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Oct. 24th, 2008

Alucard

Trapped in the Eye of the Storm

The last 2 weeks have been hell. Should be obvious thanks to my lack of posting here. I’m getting the feeling that this is going to continue being the case as we get closer to the wedding. There seems to be so many things left to do…and not enough time to do them.

 

Through it all, I’ve managed to finish chapter 2 of the novel. Doing the final proof read on it before I move on to chapter 3 (probably next week). It’s moving along a bit faster now, and considering how busy I’ve been with the wedding activities, I can only imagine how much faster things will go after the wedding. I can’t wait.

 

Off to softball tonight and then hopefully a good nights rest after, which I desperately need. I’ve been meaning to get that gage built…but for now I’ll say that my lack of sleep meter is at about 7…


Oct. 22nd, 2008

Lagartija Nick

Secret Lives

I often wonder what people would think if they knew the truth.

 

So here I am, every day, riding a commuter train to and from Down Town

LA where I work a pretty standard issue corporate job. I dress the part, business casual, and sit in my seat typing away on a standard issue gray Dell laptop. I assume most people around me think I’m getting an early start on my work day or tying up work related things on my way home. Yet I often wonder what they would think if they knew the truth…

 

I’m actually writing a vampire novel, full of carnage and struggles between good and evil: Death, violence, and buckets of blood. Sick and twisted sadistic characters whose sense of right and wrong are twisted thanks to the curse of everlasting darkness and torment. Haunted by the memories of all those they’ve killed over many long and debauched years…

 

I wonder what they would really think…


Oct. 17th, 2008

Crazy

Too Many Daves


I happened to call in to the afternoon radio show I listen to yesterday and the host is also named Dave. It reminded me of my favorite Dr. Seuss tale from “The Sneetches and Other Stories”. I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since.

 

Too Many Daves
By Dr. Seuss

Did I ever tell you that Mrs. McCave
Had twenty-three sons, and she named them all Dave?

Well, she did. And that wasn't a smart thing to do.
You see, when she wants one, and calls out "Yoo-Hoo!
Come into the house, Dave!" she doesn't get one.
All twenty-three Daves of hers come on the run!

This makes things quite difficult at the McCaves'
As you can imagine, with so many Daves.
And often she wishes that, when they were born,
She had named one of them Bodkin Van Horn.
And one of them Hoos-Foos. And one of them Snimm.
And one of them Hot-Shot. And one Sunny Jim.
Another one Putt-Putt. Another one Moon Face.
Another one Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face.
And one of them Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate...

But she didn't do it. And now it's too late.

Oct. 15th, 2008

Hard Core!

Matrimony Monkey Ride

As promised, here are some of the photos from the group ride this last weekend in honor of JK who is getting married in a few weeks. We arrived at the top to warm Tommy Burgers and Dogs, as well as plenty to drink and T-shirts! (All thanks to Scar...bless his mad biker heart).

There was a blow up sheep involved, who I hear is currently pressing charges for assault and sodomy. It got ugly let me tell you…

BL (Ferret Boy) on the climb:

Monkeys on my back (matrimony around the bend for me as well):

The Groom - JK (with the afore mentioned Sheep on his trailer):



The Sheep - Getting cozy with one of the many Monkeys (before things got really ugly):

Libations:

Some of the old gang (PR, JK, and Scar):

Photo op with the new gang (I'm taking the pic):

The infamous chopper bike:

Oct. 14th, 2008

Hard Core!

Behind the Walls of Sleep


It was a long weekend for me. My office was closed for Columbus Day yesterday. As a result, I packed way too many things into the three days when I should have been resting at least one of them. Even with that in mind, I feel quite good today. I managed about 6 hours last night, but they were 6 quality hours of sleep. I can’t remember the last time I slept like that.

 

The weekend started out on Friday night with a call from a buddy I play softball with who needed a player for his Friday night team. It was more than just a sub situation. They were in need of a regular player and now they have one. I’ve been meaning to get back to playing two days/nights a week again. I need the exercise. Funny thing is that this team is one that I played against a few seasons ago, when we won the championship. They didn’t like us very much then. Life works in mysterious ways.

 

Saturday I met up with some old friends for an epic mountain bike ride. We rode to the top of Brown Mountain in Pasadena and they set up a party area to celebrate the upcoming marriage of one of the regular riders: Something I used to be but haven’t been in years. The theme was “The Matrimony Monkey Ride” so everyone who had them hauled stuffed monkeys up to the top, including me. It was a blast, and my legs were sore the rest of the day. I have photos that I’ll try to post tonight.

 

Sunday W and I went down to the Orange County Market Place and walked around for a while. It was rather interesting and we found a few must have items to rescue. After, we stopped in for Sushi at a conveyor belt discount house near the market place. It’s not the best sushi you can find, but it’s reasonably priced and the novelty of the conveyor makes up for the less than top notch quality and selection. It’s one of the few places I’ll turn off the Sushi snob in me.

 

Sunday evening, we started to stuff and prep our wedding invites for mail. It took us a few hours on Sunday night and most of the day on Monday to finish them off and get them into the mail, but mission accomplished! After, Jessie and I went to his class and for some strange reason he just wasn’t in to it. Maybe it was because I wasn’t so intense last night, with the relief of yet another major wedding task accomplished and a nice exhausted state as a result of all the activities. Either way, I slept really well last night. Probably the first really good, deep sleep I’ve had in a very long time.

 

The stress meter is dropping, and the sleep meter is rising.

Oct. 9th, 2008

Alucard

Ragged and Thinking of Tricks or Treats

This has been a crazy week so to those of you who happen to read these rather dull posts I apologize for not getting around to my usual prolific nature. We’ve had an executive in town since Monday and so of course we rolled out the dog and pony act and took him on a road show complete with visits to all our clients. I also had to drive into the office yesterday and today, which anyone who knows me will tell you flat out that I despise. It means that in two days I’ll have traveled over 200 miles (including running the Exec around to appointments and an early morning breakfast meeting in West Hollywood). Not to mention I couldn’t relax on my nice calm yet crowded train ride into the office, where I have been making some excellent progress on my book.
 
Thankfully, I’m recovering from the ridiculous choking by the Angels over the last week, which I usually recover from after a couple of days (and a few good solid rants, such as my last post). Feeling much better now. I should be able to survive again till next summer.
 
Wedding invitations arrived yesterday. W and I will be preparing and mailing them this weekend. Monday (a blessed work holiday for me) will mark 2 months and counting till the big day. So far, no nervousness about it, just stress from all the planning. A good sign.
 
I’ve been listening to “Nightmare Revisited” this week. It’s an amazing reworking of all the songs from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” with several underground and alternative artists (Amy Lee doing “Sally’s Song” is my favorite). First off, I love the movie so much I’m getting the biggest kick out of this album. Second, it’s helping me get into the Halloween spirit, which isn’t a hard thing to do really but this is really helping. Thirdly, it’s getting me ready for my annual Disneyland trip for my Birthday next month. I LOVE the Haunted Mansion ride this time of year with all the “Nightmare” changes. Lastly, it’s making me really want to find the time to get over to El Cap and watch the new 3D version of “Nightmare” on the big screen. I should have gone last year.  
 
Ah…Halloween…my favorite holiday.

Oct. 7th, 2008

Balls!

B is For…


(Warning: The following is a rant. It is only a rant and in no way reflects a desire to do anything more than vent frustrations so that I can move on with my life again)
 
Bastards. What the Red Sox are. A huge bunch of cocky, arrogant SOB’s that, if there was any real justice in the world, would be crushed handily and taught a lesson in humility. They should thank their lucky stars that once again another playoff series win was served up on a silver platter. If the Angel’s hadn’t choked, they would have crushed them handily. Anyone who tells you other wise is clueless.
 
Boston. With their nation of smug, rude, obnoxious and nasty fans that deserve the same lesson in humility. For the record: There was no curse. The Sox just sucked for 86 years. They’ve had their wins now so it’s time once again to suck for another 86 years. Why must their fans feel they have the right to go into an opposing team’s stadium, get drunk and belligerent then incite riotous behavior by belittling opposing fans and trying to start fights? Rude beyond all compare. And, they do all of this in front of small children. What splendid role models!
 
Botched. What numerous calls against the Angels made by umpires were, including the one last night that ended the rally that ultimately ended the game. How much did Boston pay you umps to throw those games? And what about MLB? It’s in their best interest for Boston to be in World Series games (they rake in more money), so what culpability do they have? Seems they tend to do things like that (can we say, ignore steroids in baseball for years?) so I’ll stick with the conspiracy theory on this topic.
 
Bitter. How I feel about the fact that not only did my Angel’s choke in the playoffs AGAIN, but that (as stated above) there is no real justice in the world when teams like Boston continue to be handed rewards they didn’t truly earn nor deserve. As a team they aren’t good role models to young kids interested in the game with their rude smug comments and antics (just like their fans. I'm seeing a pattern). They only bring out the worst kinds of fans (See Boston). Cheering on the Red Sox is like cheering on Hitler or the Emperor. What kind of person wants to see the bad guys win? Evil.
 
Bandwagoners. What a lot of Red Soxs fans are. Just like a lot of Yankee fans, many have never even set foot in Boston and just join in to cheer because they win championships, not out of any sense of loyalty. The worst kind of sports fan who ruin the fun and excitement for the real fans. To those Dodgers fans who over the last few years have hopped on the Angels bandwagon: now that you’re team is doing better this year, please go back to them and stop spoiling it for the real Angel’s fans. Thank you.
 
Bounced. Something I’m sick and tired of seeing happen every post season. Something that management should do to the players that fall apart and can’t seem to come through when it matters most. Who cares about all the regular season accolades such as most saves, most holds, most RBI’s, most Home Runs, etc. when they can’t be carried over into the post season. Starting Pitching was all that seemed to show up for us...AGAIN. Ridiculous.

Boycott. What I intend to do to the rest of the playoff games as long as Boston continues their disrespectful run at another championship.
 
 
I hope the Rays or whoever wins the NL title manages to teach those punks a lesson once and for all. If I have to watch another Boston celebration on the field, I might just put my foot through my TV. While I would like a new flat screen, I’m not quite ready for it just yet. Of course, if it's the Dodgers that do the job it will be a bitter sweet crushing for me...almost equally upsetting, but with more embarrassment than anger.

Oct. 2nd, 2008

Balls!

Sleep Dog Walking


So I was half way around the block with Jesse this morning when I realized that I must have been asleep. That was the first time I’ve done that and it was a little disturbing to say the least. Now, I’m sure it was more a case of just being tired and zoned out, but the problem is I’m not totally sure. Not only did I feel fatigued thanks to a lack of sleep (this is week 4 of not being able to sleep well), but I was also stressed out about the events of last night.
 
Amature Softball Game/Week 4 (10 game/week series)
I’m starting to get used to the fact that we are going to loose all our games. We just don’t have what it takes to compete in a Men’s Recreational league. Every team we go against plays like they should be in at least one division above us, and yet the league told me last night that none of them can compete in the higher division. So then where does that leave us? We aren’t fast (most of us are old and worn out), we aren’t a solid hitting team (not a single home run threat in the bunch), and we don’t field particularly well. We’re more suitable for a Sunday morning office league or picnic “fun” game. The combination of issues has been affecting my ability to play (I’ve been in a hitting slump for 2 and a half seasons now, along with a nagging foot injury that I’m just starting to get over which left me hobbled. I'm still running slow) and I think last night I finally got it in my head that Wednesday nights are only going to be practice and exercise, nothing more. I fielded a lot better with that in mind, which just proves what I’ve had a hard time accepting all along: I’m not a clutch player and have to figure out how to turn off my competative nature in these games. It's been hard.
 
Angel’s Playoff Game 1
As usual, the Angels again are showing that they have Boston in their heads. Unlike my softball team, the Angel's are good enough to compete and win in their league.  Boston is not the team they were in past seasons and position by position the Angel’s are a much stronger team. However the mental game is what kills them every time. Half way through the game last night, which was close to that point (Boston 2, Angel’s 1) most of the team already had a look on their faces that spelled defeat. A team that had many come back wins this year and lead baseball with one run wins. Yet with the attitude they were projecting Boston already had the game won. Maybe even already has the series won. It sickens me to watch them just hand a free pass to the second round of the playoffs to a Boston team that doesn’t deserve to be in the first round, yet here they are doing just that. Sadly, they are proving what many in baseball have said about them for several seasons and Angel’s fans, including myself, don’t want to believe: They’re built for the regular season but not for the post season. The mental side of the game is just as, if not more, important than the skill and athletic part. Well, they appear to be lacking in that area and it breaks my heart to watch.
 
I have tickets for game two Friday night and I really don’t want to be on hand for yet another humilitating loss to an inferior team (they now have 10 straight post season losses to Boston). It's sad when just a name across a uniform can cause the other team to crumble, even if little leaguers were wearing them.

Unless one of the new players can knock some sense into the rest of the team and our coaching staff (who gets just as tight trying to make decisions - case in point leaving Vlad out there to run the bases in the 8th inning), that the Sox are nothing and we can beat them, they just aren’t going to get it done.
 
*Big sigh*

Oct. 1st, 2008

The Dark Side

The Economic Answer

I was reading through the morning news, which I usually do for a few minutes prior to starting my work day, and I came across this amazing article about the current economic crisis and what REALY should be done about it. I for one was thrilled when the House nixed the ridiculous $700 billion bailout plan, because that’s really what it is: A bailout of people/companies who made stupid financial mistakes. Sorry if I don’t want to see my hard earned tax dollars line the pockets of the fat cats on Wall Street who really should be taking it on the chin for their own stupidity.

The article is short and sweet, but makes a lot of sense. Politicians should just take a lesson from history on this problem:


Come Back With a Better Bill
From the Los Angeles Times
By Robert Kuttner

Now that Congress blocked the compromise bailout worked out by the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, it’s time for it to get things right. Taxpayers are right to be outraged over bailing out Wall Street investors, but the right wing Republican “private market” alternative is a joke. If it takes government insurance and government tax credits to unload bad bonds, what we have is hardly a private market.

What should Congress do now?

First, rescue the money markets and the toxic securities by refinancing the underlying mortgages -- rather than bailing out the banks. In the Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt's Home Owners Loan Corp., a branch of the government, refinanced one out of every five mortgages. Roosevelt's administration saved about 1 million Americans from foreclosure. No middlemen got rich.

If we can stop the wave of foreclosures, we brake the collapse in housing prices. The bondholders would get bought out at so many cents on the dollar, just as they would have in the Paulson plan. But with the Kuttner plan, homeowners are the primary beneficiaries. Under Paulson's approach, the bondholders get bailed out but many homeowners still lose their home or keep paying Mafia mortgage rates. It's just what you'd expect from a guy who still operates as if he were the chief executive of Goldman Sachs -- which Paulson once was.

Second difference: The government should take over failing banks directly and get rid of toxic executives as well as the toxic investments they made. That's what the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. does when it takes over a failed bank. It's a much better and cleaner approach. Then, when the FDIC has cleaned up the place and replenished its capital, it sells off the bank to honest and competent managers in the private sector.

Paulson has implicitly extended that federal safety net to the entire financial sector -- when it's better to do it explicitly. He should make the entire financial system FDIC insured and subject it to tough FDIC rules, such as limits on speculative investments, regular examinations of assets and direct takeover when the institution fails.

There is still a lot more bad stuff in the pipeline, including about $60 trillion (right, trillion) worth of insurance contracts written by companies like AIG against the risk of exotic derivative bonds going bad -- and there are a lot more exotic products still to go bad.

At best, the Paulson package would have bought a few weeks or months. Now, Congress needs to do this right: Roosevelt-style rather than Goldman-style. And the next president will have to be every bit as bold as Roosevelt, or this toxic legacy of George W. Bush and Heritage Foundation laissez-faire delusions will fall in on him.

Sep. 30th, 2008

Doh!

Bored Certified


I’ve finally settled on my Halloween costume for this year. I went back and forth about it for a while, and then finally decided I would just do what I wanted to instead of worrying about what W would want to do as a couple. She’s not generally one for holidays, and she doesn’t like dressing up for Halloween (no idea how anyone couldn’t love it), so I was trying to go along with something that we could do together and she would enjoy. We both finally came to the conclusion that it was better for us each to do our own costume thing at the two parties we will be attending so that I could have fun and she could relax and have her own brand of fun (which doesn’t include costumes).
 
So, I’ll be going as Dr. Gregory House…partly because it’s somewhat easy for me to pull off and partly because I’m so hung up on the show/character these days. Should be rather fun. I suggested that W borrow a lab coat from her brother and say she’s Cuddy, but she didn’t seem too jazzed about it.
 
There are 4 small parts that I need to buy, the rest I can pretty much scrounge up on my own. I have jeans, dress shirts I can leave wadded up at the bottom of the clothes hamper for a few weeks, and suit jackets. I placed an order today for a cane that has the flames on it like the one he’s currently using in the show as well as a cool classic Led Zeppelin t-shirt to wear under the dress shirt. I still need to find some proper trail running shoes. Aside from that, a little of that gray hair spray the Halloween stores have will give me that older sophisticated look. I tried mussing up my hair last night and it worked out pretty well. 3 days of not shaving will get me to where he is on the show and a little black eyeliner rubbed over my own bags will accentuate that tired burned out look (which I of course already pull off nicely).
 
I should be able to scrounge up a pill bottle to toss breath mints into and I want to keep a latex glove in my jacket pocket for sight gags. All that would be left is to perfect my limp, which I’ve done in the past. It’s been a while since I’ve had a party to go to for Halloween so this should be fun! Can’t wait.

In other news, I just started chapter 2 of my novel this morning. I can already tell that it’s going a bit faster than chapter 1 did. Completed novel here I come….

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