Thursday, January 29, 2004

"Your call is important to us."

In the past hour, I've called TXU four times for one change of account. Our new street is "Ravenwood". On their computers, it's "Ravenswood". Supposedly, this mistake is causing Y2K level problems with them. As I type this post, I'm sitting, waiting, on hold-- "Your call is important to us." I've talked with Anita, Ben, David, and whoever will take my call next. David put me on hold to talk with his manager-- and after ten minutes of waiting the line went dead. Anita said February 4th was the absolute earliest they could turn on our electricity and gas. David says February 3rd. Ben told me-- ah, Kevin! Oh crap don't put me on hold! (waiting...) Yeah! He's back. According to Kevin, the earliest for the gas to be turned on is the 30th.

(I hang up the phone.) My ear is swollen from being pressed against the phone for so long. Victory! I think. Geez, why does it have to be so confusing.
As Melissa mentioned in her blog, we're homeowners. Yesterday, I signed a HUGE stack on papers. On Saturday, we'll make the move from Dallas to Arlington. (For those wanting to help, good news, weather.com forecasts a high of 67 degrees. Not too bad for February.)

We're rockin' the suburbs. And how cool is this-- our next door neighbors are literally Dick and Jane.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Papal blessing for break-dancers ~ CNN

In an unusual spectacle at the Vatican, Pope John Paul II presided over a performance of break-dancers who leaped, flipped and spun their bodies to beats from a tinny boom box.

The 83-year-old pontiff seemed to approve, waving his hand after each dancer completed a move, then applauding for the entire group. He watched the performance from a raised throne.

"For this creative hard work I bless you from my heart," he said.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Melissa went to her new doctor today. I wasn't able to go. I have to conserve my "sick days" for when we get closer to the birth. But darn it-- they did a mini-sonogram. No, not the kind where they figure out the sex, it's a little different. But still, I missed it!!! I wish I was there. :: grumble, grumble :: I'm very happy Melissa got to see all that, but geez... wish I was there.

Next appointment is February 11th. I will be at this appointment. More than likely, at that time, we'll know the gender. So everybody can stop asking these questions:
1. Do you know if it's a boy or a girl? (No.)
2. Do you want to know? (Yes.)

On February 11th, all will be made known. Yeah!

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Moving to Our New Home!

Next Saturday, January 31st, Melissa and I are moving to our new home!  This week will be fairly hectic-- closing on the house, packing, throwing stuff away, and all the other details involved in changing our geography.  We could really, really, really use your help to move on Saturday.

We need...
* Able people willing to load the U-Haul and other cars.
* Able people willing to offer their car, truck, or SUV for loading boxes.
* Able people willing to unload the U-Haul and other cars.

We will be meeting at the apartment at 10:00 AM.
7510 East Grand Ave. #3212 (bldg #12)
Dallas, TX 75214

Call us if you need help getting into the apartment.

We'll be transporting everything to...
1408 Ravenwood
Arlington, TX 76013

It really shouldn't be too much work, especially since Melissa's family is moving the "heavy stuff" from my parent's house in Mansfield.  For us, it's mostly boxes and more boxes.

Everybody making the trip is awarded pizza, a first look at our lovely home, and a t-shirt!  (Actually, no t-shirts.  But hey... still, pizza.) Let us know. Thanks!

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Happy birthday Shanna! Sorry we missed your get-together. Melissa and I have been driving back and forth between Dallas and Mansfield all day today taking care of "moving to a house" stuff. Today, in particular, Melissa's been aching and sore. It's 10 o'clock. She's already asleep. I'm not too far behind.

Shanna, it's been a good year. I'm glad we've become such good friends. We're kindred. It's easy to like you. :)


Thursday, January 22, 2004

I bet many of you didn't know about my music career.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

:: Okay, the game is over. Everyone else has left the suite. I'm just chillin' here by myself. Suite #1215. It's so beautiful. I wonder how long I can stay here before they kick me out... or before Melissa wonders where I am? ::
I'm currently blogging from suite #1215 at the American Airlines Center, watching the Dallas Mavericks game. There's a computer in the suite... along with a flat screen TV, bar, fridge, lounge area, and a killer view of the game. Sick, isn't it? I'm in heaven. My friend James invited me, after Kausar couldn't go. :)
New technology called "Internet" (hmmm, fascinating)
Mars Rover Updates

Really, the whole thing blows my mind. I mean, we're looking at photos of another planet. Did anyone back on October 1, 1958 (NASA's inception) believe we'd have photos of Mars... from the surface of Mars? It's incredible.

While I believe the government needs to spend their money more wisely to help people on earth, I think the Apollo program is a good example of how NASA is a valuable part of our U.S. budget. Imagine if our military budget went instead to promote scientific inquiry and artistic pursuits? Sure, it's idealistic. And I don't believe Bush is the President to unite our country under a singular vision the way Kennedy did-- but maybe someday.
I was listening to some really cool drum music on the way to school. I love drums. Drums are such a primal and physical form of music-- connecting us back to our bodies and the earth, it has a sacred and yet very human appeal. The drum beat is the music of life. As babies in the womb, we heard the heartbeat of our mother.


Right now, my baby is listening to Melissa's heartbeat, over and over and over again-- comforting and re-assuring.
Saved! (via melissa)

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Seven Samurai Action Figures! Only $580! Wait... $580? That sucks.
I joined the National Marrow Donor Program today. They stabbed me, took some blood, and now if I match anybody in need of my bone borrow-- they stab me again and take it.

I'm so jaded-- the only question floating around in my head was--
"How much will an insurance company profit off of my marrow?"

Being a donor is something I value, but it sickens me to think about how much $$money$$ these big businesses are making off of those who need medical care. I understand that quality healthcare can be costly. I don't mind the doctors, the nurses who are actually in the field to be compensated for their hard work. It's the business man who's moving the money from point A (me) to point B (medical) and getting a six figure salary to do it. I don't understand. It's a complicated issue. But maybe it was made complicated, so that rich business men could keep their jobs.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

On NPR, a report commented on the overall health of the Amish people. While their diet is completely contrary to what most dietarians would suggest nowadays, there is no problem with obsessity in the Amish community. The reason is obvious. They work all day long. Duh. In addition, the Amish walk. Most Americans do not walk much at all.

So, I have a new diet solution. The Hopkins Diet Plan: Talk on the phone. For people who know me very well (Melissa), they know I walk while I talk on the phone. It is practically impossible for me to stand still while talking on the phone. I pace. I ramble around the apartment. I walk in circles. I can't stay still.

Combine two modern day phenomena into a wonderful diet solution-- cell phones and diet fads. It'll work.

Monday, January 12, 2004

I finished writing a synopsis for a story I want to script. I feel really good about it... then I watch a movie like Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and it reminds me: "You're not this good."

I've got a lot of work ahead of me.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

there just aren't enough ukulele bands... introducing...
The Hazzards (music video)

Friday, January 09, 2004

George Bush wants to:
* create hydrogen-powered cars
* end terror, and
* put a person on Mars

Heck, I'd be happy if he could improve our international relations and help job growth. But sure, whatever, a hydrogen car would be cool too, I guess.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

The Eightfold Path
The Buddha's Eightfold Path consists of:

Panna: Wisdom:
1) Samma ditthi - Right Understanding of the Four Noble Truths
2) Samma sankappa - Right thinking; following the right path in life

Sila: Morality:
3) Samma vaca - Right speech: no lying, criticism, condemning, gossip, harsh language
4) Samma kammanta - Right conduct by following the Five Precepts
5) Samma ajiva - Right livelihood; support yourself without harming others

Samadhi: Concentration:
6) Samma vayama - Right Effort: promote good thoughts; conquer evil thoughts
7) Samma sati - Right Mindfulness: Become aware of your body, mind and feelings
8) Samma samadhi - Right Concentration: Meditate to achieve a higher state of consciousness

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

"Plaintiff Spears lacked understanding of her actions to the extent that she was incapable of agreeing to the marriage," the annulment petition said. - stupid report on a stupid coke-head pop star and her stupid non-wedding
I really want to see this movie.
(via antihero)
a little fun at the Dallas Comic Con
Oops! Hmmm... we seem to have a wee bit o' technical difficulty. It plays fine on the home computer. I must've forgotten to transfer some files during the upload to my server.

It'll be up this evening. (Hopefully.)

Monday, January 05, 2004

Saw Big Fish tonight with Kausar and Emily. It was the film we all knew Tim Burton was capable of.

A story about stories.

Sadly, storytelling is a lost artform. Four years ago when I started my community group at Axxess, I dreamed of a storytelling circle-- friends coming together and sharing stories. To me it didn't matter if it was true or not, religious or irreligious, I just wanted to hear a good tale. I'm obsessed with stories. Unfortunately, my "storytelling circle" was a huge failure. The problem is/was that hardly anybody knows how to tell a good story anymore. Everybody abbreviates-- get to the end, come to your point, leave out the details, don't ramble, keep it simple. Crap. Crap. Crap. I love books, comics, movies, television... all of it, but we shouldn't give up our own stories in the process. If anything, it should make us want to tell our own as well. The story is the soul of any culture, society, community. Without a story, there is no meaningful life.

At one time, I thought I was going to be a church pastor, a professional. However, I figured out a few years ago that wasn't ever going to happen-- not for me. Don't feel bad. It's not my story. I'm happier with the path I choose instead. And even though I may never run a church or preach for a congregation, I still sometimes dream about a storytelling community. I'd like to see it happen again someday. Maybe once Melissa and I move into our house. We'll have a big living room for gatherings. Maybe after the baby is born. At that point, my own story will take on new meanings. Someday.

Seriously, it's a tragedy when a person with an interesting life can't tell a decent story. As a start, I'd suggest Richard Stone's The Healing Art of Storytelling. This book is one of my favorites. My rant only echoes what he explains so well. We need stories. We need intentional storytelling communities.
words of wisdom from Heathers
stuff to ponder

When I think about all the things I truly value, I realize that none of it would be possible without Melissa-- my best friend, my partner-in-crime. Whatever our future may hold, good and bad, I trust her and she trusts me with the things that truly matter.

Friday, January 02, 2004

Good news! Melissa and I placed a bid on a house a few days ago. We just found out the seller accepted our offer. More than likely, we'll be moving into our first house on January 31st.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

It appears that Lisa Loeb has a new girlfriend in her life.

Happy New Year!

From Wim's back porch, we can hear gunfire (lots and lots of gunfire) and fireworks. Sounds like a warzone out there.
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