Something to Make You Feel Better, or Worse

I was at my desk getting cross-eyed staring at a long list of ID numbers, and I realized that even if I wanted to, this is all I can do and still hope to be making a livable wage. This is certainly not the first time I’ve thought about this, of course.

In the moments that followed, I somehow stumbled across this:
Things Other People Accomplished When They Were Your Age.

So, depending on how you look at it, why not bookmark that page when you need a kick in the ass, or a kick in the balls?

Just for example, this site states that, at age 19:
Henry David Thoreau delivered a Harvard commencement address. Expanding on Emerson’s 1836 essay on “Nature”, he proposed that man should work one day a week and leave six free for the “sublime revelations of nature.”

… Hi, I’m Jason. I’m 28, and I push buttons on a computer.

What's the Matter with Kids Today?

I ran across an interesting story on the AP wire this morning…

The summary of the study in question seems to confirm my experience with the 18-22 demographic. I have a feeling this trend could oscillate back in the other direction by the time I have grown up kids.

I haven’t done a study or anything, but by far, the most narcissistic kids I run into seem to have parents that fuel that trait.

Snow Covered, Etc.

The weekend, considering the weather and stuff, turned out as well as could be expected.

On Saturday morning, I got up at my regular time so that I’d be ready for movin’ fun w/ the Knitts when they called. Snow removal pushed the excitement back to around 10am, after I stopped off at the U-Haul joint on Ohio & Witzel for a few extra boxes.

Joe and April had plenty of help, and a lot of stuff already loaded up, so the moving itself didn’t take too long. I’d say the biggest pain of all was removing a few doors in order to get furniture in and out of houses. I definitely favor moving into a house over an apartment, big reason being the shorter trip from the truck to the door. Hiking up and down a lot of stairs with armloads of stuff sucks.

There is a not-too-flattering photo of Joe and April in their living room at the end of our Saturday on my Flickr page, and I took a couple more pics around the house, too.

It’s a nice little old house. Apparently, the previous occupant had been there for a very long time, and it was in need of some significant renovations. At this point, though, there is fresh paint on all the walls, new carpeting on the floors, and some new windows, too. The only other work it desperately needs is a coat of paint on the outside, and that’s going to be tackled once the weather warms up.

Saturday evening, Michelle was due to show up around 5:30, 6-ish, and we were going to go to Dave Schrubbe’s birthday grand re-opening of DHI. We ate at about 7, and then Michelle needed to finish up some other stuff online before we went over. I don’t even really remember what we were watching on TV or whatever, but it was around 8pm that I just curled up on the couch and fell asleep, basically for the rest of the night.

I felt bad about missing Dave’s shindig and disappointing Michelle with a boring evening, but I guess I was just wiped out after the moving day. *That* realization also made me feel like a tool, because it wasn’t as if we busted our humps for hours upon hours on Saturday– I got to Joe & April’s at 10, and we were done with everything by 3:30. *Shrugs*

I guess I just suck.

On Sunday, Michelle and I did make it to Sheboygan for her Grandma’s 92nd birthday. I was pretty nervous about the weather before we left, but it turned out to be not that big of a deal; it was crappy when we were leaving from there, and we had to drive pretty slow between Sheboygan and Fond du Lac, but otherwise didn’t have any problems.

I was glad we went. I got to meet another one of Michelle’s aunts and her Uncle Larry, and Grandma was looking & feeling lots better than the last time we saw her (she was in the nursing home for a week or so when she came down with the flu earlier this winter). We also watched some old home movies that had been dubbed over to VHS. It was neat.

You’ve probably heard about or experienced the weekend’s snowfall. It’s actually really warm today (34), and the snow is just a mess. I had a wet, treacherous walk to and from work once already today, and if it freezes a little bit later, I expect more of the same.

Tonight after work I have to go the WI Review office and help with the choosing of pieces for the spring issue. Basketball tonight is at 8:15.

I think we have something like 3 games left. Could be a couple more depending on the “playoff” situation. I’ve had a pretty good time playing basketball, but I don’t expect that I’ll do it again next year. It’s been a little frustrating that we never have time to practice (we only show up for the games), and my weekly basketball nightmares, while silly, are pretty annoying. Long story short, it seems like too much anxiety and stress for something that is supposed to be a good time.

Thinking about this sort of thing makes me worry that I’ll be a bad “sports dad” at some point in the future– I won’t have the skills to teach kids sports, and who knows if I’ll have the right sort of attitude to be a good spectator at their events.

I wonder if other people who don’t have kids (or even a spouse) worry about crap like this.

Calm Before Another Storm

You thought I was talking about the radar, didn’t you?

Work has been very quiet this week. All the problems associated with the unstable first weeks of the semester are settling down. We’re passing the “point of no return” for dropping and adding and getting refunds. It’s been good for catching up on things.

Next week, though, the storm is going to hit when we shift the focus to next year and the freshies and their folks start calling. It’s the time of year when I feel the dumbest, because there are a lot of questions that you have to answer that only come up for about three weeks every spring. Most of our problems (and hence, my job) relate to making money show up in the kids’ accounts or sending it back. OK, that’s a major over-simplification, but it’s not like you care.

Point is, right now is when the relative-weirdos come and ask you their questions:
“Well, I live with my Mom on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and weekends from October to May, but from June to September I actually go to Tiajuana and get drunk with a talking chihuahua named Jose. None of this is that important, though, since Madonna adopted me with Brad Pitt back when I was 13. So whose information should I put on the FAFSA?”*

So, I thought I would take this opportunity to do a posting during the day for the last time for a while. What can I tell you that’s new?

Had the toilet overflow the other day. That sucked. Got up in the morning to take a shower and there was water EVERYWHERE. I got a little upset, and Michelle got upset because I was angry about the toilet, but we calmed each other down a little and took care of it.

I called my landlord the next day to tell him what happened and ask if he wanted to come over and look at it. It really seemed like he didn’t believe me when I said it overflowed during the night and we had no indication it was going to do that. I don’t know that much about plumbing, but to me it doesn’t seem like it should be *impossible.* He hasn’t been over yet, but it’s just some veneer that’s peeling away from the base of the vanity, and the flooring bubbled up a little near the toilet. So it’s not the end of the world or anything; I’ll put a note in with my rent next week if he forgets about it.

I really, truly do not care to hear another goddamn word about Anna Nicole Smith or Britney Spears, preferably ever. What’s happening in celebrities’ personal lives has never been on my radar, and when people get obsessed with a particular story, for me it becomes a game to learn as little about it as possible.

Just don’t be surprised if you bring it up to me and I bitch-slap you.

The Bucks narrow loss at the hands of the Pacers earlier this week really got me excited about baseball season. I called up Dave Schrubbe, and we agreed to go in together on a 9-pack of Brewers tickets. We chose the “Retro Fridays” package, viewable here:

One of the cool things about it is that we get an ’82 Brewers player bobblehead at all 9 games. Pretty sweet. We also get “free” tickets for Opening Day. So when you average it out, it was about 23 bucks a game for 10 games. I can live with that.

Also, like I mentioned to Dave– last time we bought a multi-game ticket package for a professional sports team in Milwaukee, they had a pretty good season.

Later this weekend, I am due to help out with the Knitts’ move across town. The weather may factor in to their plans, so we’ll see how it goes. Dammit, I gotta do some laundry tonight, too.

Enjoy yours…

* - the answer is David Hasselhoff

God Bless America

Startup Hopes to Modernize Parking Hunt

I love this right here:
“In the 21st century, you shouldn’t have to look for a parking space anymore,” said SpotScout CEO Andrew Rollert, a 32-year-old software engineer. “I hate the term, ‘I have to go look for a parking space.'”

In unrelated news, Suicide Blast Kills 13 in Al-Sadr’s Area.

… Well, maybe that *is* related. Both are about cars, right?

Oscar Time Part Deux

A couple weeks ago when the nominations came out, I offered up my list of flicks that I intended to see before the beeg pahtee on 2/25.

Well, of course I won’t have a chance to see ALL of those, but let’s have a look through the nominees that I have seen, and the categories that I have some license to talk about…

You may have seen my initial review of The Departed earlier in the year, I might have talked about a couple others, and I’m not feeling like re-hashing thoughts on the individual films. So with that said, here is a one-sentence review of each:

The Departed— Scorsese’s best flick since Goodfellas hits on all cylinders, and the end is a surprise.

BabelCrash-like in plot, but no racist aftertaste; more of a comment on a shrinking global community.

Letters from Iwo Jima— Strong performances against a gritty Eastwoodian backdrop, with a (relatively) uplifting finale.

Little Miss Sunshine— Superb screenplay made better by a terrific ensemble.

The Queen— The movie with this year’s Best Actress winner is an interesting flick regardless of historical accuracy.

My pick is The Departed. Best chance for an upset will come from Letters from Iwo Jima, since it is well-known that everything Clint Eastwood touches turns to gold,* unless nominated in the same year as a movie with hobbits.**

Nominees here are the same as best pic, with the exception of Paul Greengrass and United 93 subbing in for Little Miss Sunshine. Greengrass did a phenomenal job, and that movie actually made me want to not watch any other 9/11 movies for a while. I guess for me, though, the proof of that film’s quality will come with time, when the people who were NOT around to witness 9/11 firsthand look at it. Other people might think about it differently…

But in any case, I’ll pick Martin again. Of course, there’s always the chance that the Academy will kick him in the balls one more time and hand this statue to Josey Wales.

That might be a much more interesting way to settle the Best Director award, no? Eastwood gets dressed up like he’s back in Fistful of Dollars and he and the little Italian wiseguy count off 10 paces in front of Mann’s Chinese Theater, turn and fire. Done and done. Once and for all. Christ, man, it would be like Blazing Saddles.

That covers both categories where I’ve seen all the nominees, but I could make a couple other random picks, I suppose…

– Would like to see Alan Arkin win for supporting actor in Little Miss Sunshine. Thought he really gave that character an edge.
– How did Dreamgirls get all these nominations?
– How bout an award for Click, just for the sake of putting the words “ACADEMY AWARD WINNER” on the DVD box (it’s up for an award for makeup)?
– I would have to see Pan’s Labyrinth to make a call in the Original Screenplay category, but out of the other four (Babel, Iwo Jima, Miss Sunshine, and The Queen), I will be pulling for Little Miss Sunshine.

* - see the 77th Academy Awards
** - see the 76th Academy Awards

Days In Stillwater

Michelle reads the blog pretty religiously, and since she wanted to be surprised on our trip this weekend, I couldn’t talk about what we had planned.

We’re staying in Stillwater, MN, with no particular plans– just thought it would be nice to get out of town to someplace where we could relax and have fun. We didn’t really get to bed last night until almost 2, so we were both really tired and slept late.

At the moment, I’m watching the start of the WI-Penn State game while I wait for Michelle to finish getting ready. We’ll go get something to eat and have to make a quick run to Wally World cuz we forgot a couple bathroom items.

I’ll let you know what goes on…

A Post-Script of General Notes

Realized that I had a variety of “briefs” after making my initial post…

1. This Anna Nicole Smith thing is going to be an interesting movie on HBO or something in a few years. Who do you think they’ll cast for the title role?

2. I didn’t even think about how I didn’t think about missing ’24’ this week until I scanned through the titles of my last few posts. Yeah, not gonna miss that show at all.

3. I got an LCD monitor for my desktop that might just make the desktop PC my favorite computer again…

4. Four Best Picture nominees down, 1 to go. I still think The Departed is your front-runner.

5. Shoveling blows.

6. Pitchers and catchers report to camp in 3 days.

7. Still haven’t started that “get up early more often” thing yet.


I was driving down to Milwaukee last night, listening to the Bucks game on the way.

I realized during the first commercial break that I have come to abhor advertising interruptions in all their forms.

I barely watch TV; most of it I catch via the interwebs or DVD. I have junk email accounts to keep any and all wasteful messages out of my inbox. I use extensions for Firefox to block ads of all sorts on webpages. I’ve put a garbage bag just inside the front door of my apartment so that I don’t even have to bring ads and flyers into the house.

Having to deal with commercials on the radio is annoying as hell. But how can you listen to live sports without them? I guess the lack of ads in all the other usual places has really made the ones I hear on the radio more acute.

This post in the “gosh-it-sucks-to-be-me” category… 😛

OK, well– off to a movie. Later, I’m meeting Michelle for some Valentiney good times. Enjoy yours (or don’t, if that’s what you’re in to).