Writing

I think i’m overdosing on TV.

I think i’m overdosing on TV. I can feel my brain starting to turn into oatmeal. Or really, more like cream of wheat, some sugary artificial flavor, the kind that comes with a packet of frosting you’re supposed to tear the corner off and swirl over your instant gruel in some artistic manner. That’s right, my brain is turning into fake, rapid-cook sugary mush… and the giant free-will-and-creative-expression-sucking eyeball is to blame.

Some of it’s been good TV – wait, is there really such a thing? Ok, i don’t know if i can make that claim. But it at least felt more mind-expanding to watch anime for 3 solid evenings this past week than to, say, invite over a few friends for a Survivor marathon. A lot of InuYasha, Wolf’s Rain and – today – Naruto, enough that i’m starting to think in pictorial alphabets and hold a pen like it was chopsticks. To achieve some cultural balance, i’m also taking in several hours of Comedy Central’s sunday afternoon ‘big bust weekend’ fodder – Beverly Hills Cop and the intellectual highground that is Reno 911. All this wide-eyed chair-jockeying has given me a renewed energy and a new motivation to make each minute count… except for those minutes i spend draped limply into a chair with my eyes fixed straight ahead and my brain unplugged.

In between sessions of my aforementioned fitness routine, i spent several days trying to get a lot done while spending a little. This started with a visit to Travis at work, where he and his nifty mechanics stethescope told me that the Z does indeed have a couple of connecting rod bearings out of spec, and a few noisy hydraulic lifters. None of them, he said, are serious or urgent but… i’m sure dollar signs rolled past my eyes. He also pointed out that my tire had a nail in it, and was basically flat. Super! Since the last time i checked them was in Van, that means i potentially drove 125 miles home plus a couple loops around the city with 10psi and a roofing spike on the left rear corner. And he told me i need new brake pads – which i knew – and that the rotors are warped – again with the $ signs. The tire situation necessitated a stop at Discount Tire where, thanks to my previous purchase of rubber for the Maxima, they were willing to hook me up with a free repair. Problem: tire was not repairable. They did hook me up with a loaner in the closest size they had available, but thanks to it’s much-larger profile my car now looks like a monster truck from certain angles and rides with a distinctive lean towards the right. Oh, and the tire rubs inside the wheel well whenever i hit a bump. Thankfully, there are very few rough spots on Seattle’s meticulously-maintained roads and freeways (insert laugh here).

I had planned on parking it for the winter soon anyway, although i didn’t think it would be permanently parked, just locked inside a garage and started up every couple weeks if sunshine permitted or just on principle, to keep things lubricated. Now it looks like the sunshine is irrelevant, as it’s really not safe to drive, so it’ll just be a weekly session of idling inside a garage and killing my brain cells (if tv doesn’t get them first). Now you might be asking – which garage am i going to be parking it in? Well, i don’t know either. Thought i had another month to figure it out. 😉

In a sign people are actually getting smarter (or maybe that the ratio of better-educated european and asia-pacific web surfers is increasing, thus raising the overall average IQ of the internet… or maybe just that with florida all ravaged and whatnot less of them are on the internet lately, making the whole country seem more intelligent) the ratio of Mozilla users is increasing. So apparently more people have figured out that less viruses, pop-up ads and annoying floating fake error boxes will plague you as a web surfer if you shy away from internet explorer. It is, after all, the same internet no matter what the interface, and maybe a company like Mozilla that is agile, driven and determined to build the best web browser possible – spending all of their waking hours devoted to the task – is going to offer a better interface than a company like micro$oft whose browser is a secondary product that holds a comfortable market share. Mozilla has to earn your trust – micro$oft already has you in their clutches. Who do you think is going to try harder to give you what you want?

If all of this thinking about the subliminal motivations of personified corporate entities is too much for you, i suggest you go play hold the button. My workday is 12 hours… see if you can hold the button as long as i hold down this chair. 😉

Some days have all the luck.

The strange little lego freddie-looking alien guy on top of my monitor is staring at me today. Normally i’d stare back, but i’m really tired right now and i just don’t think i’d win. Here’s a funny story for you. Last nite when i got home i noticed there is condensation inside my right light bulb, probably a result of my changing all the bulbs this week and cleaning the engine bay in preparation for selling it (the car, not just the engine bay). So i took the bulb out, along with the rubber seal around it, and set them on top of a nearby fuse box, so the bulb housing could air out last nite. This morning, because i’m stupid, i got in the car and headed for work. About 6 blocks from home i remembered the carefully-balanced parts under the hood, and pulled over. Of course, the bulb was totally gone. At least the rubber seal was still there. I poked around in the splash guards and whatnot, but no bulb. Closed the hood and drove two more blocks before i decided it would be a good idea to grab the rubber seal out of there before it, too, fell thru the cracks. Again, reference my stupidity. Pull over, open hood, grab rubber seal, back in car… people on sidewalk rather curious. Got home, of course bulb is not in the street in front of my house. I had a few spares (at least i didn’t have to go buy one!) and after testing a couple found one that worked. Assembled and ready… oh, wait… rubber seal is still sitting in the cupholder. Okay, re-assembled and ready. Head back to work. Two blocks from home, shiny metal thing catches the sunlight at an intersection. Like a mad person i jump out of my car to rescue it and… it’s an empty pack of dentyne. No, just kidding, it’s the bulb, and no one’s driven over it yet. But i felt pretty weird picking up shiny garbage in the street with cars behind me, it might as well have been a pack of gum. So moral of the story is… if you take your car apart and then go to bed, put a post-it on the dash first so you don’t drive off in a disassembled car in the morning. There is now a pack of post-its in my car.

At least it’s friday, so i only have a few more hours of being behind the wheel or around sharp objects where i risk injuring myself at the hands of my own stupidity. This weekend is Bumbershoot and i have tickets for two days, saturday and monday. There’s several bands i want to see saturday, but i couldn’t get anyone else to commit to going, so i just bought the ticket anyway and i’m gonna go regardless. They’re only 15 bucks, for a full 16-hour day of concerts on a half-dozen different stages. Not exactly a bank-breaker, don’t know what people’s excuse is. But i’m gonna go see Macy Gray and Kinky and REM, and if no one else wants to, well, they can fall through the splash guards too for all i care…

Turns out soup tastes awful through a straw – who knew?

Just sitting here enjoying the view of I-90 and the fall foilage in south bellevue from my 4th floor office, while sipping water thru a straw, a process made possible by pinching my lips around the straw with my fingers. Yes, that’s right, i went to the dentist this morning. And now i’ve got a rubber face and a tendency to drool down my right cheek. Could i be more sexy?

It’s odd the things that cross your mind – and even stranger the parts of that you remember – when you’re doped up on nitrous oxide, lying flat on your back. I had so many interesting things i wanted to jot down while i was drifting in and out of dreamland this morning, so many remarkably profound thoughts and grand new epiphanies. Sadly, all i truly remember now that i’ve crossed back thru the mirror and left wonderland, is just that; i thought of some neat things and wished i could write them down. Don’t know what they were, just know i wanted to remember them. Kind of like tying a string around your finger so you won’t forget something, and then forgetting what the string was supposed to remind you of. I’ve actually done that – not with a string, per-se. But i’ve set something out for myself, usually in a half-awake stupor: “i’ll leave this pen on top of the alarm clock, so i remember to turn the oven off.” And then the next morning, i’m like “why is there a pen balanced so oddly on my alarm clock? Oh! I was supposed to remember to do something. What was is supposed to do? Huh. Oh, well.” Or something like that. Anyway, i guess you’re just going to have to do without my mush-faced musings today, as i can’t seem to remember anything provocative or witty or even an amusing anecdote. And why is there a pen balanced so oddly on my computer keyboard???

In other news, the Max is finally in the shop today (after several annoying delays), and i have my dark green maxima loaner. I should have my car back by thursday, friday at the latest, with a shiny new rear bumper. So no more parallel parking downtown… and i’m still not officially an employee at the bellevue club, but i hear thru the grapevine that they’re figuring they’re staffing out and will hopefully get back to me this week. In the meantime, i’m having ramen for lunch. What do you think – beef flavor today? That should be nice thru a straw…