Friday, November 30, 2001

Had our first snow accumulation today. An inch or two on the ground upon my arising and snow coming down steadily. I have always loved the first snow and so close to the holiday season. If only I could just peer out at it all day from the warmth of my cozy abode, my computer operated Monitor heater belching out warm air into my safe, cozy world. Alas, I had to drive in it, which quickly took away the unique charm of our first snowfall.

Ever notice that the worlds worst and most obnoxious drivers seem to only come out in this type of weather? The roads are glistening with ice and you are creeping along at well below the posted speed limit, holding onto the steering wheel with a death grip, when some Gazoo comes up at seemingly ninety miles an hour and rides your tail all the way into work. It is a truly amazing phenomenon. I'd swear these people hibernate in the summer, only to awaken at the first hint of snow in the air, JUMP into their vehicles and go SEARCHING for . . . . .ME.

Saw twenty-two turkeys out in the field today, behind my facility where I work. The males were primping for the females and the pecking order was being played out before us (my co-workers were pressed to the window along with me) as the larger birds charged at the smaller ones and appeared to point out to them who was in charge. What a beautiful site it was and they sauntered around for about two hours before wandering off into the woods. I laugh at those who scoff at this display of nature, as if bored, having "seen them before." I view it as natures wild kingdom allowing us to observe them in action, especially turkeys who, although awkward looking, are probably the most wary animals I've seen.

I grew up taking lizards, jackrabbits, roadrunners and horny toads for granted until being brought into perspective here in New England where people have only seen those animals on the Discovery channel. I remember reacting the same way when talking to a person in El Paso, Texas who had seen a moose up close while in Montana. Here, I've seen literally hundreds of them but I never take them for granted. Come to think of it, I don't take much for granted anymore I don't believe. -Jeeem-

Wednesday, November 28, 2001

Well, I've found a new addiction. Reading other people's blogs. Seriously! It's kind of like peeping of sorts. Why do I feel guilty? Hey, they're public blogs aren't they? Jeez . . . perhaps I need to call my therapist.

Just dropped in on a blog called, "Rank Amateur." I see I am not the only one out there who writes and gets into a writer's block. This guy is talking about watching TV (or teev, as he calls it), surfing, and doing stuff like counting the dots on his ceiling . . . anything but writing. Sounds like writing is his paycheck though, whereas at least I have the excuse of having a job to go to.

Speaking of which, I will go there today and quite literally waste 8 hours. We are on shutdown and as counselors we do nothing but sit around in front of our computer screens, clean out our desks, arrange our office, etcetera. Court was boring yesterday. Most of the cases were plead out and it was difficult if not entirely impossible to learn what the offense was. Two were in custody and one of them was a smart ass. If I had been the judge, I would have slapped the bugger in jail for another six months. Something about alcohol, intoxication and firing a firearm in public.

The underlings at work are tiffing about and tittering on and on about the counselors who do nothing all day. Hey! If you don't like it, while you are slapping paint on walls and scraping floor wax, why don't you think about going to school for your degree? Idiots. I paid my dues. I can honestly say that I never tittered though. Learned from my father that there will always be those higher than you that enjoy the benefits of . . . well, being higher than you.

Got into my HTML-4 book yesterday, learning all about tags, etc. That stuff sucks. I can't seem to keep my mind on it. Maybe it's the book. Typed out some code and it didn't work so I lost my interest. Damn book almost put me to sleep. Time to go take a shower and saunter in to er, um, uh . . . work. Will be about 10 minutes late today . . . which of course is fashionable and fodder for the titterers. -Jeeem-

Tuesday, November 27, 2001

I am so pleased! I got my test back from my statistics professor and scored a 90.5! So, just the final left and I actually understand this stuff. Wow! I might squeeze out an "A" this semester! Signed up for Social Research next semester and it is on a Monday which ROCKS! Only one semester left and I graduate. Feeling very, very relaxed now that I'm on shutdown and enjoying my much needed break. Start back up on Friday with a huge crowd of prisoners coming in. Back to the grind. Began writing again and I'm working on, "Well Kept Woman" which appears to have potential. Gonna be looking for a market for, "Crazy Larry's Cat" this week and trying to discipline myself to get the thing in the mail. I've given up on, "Gertrude the Duck" which was supposedly still sitting on the editors desk at GRIT magazine. Those dupes have had that story for almost two years now. That is ridiculous. Mark them off my list. Heard from Pim. She had an awesome holiday in Hong Kong and feels refreshed as she returns to work. Took a look at some pictures on the net of Hong Kong and would love to go there one day. Well, gotta go hop in the shower. Sitting on my duff in court all day today observing boating DWI's. Ought to be interesting. -Jeeem-

Monday, November 26, 2001

Ah, I love the smell of humility on a brisk Sunday morning! Life is good. Still working on my statistics homework and (scary) actually understanding this stuff. Have a question on page 228 where their calculations to achieve variance and mine (using my high-tech TI-30X IIS) do not jive. I'm afraid to ask the question in class though because I know Dr. Camacho will spend at least 45 minutes to an hour with a complicated explanation that nobody (including myself) will understand. *sigh* Guess I'll get over it.

The kittens are gone. Kind of miss them but don't miss their total destruction. Alison took them home and at last check, the boys were making kitten toys to amuse them. Zippy, is semi-miserable but getting better minute-by-minute.

It was brought to my attention today that my life is VERY organized. It bothered me at first but actually, I like it that way and . . . well, so what if I'm a little weird. At least I know where everything is. Alison loved her birthday present and the two of us share the love of books so that connection was easy.

I began working on one of my short stories this morning. Tried it out on Alison and she says it left her wanting to know more. GOOD! My intent! The story is called "Well Kept Woman" and is a different twist for me as it does not involve a part of my past life. My motivation to write is coming back. -Jeeem-

Thursday, November 22, 2001

My friend Alison is coming over tonight. She will be spending Pseudo Thanksgiving with me. You see, I don't celebrate the holidays. Oh, I used to, but I found I was getting so wrapped up in all the commercialism and hullaballou like everyone else, so I have decided to come up with my own, traditional holidays. I am thinking of posting some of my ideas here on this online journal and perhaps some of you out there who read this thing can give me some of your thoughts on this matter. I thank the Supreme Higher Power out there that I don't have to put up with all the malarky that I used to, with the severely dysfuntional and rote, "Family get-together." Holy crap. Talk about the Hatfields and the McCoy's! What a joke. I think it is such a travesty, the damage that is done on these, "so-called" holiday celebrations. The vulgar amounts of cheesy, stupid, expensive gifts given to children and the insane hypocrisy that goes on once or twice a year, which often places people in such debt that it takes them half a year or more to recover. -Jeeem-
I just changed this to a public blog. I had initially intended to keep it among friends and my main worry was placing it out into cyberland where people who use four letter expletives in every sentence or every other word exist. Now THERE is a subject. What do people think about individuals who talk like that? I tend to have a rather colorful tendency towards profanity at times and usually utilize the rationalization that it goes with the clientele I work with (prisoners). An excuse and a justification at the very least as I really don't like reading the . . er, uh . . . crap. It tends to give me an image of some neandethal on the other side of my computer screen and certainly does nothing to impress me regarding the individuals inteligence. I am much more impressed with a blinding riposte than a constant drolling on of four letter or profane expletives. So why, might you ask, am I making my blog public? Risks. I've learned that you have to take risks in life in order to get anywhere in life. Besides, this is not an online message board, although I am considering making it so . . . if I can just delve into Blogback and determine how to make it one. I realize that I may get mail. Well, good. I like mail. Which brings me to a totally different topic of discussion that has been weighing heavy on my mind lately. Speaking in general terms, I recently received an e-mail from a close friend on the internet that disturbed me greatly. I hesitate to give the details so will keep it in general terms . . . to do that, I will have to tell a brief story. When I was a kid, I was one of those curious little buggers who went over to your house and got real nosey. I pulled out drawers and looked under beds cause I wanted to know, "Whacha got?" I'm a recovering medicine cabinet looker also. Just gotta see how the other half lives. I'm not rationalizing when I say it is harmless but lately I've been chastised for the way I am. Seems I ask too many questions. Hummm. Actually, hearing of this pissed me off (that was six letters by the way) to no end. I am many things, but I'm not a stalker or a weirdo. I also refuse to be somebody I'm not. This e-mail, although seemingly harmless, was just a big mistake. One of those things like . . . . so-in-so said such-in-such and perhaps you should do so-in-so. God how I hate third party bullcrap (eight letters)! I'm one of those people who says what I think no matter who it hurts, embarrasses or tee's off. That is the other person's problem. If ya got a problem with me, then PLEASE have the cajones to address me, not go crawling around my back and dribbling to some other fool about me, who then decides to address it with me . . . Do ya know what I mean? Jesus! Have the audacity to address it with me, don't drag some other person into it. Whew! I know I have to look at this for ME, cause I'm really carrying it with me . . . gotta let it go. The e-mail COULD have been just this other third party person taking it upon themselves to do the dirty work, which infuriates me even more. Do you know how I handle that stuff? When some third person takes something to me like that, I tell them they should tell the other person that it is THEIR problem. Cowardice pisses me off too. Enough. I'm just getting myself all worked up over this. It's the principle of the thing though. My dad used to always say, "Anyone can bitch son. If ya got a complaint, write your congressman." He would get a piece of notebook paper, sit me down, give me a pen or a pencil and make me write letters to some political figure. I often wonder what the congressman or senator thought about getting a note from a little kid complaining that the secret decoder ring he ordered from a bubblegum package never showed up. When I was married (Hell in living color) to Terry, she used to chastise me about my friends. She would always talk behind their backs and never liked any of my friends but was never ballsy enough to tell them what she thought. Always into that third party stuff. I eventually told her that it was none of her damn (sorry) business as they were my friends, not hers. I know, I know . . . there are those of you out there who live in that dream world that exists between some married couples . . . the old, "What is yours is mine and vice versa" bullcrap. Well, if experience speaks for itself, marriage is NOT what it is knocked up to be. It is not a license to control the other individual or even to have a say about how they live their life. Co-existence is a VERY WIDE topic. Perhaps that is one of the reasons I wince at marriage. Too many women have wanted to change me. My office mate, Wanda, and I have discussed this to know end. She marvels at how I am so independent and we have laughs about women who castrate their husbands or partners. Not this guy. You got a problem with how I act or what I do, we'll talk . . . . BUT, if it is not something that I care to change, there is the door honey! Okay . . . I feel a lot better now. Blogged out. What a treat to be able to voice your opinion freely and then place it out into cyberspace for all to read. A bit scary I will have to admit, but such a freedom. Stay tuned for a link that I know all you guys will love. My friend Henry from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and the author or the game, "Scrupples" is probably the worlds most vocal opponent of male castration as any I've met. I will find his site and then place the link here for all to ponder over. Till then, stay in touch my friends . . . . -Jeeem-

Sunday, November 18, 2001

Well, I've managed to screw up all of my settings on the computer. It all started when I got irritated with the second profile on my earthlink dialup and decided to trash it. Seventy dialog boxes later and delving into the "My Computer" thingy with some mechanic work in the "Dial-up Networking" thingy box, I have managed to screw up my e-mail account and totally isolate myself from the cyberworld. Calling the support network is a REAL TREAT. Last guy was obviously reading off of a template and had me so confused that I just acted polite, thanked him for his trouble and got off the phone. Hey, he did get me back online, but you should see the damage. I have the earthlink dialup dialog box popping up and error messages popping up galore. I hate calling support staff as after a twenty minute or more wait (while walking around the house with the phone plastered to my ear) I get some moron who knows less than I do. You just have to keep trying until you get one of those wizard boys (often girls) who don't have to look at a template or instruction sheet ( this, then do that, then click on this . . ) and immediately know how to solve the problem. Although the price you pay is them talking to you like THE MORON YOU ARE and clicking their tongue like hearing what you did has to be the STUPIDEST thing they have ever heard of. Oh well. Have been through this all before, so if you are a friend and you are reading this, just suffice it to say that I won't be replying to my e-mail until I can get a passive-aggressive wizard on the line. -jeeem-
Gonna make Menudo today . . . remember the blog about Menudo? It's somewhere down the list by your feet . . .(I wish I could figure out how to make this thing archive . . . HELP MARK!) Perhaps I will just have the L-O-N-G-E-S-T blog in history where you have to scroll down for two days to get to the bottom! Yeah, that's the ticket! Why Whine? -Jeeem-
Good morning! I'm hiding in here from the dreaded kittens. They are invading the house. I've ordered kitty valium but it's not here yet. Hey, have you noticed all my links to the left? Try them out and please let me know if any are screwed up (there's a name they use for that but it escapes me right now). I'm sitting here having my first (fix) cup of coffee and pondering the troubles of the world. Yesterday was a total wash. I was surfing and slipped into the abyss. Oh well, whats a day now and then . . . right? Ya know, if I didn't live in freakin' Cow Hampshire, I'll be I could live totally off the internet from day to day, never having to leave the house. I could lay around reading books on HTML, order food from say Pizza Hut, get kitten toys, pay my bills . . . all over the net. Hummmm. Who needs the cold weather? Hey don't forget to see the meteor shower tonight! -Jeeem-
Jim tears himself away from the computer having accomplished nothing more today than sloth . . .
What was I thinking when I said I'd keep these kittens?

Friday, November 16, 2001

HALLELUYAH!!!! I'm off work! YIPEE! There is NO way that I can truly express the happiness and freedom I feel inside right now! Now don't get me wrong . . . I don't HATE my job. It's just that I have been working straight through since my vacation in the Philippines in the later part of May and early part of June. As most of you know, I work in a facility housed at a prison and see court ordered individual's who are offenders of multiple DWI's, Alternative sentenced individuals and probation/parole violators. These individuals do not always have the BEST attitudes when they arrive and some continue those "not so pleasant" attitudes over their whole week of mandated inpatient stay. It can be a harsh environment at times and suffice it to say I needed a break . . . . BAD! Ha! Well, I'm into the coffee again but I promise to refrain from rambling on and on and on for a full day. I do want to thank you Mark, for the HTML lesson and have to say that I ended up a couple of paces ahead of you. When I blogged you during the aircrash in Queens, I ended up using Internet Explorer, which is not a common occurence for me. In doing so, I discovered that IE has a hyperlink button to use! But, in doing so, I discovered the HTML code also. Thank you for your very well described instructions on opening new windows though. Currently I'm reading "HTML 4 For The World Wide Web" by Elizabeth Castro and slowly learning my way to web design . . . hope I can continue to pick your brains though. I'm struggling with my scanner in trying to get pictures smaller and learning how to insert them into the online journal . . . . something Blogger tells you how to do but doesn't quite get it across in this thick skull. Well, anyway folks . . . I am so happy I don't know what to do with myself so think I'll hang out today and work on my website, catch up on my e-mail correspondence and take a nice leisurely walk. Cherrio! -Jeeem-

Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Chilly mornings here! Winter is definitely settling in. Two more days and I'm FREE! We'll be shut down for two weeks and although I have to be in to work, the pressure and stress won't be there. The kittens are all OVER the place! The kitten naming contest is going well! Many names are coming in! Please remember there are TWO kittens. I'm pleased with the results. Haven't heard from Angie yet. Hope she is enjoying her vacation. Mark got his "Pony" and sounds like a good time to me. Annie mailed him some ice cream for his birthday. Hee, hee . . . silly woman. Gotta run and do the work thing! -Jeeem-

Tuesday, November 13, 2001

Got my framed photo's of Mount Fuji today. Three beautiful framed photos, one for the livingroom, one for the bedroom and one for work. Some might say it is a little much but there is a reason behind it. Some of you know the reason. I grew up saying "Mount Fuji" while pointing to one of my mother's framed Japanese silk woodblock prints on the wall depicting Mt. Fuji in the background, before I could say the name of the mountain range in my own hometown. Looking at those photo's seems to complete an inner metaphoric circle of sorts with me. Tired now . . . . an emotionally draining day. Goodnight.
I'm here at work. Didn't think I could even access this thing at work as we are on a proxy server. Never even tried actually. I was quite shocked and numb to hear of the plane crash today when I left group this morning. "A plane crashed in Queens" someone said. I immediately thought of Mark and his recount of the September 11th disaster from his attic window, a recount that I had purposefully looked up yesterday. Too surreal. I felt helpless. Was it happening again? Was Mark and Szej okay? Luckily, I was able to get through the firewall and find Mark's site...... he was okay! I breathed a sigh of relief and said a silent prayer. Somehow I feel vulnerable, but like Marks statement on his blog, that seems too selfish. I can't fathom how these things happen or how the folks in that area feel right now. The best I can do is just be relieved you guys are okay. That's the best I can do.

Monday, November 12, 2001

Oh man . . . I'll never drink that much coffee again in my life. I'm gonna crawl to bed now . . . goodnite!
Also, any tips on HTML coding to spruce this journal up would be greatly appreciated! Thanks -Jeeem-
If you guys know of some really awesome links that I can add in here, please send me an e-mail by clicking on "e-mail me" up top.
Using your mouse, explore The Center of the World by moving the pointer around and clicking here and there when necessary. It really IS awesome!
Okay, okay . . . so this link is a little risqué. So what. It's my darn blog . . . right? The Center of the World is a very, very interesting, interactive, male oriented, website that displays some very interesting coding techniques. Kinda like buying Playboy® magazine and only reading the articles right? *sly grin*
There is never enough time in a day for me . . . when I was a child, a chronological marvel, I was always up at the crack of dawn and fought like hell to avoid going to bed. I was always so afraid I would miss something. I like your pony story Mark. I'm one who loves to reflect on my childhood.
Just had a small bowl of my smokey black eyed peas. Did I ever mention that one of my favorite things in life is Cherry flavored Alka-Seltzer®?
I need to type out my worknotes for next week and I am procrastinating as usual because this is more fun.
I don't know why I did it, but I just searched through Mark's archives for Sept. 11, 2001. Call it a need to base myself in reality. Mark was in New York. Hell, he was in Queens. I guess I get ashamed of myself for returning to normal life although that sounds silly. It is too easy to drift back into everyday life, especially when you are far from ground zero and not in active duty stationed on a carrier. Whew. I agree with Mark's mention of not being able to get your mind around the activities of that day. I came home on the ill fated Tuesday only to hear Anne's voice on my recorder. The full impact hadn't hit her yet. I wonder if it has truly hit me.
Sometimes I get SO into staying at home, that venturing out into town seems surreal. Am I some sort of hermit? I don't think so, I just love being home, all cozy and warm. Nothing much happening at the town dump. Picked up a town newsletter and read about the cancellation of the dump's annual, "Giant Maggot Contest." Did I miss something? For those of you out in cyberland who don't have a clue about a town dump, you have no idea what you are missing. It is a Yankee gathering epicenter, so-to-speak, where local's gather to chat, pick through the treasures of other people's trash, and scour the "Needful Things" table full of useful items.....That's where my microwave came from! Seems an old grandmotherly type tried to warm a foil wrapped sandwich and gave the thing up after it vomited out a fireworks display.

The newsletter includes sections about Wellington Park on Newfound Lake ("Wellington Winds"), Alexandria Planning Board, The Town Dump better known as the Transfer Station ("Transfer Station Droppings"), a section called "From the Selectmen's Office" and a bit of news from the Alexandria Police Department. It is published quarterly and so far we're on Volume 5. Hey, that's progress!

It was spitting snow when I left the dump. Ayah! Wintah's awn et's whay . . ayah! Picked up a microwave pack of Kettle Corn. Ever try Kettle corn? They have it at the local fairs each summer and it is just regular popcorn with both a sweet and a salty flavor to it. I'm getting addicted to it. Picked up some pretty wrapping paper for Alison's immense gift. I'm not much of a wrapper, but when I get into something, I go all the way.

It's snowing pretty good here right now. Kinda nifty, the first snow . . . . ask me about snow in about two months.
Well, I'm off to pick up my laundry, visit with Ben and Joyce and stop by the local food store to purchase the coffee filters I forgot to buy yesterday (It isn't cool for a guy to carry a grocery list with him) and some peanut butter to set my mouse traps with. Have you guys heard about "Mark the Mouse Mauler" at United Wasteland? Holy smokes! That guy is twisted. First off, he feeds the little critters rather poorly with Pumpkin Chunks of all things! Yuck! Those New Yorkers must all be health food junkies. Then he traps them on glue pads and tortures them with water! Holy smokes! I think we need a poll here: Victor "SNAP!" traps versus glue pads and peanut butter (yum!) versus pumpkin chunks. Perhaps I'll use this for my statistical research project in social research! Do you think adding "yum!" to the random sample question will skew the results?
An interesting blog linked through Mark's site and vicey versa. Not sure if I'll link it yet, but at a bare minimum the pictures are great. I responded to his comment on Pocky, a sweet treat I had while in the Philippines. Wish I could send him my .jpg of "TAYTO" Smoky Bacon Flavor Crisps!potkettleblack :: potkettleblog
I "Borrowed" this link from Mark's old site. He and I both find "Propaganda" a rather interesting topic of discussion. I liked this site and find it very informative and entertaining. You can either click on this link to the right, or click on "Third World Traveler" on the menu to the left. Enjoy!media control in the United States
Just (yet another) a note: I have included the HTML code in the template to list both Mark's message board and his journal. The message board is pretty cool and gets a bit deep at times, but I love it (Nice work Mark) and it is always a treat to visit "United Wasteland" and see what Mark is up to (messageboard fodder) in his life.
Surely you know that you can respond to any of my idiotic questions or comments by clicking the blue link up above and sending me an e-mail message. You knew that right? Right, I knew you did. So why am I going through the motions here? Details, details, details . . . .
For those of you who are detail oriented and are looking at the time of these posts, I just realized I had my GMT setting on Pacific time. Sorry. Duh! Oh well, live and learn. Does anybody know what the little [+] symbols are for? You can click them (I often do as it somehow feels good) but nothing happens???
Oh, by the way, I don't suppose anybody out there knows how to add hyperlinks to words in a blog? Mark does it but he's not tellin' or are you Mark? You know, the little orange links you have imbedded in your blogs? If I can just get him to come out of that domain in Queens, we might be able to chat with him. Perhaps those mice will chase him out! *grin*

Sunday, November 11, 2001

Well, have you heard the latest? Surely you know about the case of the nameless kittens? Yep, I have an addition to my family. Two more Anderson's to contend with. Zippy Anderson, the mother, is in the process of weaning two nameless terrors. Kitten number one (female according to Alison) and kitten number two (another female according to Alison) who remain nameless thanks to a rather genetically deficient kitten namer, named Anne Skelchy. I love bashing Anne today for some reason or another, probably because she called me "Jimmy" the other day, which whooshed me up and plopped me down at my birth home on 3830 Idalia Street (phone number 565-7602 - DO YOU REMEMBER YOURS?), running from my mother after I was caught riding a forbidden bicycle (long story to be written on another blogday). I'll show ya Anne! Anyways, seems a young lady by the name of McKenna has come up with the best name so far! How does Zoomer sound? McKenna came up with "Sizzle" too, but that one just doesn't do it for me. So comeon all you folks out in cyberspace! Let's get going on the "Name the kitten" contest! Any idea for prizes?
Have any of you heard of Menudo? No, not the Spanish rock band. It's a dish that is served in Mexico to treat a hangover. Seriously! It's a soup that contains ingredients that most turn their nose up to, but it is GOOD! Okay . . . so it's an acquired taste . .how's that? Every Christmas I make it. It requires Beef Honeycomb Tripe (or cow stomach to be blunt about it) that is fresh, not pickled like these weird Yankees eat it up here in snow country. I have to buy ten pound lots of it and have them cut into two pound sections. You chop the tripe into cubes, add corriander seed, oregano, salt, pepper, red pepper, onions and fresh garlic. Some add veal knuckle but I never can find it. The whole concoction cooks for 2 hours and then you add hominy. I use both the white and the yellow hominy and the results are the same. Ummmmmm! Delicious! A "Stick to your ribs" kind of meal! Care to stop by for a bite?
Mornin' . . . Cooking one of my favorite dishes this morning, Smokey Blackeyed Peas. I don't have a recipe per se, as I just kind of dump everything in the crockpot with a keen eye for flavor. Well, those of you who know me know that I have a keen set of tastebuds for the the extra spicy also! So, I decided last night to add some Habañero peppers to the pot. I chopped up two of them (a jar of the screaming hot little buggers lasts months if not years) and dumped them into the mix. Can you say Skoville Units? As some of you might know, the Habañero pepper holds the world record for the highest rating in Skoville Units at a blistering 200,000 Skoville units, compared to the bell pepper's rating of zero. So, if you add two of them to the pot, does that mean you double that? After tasting my concoction, I would think that is true. So, I guess I have to eat this stuff now . . . nobody else in their right mind would touch it! I hate wasting food . . . . live and learn!
Funny how things happen . . . I was returning from the laundromat (Joyce and Ben were busy, so no local gossip to muse over) and happened to see Betsy, who runs Auto Trends where I bought my truck. I like Betsy and trust her more than I have ever trusted a car dealer. We chatted briefly, "Love the truck Bets! Can you get me an auto manual for it . . yada, yada . . ." Good thing I left when I did as I just committed to paying for an auto manual AND a set of winter tires. Now I just gotta figure out how I'm gonna pay for that!

Saturday, November 10, 2001

I'm going into town now, to bring my laundry to the laundromat to be washed. Used to do it myself but found it easier to pay Joyce to do it. Joyce is one of those friends of mine who is what I call a "fringe friend" who exists in the outer envelope of my life. We catch up on each other when I visit the laundromat and she is super good people. I seem to have people whom exist in my life in various fringes like concentric circles emanating from an epicenter of my central core. An interesting topic to think about. Joyce usually knows what is happening in my life prior to my even arriving as her local Berry Road "courier" or "town crier" is Louie, who observes my going's on and passes the info on to Joyce and Ben at the laundomat. Interesting system to reflect on. I actually get a kick out of it, as my life is pretty private except for that.
Good morning! I suppose (given this is a journal) I should be writing something in here! Funny thing about journals . . . . I always talk about the benefits of journaling until I begin one and then always procrastinate about writing in it. I thought I would add an excerpt in here, from an e-mail that I sent to Ms. Skelchy today. Seems as though Annie is struggling with her Spanish class (which secretly makes me happy given the fact she already speaks too many languages) and just got through by the skin of her teeth on her latest exams. Naturally, she's been filling me in as she goes and it has been bringing back memories for me, of the Spanish horror of my past and present. Here is my account:

Spanish? Yuck. If you only knew the whole story Anne . . . well, perhaps you will . . . I have gone over the cliff with my caffiene intake this morning (Angie is a bad influence as she is a caffieholic), so here goes . . .

Growing up in the border city of El Paso, Texas (Tejas) you are totally absorbed in Spanish, or should I say "border" Spanish, which is a combination of a lot of Spanish slang, English slang and Chicano linguistics. In first grade (at six years old) I was introduced to Senora Spanishwomanfromhell who was a cross of a Roman Catholic nun and a Dominatrix. My spanish speaking life would never be the same. You see Anne, my real mother, Espie Torres who was our maid and my father's play toy (Jesus, no wonder I'm so screwed up!) spoke border slang to me from age 1 to age 5 and I grew up with the neighbor kids who were saying, "Por nada" instead of "De nada" and "espedate" versus "Un momento." My Spanish drove Senora spanishwomanfromhell crazy (es loco). You know kids . . . we really have no concept of what is in store for us and we often think the worst. I thought she would kill me. I would have been better off feigning total lack of the Spanish language, rather than speaking the dreaded border slang. Teachers could hit us back then and Senora Spanishwomanfromhell was no exception. Her favorite punishment was to rush at me and whack me over the head with her spanish book while shouting, "¡Usted niño estúpido!"
Spanish was a required course in grade school for us little "border kids." I had well over 6 years of it before I was allowed to "opt out" when I entered middle school and high school. By the time I was 17, I spoke a semi-fluent border slang and spent most of my weekends in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico getting drunk, eating cheap and delicious mexican food and other unmentionable things in the red-light district of lower Juarez over the Paisano bridge.
Enter college, maturity and forced sobriety . . . . Despite myself, I matured and decided to educate myself beyond belief when older. I've spend literally "years" in college and absolutely love education. Why I decided to enroll in a Spanish course two years ago still baffles me. It was a 4 hour course and taught by a very attractive, shapely woman whom I had very naughty thoughts about. She was Venezuelan and without a doubt, somehow related to Senora spanishwomanfromhell. Probably a distant relative, but pure "Carñal" no doubt. Suffice it to say, I began having flash backs of Spanish books coming crashing down on my head, but as attractive as she was, I really got into that class in a sado-masochistic kind of way.
What I don't understand is why you have to learn Spanish grammar. Nobody uses it and Spanish grammar is more confusing than English grammar (which I suck at also by the way) if you ask me. I just wanted to learn how to speak Spanish fluently, not learn all the present participle stuff . . . oh well. I managed to pass the course with a "C" and also managed to pull my GPA down a notch or two.
My biggest mistake in my life history, was walking into my bosses office (He spent eight years in Peru with his father who was a chemist for Honeywell) and responding to his greeting,
"¡Buenos días!" by saying, "¡Buenos días! ¡Cómo sean usted esta mañana de multa!" Ever since that day I have been assigned every Spanish client who walked into our facility . . . I've worked with South Americans, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, Spaniards, Portugese and Central Americans. I am well known in the Latino sector of Manchester, New Hampshire to every latino kid who is sentenced to our program. Once, I was working on a Friday, our admission day, and in walks a client of latino persuasion . . . he peers at my nametag and exclaims, " ¡Ah! ¡Tan usted es Jaime! ¡Yo lo buscaba!" . . . . . Great, another week from hell.
So, that's my story about my Spanish background. Hell, I'm almost half Spanish blood from my mother, but living up in Yankeeland is doing a tune on my Spanish. Perhaps I will start some new kind of dialect! Ha!

Well, that's enough for today . . . hope you have a magnifying glass for this font until I figure out how to alter the HTML code (Language?) . . . . ha, ha, ha!


Friday, November 09, 2001

Ahhhh! There you are! I was looking for you. At your computer screen again are you? Good. There are certainly worse places you could be. I thought I would jot down a few musings tonight before heading to bed . . . the kittens are going bonkers in the livingroom and remain nameless little balls of fluff as they silently play while waiting for Anne Skelchy to name them. Anne is busy lately, I hear . . . as a little bird told me that she was busy taking un Examen español muy difícil, or something to that effect. My back and neck hurts tonight. Stress is creeping in. I am so glad we will shut down in a week . . . a much needed break. Well, I must post this and retire. I bid you goodnite and am so glad I found you in cyberspace as jammed up as it is tonight! Have a good sleep and I will talk to you later . . . .
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