Posted on March 24th, 2019
After a week of sunshine, of course it's raining on my birthday weekend. But I'm not complaining... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Change. This is my first birthday without my mom. It's also my first birthday without one of my oldest friends. I thought I would be overwhelmed with sadness, but I just feel numb. I guess you reach that point in your life when your friends and family start to go and that's just the way it is. You can either trudge on in life and make the best of what you have left... or you give in to the sadness and stop living altogether. I'm trying for the former. And if being temporarily numb to everything is what it takes, then I guess you do what you gotta do. For five decades death was a rare event for me and I suppose I'm thankful for that. Now that I'm on the back-end of my life, that's changing. I'm doing my best to accept this new reality. I'm doing my best to find new ways to be happy. I'm doing my best to keep doing my best every day. It's the least I can do to honor those I care about who aren't here any more. Life shouldn't be wasted on the living.
• Anti-Social! Stepping away from social media after having been completely submerged in social media is a weird place to be. The majority of my friends don't live anywhere near me, so things like Facebook are how we keep in touch. What I've learned these past weeks of being anti-social is this: Being in constant contact with people conditions you to take them for granted. It's a sobering realization, and something I am vowing not to forget. When I return to my social media life next week (or whenever), it's not going to be like it was. I want contact with friends to be meaningful and engaging... not empty and boring. Maybe posting less... reading less... doing less... will make my online relationships special again. Like they were back when we were all blogging. Or so I can hope.
• Dana! One of my all-time favorite shows was Sports Night, the brainchild of Aaron Sorkin (who would go on to create The West Wing). It was incredibly good television that I became obsessed with. A big reason for that was Dana Whitaker, played by Felicity Huffman. The same Felicity Huffman who is currently embroiled in a college admissions scandal. Apparently she paid a bunch of bribe money to have her daughter's SAT scores improved, thus paving her way to college acceptance. I am sure this will be spun into a heartwarming story showing the lengths a mother is willing to go to help her child... but fuck that. Her money already provided a life of unimaginable privilege for her kids. But she felt the need to shove somebody aside who actually worked hard to earn their SAT score? This is a shining example of everything wrong with this country (and the world in general). If you have money, you get to do whatever the fuck you want. Well... hopefully not this time. Hopefully, if she's found guilty, she goes to jail. How else is she going to learn?
• Dumbfuckery! Of course, not all parents learn anything from a tough lesson. Take this story, for example: It Took Two Months and Nearly a Million Dollars to Save an Unvaccinated 6-Year-Old From Tetanus. The key takeaway from the story is in the last paragraph... "The story ends mostly happily for the boy. A month later, he was completely back to normal, running and using his bike again. But it seems no lessons were learned on his family’s part. Despite the brutal ordeal and pleading by the doctors, they again chose not to vaccinate him for tetanus or any other diseases." At what point do child endangerment laws kick in? After I was run over by a shuttle van in France and arrived home, the first thing my doctor asked me after saying I fractured a rib was "Are you current on your tetanus vaccination?" When I said "I don't think so," he laid out a horrifying picture of what death by tetanus is like. It wasn't pretty. Why anybody would risk their kid's life with such a horrendous fate escapes me. Thank you, Jenny McCarthy.
• Inappropriate! It is so wrong that I nearly peed myself watching this clip?
Probably. But that's some funny shit right there.
• Off! And now I'm loading up my car for a trip over the mountains to spend my birthday with friends. I've had enough of being numb for a little while.
The End. THE END!
Posted on March 24th, 2014
When I learned that there was a new Hard Rock in Glasgow, my idea was to fly into Edinburgh (my favorite city on earth) and hop over and back for a quick visit. But when it came time to book my tickets, I realized that this was a risky prospect. Odds are I'd arrive in Edinburgh and never leave. So I decided to fly into Glasgow after all.
But there was no way I was going to pass on the opportunity to spend my birthday in the one place I love more than any other. No way at all. And so I took a 50-minute train ride across Scotland just because I can. But, before I go... an egg and fire-roasted tomato sandwich from Pret-A-Manger (my favorite breakfast on earth)...
Because the weather was so amazing,* I decided to do something I've always wanted to do when visiting Edinburgh: climb the extinct volcano there (named "Arthur's Seat") so I could look out over the city...
The panorama view is pretty incredible (click to embiggen)...
I had photographed the city to death on my last trip here back in 2009, but I just can't help myself when it comes to the majestic old buildings, so I ended up taking a boat-load of new photos...
Since I've been to Edinburgh many times, I'm always looking for something new to see and do. This trip, that ended up being a visit to Camera Obscura. It's a kind of museum filled with optical oddities and illusions...
Which is all well and good, but the main attraction for me was the rooftop view...
And, yes, as the name implies, there is indeed a camera obscura at Camera Obscura. It's an old-school attraction that was probably a lot more impressive back in the day... but it was still interesting since I had never seen one before (you can read all about the device at Wikipedia). Basically, a lens on the roof of the building captures light and beams it down onto a big white table in a darkened room. Everybody stands around this circular "screen" as the operator pans around the city while pointing out things of interest.
Not wanting to ride the train back to Glasgow during rush hour, I said goodbye to my beloved Edinburgh after all too short a visit...
Once back in Glasgow, I rushed out to the famous Kelvingrove Museum so I could take a look before it closed. Part art gallery and part natural history exhibit, it was well worth the effort...
Across the parking lot (and a creek) is the University of Glasgow. I wandered up to take a look before heading back downtown for dinner...
After a quick dinner (and a nap) I headed to George Square to try and get some photos without tons of people around. The beautiful Apple Store was on the way...
And that was that for my short visit to Scotland. I leave tomorrow morning on a very early flight, so off to bed I go.
*Dear Apple... while I love Siri, and use this miraculous feature often on my iPhone, there are times I have to wonder just how idiotic technology can be. I am in SCOTLAND. My iPhone is LOCATION AWARE. I am asking what the weather is like IN EDINBURGH. But I am given locations in the USA? Oh well... I'll just clarify that I mean the Edinburgh IN SCOTLAND then...
Nope. No matter how I pronounce it, Edinburgh is not in Scotland. Holy crap does this make Siri look like a fucking moron.
Posted on March 24th, 2013
It may be my birthday, but that's no excuse to skip blogging... because Bullet Sunday starts now...
• Thanks! To the many, many people who sent such kind birthday wishes via Facebook, Twitter, email, and blog comments... thank you from the bottom of my heart. It really does mean a lot to me that people take the time to say such nice things, and I was smiling all day long as I checked my iPhone for new messages. Here's to surviving another year.
• Winning! For anybody just dying to know how my gambling bout ended today, I came out $324.35 ahead. The $77 from yesterday (which I spent $60 winning) was gone within the first hour. I was going to stop, but then remembered that I got "Player Points" (or whatever) for my birthday which netted me $20. I rolled the $20 into penny slots for about an hour and built myself up to $105. From there I went to dollar slots and amassed $385.35 in winnings pretty quickly (20 minutes tops). I wasn't having much fun anymore, so I stopped. Subtract the $60 I spent gambling yesterday, and it's $324.35 of cream. Which paid for my very nice hotel room (on special) and most of my dining expenses. Which means I basically had a free weekend at the casino with friends for my birthday. Can't really complain about that.
• Cleansed! Well, okay, I can complain about one thing... the "Fiesta Breakfast Burrito" (hold the sausage) that I had this morning. Within a half-hour of eating it, my insides felt as though they had been run through a food processor, and it took a steady diet of Imodium all damn day to keep my ass from exploding. Not the best way to spend a birthday, to be sure... but it was awfully tasty going down, so there's that.
And in other news...
• Response! I remain completely dumbfounded that it took a 16-year-old girl being raped in Steubenville for some people to understand that having sex with a woman who is passed out is considered rape, and that rape is wrong. I am even more dumbfounded that a video like this is necessary to explain how guys should act when they come across the situation...
Yes... the answer is NOT TO RAPE THEM. Holy crap. THIS is the society we live in now?
Until next week...
Posted on July 6th, 2011
I've been mostly out of touch for the past several days, which is what happens when you spend every waking minute trying to get caught up with work before leaving for a week.
So I can then get behind all over again.
Two of my favorite lovely ladies in the blogosphere are celebrating milestone birthdays!
Becky turned 40 yesterday! I first met Becky at TequilaCon 2008 in Philadelphia. Since then we've bumped into each other at blogging events such as Avitaween and ConFab (where I learned that Becky packs a knife, and will totally cut a bitch for reals). By the time we first met that fateful day in May, I had already known Becky for months (thanks to the power of the internet) and thought she was awesome. But her online awesomeness pales when compared to her in-person awesomeness. Meeting Becky is not just a happening, it's an event. An experience. You fall in love with her instantly and become insanely jealous when she's talking to somebody who's not you. Despite turning you into a psychotic stalker, I highly recommend The Becky Experience if you even have the opportunity.
CRAZY-ASS BECKY TRIVIA MOMENT! For years on the internet, Becky was known as "Hello Haha Narf." When she first started appearing, I remember people asking me what in the hell that meant. I told them I didn't know. But the truth is I really did. Pinky and the Brain is one of the greatest cartoons ever made, so of course I know that "Hello Haha Narf" was how Pinky started his letter to Santa in the Christmas episode. To this day I have no idea why I lied. Maybe because I thought it was Becky's story to tell. Maybe because I liked the idea that I knew something about Becky other people didn't. Maybe I thought it was funny. Or maybe in addition to turning you into a psychotic stalker, Becky also turns you into a lying liar who lies. The world may never know.
Suebob turns 50 today! Unfortunately, I haven't met Suebob in person yet. I came really close in 2007 when she was going to come to Dave L.A. but didn't for some reason. Probably because after she said she was planning on coming, she took a minute to actually read my blog and decided for her personal safety and sanity that she shouldn't. And that's okay. I totally understand. If I read the crazy crap I write on Blogography, I would be afraid to meet me too. So no hard feelings. You go ahead and have a happy birthday, Suebob, and try not to think of me sitting at Lucky Strike sobbing quietly while asking everyone that passes "Where is Suebob? Have you seen Suebob?" Because I will be okay. Eventually. =sniff!= For the past 50 days, Suebob has been featuring charities on her blog where people can make a donation in lieu of a present (including my favorite charity). They are worthy organizations all, so please drop by and donate to somebody on her list if you have a few bucks to spare.
CRAZY-ASS SUEBOB TRIVIA MOMENT! Suebob's blog is called The Red Stapler. I actually have a red stapler at work! It's a beautiful Swingline 747 stapler that I bought way back in 2002 and it still operates perfectly today. I think Swingline made red staplers specifically because Milton had one in Office Space, and it looked so cool that everybody wanted one. At least I know I did... but I had to wait three years before I could buy one.
Happiest of birthdays to you both!
Posted on March 25th, 2011
I don't celebrate my birthday, which is part of the reason I like leaving the country every year... it's a lot harder for your friends and family to throw a party or make a big deal over it when you're not around. That being said, the outpouring of birthday wishes from everybody is such a wonderful thing that I wish it could be my birthday every day! It's hard not to be happy when your email in-box, text messages, Facebook, and Twitter are jam-packed with well-wishers wanting to congratulate you on surviving another year. My hetero-life-partner even wrote a blog post for my birthday which, considering he almost never blogs anymore, was a really great end to an amazing day.
Which, oddly enough, was 31 hours long, since I started the 24th in London (7 hours ahead) and flew home to re-live a big chunk of my day all over again. I guess if it can't be your birthday every day, crossing time zones to make the one day you get last longer is the next best thing.
The flight home was somewhat torturous thanks to The Most Boring Man In The Universe sitting in the seat behind me. Seriously, this bastard rambled non-stop for nine-hours-and-twenty-minutes, loudly (LOUDLY) going on and on about mundane shit that even my iPod at full volume could not obliterate. Since he had an English accent, it was if I were trapped in the most horrifyingly boring documentary ever. I still have no idea how the poor person he was talking to the entire time kept from killing herself. I would have dashed my brains out on the seat-back tray after the first hour.
Coming back the USA was about as painless as it's ever been. I used to loathe going through border control and customs because the agents were always such assholes. But they truly have been improving over the past couple years, which makes foreign travel so much nicer. It's as if they knew people hated them and their hostile, shitty attitudes and decided to try being more pleasant. This time, I actually felt welcomed back to my own country, which would have been impossible for me to even dream of just five years ago. Having to wait less than ten minutes in line was also a nice bonus... especially after having suffered through Heathrow's 25-minute wait at border control twice. You'd think that one of the world's busiest airports could have more than two measly desks open for plane-loads of passengers, but apparently they just don't give a fuck. I kept looking for the sign saying VISIT THE UNITED KINGDOM AT YOUR PERIL, YOU FILTHY FOREIGN BASTARDS! But, being British, they're much more subtle about it. They just make you suffer a long wait in silence to show their disdain for your existence and their contempt at your desire to set foot on their soil.
But at least I didn't have to give my fingerprints, retina scan, and a stool sample like foreigners visiting these United States of America. I guess that's something.
My birthday also happens to be the birthday of Mac OS X, which turned ten years old yesterday! It's odd how Apple's OS is so young, but seems to have been around forever. I usually celebrate the occasion by booting up an antique Macintosh running an old, old, old version of Mac OS, just so I can appreciate how far we've come. The problem is that last year when I did this I actually came across some old features that I miss in the "modern" OS, so I'll probably skip this year. Nothing quite so sad as longing for technology advances from twenty years ago. What I wouldn't give to have each of my fucking folder windows remember their fucking Finder view selection and fucking sorting preference every fucking time I fucking open them... but, alas, that's only possible with technology from fucking 1990. Nothing like taking giant steps backwards as you head into the future, eh Apple?
And now I get ready to face my Friday, knowing full-well that there will be no Matt & Kim concert at the end of it. It's times like this I wonder how I manage to go on day after day, but I've got another birthday coming up next year where people will (hopefully) take the time to once again send happy thoughts my way... so I'll just hang on to that for the next 365 days* and see where that gets me.
*Usually, I'd be waiting 364 days, but 2012 is a leap year, giving me a whole extra day before my next birthday. How much does that suck? Thanks a lot crappy flawed Julian calendar system!
Posted on February 24th, 2010
Despite feeling pretty sick most of the day, I somehow managed to get a lot of work done. The problem is that the effort completely wiped me out, which is why I came home and slept from 5:00 to midnight. Now my sleep schedule is going to be screwed up, which is a difficult thing to do when you only sleep four-and-a-half hours each night. But no worries, I'm sure it will all get straightened out... just in time for my upcoming trip to Europe when it can get all messed up again.
Assuming I get my travel plans straightened out.
This will be my eleventh year of taking a "birthday vacation" to somewhere I've never been before...
And here we are as I scramble to get something put together for this year's trip. Some of the details are in place (I know where I will be on my actual birthday, for example). But everything else... from transportation to hotels... is a big question mark at this point. Since I leave in three weeks, I suppose I'd better get it figured out.
Fortunately, I am now wide-awake at 2:30am, so I can get to work.
If only I could get motivated to actually do it.
Posted on November 4th, 2009
I'm working today and don't have much time to blog. Fortunately, mah BFF Hilly-Sue has rescued me for blogging material by being born on this date. All hail the Queen of the People's Republic of Blogistan on her birthday!
I need a taco salad...
Posted on September 1st, 2009
I'm not here today because I was at Cissa's blog yesterday.
Or something like that.
This is one of those rare cases where I'm actually LOL-ing at my own cartoons, so it might be worth a look if you're into that kind of thing. You can also wish Cissa a belated "Happy Birthday" while you're at it.
UPDATE: I've put a copy in an extended entry in case they should ever go missing...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...