Sunday, June 27, 2004

Catwoman vs. Halle Berry

Okay, so I just don't get the whole Halle Berry thing. I mean, I guess she's an okay-looking woman, with mediocre enough acting skills. But I simply don't understand why everyone seems to think she's all that and then some. And the fact that out of all the beautiful, sexy, talented women on this planet, they picked Halle Berry to be Catwoman?

As Mike Tyson might say, it'th thimply ludicrith.

Why could they not have made this Catwoman movie back when the Batman movies came out? Michelle Pfeiffer was an amazingly sexy Catwoman. Of course, besides being gorgeous, Michelle can actually act, so that could be part of it.

I dunno.. I can think of a wide variety of women that would have been a better pick than Halle Berry. Come on, people.. I can't be the only one to notice her face looks funny.

Today is day 8 of the no-smoking thing, and I still haven't had a cigarette. I did, however, crack and buy a cheapie cigar at 7-11. I don't consider this cheating, as I "didn't inhale". Haha.. no, really, I didn't. I just kind of puffed on it and got to taste the good and bad tastes related to smoking.

The past couple of days have been kind of bad as far as my feeling like I want to cave. Originally, it was relatively easy to dismiss my cravings because you can't cheat with yourself, and what is the point of it, anyway? But now, I dunno.. I've been feeling pretty shitty about my weight lately and it's sort of brought me into a depression.

My low mood makes me want to do nothing but waste time, and use cigarettes as a crutch. It makes me question whether I want to quit, even though in my saner moments I know that I am committed to it.

Since meeting Angie, I have gained around 10 pounds, possibly more. I know 10 pounds is not a big deal on the grand scale of things, and frankly I don't care what number I weigh, but it is a significant amount in terms of how I feel. The way my clothes fit, or don't fit. I've been afraid to weigh myself because I fear the number I've put back on exceeds my worst expectations.

I just feel big. I know I'm bigger, and it makes me feel so self-conscious, even though I have been at this weight before and felt relatively good about it. I know that I would feel better if I started watching what I ate and exercising, but for whatever reason, when food is concerned, I find myself unable to say no.

When I was losing weight, it was because I didn't eat very much. My stomach shrunk and while I generally ate whatever I wanted, it wasn't very much. I think I probably worked more, too, back then before I got really bitter. Running around and being around food all day turned me off to it. Food wasn't a big deal to me anymore, and I said no to things I didn't want.

Anyway. Presently, it's really sad to say, but I don't even want to leave the house, I feel so fat. So I'm trying to get over that, too. Heh. I'm brooding, and trying to come up with a plan for something I'm not very good at -- self-discipline.


Currently Playing...
Song: Simple Plan - I'd Do Anything
Book: Chang & Eng by Darin Strauss

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Hidee Ho

The biggest news in my world is that I quit smoking four days ago. Cold turkey, and I have not had a cigarette since early Saturday morning. The whole experience has gone easier than I anticipated, and so I'm rather grateful for that. I got cranky for a short while, but I attributed that to lack of sleep more than anything else. I've definitely had some cravings and I miss smoking, even though I didn't even enjoy it a lot of the time.

I suppose, when I heard things like 'cigarettes are more addictive than heroin', I sort of anticipated some serious physical withdrawal. Other than a constant slight headache, I've felt overall pretty fine. I'm finding that most of the cravings have to do with habit, instead.

Secondly, there was an attempt yesterday to home remedy remove my wart. Yes, gentle readers, yours truly has a wart. Hard to imagine I'm sure, considering how delicate and fair you know me to be, but very true; I have shared my left middle finger with a nefarious growth that set up shop some eight years ago. This wart has survived multiple attempts at removal, and I sort of gave up trying.

Well, Angie has a home remedy book that said the quickest method to remove the wart would be to crush a clove of garlic, apply it to the area, and keep the whole thing bandaged up for 24 hours. The garlic causes the area to blister, and the wart is supposed to fall off in a week or so.

She crushed the garlic, applied it to the wart, and I put on two of those Curad extreme length band-aids on my finger. The spot is rather unfortunate -- on the middle joint of my middle finger -- and soon after, I felt the skin beneath the bandaging burning. At first, it was a mild burning, and considering the remedy calls for blistering skin, I took this as a sign that things were working.

Shortly thereafter, I began to experience shooting, horrible pains that made me want to cut off my left hand at the wrist; I understand now how people can remove their own appendages in times of emergency. The pain came and went in waves.. going from a bearable throbbing to a maddening, stabbing, make-me-want-to-pull-my-hair-out kind of pain.

You get the idea. It fuckin' hurt.

Anyway, I got involved in washing a floormat out of my car and got the bandaged mess wet, and the pain diminished greatly, so I kind of wondered if I'd ruined it. I decided to keep it on anyway, and see what happened today.

Well, first of all, let me express to you that I have a tumor-like blister the size of France on my finger. It is so big that it has its own moon. Unfortunately, the wart itself is not part of Planet Blister, as the skin around it doesn't appear to be swollen or even moderately affected. It was originally a bit sensitive, but I think this was mostly due to the sore skin next door.

So now I have this blister that I could take on tour and possibly all for naught. And I might have to attempt it again and endure the pain. I am praying that somehow the wart will fall off anyway and save me the suffering.

Currently Playing...
Song: Michelle Branch - If Only She Knew
Book: Chang & Eng by Darin Strauss
Obsessing Over: My pregnant finger

Thursday, June 17, 2004

What the Hell??

Pentagon: Military Hid Iraq Prisoner from Red Cross

I was ready to fly all up into Washington when Rumsfeld said about the Geneva Convention: "Well, it's really open to interpretation.."

How is it open to interpretation? We all got together and came up with some basic rules for fair and decent treatment of human beings during war time. What is there to question? And frankly, if this kind of shit was happening to American soldiers, you just know we wouldn't stand for it. So why is it okay for us to bend and break the rules?

It's bullshit. This entire war is a selfish, nepotic agenda that only gets worse for everyone as the days pass. First it's seemingly all right to torture and humiliate prisoners, now it's okay to hide away a prisoner for seven months without notifying the Red Cross. Sheeeit, what do we need that dumb old Geneva Convention for?

How more people are not up in arms calling for an end -- Bush's presidency, the war, Rumsfeld's job, etc. -- is beyond me. Why are we not stopping and asking ourselves just what the hell we're doing over there?

Currently Playing...
Song: Evanescence - Exodus
Book: Chang and Eng by Darin Strauss
Obsessing Over: This country and the stupid Fatkins diet (die, die!)

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Server Strife

We were pretty dead last night, at least for the first few hours of our shift, so in wandering around being bored, I happened to crack open a trainer's notebook just to see what was inside. On top of the training material, I found a stack of five order sheets containing a list in different handwritings. The list was pretty funny -- a variety of things that we Olive Garden servers hate -- apparently it began the other night and was added to throughout a shift or two.

We continued it tonight, adding two more pages. I was amused enough to want to post it, though you lucky folks who have never been in the business might not fully understand. Keep in mind, too, that some of it was written with humor, particularly the jabs at each other.

Here is the list, my notes in brackets:

* People that bring their own salad dressing
* People who suck their drinks down faster than they get them
* Wayne & Juan & Kristy
* All the above
* Don't pull hair
* Never getting closed!!!!
* People who think they can eat salad for free!!!
* Pasta Bowl peeps [Neverending Pasta Bowl = Server Hell]
* Server lists
* Bussers
* Hosts
* 10% tables
* "Where is the soup and salad bar?" / "Where's your salad bar?"
* Having no tables for 45 minutes and then getting triple sat and getting closed all at the same time.
* CAPPED tables [You know, making a 4-person table into a 5-person table by putting a chair in the only place I can stand at the table]
* "Angel hair spaghetti"
* $1 tips -- really I'd rather be stiffed
* "I'll take the fettucine sauce"
* "I'll take the lemon with the water"
* Jaeger Bombs all night long
* The "big bowl" [As in 'We get the big bowl of salad, right?']
* "I'll take some more rolls, biscuits, etc.." [They're breadsticks, folks. Sticks. They're even stick-shaped.]
* Rose's request!!!
* Shayne's $150 lunch shifts and Stephanie's $1,000 weeks [Can we say B.S.? Thought so!]
* God pamphlets with fake money!!!!!
* People that have everything special. Half unsweet half sweet tea, lots of ice, no lemon
* The fact that it takes J.R. a half hour to tell a five minute story
* Butter for the breadsticks, extra napkins!
* "Don't we just all eat out of the bowl?" [Out of 'the big bowl' of salad]
* Server: "Are you ready to order?"
Guest: "Yeah..."
(As you stand there for 10 minutes!!!)
* 15 million kinds of dressing on the side!
* When you are walking away from the table and the guest says, 'Well, he is obviously gay.'
* "I'll have the all-you-can-eat pasta bowl!"
* People who bitch
* Strangers who insist on talking to other strangers at length!
* "What is the soup of the day?" [Nevermind that we've had the same three soups, every day, for like 13 years.]
* Small big trays [The smaller busser trays they're making us carry now, I'll add in my hatred of the additional rule that only three plates (and a Tour of Italy plate counts as two) can be carried on a tray at a time]
* "Luncheon special spaghetti"
* Sunday
* People who can't TIP
* "I'll take a small Coke." Sorry, this is not Burger King. We have one size.
* Hillbillies that get on my nerves, and smell bad
* Getting hammered 15 minutes before the relief comes on
* Server: "Would you all like to start off with an appetizer?"
Guest: "Naw, just the salad and breadsticks." or "Yeah, we'll have the salad and breadsticks." [People, the salad and bread are part of your meal. Cheap-asses.]
* Food with special instructions that people pull out of the window and run without paying attention to the mods written right on the damn ticket
* When the line guys mess up food and then yell at us and/or give attitude like it's our fault, when we ask to get it fixed
* One person in a large party has to have something different about their salad (dressing, no cheese, no veggies, etc.)
* People who ask for no butter and/or garlic on their breadsticks
* When no one at the table will look at or talk to you, and getting any information from them (such as their order) is like pulling teeth
* When people come in with a chip on their shoulder and proceed to take it out on you the whole time you wait on them
* "Extra extra extra lemon" in their water and then they make lemonade with the sweetener on the table instead of actually paying for lemonade
* Tables trying to be helpful, but not really, by doing a horrible, precarious job of stacking plates
* People who ask for sides of dressing to dip their breadsticks in, instead of paying for dipping sauce
* People who PILE as much of their dirty plates and silverware as possible on you when you're trying to pre-bus the table [It kills me how often people do this to me, especially when I only have one free arm]
* People who ask for one thing every time you come to the table, instead of asking for a few things at once
* People who tip 50% or more in change
* People who wait for ridiculous change (a penny, nine cents, etc.)
* People who bitch because we carry Coke products instead of Pepsi
* People who bitch about the breadsticks and want the Tuscan or ciabatta bread
* People who want "just a small box" and holler when you bring the smallest box that we have (apparently, the box isn't small enough)
* Servers who never run their food when you're expediting and then after doing half their job for them all night, they only tip a dollar or two (particularly if they try to sell some sob story about not making any money that night.. I've run all their food, and seen the amount of tables they had, do they take me for a dummy?)

Currently Playing...
Song: 10,000 Maniacs - These Are the Days
Book: Chang and Eng by Darin Strauss

Quick Note

I am not dead, nor have I been very busy, either.. mostly I've been staring at my cable modem and praying for it to work. I've had issues with my cable internet for nigh on 3 months now, and it has gotten to the point where I'm offline far more than I'm on.

The cable guys came today and banged and drilled outside for a while. They said they replaced a section of cable from the house to the street that looked like it was 30 years old, and that a new TV station seemed to be causing some interference in the line.

The good news is that the signal appears to be better with the new cable, and with less interference. Currently, I'm connected. However, only time will tell if the problem is fixed.

Mo' later.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Just Cause I'm Bored

I did a Google image search for my name, and pulled up a wide variety of photos. Most surprising were all the porn photos that popped up, but since Alenas seem to vary, I thought I'd post a little gallery here. Just cause I have nothing better to do.

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Currently Playing...
Song: The Cure - Just Like Heaven
Book: The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and The Speckled People by Hugo Hamilton.

Friday, June 04, 2004

A pride proclamation from Senator John Kerry

As the nation celebrates Pride Month, I am excited to join the LGBT community in fighting for equal rights for gay Americans. I believe that Americans should embrace the diversity that makes our nation strong and recommit ourselves to ensuring that all Americans are guaranteed equal rights.

The LGBT community contributes to our nation in so many ways, in every corner of this country. And in return, you ask only for equal treatment. LGBT Americans deserve the right to make medical decisions for one another in times of crisis, the right to inherit a house purchased together and equal access to health insurance, social security and retirement benefits. Together we can provide this simple justice.

The Bush administration repeatedly uses gay rights as a political tool to divide the nation. That's just wrong. I am committed to using the power of the White House to advance equal rights for all Americans, including gay Americans. We don't need a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. We need to find a way to provide all American families with full and equal rights. We don't need opposition to hate crime legislation. We need to reject hate and embrace acceptance. And we don't need a President who plays politics with gay adoption. We need a President who works everyday to protect and support all children and families.

I want to lead an America where the inscription "Equal Justice Under the Law" has both meaning and value for all Americans, not just some Americans. And I need your help to make that happen. Let's work to make a stronger America where all Americans are treated with dignity and fairness and celebrated with pride.

With best wishes,

John Kerry

Thursday, June 03, 2004

(This was going to be an entirely different memoirs post, but this is what came out instead.)

Geek Memoirs

San Francisco is the wonderful, beautiful city that raised me. I was a computer geek early on, and was all about the internet in a time when modems were a relatively new-fangled device. I was in high school when I got my first modem; 2400 baud, used, and I was so proud of myself for finding the most advanced modem on the market for $75 (they were going for $150+ new, if you can believe that).

There was a sort of underground revolution happening in San Francisco during this period -- a whole subculture of net-heads and smart geeks meeting and almost exclusively associating within the group of members of a BBS called SFNet.

SFNet started out as a BBS mostly based out of local coffeeshops. The terminals aroused much curiosity and interest with San Franciscans, especially since a quarter bought you a good chunk of killed time, having interesting and often funny conversations with other locals. For those not in the know, BBS stands for Bulletin Board System, which back then mostly consisted of email within the system, a chat service, and message boards.

One of the terminals popped up in the coffeeshop on 9th and Judah I frequented, as their great coffee was a mere two blocks from home. Aaah.. this is making me miss San Francisco so. What a great city. In any case, I'd read a little about this cyberspace thing and was really curious. It sounded so cool, and after eyeing the terminal a couple of times, I decided to pop in a quarter and check it out.

It dialed up, and then asked me to create a first name. I thought for a few moments, trying to come up with something different that represented what I liked. Sadly, I could come up with nothing great, and settled on Fimo. After all, I liked Fimo.

But when I hit enter, it asked for a last name, and since I'd exhausted my creative naming abilities with the first one, I simply gave up and picked my last name. I lived with this name (in a world of clever handles like Miss Anthrope) for a year and a half or so before changing it to Meadow Fields (an in-joke with my best friend at the time).

Anyhow, most people used SFNet for chat. The terminals multiplied to more and more coffeeshops (and even a coffeeshop/laundromat). The membership was somewhat fluid, with users coming and going, but there was definitely a core group of users, especially as a growing number of the hooked (such as myself) could connect from home and waste hours that way for less money.

We started having Net Gets, organized get-togethers and parties, where we could all co-mingle and have fun. I was a netter for nigh on five years or so, and I'm not sure I would have had a social life at all, were it not for SFNet. I spent a ton of my time with these folks over the years, and I met some really awesome, smart, fun people.

We had big summer picnics in Golden Gate Park, and bonfires all the time, especially in the summer, when we'd have them on a weekly basis. And sometimes we'd even have them in the winter if we needed something different to break out of the blahs. Of course they were mostly an excuse to drink and hang out, but they were a lot of fun. Many memorable memories, such as a guy showing me his penis for a bartered handful of Sun Chips, were made at Ocean Beach.

I also remember when the World Wide Web first came out, and the first time I saw it. I was working at CyberMind, a virtual reality game center on Fisherman's Wharf, and there was a wired terminal up for public use. Someone sort of showed me how to use it, but I admit to being really confused. In my defense, I don't think the web was quite as polished as it is now. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I know that I didn't really understand the web even in '95 or so, after I talked my mom into joining AOL. Somehow even though I didn't understand the web, I had something one could loosely call a home page. I think it had my name on it and an Under Construction banner and... nothing else.

I love me my internet. I personally could not live without it, for too many reasons to name. And even though my mom thinks it's the devil, I am actually pretty glad to be married to the internet. It's been pretty good to me. In times of deep despair, I've found escape, and a bit of salvation in entertainment, information, and kind voices and soft shoulders. It played a significant part in helping me come to terms with being gay. I have a lot of great memories, of real people, and I probably would never have met half the people I did, had I not been such a net-head.

And have I mentioned I miss San Francisco?

Currently Playing...
Song: James Yorkston and The Athletes - I Know My Love
Book: The Speckled People by Hugo Hamilton, and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling.