November 2009 Archives

maybe next week...


well, this week pretty much blew. between monday through wednesday not one single thing i thought was going to happen actually happened. the mechanic didn't get the part i'd ordered until wednesday, so the car wasn't ready. which meant my choices for going home for the holidays were my motorcycle (cold, long road trip) or my pickup (horrible gas mileage, carbon monoxide for hours in the cabin due to my exhaust manifold leaks). so i didn't go home. i've got a separate entry written about one of the other things, so without going into too much detail, i've been waiting on tamara (my ex) for over a month to take care of a financial issue at a bank. all she has to do is sign a paper. she claimed she'd have time this week. end of friday and not a peep. hell, even two online orders i'd placed earlier got messed up. with one, they only had two of the seven things i ordered, so they refunded me. the second, after a week they got in touch with me to tell me both items are back-ordered and it'll be early to mid december before i get them.

so...crappy week, staying in houston for the holidays. what could make it worse? the only friends i regularly hang out with, the potts, went on a road trip and are gone the whole time. so before the radio show i went by a liquor store and bought some friends to keep me company: an italian, an islander, a mexican, a pol, and a russian. at the show i was whining about my situation, and jay graciously offered to let me eat thanksgiving with him and cynthia. but i didn't crave feeling like a charity case, so i thanked him and declined. i figured i'd spend the several holiday days alone, drinking and cleaning my house (not sure how well those go together, but i must say my bathroom is probably the cleanest it's been since i moved in).

my thanksgiving meal i ate at house of pies. a turkey, bacon, and swiss melt. i came home and drank and distracted myself by watching the aggies lose to t.u. (although they did much better than i had figured they would.)

since i didn't go home, i thought perhaps the mechanic could get me my car friday or saturday, since he'd said it'd be ready friday on wednesday but i told him i was going out of town. i called him friday and he said he was leaving friday evening and he wouldn't be able to finish it. so no consolation prize for staying here. in addition, tamara didn't suddenly become responsible on friday either. (i texted sue about it saturday afternoon, so she texted tamara and tamara said she was planning on doing it monday. *fingers crossed*) friday night i drank and watched several "sons of anarchy" episodes. i'm now into the middle of the current (2nd) season. i didn't go out to any black friday sales.

about the only good thing that happened is i got a cd i'd bought on ebay and it is in good shape. it's ryko's long out of print devo hardcore vol 2. i'm almost done with all the devo merch i want (and can realistically own for a decent price).

saturday i broke down as far as shopping and went to microcenter and bought a new external drive (to use as a new time capsule) and a new powered 4-port usb hub. i wanted a 7-port, but they're all abnormally more expensive than the 4-port ones. my plan was to get the new external up and running as a time capsule device, then pull the hard drive out of my old external drive (which had been my time capsule) and put it inside my g5 power mac. i've got the usb hub installed, and started trying to get the new backups going...haven't gotten that working quite right yet. i still haven't swapped out the internal hard drive either, but i did get the 320g drive pulled out of its enclosure and it should work in my powermac. at least buying the two things got me to rewire the whole area around my desk, so things are a little more organized and streamlined.

after doing all of the computer work and cable wrangling, i settled down with my alcohol and watched a few more episodes of the second season of "sons of anarchy". i had thought about going to the illuminated art car parade, but i didn't feel like going out all by myself. which is one of the main reasons i don't go out much at all these days. sometimes it's hard to want to go to places where people go as families or groups when you're all by yourself.

today my brother came down and joined me in using the two free tickets i got from work for the texans-colts game. the texans started off pretty great, and i was surprised by how good they looked against the colts. but then the second half the offense fell apart and the defense couldn't as consistently stop the colts like they did in the first half. after the game, on the way back home, we stopped by the half price books in rice village. i got a few cds and one book:

  • bjork - volta (atlantic / warner)
  • she wants revenge - this is forever (flawless / geffen)
  • tom tom club - tom tom club (sire)
  • zz top - tejas (warner)

and the hardcover book:

  • dostoevsky - the best short stories (the modern library)

this evening i finished out the weekend consistently -- drinking and watching "sons of anarchy" episodes.

strike two

day two of the week. no call about my car, no call about the other things. no developments on pretty much anything. after work i went to the rice campus for part of an unofficial after-work get-together. other than the person from work who volunteers as a bartender there, i was the only non-management to show up. (and only two of them showed up.) regardless, i drank. i got a bottle of oak aged arrogant bastard ale (i.e., i kept the empty) because stone brewery was there representing their wares. but other than that, i've got nothing. i hope this week finishes stronger than it's started. i was planning on it being a good week.

we (still) like the cars, the cars that go boom

well, today is the one year anniversary of my belair engine blowing up. it's also the two year anniversary of my getting the car. funny how those fell on the same date. so i was hoping today would also be the day my mechanic called and said i could pick up my car. but, alas, it was not to be. far none of the good things i'd been hoping for have happened yet. but it's just one day of a few possible days. however, i did get an unexpected surprise last night which was not on my list. of course, i'm still not sure if it's something i should be happy or excited about or not. complexity can be good, or bad, or both. perhaps we shall see as events unfold (or don't).

what i'd really prefer (if i'm getting to choose) is that i could get in a situation where someone is attracted to me, and i am likewise attracted to them, and we both are interested in developing a deepening relationship together. no messy complexity, no messy drama, no being run through a meat grinder on an emotion roller coaster. it seems like something is always screwed up with situations for me on the rare occasions when when they come around. that's life though. or at least, that's mine.

today i ate lunch at riva's with the potts. after that, i dropped by half price books and then yankee candle. three of my typical lower-cost vices were purchased: books, music, and candles. here's the haul:

  • a confederacy of dunces - john kennedy toole (wing books)
  • cyberpunk: outlaws and hackers on the computer frontier - hafner and markoff (simon & schuster)
  • garfield minus garfield - davis/walsh (ballantine)
  • persepolis 2 - marjane satrapi (pantheon)

i bought confederacy because it was a hardcover version of the book with a cover design i like (unlike the current hardcover versions i see around). it's a 23rd edition of this version though, so don't get too excited. i bought cyberpunk because it was a first edition hardcover. not because it's a well-written, accurate book. :) it is kind of a classic of the genre though. i'm pretty sure i have a softcover around here somewhere. and finally, the garfield book is just brilliant. remove garfield and most everything except jon arbukle from the strips...suddenly jon is sad, lonely, and schizophrenic. it's true! and having been a single working man for most of my adult life, i completely understand. this book version is nice because it gives you a smaller version of the original so you can compare them. and last but not least, persepolis 2. i bought the first one a few years ago when i was perusing comic shops for interesting new things. that phase waned, so i never knew there was a second one. a couple of years later they made a movie version of it. i went to see it and quickly realized i hadn't heard a lot of the story. that's when i learned there was a second book. well, i finally picked it up. it's the story of the author, growing up an iranian woman in both iran and europe, dealing with the iranian government and religious fervor and life. the movie is animated, and they did an amazing job of making it look like the artwork in the comics. check it out, it's beautiful and interesting.

  • aphex twin - classics (pias america)
  • aphex twin - come to daddy (warp / sire / warner)
  • joy electric - hello, mannequin (tooth & nail)
  • miss kittin - i com (nobody's bizzness / labels / astralwerks)
  • moby - 18 (v2 / bmg)
  • tito & tarantula - hungry sally & other killer lullabies (cockroach)
  • wilco - yankee hotel foxtrot (nonesuch / warner)

i was kind of surprised to find all of those, except the moby and wilco cds.

in the cd category, but not music, on a lark i picked up a 2 cd set on russian. it's some low-quality thing i'm sure, but it should at least give me some exposure. it even has pdf manuals you can print out. it's actually not completely a lark though, because over the weekend i was looking at russian culture here in houston and contemplated signing up for a beginner course in russian they offer. i've also recently made a couple of trips to two of the russian stores that are around the meyerland area. having spent a lot of time with the hrc for a couple of years, along with reading work by classic russian authors, i've become more fascinated with russia and russian culture. even though the hrc didn't seem all that interested in her own cultural background, i thought it was cool. so i figure if she's not going to be around, maybe i should find some way to get into the russian culture that exists here in houston.

and finally we get to the yankee candles. i had a "buy two, get two free" coupon, so here's what i purchased (all large jars):

  • buttercream
  • mandarin cranberry
  • peppermint swirls
  • tropical fruit

now for the drama. saturday afternoon/evening a co-worker had an informal dinner party at his house and asked some fellow workers over. it was a fairly small gathering, and pretty low key. but there was drinking involved, mostly beer and frozen margaritas. one of my co-workers got competitive about his drinking, and went a bit far and threw up a few times (in the sink) right after i made him a nice margarita shot (double) with patron silver, grand marnier, and fresh-squeezed lime juice. (he'd been drinking blackberry merlot arbor mist before that...about 3 bottles.) well, just a bit later he said something jokingly to the hostess about her husband's activities after work, then she got her purse and left. the host had just drank some patron, so he was mellow. the loose-tongued co-worker freaked out and wanted his car keys so he could go find the hostess. the hostess played it all up and claimed she'd driven into a ditch when they called her cell, and i must admit i sort of fanned the flames some as i tried to keep everything nominal. it was all pretty funny. (though perhaps not to the host and my vomiting co-worker.) once back, the hostess claimed it was my doing for egging the co-worker to drink more, so she made me do a couple of shots. which i did. i like my co-workers that were at the party.

i'm looking forward to this week. if things work out as i'm hoping, i've got at least 3 or 4 good things that should be happening...

i bombed my house


yesterday on the way home from work i hit 3k on the harley.

i think i forgot to mention that a few times i tried to watch the matrix blu-ray. every time it started, it had that bonus audio/video pop-up content going. i went through every option i could think of to turn it off, even though the menu system said it was off. i even upgraded the firmware on the blu-ray player. finally out of exasperation i googled it, and it turns out people have had the same problem with various disks on samsung blu-ray players. the "trick" is to go into the menu and turn it on (even though it is already on but listed as off) then go and turn it off. this will actually turn it off. once i got that annoying problem fixed, i watched the movie. it's still really good.

a few days ago i was feeling rather crappy, because i sort of came to the realization that almost all of the few significant relationships in my life have been based on lies/falsehood. (where i was the oblivious one.) is this normal? it doesn't seem like it should be, but maybe that's just how things are. it'd be nice to have a relationship where the other person isn't hiding secrets, telling you mis-truths, and/or misleading you. no wonder i was so happy believing i wasn't going to have to deal with all of this dating crap again. i mean, i do understand that most relationships end, and endings usually aren't happy...but, really?

today i took a half day from work and took lenin to the vet. she'd gotten fleas some months ago, and they'd been getting continually worse. i tried some over-the-counter topical stuff and i think it just made the fleas mad. and horny. so this morning i went by petsmart and picked up a 3-pack of bombs, then set them all off in the house and took lenin to the vet. they gave her a pill that will supposedly kill all the fleas on her or that bite her, plus i bought some topical from the vet. and they gave her the normal vaccinations, since she hadn't been to a vet in a few years. i'm really hoping this will get rid of the fleas. they got bad at 9023 at one point, and doing this solved it then. but i'd been flea-free for probably at least 3 years.

since i was already taking time off of work, i also went and got a new inspection sticker for my pickup. so now all my vehicles are legit again.

i hadn't heard anything from the mechanic about my car in over a week, so this afternoon i broke down and called him. he said he'd managed to get the radiator thing figured out, although it was still a very close fit. he also said he'd started the engine and it ran great. i think he'd gotten pretty much everything taken care of, except for two things. one was he had decided to put in a new wiring harness, because he said the wiring was random and all over the place, and if i was spending all this money to do all of these things, i should have everything wired through the fuse box and set up correctly instead of being a fire hazard. (i didn't ask if that meant he was going to fix the wiring for the horn ring or not.) the other was when he was working on the heater system one of the control levers broke. he asked me to order a new set, which i did soon after talking to him. but the levers i ordered won't get to him until monday or maybe tuesday, so now i'm not sure if i'll get the car back before thanksgiving. i hope so.

are we there yet?

last sunday i ate with sue and simcha at macaroni grill. i used to enjoy eating there, but almost all of them closed. the only one i know of now is the one on westheimer out past the galleria and chimney rock. i really like their building design a lot. if i were building a house from scratch, that style would be a hot contender: slick concrete floors, light-colored rock walls, tall narrow windows with dark green wooden shutters, open rafters/framing.

monday the mechanic called me and was asking me about radiator hoses, and said he thought he'd be starting up the engine the next day. the next day he called and said he ran into a problem -- he couldn't shut the hood because the a/c condenser in front of the new radiator was hitting the hood latch and striker. i don't think that should be the case since the kit i bought is made by a guy who only makes and sells them for tri-five chevys. in fact, he himself mostly works on '55's. i ended up giving the mechanic the number of the guy who makes the radiator kit. i figured the mechanic would call me back that day or the next, but i haven't heard from him. so now i'm wondering what the status is of my car. i originally thought i might get it back before this weekend, and i was planning on taking it to austin to visit my brother and his family and my parents -- but that didn't happen. so i ended up not going to austin this weekend.

these headlines were on google news on thursday, which i thought were kind of funny:


friday was a maintenance evening at work, so i had the daytime free. i used the time to drop by the tax office and take care of a couple of things. since i was going there anyway, i paid my registration on the belair. i also returned the generic plate from my harley and replaced it with the native Texan vanity plate that had been on my honda vtx1300c. i'm happy to not have a randomly generated license plate anymore. and i finally got around to fixing the title on pickup. when they typed it up, they entered "tetrry" or something instead of "terry". i'm pretty sure i should have been able to have it fixed for free, but the lady at the window just told me to submit a correction form so i paid $33 to have their mistake corrected.

earlier this week i finally broke down and did something i've never done: i paid for some form of electronic media. in this case, i paid to rent a couple of movies from itunes for my apple tv. every week apple puts three movies up for 99 cent rental. i figure 99 cents is fair, considering it would cost me a buck a day to rent from redbox. they also have the rule that once you start watching it you only have 24 hours with it...but you have 28 days to start watching it before it expires. so that's good and bad. i wish they gave you two or three days. that might at least help justify their normal rental prices. but for 99 cents, it's okay. so what movies did i rent? american heart and saved!. i've already seen the latter, but figured for 99 cents i could watch it again. the first i'd never seen. i watched it a day or two ago. the video quality was okay, audio was fine. the story is set in seattle, where a guy is just getting out of prison and has plans to move to alaska to start over. but he has a 14 year old son, and the son wants to be with him. they're both in bad positions in life, both trying to do better, but as is often with real life things just don't work out too well. not an uplifting film, but a decent story. as far as my apple tv/itunes renting be honest, it was pretty convenient. but i don't see myself doing this for anything but the 99 cent ones, or if i'm really desperate to see a movie within an hour or two and i can't get it from redbox or via netflix streaming.

saturday afternoon i went by taurian and had byriah put in my 4-gauge hoops. they're not captive hoops, but they made them sort of look like it. instead of captive (where the ball has recesses on each side and the wire "pinches" the ball to hold it in place), the ball screws onto one side of the wire, leaving a small gap between it and the other side of the wire. i took a couple of blurry pics by myself with my iphone:


in the evening, sue came over and we went to the continental club. sue wanted to see sara van buskirk play, so i accompanied her. (jack was shooting a wedding.) it'd been a long time since i'd gone to the continental club, or really gone out much at all to bars. i still generally don't like the "let's be wild and crazy and zany...and drink...and be loud!" scene. it's not a party or a good time for me. i'm there in spite of that, not because of it. of course, the fact that i'm not enjoying the main reason most people go probably doesn't help with my opinion toward it all. my usually going alone, and not really talking to or meeting new people, probably doesn't help either.

tamara tried to love me, i think. maybe.

i'm getting pretty close to being finished "processing" all of the large amount of stuff that tamara left behind when she had the affair and shed her life with me. unfortunately, i continue to find new things she wrote. going through this sh!t by myself is difficult. but i don't really have much of a choice. this latest round was writing and verse from the time period covering our dating to our first year or so of marriage.

i guess it shouldn't matter this many years removed, but it's like peeling back the layers of something that had a decent (if flawed) facade...that's what i was shown...but was rotten and decayed at the core from the beginning...from before the beginning. meaning both her and her relationship with me. she was never really honest with me. i was a poor substitute, a shadow, a stand-in, and her feeble attempts at trying to view me as a competent spouse -- her attempts to love me, trust me, be fair with me -- were undermined by her own problems and issues. she imagined herself strong and independent before me, but weak and soft with me. she created all kinds of obsessive fantasies about the goings on between myself and cynthia before and because she entered the picture. she hated her own failings, she hated my failings, her imaginings about me ate at her and made her loathe me -- she couldn't give herself to me, she couldn't tell me the truth. all of this was hidden from me, all i ever saw were the tell-tale signs of the darkness she kept hidden inside. i never had a chance.

there was so much fscked-up goings on in her head, it's scary. it's not surprising with what i know now, that she was physically and emotionally unable to have a good relationship with me. no wonder in later years she pitched that we'd compromised/settled -- she always believed she did. i was "good enough", i was there. who knows if she really believed i compromised/settled from my side or not. it doesn't really matter, i guess. i don't think there was much about my perspective or thoughts going on in her head. my actual role in things was much smaller than the role she played out for me in her head.

ironically, while her fantastical imaginings about me "cheating" gave her reason to loathe me, her relationship with alistair actually was built on cheating. (and lying.) in the story of our relationship, i was the one who was true. i was the one who was honest. i was the one who didn't give up. i was the one who didn't leave. yet she has gone on to idealize alistair. and she cast herself in her own cheater's role as well, cheating on someone who remained true (just like her "true" love did to her, before me). funny how that works. (and could help explain a lot of her life after weight is a product of my self-loathing, eh? project much?)

someone at work suggested that perhaps i should look at this as a positive, that at least i've been given a window into things that gives me an understanding that a lot of people never get into what underlying causes helped destroy a relationship they were in. it really does kind of show that i was set up to fail, that my efforts and work were very unlikely to have a chance of fostering a good relationship. on the other hand, it also sucks to know even though i've had very few relationships in my life, most of them fall into the category of being pre-wired for messy destruction. it's not like i want to be a magnet for such things. i really would like a good relationship. really. i've been ready to move on for a long time now, hopefully to something good and meaningful. so, that'd be really nice. so, know...let that happen. yep, anytime now.

as an odd bonus, after going through this last stuff, my hands now smell like pot. not sure why. i didn't find any.

11 to 4, but late

a few days ago i got a pipe i had ordered. it's a savinelli "dry system" rustic, i think a 3/4 bent (perhaps a full bent, although it's not really fully bent). i generally prefer 1/2 bents and smooth bowls, so i intentionally tried to push myself out of my comfort zone a bit. i haven't started breaking the pipe in yet. it's just sitting there. here's a pic:


while i was taking pictures, i also went ahead and took some pics of the black and chrome vertigo pipeline lighter i got:


to use it, you flip the chrome bar piece up (as pictured in the second frame), then push your thumb along the rolling striker piece and chrome roller. the flame comes out at a 45 degree angle (as pictured in the third frame). the "pipeline" bit actually holds the flint and keeps it pushed against the striker. the images aren't very high quality, but the iphone 3g isn't that good of a camera at close range (and i didn't feel like getting out my real camera). i also didn't spend any time with lighting or reflections or such. deal.

a while back i posted i went by taurian on westheimer and the place was empty. well, after some sleuthing online i was able to determine they'd moved. (i think they were out of commission for a few months while they moved.) they're now on nance in north downtown (near the last concert cafe) and sharing space with epoch tattoos. i was supposed to stretch my ears up to 4 gauge in june, but i put it off because i thought there might be reason for me not to need to do it. but that was of course wishful thinking, and i should have just gone ahead and done it anyway. so i went by the new location friday evening and talked with byriah and placed an order. he had told me before putting on 4 gauge captive hoops is a pain, but i don't like the double ball barbells look -- so i went with a hoop that has one screw-on ball on one side and nothing on the other, but the single ball almost closes the loop by itself. they're making them for me, should be a couple of weeks.

i recently broke down and installed a bit torrent client. i chose transmission. i then proceeded to gum up my internet connection. i don't think my modem/router handles torrent traffic very well. but it worked...just slowly.

i didn't hear anything from the mechanic about my belair this week.

i recently read neil gaiman's the graveyard book. it was a fairly fast, simple read -- but a good story.

"[he] stared at [her] as she walked away, hoping that she would turn and look back, that she would smile or just look at him without fear in her eyes. but [she] did not turn. she simply walked away." --from the graveyard book by neil gaiman

i loved halloween as a kid


i went ahead and ordered one of the lighters i was looking for. it's the black and chrome vector pipeline lighter. (vector is made by lotus.) it looks/works like the oldboy and corona lighters, but is much cheaper. i went ahead and ordered a couple of lotus butane refills while i was at it. the lighter is interesting. i'm not sure if i like it or not as far as the functionality of the general design, but it's a somewhat unique style and pretty cool.

this past week i was in training at work. i'm not sure exactly why they put me in, other than to perhaps try and get me more involved in the windows/exchange side of mailflow. i volunteered to start doing windows stuff (lcs/ocs, ad, exchange, pki, etc.) a while back, but nothing ever really came from it.

i upgraded my apple tv to the 3.0 software a few days ago. i like the redesign. i also really like that they have an interface for internet radio now. also, after the upgrade the device seems to be functioning properly. i'm not sure why, but i hope it lasts. i've even done some mucking around to try and get some content on it. (although i still have yet to buy or rent anything from itunes. why would i? the prices are too expensive, and i have access to netflix streaming via my blu-ray player.) they don't have automatic support for boxee with 3.0 as of yet, although it appears some people have written a new version of launcher (3.2, was alpha, now beta) that works with 3.0 and there are some ways to get xbmc and boxee working. unfortunately, me using the atv-usb creator to install ssh and such always seems to somehow mess up the networking for some reason. which means i then have to do a factory restore (2.0.2 for me), then upgrade to the latest version again. not fun.

i think i ordered the last of the things the mechanic needed to be able to move forward with the new engine. i ordered an autogage 3-gauge cluster (water temperature, oil pressure, and voltage) and a set of spark plugs. since i knew he was waiting on these last things, i went ahead and had them shipped overnight. when i talked to him on friday he'd gotten this order, as well as everything else i'd ordered. he also said he'd already fixed the driver's side seat. so maybe it'll be done within the week or so.

saturday of course was halloween. i wore my normal clothes, but added a skull mask. i wore some reflective goggles underneath the mask, then my nanini cruiser goggles over the mask. i rode around like that. i went over to the potts for a few hours (where simcha was terrified of me), then went over to chris and mary's for their halloween party. i never took my mask off at the party (except for a short time near the end), and didn't talk much. i drank with a straw through the mask, and i even smoked my pipe through the mask. finally not long before i left i took my mask off for someone who asked because she was freaked out by me all night. (i'm pretty sure she wasn't the only one.)

on the way home, which was around 2am (which then became 1am), there were a lot of people walking around in outfits along westheimer and shepherd. (someone in front of numbers took my picture.) a lot of the ladies were wearing the expected slutty outfits. what a fun way of being reminded i'm quite single right now.

today i wanted to ride around some since the weather was nice, so i decided to go to sylvia's. i took the longish way, going down 59 to alt 90 and then up 6 to westheimer. but when i got there, they were closed. they're not open on sundays. i'm not sure if i already new that or not, but the sign on the window said "new hours". *sigh*

i'm still waiting to post that story related to going to the bank a couple of weeks ago. unfortunately, i'm not yet able to because i'm waiting on a loose end to take care of business. if they don't take care of it soon, i'll have to take care of it for them though.

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