Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Thinking Of You?

Ok, I was reading a post by Miss Hobby and that's when I thought about it. I come up with tons of ideas that I'll either forget, not have the ambition to pursue or think are idiotic 48 hours later. So, I'm only 30 minutes in so bear with me.

Women, in general, desire to be wanted and shown attention. Not all of them want to be put on a pedestal or see love declared to them via a megaphone during a football game. Just the idea that someone thinks they are special does amazing things for self esteem. Actually, there both genders could use positive reinforcement. But, for some people that are in that iffy stage of their relationship and need to feel inspired or wish to how the significant other reacts to competition... there is the secret admirer. This person seems to spread smiles and rushes of blood to the cheekbones a good 95% of the time (because some aren't exactly that secret and make the skin crawl.)

I was thinking about it and why not have a professional secret admirer? Feeling down? Want to elicit gossip in the workplace? Want to give someone special a hint that you might not be there forever as a 'good buddy'? Why not pay a minimal fee to a service that sends endearing or erotic email, cards or letters? For an extra charge, get gifts delivered to your workplace or home. Sure, you would know you are paying for it but sometimes just the anticipation of mail can be thrilling let alone something saying that you are being thought of. Heck, this could possibly even work as a means to send those real secret admirer letters and gifts anonymously.

Yup, probably another one I won't pursue.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Goin' Postal

I'm driving home from work and pull up to the house. There stands my mailbox with it's front open like an open mouth ready to spew my mail onto the sidewalk. During the last year, I've come home to this view about 6 different times. It's a relatively new mailbox so it should stay shut. This has me pretty worried since I tend to buy things on eBay often and get deliveries from record labels here and there. I actually had to report boxes missing to the post office before. Now that I'm not at home from 4pm to 2am, I can wind up leaving a veritable buffet of a full mailbox there for people to pick through for 10 hours.

I've talked to the mail lady and she has told me that she has a few on her route that put locks in the back of their mailboxes so when she drops off mail, she'll pop the lock on the outside and go. I like this idea, personally, but think that my luck would be that I'd lose a lot of locks to people finding them in the back of the mailbox in the morning. So, I've started to think about different types of mailboxes. Ones that lock, have enough room for some parcels and won't leave me broke. It's kind of driving me batty (yeah, I know... I wasn't far from it before was I?) The one in the picture? That's almost $500 so it's not going to happen. As I figure out this dilemma, I wonder how much you would pay to keep your mail safe?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving Thoughts

First off, I'd like to say that I'm very very thankful for my family and friends who are my secret source of support and strength. Sure, I have issues with needing to be self-sufficient but just knowing they are behind me makes that much more secure. On the lighter side, I'm also thankful for pumpkin pie as it is my favorite pie even though it's hard to find the rest of the year.

I've also been thinking about PETA's recent campaign outside children's schools. I'm actually not a really big turkey fan. I think of it as something to eat maybe 2 to 3 times a year unless ground up and used and a ground beef substitute. If you look at the link there above, you'll see what is being handed to children on their way to classes. I don't know about most parents but as protective as we are of what our children see and hear in schools (the Pledge of Allegiance, evolution and religion), why do we allow people to approach them with questionable material on their way to getting an education. Especially with something that tells the children to keep the pets away from Mommy and Daddy because they kill animals. If I had the time, I'm very tempted to find out where the next comic distribution is after the Thanksgiving break and hand the kids beef jerky with a smile before they get to class just to even things out.

My other thoughts are varied as I try to figure out how I'm going to survive work after getting my dose of L-Tryptophan at an early family dinner at grandma's house. I'm also thinking about any hardware stores that are open on Thanksgiving Day, starting my Christmas shopping and getting the Tucson registered. So much to do but I would like to take this moment to also say to you that I'm thankful for you and this special form of communication we have. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Life Update - 112205

I figured that it was time to update a few of my previous posts. After a long search and over $650 in auto rental fees, I have finally purchased a vehicle. Now, as you know, I was thinking of getting something older that I could avoid making payments on, something good on gas, something safe and something roomy. It was a hard choice but I got 3 out of 4. It's hard to drop down from an Isuzu Rodeo because in a smaller economy car you suddenly feel vulnerable. Heck, it's hard when you are used to looking over the little cars to be trying to look over the big ones. So I went with a 2006 Hyundai Tucson. I've never had a new car in my life. For some reason, I feel giddy as if I lost my virginity and want to tell the world. Well, maybe not tell the world but jumping-out-of-my skin-excited.

The new shift starts in about 2 1/2 hours and it should be interesting to see how they operate. Things change from early day to late night shift. I've heard it will be busy for awhile, slow for awhile and the odd calls from people needing condoms delivered to them. Emergencies happen, I guess. My major concerns will be how full the parking garage will be and getting off of work after midnight. I'm thinking of bringing some clothes with me so if I want to go have a beer before I go home, I can. Leaving work at 3pm and getting a beer made me feel like an alkie.

The neighbors have been pretty impressed with the letter (I should post that letter but I'll keep things timely) and we've all been talking about putting up those motion-sensor lights that I mentioned earlier. I've been looking at prices and talked to people about installing them... I think, I'll install mine if only to get it up in a timely fashion and it being there will urge their own done.

Lastly, remember my post about teachers and the age of consent? Well, I wanted to put a few good months in before I mentioned it again. My list there talked about then current cases against teachers. I was contacted by one person on the list and a childhood friend of one of the people on the list. Both wanted names removed as it seems you want to get rid of as much evidence of past indiscretions so some lives can start anew. I removed one because I wanted current U.S. cases and that case was in another country and resolved a year prior. The other stays because it imposes no guilt and only talks about cases, not convictions. But, this is a reminder for you to be aware that anyone might read or even respond to your postings.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

I Was Tagged... I Guess I'm It

I'm not good on passing things onto other people. (Why do I suddenly sound like the neurotic Richard Lewis?) Lora has tagged me to answer a few questions about myself. I'll own up to my responsibility and answer the questions but I am going to hold back on tagging anyone else. So here we go:

2 names you go by:
- Party (It's just something one of the guys from work started and it just rolled downhill from there.)
- Marten (I covered the confusion about this earlier but lets just say I may reply to mail with any spelling that I desire at the moment.)

2 parts of your heritage:
- Irish (The Hennessy name sticks out like a sore thumb whenever I get carded somewhere.)
- Cree (Ok, this area is up for much debate as the percentage if any is unreported. My late grandfather Gilliam McGillis was adopted by a nice American Indian family that lived on a reservation.)

2 things that scare you:
- The words "We need to talk." (Which essentially means: I'm telling you that something is wrong and I can't talk about it now so take the time to think of all the bad things you have done, will do or might have considered because they are all relevant you bastard.)
- Losing members of my immediate family. (I've been very lucky and/or blessed to have had healthy siblings, nephew/nieces and fairly healthy parents. I don't know how I'd deal with losing one of them and thinking about it freaks me out.)

2 everyday essentials:
- Kirkland Daily Multi-Vitamin and Omega-3. (I think it goes back to the horse pills my father used to have us choke down as kids but then again as mentioned above... we are pretty darn healthy.)
- I always place a tube of Blistex medicated chapstick in my left pocket every morning (I was really struggling with this question.)

2 fave bands/artists:

- Depeche Mode
- Skinny Puppy

2 favorite songs:
- The Chauffeur by Duran Duran (Something about the haunting melody played on the pan flute. Oh, and I am sparing you the rehash of the "I Like Rain" story.)
- The Power Of Love” by Frankie Goes To Hollywood (I've always gotten chills just hearing this song. Tremendous lyrics.)

2 things you want in a relationship (other than true love):
- This is a loaded question for someone with a breast fetish
- Personal growth. (Sometimes two plants that are put too close together get their roots entangled and one plant winds up killing the other... wait was this an optimistic question?)

2 favorite hobbies:

- Research (I love being given a problem and spending hours learning about why things are as they are, who recorded a song first or if someone is dead or Canadian.)
- Singing (Whether it's karaoke or in the car, nothing helps me leave my personal baggage on the floor than belting out a few notes of relatively obscure songs.)

2 things you want really badly:
- To know that a specific someone is having a great life and is without pain or suffering. (Sometimes what you want the most isn't the healthiest thing to achieve though.)
- For each individual person in my life to know their significant value to making me who I am.

2 places you want to go on vacation:
- The United Kingdom
- Australia

2 things you want to do before you die:
- Write a book
- Organize a charity event

2 ways in which you are a true guy:
- I pee standing upright.
- My aim isn't always the best.

2 things you are thinking about right now:
- The external hard drive that I put together that is sitting on my bed that needs to be installed and off my bed before I sleep.
- The motion-sensor light that I need to buy early tomorrow morning which is supposed to be installed sometime tomorrow by a neighbor's co-worker (who may not show up.)

2 stores you shop at:
- Best Buy (I'll know all the employees by name someday.)
- The 99 cent store (I don't know why but I find myself amazed walking through the rows of crap that I know is selling for a few pennies more somewhere else.)

2 people guaranteed to make you laugh:
- My brother Matthew
- Steven Wright (Something about his dry delivery and intellectual humor floors me.)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

They Paved Paradise

After 40 years of business, Las Vegas' Westward Ho closed their doors today at 5 p.m. The property was purchased recently by Centex Destination Properties with possible plans to place highrise condominiums on the Las Vegas Strip location.

Today, I started thinking about how much this city has changed. Not just the empty lots being filled or new homes pushing the borders of our burgeoning metropolis but the landmarks. One of my first jobs was at the Dunes hotel as a pool attendant (that was imploded to make room for the Bellagio.) I literally grew up in the middle of the Desert Inn Hotel & Casino's golf course on the tennis courts (that was replaced by the Wynn Hotel & Casino.) I played many tennis tournaments at the Sands Hotel (which is now the Venetian) and the Hacienda Hotel (now Mandalay Bay.) So many of those odd little places have been sentimentally pushed aside as anti-progress only to become the next big thing.

As I think about this, I think about the Westward Ho and its neighbor Slots-A-Fun. As in many cities, cruising your major local street is ritual on the weekend. They had set a curfew when I was graduating to cut down on the traffic. I can still picture what hotels went where in my head. Yet, I know that I won't stop stop thinking of those two hotels as the Wayward Ho and Sluts-R-Fun.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Delivery Room

I've been spending the last few months really confused about how long it is taking mail to get to me. I recently got a box from eBay that was sent out a month ago (really) which went out Media Mail meaning it'll take 8 to 9 business days. That is pretty nuts. This is after I started receiving some of my ads from Best Buy and Suncoast for big sales savings on (insert date here) weeks after.

I went to the post office two months ago to confront them about the late mail. I talked to the manager who said that this was happening often and it was a problem at the processing hub that she was assured would be fixed soon. That didn't happen. So, I caught my mailwoman dropping off a box for me yesterday and asked her about it. She reiterated to me the issue with the hub but added more info. The mail carriers have been overwhelmed and have been logging 10-hour days meaning 2 hours of overtime. The manager, trying to save their own butt, started hiding some of the mail that didn't need to go out right away to lighten the load and save on overtime. This backlog was happening more and more. Mail was being misplaced and wound up going out later than was acceptable and the complaints grew. She also told me that this person has been fired and the problem will be resolved. Today, I got my Best Buy coupons (10% off DVDs, home appliances, etc...) over a week early. Someone is finally earning their pay.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

A Change Can Do You Good

Yesterday, was a very busy day for me. I dropped off copies of the letter that I mentioned. It went well and we'll see how many calls I receive from the neighbors. I talked with the neighbor that was attacked and she is doing better.

Before heading home to do that, I made a big decision. I've worked nearly 12 years at my job at the same position. I have also always worked early shifts (7am-3pm and 8am-4pm.) But, it was in July of last year that I took some classes that would lead me to a new career. There are problems with the move:

  1. I wouldn't be paid at first and slowly paid more as I learn
  2. It also requires banker's hours (usually 9am-5pm)
  3. No benefits or insurance provided

Now, of course, those logically create issues. I took a step to helping with this a few months ago by applying for a HELOC (home equity line of credit) which I intend to have to help me through the tough early months. The hours would require a bit of a miracle as changing shifts is nearly impossible and the HELOC could actually put an big chunk of debt on my shoulders (as would buying insurance.) It was by luck that someone that quit had their shift up for bid. As people took shifts, one was left that was adjusted to a 5pm to 1am with Friday and Saturday off. I bit the bullet and took the shift. How this is going to mess up my sleeping habits, relationships with friends and girlfriend or work with the other job is pretty much unknown. I know that I'll be able to work both jobs for awhile if I really have to (which helps on the insurance and money issues.) Here's to hoping that I made a good decision.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Like A Good Neighbor...

I don't think that I'm the best neighbor. I know the families of 2 of the houses surrounding me pretty well but I'm going to fix that. I need to be a dependable person to those around me. I need to let them know that I'm there if they have an emergency or need assistance with something. I also need them to know that I'm expecting the same in return.

These changes begin this weekend as I'll be typing up a letter to 8 of the homes surrounding me. You see, on Friday night, Neighbor A (whom I don't know as well as I should) was attacked at her home. She's a young woman living by herself and upon driving up to her home, noticed some young boys walking by her house and proceeded to open her garage door. After parking her car inside and hitting the remote to close the door, she proceeded to step out of her car. The garage door stopped closing abruptly. The two boys had stepped into the garage and were pointing guns at her demanding her purse or her life. They ripped the purse so forcefully from her hand that it tore tendons in two fingers. They ran off and hopped into an unplated car parked down the street with two other boys. She was left screaming for help... but no one heard her. All 4 boys were caught after a high-speed chase. The guns were in the car (they had jumped out) but not the purse (gotta get rid of the evidence.) It seems this same thing had happened in the neighborhood before with shots fired that time.

I am not going to let this happen to myself or my neighbors again. I'm not going to create a neighborhood watch. I'm going to create a 'good neighbor contact list.' In wanting to be a better neighbor, I am going to give my cellphone number to each of them. I am hoping to gather numbers for all 8 of these homes so if someone needs emergency help, if someone sees someone suspicious while driving up or if someone leaves their garage door open without a car in it... a neighbor will help. If Neighbor A had a few phone numbers to call that night when she got that weird feeling about the boys outside her home, someone could have walked outside their home to make sure she got in safely. I believe this is a good way to instill trust in your neighbors and create a support system. The other major change that I'll be adopting is I'll be placing motion-sensor lights on the front of my house and that of another neighbor (if anyone else wants one, I'll help install them.) On stage, it is often said that a star is only as good as their supporting cast. I also believe a neighborhood is only as safe as their homeowners communication.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

On The Other Hand...

I was helping Kerry move into her new condo yesterday when I discovered a secret that many men don't talk about. (Sorry guys, but I'm going to let this one out.) I believe we have a third hand. I know what you are thinking and no, I haven't trained those muscles that well. If you think about it, men carry things differently than women. We both try to protect our sensitive protruding parts. You don't see women balancing heavy boxes on their chests when they move (unless they don't have anything there.) Likewise, you won't see men holding boxes against their groin (pointy edges.) But, you will see men use their third hand... their stomach. I noticed myself doing that here and there as things were being loaded and unloaded. I also recall seeing others do that at work. It's almost a little shelf when trying to hold a suitcase, desk or dresser in a certain position. Scary what goes through your head when you are moving stuff.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Spacing Out

Ok, not much for you here today. I have of course been busy typing up the newsletter (the usual Monday thing) and also got started with a MySpace account to keep tabs on some of those artists. You wouldn't know how hard it is to track down all the 80's artists and try to add them to your friends section. Kind of a pain but we'll see how that works out. Otherwise, my mother went to Sacramento for a second time to be with Nana during her surgery. The results are very promising and is reportedly "cancer-free." I'm cautious about that outlook but I'm just thankful she's the fighter she is.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Painting The Town Red

Mayor Oscar Goodman will always stand tall in Las Vegas for speaking his mind whether it gets him in trouble or not. Right now, it's undecided whether his comments about hacking the thumbs off vandals that have been spray-painting graffiti gang tags on the recent highway redevelopment project. (Wait, I don't see his thumb in that photo.) Although this is getting a lot of press, it hasn't been reported that Goodman talked about cutting off their hands last month during an interview on KXNT radio. The last time he got this much coverage was when he was doing a Q&A session with elementary school students. He said that one of his favorite hobbies was drinking and that the one thing that he'd want if stranded on a desert island would be a bottle of gin.

Although his words are extreme, something does have to be done about the vandalism of construction areas, billboards and public areas. Catching them is difficult but not enough is done when they are apprehended. Personally, if they are caught out past curfew doing this, I'd like to see them and their guardian spending the day repainting any of these areas. As a parent, your child shouldn't be out that late without your supervision and someone has to be responsible for their actions even if your child isn't old enough to be. I also think that everyone should know who you are as family honor seems to have disappeared in our culture. I know there are some people that believe this is a form of art. I worry about them. I see this as a growing town that is trying to beautify their highways, city streets and public buildings yet will have to put aside millions of dollars and hire people just to keep repainting these areas. Then again, I don't think people are ready for personal responsibility and they would rather use my tax dollars to clean up after someone else's hobby.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Just One Look

Do you have someone that you can communicate with just with facial movements? I was reminded of this the other day when visiting my brother. Matthew is almost 3 years younger than I am and is a successful loan officer. I stopped in to see him at work (I wanted to fax something and brought him a few burritos for lunch... it's just blocks from my house.) He is used to clients who are always stressed about getting in under deadlines prior to rate increases and are on edge about getting the loan. So I'm sitting in his office and someone calls about a upcoming conference. The "uh-huh," "I see" and "get it over with" looks were on his face. That is when we looked at each other. For some reason, just looking at Matt at the wrong time will cause us both to break into uncontrollable laughter.

I specifically remember sitting in our seats at St. Frances DeSales when we were kids. It was time for sacrament. I was sitting with my brother and sister to the left of my mother with my father on the far right. The chaplain raised his something in his hand (a cracker) and said "This is my body. Eat from it and..." That was about the time that I was looking at my brother and we started giggling. My father looked tersely at us and then came the raising of the cup, "This is blood. Drink from it and..." That was when we both lost it. I don't think that my father's arm could triple in length but at that moment it did as he smacked both of us in the back of the head. Dad stood up and dragged Matt to his right to keep him out of my view and the rest of the service was pretty silent.

I think back about that right now and I wonder. How often have you had a weird connection with a family member that you couldn't explain?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Halloween 2005

Ahhh, Halloween. It's over now but for just a few hours it was beautiful. As you can tell the house has changed and there is a bit more foliage in the entryway. The flash on the camera takes away from the two strobelights (you can see one in the photo without the flash on in the plants.) The little red light in the window is one of those fiery cauldrons. Also hidden in the bushes were a few sound boxes that work off remote control (up to 50 feet away) that make cat noises, screams and howls. I had my scary music with heavy bass playing in the living room with the window open and a CD player near the entry playing growling and howling noises. Oh, you can see the spiderwebs but can't see the bushes to the left where I put a human hand. Many people thought that I was going to jump out of the bushes. I also left the door partially shut so I could pull it open quickly for an extra scare.

Anyhow, no photo of me this time but I did the white pasty look with dark circles under my eyes and a goatee made of make-up. Maybe next year. Several children stood on that walkway and would not get any closer than a 4 feet from the door (they were young but I guess I looked scary.) I used the sound boxes to catch people on their way to the front door and on their way out. I had 3 people (between 14 to 16 years-old) jump back and fall on their butts in front of the door when I opened it. Not as much blood this year but it is amazing the panic that sound creates. At some point, I'd like to be able to shake the bushes and or pop out on the people but it's hard when you then have to go inside and get them candy. I've also come to the conclusion that I need to buy half cheap candy and half what I enjoy (usually Snickers.) This way if they come to the door not dressed for Halloween... yup candy corn or carmels. Dress up, Snickers.