blog, music comments edit

The longer I do this whole “blog” thing, the more I realize several things:

  1. I can type what I’m thinking faster than I can write it
  2. I can write what I’m thinking faster than I can say it
  3. I think more clearly in my head than I am able to convey in a verbal fashion, yet
  4. I seem to be reasonably able to put down what I’m thinking in a written format

The reason I think this is somewhat important is my ongoing nagging at how much better and more well-rounded this whole blog would be if I had a voice-activated recorder. I’m beginning to think that’s almost entirely incorrect for many reasons, the least of which is probably that I would be too damn lazy to actually transcribe the ramblings of the voice on the tape. I am given to this because I’ve tried lately to use my iPaq PocketPC to record my thoughts while driving, and later when I sit and listen to the recordings I realize not only how stupid I must sound to those of you out there, but also that the complete, coherent thought that I believed I was capturing - once transferred to audio - became utter trash.

Which leads me to believe that my lack of interaction with others on a personal level during my workday is starting to contribute to a sort of verbal atrophy. Eventually my entire vocabulary on an audible basis will consist of base grunts and vast hand gestures, all entirely incomprehensible.

I thought about that yesterday. Continuing that thought process, I started getting sort of philosophical with myself about the destiny of the human race, the end of the world, and the origin of the universe. (Keep in mind the entire thought process lasted only around 30 minutes, or the length of my commute from home to work.) I wonder if all humanity will migrate towards a more visual means of communication (a la the World Wide Web) based on the increased usage of such means of communication in these latter days.

Around the end of my commute, I finally realized that the whole thought process Re: Evolution was most likely spawned by the fact I was listening to the Shamen album, Boss Drum, most of which is sort of a mystical wandering about the metaphysical. On the forefront, the songs themselves sound fairly commercial and pretentious, but if you’re not paying attention, it’ll suck you in.

Speaking of which, whatever happened to The Shamen? I mean, they had that En-Tact album with the single Move Any Mountain on it, then Boss Drum, then…? They sort of fell out of the spotlight. Looking at their CD listing on Amazon, it looks like they had a couple more albums since then, but what happened?

That sort of reminds me of my other train of thought yesterday. I’ve started to realize that my world view is just slightly me-centric. Okay, maybe more than slightly, but that’s not the point here. The point is, when I’m “into” something, I somehow just assume that thing is popular. When I’m not into it, I assume it’s not (or no longer) popular. I guess the question that leads is: Do I get into (and, subsequently out of) something because of its relative popularity level at the time, or do I make these self-centered views and then impose them on the world? I suppose another option there is that I get into and/or out of things on their respective popularity cusps - I get into something I think is cool, and simultaneously several other people get into that same thing and, by proxy, it becomes cool. The same process in reverse for things becoming uncool.

I suppose that’s something to ponder on. From a philosophical standpoint, I guess that, pending on the outcome of that thought process, I may find that I, too, am merely a sheep manipulated by the media and its agents. Then again, I may decide that I, myself, am an agent of said media and perform my own manipulations on others. Somehow I think it’s probably a good combination of the two.

Topic change: I’ve got sneak preview tickets for tonight’s showing of Stealing Harvard, which looks like a pretty dumb movie, but since it’s free I guess I’ll go. I hope it’s good. I don’t feel like Tom Green can carry a movie on his own, though, so I think I’m going to be hard-pressed to like it. Maybe if I go in with reduced expectations I can emerge from the theater pleasantly surprised.

personal comments edit

For some reason I’m on a huge Sir Mix-A-Lot kick lately. I’ve got the Mack Daddy album in my car, bumpin’ away. I suppose it could be worse. I could have old NWA cranked.

No, I don’t even think I could stand that. Mix-A-Lot’s my limit.

I finally got my copy of The Bourne Identity (the 80’s TV miniseries) and I watched the first half last night.

I think it’s a toss-up between this version and the movie. The movie was much faster-paced and had action like nobody’s business, but it wasn’t too deep, didn’t let you really care about the characters, and didn’t remotely hold true to the book. The miniseries, so far, has been way more faithful to the book and has given me time to get to know the characters. I like that. The problem I’m seeing is that stuff isn’t explained too well. It’s sort of glossed over quickly and assumed that you picked it up, or they make subtle points that are actually very important to the plot but almost impossible to catch… almost like you have to have read the book prior to watching the movie.

Having read the book, I am liking the TV miniseries quite a bit. I’m not sure if it’s keeping Jenn’s attention too well, though, due to it’s substitution of intrigue for action. Also, since it was 80’s TV, you really don’t get too much in the way of good fight scenes, nor do they show any skin. (In the sex scene, the guy has his shirt off - and that’s it - and the girl has a full body briefer and a slip on. What’s that all about?)

I think if they were to remake the miniseries today, it would be the best of all worlds. Unfortunately, since we have the movie, I don’t think that’s going to happen. I suppose you can’t win ‘em all.

Here’s something that’s bugged me already this morning: At work I participate in the employee stock purchase plan, where you can buy shares of the company stock for a discounted price. I figure why not; as soon as the market goes back up, it could be really good for me. Anyway, the way we do it, once you’ve bought your shares, they go directly into an E*Trade OptionsLink account. Note that this account is substantially different than your standard E*Trade account. I already have a brokerage account with a local firm, Bidwell & Co., which I am very happy with (thank you very much). The problem is, I can’t specify that, rather than go to the OptionsLink account, I’d like my shares to go to my Bidwell account. I can’t tell OptionsLink, via an online method, to transfer my shares to Bidwell.

Instead, I have to first attempt to remember my fucking OptionsLink login information, which I use only once every six months when the stock purchase plan shares get deposited in my account. I never remember it because I never use it. Then I have to figure out exactly how many shares are in the account. Then I have to get in this fax war with E*Trade to manually tell them to ship my shares over to Bidwell. Finally, I have to go to Bidwell every day to check to see if the shares were transferred, because God forbid someone call me or send me some sort of notification that the transaction was completed.

I hate E*Trade. I suppose it’s great for the investor who’s been in the market for a while, knows how it all works, and knows what they want done. I’m not that guy. I own shares in, like, two companies, and only because I was (or am) employed there. I need the dude/chick on the phone to walk me through the transaction process when I make a trade so that I know I didn’t mess it up.

Maybe someday I should take the time to figure all that out. Now, though, is not that time.

The Frederick’s catalog came in the mail yesterday and there are some pretty nice tops in there. Jenn says she’ll be more interested in wearing them once she has abs. (Note: The definition of “abs,” at least as far as I’m concerned, is “the lack of non-ab material.” That is, the donut you see around my waist is “non-ab.” When I have successfully tamed that beast, I will have “abs.” This does not imply that I will be “cut” or have a “six-pack.”) I totally encourage the ab-making effort and am very much looking forward to that day. I love a chick with good abs.

(I also like big butts, and I cannot lie… I think I have another Mix-A-Lot blast coming on…)

personal comments edit

I thought of the greatest idea just now while I was taking a leak.

So, you know how your standard Venetian blinds have all these little blades that rotate in order to close and open the blinds, right? You can twist the little stick to make it so you can see out (or not).

Well, they make blinds in different colors, right?

And I have seen “rainbow” blinds with different colors of “blades” in a rainbow pattern…

So how come you can’t buy blinds that have pictures painted/printed on the blades? So like, if I close my blinds, I could see a tropical forest, or a beach, or even just a sunny day in the city?

I think that’s actually a marketable thing. You could have any number of things printed on the blinds. Classic artwork, scenery, family photos (if you’re that into the family thing), etc. The possibilities are endless. You could even take pictures people submit and print up blinds based on their photos, if you really wanted to get into it. You could also make it so that when you close the blinds, you see a picture on BOTH SIDES. That might be cool, too.

Does that already exist? If not, maybe I just found my way to retire…

personal comments edit

Our room was hot and stuffy last night. So while I was laying in bed, I kicked one leg out of the blankets - sort of a way to regulate my temperature. Shortly after, Jenn decided she needed to pull up the sheet. God only knows why, since that would just make you HOT, but she needed the sheet. I, of course, had them pinched between my legs. The ensuing conversation went something like this:

“Trav, what’s the sheet stuck on?”

“My legs.”


“My legs. I have one leg in and one leg out.”

“Oh, so you have, like, a sheet sandwich.”

“I guess so.”

“And your legs are the bread.”

At this point I started laughing way too hard for my own good. For some reason, the Sheet Sandwich was as funny as Turd Ferguson. Besides which, it sort of sounds like “shit sandwich,” a phrase Jenn had apparently never heard before. Anyway, it was funny.

Speaking of Turd Ferguson, I’m thinking of throwing together some Turd Ferguson t-shirts. Anyone interested in buying?

Now that all the Turd talk is out of the way, let me get to the latest thoughts and maybe even the weekend… Prepare for the non sequiturs of a lifetime.

I’m on the Frederick’s of Hollywood mailing list. What self respecting, heterosexual guy isn’t, right? Anyway, I’ve decided I need a chick who shops almost exclusively at Frederick’s. Don’t even give me this crap about how you think it’s trashy or whatever - a little ‘trashy’ never hurt anyone. I mean, where else can you get a corset top like this? (Yes, I’m a corset lover, so sue me.) I keep trying to convince Jenn, but no dice. Grrrrr…

This weekend, as the US readers are aware, was Labor Day weekend. Which basically means three days off instead of the standard two. What did I do?

Pretty much nothing, and it was all I thought it could be.

Friday night - nothing. Saturday we went to dinner for Jenn’s grandpa’s birthday. At least I think it was Saturday; I really don’t remember if it was Saturday or Sunday. I think it was Saturday. Anyway, that was that. I had some shrimp, which were pretty good, and Jenn had a ham and cheese omelette. Sunday we rented Birthday Girl, The Sweetest Thing (Unrated), and Showtime.

Birthday Girl was decent, but I guess I went into it thinking it was a spy movie of some nature, so I was disappointed when it wasn’t. I did figure out while watching, though, that if you could get women like Nicole Kidman off of Russian mail-order bride services, those things would be a lot more popular.

The Sweetest Thing was iffy. I think Jenn liked it more than I did. It felt to me like they tried to get the raunchy American Pie style humor but tried too hard and, thus, failed. The plot itself was pretty weak, and the dialogue was passable at best. Eh.

Showtime was funny if formulaic. I’m glad we rented it, but I’m also glad we didn’t pay full price for it in the theater.

Monday we didn’t really do anything. My mom had given me a disposable camera with some black and white film in it, so we ran around taking pictures of stuff, sort of like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man. Most of them actually turned out pretty well, including this picture of my baby Xev cat. I think I like black and white film better because it gives things sort of an old, mysterious look.

The whole reason we did that, I think, is actually because we were watching Rain Man the night before on TV.

During the show, I saw a commercial that Time Life is offering old episodes of The Muppet Show on DVD now. Amazon has a couple, too, but you get a better deal if you buy the whole set from Time Life all at once. I want them.

For those who watch it, Red Dwarf looks like it will be coming out with DVDs in November of this year. I’ll be picking those up, too, when they emerge.

At work, I’m discovering quickly that Microsoft Exchange workflow is a bitch to set up and really isn’t worth the effort. I can see now why companies make add-on tools and helper apps to assist in the setup of this beast.

There are lots of PS2 games I’m looking forward to, including Hitman 2, Auto Modellista, and The Getaway. But none come close to Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. I’m so stoked for it, I can’t even explain.

Oh, I saw yesterday’s Dilbert comic and it was so me I had to print it out and tape it to my cube. Maybe people will get the hint.

personal comments edit

I went to lunch today with my friend Colin. He introduced me to a local joint called “Reo’s Ribs.” I guess the place used to be one of those traveling roach coaches and now it’s expanding to be more of a full-size restaurant. It’s this guy named Reo who has this huge oil-drum-style grill and cooks up pork, chicken, and beef products on it, dowsing it generously in his special BBQ sauce.

I had the BBQ beef sandwich, and let me tell you - it was the best BBQ beef sandwich I’ve ever had.

I mean, this is the Krispy Kreme of barbecue. Dollar for dollar, you can’t go wrong with this place. I ate the sandwich and the side of red beans and rice (even the side dishes rule), then went for a slice of sweet potato pie. I could have eaten more until I got sick and still wanted it. It was that good.

I actually got to meet Reo while I was there. Nice guy.

Anyway, you have to go. Maybe I’ll see you there.

Side note: I am still trying to find a place to exchange my Buffy season 2 DVD set. I’ve tried all the local Fred Meyer stores, but none of them ever seem to have it in stock. I tried Best Buy last night, but they were jerks about the whole thing, so I left.

This got me frustrated, so I called my mom. (Mom works in the main office at Fred Meyer so I figured she’d know what to do.) Mom gave me the number for the DVD buyer at the main office, who I called and found that the closest store to me that has it in stock is in Salem. (Incidentally, they also have it at the Juneau, AK, store, but I’m not ready to make the drive.) Anyway, since they don’t have it, they’re going to set one aside for me in the next shipment so I can swap out the next time some come in.

Thank goodness. I really don’t know what I’d do if Mom didn’t work in the main office of Freddy’s. I guess I’d be a frustrated consumer just like everyone else out there. It’s good to be me.