23 May 2007

on why those in the dental profession are so...


So I went to see my new dental hygienist today. I probably should preface that by saying that I've known her for years, but since I am new to town, our relationship is taking a new form. Both my dentist and her are members of my old reserve unit that I've known for quite some time. Of course we've only known one another professionally, not, uh, professionally.

For those of you who don't know, and I don't imagine any of you could, I am basically the worlds biggest chicken when it comes to the dentist. I'd much rather ignore my oral health entirely until it kills me. Maybe I don't really mean that, but let's at least say that I am conflicted about it.

So a few months ago I was referred to their office and promised it would be a pleasant experience. Compared to what you say (and don't you love the McCann/Claypool reference)? Well, not just the military dentists and hygienists, even the lady I saw when I was a teenager was mean to me. I always leave feeling like I've just been scolded by the headmistress at some parochial school for smoking weed and starting a fire in the rectory or something (I just like working the word rectory in wherever I can)!

So none of that, in fact it really wasn't as bad as I made it out to be, but there is some psychological trauma involved with having someone poke and prod at my tender gums with that high pitched power tool and feeling entirely helpless about it. Perhaps if I had the tool in my own hands and were doing the work myself it would be more tolerable, but you have to give up, give in and let go!

I'm definitely still learning how to do that!

Apparently I will be learning to do other new things. Rather than scolding me, this time she gave me some tips. Apparently I have a lot of work to do in between visits (there will be two more before this round is over).

Of course, I celebrated the end of this round by stopping off at Krispy Kremes and getting some Teriyaki for lunch.

I'm so bad.

Peace and happy dental hygiene,


17 May 2007

so it turns out i have...

I had an unexpected knock at the door today. Given that I live in a secured entry building it is strange to get a knock rather than a buzz or a ring (I still don't know which it is since nobody has come over unescorted by yours truly) but it could be a neighbor or the maintenance/construction guys who are still in the building tying up loose ends. So I pause last week's Grey's Anatomy on my computer (yeah I watch it online, what of it?), throw on some pants I keep handy on a chair in my living room and a sweater and answer the door.

Sure enough it is a couple of guys who work for the building crew. They asked to take a look at my AC unit. I told them I don't think I have one and did they mean my heater or whatever. They said, no, you have AC and proceeded to open up the door to what I thought was my heater. Since there is no unit in my window I was under the impression I didn't have AC at all. They said that all the units on the 5th and 6th floor have air conditioners on the roof that pump through the walls to a forced air pump. It turns out my heater isn't a heater at all, not even in the dead of winter.

So how do I heat my apartment I wondered, then they showed me the pipes near my hot water heater in the laundry closet and explained that I have radiant heat. No wonder the heater didn't seem to be coming on when I was playing with the thermostat. You wouldn't hear it since it is just pumping warm water under your feet, right?

I am so excited. Even though we've had a late start to spring and summer-like weather, my flat faces south and I get sun through my windows all day long. Given that I work nights and only have two small windows that open to the outside, I didn't figure there was much of a chance of me getting any sleep all summer long.


Living the dream,


10 May 2007

according to myspace...

I'm 30.



09 May 2007

to volvo or not to volvo...

Since my blogs are getting fewer and further between I must rewind a little more each time in order to explain the sequence of events which bring me to the random nonsense I feel so compelled to ramble on over.

So now that someone has quit they felt more urgency to make certain that I receive my training in the blood bank at my new job (hard to believe it's been nearly 5 months already). I was astonished they chose to do it so soon since that was the only thing my last employer never got around to training me in. It seems I had good reason to believe things might be the same here, but more on that later.

For now let it suffice to say that they quickly altered the already posted schedule to slide me in this week and next for a grand total of seven days of training on day shift. Pardon me while I contain my excitement over working during the lovely daylight hours because there is so much to tell besides how nicely the sun appears reflecting off the brick, glass, lawn and trees.

Anyway, today was merely my fourth day of training and I must say getting up at 5 am is no simple task on my part, yet amazingly I managed to clock in on time every day this week--partly due to my Richard Petty skills and my superfluous SUV.

However, twice this week I nearly got into an accident--well two consecutive days in fact!

So the first one was Thursday morning as I zipped over the Narrows Bridge and merged onto I5 north for the 2 miles before catching River Road. I obviously found it urgent to use the far left lane for my long stretch down I5 and then as my exit was coming near I planned my merging carefully. I followed the car in front of me until passing the large truck (I'm not talking Ford people) in the nearest lane. There wasn't a whole lot of room between this truck and the car in front of him and we're going downhill mind-you.

So I check and as the gap is starting to widen I decide to make my move. Just as I'm merging this OTHER car from the lane opposite the one we both want is heading right for me. We came within inches of kissing and I guarantee my kiss has bite to it and the truck behind us would've laid a big wet one on both of us!

So I jerked back into my lane and whoever was in the tan sedan just kept coming! Now what is important about noting here is that some impatient moron was tailgating me during all of this. Seeing my signal and the gap he decided it was now time for him to take opportunity to pass me even before I had finished merging away. Now I not only have a car cutting off my merge but another one cutting off my evasive maneuver!

Well needless to say I didn't get hit by either. Then I decided to take a detour last night instead of heading straight home. I landed in Fifedom to browse the car dealers we don't have in Puyallup, Spanaway or South Tacoma. I was looking for VOLVO after all, not the best deal on a Kia or Susuki.

After going to the wrong location and then getting lost I finally stumbled upon the new Volvo dealership location nestled among Land Rovers, Jaguars and other snobbery. I chatted it up with a sales manager while looking at a few models and drove off with some brochures in my front seat so I could decide just how Volvo to go; S40, S60, S80 or suv style (already having one I am definitely leaning away from it this time around, I'll settle for AWD, four doors and a trunk only Superman can spy on).

So twice today I had to slam on my breaks for yellow lights (when driving to work at night the lights rarely change and when they do it's much less urgent to respond to their interference) knocking my brochures onto the floorboards. Then after getting off HWY 16 and heading toward the Purdy bridge I hear my "celly blowing up" and reach over to check it out. The light is still green and I am making a left turn behind the car I let in a couple blocks earlier (this time of day you can wait for hours before the traffic stops coming off of 16-no need to pat me on the back, I already did it, twice) is also making the left turn.

Suddenly I notice he has stopped just past the intersection as I am coming around the corner. This isn't the first time I've seen someone try to turn into the gas station on this corner during the worst possible time of day to attempt such a maneuver, but this is the first time in a long time and given my momentary distraction I found myself unable to go around him. So I slammed on my breaks for a third time today and fortunately the car behind me who ran a yellow to make the turn toward the bridge didn't hit me either.

So this might not seem that unusual to you so I will paint another picture. This gas station shares a gravel parking lot with several businesses next door which collectively have at least three entrances the LAST of which was the spot where this guy decided to make his stand and attempt a left turn across traffic which backs up from the light over the bridge and half a mile across the spit.

Anyway, with the light green for us to make that left turn he easily could've crossed traffic before the intersection to get into the gas station there so you might now see why I felt he was such an idiot for doing what he ultimately chose to do.

So to Volvo or not to Volvo. That is the question now.

I've all but decided not to buy a house right now after all. I keep reading that prices continue to rise in spite of longer overall time on market and higher inventory than anytime in recent years. Not to mention while interest rates remain low, many sub-prime banks are announcing that they are out of the business for good. Apparently this means that tension in the subprime market (which some are saying essentially no longer exists, but is a slight exaggeration) tends to tighten the slack through the other categories and even affects prime lending.

The short and dirty of it? While my credit isn't stellar it isn't bad either, but my expectation that I would be able to buy a home with zero down may no longer be the case, even if merely temporarily.

So I am amidst double-checking the facts with my friends at the Vancouver brokerage I still work with and when I find out exactly what is going on you all will be the first to know!

The only reason I mention that though is that it seems now that I don't need to worry about buying a new car since I will probably have to hold off on buying a house for another year anyway and that is the only real reason I was going to put off buying a car to replace my rapidly-growing-wary, gas-guzzling SUV.

If any of you feel like you have special insight into the latest generation of automobiles, perhaps you will impart this knowledge on me so I might be less clueless when I visit the next dealership. This guy started steering me toward the S60 without listening to much of what I had to say at all. Come to find out many of the coolest safety features Volvo has to offer are only available on the S80 (until the other two models undergo redesign in the next few years).

One final update. It is raining so I am thinking of staying in and catching up on sleep.

Peace and carbon neutrality!


07 May 2007

finally got a haircut...

As some of you know I have been growing my hair out for several months. Ever since January in fact. I also decided not to shave anymore. If I had it my way I wouldn't even trim! I guess it just doesn't look very good if I don't though.

Well, I broke down this weekend and went driving around my neighborhood Friday morning to find a place to get it cut down. I guess I was also out of "product" so it was time to do something about it.

So nothing is open when I get off work and that is frustrating. They were doing a radiothon or something from Tulley's here in Downtown Tac and I thought about dropping in on that, but why would I do something like that? I'm not the starstruck type and over a freaking radio show? Eh, no thanks. So I kept looking for a salon and sure enough, right in the bottom of the Sheraton tower was SalonMiro. I guess its all run together like that. I don't know what it means either. So I went in but the door was locked. I looked at the door and windows to see what time it opened and this little Asian woman came and unlocked it for me. I felt bad because I'm sure they weren't opening for a while. She said they were open though and to come in. I asked if they had any openings that morning since I didn't want to wait anymore. She said she could squeeze me in right then after noting that they normally don't open until 9 am. Once again the world revolves around banker types.

Anyway, I said she could do whatever she wanted with it as long as it looked good, but that I was tired of feeling scruffy around the ears, etc. Too bad and I really was hoping to see what it looks like for me to have a full head of hair, but it wasn't pretty as it was!

So to make a short story long, I like what she did with the place. Looks good now and I even got a quickie scalp massage out of it. I definitely think I'll go back!

Well, in other news I went to a wedding this weekend--for a family friend. Lots of people I haven't seen in ages. Good times. Of course I brought my camera but so did my mom so I decided to let her be the dork lugging around the big camera instead of me for a change. So I will have some pictures for you to gawk at later... much later!

First I have to verify they turned out well. I wore my black button down shirt but seriously, I should find someone to dress me. I wore black pants and the two kinds of black weren't quite right together. At least I have sense enough to know something is wrong, but not enough sense to do anything about it first. I was in a hurry to get on the road so I wouldn't be late and didn't change shirts (or pants) and the outcome might have been less becoming of me.

So the next time I crash a wedding I have some ideas. I'll definitely not work the night before. People who didn't know probably thought I was rude or else hung over. I was just tired! Of course I'll have to take some dancing lessons. This was the first wedding that town put on with dancing. I always used to laugh because movies make that such a traditional part of the ceremony and yet in my hometown all these people are so against it for some reason. I'd never been to a wedding growing up with live music, much less dancing. So I give them props for that. Mad props homies. So there was dancing, just not much of it. All that was missing was the weird ass that most people don't really know who gets in there and makes everyone cut loose a little more. I could be that guy! Certainly there are enough people who think I am a big enough ass and I have no dance skills, so all I need is to get over myself and just do it!

Oh who am I kidding? I'm the dork who takes pictures of other people acting foolish so I can blackmail them later.

Anyway, I'm back home. New haircut. Good times. Looking forward to version 30.0.



01 May 2007

i think myspace is smoking something...

I don't know what it is, but in the spirit of experimentation I'll take two!

What am I talking about, you ask? Well, it certainly is not anything worth making a blog entry over, but if you must know; it says i have had 65 views this week which had me quite excited over my new-found popularity until I also noticed that it says there were 2 posts this week and I know that isn't true!

Sorry to say my little ones, our neglectful host has not posted in over 2 weeks! That ends now though.

I do not really have much to blog about but I did go see a show last weekend. Somehow the planet's aligned or something and I happened to be heading to Portland for my only weekend off in the middle of a 5 week stretch and one of my favorite emerging artists was playing at the Doug Fir Lounge that Sunday night. No worries, not a school night for ME! I said. So the tickets were cheap too and that was it, I didn't hesitate.

So I have never been to the Doug Fir but from what I read online it sounded interesting, state of the art sound and a very contemporary environment for enjoying an intimate musical performance. I thought it would be easy to find but alas, it is a hole in the ground, very easy to miss. It is underneath the Jupiter Hotel, so if you are ever looking for it, don't! Just look for the hotel and then go to the restaurant and head underground.

Anyway, the show got started pretty late, two opening acts each with their own take on blending psychedelic influences of various forms with the overall freeform of the jam band phenomena. Quite a contrast with Alexi Murdoch really. Oh, did I neglect to mention him earlier? Well for those of you who do not know, he is the critically acclaimed artist whose much-anticipated debut album finally came out this winter. I don't know what the hold-up was, nor do I care, but it has been 3 years since his 4 song EP came out and won him limited attention from American radio, particularly here in the NW and of course in California where I understand he's been hold-up trying to finish the album for some time.

I say this only to say that I guess I knew this show would just be a random run-through a small setlist of songs off the new album. I mean when it takes that long to make an album you have no right to expect to be surprised with oodles of older material. Of course during the encore he did treat us to something interesting which I suppose he feared would tag him as a religious zealot of sorts (since he chose to inform us that he is not).

So what did I think overall? Definitely keep your ears open for this one if you haven't already discovered him. The album is great and he will not disappoint you if you have the chance to see him live.

On another note, if you have a chance to see a show at the Doug Fir go ahead and get there early and secure one of the coveted outer tables. We sat on the steps which were the next best thing until the chick from the 2nd opening act decided to tell everyone sitting Indian-style on the concrete floor to stand up. I really wish she'd let them just stay put, cuddle up if necessary, and join in a good ol group sing like we had in kindergarten. Ah good times!

So I have no idea who opened the show. They only played one song and there were no words--plus they all wore masks. The next band was called Midnight Movies I do believe. They're on myspace and appear to be quite popular among the disenfranchised young female set. Definitely a contrast to Murdoch's flavor, but not in a bad way. Someone has to draw in the kids with the fake ID on Sunday nights!

Well, that's about all there is to say about it. Looking forward to Damien Rice at Benaroya hall in April and hopefully Sasquatch in May. Stay tuned for all of that!