August 26, 2007 at 8:36 pm (Justice, Personal, Religion)

I severely injured a squirrel the other day while playing disc golf.  I think I hit the little fucker with my driver and broke his leg.  I decided at the time that he probably fell out of a tree, but in retrospect, the coincidence is just to much to accept.  I am now reconciling it by saying that it was the same injury my cat had a few years back, and he healed up just fine.  So old squirrely will recover 100% in my mind.

I ran over a squirrel 11 years ago, and most likely killed it.  At the time, I felt that I made amends by rocking out to”The Divided Sky” on my way to work at Napoli’s.  (I used to smoke a ton of pot)  But this time I am hoping that actually admitting to it, anonymously on a blog, will serve as the karmic balance I need.


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Bad Things Happen in Threes

May 1, 2007 at 10:43 pm (Personal)

…or so They say.  About 2 years ago, three really bad things happened to me, right in a row.  My girlfriend broke up with me (a blessing in disguise), an old friend and good friend’s sister died (no silver lining in that one…in fact it is still resonating), and, well, I don’t exactly know what the third thing was but I’m sure it sucked.

If the converse is true, I can’t wait until tomorrow.  I had my late work night tonight.  Afterwards the girl I wrote about the other day and I went out for dinner, and as usual we had a great time, talked, laughed, etc.  And now we are “going to go see some music” sometime.  It went pretty much exactly as I had envisioned.  That breeze you felt was me exhaling.  To top it all off, she plays the tablas.

When I got home there was a message on my machine informing me that I got a second interview for this job I really want.  They whittled it down from 108 to 7 people, for 2 positions.  So now I have 10 days to bask in the glory of potential full time employment, although I’m sure I’ll stress out like a mofo starting about noon next Tuesday.

I attribute this to my only superstition: only picking up pennies that are heads up.  I was walking home from work yesterday, and I saw a penny lying on the sidewalk tails up.  I paused and almost snatched it, until I remembered the adage that you will have good luck all day only if it is heads up, so I left it there.  I’m not that poor.  It kind of reminds me of this other time I had a really good day.

Now, it’s time to drink some beer and watch South Park reruns.  I really hope that’s not the third thing.

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April 24, 2007 at 5:50 pm (Personal)

Since my negligence has likely scared off even my most loyal readers, I figured I’d fall out of character for a moment and pour my heart out to the internets. A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I have “a thing” for this girl that I work with. Well that thing has morphed into an utterly consuming, burning desire, the likes of which I have not felt for a long, long time. Possibly ever. She sits right next to me. Every word out of her mouth, every sigh, every movement, every stroke of her keyboard, drives me absolutely crazy. I can’t concentrate at work. I can’t concentrate at home. I can’t fall asleep, and when I do, she is in my dreams. We work together on a project, and she has been a mentor to me for the past few months. We have a few after-work meetings coming up, one of which is on Tuesday. Normally we would go out and get a bite to eat afterwards, and I don’t know if I am going to able to contain myself this time. I might have to tell her my true feelings. I want to go out to eat with her on a Friday. Abandon the work pretext. But I can’t date someone I work with. It is the Prime Directive. Luckily I will only work there for a few more weeks. I might just go for it anyway. I was going to wait until my last week, but I don’t know if I can. If I can’t touch her hair, kiss her neck, feel her body against mine, in the very near future, I will go crazy. I am ninety percent certain the feeling is mutual. Not knowing for sure is making me insane. But it is the most beautiful kind of insanity. Going to work each morning is both my favorite and least favorite thing to do. What will I do if she rejects me? I will be devastated. In my mind we are already married, and have 2 beautiful children. As beautiful as April. Thoughts I have never had before. People know. It must show on my face. They can see it in the way I look at her, the way I talk to her, the way I drop whatever I am doing to help her with her work. I would pick up her dry cleaning if she asked me to. She must know as well. She must see it. I see it in her. But I am afraid it is only my reflection.

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Everything happens for a reason

February 18, 2007 at 12:03 am (Personal)

A few weeks ago, I went skiing with a few friends of mine. When we rolled into Hood River to get some coffee, I realized that I had forgotten my boots. So I became a patron of the local ski shop, where I paid 10 bucks to rent boots and 15 to have my bindings readjusted. As I stewed about the shop, lamenting the 25 dollar tax that had been levied against me, for the mere crime of staggering out the door hungover at 7 in the morning, I meandered past the helmet section. I had been meaning to buy a ski helmet for some time, and this seemed to be a prime opportunity. Given a choice, I’d rather not be killed by some shithead on a snowboard. I ended up throwing down, all told, 85 dollars before I even reached the lift ticket vendor, who stiffed me for another 60 (my invalid student ID isn’t nearly as valuable as I had intended it to be for the next few years, BTW).

Fast forward a few weeks. I woke up today, and was surprised to see a 60 degree, cloudless February Saturday in Oregon. I hopped in the Jeep and headed up to Timberline, which, incidentally, is where they filmed The Shining. (click on the link, it’s funny) The problem with spring-conditions skiing is the slush. It was really slushy, and being the advanced intermediate skier that I am, when I hit a jump and landed in a pile of semi melted glacial leftovers, I sunk to my ankles, and ate it, hard. I landed on my head. It was one of the worst wipe outs I have ever had, so bad that I snapped both of my poles in half. No kidding. I would probably have a concussion or worse if I hadn’t made the equipment upgrade a few weeks prior. 85 bucks seems like a small price to pay.

Here is a picture of me and my new fashion accessory, mere minutes before the afforementioned incident. I’m so glad I left the XL sticker on there (click pix to enlarge).


While I’m at it, here’s a picture of Mt. Jefferson, with Three Sisters in the background, from the top of Mt. Hood. I fucking love Oregon.


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And then you ask yourself

January 31, 2007 at 7:39 am (Personal)

Are you happy now?
Is that what you wanted?
Does that solve all your problems?
Does that answer all your questions?
Will it be easier now?
Can you forget about the past?
Can you move on now?
Why is it so easy when she isn’t here?
Why is it so hard when she is?
Why are you surprised?
What the hell do you want out of life?
Does anyone still read this thing?

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In Honor of The Flat Earth Society

November 27, 2006 at 2:44 pm (Personal)

I got up at 4:30 today, to fly back home in time to go to work for about 5 hours.  Yes, I need the money that badly.  The first leg of the flight was flawless–don’t ever let anyone talk trash on small town airports.  But now, the second leg of my flight has been delayed, so far, 1 hour thirty minutes, and with each passing second I wonder a little more why I got up so early this morning.

Unfortunately, this is likely the first of 2 cross-country flights I will take this week.  I found out late last night that a good friend died over the weekend, in a car accident.  We were in a band together in college.  We were drinking buddies.  We spent literally weeks of our lives together in chemistry and biology labs.  He spent the same semester as I in Australia.  I hadn’t seen or talked to him in years.  He is one of those friends who, despite our lack of active communication, I thought of often.  I would say to myself, “man, I need to call Jon,” in fact I was thinking it just about a week ago.  And now I can never do that.  I can’t even begin to describe how sad that makes me.

I am sorry that I don’t make a better effort to stay in touch with people.  People who are still alive.  I truly am.  I hope I will learn something from this, although it hasn’t entirely sunk in yet.  Don’t ever take anybody for granted.  I miss you Jon.  As I write this I am being flooded with memories.  I will never forget Big Red.  I will never forget the time you laughed at me when I told you I wasn’t eating beef anymore, then fed me a cow you raised.  I will never forget the summer we spent as janitors, pilfering leftover furniture and liquor from the dorms.   I will never forget our drum solo at Haverfest sophomore year…we truly rocked the house.  I have to stop now, I am in public.

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The dam bursts

August 2, 2006 at 2:13 am (Personal)

Not yet, but soon.  If I hear the phrase “but from a fish perspective…” one more time, I am going to scream.  Yes ladies and gentlemen, living with 5 girls I don’t really know is finally starting to take its toll on me. Especially as the project winds down, the stress winds up and the cattiness explodes.  The Schriz just about lost it today, which was actually really funny.  She’s cute when she’s angry.  Fish Girl is aiming for a long-term field research project with extreme prejudice, if you know what I mean.  One of the hippies threw in the towel today, I am pretty sure.  The Only Girl In The World With A Lisp Worse Than My Ex Girlfriend is as annoying as ever.  Plant Lady has quite literally moved out.  And I’m at the bar, using Illustrator to trace an old dike system at an abandoned trailer park.  Yes my friends, the irony is so thick, it is suffocating.

Here’s my question.  When you hide your drinking habit from those around you, does that constitute a drinking problem?  For example, I plan on leaving here pretty soon, going home, holing up in my room, blasting some Yes, pounding a few Bud Lights and fantasizing about all the dikes that my tax dollars used to support.

I define “problem” liberally.  For example, it is clearly a problem that I can’t go home and sit in my living room watching Seinfeld re-runs and drinking in my underwear.  But what about the more clinical kind of problem?  I don’t think I am doing myself harm; in fact I am doing myself a favor.  I would honestly rather jump off a bridge than sit at that table one more night listening to someone ask me for the 14th time how I made my map all colorful like that.  Thoughts?

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May 7, 2006 at 1:02 am (Personal)

I wasn't having a very good day today.

I woke up and had a hangover. I'm 28, and I fucking hate hangovers. I just can't deal with them anymore, almost enough to make me stop drinking excessively. Almost. I also have an unexplained soreness in my tailbone, as though I fell out of a chair last night or something. I don't remember doing that (anyone? did I do that?) I remember knocking someone out of his chair, so maybe it's karma. Vacarious pain. I don't know, but it has gotten worse throughout the day. These two things combined to make my favorite Saturday morning activity impossible.

I have been really stressed out about school lately. I look at all the stuff I have to do over the next 6 weeks, and it is unbelievable. I went down to do some work today in a computer lab, and my Ipod (which doubles as a flash drive) is broken. The FTP server that I use as a backup was down. So I couldn't access my data, or do any meaningful work on this huge project that is looming over my head like a guillotine. I went to the gym to blow off some steam, but my tailbone made working out painful so I didn't last long. I was extremely frustrated.

Then something interesting happened. I was driving home and had a strong sense of deja vu. The first Saturday in May last year, I was on my way home at almost the exact same time, on the same route, the weather was identical, the sun, the temperature, the breeze, the smell of spring in the air. Except last year I was on my way home to begin dealing with an extremely traumatic event that had just begun to unfold. On that trip today, I realized that I have absolutely nothing to complain about.

I just went for a run, down to a place called Grant Park. I was taking a break, watching a little league baseball game. I saw some kid strike out, get mad, and throw his bat against a fence. Coach pulled him aside and gave him a little pep talk. It reminded me of one of the commencement speakers at my college graduation, who reminded us that even the best baseball players in the world are lucky if they get a hit 35% of the time. They fail a lot more often than not.

I realized that my life is better today than it was one year ago, even one year and one day ago, in every measurable sense. I can never be certain of this, but I think that the oft-cited incident of one year ago played a large role in that transformation. At this point, I can't imagine what life would be like if it hadn't happened, and I don't even want to imagine it.

I have formed new relationships, and solidified others, to an extent that I wouldn't have otherwise done, with some high-quality individuals who I intend on remaining friends with for a long time. I feel smarter (school will do that to you). I am in the best physical condition of my adult life. I have long since stopped questioning my decision to move to the west coast. My gf told me today that we don't have sex enough; quite a change of pace for me and something I definitely look forward to improving. She is a superior human being to my previous gf, any way you slice it. Apple will fix my Ipod for free (because I bought a warranty, but even if I hadn't it would only be $49. Contrast that with Sprint, who will not fix anything not under warranty, and their warranties are so restrictive that pretty much means they won't fix anything. Yet I continue to send them a check every month.) I am going to Otis, Oregon tomorrow, to scope out my digs for my summer job on the coast. On June 14 I will be 3 credit hours from a Master's degree. I have 5 gallons of homemade glacier (excuse me, snowpack) beer in the kitchen, that I will put in bottles soon. Then I get to drink them.

I look back on how I felt this time last year and it makes stressing out about a paper seem kind of silly.  I'm going to go buy some shrimp and throw them on the barby.

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The Ministry of Ministry

March 7, 2006 at 6:57 am (Music, Personal, Portland)

Ministry is my new favorite band. Until recently, I had no idea they have been around since 1983. Actually, it’s more like a J Mascis kind of thing the Rolling Stones. Anyway, they are playing at the Roseland on May 27, and I can’t wait. If anybody out there wants to go, let me know. Ich bin ein Berliner, dude. I have been out of the music business for far too long. I am really starting to become amazed at how much my life has been on hold for the last 10 months or so. In honor of this new appreciation, here are the lyrics to my new favorite song, now playing on my myspace profile if you happen to know what that is. This one kind of reminds me of someone I used to know.

Filth Pig

Well I started out younger at things that people start younger at
A thousand days and nights of getting overexposed
Then someone asks, "How do you sleep at night?"
With the borrowed dreams from a broken man

You keep runnin' away don't matter how far You always wind up there
Another thousand pileups in the ugly name of morality
Fucking ugly, some creepy guy keeps asking "How the fuck do you sleep at night?"
With a broken dream and a borrowed hope that died

Filth pig, filth pig
He sleeps with both eyes open
Filth pig, filth pig

You keep chasing this tail but the tail gets bigger go figure
A thousand more stories keep the fires and flames alive
So how the fuck do you dream at night?
With the memories of a borrowed death, the guilty liesFilth pig, filth pigHe sleeps with both eyes open
Filth pig, filth pig

He sleeps all right because he's a Filth pig

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March 6, 2006 at 4:07 am (Personal, Random)

This year, my New Year’s Resolution was to never pay another ATM fee. I figured it out once, and in 2003 I averaged between 20 and 30 dollars a month for the mere convenience of cash on demand. And that was with Wawa as a resource (Philly-based convenience store with free ATMs) I think I have set a record for New Year’s Resolutions, because so far this year I have not broken it. Not impressed? Consider this: my credit union owns and operates exactly one ATM, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

How about them apples?

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