Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Better now...

Sometimes, all you really need is some cookies and milk.

What it's like to be Rob.

It's a rainy tuesday in the big easy, and I feel like doing some rainy day whining.
If you have a low tolerance for such things, look away now.

Being me is frustrating sometimes. I feel like I pound my head into the same brick walls over and over. I see the limitless potential within myself, and yet I have no direction or focus to bring it out. I see things I want, but can never see the path to attain them. I see the successes of those around me, yet I never seem to achieve any myself. I see the way others look at me, and detest the pity in their eyes… but completely understand it. I am the guy that feels alone in a crowd. I am the guy that always wishes that his life could magically be made easier somehow. I try to make good choices, but nothing I choose ever seems to work out. Too many times my heart and sould have cried out in frustration as the rug has been pulled out from under me again and again. I know I’m not stupid, but sometimes I wonder if I am dumb.

I know life is not built on dumb luck. I know that hard work is supposed to count for something. I believe in my abilities, but always feel like I haven’t found my niche. I look at my life and those around me, and feel like I don’t fit in with any of it.

I want to be happy, but seldom am. I want to be self-made, but continually have to rely on the generosity of others. I am proud of what I’ve done in my life, and still feel an endless shame that I haven’t done more. I know what others think of me, and feel like I have been misjudged. I hear the words of friends offering their support, yet I have never really felt it. The real me screams from within, trying to correct their misconceptions, telling them that nothing seems to work for me like it does for the rest of the universe, and yet I play the part to which my life has lead me never complaining to anyone, trying to be the best me I can.

It's raining. give me a break.

Monday, July 17, 2006

An idea for a morbid buisness...

Feeling better. Back at work. Life goes on. I used my period of bedridden conjestion to do some writing, and a whole lot of thinking.

It occurs to me, in this era of information sharing and communication, that there are a lot of people out there that care about me that I’ve never even met. I know that a lot of you tune in to my rantings because you have some connection to me, be it friend of a friend, distant cousin, or whatever… but there are others that I only know through the internet, and that only know me through my blog.

Sometimes, this worries me. Specifically, it worries me that something could happen to these people that I have come to care about, and I would never know. Conversely, if anything was to (god forbid) happen to me, who would let my readers know?

I know it seems minor, but for those of us that live far from our relatives the problem is even worse… If I was to get seriously injured (unlikely, I know… Dizzy has put forth the hypothesis that I am Unbreakable) I’d like to think that someone would call my parents if I was unable to, but what about my friends that are now scattered across the country? How long would it take before ANY of my friends even noticed that I was missing? When I was married, this was never a problem… Charity generally knew what time I was coming home, where I was, etc., and would raise the alarm if I didn’t show after 24 hours or so… but now? Okay, so it worries me much more than it should for a healthy man that no one “checks up on me” with any regularity. Not really what I’m getting at.

I think it would be a neat internet subscription service that could, in the event that something does happen to you, e-mail everyone on your list, and update your blog, informing the world that something bad happened, how you are, your prognosis, and in the event of your demise, your funeral/memorial arrangements. I would call it e-surance, but I’m fairly sure that name has been taken.

Of course, I’m a little unclear what would trigger it, too. I’m thinking a weekly “reply or we start worrying” e-mail would prompt some sort of inquiry when unanswered. There’s probably some way to make it automatic, but I confess I’m not bright enough to figure this out. If anyone else wants to take the ball and run with it, just cut me in for ten percent and check up on me once a week, and I’ll be happy.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Posting while ill... I must love you people.

If this entry seems to be disjointed and make little sense, well tough. I’m sick, and it makes my normally ordered, fun-loving brain work a bit wonky.

I hate being sick. It totally takes the fun out of life to be stuck wheezing in bed for a few days. I also hate the way being sick screws with my dreams. Last night I had a lengthy one about Pee-Wee’s playhouse preparing to wage a full on war against Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. I woke myself up when Pterry started screaming “Death to the proletariat!!” while strapping on a bandolier of grenades. The night before, I had a similar dream about the Venture Brothers and Johnny Quest. I don’t know why my brain even bothered with that one… It’s pretty obvious Brock Samson would just kill Race Bannon and eat his heart. Anyway, no more Adult Swim until I feel better.

I also have noticed the fact that I’m kinda dense. Sometimes I feel like that chick in the Wendy’s commercial where the guy is telling her about how he was eating a chicken sandwich, when he happened upon a real, honest to goodness unicorn. Then after hearing this, she turns to him and says “they have a chicken sandwich there?”

I too, tend to be oblivious to the unicorn. Particularly when it comes to relationships. It takes me forever to recognize the signs of a woman being interested in me, and even then I tend not to believe it. Charity always said that it was because I’m “too much of a gentleman” to assume something that would lead me to smooching without being hit over the head with a sledgehammer. One thing I have found about women, though… is that no matter how smart, funny, and charming you are, with some women it simply will never be enough. I have also found out that going out and pounding back a few brews after noticing this never helps the situation.

Like I say, I’m kinda dense. Now I’m dense, sick, and just a little hung over too.

I did, however notice this… absolutely brilliant. hmmm… I wonder what I have lying around to trade….

Friday, July 07, 2006

With apologies to Peter Griffin...

Some things that grind my gears:

1)Trains. I have a love/hate thing with them at this point. I love the roar of a diesel locomotive at speed as it runs at 60 mph down a long stretch of straight rail. I hate having to sit in traffic for twenty minutes on my way to work at the rail crossing.

2)Fast food places and gas stations that haven’t opened since the hurricane because “not enough people have moved back to that area” completely neglecting the thousands of poor, helpless commuters that pass by the place every frickin day dreaming of Kentucky fried goodness.

3)Songs that have sound elements in them which sound EXACTLY like my turn signals, engine problems, police sirens, or my cell phone. Tweeting birds or other things that probably aren’t, but could be, in my car aren’t much better.

4)People that think they’re brilliant because they know Marilyn Monroe cut off the heel of one shoe to develop her sexy walk. Then beat us at pub quiz due to this fact. Try knowing the specific gravity of Boron, asswipe.

So, what grinds y'alls gears?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

New Orleans update....

Well, here we are, ten months removed from “the storm”, about to enter the height of the gulf hurricane season and so far, so good. I have learned not to joke about storms in the gulf of Mexico, though. People here are still very skittish. The population is still only about a third of what it was pre-katrina, but there are some good signs…

This weekend, I awoke to an odd sound. Or more accurately… the lack of sound. Every morning I have had the opportunity to sleep in for a few hours lately, I have been awoken by the sound of hammers, nail guns, and the occasional whistle of construction worker at a female jogger.

Maybe it was just the holiday weekend, but it was encouraging that with all the damage done and still to be repaired that someone decided that what was left in my neighborhood could wait a day. Maybe… my neighborhood’s damage has been fixed. So, today I had a look see before heading to work. I saw a marked lack of blue roofs in my walk around the neighborhood, and couldn’t help but smile.

Another good sign I think, is that there are a number of people that are complaining that they’ve moved back into their homes, but FEMA hasn’t come to pick up their trailers. There are still thousands of people waiting for these things, and yet FEMA can’t seem to pick them up from the front lawns of the thankful (yet irritated) and give them to those in need. Most folks are afraid that their FEMA trailers will be unseated in a good storm, and do even more damage to their homes than all the flooding did. I also noticed a story in the Times-picyune last week about one guy who wanted to just buy his trailer outright (to use as a camp out in the swamp someplace) but was flatly denied by FEMA.

Me, I would just find a family that needs one and move it myself. Cut out the middle man.

The other thing I noticed this week is all the migrant workers. On my commute, I pass along Claiborne, near Napoleon, and am amazed that a scene I had always associated with southern California seems to be playing itself out daily on the streets of the big easy. Hundreds (not exaggerating) of Mexicans sit near a deserted gas station every morning, waiting for contractors to come by and pick them up for whatever job they need done that day. I’ve been told that if you slow down in a pick up truck near that corner, you’ll wind up with a few workers in the back, if you need them or not.

Amazing. I had never felt that the current immigration issues effect me at all, but here I was staring it right in the face.

Well, my mood is cautiously guarded now. I’m starting to be just a bit more optimistic about the recovery, and my small part of it. Who knows… if we manage to avoid another big storm this year, I may just stay after all.

Monday, July 03, 2006

The 4th of July

Independence day is a holiday when we are supposed to celebrate our nation's founding fathers, and revel a bit in the liberty their courage and foresight has bestowed upon us, be we Republican, Democrat, or hedgehog. (long live the Hedgehog liberation front!)

Me, I think of my Grandpa... Joseph Ferdinando. Grandpa was a tough, self made man, who started his own company with his own two hands and his wits, and built it into a thriving plumbing company. Of course time and distance dulls one's memory, but there are two things that always make me think of him... Magic tricks and the Fourth of July.

Jay, Grandpa and me circa 1978

Grandpa loved the Fourth, and every year, would go completely overboard arming his friends and family with enough fireworks to blow a conneticut-sized hole in the eastern seaboard. This always included my brother and I, who were in hindsight, way too young to be playing with fire, much less explosives. It was a much different time. I still remember the year I lit a pack of Jumpin Jacks in my hand, intent on throwing them in the direction that my brother suddenly blocked, and me, with my head ringing with my Mom telling me just moments before to make sure Jay didn't get hurt, let the pack explode in my hand. If it had been firecrackers I probably would have lost a finger, but I only got a few third degree burns and a lecture.

Grandpa only gave us "safety" fireworks after that, but that may have been more due to my Favorite Grandpa story, which I think was the following year...

It had been a dry summer in the big apple, and we had all settled down after an afternoon of barbequing on the front lawn of 81 Ravenhurst to watch the old, drunk italians shoot off the "big" fireworks. There were fountains... there were high altitude splashers, and there were pinwheels.

One such pinwheel surprised everyone when, after Grandpa lit it, it flew off the telephone pole, and into one of the two bushes that adorned the front walk of Grandpa's house.

I had always thought till that point that "Fwoosh" was just a sound in a comic book.

The Bush burst into flames. One of my Uncles (I don't remember which) was a quick thinker, and through the haze of beer that had been steadily imparing his judgement all day, thought to throw the cooler on the fire to try to put it out.

The cooler filled with cans of beer. That started exploding due to the heat. Adding alcohol to the fire.

No one had called the fire department, but no one was surprised when they arrived, as we were sure that those Astronauts in Skylab probably noticed the flames (which were at least 50 feet in the air) and radioed them. They just let it burn itself out, forever leaving a bush-shaped hole in Grandpa's lawn for all time.

I also rememeber my Mom getting quite the glare from Grandpa after making a "burning bush" joke or two, and Dad trying really hard not to just burst into fits of laughter.

Happy fourth of july to all of you, and may your memories be as interesting :)

Sunday, July 02, 2006

What a surprise....

Your results:
You are Superman

Iron Man
Green Lantern
The Flash
Wonder Woman
You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test