it20011231 - Monday - New Year's Eve
Well, here it is, the last day of the year. I had a lot of things to do today--not to mention a lot of things to write about--but that was before 9:30 rolled around. That's when my nosebleed started, and it didn't end until about quarter to 2:00 this afternoon. So, well, most of my daytime plans for the year are pretty much fucked. Still, I'm going to run out and take care of some errands, but need to be back by 3:30 for when Jason and Sarah come over.
So, was it a successful year? Well, in a few ways, yes, but in most cases I could have done better. I could have gone back to school, I could have been more professional and productive at work, I could have saved more, I could have been better in friendships and relationships. But there's always next year, which, incidentally, is about nine and a half hours away as I sit here writing this. Anyway, my goals and resolutions for 2002, in no particular order:
- Go back to school. It doesn't matter where, it doesn't matter for what. I need to start learning and thinking again.
- Exercise more.
- Stadium Tour: Visit baseball stadiums in the following cities: Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Boston, Montreal, and, yes, Minneapolis.
- Be a better friend.
- Repeat that one resolution I make every year. Yeah, that one.
- Buy a new bike.
- Finish the partially read books on my bookshelf. I'm not talking about the crappy ones I put down because I didn't like them, I'm talking about the ones I found interesting but had my reading interrupted. Books like that include Consciousness Explained by Daniel C. Dennett, Backlash by Susan Faludi and The Age of Spiritual Machines by Ray Kurzweil.
- Get the hell off the continent. London, maybe? Or Iceland? The exchange rate is good with Australia right now...
- Drag as many people as I can to Cedar Point in Ohio.
- Get a new bedroom set.
- lstc.org. Fucking get on with it already.
I'm sure there have been a number I've missed. I usually don't do this, but I'm going to allow myself to modify the list over the next couple of days if I happen to come up with other resolutions.
it20011229 - Saturday
As of 12:23 this morning, with Massive Attack on the stereo and A and B playing cards in the living room, all of the photos on my computer have been organized, categorized and neatly filed. I've been trying to get this done for four months now, so it's somewhat of an accomplishment. From this point on it should be easier for me to maintain my photos, not to mention put them online.
OK, it just became obvious to me it's really going to be hard to convey to people how happy I am about this. Er, anyway...
it20011226 - Wednesday
Well, Christmas was over. Nothing all to spectacular this year, just went home and hung with the folks for a day. Dinner was good, presents were nice, conversation was interesting. We caught a movie (Joe Somebody, which was better than expected), looked at Christmas lights and discussed posting photos on eBay. When it was over, I made record time back to the Twin Cities. I had the good fortune to latch onto a couple of blocking vehicles in Green Bay and was able to follow their 75 to 80mph lead all the way to Eau Claire.
I haven't been writing much lately. There are a lot of reasons for that--work is busy, Rich is always at the apartment, my tired state isn't particularly conducive to writing--but I have been getting a lot of stuff done on the site behind the scenes. Hopefully it'll be easier for me to manage when I'm finished, especially when the photo album is involved.
it20011220 - Thursday
"We're Wednesday, right?"
"No, we're Thursday."
"I'll be glad when this week is over."
it20011217 - Monday
Heather, Rich and I were over at Jason and Sarah's for the day. The question on the floor, taken from one of those stupid probing-question coffee-table books, was what regret you'd resolve if you could. I didn't rush to answer that one, as in most cases I find long-term regret to be somewhat of a silly concept. Sure, the robber pulling 20 to life may have a legitimate reason to regret capping that snarky store clerk, but for almost anyone living at least a halfway meaningful existence, what's the point? Most of the things people find to be major regrets would result in them having dramatically different lives if they had the power to go back and change them. Who would give up the people they've met, not to mention the experiences they've had, over the past five, 10 or 50 years? Not me. Anyway, I remained quiet, although that didn't stop Rich from speaking for me.
"I know what her name is."
"No," I replied, "you only think you do."
Other questions included what person you'd remove anger from and grant inner peace if you could, to which Rich, Heather and Jason all voted me. (I remain stedfast in my belief that inner peace is overrated.) The result was the same when the question posed was what person you'd want to make more religious. What the most joyous thing in the world is elicited an interesting response from Jason: "Sex... Uh, I mean love." Replied Sarah, "I feel the same way, dear."
Vanilla Sky was, um, interesting, although I do mean that it in a good way. I'm still waffling as to whether the ending was a cop-out or not, but what the heck.
it20011214 - Friday
I was standing by the ATM as they walked out of the office. Said one to the others: "Yeah, I can't stand managers. Oh, hi Mark, how ya doing?"
it20011211 - Tuesday
Later in the evening yesterday, having finished what was probably the worst day of my professional career, I went home only to get completely blown off by two of my friends.
I'm still not taking it very well.
it20011209 - Sunday
This year's search for a Christmas tree turned out to be much easier than last year's. There was no blowing wind, no sub-zero temperatures, no exorbitant tree prices. Heather and I bought the tree out in St. Louis Park (something you may find mildly ironic if you're familiar with the Twin Cities), carted it home, set it up and had it decorated within a matter of hours. It's a good tree, a pretty tree, a nice smelling tree. It's soft, too, with none of the demonic bloodletting last year's tree seemed to take pleasure in.
We were left with some extra branches after I put the tree in its stand, so Heather tied them together with a bow and set about looking for someplace to hang them. They would've been obnoxious on our door, but may have looked nice on the front entry to the building. Heather wondered what the apartment manager would think. "Tim could come up and say 'Uh, what are you doing?'"
I shrugged. "We could tell him no one complained when we hung our lamps for Ramadan." She laughed, but after some brief discussion we decided it would be good practice to ask the four other apartments for their approval. Heather seemed more focused on one neighbor than the others, so I asked her why.
"She's an atheist," she replied.
"So? I'm an atheist and I don't have a problem with it."
"You just don't know, that's your problem."
In the end, the branches turned out to be too big for the front door as well, so they've taken up residence in the back stairwell.
It's 20 degrees outside as I sit here writing this early Sunday morning, the tree and my desk lamp the only sources of light. The living room is a bit chilly as we had to turn off the radiator by the tree, but it's nothing a sweater can't counteract. There have been a few flurries here and there, but it looks like the ground will probably be brown come Christmas. That's too bad. It would be really nice to have a foot or so of snow.
it20011207 - Friday - 60 Years Later
Every year the company I work for has a holiday reception, a few hours over the course of an afternoon where employees get a small gift from the company, listen to seasonal music and snack on complimentary cheese, crackers, cookies and punch. I was standing in line with Becky and Liz this afternoon when a woman across the room briefly caught my eye. "Hmmm, she's cute," I said, almost instantly regretting it. A barrage of questions followed, most of which I successfully at dodged. I missed on our way out, though, resulting in the two doubling back to make another survey of the room. We met outside the cafeteria. "That wasn't necessary," I said.
"I know her," replied Liz. "_______ and her went to the same high school."
"I could hook you up."
A few minutes later I was back in my cube, the incident fading, when Liz walked up with a Post-It note. "Here's her name," she said.
"You said you didn't remember her name."
The note has since been discarded, but it held a short, lyrical name, one that's pretty easy to remember. The thing is I didn't actually want to know it.
Browsing the myriad of numbers on my paycheck this morning, I noticed I have two vacation days I have to use before the end of the year if I don't want to lose them. "Shit," I said to myself, "I have no idea when I'll have time to take those." It took me a moment to realize I my priorities may have been a bit screwed up. A coworker piped in a bit later: "You sound like a company man, Mark."
I'm going to take both days.
it20011206 - Thursday
Jason, Heather, Rich and I met at Ciatti's in Woodbury for dinner. Midway through our respective pasta dishes, Jason described the occasional discussions he and Sarah were having over the possibility of a cat residing in their home. That led into a brief conversation about housing, which reminded me of something I wanted to talk to Heather about: "I've been meaning to ask you about something I've been thinking about getting for the apartment."
"I'm sure I'll be fine with it."
"Well, I thought it would be a good idea to run it past you first."
"I'll be fine."
"I've been thinking about getting a cuckoo clock."
"It could be one that doesn't make noise at night."
"Come on, I grew up with one of those."
it20011205 - Wednesday
It was 62 degrees and raining on the way to work. There's something very wrong here. It's still my hope that this peculiar weather is just a precursor of a white and fluffy holiday season, but I'm starting to prepare myself for a barren and muddy Christmas.
it20011204 - Tuesday
If I were a work of art, I would be Edvard Münch's The Scream.
I express the subconscious troubles and anxieties of the world. I hold my head and let loose the primal terror of my innermost fears, surrounded by a lurid landscape which reflects my feeble grasp on reality.
Which work of art would you be? The Art Test
The only question I have is this: Does this mean I'm cliché, trendy, or both?
it20011203 - Monday
I could understand if it was a one-time special, but does Maternity Ward really need to be a series? I've been battling a cold since my last day in New York (I'm getting better, so I don't think it's Anthrax), so I spent most of my Sunday laying around trying to get some rest. I yielded the remote when Heather came home and hence it was only a matter of minutes before screaming babies and groaning women were front and center on the television. I grumbled, pulled my comforter up and turned away from the TV while Heather's voice went into happy-mocking mode: "It's the miracle of life, Mark!"
Now, here's the thing: I don't like blood. Well, I'm OK with fake blood in movies and am not bothered by my own blood when I have a nosebleed or something, but I really don't care for significant amounts of real blood coming from someone else. Maternity Ward seems to revel in the amount of blood it puts on the screen, going as far as putting a red background on the warning screen stating viewer discretion is advised. I'm not much one for gnarled, slimy babies, either, a tendency that resulted in me making Alien jokes when one was shown on the screen. Whatever the case, there are things shown on that program no one should have to see unless they're about to gain a son or daughter. If a person really needs medical drama they can watch ER. After all, Sally Field's character makes it equally annoying, along with the benefit of none of the blood.
The Segway Human Transporter is one of the most overblown, unnecessary inventions of all time. Not only that, it's a threat to sane sidewalk environments. I can't wait until we get the same assholes we have to deal with on the roads riding these things through pedestrian areas. Many cities have laws prohibiting the use of motorized vehicles on sidewalks. I haven't been able to find out if this is the case in Minneapolis, but I sure hope it is.
As a side note, there are numerous alternatives to the Segway HT. One is called "walking." It tends to be preferred by people who aren't lazy lard-asses and don't feel they need a machine to perform basic human functions. Another slightly more complicated alternative is called "riding a bike." In most cases both alternatives cost significantly less than the $3000-8000 the HT is expected to go for.
it20011202 - Sunday
Well, I'm back from New York. I took over 600 photos on the trip, so it may be a while before I get them up. Like next year. Whatever the case, it was a good trip.