Sunday, October 14, 2007

Dispatches from the Abyss - Sunday, Oct. 14th

See what happens when I skip one night? Suddenly it does become easier to go ahead and miss the next night and that makes it even easier to miss the night after that. Next thing you know three days have gone by without me sitting down at my computer and pounding out my sixty minutes of rambling for you to read. So here goes. Sixty minutes. James versus the blank page. The excitement starts NOW.

Thursday was another typical day of suck at the office. I love my job but holy snooze buckets Batman, we have got to get busy so I have more than administrative lameness to take care of otherwise I might go insane. There is only so much of the internet I am allowed to see from the office and let's face it you only want to see a rather small portion of that percentage anyways. In a jackass move I managed to double-book myself for lunch on Thursday. Earlier in the week I had set a lunch with one of the sales reps who is trying to get a bit of my business however I had forgotten about this when Rob emailed me asking if I was free for lunch. Of course I was free for lunch at this point, having forgotten about my previous lunch, so Rob and I agreed to meet up and go to The Flying Saucer for lunch. The place has decent food, tends to be not very busy for lunch, and has VERY nice scenery. (What can I say? The Chick Magnet has a thing for girls in t-shirts and SHORT school-girl skirts. Like pretty much every other guy out there.) About halfway through lunch with Rob I got an email from the rep I had scheduled a lunch with. At this point I remembered. DOH! Fortunately we had not set a specific time but rather decided to have a late lunch so I was able to convince him that 1:30 would be a good time. After my club sammich and too many fries I then turned around and had a light lunch of sushi at Fish. I really like that restaurant and it would be an excellent place to take a date.

Thursday night was much better. Went to an industry networking event and even though I already knew a couple of the people there, it was nice to wander around and chat with some of the other people. This ended up lasting MUCH longer than I expected and I did not get home until almost 11pm. By that time I was so full on Guinness and my double-lunch that I decided to skip dinner and head to bed.

The networking event was held in the State Bar & Lounge, which has a really nice balcony right above Sambuca in the old Rice Hotel building. The girl who was our waitress, Elise, was real cute. I thought about asking her out on a date and by the time I managed to get up the nerve she had disappeared. Oh well. Here's one thing I can't figure out. It seems kind of, I dunno, wrong to ask out the wait staff. I do not mean this in any sort of class way (we all know I have no class) but rather, I dunno, it just seems kind of not right to me. Here they are working, having to put up with crap from customers and there you are asking them out. Any thoughts on this? Should I even bother?

Friday was telecommute day, which means I did not bother to shower until I was headed out to Downing Street to meet Greg and Scott for lunch and cigars. After another lunch which consisted of perhaps more beer than it should have and the first of the new Montecristo #2s out of the box I recently received (thanks Rob and D!) I headed back to the casa by way of the comic store and then Soundwaves. The comic store had all of my comics for the week (for once!) and then Soundwaves had the new Polysics CD so I am now inflicting Japanese electronica weirdness on anyone who is spying on me and will probably take the CD in to the office tomorrow so Wayne can check it out.

Friday night a bunch of people wanted to get together at the Kelvin Arms as the weather was perfect for sitting out on the porch and engaging in a little self-abuse however I learned an important lesson. When all you consume in a twenty-hour period is a sandwich and something on the order of a dozen beers things will not be alright down south, if you catch my meaning. I was not able to leave the house so I settled in with one of the many books on the night table, Charlie Wilson's War, which discusses America's involvement in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation of that nation. I purchased the book because the American involvement in Afghanistan is something I am very interested in. For a couple of years I have had a story idea in my head where the main character is a CIA operative who has been brought out of retirement and sent to modern Afghanistan to help track down some terrorists. He was selected for the mission because of his experiences in Afghanistan during the jihad against the Soviet occupation. His experiences in the '80s and his experiences almost twenty years later start to collide, leading him to a confrontation with a mujahid whom he knew very well. The problem is I know very little about our involvement in the region beyond that we were arming the Afghan resistance. I want the story to have the air of reality, and if I could afford to I would love to travel to Afghanistan to get a feel for the country before writing it, however I think that will never happen. I am not very passionate about the story anyways, just something that dovetails nicely with current events. The book itself is pretty interesting. I should finish it in the next day or so and will post a review when I am done. It is funny how permanent some people's names are in politics. So far both Jack Murtha and Rudy Giuliani have made appearances in the book, along with a ton of people I do not know.

I ended up falling asleep while reading the book Friday night and therefore managed to miss our appointment.

Saturday was a BEAUTIFUL day. Scott managed to rally the troops for an afternoon picnic in Herman Park. It was almost perfect weather, being just a touch hot out, but regardless I had a blast. It is so nice to be able to walk over to Herman Park. I need to do it more often as exercise to start loosing some of the spare James I have accumulated over the years.

While at the picnic Rob dropped a bombshell on me that I have to share here. Apparently Tim, who I have previously referred to as UH Tim, is getting married to a reasonably hot Fillipino girl he went to high school with. Rob and I have discussed Tim's ability to pull the hotties a couple of times and the only thing we can come up with is that Tim is hung like a freakin' horse. Seriously, Tim is a nice enough guy, but to quote the great Jay he is one morose motherfucker. When I say morose I do not mean in a good way that would make the girls interested but rather he came off as being a bit of a whiny punter. Plus he is a pigeon-chested git who would rock the neck beard from time to time. No one looks good in the neck beard. No one.

Saturday night ended with me chilling at the casa and falling asleep reading Charlie Wilson's War once again.

Sunday turned out not to be as nice a day as Saturday however I had no outside activities planned so it worked out fine for me. I woke up, read some more in Charlie Wilson's War and then started to get caught up on my television from the week. I was only able to get through Big Shots, Smallville, and Chuck because Scott gave me a call. He was doing some running around and wanted to grab lunch and then go check out Play It Again Sports for a rowing machine. We have been discussing fitness lately and we're both thinking one way forward might be either eliptical or bike machines that we can work on while watching the TV. The problem is we had no real idea how much something like this would run us, and I certainly do not want to buy new. The trip to Play It Again was informative. Looks like I will have to drop between $200 and $400 to get the sort of bike I would like, which is fine. My only problem is that I really have no where I can hide the bike when I have people over. Oh well, I think getting skinny is first and then I can worry about the guests. It would be easy for me to knock out an hour or more a night on the bike in front of the television set. In addition to all of the shows I watch during the week, there should be at least two hockey games a week on the tube, and I have a ton of DVDs to catch up on, including the first season of The Wild Wild West which arrived at the office on Friday.

Those of you that actually read the soundtrack listing below will note the presence of a group called The Puppini Sisters. I recently discovered them thanks to someone posting on the Hidden Frontiers forum. They are a British group which specialize in close harmony vocal music reminiscent of the 1940s. To end today's entry I thought I would use a little YouTube science to let you check out the Puppini Sisters for yourselves. First up is their video for the Andrews Sisters' classic "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy":

And since Christmas is only more than two months away and I am nothing if not a lover of the Christmas music, here they are performing their version of "Jingle Bells":

If you like them check out their website or pick up either Betcha Bottom Dollar or The Rise and Fall of Ruby Woo from Amazon.

And always remember, keep your union on ya!

The Puppini Sisters - Heart of Glass
The Puppini Sisters - Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
Nelly Furtado feat. Timbaland - Promiscuous Girl
Benny Bernassi - Satisfaction
The Puppini Sisters - Heart of Glass
The Puppini Sisters - Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
Polysics - Polysics or die!!!! Vista

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