June 2008 Archives

the hot russian chick from work had made so many references to firefly which were immediately followed by me looking at her quizzically and saying "i've never seen any of the episodes", a month or two ago she finally shoved the dvd boxset into my hands and told me i had no choice but to watch them. which i dutifully did. (she's russian, after all.) i can no longer say i'm firefly-ignorant. what did i think? well, i'm not falling all over myself fawning about the show like some people, but it was pretty good. i guess maybe i'll have to watch serenity again sometime, since i now have the back story for it.

sometimes being a biker can be tough. for example, last weekend i decided i needed to get a few things from office depot. like large plastic containers. it was a nice day, and i figured i could carry everything on my bike. plus it's only a few blocks. large plastic containers don't always nestle into each other very well. and they didn't have any large plastic bags that could hold them all. i ended up with them on the tank between/on my legs, while i used my chin to compress it all together and keep it from falling to the side. my arms also had to kind of reach around everything to get to the handlebars. but i took mostly back roads and made it home without any disasters.

wednesday night, on the other hand, i was in precarious situations both going to and coming home from the radio show -- neither of which were my fault. on the way to the show i was driving down westheimer toward montrose. now, westheimer has pretty narrow lanes, so that makes it a little dangerous in general. but in this instance, i was in the outside lane in one of the tight doglegs when a shiny new silver corvette who was being stopped behind traffic on the inside lane decided a corvette just shouldn't have to sit. the grey-haired, probably mid-50's, upper-management-class driver popped his tires to the right and burned rubber to jump into the outside lane...where i was about to be. i slammed on my brakes and my back started sliding to the left. fortunately he had gunned it so he moved out of the space i was moving into as i slid. i gave him a friendly gesture as he took off. i don't think he even knew what he did to me. then he had to stop at the light at montrose. he whipped lanes and pulled up next to a somewhat older yellow corvette that was at the light, which i pulled up behind (glaring at him the whole time). he started waving something in a baggie toward the other corvette until the guy rolled down his window. i guess his need to jump into my lane was so he could offer his fellow corvette enthusiast a sticker for his window. the light turned green, they were still talking, so i revved my engine and the yellow corvette started moving. the silver guy took off slowly, then he gunned it and took both lanes in the dogleg by katz's. then he slowed down again and waited for the yellow corvette to get up beside him again. classy guy.

on the way home, the danger wasn't as immediate, but still could have been bad. being a biker, there are certain places you drive often where you know people do stupid things. either because the road/signage/whatever is weird, or because people want to naturally do things there that don't match the road rules at that point. the alabama/shepherd and alabama/greenbriar intersections are two of them. at alabama/shepherd, coming from montrose there is no left turn. what had been a left turn lane now goes straight through the intersection, along with the outside lane. in the opposite direction, there is one straight lane and one left turn lane. first, a person making a left may think you are in a left turn lane if you are on the inside. second, the road shifts a little to the right in the intersection, so a lot of people in the outside lane going straight assume the inside lane is turning left, or they go straight and end up splitting both lanes and choose to take the inside lane thus blocking you off or pushing you into oncoming traffic. but that's not where my problem was. the alabama/greenbriar intersection from shepherd has two lanes going straight, a left turn lane, and one lane heading toward shepherd. the other side has a left turn lane, one forward lane, and two opposing lanes. people going toward shepherd love to move over into the left turn lane right after the intersection, or sometimes before it. as i was coming up to the intersection, a big suv was coming down the left turn lane with their left turn signal on. but they didn't turn left. they came straight through the intersection into the left turn lane i was in. they saw me and had enough time to jump over in front of the car that was beside them (and in the single proper lane), but i would have gone to the right anyway because i was halfway expecting it. still, it's not fun to think about a head-on collision at 35 or 40 mph when you're on a motorcycle. (even with a helmet. which i wasn't wearing.)

i'll cap the biker stories off with another one that is my fault. thursday night i decided to go the grocery store and buy some soy milk. just one 0.5 gallon of soy milk...the bike is a fine choice for such a lovely evening. but of course i didn't just get the soy milk. i was aware i was on the bike, but i picked up a 6-pack of juice drinks and a pre-made salad. this all required two bags. which didn't fit on my tank very well. and immediately began sliding to either side as soon as i started going. each object almost fell out of the bags at multiple points. and my driving was about as good as if i'd been rather intoxicated. using the clutch was difficult. most of the way i drove with one hand. good thing it's only a few blocks! i got home and hit the driveway, and the soy milk immediately fell to the ground. i pitched the other stuff to the grass and parked my bike. no food losses. no bike losses. no body losses.

during my container buying excursion last weekend, i also was excited to see a new product -- sharpie pens. i love sharpies, but they have a tendency to bleed through paper. so i was excited to see pen models, guaranteed to not bleed through (most) paper. i got them home and tried them out. sigh. they're okay, but the ink color is much lighter, and the lines are pretty thin. maybe i set my standards too high.

this saturday i got up late and eventually left the house and ate at goode company bbq. i then dropped by yankee candle to use a coupon i had. i picked up a sicilian orange (large jar) and a fudge ripple (medium jar).

speaking of yankee candles, i finally had my first real "disappointscent". (i just made that word up. i'm so clever!) it was juicy watermelon. it smells pretty good unlit, but when you're burning it the only thing i can really think of is that fake watermelon scent of stuff like jolly ranchers. which is okay if that's what you want, but i was expecting more of a legitimate scent. oh well, i've only got about 135 more hours of it left. ; )

(as an aside, today at lunch we saw a biker guy on a chopper pulling into a parking lot in rice village. a coworker said "ooh, i bet he's going to bath and body works. to get some nice scented soaps. or candles or something." while the coworker who went to yankee candle with me laughed, i said "hey! there's nothing wrong with a masculine biker liking scented candles!")

this weekend i went back to office depot and picked up some more containers and some other stuff. after the disappointment with the sharpie pens, i felt the need to vindicate my pen purchasing needs. so i bought an 8-pack of liquid expresso pens. and i bought a 4-pack of staedtler permanent pens. (they're about like permanent sharpies, and bleed through paper about as much. still, they're nice.) i also went for the gusto and picked up a somewhat expensive cross fountain pen, along with various writing supplies (silver foil lined envelopes, brochure jackets, white antique laid paper). it seems like having nice presentation for ye olde hand-written letters is a Good Thing [tm]. now if i ever get around to writing any, i can do it in style. i'm still toying with the fountain pen. it's a different feel than most ballpoints and felt/porous tips...very smooth, and bleeds a lot. it's been a long time since i used fountain style pens.

saturday early evening i dropped by taurian and ordered 0.5 inch 6 gauge captive hoops. it's a ritual, you know. hopefully they'll be ready in the next week or two. i was somewhat confused as i rode down westheimer, as there were cops blocking off most of the side streets and a lot of people milling about. i figured maybe i just missed a parade. not quite. i was early for a parade. the gay pride parade. by the time i was leaving taurian there were more people standing and sitting along the street. i didn't hang around.

saturday night jack and sue came by after a shot to hang out. except sue was groggy and walked into the house, straight to the couch, plopped down, and fell asleep. jack was coherent, but within about 15 minutes of sitting down to talk with me, he was falling asleep as well. jack thought he needed caffeine instead of driving home, so we left sue on the couch and headed to the house of pies. it was packed, i'm guessing from the gay contingent who had just gotten their pride on at the parade. we regrouped and headed to the teahouse. i had a pina colada smoothie with tapioca, jack had something with caffeine. but it wasn't enough. we got back to my house and he asked if he could take a nap. he went to my bed, and i woke sue up to tell her she could sleep on the bed if she wished. she got up and went back. three hours later, they woke up and headed home.

on sunday i ate a late lunch at einstein bagels, then i headed over to target. i bought a few more plastic containers (i'm trying to organize and go through a bunch of stuff i still have in cardboard boxes, you see), along with a silver metallic ink pad (could always come in handy), one of those punches you use to round corners on paper (i'll explain this purchase some other time), and a wooden "treasure chest" box made in india. which was very explicit about the fact that it's "NOT FOR FOOD" and for decorative purposes only. (i know using it as a food container was the first thing i thought of...or maybe not.) my treasure chest is currently going to be holding a bunch of remotes. maybe one day it can hold other things as well, like fruit, or cheese danish, or jello. but for now, the remotes pretty much fill it up.

here's another bit of soul-baring i did back in the past, but never got around to posting for one reason or another. looking back, i actually posted an entry on the same day a little before the timestamp on this one. i'm betting i split the entry and held back this part. why? i don't recall. maybe i didn't want to post something sad or something. maybe i didn't want to be quite so honest about my doubts and loneliness.

whatever the case, here it is, two years later (plus a couple of days). if you don't feel like reading about my woes and troubles, sadness, doubt, pessimism, and that sort of rot, skip along to some other post of mine.

earlier today i got an interesting email. here it is in its entirety:

--------------------
Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 15:14:31 +0100
From: c.moore7 Gazeta.pl <c.moore7@gazeta.pl>
Subject: SOMEONE YOU CALL YOUR FRIEND, WANTS YOU DEAD.

 I felt very sorry and bad for you, that your life is going to end like this if you don't comply, i was paid to eliminate you and I have to do it  within10 days.  Someone you call your friend wants you dead by all means, and the person havespent a lot of money on this, the person also came to us and told us that he wants you dead and he provided us your names, photograph and other necessaryinformation we needed about you.

 Meanwhile, I have sent my boys to track you down and they have carried out thenecessary investigation needed for the operation, but I ordered them to stopfor a while and not to strike immediately because I just felt something goodand sympathetic about you. I decided to contact you first and know why somebodywill want you dead by all means. Right now my men are monitoring you, their eyesare on you, and even the place you think is safer for you to hide might not be. Now do you want to LIVE OR DIE? It is up to you. Get back to me now if you areready to enter deal with me, I mean life trade, who knows, and I might justspear your life, $12,000 is all you need to spend.

You will first of all pay $2,500 uder 48hrs then  you wilI pay another  $2000 after that i will send the tape of the person that want you dead to you and when the tape gets to you, you will pay the remaining $8,000. If you are not ready for my help, then I will have no choice but to carry on the assignment after all I have already being paid before now. Warning: Do not think of contacting the police or even tell anyone because Iwill extend it to any member of your family since you are aware that somebodywant you dead, and the person knows some members of your family as well. For your own good I will advise you not to go out once is 7pm until I make out time to see you and give you the tape of my discussion with the person who wantyou dead then you can use it to take any legal action.

Good luck as I await your reply to this e-mail contact:
charlesmoore6@live.fr

 
CHARLES
--------------------


interesting, eh? somewhat chilling, even though the bad spelling, request for money, and clandestine nature of the thing (not to mention the math... $2500 + $2000 + $8000 ≠ $12000) make it scream poorly executed nigerian internet scam. so i did a quick search on the subject line on google just to see if others had noted this round of scam email.

and, of course, they had. unfortunately, it turns out they first started seeing them in late may -- which means i didn't get one for almost a whole month from the time they started being sent. it makes me feel like a net loser. *sniff* *wipes tear from eye* in fact, some others had replied to them and gotten responses about sending money via western union and such. i figured my online pride was at stake at this point, so i decided to sit down and write a reply.

NOTE: those of you who are offended by foul language and unnecessary vulgarities, as well as bad grammar, poor spelling, and general nonsense (such as all caps), may want to stop here. you have been warned...

man, who cares what friday (yesterday) was. i just read they are coming out with a criterion edition of bottle rocket!!! in october! finally!!! it'll be available in both dvd and blu-ray editions. it's set to include the original short, 30 minutes of outtakes, commentary tracks, mini-docs, etc.


dignan: here are just a few of the key ingredients: dynamite, pole-vaulting, laughing gas, choppers. can you see how incredible this is going to be...handgliding...come on!
[...]
anthony: and he just got so excited about the thing, i didn’t have the heart to tell him “no”…that uh…look how excited he is.

today would have been my 10th wedding anniversary. what better way to note its passing than a description of our wedding written by my ex-wife, years ago, for a german class she was taking in college...

-------------------------

aufsatz #2, theme #2

i don't know that one single day is the most important of my life. my wedding day is a contender/possibility.

many girls dream of/imagine their weddings from childhood, but i did not. i wanted to marry, but my thoughts on the actual wedding were vague. when my (now) husband and i set a date, i needed to think quickly. who knew weddings were such difficult work? (probably all of those girls who thought about them from childhood!)

we married on june 20, 1998 in perryville, maryland. my husband is from Texas, but i am from delaware, northeastern maryland, and southeastern pennsylvania. my friends have less money than his friends, so we married in maryland so mine would not have to fly. the reception was first. the wedding happened at a historic revolutionary war tavern. music played; guests talked and laughed. we ate mexican food and drank blue cream soda, dr. pepper, and big red. after sunset, we performed the ceremony. the bridal attendants carried candles on candle-lined paths to a gazebo on the susquehanna river. they wore black dresses and suits. my husband wore all black -- pants, jacket, shirt, tie. i wore a simple white gown with black trim and a wreath of black roses on my head. my veil and train had little roses sewn to them. on my feet, i wore my black combat boots! after all, i needed to be comfortable and be myself. the ceremony was simple but meaningful.

afterwards, my husband and i drank wine from the same glass and then broke it (a jewish custom). the guests ate cake -- chocolate wedding cake and a Texas-shaped groom's cake. we smoked cigars and burned sparklers. everyone signed our wedding covenant (another jewish custom).

my wedding was not important because it was a party. it was important because it started my new life. the agreement i made at my wedding was very, very serious. my world is different now. perhaps my wedding day may have been the most important day of my life.

-------------------------

so there you go. i found that awhile back in some of (the massive amount of) her stuff she left behind for me to deal with for her, and saved it for this occasion.

last night i went to crescent city and read some from a hank williams biography i own. i just happened to run across this excerpt from a letter fred rose wrote to hank in 1948, after audrey decided to divorce hank, and hank wasn't living so well:

remember that women are revengeful and do all in their power to wreck a man when they separate from him and the only way to win is for the man to become successful instead.

ha ha. ha. as mike knott sang on strip cycle: "am i winnin' something?"

well, saturday morning last week i left houston for brady. i took a few days off of work, so i was out through thursday. i decided to take my motorcycle since $60 in gas roundtrip is much better than $300. the reason i went back is because we were having a family reunion on sunday. the ride both there and back was pretty uneventful. i got slightly sprinkled on for a minute or two going both ways, but mostly it was sunny and hot.

sunday i got up and went with my parents to mason. the reunion was in a library. we were the host family, so we had to get there early to help set up and such. my dad had taken a bunch of paper doilies and written important dates and events in the leifeste line up to my grandfather's generation. this reunion is just the leifeste branch from my great-grandfather. about 55 people showed up.

after the reunion, i went with my parents down to one of our places and "helped" my dad round up four cattle he had there so he could take them to auction. he was doing this because the water pump had gone out and they were about to run out of water. mostly i sat in the pickup and my dad did everything.

monday i got up around 8am and went with my dad down to our two places and did some work. being a computer guy and office worker, i don't do much physical labor. especially outdoors. the first thing i did was get within one to two feet of stepping on a three or four foot rattlesnake. fortunately, i didn't tread on it. it had 10 rattles and a button. that would have been real fun. after that excitement, i then went about helping troubleshoot and attempting to fix the water pump (appeared to be the pressure switch, not the pump itself). we repaired a metal swing that one of the arms had broken on. and we cut down some big limbs from a mulberry tree. this was doubly exciting, as i both got hit in the hand by a rather large falling limb and i got to wield a gas chainsaw while standing precariously on a 10 foot stepladder and cutting a limb above me.

for lunch we drove back into mason and ate at northside cafe. i've mentioned this place before, but once again -- any place that has neither coke nor pepsi on tap, but rc cola, cane sugar dr. pepper, and big red has got to be doing something right. their burgers are really good too. while there, a trio of what appeared to be rich-ish older white women who were "going (hill) country" for the day showed up. it was kind of funny to compare their look, demeanor, etc. to the rest of the mostly "normal" folk. even funnier, a few hours later we were driving back through mason and saw a couple of people carrying an antique couch across the street to a big white trailer on the back of a pickup. it was two of them. i'm sure they were delighted by their finds in the quaint, sleepy little hill country town. anyway, after lunch we picked up a few things in town, including a few panes of glass for windows.

we headed to art and commenced to trying to figure out how to fix and piece together some of the windows. we only got some of the work accomplished. we then headed back to work on the water pump again, but we'd forgotten the sealer so we gave up and headed home. once there, i ate supper with my parents and then spent some time with my grandmother.

tuesday i slept in (finally!), ate lunch with my parents, talked with my grandmother some more, then headed back to houston. i used wednesday as a day to recuperate from my vacation, as well as the ~6 hour each way motorcycle ride.

friday i got to go into work late. i spent most of the day at home.

this weekend i didn't do much, other than spending a fair bit of time working with/for jack on the bohemian photography domain. i moved some stuff around, changed his email to run off of google apps, installed some blogging software a few times, did some troubleshooting on his linux server, etc.

on sunday i went by yankee candle again, but unfortunately a lot of the scents that were there the first day of the sale were gone. the only thing i got for myself was a medium sized root beer float candle. (which i left in the car a few hours and it got bubbly and melted weird. i was worried i had messed up the oils/scent in it, but i think it may be okay.) i bought a couple to give to jack for father's day, and i bought one for sue so she'd forgive me for my previous discretion. i spent most of sunday with the potts. i ate lunch with them, helped jack do some more domain and google apps stuff, then we all went down to clear lake to the yankee candle store down there. i'd heard they had a wider selection. unfortunately, although they had scents i hadn't seen at the other store, they really had nothing that excited me.

our trip down there did give the co-worker i went with previously a chance to turn the accusatory tables on sue. gee, i'm being fought over as a candle store shopping friend. i feel so special!


[mike calls back; the machine picks up again]
mike: 213-555-4679. that's it. i just wanna leave my number. i didn't want you to think i was weird or desperate, or... we should just hang out and see where it goes because it's nice and, you know, no expectations. ok? thanks a lot. bye-bye.
[mike hangs up. he walks away from the phone... then walks back and calls again; once again, the machine picks up]

(excerpt from one of the most painful movie sequences to watch, from swingers)

candleopera

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friday last week in the evening i headed over to notsuoh to catch atarimatt. i'd been wanting to see him perform for a long time, and it didn't disappoint. punk rock music made with two atari 2600's hooked up to two tvs that display a different pattern for each musical sound is pretty slick. unfortunately, he had already sold all of his cds and didn't currently have plans to make any more. i did pick up the i was a teenage metalhead split ep he did with great unwashed luminaries, who also played that night. as did wood & felt, and good night light & the red balloon. djing before, and then inbetween bands, was ryan supak. while i was in the area, i ate at frank's pizza. downtown seemed really dead for a friday night. but then i haven't been down there in a long time...maybe neither have a bunch of other people.

last saturday evening i headed over to a co-worker's place for a party. he had rented a margarita machine, so myself and another co-worker felt like it was our obligation to at least drink enough to get it to where you could see an air gap at the top of the window in the front. those things have a big reservoir. we failed. but it was a valiant effort on our part. afterward, i was cajoled into playing rock band. i played drums, then bass, then bass and singing, then bass, then drums again. it was fun, but i have a stand-offish, can't-enjoy-myself, image to protect, so that was a temporary lapse. i was the last to leave, because i have a tendency to overstay my welcome and then feel stupid later, but as we were standing outside talking there was a cracking sound or two, then a tree fell over beside us. that was weird. evidently it'd already leaned over onto a car earlier in the evening. (probably about a 4-inch trunk, so don't imagine a huge oak or something.)

sunday i went to a carter country, but managed to avoid purchasing a pistol. i got pretty close though. i'm not sure how much longer i can hold out. i then went to ikea, where i almost purchased some candles. my will that day was strong though, as i maintained control.

wednesday night i signed up for both plurk and twitter. but i'm trying to not get sucked into either one of those. i was just protecting my name. at least that's what i'm telling myself. so far, it's working.

thursday during lunch a co-worker and i ate in rice village and then headed to the yankee candle store. they were having a semi-annual clearance, and thursday was the first day of it, so i wanted to make sure i got a good selection. in the past, almost every time i've gone to the yankee candle store i've gone with...we'll say "sue" (to protect their identity). and i was the one that made a yankee candle believer out of this person. but this time i went with the co-worker. so i wanted to be nice and let my friend know there were some good candles on clearance. this was the text exchange:

me: Juicy peach, beach stuff, lots of good stuff on sale.
her: U went without me. . . Nice. Real nice. Who did u cheat on me with? U know what, I don't want to know. U make me sick.
me: Hey baby, it's not like that, i thought we had an open flame...
her: Save it - maybe your Yankee whore wants to hear your lame ass excuses, but not me. I may never be able to look at a Yankee candle again. Thanks for ruining them for me. I thought u were different than the other guys. . .
me: I was weak. I'm sorry. But...would you maybe consider a three-wick? There are enough scents to go around. I'm still the same candle lover.
her: I can't even believe you would suggest a three-wick. What kind of girl do u think I am? And do u really think you're man enough?
me: I didn't want to say anything, but the same scents were getting old. Surely you've thought about trying new scents too. At least i'm man enough to admit it. I can't hide it under a bushel!
her: How dare u - Terry you ignorant slut
me: Well, one of us has lots of new candles to enjoy. I understand why you'd be jealous. Green isn't your color though.
her: I'll try to forgive u for your indiscretion

a couple of hours later i got a text message from her husband...

him: I'm cool with 3 wicks

anyway. i did go a little crazy. but at $12.50 per large candle, it's more than half off the regular price. here's what i got for myself:

medium candles:

  • peppermint swirls (cranberry peppermint and jack frost)
  • very berry (sweet strawberry and buttercream)
  • caramel apple (macintosh and vanilla caramel)

large candles:

  • sweet strawberry
  • honeydew melon
  • juicy watermelon
  • sparkling lemon
  • berry tangerine

there were others i wanted, but i managed to restrain myself a bit. we'll see if i can keep from going back. at this point, i've already got enough candles to last me for probably a couple of years. i think maybe i have a bit of a problem. i love candles. and i'm not just looking around the room to say that. i love candles.

last night was the geek gathering. the hot russian chick from work and her daughter (whom she'd brought to work friday) joined me in going to tropioca. although before that i had to join them on a hunt for the new tiger snake webkinz. it was a successful mission, thankfully. i had the possibility of seeing sara at the geek gathering, who currently lives on the west coast somewhere but was in town for some job fairs for local schools, but it didn't work out. i was also possibly going to hang out with sue, but that didn't work out either. but it was still a good evening and night. the turnout at the geek gathering was pretty good, which is always nice.

"there's no earthly way of knowing
which direction we are going..."
--willy wonka, willy wonka and the chocolate factory

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