If 2009 has been anything, it's been all about self-discovery and the dreaded "c" word (change.) I've been forcing myself to take a look at me, what makes me tick, what holds me back and what I need to work on to make myself a better person and to make my life better. I find that I'm comfortable when I'm in a pattern. I find safety and comfort in a regular schedule. But I'm also starting to find my usual patterns to be stagnant and becoming unappealing. For instance, my regular pattern for after work is to come home, grab a bite to eat, chit chat with Ken for a little bit, head upstairs and sit on the computer for the rest of the night. This is something I enjoy doing, for the most part, but it's really starting to drag me down when I think about how much time I waste sitting here at the computer. I spent a few weeks away from the computer this summer (when I went to Austin and when I went to Orlando.) I relied on my phone for whatever internet things I needed and I never once touched a traditional computer. And I didn't miss it one little bit. Not one. But the second I got home, it was straight back to wasting time. I've become way more aware of this since these two trips and now I'm battling to break the routine. I've got so many other things I want to do and I don't get around to them because I'm glued to the computer chair. Tonight, for instance, is a perfect example. Ken's out of town on business and this was my chance to get stuff done around the house without being distracted. I did a load of laundry and the dishes. That's it. The last 2 hours or so have been sitting in my office wasting time.

I know there's life out there, away from this infernal ping box. It's so damn addicting that it's hard to break away from it. There's nothing wrong with sitting in front of it for a few hours at a time, but when it's a daily routine, then there's the problem. I'm going to try to promise myself that I get no more than, say, an hour a night, five nights a week and start to ween myself off of this. Work has been so busy since coming back from vacation that I haven't had any time to play on Twitter. And I don't really miss it too much. I look in when I can, but it's not a priority anymore. And it feels good.

This is all part of my overall plan to simplify my life. I feel like I'm drowning. In material possessions, in obligations, in wasteful activities. When we were getting ready to head to Florida for vacation, we emptied out the entire first floor of our house. The ceiling guys were coming to redo all the ceilings downstairs. We used this as an opportunity to start purging our possessions. We moved back in only a fraction of the stuff we moved out. It feels liberating. I know I have too much shit in my office, but it's all stuff I love and enjoy. Do I need it all? No. I need to look it all over and be brutal with it. Why do I have it? Am I ever going to use it again? Does it serve a purpose? I need to ask myself these kinds of questions and clean house. Having something for the sake of having something is not a good reason to have it.

I'm finishing up this post and shutting down the computer for the night. I need to step away from the heroin, er, um, computer. I've got a pile of comics and some bad tv screaming for me to come pay them some attention. And a basketful of laundry that needs to be put away.

Sometime this week I'll post some of my Disney pictures. I've been meaning to do that, but I've been distracted. Shocker.


You Knew It Was Coming

I'm laying in bed right now, watching Green Lantern: First Flight. I bought it a few weeks ago and started watching it that night, but was so tired, I fell asleep right after starting it. I've been meaning to get to it for a while now, but haven't been able to find the time. Tonight is finally that night. I'm about 3/4 of the way through it right now. It's been okay. Not terrible, not fantastic. Just okay. I understand that these movies aren't going to be 100% faithful to the comics, and I'm fine with that. It's just that I think they could have done a little better with the plot. I haven't seen too many of the DC direct to dvd movies. This is only my third, after Superman: Doomsday and DC: New Frontier. New Frontier is still my favorite of the three. I'm looking forward to more of these movies in the future.

I've done a lot of feeling shitty about myself tonight. The cause is the fact that I ate a little too much at dinner tonight and I can still feel it in my stomach. I came back from Florida 7 pounds up from when I left. When I left, I was already up a few pounds over where I want to be. So add the two of them together and I'm about 10 pounds up from where I need to be. This is the heaviest I've been in over a year and it's been depressing me. Last year I came home from vacation up 6 pounds and it took over a month for me to lose the vacation weight. Even though I know it will probably be the same deal this time around, I'm pretty pissed off at myself about it. All I know is I have to get tougher on myself again, refocus and just do it. It's been hard not being able to get out and exercise like I was doing most of the summer because of the sciatic nerve issue I've been having. However, I walked home from work for the first time all year one day this week and I was mostly fine. A little sore, a little achy, but mostly okay. This gives me hope that I can ease myself back into something of a walking regime again. I really miss the feeling I get from a long walk. If I'm feeling up to it tomorrow, I'm going to try and get out there and walk some. Well, if I'm up to it and the weather is up to it. Tomorrow is my official weekly weigh in. I'm scared to death of what I'm going to see, but looking forward to getting my act back together.


Another Week Is Over

I'm glad the weekend is here. This hasn't been a particularly hard week or an unusually long week, but I'm glad it's over nonetheless. It was my first week back to work after another vacation and I've been sick for the whole thing. That's reason enough to welcome the weekend, don't you think?

I'm feeling the best I've felt all week, though that's not saying a lot. I still don't feel 100% and it's bothering me. I've been sick for a week and a half, which is a week and a half longer than I usually like being sick. I've gone through my entire run of antibiotics, so from here on out I'm on my own. I'm hoping a good weekend of lounging and goofing off will help my body get back to where it should be.

Easing back into work was much less painful than I anticipated. Sure, my desk was piled high with work waiting for me, but it wasn't anything too agonizing. I had lots to do this week and managed to keep very busy, which helped the week fly by. And I, for the most part, concentrated on nothing but work. When I don't feel good, I don't feel sociable. I want the whole world to be dead. I don't want anyone bothering me. So I put all of my attention into work and before I knew it, it was tonight!

At dinner tonight, Ken got up to use the restroom so I grabbed my phone to check email. I was very excited to find a message in there saying that the contest I had entered at Towleroad ended in my favor. You are looking at the winner of the brand spanking new Rufus Wainwright CD/DVD Milwaukee At Last!!! I'm psyched! I would have run out to buy it earlier this week, but being sick has kept me in, which turned out to be a very good thing. The notification said it's been dropped in the mail so I should have it in a couple of days, depending on where it was mailed from.

So, last week I was in Orlando, enjoying my annual pilgrimage to the House of the Mouse. The last few years, the Orlando trip has kind of been different since I now know people there. It used to be a week in the parks, just Ken and I. Now it's some solo time, some time with others in the parks and outside. This year's trip was probably my favorite Disney run in the last ten years. I ran myself into the ground, but I had the best time doing it. I got a chance to spend some time alone (trips to both Epcot and Magic Kingdom all on my own), some time with just Ken, and time with just about everyone I know in the area.

The trip almost didn't turn out to be so good based on our first day there. The day itself started out on the right foot. We got to Orlando and to my surprise, Ken had rented a stretch limo to cart us off to the hotel.
We get to the hotel to check in and that's when things started to go downhill. We were told the room wasn't ready yet. Really, not a problem. It was 11am and check in isn't officially until 4pm anyway. Sure, we've always been able to get into the room right away in the past, but whatever. The woman checking us in gives us the total for the room and goes to put it on the credit card. She tells us the card has been declined. Ken starts to panic. He asks her to try again and again it is declined. And again. He asks me for another credit card, but there's the problem. I only brought the one. The same one as him. I cleaned out my wallet the week before. So did he. He asks a manager if he can use the phone to call the credit card company. After being on hold for a while, he gets through and finds out the card has been frozen for fraudulent activity. The fraudulent activity, it turns out, was the woman checking us in running the card through multiple times with the wrong expiration date. She manually entered the information and got the expiration date wrong. After a short conversation, the issue was resolved and we were back on track.

We rent a car every year we're in Florida, usually at the airport. Ken found a better deal renting on Disney property at the Car Care Center. That's why we had the limo. After we're checked in and Ken had a second to start to calm down, he called the Car Care Center for a shuttle. When he called them, the woman on the other end said "Ken? Well, we've been waiting for you" with an attitude. This, too, started to freak him out. The shuttle was going to take 20 to 30 minutes to arrive.

In the meantime, we decided to go buy our park tickets. Since the room wasn't going to be ready until later, we would go get the rental and then head over to the Magic Kingdom. We are waited on by a different cast member. He asks us for our room keys, since they will double as the park passes. I explain to him that we can't get into our room yet. He says that it's not a problem, but he needs the keys to add the park admissions to. I again say that we don't have room keys since the room isn't ready. He repeats that the keys and the park passes are the same thing. Now I'm starting to get frustrated because he's not understanding that I don't have room keys yet. He finally excuses himself to go talk to a manager. A few minutes later he comes back with our room keys. Apparently, the keys should have been given to us earlier, but they weren't. Joy. A simple two minute transaction finally got straightened out fifteen minutes later. At least it killed almost enough time for the shuttle to arrive.

It's only a five or ten minute drive over to get the rental. We walk in, Ken gives his name and the woman from the phone earlier starts in with him. "We've been waiting for you. You have five reservations." We didn't have five reservations, but they had us down for five. Ken tries to explain to her that he only has one, but she insists there are five. It says so on her sheet. We head over to a computer to try to get that straightened out (only to find out we have ONE reservation). The paperwork is completed kind of quickly and we're led out to the rental. I don't know cars, so I can't tell you what it is we got, but it's like an SUV of some sort. And it was dirty. Inside and out. And beaten to shit. There was a huge dent and gouge on the back of it. Before Ken was willing to take it, he wanted them to note the dent and gouge. The woman with the attitude said they don't note that stuff. Ken said that was fine, but he wanted it noted anyway. And she refused. The more she refused, the hotter he got. Finally a manager comes over and Ken explains the situation again. He said they don't note that stuff. Now Ken's pissed. He also points out that besides the damage, the car looks like it hasn't been washed in months, there are big stains on the upholstery, the car is a mess. The manager decides that Ken should get a different car. He doesn't want one, he just wants the damage noted so we can get on the road. Well, needless to say, thirty minutes later, we're in a new car and finally on our way. By this point in the day, nothing has really done right and Ken is in the worst mood ever. He's pissed, he's got a monstrous headache and he's miserable. He misses the first turn for Magic Kingdom. Then the second. Then the third. He finally makes the turn and is heading back, speeding right through a speed trap. Luckily the cop didn't care.

We decided to park at the Polynesian to grab a bite to eat before going to the park. We both got a salad for lunch. I started eating mine while Ken typed away furiously on his phone. The new car we rented had a big dent and scratch in the back. While I was eating, he was emailing a picture of the damage to the manager he dealt with earlier.
As soon as he finished, he started to eat. Only to find that his salad had absolutely no dressing on it. I got up to go get some when he snapped at me to sit back down. He ate his salad dry. Ugh.

Before heading over to the park, he needed to stop and get an aspirin. His headache was not migraine level. We go up to the gift shop and they only sell aspirin in full bottles, not single serving packs. Of course.

We finally made it to the park and we had a good time. At last. We poked around for a few hours until I received a text message saying our room was ready. So we headed back to the hotel.

It was nice to get into the room. It was your standard Disney hotel room, but who cares. We were in.
As I poked around, something started bothering me. We couldn't get in until almost 4 o'clock because the room wasn't ready. It was clear to me that this wasn't true as I checked out the room. It looked to me like the room hadn't been occupied in weeks. There was quite a bit of settled dust on the table, the entertainment center and the nightstands. There was also what look like a bit of smeared toothpaste on the bathroom floor. But we were in and with the way the day had been going, I wasn't going to tempt fate.

I noticed Ken was looking around as if he was looking for something specific. Then he got out his phone and started making phone calls. Apparently he ordered flowers (from the cats) for us. He paid extra to make sure they were delivered early and in the room waiting for us. There were no flowers. The front desk knew nothing of flowers. The company he ordered them from started giving him the run around. He ultimately got a "we'll call you when we figure out where they are" from them. He asked when that might be and they told him they didn't know. To this day we're still waiting to hear from them. But, the flowers showed up about an hour later.

We spent a little bit of time in the room before heading out to dinner. We drove to Downtown Disney to eat at House of Blues. We both had a good time, Ken found a waiter there to be his new boyfriend (he was nice from behind, not so much from the front) and we enjoyed our meal.

After dinner, we went for a walk through Downtown Disney. I needed to walk off what I just ate. But the more we walked, the more sick Ken felt. It was to the point that we were at the opposite end of Downtown from where we parked and Ken thought he was going to vomit. I've never seen him walk that far that quickly to get back to the car. I think it was just the stress of the worst first day of vacation that did it to him, but he's convinced he ate something bad. So we get back to the hotel, Ken is ready for bed and it's only 8:30. Happy first day of vacation. I changed my clothes and headed down to the pool. Ken followed me, but didn't go in the pool. I swam for a little bit and then headed back up to the room to read and then sleep. It was a very long day. We'd been up since about 4am.

Thankfully the rest of the week didn't suck. I'll post some pictures and gab a little about it next time.



I've been sick since last Tuesday or Wednesday when I was in Florida. I'm sure I picked up a bug from one of the unwashed masses (Hi Ricky!) and haven't been able to shake it. At first I thought it was just because I was running myself into the ground trying to do and see and experience everything I could while on vacation. Once I got home, I spent a few NyQuilled up nights and still wasn't feeling any better. Then I started to think maybe I picked up strep. A trip to the doctor confirmed that it wasn't strep, though most of my symptoms mirrored it. I'm on some heavy duty antibiotics right now, trying to shake it. Whatever this is, it seems to be making the rounds. A woman at the doctor's office when I was there had the same thing. Ken's step-sister seems to have the same thing. People at work keep talking about husbands, wives, kids, whatever who all seem to have it. I don't know what it is, but I'm damn sick of being sick. I tend to, well, shut down isn't exactly it, but I tend to make myself scarce when I feel like garbage. I haven't really posted here since getting back from vacation, and it's taking enough out of me just to scribble this little bit down. Hopefully another night or two of solid sleep and I'll be feeling better. Until then, enjoy this Catherine Tate bit from Comic Relief 2007. Her character Nan appears on the British version of Deal Or No Deal.



Run right over to tastyjewelry.com! Diane is having a big sale. 40% off everything until the end of September. All you have to do is use the code: fallfling in the "discount coupon" box and hit recalculate to receive your savings. Tell everyone you know!!!


That Part Of You

I love Laura Smith and I love all things Laura Smith related. There, I said it. So please enjoy her band's (The Sleep if you didn't know) new video. And don't forget to tell your friends.

Double Ouch!!

Someone found my blog via this search phrase, " drama about a mentally retarded man called walter. "



So I think I just hurt myself. The contractors will be here in the morning to start our ceiling project, so the rest of the first floor had to be emptied tonight. We got most of the house cleaned out over the weekend, but we left the essentials in the living room until the last moment. The essentials being the sofa for Ken, the chair for me and the television. In the kitchen we left the island (only because the place it's going is in the mud room where the cat boxes are and I don't want to freak the cats out any more than they are.) Not too much to move, right? Right. Only, our tv must weigh over 100 pounds. It's an enormous monster. Not a thin, hang on the wall type, but a monster box. All the moving of stuff this weekend has caused my sciatic nerve to have a little flair up, but nothing too major. I'm afraid moving the tv may have caused more damage than I thought it would. I hurt right now. Not bad, but enough. I'm hoping and praying that just taking it easy the next day or so will be all I need for it to calm down. It seemed to work yesterday when I took it easy all day long. That's my goal for tomorrow.

I'm staring to think I have an unnatural obsession with Target. All weekend, I kept thinking "I need to go to Target" even though there wasn't anything I needed. Sunday I decided I had to go and I thought up a bullshit item or two to get to make the trip worthwhile. I managed to get out only spending $20. How I got past security spending less than $100 is beyond me. Sunday night I decided I need to paint my toenails (why not) but I didn't have polish (why would I?). So that meant another Target run on Monday. This time I went to the next closest to my house. You know, to mix it up a little. While I was shopping around, I found the most fabulous thing ever. Rosey, the recently retired, most beloved supervisor I work(ed) with. It was so good seeing her. I miss her so much! Anyway, after a little chitter chat, I continued shopping and got out of the store spending only $30. Half way home it dawned on me I didn't get my nail polish. So off to the third Target in my area for $20 in stuff I don't need. I love Target. My favorite purchase of the weekend was a pair of underpants with the Batman symbol all over them. The undies came in a collectible Jim Lee drawn tin which I intended on keeping my checkbook, credit cards and the like in. Yay me!


I Hate...

...when my mind lets me know I'm a much weaker person that I think I am. Thanks, brain. Really appreciate that.

Here's my issue. I don't deal with change very well. I don't deal with chaos very well. I don't deal with disruption very well. But I think I've made great strides over the last few years in coping with these things. Until today. We're planning on selling our house next year and buying a new one. Sure, this has me a bit stressed because I don't like change. At all. Our house really needs to have a bunch of work done to it before we can put it on the market. I understand this. There were tons of things we intended on doing when we bought the place, but we ran out of steam. Now it's time to motivate and get those things done to make the house more appealing to potential buyers. This weekend we're prepping the house for the ceiling guys to come in and put new ceilings in on the first floor. They don't start until Thursday, but seeing how this is a nice three day weekend, we thought we could get most of it done early and not stress out during the week. The first project we tackled was taking down the hideous drop ceiling that's in our foyer. We're guessing this was put up to cover up the water damage in the ceiling. A quick, cheap and easy solution to the problem. About five minutes into the project, my head started pounding. Really pounding. I popped some pills to try to take the edge off, but no such luck. My brain was telling me that this is change and chaos and disruption by giving me the tension headache. Once the project was done, the headache was gone. Fancy that.

We ran some errands this afternoon and then decided it's a great time to try and start emptying the entire first floor of the house. All the rooms need to be emptied for the guys to do their stuff. Five minutes into emptying the first room, the headache came back. I really don't get it. I thought I was fine with all this. My subconscious is obviously telling me something different. I tried not to think too much about it and just work. We got three of the four rooms mostly done, leaving only things we still need to use until the work starts. The living room, the room we spend the most time in, will be last. The thought of moving that heavy ass tv does not make me happy.

Once the ceilings are done, our plan is to only put back the essential things we need, foregoing all the rest of the stuff. In a couple of months we're planning on having all the floors refinished (another project we ran out of time and steam for) and we're going to have move everything out again. At least it will be less stuff than this time.

All the while we're trying to purge stuff. Ken's sick of the clutter and I really want to simplify my life. We made a run to Good Will today and the car is packed for another one tomorrow. My friend Sean stopped by this morning to pick up some stuff. Purging is really difficult. It's amazing at how attached you get to some of your stuff, even if it's been packed away and hasn't seen the light of day for years. I'm trying, though. I'm sure I'm going to bring more stuff to the new place than I should, but as long as I can start getting rid of stuff now, hopefully it won't be as much.

Tomorrow we're moving out some more stuff, but hopefully it won't take all day like today. I need a little time to detox from this. At least that's what my subconscious is telling me.