Okay, there's this relatively new guy in our office -- he's a financial exec and he's been here for about four months or so. That's not a lot of time to settle into a new job, I grant you, but usually it's still long enough to start the process of personalizing one's space. This guy has done absolutely nothing. Except for what was there the day he moved in, he's added no pictures to the walls, no books onto the bookshelves, not even so much as a photograph on the desk.
But, what I just discovered walking by his open door, is that the bottom drawer of his filing cabinet is completely filled with can after can of Diet Vanilla Coke.
For those of you whose computer experience doesn't go back to pre-WWW days (say before 1993), ASCII, which is an acronym for American Standard Code for Information Interchange, was how geeks used to create animated graphics on early home PC's.
Yeah, it's crude as all get-out by contemporary standards, but that's part of the charm of retro; seeing how far we've come from these quaint 2-D pixilated stick figures in just a few short years.
I Spy With My Little Eye Something That Begins With "B"
There's a picture of "Tiger's Eye" (my rocking-boat) in this morning's Seattle PI!, illustrating an article about a couple of fussy City Council persons complaining that the South Lake Union Neighborhood where I live is about to become overrun with - *gasp!* - too many jobs! Oh, the humanity! The horror! So, naturally, they've decided they must put a stop to this right now, before this sleepy little post-industrial chunk of prime real estate becomes clogged with thousands of gainfully employed citizens.
But enough of this ranting! "So where's this boaty-thing of yours, huh?", you're probably asking yourself.
It's right there:
Geez, what are you, blind? It's the yellow one right next to the building!
Okay, here's a close-up (it's a bit pixelated, but thems the breaks):
Some guy named Bill was born on this day a long, long time ago, in a land, far, far away. By all accounts he wanted to be an actor, but evidentally he was only so-so, and so he became a writer instead. Evidentally, he was much better at this, and he stuck with it for quite awhile.
Ironically, he's supposed to have died on this same date as well, which makes it much easier to remember for your English History exam.
So, Happy Birthday Bill. I'm going to have a dainty kate in your honor today
I hate getting robbed. It's probably the closest I'll (hopefully) ever get to being physically violated, and the anxiety I feel when it happens is enough to tell me that I do not EVER want to experience anything more traumatic - at least when it comes to personal assaults. The really infuriating thing about it is that I was sitting inside Theater Schmeater at the time it happened, and was literally less than 30 feet away when it went down.
Now, I'm not a rich guy, I don't drive an expensive car, and to me losing $500 worth of CD's represents a pretty sizeable hit. Plus, it's not like I can just go out and replace some of this stuff. A fair amount of it was imports, limited editions & out-of-production material that will be extremely difficult, not to mention expensive to replace. And then there's the fact that I get so wound up over an assault to my personal property that I can't sleep for several nights in a row. Plus, I'm just really, really angry, and you won't like me when I'm angry. The only teeny ray of sunshine to come out of the whole episode is knowing that try as they might, the bastards weren't able to pry the CD player out of the dashboard, although it'll no doubt carry the scars of the attempt for quite some time.
When this has happened in the past, I lost what were really more-or-less inconsequencials; music tapes or CD's, a few small electronic devices, and once all of my headshots & resumes (I guess they thought the briefcase might contain something valueable). This time however, whomever it was may have just picked the wrong car to rip-off, as one of the items taken was the laptop on-loan to me by the IRS. So now, not only are they guilty of Car Prowling, but if (oh, and I hope that turns into a "when") they're caught, they'll be on the receiving end of a felony "theft of government property" rap that'll be a lot harder to plea out of than a simple B&E.
Of course, catching the rat-bastards depends on several things, not the least of which is the amount of time and effort the SPD is willing to put into investigating the incident. I'm sure to the typical precinct cop this is the sort of dime-a-dozen crime that ends up very low on their priority list. After all, busting car-prowling scum while they're trying to pawn stolen merchandise is difficult; ticketing jaywalking tourists outside The Pike Place Market is so much easier. So, I may have to depend on doing some of the legwork myself if there's going to be even the remotest chance of nailing these jerks. Actually, I've already done some of this by going around to a bunch of used CD shops on CapHill, The U District, Fremont & lower Q.A., hoping against hope that the suckers will try to do a quick sell-off of the musical stuff. Everyone was very nice, and quite sympathetic (some even gave me very good advice about other places to check), but none were very optimistic about my chances of getting my stuff back, or even of catching the perps. They just get too many people coming through their doors on a daily basis, and even with some of the more esoteric material on my list, there's simply no way the average store clerk can be that vigilant.
Still, it's nice to think of these vermin walking into one of these stores, plonking down three Fruit CD's and having some eagle-eyed counterperson recognize them as having been on a certain list. I wish I could be there to see the look on their faces when a friendly SPD person suddenly taps them on the shoulder and hauls them off to the pokey. And THEN, I'd like to see them clog their jeans when they find out they're also looking at doing extra time for stealing from the U.S. Government.
So, it only took -- what, four days for some entrepreneurial Americans to figure out a way to make a quick buck off of the latest war-craze: Collecting Iraqi's Most-Wanted Playing Cards. It's refreshing to know that no matter your social status in this great country, you still have the freedom to engage in good, old-fashioned, red-white-and-blue war profiteering, just like the big boys in the White House -- er, on the boards of respected companies such as Halliburton, Bechtel, Flour Corp. and the Lewis Berger Group.
Of course, if you're not that interested in shelling out $5.95 or better yet, giving some Ebay Huckster $300 for a set of "Authentic" IMWPC's, you can download the entire set for ABSOLUTELY FREE by going to the USDOD Website.
Hey, that gives me an idea! Now where DID I put that Ebay seller number?
Once again Herr Bus has gone kaput. Nothing major (I hope), probably only the points being cranky, but it sure is annoying to break down in the middle of a major arterial.
Thank goodness for AAA; once again the $45 a year pays for itself. Still, having to wait for over an hour for the tow truck to arrive while irate drivers honk at you (I guess pulling over to the side of the road and turning on your emergency flashers just doesn't mean what it used to) does get a bit annoying, but at least it gave me plenty of time to polish of the Peco's Pit pulled pork sandwich (medium-hot, gorilla and spike it) I'd just ordered.
So, now it's nearly three hours later, Herr Bus has been dropped off at one of his favorite garages, I'm back at my desk and only had one voice-mail and three emails to deal with -- not bad for a long lunch break, although I would have preferred at least one lunch-time cocktail for my trouble and aggravation. I suppose it's just as well, since I now have about 1 1/2 pounds of smoked pork & hot link nestling comfortably inside me, and my current inclination is to curl up underneath my desk sgnp-style for a mid-afternoon nap.
The Scene: My cubicle.
The Time: 1:15 p.m. Friday. Just back from lunch
Phone: Ring! Ring!
ME: Good afternoon, XYZ. How may I direct your call?
VOICE: Hi honey, it's me!
MOM: We're in the truck.
ME: Where are you?
MOM: We're -- um, Stewart... Elliott.
ME: You're in SEATTLE?
MOM: We're just down the street from you!
ME: What are you doing here?
MOM: Oh, I had a few days of vacation left, and I just decided to go somewhere!
ME: And you came here?
MOM: I thought I'd surprise you!
ME: Well, you sure did!
MOM: I can see your building!
ME: Okay, pull into the first driveway. I'll be right down.
(I hang up the phone, get up from my desk and head for the reception lobby. On the way I pass a co-worker).
ME: My mother is here.
CW: Gee, that's nice!
Now, for most people this might not seem like such a bizarre scenario. After all, parents probably visit their children at work -- if not frequently, then certainly with some degree of regularity, assuming they live in fairly close proximity to each other. That's where this starts to get a little strange for me. My mother lives 200 miles away, and in the -- let's see, 18 years I've lived in Seattle, she has come up here exactly -- um, once before. And that was to see a show. And that was nine years ago.
Suddenly, she's decided to just "pop in" to my office on a total whim. So, I can't help but ask myself as I'm walking down the stairs, "Did she just wake up this morning and decide, 'Oh, I'll go visit Chris today!'?" She's never done this before in nearly 20 years, so I hope you'll excuse me for thinking this is a little wierd.
Anyway, we have a nice innocuous chit-chat over nothing of consequence for about half an hour standing around my desk, because there's only one chair and she'd just spent 3 1/2 hours in a pickup truck, so was more eager to stretch her legs than anything. Everything was pleasant, but, all the while I am just struck with this sense of surrealness; this is just so NOT like my mother -- or maybe it IS so like her, and that's what really puzzles me.
Mom is big into denial. She's denied most of the major traumatic experiences of her life pretty much since the day she found out she was pregnant with me, I figure, so she's had a lot of practice at it. Now, I don't mean to infer that this was in any way a traumatic situation -- it actually was a rather pleasant surprise once the initial shock wore off -- but, at the same time I can't help but think she just assumed it would be no problem, that I would naturally have time to see her, and that it was not big deal that she was coming to visit me (as opposed to me visiting her) for the first time in nearly a decade. It's not like it's a regular occurance, and frankly it just has me flummoxed. I mean, she didn't even think to call to see if I was there, or if I was out sick or on vacation, or with enough notice that I could have taken a late lunch and we could have gone somewhere, no it didn't occur to her to phone until 5 minutes before she arrived!
So, I keep asking myself, "Is this normal behavior?"
Several times in the past couple of weeks I've had the same (or very similar variations on a) recurring dream. It always involves a beautiful woman, albeit not someone I know or immediately recognize. We're always about to or have just gone on a terrific date. It's that funny-awkward moment where I'm walking her to her door. We had a good time, things are going well, the evening is almost over, and the chemistry seems to be working just fine. So, there we are, standing under the porch light or whatever, and we're looking at each other intently, trying to read what's written on the back of each other's retinas, scoping out the situation, contemplating "the move". And. It. Starts. To. Happen. We. Move. Closer. Closer. And --
-- just at that EXACT moment, a cat jumps on me and I wake up, like I've been thrown out at first base on an infield line-drive that took a bad bounce straight at the shortstop.
Last night at Re-Bar Bald Faced Lie held their annual season kick-off, a melange of sketch, music and theatre acts including local luminaries Kevin Kent, Nick Garrison, Imogen Love, Sara Rudinoff, The High Impact Performance Squad and K. Brian Neal, and of course those fine folks from BFL themselves.
But, what sent the evening into absolute "Willie Wonka" mode (aside from the Bacardi, Malibu & pineapple juice drinks with the paper umbrellas) was my amazing, totally-against-the-odds winning of one of BFL's humongously valuable GOLDEN WALLETS, of which there are only SIX in existence in the ENTIRE WORLD! Now, I get to see an entire season of BFL shows for free and as many times as I want! Plus, I got a phone card with 45 minutes free calls, a Kinko's Card with roughly eight-cents credit, a Lotto Quick Play Ticket, and if I buy just 9 more sandwiches from The Capital Hill Sandwich Shop, I get the next one free! It's like discovering a leather-clad treasure trove! And it will make such a Fashion Statement when I start flashing it around town!
I can't wait to ride in the BFL Flying Elevator!
And that Peggy Gannon -- Wrowf! Hubba-Hubba! Aoooogah! We don't call her "Leggy Peggy" for nuthin'! (;-)