Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Critical Path Items

With everyone returning to college, I often find myself sitting in a nostalgic reverie, reminiscing about my college glory days.  I know I’ve only been out for less than two years, but in that short amount of time I have come to realize how much those years really meant to me.  I’ve also come to realize how much I need something like that again in my life.

Even after I graduated I never was truly separated from college and the St. John’s / St. Ben’s atmosphere since I often went to visit Kristin and some of my other close friends on weekends, and even took some days off during the middle of weeks to go up.  I may have technically graduated, but in spirit I was still living the dream.

Once Kristin left for her study abroad program in January of this year I started to actually feel my ties start to loosen.  My vicarious living was slowly unraveling.  I managed to go up a couple of weekend to visit some friends, but for the most part my ties had come untied.

In the isolation that I felt being removed from the college life, living out in the middle of farm country with my parents, and having Kristin living in a foreign country I was overwhelmed by an unending bout with loneliness and longing.  What had defined me for five and a half years was suddenly, and quite viciously, snatched away.

What was I to do?  Actually, a better question might be, what am I to do?  I haven’t magically “found myself” or suddenly gained direction in my life over the summer, but instead have actually become a little more lost.

Being the goal oriented person that I am, I had a determined path of events that I was planning on transpiring at this point in my life and over the next few years, but as the summer months have passed me by I’ve seen all of my plans start to fade, crumble, or become unstable.  

With that in mind, I’ve started searching for a rerouted life path, in order to right this drifting and aimless ship, but I keep getting hung up on a couple of items that I feel I absolutely need in order to progress onward with the rest of the things I want to accomplish.  Without those items, the rest of my progression feels as if it will be hollow, shallow, and lacking the full depth of experience.

Of course you’re all wondering exactly what it is that I need, but as much as I want to pour my heart out here, there are still some things that I like to keep to myself and that I want to struggle for in private.  As much as it’s welling up inside of me, ready to burst out in a jumble of expressive nonsense, sometimes personal torture is good.  It helps you to realize what it is that you really, truly need in your life.  I know what I need… but I also know that the likelihood of my achieving it any time soon, or maybe at all, is looking somewhat grim.  You can never lose hope, though, and I plan on keeping hope alive.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Most Boring State Ever

I'm in Iowa all this week on business so expect my posting to be sporadic at best. I've got a couple of 12 hour work days with clients scheduled so I don't see myself getting too much time to do anything while I'm down here. I'll sure be glad when this week is over.

Monday, August 29, 2005


I think I’ve finally figured it out.  Well, at least partially figured it out, but that’s better than not having it figured out at all, right?  Anyways, I was trying to figure out, yet again, why it is that I miss college so much and why it is that I have such a hard time easing into the real world, even after being at it for over a year and a half, and it just came to me as I was reading one of my friend’s away messages that read simply “Nap”.

Scheduling.  The real world scheduling of everyone’s lives just isn’t conducive to what I want.  Working the 7 – 4 work day and then having the rest of the day to yourself isn’t what I like.  I loved college for the unrestrictive schedule that it offered.  Want a morning off to just chill out?  Done, as long as you don’t have class or work study, which I’m assuming I wouldn’t if I wanted to stay in.  Anyways, yeah.

If I wanted to work from 9 at night until 1 in the morning to get a project done so that I could have the afternoon off the next day, I could do that.  If I wanted to write a paper on Sunday instead of doing it on a Tuesday so that I could go out for a disc golfing afternoon, I could.  

Now, all of those options are gone.  Sure, I have flexible hours and I’ve taken some days off and made them up on weekends or taken half days and worked later on in the evening, but it’s not just me that needs to be able to do that—it needs to be everyone that has that flexibility.  What’s the point of having it if everyone else is still constrained by the workday schedule grind?

If I want to go for a bike ride with someone right now, at 2:00 in the afternoon, it won’t happen 95% of the time because even if I could go, no doubt the other person couldn’t just up and leave work.  I hate being relegated to nighttime hours to being able to do things.  Often by that time of the day I don’t really feel like organizing people and getting them together and whatnot to go do something.  Complicating this one hundred fold is that most of the people I know have wives and/or kids that get most of their time.

So I often end up fending for myself or using my work day to socialize with the people at work and then actually doing work later on in the evening.  Heck, I end up working a lot from Panera Bread just so that have people around to keep me from feeling lonely like I often do sitting in the basement of my  place all by myself.

Let’s all just work when we want, from wherever we want, and have fun at the drop of a hat.  That’s how it was in college, so why can’t it be that way now?  As long as you get what you need to do at work done on time, what’s the point of sticking to a regimented schedule?  I don’t think there is.  Someone needs to lead this revolution.  Down with the 8-5 workday!  I freaking hate it.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Book Crossing

Recently I received a book in the mail and on the inside cover was a book plate from Book Crossing. Interested by the little blurb on the book plate, I checked out the site. Upon doing that I became very interested in this wonderful little, or not so little really, book trading / scavenging site. Before I talk about it any more go give the site a quick look, I'll wait.

What really intrigues me is seeing the path a book takes around the states or, in some cases, world. I was the first person to get the tagged book, Remains by Steve Niles, which was sent to me, but once I finish reading it I plan on leaving it at a local coffee shop here in Rochester in the hopes of someone finding it and continuing its journey.

I've also decided that since I like the concept of stealthily finding, hiding, and reading books that have been read and enjoyed by others that I am going to tag some of my books and leave them around in town here with the hopes that someone will find them and enjoy them, and when they are done enjoying them continue their journey around the world. There really aren't enough people that read books anymore, so hopefully the added fun of Book Crossing will turn more people on to reading. It's really a great concept, if you ask me.

Friday, August 26, 2005

The Crybabies

Me: let's start an emo band
Brandon: The Crybabies!
Me: hahaha, hot damn that's a great name for us
Me: we'll sign to Victory
Brandon: and ole baldy will promote us once and never again.
Me: totally
Me: dibs on being the guy that screams since i can't sing
Brandon: you got it. i'll be the singing emotional guy
Me: sweet.  i'm the screaming, angry one
Brandon: hah! nice!
Me: and since we're in an emo band we'll get all the girls, and then we'll write more songs about how we don't want them, we only want those two girls that are totally unattainable
Brandon: yeah, and the two girls will never talk to us because they know we are singing about them.
Me: and then we'll morph into a Boys Night Out clone and stop talking about how we want these two girls, but instead just want to kill them for breaking our hearts and not dating us
Brandon: haha, and before you know it we'll become a tech metal band
Me: and then we'll retire, reflect back on our glory days, and reunite in 20 years for a stadium tour

Thursday, August 25, 2005

In the Middle of Lonliness

Right now it feels as if I'm not really a part of this world. Everything around me, everyone around me, it's all just so far away. I'm lying here feeling filled with guilt for hurting people I care about, and for hurting myself. If there's one person that you don't ever want to disappoint, it's yourself. You know why? Because forgiving others is so much easier than forgiving yourself.

We are creatures of emotion and our bodies are ruled by those emotions, even when we wish they weren't. Like right now I can feel my insides churning all around and my heart weighing itself heavily in my chest, and there's nothing I can do to alleviate it. There's no amount of Pepto or Ibuprofen or anything else that can make me feel better, the only thing that can cure what ails me is being able to forgive myself and being able to make things up to those that I've hurt.

I've never felt this way before, never been so disappointed by actions I was capable of doing. This pain must be used as a tool to learn a lesson, a lesson that I wished I hadn't needed to be taught. I'm so alone right now, alone in the agony I created for myself. When there's no one to blame but yourself, there's no way to shift the burden of guilt off of your shoulders.

It's crushing me... slowly, right now it's crushing me. But I deserve it. I just pray that I'll be able to climb back, that I'll be able to forgive myself, that I'll be a better person, and that I'll feel whole again. I'm sorry. I'm sorry everyone for not being as good of a person as I always thought I was. I'm hurting and alone tonight, but I don't have anyone to blame but myself.

Making Mistakes

We make mistakes, it's what we do - So make your pain a lesson - I make my own mistakes and I learn from them well - The pain I feel inside is my own hell – Pain is a Lesson by Trigger Point
Mistakes are something you can’t avoid.  No matter how much (or little) you think about doing some things or not doing others, you can’t be perfect.  Eventually, despite all your best efforts, you’re going to screw up and make a mistake.  As much as I hate to say it, I make mistakes, but in doing so I try to learn as best as I can from those mistakes so that I don’t make them again or so that I don’t make similar mistakes.

Sometimes a mistake is barely noticeable and, in fact, you might be the only one to know you made it.  Other times it’ll have ramifications on other people, your life, and your lifestyle.  Those are the hardest mistakes to swallow, but swallow them you must because like it or not you’re going to make a mistake.

Lately I feel as if I’ve been making more mistakes than I usually would.  Mistakes upon mistakes, but each one, no matter how hurtful it is, I learn from it.  The more screw ups I have now, the fewer I’ll hopefully make in the future.  I know that sounds pretty damn common sense-ish, but often times we forget to learn from our mistakes.  We’re just content to keep on making them or if we do know not to do something again, we still don’t see it as a part of the big picture.  A mistake can have ripples throughout your life.

It’s those ripples, and those mistakes that cause them, that I feel I’ve been forgetting about.  I’ve simply been content to live in the pain of my mistakes instead of learning from them.  That’s been my biggest mistake lately—not realizing how my screw-ups actually affect me and those around me.  

I’ve made my mistakes.  Now it’s time to learn from them. Time to make this pain a lesson.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Empty Insides of a Nice Guy

It’s always easy to complain about things, much easier than actually doing something to alleviate what you are complaining about.  I know this because I seem to complain a lot, at least according to those who know me.  I whine about how boring Rochester is.  I bitch about how I have so much to do at work.  I moan about how I hate driving places.  When I think about it, usually whenever anything even mildly annoys me, I have the urge to complain.

I’ve often used this blog as a place to air many of my complaints, often simply because I didn’t want to complain to people lest they think I’m nothing more than a whiner and I didn’t want to keep everything completely bottled up, as I do with many other negative emotions.  Do something that annoys me and makes me want to complain, I’ll just air it out on my blog or blab about it to a friend.  Do something that genuinely pisses me off and gets me angry… well, I’ll not do a damn thing.

Well, I may fume and be a little more anti-social, but that’s about it.  I hate confrontation and I hate expressing anger, mainly because when I have I’ve done things and said things that I wish I hadn’t.  I don’t want to hurt anyone, no matter how they’ve hurt me.  Wait, actually I usually do want to utterly decimate the person who hurt me, but I never act on it.  

For me, I always rationalize my lack of expressing anger towards someone in that it is better for only one person to be hurting than for two, and I am a strong person so I can take it.  Of course this is totally unhealthy and has allowed me to be walked all over many times in my life, but I really can’t stand to hurt another human being, even if that human doesn’t mind causing me a little pain.

I remember one instance in particular that illustrates perfectly how I handle things.  In high school one of my friends, and I use the term friend loosely here since I didn’t have many true friends in high school, decided that it would be fun to give me a somewhat negative nickname.  It pissed me off since no one really likes to be called names, but I let it go and pushed down my anger.

Later on in high school this friend did something really stupid and developed his own pejorative nickname.  Every kid that this friend of mine had ever made fun of threw that nickname at him every chance they got.  They were out for blood and it made them feel so damn good to be getting even.

I didn’t call him that nickname, though.  He’d hurt me a ton, true, but I couldn’t bring myself to hurt him in return.  No, I just called him by his name.  I couldn’t bring myself to be nasty, to be mean, to be callous… I only realized how much I had been hurt and how I wouldn’t want anyone to hurt like I did, even if they caused me pain.

I realize now that by not ever trying to get even, by never wanting to cause anyone pain, or trying to start a conflict that I have been taken advantage of over and over again.  People see a nice guy and that tells them they can walk all over him if they so choose and he’ll still be there in the end, positive as ever.  The only difference, which you people who take advantage of us nice guys don’t know, is that deep down we’re all a little more cold and little more empty, you just don’t know it because you’re too concerned about getting only what you want.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Me hitting
Bam!  Knocked them right out.  They didn’t even know what hit them.  We’re moving on to the championship game next Monday.  But before then, let’s step back to last night’s semi-final game between M.O.F., which stands for Mostly Over Forty or Mostly Old Farts, whichever you like better, and McGladrey, the league’s #1 team.

We had played McGladrey earlier in the year and, quite frankly, got stomped 14-4.  It wasn’t even really a game as they were just having their way with us.  Their downright domination of our team was not so different than their domination of every team in our league.  It was pretty apparent that they would quite handily have this league’s championship wrapped up.  Even we thought that.

We went into our quarterfinal playoff game ready to play and came out with a strong win, which wasn’t unexpected as we were favored to win, but it still felt good nonetheless.  Upon winning, though, we realized who our opponent would be in the semi’s and resigned ourselves to the fact that our next game would most likely be the last of the season.

When it actually came time to play McGladrey, we went into the game with no expectations other than to have fun and try to do what we could against a team that had pummeled every other team in the league.  Since they were the higher ranked team, they were the home team for the game.

As we went out to bat in the top of that first inning we somehow strung together hit after hit until the bases were loaded with no outs, at which point we just kept hitting and built a giant six run lead by the time we had to take the field.  We were prepared for them to start an outright offensive onslaught against us, much like the last time we played, but they only managed two runs coming off of a home run.  We’d take that.

In the remaining six innings they only managed three more runs while we tacked on four more to our already strong six from the first inning for a final score of 10-5.  Everyone had a great game all around.  I even managed to eek out a good game going 2 for 3 with 2 RBI’s.  It might have taken me all season to finally get my bat going, but it couldn’t have come at a better time.

After the game there was a vast difference in the demeanors of the two teams.  We were ecstatic to have pulled off a game that we didn’t think we could while they all gathered around their beer cooler like their parents collectively died the moment we caught the final fly ball.

It was great to win, especially given the odds stacked against us.  Now we have a chance to win the championship and that is something our team hasn’t done in 26 years.  Obviously I haven’t been with them all 26, but this season has been a great one.  Wish us luck!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Fear Factory - Transgression CD Review

One of the original pioneers of the industrial metal genre refuses to die. The boys of Fear Factory are back yet again with their latest effort, Transgression. With a new cd comes… more of the same, and unfortunately it’s more of the same crap that was on their last two efforts, Archetype and Digimortal. Anyone hoping for the rawness of Demanufacture era and previous Fear Factory, sadly, need to keep hoping. I’d hoped they would at least maybe attempt to capture some of the ambitiousness of Obsolete, considering the raping their last two cds received when it came to reviews, but no. Instead they decided they’d just try to get even more boring.

The biggest and most glaring flaw this album has is its attempt to become more radio friendly, even more so than their last couple of albums. It’s hard to fathom why they would do this, considering their last two albums didn’t exactly light up the sales charts and mellowing even more probably won’t shift any more units at the local Best Buy.

Listening to songs like “Supernova”, “I Will Follow”, and “Echoes of My Scream” makes you really wonder if these are songs that the band that brought you classics like “Piss Christ”, “Martyr”, and “New Breed” would actually want to make. It almost feels like the members of Fear Factory have had their bodies possessed by the ghost of nu-metal past. It’s so hard on the ears to listen to the watered down, meandering mess that this cd is. Yeah, I can’t believe I used the word meandering to describe Fear Factory either.

What used to be a band that created pulse-pounding, mile-a-minute, blisteringly paced metal with a special electronic edge now feel slow, boring, and unevenly paced. Rarely will you hear the bruising double-bass marathons of old on Transgression. What you will get is a ton of songs focusing on melody, which some might see as a good thing, but most won’t, simply because, no offense to the band, as talented as they are they just aren’t suited for making melodic metal.

It’s hard to listen to a band slowly decline release after release, but that’s just what’s happening with each new effort that Fear Factory puts out. They either need to sit down, do some real soul searching, and find the intensity of the old Fear Factory or hang it up for good before things get too much worse.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

A Different Kind of Pain

I received a promo copy of Cold's upcoming cd A Different Kind of Pain a week or two ago. Upon first listen I thought they had sold out and went radio rock, which really saddened me since I hate it when bands do that, but then I listened to it a few more times and realized that maybe Scooter, their lead singer, is simply less angry and more sad. Listening to his lyrics, he feels so much more lost, hurt, and full of pain. Call me an emo sap, but I find myself relating to this cd more than just about any other cd I've listened to lately. The last cd that resonated so strongly with me was Mae's Everglow. Anyways, I know a lot of people are going to think that Cold's new cd is a really weak effort, but I love it and I know I'll be listening to it for weeks to come. I'm going to try to get them featured over at Decoy, but I'm sure the rest of the staff with axe the idea. Anyhow, here are the lyrics to my favorite song off of A Different Kind of Pain.

Feel It in Your Heart

Can't run away from love if you cannot feel
Everything falls apart in a tragedy
I am so far away from gone
I just want to be here
Everyone forms a part in my symphony

Can you feel this in your heart?
Can you take it to your soul?
I don't want you to pretend
I don't want to be alone

Feels like I'm torn apart
And I cannot bleed
Caught in the web you made
This just can't be real
I am so far away from gone
I just want to be here
Everyone falls apart in this tragedy
I don't want to be alone
Inside I've changed
Every day I'll live through this alone

Friday, August 19, 2005

Looking for Love

As I was reading a conversation about the merits of emo bands on one of the various music message boards I check, I came across an interesting post that seems to really have a lot of truth behind it, even if it was only meant to be a quick, off-the-cuff, witty remark
People who search for happiness in their life from love always have the most problems.
I thought about it for a bit, and I can’t really come up with a more difficult thing to achieve than to be loved, and to be happy because you are loved.  Love seems to be one of the few “big” things that people strive for in life, with some of the others being success, money, fame, spiritual enlightenment, and personal well being.

Any of those things, with dedication and a little bit of luck, can probably be achieved by someone in their lifetime, assuming they’d give it their all.  It is my belief that anyone can be successful at something if they put everything they have into it.  The main problem with that is people want success without having to try.  I’m easily guilty of that, so that’s why it is doable, it just takes the extra bit of effort that most people won’t put in.

Money you can get by working for it.  Again, if you invest yourself completely into making money and finding ways to maximize how you can make money, you’ll be rich. I like money.  Who doesn’t?  I wouldn’t mind having a lot of it, but it really isn’t something that I want to dedicate myself to getting a boatload of.  Sure, I always say I’d like more money, but again, who wouldn’t want more?  I’m just not willing to dedicate myself to getting it.

The other things are also easily achievable… well, by easily I mean with a whole heck of a lot of effort, but they are attainable and can be done by you without any help from the outside.  Love, on the other hand, depends upon other people, or maybe just one person in particular.

No matter how hard you try, and no matter how much effort you put forward, you can’t make someone love you.  Unfortunately, I’ve managed to find that out through experience as I am one of those poor souls who looks for happiness in life through love.  I’ve been in relationships and friendships where I’ve given it my all, done everything I could for the other person, made it completely apparent how I felt, and yet it didn’t work out.  

It sucks when you realize that everything you put in to the relationship basically didn’t amount to anything more than a handful of bittersweet memories.  Even now, it’s a bitter pill that I swallow every time that I think back upon some of those failed friendships and relationships.  What can I do, though?  Love is the source of my happiness and I just can’t give up on trying to be happy, now can I?  The quote is more right than any of us know.  Love is so hard to find, and when you do finally find it, even harder to hold on to, or at least that’s the way it’s been for me.  

I Guess I am a Geek

More Scientific

You have:
The graph on the right represents your place in Intuition 2-Space. As you can see, you scored about average on emotional intuition and above average on scientific intuition.Keep
in mind that very few people score high on both! In effect, you can
compare your two intuition scores with each other to learn what kind of
intuition you're best at. Your scientific intuition is stronger than
your emotional intuition.

Your Emotional Intuition
score is a measure of how well you understand people, especially their
unspoken needs and sympathies. A high score score usually indicates
social grace and persuasiveness. A low score usually means you're good
at Quake.

Your Scientific Intuition
score tells you how in tune you are with the world around you; how well
you understand your physical and intellectual environment. People with
high scores here are apt to succeed in business and, of course, the

Link: The 2-Variable Intuition Test written by jason_bateman on Ok Cupid
Go figure, me a geek? Who'd have thought? Anyone that knows me knows I'm pretty frickin' terrible at picking up on subtle emotional stuff. Maybe I should just marry a laptop...

Thursday, August 18, 2005

A Death Sentence

It’s days like today that just make me hate life. Upon waking up, I look outside and it’s still dark, not because my self-loathing subconscious decided to wake me up in the middle of the night, but instead because it was raining out. I always hate waking up to rain, even thought it has that nice, soothing sound to it.

As I slowly went through my morning routine and headed to work, I sat down in front of my computer, coffee at my side and some microwaved pizza next to my keyboard, I started working on a project that I was having a conference call about later in the morning. I worked on it for a good chunk of the morning, but once we got into the meeting, it turns out that everything is going to have to be rewritten from scratch… for the third time. Nothing to keep you motivated like realizing for the second time in a row your work is just going to get deleted and rewritten.

Frustrated, tired, and sick of the rain, I put myself to work on another project. One that I really didn’t care about too much, but it needed to get done nonetheless. As I’m working on it, I start to think about my weekend plans and I realize I really don’t have any. And upon that realization, I started to dread the arrival of the weekend.

Seriously, I don’t want the weekend to come. Occasionally, when a weekend creeps up on me where I really don’t have much to do, I find myself overcome with waves of longing and loneliness. There really isn’t a damn thing to do here in Rochester on the weekends for non-married people and that only makes me long for college even more than I usually do. Hell, I’ve started working some on weekends so that I feel like I’m accomplishing something instead of just sitting around being lazy doing nothing with myself.

Usually I try to have something to do with friends or family, and I have the Owatonna demotion derby to go to on Sunday this weekend, but there’s still so much open space this weekend. What also sucks is that people that I would regularly ask to do something are busy or don’t want to hang out. You know, that’s fine. I can’t expect everyone to want to hang out with me all the time, but I’m not very good at doing things or finding things to do on my own, so it kind of sucks for me.

You know, I never thought the day would come where I didn’t want a weekend to come, but I’ve finally reached that point. I don’t know if that means the corporate world totally owns my soul, I have an utterly atrocious social life, or I’m just moody. Who knows? Seems like I can hardly string together more than one or two cogent thoughts lately.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

A Voice Overhaul

For those five of you who caught the piece on blogging last night and decided to come check out my blog because of it, what did you think? Personally I thought it came out pretty good. I might have looked a little bit toolish, but I suppose that’s fine. Seeing the top graphic of this site displayed on my 57” television was a little scary, though. I didn’t realize how dumb I look in a couple of those poses. I think I might have to redesign something else to put up there.

The other thing I found weird was how my voice sounded. I’ve been talking or babbling random crap out of my mouth for over 24 years now and no matter how many times I hear my voice played back to me, be it on a tape recorder, answering machine, or tv, I can’t stand it. My voice doesn’t sound that way, does it?

It’s so weird how different your voice sounds to you when you are speaking to someone and when you hear it played back to you. You see, when I talk to people I never notice that my voice sounds like an odd cross between a more energetic Frankenstein and Lurch when he has a frog in his throat. No, when I’m talking to you I know I have a deep voice, but to me it sounds like a sexy Barry White with a little Brad Pitt thrown in for good measure.

One of these days maybe they’ll find a way to give people artificial voices, or at least make it so that when we are talking we’ll hear what we sound like instead of a more appealing permutation of what we really sound like. Seriously, I sometimes have a hard time believing anyone would even want to have a conversation with me when I hear my voice played back to me. It’s hideous. I need a voice transplant, so if anyone wants to donate theirs to me, let me know.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Tune in Tonight

Just a quick reminder to everyone in the Rochester area, KTTC's piece on blogging by Jeremiah Jacobsen and featuring yours truly, will be airing at 10:00 pm. Tune in, tell me what you think, and please leave a comment or two. I hope I don't end up looking like to much of a dork.

Monday, August 15, 2005

The Craving that Won't Quit

You know, sometimes there are things that you just need to have. It doesn’t matter what anyone else gives you, you just want that one thing and nothing can satisfy that craving except for that one thing. Until you get it, there’s you’re going to be filled with an empty spot that can’t be filled by anything else.

We’ve all had those moments. You’re sitting at work and all of the sudden you feel incomplete and you know that a Philly Steak Sandwich would make you whole once more… but you don’t have a Philly Steak Sandwich with you at work. All you brought was some leftover pizza. Knowing you have work to do, you just eat the pizza and hope it does the trick.

Well, it fills up your stomach, but you’re still hungry. Not physically. No, you had a crap-ton of pizza to eat so it’s hard to think about filling your stomach with anything else, but you still feel empty without your Philly Steak Sandwich. So you take a trip up to the vending machine by the office cooler.

Presented with the myriad of items you could have to quench your hunger, you buy a king size Snickers. Oh, does it ever look scrumptious. You peel away the wrapper and bite into one of the single most fulfilling bites of candy you’ve ever experienced… but you still feel, deep down inside of you, that you need that Philly Steak Sandwich.

There’s nothing you can really do until you get that Philly Steak Sandwich. You’ll have that constant craving haunting you, no matter what you attempt to do to alleviate it, until it is satisfied. It’s a crappy feeling, but unfortunately you just have to live with it until that mouth watering Philly Steak Sandwich just falls onto your dinner plate and you can relish every last bite of it. Hopefully there isn’t a Philly Steak Sandwich shortage. Man, that would really suck. I don’t know if I’d ever want to eat again if I knew I could never be fulfilled with what I ate.

Hmmm… now I really want a Philly Steak Sandwich all of the sudden…

Julia Roberts Quitting Acting?

You know, I really hope it's true. I know the article I read is skeptical, but a guy can hope can't he? For every movie that I've been able to barely tolerate her in there's been about 10 that make me cringe. I can only think of three movies offhand that I actually tolerated her in--Ocean's 11, Ocean's 12, and Conspiracy Theory... and Ocean's 12 I didn't even like. She was tolerable in both of the Ocean movies since she was only a supporting character instead of being in one of the main roles.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I can't stand Roberts. Mainly it's because it seems like she never acts any different in any of the roles she plays. She's always Julia Roberts, not who she's portraying. It's this same problem that I have with Will Smith. Actors should have range, and Roberts doesn't. So let's hope that she really has decided to spend her future with her kids instead of in front of a movie camera. It would make me a very happy person.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Tune In Tuesday Night

It turns out that blogging, as much as I didn't think it would, has finally gotten me noticed. This Tuesday, August 16th at 10:00 pm on KTTC, the local NBC affiliate here in Rochester, will be running a piece on blogging and for this piece they interviewed a local blogger--me!

I was pretty surprised when Jeremiah Jacobson, the anchor who performed the interview, contacted me asking if I would like to do an interview for a piece they were doing on blogging. My first thought was, "More crazy spam," but after a second or two I realized it was too personalized and cogent to be simply spam. After those two seconds my next thought was, "Wow, I could be on tv!" With that second thought I shot off an email back to Mr. Jacobson telling him I'd do the interview.

This last Monday the interview actually went down. It was quick, painless, and kind of fun. I'm interested to see how the final cut of the piece looks. So tune in at the above time if you live in Rochester or the nearby area. Also, if you have the capability, can someone Tivo it for me so I can potentially post it here for everyone outside of Rochester to see? Email me if you can, please.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Complexity of It All

Often times it’s quite easy to forget the complexity of some of the things you use every day. Driving a car is almost second nature to most drivers. Preparing certain dishes is a snap once you’ve done it enough. Using certain computer applications doesn’t even cause you to bat an eye once you’ve booted up said program a million times. What will make you remember how unbelievably complicated some of these tasks are is being assigned how to teach one of these tasks to someone, or to multiple someones.

At work I’ve been on the development, tech writing, or business team for one of our applications for the last couple of years. When I first came onto the team I was utterly baffled by the application and had no clue what half of the functions did. Writing the manual for the application really hammered home how much I learned about the application and how complicated it was as it managed to weigh in at 200+ pages in length.

After that task, however, I took for granted how easily manageable the application had become for me. I knew it like the back of my hand… most of the time, at least. Now, with the onset of implementing the application for a new client, and the fact that I am the head of the training initiative, I am once again realizing how complicated the program is.

We are having an initial training session that will take place over two days and I am in the process of writing up the itinerary for those two days for approval before I start actually generating the material for the two day session. Just attempting to fit MOST of the functionality for MOST of the sections of the application that these users will be using is pretty daunting. I initially thought that two days would be plenty of time to go over everything they needed, but now I see that I was underestimating how much I needed to teach them.

I should have realized it would have taken more than two days as it took me a long time to learn the application, probably months, and I’ll be attempting to cram a good chunk of that knowledge into two days. It’s kind of daunting and I’m really afraid of screwing up or looking incompetent if I don’t convey enough of the needed education to the people I’m training, especially since this is the first training session of proposed string. Needless to say, I’ve been a little stressed and a little busy. That’s probably why this blog hasn’t been getting the attention it should, but I think I’ll have some more free time over the next month or so at night and such to hammer out more random crap to post. If not, well, there’s only a billion other blogs out there to read.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Warped Tour 2005

Summer time, summer festivals. Those two phrases always seem to go hand and hand in the live music industry. Over the last ten plus years the festival scene has grown and morphed to accommodate many forms of live music. The 25th anniversary of Woodstock basically restarted the festival scene and two of the first festivals to be organized thereafter were Lalapalooza and The Warped Tour. The Warped Tour, in its long lifetime, instead of floundering or dying off has managed to flourish and become quite the corporate entity.

With this year’s iteration of the Warped Tour we see yet even more of a mainstream focus on the main stages, but if you are willing to venture away from the main stages every now and then you can easily find more than a few bands that are off the beaten musical path. In attending this year’s Warped Tour we (my photographer, Kristin Welch, and I (photo) ) attempted to catch many of the main stage bands as well as take in a few of the smaller acts.

The Minneapolis stop of the tour was attended mostly by the 13-18 year old age group. I would estimate that only one out of every four people was over 18. The odds of finding a person over 21 were even worse. Being 24 I felt a little out of place at times, almost like I should be acting as a chaperone to some of the attendees, but even so this year’s Warped was just as much fun as years past… except for the weather, which was humid and 90+ degrees, which made staying hydrated a key concern, but you don’t go to the Warped Tour to bitch about the weather, you go for the bands, so here’s a rundown of who Kristin and I managed to see this year.

The first band that we managed to catch was The All American Rejects (photo). After a few songs, we realized that there was no reason to stay. Bland, unoriginal, alternative radio styled rock is all these guys were—if you like that type of thing, by all means go see AAR because they do it well, but to us they were quite boring.

After taking a look around at the stage and tent layout, we came back to the main stage to see The Starting Line. I’ve always been a closet fan of them and Kristin is a big pop-punk fan, so it was a no-brainer that we’d try to see these guys. They played a fair mix of songs from their latest release and their debut album which made for good flow since the majority of the crowd knew the old songs but weren’t as acquainted with the new material. The Starting Line’s set was nice and tight, energetic, and lively. We were both bobbing to the music and found ourselves drawn in by their infectious brand of pop-punk.

As we moved on from the main stage, we caught the last 20 minutes of Lost City Angels’ set (photo). They had a very small crowd of about 40 people and to make it worse for them no one was getting into it at all. I don’t think it helped any that they continually tried to get the crowd to yell out “fuck” as loud as they could which was simply alienating them even more. Musically their style of dirty, trashy punk was quite unimpressive. Then again, so was their last cd.

Thankfully after the unimpressive Lost City Angels’ performance we were treated to a rousing, full-bodied half hour of Funeral for a Friend (photo). Of all of the bands that we saw at Warped this year, FFAF put on what was probably the tightest set of the day. They started off aggressively with a track from their last disc before playing songs exclusively from their latest effort, Hours. Even though the material on Hours is much more mellow than their previous releases, they manage to infuse it with a raw intensity when playing the songs live (photo 2).

As we made our way back to the main stage to see what was going on back that way, we saw Relient K starting out their set and after the second song realized they were definitely not for us. Oddly, we found their set comical. As sugar-coated and saccharine sweet as their cds are, they are even worse in concert. They overplay the vocal harmonies and act as cute as possible to get all of the 14 year old girls in the front row to scream their brains out. At times the high pitch screeching was too much to take so we left to go seek out other bands and see what the Hot Topic stage had to offer.

Lo and behold, there was a ska band playing at the Hot Topic stage! One thing that has definitely been lacking from the Warped Tour the last couple of years has been a ska presence, but I suppose with the rise of screaming emo, pop-punk, and radio-friendly metalcore something was bound to get the shaft and it looks like ska got that shaft. Fred Savage and the Unbeatables (photo) are a local band from St. Cloud, MN and we heard rumblings in the crowd that this might be their last show. I don’t know if that was true or not, but it was definitely the talk while they were playing. I’ve seen these guys play before and they still sound like a decent mix of Weezer and old school Reel Big Fish. Most of their songs were very peppy and actually attracted a few passers-by to stay and listen (photo 2).

The rest of the day I don’t remember the order of the bands we saw so I’ll just rattle them off in no particular order. Besides, the set times differ from stop to stop anyways so it doesn’t so much matter now does it?

Billy Idol (photo) definitely made an impression, a bad one. Every band is allotted their half hour set at Warped Tour, which isn’t a lot of time, but that’s the concession that has to be made in order to be a part of the tour. Apparently Idol didn’t get that memo as he just kept playing away almost 15 minutes past his set time which meant for that 15 minutes The Offspring and he were both playing so you really couldn’t hear either band. It was like a really bad DJ mash-up gone even more wrong. So this year Mr. Idol wins the tour’s Dickface award. Congratulations, dickface.

Once Idol finally left the stage we actually had the chance to listen to the rest of The Offspring’s set. It was nice to hear them playing most material from Smash as a lot of their more recent stuff has been pretty, how shall I put this, atrocious? I was saddened that they didn’t play anything from Ignition or their self titled disc, but then again they might have during the 15 minutes they were dueling with Billy Idol. I’d never seen The Offspring so it was fun to actually see them perform. Dexter turning a fire hose on the crowd was much appreciated by everyone in the front, but I would have rather had them play another song instead of watching Dexter play fireman.

I only caught half of Strung Out’s set (photo), but from what I saw they still know how to tear it up. Fast, furious, and always trying to get the crowd into it, Strung Out were fun to watch. They mixed in a good amount of old and new songs so fans of both eras should be pleased. It’s just too bad they didn’t have a bigger crowd, but what do you expect when the median age of the show’s attendees is 15?

One band that I was glad I only saw a partial set of was Senses Fail (photo) . I’m pretty sure their ship has set sail for nowheresville, but they don’t know it yet. It felt like their playing was sloppy and the vast majority of the crowd just wasn’t into it. It might be because their style of music is better suited for emo boys to listen to while crying in their basement about girls than in a live setting, or it might just be that they aren’t very good. I’ll let you decide (photo 2).

MXPX (photo), stalwarts of the Warped Tour that they are, played another inspired performance. They played through many classics, such as “Chick Magnet”, “Responsibility”, and “Punk Rawk Show” to name a few. They also threw in some new tracks such as “Wrecking Hotel Rooms” and “Heard that Sound”. Personally I think the new material fits in perfectly with their usual repertoire of live songs. If you’ve never seen these guys, or even if you have, make sure to go see them (or see them again).

Another partial set that I managed to take in was that of No Use for a Name (photo). As much as I used to really like this band back during my early college and late high school years, I haven’t kept up with them lately and since I didn’t recognize many of the tunes they played, I’m assuming they’re rocking out a lot of new stuff. Their performance was good, but nothing unbelievably spectacular.

Atreyu were, well, Atreyu. They acted as much like big time rock stars as they could doing the guitar theatrics while playing their version of updated 80’s hair metal riffs underneath uninspired screaming and whiney melodic vocals. You either hate this type of crap or love it. And as always, they ended their set by covering Bon Jovi. They’re not exactly my favorite band to watch, but a lot of people seem to enjoy them.

What was interesting to see was how much the crowd got off on Hawthorne Heights (photo). I personally think they’re one of the most underwhelming “screamo” bands on the scene right now, but the kids were eating it up, especially when they ripped into “Ohio is for Lovers”. The crowd was putting more energy into the songs than the boys in HH from what I could see, which is sad if you are HH.

Mae (photo) was definitely an interesting band to see in a live environment. They stuck mostly to their guitar driven songs, starting off their set strongly with “Someone Else’s Arms”. The one thing that stands out about Mae’s live performance is how the vocals fail to translate when it comes to hitting the higher register, drawn out lines, such as the chorus to “Someone Else’s Arms”. They don’t feel as full as on disc and actually come off a little strained. The crowd still ate them up, and by ate them up I mean they stood around and nodded along to their songs. I do have to applaud the boys in Mae for being one of the few bands at Warped not sporting ugly as hell emo haircuts (photo 2).

One band that I thought was really out of place on this tour was Skindred (photo). Their sound was something I would have more likely expected at Ozzfest or opening up Sounds of the Underground, but even for being at a “punk” festival they had a good handful of fans who were really getting into it. Circle pits formed, kids ran into each other, and there was lots of machismo emanating from the crowd… it would have just been better if the band would have stuck more to playing songs instead of playing around with turntables and talking to the crowd. As it was, when they were playing they were decent, but they need to focus more on playing their instruments instead of playing around.

Rounding out the night was Dropkick Murphys (photo), a band who never disappoints. This year was no different. They played mostly older, familiar tunes that had just about everyone within earshot jumping around, but they threw in a couple of new tunes, the crowd favorite being “Citizen CIA”. You can’t really say too much about these guys other than their stage presence is huge, the crowd is nuts, and every minute they’re playing you’ll be enjoying it.

So with another year’s Warped Tour making the rounds, there will be some who love this year’s lineup and others who hate it. Either way, you have to admit that this traveling festival sure has changed since its start 11 years ago. I won’t say that this year’s lineup is the best it’s seen, as it is actually quite far from it, but it manages to hold its own against other recent years.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Am I an Idiot?

So I can't sleep at all last night. I got maybe an hour or two in, but the majority of the night was spent rolling around restlessly. So what do I do at 5:00 this morning? Play Madden? Read a book? Stay in bed? No.

I go to work. Yeah, rock on. Since when did I sell my soul to the corporate world? Kill me.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

EA Screws You

Today is the day. The day that the latest edition of Madden’s football video game franchise is released. No doubt there will be millions of people picking it up and I, unfortunately, am one of those people. This is the first year I will be buying Madden since Madden ’94 came out for the Super Nintendo.

Every other football game that I’ve bought has been from the Sega 2K or ESPN series or for fun football games like Blitz or Street. This year, however, since EA basically bought the NFL there are no alternatives to Madden. They are the only game on the block so if you want a 2006 football game, you have to buy Madden, which is really too bad since last year I thought ESPN football was the superior product, especially with the $20 price tag it had.

Now if you want a football game you have to throw down $50, bend over for EA, and listen to them laugh as they steal your money. So what convinced me to grab my ankles for the evil empire of the gaming industry? I love football.

Once I heard that EA had bought an exclusive license to the NFL and NFLPA, I was sad that there would be no competition, but I was also scared that for the next 10 years, since Madden would be the only NFL game on the market that EA would take the easy way out and just churn out the same game each year with new rosters and half-assed new features.

It turns out I was right. I read a bunch of reviews online and it seems like EA didn’t do too much for this year’s iteration. They added two new big features, one being pointless and the other a pain in the ass. The only thing that appears to be good that was added was the precision passing, which is a very small addition.

For the most part, this is Madden ’05 with new rosters and crappy new features. The broken franchise mode is still broken. The AI is basically the same. The animations are mostly all the same. The audio is mostly all the same. EA didn’t really do much at all for this release and they’ll be raking in the cash because there is going to be no competition.

I think these two quotes from two separate reviews sum up most people’s feelings on the new features and the new game:
OK, so there's a lot you can do in the superstar mode. But where does it all lead? The answer, unfortunately, is nowhere of consequence. Because the superstar mode is laid out in a similar way to the franchise mode, every little thing is handled with text menus, conversational minigames, and play modes--like the minicamp games, for instance--that exist elsewhere in the game. While this works all well and good for a management simulation like the franchise mode, managing the life of a superstar seems like it ought to be a flashier affair. And even within the confines of what the mode offers, it still comes across as hackneyed and not realistic in the slightest. --Gamespot

That said, it was only a matter of time before the streak had to end. Madden NFL 06 could very well be remembered as the game that didn't improve enough over its counterpart -- and for the first time in years, became a little less fun to play. --IGN

Monday, August 08, 2005

Withering Away

My parents are now back from their vacation, which means my long ass commutes from their place to work are now over. I don’t know how I put up with that for over a year. I must have been absolutely nuts to waste an hour and a half of every day sitting in my car burning up expensive gas (which is up to $2.39 for the cheapest stuff here in MN).

It was nice being home again for a bit, even though I was totally by myself… well, except for the four house animals following me everywhere begging for attention. Sleeping was pretty interesting as Karma, our Jack Russell Terrier would sleep on my feet. Mystique, my mom’s cat, would sleep at my waist. Stitch, mine and Kristin’s cat would sleep on the top of the couch. Lastly, Sammy, the family cat, would sleep on the floor next to me. What made this setup suck was that whenever the pets would move around or fight or play it would be right next to me or on the couch where I was sleeping so some nights I didn’t get very much rest at all.

While at home, I took advantage of the ability to run on flat land again. I’m still not fully adjusted to the ups and downs of the hills here in the addition of Rochester that I live in. As the week went on, I ran the same three mile route every day, being the big proponent of not changing that I am. Even though my route never changed, the scenery was in a constant state of change.

Every day I ran by the same corn field and every day the corn was a little more brown and a little less green. Usually this wouldn’t bother me except for the fact that this was my dad’s field. Since we’ve been experiencing what it’s like to live in the Sahara over the last couple of weeks, the crops haven’t been doing all that great, and when the crops don’t do that great, the farm really can’t make any money.

I really take for granted the fact that I get a paycheck twice a month with the exact same amount of money in it. I can budget my spending out and manage my finances with ease, even when I spend a little too much on video games or eating out. With a farm, you can’t do that. Your income is determined at harvest time when you bring in what you’ve grown for the year.

Sure, modern farmers (my dad being one of them) have found ways to stretch money from bumper years across years that don’t fare as well, such as by holding on to extra grain in good years and buying the next year’s seed or chemicals during a good year, but in the end when a bad year comes along things still get tight.

With no strong chances of rain in the near future, this could be shaping up to be one of those tough years. I really don’t want to see that happen, but I can’t really control the weather now can I? So all of you out there who have a steady income, consider yourselves lucky. I often forget to myself, but looking at the crops and how they’re starting to falter really hammers home how lucky I have it.

Friday, August 05, 2005


I think I have finally transitioned completely into my new role at work, that of a business analyst for one of our software projects. I slowly moved from my position as technical writer to my current position by taking on some BA tasks here and there and then taking on more while phasing out the tech writing work. After this last week, there is pretty much nothing of my tech writing position left.

There are some very distinct differences between being a tech writer and being a business analyst. The first is the amount of involvement you have with other members of the team you are working with. As a tech writer I usually was left to fend for myself as I would usually take on a large project and work on it for weeks then turn it in and move onto the next big project.

As a BA there are still big projects but these big projects have so many smaller interconnected pieces that I’m responsible for. In getting all of these tasks coordinated and finished, I also have to interact with my fellow coworkers and clients a lot more. It’s actually nice to be able to interact with other people as opposed to being the hermit of the project, left alone to work on my own thing.

The one thing that I have come to not like, however, is meetings. They’re a necessary evil to getting things accomplished, but from what I’ve experienced so far a lot of the time the majority of the time I spend in meetings feels pointless. Well, maybe not pointless, but I feel like I could better be spending that time doing other tasks that I need to accomplish.

What can keep meetings from spiraling into worthlessness is a strict agenda and a person to lead the meeting who will keep to that agenda. The meetings that have been productive for me are the ones where I went in knowing what was going to be covered, what I was responsible for, and what would be done following the meeting. They were relatively quick, got right down to business, and let me get back to work.

This week it seems, however, that many of the meetings I’ve been in have lacked coherence and I chalk that up to not having proper agendas set. Too often meetings have just spiraled into people asking random questions and talking about random junk to fill up the allotted meeting time. Letting a meeting simply ebb and flow depending upon what the attendees decide keeps everyone from getting the most out of the time spent in the meeting.

I’m learning quite quickly how to maximize my efficiency when in pointless, agendaless meetings. You can easily tell how a meeting will go by looking at who is calling the meeting. I know now that when I go to meetings set up by certain people that I should bring my laptop along so that I can work while in them because more than likely there will be parts of the meeting where it will meander to and fro with no discernable progress being made.

I have also learned that you don’t have to go to every meeting you are invited to. If a meeting doesn’t really apply to me or only slightly applies to me and I have more important things to do, I just don’t go. It took me a while to realize I don’t have to go to every meeting, but as I let too much work pile up around me I had to prioritize and some meetings just don’t make the cut.

There will be more pointless meetings in the future and I know I’ll get suckered into some of them, but I’m learning what I need to do to survive them and to make them actually worth my time. Give me a few more weeks at this and I’ll be making every meeting my bitch. You just watch!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Some Recent Comic Reads

JLA Classified 4-9

This is Keith Giffen & J.M. DeMatteis follow-up to their well received I Can't Believe It's Not the Justice League mini that came out last year. I never read that mini, but I don't think I missed out on too much. I found this story arc to have its moments but much of the time the comedy felt somewhat forced and/or dated. The fact that this arc also came right on the heels of Morrisson's JLA Classified arc made it feel substandard. If you're really missing some of those B-list JLAers, then give this arc a shot or else start with issue 10 when Ellis puts his touch on the series. Grade: B-

Superman Sacrifice Crossover

Lots of people are really up in arms over the new serious tone that DC titles are taking on. Personally I really enjoy it. Part of the reason I used to have a hard time getting into DC's titles (not including Vertigo) were that they felt to fake and kiddish. This new serious take on DC's characters makes for a more gritty, grungy feel that I dig. In this arc we see Superman being mind controlled by a C-list supervillain who causes him to do things he would never really do. The hallucinations that Superman experiences are what make this arc. They're situations that I've always wanted to see Superman in when confronted with supervillains instead of the safe route that most writers take. If you haven't picked up this crossover, it's going back to press so you should be able to get it soon. I recommend it. Grade: A-

DoubleCross More or Less

Have I ever mentioned that I really don't like autobiographical comics? They just bore me. I don't want to read about someone's boring life. If I wanted boring life I'd stay at work longer. In this graphic novel the author, I'm assuming, is detailing the steps he took to getting his first graphic novel published. There are some comical and interesting situations but for the most part the art is subpar and the story is boring. I don't really care about Tony Consiglio's semi-weird family and the struggles he had with the real world in the pursuit of being published. Some people really get off on this stuff, but I can't stand it. Grade: D+

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Make Poop!

Thank God for Mr. Safety Professional Idiot. If not for him I think I may very well have exploded yesterday. After a long day of work, and I mean working from 6:50 am to 5:20 pm in my cubicle and conference room long, I was ready to strap a jacket of TNT to my body, walk into the middle of a corn field, and spread tiny little pieces of myself all over the place as well exploded fertilizer.

Instead, I was browsing Purevolume for new bands to listen to while I checked my email and the weather when ran across Mr. Safety listed in the comedy section. Usually anyone in the comedy section of Purevolume sucks something horrible, but this was one of the few times that I actually found myself laughing at songs since Weird Al was in his heyday.

How can you not love songs that talk about making poop, eating hot sauce, finding duct tape in your neighbor’s garbage while making a fake moustache for yourself, and other such wonderful things? I seriously laughed out loud more than a few times while listening to the 20 songs posted.

Now, in preparation for the end of another slow but busy work day, I find myself indulging my sick & twisted side by listening to even more Mr. Safety. Now go make some poop!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Left Behind

On Friday my parents, along with my younger brother and his girlfriend, left for a 10 day vacation to Rapid City, South Dakota. Our family has traveled there each summer for the last 6-7 summers or so. My memory doesn’t always store the stuff it should, so I could be underestimating here. Needless to say we’ve been traveling there as a family for a good chunk of years.

Of all the vacations that my family has taken, I’ve only missed one and that was three years ago when I had my first internship. My family would usually take our annual vacation in August and three years ago that was no different. Most of the summer my internship had been pretty boring and I didn’t feel like I learned a ton, but as the last month of it approached I finally had some things to work on. Because of that I wanted to stay home instead of going on vacation. That and I needed to make some more money to pay for college. Private school sure isn’t cheap.

Barring that one instance three years ago my family, all five of us, would always make an annual trip out to South Dakota. For the first time ever neither I nor my brother Randy will be going. I have to stay here for work since we just secured a new client that we are working with and Randy is staying home because of his summer classes and internship.

When I wasn’t able to go a couple of years back it felt weird that my family was going without me. This time it also feels weird. Maybe it’s because it’s signaling the slow departure away from dependence upon, and unity with, my family and the start of my own full independence. Maybe it’s because I really could have used a vacation. Maybe it’s because I hate change. Maybe it’s because I know we’re all getting older and with it will soon come families of our own (me and my brothers, I mean). It’s probably all of them, but any way you slice it, I’m missing my family and being on vacation right now.

I could have really used the vacation too. I haven’t had a vacation since last year. I had planned on taking a trip to Chicago earlier this summer, but that had fallen through. I had also planned on taking a road trip at the end of August this year, but now it looks like I'll be knee deep in training sessions (teaching them) at work that week so I had to let that trip fall by the wayside as well.

What might make things even harder now is working with our new client at work since I know I probably won’t be able to take a very long vacation if I even get to take one period. We’ll have to see how it goes, but it’s looking like I’m going to be going vacationless for a little while yet, which makes me a little bit more irritable that usual.