well, i got the engine ordered. this led me to looking into lots of other things i’ll need, as well as things i may have to change to get the engine in and operating properly. i think the engine should be showing up within the next week or two. i’m kind of excited, but it also seems like too many options with too many unknowns — so the process may suck the enjoyment out of it. kind of like life.
saturday sue made me go the yankee candle store. i used a “buy one, get one free” coupon i had, and got:

  • chocolate truffle (large jar)
  • cafe au lait (large jar)

they will go into my out-of-control collection of yankee candles, which i buy faster than i burn. i suppose that fits in with the rest of my approach toward life: success and abundance with what’s trivial, failure and scarcity with what matters.
today when i left work, i got on my bike and went to start it…when i realized i had left the fscking thing turned to the “on” position and thus completely run down the fscking battery. yet again. except this time i did it at work, in the parking garage, which means i have no easy access to it. so i walked home. this was for three reasons: [1] to punish myself, in the hopes that perhaps it will remind me in the future to not be a fscking idiot, [2] because i could probably use the exercise anyway, [3] to not bother anyone else with the results of my stupidity, and [4] because i don’t really have hardly any friends anyway (specifically not that live in the area where i work or live). it’s probably only a few miles. i think i walked it in about 45 minutes or so. still, my leg that was injured in the motorcycle accident is hurting now. i stopped at star pizza and had a salad and a slice of pizza and a couple of shiner bocks (on tap). i think i’m going to go continue drinking now that i’m at home, with the hope that i’ll pass out before i realize the full implications of being such an utterly stupid waste.

house of cards

i originally wrote this entry back on september 27th 2006. (3 years ago.) at the time, i was in the process of trying to sell the house for the divorce. this was after the mediation, so i’d already had the financial butt-reaming done to me. but it was still pretty fresh.
———-< original entry, sept 27, 2006 >———-
the person who’d put in an offer on the house retracted it after she decided the reconditioning would cost too much to make it worth it for her. hopefully someone else will think the house is worth what the realtor listed it at. this d4mn thing has been a thorn in my side for years due to the problems it developed and what tamara and i did to mess it up. i was always so concerned we were going to have to take a big loss on it when we sold it. which we probably would have, except the market value has gone up and i’ve been paying on it long enough (but mostly the market value going up) that we should be able to at least break even. i think.
as if that wasn’t enough to worry about all by itself, i also now have to worry about tamara and her attorney possibly trying to wrangle more money out of me by claiming i did things after the divorce to make it worth less. why would i think such a crazy thing? because they suggested that in a letter to the courts. and it matches some of the way they’ve operated throughout the divorce.
it pisses me off so much that they have done crap like that. isn’t it enough that they took half of my retirement money from the year and a half after she’d left me (and even moved to california) and told me in no uncertain terms it was over? much less her taking retirement money she’d repeatedly told me was in no way hers and she didn’t want? or her taking half of any money i had in the bank or had sunk into vehicles or whatever. while she had $0 to split back with me. it was just us splitting my assets, not us splitting our assets. so to add insult to injury, i have to sell the house and split the proceeds. granted, i get a generous 55/45 split. i didn’t even fare that well on all of the retirement money after we were separated and it was just me totally on my own. but evidently her fingers were still more than happy to stay in my pocketbook and get whatever the legal system would give her. that was a real honorable and classy move on her part. but then she wasn’t exactly making fair and honorable decisions in any number of ways at that point in her life. here’s hoping she’s managing to straighten herself out. even if what she did to me hurt like hell, and will continue to impact me financially for years to come. hopefully i’ll be able to dig myself out of the hole she put me in.
———-< end original entry >———-
i believe i never posted it because at the time tamara and her attorney(s) were being jackasses and i was worried my being honest about the situation would annoy them and make them be even bigger jackasses. which is basically what most attorneys are. they get paid to be amoral jackasses — and the more they act like jackasses and the less moral they are, the more they make for themselves (and the other lawyers). i’m not saying there are no good attorneys, but they’re few and far between. most of them, through rigorous training, have made themselves able to be amoral about any situation and just care about “winning,” not about what’s right. it’s like a game of one-up-manship. which is sort of like philosophy, except instead of being a pursuit of the intellect there is money and people’s quality of life at stake. it’s like philosophers who came down out of the ivory towers and devolved into knuckle-dragging versions of their previous selves.
although most “philosophers” (by schooling and/or profession) are far from thinkers who are trying to understand and explain themselves and the world around them. most of them are just playing mental bullying. g-d bless the few who really do love the pursuit of knowledge and are actually trying to understand and explain things. (scientists still kick their 4ss though.)
tamara and her attorney(s) were unfair to me financially. rather far from being fair. that’s really an unavoidable fact. because fair didn’t matter in the way the legal system was used in our case. i unfairly lost money from a couple of years of retirement funds. regardless of how you view the retirement money from while we were together, they took half from the 1.5+ years after she’d had the affair, left me, and moved to california. it’s not justifiable as fair. it’s simply not. plus tamara lied to me about her intent the whole way through the process. (of course, that depends on what your definition of “lie” is…perhaps in lawyer-ese it would read “by omission or vagueness allowed me to come to my own conclusions which may or may not have been contrary to their actual intent”) how did they perhaps help “justify” it to themselves? by saying i wouldn’t have to take ownership of half the debt she’d accumulated during those years. haha. yeah, a real classy bunch of folk.
i don’t see how i will ever feel at peace about tamara’s actions regarding the money. she took advantage of me with the legal system because she could. it was a classless act, and will always be so. i doubt she thinks about it. and if so, she probably justifies it because, hey, the system let her do it so it’s “legal”. plus she had expenses. and she deserved it. yeah, that’s it, she deserved it. and if she didn’t, well fsck him anyway because she’s moving on and she’s got a new life.

apparently i forget the type of life i live a lot

well, now that i’m on the new server, let’s break this thing in right and proper. (and by “right and proper”, i mean just the opposite. it’s this clever style of wordplay i’ve been working on.)
before we start that, i just want to say the server move appears to have gone rather well and trouble-free. the only exception i’ve seen so far is somewhere between perl, mysql, and movable type, utf-8 is getting butchered. which means stuff input into the comment boxes in non english/western encodings is turning into question marks as it gets written into the database. i wouldn’t even notice, except i get a lot of spam in russian and it worked on my old server. (this also means ash can’t input chinese and have it look okay either.) i haven’t decided how to handle it yet. i may backup my database tables, wipe them, then reinstall movable type and see if it fixes things. once i google some more.
also, i picked up a couple of things on ebay and amazon:

  • anxiety always – adult. (ersatz audio)
  • pioneers who got scalped – devo (warner archives / rhino)

both of these are out of print. the adult. recording is the 2 lp version of the album. the devo recording is a 2-cd collection of various devo stuff spanning their career. it comes in one of those thick 2-cd boxes with special 3-d covers. the one i got is in great shape, and i paid about half of what they normally go for. plus it has some devo tracks i don’t already have.
anyway, back to the task at hand…
i don’t know if you noticed or not, but i’ve managed to piss/put off quite a number of people in the recent past. both my parents and cynthia on here, obviously. i also miffed at least one co-worker, as well as the hrc and sue. perhaps this will all help bolster my “bad boy” image. (since those are a hot commodity i hear.)
although it’s not conscious, it appears as if i’ve developed a lack of my normal discretion. (such as it is. oh, you may think it’s minimal…but you have no idea what i really think inside my head.) whatever the cause, i’m assuming it is at least somewhat connected to the recent stronger feelings of general disappointment/dissatisfaction toward life i’ve been experiencing lately. i mean, really, i don’t feel like my life has much merit in the grand scheme of things. by that, i mean i’m not achieving any meaningfulness from my current life situation.
sometimes i’m content to be nothing, but sometimes the pointlessness discourages and saddens me. why do i own a whole set of drinking glasses? why do i have a set of dishes? why do i keep things that take up space and hold no value beyond sentiment? why do i own 9/10th of the stuff i do? if i had more initiative i’d sell off a bunch of stuff. but it’s easier to just give it away to friends. maybe they can find value and purpose in some of it.
speaking of that, one of these days i’ll be shipping off tamara’s detritus to her parents. why i should even care about being nice or respecting her stuff after how she treated me, i’m not sure. it’s funny when a positive trait turns into a personality flaw. at this point though, it’s not even about feelings any more. tamara is just a fscked up chick, just like she always was — which is not to say she didn’t have some wonderful traits as well, because she did — but it’s not about tamara herself, but instead the negative effects from my life and heart being tied to someone like her. the cause has become background noise; the mental and emotional effects are what linger and matter.
all of this makes a recent text exchange seem even more hilarious:
[!me] whenever u r free to hang out let me know
[me] free at last! free at last! thank go…i’m free pretty much whenever.
[!me] i guess i forgot u live the good life — no accountability, a different hot girl every night…[…]…you f*cking bastard. d*mn u and your carefree lifestyle
[me] man, my life sounds pretty d*mn good. i’m gonna have to get you to describe it to me more often!
because you see, i’m not looking for this “good life” i’ve been gifted with.
i figure if i’m not pissing you off, maybe instead this will make you: concerned about me, annoyed by me, and/or feel pity for me. but most likely i’m just pushing everyone further away. it’s not really the best case scenario, but i suppose it’s the ultimate consolation prize.
seeing as i worked friday night, i used some of my time during the day to go by and talk to the mechanic about the engine i want to buy and have put in my car. he was cool with it and discussed other things that would have to be purchased, along with various work that might have to be done. i’m going to order the engine and have it shipped to his shop. once i find the credit card i procured for just this purpose. maybe this will help ease me out of my existential funk. nah. but at least i’ll have a working, cool car to stare at or drive while i’m feeling regret for life not unfolding well.

new server is go

if you are seeing this message, you’re seeing my blog served off my new server. congrats! don’t let it go to your head though, since it won’t be long after i make the dns change that everyone on the internet sees this one, and the old server is just a memory.
my old server’s quirks with throwing errors on the root volume and changing it to read-only finally got to me. well, that and i learned i could get a newer server (faster, raid mirrored disks, more memory) for the same monthly price. it sounded like time to say “out with the old, in with new!” sometimes you just have to do that, you know.

this is getting “tire”ing

this past weekend i parked my motorcycle in the driveway because i was planning on taking it out again. well, evidently i left the ignition on. when i came out about 3 hours later, the bike was completely dead. knowing it’s 12 volt, and it being parked near my pickup, i went and got my jumpers and hooked the battery on my pickup up to it. but it wouldn’t start it. i started my pickup and tried again…nope. then it started raining so i went inside. i went out a couple of hours later and tried it again. still no luck. i’d bought two battery chargers for boats/motorcycles in years past, so i started searching for them. (i knew where they were in 9023, but i hadn’t seen them since i moved.) i searched and searched. the next day i got up and searched some more. i found the boxes they came in…but they were empty. finally, after hours in total of searching, i found them. i hooked one up. after about 3 hours i went out and tried it. some power, but it still wouldn’t crank. so i switched chargers to the one that automatically turns off when the battery is charged, then left it overnight. the next morning when i got up for work everything was fine.
during this outage for my motorcycle, jack called me to see if i could pick up some food for them while they were working on shooting some footage for the intro to their reality show they are trying to create and pitch, as they were only a few blocks from my house. which meant i had to drop by while they were filming, which meant the crew filmed me. geh. i stayed long enough to drop off the food, and never got out of the pickup or talked very much. then i took off.
so, back to my motorcycle…today i took my motorcycle to work. on the way there in the morning, as i was just starting into the turn from 59 to 288, something suddenly banged loudly and repeatedly. it sounded to be coming from my front, so i looked to see if i’d blown a tire or some piece of something was falling off my bike and/or stuck in the fender well. as i was looking down, i saw something drop and bounce on the road away from me. i slowed down, but my bike kept steering okay, so after a bit i started picking up speed again. as i rode, i kept checking the front tire. i made it to work and parked, then got off and looked around at things. i didn’t see anything obvious, but it looked like something had banged on my front fender well and bent the metal inner lip some. i guess that’s what the loud metal banging was.
after work i came back out and looked at it again. i didn’t see anything new that i might have missed. i unlocked things and pulled my bike upright. then something felt different. i tried moving the steering, but it was stiff. as i started rolling my bike backward a bit, i heard a click/scrape. i rolled some more and got off and looked at the tread on my tire. there was the end of a metal nail or rod or something sticking out, plus a rip on the tread. i decided to ride home, but take streets instead of the highways. by the time i got home, the tire was pretty much flat.
great. i just had a new tire put on about 200 miles ago. it lasted me 2 days shy of 3 weeks. i guess i’ll be getting a tow to the harley dealer and yet another new front tire. it’s a good thing i’m made of money.

just a’ trav’ling through this world of woe

(i originally wrote this just over a week ago, but i never got around to freeing it. now i am.)
i think i was a fairly well-adjusted kid. i think. i mean early on: pre-school and elementary. i was smart and able to learn quickly. so i was good at things i tried, generally without too much effort. that got praise from my elders, as well as respect from my peers. at least it seemed that way. and i didn’t care about girls, really. it seemed pretty easy to make friends and have fun and be happy.
somewhere in junior high things started to change. my peers no longer respected or liked me because i was smart, and i didn’t feel compelled enough to do whatever was popular or cool just to be liked (such as drink (or at least talk about it), listen to heavy metal, and dress/look like whatever was popular then). the innocent, easily-formed friendships of youth withered. my dad was concerned because i hung out with the “loser” kids instead of the popular ones. (maybe it’s because i was a loser kid, although i didn’t think of myself as one at the time.) i started to be interested in girls but i didn’t really want to admit it, and i was terrified of proclaiming my interest in a girl and being shot down. in sixth grade for my birthday my parents told me i could take one friend on our out-of-town birthday excursion. i picked this guy friend of mine, but they leaned on me to pick a girl so i eventually gave in and did that. it was my first “date”. it was with jennifer (take note, she’ll pop back up later). in 7th grade, my parents forced me to send a corsage to a girl for a football game. they told me they were paying for it, and if i didn’t pick a girl they would pick one for me. (wtf?!) anyway, i picked a girl who was dating a guy (having been narrowed down to her or jennifer), and she broke up with him to date me. at the football game. i hadn’t really meant for it to be a declaration of my affection like that, although i did dig her — what with her junior high farrah fawcett looks (hair, smile, etc.). i had no clue how to talk to her. so i didn’t. after three or four days, she wrote me a letter to let me know it was a mistake and she was getting back with her old boyfriend. (why he didn’t kick my 4ss at the time, i don’t know. i figured he was going to.) man, i wish i still had that letter.
once i went into high school all of these phenomenon just intensified. pretty much everyone knew me, i think most people thought i was a nice enough person. but i think most praise and respect came from adults who looked upon me as a perhaps slightly quirky but good kid who was smart and would make a good citizen, friend, boyfriend, husband, etc. i had some good times in high school, but i had a lot of bad times. i generally felt like an outsider who for most of the time had few if any close friends. it started in 9th grade, when it felt like my “best” friend from years past sort of dropped me when a new guy moved into town. i felt by myself a lot. i was by myself a lot. so much so that i looked forward to going to school because i was interacting with people there. otherwise, i was pretty much by myself (as far as friends). but the tv was my friend…i watched a lot of tv. i probably always had a fear of rejection, but all of this built it into a huge overwhelming weight, pressing down on me and smothering me even as i tried to find ways to deal with it. the fear of being rejected by a girl i liked equally intensified. i finally overcame that one time my junior year to ask jennifer to the prom (yes, same one), and she said yes which put me on cloud nine. but it didn’t really mean as much to her and she quickly moved on to other guys. a lesson i duly took note of. i had some good friends my last couple of years, but i also kept feeling more ostracized and left out by society at large (such as it exists in high school). my good grades were having a harder time making me feel good about myself and who i was.
college sort of helped me to have a bigger pool of people to choose from, so i was able to find more people i felt like i could identify with. but in a lot of ways it was still the same thing — i knew a lot of people, i think they generally thought i was a nice enough guy, but they didn’t really think about me unless i was around. i felt like i wasn’t included. plus i no longer had the same level of respect or praise of adults. there were reasons: i was in a difficult scholastic program, my grades weren’t as good and weren’t as easy to come by, i was sort of an “adult” already, plus i’d pushed the envelope much further as far as finding my own identity and not being like the crowd. (i.e. i looked/dressed “weird”. not a big deal at most colleges, but i was at Texas a&m.) i was more happy in myself, finding an identity i liked — but it didn’t do much to garner me friends. in my 2nd or 3rd year of college, i had a bad experience where i no longer felt i belonged in a church community i’d previously felt like i was a part of. it was very painful, but is unfortunately an experience i’ve now had numerous times over the years. early on i found friendships online (starting back in 1988…long before most people even knew what “online” meant), but they’re not really real, are they? the fact i never really dated for almost all of my 7 years in college (haha…the 7 year plan) also consumed me a lot. i was surrounded by good-looking girls who were dating material, and i never managed to do sh!t. it felt humiliating and demeaning. i beat myself up over it a lot. that kind of stuff is a feedback loop — the more it happens, the more amplified each passing amount of time becomes. is it surprising it makes you wonder what’s wrong with you? to be convinced something is wrong with you, even if you can’t put your finger on it or really figure it out?
once out of college, i lived in my hometown for about a year, then moved to houston for a job. for the most part, work life has been like school life. people seem to generally like me, as such, but it doesn’t really go much further than that. just like in junior high, just like in high school, just like in college, so it is now. i feel like i can easily build superficial/low-level friendships, but it’s very rare for me to have much beyond that. i don’t care about having a filled social calendar and a ton of friends, i never have. but there have only been a few times in my life where i felt like i had a few close friends, and we regularly did stuff together. generally, i feel alone, and i spend my time alone.
as much as this is true about friendships, it is amplified 50 times regarding relationships. i don’t think i’m anything amazing, but i think i’m a good guy. i’ve had a lot of people tell me throughout the years that i’m a great guy, i’m interesting, i’d make a great husband and father, etc. but in my single years (which are most of them) i don’t see results from those comments, so obviously something is askew. whether it’s because i project something negative because of my fears or not, it is easy to look back throughout my life and see that i am generally left out and forgotten in social circles. it’s also easy to see that i didn’t and don’t have whatever things make women attracted to men — confidence, cockiness, good looks, snappy dressing, pheromones, whatever. much less whatever it is that gets women to show interest. (obviously i don’t mean that never has any woman ever been attracted to me. but it would seem the few ones that are attracted to me (and i’m interested in as well) are broken in some way, and thus their attraction devices must be broken as well. (how’s that for self-defeating? 🙂
and so time moves forward, and with a few exceptions here and there my life maintains a steady bearing. i know it would be easier on me if i didn’t care about friendships, or community, or relationships — but it’s just not how i’m wired. i’m an introvert, i lack confidence and self-esteem in some areas, but unfortunately i care a lot about the areas in which my psyche and personality work against me. i had hoped things had changed forever with tamara, but it was just temporary. (i got a chance to date jennifer yet again though.) and recently i had hopes change might be coming again, but i now feel i’m back where i usually am. which is sad and disappointing, and hopefully explains a lot of my recent negative introspection. give me some time…maybe i’ll come back around.
i know dark clouds will gather o’er me
i know my pathway’s rough and steep;
but golden fields lie out before me
where weary eyes no more shall weep.
(from “poor wayfaring stranger”, traditional)

living the dream

in the middle of the night wednesday (around 1:30am thursday morning actually) i had a dream that freaked me out. i had gone to sleep not too long before then, so i’m assuming it was my first rem cycle. i’m pretty sure i was moaning and jerking around in my sleep, so i ended up waking myself up. good times. it’s not that the dream was bloody and violent — i don’t have those kind of dreams all that often. often the dreams that really freak me out involve some kind of spirits that seem ominous and frightening. this was no exception.
i was in a house, sort of like the one i live in, but not quite. the layout was similar, at least the part i was in. the dream had gone on before this, but i’ve forgotten most of that. i was sitting at my desk and was falling asleep. but i was also hearing things…like people talking but not clear, and then when i would open my eyes no one was there. it felt like someone was in my house, but no one was supposed to be. then i started getting dizzy and couldn’t focus very well, and was very tired. it felt like i was drugged. it was dusk outside, but there was bright light on me coming from nowhere. i was sort of going in and out of consciousness. then all of the sudden i realized i had an old corded phone to my ear. i could hear someone breathing on the other end. i didn’t remember picking up the phone, but i knew i was half out of it, so i tried talking to them, asking who it was, but they just breathed. i got more confused and was starting to freak out, so i started yelling at them to tell me who it was. then i heard my grandmother say it was her. i asked her if she’d called me or i’d called her. she said it was the middle of the night and her phone kept ringing and ringing, so finally she’d answered it. i explained to her i didn’t remember calling her, i thought someone was in the house, but i was confused and felt like i was really tired or drugged and couldn’t think straight. i grabbed some kind of electronic device…maybe a cell phone…out of my pocket but the battery fell out. i was trying to put it back together — i think to make an emergency call. but then i sort of slipped out of my chair and was kind of rolling around and the cord from the corded phone wrapped around my neck. i felt like it was intentional and i wasn’t really in complete control of what was happening. i was trying to rationalize it in my dream, but things didn’t make sense. i jumped up and unwrapped the cord somewhat frantically. i started walking toward a door and was still talking to my grandmother when all of a sudden the lights in the room came on. no one was at the switch. i was dizzy, stumbling towards the door, trying to come up with why the lights might come on by themselves — but i was loudly and nervously telling my grandmother the lights just came on by themselves and asking what was going on. suddenly i felt a presence really strongly near me and i started falling toward the floor. that’s when i woke myself up. i laid in bed motionless for a few minutes, trying to take in my surroundings and figure out what was going on. it took a while for my heart rate to get back toward normal.
on to more normal things. i had been planning on going to brady for labor day weekend, but linc ended up not going and i have been feeling like i’m on the edge of getting sick for a week (several people at work have been sick, plus i was around calista who had/has whooping cough), so i decided to just stay here instead of ending up getting really sick in brady and/or passing along something to my parents and grandmother. so far it still hasn’t developed into anything, but it just sort of stays at about the same level. not sure what’s going on with that.
i placed an order through amazon a week or so ago. i bought a couple of blu rays:

  • heathers – ryder, slater
  • dr. strangelove – kubrick (columbia/sony)

and i picked up a few cds (and a 7″ vinyl):

  • the complete collection – the crucified (tooth & nail)
  • paper television – the blow (krecs)
  • do wrong right – the devil makes three (milan)
  • aces and twos (96/500) – the devil makes three (milan)
  • the name of this band is – talking heads (sire/warner/rhino)

i’m pretty excited about all of this stuff. i still highly recommend the devil makes three. the dm3 aces and twos is a limited edition 7″ 2-song vinyl. i got #96. if you want to hear/see some new live studio versions of a few songs, follow this link to their hear ya session. (their link to the zip file of all songs is borked though. here is a proper link: Devil Makes Three – HearYa Live the talking heads album is a 2-cd “re-release” of the album of the same name…except it’s actually all of the songs from the recording the original album was made from, as well other live recordings.
i also picked up a reprint of the movie poster for kubrick’s clockwork orange. i’m planning on getting it mounted and framed to join my bottle rocket and eternal sunshine of the spotless mind posters.
i used a 40% off coupon at borders on friday and picked up john kennedy toole’s the neon bible. i didn’t know anything else of his had been printed. i read confederacy of dunces a fair number of years ago, and knew it’d been printed posthumously. he committed suicide at age thirty-one. this evidently was written when he was sixteen, and sat for a long time after unearthed due to familial fights over financial rights. apparently nothing else was found, so this is it as far as fiction stories we’ll have from him. if it’s half as good as confederacy of dunces it’ll be immensely enjoyable.