Custom Search

Friday, October 19, 2007


A Wild Wild Adventure

I want to talk a little bit about my adventure this afternoon.

My wife gave me a $1 off gift card to Wendy's so I decided after not being able to find it yesterday that I would venture out again today and look for it. I found it. It was inside of this fairly new mall near my office that is about 5 times the size of the town that I live in. So I sat in the food court eating my food [at $1 off the regular menu price] and watching everyone else.

This mall is located in a very suburban part of town where the food court was littered with what I am guessing were pre-soccer-mom's whose husbands were all off to work so they had congregated together for a lunch and play date. I applaud that, but it is just funny to see them do it in such a suburban way with their kids wearing Baby Gap and American Eagle and what not.

Now, the question is this- do I get out much? No.

I decided when I was done eating that since I had some time that I should kill before returning to the office that I would walk a lap around both the upper and lower levels of the mall to just get some exercise and see what all was there. It is a good walk around that place. I think that I probably walked 2 miles. There were all kinds of stores that I don't even really have enough money to walk into, let alone actually buy something there. The thing that intrigued me about so many of those places was that as I walked past the stores actually smelled like designer cologne or perfume. HOW DO THEY DO THAT? Does Glade make air fresheners in those scents?

There isn't a discount store of any kind in this mall. The whole place smelled like credit cards because I'm not sure what else the patrons were paying with.

I walked around there for about 20 minutes or so and then decided to head back out to my car so I could get back to work.

Dude! Where's My Car

So now that I'm outside I start walking and I get distracted by a man-made pond [with fountain and outdoor music] and a walkway. I stood there for a few moments and enjoyed the view before making the trek back to where my car was.

10 minutes later I'm still walking up and down rows of cars that don't contain my own. "Did I park here? I'm sure I was this far down...That truck looks familiar. Do I look like I'm ready to boost one of these?"


So I decide to go back into the mall to try and decipher which door exactly I came in so that I can retrace my steps in getting there. 10 minutes later I finally found my car and we enjoyed a brief embrace before some onlooker was preparing to call mall security.


So now that I'm back at the office in the parking lot I decided that I needed to check my Blackberry since I felt it zinging me with emails on my drive back from the mall. Why, you ask? I dunno....I was only about 100 feet away from my desk by this point; I should have just headed into the building so that I could check them at my desk.

Instead, I'm standing out in the parking lot like an idiot checking my email and dodging this fly that was pestering me. This thing just kept swarming around me and honing in on me for some now I'm the idiot on his Blackberry running around in the parking lot trying to flee the evil clutches of a fly. Dum-duh-duh-dum.

I return to my email in peace now that the fly has decided to leave me alone; so I think.

I then finish up in the parking lot and head back to the building. Once back at my desk I plop down in my chair and reach for my phone. Now drowning in my hair I do one of those flip numbers to get it out of my face....only to have that damn fly emerge from beneath my nest somewhere. It rapidly zoomed out brushing my face as I cursed it.

I'm going home now. I hope you all have a good weekend.

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

"You Deserve......"

I don't know where all you folks might be reading from but where I live there is a really annoying commercial that runs. It starts out with this freaky "hip" guy who is wearing all black [yeah, how original for being trendy] greeting the camera that is supposed to be a person and saying "you deserve to look your best."

I am fascinated by this little marketing phrase that I hear more and more "you deserve...."

They should be glad that I am not calling the shots on who deserves what in my world. Let me turn the tables just a bit and see who deserves what and why in my book.

My wife- she deservers an award for having to spend most of her time putting up with 2 crabby kids all day and then having to deal with a husband who is burned out on his job and is always riding the narrow fence that travels the border of depression, ambition and insanity.

My mother-in-law deserves the highest respect. She is a saint in most respects of the word. She is kind to all, loving to the unlovable, gracious to the nasty, etc. I love the woman and she is such a bright light to everyone that she touches.

I have a customer of mine who deserves to lose their computer. They don't know how to stop installing crap that messes it up and then when it hits the fan they don't want to have to pay anyone to fix it.

The Popular Jerk from High School- He deserved to get kicked down a flight of stairs and land butt side. I have never understood how jerks could still maintain their popularity.

The point is though that this advertising appeals to this false sense of what people think they deserve. Instead of looking that crap, let's look at what Maslow said folks needed. On second thought, I'm too tired to make his pyramid out for everyone to look at. The point is that there is a difference between a seemingly universal set of needs that folks have verses what they deserve.

I like to see good folks get the breaks that they need...but for once I'd also like to see someone get what they deserve- they go into a place and ask somebody for a break, favour, or a deal....and then be told "no, you're an asshole."

I am OK with saying all of this though because I know who I am. I realize that I am sometimes that guy who needs to be kicked in the shins just to remind me that I'm not as great as I might think I am.

Labels: , , , , ,

Music Of The Season

Since Fall is here I was thinking the other day about the music that I like most to listen to this time of year. Here is a list of CDs that I keep on hand for such occasions-

Madeski, Martin & Wood- Notes From the Underground
I bought this album in the fall one year of college but it is good year round

Pearl Jam- No Code
I bought this album the fall of my senior year of high school. There was just something beautifully eerie about the mood of the songs set to the backdrop of my misty wet and gray drives home after school.

Nickel Creek- Nickel Creek
Bluegrass is good for any occasion

Counting Crows- August And Everything After and Recovering The Satellites
was an album that captured my imagination during my sophomore year of high school. There was a special comfort that I found in it when I didn't know how to spend the rest of my time. The same feelings come from Satellites, but I bought it with a friend in the fall of my senior year of high school. I remember initially not liking the album but slowly I grew to love it as I began to feel it being a telling of my life at the time.

Coldplay- Parachutes
If you can get past the self service of the lead singer the album is just great.

Crash Test Dummies- The Ghosts That Haunt Me
I first listened to this album in the fall of 1999. It captivated me in only a way that a singer who sounds like he has three nads can.

Edwin McCain- Honour Among Thieves
A friend of mine introduced me to this album right after it came out in the summer of 1995. My friend wasn't near to me that following fall but this album felt like it was my closest link to her.

Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds- Live at Luther College
I bought this in the spring of 1999 but it is still a great album.

Led Zeppelin- III
"Leaves are falling all around; time I was on my way...."
From the song Ramble On

Crank it up and enjoy the ride.

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, October 13, 2007


It has been a while since I've typed so now it's time for the latest instalment. This one very well may be all over the place and fairly random but just hang with me, or just move on.

First things first- I received an email from a reader that said that they found one of my posts on Minneapolis to be "anti-climactic." I had written about a fairly recent business trip up there and stated several nice things about the Minneapolis/St. Paul area but then ended the post by saying something to the effect of even though it is a great place to visit, I'm not sure that I would want to live there.

He said that in light of it being a decent post that he was confused as to why I would leave it so open-ended like that...and then made the comment that after then seeing my hair that perhaps it made a little more sense.

Sorry if you don't like my hair. Sorry if you're so shallow enough to really truly try and stoop to the level of judging a person by their "cover." As a writer I am open to constructive criticism about ways that I can improve the quality of my posts but when someone starts throwing jabs about intelligibility being linked to the fuzziness of someone's hair then, pardon me if I say....well, fill in the blank with the phrase of your choice. The conversation has been ended.

OK, now that that is out of the way....

A loooooooong time ago, sometime last year, I was talking about a renovation project that I had started in my house. It was a big deal. We had this room that we didn't know what to call. It wasn't a closet, it wasn't a bedroom...but it did have a 1/2 bathroom in it which made it that much more quizzical. Well, we decided that we wanted to get some kind of use out of it, but the problem was that it was the only room in the whole house that we were certain had absolutely no insulation, no real good source of electricity, and no heating ducts going to it. I think you might be able to track where I'm going with this now.

In order to make this room work, I had to really just start things over from scratch. I removed everything from the bathroom and covered up the pipes. We moved everything that we had been storing in there to another room. I then went out to my garage and got a few hammers and a pry bar and started having a field day. The room was once mainly bad plaster work that was later "patched" together with even worse wallpaper and then sealed up with paint. Not any more. I took things down to the bare frame.

I ran more wire to accommodate more electrical outlets, split off 2 existing light switches, re-did the ligthting for the room. I then insulated the room the hell out of the room before putting up brand new sheetrock. When that was done I mudded, textured, painted, and now I am in the very last stages of putting up the last of the trim around the doorways. So a year later I almost have this mamma-jamma under wraps.

Work at my regular job has been what it is, but I don't like to blog about that.

Because of all of the stuff going on in my life right now I really haven't had much time for family, relaxing, or leisure. But once things are finally to a near stop then I've got some things on my list to tend to-

  1. Reading- I have books that I would like to read but I've just not had the time to read any of them lately.
  2. Working out- I have not worked out in.....too long. I now finally have the room again to get my equipment back out and use it. I am tired of being tired and I know that working out again will help.
  3. Catching up on the shows that I've missed- Thank God for Tivo.
  4. Playing with my kids- I can finally come home from work and not be distracted by everything else that is going on.
  5. Write some much needed music- Last night I was listening to a tape or 2 that I had from 2 concerts that my college band did several years ago. We really didn't put everything into our group that we could have and we weren't as good as we could have been, but in my estimation, for a half-assed band we also really weren't that bad either. I miss writing and playing music and I once again feel inspired to do something about it.
We currently have company in our house. My wife had a friend from high school who was a foreign exchange student from Germany. She is now back here in the States visiting us. I have to admit that it feels kind of exotic to have a foreigner here in our house with us to give us different perspectives and such. She has a lot of interesting stories from around the world. Thankfully she seems to feel right at home here with us and I hope she really does. I also hope that we've made the stay nice enough that she'd want to come back. Hopefully we can all meet up in Ireland someday as well and have a tour there.

Well, with all of that now having been said my children are now awake and ready for breakfast so I need to go get that ready for them.

I'll be back much sooner next time than I was this time.

Labels: , , , ,