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Questo pomeriggio dopo quattro e venti
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Below are the 16 most recent journal entries recorded in tedley444's LiveJournal:

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008
9:28 am
Jumping into the water
I can't wait until the first time I plunge into the lake this year. Last year, I remember it vividly.

It had rained for a long time, enough to have set several records and to have postponed the construction of the new veranda for a week. Water was everywhere and there for a while, it really was raining every day. Dolala Lake was so high, the clubhouse for the sailing club and the fishing dock were all underwater. But, inebriated as we were, we just walked out on the main dock to the end of the pier, we shucked clothes and jumped in.

Brrrrrrrrrrr -- and this was July, usually like bath water, but this was like glacial water. No matter, WG and I loved it, 'twas like being alive again and loving it. We later found out this was completely stupid: there were several live power lines down there, attached to all the stuff that was submerged. But again, I think that was on the OTHER end of the dock, near land... This was WAY out in the water where only boats (and naked swimmers) fly. No matter, we lived, no electrocution, no wounds. We had troubles finding a way OUT of the water, however. There was no ladder nor rope, so WG found a boat that we were able to get a foot onto, and then walk around the edge of to get back onto the dock. Good times, good times.

I think my point was that, for us, swimming takes on a magical quality, but beyond that, I think we enjoy it because it's a very different reality, one in which we are free from thought, and free in the joy that is movement, swirling, bubbling, gliding, a place where the gilled and gill less merge, if but for the afternoon. We could live there. Now, I'm thinking about houseboats, and how wonderful it would be to just wake up and jump into the water in the morning.

Current Mood: energetic
Tuesday, April 29th, 2008
3:21 pm
Testing my presence
So, I've been reading and absorbing, and probably elevating too much, this very popular book about oneness, the dissolution of the ego, and harmony in life. Actually, it's more about achieving a balance between the two. My life thus far has been mostly a dance for the ego. I have been so completely absorbed in my brain that I saw no difference between it and the universe-at-large; no wonder I was frequently suffering greatly.

So, the first week I'm absorbing the text, my ego slipped in there and started pumping me up for it. I'm reading passages to Allen, to WG, to myself and anybody else who will listen. So, I'm feeling high and mighty and want to, much like the author, be above all the din and simply be one with the stillness that is the essence of the universe. But, thinking does not make it so, in fact, that is the biggest error of all.
  • So, I thought I was one with the universe, until I'm taking a daily walk and I notice immense pain in my legs and shins and my body is complaining incessantly about how painful this is and how I should not be feeling this pain and on and on. My walking companion is unhindered and starts taking small jogs during the walk to keep her heart rate elevated.
  • I start pondering the purchase of a new grill, one that I don't need but want. I can't transport it without borrowing someone's truck, it's really too big for our family, we have no room to store it in winter, but it's stainless steel, and has an extra burner on the side. Why do I need this? Oh, that's right, I don't.
  • In pondering the new outdoor grill, I wonder if this is not just a replacement for the expensive indoor grill/panini press that I was drooling over last week on cooking.com. My ego was not satisfied because it didn't get what it wanted, so now it's making me think this is a "new" idea, this outdoor grill from the Good Time Store, but I'm aware enough now to see that it is just another fix.
  • In shopping at the Good Time Store, items which I'd been purchasing weekly are now no longer available. What will I do if I can't buy a whole chicken, fully cooked and ready to reheat? What will we eat at HH if we can't make "biscuits in the shape of a pretzel?"
  • Planning for the future: save money for home improvements, head to Europe, head to Gold Lire Villa, buy expensive gas grills, buy HDTV and a new satellite receiver
  • Pelling sy Mot - Can anybody else really smell this? Maybe it won't go away in five minutes, maybe the neighbors smell it on me now, maybe they're calling the cops as I leave, maybe my parents are planning an intervention, maybe my lungs are chargrilled
Reinforcing my presence, healing me
  • Click-whirrrrrrr, driving with the sunroof open, the wind in my face
  • Driving out to see a great friend on a Friday afternoon, letting the day unfurl naturally
  • Olivia slumping over my body, her contours pressing into mine as I sleep
  • Knowing there will be other savory meats and new things to try at the Good Time Store
  • Shopping like a European -- if it's fresh and at the height of its season, get it, otherwise forget it.
  • Sharing my char-grilled hamburgers with Mom and Dad
  • Smelling the fresh coffee beans in the bean hopper
  • Walking outside with the sun on my face and sweat on my balls
  • Watering the beautiful plant chosen for me by WG
  • I have nobody to impress but myself
  • Jumping right into the lake, no clothes on

Current Mood: mellow
3:18 pm
Back to the PeaPod
  • Sax Rohmer #1 - The Mountain Goats
  • You! Me! Dancing! - Los Campesinos! (I just love this shiny little deal)
  • West Coast - Coconut Records
  • Aly Walk With Me - The Ravonettes (They have listened to Porthishead)
  • Bag of Hammers - Thao (Irresistible ditty)
  • Love Song No. 7 - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
  • Second Chance - Liam Finn
  • Winter Windows - Sea Wolf
  • The Underdog - Spoon
  • Great DJ - The Ting Tings
  • Rogue Wave - Chicago X 12
  • Paper Planes - M.I.A.
  • Love All The Pain Away - Ronski Speed f. Julie
  • Charmed Life (Ford Mix) - Mick Jagger
  • The Girl You Lost to Cocaine - Sia
Monday, March 31st, 2008
3:19 pm
Control and the lack of people
So, I'm scrambling around at 8:30, trying to get my ass in gear to go see Control, a biopic about Ian Curtis, the lead singer of Joy Division. I quickly make a chicken salad sandwich and down it as I'm putting on my socks. Why does everything run to the last minute? No, I'm rarely late, but always in a fizz, if that makes any sense.

The only other time I'd been to this small, intimate avant-garde cinema was for a midnight movie and it was completely packed. So, the brain goes off past experience and I get there at 9:15, panicking, and find there are no cars parked on the street adjacent to the theatre, and the parking lot has only two cars in it. What the f***? When I go into the small theater, there are only about 20 of us waiting to see this film.

The movie was pretty predictable, but I went mainly for the cinematography. It was directed by Anton Corbijn, who was the "image" of Depeche Mode in the late 80s/early 90s, if you will. Indeed, many of the shots looked like they belonged in a black and white photography exhibition, and this was part of my excitement for going. Unfortunately, the storyline was fairly straightforward, otherwise, and did not really give me much insight into the "aesthetic manifestation of his pain" through his art form, music.

The other reason for my attending? I'm not that familiar with Joy Division and this film gave me a quick sampler of what I was missing. I am not destined to be a big Joy Division fan, I'm more of a New Order man myself. The most enjoyable parts of the film, however, were the musical numbers. And, the lead actor looks like he was picked right out of Ian Curtis' butthole; I mean the resemblance was uncanny.

But, where is everyone in this city? I remember complaining about the lack of things to do when I was a teenager, but now I feel like there's more going on at the laundromat in Collinsville on a Friday night. In years past, one would not be alone in this neighborhood at 11:30pm on Friday, there would be people walking about everywhere and cars parked on the street. It was just weird, like an ice storm had just hit and everybody was inside all night.

Current Mood: pensive
Thursday, May 17th, 2007
9:01 am
Cars, speed traps, Kansas beer
I just got my car back from the shop.  In case you don't know the story, I have had quite a history with this automobile.  Let's just say that if I had not purchased a $2000 warranty to cover it to 100,000 miles, I would have spent much more than I paid for it used.  It's had the transmission disassembled twice to replace a sensor, it's had a new head gasket, it's had the transmission rebuilt, latest is a new wheel hub/sensor, a new Throttle Position Sensor (TPS), and cleaning up the Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor, and the Idle Air Control (IAC) motor.  She's doing really well, with lots of restored power and no more surging.  It had apparently been malfunctioning for a time and I'd become accustomed to it.  Time and time again, I say I will get rid of it at the next major repair, but I like it so much and it still looks pretty good.  I just keep throwing money at it, at least it's paid...

I drove through Talala yesterday, and knowing it's a speed trap, slowed down to 45.  Some Kansan behind me gunned it around me to 55, and promptly got pulled over by the local Talala PO-lice.  Boy, they are real jerks there, and I certainly don't want to talk with them.  I just peg it to the speed limit through there and leave as quickly as possible.

I was on my way to Kansas to get some strong beer.  In Oklahoma, domestic beer is sold with an alcohol content of 3.2%, a watered-down version of "real beer".  In OK, it's impossible to buy "Bud Light", "Miller Lite", or "Michelob" in any other strength than 3.2% (water beer).  So, if you want cheap light beer, you have to drive to Arkansas, Texas, Kansas, or Missouri to get it.  Kansas is only 35 minutes from where I live, so it's the winner.  Of course, Oklahoma has strong beer, but it's only sold in liquor stores, at room temperature, and only if it's not available on the cold side in the 3.2% flavor.

Current Mood: content
Thursday, May 3rd, 2007
10:15 am
Plantin' posies
I spent the weekend raking soil, sifting, removing bermuda grass.  The garden, it looks a little bedraggled, but I think it'll work again for me this year.  Or, is it that I'll work for it?  I have to get some seeds started, but it's been raining all week.  Perhaps this Saturday I can do some more.  I planted a whole flat of dianthus and they are going to be pretty this year.

This weekend should be fun.  Although Allen is not yet here to celebrate with me, I'm going to gradiate this Friday.  I have earned enough credits to get my Certificate of Italian Language from TCC.  I really didn't expect to walk in a cap and gown for just a cert, but it appears I shall.  I'm taking the day off tomorrow so I can have plenty of time to get some beer in me before the event.

This Sunday, it's racing time.  I'm going to crew on a Catalina 25 (keel boat).  We will have some new crew on board, so it'll be interesting.  Skipper claims I have experience and that I'm helpful, but I'm always dubious because I'm just like a dog out of the car window -- I'm lost in the waves and spray until it's time to tack.  Then, I do my duties, and it's right back to dogworld, amazed at the speed of the waves.

Current Mood: accomplished
Tuesday, April 17th, 2007
2:05 pm
They want $500
My employer has revamped the parking system this year.  Will you believe that, in order to keep parking in the lot I do now (and always have up 'til now for $30 per year), will cost me $500.00 next year?  We Oklahomans do not dig paying to park in the first place.  We are simply not used to it; we live in big open spaces with plenty of room for vehicles (cows, trailers, SUVs, wheat fields).  We expect to pay to park only when we drive to some big city like San Francisco or San Antonio; parking in Oklahoma is usually free, excepting a few downtown streets here and there.  And even then, when we do pay, we get pissed.  Seeing how this is a private university, they can do whatever they want, but I am still in shock.

Yes, I have other options:  pay $100 to park in the place I now consider "last resort" when the other lots are full (it involves a fairly good walk).  Finally, there is the lovely option that everybody can afford:  $25.00 to park and ride the shuttle.  They have constructed a fairly large parking lot on the edge of campus, adjacent to a major arterial street of Tulsa.  It's only 5 blocks from my building, and shuttles run from 7am until ?? but I get here at 6:30am.  No problem, I will gladly wait in my car for the shuttle to arrive and take me to the door, and I will also be leaving 15 minutes early in order to get an on-time departure from this hell-hole.  The only trouble is, you are allowed to park in that lot only when there are no athletic events scheduled.  OK, on those days, I will work from home.

This place is changing rapidly from a small, intimate place with lots of character to a big, ugly, pre-fabricated place with big ugly pre-fabricated people trying to please everyone, and instead pleasing NO one.  Just 5 more years...

Current Mood: pissed off
Wednesday, April 11th, 2007
10:31 am
Crisped trees, crisped receiver
The freeze was spotty; most of the new leaves on the trees are hanging there, at first limply, and now crisply.  It's like autumn again, hearing all the dead leaves blow in the wind.  They will recover.  My poor dogwood got bit, but interestingly enough, the roses are still in full bud and didn't appear to be crisped.  If there's one thing I've learned by living in OK all these years, it's that you don't put tender plants outside until AFTER April 15.  All bets are off until then.  And, in the autumn, you are wagering past October 15.

This year, I shall have a good little flower garden again.  I'm not sure about the veggies.  I always have good intentions in building veggie beds, but usually end up stocking them full of flowers the years following.  I'm not much into perennials, I like to change things frequently so I prefer annuals.  I start a lot of stuff from seeds, so I like new, freshly furrowed rows each year.

The sun shone today for the first time in days.  My walk was bright but unfortunately, plagued by a very cold north wind that I don't much care for.  Hey, I'm happy though, the sun is out, and I didn't have to bundle up to walk outside.

Also crisped is my receiver.  It still works, but the display is completely toasted.  What's the volume?  Is this Dolby Digital, DTS, or 2.1 Stereo?  I don't know either.  Is it taking in the digital or analog audio source?  Only way to tell is to unplug one and if the sound stops, that's the input it had selected.  I'm fine as long as I can remember the sequences of things and knew what state they were in before the crisp, but once I ever need to recalibrate or set-up something on the receiver, I'm out of luck.  Can I live with this?  All the internal components are still working fine, so it seems a shame to get a new one, but I don't know if I can live with this particular malady; my sound system is very important to me.

Current Mood: productive
Sunday, April 8th, 2007
1:34 pm
Easter Sunday
Damn, it's cold!

It was 26 or so this morning, a glaze of frost on everything. Just 4 days ago, I was grinding the A/C to keep it cool in here, now the heat has been on all last night. It's nutty! It snowed on Thursday, April 5, no joke. I took a quick video in .MPG format of this just to prove I wasn't hallucinating.

Allen came in very late because of delays in ATL. He got here at 12:45am, officially Saturday morning, but Friday night to me. I did thankfully forsee this and took a good long nap Friday afternoon. I cleaned up the house and baked a cake. We colored some eggs and made a big mess! We spent most of our time trying to make a purple lake. We could NOT make a purple, though we tried. It all came out brown. I ask you, how does red+blue=brown? At any rate, Allen made a lovely "espresso" egg, it was quite odd.

We had a nice Easter Eve Dinner; I made BBQ chicken, taters and some mixed veggies. There were some fairly nice strawberries in the store, so we had those with some lime jello. We had a couple of beers and watched some of The Simpsons Season 9 before crashing on the couch.

I just saw him off at 12:30 Sunday afternoon; man it's awfully quiet in here. I wish it were warm enough for me to go garden, it'd be a great use of my free time. I wonder if Allen will have better weather in FL. I'm sure it's at least 80 there today... If I close my eyes I can picture myself right there on the beach with white sand everywhere.

Starting at work tomorrow, I've got a big project to begin after having waited a good while for the server to be ordered, configured, and ready for me. I'll be looking forward to next Happy Hour (HH), believe me.

Current Mood: pensive
Monday, April 2nd, 2007
2:59 pm
I can't believe it's April
...yet in about 36 hours, it will be near freezing.  But, for right now, the air is filled with pollen, the trees are unfurling, and the insects are already abuzz.  I sat on my back porch and wiped off an inch of pollen from the chairs, and looked at all the green.  I love living here when it's Green, the air is warm, moist; shorts and Tevas are perfect.

I slip outside to listen to the mating birds, the whirr of the air conditioner keeping the house cool.  The grass is luminescent, glowing ultraviolet under the bright sun, it waves at me in the wind.  I wonder if my back porch is going to end up in Kansas this year as it creaks and groans with the wind.  I inhale deeply and look out at the glimmering sun preparing to set out west.

My dogwoods are out, and the alba, she no make fiori this year, 2nd in a row.  L'alba dovrebb'essere la grande sanguinella in fiore, e infatto, l'rosa è la più bella.  But, I enjoy the pink one; each year it does better and better.  I wish we had another redbud, I think I shall plant one of those next.

I have sailboat fever.  I am thinking now and was outside, too, about how much wind there'd be if we were on the lake sailing today.  I am going to miss the Thistle; I think I was most familiar with it after all these years.  It took a while to get the hang of a dinghy like that where one's weight can make the difference between a good sail and broaching the boat.  Those spinnaker runs were really fun; don't get me wrong, that adrenaline was pumpin', but it was sure fun to feel that force pushing us through the water.  With the water rushing and making a tremendous wake, knowing that just 2 inches more and we would be swimming instead of sailing, I held the sheets tightly and it was grand.

Right now, I'm thinking it'd be so sweet to have that Sunfish and take it out to the lake after work; trouble is, during the summer is when Thomas is home, and I hate to miss our time together.

The Easter cold snap is coming, though, but for now, man it sure is nice out on the back porch!
Monday, March 26th, 2007
6:58 am
Una Bella Serata nella barca a vela
(a beautiful afternoon on the sailboat)

I could not have asked for a nicer Birthday, WG and her crew, all gleeful and wonderful, the wind blowing through Flower Child's golden locks, we all embraced the day.  Tripping over sheets, sitting on the high side, water lapping at your toes, a muddy splash now and then, "A Refresher!"  And, plenty of wind, plenty, never a need for more, and I could, I did, I was not cold.  I got plenty of refreshers, but I did not get cold (I can do almost anything if I'm not too cold).  In fact, oft I wished I could just strip off and plunge in, but it's still March, water's too cold!

The sun glinted out as we did glide about (glid?)  Peanut butter and Nutella sandwich, few taters, and a wedge of cheese and we're ready for round number 2.  Soon, though, we're flying back into the cove at record speed, not even enough time to haul out a beer, so we wait.  L'ora di racconti era buona.  We had a gorgeous centerpiece of flowers (which I got to take HOME!) at our table, good sweet kids, happy faces, WG, WG's Mom, The Rock.  It was MY day, made just for me, and I could not have asked for better!

The only downside was having to come back to work the next day (Let's do it again!)

PS - I'm sore today!  Not bitching, but noticing when I move.
Saturday, March 24th, 2007
2:01 pm
Lo shopping
Una bella giornata...

Ho avuto una bella giornata oggi con Mama.
Siamo andati a Tulsa per fare lo shopping.
Lei mi ha portato nella macchina grandiosa.

Streaming down the highway, me wishing I was smoking,
she praying I would stop,
we talked about family, last year, her desires.
The knot in our boys, and Dad's impending MRI
caused worry.
I gotta head to the doctor, right away.

As we arrive to the place where one is
"Steppin' Out in Style, Tulsa Mapronade".
It's as if I were 16 again, and Mom is
hauling me around in her car.  We head in
to shop at Macy's, and she goes crazy again,
as if I were 16 again, except plus 40 pounds!

As usual, the comments are made about us
"both going on a diet," yet we both know
she's really talking about ME.

I soon forget, ironically enough, after
heading out into the smoke-hole while she
takes one of 20 trips to the bathroom [seemingly]
She chuckles and says she knows where
all the smoke holes are, because of Aunt Smackie.
I nearly cry as I puff away, thinking about
how nice it'd have been for all of us to be there.

We have lunch at Lick-Away.  Horizontal Chicken Stix and
pancake taters.  I remember how things have changed,
yet there we are at the same place eating chicken.
I remember when our Jazz Band played just steps from
where we were eating.  Then we talk about how wonderful
Aunt Smackie was in her acceptance of Thomas and me.
Mom mentions slyly that she'd been "deprogramming" her
against those evil notions she held to about homosexuality.

I wonder if other children wonder about their parents
and the things they say.  Then, I thank my stars for
them, as I love them dearly.  My mom is beautiful, I can't
believe she is at the age she is sometimes.  My dad
is incredibly smart, and very very easy to get along with.

Soon, we spend hours at the cosmetic counter (I can't stand
those phony loud women there).  I wonder if she knows that
the products are marked up for that presentation and
false joyous nature?  I know, I buy the same kinds of fragrances
and pay the same dorky people.

But, all in all, I loved it.  I am finally becoming myself
and she herself when around each other.  We even get along when
it's time to decide where to eat.  Chicken!  We're both
there.  I just have to remember not to experiment, always
Chicken Stix!

We look in The Chasm, but nothing made me
want to orgasm.  So I went to L'Espresso per
gli uomini.  Mamma mia!  C'erano brutte commesse!  Mamma mia,
loro si sono messa vesti bianchi, senza calze, ed
le loro gambe erano bianchi.  But, anyway,
I found two shirts I wanted back in Sarasota,
but T-Town had my size.

Una Bella Giornata, una bella serata.  Mi è piaciuto
il giorno.  Life is too short, let's have more nice
Tuesday, March 20th, 2007
6:48 am
South Beach Deco
In our continuing quest to visit places that are truly unique, we visited South Beach, Miami, Florida recently.  We drove down old Hwy 41 (Tamiami Trail - a bastardization of "To Miami"), through the Everglades, where we did see a specific type of bromeliad indigenous to Florida, although little else can be seen through the giant swamp.  Upon arriving in Miami, however, we were faced with intense traffic and very narrow lanes through the downtown area, with lots of honking by angry residents.

After a brief but intense trip through downtown to get East, we were soon on the Causeway, then A1A, which takes you onto the Island of South Beach.  We slaked down to Collins Ave, and then took it to 5th and Ocean Dr.  Immediately the traffic came to a halt, and as the sun set, we were treated to South Beach's night character.  There were throngs of people, walking in and around all the cars in a giant parking lot that is Ocean Dr.  It's not a bad place to be in a jam, however, as on the West side of Ocean Dr. are the gorgeous Streamline beauties that house all the Spring Breakers and fasion hawkers, with eating tables and umbrellas lining their approaches.  On the East side of Ocean Dr. is Lummus Park, and the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.  After sunset, a very STRONG seabreeze cools diners' plates, and while walking along the shore, one wants a jacket.

Throngs of college girls wearing thongs and too-short cover-ups wander back from the beach at eight, while older couples dressed a notch up are looking for a plate filled with one half of a chicken, two pounds of rice, 3 cups of undercooked veggies, and a six-dollar draw.  Every facade is neon-lit, and the clubs intermingled with the eateries spill out onto the street.  Horny girls have their butts petted by rasta men peddling fake cannabis candies.  Drunken men wander about and get into womens' faces, saying "BOOP!  You're a pretty lady," and the women run!

We wandered about at 8:30pm, not having booked a room in advance.  The first three places we went into just looked at us like we were insane for asking, "Oh, no, we're booked up for weeks..."  Then they looked at us with a frowny face saying, "It IS Spring Break."  After the places we first attempted turned us away, we gave up and figured we'd be staying on the mainland that night, driving back to tour the sights the next day.  As we are walking back to the parking garage, I see a line of college students in beachwear at a desk, quickly walking back out grumbling about "only suites."  So, Allen and I popped in and were told "Only suites."  How much?  $189.  (I overhear the two gents next to us figure out it would be $30 each -- wow, they are going to cram 7 people into a place with room to sleep 4.  We were standing in a nice, glossy lobby with a beautiful facade to match, but quickly taken next door to the sister side where the suites were located.  We were initially disappointed, but later took this as a blessing, as the loud, thumping music with the small cocktail lounge was absent from our property.

We saw the suite and upon entering were asked, "Isn't it a BIG, HUGE room?"  Yes, it was, with peeling paint, moldy smells, holes in the wall, and switchplate covers hanging by one screw.  But, seeing how the linens were clean, the A/C and shower worked, it had a fridge for our beer, smoking was allowed, and it was quiet, we took it with pleasure.

The next morning, we got up a little HO, walked out to a small Cuban Coffee spot and had pastries with Cafe con leche, a Cuban specialty.  After checking out of our hotel, we packed the truck and went back on foot to enjoy the sights by day.  By day, South Beach has an entirely different character.  The drunk,  HO college students by this time are all sleeping, some in their rooms, and many down on the sofas in the lobby.  We step around their hung over bodies, and take in the bright sun.  Walking back down Ocean Drive, we notice that cars do move on this drive, but only during the day.  Instead of people dressed to the hilt, today we have beach-goers, and the locals who venture out only before 6pm.  Shopping in open air markets, the locals snap up fresh seafood, flowers, and items for their dinners that night.  People don hats, sunglasses, wearing shorts and tees, the sea breeze is missing during the day, with a rather warm, humid sun glinting off the Atlantic, mirroring the cheery pastels on the Art Deco buildings.

The Art Deco in Miami is mostly Streamline, in contrast to Tulsa's mostly ZigZag collection.  There were some common elements, notably the terra cotta details.  Although, in retrospect, I'm not sure if it's real terra cotta, or just painted to look like it.  Most enjoyable was finding out that we stayed in a place on the same block as The Carlyle, the location used for The Birdcage nightclub in the film.  In many of the shots, one can see "Essex House" outside the window, and we were right across the street!  The attitude here is that of youthful remodeling.  The buildings are all the same on the inside, with peeling paint and moisture-ridden carpets.  The exteriors are gorgeous, fitting in the theme of a duality in nature:  clubbing and neon-lit glamor rules by night, whereas during the day, the sun exposes the dinginess and the more subdued nature of the place is evident.

Why the hell don't I have any night shots?  I dunno.  Because when we arrived we were haggered and weary, but it was twilight and the shots would have been a nice contrast to the day shots.  Next visit!

Spring Break 2007
Friday, March 9th, 2007
3:22 pm
No wonder I got smoothed
The statistics say it all:  Here are the statistics for my account activity.  I took my monthly subscription fee (incl. tax) and divided it by the number of rentals for that month.  If you look closely (with the exception of my Honeymoon Period Oct/Nov 05 + Dec 06), note that anytime my cost per DVD drops much below $3, magically, the next month, their level of service declines, I have wait states in my queue, and movies take at least 2-3 days to get checked out/in.  If I slow down and let my cost climb again, much above 3.50, the smoothing mitigates somewhat.  Check out the results:
MonthAverage Cost
Each Rental
Per Month
March 074.50 
February 072.65Y
January 073.64 
December 063.33 
November 063.33 
October 063.07 
September 064.44 
August 062.92Y
July 062.92 
June 062.69 
May 062.50Y
April 062.73 
March 063.00 
February 063.00 
January 062.00 
December 051.92Y
November 051.67 
October 054.00 

Current Mood: awake
Thursday, March 8th, 2007
4:48 pm
Petflix smoothed me (Roughly)
I was getting my little red envelopes really quickly, always remembering to stash one aside and keep it for 4+ weeks, and then I got greedy.

I started turning them around too quickly for their business models and WHAM!  I got 'licked.  Overnight, over 50% of the selections in my queue had a wait state; while previous to this, I generally endured wait states only for the really rare OOP titles.  I'd estimate that, previous to last night, only about 10% or less of my queue was in a wait state.  I didn't abuse it much, though, and always remembered to stash two back and move only 4 slots.  So, I upgraded to the 7 plan, and that helped, BRIEFLY, but then I didn't heed the warning:

I got one from San Jose, CA; at least that wasn't as bad as the one I got from Honolulu, HI right after my Honeymoon period ended!!!  It took that sucker a full 8 days to get to and fro.  When that happened, I slowed down a bit to appease their sense of how often one should return films.  It's not my fault that 50% of the stuff I rent I either watch once and quickly or really can't do more than 15 minutes of before I eject, and return it that same night in the post.  That will really hurt 'ya.  But, who wants to keep a POS around that you'll never watch?  You want another goodie from your queue, and TOMORROW, if not sooner.

So, I had about 450 movies in the queue.  I have pared it down to about 42 with the saved section, 17 in the full que.  If I am denied films because they are supposedly on "wait" state and my acct. sits idle for any length of time, I'll certainly cancel and try another service.  That is, if I can't find another way to fool their computer ;-)  The good thing is that if you can leave it frozen for about one week, you can sometimes be relieved from the WHAM, but you have to proceed gently.  Unfortunately, one's only option is to either put up with it or cancel, because it's in their service agreement that they can send movies if and when they want to if at all.

PS - I think 3 of their business practices are really s***ty:

1.)  No phone number is posted on their website to subscribers; as a logged-in patron, NO phone number is available, period.  (When logged in as a non-subscriber/potential customer, the phone number is BURIED, but there). [should one trust a company with a credit card if they can't get in touch with them via telephone?]

2.)  When one does cancel, one has only 7 days to return all outstanding rentals, otherwise, (it's their wording and general tone that's really rude , especially considering that when they are dolling out rentals to customers, they do it on their terms):  they will charge the credit card on file for the full cost of the film, blah-blah.  7 days?  Can you trust them to say they got them back in 7 days?

3.)  This one is both good and bad.  It's good to be on the honeymoon period.  On any other plan except the 2-per month [2-per month are usually almost always on honeymoon], after about 3 weeks of being a full paid member, Your honeymoon period ends; their turnaround in both sending AND, most irritating, checking back in, slows dramatically, from one day to 2-3.  You'll also see wait states appear on your queue literally overnight, and you'll also see more and more come from somewhere other than your closest dist. center.  This can be mitigated somewhat by slowing down your rentals, but it's very deceptive, IMHO -- mainly because during your two week free trial, movies turn around in only 24 hours, and NOTHING you put in your que, NOTHING, has a wait state, it all says "Now".  Newbies are deceived into thinking the service is better than it really is.

At least they have competition.  Sirius and XM have merged into a big monopoly.  Want satellite radio?  One choice!  Yuk, I like choice and competition in our marketplace, it's good.

Current Mood: annoyed
Monday, February 12th, 2007
12:21 am
An Emotional Rescue (a poem)
I felt so alone, so naked, so fat.
You came along and took me,
naked, ashamed, so hurt.

You drove with endless patience,
lit a cigarette for me, and handed it over.
I smoked, and as I inhaled the toxic smoke,
I pondered life, and I found a grew hair in my beard.
I look at yours, and I find lots of salt in pepper.

"It's OK little man, I am here for you."
The morning light is strong,
glinting off your big starry eyes.
Take this smoke, and I am shotgunned.
As I pull back to take the drug,
our beards intertwined for just a moment.

I catch a whiff of old cologne, stale whiskey,
and the essence of my armpit as I back away.
It's OK, little man, I am strong and I will
I will, I will, I will drive you where you need to go.

We will make it to Hawaii, we will visit the beach,
we will top those gorgeous hills in The City,
we will stare at San Francisco Bay,
and as the day draws to a close,
we will close the curtain,
and be in the state of bliss

This, and don't be crisp,
has helped so much.

Are you ever weak?  Are you ever tired?
You'll watch Feinseld, you'll crank the volume up,
you'll ride on a speedboat, you'll ski next to me,
throwing all the wee fears in the wake.

We can't wait for summer again,
to till and nuture, but til then,
I want to linger in your arms and
hear it again, "It's all going to be OK,
my sweet sweet boy."

Current Mood: creative
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