Friday, September 23, 2005

I Have Been Avoiding This For Months

Damn, my boss called and they have, without consulting me, scheduled me to take my Arkansas license test next week. I have had the study materials for months but told them I did not want to get licensed down there because the last few guys who have been, were traveling constantly. I refuse to travel constantly. I did it for the first 2 1/2 years I was with the company. Over that time I spent almost a year of the road(if you go by a regular 40-50 hr, 5 day work week, that the average joe works, I spent closer to a year and a half on the road). It is not worth the salary that I am payed to travel that much, it never was but, I had responsibilities before that forced my hand. I no longer have those responsibilities. I have my review coming up on Monday or Tuesday(3 years, where did they go) and will tell them that if they plan on working me on the road quite a bit once I get licensed in that state(I think I will be the only one, or possibly one of two investigators in our company licensed there) that there will have to be a substantial raise involved. I know how this conversation is going to go(I make a lot more than the next highest paid guy in my area, and they have been trying to dump salary for the last year or so), and am not hopeful. But, I guess I can always just refuse the work if they make it a constant thing. I have given up a lot of time in my life for my job(s), it has cost me a lot personally. I have found it just isn't worth the money(unless it is substantial and we can work out bonus for days over X amount on the road). I see this not going very well, but, maybe the bonus thing will work out, cuz I doubt the raise will.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

That Was Fun AKA God, I Hope They Don' t Play Like That During The Regular Season

Another Steph sighting 9-21-05 19:00 CST, St. Louis, MO; She attended the Blues first preseason game with me last night. Except for the fact that she kept hitting me and yelling, "YAY, HOCKEY'S BACK!" it was great fun. However, her dreaded nemesis, the cotton-candy man made several appearances and a few attempts to ruin her night.

My team fell to the Nashville Predators 4-3 in regulation and took the exhibition shootout 3-2. I had never attended a preseason game before and will have to make a point to see more in the future. We moved from our seats(thanks Big Joe) in the second to top row of the arena near on end, down to the middle of that end on the bottom bowl of the arena, about 15-20 rows from the ice. Nothing like good, free seats.

I know it is just preseason and this was the first real game that they have played but, damn, the Blues looked bad. They couldn't pass, they rarely got a good, clean shot on net(two of our goals were scored from behind or beside the net on deflections off the Nashville goalie and a defenceman), and they were playing a lot of hockey in the defensive zone. I was not impressed by either goalie that we kept, although, I expect Patrick Lalime to step it up before too long. But, there is a reason Reinhard Divis has been a backup/farmhand for the last 4-5 years, I think the management should have taken a better look at one of the younger guys. I was impressed by the play of Jay MacClement and Andy Roach, they both seemed to handle the puck without hurrying and skated well. I think if we can get Keith Tkachuk back in shape and out there, our defense should be steady and if Lalime returns to pre-lockout form, we may have a pretty good team.

Two weeks and counting to the home opener against Detroit. This will be my first time attending a game against the anti-christ of hockey teams, hopefully this is the year we can beat them regularly.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

WTF Is Up With Blogger?

Okay, I have tried to post this about 20 times and every time it keeps shutting down my blog when I do. The only thing that seems to work is deleting it and trying again. Every time I delete it and republish, my blog comes back as you all have seen it over the past week and a half. I want to post finally and it won't let me. this is getting rediculous. Here goes. *eyes closed, pushing mouse button*

How Long Was I Out

I know I have been neglecting y'all, but it has only been because my boss has been working me like a slave. However, I have also had a slightly busy personal life. I have been to a second ballgame, several days of Blues training camp, out with friends, and to the Steph's birthday celebration.

Have I told you how much I missed NHL hockey? After going to the camp the past few days, I am so excited about the new season. In the past I have only been able to attend one or two games a year(due to monetary and relationship issues). This year I already have tickets for two games-one is tomorrow night's preseason game and the second one is opening night against Detroit! I have at least one trip to a Blues/Predators game in Nashville in the works for November 12, with a large(hopefully) group of friends. Nashville is a beautiful city and it is a great place to go see a Blues game(although, there is something almost disturbing about southern accents and hockey, for some reason it just doesn't seem to fit-I love a women with a southern accent, but I just can't put the two loves together). It is only about a four and a half to five hour drive and half the fans are rooting for the Blues, plus my grandparents live about 90 miles outside the city and I can visit them when I go. There is another game in Nashville that I am planning on going to on April 1, even if I go by myself. Not to mention, the large number of games I will end up at just because I feel like going(I haven't been able to do that since high school. Roy, you will be getting those "what are you doing tonight" phone calls again). Big Joe, just remember, when L can't go, I'm there for ya buddy.

I think I attended my last baseball game at the old Busch Stadium last Monday. It wasn't as good of a game as the one I already posted about, but, the Redbirds won in the bottom of the ninth on a walk off single, so it was still a great game. Unfortunately, playoff tickets are nonexistent unless I want to go through a broker or a scalper and pay way too much. I really can't justify spending that type of cash on baseball tickets right now, maybe if they make it to the series again.

As birthdays go, I think the Steph's was a success. She seemed to be having fun and had plenty of friends around. By the time I cut out around midnight(I had to work early Sunday) the Steph was so drunk she could hardly stand up, and still going strong.

Last Thursday I went with my cousin to see Harlan Williams at the local comedy club. He was pretty damn funny, but, whoever the guy who opened for him was, was fucking hillarious. Laughed my ass off. One of my friends from out of town was in on Sunday night and we went out with a few of his friends to see "Wedding Crashers"(I know it has been out for a while, but, I don't get out to see many movies). I laughed so hard I was almost crying through the whole thing. The ending was predictable but getting there was so much fun it was well worth it. Afterward, we went out for a drink and I spent the better part of an hour fending off advances by a woman who was way too old for me. She had a daughter who was closer to my age than she was. However, some of the people singing karaoke at the bar were a good listen and a some of them were just plain awful, which can be fun also.

Okay, that should be enough for now. I am gonna relax a bit and get ready for work tomorrow. Hopefully, I will be back quicker than the last time but, I just got 2 days off, and we are very busy in St. Louis, so it might be a bit again. Hope you all have a good week.

Holy crap! It worked!
*Doing a dance(no, it's not a seizure. I swear it's just me dancing)*

LB, I saw your comment but again had problems and had to start over.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Farewell: Part 1

Don't worry, I'm not leavin y'all. I went to see a Cardinals game last night at the soon to be detonated Busch Stadium. When I went I thought it was going to be my last chance to see a game at the stadium before it is torn down to make room for the new one(also Busch Stadium-Here in St. Louis, we are very original). I don't know why they are tearing down a perfectly good stadium(I know they can make more profit from a new one). I mean, when they imploded the old arena it was time for it to go. It felt like the place was going to fall down when the horn sounded after a goal. Busch is still in good shape, comparatively.

When I was growing up we used to attend several baseball games a year. My mom would pack the Cracker Jacks(see, I told you we were original) and my step-dad would bring a large bag of peanuts(another example). We would all pile into the big brown van and head out to the Stadium. Sometimes, we were accompanied on these excursions by various members of our extended family(mostly my aunt and uncle and three cousins). We would get there and buy our sodas(beer for adults, but, this is my memory and I had soda-still do, in fact) in the souvenir cups and find our seats. I liked sitting in the bleachers, which, occasionally we did.

Once the game started, each kid would get a box of Cracker Jacks. We would always compare prizes(for some reason, I never got the good ones) and watch the game off and on. I remember that my soda always got watered down from the melting ice and flat from being sloshed around so much, but, I never cared cuz, we got those cool cups. My step-dad would give us some peanuts. For me, he would have to crack the shells, cuz, I couldn't do it without biting them and didn't want to do that most of the time. I loved cheering when the organ played, and yelling "CHARGE" or "LET'S GO CARDINALS" as the situation dictated, and standing during the wave.

Last night I got to the ball park, camera in hand, bought a souvenir cup soda(I hate beer, and I drove), bought a bratwurst(Cracker Jacks just don't have the same appeal for me anymore and my step-dad was not there to crack open peanuts if I bought them), and went to find my seat. The ballpark seemed smaller than I remembered it as a kid(I have only been to 3 games over the past 10-11 years, before last night). It used to seem so large, I remember bringing my binoculars so I could see the players. My friend and I sat down and watched, possibly the best baseball game I have seen in person. The redbirds won 5-0 behind Chris Carpenter, who notched his 21st win(those of you who know me, know how cool that was for me), Albert Pujols hit two homers and I witnessed a kid named Gall hit his first Major League homerun as well. The pitching for both teams was spectacular until the Mets brought in a reliever and the Cards took over. The only thing missing besides my innocence, was the wave. No one does the wave anymore. I soaked it all up, expecting it to be my last game, before the new stadium is put into service next season. However, today, the Steph called me. Her friend has a few extra tickets for the game Monday evening and I am invited. So, I will take some more pictures on Monday(they will be better than the ones I took last night) and post a final farewell to one of my fondest childhood memories next week.

I forgot how much I loved that place. I miss being too small to crack open peanuts.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Dogs and Golden Showers

I have been saving this post for a while. The last two times I have gone to visit my Dad and family in the sticks, my lil' brother's dog has managed to get a little wet. Being that my Dad's house is on the middle of his large parcel of land and not visible to any neighbors or the main road, if one is outside and inclined to piss, one just has to open their zipper and let go. No one else can see you. However, my brother's dog, Molly, is a ball of energy and just loves running around. A few months ago I was visiting and she decided that where I was peeing was where she wanted to run. She recieved a golden shower. I love that dog, it is the only dog in my family that I get to see on a semi-regular basis. However, for the rest of that visit, I couldn't bring my self to pet her.

On my last trip down, a few weeks ago, my lil' bro decided he needed to take a piss, and slap my ass and call me Charlie, if she didn't do it again. Ran right through the warm golden spray that was my brother's urine. Thankfully, it rained all night and her being an outide dog, she pretty much got washed off.

I thought it was weird that she has a foot fetish(being a breed of dog that was bred to herd sheep and cattle, she naturally goes for the feet), but her love of the golden shower, it frightens me.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Anyone Moving?

If so, don't ask me for help. Today I helped my brother get the stuff he left in St. Louis, several years back, when he moved overseas, onto his truck so he could head west. Thank God he lives simply. Over the past few weeks I have helped my sister move(this was a long process invovling several evenings and a few truck loads, as well as, helping her arrange her bedroom furniture when she was finally all moved in-I still owe her because of her effort before my move to Philly), my friend Roy(a day off), and my brother(another day off). I am done helping people move for a few months.

Thankfully, my boss called this afternoon and told me I am off tomorrow(although, by getting the second day off, I am now headed out of town next weekend). I really need a day off, without helping someone move or paperwork, just to relax. This weekend was a long one. After helping Roy on Friday, I worked 10+ hours on Saturday, 16 hours on Sunday and another 8 to finish on Monday. Add in the bit of paperwork I did not finish in my van and had to finish last night(another 2 hours) and I put in a weeks work this weekend.

Sorry, I have not been keeping up with everyone, I just don't seem to have the time most days and when I am on my computer and online I am normally busy doing paperwork and conversing with friends. Hopefully, we will slow down sometime in the near future and I can resume posting those mind-numbing entries that I love to try to entertain you all with.

The good thing to come out of the past few days is that I got to spend a bit of time with my brother and his girlfriend(Chele, in case you actually stumble across this, you are my favorite of my older brothers' girlfriends :P). My brother, as promised, brought me the 2300 year-old piece of pottery. The Steph thinks it is pretty anticlimatic, because of its size. I think it is one of the coolest things ever though, I mean, how many people have pieces of pottery from over 2000 years ago.

There it is. The brother says it was from some sort of bowl probably. It is half of a small handle. The piece is from a site in Sicily. So cool, I am very excited by this. I have no idea what I am going to do with it yet but will figure out a way to display it.

Anyway, I just wanted to let everyone know, I am okay. I am still pretty busy and could be for another month or so, so please bear with me. I hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend. I am going to enjoy what is left of mine(I know Wednesday is technically not a weekend, but, in my line of work, you learn to take what you can get).