8 October 1999

Moments of Personal Shame.
Everyone has them, even if you don’t know what they are.
It’s those moments where you are deeply embarrassed, and even though no one saw it and no one will know, you still somehow feel ashamed.
Let me give you a quick example. One day at work I was feeling uncomfortable, couldn’t figure out why. Just kept shifting in my chair, getting up and walking around, fidgeting. When I got home that evening, changing out of my work clothes I looked down and saw that I had put my boxer shorts on backwards. So I stood there looking down at the tag sticking up out of the front of my shorts, embarrassed.
That is a moment of personal shame.
Now to the meat, and another moment of personal shame.
Last night, a Thursday, I went out for the usual evening: to Rio Bravo for drinks and food before something else (if something else happens). And so I’m there, I have a couple of beers and a couple of shots. I’ll admit it, I got drunk. But an hour of not drinking and a glass or two of water and I felt fine.
So I’m in the car heading home, totally okay. Until the last drink I had, a shot – an Oatmeal Cookie to be exact, just must have hit some particularly sensitive spot of my gullet. I quickly pull off the highway and into an office park, but I don’t get the door open, and… yep, you guessed it, puked in the car. On the window and door.
Well, I open the door and most everything spills onto the ground, and a quick wipe down with a few tissues cleans up most of the mess. This is not the moment of personal shame.
I drive the rest of the way home, put my clothes in a plastic bag for washing tonight, get a shower, drink a couple glasses of water, take an aspirin and hit the sack.
This morning, I get up (late) and get ready for work. I head out to the car. Mine is the only car in the parking lot, everyone else is already gone to work. I open the car door, and look at the mess. But it really isn’t too bad. I head back in, get some paper towels, cup of water and the air freshener. A few minutes later and its all clean. Still smells a little, but that’ll go in a day or two. This is not the moment of personal shame.
I head to work. Stopping at the gas station for gas, I get a carwash, and about a dozen of those little green trees for the car. All signs of the incident appear to be gone, or going. I get to work and as I get out of the car I see, just under the edge of the seat, a small spot that I missed. This is it.
I cleaned everything up, and if I didn’t write this page, no one would have ever known about this. But seeing that small spot on the floor board, I felt it. Embarrassed. A Moment of Personal Shame.
So now I have given you two of my moments, and believe me, this is only the tip of the iceberg. But personal shame can be a good thing, you can learn alot. I always double check my underwear when I put it on, and I won’t be drinking Oatmeal Cookies anymore.
Have a good day. And don’t laugh at me too hard. 🙂

6 October 1999

Something is bothering me.
One of my coworkers said something a couple days ago and it’s been crawling around in the back of my head as I try to figure it out and I just can’t seem to get it.
He said, “I just always kind of always think of you as being married for some reason.”
I’ve heard that before, and sometimes with a little more explanation. Things like “It’s just how you talk” or “how you carry yourself” and other just vague things that people say when they just can’t understand why they feel like they feel themselves.
But what does it really mean? This is what I keep asking myself as it bounces around in my skull. But I just can’t reach my mind around it and pin it down. I can’t even denote myself what I think of as the differences between single and married people.
Does it mean I just seem happy? Fulfilled? Satisfied somehow on a deep yearning level that the conscious mind can’t comprehend? Do I smile too much? Does my walk not swagger like a player looking for nookie? Does my voice not carry the bass tones of smooth talk? Is there a missing twinkle in my eye? Or an extra twinkle?
It just doesn’t make sense to me… how does someone ‘look’ married?
And thoughts like these, they careen into other thoughts and things like “If I look married, perhaps that’s why some girls don’t talk to me” and “If I look married, perhaps it’s the only reason some girls do talk to me”. These are not nice thoughts.
More frustrating than not having an answer, is not fully understanding the question.

5 October 1999

So tonight was the season premiere of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the series premiere of Angel.
I am not disappointed. I still love Buffy, in my mind one of the best shows ever put on television. Nothing else can handle real issues that affect people (like loneliness, heartbreak, failure, fear, and everything else) in such an absurd setting and still get the point across. Plus its funny and fun to watch. And Angel looks like it will be the same, only a little more ‘adult’.
Seriously, even with the violence and ‘scariness’ of these shows, unlike trashy shows like Melrose Place and other such garbage, the good guys always win, people overcome their fears, they feel good about themselves, and they always have their friends. What isn’t to like? This is the kind of stuff that I hope is on when I have kids so they can watch it.
Well damn. Watching these shows just puts me in such a good mood… but not really in a writing mood, so I’ll write more later.

4 October 1999

First, let me say, no… she didn’t turn out to be some kind of psycho and kill me. I just missed a day.
Actually, she turned out to be quite nice… delightfully pleasant in fact. We saw a movie, Stir of Echoes, and I even put a short review of it up.
The movie is the real meat of this .plan. That and a conversation my new friend and I had.
Horror movies.
This year I’ve seen a bunch of them, The Haunting, The Sixth Sense, Stigmata, Stir of Echoes, and The Blair Witch Project. And I’m looking forward to End of Days, Lost Souls, The Bone Collector, and Sleepy Hollow.
Of the ones I’ve seen this year, only The Haunting left me unsatisfied. In my opinion it just didn’t have the weight that the others did. The story lacked, and it really never made you jump. Never really scared you.
The others, with the possible exception of Stigmata to a degree, all did make you jump and, more importantly, left you thinking. Now I’m not going to ruin any of those movies and tell their secrets, but I want to mention that almost without fail often the scariest parts of some of those movies were when they didn’t show you anything. No blood, no grizzly murder. I’ll admit there were a few things that were a little bloody or shocking, but the good ones knew how to build a story. How to keep you interested, on the edge of your seat while simultaneously making you squirm to the back your seat trying to hide. To make you want to slam your eyes shut, but you don’t because you don’t want to miss a single scene.
Someone obviously passed out the “How to write successful horror” handbook this year in Hollywood. And the year isn’t even over yet.
But we also talked about the movies of the past, Poltergeist and The Exorcist being the top two of course. Then the first Friday the 13th (which she had never seen any of, if you can believe that) and the second one too (the rest are funnier than they are scary). Then the first two Halloween movies, and even 4, 5, and 6 weren’t bad. And of course, the king of series bad guys, Freddy in the first Nightmare on Elm Street and the third. Each of those had a good story and in most of them the directors knew how to film a scene for suspense to tense you up before dropping the hammer.
The bad movies are too numerous to name… but we can start with Leprachaun, every movie of a series named above that wasn’t listed as a good one.
Even movies that I might consider ‘good’ movies, meaning that I enjoyed watching them, I wouldn’t really call good ‘horror’ movies. Maybe call them ‘splatter flicks’ or something, like the Hellraiser series, I like ’em, but they mostly shock, not scare.
Where am I going with this? I have no idea. Not a clue. But I like horror movies, so this year I’ve been a happy camper at the theater… it’s when I get home and try to go to sleep that I’m a little uneasy. But that’s what good horror movies do.

2 October 1999

Well, I finally got just about everything done on this page. At least enough that I feel comfortable killing the old page dead and putting up my first .plan file in the new format.
Not much to say today, but I should have something to say tomorrow. For now, I need to finish up, sign off, and head out. I’m going to meet someone I haven’t met before for a friendly movie and maybe some dinner. Or perhaps this person will turn out to be some sort of Internet stalker and I’m just heading out to my own demise.
I’ll report in tomorrow… or maybe I won’t.

13 March 1999

I got an email the other day, and some comments exchanged between friends last night have inspired the following:
I had heard about the GirlFriend line of software for a while and so I decided to install GirlFriend version 1.0. Getting to learn new software is always interesting and the GirlFriend line included many new features that other lines like BestFriend, FamilyMember, and Acquaintance never had. I really enjoyed the Kissing algorithms, and my introduction to the SexualIntercourse plug-ins were quite good. I kicked myself for waiting so long to buy into the GirlFriend line. My system seemed to really take to the whole thing really well, except for the extreme stress that GirlFriend put on my system’s resources but this is part of any GirlFriend program. I hadn’t been aware of it, but apparently the programmers had messed up during the development of version 1.0 and it had alot of broken code. After fighting with it to work properly I finally decided to delete it from my system.
Disillusioned with the GirlFriend line right off the bat, I had intended to wait a while before the next purchase, but after installing one of my many versions of BestFriend, I learned that it included a copy of GirlFriend 2.0, so I immediately began using the extra features of the GirlFriend 2.0 package. However, this version of BestFriend also had a copy of PreMed, so shortly after starting using the GirlFriend 2.0 features, PreMed became enabled and GirlFriend 2.0 was disabled.
Quickly, I went and bought a copy of GirlFriend 3.0. This version had a really good PassionateKissing feature, but I learned that it wasn’t a full version of GirlFriend as it didn’t enable the SexualIntercourse plug-ins without the purchase of a Commitment Agreement. I didn’t mind so much as my system seemed to really be compatible with the version of GirlFriend. But then my MindReader protection software failed and allowed a copy on NewFriend with a hidden GirlThief worm. The worm corrupted my copy of GirlFriend, which then uninstalled itself along with NewFriend which had been upgraded to NewBoyFriend.
A little while later I was pleased to discover that GirlFriend 2.0 had become re-enabled. I began to explore all the upgrades that had been made to this version while it had been off, but unlike version 3.0, 2.0 included a NonCommittal Agreement and a SeeOtherPeople browser. Because of this, during an execution of “A Gathering Of Old Friends” by PartySoftware I began fooling around with a copy of GirlFriend 4.0. It included a much speedier run time and immediate access to all of its Plug and Play features. Of course, getting to all the SexualIntercourse plug-ins and special add-ons so quickly is probably how I overlooked the flaws in this version of GirlFriend, but once these were apparent, I quickly uninstalled version 4.0, and closed the SeeOtherPeople browser.
With its PreMed program now complete, my copy of GirlFriend 2.0 upgraded itself to the full MedSchool package and then uninstalled itself from my system. I decided then that perhaps I should take that wait between GirlFriend versions that I had intended before and perhaps wait for a more stable version. During this time, a friend suggested that maybe the GirlFriend line was incompatible with my system, which made some sense, and they suggested that I might consider trying BoyFriend. It wasn’t really appealing to me. I had seen BoyFriend in the stores and installed on some other guys systems, and I had never really been impressed, I was still drawn to the GirlFriend series even though it often seemed to be more trouble than good. For a moment, I considered it, but when several key system components failed and my FoodStorage threatened a core dump, I became adamant that BoyFriend was not the answer.
I took some time off and reformatted my system. I reinstalled all the essentials and made sure that I didn’t install anything resembling the GirlFriend software packages until I felt my system was ready.
After some time, I saw a copy of GirlFriend version 5.0 and toyed with the idea of installing it. Finally I did, but since I hadn’t done my RealityCheck processor upgrade I didn’t see that it was really a trojan horse hiding a copy of Jealousy. Jealousy causes a GirlFriend package to install on a system in a minimal state in an attempt to migrate its full installation to a more attractive system when this other system realizes that it needs this version of GirlFriend. After a few short weeks, GirlFriend 5.0 uninstalled itself and attempted to install JustFriends, but by this time I had performed the processor upgrade and realized this to be an attempt to just path holes that the uninstall of GirlFriend had caused in my Ego kernel, and I prevented the install and chose to patch the kernel myself.
Almost a year later with my system fully upgraded with CollegeDegree, NewJob, and SelfEsteem, and my Ego kernel fully patched, I was introduced to GirlFriend 6.0 through an ad in NewBestFriend. GirlFriend 6.0 was a delight. It communicated well with all of my other programs and integrated comfortably with my system. The only problem with GirlFriend 6.0 is that it turned out to be a remote application. Sometimes the connection to this version of GirlFriend was fuzzy. I attempted to resolve this with a visit to GirlFriend 6.0’s server to make a direct connection. This did help, but after returning home, the fuzzy connection continued and I realized that it was because my LongDistanceRelationship network adapter was faulty. Rather than try to fix or replace it, I decided just to uninstall GirlFriend 6.0. Oddly enough, after an initial problem, I found that StillFriends (a companion piece to JustFriends) had been installed and was working over the same LDR connection that was failing for GirlFriend.
Almost immediately I installed GirlFriend 7.0. My new experience with version 6.0 had gotten me back into desiring possibly permanently installing a copy of GirlFriend, and that’s why 7.0 seems so strange to me I guess. It included a feature called TakeThingsSlow which was enabled by default. I didn’t mind this so much as my system was compatible with slow running programs. I haven’t mentioned this so far because it has never been significant, but I will now. Each copy of GirlFriend includes a collection of other small environment programs that run in conjunction with it, the most important and influential of these are the multiple copies of HerFriend. HerFriend will usually always retain its initial configuration, but sometimes can be upgraded to OurFriend, or even in rare cases to MyFriend (which in turn can be upgraded to BestFriend). On occasion, copies of HerFriend will be incompatible with your copies of BestFriend that are running, but even if they are troublesome, they can coexist. With GirlFriend 7.0 all the usual copies of HerFriend started to show up in my active task list, but it seemed that only some of the were aware that they were running on my system, and even less seems to know that GirlFriend 7.0 was installed. 7.0, as I now understand it, has a stealth feature which my system cannot control, and it can enable and disable at will. Currently this feature is enabled and I am giving warning messages when my system or any of MyFriends make any mention to HerFriends of anything alluding to the installation of GirlFriend 7.0 on my system.
At this point now, I’m not even sure that 7.0 is still installed on my system, I see less of HerFriends active in my task list, and it seems like I can go for a week without seeing GirlFriend itself active on my system. I’ve been thinking of uninstalling GirlFriend 7.0, but then I also wonder if it hasn’t already uninstalled itself. A friend suggested that version 7.0 may have been vaporware and that what I have seen may have only been a demo, which would explain the disabling of all features after a number of days evaluation.
I’ve been looking at various copies of GirlFriend 8.0, but as with the purchase of any version of GirlFriend there are many different releases, each with its own level of install, system requirements, and of course, features, plug-ins, add-ons and dozens of compatibility issues, so choosing a release of GirlFriend 8.0 may take a while. Luckily, every copy of GirlFriend includes a FirstDate install that allows you to preview many of the features of the program before purchasing, and many do include a CasualDating patch to the FirstDate install that allows the preview to be extended. But in all my looking around at GirlFriend 8.0, I keep going back to thinking that maybe I might try to reinstall GirlFriend 6.0, but I only think that would work if I upgrade my LDR adapter and purchase a copy of Forgiveness v1.1 which I’m told will counter the effects of the Stupidity virus that has infected my system’s installation of a previous versions of GirlFriend.
Well enough of all this, I think I’m taking my system out tonight and running the AlcoholicBeverage routine a few times and may even temporarily install a copy of StripClub if my resources allow for it.

12 March 1999

The worst thing about mistakes is that you have to make them before you can see them for what they are.
It really is a shame that people can’t be precognizant and see their mistakes before they make them. But then I suppose the world would be different. You would have nothing to really learn from, because unless you were some kind of masocist, you would avoid all of your mistakes and everything would be great.
This could be a really long and deep update, but that’s about all I have to say on the subject. I have now seen the mistakes that I have made for what they are. I can only hope that I get a second chance.
—–
Theater Review: I saw the new Star Wars trailer on the big screen last night. And… damn. This movie is going to be so cool. I didn’t stay to watch Wing Commander (I didn’t pay) and I heard I should be glad.
—–
Today’s Song: What Do I Have To Do by Stabbing Westward. Sums up how I feel these days alot of the time.

8 March 1999

Let me start with this. Stanley Kubrick is dead. He’ll be missed. I’m going to have a screening of 2001: A Space Oddessy and A Clockwork Orange tonight. If you know where I live, feel free to drop by.
Next on the list, wisdom teeth. I had mine pulled on Friday. Egads! It hurts like nothing else. And I can’t eat. But I do have some wicked pain killers. So at least I got something out of it.
So I’m sitting at home all weekend, just watching TV, some DVDs and chatting on the PC in IRC. And my ex-girlfriend and I talk quite a bit. It’s odd I guess, but she and I seem to talk just as much as we used to. I think I like that. But then there is this other girl I’ve been kind of seeing (who might just give me hell if she reads this here) who didn’t say two words to me all weekend. It seems its always like that. I’ve been running an odd sort of experiment and I’m sad to say the result were what I expected. You see, I noticed that I was starting all our conversations. So I decided that I would wait for her to say the first words. We’ve barely spoken in over a week now.
All of this reminds me of a movie I saw, and not really the whole movie, but just one line, one idea. Which is better: to be with someone for the wrong reasons, or alone for the right ones? In my relationships, I’ve always tried to be right, to end things when I became aware I was sticking around for the wrong reasons. This girl, she just got out of one of those “love of my life” kind of relationships. And I totally understand that, I had one myself once. And I get this feeling that maybe I’m the “I just don’t want to be alone” guy. Maybe I’m jumping to conclusions. Maybe I’m reading too much into nothing. Maybe… maybe I’m not.
I was alone for 4 and 1/2 years because I needed to be, and because I didn’t want to be wrong. I don’t recommend the experience to anyone. 4 and 1/2 years without someone in your life, it’s hell, it’s even worse when you try starting over again. But my unique perspective gives me pause, and makes me wonder… did she wait long enough? did she wait at all? does she need to? Some people don’t. Some people can hop right back in the saddle like they never fell off. But… I just don’t read the situation that way.
Perhaps it’s something I should take up with her instead of typing it out here to no one in particular, and I will. I just don’t know when… when is a good time for something like this?
—–
Today’s Movie: Somekind of Wonderful. It’s the movie that the idea above came from. Good movie. Go see it.

25 February 1999

WARNING: Job rant to follow.
I work for a software company. I work in tech support. (No. I have never had someone ask me about their coffee cup holder. It’s not that kind of support.) I deal with a GUI Development Software package, and I support the programmers who use it.
So all today I have sat in a training class on the newest features of our latest release of one of our products (all of which will be integrated into all of our products). And I’m in awe. With all these new tools and functions, knowledgeable developers will be able to do some really cool stuff. And not only that, they will be able to do large amounts of work in a short period of time. If someone takes a good month or two and develops a nice set of templates for our product that use all the little features we have made available, the programmer will be able to do a one time pass through of the automatic GUI building procedure and be left with only minimal changes, those minor things we have yet to incorporate, to make before they have a final product. They just need to sit down, read all the instructions and then they’ll be set.
So why am I really not looking forward to all this?
It’s that last line. It turns out that 98.5% of all programmers don’t feel they need to read instructions. They know they basics, and they should be able to “feel out” the rest of it. Boy, is that a complete load of bullshit.
When our new product comes out, I will spend the next 3 to 4 months “recovering” people from their “feeling out” the new features. People will manages to irrevocably delete entire projects without making backups and blame me. People will accidentally invalidate data and even the Windows registry playing with things that they have no idea what they are doing, and in the end they will blame me. Every step, every tool, every piece of information they will ever need is within their reach. And each one of them will throw it in the trash because they are “programmers” and they don’t need “handholding”, they aren’t “children”. But they will cry. Each and every one of them will cry when I explain, “Well, you shouldn’t have done that. It says so in the manual.”
So if you ever learn anything from me and my postings here it is this… RTFM. Read The Fucking Manual. Every page. Every word. Every step of every tutorial and example. And don’t blame the support guy for your mistakes. He’s just doing his job.
—–
Theater Review:
none.
—–
Today’s Song:
Overkill by Lazlo Bane. This is originally a Men At Work song, but I picked up this CD from Lazlo Bane based on someone telling me that if I liked the original I would love the remake. Well, I loved the original, so I snagged 11 Transistor by Lazlo Bane and popped it in the CD player. Man, I was totally blown away by this version of the song. Where the original was kind of bubble gum poppy like most of Men At Work’s stuff, this version is smoldering fire. It builds up, starting with one man and a guitar, and ends with Collin Hay himself guesting in the final verse. Truly worth my money, ’cause the rest of the CD isn’t too bad either.
—–
Today’s Movie:
For some odd reason, I’ve had quotes from Real Genius floating through my head all day, so I’m making it my movie of the day. If you have never seen this Val Kilmer classic, you must. Go to the video store now and rent it. Some of you might have to wait because someone else might get to it first, but that’s okay. Go tomorrow. And the next day. And everyday until you get it. And Kent, stop playing with yourself.
—–
TV Highlight:
(sarcasm)
RERUNS!! I love it when I get to see shows that I’ve already seen, especially if I have seen them 2 or 3 times before. But one step even better is when they preempt reruns so they can air some movie (edited for television) that made hundreds of millions in the theater guaranteeing that 99% of their audience has already seen it, and probably rented it too. Titanic will probably be a good one to run on TV (over 2 nights even!!) because NO ONE has seen that one. And NO ONE has rented or bought it yet. I mean, can you imagine all of the people (all 6 or 7 of them) who will finally be able to see Titanic!!!
(/sarcasm)

24 February 1999

This morning I woke up a little late. Our Monday morning meeting (which is always held on Wednesdays) was due to start and I wasn’t going to have enough time to do my normal morning ritual AND make the meeting. So I took a 3 minute shower instead of 10. I’ve got a ghost of a goatee one cause shaving just the sides took less time that the full shave. And I skip out the door, breakfast in hand.
And then I stop.
I live in Atlanta, and we don’t get snow that often. So when I got outside and saw that everything was dusted in a powdery white, I had to pause and take it in. The whole drive to work was slow and I made my way in awe of the beauty that fresh snow can bestow upon an otherwise dingey looking world. Before I even got out on my neighborhood I almost turned around to get my camera so I could take some pictures of this wonderland around me.
Slowly, slowly, I made my way to work. And I wasn’t alone. Other people were driving slow too. Not because the roads were slick. We had no ice, no snow on the streets, they were clear. People were driving slow, just like me, to take it all in. It wasn’t a blizzard, or even just a handful of flakes here and there. This was the perfect amount of snow for a place that doesn’t get it that often. A thin layer of white over everything but the roads. The rooftops, the yards, the branches of trees. And that which had fallen on the street had melted in place, so that it drifted away as water and didn’t leave those ugly clumps of brown and black dirty snow.
It was pure.
And it brought to me something I had been missing for a while… with my job, my home, my everything, I was getting a little tired, defeated, and depressed. But now I realize, for what is not the first nor the last time I’ll have it pointed out to me, that sometimes all you need is to look at things with new eyes.
Have a wonderful day.
—–
Theater Review:
none.
—–
Today’s Song:
The entire New Miserable Experience album by the Gin Blossoms. It’s all good. Not a bad song in the bunch. Even the country song is cool (“You can’t call it cheatin’ ’cause she reminds me of you”). I listen to this and to their other stuff and it makes me a little sad to know that the group broke up, but at least they put out music this good before they did.
—–
Today’s Movie:
Cloak & Dagger. I had forgotten about this movie until last night when it was on the Disney Channel. It’s not a great movie, it’s not even a good movie. But I remember when I saw this and I was big into the role playing game Top Secret, and at that time, this was the coolest movie. It’s about a kid who has this imaginary role playing character that he actually wills to life. Now, compared to other super spy guys, Dabney Coleman as Jack Flack seems kind of silly, but to a kid of 9 or 10 years old, he made a great secret agent.
—–
TV Highlight:
Well, another week, another Buffy. Last night saw the return of Vampire Willow. Alyson Hannigan is cute, but when she gets all dressed up in those evil leather outfits, its just that little something extra that pushes her into the sexy category. Still, Buffy the Vampire Slayer remains one of the best shows on television.