Sunday, February 13, 2005

Yep, it’s my fuckin’ birthday. Well, it was on the 12th. At least some people remembered this year. I am so tired of this gift-giving thing. Once a year I can handle, but I feel like they’re trying to stretch it out so you feel compelled to buy stuff all year long. Yes I know that seems like a “duhhh” type of a thing to say, that’s what ad agencies are for after all, to convince people that they need stuff that they really don’t. But I’m willing to suspsend my misanthropy and cynicism for the month of December, and while I’m certainly not one ever to be “filled with xmas cheer,” I can appreciate the smiles on others’ faces when you give them something they want, even if they may not have realized they wanted it.

The problem I’m having is that there are a finite number of gifts that are really worth giving to any particular person. I mean, after 7+ years, what am I supposed to get someone? What are they supposed to get me? I’m certainly not complaining about my present this year and I don’t want certain people to misconstrue this as such . But over the course of the year we have Birthday, Valentine’s Day, Anniversary, Mother’s/Father’s day, Christmas. That’s potentially 5 different occasions for a particular person every year. That’s a lot of presents, especially when the person in question either doesn’t want anything, or only wants things that are either immaterial (world peace type shit) or wants stuff that’s so insanely expensive that it’s just not realistic (a new car, jetski, whatever). [Did the previous sentence contain a comma splice?]

I do a lot of thinking these days, about various things. I used to be the kind of person who got really worked up in debates and fought valiantly to prove my side of the argument. I’m the guy who, when debating points with a conservative, will come across as a left wing nutcase; but when debating with a liberal will come across as a fascist. Like many (or maybe not?) I don’t fit neatly into any real box. I have some “liberal” positions and I have some “conservative” positions. It’s probably best if I don’t state any of them here. But lately when I see people debating a point on which I have a well-defined position I find myself playing the role of the quiet observer. Sadly this has come about because I just feel like debating itself is an exercise in futility. In all the history of mankind, I wonder how many debates have ever really changed anybody’s minds. Among the things I’ve picked up about people over the years is that they like to be right — I don’t know too many people who like being wrong on a regular basis. The basic point of a debate is to convince the other party that their position is wrong, or misguided, or whatever euphemism you prefer. The topics that frequently come up for debate are those about which most people already have well-formed opinions that they may have held since childhood. So you have people arguing either side of an issue, and both of them feel that they are absolutely right and the other person is absolutely wrong, and in reality neither side will ever be swayed no matter how much debate takes place.

This all really has nothing to do with anything but I think it illustrates my cynicism pretty well. I realize that the point of a debate between two parties on a given issue is frequently to sway the opinions of those who haven’t already formed them, and if it was an “honest” debate I’d say that would be a worthy exercise in and of itself. But the old cynicism kicks in and you realize that people are just underhanded and feed the masses all sorts of disinformation… I’m reminded of the three types of lies: “A lie, a damn lie, and a statistic.” (The first time I heard that phrase was from my 8th grade math teacher, Mr. Collum).

I’ve probably said too much already. The older I get the dumber I feel. Or maybe I feel just as smart but just so much more powerless. I really used to feel I could take on the world. Now I just feel like the world isn’t worth my time. But man, I felt like a smart motherfucker when I was 18.

I leave you with the quote I used in my high school yearbook photo:

I got the key to the highway, billed out and bound to go. I’m gonna leave here runnin’, walkin is most’ too slow.

God I loved that song.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Adventures in Dog Shit. It’s not just a meaningless phrase! Two members of my family happen not to be humans. Bruiser and Sierra are my dogs and their specialty is making huge piles of dog crap.

Like humans, they both have weird habits when they crap. Bruiser’s idiosyncracy is the way he walks around while taking a crap. He cops a squat, starts pooping, then something a few feet away gets his attention, so he does a squat-walk and leaves a trail of shit all over the place. This is a joy to clean up, especially when he does it on somebody’s lawn. Sierra’s oddity is the way her movements just seem to come upon her out of nowhere. We’ll be walking down the street at a good clip, and she’ll just come to a dead stop and start making brown toothpaste. She also tends to crap 2 or 3 times when you walk her. Really, a treat.

The joy of being the human here is that I get to pick up these treasures, which I’ve been doing on and off for the past 4+ years, since we lived in Albany. If only I could sell it…

Bruiser is a big boy, weighs around 110-120 at his summer weight, and he’s had problems with his back-right leg for a while. Lately he’s also been having problems with his back-left and front-right legs as well which is very sad. He refuses to do what (to a human) would be the obvious course of action and just stay off his legs and insists on walking all over the place, and jumping up onto the counter to get loaves of bread or whatever is in reach — or humping Sierra like there’s no tomorrow — further injuring himself. It’s painful to watch, especially when he limps over to me and starts pawing me with his bad leg, like “Hey man, this hurts, fix it please?” I wish I could. The ice on the ground certainly isn’t helping his leg, he keeps slipping, and absolutely insists on plowing through the snowbanks. I really have to yank his leash to keep him out.

Hopefully when the weather gets warmer things will get better.

Had roast beef and potatoes for dinner last night and it was deeeeelicious (I didn’t cook). I think the reason I like to cook is mostly the fact that I like to eat. Maybe pizza tonight… mmm…

February 7, 2005

I’m at work. I’m writing some code.

I think I want to be a chef. I made chicken quesadillas last night. It was something I’d wanted to do for a while but I had no idea how to prepare the chicken. I mean, a quesadilla is a simple thing to make – it’s cheese between two flour tortillas. But if you want to add chicken, then how to you prepare it? I mean, you don’t throw raw chicken in there and cooking it without seasoning would make it taste assy. I ended up marinating it in some generic Seven Seas Robusto Italian dressing and chopping it up and using it like that. I used 2 chicken breasts to make 3 big quesadillas, and it was good. If I’d had the right cheese I bet they woulda been awesome (had slices of regular American cheese instead of shredded Monterey Jack like recommended).

I swear I get a greater sense of accomplishment from cooking than I ever did from any job I ever had. I should open a restaurant. But then I’d probably eat everything. :-\ I want to open a Boston Market or an Arby’s, or maybe just a diner.

But for now I have to be content with typing into a computer all day. At least at this job I have a window through which to look. New York City is interesting to look at too.

I’m even including a “Now playing” link so Xanga can get some money. This is kind of a neat concept I guess, integrating with the Amazon webservices stuff.

February 4, 2005 2

I hate blogs! I hate the word, I hate the idea that people think someone else cares what they ate for breakfast.

I’m misanthropic like that.

What’s a spleen for?