The First Day of the Rest of My Life

Saturday, January 27, 2007

A question for the more travel-minded readers out there...

My folks are both turning 60 this year. To celebrate, they're planning to go to Italy. My mom has an aunt who is a nun in a small town called Vatican City. They're planning to go sometime in the spring, late April, I believe. Ever since they brought up the idea, I've been wanting to tag along. A couple of problems have come up with that plan.

First, they're talking about taking a two-week tour. I don't have nearly enough vacation time to make the trip along with them (without having no days off the rest of the year). Secondly, money. A European vacation doesn't really make much sense for a guy who's got $2K in credit card bills.

Anyone out there have any ideas on how to do Italy well and on the cheap?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Remember the stranger from myspace I told you about?

I am SO glad I suck at hide-and-seek.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

My wish list...

- I wish life consisted of more than work and sitting on my couch.
- I wish random strangers would stop sending me provocative pictures over myspace.
- I wish I was a little bit taller.
- I wish I actually could have a day off without any repercussions.
- I wish my stairs weren't frozen.
- I wish I was a baller.
- I wish comics would stop defending themselves over the Web.
- I wish I could come up with something as clever as this.
- I wish I knew a girl who looked good.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

So I risked life and limb to go into work today...

...and was greeted with a madhouse. With a severly short-staffed department, everyone was trying to manage all of the incoming calls. Of course, people in other parts of the country really don't care that all of S.A. is closed due to ice, they just care about their money. Those that did brave the conditions were rewarded with $6 in free food from the cafeteria, while those that stayed home were rewarded with not getting an occurence. ("Occurence"=strike in our workplace, three or more in a certain period of time, and there are consequences.) You tell me who got the better of that deal.

Of course, according to my dad (who watched the weather reports all day), things are supposed to be even worse tomorrow. So, do I...

A) go in tomorrow on time?
B) go in late tomorrow?
C) call in tomorrow?


Monday, January 15, 2007

(first off, I'll appreciate the stifling of any snickers from my more Northern readers...)

Times like this make me wish I was back in college.

The city is under attack from an Arctic blast. Not only that, it's raining as well. Makes for a combination of closed roads and cancelled classes. One bad thing about working at a 24-hour call center is that it usually takes a natural event of some magnitude to force any closures or cancellations. For the record, the company has sites in other parts of the country, so it's not like we'll be TOTALLY crippled if our site shuts down tomorrow. The odds of that happening aren't too high at the moment, hopefully something will happen within the next few hours to change all that.

That's one thing I like about living below the Mason-Dixon line: any sort of freezing precipitation shuts down the entire city. I could usually count on the spring semester at UT being delayed at least one more day after MLK day due to weather. (Once, during my first couple of years, things got so bad that "non-essential" staff had the day off, forcing the RA's in my dorm to be behind the cafeteria counter serving my food.)

If you'll excuse me, I'm off to bed to dream what a day off feels like...

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

I just read some Chuck Klosterman, and followed it up with listening to Mitch Hedburg on my iPod.

The more I think about it, the more that the URL for the blog is becoming a more accurate description of me than I could have imagined...


Just some random thoughts to get out before I go to bed:

- Been exchanging rather risque e-mails with a new myspace friend of mine whom I've never met in person. She told me she was going to be at a bar tonight wearing "a skirt and as panties." After going to said bar and asking two different women if they were this person, I decided to leave. (I didn't want to be that much like Scott Stapp now.) If nothing else, this may actually get me to tone down the amount of time I spend on myspace.

- Good God, are the Saints going to the Super Bowl? I sure hope so.

- I have $4.20 left on a $15 iTunes gift card from Christmas (after downloading some Mitch Hedburg). Any suggestions on songs/shows I just HAVE to have on my iPod?

Saturday, January 06, 2007

About this time last year, I came up with a list of things I wanted to accomplish before the end of 2006. Some were successful endeavors, others, not so much. I'll tell you about those in the future, but it's time to look ahead.

During work on Tuesday, I was reading some different articles online about how to start the new year off right with diets and money. In between phone calls (since things were light that day due to the markets being closed), I came up with another list. Instead of resolutions, this is more of a to-do list for the month. Maybe giving myself a timeline will encourage a more urgent need to accomplish the tasks.

So, I resolve to (hopefully) do the following before Jan. 31, 2007:

  • Lose 5 pounds (currently at 179.6, took one step toward that goal, more later)
  • Reduce credit card debt by 20% (currently ~$3100)
  • Host one dinner party (excuse to get me to clean my place)
  • Read one book (have a few that I've bought and haven't read)
  • Pray a novena

My first step toward the weight loss goal was taken this morning, while watching QVC. I'd seen ads for the Nutrisystem program, especially their ads targeting men. (If Dan Marino can lose weight, so can I!) So I ordered four weeks of food from the channel at their "special" price. Unfortunately, I charged it to the credit card, further putting me into debt. But I'm hoping that this will curb my food spending, letting me put some extra cash to paying off the plastic.

Anyway, here's to a good start for '07.


Monday, January 01, 2007

(The Edited Version, as told to veritate over ICQ about nine hours ago)

Me- 02:00 AM: Happy New Year!
veritate- 02:00 AM: Happy new year, my Bevo!
Me- 02:00 AM: Did it just hit midnight over there?
veritate-02:00 AM: An hour ago.
Me- 02:01 AM: Time zones always confuse me... Happy 2007!
veritate- 02:01 AM: You too!
Me- 02:01 AM: So how are you?
veritate- 02:01 AM: Sleepy. Heh.
veritate- 02:02 AM: I crashed at about 9:00 pm.
Me- 02:02 AM: You wild woman, you.
veritate- 02:03 AM: *giggle*
veritate- 02:03 AM: I just wanted to stay in tonight. All the others went to some crazy black & white masquerade.
Me- 02:04 AM: Sounds like fun. I just came from a place where I admitted to a roomful of strangers (and crushes) that I (censored).
veritate- 02:04 AM: That you what (censored)?
Me- 02:05 AM: er, had (censored),
veritate-02:05 AM: Was there drinking prior to this admission?
Me- 02:06 AM: Some champagne was had, yes.
veritate- 02:06 AM: Yeah. Sorta' makes sense.
Me- 02:06 AM: Then a game of "I never."
veritate- 02:06 AM: "I never?
Me- 02:07 AM: You never played "I never"?
veritate- 02:07 AM: Nopers.
Me- 02:07 AM: Okay. Basic premise:
Me- 02:07 AM: everyone sits in a circle with a drink.
Me- 02:08 AM: One at a time, players give a sentence starting with the words, "I never..."
Me- 02:08 AM: (e.g. "I never saw E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.")
Me- 02:09 AM: All those who have done whatever was stated drink.
Me- 02:09 AM: In other words, everyone who HAS seen E.T. drinks.
Me- 02:09 AM: It's a fun way to get drunk and learn about your friends at the same time.
veritate- 02:09 AM: Kewl.
veritate- 02:09 AM: I could get everyone sloshed.
Me- 02:10 AM: Maybe.
Me- 02:10 AM: Of course, it can get bad when everyone gangs up on you by saying stuff that pertains ONLY to you.
veritate- 02:11 AM: like, I've never dressed as a Jedi?
Me- 02:11AM: Yep.
veritate- 02:11 AM: Ah.
Me- 02:11 AM: Or, "I've never lived in Whitecourt" or "I've never hugged a Texan."
veritate- 02:11 AM: Tee hee!
Me- 02:12 AM: So I thought I'd be more upset about not having anyone to kiss at midnight, but it's not really that bad.
Me- 02:12 AM: Of course, the slight buzz I have going helps things.
veritate- 02:12 AM: Yep.
Me- 02:13 AM: So I had a realization a la Family Guy (minus the Grim Reaper and Peter Frampton)...
veritate- 02:13 AM: ... okay
Me- 02:14 AM: I've got a pretty good life.
veritate- 02:14 AM: Woo hoo! Yes, you do.
Me- 02:15 AM: I realized this while eating at La Madeline near an ice skating rink in Houston.
veritate- 02:16 AM: Nice.
Me- 02:17 AM: I'll have to blog about this soon, but it's something that made me well up a little bit for the second time in about 16 hours.
veritate- 02:18 AM: Aw,
veritate- 02:18 AM: (I wanna' tell you this before I forget - but I don't wanna' get you off-topic - my friend is marching as a Stormtrooper in the Rose Bowl Parade tomorrow morning!)
Me- 02:19 AM: Doubt I'll be awake for it, but I'll try to catch it. That should be fun. (Editor's note: I was awake for it, but other things like The Price Is Right, football and showering took precedence, so I missed out.)
veritate- 02:20 AM: Lucasfilm flew her down to California for it. She was selected, along with 400 other troops, out of 20,000 who sent in marching videos. They're marching to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Star Wars. She's had dinner with George Lucas.
Me- 02:21 AM: Damn, impressive. Did I meet her?
veritate- 02:21 AM: Um... I don't think so. She was a trooper at the Stampede, but I don't think you spoke with her.
Me- 02:22 AM: No. I only saw laughingmagpie, whose real name I can't remember.
veritate- 02:24 AM: Jen.
veritate- 02:24 AM: Her name is Jen.
Me- 02:24 AM: Jen! That's right.
Me- 02:24 AM: Anyway, good for your friend. That should be fun.
veritate- 02:25 AM: It'll be gruelling, but we're so proud of her.
veritate- 02:25 AM: Anyway... you were telling me about welling up.
Me- 02:27 AM: Yeah. The first was at a wedding reception during the Groom/Mother dance. (Editor's note: This was a wedding I went to in Houston. Left my place in S.A. at 10:30 am, thinking the ceremony was at 3 pm, when it was at 2 pm. Since the church was on the other side of Houston, I ended up missing it and only going to the reception. Still, it was a nice night. Read on...)
Me- 02:27 AM: The song? "I'll Stand By You" by the Pretenders.
veritate- 02:27 AM: Ah. I have that song on CD.
Me- 02:27 AM: And I don't know why, but I started welling up. No tears on the cheek or anything, but it got to me.
veritate- 02:28 AM: I can get all sappy about anything. It's kinda' pathetic, actually.
Me- 02:28 AM: Not really. Just means you're a girl. ;)
veritate- 02:28 AM: :P
Me- 02:29 AM: Anyway, while my friend V and I were at lunch, I had that realization (she was away from the table at the moment).
veritate- 02:29 AM: Awesome.
Me- 02:30 AM: I basically realized that I have the ability to determine what I can do each day. I have the ability (physical/financial/etc.) to drive to Houston and spend time with friends, eat good food and enjoy their company.
veritate- 02:31 AM: What else could a man want?
Me- 02:31 AM: Well...
veritate- 02:31 AM: Oh, come on.
Me- 02:31 AM: I'm kidding, Rae.
veritate- 02:31 AM: Good. :)
Me- 02:31 AM: I'm gonna TRY not to make that such a big thing this year.
Me- 02:32 AM: (And you can keep the whole "There is no try, only do or do not" speech...)
veritate- 02:32 AM: It seriously didn't occur to me.
Me- 02:32 AM: It did to me, probably only because of the booze.
veritate- 02:32 AM: Heh.
Me- 02:33 AM: Oh, and I got a great idea for when/if I get married for a takeaway gift.
veritate- 02:33 AM: Oo!
Me- 02:33 AM: Mixtapes.
veritate- 02:33 AM: Awesome... except, make them cd's.
veritate- 02:33 AM: ;)
Me- 02:34 AM: Well, they were CDs, I'm just using the general term.
veritate- 02:34 AM: I know. I'm being a goof.
Me- 02:34 AM: Really? I hadn't noticed.
veritate- 02:34 AM: *scoff* ... That's an awesome idea, Greg.
Me- 02:35 AM: Yeah, they had some cool songs. Some standards, some country, and capped it off with "Ain't No Stopping Us Now."
veritate- 02:36 AM: Nice.
Me- 02:38 AM: And I'm still wondering what a Tourtierres is...
veritate- 02:40 AM:
veritate- 02:40 AM: Tourtiere is a French Canadian meat pie.
veritate- 02:40 AM: My mother learned to make them from my paternal grandmother.
veritate- 02:41 AM: They are so delicious.
Me- 02:43 AM: Meat pie. Got it.
veritate- 02:43 AM: Not just any meat pie, though.
veritate- 02:43 AM: So delicious, words fail to describe.
veritate- 02:47 AM: Anyway, my Bevo, my head is fuzzy and I need to go to bed. Besides that, it's really late where you are!
Me- 02:48 AM: It's only 2:47... ;)
veritate- 02:48 AM: Yeah! I KNOW!
veritate: 02:48 AM: That's super late.
Me- 02:48 AMGoodnight, Rae. Happy New Year.
veritate- 02:48 AM: You too!
veritate- 02:48 AM: G'nite.

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