Thursday, September 30, 2004

"Adjectives On The Typewriter"

It's a good thing I took a nap this afternoon during my break--none of the other employees scheduled to be in tonight are here. Admittedly, one of them is a girl who quit last week and the other is a guy who was here when I arrived, but who has since left because he has to get ready to go to New York (he went to New York not two weeks ago, I swear. Apparently his friends live there and he's going to see them again). Anyway, I'm the only employee here, and we have three students all working on papers that are due tomorrow.

The bastard in me says I should just let these kids suffer the consequences of waiting until the night before. But I'm way too damn nice, so that probably won't be the case.

Anyway, tomorrow is finally payday, and not a day too soon. I also have to pay rent/tuition tomorrow, and I'm really not looking forward to that at all. On the other hand, I can go find myself a new CD to ease the pain of a weekend at home.

Yeah, home. I'm going to visit the folks Friday and Saturday. Of course, they won't be there for most of Saturday, but that's their problem, not mine. Maybe it means I'll get chewed out less. Also probably means I'll go visit my grandparents up the street and see if I can convince my grandmother to take me out to lunch (shouldn't take much--just showing up around lunchtime usually does the trick).

Scratch my earlier statement about the number of students--now there are four. I swear, turn your back to the door for a minute, and they slip in on ya. Eesh. Oh well, back to the grind.


Song of the Moment: Cake, "Long Line of Cars"
"Asleep In Perfect Blue Buildings"

I actually got a decent night's sleep.

I know, it's crazy, but I was in bed by 10.30 and asleep by 11.00, and didn't have to wake up until 7.00. That's a whole eight hours of sleep, which is about twice what I've been getting.

On top of that, I went jogging again last night (twice this week. I'm a machine!). If I keep up habits like that, I might--dare I say it?--start getting in shape again. But let's not get crazy here, yeah?

Of course, I'm still not over-fond of this waking up early every day crap. Ugh.


Song of the Moment: The Flaming Lips, "After the Gold Rush"

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

"Come Gather 'Round People, Wherever You Roam"

So a few weeks ago, as I was wrapping up the scripts for the Yellowstone Saga, I started wondering what my next big storyline would be. I had a few ideas, though none of them were really fleshed out yet. I ultimately decided to do a series of comics that were political in nature, a political satire the likes of which the world has never seen.

Then I decided not to.

The second decision was made about a week ago, mostly because I didn't like how I'd started the series, I didn't know where I was going to take it, and frankly, it wasn't all that funny. I started working on a couple of other possibilities, but I was restless. Nothing was clicking--I couldn't come up with anything funny for important and necessary plot movement, and none of the comics really seemed all that inspired.

So I sat down this afternoon with the intention of creating a new storyline (finally) that I could start next week or the week after. As I stared at the blank page, my mind started clicking and whirring. The next thing I knew, I had the first three or four comics for the political satire storyline drawn, and a good idea what I wanted to do with it (at least for the next few weeks).

So chances are, I'll start a new storyline on Monday or Wednesday of next week--a story that examines the electoral process, that lampoons presidential debates, and generally makes fun of democracy and all its American idyosyncracies (of which there are many). With any luck, I'll make people laugh. With a little more, I'll piss a couple of people off. Pushing my luck real far, perhaps I'll make someone think. Whatever the ultimate result, I think I'm now ready to tackle the storyline and actually make it interesting.


Song of the Moment: David Bowie, "Rebel Rebel"
"I Am Feeling Really Stupid Now"

So I just found out why I'm on the schedule for 51 hours a week.

It's not the schedule.

See, my boss had made up a sheet that had all of our available times on it. She had it sitting on her desk (in the spot usually reserved for the schedule), and the old schedule was nowhere to be seen, so we naturally all assumed it was the new schedule. I begin working the times I'm written down for. Hilarity and lack of sleep ensue.

Anyway, I talked with my boss about it, and we ought to have a real schedule by next week. I'm just working the not-a-schedule schedule until then, because hey, that's a lot of extra money. A lot.


Song of the Moment: Toad the Wet Sprocket, "Stupid"
"Big Dark Clouds On A Yellow Plain"

The long days at work are really getting to me. I took a couple of hours off earlier this afternoon just so I could recover, and it really didn't do much except make me realize how nice it would've been not to have to come back to work.

But such is life. I just keep telling myself the paycheck will make up for it.

Had a hell of a time sleeping last night. I was restless the whole night, and kept waking up about every hour. At one point, I had a bizzare dream--it was day, and I got up and got ready as I usually would. But instead of going to class and then work, I went to the mall (of all the freakin' places to go). While I was there, I happened to look down at my watch and realize it was about 11.45 am...and I thought to myself, "hmm, I missed class and work." Then I went back to perusing the Van Morrison CDs (I was in a CD store, and all they had were Van Morrison CDs...the only problem with that was that I had most of the ones they were selling).

Anyway, it was bizzare and rather surreal. It also proved to me that I need a good night's sleep. Maybe tonight.

And maybe I'm a Chinese Jet Pilot.


Song of the Moment: Mark Knopfler, "Wanderlust"

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

"St. Robinson In His Cadillac Dream"

It's another of those long days today. Instead of a two hour break like I had yesterday, I'm scheduled for a one hour break at 5.00. But I talked with Everett, and he's gonna hold down the fort for me until 7.00, which'll give me at least a couple of hours to rest and recover.

Finally did some laundry last night (this was very needful--I was down to my last clean pair of underwear and no clean socks). I'm hoping I can drag whatever else out until this Friday, when I go home, since I can do laundry for free there.

Going home this weekend is really kind of a strange thing. I really need to, because I need to get my new car tag sticker and do laundry. But at the same time, my folks are going to be gone for most of the time I'm there (there's an OSU home game Saturday around midday, so they'll be going to that). I'll probably just go up to my grandparents' house for most of the day Saturday before making the trek back to Norman Saturday evening (any earlier, and I'd have to deal with the football crowd--which means I wouldn't be able to get into my apartment).

Oh, the guy who draws Eternal Venture (as well as a great comic for the Opinion Page at the OU Daily) is probably going to start doing a daily strip for the school paper. He asked me why I hadn't tried to do something like that, but my comic and school obligations are already heavy enough, and I'm not sure I have enough funny in me to do that many comics per week (we'd be talking about nine comics per week--three Crooked Halo, one Opinion Page, and five others) on top of any random Keenspace Forum stuff or doodles. But yeah, it'll be neat to see what he does with it.


Song of the Moment: Wilco, "Dash-7"

Monday, September 27, 2004

"Help Me Pick Up The Change"

Lord, there's still another hour to go before I get to leave work. It's been pretty quiet most of the evening, but damn if I don't want to go home. I haven't eaten since early this afternoon (before 1.00 pm), so I'm starting to kinda feel that. On top of that, I really need to go to Wal-Mart to pick up some odds and ends (a new tube of toothpaste would be useful, while I'm thinking about it). That's dangerous--me going to Wal-Mart while hungry. I end up coming home with a bunch of stuff I really don't need.

At least it'll be stuff that tastes good, though.

One of the things that really bothers me about my current work schedule is that there really aren't that many opportunities for running or for cooking real meals. Admittedly, I haven't been real good about either even with the spare time I had, but that's hardly the point. It's the fact that, had I wanted to, I could have, but now I really won't be able to. I'm going to try to run and fix real food more often anyway, but I'm also going to be realistic and recognize the fact that there's a good chance I'll fail more often than not.

There's been a steady succession of folks needing to use the copy machine this evening. The amusing thing about it is that they'll stand there for a minute or two, trying to figure out how to use the thing (you have to type in a security code to use the machine). They'll stare at it for a bit, then finally break down and admit they don't know how to work it. Seeing the look of confusion in their eyes and the borderline humility of having to ask for help really makes my day.


Song of the Moment: Wilco, "Passenger Side"
"We Find Some Reason To Believe"

Got a visit this afternoon from my favorite student-athlete, Amparo, aka "Hot Spanish Golfer Chick" (an accurate descriptor, I assure you). I haven't seen the HSGC in the center much over the past semester and a half or so, but that's mostly because she hasn't had many papers to write. She said she'd have a couple more for me to look at in the coming months, and wants me specifically to look at them, so I guess I'll be seeing her again.

Thing is, she's got a better grasp of the English language than most people who write and speak it as their first language. She certainly puts more effort into her papers than most students. Looking over the paper she brought in this afternoon, there really wasn't much for me to correct. Most of the corrections were minor things (commas, prepositonal errors that are common even for native speakers, and word/phrase choice issues of an idomatic nature). Her biggest problem was using phrases and words that make perfect sense in Spanish, but do not make sense in the American English idiom. She's exceptionally competent, which really just adds to the fact that she's probably the most student-athlete I've dealt with in my 2+ years here.

Man, it bugs me that we can't date the athletes sometimes. I understand the reasoning, and I admit that it makes perfect sense, but girls like the HSGC really make it tough to follow that.

Of course, she'd most likely turn me down if I asked her on a date anyway, so it really doesn't matter all that much. But a man can dream.


Song of the Moment: Jars of Clay, "Sunny Days"
"Have I Got A Long Way To Run?"

I ran today for the first time in three or four weeks (it's been at least as long as I've had the gout problem, and probably even before that, when I was sick). Really, I haven't run much since about early July, maybe late June. There were always excuses--the weather, time, the heat, didn't feel up to it, I was out of town, I was out of town again, I was getting ready for school, I was sick, I had gout, I'm working full time and attending school, aliens invaded and I had to fight them off using nothing but my Gameboy Advance SP and a roll of duct tape...y'know, stuff.

So when I laced up the ol' running shoes this afternoon, I was a little apprehensive about what the results of the run would be to say the least. I figured any number of things could go wrong, not least of which would be that the gouty foot (which still aches occasionally, but not enough to even have an effect on my stride, thank God) would start hurting like hell and making walking difficult for the next week or so, nevermind running.

But I was pleasantly surprised. Running felt good today. There's always been a kind of satisfaction in it for me, because I know I may not be the fastest or have the greatest distance, but it was still something I was capable of doing without screwing up really bad, and the only person I ever compete against is myself (or occasionally other random runners I see out on the streets, but they never know we're racing). Being able to run again felt right, and I'm filled with a sense of satisfaction at a job well-done, even if I didn't go very far or very fast. I did as well as could be expected, given the circumstances.

Most of all, though, managing to run today convinced me that I'm ready to start running several times a week again. This has several benefits--I can start working on getting my distance back up to where it should be (three miles), I can enjoy the beautiful weather (while it lasts), and I can try to lose some weight.

I will admit, that last one is a major part of wanting to get back to exercising regularly. Given a choice in the matter, I could care less about being able to run three miles or running them fast enough to impress my father or brother. I could care less about being athletic and active. Given a choice, I'm lazy. I'm lethargic. I prefer sitting around doing indoor things. I like the outdoors, and I love hiking and enjoying nature. But hiking has a purpose to me--by hiking, I can go somewhere and see something amazing and beautiful, and enjoy scenery that I don't get to enjoy here. Running has the benefit of helping me get slimmer and occasionally blow off steam, but nine times out of ten, it's a task, a chore, something that is part of my routine, the same as having to go to the bathroom or do the dishes--it's needful, perhaps, but not something I'll take much joy in. Don't mistake my sense of satisfaction at running for enjoying running--I find it tedious, almost onerous, but it's something I can see the value of, and I do feel better when I've been running regularly.

Anyway, my real goal is to start losing weight again. I've gained a lot over the past year especially, and I'm back up to where I was at the end of my sophomore year of college (when I started working for my dad for the first time and weighed...well, more than was good for me). I want to lose at least five or ten pounds before the 15th, when I'm going to Arkansas for another wedding. That's doable, I know it is. It's just a matter of will power.

Which brings me to my next point--I hereby state for the record that I am giving up soda pop. No more soda pop at work, or when I'm sitting around the apartment, or driving places (unless absolutely necessary to keep me awake on the highway), and not when I'm eating out (which I'm also gonna cut back on). One of my major sources of empty calories is soda pop, and cutting it out should remove anywhere from 400-800 calories per day, easy. I need to drink more water anyway to help keep the gout under control.

It really annoys me that I have to worry this much about these things at the age of 24. But I know I can do better and look better than I do right now. I know I can lose this weight--I've done it before, several times (once per summer for three years, actually). Admittedly, I had help those times, and my track record on my own is rather woeful, but I've got to try. Nothing gets done if I don't at least try, right?


Song of the Moment: Grateful Dead, "Touch of Grey"

Sunday, September 26, 2004

"And I Think It's Gonna Be A Long, Long Time"

I'm feeling rather disquieted right now, and I can't quite place why. I think part of it is having not had any human interaction today (except with the person behind the counter at Little Ceasers and the guy behind the counter at the gas station, but those don't count because neither case was an instance of interaction between two individuals, but rather interaction between consumer and service/goods provider). Beyond going to forage for food, I haven't left the apartment all day. I did talk to my mom, but that really doesn't count as human interaction because we spent most of the conversation arguing.

Days like this just sort of highlight my loneliness and isolation. Most of the time, I don't mind isolation. I spent a lot of time hanging around my undergrad roommate, one of the world's worst antisocials, and some of him rubbed off on me (I got most of the rest disinfected, though). My general opinion of most people is that, while I'm sure they're all very nice people and very worthwhile in their own way, I probably don't want anything to do with them. And they're probably stupid. Since I live in Oklahoma, that last bit is especially likely. Given that I'm in Norman, a city well known for its infatuation, nay, it's zealous obsession, with football, the likelihood of any given individual I come across being a complete blithering moron increases exponentially.

Beyond that, I've always had an isolationist streak to me. I prefer small, intimate gatherings of two or three people to wild, racous parties, I feel uncomfortable and nervous in large groups, and I prefer having a small circle of very close friends to a large group of good acquaintances. There's also the fact that most of my favorite activities--reading, writing, drawing, playing videogames, and listening to music--are activities that are predominantly individualistic. While I don't mind people watching while I draw, and I enjoy sharing my work with lots of people, I prefer to share my work, not me. And having people watching over my shoulder has always left me feeling just a bit odd, to tell the truth.

More than that, even, is the fact that I've chosen a profession--historian--which is very predisposed towards isolationism. Most activities associated with history--again, reading and writing, but also research--are by their very nature individual activities. In essence, I'm setting myself up to be a hermit.

Which is fine, really. I don't mind being by myself most of the time. I've spent a good majority of the past two years rather alone, even when I'm in a crowd. I've always been rather detached from everyone else, acting as more of an observer than a participant or a member of the group. But there are still times when I'd really like having just one person--preferably female--around. A companion would be nice, I guess. Someone I could relate to without effort, someone around whom I never felt anxious or uptight or concerned that I'm about to say something stupid (an all-too-common feature of many of my conversations with members of the opposite sex).

I want a match, I guess.

And, romantic that I am, I still have no doubt in my mind that I'll find one. I'm absolutely certain that I'll find someone who fits me so well, so perfectly, that we're like a single individual. I've seen several of my friends find such matches. I know it's possible, even for someone as antisocial as my roommate was. Whether I'll find her soon or not remains to be seen.

But really, spending today alone was rather lonely. I don't feel like repeating the experience anytime soon, if I can help it.


Song of the Moment: Elton John, "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road"
"Old 97's - Fight Songs"

So my most recent musical acquisition has been the Old 97's fourth album, Fight Songs. It's the follow-up to Too Far To Care, which is still their best record in my opinion.

The most noticeable difference between the two albums is the musical tone. Whereas Too Far To Care approached country music from a punk angle, Fight Songs takes the more traditional country-rock approach, a la Neil Young or some of Dylan's '70's work. There's still plenty of energy and twang here, but a lot of the ragged edges have been smoothed in favor of songcraft and melody.

The tradeoff works well, in this case. Rhett Miller's lyrics and croon take centerstage, and his wordplay is as sharp as ever. Miller spent much of Too Far To Care yelping and speeding through his lyrics, attempting to keep up with the hyperactive music. On Fight Songs, he's slowed down, giving each phrase the time and attention it deserves. He's also toned down the vocal theatrics. Miller sings most of the songs with a croon reminiscient of Jeff Tweedy's (from Wilco) or Elliot Smith, though more melodic than the former and less fragile than the latter.

Despite this slight stylistic shift in music and vocals, there are still plenty of rockers on the album. The lead-off tune, "Jagged," keeps a great beat and has wicked lyrics. "Oppenheimer" sounds like something off of Rhett Miller's solo album The Instigator in terms of the music and his delivery. "Indefinitely" has some wonderful vocal interplay between Miller and bassist Murray Hammond, and is one of the most straight-ahead pop-rock tunes on the album.

The highlight of the disc, though, is the closer "Valentine," which features just an acoustic guitar, acoustic bass, and vocals courtesy of Murray Hammond (backed up by Miller). Lyrically, the song could be an old Willie Nelson or Merle Haggard tune, and features lines such as "Valentine the destroyer" and "Of all the many ways a man will break his heart/well there ain't none meaner tahn he pulls his own apart." It's a witty, nakedly honest tune that leaves you wondering whether you're supposed to smile or frown, and it closes out the album perfectly.

All in all, Fight Songs is a worthwhile effort from the Old 97's. While it lacks Too Far To Care's manic energy and enthusiasm, it's still a fine album filled with wonderful tunes. Besides, Too Far To Care's shoes are pretty big to fill, and rather than attempting to, the Old 97's took their music in a slightly different, and ultimately just as satisfying, direction.


Song of the Moment: Old 97's, "Valentine"

Saturday, September 25, 2004

"Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss"

Hung out with Ev and Co. all evening. We watched the second part of the Campbell Interview (the one we started back in the summer), which was neat and very thought-provoking. Then we just sat around for a couple of hours shooting the proverbial bull, chatting about this and that, and convincing one of Ev's good friends (nicknamed Critter) that he should ask out the girl who'd been watching Campbell with us (she'd already left by this time). I think we convinced him to go for it, mostly by me saying that if he didn't ask her out, I would. It's amazing how useful a little competition can be.

Admittedly, she is a girl I wouldn't mind asking out for my own sake anyway, but, well, [insert generic pre-fab excuse here]. Anyway, I'm not too concerned about it. A girlfriend would be nice, but at this point, anyone whom I'd see on a regular basis (romantically or otherwise) would be nice. I'm tired of the rut of work/class/sleep I'm in. I feel exhausted 90% of my waking hours, and I'm too busy the other 10% to do very much.

My foot's started hurting again. Starting tomorrow, I'm drinking nothing but water and juice for about a week or so. I also plan on running tomorrow, though with the gout starting to act up again, that may not happen. I swear, not being able to run annoys me more than just about anything else right now. I want to run, I want to get back into shape and lose weight, but my schedule, foot, and personal inclination aren't allowing for it. It's as though I'm conspiring against myself to prevent me from being who and what I want to be (God, that statement right there really explains me and my life all too well).

Anyway, tomorrow (well, later today) you can expect a review of the Old 97's Fight Songs, and who knows what else. Maybe some cheese. Everyone likes cheese, right?


Song of the Moment: XTC, "Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her, Kiss Her"

Friday, September 24, 2004

"And The World Looks Just The Same And History Ain't Changed"

It's been a weird morning. I woke up when my alarm first went off (for once in my life), and had every intention of falling right back to sleep and hitting the snooze button two or three or four times.

Then the power went out.

As in completely out. Everything in the apartment died. I don't know if it was just this building, or just this area of town, or what, but my entire apartment went dead quiet for about two or three minutes at 6.30 in the morning. It's still pitch black outside at that time of the day, so I wasn't quite sure how I was going to shower or anything like that.

Thankfully, the power came back on a few minutes later, and I went back to sleep until 7.30.

Anyway, that was only the first bizzare occurance of the day. About half an hour ago, as I was driving home from the bank (I'd gone to deposit the check Beth sent me to repay me for the furniture I bought her when we were in Florida last month), I was stopped behind a pickup truck. This truck had a hand-written sign in the back window that read "Pacifists are Parasites on Freedom."

Things like that really just depress me, in part because the person who posted this sign probably considers himself a good Christian. Now, I'm not saying I've read the Bible cover to cover or anything, but I've done some pretty extensive reading and studying of the book, and I got that minor in religion and philosphy at Ozarks, which means I took lots of religion courses. I don't recall anywhere Jesus saying something like, "Hey guys, verily I say unto you, go forth and smite all who look at thee cross-eyed, yea, and look down upon all those who disagree with you."

How can people actually think like that? It just boggles my mind. I mean, it's like the folks who can't comprehend how someone can be opposed to the war in Iraq but still support the troops. The idea seems pretty clear-cut to me. Supporting troops is supporting human life--you want the troops to survive the encounter and come back whole. The reason warhawks have trouble reconciling the idea of pacifists supporting troops but not the war is that they don't understand a pacifist's stance at all. People who are pacifistic do not want anyone to die or be killed. This includes the troops. Thus, we support the notion of the troops not dying--we support their right to live. If you look at it from that point of view, supporting troops but not the war is a totally valid philosophical stance.

Back to the sign, though--parasites on freedom? That's a bit harsh, I think. Okay, the previous phrase doesn't even begin to do my thoughts on the matter justice. It's ridiculous to say that just because my stance on fighting and war is different than yours, that I'm wrong, a parasite, or a Godless Commie Bastard. It's ludicrous, and it's the sort of tactic Bush's administration has been beating into people's heads for awhile now--believe and say as we do, or you are wrong. That sort of logic has never flown with me, and has never been a valid argument, and I'm not about to start believing it now.

Anyway, the sign annoyed me, because closed-minded thinking like that is directly related to the "My country, right or wrong" mentality. Automatically assuming your position is right without first consulting relavent facts is irresponsible. By the same token, assuming that your country is always in the right (when we have a history of doing stupid, selfish things just because we can and want to) is about the stupidest thing you could do.


Song of the Moment: The Who, "Won't Get Fooled Again"

Thursday, September 23, 2004

"It's Only Teenage Wasteland"

Work's been rather busy this evening. We haven't been swamped by any means, but there've been people here all evening, so it's not exactly a quiet night in the Writing Center (as so many of them are). This morning/afternoon was busy, too, but it was busy in a constantly helping people sort of way. The early morning thing will very likely kill me, but I at least I'll be making lots of money so I can enjoy my death in style.

I ended up working just over 39 hours this week. When you compare that to the six to nine hours I was earning per week during the summer, it's a marked improvement...even if it does mean I have to actually do work.


Song of the Moment: The Who, "Baba O'Riley"
"Bad Dog No Biscuit"

I've been re-watching Cowboy Bebop the past week or two. It's still one of my favorite anime series ever. The style and humor in that show are simply outstanding.

I'm down to the last two episodes, which are connected to each other (for those of you out there who haven't seen the series...and shame on you if this is the case). The last three episodes always sorta choke me up--#24 because of the stuff with Ed finding her father and Faye finding her memory (only to discover it was all in vain and there's nothing left); #25 and #26 are just heartbreaking for reasons I don't fully understand. Faye's realization of where she belongs and what is important, Spike losing everything because of what he tried to walk away from years earlier, Jet's inability to prevent the storm from coming...these elements add up to an amazingly emotional climax. The end of episode 26 always gets me a little misty-eyed. I think part of it is the song, "Blue." The lyrics are pretty straightforward--it's a song about how blue the sky is and how it reminds the singer of the past and of freedom. It's not so much the words that get to me, as it is the music and the singing. The vocalist is powerful--she brings emotion and energy to the words, stretching them out and working them over, building alongside the music to a dazzling cressendo. That in conjunction with watching my favorite character die (I won't say who it is for the two of you out there who haven't seen the damn series) just gets to me every time.

So I'll probably watch the last two episodes tomorrow in between work shifts. I'll tear up at the end, like I always do, and then I'll go about my life. Cartoons shouldn't have this much emotional impact, I don't think.


Song of the Moment: Yoko Kanno & the Seatbelts, "Walk in the Rain"

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

"Money Don't Buy Everything It's True"

So I went by an ATM this evening 'cause I was in need of some cash, and I happened to look at the receipt for my transaction. My bank is kind enough to keep a running balance of available funds in the account on your receipt, and I noticed that I have about $250-300 more in the bank than I should. This leads me to only one conclusion: mom's been depositing money in the account again on the sly without telling me.

On the face of it, this sounds like a really nice thing to do. And it does sound nice, right up until you understand why she did it--she doesn't trust me.

See, she's doing this to keep me from overdrafting my account and bouncing a check. She's afraid that I don't have enough fiscal sense to keep from overdrawing on my account, even though I have never once in the past eight or nine years done so. The secret deposit is merely an example of her lack of faith in me.

She figures that if she does it without me knowing about it, I won't spend it. Not only that, she also assumes that I'm too damn stupid to know to stop spending money when I'm running low.

Nevermind the fact that I deposited over $300 myself in the account last Friday, or that I'll be receiving another $180 from Beth any day now. Nevermind that I'll deposit another $300 in the account next Friday--mom assumes that my spending habits and common sense are so poor, I need extra money from her to keep me from screwing up.

In part, she's kinda right. I don't have very good spending habits, and I tend not to have much common sense when it comes to money. I mean, I've already run through all the cash I' d kept out from my paycheck last Friday. But I think part of the problem (by no means the entire problem, though--I'm not placing all the blame on someone else) is that mom's never let me fall on my ass financially. She's always covered me, several times using this covert method so I don't know about it. The thing is, I'm improving, I'm getting better--I don't spend as recklessly as I did a semester or two ago. I try to budget. But things like this...while I appreciate her giving me money, it also hurts me to know that she has that little faith in me.

I don't know how to really react to this. On the one hand, it gives me even more cushion in my account. On the other hand, it means mom still doesn't think enough of me to let me take care of things on my own. She complains that I'm not independent enough, but she keeps doing things like this that only reaffirm my dependence on her. It's very frustrating.


Song of the Moment: Oasis, "D'You Know What I Mean?"
"That's No Moon"

So the Star Wars Trilogy came out on DVD yesterday, right? You'd think, being the big Star Wars nut that I am, that I'd have been waiting in line to purchase it, yes?

You'd be wrong.

Why? Several reasons. First and foremost is funding--I don't have the cash right now to plop down for that. Second is that I have the movies on VHS (though my tapes are starting to show their wear and tear after six or seven years). Third, I'm waiting for Christmas. Why pay for something someone will give to you, right?

Anyway, I do look forward to getting the DVD set. It's been a long time coming, and it sounds like they added some decent extras to the set as well.

I just hope they didn't digitally add Jar Jar to Empire or something. That would make me the saddest Jedi ever.

Dear God, I just wrote "saddest Jedi ever," didn't I?


Song of the Moment: John Williams, "Imperial March"
"My Pop Quiz Kid"

I'm sitting at work right now, and I don't think I'll be leaving anytime soon. I'm on the schedule to be here until 6.00 tonight, which is a really long day. And this is just the beginning--my boss is reworking our schedule right now, and it looks like she's got me scheduled for about 50 hours per week...which is great, except that it's gonna kill me and, technically, I'm not allowed to work that much (we're not allowed to work more than about 35 hours per week, because otherwise the university has to give us benefits and stuff, and that's expensive). What will probably happen is that we'll just roll over hours past a certain point (around 35 or so hours per week) and save them up for when I'm not working as much (weeks where we have days off, the month of December, etc.). If this works out, I could be getting paychecks from the university until the end of next year.

I'm tired. Going to the movie last night was fun, but five hours of sleep isn't nearly enough to suit me. With my new schedule, my boss is guaranteeing that I either (1) go to bed early every night or (2) die.

The upshot of being tired is that at least I'll be able to afford stuff to keep me alive. I guess. Money's no good if I don't live long enough to spend it or I'm too tired to spend it.


Song of the Moment: Pearl Jam, "Yellow Ledbetter"
"My Mind Is Filled With Radio Cures"

Just got back from seeing the third Harry Potter flick (it was playing at the cheap theatre. There are lots of movies I'll see for fifty cents. Not Catwoman, though...even fifty cents is too much to pay for that crapfest). The movie was a decent little flick. The pacing was good except for the last twenty or thirty minutes, which seemed rushed and out of step with the rest of the film. There was no build, and the climax appeared out of nowhere. But it was still well done, and the musical score reminded me of the soundtrack to Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles in places.

Anyway, I enjoyed the movie, and it's fun watching the characters grow and develop like this. The casting was good, and I was amused to find that the guy playing Professor Lupin was the same guy who played the villain in Dragonheart.

Anyway, full day ahead tomorrow (well, technically, today). Class and then work, so I don't look to get back to my apartment until around 4.00 or 5.00. It's like being out in the real world, eh? Scary...


Reel Big Fish, "Beer"

Monday, September 20, 2004

"Cookie Stand's Not Part Of The Food Court"

So I was puttering around the mall earlier this afternoon, and I noticed that the cookie stand has returned. When I was there a week and a half ago to pick up a big cookie for a coworker's going away party, the place was shut down and they were (apparently) redoing all the fixtures and whatnot. Well, the place is back, which made me happy. I have a fondness for cookies that can only be explained as most likely genetic (my dad is a cookie fiend, as is my grandfather...though really my grandfather will attempt to eat anything he's not allowed to eat, such as cookies, bread, and anything that tastes good).

Work's been pretty quiet. I keep thinking that eventually I'll remember that I'm supposed to be in by 4.00 on Mondays instead of 6.00 (the extra two hours were added to my schedule about three or four weeks ago...right around the time of Labor Day, when we were closed. I haven't been on time since).

I finished the last comic of the Yellowstone Saga this evening. I've enjoyed the story. It's the longest one I've done for the site thusfar (for Crooked Halo, anyway. Troubled Times is gonna be massive compared to the rest of the stories we're telling). I've come up with a couple of comics to run before I start the next story, and I think they're pretty damn funny, so look for those starting Friday.


Song of the Moment: Old 97's, "Just Like California"
"Time Is Slower Still"

So the internet here at the apartment was wonky for most of the weekend. We had those lovely periodic downtimes that would last for hours and hours several times this week...including one last night, right as I was getting ready to post today's comic (which I was able to put up this morning before class instead). I swear, the only thing that keeps me from really complaining about the damn network is the fact that it's basically free (well, it's included in my rent, and amounts to about $10-20 for high-speed access...when it's working).

Got a voice mail from Clif last night telling me that the Ozarks radio station was playing Cross-Eyed Yeti. "Substance Abuse," to be more specific. This sort of thing makes me happy, 'cause I was unaware there was anyone at the radio station there who was a Yeti fan. I know Adam tried to slip us in every chance he got last semester when he was doing a DJ stint, but I didn't know there were others out there. Clif said they played Sting right after us, so we're obviously of that calibur of performance and ability, he believes.

Wednesday will mark the end (finally!) of the Yellowstone Saga in Crooked Halo. I'm pleased with the way it's turned out, and happy with the way most of the comics look (there are a couple that could've been better, but so it goes). I'll probably do a couple of one-shot gag comics to give myself time to plan out my next storyline, which will be political in nature.

Here's my take on politics--I hate them. Can't stand politics, really. Like religion, someone's political views are something that you cannot change by the power of your logic and arguments. These are deeply-held beliefs and often part of the very foundation of who an individual is. Liberals and conservatives don't get along because they have fundamentally different approaches to society, policy, and the purpose of the government and law.

That being said, I'm a fairly moderate person politically. I'm what Ev calls a "traditionalist" (which is like old-school conservative, the kind that are in favor of ethics for the sake of treating other people fairly and well), but I also have some liberal leanings. Personally, I can't stand either candidate in this year's election, but I'll probably vote for Kerry. The way I see it, I don't know what Kerry will do. He may screw things up, he may not. But I know Bush will continue to do things I disapprove of, so it makes sense to vote for the unknown quantity in this case.

So the next Crooked Halo storyline will delve into politics. It's not a topic I take up lightly, though I will make light of the topic because it keeps me from weeping over the stupidity of our electoral system. The storyline will probably annoy some people. It'll probably amuse others. It might step on toes, cross lines, make people think more or think less of me, and generally hopefully stir up some sort of reaction, even if that reaction is "Chuck, you're a bad person, and there's a special hell reserved for the likes of you." That's better than folks being indifferent, and at least that way I know I've hit close to the mark.

Anyway, a few one-shots will give me the chance to work on that story, and hopefully develop it into something thought-provoking and entertaining. Who knows--I may even change some people's minds about politics.


Song of the Moment: Counting Crows, "Rain King (Live Acoustic)"

Sunday, September 19, 2004

"You're A Bottle Cap Away From Pushin' Me Too Far"

Well, finally got a chance to listen to the Old 97's Drag It Up all the way through, and I've made some initial impressions based on that listen.

The music is fairly subdued for most of the album, with softer songs and lighter arrangements than what I tend to think of as Old 97's. Rhett Miller, the lead singer, has toned down the vocal acrobatics significantly--on Too Far to Care, he often yelped and roared his way through the lyrics, but here he relys almost exclusively on a mellow croon that fits the tone of the songs well.

Several of the tunes on the album stray into straight country, a few into rock, and the rest tend to stradle the line between those two genres. The band is in fine form, working equally well with the rockers as with the swinging country numbers. The performances are subtle and understated for the most part, though a couple of numbers rock out in a very welcome fashion.

Lyrically, it's a very strong set, featuring Miller's standard clever lines, insightful commentary, and smouldering intensity that are part and parcel of the band's trademark style. Miller doesn't take all of the lead vocals himself--the bassist and lead guitarist each get a chance behind the mic, and the results are quite good.

As far as individual songs are concerned, there's a lot to like here. "Won't be Home" is a shuffling, haunting song the likes of which the Old 97's do best. "The New Kid" has a direct link to the Eagles, both stylistically and thematically (the Eagles' tune "New Kid in Town," to be specific), but never sounds like a retread. "No Mother," a tribute to a friend who was killed by a drunk driver, manages to be moving and emotional without slipping into the saccharine or sappy, and is a fitting closer to the album.

All in all, it's a good album. It's nothing revelatory or especially groundbreaking, it won't convince anyone who doesn't like the band to start listening to them, but it's a solid, well-crafted album. In fact, the strongest point in favor of this record is that it is the work of craftsmen; the Old 97's are a band who have put effort, energy, life, and emotion into 13 songs, and the results are a great listen. Worth picking up for anyone who enjoys alt-country, twangy pop, clever lyrics, and a good dose of roots-rock.


Song of the Moment: Old 97's, "The New Kid"
"She Was Above Reproach In Every Way"

I was able to make it up to Yukon to catch my uncle's band again last night. I was even able to dance a few times, though I've paid for it with some pain from my foot since. The show was good, and they spent more time playing rock than country and bluegrass (which, while I have nothing against good country and bluegrass--which is what they play--I prefer rock, both because it's my weapon of choice and because it gives my uncle a chance to really tear up on the guitar).

Got an email from Rana, an old college friend, last night. I was surprised and happy, to say the least. I hadn't heard from her in several months, and was starting to kinda worry that she'd fallen off the face of the planet. But she is alive and well, and still very much who she's always been, which is good. She's one of the sweetest people I've ever known, and a real hoot to chat with (God, I just used the term "hoot," didn't I?).

After the show last night, I made a little stop at Wal-Mart to get a few needeful things and cruise through electronics (you never know what you'll find). Anyway, picked up the Old 97's latest offerring, Drag It Up. Have to say that so far, I really like it. I don't think it's as good as Too Far to Care, the other Old 97's album I have, but that's a hard CD to beat, really. It's country rock more than alt-country, but that's fine by me.

Wrote a new song this afternoon. It's posted over at the Live Journal, so feel free to go check it out and let me know what you think.


Song of the Moment: Old 97's, "Won't be Home"

Saturday, September 18, 2004

"Does The Noise In My Head Bother You?"

Well, plans changed last night. I was supposed to watch part of the Joseph Campbell interview with Ev and a few others, but most of the others didn't show up, Ev was tired, and I wasn't up for doing much heavy thinking. So instead I gave Ev a lift to Wal-Mart and then went to Yukon and caught my uncle's band. Great show. Some of the songs off their upcoming album are simply amazing. My uncle (who wrote the music for several of the tunes and the words for my favorite, "Fire of Love," which is apparently about his son and having to be away so often because of the military) is a superb tunesmith and knows how to write catchy hook. He's also a kick ass guitarist who really knows how to rock on solos, but that's beside the point.

Anyway, after the show last night, we all ended up going to IHOP (the rich man's Waffle House) for a late night/early morning meal. That was good, since I really hadn't eaten anything substantial all day. Admittedly, it probably wasn't the greatest idea waiting until 2.30 am to have a real meal, but at least I had one.

Probably going to go see them play again tonight (same bat time, same bat channel). Sounds like the OU game just ended, so hopefully things will be clear enough in an hour or so for me to leave and maybe arrive when I need to (I was a wee bit late last night). Their setlist will probably be completely different tonight, but half the fun is discovering what songs they're going to play anyway, so I don't really mind.

Got a call from Beth this afternoon. She finally got paid by Florida State (enough to pay bills and be comfortable, which is nice), and will apparently be sending me money owed in the next couple of days, to which I can only say "woo-hoo!" No worries about making October's rent (which is a nice change of pace from how it's been for the past five or six months).


Song of the Moment: Regular Joes, "Fire of Love"

Friday, September 17, 2004

"I Feel Fine With The Sun In My Eyes"

Today's been a pretty good day. Class this morning, picked up my paycheck (huzzah!), and deposited said paycheck. Found the 4th volume of Shaman King, the manga I've been reading. That was pretty cool. What was not cool, though, was finding out the next volume won't be out until December. I'm not sure why we have to wait that long for more of a story that was originally done back in 1999, but then again, I'm not an international manga publisher, so what do I know?

I also found Mega Man Battle Network Four: Red Sun today for only $20. That's a pretty good deal for a videogame anymore, even if it was used (it's in great shape and came complete--box, instructions, etc.). That'll give me something to play after I finish playing through Golden Sun again (great RPG, nifty magic/class system stuff with the four types of djinn, but entirely too damn short. Only takes about 20-25 hours, which in RPG terms is next to nothing. Consider that it took me a good 75 hours to complete Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, and 30-40 hours to beat each of the first three installments of the Mega Man Battle Network series, and 25 hours is pretty skimpy. But still a damn fine game, and I still need to get the second game, which apparently completes the story). Yes, I am indeed getting my portable RPG fix. Now if I could just track down Skies of Arcadia and Tales of Symphonia (I can find the latter, but don't want to pay $50 for it), I'll be set.

Well, off to Ev's. Gonna do the Joseph Campbell interview tonight, and tomorrow night is the Regular Joes (my uncle's band) up in Yukon. That'll rock, yes indeed.


Song of the Moment: Bruce Springsteen, "Trapped"

Thursday, September 16, 2004

"Have You Seen Me Lately?"

Ah, so near the end of the week, and not a moment too soon! A couple more hours of work, class tomorrow morning, and I'm off the hook until Sunday.

Of course, the weekend contains plenty of goings-on. For starters, we're finally getting around to watching the second part of the Joseph Campbell Interview with Ev tomorrow evening. Considering we watched the first part back in like June or early July, this is a long time coming.

Saturday night, if my foot is up to it (which it currently isn't), I was thinking about going to hear my uncle's band play in Yukon (same venue where Beth and I saw him way back last semester). The status of my foot is relevant because inevitably, I'll be forced to dance (that's apparently what is done at these sorts of things), and I'm not going to risk hampering my mobility again just to dance to a cover of Van Morrison's "Tupelo Honey."

Of course, there's also the OU football game to contend with Saturday. It's an afternoon game (kickoff is 2.30), which means the streets ought to be passably drivable by 9.00 pm (when the gig starts up in Yukon). Of course, I'll need to leave here closer to 8.00 to get there on time, but surely they can clear some of Norman's main streets by then, right? Right?

Yeah, I doubt it, too.

In other news, my paycheck tomorrow is bigger than I assumed it would be, to my very pleasant surprise. My checking account is happy about this. Very happy.


Song of the Moment: Counting Crows, "Have you seen me Lately?"
"See How They Twist And Shout"

So I was talking with Clif on the phone earlier this evening, and he made mention of something that got me thinking.

See, he suggested that when I get my degree finished up, I just find a job. And the prospect...frightened me, to be honest. I'm scared to death of the idea of going out there and just getting a job, being in the working world. I've always just made the assumption that I'll go from here to another school to get my PhD. But...what if it doesn't work that way?

To be perfectly honest, part of the reason I'm pursuing higher degrees is a fear of the so-called real world. I don't feel ready to be out there. I don't think I can survive on my own yet. Hell, I know I can't. There's something sad about that. My brother was suggesting I find a job not out of any sort of malice, but because that's probably the logical next step for most people after college. But no--my choice was to go to another college, to remain in an environment that was, if not exactly the same as the one I just left (at Ozarks), is at least the same kind of environment, with a familiarity to it.

Honestly, I don't know what I'll do when I leave here. I don't even know when that will be. Hell, I still need to finish this semester, really. One step at a time, y'know?


Song of the Moment: Leon Russell, "Tight Rope"

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

"Everlasting Summer Filled With Ill Content"

Well, here we are halfway through the week, and we still haven't seen hide or hair of ESPN. They were supposed to be stumping around here all week, but maybe they decided they didn't care so much about the academics of the student-athletes as they did the practices and whatnot.

In any case, it's been relatively quiet here at work today. Being able to walk normally (or near normally) has been a wonderful change of pace (no pun intended), and I'll be glad when all the pain is gone from my foot. I'm thinking by Friday, I should be able to dance a jig...assuming I learn how to dance a jig between now and then. In any case, pain in my foot won't prohibit me from dancing a jig, at least.

Was waiting for the elevator this morning so I could get up to class (didn't feel like subjecting my foot to two flights of stairs...just because it's feeling better doesn't mean I want to push things too much), and some random professor happened by and noted my earphones. He asked me what I was listening to, and my reply was "The Band" ('cause that's what it was). He seemed surprised that I was listening to something from his generation (as he put it), and proceeded to chat with me about music for the ride up the elevator to the third floor. It sometimes surprises me (even still) that I seem to know more about the music of the '60s and '70s than the people who were listening to it at the time. Strange.


Song of the Moment: The Band, "Up on Cripple Creek"
"The Sign Says You Have To Have A Membership Card To Get Inside"

Wednesday morning finds my foot all but normal, with but a twinge of the pain I was experiencing Monday or even yesterday. I'm still not up for jogging and I have to watch how I walk, and extended time on my feet causes my foot to ache considerably, but it's tolerable now and not preventing me from moving about.

I was talking with Amanda E. last night on Messenger, and it occurred to both of us just how much we miss one another. I just miss having her around, even if I spent most of the year we were really in each other's company a lot moping and being all depressive and stuff. But if nothing else, I'll get to see her in a month, so I'll just have to survive until then.

Of course, before that happens, I really want to lose some weight. I've let myself get rather lax over the past year or so, to the point that running a mile would probably be a difficult activity for me (once upon a time, I thought nothing of running three miles at a shot with Clif). As soon as my foot has healed, I'm starting my running again. I may not be able to go far yet, but I'll work on it and get my distance back up eventually. Besides, if I don't lose some weight before the middle of next month, I won't have anything to wear to the wedding I'm attending, and somehow I think it would be inappropriate to attend in the nude.


Song of the Moment: The Band, "Stage Fright"

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

"Crackles On The Mic"

Just got in from the movies. That is the nice thing about Norman--the cheap theatre (tickets are usually $1 or $1.50 after 6.00 pm) has an uber-cheap night every Tuesday, when every movie is only fifty cents. It's a good deal for seeing those flicks you weren't sure about, but were curious nonetheless. Admittedly, it's not the movies that've just come out, but they get good stuff (they've currently got the third Harry Potter flick and Shrek 2, among others). Anyway, I ended up seeing Anchorman along with Jess and Dom. It was a surprisingly entertaining flick. I haven't laughed that much in quite awhile, which is about the best praise one could give the movie.

Plotwise it's pretty thin, but going to an SNL-alum's movie looking for deep, earth-rattling plot is like looking for dry land at the bottom of the ocean. What made the movie worthwhile was the shere amount of jokes they threw at you. None of these jokes, taken on their lonesome, would cause more than a smirk or wry chuckle. But the jokes aren't out there on their lonesome, they're fired at you in rapid succession, one after the other, until the absolute weight of all the jokes creates a sum which is greater than the parts and leaves you laughing aloud the whole way through.

Anyway, it was a very fun movie, the sort where you can just take your brain off the hook for an hour and a half and just giggle at a grown man acting like a complete idiot. Worth checking out if you haven't.


Song of the Moment: Wilco, "How to Fight Loneliness"
"I'm Not That Person Anymore"

I'm reading The Screwtape Letters again. I never really finished them when I got the book several months ago, but the nice thing about the book is that you can pick up virtually anywhere in the middle of it and still be abel to follow along. There is a progression through the letters, and they are all connected in some fashion, but they are also quite independent and stand alone easily.

It's hard to believe that I've been writing and musing in this thing for almost a year now. I started it back last October as a way to collect my thoughts, gather my wits, and keep my friends informed on what was running through my mind (though they may not necessarily want to know). That's still my basic purpose, I guess. Writing down my thoughts and concerns here has become a part of my routine, and my day feels incomplete if I don't write something here. I'm not sure why this thing has become so important to me, or even whether or not there are many people out there reading it. I don't know why I feel the need to relate the everyday occurances of my life to the general public (even if the "general public" in this case is probably only a handful of my friends), but I've got this entertainer/educator/exhibitionist streak to me that I've never been able to fully explain anyway. Putting my psyche up on stage for any and all to see is probably just an extension of that.


Song of the Moment: Van Morrison, "Whinin' Boy Moan"
"Went Down To The Crossroads"

Foot's feeling better today. I'm not ready to run a marathon or anything, but I can at least hobble with something approaching a normal stride. I'm still pretty slow, and it still hurts quite a bit, but it's better than yesterday. God willing, I'll be able to walk normally by the week's end.

Adam's comic today amused the hell out of me, mostly because he just killed someone we know in the comic. And he used her forum nickname. I laughed aloud for awhile with that one.

My coworkers are being mildly raunchy. It's amusing. I'm just sitting here quietly, mostly 'cause...well, I don't know why. It's just fun to sit and listen to them.


Song of the Moment: Van Morrison, "What's Wrong with this Picture?"

Monday, September 13, 2004

"Just To Check Out The Late-Night Record Shop"

I've been doing a little research, and I've come to the conclusion that I probably don't have gout. From what I can understand, gout only occurs in joints, and since the pain is along the edge of my foot (and nowhere near any joints), I can only assume it's something else.

But that begs the question: what the hell is wrong with my foot? Possibly a stone bruise or something to that effect, maybe, or possibly just some really deep bruise of some sort. Whatever it is, it's annoying me to no end, and I wish it would just go away. If it still hurts in the morning, I'm going to Goddard Health Center and asking them to take a look at it for me. I'll be damned if I'm gonna suffer through this for long.


Song of the Moment: Moxy Fruvous, "Half as Much"
"Water Moves, Earth Is Still"

Well, I managed to drag myself to work. Walking is still a painful hobble, but riding the bike was relatively easy, thank God. I should be able to get around thanks to the bike, then.

Chatted with Beth a bit this afternoon. Sounded like she was having a rough day, too, but hers was mostly in connection with the stupidity of the US Postal Service and the local tag agency (who are apparently afraid to go outside if it's raining. Guess they'll melt or something). I asked her if she planned on leaving if the hurricane made for Tallahassee. After laughing, she said, "Heck no." Her plans are something to the effect of kicking back and watching the storm roll in.

I have to wonder, though--what is it about meteorologists that makes them think, "Gee, there's a really big storm coming towards me. Think I'll watch it." Anyone with any common sense would see a tornado or a hurricane coming and seek shelter, but not meteorologists--no, they want to see it. Admittedly, I do the same thing, as Beth was quick to point out, but at least I have the decency to have been born and raised in an area where tornadoes are such a frequent occurance that they don't really bother us anymore. She's a New Yorker, so she really doesn't have any such excuse.


Song of the Moment: Barenaked Ladies, "Brian Wilson"
"I Ain't No Fortunate Son"

So I can manage to hobble around the apartment a little bit now. I can even put a little pressure on my foot. Mom says this sort of thing (if it is gout) is always worst when you first wake up in the morning, so that lends a new joy to the mornings.

As mom says, there is a history of this crap in my family. Most of it stems from the Cottrell men not wanting to drink water. My great-grandfather (a Roork, but the grandfather of my father nonetheless) refused to just drink water. He preferred his Kool-Aid, which was usually made with about twice as much sugar as the directions require. He refused to drink water until the day he died (at the ripe old age of 91, I should add), pointing out that he hadn't really cared for it before, so why start at the age of 85? There was a certain...sense to what he said, I have to admit, and a sort of twisted logic that seems to be a common trait amongst members of my family.

My dad is just as bad. He doesn't drink soda pop (my vice), but he does drink coffee, beer, the occasional Gatorade after a run, and Kool-Aid...exclusively. He doesn't drink water. He doesn't want to. Apparently his gout is currently giving him hell because of this as well.

So in essence, I get to inherit my father's tendencies and his gout. Gee dad, thanks a lot. Most fathers pass on record collections or heirlooms, and I get stiff, painful feet. Weee.


Song of the Moment: CCR, "Fortunate Son"
"Foot Of Pride"

So my foot was hurting so much last night/this morning that I didn't go to class. See, I woke up when my alarm went off (not a difficult thing to manage, since pain had kept me awake most of the night and all I'd managed was a light doze), but the walk from one room of my apartment to the next took almost five minutes and hurt like hell, so I decided to turn my sorry ass around and go back to bed until my foot felt like a foot (rather than a giant lump of stabbing pain) again.

Anyway, my foot is still causing me exceptional pain, so I called my mom (yes, my first reaction to an illness or related problem is to call my mommie. Shut up). Anyway, after chewing me out for not going to class (the first time I've skipped a class since I was a freshman in college, I might point out), she offered up the suggestion that it might be gout (something which my father suffers from in an almost chronic fashion).

This scares me. A lot. First of all, because I don't like not being able to move about by my own two feet. I hate it when my mobility is restricted. Second, the idea of being saddled with something like gout (which even my very healthy father suffers from time to time) worries and frightens me. I don't want this to become some sort of recurring thing.

But mom suggested taking some Advil and drinking lots of water (which ought to flush my system--gout is caused by a buildup of a certain type of acid in your system, and it tends to settle in the lowest part of the body--i.e., the feet). I'm also going to ice my foot some (because it was swollen ridiculously last night). Hopefully by the time I go to work this evening, I'll be able to walk normally.


Song of the Moment: Bob Dylan, "Foot of Pride"

Sunday, September 12, 2004

"Struggling To Do Everything Right"

Still at work, but less than an hour to go, so that's not so bad. Feeling very run-down, ready for the day to end. Not ready for tomorrow yet, though.

I haven't eaten anything substantial all day. I need to go to Wal-Mart and pick up a few things (milk, juice, etc.), but don't have the energy. The bottom of my left foot feels like it's bruised, and it hurts to walk or put any kind of pressure on it. All in all, I'm feelin' like crap right now.

I found something really amusing yesterday, and it's something I've yet to have a chance to discuss with Adam. See, he got Saturday's Troubled Times done and uploaded early. It was up by Friday morning. This is a rare occurance, to say the least. But then something happened with the automatic update for Keenspace, and Adam's comic did not appear until Sunday.

No matter what he tries, the comic still wants to be late. I can't help but laugh at that.


Song of the Moment: Bruce Springsteen, "Lucky Town"
"What's A Sweetheart Like You Doing In A Dump Like This?"

So this week at work is going to be interesting to say the least. See, ESPN is going to be following some of our athletes around for some sort of documentary-type thing. That means they'll probably end up following someone into the Writing Center at some point...with TV cameras.

What this means is that we all have to be on our best behavior--it also means that most of the stuff I get done at work (such as comics, playing Gameboy, listening to music) can't be done. I should still be able to read, though, and do stuff on the computer. I'm wondering if I can somehow manage to get the Dim Bulb web address on camera. That'd be a fun way to bump traffic, wouldn't it?

I am curious if the folks from ESPN are going to try to interview any of us or anything. They're probably not allowed to by the NCAA, and I don't think I'd want to talk with them anyway, but you have to wonder, at least.


Song of the Moment: Bob Dylan, "Sweetheart Like You"
"Who Killed Davey Moore?"

So my dad wants me to burn copies of a bunch of CDs I have. He also asked me to put together a compilation of Bob Dylan stuff, but the trick was he only wanted Dylan's best solo acoustic stuff.

Well, I sat down this morning to work on that list, and here's what I've got. It's subject to change, but I think I hit all the true highlights:

1. The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
2. Girl from the North Country
3. All I Really Want to Do
4. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
5. Masters of War
6. Don't Think Twice, It's Alright
7. A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
8. Blowin' in the Wind
9. Only a Pawn in Their Game
10. The Times They are A-Changin'
11. My Back Pages
12. It Ain't Me Babe
13. Seven Curses
14. Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues
15. Let Me Die in my Footsteps
16. Who Killed Davey Moore?
17. Subterranean Homesick Blues (acoustic version from Bootleg Series, Vol. 2)

I think it's a pretty good set. I'm going to run it by dad before I burn the CD, though, 'cause I'd hate to make it and then him not like it.


Song of the Moment: Bob Dylan, "My Back Pages"
"It Makes No Difference Ever Known"

On a whim, I was checking various things in my Blogger profile. Each of your interests or favorites is a link, and when you click that link, it lists other people who're interested in those things as well.

One of the things I list in both the blog profile and my Live Journal profile is "existential contemplation." I must be the only person in either thing actually interested in that, though, because in the Live Journal, it's not a link (meaning no one else has listed it as an interest), and on Blogger, it only lists me.

Kind of odd, that sort of individuality. You'd think at least one other person on either one would've listed that.


Song of the Moment: Los Lonely Boys, "Hollywood"
"This Is Not A Joke So Please Stop Smiling"

I apologize for the previous post, wherein I was in whiny emo mode. I don't rightly know what's wrong with me (well, what besides the usual), but I don't think there was really any call for that post. Ugh.

So I went out to the corner store a couple of minutes ago to get a snack. The route there was an obstacle course of cars, RVs, drunk OU fans, lawn chairs, and various combinations of all of the aforementioned. Anyway, once I actually reached the convenience store, I had to wait a good five minutes for the girl in front of me to figure out what kind of freakin' cigarettes she wanted. There was also a guy in front of me doing his damnedest to be a walking, talking Oklahoma cliche. Actually, since he was aiming for cliche, he was more of a moseyin', drawlin' Oklahoma cliche. Had the cowboy hat, the boots, the tight wranglers, the belt with the metal inlay and big buckle, the whole nine yards.

I think he was trying to hit on the cashier girl, who was sitting there listening in what I'd hesitate to call rapt fascination (but wouldn't hesitate to call "polite boredom") as he told her he'd never felt out of place in Oklahoma except for earlier today, when he'd attended a "rock concert" in Lawton. Something about all the kids in their "baggy black jeans" frightened him (of course, judging from how he was dressed, he'd probably consider clothes that fit properly to be baggy). He then went on to vouchsafe that he had Garth Brooks out in his car's CD player, and that he only ever listened to country.

As I listened impatiently to this man's ramblings, it occurred to me that he was proud of this fact, in the same way that a toddler is proud of a full potty. That analogy has more connections than I really like to think about. Of course, I'm aware that this is Oklahoma, and there's a reason most of the radio stations are country (and I've also come to grips with the idea that this isn't because all the radio stations have a personal grudge against me, though it sometimes feels as though they chose their station format and playlists in a calculated effort to annoy me).

I've felt out of place in this state many times, mostly when I'm surrounded by football fans. Admittedly, that means I'm attending the wrong damn university if I want to feel comfortable, as today proves. I hate having to deal with these people. I wish they'd all go away, and I'd really like nothing more than if the world only contained those people I truly care about. This could all just be frustration with being sick talking, but I've felt like this at times when I'm in good health as well, so I doubt that it's just a passing thing.


Song of the Moment: Barenaked Ladies, "What a Good Boy"

Saturday, September 11, 2004

"I Myself Have Found A Real Rival In Myself"

I'm a rather oafish individual. I'm cumbersome, a clutz, given to tripping over my own feet (which my eyes never leave when I'm out walking). I hunch over, rolling my shoulders to protect myself from the world. I know I'm overweight, not really all that handsome in any sort of traditional sense of the world, and that my voice is nasally, whiney, and not suited to singing or even always talking (both of which I do anyway).

I try to make up for the grotesquories I see in my physical being by being an artist. I write. I draw. I make music. I tell stories and jokes. I attempt to entertain, amuse, and maybe touch a heart or two. I work at having charm, which is one of those things that's supposed to be a natural attribute. I want people to genuinely like me, or at least tolerate my existence in a congenial sort of way.

Beneath all that, however, is a huge desire to find someone to love. I'd like to find someone with all the traits I desire (an admittedly amorphous and subjective quasi-list that has only a few vaguely-defined certainties to it), and who loves me for who and what I am. In particular, there are/were about a half dozen girls I've known in my life whom I'd love to spend the rest of my existence with. Most of them are now taken in one form or another, or I've grown to understand that my relationship with them will never be more or less than it is now. And I've accepted that. But there's one girl...there's one girl I can't keep out of my head. She's never far from my thoughts. She treats me like dirt half the time, barely acknowledges my existence, and doubts me constantly.

You'd think that'd knock some sense into me. The thing is...the thing is, the other half of the time, she smiles at me. And when this girl smiles, the rest of the world just fades into a gray background around her. When she smiles, it's such a genuine expression, such a real revelation of her current mood, that it's hard for me to even think straight. She doesn't just smile or laugh with her mouth, but with her entire being. Not many people manage that. For too many people, a laugh is simply the expulsion of air and noise, and a smile something that only forces a few muscles in the mouth to contract. Not this girl. Never her.

That's why I put up with everything else, because I know deep down she really does care about me. The smile alone proves that to me, even if she weren't a genuinely decent person on top of that. And she is decent in the virtuous and beatific meaning of the word. She's genuinely good, and it's part of why I love her. That she also happens to think I'm a complete idiot because most of the time I'm unable to form words around my ideas when I'm with her or because I say really, really stupid things to her...well, that's just the effect she has on me, and I'll probably never be able to adequately express these facts to her. She doesn't even read this--why would she? This is all just the senseless ramblings of a man who thinks he knows what he's talking about and what he's doing. Why would she care (for that matter, why would anyone? But I know there are people out there who do read this. At least two of you. Maybe three, but I'm not gonna push my luck)?

Maybe this is all just the illness talking. Maybe I should stop listening to pop music (in the broad sense of the term "pop"--I'm not listening to Britney Spears or anything. You all should know better than that). Maybe I should try to tell her, but then again, I've never been able to get the words right so far; why would today be any different?


Song of the Moment: Wilco, "Poor Places"
"Hold My Hand And You'll Understand I'm The Man Who Loves You"

Finished The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past this afternoon, finally. Wonderful game, and I'm proud to say I completed it (and with minimal input from walkthroughs or strategy guides, I might add. That's difficult with RPGs). Now if I could only find someone else who has a GBA and the game, we could link up and play Four Swords. Mmm, Four Swords...

It's oddly quiet outside. I say this because there's a football game going on two blocks away, and I haven't heard anything from it yet. That's weird, since I usually hear everything, and I do have a window open. Maybe the OU crowd is being nice and subdued (yeah right).

Getting ready to dive into another Keenspace Forum Battle, though this one isn't so much a battle to the death as it is a practice/training round that another forum-goer asked to do. Should be fun, since it's Luprand from NeTrek squaring off against me (I did a guest comic for him many moons ago, some of you may recall).


Song of the Moment: Wilco, "Kamera"
"Ashes Of American Flags"

If I were someone given to broad political introspection--which I'm not--I'd probably have quite a bit to say about today and the third anniversary of the World Trade Center attack. I think that day was one of the worst in American history--not because, as many would probably argue, it ushered in an era of fear, squelched freedoms, and war, but because someone out there decided they hated this country and its people enough that they'd ram an airplane into a building full of people just to make a point. I don't care what your religion is, what your personal beliefs about Americans in general or American policy is, killing people to make a point is never right. Our behavior since that day three years ago has been hit and miss--on the one hand, the attacks brought out some of the best in Americans. But it also brought out some of the worst in all of us. In a lot of ways, we've proven the people who committed those horrible deeds three years ago correct in their opinions of Americans--we've started wars, we've overthrown governments, we've acted unilaterally, we've restricted the freedoms of our own people in the name of the national security and the spectre of terrorism.

I don't even like thinking about politics and political-related things. Politics, like religion, tend to be based on issues of faith. On average, you're not going to convince someone of the rightness of your position based purely on logical arguments, because what makes sense to someone who is a liberal does not make sense to someone who is a conservative, and vice versa. What makes sense to a Christian doesn't to a Muslim, and vice versa. When two people approach the world from completely different viewpoints, how do you convince one that the other's stance is legitimate and worthwhile, or, better yet, the right stance? Making people give up their political and religious stances is a difficult and dangerous task, one which most people will never manage. And probably shouldn't, I don't think. I can't exactly explain why, but what's the point if we all think the same way? That's not how humanity moves ahead, but rather how it becomes stagnant. I don't want stagnation, I don't think.

So maybe we should think about why people behave the way they do once in awhile, eh? Think maybe that there's a reason someone would ram a plane into a building--perhaps it's because they think people can be useful as an example (which is a terrible thing to do, obviously, and I'm not saying it wasn't), or perhaps they thought it was the only way to get their point across. Perhaps Americans need to reflect on why folks would hate us that much. Just food for thought.


Song of the Moment: Wilco, "Reservations"
"I Assassin Down The Avenue"

Had a blast at my aunt & uncle's place last night. Food was consumed, songs were sung, and a splendid time was had by all. Since they actually played songs I knew last night (my uncle's bandmate, Joe, has a tendency to play obscure bluegrass and country tunes all the time if given a choice), which I thought was ironic since my singing voice (never very strong at the best of times) was rather ragged last night due to illness. Ah well, I still had fun, and I still sang, and no one complained aloud, so no worries.

If, like me, you don't really care that much for football (and downright despise 99% of all football fans), Norman, Oklahoma is not the place you want to be on a Saturday during football season. If, however, you have to be in Norman on any given Saturday, one of the worst places to be is within two blocks of the stadium. It means you can hear the game, you can't move for the crowds, and cars are parked up and down each side of the street, regardless of whether it's legal to park there or not. Beer is being consumed. Fight songs are being slurred. Insults are being hurled. There is a general hurly-burly to the proceedings. You cannot escape football in Norman, you can only hope to contain the damage it does to your psyche.

I managed to avoid opening day last weekened by dint of being in Midwest City at the time, a nice trick if you can manage it. But not this week--no, this week, I am entrenched within my apartment, and I'm not leaving until at least 11.00 or midnight tonight. There's just no reason or way it's going to happen. Folks will be parking outside of my apartment today, I'm sure--they always do, since we're only a couple of blocks from the stadium and, technically, since it's university property, they can't be charged for parking (except by the university, which, for some reason, does not charge folks to park in here. It's odd that such a money-grubbing institution as OU wouldn't charge for parking here, when all the private land in the vicinity makes a freakin' killing on selling parking spaces in their front yards to football fans. But I digress). I'm tempted to go stand out in front of the apartment holding a sign which reads:

"For $5, I'll watch your car. For $10, I'll make sure nothing happens to it."

I think I could make a killing. Or end up with a severe beating. Whatever.


Song of the Moment: Wilco, "Radio Cure"

Friday, September 10, 2004

"And I Deserve A Little More"

Just got back from Wal-Mart. Last week, they changed my oil and rotated & balanced my tires. Sometime along the way, they messed up these little weights that go on all the tires that're designed to keep the wheels balanced and to aid in the rotation process. Somehow, Wal-Mart managed to screw up when they were doing all this, and the weights on both of my front tires came off (I only ever found one of the weights). So I took my car back in today and explained the situation. The guy who was taking care of all the paperwork for car service goes off to talk to his supervisor, comes back, and informs me that yeah, they can fix that (to which I wanted to reply, "You're damn right you can fix it, since you're the ones who screwed it up in the first place"). Anyway, they got me taken care of, didn't charge me (as well they should not have--like I said, this was their mistake, not mine), and all is well once more.

I'm starting to feel better, finally. I propped my head up on two pillows last night instead of one as per usual, and the benefit was tremendous. I was able to breathe all night, I actually got some sleep (unlike the previous night), and I feel a hell of a lot better now. I'm still not anywhere near 100%, and I still can't go jogging, which is annoying. The last time I got to jog was Monday, when I vowed that I'd jog everyday this week (we can see how well that worked out).

We had a going-away party for one of my coworkers this afternoon. She was genuinely flattered by the gesture, and we're sad to see her go, even if she is heading off for a job that's more in line with what she wants to do with her life. It's nice to get the chance to show someone how much you appreciate them as both an employee and a person.

Probably going over to my aunt and uncle's place tonight for awhile just for something to do. There'll be music and food, two things I never shy away from if I can help it. Speaking of music, apparently Ben Folds and Leon Russell will be in Norman at the Lloyd Noble Center next month. Tickets are only $20, which is a damn fine price for those two. I think I may try to go.


Song of the Moment: Wilco, "We're Just Friends"

Thursday, September 09, 2004

"How Far Is Heaven?"

So when I was home last weekend, I went digging through my dad's CDs (old habit--never know what good stuff you'll find). Anyway, I came across the Los Lonely Boys CD, which seemed an odd entry into my father's collection, since it just came out this past year and it's by a new band. Well, it seemed odd until I started to listen to it. I figured out quickly why he had it--first of all, because his cousin gave it to him and said he'd like it. Well, amazingly enough, he did. Turns out the guys in this band are what could easily be called consumate musicians, and they are steeped in classic rock and roll lore and form. The instruments blend seamlessly into one another, and the guitar solos...the guitar solos explained exactly why my father actually liked this CD.

See, the guitarist's style sounds like Santana filtered through Stevie Ray Vaughn. This is a good thing. A very good thing. The man crafts these tight, explosive solos into each song, expertly handling his guitar like a seasoned pro.

Now usually I don't go in much for guitar pyrotechnics. I prefer the subtle, less blatant stuff, like George Harrison's soloing (which weaves and snakes through the main body of the music, adding layers rather than overwhelming the other instruments). But I do recognize craftsmanship, ability and skill when I hear it, and the guitarist for Los Lonely Boys has all that in spades. This is a classicist rock album that doesn't sound dated or too nostalgic, and doesn't sound too much of its time. It's a timeless, excellent album that blends Latin rhythms with crunchy Texan blues in a great batch of songs. Highly recommended to anyone who just wants a great guitar-rock album. And it features Willie Nelson (at whose studio the group recorded the album) on a song, which is cool.


Song of the Moment: Los Lonely Boys, "Senorita"
"Laugh At Every Joke"

So I was driving home from Wal-Mart earlier today, and I passed a car with sayings and phrases shoe-polished on the windows. Closer examination revealed that the windows said things like "Rest in Peace," "We'll Always Love You Bob," etc. (note: the real name on the window wasn't "Bob," but I figured I ought to have respect for the dead even if their nearest and dearest didn't).

They'd shoe polished a car for a funeral. A freakin' funeral.

Now, I'm all in favor of shoe polishing a car for various occasions--weddings, gamedays, big events of that kidney which demand a show of moral support and all. But a funeral? There are times when shoe polished phrases are inapporpriate, folks, and this is one of them. Did they think nothing shows support for the dearly departed like slopping white junk all over their car windows and driving around town? I can just imagine how this brilliant idea came into being, probably after a night of heavy drinking, drug use, or possibly both:

Jill: Hey, we should do somethin' to show our love for ol' Bob.

John: You're right. Hey, let's write crap all over our car in shoe polish.

Jill: That's a great idea! And later, we can drive by a long line of people and moon 'em! That's just how Bob would've wanted to be remembered.

I dunno, maybe that's the Dayquil talking.


Song of the Moment: Los Lonely Boys, "Heaven"
"Shine Your Teeth To Meaningless And Sharpen Them With Lies"

Still feeling sick. In fact, worse than yesterday. I went to bed early last night, and then proceeded to sleep fitfully at best because I was aching and things were getting stopped up (nose, ears, etc. Now that I think about it, though, what would the "etc." really be? I mean, what else is there to get stopped up? Ew). So even though I was in bed by 11.30 (and asleep shortly thereafter), I maybe got four hours of sleep. Maybe.

Taking a co-worker of mine out to lunch after the morning shift, since she's leaving us tomorrow to go be a newspaper reporter in the bustling metropolis of Woodward, Oklahoma. Woodward is one of the biggest "cities" (and I use that term loosely) in northwestern Oklahoma, which is much like being the fastest runner amongst parapalegics--it's not a whole lot to brag about.

I'm really sick of being sick. Blowing my nose shouldn't be a five-minute activity.


Song of the Moment: Wilco, "She's a Jar"

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

"Something In The Way She Moves"

So I was putzin' around the internet earlier today before work, and I was on the Bob Dylan website. Anyway, I was scrolling through a list of streamed audio they have of recent songs he's done (like in concert or whatever), and I see one of them is called "Something." Anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of classic rock knows this is the title of one of George Harrison's best Beatles-era songs. Sure enough, information on the song reveals it is, in fact, George Harrison's "Something"...sung by Dylan at a concert in November of 2002. So I listened to it, and the song just blew me away. "Something" has always been a rather touching song--in the right hands, it's a touching, emotional ballad that can melt the ice around anyone's heart. In Dylan's hands, it was magnificent--his rough voice gave it just enough ragged edges and emotional honesty to really bring out the feeling in the lyrics, and the instrumentation flowed just as smoothly and seductively as the Beatles original.

Just thought I'd share that with everyone. It's worth a listen, really.


Song of the Moment: Bob Dylan, "Something"
The Grossest Post Ever

Everything I've eaten today tastes like phlem.

I don't understand--why, when you're sick, does your body decide to produce more mucus? Whatever it was the mucus was supposed to stop has obviously made it inside your body, so isn't it sort of a moot point by then? I should not have to blow my nose every few minutes.

* * *

Brief pause there. Had to proofread a paper by my absolute favorite student-athlete. The man can barely construct a coherent sentence--in fact, he couldn't even manage that in this paper, and I told him as much. Being sick is nice, in a way, because I have an excuse for being an ass and not putting up with the crap this student in particular likes to dish up.

My throat feels like it's coated in some sort of cotton, or possibly sponge. It's annoying.

I'm off to go stew for a few more hours until I can go home and collapse in a twitching heap. Hurray for illness. Blarg.


Song of the Moment: Wallfowers, "The Bleeders"
"Fame--What You Get You Have To Borrow"

So I was chatting with Monkey earlier this evening, and our discussion turned from monkeys (not an unusual topic when you're conversing with a guy who calls himself Noise Monkey) to the Dim Bulb site. We both wondered why Dim Bulb isn't more popular than it is. I mean, we've been at it for over a year now. There are comics out there that're a helluva lot more popular that haven't been around half as long (and don't update even a third as often). I'm not exactly jealous or bitter, mind you, just curious why comics that don't seem (to me) to be as good or as consistant as we are seem to get so much more attention. What did they do that we didn't? Get friends in high places? Hit at just the right time with just the right crowd? I don't really fully understand any of it.

But we're trying the best we can, and are confident we'll one day be recognized for our talent. I know I'm not the best artist out there--I'll be the first to admit it, or, since I'm a little slow today, about the twelfth--but I'm consistant, I've got a very individual style, and my writing and jokes are usually pretty damn funny. And Adam's a great artist, with a good eye for layout and panel composition, and a sharp wit all his own. We're better than a huge majority of the crap out there, hands down, but don't get the recognition.

Maybe I'm just whining. Maybe it's only a matter of time before we're recognized for our abilities and talents, and our audience will explode and increase exponentially. But until then, it annoys me that there are sprite comics with greater readerships on Keenspace right now than Adam and I have (and we're not talking about great sprite comics like 8-Bit Theatre here, but rather sixth-rate Bob and George knock-offs). There should be justice, y'know?


Song of the Moment: David Bowie, "Fame"

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

"It's The Same Old Malady"

I'm feeling worse and worse as the day goes on. Started out with just a sore throat, but not my sinuses are aching, my nose feels kinda stopped up (I've been dealing with the ever-lovely drainage all day), and my head is starting to hurt. I hope this is just some sort of temporary allergy thing and not mono like it could be. I really--as I've said before--do not have time to get sick right now. Especially not for as long as mono puts you down. I'd be broke, flunked out, and living in a cardboard box on Main Street if I got sick now. Bad deal. Bad, bad deal.

On the positive side, I hear mono is a great diet, mostly because all you ever do is sleep. I remember Clif would spend all his time awake moving from one sleeping place to another (his various locations being bed, the upstairs recliner, and the kitchen table).

I'm gonna take some medicine when I get home. Like I said--I don't have time to deal with this.


Song of the Moment: Bob Dylan, "Love Sick"
"I Don't Really Want To Stop The Show"

So I'm really enjoying Shaman King, the manga I picked up the other day. I have the first three volumes of the series, but I've discovered a problem--it's freakin' long. There are over 12 volumes to it, and the fourth one was supposedly released just last month (still haven't found it). That's a heckuva mess of manga, and it's gonna take ages before the whole thing is released here. That annoys me--I like to get things collected quickly, so that it's whole and complete. Blarg. Guess I'll just have to be patient.

On the positive side, the story is really quite good, and I love the artstyle. I wish I could draw even half as well as this guy--it all seems so natural and fluid, and the style is simplistic and yet detailed enough to keep me entralled.

My throat has been sore since sometime last yesterday evening. I'm not really sure what's causing it--it's not like the weather has been see-sawing back and forth or anything, and it's not like I've been around anyone who has been sick of late. It's possibly mono, since a friend of mine about five weeks back had mono and I was hanging around her quite a bit. Time will tell, I guess, but I really don't have the time to be sick right now.


Song of the Moment: The Beatles, "With a Little Help from my Friends"
"Praise The Lord Above And Sell, Sell, Sell"

I think I accidentally signed up for a credit card this morning.

It annoys me. About twenty minutes ago (ten minutes before my alarm was scheduled to go off), my phone rang. I jump up to answer it, thinking it might be something serious (like my parents calling, or my boss needing me to come in early, or some beautiful woman needing sexual gratification right now--y'know, something important). Anyway, the girl on the other end, who had a thick accent, starts asking me all this stuff. I'm still half asleep, and for some reason think she's somehow associated with the university. So I don't do my usual thing, which is to say "Sorry, I'm not interested at this time" and hang up. No, I stay on the line, providing information. Crap. I've just earned myself extra junk mail for the rest of my time here. I think there's a verification thing I have to do to get the card started, though, so I think if I just never do anything with the card, I'll be fine. Or if not, then I'll just cancel the damn thing when it arrives.

I'm mostly annoyed that they called so damn early. I mean, don't they have the decency to wait until midday, when I'd have been gone anyway? Blah. I'm gonna start trying to sell stuff to telemarketers, I think. Offer them vinyl siding and credit cards and crap like that. I'm sick of it. I don't know when they decided college kids are easy targets, but they enjoy taking advantage of people who don't know any better, or who aren't awake enough to realize what's going on (as was the case with me, dammit). I think I'm gonna have to just stop trying to answer the phone when it wakes me up. If it's someone or something truly important, they'll leave a message, y'know?


Song of the Moment: The Beatles, "Hello Goodbye"