Sunday, May 28, 2006

I was wrong about the bookshelves...

Leave it to Sparky to show us the way.

(click pic to enlarge)

Saturday, May 27, 2006


That was unexpected. Really cool, but unexpected. Especially since I was half asleep and kinda grumpy.

And I'm really sorry for laughing all the way through X3.

Kinda sorry.

Well, okay, not sorry at all. It was just so lame!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Damn, that is sweet.

I was watching a documentary on Miles Davis' Kind of Blue album the other day. Miles used to call up Bill Evans, one of the pianists on the album, and ask him to set the phone on his piano, just to hear Bill play. That's how much Miles admired his work.

I need to hear more live music, even if it's over the phone.

The Battle Against Insomnia

Right after I got back from my trip upstate, I bought a new bed. A queen-size Tempurpedic. You know those commercials where the woman jumps up and down on the bed, and the full wine glass doesn't spill? Yeah, one of those beauties.

I was sorely disappointed that the woman didn't come with the bed.

Anyway, it is a wonderfully comfortable bed. It's easily the best thing I've ever bought.

It had better be, I'll be paying for it for the next three years.

I've noticed that it doesn't take me hours to fall asleep anymore.

An added bonus is when I spend three hours a night at the gym. I pretty much wear myself out to exhaustion, clean up, and lie down. I'm out within ten minutes.

Since I have to get up in the morning, I don't get quite enough sleep. But the sleep I do get feels deeper and more restful than before.

I also have the bed up on lifts so I can store half of my mountainous comic collection beneath it.

Yay, I can actually READ my old comics now!

The only problem I have with this bed is that it's SO comfortable, I never want to get out of it.

Letter from home

Dear Jeff,

Thanks again for my beautiful tulips. Flowers are absolutely the best present.

It's a rainy day here. I didn't even wash dishes so Dad could get some sleep. But I need to do a lot of laundry when he wakes up!

Yesterday Mom [grandma] & I went to Arlene's Art Studio [an art supply store in Albany, NY] since we were in the neighborhood. I've been looking all over for a certain eraser holder (narrow) and refills for work. Right now we can only get Pentel Click. I checked Staples and Office Max plus local suppliers. The only other place is on line.

[Cousin] Billy's dog had two girl puppies. One looks like the mother and the other looks like the father. They were both born around Easter. I think they'll sell them.

Things should be easier at work now. I can't wait for a day off, but it's never enough!

Jeff, thanks again for coming up the week Dad had surgery. It meant a lot to have you home. I guess (ahem, ahem) we are getting older (only a little!!) or because it's our busy time at work, plus [aunt] Brenda's condition [cervical cancer, chemotherapy]. Anyway, we really appreciate it.

Brenda had a fever late yesterday so [uncle] Bill had to get her antibiotics. I hope she can pull through all this!

I'll be glad when Tasha [doggie!] gets her stitches out [had a fat deposit on her back removed]. She's able to do everything again. Nothing can happen to her, either!

Have a good week!

Love, Mom

The End is nigh

I have done the unthinkable. I have purchased a white shirt. Although it will set my flesh ablaze, it's for a good reason: Carlos & Tara's wedding on June 9th.

My only predicament (aside from the barbecued skin), is that I need to wash it with similar clothes.

Hi, I'm from the Pit of Ultimate Darkness. I don't have anything else that's white.

Meh, I'll just hand wash it, and smuggle it into the dryer at the laundromat. No biggie.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Stupid Dreams

Ever since I got out of high school, I've had a recurring dream of going back. It happened again a couple nights ago, and it was much more detailed than it was in the past. Either that, or my dream-memory is improving.

I show up in the hallowed halls of Mayfield Jr-Sr High School, ready to dial in my locker combination, when I completely forget it. At the same time, I realize I don't have my class schedule. Then the bell rings.

I walk down the hall and enter the guidance counselor's waiting room. There's five other kids lounging about, despite the cramped quarters. My counselor leads another student out of her office, spots me, and invites me in. I ask Mrs. Farrell, "didn't I graduate already? I'm pretty sure I've gone through college by now. My hair shouldn't be this long."

She completely ignores my question and asks me if I've forgotten my schedule again, as if I've done this every other day. I nod in the affirmative. She reaches into a file cabinet, pulls out my very thick folder and hands me one copy among hundreds of my schedule, which conveniently has my locker combination printed in 4-point type (so ne'er-do-wells don't notice it at a glance).

I guess, in this bizarre dream world, I DO lose my itinerary on a daily basis.

I walk out of the office without a hall pass. A teacher confronts me as I climb the stairs to the second floor. He's new, and teaches one of the lower grades.

"Hey son, where's your pass?"

I don't have one; I just came from Mrs. Farrell's office. You can confirm that with her.

The newbie teacher starts yelling. Mr. Pulver, my 9th grade math teacher hears the ruckus because his room is at the top of the stairs. He comes out to see what the problem is. He then enlightens the newbie.

"This is Jeff, he don't need no stinkin' passes. He's a senior honor roll student. He's a good kid."

I swear, he really did use that line from The Treasure of Sierra Madre, while chewing on his trademark stick of Trident gum.

I'm allowed to move along to my history class, where nothing really happens. The history teacher slips me a note that tells me to go to room 42.

Here's where things get weird. I know for a fact that there is no room 42, because on the basement level, it only goes up to room 8.

Let's delve into my twisted logic. That school was the first multi-level building I'd ever been in. When I first got there in 7th grade, the room numbering system confused the hell out of me. There's room one, room 101, and room 201, but no room 99 or 199. The idea that the first digit stood for the floor number wouldn't occur to me for a couple of years.

I should mention at this point that first through fourth grade, I was in a few remedial classes.

I ignore the creepiness of a teacher passing me notes, and make my way down to the lower level. Beneath the upper tier of the stairwell is what looks like a well-disguised vault; basically a door in the wall, that only opens from the inside. It's something I'd always been curious about in real life. Also IRL, it was padlocked, a detail missing in the dream. The door is set into the wall the same way a photograph is matted in a frame.

It would appear that my version of Slumberland has a conspiratorial X-Files slant. SOMETHING has to offset the banality of my life.

When I approach, the door opens. Like the fool that I am, I step inside, and the door closes. It's pitch black. A voice whispers, "what room?"

I ask him what the meaning of life, the universe, and everything is. Even in this paranoid Shangri-La, my sense of humor remains intact. Stranger still, it's understood by Illuminati freaks.

There's a rush of wind. There's light, but no discernible source. There's no telling where the voice came from. In front of me there's a void, deep and black. Running across the void are what resemble water pipes. I peer out, left and right to see what they are connected to, but they all stretch out into the infinite. They are set up like a gymnasts' set of uneven bars, and there are multiple sets of them, leading deeper into the void. Some of them are very, VERY far apart. Going from one particular bar to the next requires dropping 200 feet.

The fall is slow and leisurely. Despite the building momentum, my arms are NOT wrenched from their sockets when I grab the bar. I try not to figure out the improbable odds of the laws of physics weakened effects on me and continue my plunge.

For a long time, it's very dark; only the pipes are illuminated.

I finally reach a platform very similar to the one I'd left. There's a regular classroom door with the cast iron lettering that signified I'd reached my destination. I try to peer through the faceted glass window of the door, but can't make anything out. I jiggle the door knob.

It's locked.

I knock on the door, but no one responds.

I pull out my keys to see if the streak of improbably good luck is still with me.


Someone slides a key under the door from inside. I put it in the lock, turn they key, and -

Murphy's Law kicks me square in the nuts. The key snaps in half. I can't unlock the door.

After laughing for a couple minutes at my improbably bad luck, I open the window of the door, reach through, and open it from the inside.

That's where the dream ends. I don't wake up; the dream is paused. My brain eventually gives up and moves onto something else. I won't wake up for a while later.

So far, this has been the second time this year I've had the dream. There were parts that were more vivid this time than in the past (like "42"), and parts more vivid in the past than this time around (like the falling).

I don't need dreams of endless, pointless quests.

There's another strange dream I've had a couple of times in the past year.

It's over ten years from now. I'm sitting on the subway. My seven year old son is sitting next to me, reading a comic.

That's the point where I realize it's a dream. Me? A father? Yikes. But hey, he's reading a comic, and we're in NYC, so it can't be that bad.

I look at him for a while, and I slowly realize who the mother is.

I say to myself upon the realization, "there's no way that would happen," and the dream ends.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Happiness is...

...putting together a new bookshelf.