Monthly Archives: January 2006

Other random blogs

I’ve just spend the last 30 minutes or so reading through the most recent posts to LiveJournal to see what random people write in their blogs. It was a depressing 30 minutes. Keep in mind that my blog is a replacement for a diary that I have kept for nearly 10 years now. My diary has always been more of a social journal and never one of those cliche introspective things. I never write down anything that I wouldn’t care someone else read.

Anyway, I skimmed through a few hundred blog entries that had been posted in the last minute or so and I have decided that in most cases, blog entries fit into one of the following categories:

1. Teen angst and/or adult depression
There are a lot of depressed people out there and they all seem to feel the need to tell the world about it in their blogs. I wonder if there is some kind of correlation; depression -> blogging or vice versa.

2. Poetry
Regardless of mood, everyone seems to be a poet. There is a ton of poetry out there. Unfortunately, most of it is free verse, which I don’t like. I like poems with rules you have to follow, you know, meter and rhyme and scansion, etc. The poetry that people post to their blogs reads more like a mind-dump than anything else.

3. Long meaningless survey questions and their responses
Many people seem compelled to copy surveys that someone emails them and paste the questions, and their answers into their blogs. The questions are supposed to draw out answers that allow others to learn something about the person. Unfortunately, answers to questions (like: “sex before marraige?”) are often things like: “hehehe”. If that’s an SAT word, it’s one with which I am not familiar.

4. Psychotherapy sessions
Lots of talk about moods (see depression above) and medications. Also includes obvious teens complaining about their parents.

5. X-bashing
There seems to be a fair amount of this going on, often with lots and lots of profanity.

Maybe I shouldn’t be critical of other people’s blogs, after all mine is nothing to write home about. But then again, mine is like a reference book for me, so that I know when I did X or who I was with when I did Y. With an occasional rant here and there.

Santa Monica, Day 2

Long day today, and another night filled with crazy and intense dreams. I couldn’t remember the dream I had last night until dinner this evening when something Jim said triggered a memory of what the dream was about.

Today was the first day of the Crystal Reports training class and I think it went very well. We have a great instructor and the comments I’ve been hearing about the class so far are all positive.

In addition to that, other people, not me, were busy at work today because the email server in Washington was down all day. It is still down and from what I understand, will be back online around midnight. I was not fully effected by this because I can still read my email in UNIX (I’ve always been able to do this as a backup) but it was a pretty frantic place today even so.

Had lunch with Jason Allen and Enrique today, and had dinner this evening with Jim and Janet. We ended up at Wolfgang Puck Express on Third Street and afterward, did our ritual of looking at framed art on sale at–the name of the place slips my mind right now–oh, wait, Gallerie. We’ve done this three or four times in the past and it’s become a kind of tradition. Jim and Janet just dropped me off at the hotel and I’m writing this in bed. I’m beat.

I was planning to do some more writing tonight but I don’t think I could keep my eyes open. I was hoping to watch House but, fortunately, it’s not on tonight. The State of the Union address is being broadcast instead. I’m too tired to stay up and watch, and besides, I don’t expect that the President is going to say anything that will surprise me, although I could be wrong here.

Lisa invited me to play in a pickup game of kickball tomorrow after work, so I’m going to do that.

27 push-ups this morning. Still not willing to admit how many sit-ups I’m doing.

This journal entry marks the first full month of blogging for me–so far, so good.

Mens Room Urinals

I have to ask: why is it that the floor beneath every urinal in the men’s room appears moist? Come on, guys, is it really that difficult? I mean, it’s not like you started this yesterday!

Bored Beyond Belief

There is not much to do here at this hotel and I was just tired and lazy enough to not want to go out and do anything either after work today. And so I find myself in one of those moods where I just don’t know what to do with myself.

I watched an episode of Donny Deutch’s show on CNBC where he did an hour long interview with Billy Joel, and that was interesting. I thought about going to the hotel restaurant for dinner, but nothing on the menu looks good. Instead, I went out and found a chicken salad sandwich and that wasn’t too bad.

I did manage to get in some writing–about 800 more words of “Blind Date”. If all goes well, I should finish it up tomorrow.

I feel like reading now, but I also feeling like listening to some Billy Joel and I can’t do both at the same time. That’s okay, however, because I am also tired and the best option at this time of night, and this level of boredom is to just go to sleep, so that’s what I’m going to do.

First full day in Santa Monica

It’s been a long day.

I ended up going into the office at 6:30 AM because I just couldn’t sleep anymore. Had breakfast and lunch at the cafe; the lunch in particular was good, some kind of pasta dish.

I had about 3 meetings today, the first one starting at 8 AM but none of them were overly long. I spent a lot of time today installing software on various people’s laptops in preparation for class tomorrow. Everyone has been done now, except one person.

I was supposed to go to lunch with Beth today but her son was sick and she wasn’t able to make it on time. We’ve rescheduled for Thursday.

Nothing to do tonight, however. I’ll probably read and maybe get a little more writing in, but beyond that I think it’s going to be one of those boring nights in Santa Monica.

Incidentally, I’m feeling better today than I did yesterday. No fever, no headaches (the one last night was a bad one!). Still a little nasally, but otherwise, good.

What a night!

I turned out the light to go to sleep just after 9 PM. I woke up shortly after 11 PM and some crazy dream that involved the Incredible Hulk, but of which I can recall no other details. When I woke up, I also had a terrible headache. I took a few more Advil and it was nearly an hour before I could fall back asleep again.

I woke up two an a half hours later, having had an ever worse dream, one that I remembered in somewhat more detail. It was a rather involved dream, but the gist of it was that I tried to play a joke that went rather awry and found myself in lots of trouble. It was one of those dream from which I awoke, thankful it was only a dream.

That wasn’t the end of it either, because round three started when I fell back asleep. The third dream was, perhaps, the most bizarre of all and when I woke up from that dream, I decided enough was enough. I turned on the lights in my hotel room to find that it was 5:11 AM. My alarm was set for 7 AM, but after the night I’d just been threw, I decided that 5 AM was close enough.

I spent about half an hour writing nearly 600 words of a new story, “Blind Date”. This is going to be a relatively short story, and its possible I will finish it up in the next day or two, but I like what I have so far.

Now, I need to shower and get ready for work and I’ll probably head in a little earlier than I intended.

One annoyance about this hotel room. The clock-radio in the room does not display in the dark, for some reason. The numbers don’t glow as they do on most clock radios and so when the lights are out, I can’t tell what time it is in the middle of the night. I have to turn a light on, which is a pain in the neck. Maybe it’s just this clock radio. Maybe the glowing mechanism is busted. I’m going to have to ask the front desk about it.

Dinner with Mom and Dad

Mom and Dad got to the hotel right on time, at almost precisely 5:30 PM. We headed over to Ocean Avenue Seafood shortly thereafter. I got to see (and ride in) Dad’s new Acura, which I think is the same color as Norm’s Acura, and the same model, too, minus the navigation unit. While Norm’s car has a name (Samantha), I don’t know if Dad has given a name to his car yet. He didn’t mention one and I forgot to ask.

The food was good. Not quite as good as the last time I was there (no Copper River salmon), but I did have the New Zeland king salmon and that was prepared in a similar fashion and was very good. Dad had the red snapper with something with an unusual name hidden beneath the fish. Mom had a crab salad which looked good. I had two mai-tai’s while I was there and those, combined with the two Corona’s I had with Andy and Joel have me feeling pretty good at this point.

I am also tired, however. I’ve gotten into bed (it’s 8 PM here on the West Coast) and I’m going to do a little bit of writing on a new story inspired by Lisa which I’m calling “Blind Date”, and then read a little more of The Best of Barry N. Malzberg, and then I’m off to sleep. When I’m here in Santa Monica, the hotel in which I am staying is virtually across the street from where I work so I can actually sleep in a little later than usual.

For some reason, I can’t seem to stop giggling to myself. Does this ever happen to anyone else after 2 Coronas and 2 Mai Tai’s?

Just back from Andy and Lisa’s kickball game

Well, I’m just back from Andy and Lisa’s kickball game. They lost, but it was a close game and it came down to a run scored in the bottom of the 5th inning that brough in the winning run for the home team. It was a well-played game on both sides. Lisa had a good play at 3rd, as well as a base hit. Andy played 1st base (I kept calling him “Giambi”). It was fun. Lisa hung around to play a second game, but Andy and I left after the first game and went to The Shack in Santa Monica for some late afternoon snacks. Joel met us there (he played in the kickball game as well).

The game was video-taped and there were player interviews that are going to be used as a promotional podcast in support of kickball to get more people to join up and play. So there was an (amature) camera crew at the game with three video cameras stationed around the field taping the game.

It was beautiful out too, clear skies, a nice breeze and warm (relative to the east coast anyway).

Mom and Dad should be here soon. Dinner tonight at Ocean Avenue Seafood.

Finished The Many World of Barry Malzberg

I just finished up The Many World of Barry Malzberg. It was a short read, but I enjoyed it as I enjoy all of his stuff. Some of it is so dense that I’m not actually sure I understand it. But I enjoy it nontheless. Going to get started in on The Best Of Barry N. Malzberg sometime later today.

I picked up some Advil and took four of them about an hour ago. I don’t think they’ve fully kicked in yet, but I expect them to soon.

In Santa Monica

I’m here at the hotel in Santa Moncia, just before 10 AM local time. My flight got in a little early. The flight was more than half empty, I’d estimate. There were some bumps, but nothing I’d consider moderate. I managed to sleep about 2 hours on the flight, and spent most of the rest of the time nearly finishing up The Many Worlds of Barry Malzberg,

I’m feeling feverish again–I thought it was perhaps because I was crammed in on the plane, but I don’t know. The only medicine I have with me (because I was feeling better) is Tylenol PM, so I’m running over to the drug store to get some Advil. The Tylenol PM seems to do nothing for the fever.

I managed to get the same room here at the hotel as I did last time–which was back in September, I think. It’s close to the elevators, which is good, but it looks right out onto the pool–in fact, there is a door and I can walk out there directly from my room if I wanted to. I don’t think that will be too much of a problem, as even in late January, swimming conditions aren’t optimal in L.A.

Lisa is picking me up at 11:30 to go to the kickball game. Mom and Dad are meeting me for dinner at 5:30. I’m off to get some Advil and then maybe some breakfast.

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In Santa Monica

I’m here at the hotel in Santa Moncia, just before 10 AM local time. My flight got in a little early. The flight was more than half empty, I’d estimate. There were some bumps, but nothing I’d consider moderate. I managed to sleep about 2 hours on the flight, and spent most of the rest of the time nearly finishing up The Many Worlds of Barry Malzberg,

I’m feeling feverish again–I thought it was perhaps because I was crammed in on the plane, but I don’t know. The only medicine I have with me (because I was feeling better) is Tylenol PM, so I’m running over to the drug store to get some Advil. The Tylenol PM seems to do nothing for the fever.

I managed to get the same room here at the hotel as I did last time–which was back in September, I think. It’s close to the elevators, which is good, but it looks right out onto the pool–in fact, there is a door and I can walk out there directly from my room if I wanted to. I don’t think that will be too much of a problem, as even in late January, swimming conditions aren’t optimal in L.A.

Lisa is picking me up at 11:30 to go to the kickball game. Mom and Dad are meeting me for dinner at 5:30. I’m off to get some Advil and then maybe some breakfast.

On my way to L.A.

Up at 4:30 AM ET. I’m all packed and ready to go. The car was waiting out front when I woke up this morning at 4:30, which was good because they’ve cut it close the last couple times I’ve used the service. Looks like my flight is ontime as well. I’ve given Zeke a ton and a half of food, even though the neighbors will be in to check on him.

Off to the airport now.

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