Friday, March 28, 2003

Hello... things are pretty quiet. I got off work early and Lori and I walked around the neighborhood looking at houses and townhouses. I don't want to live in Glendale, California any longer than I have to. I don't like Glendale. Work is work. Yesterday I took pictures of 75 rooms to add into EMS. I had to put them into the notes section because we couldn't figure out how to use the "image" field and there was no instructions. In related news, the notes section allows for HTML which is the first thing EMS has done correctly. So I was able to put in small pictures that you could click on to see a larger picture.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

This is that dream. I wrote it down, but looking back, I hadn't yet started a blog, apparently. But here it is.

Diversion - Bad Day

I rounded the last step and stood at the front of my car looking fumbling around in my pockets for the car keys. I couldn't believe my division had been downsized, we were all laid off. It had started out as a good day, I came in early, found a parking space right by the stairs on a lower floor than usual. Less walking down to the second-floor to cross over in the bridge to office building. One of these days I was going to get a promotion and be able to park all the way down on the second floor in a reserved parking space. The lay-off was temporary. I'd find work quickly. Either back here in another division or at one of their competitors who'd been calling me for months, offering me more money. I'd always said no, choosing to be loyal to the company who had stood by me all these many years. I would come back later and pack, but right now I needed to get away. I had just pulled my keys out of my pocket when I heard a pop and felt myself being turned around. My keys went dinging and clinking across the floor and out of my field of vision. Suddenly I was facing away from my car and almost immediately my legs gave way.

I was confused. What was happening and why was I suddenly sitting, legs straight out, leaning against the front bumper of my car? What was the dull thudding in my head and why was everything hazy and hurting? I looked at my hand. It was coated with something sticky. Red. Blood? From where? Then I realized it was on my shirt as well. Why was I bleeding? I didn't understand. I tried to force myself to get up, but it just wasn't working. I looked at my arm and tried to raise it, but it wouldn't move. Why won't my arm move, I thought, starting to panic. What was happening? I felt movement and suddenly my upper torso was laying sideways. My car had moved. Why? I willed my body to get up, but still it would not move. The dull thudding was so heavy and hurt my head so bad. Somehow, suddenly I was standing. Only my body still lay on the floor. Two teenagers with hats turned backwards were sitting in my car, laughing. I guessed they couldn't see me.

The engine started and the car backed up. From here it was pretty obvious that I had been shot. Had they shot me? Or had they just discovered the car keys and used the remote to figure out which car they belonged to? I wasn't sure I'd ever know. The car continued to slowly back up, and then suddenly lurched to a stop. Then, wheels spinning, it launched forward racing down the ramp, towards the exit. I felt so cold. My keycard was still in the car. They'd be able to get out of the parking garage. I'm not even sure if they saw my body, laying at the foot of the car, now mostly obscured by the concrete barrier designed to keep cars from driving into walls while parking.

Another car started park in the space, but then stopped, halfway into the space. Someone got out. I recognized him, he worked in finance. He walked towards my body and when he saw the profile of my face, cursed. From the rear left passenger window a head peered out and inquired as to the hold-up. "It's that guy from Marketing. I think he's shot." In a flash, the other two got out of the car. The other guy took a quick look, cursed and ran off shouting that he was getting security and that someone should call 911. The woman took a quick glance and turned around, repulsed. I shouted at them to help me, but they didn't. The man pulled out his cell phone and called 911.

Others from my department came up the stairs carrying boxes. Suddenly, there were six or seven people there peering down at me with a mixture of curiosity, sadness and fear. The woman from accounting was at the back of the car, head in her arms shaking, sick. They began discussing the lay-offs, wondering if I had killed myself. I screamed at them to help me but they didn't seem to be able to hear me. Someone asked where my car was and someone else said that I usually parked a few floors up. "I parked right here! Someone stole my car! They probably shot me! Go find them!" I shouted to only the wind. So I tried to grab one of the guy's wrists, but it was like grabbing in to solid steel. I couldn't move it. I had been expecting my hand to go right through his body, but I couldn't do anything. I had no ability to physically affect anything.

A cell phone began ringing and everyone became really quiet as they realized it was mine, laying between my knees, face up. Someone reached for it and someone shouted "Don't touch it!" and they pulled back quickly. Another woman peered down at the phone and began to cry. "It's his wife," she said reading the caller id screen. After four rings, the phone was quiet, having shuffled the call off to the voicemail where my wife would hear my voice, not knowing that she'd never really hear my voice again.

Or would she? Why was I still here? Was I dead? Was this what it was like to be a ghost? Even now, I didn't believe in ghosts. I figured my body must not yet be completely dead or I'd be on my way up to see St. Peter. I tried punching one of the guys in the arm but my blow just glanced off. I felt no pain, but he apparently felt nothing either. "It's not fair!" I began shouting. "It's not fair! It's not fair! It's not fair!" They began to resume their debate over whether or not it was a suicide, and if so, where the gun might be. Someone suggested checking under the nearby cars, but someone else said that nothing should be done until the police arrived.

I sat down in my body again, trying to make it move. Anything. An eyelid, a finger, the corner of my mouth, anything. Nothing. I shouted "It's not fair! I didn't kill myself! Tell my wife I didn't kill myself! I'm still here! Help me! It's not fair!" The discouragement and despair welled up inside me. I went to church regularly, I had a close relationship with God, one I had come to the conclusion was going to be a life-long struggle to be a more caring, sensitive and Christ-like person. I knew I couldn't be perfect, but I knew some of my actions and ways of life needed changing. But I was working on it. So what was I doing here? I knew bad things happened to good people, but why me? "It's not fair!" I shouted again. The jinging of keys signified the arrival of security and concensus was starting to lean towards the idea that I had committed suicide. I climbed up on top of a car and jumped on the roof shouting "I'm not dead!". The roof didn't yield at all to my jumping and no one turned towards me. The dull thudding was getting louder and things were getting even more hazy. I was crying. I could hear the sound of sirens in the distance, but all I wanted to do was sleep.

"It's not fair," I whimpered, laying down on my side next to my body, hands under my head. The concrete was cold and hard but I just wanted to sleep. Maybe I'd soon get to see my two Grandfathers in Heaven. I just hoped my wife would know that I'd never kill myself. Ever. It was so cold. I was so tired. And then I closed my eyes.
I was standing in the upper floor of my house looking out. It was dark. People were running back in forth in the street below screaming hysterically. Every so often a searchlight would aim skyward and within seconds beams of light from all over the city would streak up in the same general direction. Shortly thereafter an alien saucer would come crashing to the ground, flattening homes and buildings. One crashed down on the home across the street. Suddenly, a two short aliens emerged from the ship. One immediately ran for the shadows. The second wasn't so lucky and was quickly squashed by a very tall human. What struck me the most was the loud thumps that the ships made when they came crashing to the ground.

I woke up just totally terrified. The winds were hard outside the apartment and every few minutes there would be a really loud WHAM! as the wind sucked the window tight against the window frame. That explained the noise. The night before we had been walking in Pasadena and we passed Rusnak Volvo and I started shouting "RusNAK NAK NAK" like the aliens in Mars Attacks. And then later in the evening stupid Corey on American Idol had all his dreadlocks up inside a hat that made him look like an alien from Mars Attacks. All those things combined to give me the really bizarre dream.

The the dread I felt when I awoke was different. The last time I felt that kind of dread was when I woke from a dream right before 9/11.

But it didn't end there. No sooner had I fallen back asleep than I was at my mom's house. In the distance a very large building was being constructed. They were building a center column and at the same time building out. So there was about 10 stories of building and then about 10 more stories of this center column that was a rigid part of the center structure. They had hooked a cable to the top and were using the center structure sort of like a crane, to lift things up. Only the load was too heavy or unbalanced and it began to bend and it was obvious it was about to topple. Guys were leaping off the building. Most had ropes they were quickly rapelling down, but it was obvious people were dying. The structure did topple and it hit the ground so hard and five other buildings collapsed. Boom boom boom boom boom. One after another. Not really like dominoes, but more like the impact of one caused the one next to it to fall. And all of them were 10-20 story buildings themselves, full of people working. The fact that there were five buildings seemed important.

But then perhaps it was just my really feeling bad earlier made me think of 9/11 and maybe that caused this dream.

But if something happens in the next few days, terrorists or bombs or plane crashes or something, I'm going to be really scared. I've predicted things before, but I've always considered it a fluke. I don't believe that there is a such thing as ESP or the ability to actually see the future.
Random Thoughts of War
  • When in England at a fairly large conference recently, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of empire building by George Bush. He answered by saying that "Over the years the US has sent many of its great young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for is enough to bury those who did not return." I can't say for sure but I would think that pretty much silenced the room!

  • And... going to war without France is like going fishing without your accordian.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

I haven't felt much like posting in the blog lately. The war still rages on. I haven't seen any new news today. I almost feel like the news media made it seem too easy. I read an article today asking what it would have been like if CNN had been at the Battle of the Bulge. It was very bloody and lots of people died. By those standards, this has been a pretty good war. But it just seems tragic. I was kind of hoping that everyone would just lay down like the unimportant henchmen in Austin Powers 3.

"Do you know how many anonymous henchmen I've killed over the years? I mean, look at you. You don't even have a name tag. You don't stand a chance. Just lie down on the floor."

And they do. I wish the Iraqis would just do that.

Sunday, March 23, 2003

Well, it's been an interesting day. With only one day left in which to take my final (Monday), I did not read the final chapter today. That's how dumb I am.

But some Iraqi soldiers pretended to surrender and then captured some marines. Executed some, probably raped and tortured others. And some guy threw granades into the tents of some of his U.S. comrades, assumedly in protest of the war. No one thought to send this guy in for some psycho-analysis when he changed his name from Mark Kools to Amed Akbar or something like that.

And I used to think that Michael Moore was funny and a good guy. But his stupid rant at tonight's Oscars makes me now think otherwise. But a a-hole. And a pantload.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Wow... I was posting regularly again for awhile and then lost steam. How sad. Good thing that no one is reading this. And if you are, you're probably here by mistake and have far better things to do.

Anyone know Melinda Barlass, a 7th. grade teacher in or near Orlando, Florida? To complicate matters, she's got a new last name now. I'm too cheap to pay the $30 to become a member at but I went to school with her and wanted to see how she was doing. Maybe she'll search on Google for her old name and find this. Though I doubt it.

We're at war, except they keep saying 'we aint seen nothing yet'. At this rate, we never will. We'll all be done and packed up and gone home. Which is fine with me.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Well, we're only hours away from war.

Funny article... people are buying "descramblers" for $10 to $200. They don't actually descramble, they just delay billing. Well, read the article for yourself for more details...

Monday, March 10, 2003

The Suckage That is SprintPCSTMMore Commrecials I HateTM
  • Ok, Verizon is one of my favorite companies, but one of their recent commercials just annoys the hell out of me. I already mentioned the one where the guy presses everh button, not to mention his "can you hear me now?" shtick is getting old. But this is the stalker ad. Guy's girlfriend gets mad. So he calls her. And calls her. And faxes her. And instant messages her. And emails her. The poor woman can't get away from this guy. At the same time, a song I really like plays (Mike + The Mechanic's "All I Need is a Miracle"). At one point, he's supposedly calling her home, but her cell phone rings, which is just sloppy. At the end of the ad, the woman is at the guy's door. My only hope is that she's serving him with a restraining order which orders him to cease all attempts to communicate with her using any method of communication offered by Verizion.

Sunday, March 09, 2003

The Suckage that is SprintPCSTMMore Commercials I HateTM
  • Volvo has a new ad for its SuckUV where it says something about having room for seven people -- and shows an overhead shot of all the seating in the SUV -- and the 'seven people's stuff' -- and then shows an overhead show of a lot of the seats folded down and the SUV filled with crap. So let me get this straight... you can take 7 people, or 7 people's stuff in the SUV, but not both? The anti-roll technology does sound pretty advanced, but here's a thought... lower the center of gravity.
In My Humble Opinion, As If You CaredTM
  • Oliver Beene was ok. Nice to see Miles Silverberg on TV again, but I don't need to add another show to the schedule.
  • What ever happened to The Andy Richter Show? Damned hillarious.

Friday, March 07, 2003

I have only one thing to say, tonight, Friday, March 7 at 11:25 and it's not what you think it's about. Ready? Two words.... It's on.
The Suckage that is SprintPCSTM

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Yeah, this blue template stinks. But since no one's reading this, it's ok until I come up with a new one.
Why does blogger keep eating my template? This is the new temporary look until I decide to design a new one again.
A Lack of Perspective

I've never been accused having lacking a sense of perspective. Frankly, I'm kinda surprised by that fact.

I'd be the first to admit that I take things personally and that if it happens to me, it's never happened to anyone else -- ever -- and that no one can appreciate what I'm going through. And that everyone should feel my pain. And that it'll never end and I'll be living with the latest trauma forever.

So, delete this email now. Do it. Hit control-D or mouse up to delete or the red x or whatever. (Originally an email. You'll just have to surf elsewhere if you don't want to read it.)

Because now I'm whining and it's too late, you didn't hit delete like I suggested.

So I'm running around this afternoon. Moving computers around. Moving them into my office, moving them out of my office, retrieving new unpacked computers from the storeroom and bringing them up so be set up for a project I'm working on.

No, let's go back earlier in the day. Or even back a few days. I've been complaining for some time to any and all who will listen that people drive too fast into the underground parking lot at work.

Anyhow, back to today. I came in and there weren't a lot of spaces. But, there was one kinda close to the door. It was a smaller spot and in order to be able to open my door, I had to put my tires on one of the white lines. (There are double white lines between each space, probably 8-12 inches apart.) There was already a car in the space next to me, but he was way over the lines next to him.

I made a mental note to come back down in a few hours and look for a new parking space. I considered putting a reminder into my little handheld organizer and decided that that was overkill.

(Foreshadowing... last month, one morning I thought to myself... "I wonder when, if ever, Lori's had the tires changed on her car. I called her and she said that she still had the original tires that came with the car. That afternoon I got a flat.)

It would not have been overkill.

I'm unpacking computers when my boss starts calling out my name from the other room. I go and find him and he tells me "Your car's been hit. Yolanda's down in the parking lot with the guy who did it." Something like that just doesn't make sense. One of the first thing that pops into my mind is "Is this some elaborate ruse to get me down to the parking garage for some kind of party or something? Because that's a dumb place to hold a party and that's a mean thing to tell me if it's not true." I grab my phone, a piece of paper and a pen and Emil says something about a camera and unlocks the cabinet, pulls out the digital camera and hands it to me. I'm leaving the office when Kaycy, the receptionist starts to call after me and I continue on shouting "I can't stop now, I have to go to the parking garage." She shouts back, "Oh, that's what I was going to tell you."

My car hadn't just been hit, it had been hit twice.

An unlicensed, uninsured, non-English speaking member of the nighttime janitorial staff had come into the space next to mine too quickly and bumped the car in the space opposite it in the row. The driver had then backed up, scraping along the side of my car. Then pulled forward and then backed up again, hitting my car again. At this point, the driver hits the accelerator to try to unstick the car.

Luckily, one of the pastors was down in the garage and witnessed the whole thing. The guy could not have damaged more of the side of my car unless he had gotten a tire iron out of the trunk and started knocking out windows.

I got down there and Yolanda was down there with four people from the janitorial service, Dave the security guard, Pastor Wilson and his wife and daughter and several other onlookers. It was a big ol' party. Dave is really cool. I've underappreciated him. He pretty much took control, asking questions of one of the janitors who would translate it to the other guy who responded by very quickly. Truth be told, there's probably a very good chance that not only was this guy uninsured and unlicensed, I'm really betting that INS would be interested in buying this guy a one-way bus ticket back to Mexico.

With nothing else to jot down, I wrote down the license plate of that car and began taking pictures with the digital camera. link I didn't even realize the extent of the damage until later, so the picutres don't even fully capture it.

I went up to the security booth with Dave who filled out an incident report and took my information. He said I could get a copy in the morning. Then I went back to my office. Levi, the Director of Operations, who oversees security and maintenance/janitorial said that the owner of the janitorial service wanted three estimates and that he would pay for it without going through insurance.

I made a call to the place where Lori's car was repaired last year and they said that there would be someone in at 10 tomorrow who could do an estimate. I called a second place -- this was at 20 to 6 -- and they said I could bring it right in. This guy took his time looking the car over and making lots of notes and when I told him about the multiple estimates, he said that state law said I only needed to get one and gave me a brochure. He typed it all up and gave me back the estimate, the $3500 amount in the subject line.

I went back to the church and told Levi and Dave that I wasn't going to get multiple estimates because it was too much of my time wasted. They said that was fine and I gave them a copy of the estimate. The copiers at church are really cool, they can email you copies of anything you scan, so the whole estimate is up there on the website too.

They said they'll have more information first thing tomorrow morning and they know that if we don't have some kind of resolution first thing in the morning that I'm calling my insurance company and the police. (If they haven't already talked to the police; they were thinking about doing that tonight.)

And then I went back into the office, turned the computer up really loud and worked until Lori showed up and she drove us to Monrovia where we had a nice meal at Wendy's and then walked around for an hour.

And that's what you get for not hitting the delete button when I suggested. See? No sense of perspective. I wasn't in the car, no one got hurt and it'll all be fixed. But I had to stop talking about it with Lori before she told me to.

Monday, March 03, 2003

The Suckage That Is Sprint PCSTMWhat's Up With That?
  • Why did Ned Flanders have to sleep with that movie star? I don't get why they had to go and do that.