Thursday, January 29, 2004

20 years... 8 years... What's the difference? 

I'm pleased to read at Rolling Stone's web site that R.E.M. are releasing a new concert DVD. I am a bit confused by this sentence, though: "the band will offer Perfect Square, their first concert film in almost twenty years."

Perhaps the article's author should check out Tourfilm from 1989 or Road Movie from 1996.

Those damned pot-smoking swimmers 

Watch this ad from the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign.

A medley relay starts with the swimmers in the water because backstroke comes first. Yet here the swimmers are perched on the starting blocks.

Just tell the ad agency you work for that you didn't bother to do your research because you were too busy smoking pot. They'll understand.

Monday, January 26, 2004

More fun in the snow 

If you thought the penguin games were fun, try this.

found via Groonk and the Mangina Dialogues

Impending diapers 

I'd jump to add this to my baby registry if such a product actually existed.

Notice how I worked in a link to the registry? I am so shrewd.

Quote of the week 

"I should really be doing homework instead of fooling around, but I suppose that's why God created a thing called 'tomorrow.'"

from Ghost Town Rabid Underworld

Daniel's study tactic is one I can recommend from experience.

Help stamp out bathroom banter 

There are nine other men besides myself who work in my office. In the month that we've been in this building, I think I've run into a co-worker in the restroom one time. Yet today, for the fourth time, I ran into Creepy Bathroom Guy.

I walked in the door, and there he was, exiting a stall. I should have turned and run, but I was a fool. His greeting came almost instantly. "Hi! How's it going?" he quipped. With my curt reply of "good," I hoped that would be the end.

I positioned myself at a urinal and tried to think calming thoughts, when behind me I heard, "What's the weather like out there?" In my head I was screaming, "For God's sake, can't you just let me pee?! Why do you insist on talking to me in the bathroom, you sick bastard?!" Instead, I just answered, "I don't know."

His banter went on to inform me that he hadn't been outside since about 7:45 this morning and that the temperature was expected to drop very low tonight. Then he keyed my car and kicked my dog.

On my way home from work tonight I think I'll stop by the drug store and pick up some pepper spray.

Reason #3,746 

My shoulder was sore yesterday. I think I'd slept on it wrong, or something. It didn't exactly hurt; it just felt uncomfortable, and nothing I did seemed to move it to a position that felt right. The agitation got worse throughout the day, and by evening it was driving me crazy. My whole arm felt like it was numb.

Misty, who is seven months pregnant, took care of me. She gave me ibuprofen, set me up with a heating pad, then drove to the store to get some muscle relaxant cream. She even brought me back some strawberry shortcake as an extra treat.

The two of us cozied up on the couch with a pizza and flipped between the Golden Globes and The Surreal Life, and after a little while I felt much better.

I love my wife.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Conflict of interest 

At the top of my page right now (as I'm writing, but hopefully not as you're reading), there's an ad for Clark for President. Immediately next to it, there's an ad for Dean for President. I know I'm probably only making things worse for myself by repeating the words in my blog for Google to find again, but: Damnit! Get that off there! I do not support the guy who screams like the headless horseman in "Sleepy Hollow."

Mystery shortcake and the giant pig 

I've been bringing my lunch to work lately. I'll eat at my desk while working, then on my lunch break, instead of eating lunch, I'll meet Misty and we'll drive to a spot under a big tree and take a nap. That's what we did today.

After our nap, I was hungry again, so we walked over to TCBY. There was a sign behind the counter advertising the Shiver of the Month, strawberry shortcake explosion (or something). I asked the young man behind the counter wearing a cowboy hat what was in the strawberry shortcake explosion. The yogurt cowboy's reply was, "I have no idea." This perplexed me. "Then how are you going to make it for me?," I asked. "Well, it's a new item, and we haven't been trained on it yet," was his evasive reply. While this explained why he did not know how to make the strawberry shortcake explosion, it did not explain how he was going to make it for me (which was what I had asked in the first place). However, since this was the third time I'd asked this particular yogurt cowboy about the contents of a particular yogurt creation at this particular TCBY establishment, I decided he simply isn't the most relaible source of information pertaining to yogurt and yogurt-related paraphernalia. Oh, well. I ordered something with Reese's Pieces and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups instead. It wasn't very good.

Yogurt in hand (and in mouth), I walked back over to Misty's clinic. While there, I visited with a pig who was boarding among the dogs and cats. His name is Francis Bacon, and he is huge. I'd expected to see a little potbellied pig, but this guy was about the size of a labrador, only fat. I had been hoping to get to feed him some walnuts, which I'm told he eats shell and all. Unfortunately, while my visit caused quite a stir with all the surrounding dogs, Francis didn't even look up from his nap.

Pop goes my culture 

In an attempt to catch up on my pop culture, I'm going to try to cross off some more movies from the list presented in Monday's meme. Most of the movies that I haven't seen from that list are movies that I'd like to see eventually, anyway.

A few years ago, I was determined to see everything from AFI's 100 greatest movies list. I'm still stuck at 62, though. IMDb's user favorites list seems more fun because it has a lot more contemporary movies on it.

I'm starting with "Goodfellas" and "Donnie Darko" since Ultimate Josh and Hubie have recommended them. We'll see how far I get before I stall out.

Pretending to be important 

This week I received an invitation to attend the Birmingham Museum of Art's press preview of "Old Masters & Impressionists." Not only does this give me the opportunity to see the exhibitions for free, but I get to do so before it opens to the public. Since I'm not usually "in the field" writing about what happens on the entertainment scene, I am very excited about the invitation. I'm sure it's no big deal, but it makes me feel important.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Sugar sweet Mould 

Thanks to Largehearted Boy for pointing out yet another cool music tidbit...

Bob Mould has launched a blog, aptly named Boblog. For those who don't recognize the name, Bob Mould was the frontman for the bands Hüsker Dü and Sugar and has done some great solo work as well.

I'm not just mentioning his blog because he's linking back to those who link to him (though that prospect is kinda nifty) — it's actually a good read. Considering his history of music, that's no surprise.

Along with his blog, I'd recommend the albums Workbook and File Under Easy Listening.

My vote doesn't count 

I'm bitter about this whole primary election crap. Call me crazy, but I want to actually vote in a primary.

Oh, I'll be allowed to vote, alright. There just won't be any point in it.

In Alabama the Democratic primary isn't until June 1st. By that time, most of the candidates will have dropped out of the race, conceding to the front-runner. It's the same every time. The fact that Dean continues to lead in the polls worries me. I want to cast my vote for Clark, but I may not be given the chance.

I don't think it's fair to assume that a candidate's performance in Iowa or New Hampshire is indicative of how his performance will be in other parts of the country. Nevertheless, that's what happens. The states with early primaries and caucuses determine the fate of the ballots in Alabama (and elsewhere).

It's all about meme 

This bulk of this post is lifted from Emily at I Don't Think who got it from Judy at Jewdez.

I had to look up the definition of "meme" first, but this one caught my interest. It's a list of IMDb's top 100 movies as voted on by their users (the order here may be a bit different than you've seen elsewhere because I've updated it with IMDb's latest listings as of today). The films I've seen are in bold.

1. The Godfather (1972) *
2. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
3. The Godfather: Part II (1974) *
4. The Return of the King (2003)
5. The Two Towers (2002) *
6. Casablanca (1942) *
7. Schindler’s List (1993) †
8. The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) *

9. Seven Samurai (1954)
10. Star Wars (1977) †
11. Citizen Kane (1941)
12. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) *
13. Dr. Strangelove (1964) *
14. Rear Window (1954) *
15. The Empire Strikes Back (1980) †
16. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
17. Memento (2000)
18. The Usual Suspects (1995) *
19. Pulp Fiction (1994) *
20. North by Northwest (1959)
21. 12 Angry Men (1957) †
22. Amelie (2001)
23. Psycho (1960) *
24. Lawrence of Arabia (1962) *

25. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966)
26. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
27. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

28. Goodfellas (1990)
29. American Beauty (1999) *
30. Vertigo (1958) *

31. Sunset Blvd. (1950)
32. The Matrix (1999) *
33. The Pianist (2002)
34. Apocalypse Now (1979)
35. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

36. Some Like It Hot (1959)
37. Taxi Driver (1976)
38. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
39. The Third Man (1949)
40. Paths of Glory (1957)
41. Fight Club (1999)
42. Spirited Away (2001) *

43. Das Boot (1981)
44. L.A. Confidential (1997)
45. Double Indemnity (1944)
46. Chinatown (1974) *
47. Singin' in the Rain (1952) *
48. The Maltese Falcon (1941)

49. Requiem for a Dream (2000)
50. M (1931)
51. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
52. All About Eve (1950)
53. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) †
54. Seven (1995)
55. Saving Private Ryan (1998) *
56. Raging Bull (1980)

57. City of God (2002)
58. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
59. Rashmon (1950)
60. The Sting (1973)
61. Alien (1979)
62. American History X (1998)
63. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) *
64. The Professional (1994)
65. Life Is Beautiful (1997)

66. Touch of Evil (1958)
67. The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
68. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) *
69. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
70. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000)
71. The Great Escape (1963)
72. Reservoir Dogs (1992) †
73. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
74. Amadeus (1984)
75. Modern Times (1936)
76. Annie Hall (1977)
77. Jaws (1975) *
78. Ran (1985)
79. On the Waterfront (1954)
80. Braveheart (1995)

81. High Noon (1952)
82. The Apartment (1960)
83. Fargo (1996)
84. The Sixth Sense (1999) *
85. Aliens (1986)
86. The Shining (1980)
87. Strangers on a Train (1951)
88. Blade Runner (1982)

89. Metropolis (1927)
90. Duck Soup (1933)
91. Finding Nemo (2003) *
92. Donnie Darko (2001)

93. The General (1927)
94. Toy Story 2 (1999) *
95. The Princess Bride (1987) †
96. City Lights (1931)

97. The Great Dictator (1940)
98. Run Lola Run (1998)
99. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
100. Notorious (1946)

I thought I was doing pretty well, but that's only 72% that I've seen.

* = I own it on DVD
= I own it on VHS

Sunday, January 18, 2004

The arachnid gladiator 

Here's last night's dream sequence...

Misty and I returned home from a short vacation, and greeted my friend Josh who had been house sitting for us. The house was one where I used to live in Houston, but it was located in the neighborhood where I lived in Huntsville. The three of us sat in the living room and talked about Haven, reminiscing about its inception and catching up on how things were running now under new ownership. We then decided to go to the park. I rode with Misty, and Josh drove separately. Traffic on a narrow road at an intersection near the house was making me nervous, and I commented that I hoped it didn't get as noisy as another particular intersection had become. Misty pointed out that most of the noise was coming from a single car's stereo, and it wouldn't be like that normally. When we got to the park, Misty walked off toward the lake and Josh pulled a butterfly net out of his car. Josh used his net to capture a relatively large spider (it was about the size of a quarter) which had built a little nest (not a web) in the trees. He said the spider was going to be a gladiator, and started searching for another bug that the spider could fight with. Quickly bored with the search, however, Josh ended up instead beating the spider to death with the stick end of his butterfly net.

What does it all mean?

Friday, January 16, 2004

I can't take it anymore 

I'm developing a fear of the restroom. That same creepy guy from yesterday just walked in there and started talking to me again! At least this time I was already at the sink, but what's his deal, anyway?

I guess he doesn't read my blog.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Shut up, I'm trying to pee! 

I just came back from the men's restroom where some fool tried to talk to me at the urinal. Most men understand this rule and adhere to it, but apparently there are some who need it clarified: Do not speak to anyone in the men's restroom! Save your witless banter for outside. This rule holds especially true if either person is standing at the urinals or in a stall. If you must break the rule, at least have the decency to wait until both of you are at the sink.

Just asking for a lightning bolt 

Cap'n Ken has written at length about the double murder that happened Tuesday in his state.

He makes some great points about giving God too much credit.
Fox 5 interviewed a kid on the wrestling team who said everybody had been bitching about having to drive all the way out to Athens during the week for the meet. But now, in the wake of the killings, they were happy to have had that time with their coach and his son.

Fair enough.

But, as the kid put it, God must have arranged for the meet to happen so they could spend that final time together.

OK. So if God arranged this time together in advance of the murder, then God must have also known the murders were going to happen. And if God was able to make the meet happen, he could have also stopped the murders from happening. But, of course, he didn't.

Not only that, but why would God arrange for Coach Venable's last moments to be with the wrestling team? What about his wife and daughter who probably would have appreciated that time a little more?

But, as the Cap'n points out, God didn't have anything to do with the matter. He also didn't help Evander Holyfield win the boxing match, and He didn't help Britney Spears record her album. If He really has a hand in everything, what's the need for those Commandments?

I'm also glad to see the Cap'n sticking it to to the hundreds of students who are supposedly grieving.
I'm not so damn cold-hearted that I'm going to make light of the killings themselves, although I do want to tell the kids at Tucker High to try not to get quite this distraught — lots of open grief has been shown on the news — over a "tragedy" outside of your own family. Live a bit more of your life and you'll realize you should save some of your grief potential for the really bad things that are likely to impact you directly later on.

I agree. Get over it. Chances are, you didn't know this guy, and you probably barely knew of him.

At my high school, we had a lot of kids die in car accidents. All the students would be "overwrought" with anguish. I was always the asshole who didn't care much. Sure, it's tragic that they died, but it didn't effect me personally — I usually didn't know them or I didn't know them well. I'm certainly not going to act upset just for the sake of doing so.

In this case, I did know Mrs. Venable. She was one of my teachers. But while I see the event as a tragedy, I'm in no way grieving. That's for her to do. I didn't experience any personal loss — just as I didn't experience any personal loss when a person I'd met once died in one of the planes that struck the World Trade Center. Me grieving would only be self-serving (ooh, poor me — I knew of the victim).

But based on my belief that God doesn't "stick His hand in," I can't in good conscience say that the Venable family is in my prayers, either. I hope they get through this, but I don't think my vote is going to make God step in and ease their pain any more than He stepped in to prevent the murders from happening.

My connection to tragedy 

My mother e-mailed me this morning with something unsettling to read.
A longtime teacher and coach at Tucker High School and his 17-year-old son were killed Tuesday night during a home invasion in Gwinnett County.

Gwinnett police said Coach Bill Venable's home was the second house the suspect had barged into during a late-night crime spree that ended when police shot and killed the suspect.

Suspect in home invasion deaths identified

Tucker High devastated by 'great tragedy'

Mrs. Venable was a teacher of mine in high school. She also chaperoned a student trip I took to England and France. I imagine she and her daughter are going through hell right now.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Escape to reality 

Misty and I watched four back-to-back episodes of "The Real World: San Diego" last night. I hate to admit it, but yet another reality TV show has sucked me in. The appeal of such shows, for me, has always been the fun in loathing the characters. This time though, I get the bonus of seeing places like the Star of India ship, Balboa Park's reflecting pool, the U.S.S. Midway, and the San Diego Convention Center and exclaiming, "Hey, I've been there!" What a thrill.

With "Real World," "The Apprentice," and probably "Survivor: All-Stars," my lineup of reality programming has become embarassing. In fact, I usually don't watch this much televison, total. I know I'm watching crap, but I just can't help it.

Oh, how I long for March 7.

Everyday annoyances 

I went to Wal-Mart yesterday morning for some groceries and an oil change. That's a weird sentence, isn't it? Only at Wal-Mart.

I dropped off my car, and set about shopping. They were still out of the brand-x Claritin, and the ink cartridges for my printer cost a little more than they do at Target. Before I made it all the way across the store to the grocery aisles, though, I heard my name on the intercom. Upon returning to the auto center, I was told that they were out of the oil filter needed for my car. Or maybe they didn't carry it anymore — the mechanic wasn't sure. This was information I needed cleared up, I said, because I wanted to know if I should bring my car back in a few days or if I just needed to go somewhere else. Another mechanic piped in and said that Wal-Mart doesn't carry that filter anymore. "So there's no point in me coming here anymore to get my oil changed?" I asked, to be clear. "The only place I know of that you could go would be the dealership," mechanic #2 offered.

Really? No one carries filters for a 2003 VW Jetta anymore? Well that makes sense since I only see about 50 of them on the road on my way to and from work each day.

If this mechanic is right, I'm going to have to start changing my own oil. There's no way I'm paying dealership prices to get that sort of work done. Of course, I'd still have to pay dealership prices for a filter. I'm betting, though, that if I go to any other place in town (including another Wal-Mart (and probably including the same Wal-Mart a week later)) they'll have the filter.

Monday, January 12, 2004

As soon as I released the pause button, it felt like a betrayal 

Since I know a few people who'll want to take this one, here's a rare quiz appearance.

How well do you know your music?
John Cusack as Rob Gordon in 'High Fidelity'
Good. You know your music. You should be able to work at Championship Vinyl with Rob, Dick and Barry.

How well do you know your music? (Sorry MTV generation, I doubt you can handle this one.)
brought to you by Quizilla

Are you kidding? I am Rob Gordon. Or, at least, I was.

Friday, January 09, 2004

More joys of pregnancy 

My in-laws came to visit earlier this week. Specifically, it was Misty's mother, aunt, and cousin. The four women went baby crazy and spent three days going repeatedly to Carter's, Zany Brainy, and Babies R Us. They bought tons of infant clothes and other baby paraphernalia. Their generosity was overwhelming. But, as Misty pointed out, there hasn't been a baby in their family for 22 years, and the women are excited.

My relatives are acting much the same way. My mother has been making a baby quilt, and she's given us a bunch of other stuff already. One of my aunts has sent us money with which to buy a video camera so we can send her tapes of our daughter's escapades. A couple of my cousins are saving things from their kids that we'll be able to use. It's been a wonderful outpouring of support and enthusiasm.

That's why certain comments from Misty's mother really get under my skin. She's quite the pessimist. With her, the glass is definately half empty. When we were told by the obstetrician that she was 85% sure that we were having a girl, that wasn't good enough for Misty's mom. She wanted it to be 100%. Of course, as Misty pointed out, if the doctor had told her there was an 85% chance that she had cancer, she'd be convinced that she had it.

Anyway, we were sitting in the kitching discussing pregnancy, birth, etc. (it's the only sort of thing discussed in my household anymore), and we got on the subject of cesarean sections, a concept that mortifies me. Apparently, some women opt to undergo such a procedure, not because it's necessary, but simply because they want to. I think that's crazy, but then, I'm not in a position to judge. Misty said that she'd go with her doctor's recommendation. Then her mom says, "Well, it's just real dangerous either way — real dangerous. I mean you're walking through the valley of the shadow of death."

You see? That's the sort of comment that just pisses me off. I'm nervous enough about the issue, and she makes it seem like it's pretty likely either Misty or the baby isn't going to make it throught the birthing process. I decided not to keep quiet. I told her that since there were about six billion people on the planet, childbirth has worked out fine nearly six billion times (not to mention the generations who've come before us). "That may be," she said, "but for a lot of people it doesn't." I countered those numbers were not statistically significant, but I knew my argument didn't matter. She's going to assume the worst.

Hopefully, I can ignore her.

Boohbah, Boohbah, Boohbah, Booh! 

There's a new television program called Boohbah, aimed at children ages 3 to 5, launching this month on PBS.
[The] show might seem beautiful in the same hypnotic way as a druggy midnight screening of "2001: A Space Odyssey." ...

Two years in the works, "Boohbah" premieres on most PBS stations Jan. 19 (check local listings), when, if "Teletubbies" is any predictor, it becomes a cultural touchstone — and, for parents within earshot of the television, the bane of their existence.

But who can blame them, when the opening of the show sounds something like this: Boohbah, Boohbah, Boohbah, Booh! Boohbah, Boohbah, Boohbah, Booh! Boohbah, Boohbah, Boohbah, Booh! (Kids giggling) Boohbah, Boohbah, Boohbah, Booooooooh!

Wow. This sounds fantastic! I hope it's still on the air when my kid is 3.

Monday, January 05, 2004

Avalanche of books 

Since FAO declared bankruptcy (again) last month, all their Zany Brainy stores are closing.
The company hopes to sell its FAO Schwarz and Right Start businesses but would liquidate the Zany Brainy chain. Last month, the chain reported that its early holiday sales were much worse than expected, and unless they picked up it would not have enough liquidity to operate its business normally.

So Zany Brainy is having an inventory clearance sale, and I have a child on the way. Hmm...

Misty and I went to Zany Brainy at the Summit last week to see what they had left. Since the sale had been active for nearly a month already, including during the Christmas buying rush, we didn't expect to find much. We were wrong.

The store had plenty of mechandise left. Strollers, car seats, bottles, learning toys, books, movies, stuffed animals — you name it — and all steeply discounted. The stock was in disarray, but it wasn't, by any means, depleted. It didn't even seem "picked over."

I headed over to the books section to see if I could find a copy of Olivia. Not only did I find it, but I also found Olivia Saves the Circus. And The English Roses. And Where Do Balloons Go? And The Complete Adventures of Curious George. And Fables, The Spider and the Fly, Please, Baby, Please, Froggie Went A-Courtin', Toot & Puddle: Charming Opal, and The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh.

Since they were marked 40% off, I went a little overboard buying children's books. I know that if I was going to spend that much money, I probably should have bought a car seat. It's likely that our daughter won't be reading for at least a couple years (certainly not some of the books I picked out), but I'm so excited about getting to read to her. My parents read to me all the time when I was a baby, and as a result, I started reading myself when I was 2.

DVDs were also marked 40% off, so I bought a copy of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, adding to my our daughter's ever-growing Disney collection. They had a couple other good family movies I would have liked, but they were of the sinister pan-and-scan variety, not widescreen, so I passed. I don't want to expose my child to that sort of rubbish. I am considering, however, going back and picking up a copy of Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets, then bringing it to Best Buy to exchange it for the widescreen version. My only fear is that if I can't get it exchanged, I'm stuck with the crap version of the movie. 40% off the price then seems appropriate, as 40% of the picture has been chopped off the sides, too.

See how I always get back to this subject?

Sunday, January 04, 2004

Actually, a blue whale is bigger than an elephant, but whatever 

I finally saw Return of the King yesterday, so I can show my face in public again. It's no surprise that I loved the movie. I was surprised, however, that Misty enjoyed it so much.

Because of her pregnancy, Misty tends to go to the bathroom 700 times a day. I was sure she wouldn't be able to sit through a 3½ hour movie. She only got up one time, though. She kept whispering that she needed to, but she didn't want to miss anything. The baby also enjoyed the movie — she pounded on Misty's belly during the battle sequences.

Afterward, I had the audacity to suggest that, while I loved the movie, I still thought Finding Nemo was the best film of 2003. Misty was incredulous. "What?!," she ranted. "Are you crazy?! Didn't you see those elephants?! 'Nemo' didn't have anything nearly as cool as that!" This is from the same woman who saw The Two Towers last year and hated it because she thought it was going to be a movie about the World Trade Center.

Legolas now graces our computer monitor's background. Apparently, he's a hottie.

Been locked out 

The new year didn't start off too well. I had to work on New Year's Day. I have no complaints about that, actually. The news doesn't take a holiday — someone has to update the site, and all the producers chip in a fair amount. No, my complaint is that when I got to work, I couldn't get in the office.

When we moved into the new office, we didn't get keys immediately. My editor showed me, however, that you could use a credit card to pick the lock. I tried it and found the process fairly simple. On the morning of New Year's Day, however, when I was to be the only one at the office, I couldn't get the lock picked. I tried for a long while, but I just couldn't do it. It was driving me crazy because I'd had no problems a few days earlier. I even tried breaking a piece of my old Huntsville library card off so it formed a sort of "L" shape, thinking that might work better. It didn't. I finally gave up and went home exasperated.

When I got home, I called one of my co-workers and told her what had happened. I was already pissed off, but when she told me that the locks had been changed while I was off on my weekend, I was really fuming. Of course it made sense that the locks be changed — you could get in with a credit card for God's sake — but no one bothered to tell me! My boss had called me at home only the day before to confirm that I'd be working, and I told him "yes, I'm coming in tomorrow," but there was no mention of new locks or new keys.

So I drove 30 minutes there and 30 minutes back just to end up working from home anyway.

My busy, busy year 

Whew! What a wild year 2003 was. Let's recap, shall we?

Dec. 31 (2002) - met Misty and hit it off immediately
Jan. 14 - bought a new computer
Feb. 16-19 - vacationed at Disney world
Apr. 1 - learned that was closing its Huntsville office and moving employees to Birmingham
Apr. 11 - bought a new car, a silver 2003 VW Jetta
June 3 - bought a new house in Birmingham with Misty
July 14 - had my first-ever traffic accident (poor Jetta)
July 16-20 - attended Comic Con International in San Diego
Aug. 5 - learned Misty was pregnant
Aug. 20 - sold my house in Huntsville
Sept. 6-9 - vacationed at Panama City Beach
Oct. 1 - sold my comic book store, Haven
Oct. 25 - got "officially" engaged
Oct. 30 - learned that our baby will be a girl
Nov. 22 - got married
Nov. 22-25 - honeymooned in Gatlinburg
Dec. 22 - finally moved into new office

With our baby due in March, I have little doubt that 2004 will be just as exciting.