Monday, January 30, 2006


As if I have only one?

Anyway, it's just that when someone comes up with a really kick ass topic (and both Froyd and Bil do) and the comments are really flowing, they go and post something else, and no one reads the comments or keeps the discussion going.

It pisses me off. That's probably a problem, too.


Sunday, January 29, 2006


I think I get this from my mother. I don't remember her ever standing to fight. When things got tough, we had to move. No matter what happened, big or small, a change of scenery was the cure. And it would work, for about a year, and then there we were, packing our shit again.

And I find myself in the same place for probably the longest time in my life. I have now been in Bemidji since 99. To reflect on it is amazing. It really is mind blowing to me. The same streets and neighborhood. The same people, more or less.

But it isn't, anymore. Maybe the trees all look the same. Certainly the snow covers the same ground it did last year. But the place is changed, to me. I came here full of promise, the first year of a first generation college student. I was naive, full of myself, and unsure of what I wanted to do, and what that meant.

Now I am unsure of myself, and sure of what I want to do. I want to move. I NEED to move, it seems. The desire is so strong I actually got in my car today without a destination in mind. I ended up driving back here, laughing at myself, and then sitting down to write.

And then I starting thinking about my mother, and the reason she acts the way she does. I won't go into it, it still doesn't make sense to me. Parts of it will come through, from time to time, on this ill named blog, but that's the best I have, for now.

The interesting thing is my thoughts of her brought me back to me. Am I doing the same thing? I know it has been 6 years, but am I just fleeing? Rational thought tells me "no". What I am doing is leaving the next nest I set up for myself. Leaving my safe zone and actually, finally, getting out into the real world. But I am not always rational. I just quit my job without having a new one, for the first time in my life, and I have to wonder why I would do such a stupid thing.

One of my bosses (I have two, how cool is THAT) REALLY got to me on Friday. I had a lot of files to catch up on. The bosses went through the files, and found what was missing. At least, they thought they did.

It turns out most of the stuff was in the files. Some of it was in the wrong spot, some of it was just sitting RIGHT THERE where it was supposed to be. I had a lot of it on my PC, and I must have forgot to put it in after the meetings.

And I don't mind doing it, or redoing it. Honestly, that's just part of my job. The thing that really gets me is Linda EXPECTED me to know what needed to be updated when, and how. The problem with that is I had NO TRAINING. None, when I started. I did a job shadow to see what the people under me would be doing. I was told to read through the files (I did). That's it. So when a meeting came up, the bosses would ask for this or that to be done, and I would do it.

But several files need yearly updating, and never make it to a meeting. That means no one knew they weren't getting updated, and I did not know they needed it. A good example is the "New Client Intake Form". The name suggests it should be done once. That's right, you got it, when the client first comes into our program. No, no, tardo. Instead, it is to be updated yearly, or when any information is changed. Parents' addresses, meds, and other pretty important stuff is found on there. It makes sense to update it. But would you know to do it, based on the title? Nope. Yet I got yelled at for not having it done. I mean, c'mon. And Linda doesn't actually yell, she annoys. She just repeats it so many damned times you want to stuff a dirty sock in her mouth just to get her to shut up. I would much rather get yelled at, called stupid or ignorant, than be patronized. One time, that's all you have to tell me.

But that's not the bad part. Here it is. There was a file I asked her about. "Why did you tell me to make a new one of these?" I queried. It was fine, she agreed, "where's the list I gave you." I showed her. "Well, this wasn't in here the last time I looked." But it was, I have not added anything...All the files that are new are in this folder, I have not three-hole-punched them (I am starting to get angry, but I keep a nice voice)...No, this wasn't in here, you must have moved it...Why would I do that, and say I didn't?...You must have, this WASN'T in here. WHY WOULD I LIE ABOUT IT AFTER GIVING YOU MY NOTICE? WHAT THE FUCK COULD I POSSIBLY GAIN BY LYING?

See, I live by a pretty fucking simple rule: Don't lie. Not to yourself, not to other people. Not even when it will help you. ESPECIALLY when it will help you. It gets too damned easy to do it again, and again. I did that for a long time. My mother does that. I won't do it. It helps, a lot.

SO when someone accuses me of lying I cannot say to myself, "Well, she's got you there, old friend" NOPE. I just get mad. I have never given them any reason to think I was lying. In fact, I have come out and told them of everything I have ever done wrong, most times before they find it, or care about it. I ALWAYS own my mistakes. I explained to her that I was wrong for not having the files updated, even though I did not know they needed it, because that was part of my job and I SHOULD HAVE found out. To add this insult made me sick.

Then it continued. One of our clients has been going to work dirty. He explained it was because I was not down there with him in the morning. That is a lie. He lies, a lot. They know this. On his report, it even says he lies about what he does and does not do at the job. Right there, you have to think, "This guy is mentally retarded, and a liar, maybe we should not take everything he says at face value." Makes sense? Of course it does. Unless you are harping on your supervisor. Then he is telling the truth, and I am lying. I stand with him EVERY morning and actually watch him get ready. He says I don't. She believes him. Again, I have never given any reason for her to distrust me, or my word. Yet, there it is. He also said we talked about him moving out. Why the fuck would I talk with a mentally retarded person about moving out of my program? Ever? Well, I must have, she reasons, he wouldn't just make it up.

So, as you have already read, my job sucks. My town sucks, and I STILL feel like I am abandoning everything. Seriously, I am not looking for a bunch of comments saying, "No, Josh, you are totally justified" because I KNOW I am. But I still feel like I am not. How does that happen to an intelligent person? It just doesn't makes sense.


Thursday, January 26, 2006


Not to pat my own back (ok, just a little) but I think I may be the only one posting about this so far. Perhaps it is just rumor, or perhaps I ACTUALLY got a scoop, but the Timberwolves just made a pretty big trade.

The big deal is Wally Sczcerbiak to Boston for Ricky Davis. The other part of this is Olowokandi for Blount, and a couple other minor players.

The head to head on this thing is just vexing. I have no idea who got the better of this deal, or if I like it.

On paper, we are talking about some similar guys. Wally scores 20.4, Ricky 19.9. Wally Grabs 4.5 boards, Ricky 4.8, Wally has three less assists per game, though, and about 3/4 a steal less, which is huge. However, Ricky turns the ball over almost 1 more time a game, and shoots about 4.5% worse from the field, and 10% less from the line.

The upside for the Wolves (my team, and all I care about) is Ricky can create for himself, has a VERY quick first step, can jump out of the building, and will give you solid minutes every night, even if he isn't scoring. The bad news is we are losing our most consistent, if not creative, scorer for one who is a bit (and really, just a bit) more erratic.

Teh big man part of the trade is a wash. They both get about the same minutes, and Blount scores about double the points. he doesn't rebound well, though, especially for a 7 footer, and we will miss the extra 1.5 boards a night, I guarantee it. He also cannot block shots as well, although the statistics say otherwise. He, like his shooting guard counterpart in this trade, is a bit turnover prone. He won't foul out, though, like Kandi is wont to do.

We are losing an intriguing prospect in Dwayne Jones, who is a very passable young Center. We cannot, however, wait around for him to develop.

I guess if I have to rate this trade, I give it a B-. It is an upgrade, I think, because of the dynamic scoring, but JUST barely. We really did have to give up a lot for it, and I was just starting to like where Wally was going as a player. I thought he worked hard these last few years on the worse parts of his game, and he was at an age where he was starting to hit his stride. So, too, though is Ricky Davis. Maybe our bench got a bit stonger, too, but it is hard to tell without seeing them play.


Monday, January 23, 2006


Kobe scores 81. KOBE SCORES 81. Kobe. Scores. 81.

Really, that's all the talk in the sports world today. And you know what, it should be.

What he did was amazing. It is the second most points scored in a basketball game by a single player. Ever. He hit a variety of shots, and he shot 60%.

But everyone is comparing it to Wilt Chamberlain's 100. And of course they will, because that's the benchmark here. They already compare Kobe to Michael Jordan (who never even came close to 80 in a game) so now they have to go to the next level. Let me say this: both comparisons are stupid. I think I have already went through the facts about Kobe V MJ. So now I will go over 81 V 100.

Easily, let's just point out that it is 19 less. That's almost ten more made shots. Which means about, for Kobe and his average, 22 more shot attempts. It's a little fuzzy math, but that gives him almost 70 attempts for a game. If a defense gives you 70 shots and you DON'T break the record, they should not only take away your player card, they should stop calling you an athlete. Chamberlain made his on 60 shots, and he made 38 of those. He also added 28 of 32 free throws, as the other team tried to send it's THREE best defenders after him, and all they could do is foul.

But the big deal is Chamberlain was playing inside the team game. His point guard had 20 assists that night. Chamberlain also had 25 boards. He was playing the game they set up for the TEAM. And they won that way. Kobe had to take over a losing effort to bring the game to a win, and he did it without involving his teammates. At all. Lamar Odom had 8 points.

And let me blow up some misconceptions about today's game verses the past, really quickly. They didn't have a three point line (Kobe canned 7 threes), they didn't have a half court violation (Today you can only keep the ball for 8 seconds before advancing it), and there was no defensive three seconds call (meaning they could camp out where Wilt liked to play, and make it physically impossible for him to get his shot). They also used to call something called traveling, wherein a player can only take two steps towards the basket before releasing the ball (Kobe's drive easily takes three to develop).

I am NOT saying this wasn't impressive. In fact, it was the single greatest basketball display by an INDIVIDUAL I have ever personally witnessed (I was, of course, not alive for Wilt's 100) But it falls just short of Wilt's game, and it deserves to be right where it is in the record books: number 2.


Friday, January 20, 2006


I have not always had the strongest work ethic, and for the most part, that was ok. I skated through highschool and college purely on intelligence. I did not have to "buckle down" to get A's. In fact, I think I probably studied a total of 20 hours in my whole college career.

But I really do hate half-assing things. Those two thoughts seem incongruent, but I assure you, they are not. If I was making the grade without effort, I don't think I was half assing it, I think I was just meeting expectations. And those 20 hours I put in were to get the grade when pure brains wasn't enough.

Lately, though, I have been a half-asser. As a supervisor, I had a lot of challenging fun setting up a rewarding program for my staff and my clients. I really feel like I did a bit of good for my company, and made some positive changes.

But now the change period is over. There really is nothing left to fix. Which means my capacity as a supervisor is to listen to complaints (ones that I cannot do anything about), take clients places that need supervision, and fill out paperwork. That last is, no exaggeration, the bane of my existence.

And as my hours dwindle, and my attention to every detail fades, my bosses find more and more "busy work" for me. I despise busy work. I would rather not get paid, and only put in ten hours a week, than do things that have no meaning (see above re: paperwork). And when the busy work doesn't fly, and because THEY still have to find things to do, I get rule changes. Like this one: "Please tell us if you are leaving town, just so we know" Which is a far cry from, "We want you to have a private life outside of work, and we want it to be completely separate" Yeah, that one got to me.

So did the certain parent (I have written about several times) who decided nothing would ever be good enough. I got a call this week (while trying to relax with my fiancee) making sure I included cotton balls in my client's home kit, because four weeks ago they ran out. I am not making that up.

There are, literally, hundreds of other small things I could write about. And they bug the hell out of me. But really, the thing that bugs me the most is I wake up and I don't care to do anything about it. I don't want to keep fighting a system I don't agree with. So I just do what is required, and nothing more, and even that I put off. That is the real problem.

So, effective in the next 60 days, I have asked my employers to find another to be supervisor. I will stay on in a more limited capacity, because I really do care for my clients, and I love the opportunities this job has given me, but I will no longer supervise the program.

I have applied, already, as a pharmacy tech here in town. It's a normal 9-5 with a boss and normal duties. I will not have to answer phone calls at midnight, asking me for the tenth time if I can come sign a check. I will not have to ask permission to be normal. I will not have to care what happens to the program (I still will, mind, but it will be my choice).

SO yeah, if you are astute, and reading between the lines, I am rationalizing, and will miss it, crazy as that sounds. And yeah, I feel like I am letting myself and everyone down. But you know what, I have to do this.


Thursday, January 19, 2006


Last year, at the Palace at Auburn Hills, Ron Artest charged into the stands after a drunken fan threw beer in his face. After that, pretty much all hell broke loose. Stephen Jackson followed, punched someone who was not involved; fans broke onto the floor, Jermaine O'Neil decided to punch one of them.

The aftermath was the full year suspension of Ron Artest, 35 games for Jackson, and progressively less for 5 other players. The fan, who was a lifetime season ticket holder, lost the privilege of EVER coming to the palace again. That meant for concerts, and the like, as well.

Since then the league has instated several new policies. They seem to work, on the surface. Players going into the stands will automatically be tossed from the building. Fans will be brought up on charges. There is some new language in the CBA (collective bargaining agreement) saying just that.

But the problem still goes on nightly. Hakeem the dream, Charles Barkley, and Clyde Drexler were all assaulted with beer nightly, when leaving stadiums. This was 15 years ago. Fans, college level and above, have been throwing things on the court increasingly. A dad of a high school player came on the court during a HS playoff game and punched a ref.

And most recently, and perhaps in a case that is going to turn all this on its head, Antonio Daniel's wife was being accosted by a drunken fan. it got so bad, apparently, that his wife had to push the guy off. That's when Daniels decided to take matters into his own hands. He charged into the stands to protect his wife. Says Daniels of the incident:

"I witnessed my wife being threatened by a man that I learned later to be intoxicated.I saw him touch her, and I know I should not have acted the way I did, but I would have felt terrible if I didn't react. There was no time to call security. It happened too quickly."

And I say GOOD FOR HIM. First and foremost, this is not the same as the previous incident. This was a MAN protecting the person he loves most. Any one of us would react the same. But secondly, this points to a larger issue.

Who the fuck do the fans think they are? I know the whole, "we pay your salaries" bullshit excuse gives them the rationale to yell, even things they would not yell to someone they hated. But let me tell you something, GO FUCK YOURSELVES. That's right, I said it. Nothing gives you the right to treat another human being that way, much less one who is charged with the task of entertaining you nightly. Beyond that, asshats, yoru ticket sales aren't what pays the bills, TV advertising does. And most of it is advertising for the network, so you really aren't contributing at all (unless you live in a neilson house, and then only marginally).

And on an even larger scope, what do you expect to happen? First, if you throw a beer in someone's face. How do you think they will react? Most likely with blind, irrational violence. Not a lot of people think it through in that situation. But forget that. How do you expect them to react when you mess with their wife? Jesus. H. Christ. Get a clue, man. I say, you do the crime, you do the time. Ni this case, the time is getting pounded by a 6'11" 250 lb. athlete. While security watches. Maybe put it on the jumbotron, who knows.

OK, that last bit was extreme, but you get the idea. Fans are out of control. Basketball is one of the few sports left without a barrier wall between us and the people we admire. Don't take that away so you can make yourself a part of the action. I get that the charge in the air, and the proximity, they can intoxicate. That's why I go to games: I really do feel like a part of it. I also get that people want more of that feeling: it's a damned good feeling. But, just like recreational drinking, if you take it too far, you lose, pal. We could lose that closeness, and that would eventually lead us to losing the game.


Friday, January 13, 2006


This is what I found on my car windshield upon leaving the bar last night.

I called the number to let the person (Brian) know that my car was not damaged. I talked to his wife, who said he would be relieved to know nothing bad happened. Right before I said "goodbye" however, she hit me with this,

"He will be so happy to hear this, he is always so sorry when he does this."



Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Bil, of Journal Wunelle fame, recently brought up the idea of tattoos. I tend to agree with him: most of them, along with peircings, are garbage. I constantly tell people to just buy the poster. You can take a poster off the wall.

Certainly, I have a tattoo I would love to get rid of. See below.

But one tattoo really exemplifies the sort of thing tattoos SHOULD stand for (and do, I think, for a portion of people)...

My mother, it is no large secret, has been "generous" in her dating life, and her married life. As a result, there was almost always a new guy around. Most of them were scum, and really used me to get in good with my mother. I was the youngest, and most impressionable.

One man, though, genuinely cared. I am not saying he was perfect, he really wasn't, but he was good to us, and especially to the children. He had three of his own. His name was Charles Milton Running, the third. And his manner, and demeanor belied his proper name. We called him chuck, because, well, he was much more of a chuck than a Charles. He stood somewhere around 6'4", and probably close to 300lbs. Big beard, a tooth missing. He looked every bi the biker he was in his earlier years. But he was, if you'll pardon me the cliche, a gentle giant.

I should pause here to point out that Chuck had a fake leg. When he was 18 he and his brother got into a car accident, severing his leg and rupturing his aorta. As a result, he had a fake leg, just below the knee, and a large cash settlement. Both, I think, play a part in this story.

So, as a result o this cash, he always had big parties, with lots of drunk people. That meant kids, everywhere, running around unattended and, largely, unwanted. We would entertain ourselves as best we could, but really we were bored, most of the time.

Chuck, though, would always try to cheer us up. He would sneak away from his own party, and gather all the kids up. "You kids want to see some NINJA SHIT!" He would bellow. Of course, this trick was old, so we all knew what was coming. Without waiting for an answer, he would get a roll of toilet paper from the bathroom, place it atop his fridge, and kick it off. Standing.

But, of course, he would kick with his real leg. That left 300 lbs of Chuck standing on a fake leg, with no joints. BOOM! he would crash, every single time, to the floor. And since he was drunk, well he was a lot like a turtle once the floor met his back.

Chuck died New Years, seven years ago. My mother was a wreck, and I don't think she will ever recover. This man was really the type that is missed when he is gone. He taught me, on one leg, more about sports than any man except my grandfather. He always took the time to teach. Even when he was in a bad mood. For any and all of his flaws, he was truly a father, and he was one to a kid who he never sired. I missed him, more than I cared to admit.

One day, while drawing random things, I sort of sketched out a fridge. I added the toilet paper, and had a good laugh. This memory came back to me, or rather to the front of my mind, and it was so much a part of Him, I had to share it. I put the tattoo on then. When I showed it to my mother, as far gone as she was, she smiled, then laughed. I didn't need to tell HER the story.

So it was with most the people I knew, who knew him. Everyone had seen his "ninja shit" routine at one time or another. They all smiled, or laughed, or cried, but they all remembered him in their own way.

I never pass up an opportunity to tell this story, and the tattoo lets me do that often. So many people get to know the Chuck I knew from this one little thing. It seemed like the best way I knew to keep him, and share him, and let him go.


Tuesday, January 10, 2006


I have been meaning to write about this, but things just kept coming up, or I forgot, or I was lazy. Whatever.

I couple months ago I was at the clinic, on one of my many trips with my clients. The line was particularly long that morning, and people were agitated. Now, I don't usually let things like that upset me, because there is nothing I can do about it anyway, so I just decided to stand back and people watch.

Here was a man shuffling impatiently, looking at his watch, then throwing stares at anyone who would make eye contact. As if they could somehow alter time, or as if his time had more meaning then everyone around him. Neither, I decided, was the case. There was an old lady, making jokes about the situation, or rather, making the SAME joke to everyone she saw that she knew. And then it happened.

One of the previously closed reception desks opened. The front half of the line all sort of looked at each other, no one willing to make the first move. It was as if it was recess, but the teacher had not dismissed them. They had to wait in line until called upon. Except for one guy behind me. He looked left, then right. No one moved. So he just walked right up to the desk. A quiet awe fell. Some people were thinking "why didn't I do that, first" and others "someone should do something." I thought, "good for him." Really. I get paid by the hour. And some grey panther, easily 80 years old, walked right up and told him "you were not next in line, sir!" and demanded he get back. He laughed and did so, and didn't seem any worse the wear for it. He had been "caught" and would probably try it again, given the chance.

Of course, he was not given the chance. With the respect now won form the crowd, this old lady became a traffic cop. She left her place in line to direct everyone who was next. At first, everyone was pleased with the efficiency. The line moved, and there was no argument. But these were adults, and it was only so long before they started feeling a little sheepish (at best). The uncomfortable postures returned, and people started acting oppressed. Hateful glares were shot at our new warden. All the while, she kept on directing.

When it got to my turn, I decided to run my own little social experiment. She ushered me to the front, and I told her she had been waiting long enough, and deserved to go ahead of me. She protested, but I would not let up. Chivalry may be dead, but its posturing cousin was alive and well. She was trapped in her own vice. Reluctantly, she gave up her authority.

For a moment I stood in the spot where we had talked, not really sure of how to feel about myself. The others must have thought I was taking over, because both desks were open, and no one moved. I went back into my place in line (really, a few places back, I was not done) and someone ACTUALLY asked who was next. I said "we are all adults, I don't think we need anyone telling us when to go." Several people laughed, and the line started moving. Still, others thought the old system was working, perhaps, or didn't like me pointing it out so brash, more likely, because they favored me with none to pleasant glances.

The line, though, moved easily, and soon I was through it. I would say it was just as flowing as when it was directed, but I was not there long enough to see it dissolve. Still, something about that stuck with me. So much so, I had to write it down.


Sunday, January 08, 2006


It was lucky, or perhaps fortunate, for me that I found this post while looking throughout the daily news sources. Had I not, I may have posted about the naked party I had two nights ago with a coworker, a good friend, someone I just met, and my fiance. No one would want to hear about that. Or see the pictures.

So what the fuck is wrong with society today? JUST, and I think that's true, because Shalit decided to write a bad review of "Brokeback mountain", GLAAD is after him. EVERYONE is scared to write a defamitory review of a movie with minorities, unless it is a black comedy. And gay films win awards by default. And I hate it.

And, I think, the Gay crowd should, too. Has anyone ever actually watched Will and Grace? It's like watching Roots, if Kunta was played by Chris Rock, "Nigga, I ain't no fucking house nigga, nigga" The stereotyped characters are without life or function, and people laugh, nervously, for fear of being found lacking some specific "gay liking" gene.

Listen, I know a few gay guys. I love one of them like a brother, he is truly a great guy. Incidentally, we are working on converting him (I am kidding). And there is another I just cannot stand. Turns out who you fuck has nothing to do with how you act. Weird.

And at what point do the organizations appear foolish? The whole idea behind GLAAD is to lend a voice to speak freely for the Gay and Lesbian community. But that same free speech allows Gene Shalit the opportunity to speak out against them, if he chooses (I DON'T think that is what he was doing, though).

And, though I don't feel if we don't talk about it it will go away, I do feel that in this case not all press is good press. It makes a community already vulnerable to false impressions look more vulnerable, weak, and tired.

Now, wasn't that better than naked pictures?


Thursday, January 05, 2006


I just read Sean's Pike's Peak post, and it got me thinking.

Recently, our family lost my grandmother. A lot of people would point to this as where I finally lost touch with my family. I was grieving in my own way, which was to let people know I had made peace with her death some time before it happened, and that I felt it was a natural and beautiful thing for her to finally be dying. They, of course, thought I should cry and carry on, as if my hurt was theirs to own. I am still, as you can see, bitter about that, so I don't really want to write about it. I only keep the above because I don't like to delete.

The real reason I was thinking about this, in connection with Sean's post, was something that reminded me of Her, as Pike's Peak did for Sean. A couple weeks ago I was sent a package. Inside was my Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtle costume.

We had NO money growing up. I mean, nothing. So we had to rely on my grandmother for Halloween costumes. Lucky for us, she was crafty, and resourceful. I had, bar none, the best costumes in town, and the turtle costume was proof.

We lived near a theme park, Mission Creek 1892 theme park, to be exact, and though they struggled until they closed, we thought it was the greatest thing. Because my stepfather was taking photos there (and selling drugs, I would later come to find out) we got in for free. A whole theme park to roam around in was worth more than gold to an 8 year old, let me tell you. And an old west one with guns! That was heaven. Sometime I will tell everyone how those guns got me in a world of trouble, and an ass whoppin, old west tool shed style, but for now, I want to focus on this.

They had several contests there. I remember a bubble gum bubble blowing contest, where all the kids got free bubble yum. There was a "futuristic" arcade with high scores and prizes. But the granddaddy of them all was when the Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles (on tour) were doing a stage show there. Everyone was to dress up like a turtle, and the Turtles themselves would judge the contest! HOLY SHIT. I HAD to have a costume.

My grandmother had already been working on the TMNTs. She made all four of them for me, crochet, and I thought they were the coolest things. Later, she would make a Michelangelo for me, over 4 feet tall. I honestly wish I still had that, it was truly a one of a kind. Sadly, I beat the hell out of it, as a little boy is want to do. So she had the basic idea for the costume, and all she needed was to watch countless hours of the show with me. Of course, she had so much talent she only had to look at a picture to replicate it, but it was one of the few times we got to spend time together. A grandmother and her grandson have very little in common in this world. (Later, I would find out I had more in common with her than any other relative: hard headedness, always right, loud, life of the party, and funny, without ever getting a laugh ;))

The costume was made, and I went to the show. EVERYONE else had store bought costumes. They all looked the EXACT SAME. That means plastic shell, plastic mask, and fake weapons. Maybe some green tights. Not me. I had a fully padded, muscled, top to bottom three fingered gloves included costume. It was so real someone asked me if I was in the show. No joke. It was awesome. At the time, though, I sort of felt bad for myself. All the other kids had store bought costumes. I felt out of place and dumb. Until the contest. It wasn't even close. I won by a landslide. I think the other kids all knew it, too, because half of them didn't;t even want to line up. But that wasn't the cool part.

My grandma let me be in the spotlight. Everyone asked who made the costume, and I was all too happy to point it out. But she, usually very open and brash, just smiled and deferred to me. It was my day.

When I got that package I almost cried. I didn't cry for her when she died, and I haven't since. But that costume was so much a part of who we were I had to feel it. It is so real.

I get it, Froyd, and I am sorry.


Wednesday, January 04, 2006


For some time I have been thinking about leaving Bemidji. It's not just that the town sucks, but that's a large part of it. There isn't anything to do here for a young couple, especially one whose friends have all moved away.

And really, that's what it all boils down to. We are used to having people to hang out with, and once those people left, there wqasn't much here to make things worth staying. We both have good jobs, not great, and we are in a good situation financially. When we move, chances are that will be worse, for awhile. But socially, this town just isn't here. Froydstravaganza is a kick ass time, to be sure, but most those people aren't my people.

So we have made the plan to make the move. Here's hwo it works: We are going to move to the Fargo Moorhead area. We are going to move after the wedding. The ONLY thing that changes this plan is if the right opportunity comes earlier, and we move before the wedding.

Now, here's the rub. To rent or to own. The big thing is the same as it is here: the people. We know people there, but they won't be there forever, I don't think. in fact, best case, we are looking at three years that they are still around. So we are a little leary of being locked in to a thirty year mortgage. Beyond that, we have visited a lot, but never stayed for a long period. And EVERYONE I talk to thinks Fargo/Moorhead sucks. I can't really figure out why, but maybe living there will reveal that. So rental seems like the way to go. Except we are ready to buy, and renting is a horrible waste of money. So what to do?

In other news, this is being excellerated by the fact that my job grows more boring by the day. When I am not dealing with irrational parents, I don't have much to do. By design, I set up the program to run itself. I think I have effeciently run myself out of a job. My hours are down, and I am bored bored bored. This spring, I am sure, that will be a plus, as I can focus more on biking and try to get in shape for a race. But now, it feels like slow death, and I would much prefer somethign fast.

In other OTHER news, I have been sick for the last week, and I still managed to lose my two pounds this week. That's right: four weeks watching my weight, eight pounds lost. Right on target. I want to lose anotehr 12 pounds of fat, and add five to seven of muscle before the wedding. I don't want my basic shape to change, so I have to take it slowly, but so far, so good. I should, in the next couple of weeks, hit a wall, and that will determine how well I am actually doing. Finally, I got to work out today, and even though my head is still stuffed up and feels like a bowling ball on a string, the wrokout went well. I felt a good type of exhausted afterwards, which is nice.

Sorry I don't have deep things to talk about this time, but I wanted to take a break from the drama and just post an update.