03 January, 2008

Journal 001

Although I prefer the topical entries by principle, I figure I'm gonna have to start writing some generic journal entries if I want to keep this blog active. I love discussing weighty issues, but I can't wax philosophical every single day. My brain needs a rest sometimes, too. Anyhow, here's what I did today.

I got up, showered, and had dinner as usual, which places me at about a quarter to 7. Unlike most days, I had a reason to go out, and I didn't feel like putting it off. A couple days ago, I had raced out to the Circuit City over by Century III Mall to pick up a hard drive enclosure before the stores closed down for New Years. I ended up buying an enclosure that was incompatible with the drives I have, so I was left with the need to return it. Going to a store and returning an item is something I've never done before. I have to say, it wasn't so bad. But first things first.

I had a couple other errands to run, while I was out. First of all, was filling up the van (with gas). There's one particular Exxon station I always use, just because it's the first one I used and it's the only one I'm really familiar with. So instead of risking an unfamiliar environment and potential unfamiliar customs, I like to drive out there whenever I get gas. Unfortunately, the weather was blistery cold today (lousy Smarch weather!), so standing there in the cold while the van filled its twenty-some gallons of about $70 worth of gasoline was not a pleasant experience. But you gotta do what you gotta do, right?

While I was filling up, I saw a cop car drive into the station area. Not an unfamiliar sight, but seeing a cop car always puts me on edge. It positioned itself at an angle in the corner, just to the side of the entrance back out onto the road, obviously in prime position for a quick getaway (or chase). I was optimistic, but I didn't rule out the possibility that he was waiting to run after me for some reason, so I nervously exited the gas station after filling up, and kept my eyes on it as I made the turnabout and headed back in the general direction of home. The cop car actually did move after I had left, but I checked, and it didn't look like it was headed in my direction. No sweat.

Next order of business was stopping at the ATM on the way over toward the South Hills to deposit a very generous Christmas check that I probably don't deserve, but couldn't come at a better time. That was pretty uneventful, except that the envelope adhesive didn't stick very well, likely due in some part to the cold.

Then I headed on over toward Century III, which was a bit longer of a drive. Maybe about 15 minutes. Having gone out there once a few days ago, again a few weeks ago while Christmas shopping, and a few other times in previous years, I'm starting to get used to the way, and getting better at catching those easy-to-miss turnoffs. Tonight, I had Fleetwood Mac's Vaudeville Years Box Set (Disc 1) playing on the CD player in the car during the trip.

I got to Circuit City, and the line at customer service had only a few people, but they each took a long long time to get their business done. There was only one guy at the counter, and a bunch of guys elsewhere in the store (particularly at the Verizon Wireless 'island') were doing nothing, so one of the guys in line (right behind me) started making a fit about it taking so long. Somebody came along and dealt with him. I myself was okay with waiting. Some of these people, you wonder if they've had to wait for anything ever in their life? Like, do they always get what they want right when they want it? I dunno, but patience has always been one of my virtues, I think. Plus, while I was standing in line, Derek and the Dominos' version of Little Wing came on over the store speakers. It was quiet, but it was still fantastically awesome to hear that great song in a store.

Finally my turn came, and the return was harmless, and quite quick. I collected my cash and moved along. I also wanted to pick up some blank DVD-R's, since I had run out while backing up data recently after my old computer died, and space was running out on my newer drive, so I needed more media. I probably should have just got some at Circuit City, but after standing in line for so long, when I finally got my return taken care of, I felt like it was time for me to move on. Besides, my original plan was to get the DVD's at Best Buy because I have some Best Buy gift cards I got for Christmas - but I ended up forgetting to bring the gift cards... I still ended up getting the DVD's at Best Buy, though, back over in the South Hills (although not terribly out of the way, on the path to going back home).

I didn't dawdle atBest Buy, it was a business trip, not pleasure. I got my stuff and moved on. Besides, I was anxious to get home and finish putting all my data onto one drive. I think I've finally managed to complete that process. Although now my 110-some GB drive that was only half full a few days ago is now close to capacity. Ah, technology is expensive, though. And I don't have a job.

The rest of my day I spent watching two movies that other people in my family got for Christmas. But they were sitting on the table as if up for anyone to watch, and one of them had at least been recommended to me. And the other one was a movie that I had wanted to see, so I figured I'd take my chance and watch 'em both while they were sittin' there.

The first one was American History X. It was a pretty intense racial drama. Really interesting, depicting a family getting involved in the whole white supremacy scene, and the consequences of that. Very good, for what it is, I'd say. The black guy in jail that helps turn the main character to the good side was a pretty swell guy. Man, the rape scene in the shower was disturbing. And of course, the scene where the main character kills the two black guys trying to steal his car in cold blood, is very powerful. Good story.

The second movie was American Psycho. Very good. Not really a horror movie, although there are definitely elements of that, but kind of more of a social commentary. The emptiness of the corporate world, and the sheer insanity of living such an empty life, and the things a person might be driven to. Very well done. I have to admit, though it was inspired by a comment recently made on another blog, I totally couldn't help relating the main character in this movie to my one friend from college. There's an absurdity to the way the character gruesomely murders these people, and has orgiastic sex, while maintaining this very calm and well-adjusted mindset, going on and on about certain details of a well-groomed high-profile lifestyle, and the merits of popular music. Very bizarre, and it leaves some important questions in your head at the end when it leaves you.

And that's about the most of it. I was gonna (once again) try to get to bed a little bit earlier this morning to try and make up some of the sleep I've been needing to regain lately, but it doesn't look like that's gonna happen. Oh well. I might head out of the house again tomorrow, as I still have those Best Buy gift cards, and one of the things I had wanted to pick up, I completely forgot about. (That would be a splitter cable so I can have *both* my speaker inputs as well as my FM transmitter all running simultaneously from one source).

1 comment:

  1. I misread two parts at the beginning somewhat humorously... "Even my brain needs a rest . . ." and "The cop car actually did move after I had left, and I choked . . ."

    I don't know about your bank, but M&T ATMs that take deposits can actually take checks without an envelope; you just have to select "check deposit" and endorse it first. After you put it in, the ATM scans it, shows you a picture, asks you to verify the amount (it's usually correct, oddly enough), then does its business. Not much difference, I guess, but it does have some novelty value... and the entire thing with the ATM scanning it and telling you the amount has a futuristic feel to it, sort of.

    You've got to be drowning in cables... all the cables for the computer, the guitar, your general audio stuff, your controllers...

    Technology is way too expensive; its one saving grace is that it's always getting cheaper, heh. Unfortunately, the "good" stuff is always expensive, and once it gets cheap, it's because something better has replaced it -- who wants the old version when you can get the new?

    I for one don't mind the journal posts.

    It's kind of ironic that at my busiest with work and club activities, I manage to make time to get to sleep early so I can get up early... but when you seem to have all the time in the day to do whatever you want, it's impossible to get to bed early.

    This is a point in case; I'd wanted to go to bed around an hour ago myself, just to start easing back into my work schedule... of course, it didn't happen. The real problem with this kind of adjustment is that if you're getting up later than usual and need to go to bed earlier, you're losing time in your day! Who wants a 12-hour day?

    Well, that certain someone sometimes had 8 hour days... when he didn't just stay up all night like a maniac, then go to sleep at the same time... what a vicious cycle.