Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hello from the vastness of the great beyond.

So, hey. Long time no blog.

Long story short, I lost my job in June, and I don't have a computer at home anymore, so I can't really blog. I'm sure I'll get another computer as soon as we can afford it, which should hopefully be within the next few months, at the latest, and then I may get back into blogging again.

Until then, ta-ta.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Musical State of Mind (part 1)

Recently I uncovered an old spindle of mix CDs I made somewhere back in the '01-'03 range, and have been listening to them pretty much nonstop. It's a weird kind of time travel, dredging up a wealth of nostalgia and memories of a period in my life where my chief concerns were video games, anime, manga, depressed binge eating, weed, and electronica. In many ways I miss that life, but I think that's only natural for any parent or grownish person. I also know it's a kind of "grass is greener" thinking, because I remember quite well that I was lonely, depressed, and miserable.

The only way I could ever go back to a life like that would be to leave my wife and kids, which is something I'm obviously not going to do, but I can still enjoy the music. I've been a devoted fan of electronica in general ever since I heard Prodigy's "Breathe" back in '98 or '99, and trance specifically ever since I heard Trance[]Control's "Atomic Dance Explosion" back in '01 or so. I know that most people tend to think of electronica as stupid, cliche beats that people dance to at gay clubs or raves, but somehow for me it hit an emotional nerve. It speaks to me in a way that a lot of other music doesn't.

I decided to write this note to highlight some of my favorite electronica and trance songs, and kind of explain what I like about them.

First up is the song that made me fall in love with electronica in the first place. I can remember the first time I heard this at my best friend Brett's house. For me, the pansy little white-boy nerd, there was something dangerous about this song, even more so than the Metallica and Black Sabbath I had been trying to listen to without my mom noticing (yeah, I lived in the kind of family where Metallica and Black Sabbath was the worst possible thing my mom could conceive of, and was music that nice, Church-going folk didn't listen to).

The Prodigy - Breathe

The Prodigy have a lot of really great music. I think everyone has seen the video to "Smack My Bitch Up" (queue Robot Chicken's M. Night Shyamalan: "What a twist!"), so I won't post that one. But one of their latest singles is just completely fantastic.

The Prodigy - Omen

Atomic Dance Explosion, despite having an incredibly stupid name, is the first trance song I ever heard. It really hooked me, and the more I listened to it, the more I loved it. I used to listen to it on repeat, trying to see if I could count the layered loops, or listen to only one loop the entirely of the song. Today, I understand that it's actually a pretty simple and kind of boring example of trance, but it was a perfect starting point. Ignore the visuals on this video, they are lame. Best version I could find, though.

Trance[]Control - Atomic Dance Explosion

The artist I found next completely changed my perceptions of what electronica and trance could be, and has stayed with me as one of my favorite artists of all time. He had perhaps the most impact on me in terms of why I'm such a huge fan of this whole genre. There is no one quite like Mr. André Tanneberger, better known as ATB. He had a distinct style of guitar imitation in his earlier songs that I really, really liked, and I kept on liking him as he kept on evolving. Here is a sampling of some of his works, going chronologically from his earliest to later tracks. Unfortunately I don't have his newer albums yet so I can't speak for how good they are, as I've kind of shelved my electronica stuff in recent years, mostly because my wife hates it and won't stop making fun of me for it. I'm getting back into it, though, so I'm sure I'll be getting his newer stuff soon.

ATB - Don't Stop!

ATB and The Wild Strawberries - Let You Go

ATB - Repulse (still one of my favorite songs, ever)

ATB - In Love With The DJ

ATB - Long Way Home

ATB - Ecstacy

Okay, that's it for part one. That's...a lot of music. I have a lot more I wanted to share, too. Part two maybe later today or tomorrow depending on my work load and my own inherent laziness.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


So apparently I am so out of shape that even doing two sets of sit-ups causes my abs to spasm and contract painfully like a charliehorse for a half hour or so afterwards. Exciting!

In other news, in a week and a half of my newest diet and exercise plan, I've lost enough wait to cause my boxers to literally fall off my ass if they are not secured between my belt and my body. Interesting.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Does this formspring thingy actually work? Does this count as two questions?

It does work, if I happen to catch the question in my email...whoops on the first question someone asked me. It does work, though, promise!

Ask me anything

Were your children planned or accidents?

Both of my children were accidents, actually. I wouldn't change a thing now, however.

Ask me anything

Friday, April 2, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

Ask Me Anything!

I haven't updated in a while, for which I apologize, but I've been fairly busy.

I decided to follow Vermillion's lead and make one of these Formspring thingies so people can ask questions if they want to. You can be anonymous if you wish, and can ask anything you'd like.

I can't get Facebook to work today or I would post links there too. Stupid Facebook. I'm a'feared that they blocked it at work, but it doesn't make much sense since MySpace and YouTube still work fine. Ho hum.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Current

It's no secret that I am a huge fan of The Current, one of the best radio stations in the country. It's public radio, supported by its members, and the playlist is hugely diverse. I recently became a member in the last membership drive they had, only a couple weeks ago. I've been listening to them for four years, so I figured now was probably a good time to make a donation. I couldn't spare much, and it was a one-time gift, but I'm hoping the next time they do a drive I can become a sustaining member and do the year-round thing.

Driving to work this morning really drove home how grateful I am for this station. Here's the musical bounty I was treated to:

Some really great stuff there.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


So my entire family is/was sick. Crystal had more horrible facial pain in her face last week, resulting in another trip to the hospital. Then we all developed some sort of stomach virus or food poisoning, and various substances were coming out of random orifices, etc. It was a good end of the week/weekend.

Crystal's hospital visit was a nightmare of truly astonishing proportions. The last time we were there, they treated her in the fairest and best way ever. While they tried to get her pain under control, they let her stay in the hospital for a couple days for monitoring, and only when they felt her condition was treated did they let her leave. Last week, the admitting doctor upstairs in the hospital proper told her flat-out that because she had come to the hospital for help with her Vicodin addiction in the past, he would not be giving her any pain meds. Nevermind the fact that downstairs in the E.R., where we had just spent a couple hours, they were giving her morphine and dilaudid to try and control her pain.

Crystal basically imploded. She didn't know what to do. They were telling her that she was going to have to sit there all night and be in pain, while they would treat her with Tylenol and a hot pack. We wouldn't have been in the fucking hospital if the problem could have been treated at home, now would we? The doctor told her that he didn't feel she was really in pain, and implied she was there to score drugs again. We waited down in the E.R. for hours, and Crystal even went through an MRI, one of the scariest things she's ever done (she's claustrophobic and has panic-anxiety..."Okay, now hold perfectly still and don't move for about forty-five minutes while trapped in this tight spinning tube"). If we were really there to score drugs, we would have left HOURS AGO. Not to mention that I wouldn't have taken any part of it. We're not ending up where we were before, thanks.

I was livid, Crystal was devastated...we left, after Crystal made a huge scene in front of all the nurses and patients, at 11:00 at night. Normally I would have been embarrassed by that sort of thing, but I was too angry at that fucking doctor to even care what the rest of the hospital thought. My wife was in horrifying pain and they were refusing to help her because of something she had sought help for before. Fucking ridiculous. She spent the rest of the night in bed, sobbing hysterically and feeling like she was never going to be able to get help again. It was absolutely horrible.

She got help the next day from her primary doctor, which was basically a life-saver. I don't know what we would have done without it. She got her nerve-meds refilled and he gave her a prescription for some pain meds, which worked to get everything under control again. I think in the future she has to make sure she has her nerve meds on hand if she needs them. She didn't get the last prescription filled because the pain had ebbed a bit, and her primary suggested she stop taking them to see what happened. Next time we'll know it comes and goes.

So after all that, this stomach virus completely destroyed us. Evelyn was sick and puking all day, then Crystal got it, and then it passed to me. I threw up so much that I haven't had a voice for two days. It's actually worse today. It's never happened to me before, and I didn't even know throwing up could do that. Was in the stomach acid? Or the retching itself? Or is it something completely coincidental? All I know is it fucking sucks. I'm already worried about being back at work after having missed the end of last week and yesterday. I could be suspended for five days, or perhaps even fired if they're feeling especially vindictive, and now I have no voice to even make calls today. Not exactly feeling like a contributing member of the team, here. I've been here for almost three hours so far and they haven't said anything, but that could always change.

Friday, February 12, 2010


I got a letter in the mail yesterday from my life insurance company, telling me I am now ineligible for coverage. I had to fill out a health questionnaire in order to add my son as a beneficiary, and for some reason I decided to be honest. Apparently I'm too fat to provide for my family in case something happens.

I've had life insurance through this company for six years, and only now, when I need to add another person, do they suddenly take an interest in my health. I've stayed around the same weight pretty much the whole time I've been here, but this might be the first time I've filled out one of these questionnaires.

More than anything before, this drives home the simple fact that I need to lose some fucking weight. It was scary when the doctor told me I had given myself diabetes, but I guess I got over that fear. Stress and daily fears of another nature will do that to you. This is a whole new level of terrifying. This is the livelihood of my wife and kids should something happen to me. A safety net has suddenly been pulled out from under them, and if I bring this whole crazy circus act down by getting in an accident or for a health reason, they are the ones that have to take the fall. I can't let that happen.

I WON'T let that happen.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Too bad, so sad.

Somehow, in our first couple weeks living at the new apartment, we've managed to piss off the neighbors in all three other apartments. How did we manage this feat? By having our cable set up. As it turns out, one person was paying for cable and letting everyone else splice off of his. We were one of the apartments getting free cable, but we wanted an actual cable box, with a guide and on demand and all that, and we wanted our internet set up.

The first guy that came out to hook up our box made a comment about seeing all the splices when he was down fiddling with the cable, but said he wouldn't report anything. After he was done, however, we were having a lot of problems with the picture and sound cutting out. It happened all the time, and made TV practically unwatchable. So we had another tech come out to inspect, and he said it's because the signal was so weak and disrupted due to the splicing. He also said it was illegal and he'd have to cut the wires. Then, as a kick to the junk for everyone else, he put a lock on it. Dun dun dunnnn.

So because of us wanting quality television, our neighbors are now pissed off at us. The girl right downstairs came up yesterday to talk to Crystal while I was at work, and had an attitude. "Up until yesterday we all had free cable. Do you know what happened to it?" When Crystal told her that the cable guy came and "fixed" everything, she got upset. "I'm not sure if you knew, but everyone here had that free cable. The people that lived here before you had a wireless router so they could get free internet, too." Well I'm sorry, bitch, that I don't have a wireless router. Do you want to buy one for me and set it up? We also didn't know. Our landlord didn't tell us about it (but I'm sure he knew), and none of the neighbors mentioned it to us prior to having it cut off.

I'm feeling absurdly guilty, like we did something wrong, instead of just ordering and paying for TV. It cost us $120 to set all that shit up, now you're going to get an attitude with me because I wanted good TV? Well maybe you should have fucking said something! How were we supposed to know the situation? The guy right across the hall is apparently the one that did all the splicing, he couldn't have popped over and said "Hey just so you guys know we have free cable, and I'd appreciate it if you didn't call anyone so we don't get in trouble." It's ridiculous to be angry with us now. Look, I'm sorry your welfare check doesn't cover your cable bill. Maybe you should stop smoking so much weed and spend it on TV, instead. Also, you're pregnant, so maybe you should just stop smoking weed, period.

I have nothing to be sorry for, yet I feel like I'm in trouble. Maybe it's because now everyone thinks we narced on them.

Monday, February 8, 2010


I was over an hour late to work this morning because of the snow. This wouldn't be so bad, if I hadn't left an hour before I had to actually be there. I spent almost two and a half hours in the fucking car, sitting in traffic while some fucking idiots drove too fast and had an accident, and some other fucking idiots slowed traffic so they could watch, leading to a back-up that caused what would normally take me between four and ten minutes to drive to actually take an hour and a half. It was three miles. THREE MILES.


The best part is that it's been snowing all day today, so I get to leave in a little over an hour and do it ALL OVER AGAIN. I wouldn't bet on me getting home before six.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Banging about in the South Metro

Things at the new apartment are finally coming together. We bought a new TV and TV stand, a new couch, chair, and ottoman, a new computer, we're coming to grips with the sheer amount of laundry we have, and our cable and internet got hooked up yesterday. It's starting to feel like an actual home, now, and not just a place where we're crashing.

The neighbors across the hall are loud all through the night, the neighbors directly downstairs apparently like to smoke a lot of pot, and the neighbors down and across have a Rottweiler that likes to bark when we do laundry. Our noisy dog and annoying kids fit right in. Awwww.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Despite my profile picture that was part of the Paheeba Day calendars where I am bare-eyed, I wear glasses everyday. I've tried contacts, but I really think I prefer glasses. They just kind of complete my face.

The pair I'm wearing now I've had for almost five years. That's a long time to go without an eye exam or a prescription update. Not to mention that they're falling apart; one arm is literally taped together, then colored over with permanent marker. I'm old school nerdy, I am.

Today, all that changes. My new glasses are finally here! I get to go pick them up after work. I'm so fucking excited, I can't adequately describe it here. They are going to fit my face, I'll be able to see, and I won't look like a total idiot (well, they won't add to my normally idiotic appearance). I think I'm going to try and get a haircut tonight, as well, so tomorrow when I come to work, I'll be all kinds of spiffy.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sorry, sorry.

Not counting my last micro-post, it's been way, way too long since I've updated this thing. I had always meant to do it at least three or four times a week, but of course real life happened and I reverted to my normal exhausted lazy self.

So much has happened in the last couple months that it's hard for me to even begin. Living with Crystal's sister Heather and our friend Nikki was cramped and stressful. Right after the eviction things seemed to go okay and I figured we'd probably make it without too much trouble. Then Crystal needed me to stay home more and I made less money than we'd hoped, so our move kept getting pushed back. Even after I started working full-time again, things continued to get worse, to the point where Heather and Nikki did everything they could to not be there when we were. At their own apartment! Apparently, my family is annoying. I can understand, though; I want to escape half the time, too, and it's my own wife and kids.

Part of the reason I was staying home so much was because of Crystal's new "affliction." I put that in quotes because I don't really how else you'd describe it. She has something called trigeminal neuralgia. Feel free to click the link, as Wikipedia can describe it much better than I can. The only thing you really need to know is that it's facial pain that has been described as "The Suicide Disease" because of the intense pain it causes. It was pretty bad for a while, and she even ended up in the hospital for a few days while they attempted to get her pain under control. She's taking medication now called Tegretol that seems to keep everything manageable. She's living pretty normally now, but she'll probably have to take Tegretol for the rest of her life.

So just when things were finally coming to a head at the small, crampy apartment, we finally found our own place. It's one town over from our old apartment, and about the same distance for me to travel to work. The landlord, John, is really nice, and for some reason let us rent even with our eviction. It was the second thing I asked him, right after "Do you take dogs?" We're living in a fourplex, on the top floor, and the other tenants seem pretty nice. It is kind of small, but I think we're just used to how much space we had in the old apartment. Rent is a lot cheaper by comparison, so I can't complain too much. The bathroom sink leaked pretty badly and the fridge didn't work, but John fixed the first and replaced the second, all on our first day there. Evelyn is in her own room, again, while Oliver's crib is in the master bedroom with us. He's spent the last two nights sleeping in it, which is more than he has in the entire ten months of his life. I'd call that progress.

Oliver's ten-month birthday was yesterday, and I'm disappointed to say he's not walking yet. I had made it my goal to get him walking by ten months, simply because it's hilarious to watch such a tiny dude wobble around. Even though he may not be fully mobile yet, he's getting there. I think his record is six steps on his own, before doing a faceplant and then his infamous "rhino charge" crawling to one of us. If we put a horn on his head, he really would look like a rhino. He charges about with his head down, as fast as he can go (which is incredibly fast) not looking at anything but the ground. Surprisingly, he hasn't yet hurt himself badly. I think he gets enough of an idea of what's in front of him before he begins to charge.

That's all the time I have right now, but I'll try to keep the blogging up now that my life has calmed down a lot.

Fuck you, Cub Foods.

Dear Cub Foods,

All I wanted for lunch was some Cub potato salad. You know, the good, mustardy yellow stuff. Not as good as Radermacher's, but hey, I'm not driving to Waconia or Jordan for some potato salad. But nope, Cub, you had to have "Jerry's Premium Potato Salad" today instead. Or should I say "Mayo and Eggs in a Bowl and Hey Look is that a Potato Oh Nope it's Just Another Egg." I had to add Baconnaise to it just to make it palatable. Thanks for ruining my lunch, Cub. You fucking suck ass.

Fuck you in the eye fondly,