Sidebar 1:

Somewhere in October '99

Reading: I don't read much...the "Sable" Playboy on the back of my toilet, and the ingredients in my raisin bran: (Annatto, Turmeric, and Zinc Oxide sort of concern me)

Watching: Sportsnight (I have to tape it, because narul cannot work any of his vcr's), and I saw Cindy Crawford jumping on a trampoline at the end of the Man show. Pure entertainment, baby.

Hearing: the 3 cd's in my player this morning are 1) the blue Dazed and Confused soundtrack. 2) the first Garbage cd. 3) Crumb--Romance is a Slowdance.

What I want today: um, some Chinese food? (one more slice of pizza, or a sub, may send me far over the edge). Also; I'd like to road Area 51 in Nevada. Why? I want to stand in the desert, all alone, and start jumping around. And then start yelling, and yell louder and louder; loud to the point of a true screaming sh*t fit. Really. And it'll be so obnoxious that the aliens will actually stop what they're doing and say 'hey look at this idiot'. And it'll be so obnoxious that the government people will actually stop what they're doing and say 'hey look at this idiot'. It will even be so obnoxious that the locals (who are not easily shaken) will stop what they're doing and say 'hey look at this idiot'. And right about then, with the shock value, the fear, and the attention of everything that matters (tv cameras?), I will drop my pants, bend over, shove 2 fingers under my sack and scream "ALL OF YOU CAN KISS MY HAIRY WHITE ASS!" And with any luck, SOMEBODY will shoot me with something very high-powered, and I will never have to explain exactly why this happened. Um; ok, never mind. Some stir-fry, and an egg roll or two would be nice.

New stuff this week or so: I have now scored 1.815 billion on Revenge From Mars pinball. I have chosen the corporation I want to work for (now we'll wait to see if they want me). And my contact in N. Carolina dropped dead at her dinner table. Life is short; don't wait for the death of somebody to remind you.

A thought to take with you: Life is two-faced, and independents die alone. Hold on to your values as long as you can, but also know when to concede. (It's almost time to grow up a little.)

Sidebar 2:

Early in November '99

Reading: I read the entire 11-3-99 Flagpole (a weekly entertainment newspaper), because my mom says I don't read anything important. And, I want a new book on Edgar Cayce, because now it is obvious that I need more distractions from reality than ever.

Watching: I keep missing Due South, dammit. Becker, Sportsnight, and MADtv are my main 3 weekly's. And I watch Sportscenter at least once a day (if it weren't for Kenny Mayne's sick sense of humor, I would've started my death dance years ago). The educational, informational, and entertainment potential of television has never been greater, or more necessary. It is really unfortunate that television does not exist for the overall good of the people. Television is used to keep people stupid and only partially informed. Be sure to pay close attention to the advertisements that insult your intelligence; and, notice the complete lack of any quality commercial animation. I would love to see a television network come in and start over the entire presentation of t.v., the same way that the Saturn car company went in and changed the way people make cars. Think about it.

Hearing: the 3 cd's in my player today are 1) Smashing Pumpkins "Siamese Dream" (look for a re-release of it in December '99, with 20 pages of original artwork; neat-o), 2) the Depeche Mode tribute "for the MASSES", and 3) U2's "The Joshua Tree". I temporarily traded my copy of "Boy" for "The Joshua Tree". Which one do you like better? Hmmm.

Local music that I've played more than once this week: Big Atomic's 5-song demo disc. Get this: Wes Yoakam fronting beside Sean Arrington's lead guitar, with BOTH Tigger AND Jacque Ferguson as the rythym section. Wow. And then they added a classicly-trained keyboardist, Damon Denton, who can also drum and sing. Jeezus. Hey musicians; imagine if your little sissy band sounded THIS good.

What I want today: I'm not sick, but I'm not well. So I would rather feel a little better. But then, wouldn't we all? Um, I'd like to hibernate with a life-sized love doll, some valium, and a big stereo. And if you are scoring at home, what I just said is that I'd like to hibernate with sex, drugs, and rock + roll. Thank you very much. Also; I'd like to find some work that I could do at home while talking to myself. Or, maybe somehow I could make money by updating this website. Sure. And while we're dreaming, I'd like to get paid to masturbate. Actually, I'll even go you one better: "I'd like to get paid to pee on the people who purposely piss me off". (now go build a song around that chorus-clincher line).

New stuff this week or so: 11-3-99 is/was the 17 year anniversary of my death/coma car wreck. I'm like a damn cockroach; I'll probably survive a nuclear blast--although not by choice. Remind me again how lucky I am to be alive in this sewer. I'll stop now. Good news; I finally ate some Chinese food! Bad news; I finally went broke (unrelated to Chinese food). I will be starting a new second job in the glorious field of telemarketing next week, because no "real" job offers have been made. Being smart, funny, and having a forklift license apparently don't mean much by themselves. You will still have to network your way in.

At the pizza place I live and work at, sometimes I have to answer the phone. So I answered the phone, and this guy recognized my voice; 'hey aren't you the Overnight guy?' I said 'Yeah, bite me.' It was a cute little conversation, and he placed an order and everything, but then there was this moment of painful reality when he called to his roommate 'hey, the Overnight guy just asked me if I want fries with that.' And we both laughed, but far off in the distance I could hear my mother crying.

A thought to take with you: Don't become a loner too quickly (like I did). Although being alone is wonderful, you will always need a few contacts. Ain't life a bitch?

Just in case: as you may remember, my contact in N. Carolina died at dinner last week-ish of apparent heart failure. My extremely well-insulated pair of contacts in S. Carolina once told me that if either one of them ever disappeared--something big was up. Well, they both have disappeared. Sleep well everybody!

Sidebar 3:

Late November '99

Reading: I re-read the 1998 article "Worse than AIDS: the government's shameful cover-up of Hepatitis C". It's nice and comforting to know that our government doesn't want to "bother" us with information about a disease that is 4 times more prevalent than AIDS.

I have signed up for a library card, too. Perhaps I will actually use it.

I still have trouble with the idea of gaining knowledge and insight from reading fiction. Others would disagree quickly, but that isn't my concern. I lose interest in long stories; I feel that I could write them better, or they're just boring and monotonous. Who has time to read a 300 page book anyway?

Watching: I watched the Buffalo Bills look so good against the Miami Dolphins one week, only to see the Bills look pretty bad against the New York Jets the next week. But I still have great hopes for the Bills.

There will be no new Sportsnight until December 7th, I missed Becker completely, then finally got to watch MADtv and PSI Factor on Monday night.

On some small-time news show thingie, I saw a report about this skull (the "Starchild" skull) that's been around for awhile. It was found in a cave in Mexico some years ago. The skull is of a somewhat human shape, but not extremely close. In fact; there are 8 points of reference on the human skull that determine the actuality of it being a human skull. This skull differs on all 8 points. Hello? Also, this skull has no nasal cavities or passages of any kind. This being did not breathe through a nose. Pretty cool, huh?

Around 70 doctors have examined this skull in the past year. All but 2 of them consider this find to be one of, if not the most, significant in human-origin history. This skull is proof of either an alien being, or proof of a human/alien hybrid. This skull has 68 of 70 doctors baffled. So why isn't this a lead story with Lou Waters on CNN?

Hearing: The 3 cd's in my player today are 1) Tool "Undertow" (These guys are pretty big Bill Hicks fans, too. That's another reason why Tool will never be very popular.), 2) Garbage "version 2.0", and 3) The Cure "Mixed Up" (thanks Dax).

Local music that I've played more than once this week: Dag's "Righteous" cd. It's from mid-1994. These four white guys do funk and groove like true professionals. I have seen them play live with suits on, and they were very cool and laid back during the 2 conversations I had with them. If you listen to the Righteous cd once, you will want to listen to it again, baby!

What I want today: I would like some good news--for a change. Even the little bright spots are sandwiched between clouds. The single best corporation available doesn't want me yet. I have physical pain in my arms, back, and shoulders. I would like some pain pills, some money for car insurance, and some kind of sincere motivation for a creative release of some happy endorphins; as in: I'd really like to spank Shania Twain.

New stuff this week or so: 11-19-99 was the last fully odd-numbered day of this century. As if you cared. I did survive my first 2 weeks of 2 jobs; could you care any less?

On my day off last week, I paid $12.07 for a stuffed-crust pizza at Pizza Hut in order to get the Playstation demo disc 2 that has a sample of Gran Turismo 2 on it. It is pretty cool, yes. But eating alternative pizza on my day off was about the dumbest thing I could have possibly done. Maybe I'll go to Subway and get a sub this Sunday. Kill me now.

Last week; amidst the new productivity, we entertained serious thoughts of suicide. Hey, normal people are "snapping" left and right; I don't even need a reason. Nothing matters; nothing changes; and we're all dying. So why wait? I'll back it up, too. I dare you to keep reading...double dog dare.

Oh, even if you change yourself, or change where you live/work/play, the world is still a sewer. You can make a playground in the sewer; a paradise inside the landfill; an amusement park on top of a dump...But what have you really made? After you have your playground, paradise, or amusement park, routine maintenance is going to show that you can only improvise, adapt, and overcome so much when the ground you're standing on is glowing and stinks. Isn't this fun?

I know you won't believe this, but I'd like to care. I'd like to care about being a better person. I could be healthier. I could be in love. I could do work that either inspires me creatively, or creates an outlet for my inspiration. Hey; I could wear blinders and run straight ahead--just like most of the random idiots out there. You know; 'enjoy the view; forget the smell'. 'Never mind the toxins; this is a joyride'.

A thought to take with you: Remember folks...had this been an actual emergency, an overnight DJ in his underwear and socks could not have saved your ass.

Sidebar 4:

Mid-December '99

Well folks, this isn't a normal sidebar. But since I created the "centered sidebar", I can do it any damn way I want. Thank you.

Used my new library card to get a book on Edgar Cayce; even after losing a source, the Dax man once again proves his ability to provide (he's like a virgin who knows a bunch of pimps--oh never mind). Thanks again, D. Nothing else is really pressing for me.

New stuff this week or so: Narul leaves this worthless 3 horse town tomorrow. It has been a long time coming, and a short time planning, but it is finally happening. As his agent and best friend, I get to say a few words. Here they are:

Anything I can do, he can do better. Still, he will only speak of how well others perform. He calls me his favorite DJ, character, and speaker--even though he is clearly the better performer. His deflection of praise is legendary, but if you tell him that he will merely change the subject in a playful or creative way.

You could call him a fair soul; you could say that he's one of the good guys; you could say that he's a team player. He deserves a better tribute than this--but this is what he gets.

I met narul early in 1990. We bonded very quickly; same age, similar musical and comedy taste, comparable (but not over-lapping) taste in women; we share a desire to be funny; we've both had far too many jobs. Through extremely different journeys we reached amazingly similar destinations. Less than a month after meeting, he asked me to go to Phoenix with him. I said "sure". See? This is how guys plan a trip. I could've bugged him about "when" or "how" or "why", but that's not really important; my new friend wants to go relocate with me--THAT's what's important. Got it?

Stuff...Okay, I have some stuff. In 1991, he took apart and fixed my first VCR, even though logic said it was dead. In '92, he watched me change my first car radiator hose. Of course...I did it wrong. He had to, um, undo everything I had done, and then redo it for me correctly--but I did pay close attention. He also showed me which big hole to put oil in; he helped me a lot with 3 crappy cars in a row. We had fun. In '93, we sat side by side and watched the greatest comeback in NFL playoff history--while eagerly cheering those Buffalo Bills on. Later in '93, we both started what would turn out to be career-worthy jobs. In '94 we saw the first Pink Floyd concert in Atlanta together. In '95, we would talk on the phone at 3am from our seperate jobs, and physically create the ad copy of the commercials for the bar he managed--to be played on my radio station. We would also choose the music together, and then at 6 am I would go and record these commercials for airplay (the way we did this impressed many people, but to us it was just fun). In '96, during one week of April, we both seperately met absolutely fantastic women; and began long relationships.

1997 was pretty frantic. Narul had to temporarily relocate about an hour away. The good part of that was that he could still hear me on the radio. We were not totally seperated by any means. Also in '97, his job changed, and mine did too. Although still employed by those career-type places, it became different.

On a relatively calm and mild night in January of 1998, he and I were both fired from our decent career type jobs. We were both terminated unfairly (um, okay, well he was), but how much of life is fair? At that moment we could have run together, perhaps we should have run together; far, far away from this college mosh pit. We both chose to wait.

Over the past 2 years, he has built an excellent reputation as a people manager at another restaurant. I haven't done too much. But narul has been stirring; ticking like a time bomb, and planning the westward rush. Manifest Destiny: a desire to turn left and GO!

Narul (also known as "TPG") is ready to turn left and go. Apparently he cannot be stopped. He is sick of waiting, and I can't really blame him. I do plan to follow next month--a blind move, but TPG already has a job waiting for him. Phoenix is very lucky to have somebody so good want to come and relocate there so badly.

I don't know what powers to thank, or which process to thank them; but I have benefitted almost unfairly by having narul in my life. Because of his influence, my charisma and work ethic have soared beyond all expectations. He restored my faith in the common man, in friendship, and individual persistance. I can only hope that my influence on him has been almost as entertaining.

This town will miss you, TPG. You deserved much better luck while you were here, although you did amazingly well with what you had. I love you man, and I look forward to mooning the aliens with you soon.

Sidebar 5:

Late December '99:

Reading: Too much stuff to read. My mother sent me 3 books--the best of which is Dale Carnagie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People". The first part of the book is all about how you shouldn't be critical of others. Ha. My own 'What is wrong with you?' mother sent me this. OK; irony. I giggle.

Watching: Christmas stuff everywhere: Parades, movie marathons, decorating contests, etc. Red and green colors, to me, signify a frog in a blender. May I pour you a drink?

Hearing: I have all of TPG's compact discs! From his stash...Emerson, Lake, and Palmer (best of), School of Fish, and the Wall...Also, the college radio station in town has been rocking...And I've been playing singles from the past 2 years; Fatboy Slim, Marvelous 3, Harvey Danger, Modest Mouse.

Local music worth mentioning: legendary local bands are breaking up all over my town, and it sucks. We'll talk about Dayroom next time...Mishap is calling it quits--but at least they put out a 4 song disc (Fig Dish would call that a "toaster") to say buh-bye with. The Mishap disc is called "I Look Around" (title track). Nothing can imitate a live Mishap show, but this disc does come close. Look for Matt Russo to be singing a hit song someday. These guys know how to make all kinds of music. It's too bad that's not enough. After just over 3 years of outstanding regional success, Mishap is calling it quits.

What I want today: To start over...No, to end it all...No, to start over...No, to end it all. I guess I want 2 cakes; so then I could have one, and eat one. Unselfishly, I hope everybody has a wonderful Christmas and new year. Selfishly? Screw all of you. I hope we're all dead by Sunday.

New stuff this week or so: Narul landed in Phoenix successfully. I am happy for him. A relocation plan for myself is imminent. Stay tuned.

It took a Monday night Dolphins loss to confirm it, but the Buffalo Bills are in the playoffs. That's 9 times this decade with 10 or more wins; can your sissy little football team do that? I don't think so.

Terrorists are getting caught when they try to smuggle 200 lbs. or more of explosives into the country. These are some dumb terrorists, huh? If only they'd smuggle in 100lbs. per person they could probably "Ralph David Abernathy" right on through to the other side. By the way, what kind of new year's party needs 200 lbs. of explosives per person anyway? Sheesh.

The little boy in Miami who smuggled himself over here from Cuba does not need celebration or attention. He is an international criminal, and should be dealt with as such. Have we forgotten that coming over on a raft from Cuba is illegal? Thank you.

Baseball pitcher John Rocker verbally abused New York, and New Yorkers. He bad-mouthed everybody. Hmmm. Here's a white guy speaking his mind; and yes, he went too far. If he had planned out that tirade, and chosen his words more carefully, he would have made some very logical points--perhaps even added to his list of fans. But by throwing a fit, he only alienated himself.

Big news this week! The day after Christmas was the release date (finally) for Gran Turismo 2 (GT2). I got it first, narul later that day, then jdgstat on the next day. We take our Turismo pretty seriously.

A thought to take with you: Be glad that I do not dictate what happens on this planet. If I did, then you probably would not be here now. And I never would have been. And birds would be singing all day long. Oh well.

Sidebar 6:

mid-January 2000

Reading: Every element of Gran Turismo 2; the User manual, the Reference manual, the Playstation website...So far, there at least 4 grammatical errors amidst the text of GT2. Also; no entry list per race. Also; individual lap and total race times are not saved per race. Overall, however, GT2 rocks. The new tracks are excellent. Arcade mode on GT only had 8 tracks; the arcade mode of GT2 has 18 tracks.

As for real reading, I'm about halfway through my new book on Edgar Cayce. Cayce was a true link to the higher forces. I wonder what would change in our reality if his life were better understood. Oh well.

I lack the time to be interested in winning friends and influencing people with Dale Carnagie. Sorry, mom, why don't you criticize me some more?

Watching: Sportsnight took a week off for Virginia Tech vs. FSU. There was an infomercial where PSI Factor should have been. MADtv was pretty good.

The Buffalo Bills lost on a trick kickoff return by the Tennessee Titans. It was a brilliant play call, yes, but a sideways throw should not be considered a lateral. The winningest football team in the 90's steps down again. Good luck to the Titans.

Hearing: the obscure Jimi Hendrix cd "Nightlife" (thanks again Dax). Get this; 5 songs from before Jimi got famous, 4 songs from right after he got famous (with Johnny Winter on guitar and Jim Morrison on drums), and 2 songs on which the other musicians are unknown. It must be nice.
Mishap "Morning ride". This 1998 cd was the only full length (12 song) album recorded by Mishap. Wow. Jim Cheney is still the best harmonica player you've never heard of.
Also hearing: Depeche Mode (Violator, 'Barrel of a Gun' re-mixes, and the for the Masses tribute). Twice I have sat and listened to the South City music loop of GT2. Okay; 3 times. And right now makes 4. So what?
Also dug out of dusty computer paper boxes with the aid of a 6-volt flashlight: Matthew Sweet "Sweet in Low", Pavement "Brighten the Corners", and Five Eight "Gasolina".

I said I would talk about Dayroom this time. I lied.

What I want today: to rant. First you get babysat from infancy through high school, constantly reminded to do the right thing while the rich and successful people cheat. "Um, well yes--he is rich and successful, but he is a cheater. You don't want to be like him." Huh?

The ingredients that make up the meatloaf are unimportant. And the process that creates the meatloaf is irrelevant. And the cleanliness of the plant where the meatloaf was made is not your concern. So just shut up, eat it, and be thankful that you are not starving. Does this sound vaguely familiar?

I went looking through my old buttons the other day, and I found a classic one: DON'T TAKE DRUGS give them to me

Hey look, I said the same thing 3 different ways. By now, either you get it or you never will. And it felt strangely familiar, too.

New stuff this week or so: Started doing some phone collections for a guy I know. And that's good, because I've blown off tele-marketing for 2 weeks now. Um, stayed out until 7:30 am Saturday night, and stayed up until noon. The old man can still party a little.

We're all still alive. No kaboom. No big splash. No race riots. Nothing. How boring is this?

In the aftermath of John Rocker's racist comments, I have two questions: So, you can make all the racist comments you want--as long as you are not white? Because if a white person makes comments about minorities, then that white person needs psychological counseling? Got it. Okay. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

This really happened, today, about an hour ago; Monday, the 10th. OK? I'm driving down a relatively busy road here in college town. The brown Chevy Cavalier in front of me has no brake lights. Taking into account that the driver may not know he/she has no brake lights, I plan to get out and tell the person at the next place we stop. By the time we stop again, I have figured out that this is a VERY large white woman driving. She is having an intense conversation (which is the polite way of saying that she was screaming at a little boy in the passenger seat), and waving her right arm around--pointing her finger in the child's face. The child has no seat belt on, and is bouncing around as any unbelted child does. We finally came to a complete stop. I was about to go inform this female about her lack of brake lights, but then the camel's back broke with this straw: she took a huge drag off of a long white cigarrette, and then she purposely dropped the burning thing out of her window. Then she went back to her animated discussion with the now stir-crazy child. Folks, there was just a little too much crap going on here for me to get involved. I let the bad, one-handed driving, irresponsible smoker/litterbug, non-seatbelt requiring, no brake light woman go on. I dropped back to a MUCH safer following distance, cranked up my lost Downtrodden tape, and listened to Jon Kay belt out "No Other Way" like it was the first time I'd ever heard it.
Sometimes you just have to let the REALLY stupid people go on unhindered. You know what I'm saying?

A thought to take with you: It's more than a thought; it's an origin of a thought. At some point in your life you have heard, will hear, or will say the words "Be careful what you wish for". The total quote is actually this: "Be careful what you wish for, because thoughts are things." These words originated from Edgar Cayce's trance "Advisors". Hey look, you just learned something.

Sidebar 7

mid-January #2:

Reading: I'm almost done with my library book "The Outer Limits of Edgar Cayce's Mind". Let's face it; you don't know who Edgar Cayce is, and you don't want to know.

Watching: A great Becker, an excellent Sportsnight...MADtv and PSI Factor(?) are waiting for me on a tape. I average about 12 hours a week of GT2; does that count as tv time?

Hearing: from TPG's stack...Rush-Signals, Toto-Past and Present, Alice in Chains-Dirt AND Jar of Flies (I just realized that I don't own any Alice in Chains, and that sucks). From my stack...Yes-Close to the Edge, and the CD of anthems that jdgstat made for me (yum).

Local music that I've played more than once this week: Deacon Brody (pronounced "deacon brody")-Songs from a City of Marigolds. These guys may not remember that I was the first to play them on the radio back in 1996, but that's okay. They have been hard at work for almost 4 years; writing, harmonizing, and fine-tuning. They sound very tight; and with their excellent manager Chris, doors should continue to open for them. It must be nice to have 2 lead guitarists who can also sing lead.

What I want today: to be clairvoyant, to be a hypnotist, and to make time stop. I guess that means I'm going to need a meat burrito deluxe from the Taco Stand, because I certainly cannot make time stop with this empty stomach. Oh, and voice tapes. I need voice tapes. Hopefully I'll have some help. Anything I do in-between is just a prelude to the inevitable. Understand?

New stuff this week or so: Right before the great deacon brody/Jennifer Nettles show at the 40watt, I put the new high score (844k) on their Blackout pinball machine. And, my name is still up on their Getaway machine. And Tim says I have the high score on the Addams Family at the Engine Room. Huh? That must be a transplanted machine from somewhere else. Pinball 2000 may well be the future of pinball machines. But as for playing pinball, we want original masterpieces--not modern clones.

I keep blowing off telemarketing. The phone collection thing is going well. Cooking food for ungrateful people gets old, but it's an entertaining job with fringe benefits. However, I would give up all 3 jobs, my forklift license, and my broken lava lamp for another 5 or 6 day a week overnight radio gig. Thank you. And on that note...

TPG is out in the desert scouting radio stations for me. He even has a short list for my consideration. Ha. Wait'll they get a load of me!

Dolphins are crying in Florida, and this time it's not just a song.

George Bush (the actor's sidekick turned president) put MTBE in our gasoline--to make the air cleaner. MTBE is now destroying our drinking water. Now...we COULD check the EPA's research/findings on MTBE...except, um; hey look, there aren't any. None. Wow. It's almost as if we were supposed to be dead already.

George's replacement is this guy named Mr. Bill. When Mr. Bill is not smoking pot, lying, humping interns, or giving $50 billion to the Russian Mafia, he tells us that things aren't so bad. Okay Bill, have a nice tall glass of Atlanta water. Mmmm-mmm.

A thought to take with you: You're running out of time to choose! Remember folks; if you don't pick a poison for yourself, then one will be appointed to you.

Sidebar 8

end of January-2000:

Reading: I finally finished my book on Edgar Cayce. It still amazes me that nobody cares who he was and what he could do.

Watching: Good Becker. Fantastic Sportsnight. Drunk MADtv. Tuesday night (which could also be called Sportsnight), I work at the pizza place that is my second home. I got home from work at 4 a.m., and all 4 messages on my machine were in reference to Sportsnight. I still have influence (and concerns).

PSI Factor, an excellent show that is based on actual cases (making it one step better than the X-Files), is no longer on the air in north Georgia. This is funny. Atlanta, alone, is home to the highest degree of pollution, corruption, mis-information, absurdity, stupidity, and guinea-pigging of any non-oceanfront city on the planet (and is only barely beaten out by Miami, New York, and Los Angeles). Instead of hosting Olympics and Superbowls, Atlanta should host its own weirdo show; call it "Living in Irony". I'll stop now. All I want is to see some re-runs of old PSI-Factors with Matt Frewer in them.

Hearing: Loud voices screaming in unison, talking to myself AND answering--in front of other people. There are gears in my ears that grind, and then my deformed nose squeals to relieve pressure. I hear bones scraping in my right elbow, and my back makes a few new and different sounds when I pop it now. Hey, but I haven't coughed up blood for a couple of weeks; knock on wood. People tell me to exercise, but exercise just makes me keel over and wheeze. It's not pretty.

Wait a second...Hearing...I bet you want to know what music I've been listening to. Okay, at work Alex treats me to obscure Smashing Pumpkins, and Sunny Day Real Estate. Personally, I listen to alot of Depeche Mode; I've listed them all before, including the tribute, and the re-mixes. Resonating in my head this week are the Garbage tune "I think I'm Paranoid" (it's all GT2's fault), and Limp Bizket's "Re-arranged". But the biggest change I've made in my 3-disc carousel is that Pink Floyd's--Dark Side of the Moon has stayed in for a week.

What I want today: A home with at least one woman and at least one pinball machine who both love the way I fondle them. And I want a home business that I can personalize, and then I want a helicopter shuttle to an Overnight radio gig 5 nights a week. And if that sounds greedy or lofty or impossible, note that I did NOT ask for a black Porsche 911 turbo. Varoom.

New stuff this week or so: I have improved my attitude and work ethic. If people will just do most of what they're supposed to, then life is not that hard. See? I've been whining for months about not having a left side outlane rail on the Addam's Family pinball machine at work. This week I decided that I don't need the damn left drain rail. One game this week I scored 1.7 billion, and toured 6 times. All of this with no left drain rail, yes. Amazing? Perhaps. But it's not news. Another game this week lasted less than 3 minutes, and scored only 16 million. Now that's news.

Also this week, I took a little computer test to hook me up with my specific celebrity babe. I was hoping for/expecting the obvious Cindy Crawford or Courtney Cox answer. Well, no Special K Cindy for me. As for Courtney; right show--wrong girl. My celebrity death match is apparently Jennifer Anniston. I'm sure that the snobby little brat is thrilled, and I bet she is too.

It would have been different if what was said had been said during a match between unknown female players. But during the men's Australian Open semi-final match between Agassi and Samprass, a girl told me that I was better than tennis. Wow.

A thought to take with you: This thought is brought to you by J.T.: "What we need right now is a really big war, because there's just too many stupid people out there."
Personally, I'd like to order a war, an epidemic, and a small handful of natural disasters all at once--you know, let's go global and get everybody involved.

Sidebar 9

mid-February 2000

Reading: I'm about 70 pages into my new book "How to win friends and influence cattle" by Dale Carnagie. People; people, I meant people. Geez, "cattle". What the hell was I thinking?

Watching: I only have 12 channels. 12. You live in a world of somewhere between 50 and 300 channels; I have 12. And 2 of my 12 are public television. 12 minus 2. It's like the old UHF vs. VHF days. And by the way, the official TV guide clearly said that a new Sportsnight would be on Tuesday night. And then there was no new Sportsnight, not even an old Sportsnight, and no mention of why there's no Sportsnight; nothing. Did I mention that I only have 12 channels, and 2 of them are for slow schoolkids?

Hearing: George Carlin's "You are all Diseased". Also, the new NIN "The Fragile".

What I want today: I want to quit my job and run screaming for the desert.

New stuff this week or so: From the "Be careful what you wish for" department, we are leaving Athens. I have prepared a statement for you, so just pretend I am screaming this into a quivering microphone.

It is a loud and chaotic time here in college town. Major change is imminent. The thrill of a new start pierces through a stagnant haze. This unfamiliar rush of emotion is long overdue. I need this.

I must go west. I must grow beyond the loosened screws of a structure that no longer energizes me. It is a Manifest Destiny for the new millennium (the scout has made camp), and I am in charge of the second leg. I will go meet my comrade, and together we will apply our plan to succeed in (or perhaps "take over") the desert.

Scatterbrain; winning is a frame of mind, and so is freedom. It is time to emphasize positive energy; it is time to make a difference that is desirable. It is time for an attitude adjustment. I need this.

I do owe thanks for a tolerable (often enjoyable) though frequently hard-to-understand journey here. The signals I received focused and faded with an almost surreal magic; and many times the revelations and lessons learned were not so obvious.

Yeah, yeah, and then I had some flowery crap about how I was going to dig down deep inside myself and come up with a brilliant close for the past 15 years of my semi-charmed life here. Sure. And what I came up with was: This has been a necessary phase of "phases" that was meant to be outgrown. Thank you. Boy, I bet you're really impressed now, huh?

The damn pinball machine is broken; both left rails are down. But I still played 1 game for over an hour; 3.5 billion. A new temporary high score on a broken machine. I need new challenges. Um, okay. That was Wednesday night. Then there was Friday night, when I played the broken game for 2 hours; 6.3 billion, and 10 tours.

The permanent record will show that I ran my first endurance race of GT2 with the tv volume turned down, and listened to both discs of Peter Gabriel's "Secret World Live". I won, and the car in second was 7 laps behind me at the finish.

And now it's story time: Have you ever spilled a full glass of water on your desk? Imagine if you accidentally klutzed out and soaked your entire desktop; roughly 20 oz. of water all over your standard desk items. Imagine it. Yeah, "Oops".

What do you save first? Do you lunge for the Playstation controller? Or would you grab for your cigarrettes? What do you do first? Would you try to save your cordless phone? What about your new walkie-talkie? Are you hungry; would you save your half bag of M + M's, or would you be more inclined to save your (overdue) library book on Edgar Cayce?

This is not some forwarded e-mail psychology sequencing test to prove anything. Of course you will do crisis-resolution on the wet desktop. In a few minutes, most everything there will be hand-dried with a stolen hotel towel. The question is: what do you save first?

I am very proud of you. That was a very scary moment when liquid threatened your tools and toys. Even though you were quite upset, you reacted quickly to the emergency. And you reacted correctly.

Before the first of many drops of water hit the floor, you had both hands on your clipboard. You were going to save your writings--that was your first thought. Phones, smokes, and M + M's all can be replaced easily; see? First writings and rough drafts of potential genius are much more valuable than technology, habits, or snacks. You have done well.

There is more to write, yes. I will do the "why I write" thing, and give a 'thought to take with you' tomorrow. Maybe. This is a tease to try to get you to come back later, see? I'm a genius.

And now it's time to explain why I write. Try to contain yourself: I have always liked to write because thoughts are not tangible. I write because the writing is mine, and I know exactly what I mean. It doesn't matter if anybody else understands what I write, or even sees what I've written, because I know what I meant.

I can make references, create connections, inform, persuade...writing is like a speech with no visual distractions. Writing is the perfect release for people who don't like to talk much.

I like to write because the paper doesn't care what I look like, how I dress, how much college I've completed, or how much money I make. I write because the pen could not care less about my credit rating, my car, or what my liquid assets are.

I am the world when I write, and I am nobody. Writing makes me the only one (hey, I know who wrote this), and writing makes me anonymous (hey, who wrote this?). When I write, I don't have to prove anything, but I can prove everything.

If something is written down, then it does exist. And sometimes, even if it's not real, it's still written down. And many things are not real until they are written down. Writing is existence. I write because I can.

A thought to take with you: You can't live your life in a "holding pattern" (you might last ten or fifteen years, yes, but it's not really a life). You never know when you're going to have your last chance to start over. If you die while in a holding pattern, you can only blame yourself. Hey look, I said the same thing three different ways; just like an effective Overnight DJ would.

Remember that.

Sidebar 10

mid March 2000

This is my first Sidebar in Phoenix! Man, it is so cool to be me sometimes. Sometimes it's not; sometimes I wouldn't wish 'being me' on Bill Clinton, or even a pro-lifer, but being me is okay right now. Um, sorry.

Reading: Ohio's renters laws (hey, didn't we move to Arizona?), and Phoenix maps. Jon Kay gave me a cool book on Creative Visualization. Someday I'll find it... and that 'influencing cattle' book, too. I am far too flustered to read right now.

Watching: We went from 12 channels to 3, oops ( I sat through an Ally McBeall without cringing). And it makes us want to go see movies!
Big Screen; Scream 3--it sucks ass (except for the cameo of Jay and Silent Bob). Pitch Black--decent, low budget sci-fi flick. Mission to Mars--very good, and controversial too.
Video tapes; Mod Squad--ehhh, Stir of Echoes--above average, Dragonheart--good.
I have watched 2 Sportsnight's in Phoenix; one was good enough (3-7-00), and one was excellent (3-14-00). The damn show is on the cover of tv guide, and it still can't buy an audience. ABC's rocket-scientist programmers took it off the air for the 2 weeks of sweeps. Huh?

Hearing: It was a Jon Kay-Downtrodden-Psychlones free for all on the road trip out here, and I loved it. Even now, most of my music is still buried, but we dug out Garbage for home and Peter Gabriel tapes for the road. And in case you haven't heard, there are 6 good radio stations here (none of which I have been thrown off of yet).

What I want today: I want to write. It's not easy to write when your pleasant plots are clouded by problematic premises. And; if you remember, we are trying to write about happier things, happier times, a happier life. It's not easy to write happy when my mother drops back into 'holier than thou' mode, gasoline prices are going up at least .20 a gallon, and Cheap Trick has decided to play a gig at at a small club in the town that I just left. Crap already. It's really too bad, and quite representative, that I wrote a nice little two page story about what I'd like to be doing when the world ends (key word: "nice").

New stuff this week or so: still moving in, and arguing with a silly round woman in Florida, narul got cable and a cable modem, I now have freewwweb, TH2 hung his first towel-hanger with screws, AND extracted a wiper fuse, in a tag-team effort TPG and I got a fine girl's phone number. Last night I watched a sober man walk right into his own patio screen; oh wait, that was me.

Look, I had to go find a new pinball machine. I found "Creature from the Black Lagoon" at a bar called Santini Brothers. The old high score was 1.5 billion. I have put 4 billion on it twice now. Ha. Um, now I must go find another new pinball machine.

With these new sidebars from the desert, I would like to add 2 categories: "What's different here than in college town" (which will probably get me in trouble), and "Life with Static Girl" (which will definitely get me in trouble)

What's different here than in college town: had to trade my Bi-Lo card for a Safeway card, there's no sales tax on groceries, you can buy beer in the grocery until 1 am (or at least I can), and recycling bins are almost non-existent (more on that in a moment).

Life with Static Girl: well, it's interesting. She's a vegetarian, but she loves to eat eggs. She's egg-static, ha. She doesn't like clutter OR duct tape, so decorating is going to be tricky. She's computer-competent, but coffee-clumsy (opposites DO attract). And these last 2 are my favorites: she can quickly solve a 10-sided Rubick's cube. Quickly, I say. But then sometimes she will go for 8 or 10 hours straight and actually "forget" to eat food. Forget food? Wow. I'm still waiting for an explanation of that one.

Are we finished? We did it all, added 2 new categories, and that's it? Well, sorry folks, but I'm not done yet. And remember, just as I said in a story that you will NEVER read on this webpage: before I ever get to a "happier place", I'm going to have to get a bunch of sh-t out of my system.

I saw another thing about the taxpayers' cost of keeping inmates in a medium-security "resort" facility. I saw this big, clean place with a weight room and jogging track, a recreation room, a movie theater, a library with thousands of books, desks, and 2 hours a day of computer time; they get in-cell headphones for musical enjoyment, and they have catered food twice a week. I hope that you can fathom where I am going with this.

It costs us taxpayers $42,000 a year for each felon inside this institution. 42 grand. That is 3 times more money than I have ever made in a single year; ever.

Well, I have a new attitude about recycling trash. Here it is: Prison inmates, and the pro-lifers who won't let convicted death-row criminals die, can climb up in the dumpster and kiss my ass; I mean sort my glass. Sort; sort, I meant sort. Geez, "kiss my ass". What the hell was I thinking?

I'm already dreaming of a big bar-be-que where we spear, cook and eat all the people who kill medical doctors. And then, as our punishment, all of us full, happy, "choice" Americans get to go spend 7 years in that prison I saw on tv (I can't wait to try some catered food). Maybe I should stop now, huh? Yeah, probably. But I'm still not done. Oh yeah, I almost forgot:

A thought to take with you: This is a dark ride.

Sidebar 11

end of March--2000

Reading: talk about multi-tasking! I was reading 3 books at once-- almost like a true librarian geek. My eyes hurt. I had added "Think Yourself Well" to 'Influencing Cattle' and 'Creotine Visualization'. Folks, it was just too much. So now I am concentrating on the 'winning friends and making them moo' book (150 pages in), then I will get back to the other 2.

Watching: right before we got cable, I watched "The Handmaiden's tale" with Static Girl. It was okay; but anything with a faulty premise (hey, who's your daddy?) will not get high praise from me.
Watched "Talk Soup" at narul's house; now that's a funny show. I remember when Greg Kinnear was the unknown guy hosting it back in '93.
Also watched the movie "The Abyss" with miss egg-static. Did anybody else notice that Kyle Reese's moustache changed lengths from scene to scene? It was a good flick, tho. And then...

We got cable! 50 channels! I've never had so many bad things to watch at once. 4 sports channels, 2 Spanish channels, 3 "what the hell is that?" channels; wow. Did I mention that my eyes hurt?

Hearing: Remember the good old days when 'hearing' meant the 3 cd's in my changer? Well I have no changer now (because Samsung doesn't make them). However, I bought and like the new Smashing Pumpkins "Machina", and I found a special edition of "The Cars" which even has their demos from 1977-78. Cool. The local alternative station, 101.5 is very good; TPG and I heard a brilliant double segue last Saturday night.

What I want today: I want to spank Bambi and say "Yes, deer.". Oh yeah; I found the job for me. It's better than DJing, better than telemarketing--it was MADE for me. Now, can I get it? Stay tuned.
Also: I want to re-write the rules. I was not there when placed, never agreed to, and don't acknowledge the rules as they are now. They are outdated, misguided, and abused too easily by the undeserving. Narul and I will be happy to write new rules for the 21st Century. Thank you.

New stuff this week or so: Cleaning. Sort of. Okay; re-arranging the clutter that is my room. Made up with mom, and she's fine. Sony has incompetent customer service (and crappy carousels), so Sony lost a customer. I wish Samsung made home stereos. TPG won the first round of purple air hockey; 7 to 6. Finally saw a doctor about my ear; he liked me and gave me the cool people discount.

Pinball: remember when I was so proud of 4 billion on Creature? Well, I'm up to 15 billion now. Then I found Famous Sam's (bar and restaurant), very similar to Steverino's in Athens. Attack From Mars is their pinball, woo-hoo. 10 billion, and 9 too. Yawn.

What's different here than in college town: I saw a live DJ scratching 2 a clothing store. There actually is some sales tax here; I haven't quite figured out how it works yet--maybe it's like the cool people discount. A 6 pack of beer costs less than a pack of smokes. Fireworks are legal here, so the kids like to blow up things on weekend mornings. I don't pray much, but I'm praying for one of these brats to blow off a finger. On a similar note, grade school is apparently optional here in the desert; kids ride their skateboards, smoke, and break bottles all day long. Fun.

Life with Static Girl: still no decorations inside, but I duct-taped an old radio banner to a wall on our deck--and she hasn't cried "foul" yet. Her fake coffee is so strong that she must dump a handful (3 spoons) of Coffeemate into each cup. I officially turned her on to frozen mixed veggies in a bag, and I even cooked macaroni for her during one of her pouting and starving fits. And one day last week while I was passed out drunk, she swept and mopped the kitchen floor. So far so good.

A thought to take with you: Go away; go away now. (from Dan on Sportsnight).

Sidebar 12


Hang on, I gotta do my taxes.

Reading: Alert the media! I finished reading the book "How to Win Friends and Influence People", and Dale Carnagie should be proud. In this world of sheep, I must learn to sheepherd. Next up; I'm going to knock out the little "Think Yourself Well" book. I'm not expecting much.

Watching:TV--Southpark, Dennis Miller Live, and Hockey playoffs on ESPN (not on ABC).
My boycott of ABC began this week when Sportsnight was taken off.
TV movies--Diehard (again), Great Balls of Fire (again)
Videos--"Crossroads" (very good), and "Roswell" (outstanding)
Big Screen--There is nothing worth paying $6 for right now.

Hearing: Got the new Cure; "Bloodflowers". It's kind of slow, but still good. As always: anything by Smashing Pumpkins, Peter Gabriel, The Cure, or Nine Inch Nails is going to be good; ANYTHING. The Overnight Guy told you that.
There's 2 new Tool-sounding songs on the radio, but apparently that's (singer) Maynard Keenan's new band--Perfect Circle. That album doesn't come out until May 23rd.

What I want today: Well, there's this 51 cd-playing stereo at Best Buy for $270; oh never mind. I'd like to make account executive money, but I'd rather work at the movie theater. Oh yeah, I'd like to go to the programming department of ABC and throw a classic Overnight Guy screaming sh-t fit; I wanna clear desks, punch walls, kick chairs and yell "What the f--k are you morons thinking?" louder than they've ever heard. And I want to put top programmer Stuart Bloomberg in a Hulk Hogan headlock, and shriek "Just Shoot Me, Just Shoot Me!" over and over.
Now I would like to rant about the radio situation here in the desert: As a listener and lover of radio, I would never listen straight-through to a radio station with 4 or 5 commercial breaks in an hour. So why would I want to work for one? Hell, even the SoBroHo's played 10 songs in a row back when I was there. Seriously, you should see how narul and I have to change the station every 2 or 3 songs. No wonder the restaurants and stores either pipe music in or play cd's. I would too.

New stuff this week or so: The Bulldog radio banner fell down off the wall and crumpled (boy, now there's a metaphor). Also, I've been changing some stuff around here on the webpage; and there are 20 albums up on the list of tops now. Sony consumer affairs called and begged for forgiveness. My new cool doctor demanded that I take a hearing test; wait for it...and my X Files-ish distorted eardrums STILL hear above-average! So, of course I got the cool people discount again.

Pinball: Spurred on by TPG's 8.6 billion, UUC had to open up a can; on Attack From Mars I now have 13, and 11 billion. And I went back and had another 12 billion game of Creature, too.
Castles and Coasters has 28 pinball machines. I wish it were a bar instead of a kiddie game room. Oh well.

What's different here than in college town: I think the sun is brighter, and the bars close earlier, and we don't have 3 girls for every 1 guy here; but we DO have a hockey team in the playoffs. Nyaaa.

Life with Static Girl: She snapped at me hard the other day, but then she apologized for it. I think that she and I share a mutual lack of emotional stability. Oh yeah; she's caught me talking to myself 3 or 4 times now. I panic and go "What did you hear? What did you hear?" She just shrugs, and says "nothing". Bottom line; It's very nice to live with somebody who is clean, quiet, and keeps to herself. I am certainly none of those things.
Decorating: Somebody put up a beautiful new Ken Griffey Jr. poster in the living room. Who would've done such a wonderful thing?

A thought to take with you: Life is a God-damned, stinking, treacherous game and nine hundred and ninety-nine men out of a thousand are bastards.--Theodore Dreiser

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