August 2005 Archives

Busting mad rhymes

"It appears that the money has been moved in the President's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose thats the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees cant be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us."

-- Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana; New Orleans Times-Picayune, June 8, 2004.

Spread the news on menus nationwide, if you care. Seriously, as longtime readers know, I love hurricanes, but I'm amazingly depressed by everything I see in Biloxi, Gulfport, and NO. It takes a lot to elicit empathy from me. I love disaster and danger and destruction, but I'm not getting my normal thrill from this. Instead, I'm just sad. A lot of sad.

Meanwhile, shiat went down like CRAZY at rehearsal tonight. I was reprimanded for being a bad role model in my criticism of our "esteemed" director. I could go into details, but let's just say that if she wasn't off the deep end before, she is now, and this show is an embarassment that I'm ashamed to be taking my friends to it. While I know that I'll be great, and so will Stef, Darrel, Jeanine, and a few others -- but the lack of direction just has the entire show sloppy and we all know it. We haven't received one note on our performance in weeks. I'm quite sure the director isn't even watching the rehearsal.

I adore my new friend Stefani and I'm glad she stood up for what we need to put together the best show possible.

School tomorrow. Drinking vodka. Trusting in Rachel*'s judgment.

Dreams that suck

I love dreaming. I don't really have many dreams, so I really appreciate the liberation of my creativity that comes from dreaming. Even bad dreams I'm anxious to get back to because they're a wonderful narrative beyond the bounds of my own reality.Except last night I had one of the rare dreams in which I wake up and am glad to realize it was a dream.I was in a parking lot, presumably with the other cast members of Joseph because I was talking to my friend Jeanine. (kinky_carpet's mom.) Suddenly, a blonde-haired gunman resembling Jason Hervey (Wayne from The Wonder Years) opened fire on our crowd. I was in the line of fire, but I did a terrible thing; I swung Jeanine around so that a volley of bullets went right into her back. Yes, I used my friend as a human shield. I immediately felt a massive amount of guilt, and commandeered a Pontiac Sunbird from some cheerleaders in order to take Jeanine to the hospital.The car was about the biggest piece of trash ever, and couldn't go over 70. I kept asking Jeanine, sprawled out and bleeding in the back seat, if she was okay. She seemed to be, but I was convinced if I didn't keep her conscious she was going to die right there in the cheerleader's back seat.We finally arrived at the hospital, only to find a line for the emergency room. They handed me this little card to fill out with all the vitals they needed to know about Jeanine, except I didn't know any of them. The other people waiting for the emergency room had things like broken arms and the flu. I kept screaming, GUN SHOT VICTIM! GUN SHOT VICTIM! But none of the hospital employees seemed to care that my friend was dying right there in my arms. I remember feeling the greasy wetness of blood all over my body.Then I woke up.I am terrible at analyzing dreams, and usually think they are not as symbolic as people want them to be, but I am quite sure there is some massive amount of meaning in this one. So won't you tell poor old Pharaoh what this dream means?
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As if I wasn't depressed already

I fired up Word to do my syllabus, and, as always, opened my template syllabus since it doesn't really change that much from year to year.So there I go, highlighting "1999" at the top to edit it to "2005" and...Has it really been that long?Am I that old?This can't possibly be my seventh year teaching. I'm not that old. Please. It's a dream, right?
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Random thought

There is a man on first, a man on third, and there are no outs.

Batter hits a grounder to the third baseman. The third baseman thows out the batter. A run scores, and the runner at 1st goes to 2nd. It's a groundout, and the batter is awarded an RBI.

--

Same scenario, except the third baseman goes to second, relay to first, double play. The man on third scores, as he did before. Except this time the batter doesn't get an RBI.

Am I the only one who finds it bizarre that the fielder has a significant influence on whether the batter picks up an RBI or not? I understand not awarding RBIs when a runner scores due to an error, but to say that sacrificing one out is okay to get an RBI but two is verboten is amazingly arbitrary. Major League Baseball, I urge you to change this rule and allow hitters who ground into double plays (but drive home a runner) to earn an RBI.

Sto lat, sto lat

Happy birthday to someone I think rocks, Rachel*.
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My kind of humor

Courtesy plathposer in u_southfloridaActual, unretouched photo. BTW, if you didn't already, read my post from yesterday.
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Somethin' fishy here

According to gasticker:Gas prices in Toronto, Canada (in litres and CAN)August 25th, 2005 09:40 AM 85.5 cents per litre.855 CAN = .719 US3.785 litres = 1 gal THUSAn individual purchasing gas in Toronto is paying $2.72US a gallon.This is after the 21.7% combined GST/Provincial and 10c excise tax. Thus, going back (and using our algebra abilities):1.217x + 10 = 85.5 // pretax 62.038cCAN/litre == 1.97US/gal pretax.Meanwhile, gas is $2.699US/gal down the street from my house, at Shell. That includes:12.5c Pasco Co. tax16.3c FL tax18.4c Fed tax47.2c totalThus, pretax, gas costs $2.227US/gal.Either Canada is sourcing petroleum at a much lower cost per gallon (more than $.25US/gal!!) or US oil companies are pulling the biggest ripoff in human history over willing U.S. consumers.
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I can't stand to wait in line long

Megan has a recap of she and berrydip's trip to Florida, including an interesting photo of me looking about twelve years old and another one of Mouse looking fat as ever.
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But none as much as my want to be with you

So last night turned out phenomenally.

[info]berrydip and Megan found their way home from Bodies and while I dealt with rehearsal (which was really not much to write home about; crazy director is back on her depressed stage, it would seem) they made their way to Sarasota to see a college friend. Along with Jenn and her boyfriend, Chris, they started over to the L.A. Hangout where I was waiting. While wandering through the bar, talking to my friends and some other regulars, I wandered outside where I saw a gentleman my age lounging with a few others out on the patio. This particular gentleman was wearing the exact same hat as I happen to be wearing in this LJ icon.

"What year did you graduate?" (I've never been much for proper introductions.)
"1999, why?"
"Shit, man, I graduated '99 too. What major?"
"Bio."
"Ahh, I was journalism."

A girl across the table said, "My roommate was a journalism major, did you know Lisa Zamborsky?" Ahh, yes, the infamous Lisa Colbert nee Zamborsky. One of my first friends in the broadcast news circuit over at good ol' WOUB, where I cut my teeth on the hard-breaking news of the tristate area. Indeed, I knew Lisa, and was with her the night I was arrested, of all things.

Turns out girl-across-the-table was Ohio Hat Guy's girlfriend, and they, with the other people at the table, were all doctoral students in Biology at USF. So I tried some name-dropping of my own, and of course they knew my old friend Shannon, who was the first person I met after moving here, and the girl through whom I met Dave, [info]tinafizz, and all my other friends with whom I roll the streets of the TPA night after night. So we regaled ourselves with Shannon stories and I calmly observed the impending total collision of pretty much every aspect of my life, right there on the patio of the L.A. Hangout.

My crew arrived for their first taste of the Hangout and I bid my farewells to my fellow Bobcats. We went inside, where my buddy Alex insisted on picking up the tab for our first round, provided with the usual expertise by Miss Leslie. We made our way over to the tables where the other eight members of my Tampa bloc sat, frustrated with my tardy arrival to Abused News. We had a #1 national ranking to defend, after all.

While doing our introductions and while I bounced from table to table frantically emulating an addict of Colombia's two cash crops, Leslie arrived and began setting up a massive pour that culminated in near-perfection, given the poor lighting conditions of that corner of the Hangout. My friends adored her immediately. And, yeah, we took #1 again.

Another round of shots arrived, Les popped in and out to visit, and the girls got a few more drinks, returning amazed and impressed with their first glimpse of the world of flair bartending. I'm hoping the experience was a good one for Jenn, and she comes out there more often, because I really do love hanging out with her... she just doesn't come out that much. For once, I like one of her boyfriends, and they're fun people.

We left quickly and unceremoniously as Megan was pretty drunk and it marked my earliest exit from the Hangout in months. And I've skimmed over the best parts of the evening, but, really, this post was intended to really pronounce how fabulous Les was last night in taking care of my friends and I. And, yeah, I know you read this, so if you get here before I can tell you in person, thanks for everything. You're about my favorite person alive right now, and I think the world of you.

oh, also, our water problem here in the house is fixed. after three months of misery, i can finally take a shower without worrying the water will mysteriously stop halfway through shaving.
Current Mood: happy

two tickets to paradise

Fifteen minutes.That's all I'm asking for.Fifteen minutes of my own time to think and calm down and let this runaway train of a life get itself back in order.Fifteen minutes. Is that too much to ask?I swear, everyone, I will catch back up with your posts, regardless of how far back, and everyone who blogs, I will catch up too. Things are just running at a pace far beyond the comprehension of my addled brain.Fifteen minutes. It might not come for a year, but I will yearn for those fifteen minutes for a lifetime.
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Payback's a bitch.

http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050816/NEWS24/50816002

Bernie Noe made my family's life a living hell for more than a year. Seeing her face splashed across the front page of the newspaper (and on a consistent basis) appeals greatly to my vindictive spirit and I wish nothing more than to see her ass rot in state prison.

Some day I'll grow up.

So, friends, I've been away for some time. It's summer, of course, and thus the more time spent out of the house (or otherwise occupied while within it) the better -- in theory. It doesn't always work out that way.

Thursday night I had the best dinner I've had since moving to Tampa and not just because the food was fabulous. It was just a really nice evening in general -- and that's probably an understatement -- but I won't go into details.

My director went berserk Friday night. In the progression of a four-hour rehearsal, she managed to change two of our major dances because she "saw something in a dream." Of course, the music was different in her dream, so we had to change that, too; and throughout the rehearsal she screamed and screamed because we "weren't doing it right! LISTEN TO ME!" Of course, when we tried, her direction was vague and always coupled with "...I think that's how I saw it." Batshiat crazy, the woman is.

In any case, I desperately needed a drink after rehearsal, and knew precisely what I wanted; to find Les and order two bottles of Bud Select, a shot of Maker's Mark, and a pint glass into which the previous would be poured. I couldn't stay long; I had to be in Brandon (not even Brandon, more like BFE Brandon) to pick this girl up at seven so we could be in Winter Park by nine.

Of course, I arrived at the Hangout and the place was packed to the proverbial gills and I said "screw it" and drove home.

Part two coming soon. The house is a wreck, and I want to clean it up before Jenn gets home.
Current Mood: determined

That's what they invented music for

So last night I endured two hours of screaming on the part of my director. The woman, seriously, has massive issues. She spent ten minutes screaming about how horrible we are instead of simply saying, "look. this is what i want you to do." Of course, we never have any idea what she wants us to do, as she changes every scene, every night.



1. Most plays rehearse a scene at a time, running it until it's perfect, then moving on to another scene. We have never done that. Every rehearsal, from day one, has been a complete run of the show.

2. We have giant 10-foot flats arranged onto triangular wagons. There are hanging mics in the center of the stage, and the flats get caught up in the mics every time they get moved (which is for every scene). This is with the lights on. How the director expects us to move these flats and not catch them on the mics IN BLACKOUT is beyond me.

3. Yes, actors move the flats. We have no stagehands.

4. Few if any scenes have been directed the same from one night to the next. This is really the key problem to the entire show. The director sees us doing something wrong, yells, "STOP" and begins the screaming. Most of us are a little afraid of her, as she's constantly threatening to throw people out, but seeing as how I've kind of become a fairly integral part of the show, I'm going to start standing up to her -- if only because I think it's about the worst thing in the world to scream at 14-year-olds who are volunteering to be in your show. She actually told us, last night, that "On a scale of one to ten, you people are a -1."

5. I really believed in theatre for a long time. While I abandoned my actual major, I still worked as an actor in some sort for much of my life. After five years away, I was so excited to get back to acting. This performance has been such a massive frustration because of these and other factors (the bulk of the cast are high school kids who NEVER SHUT UP. I complain about the director a lot, but the cast is certainly to blame quite a bit).

6. Despite my attempts, the boys playing Joseph's brothers continue to sing either an octave too high or an octave too low.

7. This isn't really a frustration, but last night I had to audition girls who want to dance this ballet portion of one of the songs. I was selected (unilaterally) to be the dance partner, because I was the only brother who had any dance experience whatsoever. So for about an hour, I was lifting these six girls over and over. I worked out yesterday so it was a bit tiring. The frustration is in that I learned these moves with which to audition the girls (all of whom are like 14 and, thankfully, about 120 pounds) but then finding that the actual dance will be entirely different. The girl who choreographed the audition is a) 18 b) hot and c) going to an art academy for dance. Alas, she leaves for school in a week so she won't be here. Now, I understand the theatre, and I really am over the idea of doing an erotic dance with a 14-year-old already. It's dance. It's what we do. But seriously.



Last night I left rehearsal and headed to the Hangout. Didn't even play any trivia, but caught up with some friends and sang some karaoke. Drank some beers, BSed, belted some George Strait. At one point Les grabbed me and pulled me up to dance to this slow Toby Keith song. I haven't really slow-danced in a while, with anyone, and it was a very nice moment. I'm still not really learning to shut up, and it's about the most hypocritical part of me. I spend semesters lecturing to students about becoming comfortable with silence and yet I'm always filling in the gap. Sometimes you just have to shut the hell up and enjoy the moment. I really am going to try and work on this.

A reminder

Not that you haven't heard it from me a million times already, but if you live anywhere near here, please:a) make plans to attend March of the Kitefliers this weekend (or next). b) DO NOT READ the Weekly Planet review of said show. It gives away basically the entire show. c) Give your props to spprs and gonzonia who wrote such an amazing show, directed by trufflesfl. I know I'm getting on your nerves about this, but seriously. GO. And bring friends. They'll love you for it. This is what theatre ought to be; this is why I'm making my way back to acting; this is what art is all about.
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Why music downloading works

So I found two files on my server dump directory that I didn't recognize. Both were mp3s by someone named "Miranda Lambert." I burned them to a CD of random files (I do that sometime) and listened to it on the way to New Port Richey Saturday morning. I was immediately in love. I torrentspy-ed her album, and I've been listening to it on repeat all morning today. I'll be buying her record the first chance I have.It turns out she was a finalist on some country version of American Idol, but she's way, way better than anyone I've ever seen on any of those shows. Her record, Kerosene, is quality from start to finish. It might bring me back to loving country music. Maybe?Anyway, her website is, not surprisingly, http://www.mirandalambert.com ... check her out, even if you don't like country music. Track 1, also titled Kerosene, is kick-ass. Of course, I checked her tour schedule... nowhere near Florida. This place sucks ass for national bands, but at least we have some sweet-ass local ones.Oh, and about yesterday; I decided I'm just going to spend the night in Orlando and say "fuck it." Work is work. And Duke is Duke; they're on tv more than Leave it to Beaver... reruns...Time to go work out.
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Advice time

So a few weeks ago I went and applied at Princeton Review to teach test prep. I have pretty high ACT, GRE, and LSAT scores because I'm good at taking tests, so I thought I'd use one of my more obscure and useless (I hate our reliance on standardized tests) skills to make some money.They hired me instantly but their first few training weekends conflicted with my trips home for my pop's retirement party, et cetera. Finally they have some weekends I can work with; Saturday and Sunday of this coming weekend and Saturday and Sunday of the weekend two weeks from now. These are 9-6 days and pay the princely sum of minimum wage. Yes, for the first time since I was 14, I will be making minimum wage. Of course, they promise that the pay goes up after training, but not as much as it does for Princeton Review's competitor, Kaplan, whom I'm really wishing I'd gone to in the first place. Why? Because I received an email today from my supervisor, informing me this weekend's training was moved to Orlando....which is an hour and a half away, at BEST. 2-3 hours if the traffic is bad (which it won't be at 7am, but still -- if I have to leave the house at 7am, I have to be up at 6:30 minimum, and I'm usually getting home around that time on Fridays). Not to mention tinafizz's plans for poker Saturday night (I would get home at 8:00pm most likely) and...anyway, I am just looking to make some extra money, but this whole training rigamaroll (sp?) is such a huge pain in the ass, and now they want me to drive to ORLANDO for training that pays MINIMUM WAGE? To their credit, they are offering me a mileage compensation and $5 a meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Ooooh, five bucks. My supervisor is trying to get someone else from tampa to catch a ride with me, and stay with "someone i know" in Orlando. Funny. I don't know anyone in Orlando, nor would I stay the night anyway because I have to be back here for Saturday night. Either way, it's a bunch of shit, and I am forced at this moment to a) reply back that I can do it, but have to drive separately, as I have previous obligations here b) say "fuck it" and reply back that I can't justify driving that far for minimum wage or c) realize i need a job and abandon my social life for work.Of course, this is an hour after developing the philosophy that we all ought to work only as much as is necessary to maintain a living, as work is time we can't spend with friends. I think spending time with friends is the pinnacle of human existence and ought to be what we strive for in every aspect of our lives.I'm open to ideas. I'm going to reply to her either before I leave for rehearsal tonight or on my way back via my mobile.
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best ytmnd ever

http://indy.ytmnd.com/Seriously, that is the most ingenius audioedit ever.Last night I attended March of the Kitefliers at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. If you live in Tampa, or anywhere nearby, I have to demand you attend a performance over the next two weeks. It's one of the best plays I've ever seen, and it's locally produced and written (by gonzonia and spprs no less). It's phenomenal, touching, and hilarious to no end. Wow, wow. Really, go if you can. Met Tommy from Sticks of Fire and his wife. Really cool people. Afterward, bowling with Les, Charles, and tinafizz and then the Hangout. A good night in general.No, really, go see March of the Kitefliers. You will laugh your ass off.
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Yahtzee has a better name than it deserves

So here is my recommendation for Hollywood:Make a new Fletch movie (already planned)Hire Ryan Reynolds to play FletchI do believe Ryan Reynolds could be as good or better than Chevy Chase was. He looks like him. He acts like him. He's probably the funniest man in Hollywood. If I could wave my hand and make anything in the world happen, it would be a new Fletch film starring Ryan Reynolds. Well, no, I'd do something else first. Then Fletch. And Ryan Reynolds.Yesterday I was in New Port Richey at 8:30am, exhausted, eating doughnuts and drinking coffee. I painted and drilled and hammered and told dirty jokes with the other men in our cast and the husbands of women in the show who are like 70 and have been building sets at the Richey Suncoast for 20 years. It was fun, easily the most fun I've ever had in that place. While I was there, I was reminded of an old feature I used to have on a long-past website: the inadvertent sexual comment of the day. So I created a community for it: usco. You all should join and post your unintentionally sexual comments. I kicked us off. Anyway, I was there until 2 or so. Came home, talked to Les, took a nap and a shower (I was covered in paint), played Donkey Kong Country for a few hours, went to Beef's with tinafizz and Charles, played trivia, ate a godawful grouper sandwich, and bummed over to the Hangout.It's a gorgeous day. I think I'm gonna go lay out for a little while.
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Phone Post


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Some observations

It is an odd juxtaposition to work out for an hour, get loads of testosterone flowing through my body, then come home and do my nails.While I was working out, someone set the TV to BET. Now, I don't watch much BET. I don't watch any BET. I have a pretty boring TV schedule, actually: 11pm-9am Cartoon Network, 9am-5pm CNBC, 5pm-6:30pm ESPN, 6:30pm NBC, and then I'm out of the house. Of course, I don't sit and watch tv all those times, i'm just saying that if i'm in the room, that's what's on the TV. So this spot for Faze 2 Lounge comes on while I'm doing some vert situps. I notice that throughout the ad, which promises the club delivers "the phattest ghetto beats," the address of the club is spelled wrong. The club is on Busch Boulevard. The TV spot spells it "Bush." Now, I am not sure how a locally-produced cable TV ad could make that kind of mistake, or how the owners of Faze 2 could let a spot on the air that has that egregious an error, but it really sapped my faith in humanity for a minute or two.Then again, as Rachel* can attest, there's a little something off about that place to begin with.Also, never wear glasses instead of contacts when getting a haircut. My hair has been butchered beyond belief and I couldn't even watch it happen.
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Sometimes I cry

http://www.cleveland.com/schultz/index.ssf?/base/living/112314795736070.xml&coll=2&thispage=1

I pride myself on being a fairly stoic person when it comes to negative emotions. Yeah, I get pissy from time to time, but most of the time it's all performance, not actual reflection of emotion. We wear the mask that grins and lies, after all.

But today, well, today I'm crying. I'm crying because I'm a selfish ass who loves his home state and can't believe her citizens continue to vote for a President whose policies have done nothing but hurt them. I cry because I'm not open-minded enough to understand the mindset of a town that has lost dozens of residents in multiple attacks in Iraq, yet fosters this kind of response:

"I was checking on my reenlistment paperwork when I heard they'd been killed," Morgan said. "I know if I reenlist, I'm going to Iraq. I don't care. I need to be there. I should have been there, with them, when this happened." His brothers, 19-year-old twins James and Ryan, have joined the Marines. One is at boot camp. The other will leave for boot camp later this month. Morgan's mother says she prays that she won't lose all three sons.

I'm crying because I'm hateful when that's the one emotion of which I'm trying to eradicate the world. I'm crying because I'm not doing a damn thing about it. (I'm also crying because I have a piece of dust in my eye and it's been there since last night.)

Yeah, I know.

I know I promised a story. I know I promised big news. (Okay, the big news is that I won a poetry competition and tickets to this Sunday afternoon so if you aren't busy and want to go, hit me up, because I haven't a soul to go with.)The problem is, as you'll recall (perhaps) I wrote on 19 February 2005 onto a programme for karmaconniption's performance of The Vagina Monologues, while standing in front of a urinal at the LA Hangout:"Never write a story until the story's finished. If it's worth writing, you don't have the time to be writing."Or something like that. Anyway, I violated my #1 rule, and now it's come around to fuck me royally. I assure you, it's just taking me a long time to finish the post. It's being constructed in the Semagic LJ client. Regardless, I am reminded of Chuckie Miller (Seth Green)'s quotation from the 80s' greatest film, Can't Buy Me Love:"You took him from geek status, to king status, to no status."And a meme from tinafizz1. What is your current ringtone?ESPN's Baseball Tonight theme. Same ringtone I've had for about three years, since I programmed it in.2. What is your current wallpaper?Mobiles have wallpaper? Mine doesn't. It's four years old.3. Do you own a picture phone?nope4. If so, what was the last picture you took?i will ignore this5. Go to your text message inbox and type what the 10th message says:Follow me everything is all right6. How many contacts do you have on your phone?1997. Go to your missed calls. 5th missed call...who is it?No idea. Someone who's not one of my contacts. #6 is thatsmyjew. 8. Who was the last person you spoke to on your cell phone?berrydip. Before that, sickdogg.9. What service do you have?T-Immobile10. At this very moment, how many bars do you have for your service battery?three? or is this a signal question? in which case it's zero, as my service sucks ass out here.11. Who’s on your speed dial number 5?I'm not aware i have that function12. Do you have voicemail?Yes13. How many contacts that start with the letter D do you have:Nineteen14. Who do you call the most???My parents15. How many text messages do you get a month?50 or so.16. Can you send pictures?nope17. What are the last 4 digits to your number?742318. Go to your sent texts, what does the eighth one say?I SEE SETH BOSTLEMANS EVERYWHERE OMG ATTACK OF THE CLONES19. What about the 15th?My phone doesn't keep that many20. Who’s the last person that you called?Mom22. Last person that texted you?The service that sends me my horoscope. Before that, berrydip. 23. Last person you added to your contacts?Rachel*.24. How many minutes are on your plan?who knows, i never use them all25. Do you like your phone?obviously, i've had it for four years even though I could have upgraded long, long ago.
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Happy anniversary

Around this time of day exactly one year ago, I entered this household for the first time and became a Florida resident. While I don't have the time to pontificate further on this milestone, I promise to do so tomorrow.Also, I have a very major announcement for y'all. I'll write about it later. For now, feel free to speculate in comments about what this new development is.
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    This page is an archive of entries from August 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

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