Friday, March 30, 2007

...and I am tellin you...

...I'm not goin... to the Homeowner's meeting on Sunday. I should but I've been invited to an early Passover dinner and I'm not going to miss that in order to listen to a bunch of complaints. I am pretty happy with my place, aside from a few weird little oddities, which don't seem to be effecting anything negatively (yet) I really don't have too much to complain about.

I hope this doesn't result in: "I did nothing when they came for the floor complainers. I did nothing when they came for the soundproofing complainers. I did nothing when they came for the painting complainers... and then there was no one around when they came for me."

There has been a bit of activity 'round here lately. Some workers showed up at 8am earlier this week to paint the underside of my upstairs neighbor's deck... just grey, to match the concrete, but only a thin strip of it... not the whole deck. They are doing it to all the undersides of all the decks/balconies in the building. I THINK it is to clean up and protect some exposed metal where the base of the balcony meets the building.

I am also the proud new owner of a little balcony "set." P and I hit Ikea over the weekend and I found the perfect little folding chairs. Seems like my neighbors are trying to cram too much stuff onto our little balconies. I wanted to keep it simple out there, so the chairs are little bitty things, and in between P invented a table made of a ceramic pot placed upside down and the drip tray for that pot also turned upside down on top. What? You are having problems visualizing it? Well, um.. oh OK. Hang on.

Can't believe y'all made me put on pants and everything just to go out and take that photo. Happy now!? Geeze. It's all Ikea stuff... even the little cacti. Think the whole deal set me back 40 bucks.

Don't know if it comes across in that pic, but on my window sill, can you see the yellow dust? That's pollen that the city has been plagued with for days. Counts over 5000 most days this week. Doesn't effect me too much but man, it looks like Beijing during a bird flu outbreak with all the people wearing breathing masks walking around. The stuff is just coating everything too. CANNOT WAIT for some rain!

I have a new outdoor lighting issue that MAY be problematic... not going to jinx it by freaking out like I did with the Ted's sign though. Going to be patient. The city has finally put up the street lights in front of my side of the building. They are very tall and very bright and one is right in front of my unit. Down a bit, but right out there... we'll see.

This weekend a big shelving convention called the "Final Four" is here in Atlanta. I THINK it has something do to with shelving because everyone is talking about their "brackets." I DO need some new shelves so I may head downtown and check it out.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


One Hundred posts... wow. Compared to the folks in my "library" (the blogroll over there on the right) (maybe scroll down a little) that's not much, but it's a nice mile marker never the less.

I had been planning to take down all the Linkshare & Amazon banners and buttons as part of my 100th post extravaganza, but honestly, I kind of like them. I'm a huge mac fan so I'm proud to be an affiliate for Apple's stuff, and the Amazon banner is actually kind of cool in that it automatically displays items based on keywords on the page. Sometimes it works better than others. For example a link for a Danish CD called "Your Orgasm" is nearly always included in that banner. Writing about it in the body of this post probably is not going to help alleviate it's persistent presence either. It also went through a "Roxette" phase for a while, where all the CD's from THAT band (also Danish if I remember correctly) were displayed. Maybe they are included in the banner because I talk about Ikea some times? The 1-800-Flowers button is there just to remind me to send flowers to Mom on holidays.

What do y'all think? Ad's or no? They are certainly not revenue generators, so they could go just as easily as stay... would be less work maintaining them if they were gone.

On to this new condo... FLOORS. Many people in my building are complaining about their floors. They are wood, probably some kind of laminate. They look nice but they ARE kind of delicate. They scratch easily. Some people are also reporting some discoloration in areas they have laid rugs over. I don't have any rugs yet, so I haven't had the discoloration issue, but the scratching I can relate to well. My floors are VERY scratchable. There have been very quiet rumblings about the possibility of taking some kind of "action" against the builder as some of my neighbors feel they may have been misled about the quality of their floors.

The pic above shows scratches caused when I accidentally stepped on (while wearing sneakers) a thumb tack which I'd dropped. You know the plastic topped kind? The ones you see stuck into cork bulletin boards.

Having never had to maintain a wood floor I'm not certain how upset I need to be about all this. Maybe this is how durable ALL laminate wood floors are. The only other time I had wood floors was in a house I lived in with 4 other guys in college and we trashed them. I think those were REAL hardwoods though, they actually stood up really well to our punishment, I don't think that in 2 years of living in that house we ever once mopped. Maybe when we moved out thinking that would be the key to getting our deposit back, but I'm pretty sure we kissed that goodbye within a week after our first party. My current floors would not fare as well.

There's a homeowners meeting coming up next month... I think the floors will be a big issue then. In the meantime, I'll be careful not to step on any more tacks!

Friday, March 23, 2007


'Couple of benchmarks coming up... Tomorrow I turn 39 and next week I'll hit 100 posts on this blog.

Birthdays and round numbers tend to inspire retrospectives for some reason... so I guess this is as good a time as any to take a look back and update some of the events I blogged about over the past 4 and a half months (seems like so much more!).

Kitchen Accomplished:
My first home improvement project. It's holding up very well! The biggest issue with this room is that paint around the new switch plates had to be touched up, but the touch up paint my builder provided me is not an EXACT match. So there are some flaws... I should just repaint the entire back splash with the touch up paint.

The Train:
Frustrating issue for me right now because I specifically chose This New Condo based in LARGE part to it's proximity to public transit. Two months into living here my supervisor changed my hours to a shift that will not allow me to take mass transit to work. This is a temporary change, but a long term one. I still ride MARTA whenever I can.

Robot Banking:
AWESOME!!! One of my most successful plans of action. Having my mortgage and my HOA dues are paid AUTOMATICALLY via a system of automatic deposit and online banking makes home ownership possible for me.

The Chocolate Wall:
I’ve learned that dark walls are hard to keep pristine. Even just brushing past the wall with a light colored shirt on or can leave a mark. And FORGET about putting your hand on it.

My Favorite Things:
MOST of the things I listed there I still love... the one exception is the OXY CLEAN clothes detergent ball. I'm starting to wonder if it is all that it claims to be. My clothes ARE clean, but I don't know if they are AS clean. I miss the smell of GAIN too.

The Hole in my Bathroom Floor:
All fixed. Don't know if I mentioned that I ran into the foreman on the Ted's Montana Grill build a few weeks after the repair had been made and I thanked him for taking care of it so quickly. He assured me it was no problem, after all it was their fault. He also mentioned he was surprised at how much it cost to fix. It was over a thousand dollars... which does NOT seem right. Not my bill to fight though.

Haven't seen him since.

Flashback Fridays:
Never really caught on.

The Sign:
Much ado about nothing as it turns out. From inside this new condo you'd never even know there is a giant neon buffalo hanging just below my living room window.

I was really worried about being a pet owner, but MAC is doing just fine! I even bought her this cool fake rock/cave thing that she can swim around and through.

Still not very good at this. I haven't had an official "house warming" event. My only overnight guest (other than P) has been my Mom. I just don't give good parties, so I'm reluctant to do it...

Yeah... um... about that... not so much.

Trying to be Funny:
This just didn't work out. I was really trying to mock that dumb Beyonce song, because I REALLY DO NOT understand it. I get that she's kicking him out, but what is the deal with the box being to the left? TO THE LEFT OF WHAT?! In the end it turned out to be a post about my unpacked boxes, but that wasn't what I was going for.

Niles unwraps his Xmas present:
He's still the bestest, smartest, cutest dog in the whole world. I love dog sitting!

Dream Home:
I didn't win.

Bathroom noises:
No movement here. That's a pretty good pun by the way.

BOTH my refund checks showed up yesterday! A very nice way to start off what I hope will be a very nice weekend.

I over reacted:
Turns out Mr. Keillor wasn't trying to malign gays. I wrote that I don't like to use this blog as a soapbox because we (the universal "we") tend to get worked up about things without having ALL the information and that is exactly what I did.

Dishwasher D'Odor:
Getting it's vinegar bath as we speak.

Big Mouth:
Haven't been to church since, though I was invited to attend the Easter service... and I intend to.

Everything went really well. A couple of rough patches, but nothing that affected air. I'm stopping short of calling it a complete success... but maybe by next Friday I will.

Finally... a shot of your’s truely on the eve of his 39th. This way, next anniversary I’ll have something to start my updates with!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Big Day at Work

For several weeks now my work schedule has been unusual... even for me. The reason for my strange hours is that I was asked to be a "SuperUser" in a project that will dramatically change the "workflow" for my department. Kind of exciting really.

Tonight we go "live" with this new project. Funny thing about it is, I don't know if anyone other than the people who I work with directly will even notice, which may or may not be a good thing. My Dad always says that if no one notices your haircut, then you got a good haircut. Hopefully this will be more of a thing where you see a friend you know really well, but they look just a little different and you can't figure out why till they tell you that they got a haircut and you go, "OOOHHHH Yeah! Looks good!" If everything goes REALLY well the home viewer will not notice anything different at all.

We've been testing and "shadowing" this new system and, at the risk of jinxing it, it's all gone fairly well. Definitely some kinks to work out, but nothing that can't be worked around for now. My department is the first of several that will be putting the new system online, two more will domino behind in the coming weeks.

If I sound cryptic it's because I am. This is a "new technologies" project and I'm not allowed to publicly discuss such things, even anonymously. I guess I COULD but I've heard the rumors about those who have blogged about work stuff and paid a price. I got this new condo to pay for... so for me any price would be too steep right now!

Anyway tonight after ONLY ONE delay, it finally goes "live." Bit of a "company man's early birthday present" for me.

After tonight's launch I'll continue to be a "SuperUser" while slowly turning the system over to the crew that will be the "day to day" users. I'm interested to see how the new crew will modify the new workflow I've created and I'm REALLY interested in seeing the finished product finally performing.

Postscript: I HATE the word WORKFLOW. Sounds like something Orwell's Winston Smith would have had to deal with. "Workflow," "SuperUser," and "Groupthink" all make me feel doubleplusbad.

Post Postscript: I believe George Orwell is the pen name of a writer who travels in time publishing prophetic books about the future from various points in the past to warn us... but we never listen.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

My Dishwasher Stinks

No, I mean it SMELLS BAD.

This New condo is full of surfaces and materials that as a renter I never had to deal with. I'm used to really old carpet, linoleum, vinyl, etc. Here though I have stuff that I am wholly unprepared to maintain properly. I'm learning that not everything can be cleaned with a damp sponge (though I believe that SHOULD be the case).

My dishwasher was one thing that I didn't really see needing to clean. Certainly not the INSIDE anyway. After all it's a CLEANING MACHINE. I assumed it would take care of maintaining it's insides on it’s own. Turns out, not so much.

Over the weekend P put something in the dishwasher. Upon opening it he made a face and asked if it always smelled sour. I said that it has always smelled that way. I thought it had something to do with the insides being made out of metal rather than the plastic I've always been around. I know, it's a stupid leap to take there, but that was the only uncommon denominator so I just assumed it was the metal that stunk and that was the price of having a dishwasher with metal insides. P assured me that that is not the case.

The smell is like a metal pie plate holding rotting lemons and ground beef soaking in a bath of vanilla and malted powder in the sun.

Yesterday I called customer service and asked about the stink. A woman (very curtly) explained to me that the sour smell is the result of water trapped inside the machine. In what I believe to be a HUGE design flaw, my new dishwasher doesn't vent out the steam it generates very well, and so, some of it stays behind and begins to mildew or something. Not anywhere that I can actually SEE the mildew, but deep inside the guts of the thing, there is some standing water that STINKS. She (very curtly) continued to explain to me that in order to stop the stink I need to fill a glass half with vinegar and half with water, set it on the bottom rack of the dishwasher and run it through a cycle. Why half with water? If I put just half a glass of vinegar in the glass won’t the dishwasher fill it up the rest of the way during the cycle?

She also (very curtly) explained that I should not leave the door to the dishwasher closed after it completes a cycle. The door should be IMMEDIATELY opened so that the steam can escape and not collect inside where it will fester and become a fetid pool of stink. When I suggested that that was a little inconvenient, having to always be there to immediately open the machine as soon as it was done, she insisted that it was not and that I should always be there to perform this task. I like to run the dishwasher when I go to bed... which means I may not open it for several hours after it's cycle is complete... sometimes I run it before I leave for work... don't a lot of us do that? How did the manufacturer think that requiring the user to IMMEDIATELY open the door to the machine after it finished a cycle was a good idea?

She DID end the call by saying that I am under warranty and if the vinegar didn't help she'd send a tech out... which was nice. I'm not completely satisfied with her solution though, but I will give the dishwasher a "vinegar bath" as soon as I find some vinegar, but then I'm going to ask around and see if anyone else in the building (we all have the same stuff mostly) is dealing with this.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Patient Sweeper

'Member back in January I mentioned that I had won something that I felt was worthy of a little fanfare?

Well, it's here! Let me take you on the long strange trip it took on it's way though...

On Monday January 22nd I got an email that read:
"Congratulations! You have been selected to receive a prize by registering in the iCush Crank Up The Game Instant Win and Sweepstakes, administered by ePrize.

You have won a PlayStation 3. Please see the attached Official Rules for further prize details and eligibility requirements. You will be receiving your prize in the mail 8-10 weeks after we receive your email.

WOO HOO! I'm not a big gamer, but It's an expensive toy and I could eBay it or hang on to it for the Blu-Ray DVD player. Either way, win-win.

8 to 10 weeks always seems excessive to me... I don't understand why it takes so long to ship a prize but whatever, I'm getting some free stuff, I shouldn't complain about how long it takes to get here.

On February 21st I get this email:
"Dear winner,

Due to the popularity of the prize you’ve won, we are offering a prize substitute of a $500 Game Stop gift card. This way, you are able to purchase the prize once it becomes available or purchase other similar gaming items. The gift card will be mailed to you within the next 2 weeks...

So I guess there is no magical sweepstakes prize vault filled with Plasma TVs, pallettes of cash, Corvettes, iPods, Boats and PS3's that they can just go in and get the prize from... OR maybe there is and it is SO MASSIVE that it takes 8 to 10 weeks to find the prize they are looking for. Like that giant government warehouse at the end of Indiana Jones.

Finally today, almost EXACTLY 8 weeks since this all began I had a certified letter in my mailbox containing this:

So... my PS3 has turned into a $500 giftcard which I can use to buy anything GAME STOP or EB GAMES sells. Any suggestions?

Friday, March 16, 2007

*updated* Bad habits...

...are creeping into This New Condo.

One bad habit in particular... clothes on the floor:

That's my bedroom. First of all, there are a pair of SKI GLOVES in that shot. Why are they even OUT? When would I have removed them from the closet? I haven't even skied since I broke my hand on Schweitzer probably 10 years ago. The belt makes sense because I wear that all the time. There is also a towel, my argyle sweater vest, a pair of black shoes that I NEVER wear, a pillow sham and the saddest part: all the whites in the shot... are clean. I'm just too lazy to put them away. Not to mention the unmade bed and my cardboard box TV stand.

I've always been a slob, but when I moved in here that started to change a little... I got neat for a while. I even blogged about it. So how did I go from that proud new homeowner, to the guy who will leave a pair of shorts from last weekend on the floor in the living room for 5 days?

Some friends may be coming by next week to have a cocktail or two before we head out into the 'hood to celebrate my turning 38 again (again for the first time... I've decided to stop at 38)... so the place will have to get a thorough cleansing before that. In fact... let me get a head start here and push away from the keyboard and put away some of that mess. I think that will make me feel better, the place will look bette.... oh who am I kidding? I'm the only one here, and I KNOW I'm a slob plus there's an episode of MXC on that I haven't seen yet. I'll pick up that stuff tomorrow before P gets here.


So it's been about 30 mintues since I finished writing that post and as it turns out I HAD seen that episode of MXC (of course I had, I have seen them all). Maybe it was writing about it, maybe it was the need for a clean towel, maybe it's because I always skip to the end of Trading Spaces because I just want to see the before and after stuff (unless Jason is the carpenter on the show and then I watch from beginning to end and hope that the weather is hot wherever they are)... but something came over me and in a matter of a few minutes I was able to achieve this:

All the clean stuff is put away, all the dirty stuff is in a hamper and the cargo shorts on the floor turned out to be cargo PANTS and I am wearing them now.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

So dissapointed...

This New Condo is pretty much an activism free zone... there are plenty of other places to get the word on who to vote for, who's a hypocrite, who hates who... I just wanted a place to diary my experience as a new homeowner (which by the way has been much easier than I expected).

I didn't talk about Ann, Isaiah, Tim, General Peter, Corporal Matt, Representative Mark, or even Reverend Ted. I just didn't see how my voice could add to the debate, so I left them out of this.

Today though, I came across a post on Towleroad which quotes an opinion piece that someone I have (had?) great respect for wrote for Salon, and I was really disappointed.

I've always loved A Prairie Home Companion, except for some of the musical acts, but on the whole I really love that show. I LOVE how Garrison Keillor's voice comes across over the radio. It resonates like no other. Garrison also does this breathing thing... it's almost a sigh that punctuates every other sentence, or even individual words. I love how when we get to the part of the show where he describes a day in the fictional town of "Lake Woebegon" without sound effects or music. It's just him and you and his voice and a very detailed story for 3 or 4 minutes and I love it. I can sing the Powdered Milk Biscuit song, I look forward to the bizarre Ketchup Advisory Board commercials and Guy Noir: Private Eye is always a good laugh. I even like his "Writer's Almanac" pieces they sprinkle through out the day on NPR. In fact, the Writer's Almanac may be the reason I like PHC so much. I KNOW he is a WRITER, he's thoughtfully crafted everything I hear on PHC show.

Today I found out he also wrote this:
"The country has come to accept stereotypical gay men -- sardonic fellows with fussy hair who live in over-decorated apartments with a striped sofa and a small weird dog and who worship campy performers and go in for flamboyance now and then themselves. If they want to be accepted as couples and daddies, however, the flamboyance may have to be brought under control. Parents are supposed to stand in back and not wear chartreuse pants and black polka-dot shirts. That's for the kids. It's their show."

I can't describe to you how weird it makes me feel to read that. One: it doesn't describe me or anyone I know. Two: I really respected this guy. He comes across as so open minded and progressive on his radio show and then I read THAT.

I did read the entire piece (PLEASE READ THE ENTIRE PIECE) and the digs at gay men are only part of a larger essay on children, packaged in an example of government waste, but still. It just hit me funny.

Many have called him out on because he's apparently been married three times and it's reported he has had some affairs. So maybe he shouldn't be lamenting the loss of the nuclear family. Dan Savage has a good (and very "spirited") piece on that aspect of it.

Just really bums me out. I've never been a boycotter, but IF I listen to PHC again, it will be with very different ears, and MUCH less reverence.

Thanks to Andy at Towleroad for turning me on to this story and SO MANY others.

Monday, March 12, 2007

March 12 of 12

Another 12 of 12! Seems like it was only last month...

Since we went to work last month, I thought we'd take a long walk prior to work this time.

Even though it's overcast, gotta load up on the sunblock. If I even think about being outdoors for more than 30 minutes I start to get pink:

The walk we're planning is about 4 miles round trip. We're in no rush, but it's just before 1pm now (hope you remembered to "Spring Forward"). I'd like to be home no later than 3 or 3:15:

First stop is the grocery store so I can return these coffee pods. How the heck did a pack of DECAF coffee make it into my cart? Blasphemy:

After a short wait at the customer service desk I walked away with some walkin around money! This is also my BONUS pic this month. The BONUS pic word this month was "GREEN:"

Here's a look back at the road we've traveled so far. My neighborhood is unusual for Atlanta in that it's fairly easy to walk in. Lots of sidewalks and pedestrian friendly features:

Speaking of pedestrian friendly features... Part of our walk today will take place on the PATH. It's a series of linked bike and walking trails that weave through many Atlanta neighborhoods. Right now a lot of the path shares space with some city streets, but more and more of it is being built away from traffic:

More evidence that we're getting more and more serious about making Atlanta pedestrian friendly. One of the reasons I decided on this route for my walk today was because I saw this construction going on a few days ago... NEW SIDEWALKS being built! I'm a BIG SIDEWALK fan! I really think they are what makes a good neighborhood:

I've talked before about my sweepstakes hobby... Well, it just so happens that at this point in our walk we are approaching the big recycling center in these parts, and it dawns on me, "Coke AND Pepsi have bottle top sweepstakes running right now... I wonder if..."

Here's a 12 pack box in the cardboard recycling bin with a code worth 10 points at My Coke Rewards:

And look at all the red bottle tops in one of the plastic bottle bins:

After a lot of strange looks from the workers and other people dropping off their recycling, we left with this:

I'm powerless against my sweepstaking addiction... I've now sunk to digging through other people's recycling in order to gain entries. I'm either an evil genius, or in need of an intervention.

Well... the walk home looked a lot like the walk there, so no pics of the return, but we did make it home WELL within our schedule:

Which means we have plenty of time to enter our newly begotten codes (I'm over 3000 points as of today)

Thanks to Chad once again for sponsoring this really fun activity. I look forward to the 12th each month now!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

New Neighbor

It's a salad place. Should be open by the end of the month. A Salad place called Tossed. Maybe I'm depraved or have a ribald (read: juvenile) sense of humor, but it makes me snicker every time I see that sign.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

For a Wednesday, it was quite Taxing

Hey how about a post about This New Condo for a change? I seem to have really gotten off topic lately.

So I sucked it up and put a little pile of papers together in a manilla folder to take down to my friendly H & R Block yesterday. To the same woman has done my taxes there for years now, Carolyn. It's usually quite an easy affair... not much more than a W-2 (or 2 if I've been a really good sweepstakes winner), and some charitable deduction stuff. This year of course I had the whole home purchase thing to deal with, so I was nervous. How would it effect my return? Would I bring the correct paperwork? Which paperwork is the correct paperwork? How the hell did I end up with all this paperwork?

Carolyn was really nice, as usual. She reminds me of Grace, the secretary in the principal's office at Ferris Beuller's high school (also the car rental lady in Planes Trains and Automobiles). A little TOO talky for my taste. For example I didn't need to hear about her experience shopping for a home in my neighborhood several years ago and being scared away by the pimps and ho's that used to be a familiar sight 'round these parts. Then again I may have shared a little too much with her too... she probably didn't need to know that my 12 months of Doctor's receipts were from my shrink, and she did seem a little taken aback when (while discussing professional affiliations and their deductible dues) I told her that I was a member of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. So I guess we both probably opened up a little more than necessary, but what's more personal than your W-2? Even P and I don't talk about stuff like that.

After all was said and done I was told that the Federal Government would be mailing me a nice check, and the state of Georgia would be doing the same. MasterCard is going to be very happy with me this month.

I did learn that there is something weird about the taxes on a new construction house/dwelling. Carolyn was baffled for a time by the lack of tax information on my closing documents and the tax form from my lender. I, of course, PANICKED for I knew this is EXACTLY what would happen! Someone screwed up and this was going to result in me having to go somewhere and ask someone for something and then return to Carolyn with the something to prove that the other document was incorrect, but then there would be something ELSE and WHY didn't I do this a month ago... and while all this was running through my head Carolyn turned to me and said, "This isn't new construction... is it?"

"Yes, yes... it's brand new," I panted. "No one had sat in my tub before I moved in. It's my first new dwelling, why?"

"Oh, well then we just have to check this box. OK. All better. Now where were those charitable deductions?" And with a click of the mouse we were past the rough patch and all was right in the world again! Well all was right in my head again anyway, the world is still pretty fucked up.

I am glad that it's all over and I feel good about the fact that I didn't wait till the very last minute to get it taken care of.

Carolyn suggested I change some things so that I pay less taxes during the year, which would equal more take home pay per check, but a smallish refund at tax time. I'm not sure if I want to do that. I like getting the fat refund at the end of the year. I'm much more likely to do productive stuff with a couple grand once a year than I am with an extra hundie every two weeks. What do y'all do? Overpay during the year and get a fat refund or pay a more reasonable amount and take home more each month?

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

More Wierd Sweepstakes Trips

Remember the Trip to Greater Des Moines I entered to win last week? Well AAA Magazines is trying to out do the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau with a couple swell trips of their own.

How about a trip to Mackinaw City! Where you'll "enjoy unlimited fun to Mackinac Island on a Mackinac Island Ferry, Fort Mackinac, Historic Mill Creek, Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, Colonial Michilimackinac and Thunder Falls Family Waterpark!" What state is Mackinaw City in?

If that's too much excitement for you why not enter to win a trip to KANSAS! You choose between 4 getaways: Wichita, Topeka, Hays or Emporia!

Then again for the REAL THRILL SEEKER go ahead and enter for your chance to win a week in North Dakota! This trip includes stops in Fargo, Bismark AND Medora where you may choose to use your "two tickets to the famous outdoor Pitchfork Steal Fondue."

Feeling Lucky!?

I'm sure that all these places are actually very nice, and in reality I would probably enjoy a trip to any of them. Be forewarned however, these trips do not include airfare or any other transportation AND you will likely end up on a mailing list which will result in HUGE brochure packets for these (and neighboring) cities and towns clogging up your postal mailbox.

People come to Atlanta on vacation which makes no sense to me... I mean there's stuff to do here... but Atlanta? Really? I guess if you have run out of other major American metropolitan areas then maybe... but Atlanta? Atlanta has attractions that are kind of secondary... that is, you'd go to them IF you were already here for a convention or an event, but you wouldn't plan a trip just to do or see any of them. I wouldn't anyway.

On another note... I am approaching my 100th post and I'm not sure how I should mark that milestone, if at all. Any suggestions or recommendations on what to put in my 100th post?

P.S. - thanks to the good folks at CashNet Sweepstakes for turning me on to the AAA Magazine Sweepstakes. There are a few REALLY GOOD SWEEPSTAKES RUNNING RIGHT NOW so if you are FEELING LUCKY try your hand at one of em!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Movin on UP!

Had a good review at work... Yesterday I was the 94,834,783rd richest person in the world... Today:
I'm the 59,990,293 richest person on earth!

Discover how rich you are!



Jason over at Let's Say You're Right... posted this cool little widget on his site today and since I don't have a WHOLE lot to discuss regarding this new condo (still no action on the bathroom wall) I thought I'd follow suit. It's kinda cool actually:

I had to do it twice to get it right. For some reason it mistook me as a workaholic. God Forbid!

P.S. - Jason, the only things we have in common are the "Excites Me" and "My Holiday" pics... so we can go on vacation together, but once we get there we must go our own seperate ways.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Wasn't tryin to be a downer...

Thanks for all the words of encouragement and support regarding my last post. I honestly wasn't trying to be such a sad sack. Actually, I kind of thought it was one of my more lighthearted posts! Clinton and Stacy? Self diagnosed hypochondria? C'mon, that's funny shit! No?

Things are not bad... just stressful... it'll all work itself out. In fact, this week I'll have my review at work during which I will learn the amount of my 2006 bonus AND my 2007 raise. It's going to be a good review so I am expecting larger than average numbers. I've also FINALLY made my appointment to have my taxes done, and it's virtually impossible that I won't get a decent refund. So the pressure valve will be released a little... at least financially.

In other news, P and I saw a cute play over the weekend. The Horizon Theatre Company is staging a production of Almost, Maine. Very small, very cute little series of vignettes set on a winter's night under the northern lights in the little, rural, fictitious town of Almost, Maine. Think "Northern Exposure" meets "Men in Trees." Only 4 actors (2 men, two women), all playing several different characters throughout the course of the show. Very small theater which sometimes makes me uncomfortable: Small Theater + Bad Play/Bad Actors = Uncomfortable Condoblogger. All the actors in this show were really quite good though, and I even liked the very simple stage.

Only problems were with our fellow audience members. Open mouth gum chewer to our right and bluetooth headset blinking LED in front of us.

Oh, speaking of entertainment, have y'all seen "The Sarah Silverman Program" on Comedy Central? Good TV in my opinion. NOT FOR THE KIDS and NOT FOR THE EASILY OFFENDED, but if you are an adult who can take a joke about ANYTHING (abortion, homelessness, addiction, lesbians) I think you'll enjoy it.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Why do something today...

...that can wait until tomorrow?

Issue 1 - For the first time since 1999 my job has become stressful. There have been INSTANCES of stress at work, even PERIODS of stress, but nothing like this continuous stress I feel as though I am under now. I've put it all on myself of course... I'm a procrastinator. If I am not given a deadline, I'll wait till I'm reminded about something to get it done. I'm a shitty employee. I am looking for other opportunities. Difficult because what I do is fairly specialized. I've managed to get really good at this one thing and I've managed to get to a point where I'm overpaid for doing it. So I can't make what I make doing what I do someplace else, and on paper I don't appear qualified to do anything else. Conundrum.

Issue 2 - Despite my assertion that I'm overpaid, I'm fairly broke. Not B-R-O-K-E, but definitely not swimmin' in dough. Before this new condo I was living large... now I'm just large and living.

Which brings us to Issue 3 - My size 38 waist jeans are loose, but my 36's are a little snug. I'm not trim. It's bothering me. The elevators in this new condo are nearing completion finally. The interiors are getting all fitted out with MIRRORED WALLS! Every time I leave the building via the lobby or go to get my mail I have to ride down in the 360 degree mirror from What Not to Wear:

When the doors open I expect to see Clinton and Stacy appear and start commenting on how that shirt makes my manboobs look more boobier or how my Old Navy cargos highlight my severe case of gone ass. Don't EVEN let them get started on my shoes... I KNOW I need shoes, OK? The cure for this... I know, eat less and do more... but I'm not willing to reverse the polarity on those just yet. Maybe I'll just take the stairs.

Issue 4 - Don't really want to get into it. Trust me, it's pithy and unconsequential. It's buggin the hell out of me though. I'll just say it involves a healthcare professional and a minor case of hypochondria (self diagnosed of course) and leave it at that.

Issue 5 - Issue 5 is TOP SECRET. The chance that this information could fall into the wrong hands simply by being written down is too great a chance to take. There is too much at risk. It's a double whammy of a decision. I KNOW the right thing to do, but I also know how much I want to do the wrong thing. I also know the consequences (potential and otherwise) of each of my possible actions or inaction. It's a moral/ethical thing and despite what you may have heard about atheists we DO have both morals AND ethics. The difference is we don't have anyone to blame (Satan) if things go horribly wrong or give credit to (God) if things go wonderfully right. The blame lies squarely on me. The deadline for this decision is coming quickly which is good because it prevents procrastination, but bad because I don't want to make it.

There are more issues... but I'll deal with them later.