Wednesday, August 31, 2005

My Day

Music: Belly King
Netflix: Team America World Police

I've spent the better part of the day in my own personal Hell. People keep asking me questions, then they either talk over the answer (requiring me to say the answer 3 or 4 times), or they ignore the answer and ask the guy next to me. Thanks, people, way to make me feel appreciated.

Then there's the fellow who keeps calling. This guy calls several times every day, and is one of the most odious conversationalists I've ever met. He derives great pleasure from inane discussions of "things that would suck", like the day he told me that it would suck to have your head crushed by two logs. Freak. So he calls me every day to report problems, then proceeds to advise me on how I should fix them. Then he won't let me off the phone until he's verified (and often re-verified) that the problem is fixed. I frequently have painful 10+ minute phone calls with this guy. Today, by noon, I've already had 5. No, wait, he just called again.


I saw Team America World Police last night. What an odd movie. I didn't find it to be nearly as funny as I had expected, but I think that might have been the point. The music was the funniest single element of the movie, particularly the song about how much Michael Bay sucks.

I did, however, really enjoy the treatment that the Film Actors Guild members got. Quality.

Overall, it was quite amusing. I could have done without the bizarre marionette sex and vomiting, but it was pretty entertaining.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Right as I'm celebrating my 30th B-day, Hurricane Katrina had to come along and destroy one of the most wonderful places I've ever had the pleasure of visiting: New Orleans.

Pray for the people of New Orleans, and go visit them after they get cleaned up. They're gonna need all the help they can get.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Is the Fad Over?

Music: Nine Inch Nails - Pretty Hate Machine

I've noticed a number of my friends' blogs have gone silent recently. Has the allure of blogging begun to ebb? Have people run out of things to say? Does it just take too much effort?

I've not been very serious about mine, but it's nothing more than a collection of thoughts and musings. But I do enjoy reading others' blogs. It gives me a certain insight into what goes on behind the scenes with folks.

I like the anonymity of posting, even though everyone knows exactly who I am. I like that I can express things that I would never say out loud. It's a cathartic release, and much cheaper than a shrink.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The big 30

Music: The Cranberries
Movies: March of the Penguins (tomorrow)
Netflix: Punch Drunk Love (weird, but Adam Sandler is more interesting as an actor than an idiot)

Sunday will mark...nothing. I will turn 30, but what does that mean? I've had trouble remembering that I'm 29 for the last 4 or 5 months. I've been 30 in my own head since right after Amanda turned 30. In fact, I think I felt 30 from the moment we discovered Amanda's pregnancy. So what is 30? Is it any different from, say, 26? 35? It doesn't feel any different, except that the drugs I'm on for my back aren't as good as they were two years ago. C'est la vie.

To celebrate the "momentous" occasion, I was given the task of deciding what I want to do. Yeah... I'm not such a big fan of planning "fun" activities for myself or others. But, as it turns out, I'm not much of a fan of others arbitrarily filling up my schedule, either.

We've chosen to go to Irvington for a relaxing time on the river. We'll spend some time on the boat, read a little bit, relax a whole lot, play some bocce, and eat well. Then, on Monday, we'll go to Williamsburg and spend some money. Perfect, right? Except that the day keeps getting crowded with "good ideas". z.B., my mom wants (very badly) to have lunch with me on Sunday. Well, that's utterly impossible, but that didn't stop her from laying on the guilt trip. (Hey, mom: if you're so desperate to see me on my birthday, where were you for numbers 14 to 20?).

Now, my dad has found some people whom we simply must meet, but who want to meet on some horrid sounding place called "Mosquito Point". Yikes. I'm assured it's beautiful, serene, and that the people are first-rate. But what if I get bored? After all, it's the one day of the year where I'm guaranteed the right to be as selfish as I want. Do we get to leave at a moment's notice? What about spending too much time in the Sun? We'll have to ride there in the open-top boat, spend time on Mosquito Point, and then ride back in the open-top boat. I don't want to endanger Amanda, who has marvelously sensitive skin. Nor do I want a deep burn (to which I'm prone, as I always forget to renew my sunscreen).

I'm sure I'll have a good time. I get like this every year: I can't come up with anything I want to do, so I just let others plan for me. I dread their plans, but wind up having a blast.


We find out next week what Lumpy will be (boy/girl) -- assuming Lumpy is facing the camera.

I've been reading Amanda's "The Three Martini Playdate", and am inspired to find there are others who feel that children are not the center of their universes.

If you put the child at the absolute fore-front of your life, then the child will naturally come to assume that he/she is infallable, and that all social encounters will be favorable to him/her. This extends into adulthood, and can be seen in this bizarre notion of entitlement that we see in so many of today's young adults.

Screw that. Our kid will have serious boundaries, will not be bargained with, and will learn to respect others. Or else we'll sell the child to gypsies.


Last night, the assembled members of the RiverCityMINIs Board of Directors took a couple of runs down Riverside Dr. The first was a fast run with Dad and Chris K. While it was fun, I got a lot of barking from the tires; I think they're down to their last few months of life. The car was full of clicks and clacks from the brakes, and did not feel good.

But she felt very strong. This car, now that the airbox and coil pack have been replaced, is pulling much harder than she ever has. While I can't keep up with Chris, I can stay closer to him. This, however, has a trade-off that I hadn't considered: previously, I had never gained enough speed on that run to really need the brakes. Sure, I had to squeeze them once and again, but this time I was on them hard and often.

On the second run, I incorporated some techniques I've seen in watching professional rally videos. Instead of holding the wheel on a constant angle through the apex of the turn, I tried sawing it back and forth in 15-degree motions throughout the turn. To my utter amazement, the car felt more composed, and the tires only barked once. Of course, I think I was moving a tiny bit slower, out of fear that the sawing would spin me...

Harnesses are coming. I'm giddy.

Friday, August 12, 2005

A rough month, this...

Not one week after my great-grandmother passed, Amanda's uncle Mark was suddenly taken from this world. A shocking loss: he wasn't quite 53 years old. Evidently, he had been feeling unwell at work, and went to sit in his truck to enjoy the A/C for a few minutes. Co-workers found him unconscious in the truck, and he was rushed to the hospital, where he expired.

Horror upon horror. This has not been not a kind August.

Please pray for Amanda. Pray for her mother and brother, for her aunt Brenda and cousin Hannah (15, and to lose her father!), and for her grandmother. No person should ever have to out-live his or her own children.

Monday, August 08, 2005


GREENSBORO -- Mrs. Annie Bettini Self passed away on Friday, Aug. 5, 2005, at Moses Cone Hospital.

The funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at Forbis & Dick, North Elm Street Chapel, by the Rev. G.M. (Bob) Bettini officiating. Interment will follow at Green Hill Cemetery.

Mrs. Self was born on Sept. 4, 1905, in Guilford County to the late Peter Francesco and Dora Schoolfield Bettini. She was the widow of Luther E. Self. Also preceded her in death was her son, Luther W. Self, six brothers and three sisters.

She will be remembered as an excellent seamstress who had the pleasure of making the presentation gowns for 14 Miss North Carolinas (one becoming Miss America) during the 50's and 60's.

Mrs. Self was the oldest member of Carraway United Methodist Church. She was also a member of the True-Blue Class and the United Methodist Women.

She is survived by two daughters, Marjorie King, Clara Ozment of Greensboro and a son, Joseph Self and wife Anne of Bernardsville, N.J. She will be dearly missed by all who have known her. Her love, thoughtfulness and warmth have touched the lives of 12 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchildren. She will live on as wonderful memories for her family and friends. She leaves an extended family in North Carolina, NC, NJ, VA, GA, PA, CO, CA, TN and FLA.

The family will receive friends from 7 to 8:30 p.m. today at Forbis & Dick, North Elm Street Chapel and at other times at the home of Mikie & LuAnne Honeycutt, 5305 Bancroft Road, Greensboro.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Carraway United Methodist Church, 1301 16th Street, Greensboro, NC 27405 or to Hospice, 2500 Summit Ave., Greensboro, NC 27405.

The family wishes to thank the staff at Greensboro Retirement Center, Moses Cone Hospice Unit and Dr. John Griffin for their kind and excellent care of their loved one.

My beloved great-grandmother has passed. Thank you to all of you who have offered your prayers and support. It has meant a lot.

The funeral was as wonderful as it could be. Very simple, very brief. And though tears were shed by all, it was very uplifting for everyone, and turned into a celebration of her life.

We all agreed that she would have really enjoyed it.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The Empire Struck Back, followed by Revenge of the Jedi

You may remember my post (that I'll call "A New Hope") about the obnoxious DSCR Rent-A-Cop, the retarded parking ticket, and my aggressive letter-writing campaign to restore Truth, Justice, and the American Way.

Well, I was very proud of that little skirmish, and felt that balance might have returned to the galaxy. Not so.

Yesterday I got out to my car and found another love letter from the same Rent-A-Cop for parking in the same space. I was, once again, infuriated, but this time I was also a little amused. I figured the guy might have something against me, and that wasting my time was a good way at getting me back for getting away with the heinous crime of defeating his first parking ticket.

Now, I wasn't nearly as angry this time: just highly annoyed. You have to admit it seems fishy: 3 weeks and nobody else gets a ticket for parking in this spot, then I park there again and get one. I would know--I've been religiously examining windshields for tickets.

So I wrote another letter, this time short and sweet, to the guy's boss and boss-boss-boss. I insinuated that he might be harassing me personally (you have to admit, a red MINI stands out against the back-drop of Toyotas and Hondas that regularly use that spot), and that I had been lead to believe that the issue of that parking space was resolved.

Minutes later, I got an e-mail from the police captain telling me to tear up the ticket, that she would, once again, "take care of the situation".

I wish I'd gone to law school.