September 2005 Archives

so when is that closure thing?

i got the certified copy of my divorce paperwork today. it didn't make me feel closure, or better, or happy, or relieved, or anything. it just makes me sad because it makes me think about the choices my (ex-)wife has made and where our lives are now because of it. this is so far from anything i ever wanted or expected for my life or from her. but there isn't anything i can do about it. i have no choice but to try and move on, to try and create a new life on a new track. i wish it were easier.

last week i ordered one of the posters they put out for eternal sunshine of the spotless mind. it's the one with kate winslet and it says "would you erase me?" (poignant on so many levels.) i'll get it framed to go next to my bottle rocket poster.

rita swag


jamie and i may be disagreeing in the comments section of my "home again, home again" post, but we both agree on this: the media was over the top. here's a shirt design suggestion from her:

i survived [...] hurricane rita

so even if she doesn't understand why it's okay to compare these events to the boy crying wolf, she knows the media went overboard.

home again, home again


nothing to report. some small twigs and leaves blown out of trees. no looting. my power never even went out. to emphasize how little happened: i had two cheap, light, plastic lawn chairs on the deck in my back yard (that i left as "missles" just to spite "the man")...they weren't even knocked over. i'm sure there are more impressive stories to be told by those in far east Texas and west louisiana.

oh yeah, dave left so i'm officially no longer harboring any rita

going home


had a good night's sleep last night. i am about to check out of the hotel and head home. tv appears to have gone back to normal programming. i think for the most part they finally gave up on getting much excitement out of rita. i'm sure as they find areas where there was exceptional wind or water damage they'll play it up. as of last night, there was one known death from the weather itself, and that was a tornado in mississippi if i recall. i'm not going to say nothing at all happened, because it did, but considering the froth on the mouths of the reporters - especially here in houston - the fable of the boy crying wolf comes to mind. (i hear raj already made a similar comment on his blog...i haven't checked other sites yet.) i'm so glad i don't normally watch tv...i'm not sure i could mentally take it.

it's almost all over...

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i got about 1 1/2 hours of sleep, then got up to eat supper in the hotel. it was nice to have a warm meal that didn't consist of junk food. not that the food was that good. dave appeared to have not died in the hurricane, and in fact seemed nominal. i guess getting to hunker down in a $400/night room for free on some other company's bill agreed with him. i decided to spend my own time in the crowne plaza tonight since it was already paid for. i did have to pony up $10 for 24 hours of wireless access. you have to pay for wireless in a $400/night hotel! so i'm sitting here watching cable tv, drinking some coffee, and getting online. boy, this is exciting. i'll be going back to my house tomorrow after i check out of the hotel. hopefully no trees fell over and no idiots broke into my house. i'm not too worried, but you never know. in dumb news, i actually forgot my cell charger at my house, so even once i got back to the hotel i couldn't use my cell phone. oh well.

3:00pm and i'm officially tired

been up since 9am working to get all the systems back up at the data center. mostly done, but i'm tired. i'm going back to the hotel to take a nap. maybe i can get access to some of the videos we made last night. i guess i'll eventually get home someday. at least i'm not stuck with all the evacuees, waiting my turn to get back into town.

i've not talked to dave since...uh...yesterday afternoon. i wonder if he's enjoying his free stay in the hotel? my cell went dead yesterday evening because i didn't know i'd stay in the data center and i left my charger in the hotel room.

9:30am - more of the same

got about 5 hours of low quality sleep. thankfully, work provided an air matress or it would have been no quality sleep. meanwhile, i went outside and it was basically the same as last night...some wind, a bit of mist/rain now and then, occasionally a bit of a gust. nothing too bad. looks like it's going to be much worse for those that evacuated and are trying now to return than those of us who stayed.

i'm curious to see if anything happened at my house, but i'm still at the data center at work. i've still got power there because my answering machine is working. i sure could go for a nice hot breakfast with some meat and eggs. maybe tomorrow.

3:25am and all is boring

well, i must admit the winds picked up some. enough that it was almost worth it to be outside. but we eventually bored of amusing ourselves with fake news reports and retired back to safety inside. now i'm back in the data center and i guess i'm going to go to bed. i'm sure the news reporters will continue to tell dramatic stories about the horrible, crazy, scary, cataclysmic things that are happening all around me. i'll try my best to sleep through it.

just went outside the data center. the hurricane is still officially lame. i don't care what the stupid over-zealous news reporters say. if people have any sense (questionable), they'll realize this and when something really bad *does* eventually happen, no one will believe the news. they are absurd. yes, there's wind. yes, there's rain. yes, some places will have some wind damage, downed power lines, transformers blowing, etc. but this is nowhere near the disaster they predicted, nor the one they have continually tried to act like was going to happen, then maybe going to happen, then still might possibly happen, then they just gave up and started fabricating bogus stories that were laughable as the deployed reporters tried to act like the waves were crazy, the rain was horizontal, the wind was blowing them around, etc. it's completely pathetic.

in other news, we're about to go outside and record our own news story. i hope we make it back alive...

i'm tired of hearing the term "hunker down"

well, i'm in the data center at work now. i checked into the hotel around 1pm. my room is on the 9th floor, facing toward the northeast. we went outside about an hour ago on top of an 8-floor garage. not much wind, no rain yet. no excitement. saw on tv the quality humans who take advantage of situations to loot and break into things have started early. i hope some of them meet someone with a weapon and good aim. looks like new orleans may end up worse than houston. but we've got about 24 hours before we can see what actually occurred on the Texas coast.

chicken little told me the sky is falling!

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well, the media continues to try to work everyone up into a frenzy. *sigh* it's now supposed to be a cat 3, and the eye should hit near the texas/louisiana border. winds in houston shouldn't be over 65mph or so. i am going to be leaving my house and heading to either the hotel or the data center. i'm undecided at this point. should be a pleasant drive down a mostly open 59n. i kind of wanted to stay at my house just in case some windows broke or something so i could move stuff, but i guess i'll just come back later and see if anything happened.

hunter-gatherer failure


dave and i left the house so i could check in to the hotel (for work). the hotel was full and most hotel services were unavailable. lemaster (co-worker) showed up at the same time. we all decided to go searching for a place to eat. we drove around for about an success. although the roads were very light on traffic so getting around was very easy. the only things we found open: jingi (sp?), berryhill (no food left...just the bar, i guess), brasil (coffee house), baskin-robbins (?!), and a few convenience stores (all with no gas). closed: katz's ("never closes"), two house of pies, chaco's, ihops, chuy's, all grocery stores, etc. it's crazy that everything is already closed. this is going to make for a long weekend. oh well. i ended up coming back to the house and leaving dave at the hotel.

i didn't see any traffic backed up on or connected to 59s (610, beltway 8), but people are still evacuating and stuff's all backed up. i just heard on the tv that someone's grandmother died in their car on i-10 because the emergency personnel couldn't get to them or do anything. lots of people are stranded in cars without gas, and there is no gas in waller county, which most of the main evacuation routes go through.

it's still my opinion that we have created a culture of fear in our country, and this is a good example of an outcropping of it. people are still streaming out of all parts of houston, even areas where they really shouldn't have to, even if a cat 5 was in fact going to hit houston straight on (which it doesn't appear it is...but the media seems to try as hard as it can to keep everyone amped up and scared about how horrible things might be).

convenience has ended

dave finally showed up. turns out he'd been by earlier and figured i was at work so he didn't ring the doorbell.

we went out around noon to find a place to eat. most gas stations were out of gas and many were closed, plus most places to eat were closed and the few that were open almost all had really long lines. we saw 59s south of beltway8 was backed up...and it isn't even supposed to be an evacuation route. we ended up eating at a sandwich king, which was good and had a very short line, but they were low on food and actually closed before we left. they had a tv on, and it was showing how bad 59s was backed up. obviously the true evacuation routes are insanely backed up. jack and sue called from i-10 to say they'd jumped to the east-bound lanes after they saw a gas truck going west down it, and evidently a lot of people started jumping over to it. they've opened up all lanes on 45 and i10 to outbound traffic. i just heard on the tv they've decided they aren't going to do that with 290. so the folk on 290 are just screwed i guess. lots of people are running out of gas, cars overheating or breaking down, etc. people seem to be handling things pretty well so far, but i think the culture of fear and paranoia that the media creates isn't really helping the situation much.

i'll probably be going in to work at some point this evening. i'm not sure yet if i'll stay at the hotel or if i'll come back to my house.

dave is currently on my couch snoring...

nothing exciting so far


well, the radio show was last night. afterward, i met a few folk at a bw3 in midtown. they had already put plywood up and were closing at 10:45pm. came back to sw houston, no backed-up traffic on 59 where i was. i could see bw8 north was backed up at 59. around 2am dave from the radio show called me and said he'd broken down at 610 and i-10, and wanted to know if he could stay with me. i said that'd be cool, but he needed to get towed, then catch a cab. he called around 7:30am saying he'd gotten a cab, but i've still not seen him. i stayed up until around 5am trying to clean the place up some, but still no hurricane planning. the direction of rita has continued to shift toward the east, and evidently they now think it's going to be a cat 3 when it hits. the roads appear to be totally insane. jack and sue called from richmond around 8:30am. they'd been "evacuating" for about 5 hours. i got out of bed around 10am, and i called them at 10:30am and they were still in richmond. i used google maps to help them take some backroads toward i-10 since all i-10 lanes are going to be made westbound.

company lockdown


the company i work for is closing at 5pm today and won't officially reopen until 7am monday. i am designated essential personnel and have agreed to be available throughout the events, assuming i don't leave to go toward the coast so i can experience a hurricane in its full glory. so i'll be in or around houston or the gulf coast region the whole time.

i have not made any storm preparations -- no extra food, water, plywood, nothing. the only thing i'm planning on doing is making sure the gas tanks on my car and motorcycle are full. plus i have to go do the radio show tonight.

eye of the storm


so does anyone else want to go down to the coast with me to properly welcome hurricane rita to Texas? the projected path right now has its eye hitting matagorda bay...pretty much right where indianola used to be. (look up the history of indianola.) c'mon, you know you want to go with me!

the secret message for tamara


ah, the happy-go-lucky fun friday post...

earlier, i said i would put up a copy of the drawing/note i left (i.e., hid) in one of the xmas ornament boxes tamara came by and picked up. here it is:

View image

it might require a bit of explaining. you see, a few years ago i told tamara i'd been thinking about what i would do if i were in a car wreck and was dying...i'd want to make some kind of final statement. but being broken and dying, the only ability i'd have to write would be by using my own blood as ink. so, after thinking about it, i had decided what i'd write is that i loved her. a final note to let her know. she said it was one of the most romantic things anyone had ever said to her. (we sort of had an angelina jolie / billy bob thornton thing going on in some ways.) so that was my inspiration for this image. the text was somewhat spur of the moment, although i've thought for months about what kind of final statement(s) i'd like to make to tamara (given that this might as well be the equivalent of one of us dying). sometimes it was angry, sometimes sad, sometimes hopeful...but what's on that paper is what came out in the end.

so whether or not she appreciates it, or even sees it, it is now on public display for anyone who may stumble across it.

something lighthearted? on this blog?


as enjoyable as it is to always put sad, negative, and/or depressing things on here that prove to friends, family, and potential future dates that i'm not nearly mentally stable enough, i've decided to buck the trend and post something that i think is really nifty.

it's the retro phone handset courtesy of thinkgeek.

i really like old phones, and i think it'd be hilarious to walk around using one of these. especially with hands free so the cord is just dangling loose. and you thought the people with the wireless earpieces got looks like they were crazy? of course, back in the day i actually took an old handset and walked around on campus at a&m like i was talking to someone on it... okay, i'm not sure this is helping prove my mental stability. i guess maybe i'll just go back to the standard material...

remember that time i said i was perusing and ran across a photo in someone's profile where it looked like tamara was taking their picture in the mirror? well, i've gotten a negatory on it being tamara from several people. anyway, i include it here for informational purposes:

View image

i still think it looks a lot like tamara. or maybe what tamara looks like in my mind. i wonder who this person is?

and now re-use of material from an as-of-yet unsent email:

to be honest, i'm still in a fragile place as far as my life goes. sometimes i feel like i'm moving on, sometimes i feel like my life is going nowhere and i don't know how i can move on. much of my sense of self was tied to my role of being married, of being and having a companion, and that void is difficult for me to deal with at times. the most important role of my life is gone and i've got nothing good to show for it, just memories and things to be sold or thrown away. and the great unknown of a future that may lead me absolutely nowhere. i try to hope for a better future, but sometimes i just get overwhelmed by the loss i've experienced, by my failings, by life. i want to move on, but sometimes i'm so fixated on my loss, my failure, i can't see past it. i hope for a better future. i pray for happiness. i'm just not sure how or where it will come. i'm seeking focus, purpose, meaning, but it seems to be something transient, vaporous, that eludes my grasp even as i think i have taken hold of it, even in that very moment.

it seems like i need to find peace with myself before trying to find solace in others, but at the same time me focusing on myself is most likely not the best way to get past the stuff i am dealing with.

random religious animosity


i'm not sure what's gotten me on this kick the last couple of days, but i've been really getting internally annoyed thinking about the prosperity, "name it, claim it", health and wealth strand of xianity. i keep wanting to grab a white tshirt and write something on it along the lines of "jesus christ did not die on the cross so you could get lots of cash". i mean, i'm not going to claim that i've got a lock on xian theology by any stretch of the imagination, and there are plenty of areas where i think my actions fail to meet the things i think jesus taught (i do try to never be a hypocrite though). but how in the world can people come away from the new testament, from the actions of jesus toward the rich and the religiously pious of his day, with the idea that jesus wanted his followers to be wealthy and get anything they have the faith to ask for? how did that health and wealth thing work out for the apostles and the first century xians? it boggles my mind.

in other news, i bought a number of xian/religious books at a couple of half-price books stores this weekend. i was originally looking for some of the new books that have been coming out the last few years about/by gen-x'ers and the general dislike of organized religion, xianity in postmodernism, that sort of thing. i only found a couple, but i wound up buying a bunch of other stuff from the "religion" section. i'll list 'em all in the extended entry.

i also bought some dvds this weekend. i think i'm going to make a page of all the dvds i own, which isn't all that many. at least not compared to a number of my friends, or my collection of cds (which i've been collecting since 1990 or so). i'll put that together some other time. then everyone can see what incredible taste in movies i have. ;)

results of nerd/geek/dork test

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Outcast Genius

69% Nerd, 56% Geek, 60% Dork

For The Record:
A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in all three, earning you the title of: Outcast Genius.

Outcast geniuses usually are bright enough to understand what society wants of them, and they just don't care! They are highly intelligent and passionate about the things they know are *truly* important in the world. Typically, this does not include sports, cars or make-up, but it can on occassion (and if it does then they know more than all of their friends combined in that subject).

Outcast geniuses can be very lonely, due to their being outcast from most normal groups and too smart for the room among many other types of dorks and geeks, but they can also be the types to eventually rule the world, ala Bill Gates, the prototypical Outcast Genius.

Link: The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test

it ain't easy being cheesy

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you know, it probably isn't good that i feel like my life is on pause constantly these days. like i'm just sitting around waiting for something to make me change. i guess i'm not much of a self-starter. i think it'd be cool if tamara came to her senses and wanted to try to have a relationship like we should have, but there's obviously no point in me waiting on that or thinking it might happen. i need to do something that restarts my life. a big piece of my identity was as a husband, and now i've got a big hole where a good chunk of my life used to be. what i'd really like to do is be able to resume my role as a husband, and hopefully add a role as a father. although sometimes i think maybe i'm not very good at the former, and wouldn't be very good at the latter either. i don't want to be desperate and do something stupid though. but it sure sucks having someone you love, someone you trusted -- even if things weren't always good -- decide to give up on you and cheat on you and walk away. i miss that companionship, that intimacy, the joy of shared memories and secrets.



check out this shirt

the structure that is modern society

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watching the events unravel in new orleans should really push home to people how close society -- no matter how sophisticated, genteel, refined, complex, proud, humane, whatever -- is to the edge of complete chaotic disintegration. i think it is important to really comprehend how easy it would be for the world around you -- all the things you take for granted and assume will always be there -- to come crashing down, and for you to find yourself in a world you don't recognize. a world where you survive on wits, brute force, negotiating skills, and/or luck.

it took two to three days in new orleans.


i'm about 50/50 on remembering to take the zocor i was prescribed for my cholesterol levels, but i guess it's working okay. i went to the doctor recently and had another blood draw. my current numbers: "bad" (LDL or "low density lipids"): 119 (was 150), "good" (HDL or "high density lipids"): 42 (was 39), grand total on the toteboard of cholesterol luv: 185 (was 216). so they gave me a three month prescription for more zocor and made an appointment for three months from now.

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