condo time

so the other day the roof leaked right into the living room, and i haven’t yet paid the roofer for the _last_ job. add that to all the usual house stuff and there are days when i think _maybe i should just live in a condo in Cary._ of course, then i’d have to live in Cary, which would make for a short commute and the total and complete loss of my soul.

so what about condos in durham? wow, do you know how nice of a condo i could buy in durham? really nice. like, big kitchen with an island and pretty new appliances.

eh, i know i wouldn’t really want to, but sometimes home ownership doesn’t seem worth it.

ole iron jaws

i can tell you that there’s one part of the cat’s body that isn’t affected by arthritis.

the legs may be weak, the claws may be slack. but if you play with him around dawn, during prime hunting time, after he tires of batting at your hand with his all but useless forepaw, he’ll go after you with the jaw.


just plain lazy

i tried to think of today as a day of rest, but i have now come to the conclusion that i’m just plain being lazy.

i don’t feel guilty, but i do feel cognizant that the things that are weighing on me to be done will weigh on me even more heavily next week because i’m not making progress on any of them today.

i’ve also worked myself into a very strange sleep schedule that i think is going to be problematic next week, when i have two very early mornings, tuesday and wednesday.

but at the end of the week, J is coming to town and we’ll be attending the festivities surrounding the marriage of two old friends of mine. which is going to be a fun time.

Tonali, now with beer!

I took mom and Dan to Tonali for dinner tonight, and the food was extra tasty, perhaps in part because they now have their ABC license! dan and i both got Negra which was on draft and so delish.

during the planning of this evening, i had been informed that a trip to Loco Pops would be required, this was decided even before we decided on where to have dinner.

funniest story of the night was the story of mom telling stu about our forthcoming trip to atlanta to visit him and help him set up his new pad. she mailed him and said, “we can’t come the weekend of — because lisa has a wedding, and the next weekend dan is dog sitting, so we’ll come the weekend of –.” stu then called dan and asked, “is lisa getting married or something? am i THAT far out of the loop?”

uh, no, stuart. you’ll PROBABLY hear about it if i get married– hell, play your cards right and you might even get an invitation on paper and everything. after all, you are my brother.

and i thought i was out of the family loop! someone needs to start a newsletter or something.

clutter war: the chronically disorganized

A rich set of links i found today. Almost every one I know has at one time or another expressed distress over their clutter, lack of organization, and inability to overcome problems in organizing, cleaning and running their household. I also feel an almost constant sense of disquiet about my house. Via the web site of a local professional organizer, I found the web site of the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization.

If you feel like you’re at the mercy of your house or your stuff, you should read this stuff.

“Clutter hoarding scale.”: A tool for assessing the degree to which a person is suffering from chronic disorganization. From your typical messy house to the full-blown trash house.

“Fact sheets about chronic disorganization”:

I’ll quote from the one called “Common characteristics of the Chronically Disorganized”…

* Accumulates large quantities of objects, documents, papers or possessions beyond apparent necessity or pleasure

* Has difficulty parting with things and letting go

* Has a wide range of interests and many uncompleted projects

* Needs visual “clues” as reminders to take action

Interestingly, I can relate to a lot of the home-specific traits (such as no household calendar in use, cluttered living areas, multiple project begun but not finished) this document goes on to list, but few of the work-specific traits.

Addictive tendencies that can cause chronic disorganization:


Collection addiction (I can’t find a specific link but I think this one is fairly self-explanatory)


“Urgency addiction”:

I have seen aspects of all of these addictions in my co-workers, in myself, and in friends; it’s disturbing to find it all laid out in black and white even though i’ve suspected for years that there are identifiable _things_ going on that drive people to collect gadgets, toys, information, and other things.

it’s not that we don’t all lead functional lives, but i am completely sick of the constant state of _ack_ that i live in. i have some situational problems (half my weekends cannot be devoted to surmounting my household problems or doing maintenance chores; i have renovation work to do to my house, such as in the basement) but although i have largely curbed my tendency to accumulate junk, i still accumulate _things_ and remain adept at rationalizing everything i purchase or obtain. at the same time, the items i identify that need to leave the house often remain in a “staging area” for months at a time while i fail to get them to goodwill or on the company bulletin board for re-sale.

in somewhat related news, i met today with a basement waterproofer recommended by a neighbor who has been down a path similar to mine. it looks like i also need to get quotes on gutter repair/upgrade/replacement.

surfing fearlessly, or how i read harry potter book seven in eleven hours and learned to love the web again

had to make two stops to track down a copy; first stop was our local indie bookstore, the regulator, since i’d had no trouble getting the last book there without a reserved copy.

but oh! they had no unreserved copies and told frightening tales of the book being unavailable. “try somewhere obscure, like Sam’s Club” they told me, without irony. okay, i’m paraphrasing a little, but that’s basically what the woman said to me.

next stop: Costco, where there was a huge table of them. I noted the price briefly: $19. not bad, i guess. as i stood in line a woman tapped me on the shoulder and informed me that “you can get that book for $18 at wal-mart!” i explained that it was out at many stores in the area and i was just glad to get a copy. as she left, the woman ahead of me in line asked me how much it was here. I told her, and realized that of course driving across town to save a dollar was hardly worth it.

i was interrupted in my reading exactly three times: once by a call on my land-line from a woman claiming to be from a human rights organization. i told her “sorry” and hung up. once by a well-known scammer in the neighborhood who rang the doorbell and claimed to be collecting money for a children’s charity. i grabbed my mace and my cell phone after that and kept them close by, although i don’t think he’s one of the ones with a history of crime, just door-to-door scamming. finally, a cell phone call i didn’t answer from a tradesman who was quite confused and apparently thought he was supposed to meet with me today, but wasn’t going to be able to. i’ll return his call tomorrow.

oh, the book itself? what did i think? it was good.

safe surfing

just home from J’s. i’ve avoided my livejournal friends list since friday afternoon, as well as all news outlets, and most other web sites. J isn’t into reading harry potter, and i wasn’t going to go up there to visit then spend many hours in a potter reading coma, so spoiler-avoidage was extremely important (and difficult). he said the spoilers were splashed all over slashdot by saturday.

i finally decided that it was so important to me to be able to read the book in one long sitting, without being exposed to any conversation about it _at all,_ that i’m taking monday off to read it. which is kind of embarrassing, but i’ll enjoy it immensely, so who cares?

the moses had a fine time at J’s house this weekend, i think he’s starting to adjust to being there. he’s allowed on the bed some which he really loves. J is very tolerant and understanding of the elderly cat logistics, which i really appreciate.

today we took the puppy for a walk on the seawall at Ft. Monroe, and saw an unmarked submarine coming in to port. a very unusual sight; the massive container ships that we always see are impressive enough, but a matte charcoal gray turret gliding along the sea is even more so when you know what is lurking underneath, and what the thing can do.

i asked J if he’d be interested in going to London via sea, rather than air, one day, and he said he’d be all over that. so who knows? maybe there’s a journey on the QE2 in our future.

we also visited the blue star diner, and i’ll post photos shortly. this is an old diner of the aluminum-clad, neon-googie-sign variety that was owned an operated continuously by one woman for decades. J went there one time while it was under her ownership and told me that every surface inside was caked with grease and dirt. he also witnessed the owner stirring a pot and coughing over it. disguisting; how the health department never shut her down is a mystery.

well, it did catch up with her eventually. not long after J and i started dating, the blue star caught fire and was shut down.

several months ago we noticed some work going on at the blue star (which, i should mention, is quite close to J’s house). it re-opened under new ownership about two months ago. we decided to give it a try today and were happily surprised with the result.

all of the original surfaces were intact and cleaned thoroughly. as much as possible the original parts of the building have been retained. apparently the coating of grease provided some kind of protective barrier against age because it all looked pretty good.

business was slow when we went, but it was an odd time on a sunday. the food was okay, not terrific, but not so bad as to prevent us from going back for breakfast some time. we agreed that it is best to stick with things that are made on the grill because those turned out better– my grilled cheese with ham was much better than J’s open face turkey sandwich.

the thing that surprised me was the lack of desserts! the meals all come with dessert, but all they were offering today was rice pudding and cherry jello. i asked if they ever have pie, and she said they did in the beginning but could never sell any because the meals all come with dessert.

the solution to that seems obvious to me but… you know. anyway, we talked with our waitress for a good while. she worked there thirty years ago and just recently came back. she said that she cleans every surface twice a day because she remembers what it was like before and doesn’t want it to backslide. she said the new owners seem to be pretty fastidious people as well.

anyways. a tasty weekend.

vinyl, part one

okay, since jason! asked, here’s a lot of it. i realized there’s a crate i need to go through, and i got tired of typing before i got the spoken word, classical, childrens and other miscellany on here.

some of these are quite pristine; others are in totally shitty condition. someone should grab the MC5 record before i change my mind.

most of them would be free. i might want a little money for some of them, i am not sure. if any interest you, let me know.

buddy miles, bicentennial gathering of the tribes

eric mercury, love is taking over

mc5, kick out the jams

foreigner, 4

sly and the family stone, greatest hits

the best of oingo boingo

oingo boingo, dead man’s party

rod stewart, every picture tells a story

seefeel, plainsong/filter dub/industrious (dj promo)

snatches of pink, dead men

sparks, no. 1 in heaven

sparks, indiscreet

sparks, in outer space

sly stone, recorded in san francisco 64-67

the mermen, songs of the cows

mofungo, end of the world, part 2

romeo void, instincts (wxdu copy)

quicksilver messenger service, happy trails

prince, u got the look 12″ single

til tuesday, voices carry

ike & tina turner, come together

ike & tina turner, ike & tina get it together!

frank zappa, hot rats

wire, a bell is a cup

world star festival compilation

swayzak vs. theorem, break in at apartment 205/bad hair day/unheurleirfuk 12″ single

a-ha, hunting high and low

alger hiss, settings for nudes

woody allen, standup comic

th’ cigaretz, crawl rite outta my skin

tortoise, millions now living will never die

the glove, blue sunshine

balandzan biton, du mali

tim curry, fearless

tim curry, read my lips

tim curry, simplicity

the moderns, serve and protect

aorta, aorta

ll cool j, pink cookies in a plastic bag…/funkadelic relic 12″ single

john lennon, imagine

jefferson airplane, surrealistic pillow

joe jackson, will power

iron butterfly, in-a-godda-da-vida

human sexual response, figure 14

isaac hayes, the best of isaac hayes

isaac hayes, hot buttered soul

harlem bush music, taifa

grandmaster flash and the furious five, greatest messages

general public, all the rage

peter gabriel, in your eyes 12″

from beyond original motion picture soundtrack

exquisite corpses from the bunker complation (ikue more is the only name i recognize)

curve, cuckoo

chuck usa

sound forms for piano (john cage, others)

culture club, church of the poison mind 12″

david bowie, reissue of his davy jones stuff

kurtis blow, kingdom blow

blondie, eat to the beat

peter frampton, frampton comes alive!

dish, mabel sagittarius 10″

black dice, beaches and canyons

harry pussy, live fuck love songs

two uk garage records w/ various artists

pretenders, pretenders

african typic collection

trouble funk, saturday night live

go go crankin’, paint the white house black

want vinyl?

i just culled my 12″ collection and have about a yard of records that i need to get rid of.

if anyone who reads this is interested acquiring any more vinyl, let me know, and i’ll compile a list of what i’ve culled. far fetched, i know, but you never know.

teh feh.

what do you say when one of your oldest friends “up and moves to the west coast?”:

as it turns out, not much. i’m usually one to blab about every thing that passes through my mind, but i don’t much want to talk about this.

it finally rained here, today, which seems fitting.


in a last ditch effort to sell my BPAL chaos theory bottle, i bumped the price down to $5, which is a tiny fraction of what i paid for it.

i got a message from someone, _i don’t understand. you’re selling the whole bottle for $5?_

um, yes. it’s a powdery, heavy floral. no one wants it.

_can you describe which floral you’re smelling?_

man, all i know is that it hits every bad note that i hate except maybe vetiver and civet. maybe gardenia? jeez, i dunno.

there’s a stinky perfume lady on my hall at work. if i can’t sell it, maybe i should just slip it into her mailbox. she might like it.

funny the things that _are_ selling, though. Shill, which smells exactly like buttered popcorn. The Pumpkin Patch, which smells about like you’d expect. i guess people are ready for fall, now that summer has really started.


the cat is sleeping an awful lot today. i wonder if i accidentally overdosed him yesterday? i thought i did a fur shot (when you squirt the insulin on the fur because you thought you had the needle in, but didn’t), so i gave him a second dose.