7.31.2006

Well, the office is done... Finally.

Some folks know about the issues I faced with my house and the air conditioning people this weekend - if you don't, rest assured, you will very, very soon. And let's just say that DirecTV is going to get hammered.

Anyway, here's the long-promised pics of the brand new, freshly relocated, newly-hardwood-floored, painted and reformed office:





























And there you go.

7.26.2006

So, during the course of this home improvment stuff, I've become the proud owner of various new power tools and other items that really rock - but none moreso than the item I purchased just today.

When replacing carpet with hardwood floors, one of the things you have to put down in addition to the flooring is quarterround. Quarterround is essentially a quarter of a 1" dowel rod, and one edge sits against the moulding on the wall and the other sits against the floor. This covers the 1/4" gap that you must leave between the flooring and the wall so that, should the humidity spike and your wood swells, it doesn't buckle all over the place.

This image is from the DYI network and is grainy as hell. But it illustrates what i'm talking about in a way that my words don't:



There. Home improvement lesson done.

The reason I mention this whole line of crap is because to properly install quarterround, you must mitre the ends of your quarterround at 45 degree angles.

Why?

So they'll meet in the corner all nice and tight-like.

This image is from some site in the UK. It's drawn like a coloring book image. But again, it illustrates my point in ways I can't:




Of course, you don't HAVE to. You could just put the piece along the wall, leave it rounded, and put another piece right next to it - but that looks like shit, and I'm too much of a perfectionist to let that stand (which is also the reason it takes me forever to put a damn story up on Mentally Incontinent. You wouldn't ever guess that fact by reading one of my stories, but alas, that's why).

So, I've been mitreing this quarterround crap for a week. I've done, oh... A few walls in the hall. Mitreing wood is tough. It hurts your shoulder and is pretty much annoying - especially when the damn mitre saw hangs up on the wood and just generally won't do what you demand it should.

Which is why I kinda pushed too hard and broke my mitre box:



That little piece in my hand? Yeah, that's not typically removable.

So, I went up to The Home Depot (where they now know me by name. Yes, all of them. No, not "all of them" as in all of my names, "all of them" as in all the Home Depot folks... God, you are so damn difficult to tell a story to) in search of a new mitre box, and it just so happened that they had these fancy-dancy power mitre saws on sale.

Long story short: I went up to spend $15.00 on a mitre box and came home with a 10" mitre saw and this really nice mitre saw stand thing:











And incidentally, you just got a bit of a sneak peek at how the house is coming along. Here's another one:






More to come as I actually get things finished.

7.24.2006

Well, it's been a bit since I've actualy posted, and there's good reasons for that:

I've not been on the internet.

So there, I've cleared that right up! Isn't that fantastic?

I've been thinking of pulling out old journals and notebooks and posting some of the crap from them on this thing... I dunno why. I know I've always wanted to repost the "Mall Daze" series (about 55 writings from my days of working at the mall... Very, um... Interesting. I'm not sure to whom, but interesting nonetheless).

So yeah, there's my filler-post for the day. I was GOING to post about something VERY VERY exciting that happened to me today, but I'd rather not jinx it (because there's more steps in the process before it becomes a certainty). If things go the way I really hope they will, I will definitely post it here... Because none of my real-life friends listen to me when I talk. But If I post it on the net, then Gorilla Glue them to a chair, tape open their eyes, and place a red-hot poker next to that little fatty part right underneath the armpit and say "READ OR BURN OMG," they will read it.

I'm kinda sleepy.

7.20.2006

Sorry I've been so quiet lately. I've been renovating my home.

It's amazing... I've had such a great time doing it. I never thought I'd actually enjoy working. And it is - it's a LOT of work. Laying hardwood floors, repainting, knocking out railings and such. We've had the materials for a while, but we've only now began doing the actual work.

One thing I've discovered throughout this little endeavour - house-building contractors are sloppy, lazy motherfuckers. We pulled up the old carpeting in our hallway upstaris, and underneath the foam padding was a layer of SAND.

SAND.

I live in the middle of Georgia. There's not a beach for several hundred miles in any direction. And yet, there was SAND under the carpeting of my home.

That's just... I don't know what it is, but it's something that is synonomous with "bad."

Anyway, there's the update. Wahoo.

7.11.2006

"What does it matter?"

Right.


Have you ever created anything?

I mean, really CREATED something. Not the transformation of form from one state to another, like "creating" ice from water or that thing you create about 4 times a day due to the natural processes of digestion. I'm talking here about starting with nothing - blank canvas, blank paper, blank video, blank audio tape, a lump of clay, whatever - and creating something from it.

And not just something, but SOMETHING.

Yes?

And how much did you care about your creation? Hmm?

How much of your heart; of your soul did you put into the process of development? Did you treat it with the love and devotion that Leonardo treated his Mona Lisa with? Did you pour your soul into it the way Maceo Parker does when he blows the soul out of his horn? Do you agonize over every mistake and feel sheer and utter joy over every success, no matter how minute - the way a cartoonist does when he finally - FINALLY - gets that hand to look exactly how he wants it to for that frame?

If you have, you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't...

Imagine if you will that you are suddenly in the middle of an ocean - not a lake, not some pool or stream or inlet or gulf, but a fully-fledged ocean.

Ocean. We get this, right? A MASSIVE body of water, where there is absolutely no sign of any land or form on the horizon in any direction - and won't be for weeks or months or years, depending on how hard you end up paddling.

Now, imagine you begin swimming for shore. Take this seriously - look at a clock right now, and begin imaginging swimming a stroke every two to three seconds in salt water all by yourself.

How long can you keep that up? The imagining, I mean. A minute? Maybe five?

Now, what if you really were out there, swimming like an insane person, for WEEKS - every single second of every single day for five, ten, twenty... Up to 100 weeks at a time, unsure if you will even GET to land much less what you're going to look like in the process of getting there or what you'll end up dragging to shore along with you when it's time.

That's a small glimpse of what I'm talking about: Starting with nothing in the middle of nowhere and getting somewhere with it, spending large - VERY LARGE - amounts of time doing it.

So, now that you have a bit of a mental image of what I'm trying to get at, you might better understand why someone who's been through this process and has created - from nothing - something that they care very, very, very much about would get just a tiny bit aggrevated when they begin the very arduous process of attempting to show the world what it is they have created and end up being asked, "What does it matter?"

What does it matter?

It's ALL that matters.

7.08.2006

I attempted the dumbest experiment I think I've ever attempted this afternoon.

I have no idea why this idea popped into my head, but while doing a bit of writing, I thought it might be... Fun... To attempt to listen to Natalie Imbruglia's "Torn" as many times in a row as I could before tearing off the headphones and running screaming into the bathroom to wash the stink off me.

17 times.

SEVENTEEN times I listened to that song before I finally gave up.



I need help.

7.06.2006

I am distressed, and I will tell you why right here - because that's the point of having this online journal blog thing... letting you know when and why I am distressed when I reach said state.

Okay, ready? Okay then, let's go:

Since January 2006, I have become a truck owner, I've added things to the truck (like siderails and a grill guard), I've gone to a NASCAR event, and I've even laughed at a damn Larry the Cable Guy joke.

Yes. It is true. I found something that Larry the Cable Guy said on Leno to be humorous.

I am now a sleeveless flannel and one gun rack away from being a fully-fledged redneck.

(Although I do have to admit, my use of a new MacBook Pro hacked (not BootCamped) to run Windows and my insistance upon mixing in various shades of orange during my clothing coordination effords might betray this change slightly...)

7.05.2006

Just a little aside on the Comcast thing:

I'm stuck up here at Starbucks until Bellsouth gets their ass in gear and gets my internet situation unscrewed.

Now, I like coming to Starbucks. I do, I really do. But one thing that'll get me to leave a Starbucks faster than anything else is when these fucking retarded Jack Johnson wannabes come in with their maltuned acoustic guitars and insist on playing for people who did not ask them to.

And it's not like this is even a decent environment for it - Starbucks has their satellite music choice programming blaring out of 7 speakers across the place! How do these assholes think this is going to get them anywhere worth being? The only attention that playing an accoustic guitar in the middle of a crowded Starbucks is going to get you is negative attention, because the only other thing I can think of that's more annoying than Norah Jones is Norah Jones with some dickhead's acoustic musings going on on top of it.

And I'm stuck here in the middle of it.
I've fucking had it with Comcast.

So!

Here's what I've done:

1) I've called Bellsouth and DirecTV and had them agree to come out and install services that I'll be equally pissed off at inside of 3 months.

2) I called Comcast and waited on hold for - and i'm not joking - 43 minutes before I was able to talk to someone to cancel my shit.

3) I knew that was going to happen. I've had to cancel Comcast in the past. So, I planned ahead.

4) I recorded the entire song "Holy Diver" by Dio onto my Treo - only, I've screwed with the levels quite a lot, so it's unnecessarily loud - thus, it's fuzzy and annoying and pretty much unlistenable.

5) And then I told the cancellation operator "Can you hold for me just one moment?" and went to my media player and let him get an earful of MOTHERFUCKING DIO!

6) I then came here, to my journal, to start posting what's happening with the hold clerk. From this point forward, you are getting live updates of my fun with Comcast.

7) He just began asking me why I'm unhappy with the service. I've explained that, for the past 3 days, the second the sun comes up over the horizon, my internet and phone go out (but tv is fine... wierd). I call Comcast. They tell me it's due to service being done in the area. I then ask for a refund for the day, and they tell me either that they can't do it because it's normal maintainence, or I have to call back once service comes up so they know how much to credit me. Both answers are bullshit.

8) He's going into his "I'll give you a free month spiel, so here comes some DIO!

9) He's getting the HOLY DIVER experience right now. I think i'll give him 45 seconds of it.

10) Blogger isn't playing nice, it's not letting me know when it's updated this post. Oh well, here's me taking it on faith that you're able to read the fun I'm having with Comcast.

11) I don't really know why I'm using a numeric list to write this crap, either. But I've already started, and daddy didn't raise no quitter.

12) The Comcast guy has just asked that I not put him on hold, as "The music is very loud and hard to hear." I've replied "Yeah, Comcast's music is annying, isn't it? You should have them change it." He's replied "No, I mean yours." I said "Oh, yeah, that's actually why I'm cancelling, forget that part about your service sucking, I'm cancelling because of your hold music - I can't fucking stand Dio."

13) I've put him on hold again. RIDE THE TIGER!

14) He just hung up on me. A CUSTOMER SERVICE REP HUNG UP ON ME!

Looks like I get to call them again. More once I get connected.

15) I've changed songs - It's now "Rainbow in the Dark." Just a rainbow in the dark. No sign of the morning.

16) Wow, only 12 minutes on hold this time. This lady seems nice.

17) She wants to offer me a free month as well. Here's some DIO, bitch.

18) She didn't really like it. She asked if I had any Luthur Vandross. I said "Huh? No, I don't listen to rock and roll." She didn't get it.

7.03.2006

I think it's a rule now.

I don't know when it went into effect, and I'm not quite sure who decided on it - probably some sort of Coalition of Coffee Shop Owners or some such thing - but it has definitely become apparent that the only two albums that are officially allowed to play in any establishment which serves coffee as it's primary menu item are "A Love Supreme" by John Coltrane and "Kind of Blue" by Miles Davis.

Between Friday, June 30 and today, I have been in five seperate coffee shops (only one of which was a Starbucks, which is where I am right now) between Georgia and Florida, and I swear to God I have heard both of those records in their entirety at least 14 times each.

It's getting to the point where - and I really, really hate to say this - I'm beginning to despise them.

That's right - despise. I'm getting to the point of HATING two of the greatest records of all time simply because a bunch of hipster assholes have made them both manditory playing in their little upscale artsy caffeine dens (and one corporate coffee whorehouse).

I won't let it happen. I simply won't.

The next coffee shop I go to, I'm going to listen for those two records - and if they are playing, I'm going to personally leap behind the counter, rip out the CD, and replace it with a scratched copy of Slayer's "Show No Mercy" so as to audibly beat the holy hell out those ironc-thick-rimmed-glasses-wearing retard hipster bastards - and when I do, I'm going to point at them with my muscles flexed and say something completely corny, like "HERE'S SOME METAL UP YOUR ASS AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWYEAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!" and then steal a scone, because madness such as that makes me hungry.