posted by Luke at 3:15 PM
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
I froze my butt off taking pictures today in the blustery cold. Out of the 144 pictures I took, I uploaded 13 to the blog. Not my absolute best, but without a hat and using the camera trigger through gloves isn't the easiest. You'll see them over the next two weeks.
The above is what I fall asleep to each night. She looks at me, I look at her, she stretches and claws at my eyes: the bliss of owning a cat. Or at least my cat.
I'm staying the night at Jake's tomorrow night. He is flying to St. Louis to pick up his new car and his wife is out of town, so I've been deemed doggy-sitter. He really didn't give me much choice in the matter. Poor Tipper. Innocently, he emails me for a favor:
[...]So I'm either a saint or I've forced them to put down their dog. Nice choice. He's joking of course, but I know he's appreciative. After saying yes to any favor, he usually has to tag along any thank you with an insult to injury:
If you'd rather do option b (staying over), then there's not really anything to work out. Help yourself to anything in the fridge, cupboards, or porn chest. And, if neither option works for you, well... we'll just have to put him down.
You're the best friend a guy could use for free cookies and his dog-watching abilities.An awful lot of effort to just go get a car. First he buys a car from Canada that is illegal to buy in the US, and now he's flying South to drive 17 hours back here. He invited me to go, but uhh.. no? Yeah, no is my answer.
What kind of beers do you like? I'm not big on beer. I usually just have whatever is available in the fridge, which has been Labatt Blue as of late. But if you have a favorite beer, share. I want to get a good variety for the Superbowl.
I've had a very long day. Luckily tonight I can just nap and watch mindless TV, a rarity as of late. My DVR is chuck full of recorded shows of the past 2 weeks, I have over 25 hours of stuff I've downloaded but haven't watched, and I have little motivation to watch any of it. Today was not so much stressful, but entertainingly full. My boss chewed out one of my colleagues and has been going through a couple anger fits throughout the week toward other people. But the meeting I had today was entertaining since everyone is just so razzled with everyone going on. New semester means everyone is on edge. I'm feeling it.
What do you do to relieve tension on a daily basis?
I call. - January Trivia
How old was I when I first learned to swallow pills?
d) - still can't!
Posted by Luke at 6:43 PM
Ahh, the start of a new academic year at my employer. The fury of students, the panicky phone calls, the billions of large boxes labeled "shoes" and "crap" coming out of the post office, it makes me feel like I am still in school. Well, undergraduate school. And these kids are awfully chatty on the phones as of late. While helping one student out with her problem, she started asking me how my day was going, my name, what I do at my job. Another guy started asking me where I went to school, if I lived nearby and how I like my job. Hello? Let's just help you and move on.
My one professor has to know that his spray-painted scalp isn't fooling anyone. Nor the fact that his bald spot looks more like a waterfall of dripping paint than any measurable amount of hair. Poor guy, resorting to ill-fated attempts to fit in. Shoot me if I ever get to that point. I suppose I will end up going the Spacey-LexLuther route and shave it all, as is done by millions of men. But we'll cross that bridge if and when it comes to it. I'm not going to worry about it yet. But with a class full of balding men, it makes one think.
I lost my winter hat. I'm sad. Now I have to go buy a new one before my poor ears freeze on my way to and from work. Damnit. It matched my coat, gloves and scarf. Woe is me.
You'll be happy to know Jake and I finished Obscure finally tonight. As I write this, it's 12:45am, so you can see it was another (and hopefully last) late night at his house. The game ended well, but easier than it started. The horror aspect slipped away to be more like any other action game, so it lost a lot of its zip in the final 30 minutes of play. But like I always say, it's not about the game, it's about the people. And I enjoy playing with Jake. But I have to weight that to the needs of my cat. I come home and she's not happy. She won't even talk to me for an hour and mentions "headaches" and "not in the mood" an awful lot when we're in bed. Poor girl, I neglect her so much*.
A bunch of us had a grand old time at Dim Sum tonight. Happily eating over $70 worth of food has its upsides, and having dinner with that girl Stephanie that I mentioned the other day ("tall, gelled hair"), Alison, Jake and Rach ended up being stimulating and quite enjoyable. It's nice when everyone meshes together, but I suppose that has a lot to do with the people I choose to hang around. People usually don't feel awkward in the bunch.
When the bill came, our waiter didn't recognize me in all my notoriety, so I asked him if he could send the owner to our table. Presumptuous? Maybe. Discount wanted? Yes. Wayne chatted with us briefly and shared his woes of the fire, rebuilding and how his fish in the tank had died from soot poisoning and whatnot. He picked up our bill and discounted our meal. After being called "slybag" and "cheapskate" by my friends, I made the mistake of giving Stephanie a token for free coffee at the nearby coffeeshop, only to have it blow up in my face as Alison took it the wrong way.
Girls. *shakes head*
* Note: I do not do anything foul with my cat. Dirty minds, you have.
Place: "K--t-ck-" - January Trivia
You cannot count on your left hand the number of times I've done which of the following?
a) washed my car by hand
b) gone skinnydipping
c) ridden a motorcycle
d) lost chunks of time in a day
Posted by Luke at 1:04 AM
Monday, January 16, 2006
So busy. Ugh.
I went to my hometown this weekend for two reasons, and neither of them was because I like to fight the weather on the road. I hooked Deb up with free internet through her Verizon cell phone and then she hosted a 20 person brunch at her house. While I was only in charge of getting up by 11am, showering before 11:30 and perhaps dressing before guests started arriving, I was able to accomplish two of the three before my sister strolled into the house.
But enough of my exhibitionist ways, eh?
I have a large DVD collection, but I didn't realize it until it took over an hour for 3 people to pick out 20 DVDs each to take home. Not that I collect DVDs or that I've even seen three quarters of them, but I like making people happy and this is the way I go about it. Though now they've put in difficult requests, so I may have to nod and pretend I forgot.
You'll be happy to learn that Jake and I are literally this close |--------| to finishing Obscure. Such a difficult game. And it was in the bargain bin? But we've spent about 13 hours on it now, and I'm still engrossed. The movie makes me jump. The screams and horrors that echo through the halls of that game's school setting are right out of a horror movie. We've set time aside to finish up on Tuesday, hopefully. It's the only day of the week that Jake and I can spend any time together. But these 1am drives home are killing my workout routine.
I'll be hosting a Superbowl Party in February. Consider yourself invited. I'll be sending out official details pretty soon (gotta find 15 minutes of free time!) to everyone and there will be a slew of food and people there from all walks of Earth. Bring a friend. It'll be a great time. I'll even be making my famous (??) chili and meatballs, though, not together. I don't even like football, but I love parties!
And the best of news, Golden Port, the best Dim Sum in all of New York, has reopened. After that horrific fire a couple months ago. A bunch of us have made plans to gorge ourselves silly on pork buns and chinese broccoli just as soon as we can. Tuesday? Hopefully. I was beginning to go stir crazy without the place. After all, I'm its spokesman, right? Or should I stop milking that newspaper article? It's been almost a year.
So many things to be happy about right now (including, but not limited to: new work computer, new office chair, meeting someone, laughing too hard, etc) and too little time to enjoy them. Must make more time for that, but for now, I must run, as I have class. Alas!
(buzzer) - January Trivia
What is the one thing in this list I will never ever ever eat?
Saturday, January 14, 2006
Besides being held up at work until almost 6pm, Friday evening turned out to be quite enjoyable. I rushed off to CityWalk, as mentioned, and enjoyed several hours of bar hopping and sight-seeing in an area of the city that is actually quite spiffed. This CityWalk organization does their thing once a month in different parts of the city. These businesses sponsor prizes, free food, drink specials and other such things. While I didn't win any of the stuff they gave out, I did enjoy mingling with everyone else and made a couple new friends I hope to see in the coming months.
The kicker of the evening was this bistro on Alexander Street. Not only was there a guy parking people's cars, but a butler at the door, a woman at the coatcheck, dressy waiters and a very pricey menu. They served us free glitzy hor'dearves, made of sea animals and young cows, and expected us to buy $7 martinis and $6 pink Champaign. By this time of the night, I was getting weary of the walking, annoyed at the shouting, hot in the cramped quarters and dehydrated from all the alcohol. I de-CityWalked myself and walked the 1.2 miles BACK to my car.
The weather has completely changed in the last 24 hours. And not simply a drop in temperate or a pick up in the winds, but a completely 180. Last night I didn't even wear a jacket, being all unstylish in my black vest. Today you could swear we lived at the South Pole. I had to fight the wind, ice, sleet and snow to get into school today to work on homework, fight the roads to drive 70 miles on the thruway and try not to slide into oncoming traffic in the backroads of cow-country-USA. Indeed. I am spending the weekend with Deb. And the wind is whipping up at 40 miles an hour.
Vegas might be out of the question in March. Between costs and the reduction in the amount of time I'll actually be out there (cut from 5 days to 3 days) it just doesn't seem worth it. Time will tell, but at least I'll miss less of class. As if school was the deciding factor.
Show me the money! - January Trivia
What was the amount of the recent "1% cash back" check from my credit card?
Friday, January 13, 2006
I usually have a lot to say. That isn't the case today.
I'm learning that the longer I work on a project, the more resistant to change I am. I'm not talking about stuff that is relatively new (1-3 years) to me. I am more than happy to come in guns-a-blazing and changing the way things work (like today's meeting, or last week's project, or next week's plan, blah blah), but not stuff I've done for 10+ years. I got involved in an organization when I was 14 and now run the darn thing online with over 800 active members, and people that volunteer for me (60) always come up with new ideas and changes they want seen. But I just don't want to change. Well, a lot has changed over 10 years, but the little things that I've "always done" and have "always worked" are the bits that I resist. These young whipper snappers and their new fangled "ideas." :)
Tonight a couple of us are heading out to Rochester "The City Walk." Bar hopping and socializing for 20-something young professionals new to the Simon School. It sounds interesting and was told by Carrie that I was *required* to attend. ;) I'm more than happy to oblige. She's a fun girl. Mingling with classmates, friends and others as we walk from venue to venue and enjoy the warm evening.
Ugh. Last night I met a friend of a friend after class and had a brief discussion with her. Poor girl was a bit scared when I introduced myself and how I knew of her. Now my friend tells me how she described me to her, since we were both in the same class and required a brief warning. "He's tall, gelled hair." is what she came up with. That describes half of Simon! She probably thought I was coming on to her.
"What should I have said? Devastatingly handsome? Don’t fall in love too quickly?" - AlisonA more accurate description would have been "always on his laptop, wears braces, doesn't pay attention and had his cell phone ring in the middle of class." That would have helped!
The image to the right, with special thanks to Laura, is a copy of the image that she gave me for Christmas in that beautiful glass frame I mentioned earlier. The image that had my family all crying (for despondance and despair that I'll never be married) back in December. The image that Alison refers to as "scary" since it looks like I'm the groom. My favorite picture of her and I. And I managed to look good in it!
Like I said, nothing to say today.
Jake and I worked on Obscure a bit more last night, which ended up being very enjoyable, even though I didn't get to bed until 1am. The game seems impossible. We die often. We reload. We die. It's difficult, which I think defeats the purpose of a video game. It should be challenging, but you shouldn't have to die to learn your lesson. But we've managed to make leaps and bounds from the other night, and will prolly only require one more session to end the story. Good riddance. He wants desperately to not give up. I just want to play Champions again.
Gawd, I'm rambling.
For Lynda, a gift of my chili recipe (and I'm a huge critic):
* 2 pounds fresh ground beef
* 1 qt. tomato juice
* 1 (29 oz.) can tomato puree
* 1 (15 oz.) can red beans, drained
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 1/2 cup celery, diced
* 1/4 cup green pepper, diced
* 1/4 cup chili powder
* 1 teaspoon cumin (if you like real flavor, add more)
* 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon oregano
* 1/2 teaspoon sugar
* 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
In a frying pan, brown the ground beef; drain. Put the drained beef and the remaining ingredients into a 6-quart pot. Cover the pot; let it simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes. Or in a slow-cooker, cook on low for 4 hours.
Try again! - January Trivia
Which one of the following jobs have I never worked at?
a) bellman at a 3 star hotel
b) newspaper delivery boy
c) computer sales clerk
d) fleece clothing stock boy
Posted by Luke at 1:26 PM
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
If you don't normally click on the images, the above one is worth enlarging. It looks much better bigger.
Someone made the mistake of watering our fake plants in our office today... and they watered them by dumping their coffee in them. Normally that would be OK, well, maybe not since the old plants all died. But this apparently got very heated and everyone was pointing fingers at each other. Luckily I neither water the plants nor drink coffee. Actually, I have stuck to my resolution and have avoided their daily barrage of cookies, cakes, muffins and chocolates. Yay me.
I had this big demo yesterday for several managers of our company. Ya ya.. I have a big demo every month, you say? I had to present the work of 3 different departments toward this far-reaching project plan we're working on... and the people in the room are none-too-impressed and often have very differing opinions and usually hate anything they didn't design themselves. But they liked what I had. They loved my plan. They shook my hand in the end to say how fortunate they were to have me on board. My boss even said she's lucky to have me while she can (saying outloud that she doesn't think I'll stay here past Spring 2007).
I suppose I should be happy to know they think highly of me, or sad to think they're not interested in trying to keep me past 2007 with some kind of incentives. Maybe. But I'll be 25 when I graduate with my Masters, and I think that's far more than enough time to stay doing what I'm doing now. Move up. Move out.
One idea that came out of the meeting was having a blog set up for this project, so people could comment on our progress and offer suggestions and ideas along the way. It was vetoed, but it may come back. It wasn't even my idea!
It's really warm out right now. My Yahoo Widget is telling me that it's in the mid-50s. Too cold for you Southerners? This is shorts weather, people!
For my courses this quarter, they make us buy these ridiculously expensive access codes to PDFs on the web. Not only do I have trouble every time printing these out, but if you make a mistake, you can only print them 3 times before they lock you out. Fortunately, my team decided to divy up the bill for these, but it's my task to print them out and copy them for everyone else. We have homework due tomorrow, already, so I have no time to waste, and my team is already anxious. It's been less than 18 hours, people.
I've scheduled my plane flight to Cincinnati, OH. Already people are giving me advice about what to do in the city. Apparently they have great chili, an awesome aquarium and much more. I doubt I'll have any time outside of the conference, but I appreciate the suggestions. Back to work, I go.
Move that truck! - January Trivia
Which course in college (university) did I have to take twice?
a) 1ENG 334A ALIEN SEX
b) 1CSC 280 COMPUTER MODELS & LIMITATION THEORY
c) 1CSC 573 SCALABLE INTERNET SERVICES & SYSTEMS
d) 1ENG 332 POE AND HOFFMANN
Posted by Luke at 1:44 PM
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
I stayed up way too late doing stuff I should have better sense not to do when I have a meeting at 9am. I felt like a dead weight this morning, couldn't even work out, couldn't even eat breakfast. It took all my might to drag my cold butt into the cold shower. What's with my building having a shortage of hot water, as of late?
I was convinced by CindyV to join and participate in the Friendster network. Wanna be my friend? How silly. You can connect with me via this link. I'll accept you, I'm easy to get along with. All the people I would love to reconnect with are all too cool to join these sites. Oh well.
I was able to finally watch the newest episode of Battlestar Galactica last night. For a series I love, it's hard to believe I have to make time to watch it. This shows rocks and has so many parallels to the social issues of today: racism, abuse of power, torture, war. It's no wonder TIME magazine ranked it #1 of 2005. Far beyond the trash on ABC and FOX nowadays.
I'm taking two difficult courses this quarter. Bad news: one class is using a book I recently sold on Amazon. Good news: I'm in one class with Carrie, and I know a bunch of people in the other class. It'll work out, and even if it sucks, it's only 2 1/2 more months until it's over. But my Monday and Thursdays are now enslaved to the man, Simon that is. I even convinced a coworker to start classes at Simon, albeit she'll be a whole year behind me. But she had the nerve to say "I could never do 2 courses per quarter. I have a family. I have a life." Erm. Hello?
Jake bought a new Playstation, which is about the size of an iPod. I was scared to touch it. He bought a bunch of new games and we played them religiously until my eyes were glowing as red as the monsters we were killing. Obscure is the name of the game, about 5 teenagers in highschool killing things and beating each other over the head with bats. Well, that was us, anyways.
Jake: I'll be Kyle. You be Shannon.As you can see, we got very appropriate games for our maturity level. But the gore ramped up and the game turned more horror than I'm used to.
Luke: Uhhh, you just want to sleep with me.
Jake: Well, yeah.
Luke: Ugh, look at the way I run.
Jake: Dude, I'm so buff.
Does anyone else play email tag all day? Currently I have 60+ reply chains with Linda from DC, Carrie from the hospital and Jake from ITT. Don't we have work to do? :)
The Tribe Has Spoken - January Trivia
Which place have I not visited?
a) Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
b) Grand Island, Nebraska
c) Johnstown, Pennsylvania
d) Miami, Florida
Posted by Luke at 11:54 AM
Sunday, January 08, 2006
Great friends make life the best it can be, is all I can say.
We're currently on the road in PA on Route 15. Luke O. (Laura's husband) gave us a new way to drive up to Rochester, so we're taking it. We got sorta lost along the way when our road suddenly ended, and our directions didn't help one bit, but we found our way back and are limping through PA through endless towns and constant tag with the cars around us.
This morning we stopped at the Silver Diner for some yummy brunch and a goodbye to Laura. The place has great food, and a neat 50s atmosphere replete with recorded bands playing on the TVs and jukeboxes on the tables.
The entire journey down here wasn't bad at all, and seeing how I have such a wonderful time while I'm here, I'll have to be sure to do it more often. But maybe not too soon. I just purchased my tickets for my trip to Atlana, Georgia (Cindy!) in late February, and the 2nd week of March is Vegas, and even earlier, the 2nd week of February (coming fast!) is my work conference in Southern Ohio. My flight will get into Kentucky with a shuttle drive of about an hour. I've got a lot of traveling in the next couple of months, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Life Lessons Learned This Weekend
- Maryland drivers don't use signal lights ,and if you try to use them, they cut you off.
- You can always count on a McDonalds every 4 miles when you need to urinate.
- Having a car full of food is very useful, except for new year's resolutions.
- Eight hours goes by fast with good company.
- People will call your cell phone to chat when you're driving through 4 states, even if they don't normally call you. And they call at crucial road changes.
- Laptop batteries don't last quite long enough, but having the internet on the road is fun.
- Bring a larger variety of music next time, because you have an entire drive back too!
We'll be home by 8ish tonight, talk to you tomorrow! I promise to catch up on your blogs when I get a moment. And neurotic missy.. the answers to the trivias are in the comments of the day of that trivia. :)
Final Answer! - January Trivia
How many times did I move homes growing up? And yes, it counts the move when I was 1 day old, too. No, not counting university or after university.
Posted by Luke at 5:57 PM
Saturday, January 07, 2006
Starting the day out with Booberries, diet coke and pringles, we set ourselves on the road to downtown DC for a day of walking, sightseeing and Bush-whacking. Well, Georgie wasn't in town, but we did spend awhile admiring his house from all angles. Quick stops in Chinatown for some pork buns (yum!) and a long walk around the ellipse, we made our way onto The Mall and into the Natural History Smithsonian for about an hour, admiring all the strange bones of creatures of small and large sizes alike.
We did get to pose like a turtle and see lots of "animal moved for cleaning" exhibits too.
The Air & Space Museum ("there's no air 'n space!") was a lot of fun, but I went through a much larger and more impressive plane museum in Nebraska a couple years ago. But this one was a lot of fun too. After having our own little "stuff as many marbles into a bag" contest in the museum store, we left after Laura insulted the history of spaceflight by yelling that the moonlanding was faked. ;)
And someone needs to tell Nola that George Bush doesn't ride around in the back of secret service vans. And he doesn't use the Ellipse Visitor's Center bathroom, either. But you have to give her a break, her college doesn't have "academics" as she'll tell you. "What are they?"
I've also learned that exploring cities with women will get you two things: frequent bathroom breaks (always a good thing when carrying diet cokes) and mall visiting. We explored the Pentagon City Mall, which is a 4 floor behemoth. I certainly enjoyed shopping at several stores, scooping up souvenirs for my little cousins and buying some gifts for Deb. She's totally into candles and I feel a need to validate and help satiate this obsession of hers. They even float!
We also decided to do Japanese hibachi, a first for Nola. Exploring DC and new foods through her eyes is a neat experience. The chef was very entertaining and very respectful and funny, even putting up with our "no mushrooms, no shrimp, no scallions" dietary restrictions. Though if we did have allergies, his cooking techniques would have killed us. "Wanna sit on my lap?" came up during this 90 minute dinner. Don't ask, just know it was funny.
The evening ended with our Christmas tradition of watching Muppet Christmas Carol and making a cake. Well, Laura made the cake and I emotionally supported her through the ordeal. Our six year tradition lives on, even if we missed Christmas by 2 weeks. Ahh, what a wonderful day. Tomorrow will be fun, and we'll be taking a different route home to Rochester, so the trip should be about 2 hours less.
Wish us luck.
Can I buy the vowel A, Alex? - January Trivia
Put the following events in order from earliest to latest (my life):
a) singing in the chorus as a tenor, jealous of the baritones
b) having the worst dream of my life about invisible tigers
c) shooting the window out of a moving vehicle with a bb gun
d) going to NYC and seeing the broadway show 'Crazy for You'
Friday, January 06, 2006
I'm making final preparations for my pending drive to DC. For all you who want to know (very few of you) I will be taking the thruway (90E) to Syracuse, 81S into PA, down to the PA Turnpike (476S), down to Philadelphia, 95W thru Baltimore, and then into DC on 495S, 395N and the like. I'm gonna try to blog along the way, just to share some experiences. It may or may not turn out so well. :)
11:47am - Just printed out my driving directions, visited the ATM and am on my way home. It's currently snowing out, but the roads are not covered. I still have yet to pack, yikes!
12:45pm - Between Nola and I, we have enough food to feed all of New Jersey. Except NJ doesn't like peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches.
1:05pm - We just left, on our way. Snow is getting a little heavy, but the thruway should be clear. Hopefully we won't hit a major city during rush hour.
1:15pm - I think Nola is just along for the food. Just ten minutes into our journey, she had already started to eat.
1:48pm - Alison just called me right as I passed a cop going 80 and somehow I managed to drop the phone as I signaled for no reason. This is going to be a long drive. Sun's out!
2:46pm - I spoke too soon. Snow is really heavy AND the sun is out. We're about 60 miles from Binghamtom, now. Look.
4:00pm - We just entered PA mile 170. We passed and were passed by the same car 15 times. I think we've made a friend.
4:49pm - We've been on the PA Turnpike for awhile. Strange how the tolls are 50 cents at a time. We stopped for a little bathroom break and gased up. At least there's no snow anymore. The sunset is very nice.
5:08pm - Nola is giving me a break from driving. We're at mile 238 now. Hazleton, PA to be exact.
5:13pm - Sun is setting. Maybe Nola should have driven when it was light out? I'm such a bad brother. I'm teaching her all sorts of stuff. She was amazed to learn DC is square and the size of a city (since it is a city).
5:39pm - We just went through LeHigh Tunnel, through a mountain. Massive fans. Bright. Very cool. Nola grees.. driving a million miles is more fun when blogging. ;)
6:25pm - Um, we just totally did something weird. At one of the many toll booths, our "EZPass" lane turned into some weird blue lights lane and we skated through without paying any toll. Um, any idea what this means? Are the cops coming after us? Should we dump the car?
7:33pm - We just went over the Susquehana River and are coming up on Baltimore. The roads are backwards here. The exits are the left, the fast lane is ont the right, and people are driving 90 mph. Crazy.
8:04pm - We totally went through like 5 states tonight. Why the hell are we in Deleware? Someone gave me crappy directions.
8:45pm - Okay, we're in the actual city of DC. I'm trying to explain who lives in the White House and what the National Monument is to Nola. Poor girl. She was impressed by the Pentagon, but immediately lost interest when she saw Macy's across the street.
9:10pm - We're here! And Laura made us dinner! And Luke made us a fake parking pass! We're breaking the law again. This trip is great! Have a good night folks, I'm out for the night.
Come on down! You're the... - January Trivia
Which of the following was NEVER a nickname of mine?
d) UR Luke
And don't answer, Laura. :)
Thursday, January 05, 2006
I think yesterday was a record day for comments. I appreciate it, you folks came out of the woodwork to visit me (and me to you, I admit).
I had a pre-meeting today with my bosses about five of the projects I'm working on (out of the nine total). I have a meeting with division managers on Tuesday to present over an hour of material, so we had to do a runthrough to get a feel. I even proposed several projects for the coming months (and in a way, helping to take some minor office work off of me) that we're going to look into. I've even scheduled several meetings with office clerks to fix some errors that have been happing on their end. Productive day? Yes. Overwhelming, a little.
See, I'm maintaining 12 applications on 4 different servers in 5 different languages. I'm on 6 committees and attend 4 different mandatory meetings each week. Half the time I have to work through lunch and am required to even answer phone calls from the public for our office (which at times is a nice break). Busy busy. And it only gets busier. A coworker in the office across the hall just told me I've been added to a project they're working on, and I've not even been told yet.
Fun when others know more about your job then you do. And seeing how I do work in 2 other offices on the side, my time is limited. And the kicker.. most of this wasn't on my original job description. I'm hoping 2006 is the year of my promotion. In the private sector (well, more private than here) I'd be making more than twice what I make now.
New poll ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~>
Resolutions are on track for the new year. It's hard to break a habit, especially a bad habit, but by day it gets easier. I realize that the 'January Challenge' will turn into a 2006 challenge eventually, but one day at a time.
Classes start up again next week. Already!? Winter break did not last long enough, nor am I ready for 3.5 hour night classes. But I've only got 5 quarters left. Counting down the days. I'm not looking forward to these advanced classes. Why am I getting a business degree again?
What a neat idea. Thanks, Lynda!
- Celebrate::Birthday (8 months to go!)
- Resolve:Clean the Carpet (damn bike chain)
- I need to::pack (t minus 18 hours until vacation)
- Call::in a favor (Jake, can I borrow your cooler?!)
- Token::Tolkien (rented ROTK baby!)
- Brand::new Dustbuster ($6! was wondering how I'd work that into a post)
- Comparison::Locker Room (woah?!)
- Far away::DC (7 hours, if I'm lucky in the snow)
- Artful::Why thank you! Oh, not me?
- Fantastic::Day 5 (the new year has been good to me!)
I'm really looking forward to this weekend in DC. I need a break, and I know Laura is just the one to give it to me.
Bankrupt! - A January Trivia Production
I've dated all of the following people except which one? (heh)
a) a religious fanatic
b) a computer programmer
c) a heartless lesbian
d) a former best friend
Posted by Luke at 4:13 PM
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
My Vegas vacation is going to conflict directly with the wedding I mentioned yesterday. And buying plane tickets to either destination is a tricky endeavor. Prices have gone up, and seeing how Independence Air has gone bankrupt, it will only get worse for local travel. The wedding is about 6 hours away by car. Tickets to Vegas from the wedding location (if we go to both) are only available out of Montreal (ugh), and it's over $100 more expensive than if I flew out of Rochester. The couple is being gracious enough to consider moving their wedding for us (heh), so we can do both. Just one weekend either direction, and we're in the clear.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of a coworker treating me to lunch. He's a great guy and all, but the conversation was awkward. Not sure what that means. I'm usually not at a loss for words, but I'm also used to someone else helping with the talking. I grilled him for information, at least, so I'll prolly never be invited out again. Heh.
Last night's big project was selling my birds to the pet store. Easy enough, except I had to clip each of their wings and get them into their travel box (formerly Frye's travel box) without my cat eating any. After all was said and done, only 3 had escaped my grasp, flown around the room and knocked themselves out by hitting a wall deadon. My place is quiet now (with tiny bird feathers all over the place). It was eerily silent last night while trying to sleep, without the pitter patter of 13 birds chirping and running into each other. Willy & Cindy (the parents) now just cuddle together in the corner, happy as clams (or two birds of a feather, if you will). Now to cash that $100 check I got for selling them. :)
I've been watching the weather for Friday, my big travel day down to Washington, DC. It looks like it's going to be cold and snowy, but hopefully not too bad. I stocked up on food and drink for the 7+ hour drive and will keep my finger's crossed for clear skies and smooth sailing.
In addition, I got the last of my Christmas presents in the mail yesterday. Cynthia from Georgia bought me the Rent soundtrack off my wishlist. Now I'll be listening to that nonstop for the next week. *grin* I'm happily using each of my gifts, including the Firefly DVD set I'm watching daily.
Deal or No Deal! - January Trivia
Which is my alcoholic drink of choice?
a) Corkscrew (Rum & Peach Brandy)
b) Glass Tower (Vodka & Lime Soda)
c) Blue Velvet (Raspberry Liquor & Vanilla Ice Cream)
d) Amaretto Sour (Amaretto & Lemon Juice)
Posted by Luke at 2:12 PM
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
New Years went off without a hitch. The 'date only' party turned in to be a 'invite anyone that might come', which was only five of us. Rach had gone all out with her new Martha Stewart cookbook and made a dozen dishes, all very delicious. I brought Rum Balls, which were a big hit (to the four of them). We also had some rum (spiked with a tad bit of punch) and forced ourselves to midnight, even enduring the sad sad experience of Dick Clark counting down eerily to 2006.
I've had several days to think about what my January Challenge is going to consist of, the ruleset and the limitations. I've had some advice and gotten ideas from several others planning resolutions. "Ack! I hate resolutions!" you may say. Bah. I like to challenge myself, even if I fail miserably. One of my coworkers has limited herself to only drinking, eating out and smoking to Fridays. Man, those Fridays are going to be a blast. I can just see her eating two footlong subs with a 32oz beer in one hand and fourteen cigarettes in the other. Or perhaps not, but I joke.
Resolutions are tricky things. You don't want to go overboard with your expectations, but you do want to make lifestyle changes. Three weeks forms a new habit, they say, so if I can maintain my efforts through all of January, perhaps a year long lifestyle change is in order. My friends think I'm being unfun. My coworkers think me crazy. I just want to feel good as I move forward through 2006. I just need to rekindle my willpower.
While I won't go into them all, they can be summed up into 3 main categories:
1) eat better (and less (out))
2) spend less money (and save more)
3) accomplish more of my goals
My ruleset is simple, straightforward and flexible. It provides for exceptions and contingencies. We're fighting a war here, people.
Plans are in the works for major trips in the near future. I am going to Washington, DC this upcoming weekend to visit Laura. I am going to Southern Ohio in February for a work conference. I am going to Atlanta, GA in late February to see Cynthia. I have a trip to Vegas in March to see my brother play baseball. And a close family friend is getting married in the Adirondacks between now and then as well. My head is spinning with all the chaos.
On the advice of neurotic missy, I am going to do a month of trivias, with audience participation. Post your answer, if you dare.
US Presidents, Post 2000 for $300 Alex. - A January Trivia Production
Which scholarly competition did I not participate in, growing up?
a) fay's drug quiz show
b) tri-state spelling bee
c) 4-H food demonstrations
d) daughters of american revolution essay contest
Posted by Luke at 2:53 PM