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When I first started this blog a hundred years ago, I used to be so good at keeping this updated. One of the main reasons I started it – and I’ve said this before – is an author said the best way to get better at writing is to always write. I’m not an author of novels, and I have no goals to be, but I do write reviews and I’m always wanting to be better at writing them. So it’s stupid not to keep up on this, more so because I actually pay for this site and the domain name. I’m just wasting money on something I’m not using…something that only benefits me.

And the pisser is, when I do constantly keep up with this, it shows in my writing. At least I think it does. Not only do I believe I’m a stronger wordsmith when I’m always putting something to paper (or screen), but the words come easier. What’s weird is I used to have a lot to say, and it was easy to do tons of entries. But now, I still feel like I have a lot to say or write, but the needling isn’t there to do it. There was a time I felt like I had to get the words out. That they were trapped in my head and they needed escape. Now, not so much. The words are still there, but the urgency to escape isn’t. I’m thinking this mainly has to do with how out of practice I am. I don’t write nearly as many blogs as I used to and in turn, not nearly many as reviews. Or maybe it’s vice versa, who knows. Either way, I miss it. At least the reviews part.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again because I know me, I’m going to make a conscious effort to start writing more. I feel empty when I don’t, which is ironic because writing is expelling words, so I shouldn’t feel empty like I do, I should feel full. But that’s getting too deep.

I’m jealous of my friend Kevin. He keeps multiple blogs steady updated. I don’t know how he…well I do know how he does it, with drive and discipline, two things I’m severely lacking. I only have two blogs (this and Metro Reading) and I can’t even keep one updated, much less the amount Kevin does. I’m going to try to get back on this Blog Bus. I’ve genuinely missed writing on a regular basis, and it has always felt good doing an update no matter how big or small. So my goal is not to pressure myself on the length of the post, something I’ve done a ton of in the past. If I have something to say, I should say it, no matter how big or small. I think if I start with that attitude, it will be helpful getting more output from my brain to my fingers.

With all that, I was in Macy’s last night and heard a song playing in the store that I used to (and still do, really) LOVE. I have to be honest, this was an interesting song to here in that store to say the least, all things considered.

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I love a lot of things about my job, but one of the things that stands out is the ability to work from home on occasion. I don’t do it a lot, but when there are times I have an appointment that can’t be made over the weekend, I have the ability to do it during the week without using any of my personal time. Like yesterday.

Yesterday was supposed to be a good day. I was originally working from home for two reasons. The first is my HOA meeting was that night and I’m on the board (if I’m going to hate something tremendously, I might as well be part of it). The second was I planned on taking my truck in to get the AC fixed. The AC has not worked since it was about 200 miles out of warranty (Fuck me, right?), and they’ve “fixed” it a few times, but the problem has been it’s been so cool as of late, it did feel like the AC was working…until a hot day came. So, finally, the guy at Ford did a solid and said, “Look, wait until a week when it’s hot, bring it in, and I’ll give you a loaner car for the day.” This was that week.

I called him on Wednesday, told him I’d be bringing it in on Thursday and he said fine, ask for Bob. Things were in place.

Oh, and side note, Tuesday night my AC in my house went out. So I added a third appointment to Thursday. I bet you can see where this is going.

So, I get up early on Thursday, head to the dealership and talk to Bob. I explain the problem and I tell him I was getting a loaner. Bob goes off somewhere, comes back, fiddles on the computer, moves some papers around; I’m getting a bad feeling. “Sir, we don’t have a rental car for you.”

“What do you mean? I called yesterday.”

“I’m sorry, no one set it up.”

I’m pissed. But I don’t erupt on Bob, I just say fuck it, I’ll come back next week. This should have been handled. Now I have yet another week without AC in my car.

Since it was still early, I decided to get my hair cut but driving by, the place didn’t open for another hour. Fuck. Then I figured I’d go grab a cup of coffee from my favorite coffee store. The line was literally from the counter to the door. FUCK.

At least the beginning of this shit day (somewhat) prepared me for the worst news of all. Yeah, the home AC is toast as well. I kinda expected that anyway, the unit is about 20 years old, but it was the shit icing on a shit cake. The shit cherry on top was the fact that the guy told me it would be a couple weeks before they could get it replaced because they are booked up. (It only turns out to be a week and a half, so I’ll live).

Fuck that Thursday.

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Recently I got a raise. Not just a raise, but a RAISE. Without a doubt the biggest raise I ever got in my life; and that includes when you switch jobs for more money. I’m not going to say I don’t deserve it, I do. But it’s nice when the people or company you work for recognize your value. Oddly enough, the week before my review, my boss asked me what I thought I was worth. I told him the truth (and it was a substantial amount than what I was making). Sure enough, the next week, that’s what I got. I’m still reeling. (And I made him repeat it a few times to make sure I heard him right.)

This is pretty feel good since other things are going on where I work that I’m not particularly a fan of. I won’t go into details, naturally, but I have a feeling people I’m close to I won’t be seeing on a daily basis at some point in the future and that stings a little. I’m not the type of person to say “If he goes, I GO!” because no one is really like that, yet one of the things I truly love about my job is the people I work with. I’m thinking that circle is going to get smaller before the year is out. Shit.

That said, more about me. In addition to the raise, in the past two months I’ve made huge cuts into two bills, which will end up saving me about $120 a month. That’s nothing to sneeze at. The first was Verizon. I was paying $90 a month for my phone and I saw that they had unlimited data now for like $80, so I went to the store to get in on it. But when the sales guy pulled up my account, he said, “Unlimited data is a waste of money for you. As a matter of fact, you should lower your plan all around.”

“Oh yeah? How much would the new bill be?”

“$55 a month.”

“No shit?” I replied.

“Yeah, and that’s with the taxes.”

So, BOOM! $35 saved. Since there are wireless access points in so many places now and Verizon finally got into the 21st century with rollover data, it’s been working out extremely well.

The next big savings came from switching car insurance. I have been with Allstate for almost three decades. I was paying my bill online and my buddy Romka happened to look at my screen. “Dude!” he said. “You are paying way too much for car insurance.” I was paying $125 a month.

“Really? How much do you pay?” He told me. “But you have a nicer car than me.” He has a BMW. He said I should at least price it out. He’s with Geico. I went to Geico’s page to build an estimate. Holy shit.

I called my agent, who’s a GREAT guy, and asked him if Allstate could come close to that estimate. He said I should call Geico first to see if I could actually get that price and then call him back. I thought that was a good idea, so I called Geico, they told me yes, in fact, I did qualify for that price. I called back my agent and he said there was nothing he could do. It was too much of a difference and he wouldn’t blame me if I left. I felt bad because I’ve dealt with him for almost 10 years or so, and he’s always been on his game. But the difference was so big, I’d a been a fool if I didn’t.

Allstate – $125 a month.

Geico – $53 a month. (I got another discount on top for putting my home insurance in it.)

Right?!?!?

That’s insane. And the thing is, I would have stayed with Allstate if they had come reasonably close. Even at $75 a month because I’ve always received quality service from them. But, sadly, it was time to move on.

(And of course I did some research. Most comparison reviews I said stated the same thing; Geico is cheaper but you don’t get the same personal service. Allstate is more because of that added touch. But, all things being equal, they provide the same coverage.)

I know what I’m going to do first with the extra money; pay off bills, naturally, and get my house painted. But after that I’m gonna start plowing the money in the bank so I can have a nice(r) down payment on a new vehicle when I pay off mine next year. I’d like to keep the one I’m driving now just for work once it’s paid off, and maybe get a Kia or Hyundai SUV.

We’ll see.

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By the time you read this, I’ll be home. I’m not the type of person to broadcast when I’m away from home because I’m not a fan of inviting bad guys to my house to have their way with it, knowing I’m going to be gone for a while. So, at the time of this writing, it’s 2.19.2017, 11:41pm, and I’m at a Holiday Inn Express in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in preparation for the cruise I will be starting tomorrow. (YOU WILL HAVE TO WAIT FOR WHERE BECAUSE IT WILL BE  A SURPRISE.)

While I’m not a fan of cruises, I’m going to have a blast on this vacation because most of my favorite family members are going along. My sister (Joy); my niece and nephew, Cheyenne and Cody, the former of which hates people as much as I do; my dad and some of his friends; my  uncle Leslie and aunt Fame; and tomorrow, my cousin Christopher and his lady Kaylin will be joining us as we all join the boat like one big family. I’m very much looking forward to it.

It is now 2:32am. I had popped a few Xanax and fell asleep for a bit on these VERY comfortable beds. Shit, for a Holiday Inn Express, I’m pretty goddamn impressed with these beds. However, that insomnia thing I mentioned in the last post? Yeah. Just because I’m taking a vacation doesn’t mean that fuck is.

Anywho, all things considered, this vacation is off to a fine start. I left my house separately from the rest of the family because I live closer to Baltimore, where were flying out off, than anyone else; plus, the cars were all filled up and I couldn’t ride with them if I wanted to. So I gathered up all the various ways I could use to get the airport. After all was said and done, I got it down to about $40 round trip. Rather than  arrange with those companies, I offered up the money to a few friends, who took me upon it. And Anne got me to BWI all safe and sound, get this, at about the same time as the rest of my family. They had just gotten in line and I was able to quickly join them.

It’s way late, so I’m just going to knock this out with some bullet points on the highlights:

  • We were randomly chosen to go through the quick lanes for checkin. This means we could keep our belts and shoes on!
  • My sister scored a free beer on the plane because I made the flight attendant laugh. Still waiting on that particular thank you.
  • When I left Maryland, my suitcase had two wheels; when I arrived in Florida, it had one. I went to the Southwest counter, and they took care of the problem RIGHT THEN by giving me a new suitcase. Right. Then. I cannot speak highly enough of the customer service I got from them.
  • As mentioned, most of my family was going to be on this trip. When we saw Leslie, my uncle, for the first time, he was closing intentionally closing the elevator on us. Those who know Big Les are not surprised by this.

That’s all for now. I’ll share more later!

 

 

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I’ve always had trouble getting a good night’s sleep because of my snoring. But for the past month, it’s gotten far, far worse, where I’ve been waking up about every hour for no reason. I mean, if I had to pee each time I woke up, I’d be worried (that would be fat boy diabetes), but I’m just waking up. As if my body is saying, “HI! Just waking you up for no fucking reason!”

I dick around for 5 or 10 minutes, then go back to sleep, only to wake up again in an hour. So, after all has said and done, I may have gotten three hours a night of sleep a night since this started. Mind you, these aren’t consecutive hours; they’re just three house. Do you know what this does to a person? Let me fucking tell you (in no particular order).

Any reflexes you might have thought you had, well kiss them goodbye. I normally keep a reasonable distance between myself and the vehicle in front of me when driving. I’ve doubled that in the past month. My reflexes have been sloooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwww.

You know the true meaning of insomnia. Late at night on Facebook, without fail, you’ll see at least one post from your friend’s saying they have insomnia. They don’t. They just can’t sleep that night. When you can’t sleep 30 days in a row, you are on an entirely different level. I’m not even judging those folks who are complaining about their “insomnia” because I used to do the same. God, those were the days.

You fall asleep randomly and without realizing it. You know how when you are super tired and you are driving and you say to yourself, “I can shut my eyes for five seconds; I’ll be fine”. And you KNOW that’s crazy. It’s stupid and dangerous and insane, and you know that while you are thinking it. However, when you haven’t had any sort of “night’s sleep” in a month, you don’t get the luxury of thinking you can close your eyes safely for X amount of time. It just happens on its own, and its fucking terrifying. Fortunately, that has only happened twice, and only for a matter of seconds, but it’s no less scary. I now have caffeine pills in my car.

Caffeine pills aren’t all that. But they help somewhat.

Talking becomes a chore. You are so exhausted, forming simple sentences requires a lot of thought. And when that thought is finally ready to become words, those words can be so slurred, people ask if you are drunk. (Yes, this happened to me. A co-worker jokingly said it, but I sounded like I was.)

Your eyes droop. I had no idea this was going on until a co-worker pointed it out.

You lightly hallucinate. That was the moment I knew shit was going bad, when I started seeing things that weren’t there. I’m not talking about shadow people or anything like that. Mostly it’s weird things, like seeing a cup when it’s not really there. This has happened more than once; I’ll reach down for a cup to get a drink that I know is there because I see it out of the corner of my eye (we’ll just ignore that I never got a drink in the first place). It’s only when my fingers grasp at nothing do I realize that that mind was being a dick and was never really there.

My co-workers notice how fucked up I’ve been lately, and demanded I get a sleep study. Keila, my BBFF acted like I was causing a risk to her while she was on the road at the same time as me, but we all know it’s because she cares.

I got my sleep study consultation last week, now I’m just waiting for the insurance company to approve the actual study. I really don’t want for this to be a battle, but I’m prepared for a fight if need be. All I want at this point is 8 hours of blissful sleep, but I’ll settle for 6.

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