Sunday, February 27, 2005

A Day In The Life of Chad

Preface: Both Carrie and my parents are gone this weekend. I have had three full days of complete solitude, except of course when I left the house. This was as little as possible. Friday I left the house to go to Ypsilanti city hall and on the way back I got Chinese food. Other than that I have stayed home and have been loving it.

00:01: I am watching Stargate SG-1 never have seen it before, but I can see why people like the show. However I will not bother to download the seasons.

03:05: I brush my teeth and go to bed. I get my mothers annoying fluffy bichon “Raggy” and have her come to bed with me, she is a very uhhmmm sensitive (worthless) dog and will get very depressed if she is alone for too long.

10:00: I receive a call from Carrie she needed some information and at the same time one of my customers called and left a voice mail. I decided to sleep a little more.

10:45: I respond to Arthur and say I will be over shortly. I get out of bed shit shower and shave.

11:30: I arrive at Arthur’s and determine what the problem is. I had changed his SBC user password and I turns out I needed to change the password on his DSL modem, non-billable but it was nice anyway. Arthur and I inevitably talk about politics among other things. I greatly appreciate this because my friend that I usually talk to about these things is now in Korea, so it’s now expensive to talk to him. He invites me to go to Pandya’s son’s birthday. Pandya is a the proprietor of an Indian restaurant called “Sitar” it is kind of a greasy spoon and every time I go over there is hardly anyone eating. He is a very nice man his English is good but because of my hearing problems I find him a little hard to understand. Anyway Pandya’s son is a member (head?) of the CDC (Contagious Disease Center?) this man is a double MD and a Medical Lawyer and a rather good conversationalist. It’s funny Pandya is a very unassuming gentleman but all his children that I have met are MD’s.

This brings me to think about the complete failure of our education system; or rather our attitude’s toward it. Arthur told me that by 5th grade Indian students know their multiplication tables up to 20 that’s 400 number combinations easy really. I think this is awesome, also they consider math to be a vital skill like we consider swimming. Well maybe more important than that.
Our country has been the innovation center of the world for the past century. We will not be able to continue this with the armies of Psychology and English* majors that we pump out every year. I believe firmly in the importance of liberal arts but it is increasingly causing a brain drain in our country. Additionally I find many of these Liberal Arts majors to be appallingly incompetent in critical thinking. The only reason we can continue with our prominence in science and engineering is because of all the talented immigrants we get. We have a fundamental flaw in our attitudes toward education. We accept and coddle failure in education. We make almost all children march at the pace of the slowest; some of whom are very slow.

One thing the pundits and the governments (George Bush) will never say is. I country continues to grow year after year. It's not baby's but immigrants. Many of which are legal aliens who pay taxes. Could they perhaps pay for social security in to the future? Probably but they need to have the whole country fund corporations and mutual funds through the stock market so they won't mention that.

13:00: I return home and begin cleaning the house, I play Battlefield 1942 and between rounds I do some work in this many the kitchen gets done just before I need to leave.

15:10: I arrive at Sitar, where I met Pandya’s family very nice people.

18:00: I arrive at Java Hutt. I have two jobs, my own company where I manage to make about $4/hr and a part time job at a coffee shop where I make about $9/hr. I enjoy my second job about as much as my first. I get to watch people. Interestingly the last coffee shop that I worked at most people actually drank coffee. Here however the dominant drink is Strawberry Smoothies and Hot Chocolate. I find this bizarre. This is Birmingham Michigan, where the average house goes for about 300 grand. The children are spoiled and get good allowance they tip very shitty. Why is there a inverse relationship between the amount of money one grows up with to the amount they feel the should tip? I blame it on the baby boomers. Who as a generation suck at parenting! Being a late Generation ‘X’er I have no respect for the previous generation, because they fucked so much up I just hope that mine can do a little better than those fools however I don’t have a lot of hope. (Fool is one of carries favorite words)

0:00: Still working at the cafeé and just hoping the night will end with no more mishaps. Tonight is an awful night everything I touched turned to shit. I could not remember a damn thing and I slipped and dropped things all night.

In closing I would like to comment a little further on education. Having been and currently am being educated I feel I have some in the trenches wisdom about it. I think that “No Child Left Behind” is a good starting point. After about 40 years of banging it’s head against that wall the education system or rather the governments will realize that all children are not created equal, intellectually. I am not a fan of eugenics but damn it there are stupid people in the world and I do not believe that it’s all environment. The greatest frustration I had during my public school years was the slow pace of things. There are others who are smart and don’t mind the slow pace because it allows them to do very little. I have a solution that provided all works out (yah right!) I will use on my children. Perhaps also there should be a little more social dumping on parents. Here in Michigan there is a state sponsored media campaign to scare "dead beat dads" into paying. Would it be helpful to make parents feel like assholes if they don't care about their children's education and emotional well-being? Perhaps it would work does anyone think so?

Pretty boring day?

There are many people who think there are too many people in the world. However they usually think their one of the people who should live.

* And Theology, Philosophy, Anthropology, History, Fine Arts basically all the liberal arts which any competent autodidact. can learn on their own. For all those who went to college to become writers, I think that most do not have the discipline necessary to actually write.

Saturday, February 26, 2005


Noir-Note to self,

The next time you go to Florida to visit your mother, don't drink her wine like it's going out of style. If you must, then please refrain from making those dreadful drunken emails and wake up the next morning in that hideous half drunk/half hung over state that is so very becoming.

When she takes you to her favorite restaurant, Sushi Blues, remember to order the lobster bisque. Get the spicy tuna and forget about the seaweed salad (Which was a fine salad, but it was served in a cheeky martini glass which you found awkward to eat from.)

Go ahead and make your way to the tiny dance floor and dance there with your tiny mother. Fall in love with the elderly blues singer with the drips of perspiration on the side of his face. Remember however, that just because he winked at you doesn’t mean that he will even remember your face in three hours. After all, you initiated the wink and thus it was merely reciprocal. Go ahead and smile at the Cuban drummer with the leather bowler hat. Burn that image of him into your mind, the image of him sitting hunched on the bench after the show smoking that enormous cigar all by himself.

After the set is over, turn slowly and face the crowd, standing now, and close your eyes and pretend for a moment that the roar of applause is actually for you. Then put your head down and your fists deep into your pockets. Go back to your table because your Cuban coffee is waiting.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

A place where there is no darkness.

This weekend I'm the lucky girl who is going to visit her mother in Florida. (Thanks mom, for moving to a warm area of the country)

The programming brawler will be submiting a guest post in my place on Saturday.


Tuesday, February 22, 2005

WinBook hell in the Midwest.

Oh my god. These help desk losers make me want to choke. I just got Mr. Big Bosses laptop back today from the repair center in California. I was under the mistaken impression they were going to repair it – but no. Nine days after I shipped it to them it’s still a piece of crap.

Note to self: Never ever buy WinBook. The support sucks.

I asked the programming brawler to call them and find out why it’s still not working. They told him they weren’t sure what the problem was and to ship it back for repair. The boy is a true softie and just said ok.

I was so pissed off about it. How am I supposed to tell Mr. Big Boss that his computer is going to be shipped back across the country when we just got it back? There has got to be something they could do. What I wanted was for them to find me a local place who would lend me a computer for the time being.

I call the repair center and use the Brooklyn “Don’t mess with me” persona:

“Yeah. Hello? Whom I talkn’ to here, eh? So I got this computer back from yous guys and it’s still not workin. I wanna know what I got to do to get a computer that works. I just sent it to you nine days ago, and I just got it back and the tech guy is tellin’ me it’s not workin. You know what I’m talking about? You know how much it’s costin’ me to send it to you?

“What? No, I don’t know any thing about this safe mode what you’re talking about. All’s I know is I got a computer here, and he’s telln’ me that I gotta’ send it to you again. And I gotta tell my boss that hes not getting his computer and you know what? You know who’s gonna get chewed out? Yeah. Me buddy.”

And so on. For an hour. Normally Midwesterners are swiftly cowed into submission when someone takes an aggressive stance and uses clipped vowels. Apparently the computer techs on the west coast are not similarly affected.

Well, I got them to pay for the shipping anyway.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

What about a Ryder?

Part of my job includes booking travel plans for Mr. Big Boss who travels 5 days a week to all parts of the country. This week he went from Detroit to Chicago to Florida. Next week he will be in Texas. Because he spends so much time away from home, Mrs. Big Boss decided to leave on Thursday to Florida so they could spend the weekend together.

Normally this wouldn't be a problem.

Unfortunately, things got a little mixed up with the bookings. She booked a flight, I made reservations at the hotel. I got the return air flight, she investigated golf courses in the area. No one got the car rental.

Normally this wouldn't be a problem.

Getting a car at the last minute isn't usually difficult, but when I started calling around, everyplace I asked said no - they are all reserved. It was bizarre. Nothing was available; not a Suburban, not a Hummer, not a limo. I started to panic, to not have a car would be completely unacceptable. I called dealerships, small rental businesses - every place I could think of, but they were sold out.

It seems it is the Daytona 500 this weekend. The reason every car was spoken for was that the hordes of people who flew to Tampa drove to Daytona to save money and snapped up every rental in the city. The situation was making my palms sweat. The three of us looked at each other and contemplated our state of affairs.

Someone said, "Maybe we could get a u-haul."

A giggle then silence.

I got on the phone and called Tampa U-haul and explained my situation to the fella at the desk. They reserved the last pickup truck in the lot.

Well … there will be plenty of room for golf clubs in the back.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Shameless Plug

We just launched our first "client" web site:

Not a bad deal for a ridiculously delicious cake and truffles for everyone at the wedding. I feel sort of like a magician - I thought of a way to bring myself a cake, and it happened.

Mmmmm. Cake. I can hardly wait.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Downtown Detroit

These are some pictures of buildings in downtown Detroit.

Boarded windows.

Apartments I think.

I met this guy, Aez, while snapping pictures. He was quite friendly - and a sharp dresser as you can see. He was very nice and seemed interested in what I was doing, but then again, everyone wants to talk to the girl with the camera. Check out the raised concrete "people mover" trolley track behind him.

Detail of a building.

Abandoned noir hotel on the outskirts.

A skyline picture.

A lot of these buildings are partially destroyed on the street level. Someone has taken a baseball bat to the store front windows - leaving fist size circles with broken glass spider webbing to the corners. Most of the entrances have been fenced off and there are snow drifts building up on the bricked in doors. Of course there is the obligatory graffiti too.

I took pictures of the above but after reviewing them they seemed less than interesting and mostly depressing, so I'm not posting them.

Michigan Central Station

This building is impossible to miss on your way into the city - it's huge, and dark and all alone, not obscured by the tall buildings and casinos in the downtown area. Since I wasn't going anyplace in particular, I drove in the general direction until I came upon it. I'm sure it's the old Michigan Central Railroad Station. God, it must have been beautiful once.

I happened to find this photo on the internet of the station taken in the 1930s.

My Loft

Ok. This is my loft. I love it and I want it. I raise my fist in resolution - You will be mine.

Oh, and I've tried desperately not to mention that it was my birthday this weekend, but I am an abject failure.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Lofts and Ephedra

Whenever I go back to my old town, someone always asks me where I've been living. I respond that I live in Detroit. Inevitably, there is always at least one who will raise a contorted hand gesture in a mock gang symbol and ask "D-town? Dawg? Are you tough?"

To answer "Detroit" is simple. To answer "Detroit" is to the point. I am not posing as hard inner city youth when I say I'm from Detroit. It would be more accurate to say "I live in a tame suburb of Detroit" or "I am from a South Eastern Michigan town near Detroit."

Is it wrong to prefer concentrated word groups rather than elaborate descriptions of my location?

I may soon be able to raise my own contorted hand gesture in reply as I just looked at a beautiful loft in downtown Detroit yesterday. The lofts made out of converted abandoned buildings are just the thing. I can't do them justice here, but I will take a photo tour this weekend and post some pictures. The apartments are so fantastic - stained concrete floors, industrial windows, exposed brick and ducts. Truly a dream residence.

Also - I went to old town for a visit and before returning I went to fill up the tank at a truly backwater burg gas station. Amazingly, they hadn't gotten the memo that all the trucker's ephedra pills were supposed to be sent back to the manufacturer. I purchased all four boxes for a mere $5 a piece. HA! If only those fools knew what an ephedra pill would go for on eBay baby! I've hit gold. Yahoo!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Pearl fortified hairball remedy

Wouldn’t it be just a better place here on earth if someone would sit down and invent a feline vitamin (hell, it could be a fortified cat food, eye dropper supplement, or flavored kitty treat) that would cause Mortimer’s stomach to produce a pearl excretion around irritants in his intestines?

So I could joyously wake up every morning knowing that there was a small pile of hairball pearls waiting for me next to my bed?

Would that be so hard?