Prepare For the Onslaught of Things to Come

Mostly I just felt like that was an impressive and wordy heading for this entry. I will be getting around to the full-on Site Redux post-move.

I get into my new apartment tomorrow at 9 AM. Would you like to see my rough itinerary for the day?
Shower and pack up the last of the bathroom stuff
Pack up Willy, Exterra for Lap 1
Meet Nancy @ the apt w/ first Festiva load
Load, drive, unload, load, drive, unload…
Get Carol’s help to move the major furniture
Have last load packed before getting ready to meet cable guy
Cable guy’s window; have Jen stay, put together kitchen, bath
See 0925-1230
Eat, get ready for class
Meet Jen @ apt for movie
Travel to theater
Watch Spiderman

We’ll see if things work out this smoothly. Last time I move out of a house in Oshkosh it went pretty well. I have a decent “moving” track record. Pretty nice that Kevin & Amanda are letting me borrow their wheels for the day. The more you can move at once, the better, I figure.

I talked at length with Mark Knuetson last evening. He’s in the throes of moving as well. When I asked him “what’s the best thing about your new apartment?” he said that it was the fact that “it’s his apartment.” I ranked that sentiment #2 on my list, behind architecture.

I got a solid, and fully expected “AB” on my initial presentation in my class this week. I have to do a second presentation next Tuesday, and I still have plenty of preparation to go with that. I really need to sit around and research/think about it today or tomorrow (well, tomorrow’s probably out) and come up with solid research ideas. I am a terrible, inept researcher. I would crash and burn in search of a PhD.

I’m also working somewhat consistently on getting set for Devin’s bachelor party, which is coming up at the end of the month (July that is). I need to make a final head count and commit to a morning activity at this point. Dave Schrubbe had a good idea about brewery tours, and Fallon branched off of there to a brewery on a boat. In the end it’s up to me, but I want to do something other people will enjoy.

I’m going to go to Appleton right after work today to pick up the tickets for the Spiderman show. I figure it’ll cost less to go up there and back than the three dollars in service charges buying tickets on the web. Unless I can get those student rate tix via the website. I did that for H.P. a couple weeks ago, but for some reason, no dice this time around. Who can say?

Thanks for checking in; next time you here from me, I’ll be at my new place.

Counting Down

Not long now until “the move” becomes official. One week to go.

Hey, speaking of one week to go, let me know if you’re in the Fox Valley area and want to go see Spiderman 2 on 6/30 or 7/1. The date, at least for me, hinges on the date that I get to move in to my new place. If I’m not in until the 1st, I’m going to have to favor a show the day before.

Anyway, yeah, like I was saying to Uncle Mark in an email earlier today, getting ready to move blows. I would be content to be packing up boxes and then having a small army of oompa loompas carrying them out and over to the new residence. But I sit here not sure of what I’ll use and what I won’t over the next week. The sheer volume of “stuff” is another problem.

But that’s carrying on, and I’m also in the thick of class at this point; I decided earlier today what I would do one of two “presentations” on over the next two weeks. Four week classes really aren’t that bad, I don’t think. This is only the end of the second week and it’s half over. That’s neato. But I do have a lot of work to do over the last two weeks.

Oh, if you want to know what the presentation is about (I don’t enjoy boring people, contrary to what you may have been led to believe) I’ll tell you that the class is called Cultural Studies in Film and the title of my presentation and subsequent paper is going to be “They’ll Be Back: Technological Paranoia in The Terminator, The Matrix, and Beyond.” So there you go.

Dave just told me that there’s a DVD writer for sale on that will be able to write dual-layer discs after a firmware upgrade. 69 bucks.

Have you noticed that Dave hasn’t updated his blog in something like six months? Me too.

I do have a couple questions for you: Was your father as bold as a sergeant major? How come he told you that you were hardly old enough yet? And jet, I thought the major was a lady suffragette.

I’m going to meet Seibers for lunch today at Perkins. Bout 15 minutes from now. That’s why I decided that I haven’t adequate time to plan my wardrobe and then pack up my remaining clothes for the ensuing seven days.

I’m reading Dave Eggers right now and it’s good. He’s funny and serious, which is interesting. Kevin reads a lot of books, but I think I read a lot slower than he does. I’ve always read pretty slow. I’m trying to change my system and speed that process up, but it’s hard.

I’m gonna take off now, visit if you like. There’s not much there right now but I think I’ll move the blog over there in the near future.

This Damn Thing Still Autoformats Every Time I Do This

Y’know how there are some things about computers that don’t ever seem to work no matter how many times you fix them? I hate that. What do I hate more? People who are unwilling to accept that.
“This isn’t working.”
“Well,” Jason says, “Just close the window and try again.
“Now it works.”
“Why didn’t it work before?”
“UUhh…” Jason considers, “Computers hate you?”

Just let it go, y’know? So it didn’t work the first time. Things don’t always work the right way all the time or every time. Can you all just relax?

I’ve been busy with work and started class this week. The week of June 7 (last time I was here) I had to attend and conduct training for students and staff on the university’s new payroll system. That and class has basically been happening non-stop since 6/7. It all went well; I won’t go in to boring details, but I pleased myself with the apparent effectiveness of my instruction. The true test will be yet to come, but…

I finally officially signed a lease for my new apartment, where I’ll be moving on July 1. Based on the conversation I had with the bldg mgr the other day, it sounds like I may be able to get in for the first time even before that. It’s nice that Dave is still going to be living in the same place after I’m gone, so I’m sure moving out won’t be too stressful (in terms of getting a whole apartment emptied, cleaned, etc, at the same time as moving to a new one).

Speaking of which, I’m glad to report that this move is resulting in the disposal of even more of my “stuff,” or, as it tends to be called while moving, my “shit.” I threw out something like 20 old VHS tapes (from TV) that I haven’t watched in years yesterday. I have a box of 25 VHS movies that I’m going to try to sell at a used CD place or something. Unless you want some big bulky tapes with movies on them..?

Over the weekend I need to watch a few movies for my class. The course I’m taking is “cultural studies in film,” and yes, this is still the English department. We don’t just sit around and watch movies, we watch parts of them, try our best to remember the rest, and then talk about the culture that produced them, as well as the culture that they in turn produced. It’s a similar exercise to my J.D. class from MSU (spring 03). So next week, in successive days, the students will be bringing in clips from movies in four principle formulas: the western, the romance, the mystery, and science fiction. I had two of mine (western & sci-fi) chosen immediately, and it only took a quick glance through my box o’ movies at home to decide on the others.
WESTERN: The Wild Bunch
ROMANCE: Chasing Amy
MYSTERY: L.A. Confidential
SCI-FI: Alien
So yeah, over the weekend, I at least have to watch Wild Bunch once or twice, because I haven’t seen it that often, and we have to bring in the western first. So there you have it.

That and some more packing.

TOP V LIST FOR THE DAY: Top V Surprises When I Cleaned/Packed Up Stuff in the Closet
V. I had three banker boxes full of video tapes, not just two
IV. One of the old tapes I found contained the Packers’ last game at County Stadium from 1994
III. Shoes, shoes, shoes, shoes
II. I own enough towels for a 3-person family
I. Carson has been right all this time; wire hangers are terrible for your clothes

Another Week Down, and Still Feeling Older

There were a few occasions over the weekend that helped to confirm my status as a full-fledged “grown-up,” out of touch w/ the kids and no longer able to abuse myself in the same old ways.

I went out on Friday night w/ a bunch of Res Life staff folk, including Jim Droste, Peter Brooks, Chrissy Lambie, Arcetta Butler, and a young woman named Kelly, who, as it turns out, goes to Stout and is friends with my kid sister. I met the group out at the French Quarter, and it was the first time I was in there in over two years. They have Pabst on tap now. Pabst has gotten very cool once again. I can’t really explain it, but I’m sure it has something to do with Ashton Kutcher.

So, we threw some darts at the Quarter, and I won, but only on the strength of one very good round early in the game (Kevin would’ve come back and beaten me), and then by 11, 11:30 or so, everyone was leaving, except Jim and a couple of the young women, who wanted to go to Molly’s.

It was at Molly’s that I realized I was too old to be hanging out in these bars. And I no longer recognized *anybody* who was there; Lorch and Wordy can back me up on this: if you make a habit of going to the same bars every weekend or so, you see the same people out there all the time, and everything feels more natural and familiar when you can say things like, “hey, there’s Hot Girl,” or “did you see Fun Girl at the Quarter?” but these days are now gone. I lasted all of 20 minutes at Molly’s, but it was nice of Jim to buy me a beer.

The next morning I felt like hell. Well, not so much “like hell,” but just not like “myself,” and for possibly the first time, I realized, “man, I’d feel a lot better if I hadn’t been out drinking half the night.” That was a little bit startling. It’s not like I’ve never felt crappy and gotten basically nothing done the day after a “party night” before, but this was the first time I could remember actually caring about it.

Later that day, I went to the Paper Tiger with Jim, we bought cigars and smoked them outside his newly empty residence hall. He’s got the whole bloody thing to himself for the summer. I commented that the campus was so quiet, I half expected to see a tumbleweed rolling through. The empty Wal-Mart? bag was close enough.

To round out the weekend, I did get to see Amanda, Karla, Bryan, Katie Mac, Devin, and Marj (who has a very nice new apartment in the building next door to my new apartment). I also helped Lorch, Jamie & Taylor move to a new house, fortunately only about three blocks from their old house.

Ultimately, I didn’t get as much done during the weekend as I’d originally hoped, but my undeniable social popularity over these three days made up for it. I like to see people, so…

I have a ton of reading to get accomplished this week, because next week starts my summer class. I have to check into a car rental for next weekend…

There’s not much to see, but you can take a glance at the newest domain in The 80’s Rewind Network.

Interesting and Factual Events

This is actually frightening me a little bit. You may have heard, I’ve made a lot of it early in the summer here, I have a big list?

Well, I’m actually getting things done on this list, I’m crossing stuff off. My short “day” list from yesterday? I finished all but one thing on that list! And today’s is long, but full of things that I’ll be able to get done relatively quickly.

Big current news is that I got the apartment on Main Street that I applied for last week, which reminds me of one other thing I need to put on my list. But yeah, I made a call yesterday afternoon after work, and the building manager told me that she’ll have the lease all ready to go for me to sign next week. It’ll start on the 1st of July.

It’s going to be a complex moving process, because the 1st is so damn close the 4th, and more importantly, close to the 2nd (when I’m going to see John Mayer w/ Jen & Joe… shit, and one other yet-to-be-named person) and close the 3rd (when I’ll be at Veteran’s Park for the fireworks). On the 1st itself, I have class in the evening, so I can get some moving done during the day, but… y’know, could need to happen in stages or something. I’ll have to start the packing soon, make sure I’m all set on the day. I should probably put that on the list, too.

Let’s see, last night, Bryan beat out Dev & Marj for the pleasure of my company (it was a race to the phone, folks) and we swung by the mall, where I had the dude at Sunglasses Hut bend my shades so they would actually stay on my face, and I asked the guy at Verizon if they were gonna be getting this new LG phone that I want, and they’re not. I decided I’m just going to maintain my ‘free agent’ status until a really sweet special comes along or a phone that I really want hits the market.

We went and ate a sandwich at the Wooden Nickel on College Ave in Appleton, because they have a little outdoor seating and it was a gorgeous evening. I got to wear my sunglasses while I ate; it was a little bit like California for a few minutes. Nice to see in the forecast that it’s going to be nothing but clear for the next couple days at least. The weather has been for shit for the last couple weeks.

Oh, I went to Wilson’s Leather in the mall yesterday, too, and they told me they *did* have a cover for my notepad. Yeah, too bad the colors were lime green, highlighter orange, and blood red. All very fashionable for a young woman who likes to jot down notes.

Yeah and I’ve never actually seen North by Northwest.

This is interesting; I was working on a small carpentry project in accordance with my “list” the other day. While I was up north, Dad went through his miscellaneous lumber pile with me and we picked out some 1x material with which I intended to make “braces” for some crappy particle board shelving that I bought at Target when I was in MT.

Tuesday night, I get home from work, and after a couple of smaller things like sorting laundry and running out to pick up coffee (I was out at work and at home) I set about to tackle this bracing project. We cut the wood close to the length I would need, so I had to shave a little bit off to make it fit just so. It was at this point that I realized I no longer had a saw of any kind. I used to have a SKIL saw and a little hand saw, but the first burned out while Joe and I were working on the basement last summer, and the second must be buried in a box somewhere.

I asked Dave if he had a saw that would meet my needs, and he hooked me up with his miter box. It worked out pretty well, actually.

I cut everything to length and got out my drill, phillips-head bit and some short deck screws (they were the only ones I had) and was ready to get down to business. I plugged in the drill and squeezed the trigger. Something rattled around inside, and I distinctly saw a piece of something shoot out of the side. Broken drill. Dave, can I borrow your drill?

So Dave’s drill is cordless, and now I was really set to get cooking. I lined up the first screw and promptly cracked the edge of the brace. Yeah, those screws were not really designed for the sort of work I was doing. I decided I’d sink them into the middle of the brace, anchoring them to the individual shelves, and that worked out just splendidly. In no time, I had all my braces secured and I set the shelves back up on their feet.

Yeah, the structural integrity had not improved at all; they still wobbled and buckled in the same places. It was at this point that Dave popped his head around the corner and reminded me that for the braces to be good for anything at all, they would have to be secured to the side panels of this shelving system. Otherwise you’ve just got some boards screwed onto the back of some useless shelves. Duh, I’m an idiot.

Well, how are we gonna make this happen? Dave says, “drill some pilot holes,” and that makes perfect sense; it was a good thing he was around for this one. We switch out the bits and drill a hole, Dave has some actual wood screws that might work better than the deck screws, so we tried one of those in the test pilot, and promptly stripped the top of the screw. Dave turned it out with a vise grip.

I went back to the deck screws after that, and things seemed to be working out OK. I decided I would drill all my holes, then put in all the screws. The bit that I was using could be characterized as slightly dull, and I had to put quite a bit of pressure behind it to get through my braces. On the second to last hole, the bit broke off in the wood. I circled that hole so I would remember not to try putting a screw in there.

I happened to have another bit of the same size that was equally dull, and I finished the last hole. I start putting down the deck screws, and when I get that far, yet another revelation strikes me: you drill a pilot hole into particle board, you’ve pretty much used up all of particle board’s capability to hold a screw. So I was putting deck screws into a solid piece of maple brace, and then through a stripped-out gouge in a piece of particle board, essentially. I used my hammer to pound the screws flush with the brace, and that seemed to work out OK.

The entire job took around 90 minutes, and for future reference, I should probably think through these projects completely before trying to tackle them. I started with a flimsy, cheap piece of furniture, and now I have a slightly less flimsy, cheap piece of furniture. So what the hell.

TOP V LIST OF THE DAY: Top V Star Wars-related Domains That You May or May Not Believe Are Registered

Commence with the summer

I took a route back from Eagle River yesterday that might’ve been a bit *too* far out of the way to really be worthwhile. On the way up, we took highway 49 most of the way, via the likes of Waupaca, Scandanavia, Iola, Northland and Galloway, and we met back up with 45 in Aniwa.

I decided to swing further East on the way back; I took 32 through Crandon, to highway 55, and drove through the reservation, but before I got there, it was through Mole Lake and Pickerel and Hollister. 55 meets 22 around Shawano, and 22 meets 45 back in Clintonville. However, I remembered between Clintonville and New London that I needed to go to the bank in Neenah, so I decided to cut over to 41 on 76, and that was the longest haul of the day. I should’ve just waited to make the turn in New London.

Anyway, when all was said and done, it took me about 4 hours to get home from Eagle River. Usually, it’s just slightly more than 3. Unless you’re Jen, of course.

Rained like hell for a brief period last evening, which was fine with me; after the drive, I didn’t feel like doing anything. I played a video game. I did watch a little Letterman and Conan, and then I woke up at 4:30, realizing that I’d forgotten to set the timer to turn the TV off.

The Memorial Day weekend is never long enough for anybody. People sulk back in to the office saying, “where did the time go???” when really, it was only 3 days. Usually you have 2 days. This was only one extra day. It’s not like Christmas. Christmas is a holiday. Memorial Day is… the opposite of Labor Day. In terms of time off, that is.

Here’s the day’s hourly forecast for Oshkosh.

Here’s the day’s hourly forecast for San Francisco.

Here’s Bozeman.

Here’s Memphis.

I don’t know why Memphis.

I’m currently in the habit of watching Headline News (or rather, having Headline News on) when I’m getting ready for work. I don’t know how often you watch this channel, maybe if you just want a smattering of nationwide headlines (I guess that’s where they get the name) but these people that they have on there before 9 AM Central anyway, what, what, what’s, uh…. with ’em? It’s like they’re not even running a news channel. Sometimes it just makes me look and think that some of these people could get fired at WTMJ very quickly.

The nice thing about the day after a holiday weekend is that it seems likely your staff meetings will be canceled. Who’s got the time, really, to get their shit together for a Tuesday staff meeting on the first day of the week? That’s why you usually have the staff meeting on Tuesday, because the first day of the week is really just for getting wound up for the rest of it, it’s not for doing any significant work. There’s probably a decent chance the meeting could be rescheduled for tomorrow, but that’s fine with me, I’ll feel more up to a meeting the second day of the week.

And I swear this is how it happened: I was in the middle of writing that last paragraph when I heard the email dinger go off with a message from our director:
“Today’s staff meeting is cancelled.”

And I guess ‘canceled’ is spelled correctly with either one ‘L’ or two. I guess that would make canceled a rather unfortunate word for a spelling bee. But if it’s a spelling ‘bee,’ and what is the etemology of ‘bee’ in that context anyway, the people in charge are probably fully aware of the multiple correct spellings of some words, but, at the same time, there’s a chance that they would only accept one or the other, assuming that the participants in said bee had studied some sort of book of standards, as it were, that fell in line with the leanings of the Council of The Bee. For example, while ‘colour’ may be spelled correctly with a U, the fact is that an American spelling bee would be unlikely to accept such a spelling, because, as the bee is occuring in the United States, and given that the U.S. has its own set of standards in the spelling and pronunciation of English words, the British spelling of ‘color,’ while technically correct, would have no place in a spelling bee occurring in North America, and furthermore, they don’t even call it a “spelling bee” in England. It’s a spelling contest (which, frankly, makes a lot more sense).

TOP V LIST FOR THE DAY has been canceled. This is only the first day of the week.