Tuesday, April 21, 2009

These Things Don't Happen

Yesterday afternoon, I was on my weekly conference call with some folks in the New York University office. About 20 minutes into the conversation, one of the NYU folks made a comment about some sort of thunderous noise that seemed to shake the building. But they laughed it off that they must be exaggerating. Two minutes later, the fire alarm went off in their building, and the call was cut short as they evacuated.

Those of us on this side of the call had no idea what happened, but eventually the news caught up and filled us in:

Parking attendant survives three-story fall in SUV

That's right. A car fell out of a parking garage and crashed into my customer's office building, damaging their work area on the first floor. We heard from them this morning: they are working from home today. Wild.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday Random Ten

"Dream Attack" by New Order on Technique
"The Voice of God" by 4Him on The Basics of Life
"Touch of the Master's Hand" by Wayne Watson on How Time Flies
"Existential Blues" by Tom "T-Bone" Stankus on Dr. Demento 20th Anniversary Collection
"Concerto No. 1 in E flat" by Franz Liszt on Favourite Piano Concertos
"Total Devotion" by When In Rome on When In Rome
"Jamie G. " by Joe Jackson on Laughter & Lust
"Satisfied" by PFR* on Goldie's Last Day
"Telling Me to Go" by Kaiser Chiefs on Telling Me to Go - Single
"Come To Me" by Bobby McFerrin on Simple Pleasures

This was an odd little collection, but I really enjoyed it. I especially like the juxtaposition of "Satisfied" with "Telling Me to Go." Those two things go together, indeed.

* Acts I've seen live

Friday, April 03, 2009

Friday Random Ten

"Gardening At Night" by R.E.M. on Eponymous
"Weight of the World" by Erasure on The Innocents
"No One Loves Me Like You" by Jars of Clay* on If I Left The Zoo
"18th Floor Balcony/It's Just Me" by Blue October on Foiled
"Oh Very Young" by Cat Stevens on Greatest Hits
"Missionary Man" by Eurythmics on Greatest Hits
"What's Going On" by Marvin Gaye on The Big Chill
"Rain Down" by Delirious? on World Service
"HypoCrites" by Anything Box on Peace
"Boogie Shoes" by K.C. & The Sunshine Band on Saturday Night Fever

Other than a very few tracks, we've gone seriously retro this week. I guess iTunes was getting me ready to meet with middle-aged clients for three days starting Sunday. And that nice long Blue October track is prepping me for their show at Stubbs next Friday night. I really appreciate inanimate computer programs looking out for me. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

* Acts I've seen live

Sunday, March 29, 2009

1 of 4

The second weekend of the tournament is now complete, and I only picked 1 of the Final Four. Preposterous! How can UNC be the only school I expected to see at this point in these games? At the beginning of this weekend's games, I switched gears from rooting for my bracket to rooting for the underdog in virtually every matchup. Because a messy bracket means a happy Heather. I think it's probably like betting against your team in a big game. If they win, you don't even care that you lost the money, and if they lose, you have a payout instead.

And so, I'm having a blast watching this year's tournament fun. The games, for the most part, have been really great -- tight contests with high energy and unexpected performances. This is the part of the year when coaches and players lay everything they have out on the court and see if it's enough. And lay it out there they have. Awesome game yesterday, Villanova! Great game today, Michigan State! There were so many last weekend, I can't even name them all, but if we can keep the underdogs winning, I will be quite the happy camper. Three seed to win it all, anyone?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Random Ten

"If We Are the Body" by Casting Crowns on Casting Crowns
"A Fifth of Beethoven" by Walter Murphy on Saturday Night Fever
"F.O.D." by Green Day on Dookie
"I Eat Cannibals" by Toto Coelo on Living In Oblivion
"Let You Down" by Dave Matthews Band on Crash
"Pancho and Lefty" by Merle Haggard on His Epic Hits: The First Eleven
"Thank God I'm A Country Boy" by John Denver on The Very Best of John Denver
"Annie's Song" by John Denver on The Very Best of John Denver
"I'm Gonna Love You Too" by Buddy Holly & The Crickets on From the Original Master Tapes
"Go Your Own Way" by Fleetwood Mac on Greatest Hits

This is a pretty "Greatest Hits"-heavy set, but I liked it anyway. And, since I'm feeling under the weather, that's about all the commentary I can manage.

* Acts I've seen live

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dividing the House(hold)

The house is the only really complicated thing that we have to figure out how to handle. We only bought it a year ago, and while the market in Santa Barbara hasn't tanked like it has in other parts of California, I seriously doubt we could break even at this point. So, we'll probably refinance it (which was the plan when we originally purchased) to something a little more manageable for one or the other of us (most likely with renters), and the other will officially move out. It would seem obvious that I would be the one to move out, since GB actually has a job there and I don't, but looks can be deceiving. He's on the short list for a tenure-track faculty position, so that could mean he'd be moving, and I'd be the one to take over the homestead. Ugh. I hate limbo. I'm ready to make some decisions and move forward. He should hear on that in the next couple of weeks, and then we'll go from there.

We also have a lot of other stuff that we've accumulated in the last 10+ years. Excessive accumulation has occurred in the book department. We have four full bookshelves of books, as well as the boxes of books that we've never had a place for. I guess that happens when many Friday nights were spent at bookstores. I think when we moved out from Austin, we had 20 boxes of just books.

And then GB told me about a dream he had last week. Apparently, in the dream, we were trying to divide up all the stuff, and we were fighting about it. Not fighting about who was going to get anything in particular, but about who was going to HAVE to take stuff.
"No, no, no. Like hell I'm going to take the books."
"Well I don't want the f*ing books!"
"Goddammit, you *have* to take them. 'Cause I sure as hell don't want them!"
"If you're going to be that way about it...You have to take the house if I take the books."

And I just laughed and laughed. Partly because I am really enjoying laughing again, and partly out of relief. The subconscious mind does some crazy stuff while sorting through things, and this little subconscious moment in GB's head says that we can probably work this all out as adults. It really shouldn't be that hard for us to do as reasonable humans, but this was the first indicator that we might not be completely crazy for trying approach this as a mediated (rather than all-lawyered-up) divorce.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Basketball Therapy

This past weekend, I had the most fun I've had in an extremely long time. I took Thursday and Friday off of work, and spent 4 full days watching basketball, basketball and more basketball. I've never actually taken the days off work -- always just was unproductive for the day keeping up with four games at a time. Forty-eight games in four days just doesn't leave a whole lot of time for much of anything else. But it was an absolute blast.

Part of the greatness of the weekend, though, didn't have anything to do with basketball. Recently, I had reconnected with an old friend from college, and on a whim we decided to get together to watch all the games of the first weekend. So I drove up to Dallas on Wednesday night, and I couldn't believe how easily we just jumped back in like no time ever passed. It was the most comfortable I've felt in my own skin in such a long time. I was reminded I used to be funny -- witty, silly, dorky (of course), but mostly I just hadn't remembered being laughed with in so long.

Overall, it was just a perfect vacation weekend. And those two overtime games were about as awesome as they could have been.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Radio Silence

During the last five months, I have pretty much been at a loss for what to write. Without knowing what we were going to do, I found myself loathe to write about the massive amounts of vitriol coursing through my veins. I didn't want to have to backtrack out of really horrible things that I would have said about GB, and I do have some family that reads this little chronicle. If we would have decided to reconcile, that would have made for some awfully awkward family gatherings afterward.

That doesn't mean that I need to spew it all now. I just feel the need to explain that even though I've been the biggest blog-slacker on the internet for a long time, It has nothing to do with a lack of desire to write or any sort of abandonment of this medium. I just learned that whole if-you-can't-say-something-nice-don't-say-anything-at-all lesson too well growing up. Well, maybe not completely. But enough to know that I only had over-the-top horrible things to say, as opposed to normally horrible.

I did write, just things that aren't meant for public consumption. It was all really boring and tedious, but to sum up: lots of self-loathing, lots of pain, lots of crying, lots of depression, some self-destructive behavior, lots of really pathetic crap, decision made, weight lifted. I think I'm already starting to be a bit less of a raging lunatic in the office. I just have a bit more emotional reserve to deal with some of the really stupid questions that come my way without having to take that out on the people asking them.

And mostly, I really miss being the giddy, happy, silly person I used to be before all of this. I'm looking forward to finding her again.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Next Steps

GB and I have decided to get a divorce. Not terribly surprising, I suppose, but a difficult decision nonetheless. There are lots of logistical decisions yet to be made, and we'll work through them. In the meantime, I'm very much at peace with this first decision in the process. I'm not precisely sure what direction this little spot on the internet will take. But, then, I'm not real sure which direction my life will be going. Perhaps you'll come along for the ride?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Random Ten

"Love" by John Lennon on The John Lennon Collection
"Solid As The Rock" by Michael English on Michael English
"Two Of A Kind, Working On A Full House" by Garth Brooks on The Hits
"Here In America" by Rich Mullins* on A Liturgy, A Legacy & A Ragamuffin Band
"Back to Where I Was" by Eric Hutchinson* on Sounds Like This
"Walkin' After Midnight" by Madeleine Peyroux on Dreamland
"Sur: Regreso Al Amor" by Yo-Yo Ma on Soul of the Tango: The Music of Astor Piazzolla
"When I Am Gone" by 4HIM on 4 Him
"All These Days Undone" by Anything Box on Peace
"Pilgrim" by Enya on A Day Without Rain

I'm really enjoying the recent discovery of Eric Hutchinson. I went and saw OAR a couple weeks ago at Austin Music Hall. I'm not a big OAR fan -- I certainly couldn't name any of their songs. However, a friend had two tickets and his +1 backed out on him, so I graciously agreed to make sure that other ticket didn't go unused. Okay, so I wasn't so gracious. I'd seen OAR before at Stubbs, and I remembered feeling really out of place. Pretty much everyone at the show was under 21 and most were still in highschool, so I was the oldest person there by about 10 years. Put that together with seeing a band I didn't know, and it was a generally awkward evening. With that experience under my belt, I wasn't real gung-ho about going, but I had no other plans, so I went.

However, this show was a totally different show than the Stubbs show. For starters, the crowd was older, and I didn't feel so out of place as the only person without an "X" on my hand. Also, somehow I've never seen a show at AMH, and it was a very cool venue. Nice lighting, great acoustics, et cetera. And it helped that the opening act came out with lots of energy and talented musicians and catchy tunes. He was pretty poppy and looked like one of the Beatles, but it was a lot of fun to listen to. We had to look him up later to see who it was (I guess we missed the introduction), but I went ahead and picked up his CD. This particular track isn't his most catchy, but I like it.

I tend to have better luck with opening bands and relative unknowns than I've had with headliners. I'm planning to go see two complete unknowns tomorrow. Maybe that will result in a few more new favorites.

* Acts I've seen live

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Greatest Review Comment Ever

My review this week was generally pretty darn good. However, when we got to the section where we talk about what I need to work on, I got this priceless gem:

"You should really be more cheerful."

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday Random Ten

"I'm Gonna Love You Too" by Buddy Holly & The Crickets on The Original Master Tapes
"Santa Brought Me Clothes" by Trout Fishing in America* on Merry Fishes to All
"Everywhere I Go" by Amy Grant on The Collection
"Love Song For A Savior" by Jars of Clay* on Jars of Clay
"Star Trekkin'" by The Firm on Dr. Demento 20th Anniversary Collection
"Lord of All" by Carman on The Absolute Best
"Everything I Said" by The Cranberries on No Need To Argue
"Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves" by Eurythmics on Greatest Hits
"Tell Him" by The Exciters on The Big Chill soundtrack
"Where the Streets Have No Name (Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" by Pet Shop Boys on Discography: The Complete Singles Collection

Eclectic. Eclectic, indeed. Extra credit to anyone who can write a comment that uses all ten titles in three sentences or less.

* Acts I've seen live

Friday, February 06, 2009

Friday Random Ten

"I'm Your Captain" by Grand Funk on Discovery Rock Classics
"The Thrill Is Gone" by B.B. King on B.B. King Anthology
"Worlds Apart" by Jars of Clay* on Jars of Clay
"You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go" by Madeleine Peyroux on Careless Love
"She Loves the Sunset" by Old 97's on Blame It On Gravity
"Lovesick Blues" by Madeleine Peyroux on Dreamland
"Heaven Or Hell" by Alphaville on The Breathtaking Blue
"How Can I Tell You" by Cat Stevens on Footsteps In The Dark
"I Hold Your Hand In Mine" by Tom Lehrer on Song & More Songs
"Disco Inferno" by The Trammps on Saturday Night Fever

Hmmmm. I wish I haad something better to say about this collection. Not terrible, exactly, but not good, either.

* Acts I've seen live

Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Little Bit Lost

I just wish I knew whether this is the getting worse before it gets better part of the separation, or the beginning of the end.

Either way, it sucks.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Random Ten

"Work" by Jars of Clay* on Good Monsters
"Out Of This World" by Michael W. Smith* on Change Your World
"More To This Life" by Stephen Curtis Chapman on The Live Adventure
"Peace (A Communion Blessing from St. Joseph's Square)" by Rich Mullins* on A Liturgy, A Legacy, & A Ragamuffin Band
"Stay Out Of My Arms" by George Strait on Easy Come Easy Go
"Being Boring" by Pet Shop Boys on Discography: The Complete Singles Collection
"The Dream" by Mannheim Steamroller on Fresh Aire IV
"The Big Wheel (Squeeze Box Shuffle)" by Clifton Chenier on Zydeco Essentials
"Can't Get There From Here" by R.E.M. on Eponymous
"Spider's Fence" by Trout Fishing In America* on Truth Is Stranger Than Fishin'

It does seem that there should be more to this life than work. I have just been boring for so long and I can't get interesting from here. Perhaps I can find peace in my dreams where I hang out by the big wheel on the spider's fence (as long as they stay out of my arms).

* Acts I've seen live

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Random Ten

"I Gotta Get a Fake I.D." by Barnes & Barnes on Dr. Demento 25th Anniversary Collection
"Ode To My Family" by The Cranberries on No Need To Argue
"Hi-Rollers Theme/Low Rider" by Beau Jocque & The Zydeco Hi-Rollers on Zydeco Essentials
"Piano Sonata #14 in C Minor" by Mozart, played by Peter Katin on Mozart: Piano Sonatas
"Callin' Baton Rouge" by Garth Brooks on The Hits
"Step By Step" by Rich Mullins* on The World As Best As I Remember It, Vol. 1
"The Thrill Is Gone" by B.B. King on The Best of the Blues
"I'll Save You All My Kisses" by Dead Or Alive on Rip It Up
"Blind Hearts" by Xymox on Twist Of Shadows
"Forest" by PFR* on Pray For Rain

When this set started with a song about a fake ID, I could tell we were in for a retro day. By the end, I felt 15 again. Or maybe that's just the lack of sleep causing a general regression to being a younger, more annoying version of myself. Hard to tell.

* Acts I've seen live

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Random Ten

"A Prayer" by Madeleine Peyroux on Dreamland
"Sweet Sixteen" by B.B. King on Live At The Apollo
"Ooo Baby Baby" by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles on Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
"Something Going On" by When In Rome on When In Rome
"Let It Rain" by Newsboys on Going Public
"Remember Who You Are" by Geoff Moore & The Distance* on A Friend Like U
"Prayer" by Petra on Beyond Belief
"Big In Japan" by Alphaville on The Singles Collection
"Plenty" by Sarah McLachlan on Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
"My Favorite Memory" by Merle Haggard on His Epic Hits: The First Eleven

That's a great way to start into a weekend. I'm ready!

* Acts I've seen live

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Number 400

Having started this blog journey on October 6, 2005, it only took me 1297 days to complete the first 400 posts. That's an average of a new post every 3.2 days. I'm no high-volume Nellie, but it's nothing to sneeze at, either. Honestly, I'm surprised that 3+ years out, I'm still doing this.

I want to thank my readers out there (all three of you!) for continuing to come back after my various hiati (hiatuses didn't look right). I appreciate you.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Saturday Random Ten

Okay, I know. I'm late posting this. Yesterday was one of those crazy days at work where, not only didn't I have a moment to breathe, afterwards I was too fried to do anything else for the day. All of this to say, here's the Saturday edition of the FRT!

"Morningside" by Neil Diamond on The Essential Neil Diamond
"COncerto No. 1 in E flat" by Franz Liszt on Favourite Piano Concertos
"Eve" by California Guitar Trio on Cg3+2
"Do You Love Me" from Fiddler on the Roof soundtrack
"She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain" by Peter Wernick on Bluegrass Essentials
"Senor Toro" by Hewlitt Crist on The Rio Grande Songs II
"Horn Concerto No. 4 in E flat Major" by Amadeus Mozart, played by Dennis Brain on Mozart: Horn Concertos No. 3
"Seasons of the Heart" by John Denver on The Very Best of John Denver
"Desiree" by Neil Diamond on The Essential Neil Diamond
"When You Say Nothing At All" by Alison Krauss on Now That I've Found You: A Collection

Very calm little collection here. I guess my heart rate is about as low as it can been now in time for my long run. Either that, or iTunes is trying to compensate for the day I had yesterday.

* Acts I've seen live

Monday, January 05, 2009

Recommended: A Place Without A Postcard

I'd never read the novel of someone I know. Short stories, sure. Poems, sure. Blog posts, certainly. But never a whole novel, bound and sold through an actual retailer. And, while I haven't actually met James, I feel like I know him after the mutual reading of blogs and sharing of the experiences of greyhound ownership and Philippine living. As a result, I was a bit nervous to read this book and then to write about it. What if it turns out to be a dud? How do I write that, when it's quite likely the author would read the review? With all this concern, it's clear I do not have the stones to be a critic for a living.

Good thing I liked the book.

The story in A Place Without A Postcard is about a tabloid photographer who is in an accident and wakes up to find himself wanted for the murder of a police officer but no memory of why, or even who he is. And he's blind, to boot. Since the story is told from his point of view, the setting and the interactions are described through the other senses.

While parts of the story are unlikely occurrences, even in west Texas, I did find out the root of the name of his blog. But the most exciting part was a visceral reaction to the narrative. After I finished reading and put the book down, I found my sensory perception of the world heightened, if only for a day or two. It was kinda surreal, but very neat. And when a book can make you see the world differently, that can only be good.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Thoughts on the New Year

I really wanted to write a good ring-in-the-new-year post. One of those that looks back at the completed 2008 fondly and looks forward to the new 2009 with hope and excitement. Except I couldn't do it. I'd rather just pretend the day never happened, and that I'm suspended in 200x. Time will resume when I know what's going on.

Marking a new year is supposed to be a time for resolutions and planning. At least that's always how I've used it. Unfortunately, at this particular calendar page turn, I can't really set goals very far into the future. I have decided to do a half-marathon in February, but after that, things get a bit hazy. At least I know that the end of 2009 will be more settled than the end of 2008. I don't know what it will look like, but I won't be in transitional housing and I will be able to move forward. I'll either be single (or in the process of a divorce) or I'll be reconciled, but it will nice to be out of limbo.

I just have an over-developed planning gene, and I can't use it. Actually, that's not completely true. I have been running through possible scenarios for the future so much over the last couple of weeks that I'm all trained up for the thirteen miles next month. I just have to work through the possible scenarios in my head, so I can know how to deal with them if/when they come up. One of my favorite defense mechanisms is having decisions made ahead of time, so I can have my response all planned up. Otherwise the stress of the surprise is paralyzing. I hate being caught off-guard with bad news, so the vast majority of the scenarios are the worst possible things I can think could happen. Something about knowing how I would handle those things allows me to know that I could handle them, and that makes them easier. So, the converse is that if I haven't thought about it ahead of time, when the bad-thing-I-never-imagined happens, then I'm not sure I can make it through it. Wow. It sounds really pathetic when I explain it that way. Conveniently, I feel pretty pathetic these days.

So, while I don't want to talk about the separation, I also don't have the drive to write about much else. You've probably noticed I never got around to the stories of the roommate interviews or the encounters with/observations of people on the bus. It's not because they were't interesting. It's more because I would type up one line of post, and then I couldn't make myself type any more than that, and it's hard to tell a story in one sentence or less. I have been writing a lot in my personal "journal", just nothing I can really post here at this time.

I hope you all had less conflicted and complicated new year's transitions.

Friday, January 02, 2009


I have finally succumbed to the peer pressure and joined the pile of people on Facebook. Huh. "Succumbed" really looked wrong, but apparently I spelled it right anyway. Ahem.

So, I made a Facebook page, and friended lots of people, and then came to another realization. While I have figured out how to have the "Yes, I'm still in the office. GB and I separated," conversation and strugging off the "Well, at least you don't have kids," or "I'm so sorry," line with the requisite head tilt, I hadn't quite planned on the electronic commenting about the subject. I still go back and forth between just being straightforward about it, and trying to avoid the topic because I don't feel like doing the (now) standard back-and-forth.

It was fun trying to make my profile reflect that I'm living in Austin but that my home is in Santa Barbara. And you can't imagine the waffling that went into setting my marital status.

My electronic existence is now larger. I'm ambivalent about that, but I do know I still prefer the blog to the one-line updates on people.

Friday Random Ten

"Desert Dream" by Hewlett Crist on The Rio Grande Songs II
"Soul" by Sixpence None The Richer on The Fatherless & The Widow
"Hooked On Polkas" by Weird Al Yankovic* on Dare To Be Stupid
"Calling Out Your Name" by Rich Mullins* on The World As Best As I Remember It
"Trust" by Sixpence None The Richer on The Fatherless & The Widow
"Horn Concerto No. 2 in E Flat Magor" by Dennis Brain on Mozart: The Horn Concertos
"Growing Young" by Rich Mullins* on The World As Best As I Remember It
"Magical Lasso" by Andrew Lloyd Webber on The Phantom of the Opera
"The Rose" by Bette Midler on Experience The Divine
"Pied Piper" by Stand on Never Say Dinosaur

Not sure what to say, except that I'm really glad the whole pile was mellow. I really wasn't up for this group being too peppy.

* Acts I've seen live