The Closing Of The Year

This is going to sound retarded, but I was looking at Twitter a little while ago and was wondering why people were talking about what was going on and where they were ten years ago today.  Like, how am I supposed to remember where I was some random day ten years ago.  Then it hit me that today is New Year's Eve.  I was completely oblivious to it.  Even though I purposely hit the supermarket last night to avoid all of the last minute shoppers. 

I'm sure a big reason I was oblivious was because I ran out this morning and finally bought a Wii.  Ken decided we had to have one because it's the only thing that is going to help him lose weight.  He came to this conclusion after his Weight Watchers meeting last night when everyone there was talking about the Wii, how they work up a sweat with it, how it helps them get active, etc.  That, and the Wii was a big part in the weight loss of a couple of friends of mine and it's been stuck in Ken's mind since.  So I headed out first thing this morning, expecting to have to make a few stops before finding one.  It's the week after Christmas, after all.  Our local Best Buy was sold out (Ken found out last night when he stopped in hopes of finding one after his meeting.)  But my first stop was Target and it was in stock.  I spent most of the afternoon playing both the Wii Sports that comes with it and the Wii Fit.  It really humbled me.  I thought I was in much better shape (and coordination) than I really am.  I may be thin and fierce and chic, but I ain't got no muscles.

I suppose the point of most New Year's Eve blog postings is reflection on the year (or the decade) that has just passed.  I really suck at posts like that because my memory is terrible.  Just awful.  If it didn't happen in the last few days, it's all blurred into a great big giant heap of memory.  This year was a little different, though.  I have quite a few strong memories of what went on in 2009.  In no particular order, here are my highlights of 2009.

  • The Cruise - Probably because that's still fresh in my memory.  I really didn't think that I was going to be able to allow myself to relax on vacation.  A typical vacation for me is all GO-GO-GO.  We do Disney every year and I come home exhausted because I feel the need to be on the go from the second I wake up to the second I collapse.  I'm looking forward to my next cruise vacation.  We want to go next December, but Ken notified me the other night that he can't wait that long.  He wants to go on two in 2010.  
  • Austin - It was my first vacation on my own since Ken and I got together 15 years ago.  Going to Austin was the highpoint of my entire year.  I can't thank (F)reddy enough for taking me into his home for what must have felt like months for him (and minutes for me) and allowing me to be a part of his family.  We'd only spent one brief afternoon together before the Austin trip, so he really had no clear idea of what he was getting into.  Poor guy.  Austin also gave me the opportunity to see old friends again (Holly, Melanie, Gregg) and meet others in person for the first time (Diane, Joe, Kim, Mandie).  I'm sure I've left someone off the list and I'll hear about it.
  • Orlando - The annual pilgrimage.  It's really become a different kind of vacation in the last couple of years now that I know people in the Orlando area.  I had so much fun hanging out with Kevin & Michael, Ryan & Scott, Jaime & Jason, Ricky & Nichole.  Another highlight of this trip was actually having an entire day to myself.  No friends, no Ken.  I wore myself out, but it was worth it.  I did both EPCOT and the Magic Kingdom.
  • The House - As I've talked about on and off this year, we're getting ready to sell our house and (hopefully) upgrade.  While all the house stuff hasn't been the happiest of things for me, it's been a huge part of 2009.  Really, it didn't start to sink in until I got back from Austin in August.  While I was away, Ken had our disaster of a master (if you can call something that small a master) bathroom gutted and redone.  I now understand the reaction of people on all those home improvement shows when they first see their remodeled rooms.  Our bathroom is still beautiful.  BEAUTIFUL.  I still can't believe it's mine.  Same thing with the floors in my house.  They were so nasty before and now they look absolutely amazing to me.  I can't believe they're the same floors.  The house preparations has forced us to purge a lot of the stuff we've been dragging behind us from move to move.  In the new house, we want to start fresh with most stuff.  It's amazing how much clutter you can accumulate over the years.  It's very hard for someone like me to purge stuff, but I know I have to do it.  I can't believe I actually sold off 1/3 of my comic book collection.  And even bigger, I can't believe how good it felt to have the books gone.  We still have a lot to do before we put the house on the market.  I'm dreading every bit of it, but the end result is going to be magical.
  • Music - It's rare that I don't have music playing.  With the exception of meetings, I have headphones on at work every second of every day.  I'm a whore for new music.  Love it.  Some of 2009's highlights for me were Bad Lieutenant - Never Cry Another Tear, Shirley Bassey - The Performance, Gary Go - Gary Go,  both Glee soundtracks, The Gossip - Music For Men, Indigo Girls - Poseidon And The Bitter Bug, Ingrid Michaelson - Everybody, Jill Sobule - The California Years, Kelly Clarkson - All I Ever Wanted, La Roux - La Roux, Lady GaGa - The Fame Monster, Landon Pigg - The Boy Who Never, Madness - The Liberty Of Norton Folgate, Neko Case - The Middle Cyclone, Placebo - Battle For The Sun, R√∂yksopp - Junior, Sondre Lerche - Heartbeat Radio, and so many others.
  • My (Formerly) Fat Ass - I hit my goal weight in August of 2008.  August of 2009 made it a year at that weight.  Tonight makes it a full calendar year at my goal.  And because I'm neurotic, I have records that I can refer back to.  I started 2009 at 188.8 lbs.  This morning I weighed in at 191.8.  I'm so damn proud of myself, I can't even begin to describe it.
  • Medical - I had a slightly more active year than normal when it comes to medical type things.  Nothing too major, but definitely more active.  I needed a crown on one of my back teeth.  While that was fine and dandy, it didn't fix the problem I was (and am still) having with the tooth.  It's livable right now and I'll have it taken care of sometime soon, but not now.  I had a sciatic attack unlike any that I'd ever had before in my life.  It was terrible.  The most painful thing I think I've ever felt.  I also finally had my two remaining wisdom teeth removed.  I don't recommend waiting until your mid-40's to do something like this if at all possible.  I still feel a little discomfort almost a month and a half later, but that's typical, I'm told, of someone my age.  I also managed to get sick while I was at Disney.  It was a bad flu and it took me a little while to get over it, but I did (and then passed it along to Ken.)  Don't know if it was H1N1 related or not, but it was bad enough that I ended up at the doctor's office, something I try to avoid if at all possible. 
I have to say that 2009 was a fantastic year for me.  Honestly, until I sat down to write this, I never really gave it much thought.  Here's hoping 2010 is even better for me and for everyone who reads this.



While I really have no use for a lot of what's "popular" on the radio currently, I'm utterly fascinated by this video.  It's a mash up of the top 25 songs of 2009.



I like to think that I'm not a control freak. For the most part, I'm really not, though some may disagree. I'm nothing like Ken, who I think is the epitome of control freakishness. If things aren't his way, he likes to "suggest" (or nag, as I like to call it) that things be his way (because that's the only right way after all)... over and over and over. Or he'll just take it upon himself to do things. For instance, he decided that the iced tea I ordered at lunch today wasn't what I really wanted, so as the waiter was walking away, he ordered me a water as well (which sat untouched.) But that's nothing and this isn't a post about his issues.

Anyway, I like to think I don't have control issues, but I know I do. I think my biggest issue is surprises. I don't like surprises. I have no control over those situations until it's too late,.I generally don't know how to hide my reaction, though I'm told I'm not as bad as disguising it as I think I am. Surprises kind of scare me. But not always. Not when they're pleasant surprises. A friend completely surprised me when he sent me something for Christmas out of the blue. And that came at just the right moment, too, because I needed a nice boost like that at the time.

Today another pleasant surprise arrived in the mail. About two weeks ago, I read about an artist on one of my favorite music blogs. The guy's name is John Dissed and it was mentioned that he had a track on a free Spinal Tap tribute album. It also mentioned that if you sign up for his email list, he'll send you a password to download 25 cover songs he's recorded absolutely free. Now if there's anything I love more than cover songs, it's FREE cover songs. So I was all over that nonsense! Now today, two weeks after the fact, the mailman comes and leaves me a package. From John Dissed. Containing one of his EPs. Completely out of the blue. Who does this? Beyonce? I think not. How cool is that? Not only did I get the cd, but he wrote out a personal message inside the booklet. I'm just blown away by it all. It got me thinking about another artist I really, really like who reached out and has commented on my blog. Alexander Schultz. I was hoping he'd have his new album out in 2009, but he's still got me waiting. Argh!! Do you hear me, Alexander? LOL!

Check out John Dissed's website and sign up for his mailing list. It'll get you a bunch of great songs at the very least.


Merry Christmas

I can't believe that Christmas Day has arrived (and is almost past) already. Being away for half of December certainly didn't help matters, I'll tell you. But the whole year seems to have just up and disappeared without me knowing it.

The last two days have been a great big blur. Screwed up sleep patterns and activities outside of the regular routine are the cause. I took Christmas Eve off from work (just like 99% of my office.) My plan was to sleep in, run some errands, do some chores and then head to my Mom's house for Christmas. It sort of, kind of worked out like that, only I woke up at 4am, wide awake. For no good reason. Sure, I feel asleep early the night before, but not early enough that my body should wake up at 4. I tried going back to sleep, but had minimal success. I ended up getting out of bed sometime after 5 and went online for a little bit. Then I decided that if I'm up and no one else in the world is, I should go to the mall and walk. So I did. I ended up doing 8 laps of the mall, which took me 90 minutes. And I felt really good about it. Got home and Ken was still sound asleep, so I let him sleep until his alarm went off, at which time I got back into bed and fell back asleep. I slept for maybe another hour or hour and a half before Ollie decided he didn't want me sleeping anymore. Got up and got ready to go run some errands. I had a couple of last minute things I wanted to pick up. This is a first for me. All my years in retail taught me to stay as far away from anything retail oriented on Christmas Eve. People tend to be complete touch fucks because no one told them that Christmas was the following day and they have all their shopping to do. They get so pissy when you're all sold out of everything they need or you can't tell them what their mother likes and what you should buy her. But I said "fuck it" and went out anyway. First stop was Target. I wanted to get the cats new cardboard scratch boxes. They need new ones desperately. Their old ones are pretty warn and they've been caught scratching on the furniture again. My thought was that if Target did have them, the pet store was nearby. But Target had them (as well as a toy for me!) Next stop was the mall. Mainly because I wanted to Gowalla the hell out of it, but also because Ken mentioned to me (after I'd finished my shopping) that he needed new socks for work. Found the socks and headed out to my final stop... the grocery store.

What frightened me most about my travels on Christmas Eve was the traffic volume. It wasn't too bad. The mall was busy as hell, but there was ample parking available. Target, the same thing. I was surprised by this because Christmas Eve was ALWAYS the busiest shopping day of the year in all the years I spent in retail. In half the number of hours, the business would be well above what Black Friday's sales would be. Always. But then I understood what was going on with the traffic. The grocery store was beyond mobbed. Crazy mobbed. It was harder finding parking there than it was at either the mall or Target. I'll try to remember that for next year. I needed to go to the market because we didn't have anything for Christmas dinner. I really had no idea what to buy either. I was just going to wander until I found something that seemed good. But as I was walking in to the store, Ken called. After a quick conversation, a meal plan was made. We were going to have a very traditional Christmas dinner. Chicken quesadillas. And for health's sake, a big ol' salad. So I bought the fixings, I bought some ice cream and I headed home to take care of my chores.

Ken got home a short while later and we headed down to my Mom's house. My uncle was there when we arrived, which sent me into a small panic because I'd completely spaced on him for Christmas. I had an idea that when I had to go pick my sister up from her job, I'd stop and get him some scratch off tickets or something, but he had to leave before that. Actually, he had to head out just before my mother put dinner on the table. And as soon as she did, the phone rang and my sister was ready to come home. Naturally.

After she got home and ate, we exchanged presents, I got to hear my parents' political views (which is basically them repeating everything Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly says verbatim), and we had dessert (I way overdid dessert, too). I did pretty well with the gifts. I tell my family every year not to spend the money on me because they don't have it, but they do anyway. A few years back I set up an Amazon wishlist because if they insist on spending the money, I want them to get me something I want, not something I don't or something that's close to what I want. Almost my entire life Christmas was all about getting something kind of close to what I wanted, but not quite. So this year, I got 9 trade paperback and hardcovers off my wishlist, as well as 2 dvds! I did get one thing not on my list and I appreciate it. When I was home for Thanksgiving, I recounted a story from when I was little. I caught a frog in our yard. I decided to make him my pet. I kept him in a bucket so he wouldn't get away. At one point, I took him out of his bucket and let him hop up the driveway. My little brother got right behind the frog and started hopping. Hop. Hop. Hop. Until he caught up to the frog and hopped right on it, squishing it. I, naturally, had a meltdown. My mother didn't remember this story and almost peed herself when I told it. Well, the first present I opened was a little glass frog!

A little later we packed it up and headed home. The thing that makes it hard spending time at my folks' place is the air quality. Between my mother, father and uncle, I'd guess three packs of cigarettes were smoked. Although I grew up in that environment, I just can't handle it anymore. After a typical visit to the old homestead, my head is usually throbbing, my throat is scratchy and sore and my eyes are sandpapery dry. Oh, and I stink of smoke. The clothes I wore there last night still reek of smoke. We never go to my folks' house anymore without Ken bringing his inhaler, because he suffers. It kind of surprises me because Ken was a heavy smoker for years. He kicked the habit just a few months before we met.

When we got home, we decided to exchange gifts instead of wait for the morning. We didn't get either very much, but we both went over the limits we set. For Ken, I got him a bunch of World of Warcraft shirts he wanted, some Starbucks coffee and the socks. He got me a new external hard drive that I wanted, some iTunes gift cards and a birthday card he got me five years ago that he misplaced and forgot about. Until now. He's a funny boy.

All in all, it was a very nice Christmas. Today was mostly a lounging day. We moved a little furniture, cleaned a little, but for the most part, just lounged around. I tried sending Christmas wishes to as many people as I could, but I know I missed a lot of people. The high point of my day came late this morning when I found out that I was better than Santa.

I'm hoping tomorrow is another loungy kind of day. I want to get up early and go walk off some of the Christmas sugar I've ingested. If I time it right, I could hit a store or two as they open for some post-Christmas shit I don't need. Tomorrow night the new Doctor Who Christmas Special makes it's US debut and I'm very excited for that. Because I'm a nerd. Otherwise, that's Christmas 2009 in a nutshell.

Here's hoping everyone who reads these words had a fantastic holiday, too.


[No Title]

I really wanted to stay on top of things and write a little more this week than I actually have. Time has not been on my side. I jumped right back into the swing of work and put in an extra ten hours this week. We're still trying to get the house back the way it was before the floors were done. I'm trying to get ready for Christmas. Just a lot of little things going on that are amounting to one big thing.

Ken needs to make some friends. Seriously. We've been home for one week and all he's done, literally, is plan the next cruise. Right now, as I write this, he has three cruises booked, all for the same week next year. Three. All I've heard out of his mouth since getting home is "cruise this" and "cruise that." I don't know how many ways I can say "I don't give a flying rat's ass about which ship or which ports of call or which route. Just book a fucking cruise that makes you happy." Tonight at dinner he went over all the pros and cons of each of the three cruises he has booked right now. Again. I really did enjoy the cruise, and I'm sure I'll enjoy the next one, too. But I really don't care where it goes to or what the ship looks like or any of that nonsense. As long as it's got an available deck chair up on a quiet deck for me to lay out and read, I'm happy. That's all I require.

Like I lamented in my previous post, I've lost all of December. It's a week until Christmas, I'm not finished shopping and I'm filled with dread at the thought of running out to pick up those last few items I need. I'm usually done by about the first week of the month at the latest. My Christmas cards are usually in the mail by the same time. I'm hoping to get around to them sometime this weekend if I can find a little time. Tomorrow Ken wants me to go with him to meet with another builder. I'm not sure what else we have going on, but I need to fit some errands in this weekend somewhere. I know it's going to be insanely busy out there and the thought of sitting in traffic for an hour to go three miles isn't bringing a smile to my face.

I'm getting more and more obsessed with the Gowalla app for my iPhone.

I've been thinking a lot since vacation about joining a gym. I've always been gym-phobic. I'm not sure why, I just am. Maybe because I don't know how a gym works or what to do once I'm there? Unknown freaks me out. But I felt so good spending as much time as I did walking the treadmill on the ship. With the weather as cold and nasty as it is now, there's zero chance for me to get outside and walk like I do in the nicer months. I'm sure all the shit I've been eating at work this week has push the gym thought to the front of my brain. There's a gym relatively close to my house that seems pretty big. I don't know how busy it gets, though. I believe my friend Mark goes to that one. I need to ask him for details.

I'm about to head to bed. Today was unexpectedly draining. It shouldn't have been. It's Friday after all. But quitting time really didn't make too much of an effort to arrive today. Bastard!


Scattered Thoughts From The Last Two Weeks

It's been two weeks since the last time I wrote anything here. Life more than got in the way. Besides going on vacation (again!), we had a lot of work we needed to do around the house before leaving. While on vacation, we were going to have all the floors in our house (minus two bedrooms) refinished. It was the perfect time to do this. We couldn't be in the house while they were doing the floors, so why not vacation, right? So in the days leading up to the trip, everything in every room needed to be removed. We piled furniture up on the (enclosed) front porch, took everything out of the other two bedrooms and stacked them in the two that weren't getting work done, emptied the kitchen. You know, it doesn't look like you own a lot of stuff when everything is in it's proper place, but when you load everything you own into two small bedrooms and a front porch, your life suddenly looks like a very special episode of Hoarders. Naturally, I stressed everything about the work, but it was really worth it. Getting home and seeing the new floors really made me happy. They're beautiful. We had such nasty floors to start with. We wanted to have them refinished before moving in, but we ran out of time and money. It's a shame we're getting them done now in preparation to sell.

My elation over the floors was extremely short lived, however. While walking around checking them out, I noticed that one of my dining room windows was open. Open. In December. With it being 17 degrees out. What's nice about that is the HEAT WAS BLASTING. It was 80 degrees in my house. We never run the thermostat that high because heating ain't cheap. What's even nicer about that is the guy finished the floors on Tuesday. We got home late Saturday night. I was livid. LIVID. And that's when Ken noticed the damage that was done to the brand new kitchen ceiling. The guy had apparently taped up a sheet of some sort to contain the dust, but in the process of removing it managed to rip apart part of the ceiling. Now I'm more livid. Ken noticed how some of the trim work was freshly gouged, too. Not to mention a few other issues. Any joy I felt over the new floors was quickly ripped from me. We are now in the process of getting to the douchebag who did the work to have restitution made. You know, I can live with most of it, but the fact that he left a window wide open (did I mention it was the window closest to the thermostat?) in the middle of December with the heat blasting I can't. Those five days (if not longer) of heating are going to cost more than an average winter month of heating. It's inexcusable.

I really let that get to me bad this weekend. What's terrible is I just got home from one of the best vacations I've ever had and suddenly that was all gone. I've managed to calm down quite a bit now and was just looking over vacation pictures. For those who weren't aware, Ken and I took our first cruise. Cruises were something I was never really interested in. Too many preconceived notions on my part, I'm sure. But Ken's wanted to go on one for years, so he finally booked one. We sailed on the Norwegian Pearl out of Miami. You know, I wasn't really sure what to expect. I mean, I had some ideas about what I thought cruising was about, but I really had nothing to base it on. Most of what I thought, however, is how it really is. Lots of food, lots of annoying, entitled passengers, embarrassing entertainment and even more embarrassing activities. Seriously, I had a very strong aversion to a lot of the passengers on the boat. It seemed like there was a disproportionate number of people who wanted to do nothing but crab. We tried going to some of the entertainment on board only to walk out of some of them before even the half way point. I had no interest in the lowest common denominator games and activities that took place at the pool. Our cruise director (Shona) was annoying as all get out. She was very phony. Sweet, nice, but really, really phony. Over the top phony. I bet they'd love her as an activities director at a nursing home, though. So, to recap, I hated the passengers, I hated the entertainment, I hated the activities, but I had the best time. Honestly. I wanted to try to take a relaxing vacation. All my vacations tend to be ones where I'm constantly on the go. This one was so not like that. I laid out almost every day, either up on deck or out at the beach when we were docked. I got a lot of reading done. A ton. I brought ten trade paperbacks with me as well as a couple dozen comics and I got everything but one book read. I went to the gym almost every single day. And most of those days, I went twice. Me, someone who has never set foot in a gym before. And I ate. And ate. And ate. I ate a lot on board. I tried to watch what I was eating, but when there are so many bad choices out there waiting to be made, it's hard to be good. I did have one dining mishap. One of the nights we went to the Asian restaurant on board. I wanted sushi and Ken wanted Chinese. I looked over the menu and decided that I liked everything I saw, so I wanted one of each of the items I saw. The waitress told me that each order was 8 rolls. I asked if I could get one of each. I meant one roll, but she thought I meant one order. I nearly shit my pants when my dinner came.

I gave it the old college try and attempted to finish it all. But I failed miserably. I think I must have had about 80 or 90 pieces of sushi on my plate(s). They were delicious, but I think I'm done with sushi for a while.

Even with all the sushi I ate, I was surprised what the scale told me when I got home. Even though I spent quite a bit of time on the treadmill, I still ate like it was my last meal every meal. I knew I was going to do some serious damage to myself. The story my friend Holly tells about how her husband gained 17 pounds on their cruise was constantly on my mind. With every bite of hummus or chicken or cereal or cake or sushi. Did I mention that they turned the buffet restaurant into a chocolate buffet one night? (It was sushi night, in fact! And there's always room for chocolate buffet, trust me.) Anyway, I gained weight on the cruise, but it certainly wasn't what I was expecting. I "allowed" myself five pounds. I feared it was going to be ten. The reality was 1.2. And I'm already down 1.0 since coming home.

I really can't wait to go on my next cruise. It was just the restful oasis I needed.

The one thing the cruise did to me was to screw me up about what time of year it is. It's the middle of December, less than two weeks from Christmas, and I'm lost. Laying out on the beach with temps in the high 80s will fuck up a Northern boy like myself. I feel like I don't have any time for Christmas this year. I've barely started my shopping. I haven't filled out a single Christmas card. There are no decorations of any sort in my house. It might as well be the middle of March. Something that didn't help matters at all was the day we got off the boat. We had a couple of hours to kill between disembarkation and the flight home. We rented a car to get us from Miami to Fort Lauderdale (where we flew out of) and decided to go poke around the mall and maybe get something to eat. Keep in mind that Christmas is the furthest thing from our minds. We get to the mall right around lunchtime on a Saturday afternoon, park and then start poking around. About fifteen minutes in I saw a Christmas tree. I turned to Ken and said "It's two weeks before Christmas and we're at the mall! What were we thinking?" The sick thing was, it could have been a random Tuesday afternoon in July. The mall was NOT busy. I don't know if this is typical for Florida or what, but it's not for New York. I would wager that there would be more people in my local mall two hours before opening on a Saturday than there were in the Galleria in Fort Lauderdale at lunchtime two Saturdays before Christmas. Insane.

Tomorrow is my first day back at work. I'm kind of looking forward to getting back into the swing of my usual routine. I've enjoyed all this time off and I'm sad it's coming to an end, but I'm craving stability right now in a big way.



I'm trying something a little odd here. I just added an Amazon.com store to my page. The items in the store are all items I've mentioned here in my blog. Check it out if you're interested. Ignore it if you're not.



I'm still feeling a bit out of it and not myself, but that's only natural. I'm working on getting back into the swing of life, though.

I planned on working late tonight, but I forgot it's the end of the month. The system shuts down at 5 o'clock to start the month end reconciliation stuff. Boo.

I was expecting my bi-weekly comic book shipment today. I usually get it every other Friday, but Thanksgiving threw the delivery schedule out of whack. That was something to look forward to. Only I got home and no comics. Boo, again.

However, I got a package in the mail that I had no idea what it was. I opened it to discover the new checks for the joint account Ken and I opened recently. He ordered the checks, and imagine my surprise to find out he ordered Wonder Woman checks. I love it!

I had a really bad weigh in this morning, but it wasn't unexpected. Yesterday I cooked a turkey for dinner. They had the excess turkeys they didn't sell on sale. I got a 21 lb. turkey for $5. I couldn't pass it up. I would have picked up a smaller bird, but the smaller ones were still frozen solid. This one was ready to cook. And I overdid it on the turkey for dinner. But it's delicious. I blame my mother because she didn't send me home with any leftovers on Thanksgiving day.

I was feeling pretty down this morning when I got to work and so I grabbed a handful of candy to medicate myself. Every Monday morning, our assistant director comes in with candy for the office. Today was Fun Size Nestle Crunch bars. I started chowing down on them and then I remembered that I needed to write down what I was eating. I stick a Post It Note on my desk to record what I eat and how many points I'm using to keep myself on track. So I wrote down my candy and got mad at myself for doing it. Luckily I did this before I did too much damage. And luckily I had more than enough points left tonight to enjoy dinner instead of eating a cucumber. I'm having soup, something I've just rediscovered. I'd forgotten how much I love soup. It got me through the roughest part of the wisdom teeth extraction. Tonight's soup is broccoli soup. I'm not loving it, but it's still good. It was that, clam chowder or split pea.

I just read something on one of the other blogs I follow that made me very happy. John Barrowman was on some talk show today talking about his Captain Jack character, Doctor Who and Torchwood. He announced that a new series of 13 episodes of Torchwood would be coming soon. I'm thrilled. After the last series, things were pretty much done for Torchwood. I'm psyched that they're bringing the show back. I wonder how they're going to do it. I wonder who will be on the show. Yay!


I Hate My Life

I hate my life right now. I really do. I've talked about everything we've been doing to the house to get it ready to go on the market. The biggest things we've had done were to remodel the bathroom, to get new ceilings on the first floor and also to have the first floor painted. The next big thing is coming up. We're having all the hardwood floors refinished in all the rooms but two. The two rooms we're not doing are my office and Ken's office. Those floors really need to be redone, but the thought of emptying out every single room in the house is too much for me. Instead, when the time comes, we're going to have them carpeted.

I hate living in the chaos I've been living in for the past few months. I'm sure I'll have some fucked up dream tonight about it, especially since I spent a good portion of the day prepping for the work. Started in the dining room, emptying it out.

The floor in this room is in the most need of being redone. We ran out of time for the floors before we were to move in, so the damage has been hiding beneath an area rug.

The contents of the dining room, which we use as a second living room, were split between the front porch and the kitchen. Here's Ollie resting on his new favorite spot.

The refrigerator has been moved from the hardwood part of the floor to the tiled part.

There is just general chaos in the kitchen today. Stuff is everywhere. There's a nice bag of trash I was working on when I snapped the picture. Classy.

The living room is the most intact room in the whole house right now, but it's down to the barest essentials. We've got the tv, the couch and the coffee table. The coffee table would be gone, but we're going to need that when moving the television, which weighs more than I can calculate. I'd guess 200 lbs easy. It's so damn heavy and the two of us can only move it so far before we have to put it down.

The front hallway is almost completely empty. The small dresser is going to be another television moving pitstop.

The stairs are also being refinished. I spent a while this morning taking up the carpeting that hid the ugliness of my steps.

The guest room is now empty except for Ken's ironing board, which he's going to still need.

The contents of the guest room now reside in my office. Look for a hidden cat.

All that's left in the bedroom for the time being are two nightstands and one bed. Everything else is gone. Well, almost everything. I need to find a home for the suitcases and the air purifier.

I know this is a means to an end, but I'm freaking out by everything being so chaotic right now. I hate it. I know we're going to have nice new floors in a week, but I'm so damn sick of it. I want this house sold, I want a new house purchased and I want to be unpacking as we speak. I know it's unreasonable on my part, but that's how I feel. I am never, ever going through this again.



It's kind of hard for me to believe it's been twenty-five years since I fell in love with Tina Turner. I never really thought about how long ago Private Dancer came out until I saw a link to this article posted over on the Pod Is My Co-Pilot site (thanks, Taylor!). From the first time I heard "Let's Stay Together" on the radio, I was hooked. Actually, I remember seeing a full page ad in Billboard Magazine pushing the single before I ever heard it and thinking that this was a joke. Who cares about a washed up hag like her? Well, how quickly my mind changed. Tina has been my absolute favorite recording artist for the last twenty-five years. I'm still head over heels for her. In fact, I spent the better part of today listening to her newest album Tina Live. At 70, the bitch still sounds more relevant than a lot of the current crop of singers. And she still looks amazing. She's my dad's age, but my dad looks old enough to be her father. Why can't I come from good genes like hers, dammit?

I've only had the chance to see her three times in concert and each time she blew me away. The second time was my favorite for one reason. I was close enough to the stage that as she was exiting at the end of the finale, she shook hands with some lucky enough to be close enough. I was the last person she touched as she was making her way off stage. Ahhhh... The first time I saw her came with a little disappointment. I worked at an independent record store at the time and we were able to get backstage passes for almost everything from the label reps. I was counting on meeting her after that show, only to find out Tina doesn't do backstage meet and greets. I was crushed. It didn't keep me from loving the show, though.

My favorite Tina song


Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving usually marks the start of a couple of things. The Christmas (shopping) season officially starts with Thanksgiving. Sure, the stores have been decorated for Christmas for a few weeks already and Christmas music has been playing since Halloween, but for the most part, the season really doesn't kick off until now. It's also the beginning of the time of year when we seem to take a step back and start thinking about ourselves. For Thanksgiving, we're supposed to think of all the things we're thankful for, which leads into Christmas, where we're supposed to think of others and then finally into New Year's, where we're supposed to look back on the year that has passed and look forward to the year to come. All of it, if you ask me, seems a bit ridiculous. Why are all these things mandated for this time of year? Why not all year long, every day? Whatever. But even if I think it's a crock, it doesn't stop me from thinking about it. I spent a little while this morning thinking about what I'm thankful for. The same things everyone else is thinking about, I'm sure. The great friends I have and the new friends I've made this year. The relationships I got a chance to work on this year. A job that I absolutely love. A partner who would do absolutely anything for me. My (nearly) perfect cats. My family, even though they drive me NUTS. Even though I still have enough wrong with me, I'm thankful I have my health.

Ken and I went down to my parents' house for the afternoon. My mom made the full Thanksgiving Day spread, just like every year. I planned on behaving myself today, I really did. But five minutes out of the house and I'd already blown it. We stopped at Dunkin Donuts for something to eat on the way down. I got a chocolate chip muffin, probably my favorite item on the DD menu. I've got to tell you, it was delicious. I justified it in my head because I had the best weigh in I've had in months today. When we got to my mom's house, just out of curiosity, Ken looked up the Weight Watchers points for what we had. He had some egg & cheese wrap thingie that was 8 points. My muffin, on the other hand, was 14 points. To give it some perspective, my total daily points total is 31. I shot almost half my load with that one muffin.

Dinner was great. It was the first solid meal I've eaten since having my teeth done last week. It's still a little awkward eating as I'm still getting used to the new oral landscape while still trying to watch out for the healing gashes. I overdid it on the turkey, but otherwise, I didn't get too crazy. And then I had a ginormous brownie. Didn't need it. Wasn't hungry for it. But it was chocolate and it was screaming for me. And it was amazing. A little while later we had dessert. We brought two pies down from a local restaurant known for their pies. One pumpkin and one dutch apple. I, naturally, needed a slice of each. Pumpkin pie I can take or leave, but this was sooo good that I had a second slice. Again, I wasn't hungry and I didn't need it, but I had to have more. So good. And then, just to make sure everything in the universe was still balanced, I had a little more apple. It's six hours since I last ate and I still feel like I need elastic waisted pants.

Tomorrow I'm planning on doing absolutely nothing, though I know that's not going to happen. I'm off from work. I'm not going out into the Black Friday insanity. I refuse it. I spent way too many years working retail to even find it remotely appealing. Instead, I want to have a day of leisure. I want to sleep in. I want to read comics. I want to get irritated with Ollie for being so far up my ass I can't breath. These are the things I'm looking forward to. What will probably happen, though, is I'll start cleaning, or packing up stuff that needs to move because we're having the floors refinished next week. I'll probably waste four or five hours online doing virtually nothing. I'll probably throw a load of laundry in. And by the time I finally get motivated to relax, the day will be over, Ken will be home and my quiet time will be shot. Let's see how I do. LOL.

Ken showed me something truly horrifying today. He pulled up Madonna's video for True Blue on YouTube. The video is from 1986. Now I know there were a lot of videos back in the day that were just awesome back then, but when you watch them now, they're just so damn cheesy. Awful cheesy, but awful fun. I had this in mind when he started the video, but as I was watching it, I found it hard to believe that this was a professionally done video. I swear that there are high school produced videos out there with higher production values. Madonna has such a tight control on her career that I don't know how she let such a crappy video like this make it out. I know it was still early in her career, but still. Watch and judge for yourself.


Dental Update

Well, as I stated before, I survived the extractions. But since Wednesday, I seem to be in a little bit of a downward spiral. I truly expected Thursday to be the worst day of this whole experience. Wednesday I'd be too doped up to care, Thursday not so much. And I did have some discomfort on Thursday, but Friday was far worse. And so far today, Saturday, I'm not feeling like I expected I would. I woke up this morning to the most pain I've felt yet. Part of that, I'm sure, is my own fault. I'm trying not to take the pain pills unless I absolutely need to. I was kind of sore at bedtime last night, but not too bad, so I didn't take a pain pill before going to sleep. That left me waking up hurting. Pretty bad. I took my medicine when I got up and the pill is finally taking the edge off my mouth.

I keep forgetting I'm not 20 anymore. My body doesn't just snap right back to normal when something happens to it anymore. And all the reading I've been doing about having my wisdom teeth extracted has said that if you're my age, you're going to hurt. All I'm hoping is that I don't end up with a dry socket. Everyone who has had one says it's the worst. THE WORST! I'm pretty sure what's going on in my mouth isn't that, just me being an old man.

When I hurt, I tend to go and hide. I realize that I've been doing a pretty good job of that this week. I think I've looked at my email once since Wednesday. I've sent maybe three text messages. I've been keeping to myself. I know that once I'm feeling better, I'll snap out of if. I just need to heal first, dammit.


I Survived!

I survived my oral surgery! Thankfully, eve.rything went very smoothly. Very, very smoothly. It started Tuesday night with my Xanax. That was the worst part of the whole experience, if you ask me. Rather than calming me down like it was supposed to, it seemed to do just the opposite. But maybe it's because I was unaccustomed to the pill? I don't know. I was to take the second pill about an hour before the surgery and that had a completely different effect on me. It made me really groggy. It took some of the edge off of what I was feeling, too, but it mostly just made me want to go to sleep. People seem to rave about Xanax. I'm not really sure why after taking it.

Ken drove me up to the surgeon's office with plenty of time to spare. Unfortunately, he wasn't quite ready for me at the appointed time, but I was all hopped up on goofballs, so I didn't realize it. I think I went in a half hour later than the time, but that was fine considering my original appointment was for 1:00, not 10:45 (hurrah for last minute cancellations.)

There's really not too much about the whole experience that I remember. From the minute they put the nitrous thingie on my nose to when I came back to is all gone. I know I said some pretty stupid shit when I was coming to, like "They put two WWII army tanks in my mouth. That's how they do dentistry now." And I looked pretty fucked up (Ken took pics. They're over on my photoblog.) But overall, the experience of having those teeth cut out of my head was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be.

I really didn't have much pain of any kind yesterday, but I was still pretty messed up from the stuff they gave me at the office and then my prescriptions. I slept all afternoon, which was great, but then I was awake until 4 am, which sucked. I hope to fix my internal clock a little bit tonight.

Today I hurt. Not too bad, but enough. I've been fearing dry socket and have been trying to take it easy with my mouth. The pain seems to go back and forth with the left side hurting and the right side feeling fine, to the right side hurting and the left side feeling fine. I'm swollen and a little numb on the right side of my face, too, but luckily, there's no bruising. I thought I'd be living the life, laying in bed all day, eating ice cream and hummus, but after a day and a half of it, I'm over it. I'm going a little stir crazy and I want to eat something besides ice cream and hummus already. I was going to go out today, but Ken and I had a big fight about it so I conceded and stayed home to rest, which didn't go well because the second I nodded off, he called.

Instead, I put the boxes of comics I culled from my collection up on Craig's List today. It was my first experience with Craig's List and it was a positive one. I put my ad up at 11:17. By 11:30 I had two people interested. The first person asked a few questions and wanted to look over the list some more. The second person said he could be to my house at 3 o'clock for the books. Then he called back fifteen minutes later asking if it was okay to show up by 1 o'clock. I was amazed. And thrilled. I thought it was going to take a while to find anyone interested in these books. I had no idea they'd be gone less than two hours after I listed them. Now I'm gonna do a little shopping with some of the money and be responsible with the rest.



Just a quickie for tonight.

I somehow let Ken talk me into going out to dinner tonight. We hit the Cheesecake Factory and I fucked up my points for the day royally. I tried to eat good there by ordering a Cobb Salad, but I'm sure that salad was still above how many points I had left for the day. And we ordered the hummus and don't forget the basket of bread... I feel enormous, bloated and just plain gross now. But this is my last big meal for the week, I think. Tomorrow is my oral surgery. It was scheduled for 1pm, but I got a phone call this afternoon at work saying there was a cancellation and did I want to have it done at 10:45am instead. Hells, yeah. The thing about going in at 1 o'clock that was most annoying for me was the NO EATING in the six hours prior rule. It'll be much easier making it until 10:45 than it would be 1pm.

I'm getting pretty anxious for tomorrow. I really haven't been at all until this afternoon. It's getting worse right now. The surgeon prescribed me some Xanax. One pill at bedtime tonight and one an hour before the procedure. Well, I popped the first one about an hour ago and I'm still waiting for it to do something. I don't feel the slightest bit calm right now. Just the opposite, in fact. Pretty jumpy and anxious. Let's hope it does something and soon.

I really have no idea what to expect for tomorrow once I get home. Ken says I'll probably just sleep the whole afternoon. I have no problem with that. I've got no clue what sort of discomfort I'm in store for. I really hope and pray I get something strong for the pain. I'm such a candy ass and pills don't tend to do too much to ease the pain for me. If he gives me something too mild, I'm more than likely going to tell him to keep the prescription.

I'm off to watch a little tv now. Wish me luck!


A To Z (1)

Here's a challenge to myself. Write a little bit about 26 things, each starting with a different letter of the alphabet. Let's see if I can do it.

A - Austin I continually try and plot out a return trip to that city. I wish I didn't have bills that required my money, dammit.

B - Burritos Today we went to Bombers Burrito Bar for lunch. I had a ginormous Jerk Pulled Pork burrito and sweet potato fries. Although the burrito was delicious, I had to send it back because the bitch was stone cold. I kind of got a little passive aggressive 'tude from the waitress who told me that it should be kind of cold because it has lettuce and tomatoes. Yeah, but the meat shouldn't feel like it's been sitting on a counter for an hour, either.

C - Craig's List Now that I've gone through my comics collection, pulling out stuff I don't want anymore, I need to put an ad up on Craig's List to get rid of them. I estimate there are about 3000 or so books. I hope someone wants them. Keep your fingers crossed.

D - Donny & Marie They have a new album out. And I'm not too ashamed to admit that I kind of like it.

E - Electronic Time Cards Work just introduced electronic time cards. Until last pay period, we would sign in and out on our paper time sheet. Now we do it online. Most of the office is up in arms. They can't lie about when they come and go now without being caught, though FrankenKlinger is actively working on getting around that. It's amazing that we are in our third week of these time cards and the same scumbags and scammers are still bitching and moaning all about them. Shouldn't they just show up on time, shut up, sit down and do some work? Well, they were never expected to in the past, so why start now, right?

F - Flyers Or is it Fliers? I'm talking about the ads in the Sunday paper. I've seen a bunch of the Black Friday ads already and I have to say that they seem to get more pathetic every year. I think we hit the limit of great Black Friday deals a few years ago. But I saw Old Navy is going to have all their jeans on sale that Friday, so I might venture out late in the day and pick up some new pants. I am a boy of simple tastes, after all. I still don't have quite enough in my current size, which I seem to be holding pretty steady at.

G - Girl Scout Thin Mints I've had a box of Thin Mints sitting here on my desk since probably March. I think I've proven that I have will power, which is great, but I'm sure that the cookies probably haven't lasted. I'm kind of curious to see if they're still good. They are sealed, after all.

H - Hard This little experiment is harder than I thought. Really. Everything I keep thinking of either starts with an "S" or a "D".

I - Ice Cream I have a great excuse to buy ice cream this week. The wisdom teeth are coming out on Wednesday and I'm not going to be able to eat much other than Jell-O, pudding and ice cream at first. I love when I can justify terrible eating habits.

J - The sticker on my burrito today!

K - Kris Allen His new album comes out on Tuesday. Does anyone still remember him?

L - Lounging That's what my plan for today was. It's almost 8 o'clock and I still haven't gotten around to that yet. I did my chores this morning, ran some errands this afternoon, went out to lunch with Ken and then started working on my comic collection until just a short while ago. Once I'm done with this, I'll go lounge. I promise.

M - Monday This coming Monday is my favorite Monday of the month. Why is that, you ask? Well, it's because DC unveils it's monthly solicitations. I love seeing what's coming out. The books are solicited three months in advance, so it will be a while before I actually get them, but it still excites me to read about what's coming.
N - Nine I have nine letters left to do. I'm not doing them in order. I think it would take me twice as long that way.

O - Ollie He's not a shy cat. At all. And sometimes I just wish he had a little shyness in him. This morning would have been a great time for him to practice. Saturday is the only morning of the week I get to sleep in. But it disrupts Ollie's schedule, so starting usually around six a.m. he tries to wake me up. This morning was extra special because he was pawing on my face and I discovered that he's got two razor sharp claws that need immediate clipping. He did just about everything he could think of to get me out of bed. Lucy, on the other hand, was minding her own business until about five minutes before I got out of bed.

P - Party Tomorrow morning we're going down to my Mom's place for my Dad's birthday party. And I think "party" is taking great creative license with the word. I'm sure it's going to be me and Ken, my mom and dad and my sister. I don't call that a party, I call that dinner.

Q - Qat This is a word I learned playing Scrabble. That and Qi. Two Q words that don't have a "U" in them.

R - Rufus Wainwright I just read today that he wrote a new song for Shirley Bassey's new album. I don't know why, but that really amuses the hell out of me.

S - Short Boxes Sean stopped by this morning. I sold him a bunch of comics and he came over to pick them up. He also brought me all the short comic boxes he had that he didn't need any longer. He brought 20 of them in total, which was enough to transfer over half of my collection. I'm transitioning out of the long box and into the short box. I'll pick up a few every week or so until I can finish up the collection.
T - Television Season I'm all caught up on tv for the moment. And I'm getting happy that the shows that I watch are getting ready to wind up for the season. Most of what I watch is bad reality competition tv. I'm sure most of the ending shows will be replaced with more bad tv for me to watch, so I shouldn't get too excited. But I am.

U - Umbrella I could have used one today. The remnants of the hurricane (is it Ida?) hit us today and it poured most of the afternoon. It seems to be over now, though. (Yeah, I'm struggling to finish this survey off now, can you tell?)

V - V Not only is it a letter, but it's the Roman numeral for 5. And 5 is how many more letters I have left to finish. This is really cutting into my lounging time.

W - Weight Watchers I'm not quite a whole week into doing the program, but so far it's been interesting. It's harder than I thought it was going to be. The days when I don't go out to eat, I seem to not be able to eat enough points. When we go out, I have trouble staying within my points. The salad I had a Panera the other day was about twice the number of points I thought it was going to be. The burrito and fries I had today surely put me way over my points. I'm not sure how many points were in that monster burrito, but I'm sure it's not going to make me smile. All I know is I'm 99% sure I've totally blown my weigh in tomorrow.

X - Xanadu As in Madame Xanadu. I just finished reading the first trade paperback of the series and I have to say I was very impressed. I avoided the series like the plague because it didn't look the slightest bit interesting to me. Then someone whose opinion I hold highly said it was really good, so I investigated. And I'm glad I did. The first chapter of the trade is kind of what I was thinking the whole series was about, but I was wrong. It's bargain priced... I think it's only $12.99 and it collects the first 10 issues. Amazon has it for $10.39. Check it out.

Y - Yellow My Sinestro Corps shirt came in the mail yesterday. I'm a happy boy. There are two different versions of the shirt. One is the symbol in yellow on a black shirt and the other is the symbol in black on a yellow shirt. I got the yellow shirt version. I'm working my way through the entire Lantern color spectrum. I've got half of them now.

Z - Zamaron That's the planet where the Star Sapphires come from. I only mention them because with my comics this week, I got my Star Sapphire ring, my Sinestro Corps ring and my Orange Lantern ring. I'm a geek.



There came a point today that I was seriously considering hopping in my car and running away from home. I was having a really bad day, which happens, but I couldn't tell you why. There is nothing too terribly wrong happening right now. I think I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed and everything tiny thing today just rubbed me the wrong way. For instance, first thing this morning I go downstairs to find that Lucy jumped at the spider plant hanging well out of her reach above the kitchen sink, only to manage to send it crashing from it's hook to the floor below. Dirt EVERYWHERE. Normally I would think this was Ollie's doing, but Ken actually got to the accident scene first and found that Ollie was nowhere to be found (he was upstairs) and the guilty culprit was sitting nearby.

The cats would not leave me alone for one second today. I would be trying to do things around the house and (mostly) Ollie would be so far up my ass that if I opened my mouth, he could stick his paw out of it. I was washing down the walls in the kitchen and I nearly killed myself tripping over him multiple times. I got up on a step stool and he jumped up to the top of the cabinet near where I was cleaning, trying to attack the sponge. I was writing emails and he needed to be on my lap. I had to go to the bathroom and he followed me in and jumped up on my lap and laid down. The little bastard knows no boundaries. Just when I managed to lose him, Lucy started in begging for attention. This is right after jumping up on a bookshelf in my office sending all sorts of stuff crashing to the floor.

I have a few social/family obligations coming up in the next couple of weeks and it's stressing me out. Twice I'm going to end up at my Mom's house within two weeks and I'm absolutely dreading it. One of the times I'm pretty convinced was a ploy to sucker me into a visit. I know I must sound like an ass talking like this, but I don't seem to have a lot to talk with my family about, even less so the older I get.

I know I'm not dealing with the upcoming move and all the work that's needed to get this house ready to sell very well. I know I'm trying to bottle up all the stress and stuff, which isn't healthy. It's possible that washing down the kitchen walls is what started a lot of this for me. (The walls needed to be washed down before they could be primed and then painted, which is all part of the process to get the house ready to sell.) I don't know. I'm only happy that I could recognize that I was starting to lose my mind today. It's usually too late by the time this happens.

Not to change the subject too drastically, but in my continuing effort to help Ken along with his diet, I decided to start doing Weight Watchers with him. Mostly. I'm not joining the cult or anything or going to meetings, but I'm trying to do the rest of the program with him. There's a Weight Watchers app for the iPhone and Ken has a username and password, so I can get in and check it out. I figured out what my allotted number of points in a day is and I'm trying to stick to it. The app helps me figure out how many points are in different things so I can stay on track. Today is the second day and it was a little harder than yesterday. Harder because I blew more of my points than I expected on a salad at Panera. I get 31 points a day and the rinky dink salad I had was 12 points. Yesterday was much, much easier when I was making my own food. I had loads of extra points to blow, so I maxed out on pita chips and hummus last night. Tomorrow life goes back to normal after today's bonus day off and I should be able to eat way more than I did today.

Next blog post I promise I'm not going to be all bitchy, whiny, crabby, bitter and negative. It's getting old.


Cranky Pants

I've got my cranky pants on right now. I don't know why I grabbed them out of the closet this morning, but I did. Just been that kind of a day. I think I didn't get enough sleep last night. That's usually the major cause to days like today. The cats have both been using me as their kitty bed a lot lately. Last night was no exception. What they've really gotten into is not moving no matter what I do. They're amazing at being dead weight. Little fuckers. So I blame them for my lack of enough sleep. Tonight I'm planning on hitting bed pretty early.

The lack of sleep led to a nasty headache that stayed with me most of the day. Luckily I have stuff in my desk to take in just such a case. Although the headache never completely left, it did ease up on me.

My patience for people, especially those I don't care for at work, was pretty non-existent today. I tried to stay as far away from them as I could, but just knowing they were nearby got on my nerves.

I know my weight fluctuates on a daily basis, but I wasn't prepared for the almost five pound weight gain this morning. It would be one thing if I was expecting it, but I was floored when I saw the number. I behaved myself with food this weekend. Sunday morning I did an hour long power walk. The weather was so nice all day that I did another that afternoon. I'm not worried about it, but still scratching my head about it. I have no idea what to expect tomorrow. I walked home from work tonight (probably for the last time... I think the great weather is done now), but I chowed down on peanut butter cups all morning. We'll see.

In non-cranky news, I'm almost done cataloging those comics. I've got six done with four and a half to go. The more I've been thinking about this purge, the more I'm sure I didn't purge enough stuff. If I wasn't dreading the thought so much, I'd go through the collection again and pull out some more stuff. It will happen, but not right away.

Ken was off of work today and he's got this new thing to give him a push not to sleep all day when he's off. He wants me to wake him up so he can drive me in to work. That gets him up and then he can hopefully motivate. Today he got me to work by 6:30 and then spent a good portion of the afternoon priming the walls of our living room. He ran out of steam or he'd have primed the foyer, too.

We went to meet a builder this weekend in our continuing quest to find the right person to build our next house (if we can afford to go that way.) This guy is a small independent builder. We saw his house and then he brought us to a house that is about a week away from being completed. He seems to do some pretty decent work. I've probably stated this before (many times, I'm sure), but I just want this whole process to be done with, our current house sold and the new house bought and all moved into. I know it's stressing me out and I'm trying to keep it under control, but sometimes I just want to go curl up in a ball and hide.

It occurred to me that I worked my last five day week for the year two weeks ago. Until some time in January, I have short work weeks. This week there's a holiday. Next week I'm having oral surgery. The following week is Thanksgiving. Then the cruise. Then Christmas. Then New Year's. January is going to be sad when the five day work weeks return. I'm going to try to savor it while it lasts.

My current obsession is the Gowalla app for the iPhone. I like to know where my friends are and what they're doing. I like to see what other people in the area are doing and where they're going. I know my fascination with the app will eventually end, but I'm enjoying it while it lasts.

My current annoyance is with the iMapMyRide app. It uses GPS to map out your walk, your run, your ride, whatever. Almost every single time I use it, though, I lose the GPS signal for a good portion of my walk. Tonight when I walked home from work, I got about 1/2 mile from home when the signal pooped out on me. Grrrrr... I love looking at the map I create when I use the app, but when there's incomplete data, it makes me sad. Yeah, I know, I have such troubles. LOL.

Okay, I'm gonna crash now. Off come the cranky pants and on go the soft pants. Ahhhhh..



Holy Christ, I hurt. My joints, the places I'm supposed to have muscles, my brain. All of me.

For the last few weeks, or even months... who knows how long, I've been lamenting the size of my comic book collection. It's never really bothered me before, but with the prospect of selling the house and moving (not to mention things like having to move the collection when we have the floors redone), I've been overwhelmed with how many books I actually have. And the thought that I will never read a vast majority of the books I'm storing all over my house again really got me thinking. I need to downsize my collection in a big way. I've been asking friends for advice on what to do, how to do it, what they do. I've gotten a lot of really good feedback and some great ideas. My plan was going to be to take the week of Thanksgiving off from work and focus on the comics. Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to take that week off as planned. My personal days at work expire on the last day of November and I usually have enough to cash in that week. And this year is no different, except I'm using most of them the week before when I have the wisdom teeth removed. So there goes that plan.

Today, I thought I'd get a jump start by going through the boxes I have stored in the bedroom. I was still motivated, so next I attacked the books in the guest room. And still with some motivation, I tackled the rest of my collection. I have 33 long boxes full of books. I think each box holds between 200 and 250 books, just to give you an idea of how many books I've amassed over the years. I've gotten rid of books here and there over the years, but never on the scale that I'm trying to now. My goal was to weed out enough books to get me down to 20 long boxes. It's just a first step, but an ambitious one. And I almost did it. I've condensed my books down to 21 long boxes. Not too bad. I know I'm keeping a lot of stuff I really should get rid of, but there's always time to do that later.

Right now I'm in the process of cataloging the books I want to get rid of. I've got three boxes done and nine more to go. But I'm so over it right now. So over it. It wouldn't be so bad if Ollie didn't decide to be so far up my ass that he could see out of my mouth. All day. Either in a box of comics I'm sorting, or on my lap while I'm trying to move things, or laying on top of a stack of boxes, or in the closet when I'm trying to put boxes away. You name it, he's been there, in the way. I feel really bad because I've been yelling at him all night now.

I don't know if I'll do any more cataloging tomorrow. I'm really getting sick of looking at all this stuff. Wednesday might be a good day to pick up the project. Work is closed and I can devote the whole day to it.

All I know is I hurt now and I'm going to hurt even more tomorrow.


Another Random One

This is beginning to become a habit. Lately it seems the only way for me to post is to post a bunch of random crap. I don't really have anything too interesting going on to devote too much space to, I guess. Not that I ever have anything too interesting going on...

Took today off of work for a consultation with an oral surgeon. My bottom wisdom teeth need to come out. I had the top ones out years ago, but the bottom ones require surgery, so I've put it off as long as I possibly can. I really, really liked the surgeon. He was very personable, very funny and very reassuring. I'm still dreading having the actually procedure done, but I feel a little better now that I got a chance to meet with the surgeon, ask all my questions and get all the information about what to expect. I wanted a Wednesday appointment to get this done and the first one he had open was in two weeks. The first open appointment he had was that Monday, but in my head I've been planning on a Wednesday and then taking the rest of the week off of work to recover. The only part of my appointment I'm disappointed with is it's not until 1pm. I was hoping for early in the morning, especially because I can't have anything to eat or drink six hours prior.

I got a bunch of random text messages from co-workers today. Apparently today was a good day to take off in most regards. Two of the most annoying people on my entire floor sit with me and they were in rare form. I heard from a couple different people that they were ready to go up to them and cause them great bodily harm. I'll get some specifics tomorrow. I heard from another friend that the person who was supposed to cover for me this afternoon up and disappeared. Someone who doesn't know how to do the task he was covering for (not that it's a hard task and easy enough to figure out) stepped in to help out. Unfortunately she doesn't have authority to get into the program I use, so who knows what my desk is going to look like tomorrow.

Yesterday I met in person someone I've known only through the blogosphere. His name is Walt, his blog is here and he's back in the States for a visit. I had an amazing time. Walt's great. I really enjoyed meeting him and talking to him (and Sean). I'm just hoping I didn't stutter too much, fumble over my words or sound like a total jackass. I know how I can get when I'm around new people. Here's a photo from lunch. Sean is on the left and Walt is on the right.
But more importantly, my lunch is in between them. Here's a close up.

I think I finally realized sometime about my body and I'm not very happy about it at all. The last few months, my sciatic nerve has been on the low end of annoying. I've really had no trouble with it at all. Until yesterday. I noticed it starting to act up a little when I left work and it's been pretty noticeable all day today. Coincidentally, I've finally been able to start shedding those extra few pounds I picked up on vacation this summer. Today was my single best weigh in since the end of August. The whole while I was up a little more than I wanted to be, I had no issues. Every single time I've had sciatic flare ups, it's been when I was lighter. I know it's just a coincidence, but I'm starting to think that when I drop weight, it's coming from the padding I have in that area and that causes the inflammation. I know I need to go see a specialist about this, but in the meanwhile, I think I need to concentrate on keeping a few more pounds on than I want to. I know in the grand scheme of things that an extra five pounds or so is nothing, but I've driven myself to a place, psychologically, where every pound above the number I've set in my head is like ten pounds. It's going to be hard reprogramming my head, but I think it's something I have to do.



I try to be a supportive partner to Ken. I really do. I know I have my own issues and I tend to be more self-centered than I should be, but I really do try to be there to support him in whatever he does. Dieting is something I really try to support him in, but it's hard. It's really hard. He's been on just about every single diet plan out there at one point or another and it's rare if he goes more than a week or two before quitting. The Atkins Diet was very successful for him. He lost a lot of weight with that one, but one day he stopped and never looked back. All his weight came back. He had some success with the South Beach Diet, but again, the second he stopped, it was over. Right now he's on Weight Watchers. This is week three and it's been a very bumpy road so far. He couldn't find the building where his meetings were on the first day. He ended up finding an alternate location and did pretty good the first few days. Last week, not so much. Today, in fact, was restart day. Part of refocusing for him was deciding that in order to succeed, he needed to start cooking dinners. We are terrible about cooking. Just terrible. Right now, I cook dinner for us once a week, usually Sunday nights. I didn't last night because he wasn't hungry and I wasn't going to cook for just me.

Anyway, tonight he started cooking. Since he doesn't really know how to cook, his plan is to pick someone from work, quiz them about what they made for dinner the night before and make that. Tonight he made flounder, asparagus and sweet potatoes. I have to say, he did a great job. It was delicious. I'm really proud of him for doing this. It's definitely a much healthier meal than he would have had. Only problem is I'm sitting here feeling like crap. I felt it was important to sit down and eat with him, but I now feel like I weigh 800 lbs. I'm not used to having a big dinner during the week. I usually grab something small to eat as I generally eat a larger lunch at work. Because I didn't know of his plan until minutes before leaving work, I couldn't cut down on my ginormous salad this afternoon in preparation. So I'm sitting here feeling very bloated. I told him that I don't know if I'm going to be able to do this again tomorrow night. He was fine with it, but he was going to cook anyway. I'm welcome to eat as much or as little of what he makes as I want. And I will have something, just not as much as I ate tonight. That last thing I want to do is derail my own diet in support of his. I know it sounds a little selfish, but I don't mean it to. We'll find a nice compromise there somewhere and hopefully it will help him on the road to dropping the weight he needs to. I just don't want him to give up. My fear is me not eating what he cooks for dinner as being the excuse for the failure.



Damn. I thought I had some Halloween pictures on the computer that I wanted to post tonight, but I don't. Now I need to dig them out and scan them. But it's not happening tonight. :-(


Heading To Bed

But before I do, I felt the need to write something here. I'm afraid it's just going to be another set of scattered thoughts.

My body is still (knock on wood) going along with me and I've been able to get out and go for hour long walks every day this week. That's two weeks in a row. I'm not feeling as good as I used to or wish I did, but the pain isn't really pain. It's more slight discomfort. So Monday through Thursday I pushed myself to walk home from work. Tonight I headed up to the office complex near the house to walk. I feel really good about it. My legs feel great and back in shape. I'm just hoping it's enough to kick start that last little bit of weight loss. I know, I know, I'm a broken record, but if you've read my blog for any length of time, you know I focus so tightly on things that I don't or can't see anything else. I have no plans to walk tomorrow. I want to give it a little bit of a rest before I head out for my last chance workout on Sunday morning before weigh in.

Ken surprised the shit out of me this week. As a "thank you" for all I do around here (namely EVERYTHING) among other things, he ordered me a huge stack of (mostly) Silver Age comics. I have a want list of things I'm looking for and he always has a copy of it, but usually doesn't look at it. Not unless he wants to surprise me. And did he. I got a bunch of Justice Leagues, some Adventure Comics with Supergirl, some Superman Family issues, World's Finest, Detective, DC Special, DC Special Series, DC Super Stars, Super DC Giant, Green Lantern, Flash..... I was really blown away by the sheer volume of books, about 65 or so. Now I need to find some time to read.

I listened to a lot of Barry Manilow this week. On purpose.

I came to the conclusion this week that I am a difficult friend to have. I probably won't be able to find the right words to explain why I think this, so bear with me. I've always considered myself a low maintenance person. I don't need a lot to make me happy. I don't need to go do things to make me happy. Just hanging out, either with friends or by myself, is enough. And often times, if that's not the plan, I'm just not interested. I don't know when this happened to me. I used to much more active, I used to go out all the time, I used to do a lot more things than I do now. To be honest, I don't know that I ever truly enjoyed going out as much as I did, or doing all the stuff I used to do. I did it to be with my friends. I'm wondering if this change in me is me trying to regain control of my life. It could very well be. I tend not to be the alpha in any situation. I don't make decisions if I don't have to. I like to lay that on someone else's shoulders. In my head it's because it's easier. If we're going to do something and I pick it and everyone's miserable, I feel guilty. If we're going to do something and someone else picks it, I know we're going to do something they enjoy and I feel no guilt. Does that make any sense? It didn't come out 100% right. Anyway, the older I get, the more I really only want to do the things I want to do. I've done what everyone else has wanted to for years and now it's my turn. And that's kind of unfair to my friends who may want to do this or that, but I don't. It makes me feel like a bad friend. So selfish.

I'm probably not making much sense at all. It's way past my bedtime and I'm babbling.