This is old content! The graveyard is a snapshot of content created from 2002-2005. For new stuff, visit Maniacal Rage.
 

Remember the Shorts

1 comment (closed), posted on october 18, 2005, tags: filmmaking, me, vacation

Maybe you haven't seen them, maybe you want to see them again. Either way, check out the short films we've made. We're working on lots of stuff, including a new short film to be shot in December.

I'll be on vacation for two weeks starting in the middle of November—we're going to Japan! It's going to be a ton of fun and I can't wait. We have so much planning to do before we leave, but I'm already giddy with excitement about the trip. On the way there, we're stopping in Seattle for a few days so Katia can see where I grew up and so I can see some friends I haven't seen in about 6 years.

What's Up, Dickyweed?

5 comments (closed), posted on september 11, 2005, tags: me, summer, work

Wow. Summer went by fast this year, eh? We spent most of our time at the pool, swimming and going down the water slides and jumping off the diving board. It was like being children again; the water was warm, the sun was out, and we were swallowing water and doing hand-stands and cannonballs and having races. It was more fun than I've had in a long time, and I'm truly going to miss it. Winter usually feels long enough without thinking about how much we miss the pool every weekend. Oh well. Next summer will be here before we know it.

Work has been hectic. Katia and I had a vacation planned to Seattle, but we had to cancel it due to a large project at work which I'm finally getting close to finishing now. A few weeks of late nights, but I've made it through and I'm not too much worse for the wear, other than the fact that I feel like I need a vacation more than ever. Hopefully we'll get to go somewhere soon.

I finished up my first Ruby on Rails project (which I will announce here soon), and I am absolutely smitten with the framework. I definitely plan to use it on the next thing I do, and hopefully get it happening at work as well.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, the title of this entry is heavily inspired by the book I'm reading. If you can guess what it is, you'll win a cookie.

What did you do with your summer?

'Music' in Prospect Park

1 comment (closed), posted on july 30, 2005, tags: entertainment, me, new york

Before tonight, I had never seen The Sound of Music. I am not a fan of musicals. In fact, one might say I have an outright hated for them. I've gone on wild, hour-long rampages before, yelling about how the very idea of a musical angers me. So when Katia told me she wanted to see one of her favorite movies, The Sound of Music in Prospect Park, I wasn't thrilled at the idea.

But, as it turns out, I could not have enjoyed it more. There's something about seeing a movie with 200 other people who all love it. I mean, they love that movie. People cheered when songs started, when something good happened, and they booed and hissed—hissed—at the nazis. There was an energy in the air, something that made my hatred for musicals melt away instantly. After the aerial shots of Salzburg, just as Julie Andrews is visible for the first time and just before she begins to belt out the title song, the audience began to cheer and scream and clap. It was crazy. I've never witnessed such excitement and love for any movie, let alone a musical from the 60s.

I'm glad I hadn't seen the movie before tonight. It was such a great experience to be surrounded by so many fans the first time.

Status Check

23 comments (closed), posted on july 6, 2005, tags: dev, me, site, summer

The design has gone over ridiculously well. In addition to the great feedback I've been getting from everyone, the new design has also been featured on CSSVault, CSS Thesis, CSS Import and Unmatched Style. I'm very happy with the outcome and I'm glad everyone likes it.

Over the past few days, I've been making modifications to the codebase (now at version 3.0.2) and I've reworked some of the primary classes so the site is now much faster to render. Load times for every section are much faster, including some of the ridiculously long tag-based archives (e.g. the "site" tag), which used to take nearly two seconds to render but which now take well under a quarter of a second. The speed boost is primarily due to a change in the way I handle Markdown processing for my content.

I used to keep everything in the database in pre-processed Markdown mode, but after many conversations with Gruber in the past I finally changed the system to keep two versions of all content: one unrendered, Markdown version and one rendered, XHTML version. While it seems strange to have two versions of everything, it's worth mentioning what John said to me: "disk space is cheap, CPU time is expensive." The total size of the database before this change was 5.1 megabytes, the total now is 7.2. A measly 2MB and my site renders nearly twice, if not three times as fast. Well worth the space. And, since I still have the Markdown version of content, I make changes to that instead of having to write any XHTML. When I post updates to the database, they're converted using Markdown and stored alongside their unrendered brethren.

When I rewrote the quick search feature for this version of the site, I simplified the Ajax component and cleaned up the code so it's now much easier to add functionality (e.g. you can now scroll down and up, left and right (except in IE) and across columns using your keyboard), and I have more in store. The next addition is something I've not seen anywhere, but it's really obvious. I'm also going to expand Ajax use to comments, which I meant to do a long time ago but haven't had a chance until now (and, since the Ajax code is so much cleaner now, it won't be a nightmare).

Aside from all of this, or unrelated, rather, is life outside the website. I started a new job about a month ago (yes, another new job—the second in 5 months), and it's going really well. It's nerve-wracking to move from job to job like that, but it was worth it in the end and I'm happy where I am now. Katia and I have also been spending a lot of time at the pool this summer, and I'm currently healing from a terrible sunburn I received last weekend. Hopefully it will be nearly gone by Saturday so I can go back to the pool. I think the swimming is helping my arm too, so that's a definite plus. I've also started going to the gym again, which feels really nice.

Becoming an Early Riser: Day Seven

5 comments (closed), posted on june 13, 2005, tags: me

So far, so good. I had one of my wisdom teeth pulled last Thursday. It took nearly two hours to get the tooth out of my face, mostly because the roots were all curly and they just wouldn't come out. After it was finally over, they stitched me up a bit and sent me home. By the time I felt like going to sleep, I was having a decent amount of pain, so I took a Tylenol 3. When I tried to get up the next morning at 7:30, I felt like a zombie, so I pushed back my time until 8:30AM.

I did the same thing on Saturday too, because of the tooth, and Sunday as well because we were out a little late on Saturday night. So I woke up at 8:30AM the last three days. But this morning I'm back to 7:30. I plan to wake up at 7:30 every day it's possible, but in situations where I don't go to bed until 3AM, I obviously have to tweak my wake-up time a little.

I must say—I'm loving this morning thing. I really enjoy the extra time I have all to myself, and I feel a lot more productive. I'm definitely going to keep it up. On Saturday, before Katia and I met up with one of her friends, Kristin, at The Cloisters, I was able to shave my head and face, shower, do a sink-full of dishes, check my email and browse Flickr, watch some Futurama and do a bunch of other stuff all before we left for the day—and we left around noon. Two weeks ago, I probably wouldn't have even been awake at noon.

Becoming an Early Riser: Day Two

2 comments (closed), posted on june 7, 2005, tags: me

So this is day two. I had a dream this morning—one of those really vivid, feels completely real kind of dreams—that I slept through my alarm and woke up at 10:45. In the dream I was really pissed off—it was only my second day of trying to become an early riser and I had overslept by 3 hours. I ran into the bathroom and showered like a crazy person, constantly yelling about how late I was and how it only took one day for me to completely ruin any chances of success with this 30-day trial.

Then I woke up and it was 7:15AM. That made me feel a lot better.

Last night I fell asleep at about 1:15AM, which seems too late, but here I am. I have a problem where if I'm doing something on my computer, I can seemingly stay up all night without blinking an eye, so I have to be careful about that ruining the method. After all, how can I go to bed only when I'm tired if I'm on my computer and never feel tired? I've decided that from now on, my cutoff time is 12:30AM. If I'm not tired by then, I'm going to stop doing whatever I'm doing and lie down and read.

7:30 feels too late. There isn't much time after showering and getting dressed, et cetera. I'm thinking I might need to move the time back to 7. I'll give it a few more days.

Becoming an Early Riser: Day One

11 comments (closed), posted on june 6, 2005, tags: me

Ever since I was in high school I've wanted to be a morning person. I've always been the guy who couldn't get up in the morning, the guy who had to be poked and prodded for 45 minutes each morning before he would actually get out of bed. Katia has spent the last 3 years dealing with this, and I've spent the last 8 years being annoyed with myself.

But no longer! Today is day one of my 30-day attempt to become an early riser. I'm using the method described by Steve Pavlina, wherein I go to bed each night when I'm tired, and only when I'm tired, and I wake up at a set time every morning. I've chosen 7:30AM as my daily time, since that's 2 hours before I have to be at work each morning. I'm considering changing the time to 7AM, because I feel I might not have enough spare time, but we'll see how this goes first.

This morning was easy, but it was cheap. Waking up one time is doable—the real test is waking up at 7:30AM each morning for the next 30 days.

Happy Birthday, Arm Head Jerk Pain

6 comments (closed), posted on may 15, 2005, tags: me

I turned 24 today. We spent the weekend in Boston to celebrate Paige's college graduation. I spent most of my 24th birthday driving home from Boston. I'm getting old.

Also, the problems I've been having with my wrist and elbow the past 5 years have gotten significantly worse lately—so bad that I've been unable to type or use the mouse or open bottles, et cetera without lots of pain in my arm and shoulder—so I'm having trouble doing anything computer related. I'm typing with one hand, and it's very hard. This entry has taken about 6 minutes so far to type (I won't even mention how many typos I've had to correct (in fact, typing these little notes takes a lot of effort!)).

I'm going to have x-rays and "nerve testing" done this week and hopefully then they'll figure out what to do to make it better. Until then, things will be slow around here.

Today is Katia's Birthday

8 comments (closed), posted on march 14, 2005, tags: me

Yes, I am still alive. New job, lots of work, and working very hard on some new films. I am still here. Will start updating again this week.

Also, today is Katia's birthday. Yay!

Photo Wall

6 comments (closed), posted on february 20, 2005, tags: me

Flickr Set: Our Apartment

This weekend, Katia and I finally got around to starting our apartment decoration project. For the longest time we've been wanting to decorate our living room with all the photos I've taken over the past year. We were trying to come up with a way to hang lots of pictures without having to frame each one and the real goal was to have a system that allowed for easy and frequent swapping. We found it. We bought a bunch of magnet strips and screwed them to the walls.

It looks great and it's an easy way to hang lots of photos at once. We plan to add more of these strips (another row above the current two) around the room. You can see pictures of the photo wall on Flickr.

Oh, and I hinted in one of my 24in48 photo descriptions that I was leaving my current job and it's true. I was offered a position at a web development company in Union Square and I accepted it. I'll post more details here once I get started at the new place on February 28. This move will be good. I'm anxious to get back to doing more web work.

Happy New Year

2 comments (closed), posted on january 2, 2005, tags: me

Well, here we are in 2005. As mentioned a few weeks ago, I have pretty much been away from my computer since Christmas Eve when we went to my mother's house. We spent the night there and spent Christmas day opening gifts and eating eggs benedict (a tradition). You can find my pictures from Christmas day on Flickr.

I had last week off and I spent most of it watching movies, staying up late and finally playing Half-Life 2. What an amazing game. I knew it would be good, but I didn't know it could be that good. Half-Life is still one of favourite games of all time and HL2 is already up there and I haven't even finished it yet.

When Shawn got back from Connecticut we took a trip to Home Depot and got some work lights to use for filming. They were surprisingly cheap but quite similar to the kind of lights we used in college. They should at least help us to better light future films (since the other three were mostly natural light and/or pointing my IKEA halogen lights in the living room). You can check out some photos from the day we got the lights at Flickr.

Then on New Year's Eve we had a little party at Katia's parents' house in New Jersey. Shawn, Steve, Ellie and friends from high school Greta and Paige all came over and we hung out until about 4AM. We played a little poker, ate tons of food and celebrated the new year. It was a very fun night. You can find my pictures from New Year's Eve on Flickr as well. Ellie also took pictures so I'm sure she'll have some online in the near future. Update: Ellie has put her photos online.

All in all it was a great 10 days. I didn't get nearly as many of the things accomplished that I had hoped to, but I'll get back on track once I'm back to a normal schedule. I have plenty of stuff lined up for this site as well as a brand-new project nearly ready for prime-time and tons of other stuff waiting to be finished. The week of rest was good and now it's time to get back to work.

How were your holidays?

Me: Update

5 comments (closed), posted on december 9, 2004, tags: me

Films: We shot a short vignette piece that we'll be editing tonight. It's not a film, it's just a funny little thing we did while working on writing other stuff. Speaking of writing, there are several things in the works right now. It's always hard to talk about what's coming up because most of the time if we're actively shooting or editing something we don't want to ruin it and if we're still writing there isn't enough concrete material to describe. Suffice it to say that we're going to be making many more films this coming year than we have this year.

It's always hard to focus on something that has to be done in your free time after working a full day, but the time for complaining has come to an end. We're both writing a lot more again and we've got lots of ideas developing. I feel like there isn't enough time in the day. We'll have to use whatever time we can find.

Web: This site has obviously been ignored over the past week or two. That's just the way it is right now. December is always a rough month for weblogging for me. Between Christmas, work, film stuff and some freelance work there isn't much time for posting worthwhile content to the site. See Also has been pretty active because it's easy to update and doesn't involve me writing anything. I suggest you subscribe to that archive's feed as well so you are sure to see when I add items.

I've also been working on a few freelance projects. I can't say much about them now because they're not finished but there's one in particular you'll see in a week or two (Mathew helped out quite a bit by taking a logo idea I had and perfecting it, and I owe him big-time). It's rough to try to fit freelance work in near Christmas but it helps quite a bit when buying presents for people or making car payments so such is life.

A few people have asked me lately when I'll be releasing my source code. I recently realized it might not be worth my time or effort. While it would be nice to make some money for all the work I've put into my site, something tells me not too many people would buy it. The pricing model I had decided on was accurate, I think, but would probably scare most people away. I don't know. I'm still thinking about it.

xPad: Yes, xPad is still alive. It's just very slow going. Look for a pretty massive feature addition in early January. Can't be more specific at this point. It's coming, though.

Thanksgiving Weekend

4 comments (closed), posted on november 28, 2004, tags: me

The weekend was extremely full. Thursday I spent Thanksgiving at my mother's house in Staten Island, where we ate lots of food and watched a few movies. The drive back to Brooklyn at midnight was like driving during rush-hour traffic. Apparently most people only want to see their relatives for the day and then high-tail it out of there. I'm not saying that's how I felt, of course.

Friday we were in New Jersey for our five-year high school reunion. Ugh, what a nightmare. I was not a fan of 98% of those people five years ago, and I'm certainly not any more so now, so it wasn't a lot of fun to be crammed into an American Legion hall with 80 of them for nearly 4 hours (and we left early). The place immediately fell into old patterns—all the "cool" kids hanging out at the same table, all the "uncool" kids clinging to small groups on the outskirts. It felt patently high school. Disgusting.

And Saturday was Katia's mother's birthday so we spent the day readying a large dinner party and then spent the evening eating and hanging about. Some of our friends came later that night and after a few hours of tea and dessert we said congratulations to her parents for their 25th wedding anniversary (which is actually today, but it was past midnight) and headed back to Brooklyn.

Today we cleaned up the apartment, took a walk in the nice afternoon and finalized some Christmas lists. The last few days I've been up until at least 3AM and this morning we forced ourselves to wake up early so we'd be tired tonight. Well, it worked. I'm struggling to make it to 11PM.

How was your holiday weekend?

Less Jerky

5 comments (closed), posted on november 26, 2004, tags: me

So get this: the person who hit our car the other day (and left a fake note) wasn't as much of a jerk as previous assumed. Apparently, after he or she hit our car (and drove away without leaving behind details) he called his insurance carrier and told them he hit a car and gave them our license plate number. The strange thing is, we both have the same carrier, but for some reason, instead of finding us in their database by our license plate number, they had to find us through the state or something. Either way, though, they found us.

Now Geico is paying for all of the damages! Wahoo. We just saved $500. Obviously I'm thrilled that this person at least had the decency to tell someone about the collision, but I am still angry that they left behind a blank note. In the end, though, our car will be fixed and we won't have to pay anything for it—and I'm thrilled.

Smashed Up

14 comments (closed), posted on november 15, 2004, tags: me

Smashed Up

At some point in the last 24 hours, while our car was parked on the street near our apartment, some jerk smashed its front-end. The damage, although not severe, is pretty bad. The best part of our smash-up hit-and-run? The person left a fake note. That's right: the jerk put a blank piece of paper in the window of the car.

I can only assume they did this because they noticed witnesses to the collision and decided to fake leaving a note in hopes that no one would call the police. Well, it worked. No one did, and so we have no clue who hit our car. I'm going to knock on some doors tomorrow and see if anyone saw it happen but my hopes aren't high. It's just one of those things—live in New York City with a car, your car gets smashed.

What I've Done in the Past 21 Days

7 comments (closed), posted on september 13, 2004, tags: me

In no particular order:

  • Went hiking at Fahnestock State Park in NY state. This included eating sandwiches while sitting on a man-made dam, avoiding poison ivy and trying to find frogs, watching an old man swim in Canopus lake while standing on a fake beach and tons of pictures that didn't turn out.
  • Swam in the Atlantic Ocean via the beach at Spring Lake in New Jersey. It was the first time I had swam in the Atlantic, having spent the first 17 years of my life living on and swimming in the Pacific and avoiding the Jersey shore at all costs for the the last six. The waves were big due to Frances, and Katia lost her sunglasses to a large one. I also managed to get a wicked sunburn only on my right side. Luckily, it's gone now.
  • Visited our friend Shannon in Massachusetts for the first time since last February.
  • Had a bomb threat cause a full-building evacuation at work. An hour and a half later, we all had to go back in and work the rest of the day. Apparently we all trust the NYPD's ability to check a 16-storey building thoroughly for bombs in less than two hours.
  • Shot, edited and released "then, suddenly...", our third short film, and began to work on a new film idea.
  • Read Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon and have nearly finished The Thin Man.
  • Got a nice big bookshelf and bureau from a friend of ours who is going to France and Vietnam for six months and so got rid of all of his stuff. Then we went to a nice brunch at his parents' great apartment in Tribeca to see him off.
  • Found Lactaid milk in our neighborhood. It tastes almost exactly like milk but it doesn't make me want to die! Yay!
  • "Surprised" Ellie two days before her birthday, with Shawn, by going to Jersey and being at a restaurant when she and Steve came in. Hours of reminiscing, watching and talking about our movies and college movies, eating Chinese food, drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes and watching some Ali G.

What've you been up to?

Food, Food, Food

5 comments (closed), posted on august 8, 2004, tags: me

I love FreshDirect, I really, really do. Living in Brooklyn and not having a car makes grocery shopping quite difficult. Between the lack of decent grocery stores and the distance you have to walk with all of your groceries, it's a lot of work to keep your apartment regularly stocked. Before FreshDirect, we would shop continuously—once every two days—but only for a small amount of items. We would buy meat the day we were going to use it (meat selection in this area is not fantastic anyway), vegetables here and there, a little bit today, a little bit tomorrow. But then FreshDirect finally started delivering to our area.

Now it's once every two weeks. We order everything we're going to need and it's delivered the very next day. They only charge five bucks for delivery and their food is pretty regularly priced and high quality. I must say, it's fantastic not to have to go grocery shopping. For $5 more, I can order from the comfort of my living room, and they bring it to my door 20 hours later. It's fantastic. If you've got it (or a similar service) in your area and you haven't checked it out—you're wasting time.

And speaking of food: Shawn, Evan, Katia and I went to Peter Luger's on Saturday night. I made the reservations two weeks ago, and we got in pretty quickly because of a cancellation. We sat down to dinner at 6:45 and left—completely bloated and overly full—at 8:45. Two hours of eating fantastic steak, creamed spinach and fried potatoes. Oh, and dessert, too. The meal was expensive, but completely worth it since Luger's is the best steak in New York. I was full for about three hours. I'm talking please don't show me any food because I might have a reversal of fortune full. But my god was the steak good.

Oh, and as far as the lactose intolerance thing goes... it appears to be true. The past few days I have avoided lactose items and haven't been sick. The one day I did consume it, however, my stomach started a war with my intestines and it was a horrible battle. So, I guess that's it. I've been testing my limits with regular milk and they seem pretty low. I'm going to start looking into the substitutes and the pills and the other stuff, and have a conversation with my doctor to see what he thinks. Oh well. At this point, I'm willing to give up lactose entirely to stop the stomach problems.

A Few Things

12 comments (closed), posted on august 5, 2004, tags: me

Work is getting a bit busier and I've been preoccupied by a few things on the side, so I've neglected to post about a few things.

Dr. Bott doesn't stink after all

I meant to mention this last week, but Eric Prentice, CEO of Dr. Bott, LLC responded to my entry about his company's site not having a secure checkout option and the ridiculous CSR call that ensued. From Eric's comment:

As far as the security of our site, our cart is indeed secure and there have been no changes to our setup in the last 6 months so I'm not sure exactly what happened in your case. We do take security seriously.

It's good to know that Dr. Bott is concerned about security, and I'm happy to see a response from the company. I can now comfortably purchase things from Dr. Bott in the future, and they've reassured a customer—it's a win-win situation.

Now with PHP5!

Segpub moved to PHP5 on Tuesday. Things would have been a lot smoother here if I had bothered to check out how my site functioned in the new version, but I didn't so things were a terrible mess for several hours. One of the most significant changes in PHP5 is how XML and XSL are created and used and that affects this site very much. After several hours of fixing bad code on my part, everything was up and running again smoothly.

It's also worth mentioning that I have begun version 2.0 of this site's backend which is much smarter, leaner and uses new PHP5 class functionality. It should be done in a week or so and should speed the site up a little (as well as making the source a lot smaller and less messy).

Got milk?

It seems as though I've started to become lactose intolerant lately. I don't even know if this is possible, but recently any time I consume milk or yogurt I get sick. At first I thought it was a coincidence (I've never had the strongest stomach in the world), but last week I got sick three times (once on Friday night!) on three days during which I had milk and/or yogurt.

What I don't understand is that I used to drink milk every day and eat tons of yogurt and nothing ever happened. Now, suddenly, I can't do it. I can sneak in one bowl of cereal here and there without getting sick, but anything else makes my stomach very angry. And I love cereal! How will I survive this? I can't stand soy or rice milk.

Oh, my god! Ice cream! I just remembered about ice cream! No ice cream? Ever? Hopefully this is some strange bug I've got that will go away. Otherwise, this is a very sad story indeed.

Short films!

We've got another one on the way. Two quick bits to shoot and then we have to edit. Hopefully next week. Since Katia has a conference for work all weekend, we'll probably shoot another one as well. We're still chugging along.

Third Time's a Charm

6 comments (closed), posted on july 6, 2004, tags: me

Yuck. For the third summer in a row, I'm sick. It's the middle of the summer, it's hot outside, people are wearing shorts and going to the beach. People are eating popsicles and throwing footballs.

People enjoyed their three-day, July 4th weekend and I spent all three days on my couch, coughing and spitting and blowing my nose every few minutes. I didn't get to go to Coney Island with everyone, I didn't go to the barbecue, and I barely made it through the walk to the East River to watch the fireworks display.

Today I feel better, which is nice, and for the first day in almost a week I'm not coughing that much. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be back to normal, or at least feel good enough to leave the house (maybe, say, to go to work). Thank god for my DVR.

How I Almost Poked My Eye Out

11 comments (closed), posted on may 21, 2004, tags: me

The good news is, dear readers, as you can tell by the subject of this entry—I didn't actually poke my eye out. But I tried. Unfortunately, as with many other endeavors, I failed. It's still worth mentioning, however, that I stabbed myself in the eye with a flat-head screwdriver on Tuesday. I'm not saying that for effect or trying to make it sound worse than it was. I actually stabbed myself in the eye with a screwdriver.

They moved me to a new cubicle at work. That's not why I did it, but it's partially responsible in the long-run. My new desk had two trays attached to the under-side of each section of the L, and since I have long legs and prefer to keep my keyboard on the desktop and my pens in a drawer, I decided to remove the trays. The keyboard tray came off easily, but I was having real trouble with the other tray. It seems as though whoever put it in did so with a power tool and a fuck-this attitude. The screws were crooked and partially embedded in the metal surface of the tray's rails. I managed to get three of the four screws out, but the last one refused to budge past a certain spot.

It was the end of the day, I was annoyed, and I made a stupid mistake: I knelt and put myself at eye-level with the screw. Moments before the accident I paused and thought to myself, "You know, you might hit yourself in the face if you're not careful here." So, to avoid this possibility, I rotated the rail around so it was blocking the screw. This way, if my driver slipped, it would hit the rail and save me from injury. Oh, how I wish that had worked. Feeling safe and frustrated at this bastard screw who wouldn't budge from its spot, I put as much torque into it as I could. Things quickly went wrong.

The moment the screw became un-stuck, the rail twisted with it and moved out of the way. At the exact same time, the driver slipped from the screw and all of that torque was directed at my left eye. With an amazing amount of force, I hit myself in the face with the sharp side of the screwdriver. I hit myself so hard it felt like I had been punched. I saw a white flash, and I instantly realized I had hit myself in the eye. I dropped the screwdriver and immediately began touching my left eye, terrified that I would find blood on my hand. Luckily, I did not.

Embarrassed, I covered my eye and walked to the restroom. In the 500-foot walk, I realized that I didn't know how the eye behaved when injured. Did it bleed? I expected to look in the mirror and see that I had cut my eye in half. The only thing keeping me from truly believing that was the fact that I could still see out of it. It couldn't be that bad, I thought. And it wasn't.

I scratched up the conjunctiva (membrane covering the white of your eye) pretty badly on the right (my left) side and about 1mm of the cornea. The doctor at the hospital said that if I hadn't jumped in reaction like I did, and had scratched the cornea like I had scratched the side, I would be blind in that eye. She also had to remove some metal flakes from in and around the scratches. After dilating my pupils and checking the optic nerve, she told me I was extremely lucky and that in most cases like this, people actually stab through their eye.

It's only been a few days and already my eye looks much better. I'm still in shock at how much force my eyeball took without serious damage, and I'm damned lucky to not have blinded myself. Next time I hear a little voice tell me that I might hurt myself, I'm going to listen to it. And no—before you ask—I didn't have to wear a patch.

Born Tomorrow

3 comments (closed), posted on may 14, 2004, tags: me

Right—so tomorrow, May 15, is my 23rd birthday. As I mentioned last year, I share my this birthday with Jamie-Lynn DiScala (formerly Sigler) of HBO's The Sopranos fame. Once again, however, I will not be attending her birthday party. Either way, happy 23, Jamie (I know you're wishing me the same).

I'd just like to mention, while we're on the topic, that this year went by very fast. I feel like I'm still turning 21, and yet, here I am, two years older already. Time is flying by (which is not a good thing), and this year I plan to claw at anything to slow down the process and start doing some things I should have already done. Traveling to Europe was one goal, but the list is long.

In the mean time, feel free to purchase gifts for me.

I Am Immunized

8 comments (closed), posted on april 28, 2004, tags: me

Visited the doctor today to get a tetanus booster. I haven't had one in at least 15 years, so I figured now might be a good time. After all, if I hadn't done it I probably would have stepped off the plane in London and immediately snagged my elbow on a rusty nail and gotten lock-jaw. Speaking of flying, while at the doctor I also got a prescription for a few Xanax to ease my flying. It's funny how even the idea of not being on-edge about flying is making me less edgy.

On the way back to work I found a cell phone in my cab. I picked it up off the floor and took it with me, since I knew if I didn't the next person in the cab would probably take it for themselves with no plans to give it back. I looked in the phone's contacts and found an entry called "Home" and called it.

Bruce, the man on the other line, was ecstatic that I had found his phone and he arranged for a courier to come pick it up from my office. His voice oozed surprise and happiness, both of us knowing full-well that in New York City, the chances of someone getting their lost cell phone back are not good.

Almost Time to Go

6 comments (closed), posted on april 27, 2004, tags: me

Getting ready to go on vacation. I'm really excited, even if I don't fancy the idea of flying at all. I haven't flown in a really long time and I'm on edge at the idea of being on a plane for 6+ hours each way (plus the short flights back and forth to Dublin). Aside from that, though, I'm really excited to go.

In preparation for the trip I bought two spare batteries for my digital camera (since the one battery only lasts about an hour of taking constant pictures) and the Belkin iPod Media Reader. Since I only have a 256MB flash card and since I take full-resolution photos (150 fit on the card), the reader was the cheapest way to remove storage limits. This way, I can fill the flash card, dump the photos to my iPod, and keep taking pictures. Since I have a 15GB iPod (with about 10GB free), I'll be able to take thousands of pictures with a single flash card. And because the Belkin reader was only $99, I saved money compared to the hundreds I would have had to spend to get enough space in flash media.

Speaking of photos, I've got about 100 that I've yet to upload to the site. About 30 from two weekends ago when we went to McCarren park and about 70 from last weekend when we went to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. The latter set of pictures is especially lovely because it was a beautiful day and the flowers were all very colourful. Hopefully I can get around to it tonight, as I would like to have them up before I leave on Friday.

Oh, and if any of you have been to or live in either London or Dublin and know of anything we should see or do, feel free to post it here. I'd love to get some suggestions (especially for non-standard tourist things like "Go to Westminster Abbey").

Identification Cards and Such

4 comments (closed), posted on april 21, 2004, tags: me

I forgot to mention that I finally got my passport. After they requested and I sent in three additional proofs of identification. It took just over three weeks to receive and that was after paying to have it expedited (which was supposed to mean 14 days or less). I'm glad I paid to speed up the processes otherwise I might not have received the passport in time.

I also finally fixed my driver's license issue. After driving to southern New Jersey and paying two different fees and then sitting in the New York DMV for two hours I am once again a licensed driver. I haven't driven it almost a year and I'm anxious to get behind the wheel and drive really fast and recklessly (har har).

Other than solving those issues and continuing to work on this site's code-base, I've gotten back into the habit of seeing movies frequently. In the past few weeks I've managed to see Kill Bill Volume 2 (great), Starsky & Hutch (so-so), Hellboy (good) and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (really good). It's been nice to see movies in a theater and not only via Netflix.

Lully Lull Lull

2 comments (closed), posted on march 2, 2004, tags: me

Such a lull right now. In between things, working on xPad, this and that. It's all very, well, end of wintery. I feel as though everything is going in slow motion and will be until April. March is the slowest month in the year, usually.

I'm slowly working my way through getting my teeth fixed. Last Thursday I had three fixed, but one isn't quite right. Anything cold comes near it and my eyes pop out of my head and I piss my pants. So I guess I had two and half fixed. 13 and a half to go. I don't actually piss my pants.

My teeth will be fixed (hopefully) just in time for the vacation we finally planned last night. Tickets and hotels have been booked for the first week of May. We'll be traveling to London and Dublin, places I've never been before (since I've never been outside of North America), and I can't wait. This will be the first time I've gone on vacation in at least 10 years. Seems crazy that it could be that long, but it has.

In the mean time, I'm finally patching up my "license validity issue," that's been outstanding for several years. New Jersey will soon receive $300+ of my money, and I'll eventually be able to get my license back. Yippee.

Adventures in Tooth Extraction

10 comments (closed), posted on february 3, 2004, tags: me

Yesterday I had a dentist appointment. It's a complete coincidence that while waiting to board a train to New Jersey in Penn Station, I suddenly had a very sharp pain in my face that was followed by more sharp pains and then just constant pain that wouldn't fucking stop.

We got to the dentist as soon as we could and Katia spoke for me, telling them that my upper-left wisdom tooth was fucking killing me, and please help me now oh please god. They said it needed to come out. I said that seemed like a painful idea. They said yes, it would be, and that didn't chance the fact that it needed to come out. My mother suggested I go to her oral surgeon, because he's "really great." I don't know how great any kind of dentist is, because I hate them all, but I agreed that I would rather go to a specialist who could get it out in 10 minutes with a nice bit of Verset on the side than have Katia's dentist get it out "any way it is necessary to do I will do... how tools I use doesn't matter, that's my job, you will just take pain killer and I'll dig it out." He's Russian, old school, and could get the job done. I'm American, a pussy, and I wanted someone to almost knock me out and then pop the sucker right out of my mouth. And so.

Now I'm sitting here, at home in Brooklyn, my face sore and my gums bleeding. I have a big gaping hole in my mouth, and it's weird. The dentist told me I need to have the other three out as well, because they're crap and they're also pushing around my other teeth, but when he does that he's going to give me even more sedation (which is a very good thing).

So if you've been wondering where I was or what I was doing, now you know. I was having a tooth ripped out of my head and now I'm sitting here bleeding and waiting until I can take my next Vicodin ES (one and a half hours and counting...).

Snowboarding, Beta 1

4 comments (closed), posted on february 1, 2004, tags: me

Went snowboarding for the first time on Saturday. It was a lot of fun. I got really crappy rental equipment—the board was at least six inches shorter than it should have been, and was so narrow my boots hung over by at least two inches on both edges—but it was fun nonetheless. We went to Mountain Creek in Vernon, NJ, which is only about an hour away from Summit, where Katia's parents (and I used to) live.

Having never been skiing or anything on the east coast (I skied when I lived in Seattle), I was surprised to see that Mountain Creek looked a lot like the place I used to go in Seattle called Snoqualmie Pass. The only difference is that Mountain Creek is really just a big hill and the pass was a pass on Mt. Rainier. Either way, the snow was great and it wasn't as cold as I thought it would be.

Snowboarding itself was really hard at first. It was quite different than skiing, and I couldn't for the life of me get up leaning forward without falling. It took a long time in the beginning, but once I got past that hurdle things were much better. Katia took the old "slow but steady wins the race," and I ended up going with "I kill speed and turn successfully only half of the time usually," which ended up meaning that my falls were much, much harder. After a few hours, though, I was falling much less frequently and having quite a bit of fun.

We definitely need to buy our own equipment. After having dealt with that crap-ass board, I know that it will be a lot better with proper stuff. Granted, it's a bit of an expensive buy-in, but it will make up for itself if I don't dig my toes in when turning and have a better time.

Next time I go I must definitely take pictures.

Year-End Deals! No Money Down!

4 comments (closed), posted on december 31, 2003, tags: me

The end of 2003. Here comes 2004. But before that stupid ball drops in Times Square (known tonight as "Clearly a Terrorist Target Square, but please cram in, we can fit plenty more"), I thought I might take a moment to say a few things:

First, this year I have greatly disliked the following people: Paul Allen, Tom Ridge, George Bush Jr., Bobby Flay, Paris Hilton, and Mike Bloomberg. There are others, but I can't think of them right now.

Aside from that, it was a pretty good year. Moved in with Katia, got two cats, released xPad, quit one job and got another in a cool 30 days, made decent money doing freelance development over the summer. Not too shabby. Here's hoping that next year will be even better.

Oh—Clay Aiken. I dislike him too. I just remembered him.

They Live on the Ceiling

3 comments (closed), posted on december 30, 2003, tags: me

As promised in this entry, here's a picture of our cats, Oscar (left) and Felix (right) lying on top of the cabinets in our kitchen.

New Beds

Also of note in this photo is the paint smeared on the left-most cabinet due to lazy remodelers, the Kit-Cat clock hanging on the wall (which resembles Felix quite well) and the teapot that's sitting on top of the cabinets over the stove (we don't use it and don't have much room). Oh, and even though you can't see it—the dirt on the light fixture.

Playing Catch Up

4 comments (closed), posted on december 29, 2003, tags: me

My time lately has been spent answering emails, generating license codes, and generally overseeing xPad. The release went really well, and I'm gearing up to start the next version. I was really pleased with all the positive feedback I got, and I think it's going to be even stronger after the next release. Aside from xPad:

Christmas was good. We went to my mom's place on Christmas Eve and spent the night. Got a much needed microwave that is actually capable of cooking food rather than just 'slightly heating' it. We can also now fit a full dinner plate inside the microwave without having to angle the plate at 45 degrees and then push really hard. Good stuff.

The only problem with the new microwave is that it allowed Oscar to finally see on top of the refrigerator—a place he wouldn't jump to before because he couldn't see where he would land—and now the cats have been lying on top of the hanging cabinets and jumping back and forth near the ceiling. It's crazy. I'll have to take some pictures of Felix lying up there looking down at us.

We also got an ice cream maker, which works really well. We tried it for the first time on Saturday when we made some Peppermint Bark ice cream from a Williams-Sonoma recipe. It turned out really, really well.

We're heading to Katia's parents' house for New Year's Eve, which should be fun. After that it's back to work. The end of December is really great because of all the gifts and time off work, but it really makes January-April feel horrible. No time off, no gifts. Hopefully this year we'll be able to go on vacation in April and that should ease the pain.

What did you get (or give) for Christmas?

Home and Work

1 comment (closed), posted on october 23, 2003, tags: me

It's been so long since I wrote an entry, I almost considered waiting even longer. But then, I guess, the eventual problem is that waiting longer turns into waiting longer, until eventually five years go by and all of a sudden I write a new entry—and the only people reading it are me and the guy who got here by searching for "drink piss." That's not a good outlook.

Anyway, last time I wrote I had just left my last job. The past several weeks have been spent doing freelance work. It's been great, but busier than I imagined. I've been working nearly 7 hours a day here at home, which is pretty substantial considering that I have a television, bed, refrigerator and cats here to distract me. I had four projects to finish, of which I've completed 3 so far. The last one is the largest, and I'm working on finishing that as soon as I can, since I also just got another job.

Yes, that's right—I left one job a month ago, and as of Monday I am employed again. It's astounding really. And, get this—I applied for the job on Monster.com. Unbelievable. I'm not lying, I promise... I got the job from Monster.com. Yes, I know, Monster.com never works. I know. I know because I believe that, because I've experienced it too. Every time I've tried to use it, nothing has ever happened. Until this time. Monster.com. Crazy.

I start the new job Monday, which leaves me only one more day of home working. I'll miss it, but I love money and having a regular income of it.

Um, Hi

5 comments (closed), posted on september 30, 2003, tags: me

Lots of things have changed in the past few weeks, and most of these changes have taken up considerable amounts of time. Therefore, like usual, I have left this website hanging in the wind, slowly losing one visitor at a time.

For any of you still interested: I left my job of one year last week, and am currently working on several projects with my own company (a few of you will probably remember this company formation a year ago). It's always a huge decision to leave regular work, since there is rent to be paid (especially when you live with your girlfriend), but I've secured enough work to live comfortably for a time, during which I will also be seeking employment somewhere else.

So now I'm working from home, which is very different (even though I've done it before). I'm not used to the solitude that comes from it. It is nice to see my cats all day, though (even though they seem to feel the brightest part of the day is 'sleeping time').

It's an adjustment, but it's better.

September/October Busiest Months Ever

1 comment (closed), posted on september 16, 2003, tags: me

Right, so I have about 4 big projects going on right now. Sure, two of them are my things (xPad and ManiacalRage redesign), but none the less—I'm really busy. This will probably last into the middle of October, but will be worth it for both me and you. You will get xPad and a new design of this site, I will get monetary compensation for a few of the projects. Yay.

Late Summer

posted on august 11, 2003, tags: me

I've been falling behind lately with Rage (and CodeBucket). I've got too much stuff going. With the public beta of xPad going on, at least development on the app itself is slowing down. I'm giving it some time before I go back to work on the specifics reported by beta testers. Outside of that, I've been busy at work, and reading a new book. The websites have been neglected simply because every time I get on my Powerbook now, it's to work on xPad, and ever time I get on Katia's VAIO it's to play Snood or Lemmings (old school shit). I don't really even touch my P4 any more (wondering if I should just sell that bloody thing).

So things are going well. It's funny—usually when things are going well my websites suffer. When I'm bored, I write. When looking at the archives I can usually see the months in which I didn't have anything else occupying my time... they're full of entries. Granted, it's not always the case (sometimes I just write a lot because I'm in the mood constantly), but it tends to be.

That said, note that neither of these two sites will lack updates for more than a week at a time. No matter my mood, I cannot let that happen. I'm just in the lull of late summer—things are breezy and humid. They shall get cold again soon, and writing will—I'm sure—gain strength.

Finally, Porn in an Instant!

3 comments (closed), posted on august 1, 2003, tags: me

I now have digital cable and a cable Internet connection. After exactly six months, I am now browsing the web at year-1998 speed once again, rather than year-1995. Also, there's digital television (Time Warner's DTV interface is fantastic!), HBO On-Demand and more.

AEBS on top of the new cable modem

Thank god I didn't sign up for Satellite Internet. That would have been terrible. But now everything is alright—the Internet is fast and works, therefore rendering my Airport Extreme Base Station no longer one of the most over-kill products in the world (broadcasting dial-up via WiFi is ludicrous), television is crisp and overflowing with new channels and a great menu system, and it's all still 60 dollars cheaper than I would have been paying for the satellite service.

Digital Receiver

It's a good thing I happened to call TWC one last time on Thursday. I got a woman named Aisha, who sounded really angry to be working. But then she was suddenly extremely interested in my problem. "It's only even-numbered apartments on your street? That's not right." She worked the 4PM-12AM shift, so she said she'd look into it and call me back on Friday at 4. She didn't. I gave up, and prepared myself for ordering satellite service today. Then, at 10:30PM, she called. She said, "I've got good news. Your building is digital ready. It has been for a month now, it just wasn't recorded in the system." Anger rushed to the surface but disappeared instantly—doesn't matter now, I thought, I can get high-speed access. She signed me up for everything, gave me a confirmation number, and today I went to the TWC DTV office on 23rd street and got the equipment.

HBO

I set it all up in about 6 minutes and now it's all working. Fantastic.

Once Again, I've Done the Impossible

3 comments (closed), posted on july 25, 2003, tags: me

For some reason, this summer—much like last summer—I've managed to get a cold. I don't know how it happens, but I get a common cold in the middle of the warmest season of the year. If anyone out there is a doctor, I would make the perfect basis of a medical journal article—the man who gets a cold when it's hot—and I'm willing to negotiate my cut of the press you would receive for such writing.

Anyway, it's starting to go away now, so I'm feeling better. But this week wasn't fun. It's always awkward to be coughing and feverish in a time when people are wearing shorts. On the subway, every time I cough people look at me like some sort of freak. If anyone asks I just mutter "SARS" in my broken voice. I tend to get a lot more seats that way.

Fourth of July, Part II

1 comment (closed), posted on july 6, 2003, tags: me

So, after resting from our long day at Coney Island, we were ready to view some fireworks. The best place, we decided, would be a few blocks down the road at the Brooklyn waterfront in Bedford. At around 8:30 we hopped the L train and walked with the masses down to Kent Avenue and found ourselves a spot on the sidewalk. An hour or so later (a bit of a delayed start), the fireworks began. I managed to grab some time-lapse photos of the show. When everything was done we headed home, tired from a full, long day.

Fourth of July, Part I

posted on july 6, 2003, tags: me

Woke up at 9:30AM. This is not normal for a day off, specifically a holiday. But, none the less, managed to get onto the subway by 10:20. The G train. Took that to Bergen, then grabbed the F train all the way to Avenue X (the avenue named for it's super-heroes, apparently). Then we skipped the shuttle-bus and instead walked the seemingly 40 blocks to Coney Island. On the walk, I happened to snap a picture of a Raggedy Ann doll who met her maker when she tried to climb over one of the many tall fences topped with razor wire. Ouch.

The plan was to see the Nathan's Hot-Dog Eating Contest, but by the time we got there it was too crowded to see anything. Here's a nice panoramic of the crowd. We kept trying to see, but it was no use. Katia was sad and Shawn was, well, Shawn, as you can see. Twelve minutes later, the contest was over (quite disappointing, actually), and we were stuffing our faces full of our own Nathan's hot-dogs. After stuffing ourselves we decided to walk up to the beach. Shawn was looking for a garbage can to throw away his soda for a few blocks, and finally had to put it on top of a garbage can that was already way too full. Everyone looked at him with disgust, which was nice.

Then there was the beach. I've never been to Coney Island before, and I expected it to be crowded, but it was crazy. There were people everywhere. Here's another panoramic, although I must admit this picture makes it seem less busy than it was. Just note that the empty space in the foreground of that image is only about 20 feet—the rest is solid people. After walking by the upright-urinating palm tree, we walked down to the water-front where Katia splashed around and I watched a little boy construct one of the strangest sand-castles I've ever seen.

After the beach it was time for the boardwalk. We ended up riding the Tilt-A-Whirl twice (Shawn should have some interesting pictures of this), and avoided the Wonder Wheel and the Observation Tower. We eventually ended up going to the aquarium, where we saw some of the coolest 2-ton seals in the world. Oh, and there was a sea-otter than, I think, was as smart as me (is that saying much?).

Since it was still at least 200 degrees outside and we had all managed to get enough of a sunburn, we decided to head home at about 5 o'clock. It took a while, but eventually we made it back to our apartments for much needed showering, air-conditioning, and food. A few hours later we re-grouped for fireworks.

Enter the City

4 comments (closed), posted on may 18, 2003, tags: me

Finally, after months and months, Steve and Ellie actually got around to visiting Brooklyn yesterday. Granted, it took Shawn and my birthdays to get them here, but never the less they made the long trek from Jersey into the city and we all had a nice time.

They got to see my apartment and Shawn's, and we all ate at a mexican place near Union Square before going to a bar called Revival. They left at about 10PM, and then Shawn, Katia and I went to one of her friend's house/apartment-warming parties here in Williamsburg.

The party was fun, and ended up just being us three drinking and talking on our own in one of the apartment's corners. Since we (well, Shawn and I) didn't know anyone there, we didn't have to talk to anyone else, so the apartment basically became a place for us to talk to each other and while drinking other people's booze and smoking lots and lots of cigarettes.

A few hours later, and slightly drunk, we went our separate ways. Pretty great day, if I do say so myself (and I do).

Ma' Birfday

9 comments (closed), posted on may 15, 2003, tags: me

Well, today Jamie-Lynn Sigler and I turn 22. Doesn't feel much different than 21, probably doesn't feel much different than 23. I can't speak for Jamie, but today just seems like a normal day to me, only now I'm closer to the mushy middle of my 20s. Wee!

Live from SoHo

1 comment (closed), posted on may 2, 2003, tags: me

I decided to take a minute, since I'm here and there's WiFi to spare, to post from the Apple Store in SoHo. I'm currently sitting in the theatre listening to some crazy Apple guy talk about all of the new iPod features over and over. He's really excited. More so than I, and I just bought one (more on that later).

The line into the store was outrageous. It took about 20 minutes to get in, and we were wrapped around the corner and a block away. Crazy. But eventually we got inside, and were greeted with another line to purchase. It took a long ass time, but now I'm resting here writing and enjoying high speed Internet before closing my PowerBook and heading home in the rain.

I plan to run the iPod through its paces tonight, and I'll have all the details tomorrow. Bye!

Meet and Greet?

1 comment (closed), posted on may 2, 2003, tags: me

If you're a regular reader of this site and/or you run your own, and you're going to be at the iPod event at the Apple Store SoHo tonight, please let me know. I would love to meet some of the people who read this site or meet other bloggers from this area. Who knows, it could be interesting...

Taxes are Horrible

1 comment (closed), posted on april 14, 2003, tags: me

Hey, last year it was really easy. I didn't make much money, it was all on W-2 forms, and I used Turbo Tax on the web to submit a 1040-EZ form. It took 20 minutes, cost me 10 bucks, and I got my rebate in a week. It was sizable too, for how much I made. I was done by February 1.

This year, however, 3/4 of my money is 1099-Misc, which I didn't pay estimated quarterly taxes on, and Turbo Tax for the web is now 40 bucks and refuses to let me items for self-business and use my standard deduction. Now it's April 14, I owe a crap-load of money, and I'm not done yet.

Tomorrow I plan to go to H&R Block and see how much they charge. If it's not terrible, I'm gonna have them do the taxes. If it is terrible, I'm gonna send payment and file for an extension. Either way, this stinks. I hate taxes.

I Drive No Matter What

posted on april 6, 2003, tags: me

Last night after visiting with Shawn, Evan, Steve and Ellie in New Jersey, I drove back to Katia's parent's house for the night. On the way back, the steering in the car seemed funny. As the trip—which is only about 20 minutes—progressed, it got more and more noticable. A grumbling in the front-right tire, and noticable pull to that side, especially when going fast. The last few feet to the house and up the driveway were especially rough.

I was concerned I had done something to the alignment. Perhaps I hit something but didn't notice? I couldn't tell, but I was worried. I got out of the car and walked up to the tire. In the darkness of the garage I realized I couldn't see anything. I felt for the tire and realized there was no hubcap. Perplexed, I walked into the house and asked if there was anything I didn't know about the car. No one knew. They did ask me, however, if the tire was flat. Of course not, I said.

Upon further checking (I actually looked at the damned tire), it was flat. I had driven for 20 minutes on a flat tire. And I lost the hubcap. Like an idiot, I walked back into the house and admitted that I am a fucking moron.

The Weekend

4 comments (closed), posted on april 1, 2003, tags: me

We had one of those ridiculous packed-full-of-plans weekends. It ended up going pretty close to schedule, and by Sunday night at 12:30AM we had successfully visited MoMA and viewed the semi-interesting but extremely short Picasso/Matisse exhibit, enjoyed a spicy dinner with Katia's family, watched both Fargo (which I had already seen) and Bottle Rocket (which I had not), took all the laundry to the laundromat (and subsequently picked it up), and caught Dan Bern at the Bowery Ballroom. We aren't usually "make the most of the weekend" types, so it was nice to have a planned-out weekend for a change.

Unfortunately, since the day after bringing Oscar back from the neutering, he has been sick. His breathing was very rapid and raspy, and he refused to eat or drink any water. On top of that, he was extremely lethargic—barely moving at all. We had to take him back to the Vet, who told us it was probably just a cold (although I've been told from others that his lungs probably has fluid in them because of the surgery), and injected him with a loaded dose of antibiotics (I've also been told by others that the Vet did this because he knew Oscar's lungs were full of fluid and if he didn't give him antibiotics ASAP he could get pneumonia). He then proceeded to cram an IV needle into Oscar's side and squeezed in water, which created a large bubble underneath his skin. The Vet said he would absorb this water (and he did), but everyone I've told this to has had the same reaction: "What the fuck?" I've never seen a vet do this, and frankly I don't ever want to again. It was ridiculous.

They charged us fully for our visit (and for the antibiotics we've had to cram down Oscar's throat for the last few days), even though the problem was clearly caused by the surgery. Needless to say, we won't be returning to that place.

Oscar is getting better now, and eating a small bit. We usually have to feed him by hand, though—sometimes by smearing the food onto his leg so he licks it off, other times just by letting him lick it off our fingers—but he's starting to seem more interested in walking about. Hopefully by the end of the week he'll be back to 100%. In the meantime, Felix is completely back to normal, which includes running around crazy and doing all sorts of upside-down hangs from the scratching post.

Neutered

4 comments (closed), posted on march 25, 2003, tags: me

I expected the place to be nicer. Walking down 50th Street a few minutes before, I was starting to feel quite comfortable with the area and confident with the quality of architecture and people I saw walking on the street. Hell, even the pigeons seemed courteous—stepping to the left, allowing me to pass without the fluttering of filthy wings—and the smell was nice too. On the way over (only two blocks), I passed a lovely Medical Office. I assumed the place would be along the same lines. Cheery. It would be the opposite of other animal hospitals. The animals would all be free—no cages—and walking around casually, meowing or chirping or, if inclined, drinking tea and eating biscuits.

Then I saw the West Side Animal Hospital across a busy Ninth Avenue. It was not what I had been hoping for. In fact, it looked like a damned converted pizza place. My expectations suddenly changed, and I imagined myself walking into stalagmites and stalactites, animals being lashed and doing heavy manual labor whist being forced to drink Shasta and RC Cola.

The lady buzzed me in. It wasn't that bad. It was quiet, actually. Seemed alright. I requested my two cats and was told that Felix, "the black one," was a real pain in the ass. He managed to scratch the "living hell" out of the Vet's arms. Good for him, I thought, if someone tried to cut my testicles off I would do the same. I gave a half-smile and waited patiently for the cat carrier to arrive from the back room, crammed full of two very unhappy cats. Oscar, "the gray one with the funky tail," had apparently been really nice but did not want to be put back in the carrier with Felix. "He's pissed off," the lady kept saying. Do you remember what you just did to them? I kept thinking. I was told not to feed them until tomorrow. That's a long time without food. Over 36 hours. Could I handle that? I don't know. Does having your testicles removed make you more hungry or less hungry? I hope I never find out.

They were silent on the subway home, much like they had been in the morning. I got them home and opened the cage. I tried to fill the room with lots of It's okay and See, we're home!, but I knew they weren't going to like me for a bit. It didn't last long, though, and soon they were lying on the couch, following us with their eyes—their sleepy, filmy, drugged-up eyes—and accepting of petting and kissing.

Sleeping it OffNow I think the medication and experience has caught up with them. They've been sleeping for the past few hours. When they awake, randomly, their glossy eyes attempt to focus on whatever it was that stirred them. But it doesn't last. Their secondary eye lids creep up, followed by their furry outer lids. And then, quickly, they are fast asleep once more. They'll probably be up and running around in no time. Especially in the middle of the night.

Busy Bastard

1 comment (closed), posted on march 24, 2003, tags: me

Work has been really busy lately. Because I'm really the only developer there, I usually handle all of the work (including design), for every client. The last few weeks I've had to finish up large projects for several clients—all of which include lots and lots of work—so I haven't really been in too much of a "work on websites when I get home" mood. This site has suffered because of it. For that I apologize. But until this website starts doing my daily work for me, it will have to deal with being left alone from time to time.

48 Hours

6 comments (closed), posted on march 17, 2003, tags: me

So. Bush says 48 hours. Hussein has to leave (and his sons, no less) Iraq within 48 hours, or we will remove him with military force. Is it even worth writing about how much I despise Bush? Is it even worth mentioning that he's possibly the worst public speaker in the world? That he's willing to go to war because he wants to, regardless of what others think (even his own citizens), or whatever evidence comes forward, or whatever the UN does or doesn't do? That he's saying the US is being made safe from attacks (give me a butt-fucking break)? I mean, what's the fucking point of saying anything anymore?

So. In 48 hours, it's possible we may hear Blinky-McGee say the words that no one in the world should ever have to hear. It's possible, within 50 hours, that we could, for the first time in over 50 years, declare war. Is anyone else in "what the fuck is going on in the fucking world you bunch of stupid mother fuckers, we only have one fucking life you stupid sons of bitches—no matter where the fuck you think you're gonna go afterward, you only have one fucking life—stop all of this bullshit and let me live mine" mood right now? I sure am. I don't even want to write anything else. It's not worth it.

At least they raised the terror alert to 'orange'. That'll save us. They should have raised it to 'we're fucked.'

Hack, Cough, Spit

3 comments (closed), posted on march 14, 2003, tags: me

I've had the lovely experience over the past two weeks of being sick. It's some sort of bronchitis or chest cold or something else like it that causes constant coughing and general discomfort most (if not all) of the day. Since I don't have medical insurance, I have the pleasure of self-diagnosing and self-medicating (crack), and I also don't have the benefit of getting a prescription if that's what I need. Oh well. Until this goes away, I'm pretty much just lying around.

Money Pit

8 comments (closed), posted on march 6, 2003, tags: me

The last few days have been a ridiculous ride. Aside from more phone trouble (I once again have no active phone line—I Hate Verizon!—until Verizon decides to send someone out to fix it), we've also just recently started receiving power again after a few days of problems.

Yesterday was the worst, as we didn't have any power all day long (it eventually came back on at 10:30PM last night). Not having power meant we also didn't have heat or hot water. All the food in our refrigerator was crammed into the freezer, and we cooked whatever we thought would go bad. I spent $10 on candles. Then we played Scrabble (and I won!) by candlelight. Also of note is the fact that I took a shower using three pans and hot water mixed with cold tap water. That was really fun.

For some reason I get the feeling Brooklyn is trying to make me leave. Why? Why doesn't it like me? And honestly, does it think this will make me, a person who absolutely hates moving, move again? Well I won't. So go fuck yourself, Brooklyn, I'm staying right where I am.

Just please stop making me cry.

Bloody Hell

2 comments (closed), posted on february 18, 2003, tags: me

Due to the enormous amount of snow currently blanketing my apartment, street, city, state and areas surrounding, as well as another blunder from Verizon, I currently have no phone line working at home and therefore no Internet access what so ever. This will remain (as it has since Saturday) until at least tomorrow. I will be slow to answer email, as I have to do it from work. Hopefully both my phone line and DSL will be up and running within the next three days. Until then, just be patient.

Kitten Day

5 comments (closed), posted on february 15, 2003, tags: me

For Valentine's Day this year, no flowers were given. No cards, no chocolate, nothing of the sort. Instead, Katia and I got kittens. Two of them. Felix and Oscar, brothers of three and a half months, now live with us here in the new apartment.

Felix is black with white on his underside, paws and face, and Oscar is gray with the same white areas. They were both found in New York, and Oscar seems to have been stepped on when he was a baby. His tail was broken and healed bent in on itself, forming a shorter tail that's twice as thick. He also has a screwy hip, and from time to time walks a little funny. I'll never understand how people could injure (or abandon, for that matter) animals, especially kittens. They're so fantastically cute.

Now they're chasing each other around our place, purring and lying around. Pictures will come as soon as I get DSL (along with pictures of the apartment for those who are curious).

After I Arrive

posted on february 4, 2003, tags: me

Pioneer Rentals is $120 wealthier and I'm sore everywhere, but now 99% of my things have been moved into the new apartment. I've got to make a trip back to New Jersey next weekend to take of a few things, but for the most part I am completely moved. Many, many, many thanks to Shawn, pretty much the only person who was willing to help (and did so, all day, lifting crazy amounts of things and driving around with me in that huge truck in Manhattan).

The unfortunate part about the next few days is the lack of Internet access and cable television as I await visits from TimeWarner and Earthlink. Television should be ready Wednesday, and hopefully Internet shortly thereafter.

The first night in the apartment was great—we slept well (minus the fact that we have no curtains up over our bedroom windows yet)—and I look forward to getting home tonight and finishing up the unpacking and putting-together-things phase. Once everything has been set up I think it's going to be great.

For the next few days I might be slow answering email, as I will only be able to do so from work.

It Was a Good Book

posted on december 17, 2002, tags: me

And with that, my novel-writing career ends before it begins:

From: - - - - -
To: garrett@maniacalrage.net
Date: Tue, 17 Dec 2002 13:17:43 -0500
Subject: Your Submission to Joelle Delbourgo Associates

Dear Mr. Murray:

Thank you very much for letting us consider Life with My Hands Down My Pants. I agree, this was a valiant effort to give a sympathetic voice to a chronic masturbator. Unfortunately, after careful consideration we have decided that your project is not right for our highly selective list. We do urge you to submit this elsewhere and wish you the best in securing representation.

Sincerely,

- - - - -
Editorial Assistant
Joelle Delbourgo Associates

Maybe some day I'll get published, but for now another manuscript goes into the rejected pile.

I Need a Garbage Can

3 comments (closed), posted on december 1, 2002, tags: me

ClutterThe picture to your right was taken tonight as I finished up this version of Rage. It's a small glimpse into the highly messy working conditions I am ever so fond of. Click the thumbnail for a bigger version, which should allow you to find: at least 4 packs of cigarettes (most empty), a forearm brace, two mice on one pad, a package of chocolate-covered pretzels, a Russian dictionary and more. Disgusting!

I'm Full

posted on november 28, 2002, tags: me

Oh, right: Happy Thanksgiving you sons of bitches.

Fast Food, Slow Minds

posted on october 18, 2002, tags: me

I stood in line at McDonald's today, and, as always, worked my stare across the face of every person the tiny restaurant, sizing the other patrons up and creatively thinking about how I'm probably so much better on so many levels than everyone in there.

One particular man had a problem understanding exactly what goes into the McTasty burger, and needed several questions asked before he could cough up the one dollar. The questions started in broken English, quickly transforming themselves entirely into Spanish just after I heard the words, "No pickle pickles ketchup?" This just reinforced the fact that I was so perfectly ready to order, therefore how much better I was than him. I mean, let's get serious here—when I was told to "step down," I did so quickly yet smoothly, and delivered my order with clarity and precision. I did not have to be asked which kind of soda I would like. And, when the total was given ($6.70), I easily handed over the seven dollars I had already removed from my wallet whilst standing in line. Meanwhile, bumblefuck to the right of me is yelling, "Fry! I fry! Large meat dollar."

In the crowded small ordering area, things can get rough. You have to learn to roll with the punches, move with the masses, and never, ever step too far away. The trick is to step exactly once to your left and then once back, thus positioning you perfectly for a quick pickup once your meal is ready and bagged, yet also allowing plenty of room for the next person to step down and order. If you over step, you could lose your food forever, as it can be difficult to make it back to the front of the line with everyone pushing you and yelling, "Hey, the line ends back there, pal," and, "Fucker!" I saw a lady today order a small Diet Coke and a small fry, only to lose it to the floor shortly after due to excessive pushing. She wasn't as smart as me either. I tried to tell her that as she picked up a few fries, but she didn't seem to want to hear it.

It's funny, but my being better isn't only limited to patrons either. I'm better than the whole corporation. How do I know this? Well, on my way out I passed by a large standing sign for bobble-head toys. A small piece of paper had been taped to the left side of the sign, and it read, "Buy a bobble-head toy today and get one free hamburger!" Underneath "free hamburger" someone had taped a coupon for a free hamburger, apparently so you could see what one looked like (in case they hadn't quite sold you on the 'free' or 'burger' parts, but you really liked coupons). As I walked out, I glanced at the coupon, and saw the proof of my greatness. It was stamped, "McVoid."

Commuting

posted on october 15, 2002, tags: me

The last few weeks have been spent between my apartment here in New Jersey and Katia's apartment in Brooklyn, as I have been working during the week in New York. This seems to be something that might continue for a while now, so I assume this site will not see much attention for some time. Apologies to those who care. It's not dead, even though it looks as such, and I hope to start kicking soon.

Dentists Scare Me

posted on august 29, 2002, tags: me

Ever since I was a child, I've always hated the dentist. I thought I had gotten past that, until this morning when I sat on an uncomfortable chair, leaned back and opened my mouth.

There's an inherent fear of the dentist in me. Frankly, I think it's in everyone. Nearly every person I spoke to about my tooth problem had the same reaction when I told them I was going to visit a DDS. Most people say, "I don't want to hear it," or, "Oh, God... I hate the dentist." Also common is a gasping reaction when talking about sharp tools or drills.

This morning the dentist told me that he'd need to crown my tooth, a process which involves removing all of the root canal stuff, putting a metal post into one of the canals, and then attaching a crown made of gold (inside) and porcelain (outside). Luckily, he'll be able to match it to the rest of my yellow-ish teeth. I wouldn't want a clean-looking tooth standing out like that, in the back of my mouth.

So I made another appointment, in the beginning of September, to start the process. In the meantime, he put some silly-putty-looking stuff in the area missing (from the tooth breaking) and although it's not as smooth as real teeth, at least it feels like I have a full tooth there.

The only pain from the day was when the dentist, extremely excited to prove to me that the rest of my tooth wasn't that fragile, put all this weight on the damn thing and tried to break it. Yeah, sure, he proved it—but it was quite uncomfortable. Also, he had to remove "junk" that had gotten into the broken tooth, which wasn't all that comfortable either.

I can't wait for this whole thing to be over. I've had problems with this tooth going about five years now. In a few weeks, I'll never have to worry about it again. Thankfully, because I was considering just smashing out all of my teeth and getting dentures.

Tooth Go Break Now

posted on august 20, 2002, tags: me

I just chewed on my own tooth. What kind of an ironic world is this?

Flash back to this story, about my root canal adventure a few years ago. Then, flash back to this update in the forums about a hole appearing in that tooth (a few months back). Over time, the tooth has gotten worse. Today, while I was eating something (I only chew on the left side of my mouth, to avoid that tooth, and have been for almost a year now), I bit down on something very hard. I instantly ran my tongue across the tooth in question, and it was missing a big piece. I found that piece, broken in two, in my mouth.

So now as I type this, two bits of tooth sit to my left, accompanying a few other items on my desk. Lovely.

More Credit, Please

posted on june 15, 2002, tags: me

Ugh. At age 21, I know something's wrong when my credit limit is so low. I mean ridiculously low. College really screwed me up, let me tell you. Plenty of time when I didn't have a job and didn't pay any of my bills. Now that I do, though, it's already too late for me. Getting a credit increase, or a new card from another creditor is impossible. Therefore, getting things that I should be able to afford but would not like to spend for all at once is also impossible. It's very annoying.

Actually, I should clarify something. We all know I'm talking about getting the Apple iBook I want. While I can "afford" it in the long run, I would like to get it and pay for it over two months or so. That's what's frustrating to me. Not having the option to get it and then pay for it.

Eh, I should clarify something else. I should stop saying I can "afford" it when I clearly can't at this moment. Otherwise I would have it, right? Damn you Apple for taunting me!

My Computer History, or: Why I Want an Apple

posted on june 5, 2002, tags: me

The first computer I ever played with was the work machine my dad brought home and placed on the desk in his office. The purpose, apparently, was for the box to collect dust. I rarely saw him use it, and when he did it was only for a minutes at a time. I never got to play with it until he bought the first computer game I ever played: Test Drive. It was a rather simple driving game (basically you went straight or turned around a long corner; other cars tried to hit you and if you got hit your windshield cracked and you were 'dead'). I enjoyed it.

A year or so later (I must have been about 6 or 7), I started playing around with my grandfather's computer when we would visit his house. These were the days of DOS, so to play any games I had to learn how to navigate my way around. Slowly but surely, I figured out how to do anything I needed to. Shortly thereafter, I was playing SimCity, Life & Death and Wolfenstien3D like a madman.

It wasn't until junior highschool that I was around computers on a regular basis, however. In 7th grade I found something even more interesting than games. I would frequent the library to mess around on the Apple MAC LC II. Using Netscape 1.0, I would constantly browse the most amazing thing I had ever seen—the Internet. Back then I had no understanding, however, so I only went on the school district's website and looked around. Still, it was fun.

In 8th grade everything really started to pick up. Two of my friends had computers with Internet access (one with AOL and one with Netscape and a dial-up account), and I would frequent either house just to be on the Internet. Eventually I began to understand a bit about how it worked, and how much it was capable of.

In the beginning of 9th grade, one of those two friends got Netscape's newest version—one that had a tool to make a webpage—and we created what became my first website. Hosted on her dad's ISP webspace (I think it was 2MB of space if I remember, maybe less), we made a small site for movie reviews. Shortly after it started, it died from lack of updating (don't get me started on how this habit has continually come back to haunt me).

In 9th grade I received a Vendex Headstart (Intel 8086 8MHz, 640k ROM, no HDD) PC and an Apple Fat MAC (8MHz, 512k RAM, 512k of ROM, no HDD) from one of my mother's friends. The Vendex was DOS based, and had two programs: WordPerfect and Tetris. I wrote plenty of things on this box and played Tetris until I wanted to puke. But the Apple was even more interesting. After playing a text-based game (I can't recall the name—it was a murder mystery), I decided I wanted to create my own. After much fiddling around, I designed a game that was text-based and asked you for different disks depending on what you did. It was ridiculous, but fun. I also began keeping a journal and drawing plenty of pictures in Paint. The Apple eventually died and the Vendex followed shortly after. Angered that I couldn't the Vendex to work (it at least would turn on, the Apple was just garbage), I finally opened the case and (using a staple gun) stapled the motherboard while it was on. Needless to say, that put it to sleep for good (as well as exhausting pink smoke that quickly filled my basement and scared me).

Later that year, I convinced my grandmother to purchase a laptop for me. Don't ask me how. I got a Texas-Instruments Pentium 100MHz laptop with 8MB of RAM and a 700MB hard disk drive. I was in heaven. Windows95 was pre-installed when I bought it, and the first time I booted it up, I had to create a copy of Windows using 35 disks (the computer didn't have a CD-ROM drive). Still, it was the coolest thing I had ever seen. I took that thing with me everywhere. I still have it today, although since I got it I've upgraded the RAM to the maximum 40MB and put a 6GB hard drive in (it's also running Windows98 and has an external PCMCIA 6x CD-ROM drive). However, I still never had an Internet connection so the computer was used mostly for writing papers and drawing in MS Paint.

In highschool, I became the webmaster of the school newspaper and attempted to create a website. That never turned out. But I did use Hotmail a lot. I eventually started hanging out with Steve, and he helped me to create what I considered my first 'official' homepage, "Garrett's Realm," on GeoCities. Despite stating at the bottom of the main page that the site would be "updated daily," it was never updated once after its creation.

When I moved to New Jersey in 1997, I was using my family's WebTV for Internet access, and decided I wanted to create a website. Using the WebTV, I created a site called "Bull Sht" with free hosting from Angelfire.com. Trust me, it was difficult writing HTML with the WebTV unit. Especially since I really didn't even know HTML all that well. Eventually I began spending my lunch time in the computer room at school and slowly learned HTML completely. Bull Sht had a new version before the year was up and it was actually semi-decent. It was just a collection of writing.

In the summer between 11th and 12th grade, I finally got a PCMCIA modem for my old laptop and got Internet access at home. Shortly after I found the first version of AOL Instant Messenger and told Steve about the service. We began talking over AIM regularly (since he lived in Seattle). I saved all my money from working and finally bought my very first "real" computer. A custom-built Pentium II 350MHz PC with 256MB of RAM and a 20GB hard drive. I'm still using that computer as we speak (lots of little upgrades, but still the same processor).

Over the years, I've been content with my PC. But, at the same time, I still kept my eye on Apple. I loved their operating system and their versions of the programs I used. But Apple was always too expensive for me. I watched from afar as my friends bought them (or got them) and was always jealous. I always wanted one. Especially when they started to look cool. The designs have gotten better and better over the last few years, and now nothing in the PC market looks nearly as smooth. When OSX came around, I couldn't hold back my jealousy any longer. I began to lash out at my Apple toting friends whenever the opportunity arose. I hated them. And I so desperately wanted to become one of them.

Now, as I look to purchase a new computer, I know exactly what I want: I want an Apple laptop that looks great, is small and light, and is powerful enough to do what I want. Oh, and I want OSX. Am I a traitor? No. I've always loved Apple's machines. Am I an Apple freak? No. I love my PC and I will always have a PC. I could never go all-Apple. I wouldn't want to. I want to have the best of both worlds, and as a designer/developer I believe that's the smartest way to go about it.

I've begun saving my money for a new Apple iBook. I can't wait until I can buy it. I'm going stir-crazy sitting here thinking about how great it will be to have, and how long it might take me to get there with my current salary. But I don't care. I've wanted an Apple for a long, long time and I am going to finally get one. I can't wait until I see OSX on my desk next to WindowsXP.

If you want to help, click the donate button on the right.


See Also

View the archive

Original iPod Introduction
How far we've come in just a few short years. Here's where it all started.

Front Row on Non-iMacs
Going to try this tonight!

WriAShorStorWe!
DY starts a one-week short story writing event for people to lazy to enty NaNoWriMo. VerCooIdea.

Lost Rhapsody
Funny Flash movie using Weird Al music and Lost stuff. Lyrics make a surprising amount of sense!

Jed's Other Poem
Unsolicited music video made on an Apple ][. Fantastic!

Printers Output Secret Barcode
The government is keeping tabs on what you print, with the help of major printer companies.

Dreamhost Promo Codes
DH already has very cheap, very good hosting—this just sweetens the deal.

Photos of the new iPod
Just received my new iPod and I put a few photos up.

PEZ MP3 Player
Funny idea that actually looks kind of neat. I like that it comes pre-loaded with "indie" music.

HD Easter Egg
"My Name is Earl" on NBC gives viewers with HD TVs a little easter egg. Cute, but weird.