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Forgot to mention.... [19 Feb 2018|01:45pm]
[ mood | restless ]

I forgot to mention that Thursday, the 15th, we had a little earthquake here. I was getting ready for work & had just shut everything off & picked up my bags for the day, when suddenly I felt & heard a lout rumble. For half a second, I thought the garage door was opening underneath me because it felt like it was right under my feet, & for another second or two I thought someone had equipment to dig up the road immediately outside my house. That's exactly what it sounded like, & felt like. It reminded me of when they were doing road work outside my work a couple summers ago. I peeked outside though, not expecting to see anything, & sure enough there was nothing. After about 8 or 9 seconds it stopped, & Eric & I were both like "wtf?"

We went outside immediately after, since we did both have to go to work, & all I could hear outside was dogs barking. It was really weird. I checked my phone while I waited for my car to warm up, & Twitter was flooded with reports of a "loud boom" in the area. (It did not sound like a boom, at least where I was) Within the hours, local news was talking about it & everything, & it was determined to be a 2.7.

So that was an interesting start to the day Thursday. I joked that I was curious what sort of omen that meant for the day. It ended up being an iffy day at work because a coworker let himself into the store while I was closed to use the bathroom, which caused all sorts of problems because I panicked thinking a customer was wandering freely alone in the store. On the plus side, even the boss was pretty pissed he did that, so I suppose I wasn't overreacting.

Anyway, not much more to say. It's a mild day today, it'll be warmer tomorrow, & it'll be the warmest yet on Wednesday. It snowed the night before last, so I spent yesterday shoveling about 7 inches of snow off of my car & from around my car. Within 3 days we'll go from 7 inches of snow to nearly 70. This is what I expect in March & look forward to, not February, but I don't mind so much right now. I get to go out in a t-shirt on Wednesday, which I am beyond excited about.

I suppose I shall wrap this up. I'm at work right now, so I should finish anyway.

Ta ta!

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David Powelson [17 Feb 2018|10:57pm]
[ mood | sad ]

I mentioned in the entry about Jack & the day's events that I had also learned today that Mr. Powelson had died. I had no idea, & it was another bummer. He was a really nice man. And he was tall. I remember that the most about him, as there aren't a lot of people that tower over me so much that I actually feel short.

As I was writing that entry, I thought to look him up on Google to see if I could learn when exactly he passed away. Not only did I find out that he died in September 2016, I also learned that he had died rather unexpectedly from an pulmonary embolism. That hurt to read. I'll copy & paste some of what his online obituary said:


"David E. Powelson, 59, passed away unexpectedly of a pulmonary embolism Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016. He was born on Sept. 24, 1956, to Richard and Alta Powelson in New Haven, Conn.
Dave loved spending time in the woods and canoeing around Sterling Pond in upstate New York.

Dave was very active in the community chairing the Zoning Board in Loudon. He was active in his church serving on the Diaconate board and currently as a Trustee.

He is predeceased by his parents, Alta and Richard and his sister, Virginia.

A memorial celebration of life will be held on his 60th birthday, Saturday, Sept. 24, at 11 a.m. at the Congregational Church in Pittsfield."


I feel awful that I'm only just now learning about this. This was sad to hear.

Anyway, I thought it was worth mentioning because I would've loved to have seen him again, & I never will.

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Jack Rice: Celebration of Life [17 Feb 2018|10:52pm]
[ mood | gloomy ]

This is going to be a very long & detailed entry. I don't want to risk forgetting details, as today was an important, yet sad day. I once used to write in this journal as if it were a diary, which was something I had considered doing again given my awful memory as of late. I shall do so today.

I woke up bright & early to book it to Fife's place. He & I both headed to Loudon to go to the church, the Sledding Church as we & so many others called it. When we arrived though, the roads were lined with cars. We drove around & around trying to find a stretch of road we could park on,  but there were so many people. Fife ended up dropping me off while he went to find a place to park. I briefly talked with a woman that Brian knew, who had accidentally gone to the wrong church by accident first. She told me "If I had known it was the Sledding Church, I would've known which one right away." I then told her about how years ago, when I was in Venturing, the Venturers & Scouts used to go to that church to sled. Jack included.

There was a long line to get in, & I knew it was going to be rough. I could see Mr. Rice by the door, & I could tell he was struggling to handle Jack's passing. He was so choked up, he couldn't talk. That alone made me tear up badly. Mr. Rice was once Troop 247's scout master, & someone I saw as a leader figure. To see him brought speechless by tears, it really got to me. Fife caught up with me in time before we got inside. When it was my turn to greet Mr. Rice, all he could do was hug me tight. I'm never good at words, & socially awkward at best, so all I could think to say & do was to hug him back tightly & tell him I was so sorry. Brian was also there, & I gave him a hug as well. It was good to see him, though I did admit that I badly wished it was under happier circumstances. Between the pair of them, I was nearly overcome with tears myself. I signed the guest book that was on a stand out in the foyer of the church before Fife & realized it was standing room only, & we would not even be able to get into the main church room.

We went to stand by the other door on the other side of the foyer, passing a pastor standing by a rope coming through the ceiling. There, I ran into Colby & Tabor, who I hadn't seen since the Venturing days. It was only then that I had learned that their father, David Powelson, had passed away about a year or so ago. (I just looked it up. He passed away September 17, 2016, from a pulmonary embolism.) This really bummed me out, & still bums me out, as he was really a nice guy & I liked him a lot. He was only 59. Soon after we took our spots standing near the door, Mr Rice & Brian came into the church & took their seats on the front row pews. The pastor, who had been standing by the rope, began to pull it to ring the church bell.

The pastor then moved to the front of the church, where he lit candles by the podium, & I could see pictures propped up on a chair, along with other items. I found out what they were at the reception after the services: A piston, a can of beer, I think a couple of tools, his favorite cap, his work boots (which really got to me the most), letters & cards, a book, & of course the empty chair. He began with prayer, & a song was sung by most of the attendees. I finally learned what had happened & what his cause of death was. The pastor told everyone that those who felt guilty for what had happened, should not feel guilty, & another prayer was said. He then went straight into it: Suicide. Jack had died by suicide. I was worried that this was the case, given the unexpected nature. I never thought drug overdose for a second. It would not have been like Jack, especially not when he had his little boy.

After the pastor was done speaking, he invited people up to share their memories, stories, & eulogies for Jack. Mr & Mrs Rice, John & Jan, they went first. This is where I almost entirely lost it crying again. Jan was struggling to speak, & John just couldn't. He tried, but kept getting choked up, & eventually he had to sit back down. He just couldn't talk anymore. Andy went next, & he used humor to be able to speak. Boy, Andy really has not changed over the years since I had seen him last. Heh, when he got up, he had a blue Solo cup & he said "Boy, this juice is f.... Good!" He told us funny stories about Jack, leading off with "If you knew Jack, you'll know that his life was not PG or even PG13 rated." He shared personal stories of Jack, both of their fights & of his kindness & fearlessness. Jack, who around the age of 17 or so, scrambled up a tree to cut someone free from a rope swing when their foot got caught & left their head submerged in water. Jack, who'd be there to help anyone day or night, even going all the way to Maryland to get Andrew once despite no sleep. He used jokes & humor to tell us about Jack, & it had us all laughing. Brian went up next, & immediately (jokingly) apologized for not being as entertaining. Brian had a tough time speaking as well, & got choked up at the end.

A few others spoke up as well, including a face I hadn't seen in years: Nora. Cullen was also there, & he spoke up as well. He shared how he had first met Jack, shared his memories from Scouting, & finished his eulogy with "Catch you on the flipside." Nora came up & mentioned Scouting, talking about how she'd help Jack when he'd have his moments where he was all over the place energy-wise or was angry. She told Mr & Mrs. Rice that Jack was the reason why she went into her career, where she teaches at a school for troubled students. She told them, "Jack really did have a huge impact on my life." The mother of Jack's son also spoke up as well, as well as Jack's I-think-girlfriend.

When everyone had shared their stories, met with both tears & laughter, more prayer was given, a final song, & the service concluded. I saw more faces I hadn't seen in years then as well. Jenna walked by, to which I briefly said hi & shook her hand. Mr. Higman was also there, someone I had forgotten entirely about, even though I was just trying to remember his son's names a few days ago. (Max & Ben, I think? I was also trying to remember Tom & his father's name, too. Mrs. Fife had to help me out with that: Oakley, & Mr. Schmidl) We briefly talked to Mrs. Powelson before we went into the main church room to try to see the photos, which had been moved to the reception. We spoke with Jan briefly.  I expressed my condolences once again. I also told her that because I hadn't seen Jack in person in years, I remembered him primarily from when he was younger. Little Jack. It's been years since I've seen him & person & he was a grown man, but he was always that energetic & creative kid. I spoke with Mr. Rice once more, & gave him one more hug. The last thing he said to me was "Thank you for being Jack's friend." Just thinking about him saying that to me, & that thought, it has me choked up right now. I really am glad that I knew Jack.

We went into the adjoining room where there was a potluck meal underway. I got some sort of meatballs with mushrooms in a gravy, a couple of Swedish meatballs, & mac & cheese from the crockpots. For dessert, I had a slice of lemon loaf/cake, & a brownie. I talked to Nora briefly. We talked about work, what we did for a living (and I felt a bit silly in comparison by my saying "Retail management" when I was asked what I was doing) Fife ran into other people he knew from Scouting, people that were along before I came along. A TJ, I think? I'm horrible with names. This was also where I saw the photos of Jack & the items, like his boots & his hat. There was a picture of John from 4th grade, & alongside it a picture of Jack from 4th grade, & they looked so much alike. There were so many photos, old & new, including a couple from our Scouting days. I suppose this is a good time to try to remind myself to find the pictures from Old Home Day 2006, when we had the bucking bull barrel ride, & he was dressed up funny. I wanted to get all of my pictures I had of Jack printed out to give to them, but work kept me busy enough that I didn't get a chance, so I really have to do that soon.

It was a very touching service, & several times it took all of my willpower to keep from bursting into tears. As it was, I teared up & started to cry several ties. Seeing Mr. Rice so broken like that.... It hurt. To think that out of the Rice trio of brothers, the youngest is now gone... It's heartbreaking. I still can't wrap my head around it. Venturing was during a better part of my life. I don't know if I'd say happier, as I was having my own struggles at the time, but it was certainly less worse than now. I cherish all of those memories I had with everyone & miss so much of it. I was happy to see some faces I hadn't seen in years, even if it was under these circumstances. (As Fife says, "You know what they say... Funerals & weddings.") Jack was an energetic spirit, & after seeing how many people gathered for him today, the lasting impact he left was far greater than I could've imagined. Rest in peace, Jack Rice.


I suppose I may as well write about the rest of the day, as some of it touched on nostalgia stemming back to those Venturing days.

We left after a little while, & walked down the back of the church driveway alongside a little farm to get to the car. I passed by some cows, which I was fascinated with. One of them kept staring at me. I also ran into an inquisitive goat as well, who came close enough to let me get a picture on my phone. When we left, Fife asked if I was in any rush to get back & I said no. We ended up going up onto Loudon Ridge Road, a place I haven't been in years. We stopped over at Windswept Maples, where the Moores have their farm. They were boiling maple syrup, so I smelled that wonderful maple smell in the air that I hadn't enjoyed since working at the Pearle's farm years & years ago. We got to step out back where they had the syrup boiling, which I hadn't seen since those days many years ago. It was wonderful & touched on nostalgia. I ended up buying a pink of their syrup, as well as some candies. One little bag of candy for me, & one to send to Karina, since I think it would be nice to send her something that is local to me. (I forgot her name, but Mrs. Moore, who was working in their store, I think she seemed happy to hear that someone in the UK was going to enjoy one of their products)

From there, we stopped over to Gilmanton Winery, which Fife told me was a really cool place I had to see. I also had never been to a winery before, so I was excited. When we arrived though, they were closed, also for a funeral. We then went along & ended up driving by the Pearle's farm. I had not seen that place in years & years, & I got hit with memories & nostalgia. I saw the white shed near the main building, & remembered the picnic table that was once behind it where we all sat. (And in fact, I have a group picture on that table) I remembered the fields, the building, & the view looking down from the ridge. It almost hurt to see because the nostalgia hit me so hard. We also kept driving along & drove by the place where I took one of my earlier photos, the white farmhouse on top of a (very) green hill. I hadn't seen that place in years either. We even went by the apple orchard where Ian, FIfe & I once sat & had ice cream, & the farm's black cat just jumped into the car & shared some of the ice cream with us. (I have those pictures somewhere, too. I've got to try to remember to find them!)

Fife ended up showing me a little store that specialized in meats from a local family. I ended up buying a 6 pack of Angry Orchard Rose, which I've never heard of before & was entirely new to me. Heh, it also makes me think of Dragon Ball Super, with Super Saiyan Rose. We then drove back up that way & back into Loudon before heading to Starbucks for coffee.

Jean met up with us there before returning back to the house. They had an appointment to go to, so I took the time to go see my parents for a short while. Once I was done there, I met back up with them to go eat at Moritomo's. Hibachi was booked due to large parties, so we ate at a table & ordered from the regular menu. I had beef teriyaki, which I had not eaten there in years & years. It was good. Fife also shared some of his tuna rolls with me, & this was all accompanied by a wonderful-tasting Zombie.

I got back home a little while ago, & it was starting to snow just before I got home. What a rather fitting end to the day, as the snow always seems to come in at the tail end of a tragedy. It was a very tough today. Very weird. So many memories. Lots of tears, though I think I'll have more on my end. It still hasn't really sunk in that Jack is gone. It starts to, & I think my brain is going "No, don't think about it. It didn't happen." Just a lot to think about. So much so, I was having a hard time focusing on driving home because I was so lost in thought.

That about sums up my day.

Again, rest in peace, Jack. :(

Also, I chose this song to listen to because it played in Stranger Things in the funeral scene for Will Byers. I listened to it earlier, thinking of the fact I was about to attend a funeral. When I was waiting in line to enter the church, it was playing over & over in my head. :\

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Other updates: DBS, Car in Space, Joel Taylor [13 Feb 2018|06:00pm]

I had originally thought of lumping this in with my other entry, but it didn't seem right to mash non-sense with something with Jack in mind. Not much has gone on lately, so there isn't much worth writing, but I thought it would be a good idea to write all this down. Someday I'll want to read back on all this, so here it goes.

Yesterday at 3:30, the official Dragon Ball Super Facebook page posted a photo of the voice actors gathered, as they had just wrapped up their final recording session. (Minus one. RIP Hiromi Tsuru, who voiced Bulma ever since the days of Dragon Ball. Over 31 years of voicing the same character...) I'll be sad when Dragon Ball Super is done for a while. I hear it's just a hiatus, & that there will be another movie, but it'll still be sad. Dragon Ball Super has been huge to me since October of 2016, when I finally really started to sit down & watch the Future Trunks arc. It's kind of funny. Here I am, 30 years sold, & I've loved DBZ since I was 11 or so when it was airing on Toonami back in Hawaii. I still love it, I'm still obsessed. I have my DVDs so I can watch the American broadcast audio, with the Falconer score I know & love from growing up. I have the DBZ Monopoly. I have a lunch box. I even have t-shirts & a DBZ Resurrection F poster I got. Yeah, I'll never outgrow this.

I guess that's all that I found noteworthy of writing about, as it means another big thing in my life coming to an end, & I am such a constant creature of habit that it'll throw me aimlessly when the final episode does air. Luckily the English episodes are very far behind, just starting at the Future Trunks arc, so there is that to hold me over for a while. Still.... No new episodes, & I got so used to the Japanese voices that the English dub is tough to listen to now. At least, the modern one anyway. The old episodes, it's what I remember. The new episodes.... Well, it's because I saw them with different voices first. Meh.

Oh! The Super Bowl happened on the 4th. I did not watch, & I still have yet to look up all the Super Bowl ads, but I did see the Tide ads. They all feature Dave Harbour from Stranger Things, so they are just sheer brilliance. He Tidejacked so many ads & would be like "Nope, it's a Tide ad." "Nope, Tide Ad. Tide." It was hysterical. Even my mother got a laugh from then when the tennis one aired. David Harbour is also off to Antartica right now. He's going to go dance with penguins! I badly can't wait to see it!

Back on January 30th, I see I shared an article about a woman who tried to bring an emotional support PEACOCK on an airplane. She was told no, but I couldn't stop laughing. Emotional support animals had been a big thing discussed lately, as all sorts of animals have made it on to flights. ABC World News had even talked about the legitimicy of those animals, as it's so easy to just get a certificate made for animals that aren't actually trained to be any sort of service animal. That's a whole 'nother can of worms though that I won't get into this time, but I thought it was noteworthy about the peacock

WAIT A SECOND, THERE IS MORE. We now have a Tesla car floating around in space! When I was at my mom's on Thursday last week, I caught a live stream of a rocket that had launched. I guess it was called the Falcon Heavy. (Hehe) What I didn't see was that the rocket boosters came back & 2 out of the 3 landed on landing pads. Then I saw the pictures of a guy sitting in a convertible with earth in the background. Turns out they put a dummy in the car, & put that into space. David Bowie's "Space Man" played until the battery died on the car, too. So yeah, within the last week, we got a car into orbit & it's absolutely magical haha.

I had to edit this part in, because somehow I forgot to mention the passing of storm chaser Joel Taylor. He passed away on January 23. He was only 38. I don't know how he passed away either, but he was off on a cruise with friends & family. Rumors went wild, but I can't be sure what actually happened. Reed Timmer made a post, as he was heartbroken. The two were best friends, as seen on the show Storm Chasers. Yet another one gone too soon. He is now with Tim Samaras.

Okay, that's it for updates. Figured I'd do that while I was here. Man, I'm still bumming about Jack though. I still can't believe he's gone. He was just so damn young. Too young.

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R.I.P. Jack Rice. [13 Feb 2018|05:58pm]
[ mood | sad ]

A subject title I never imagined I would write. Not for someone as young as Jack.

Yesterday when I was at work, I was skimming around Facebook. I was already in a crummy mood due to a stressful day at work, & I had hoped that mindless surfing on there would help distract me. I stumbled across a post that John Rice was tagged in by his wife, which was a shared status update that Andy wrote yesterday:

"It is with a heavy heart that I must inform everyone, that my brother and one of the best friends I've ever known, Jack Rice Sr, passed on last night. I will update details concerning services in the following days."

I had to reread this over & over to make sure I was reading it right. Little Jack, the youngest out of the 3 sons, has passed away. How, I don't know. It's still such a shock to me.

It's been years since I've seen Jack, or any of the Rice family really, but this still hurt to read once it finally sank through. I think because it's been so long since I've seen Jack, it hurts a little more. To me, he's still that hyper spazzy little kid I'd see running around at the Venturing meetings.

There's a gathering this Saturday, a celebration of his life, at the church. I plan on going, & Fife will be going with me. (Mrs. Fife has to work, & she had already swapped shifts to get today off for a doctor's appointment, so there's no way she can go) I know I'll see some faces I haven't seen in years & had quite honestly forgotten about, like any one of the Powelsons. (I did see one of their boys, Colby I think it was, in a DoT photo a year or two ago, but otherwise I had forgotten about them) I haven't seen any of these folks in years, but as I was telling Fife, it's just how life happened. We all got older, especially us younger folks, & life took us different places. I fell out of touch with a lot of people, not under poor circumstances like a couple of chapters of life ago, but just life moving us along.

I suppose the next time I update will be after the gathering on Saturday.

Farewell, Jack. You'll be missed. :(

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Raceway Park: R.I.P. [17 Jan 2018|04:14pm]

Last night, Eric & I were out & about when I read a troubling post on Facebook concerning Raceway Park down in Englishtown: It was closing, & there would be no 2018 race season. I forgot where I saw it posted first, if Dana or Jack had posted it or what, but it was reported on Bangshift's website. That site is pretty credible for stuff like this, so I was immediately alarmed.  I tried to tell myself that it was inaccurate though. Steve Bell was saying it was false, & NHRA still had the nationals posted. This morning, I learned that was not the case.

Raceway Park is closing down, at least for drag races. They will no longer host drag racing events. Just their showy stuff like monster truck races, mud races, etc. Drag racing is done at the track that was made famous for its drag racing. NHRA made a statement as well announcing the termination of the event, as the track will not even be hosting that. To say that I'm upset is an understatement. I hadn't been there in a few years, not since New England Dragway began hosting their own NHRA race.  The races were too close together. It just wasn't feasible to go to both, mostly because of money, but also because there was no way Eric & I could both get two weekends off in a row. This year's NED race was moved to July, & we were making plans to make our return to NJ for the Summernationals. Now it's no more.

I'm also sad because it means no more Polumbo's. No more Quaker Steak & Lube. Our usual go-tos after the races, especially with friends. That's a bummer. Those friends in question are also upset, even more undstandably so since they'd been racing there for decades. It's been a day of heartbreak for everyone in the racing community.

Other than that, nothing else is going on. My new coat I ordered didn't fit, so I'm still playing the waiting game for a proper winter jacket. I hope the new one I ordered will fit. I don't want to spend all winter trying to find out, especially because everyone is getting rid of their winter coats now. I could've used it for today because we had a snowstorm roll in today. Yesterday there was a big meteor that flew over Michigan that caused quite a stir, & some are even saying it resulted in a 2.0 earthquake. I just saw a few videos, & boy was that bright. It explains why someone was retweeting it on Twitter last night when everyone started tweeting about it.

Anyway, I'm gonna go. I've lost my motivation for writing, partly because I'm distracted by DBZ. I'm watching the episode where Cell blew himself up, which I don't think I've seen this since I was 13 or 14. The memories, they are strong today.

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Winter obsession [15 Jan 2018|03:10pm]

So part of the reason I got so hung up on summer was my DBZ show obsession, which became tied in with a daily routine that I followed so much that deviating threw off everything. Obviously with the weather in the winter, I can't follow the routine. Freezing rain or snow will keep me at home, & when it's as cold as it has been lately, that'll do the trick. Watching the Buu saga of DBZ though, that was a big thing. I got really into it. Paired with Dragon Ball Super airing on TV on Saturday nights at 8 on Toonami, plus the Japanese episodes that are current on Crunchyroll, I've really been sucked into this big time.

Well, I've learned what my winter time obsession is: Stranger Things. I can't get enough of it & I can't stop watching it. Eric is still in the process of playing Catch-Up, so I've been happily playing episodes for him. (We're about to start episode 3 of season two, so still some progress to go) Last night, Sunday, I did my usual post-Sunday-shift routine & got my coffee & food & came back to watch Netflix until Eric met up with me. I started off with Stranger Things, since I was a little preoccupied with a messy sub & could just listen when I'd look away to take a bite. When I was done, I put that on hold & watched Dragon Ball Super, since I fell a couple of episodes behind. (Big development!) Then I backtracked to Stranger Things, at least after a moment of indecisiveness. I just can't stop watching it!

So yeah, that's my seasonal obsession. That should get me through the winter. I wonder if I'll be reverting back to exactly what I did last spring/summer though? Once March rolls around, things look up. When I hear the peepers, things definitely look up. April is pretty much the start of it all. I remember warmer weather & green last April, & the sun angle too. I can't wait for that.

I was going to write more, but I'm having a hard time typing because my hands are a bit cold. The water is like liquid ice here, I don't know how it doesn't freeze in the pipes. It's so cold, it hurts. I'll try to add more tomorrow, since I have the day off. Hopefully Eric does too. Just waiting to see about this snow. Speaking of which, I keep forgetting to mention that these snowstorms are now named, which seems silly to me. This storm coming? "Inga." I forget when they started doing that. 2015 had Juno, which was the one that buried us & gave us my first-ever adult snow day. (Yes, we actually closed! I got a call saying to stay home!)

Gotta go. Customers. Yay

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4:48 pm [13 Jan 2018|04:48pm]

And it's still a little light out. It's not totally dark in my room!

Sorry for spamming the hell out of this today. I want to make these notes so in the future, like next winter, I can read back on this for a glimpse of hope.

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It's 4:18 pm... [13 Jan 2018|04:19pm]
[ mood | excited ]

And there is a little bit of sunlight still shining in my window! I can see sunset light on the trees outside!

MUCH EXCITE! It was totally dark at this time a few weeks ago.

We're getting better!

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First entry of 2018 [13 Jan 2018|03:57pm]
[ mood | okay ]

First post! Hehe.

Okay, so 2018 is now underway. We're already halfway through the first month of the year already! The longing I've had for summer has been intense lately, so I'm really hoping that the rest of January & February move along just as quickly. March is the home stretch, & then when April rolls along I think things will start to feel a little better for me. I have noticed already that it's getting darker just a little later now, so I can already see signs of improvement. Very minor, but it's a start!

So how has the first two weeks of 2018 been? Mostly cold. Very cold. Right after Christmas the temperature plummuted, with temperatures staying in the -10 to 10 degree range, for lows & high temperatures. It warmed up slightly for a good foot of light, powdery snow on Thursday the 4th, which I was beyond lucky to have off from work. I was able to spend my day shoveling at home & doing productive things here, so I was in good shape the next day for leaving for work. (Usually I have to work & either I can't get out, or more often than not, I can't get in. Even 6 inches of snow is problematic for this very reason. The temperature went right back down again, & boy did it get cold. Well below zero, with the day getting to about 5 degrees over the weekend last weekend.

This finally motivated me to FINALLY get around to replacing the Columbia jacket I used to have, the one that used to be Ian's. I'm not sure where that went over the years, but it needed to be repaired & cleaned anyway. As Kylo Ren said, "Let the past die." It may be a movie line, but it's one that's gotten stuck in my head since I can't let the past go. I did have that coat in high school, but that's a very different part of my life that's long gone. We're talking a few chapters back now. It's probably time I let go of that & finally move on. Of course, because Ian gave me that coat & then I used the sweatshirt & donated camo coat for the last 5 years, this was my very first time ever buying a real winter coat. It's a Columbia jacket though, so I gave a nod to that previous coat I had that did so well, so we'll see how it does. My main concern is the fit, since I've not been able to go anywhere to see if the coat I wanted is even sold in stores. Fingers crossed! It looks a little bit like what I saw everyone wearing on TV on New Year's Eve while standing in Times Square, which was a balmy 10 degrees that night. More on that shortly though!

Of course, I joked that once I ordered my coat the temperatures would probably jump considerably. Boy did I call it. The last two days have been 50+ degrees, with yesterday hovering around 60 all day & for most of the night. It's amazing, we went from a high temperature of 5 last week Saturday, the 6th, & within a week it jumped to 60. (The low temperature was in the 40s for Thursday night into yesterday) It did a number on the snow, & so much of it has melted. I can finally see grass again, as the front yard has almost entirely melted. Today it finally came to an end though. It was almost 60 overnight, & I think it was still in the 50s around 8 or 9 this morning. By the time I left around 1 to go do a couple of errands though, it had dropped to 30, so I had to layer up a bit.

Back-tracking to New Year's Eve, & leading up to it really.... Saturday the 30th, Mohawk & his girlfriend Robyn came up to stay the night so we could hang out Sunday. They met me at my work when I closed, & we went to Mr. Mike's for a late bite. (I hadn't eaten, as I had accidentally dropped my macaroni & cheese on the floor, so I really wanted to go get something) When we met back up at my work to get both vehicles, I had a bit of fun with a bottle of bubbles I had sitting around for some time. I remembered seeing people blow bubbles when it was below zero & seeing cool things happen, but I had never remembered to do it until then. So i stood outside blowing bubbles while it was -4 outside. I learned that they don't float around in the air long because it's too cold, & I also learned that it's really hard to catch one on your wand because they pop so easily in the cold, but I managed to do it a few times & watched as it crystalized over. It was spectacular! I had so much fun doing it, but I didn't have any gloves on, so after about 10 minutes I had to stop because my hands were really starting to hurt. By the time we got back to my place, my hands felt better, so I did it a couple more times with better lighting before heading inside. About 10 minutes after we got to the house, the power went out. A transformer a town away went, so we had no power for a while. I hadn't had a chance to warm up my room, so I grabbed my blanket & a pillow & was about ready to sleep on the living room floor where they were sleeping. I had Eric get some batteries for my LED lantern so we could have some light, & I had most of my flameless candles going. If it wasn't so damn cold, it would've been really nice. It was so quiet! The power did come back on a couple of hours later though, so I got my room warmed up really fast & finally got some sleep.

The next day, we were going to go to Front Row for chow. We took my car so we could all fit, & since it didn't make sense to follow each other around in two cards, but when we got up there, we saw they were closed until Wednesday for the New Year holiday, so we went to plan B: Beach Plum. I was planning on going to Scott's that night for New Year's Eve, but I hadn't heard from him & was told he wasn't feeling well, so I wasn't sure I was going to go out after all. I ended up deciding to splurge on dinner because of that & I got a huge lobster roll AND the chunky lobster bisque, & an Angry Orchard because fuck it why not. I spent $41 just on myself,  so I got a free pint of ice cream. It was so cold outside that I could bring the ice cream home finally, so I got Maine Black Bear to bring back. We got back to the house, & Mike & Robyn headed out to hit up a music store near Eric. I didn't really feel like driving over there & back again, so I decided to chill at home, especially since no one was home. I just listened to music for a while before I was picked up by Ryan to go to Scott's. (Despite him feeling under the weather, they were still expecting company anyway, so Ryan came down to pick me up)

When I got there, I didn't know any of their guests, so I was kind of hiding away in the corner with my cup of alcohol. Once I had a few drinks though, I finally felt more social & up to talking with everyone. We had some snacks to snack on, like potato chips & stuff, & drinks were a-plenty. I tried a drink that this kid Zach made, which had orange juice in it for some color. I just had to check a message I texted to a friend to remember what was in it: Gin, triple sec, vodka, southern comfort, DisAranno, & some sort of brandy. It was a hodge-podge drink, & holy christ was it strong, but it was tasty! Things got goofier as the night went on of course. Eric arrived around 11:30, & that's when I realized how close it was to midnight. I ended up grabbing everyone's attention when I saw the TV broadcast say 11:58, meanwhile thinking about the last time I made a big deal about two minutes to midnight. (Neil's apartment years ago, when we played that song at 2 minutes to midnight & Dylan was shouting "We're all gonna shotgun a beer at midnight! Shot-gunning at midnight!") Shortly after that, Eric & Scott headed to one of the stores nearby for Eric to collect paperwork & write an order. Everyone else started to crap out then, & some hilarity happened when trying to get some air mattresses going. Eventually Eric got back & we went back home.

Other than all that, not much to report so far. The snowstorm on the 4th caused the Cult Classics screening to be rescheduled, so it was shown last night. I braved the downpours & the intense fog to go see it, & it was good. (Leon, or Leon: The Professional as it's also know, depending on which cut you see) Eric & I did recently see Star Wars: The Last Jedi again, though an earlier showing still did nothing to help Eric stay awake for the entire thing. He falls asleep at everything! I may have finally started to let go of the Dragon Ball Z obsession I had though, at least a little bit. I've become addicted to a new show: Stranger Things. I just bought the soundtracks, so I've been listening to that. Of course, when the warmer months come, I want to backtrack to what I did last year. (Still hard to wrap my head around the fact that all that was now "last year" already. Yikes!) I've been loving the soundtracks though. That 80's synth! The only reason I'm not watching it right now is because I'm still in the process of catching Eric up with what he missed. He's finally seen Season 1 from start to finish, so now it's on to Season 2. His work schedule makes it tricky though, so we can only watch an episode or so each night, & that's at midnight or later as well.

Anyway, I suppose that's about it. I'm still excited that the snow melted, so I can FINALLY see out my skylight windows. It's so nice having light come in through those windows again. Here we are now, 3:54 pm, & I can still see outside & it's still pretty bright. Just a few weeks ago, it was nearly dark at this point. We're getting better! I know the time change in March will help significantly, too. I guess that's when daylight saving's time starts? Whatever it is, I like that, even if we do lose an hour that first night. (Which I ALWAYS end up working that Sunday, so I'm always the S-O-B that loses an hour of sleep) Anyway, time to go! I wanna enjoy the daylight!

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Recap addition, take 3! [30 Dec 2017|10:26am]

Yet again, I knew I forgot something! I need to stop doing this shit when I'm at work!

Related to yesterday about the hurricanes, I guess yesterday was 100 days since Maria hit Puerto Rico, & half of PR does not have power still. Like I said, it's bad there. :(

I mentioned Bill Paxton's passing in my original entry, but somehow I forgot others. Chester Bennington was the big one. Linkin Park was so huge to me in high school that it was a blow when he passed. Wayne Static has already passed away, & Static-X was the biggest thing for me in high school, so to lose two out of the three now within 12 years of graduation is painful. (Korn is the last of the three, & I am so happy I saw them last summer with Rick. Their set was perfect, with all but two songs being songs I knew in high school) I don't know how I forgot that one, but that was a big loss to me.

Kenny Kendra. She was the other loss. She was no celebrity. She was an amazing soul with a fondness of cats that could not be measured. She was a successful business person, owning & running her own food truck on Long Beach. Carrie rented her apartment bedroom from her. I've stayed at that apartment & seen Kendra's things, & even got to meet Kendra's cats Legion & Squirrel. She passed away on November 12th. I was here at work when I found out, & it felt like I got punched in the stomach. (And of course, being at work, a customer walked in seconds after confirming it. He kept looking at me funny because it was taking all I had to not start crying right in front of him) I also was worried about her cats. The ones in New York. Her Stinky Luna cat. The strays she took care of, who will have no idea what happened & probably wondered where she's gone. :( Kendra was taken from us by a stroke, so her friends had collected donations to the American Heart Association in her memory. I'm the asshole though, I haven't done that. I should do that, & soon.

Her cat Squirrel just passed away, too, just a week & a half ago. She was 24 years old. I can only hope that her & Kendra are reunited somewhere.

Anyway, that's about all I wish to add. I'm getting really bummed out with this entry. I'll try to do something positive the next time I write, which is likely going to be next year. You know, in two days haha. Going to Scott's for the new year, so I'll finally be spending a New Years with friends instead of being a hermit.


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Nearly forgot! [29 Dec 2017|04:03pm]

I knew I forgot something in my 2017 in Review!

Hurricanes. It was a bad year for hurricanes, starting with Harvey in August. THe video I saw on The Weather Channel & the news was mind-boggling. Harvey came in as a Category 4 in Texas, and then it stalled out. It rained & rained & rained non-stop, & the flooding was awful. i was watching it live on The Weather Channel at work, watching as people were plucked from their roofs, & others being helped out of their homes on inflatable rafts as their rescuers walked in waist-deep water while they floated them along to a vehicle to evacuate them. (I think particularly of a man in his 90's they helped out of his home)

Of course, gas was below $2.30/gallon around here before Harvey & it spiked afterwards, & the gas never did come back down that low. It's getting close now, but it's taken a while.

Irma was another big storm, this one barreling up Florida. My mother's friend Renee was evacuated, though she lucked out & the storm shifted track slightly, so her home was spared. The Keys got nailed though.

Maria was yet another one. That one kicked the shit out of Puerto Rico, & by "kicked the shit out of," I mean it absolutely destroyed it. They got it the worst. :(

Of course, we had the wildfires in California as well. October was a bad month, with the Napa vineyards being threatened (and some destroyed) back then. This month, we had more much closer to LA, including one that took the record for the largest fire in California's history.

That's about it. Wanted to make a note. I'm at work so this was rotten timing on my part, but I wanted to make mention before I forgot!

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2017, a recap [28 Dec 2017|06:44pm]

Okay, here gues the tough task of trying to remember shit about my year & just doing a recap. In short, it was mostly an uneventful year, & like I said previously, a lot of it went speeding on by thanks to my daily routine, a routine I still try to mimick. Of course, it getting dark early, snow, & the cold certainly ruin the feeling since I'm so hung up on the summer months, but it's continued to make the weeks fly by.

The year started off rather uneventful. Typical winter stuff, nothing out of the ordinary or exciting. Perhaps the first noteworthy thing from 2017 that I can recall is the passing of Bill Paxton. We lost several celebrities in the last year or so, with a year ago yesterday marking one year exactly since Carrie Fisher passed away. (Something I thought about when I saw Star Wars: The Last Jedi a couple weeks ago. Her final role...) I woke up that February morning, February 26th to be exact, & the first thing I did was grab my phone. Immediately the first post I saw was from Daniel C., & it was a RIP post.... For Bill Paxton. I couldn't believe it! I scrolled further & saw more posts, & I was in shock. Celebrity deaths don't usually have me in shock or really upset, but this one did. Eric was off work that day, so when he came back in the room, I turned on the TV. He wondered why I was so upset, so I told him to wait, & sure enough there it was on the news. I'm still sad about it. He was a childhood favorite star due to his role in Twister, which was my all-time childhood favorite movie. (And of course, other movies like Aliens) So tthat was pretty sad. Even the storm chasers gave him a tribute, manually setting their GPS positions to spell out his initials, with Wakita OK being right in the middle.

I attended most of the Cult Classics screenings this year, missing only ET & (unfortunately) Highlander. March's double-feature was amazing, with Evil Dead 2 & Army of Darkness. Seeing those on the big screen was awesome, & even Daniel C made the haul from Maine to see this one. I figure this was note-worthy, considering the fact that 2018's CC line-up doesn't feature any favorite movies of mine.

The next memorable event was my annual trip to New York. April 14th fell on a Friday this year, so I stayed Friday, Saturday, & left Sunday, which was actually Easter Sunday. This time though, I didn't get to stay with Carrie, so there was a moment of panic. I ended up staying with Bonnie, who got a hotel room right in Brooklyn, so it worked out nicely. (Staying with Aaron was my back-up plan, but luckily that wasn't necessary) We met up with her friend Laura, & we went out to a few places before hitting up Duff's. I introduced them to Barboncino pizza, we went to C'entanni for more drinks, & we probably made some Uber drivers wish they hadn't picked us up with our bizarre conversations. Bonnie & I spent the next day wandering around & hitting up more places, including Prospect Park & Black Swan. We hit up a place called Alligator Lounge, where you get free personal pizzas with every drink, so I had a few margaritas & a couple mini pizzas. The next day, Bonnie had to leave early, so I was on my own. I took an Uber back into the city, went to Olio E Piu for lunch, & wandered around by myself. This allowed me to do some of the touristy things that I had yet to do, so I walked to the Empire State Building & finally did something I had wanted to do since I was a kid: I went to the top! I paid the extra to go to the Observatory up as high as the public can go, not just the outdoor level, & it was worth every penny. I took a sight-seeing tour bus after, set foot into Times Square for the first time in years, & eventually made it home. It was a memorable trip because of the Easter Sunday exploration & sight-seeing.

June was the national NHRA event. What made it even better was the fact that for the second time in a 3 year span, I won free tickets yet again courtesy of a TV station online contest. I couldn't believe I had won, yet again! Mohawk also came up that weekend, & since he works for Napa, he got us hooked up with VIP passes for the hospitality tent. So that was pretty cool.

June also saw another spectacular event: Rammstein. That was June 25th, the same night that Megadeth played in Boston, & that was the first time I had missed Megadeth in my area ever since I first started to see them. I was supposed to go down with Shrek, but he bailed less than a week before the show. This was a problem because the show was down on Long Island, so I couldn't easily find someone else to go with. Ultimately I went with smeone that Eric knew named Ven. It was really awkward because I didn't know this person at all until he picked me up at South Station, said "Hey, I'm Ven," & off we went in his Mini Cooper. His driving terrified me since he drove so fast, but we made it to the show with a little time left to tailgate with Steve B. before lining up. Rammstein was awesome, & the venue was set out right over the water. This was my first time seeing them outdoors, so I got treated to some of the pyrotechnics I could never see when indoors. That was certainly a spectacular show.

July didn't go by without its own noteworthy events. Besides the Lucas Oil event that we always hit up, I finally turned another negative around that stemmed from the disaster of a year 2012 was. My car, though a good car, had enough ass-aches that I finally decided to get a new car instead of paying hundreds in repairs on it. It left me stranded at a gas station last year once, & then at the start of this year it had to get towed again from work when it wouldn't start. (And then go figure, it started when Sullivan Tire tried to fire it up. I tried over & over the night before, & when I got to work the next day it still didn't start, so I have no idea what happened) It was starting to show the same signs it had before it left me stranded at that Shell station last year, so I started peeking around for a new car. At first, I didn't really think I'd get a new one, as I've window-shopped for ages. Kyle got a new car this year though, getting rid of his Stratus for a 2014 Crosstrek. He got that in February I think, & that's when I started window-shopping. I spent forever looking, & it wasn't until the start of July that I finallly found the winner. I had just missed out on a car at a dealership just 10 minutes away from me that looked mint, & my dad sent me a text showing me one near him & had already arranged for me to come up & see it. By the time the day was done, we had started to make the arrangements & had a trade-in worked out for my car, & we were going to finalize everything the following week. (It was a Cult Classics night, so I fibbed a bit & said I had a prior commitment that I had to go to, & my work schedule didn't allow me to make it back until after the weekend) After the weekend, I finally owned a 2014 version of my car, which I had wanted one ever since they released that body style in 2013.

It's been a good car, & it's the first time in years I've had working AC, something I spoiled myself rotten with for the rest of the summer. It's the 2LTZ as well, so it's got even more bells & whistles than I could've imagined. Not only do I have AC, but I have a rear view camera, something that will make sure I don't back into a snow bank again. I've got the sensors as well for blind spots & rear cross traffic as well, so it's a safe car.

August was mostly uneventful. We had the Jet Car event, but the rain cut it short. I spent a lot of it sitting in my car, with Mohawk parked right next to me so we just texted each other back & forth. (And boy was I happy for AC!) The Shockwave truck did a flashy fire show afterwards for those who had stuck out the event, but that was it. I was sad that the rain wrecked it, but oh well. That's how it goes. That was the last time I saw Bruce this year, too. He got himself a new girlfriend, & he's been off the grid since, at least to us. I was surprised he stuck around as long as he did at the jet car show, but oh well.

Probably the biggest event of the year was the solar eclipse on August 21. Of course we weren't in the path of totality, but I did see about 60% coverage! All my plans for a place to go watch fell through though, so I ended up sitting in my work parking lot to watch. It was neat to see! I lucked out & got my glasses a couple months prior, so I wasn't one of the many scrambling to find some glasses immediately before. (I probably could've made a profit if I had realized how hard they'd be to find!) I still have some of the TV footage on my DVR saved, as some places got a really amazing view of it. I'm jealous of those who got to see it in Jacksonhole, WY. What a view!! There's also a video of Ozzy Osbourne playing Bark at the Moon live in concert just as the eclipse happened, so that was really neat to see! I guess this was the first time in 99 years that a total solar eclipse passed over the country, from coast to coast, so that was even more special. The next one is in April of 2024 I think I read, & we'll actually be in the path of totality, so I look forward to that one.

September was when I finally left my 20s behind me. I'm now 30. This is something that distressed me ever since, particularly since I don't feel like I'm 30. I still act & feel the same way I did in my 20's, with many of my interests being the same for years. I guess I'll never outgrow the World of Warcraft or anime. Hell, I'm sitting here watching the Cell saga in DBZ, & I'm floored that we're currently getting a new Dragon Ball series right now. Heh, I've been into this stuff ever since I was 11 or 12. Some things never change, huh? It just feels weird thinking the same way, liking the same things, & acting the same going into my 30s. I'm finding an increasing number of white hairs in my hair, which also has stressed me out, & it just makes things seem more weird. I see the white hairs, but I'm wearing the same pants & wearing Dragon Ball Z shirts, attire that might be more appropriate for someone younger than I.

September is also when I finally saw Megadeth again. Despite the Boston date they played in June, they announced another date & played at the Casino Ball Room..... The same place I saw them 10 years prior, also in September, back in 2007. (It's like it's come around full circle) I remember it was super foggy that day, & rather cool for a mid-September day. The end of September was the Deerfield Fair, something I always hit up. That was a nice way to end the season, though it wasn't the end of the warm weather.

October & November weren't too eventful. October did spoil me rotten with warmer weather though. The sun started going down earlier & earlier, but even as late as October 24th, we were still enjoying 70+ degree weather. It was nice to drive around & see the foliage while still dressed in a short-sleeved shirt. Early October also had the news of AIM finally shutting down. Though I haven't used it in a long time, it was still sad to hear, as I had many fond memories in high school of AIM & away messages & everything else. (Especially when my dad accidentally cut down a tree the wrong way & it fell on the pool! I think I was talking to Scotty when that happened, & when it fell down, I darted back inside to put up an away message explaining that a tree fell on our pool) Dustin & Desiree also had their Halloween party, so I went up there for that. I drank way too much though & called it a night early. Somehow I managed to not fall into the creek, & when I was absolutely hammered, I found it super easy to cross the foot bridge. The only other noteworthy thing about November is that I finally watched Stranger Things, & found that I really like that show a lot. I still have yet to finish season 2 though, since I had hoped that Eric could join me.

This last month, well, nothing super exciting has happened other than Christmas. I'm just impatiently waiting for summer to return, though I don't think it'll be like this just-passed one. The tree outside my window is gone, I'll be a year older, & who knows what will be going on then? I would not mind repeating my routine just like last year, but whatever happens, I'll be super glad to see it get dark after 8:30 again. New England Dragway moved the National event to the 4th of July weekend, so that will also be different, & it may be difficult to get the time off from work for it. July is also a very hot month, whereas June stands a better chance of being more comfortable, so hopefully I won't roast to death that weekend. (Though this year it was quite cool, & at one point I was using my rain poncho as a wind-block)

I guess that's about it for 2017's highlights. I don't have much else to say really. I just want it to be summer again, & I hate this cold! Haha. Anyway, time to go. World of Warcraft time for me!

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Christmas, a recap [28 Dec 2017|04:31pm]
[ mood | dorky ]

I very much want to summarize how my Christmas went, but as usual, my brain is all over the place. I suppose the hard part to wrap my head around is the fact that 2017 will end in a few days. I'll come back to that in a separate entry though, because that's a ramble all in itself. In the meantime, I'm trying hard to replicate my 2017 routine by watchign Dragon Ball Z, though I've backtracked to the Android/Cell saga since it's winter & things are different now. I don't think I've watched these since Hawaii, or maybe shortly after I moved here! There's so many details I've forgotten due to years of not seeing this. It makes me want to backtrack even further & go back to Namek, as I know for a fact I have not seen those episodes since Hawaii.

So Christmas was alright. I worked Christmas Eve after trading with Dave, which he took the day after Christmas for me. I've gotta say that worked out wonderfully in the end, because a snowstorm came in overnight Christmas Eve into Christmas morning. I worked til close on Christmas Eve, which of course because our Sunday hours are 8 pm I got cheated out of our ONE night a year we get to close early. (Boo!) Afterwards, Scott & Erin met up with me & we dropped my car off before heading back to my work to meet Eric, & we headed down to Saugus for our annual tradition of Kowloon. We got the corner seat we once sat in with Tamara, since we needed more room due to the immense amount of food that we ordered. Drinks were had by most of us, & Scott & Erin both got souvenir cups for their drinks. Erin got a Tiki-style cup, & Scott got a painted tall cup of some sort that had Kowloon on the side. After I had a couple, I decided to get one as well & went for the same Tiki cup that Erin got. (It's since been washed & is now at home in my cabinet) We stayed there until 11:30 or so before we headed back to the store. By the time we left there, it was starting to snow, & had quickly coated everything.

Christmas morning, well, it was snowy. I woke up around 10 & it was coming down really good. By noontime though, it had ended & the sun came out. No one came by to plow until 7:30 or so that night, so Eric & I ended up eventually shoveling around for a while. I had already nixed plans with my family for Christmas Day because of the snowstorm, figuring that Kyle would have work until later in the afternoon, so I ended up having to have Christmas dinner with Eric & his mother & her guests. She made roast beef, which was okay, & Eric & I got stuck socializing much longer than I wanted to. By the time we had made it upstairs, I was very much over-socialed & was ready to go to bed.

The day after Christmas, Eric & I got to go to my folks' place, though it took us a while to get there because of course Eric's work responsibilities. When we got there, my dad had gotten Pizza Hut & winng from Buffalo Wild Wings for us to eat, which was good. We played our card games for a while, but Kyle had to be at work for 5 am, so eventually we just started to open things. He got a couple new things for his apartment, I got some kitchen things including some pretty bowls & mugs,  & Eric got snacks & socks. My dad liked the GTO clock I gave him. Rich did a good job with that one. I finally got that new iPod I've wanted for years, so I can finally replace the one from 2011 that I got. (That one still works, but because I've used it nearly daily, the battery doesn't hold quite as long anymore. The storage capacity also became full so I couldn't add more, so going from 32GB to 128GB was nice)

All in all, it wasn't a bad Christmas. I did not want to spend actual Christmas Day with his mother, but it worked out because Eric was able to come with me to see my parents, who were happy to see him.

Hmm, I thought I'd have more to say on this, but I guess not. I am pretty excited about the bowls & mugs I got. They're those Temp-Tations ones my mother has been buying, which look really nice & are actually oven-safe. The soup & sandwich bowl/plate looks really nice, so I plan on making tomato soup & grilled cheese later on to use those. She got these pretty white & metallic silver mugs as well with snowflakes on them as well, & they are the PERFECT hot cocoa mug, something I've been looking for ever since I saw Jessica's Nightmare Before Christmas Disney mug. It's the right size & shape, & it looks so darn pretty!

Anyway, I guess I should work on my 2017 recap. I'll post that one separately

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Busy day! [22 Dec 2017|12:08am]
[ mood | cold ]

Sometimes I hate the fact that my job only has one employee on at a time. Actually, "sometimes" is an understatement. I ALWAYS hate it. Today was certainly a glorified example of this. Honestly, one employee to run the store AND put out a shipment just 4 days before Christmas? Worse yet, today is only one of two storm-free days we'll have before Christmas Eve, & Christmas Eve day is the other one. (Which of course I'm working as well) Even the local news was talking to shoppers at one of the big malls today, & a lot of people had apparently decided to go shop today so they wouldn't be driving in ice or snow.

Of course, here I am, the stupid schmuck who has to work 12 hours tomorrow as well, & will have no time to do any errands before the big ice storm on Saturday morning. I want to get some food for home to eat on Saturday at least, but I'm not going to have time. I'm not quite sure how to do that. Grr, if only I had a coworker or got a lunch break. If I had an hour lunch, I could get my shopping done, get it home, & get back to work. Grr.

Today was just super frustrating. It took me hours & hours to get that shit done because it was non-stop customers. My legs & feet ache, so I'm going to blow off sleep in favor of a hot shower tonight, which further kills my odds of making it to the grocery store tomorrow. Hopefully I can make it for my morning coffee at least. I just have no idea what the snow is going to be like at that time in the morning.

Anyway, time to go. Meggy Moo is texting me, & I should really try to do productive things like take that hot shower. I hate this about winter. I don't like to move because it's too cold

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The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - 15 Years. [18 Dec 2017|04:59pm]
[ mood | tired ]

So the Lord of the Rings Trilogy page on Facebook shared Orlando Bloom's post about The Two Towers, garnished with a picture of Legolas & all. Today is the 15 year anniversary of the US theatrical debut of The Two Towers.

I'm mentally cringing, because I was just a wee little high school lass then. God, I was just 15 years old! I find this interesting because I was just telling Mark earlier about how I had seen the Hobbit trilogy in theaters a couple of years ago, & I had been determined to catch it thanks to missing the Lord of the Rings trilogy back in high school. Cause ya know, mom & dad would never let me skip school for a movie, or pay for a movie. Anyway, that came as a surprise to me. I think it was just last year that the 15th anniversary for The Fellowship of the Ring as well, & I was cringing then as well.

You know what this means? Means I'm watching The Two Towers tonight, which I'm sure Eric will be so thrilled about. If only I had a digital copy of it so I could just put it on here at work. Google Play gave users The Fellowship of the Ring for free a few years back for Christmas. I would've loved a repeat of this with the following two movies. I wonder if they ever released more free movies like that?

Speaking of movies, I did a thing on Thursday night after work. I hit up a 12:30 am IMAX screening of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. I was pretty excited, but holy crap. That movie blew my mind! It was so much fun, & it was worth staying up all day & night for, though poor Eric kept snoring during the first part of the movie because he was exhausted. The later half of it finally kept him awake, especially the holy shit moments. Literally, holy shit. Something epic had happened in the movie, & there was a few seconds of silence both in the movie & from the audience. One guy said out loud "Holy shit!" & the audience burst into laughter. I forgot how much fun midnight releases can be! Then again, I think this may have only been my second or third one, with the first one having been Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. (I did catch a late night Memorial Day screening of the latest PotC movie this year though, for Dead Men Tell No Tales! That movie was enjoyable)

That's about all I think I have time to write for now. I'm at work yet again, so I'll see if i can remember or motivate myself to come back to this. I just had to mention the Lord of the Rings thing, because holy fuck 15 years already. I feel old!

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Furthermore. [14 Dec 2017|06:05pm]

Might I also add that the fact that it's dark so early certainly messes with my perception of time. I'm at work right now, it's been dark for a couple of hours, & it feels so darn late! When I'm doing my usual routine on my days off, if I'm not really moving along with my day's tasks until 2 or 3, the day feels like it's ending before it's barely started. By the time 10 pm rolls around even at home, it feels like I've been up all night.

Ugh, can it just be summer again already? I'd like it to be light later, especially for Sundays. Getting out of work with daylight left in the day certainly does wonders for my sanity.

That's all!

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2017: Summer routine, sorely missed [14 Dec 2017|03:58pm]
[ mood | pensive ]

If anyone is bothering to read this, here’s a warning that this entry is just me pouring the thoughts in my head out onto text somewhere & is a really long ramble. It’s been rotating in my mind non-stop, so I’m going to see if just getting it out somewhere helps.

I miss the summer. I miss the summer so darn much. Everyone is spending this time recalling the ups & downs of 2017, & whether they had a good year or not, & it’s got me thinking about how I miss this year already.

If I were to sit down & put a label of Good or Bad on my year, I would deem it Good. Yes, there were negatives, particularly with Kendra’s death, but for once the good outweighed the bad. I was able to see Rammstein, I turned a big negative from 5 years ago around & finally got a much newer car, which I can’t even begin to explain how much it was needed & helped improve the year. I went to New York again & made new friends, etc. I even got to go to the top of the Empire State Building this year.

I think what really made this year though was the summer. One aspect I mentioned was the turning the bad into good from 5 years ago. Well, I finally got a much newer car. My car I got after the accident was having too many problems, which I suspect was from my neglect when Eric & I lived at the motel & I was putting every penny into rent instead of repairs or bills. My fault entirely, but it was costing me way too much, & I even got stranded at a gas station last year. This year, my car started showing those same signs that lead up to my car’s crapping out, so I decided that maybe it was finally time to bite the bullet & get something much newer. I got a 2014 model of my car, & boy oh boy am I happy with it. One of the biggest perks to the new car? I finally had a working car AC for the first time since 2012. I used that so much this summer with my daily errands. Running into town on a hot day didn’t become a sweat-fest, & I no longer had to shower or change after just going to get milk, & I think I actually got out way more this summer because I could finally keep cool. (Not to mention I could finally stop worrying about my frozen & dairy products in the car. My milk would sweat so much just coming back home, the plastic bag would be full of water)

I had a routine in the summer that included the daily errands into town, & this is why I enjoyed the summer so much… And why it seemed to come & go far too quickly. I’m a happy camper with routine, & when it warmed up, I fell into a very serious routine that most would likely consider boring, mundane, and/or repetitive.

It started back in April, when the weather finally started to warm up & stay warm, & the days were getting longer still. The peepers could be heard at night, which was always a positive & exciting sign, & the tree outside my window had those pretty pink flowers come out. I’m not sure what led to it, but I decided to go & watch a saga in Dragon Ball Z I had missed when I was in high school: The Majin Buu saga. I don’t know why I never watched it, particularly since I had my VCR that served me so well during the Namek & Android/Cell sagas, but I missed it. So I decided to spend time on my days off watching it. This ended up running all summer long, & I molded a routine around it. It was always the same on my days off: Go into town, get anything I needed at the store, get my iced mocha, come home, eat lunch, watch Dragon Ball Z, crack open some Angry Orchards & play WoW at the same time, dinner around 8 accompanied by watching a DVR’d recording of Dragon Ball Super, & continue to play WoW until I got tired or had to call it a night due to work the next day. This was my routine every. Single. Day. I loved it!

This went on from April onwards, & I was a happy duck, especially when I got my new car & could do my errands without having to change or shower immediately upon returning home. Even the angle of the sun, particularly as it went down at night, was nice. I’d always do this routine every day. Dragon Ball Z would be on while I played WoW, & eventually I made a music memory with areas in the game because of that. Either I’d have DBZ on the TV, or I’d have the TV off after dinner & listen to the soundtrack from that saga, & it coincided with the Broken Shore area of the game during the summer, so I associate that area with that music & that saga now.

When the summer started to draw to an end though, this is where I started to panic. I was so used to my routine that the smallest things threw it out of balance, like the leaves not seeming so brilliantly green, eventually changing to their usual fall colors. The temperatures were also changing, & the air was different. As much as I like heat & humidity, it was refreshing at first to be able to leave the windows open & enjoy the drier air. When the temperatures started staying below 70 though, that got tough to handle. We got treated to the occasional unseasonably warm days through October & somewhat into November as well, so that didn’t help. October 24, & I think the 25th, it was warm enough where I could go out & about in just a t-shirt & enjoy the foliage, so that didn’t help me prepare for colder weather. The biggest change that bothered me was the change in the sun, & the days getting shorter. I was so used to it staying light until well after 8, that when it started getting darker earlier, it really messed with me. Just the thought of the summer coming to an end, & my routine coming to an end, it put a crushing weight on my chest just to think about it. Still, I clung desperately to my routine as long as possible, even when the days of needing AC went, the days of open windows went by, & I had to start using the heat. Something I was particularly dreading because I opened the windows in the summer to get rid of food smell, which I can’t avoid in the winter time.

I didn’t want to let that all go, especially with the sun & the windows & the music. I want to keep repeating it & want to do it again next summer, but it just won’t be the same. WoW is releasing a new expansion last year, so the areas I made a music memory to will be irrelevant. I’ll be older. Even that tree that I loved to look at outside my window won’t be there. We had a problem with birds attacking their reflection this spring, since the tree was growing against the house & a bird nest ended up too close to the window because of it. I mentioned this of course, in hopes that the tree could be trimmed later in the summer to prevent that. No, his mother, the landlord, she had the tree cut down a month or two ago. I was so mad, & I’m still mad, because it was part of my summer & it’s now gone.

I’m such a creature of habit that these changes have messed with me so much. I clung desperately to my routine as long as possible, even when green became white, when hot became cold, & AC & open windows became heat. I watched that Buu saga all summer long, just because it was habit, & I kept watching it every day until we finally got our first snow, which was Saturday the 9th. (And go figure, I was at work that day) I’ve finally given up on the Buu saga, as I don’t want to associate it with snow & want to leave it as a summer memory…

Hey wait a second, I think I know why I kept watching it over & over during the summer. Obviously living in Hawaii, it was summer year round. That’s when DBZ was the biggest part of my life, so of course I’d associate warm weather with DBZ. Maybe I was doing that when I watched the Buu saga, tying it with warmer weather like what was the norm in Hawaii when I first watched & followed DBZ. I never saw it when we moved, so I never associated anything else with DBZ.

Anyway, so I finally had to give up on the Buu saga. However, I’m not totally letting my routine go away, even though it’ll feel really weird when we go into 2018 & I’m still on 2017 mode. I decided to take the opportunity to go back even further with DBZ & watch a saga that I don’t think I’ve watched since Hawaii. I went back to the start of the Android saga, & the episodes are so unfamiliar to me from not having seen them in many years, so this refresher is probably a good idea. It’ll be my winter routine I suppose. Last night, Eric & I were at Bullmoose Music, & he got me Season 6 on DVD as an early Christmas gift. That was why I hadn’t bothered to watch that before, as I could only go so far & then I’d have to stop, so I look forward to the memory refresher & the binging. Of course, it won’t be the same as 2017, but what can you do?

I suppose in short, I miss the summer & I miss my routine. I miss the cold Angry Orchards while I played & watched DBZ, or DBS. I’m such a creature of habit, that deviating from this routine feel s stressful, which is why I wanted to just explain it somewhere, put it into words somehow, etc.

2017 was indeed a good year, because I loved my routine, even though it came with the consequence in that repeating this routine day in & day out caused the year to seem to go by way too quickly. (WoW would certainly do that. If I get focused, I could easily spend hours playing) Were there negatives? Of course. Bill Paxton’s death really upset me, thanks to my childhood obsession with that movie Twister. Chester Bennington dying certainly hurt, too, because Linkin Park was a BIG part of my teenage years. Linkin Park, Static-X, & Korn were my big 3 back then, & now 2 of the 3 are forever gone, something I have a hard time comprehending sometimes because I’m dwelling so much on the past. (I think of that Linkin Park lyric “And never moving forward so there’d never be a past”)

Anyway, I’m at work & it’s getting harder to stay focused. I’ve already rambled everywhere. Toodles.

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Well shit, it's been a while. RIP Kendra [13 Nov 2017|11:18pm]
[ mood | pensive ]

So much for trying to keep up with this. It's like Gaia. My friends on there must wonder what happened to me yet again. I make a post or two & then disappear. xD

I suppose the latest noteworthy happenings was an online friend passing away a few days ago. I was at work on Saturday, skimming on my phone when the store was empty, & I saw Kendra tagged in a post. I can't recall the exact wording, but it was an old photo of her & two friends, & the friend that had posted it had said something along the lines of "I can't believe your gone." It got my attention, & I tapped her name to be greeted with a swarm of RIP posts & photos of her that people were sharing. It hit me like a ton of bricks, like someone punched me as hard as possible in the gut. I didn't know her personally, as Carrie had introduced me online to her since Kendra was her landlord. (In fact, many of the items in Carrie's apartment that I liked so much were actually Kendra's, a clue to her unique personality) I did enjoy seeing her posts though, as she loved cats & had an adorable cat namemd Stinky. She always took care of the strays, who knew she was there to help & would come to her for food. She had a food truck as well, The Head Hunter, which specialized in different meats. (Which I would've LOVED to try!) I loved seeing photos from the beach when she was at work, & new fun colors she'd put in her hair. She had gone with blue very recently, & I thought it was cool. She just seemed like a cool person from what I could see online, plus from what Carrie had told me.

I know she had been suffering from various health issues, & I had forgotten until this weekend that she had gotten into a very bad car accident a few years back that left her with severe pain. I think someone even said that her spine had been crushed, & it was a wonder she had survived. Well, at the start of last month, she had mentioned her high blood pressure causing trouble. Unfortunately, her insurance had run out, so she was stuck waiting to get back on it to get medication for it. She passed away overnight Friday-into-Saturday from a stroke, at a young age of 47, so I'm thinking she may not have been able to get back on medication. This is particularly heartbreaking, because if it weren't for the lapse in coverage, she'd probably still be here with us.

It makes me sad to think that I won't see her posts anymore. I won't see her sharing what she's doing for decorating, or see her cats or funny cat posts, or neat photos from days working at the food truck. It's like a flame has gone out, one I will never see again. Today is Monday, & her page is still being flooded with posts of remembrance, which has been popping up on my Facebook news feed/timeline/whatever it's called now. She was loved by many, many people all over the world. In fact, there is going to be a gathering in the spring in NYC for her, giving her friends plenty of time to prepare for a trip (particularly those across the country/world) & because spring symbolizes life. What better time to celebrate her memory than when everything is coming back in bloom & the city is coming back to life? I certainly plan on going to New York for this, though I do find it sad that my two planned trips to New York next year are both related to the passing of people.

That's been making me feel really down. It was all I could do to control myself at work when I first found out. Being at work was the worst place to read such news, particularly since I don't get breaks or can't go home early if something happened. Within a few minutes of learning, a customer walked in of course, so I had to try really hard to hide the fact I was crying & try to stop. Another customer came in shortly after & gave me a funny look since I looked like a mess, but I had just explained to him that I had just received bad news, & he was sympathetic & brief with his shopping. Saturday was awful because of this, & of course Eric didn't help. He told me I was overreacting because I had never met her in person, & he told me this when Michael (H) died back in 2013. I may not have met her, but it's still upsetting because from what little I did know of her, she was really cool. I checked back on my Facebook posts to see what I could find for a last comment or like, & the last post she liked was from October 24th. It was one of those unseasonably warm days we had, where it was 70+ with foliage going & even with some rain. I went for a drive & went down that favorite back road I discovered last year when I had to bring Eric to & from work every day for the fall, & I took a few pictures during the tree-tunnel part & uploaded them when I got home. She had hit the Like button on it, as she loved fall. "Kenny Kendra liked this." I'll miss seeing that.

Anyway. She'll be missed. I wish she were still here. It's just like before.... She was just here. Someone even posted a screenshot of a conversation they had right before, where it said Kendra was last active 15 hours before. Fifteen hours. She was still here. (And unfortunately, it was not a good message. It was rather creepy, as Kendra had said something expressing concern that she may have a full-blown stroke.) She was just posting last week. One of her final posts was of her elderly cat Squirrel, who I have met. It's just hard to wrap my head around, just like before with Tamara, with Michael, with Tom, with Tyler...

Other happenings... Um. Last weekend, the 4th & the 5th, I went up to Maine for Dustin & Desiree's annual gathering. There was the added benefit of the clocks going back an hour, though I wasn't awake to take advantage of it like last year. I wish that we had been all able to go to breakfast like last year, but it was just Dustin, Desiree & I, & Dustin was feeling really crappy when we ventured to Ihop. The attendance was smaller this year, too. The last two years, it was always so packed. I'm not sure what happened this year. Jared was one of the very few who dressed up, which he dressed up as William Wallace from Braveheart. I stepped out on the front porch when he arrived, saw his costume, & got air-knucks when I said "Freedom!" He had the face paint going, & he even had a sword. I mean a proper replica sword of Wallace's sword. It was the coolest thing. Later on, after much alcohol had been consumed, him & one or two other people ventured away from the crowd at the first fire towards the side of the hill, & they started flinging the sword in the air in an attempt to get the sword to land upright in the ground just like at the end of the movie. Surprisingly, they managed it in just a few tries, & there were loud cheers all around. They decided to leave it like that, though I have no idea how long that actually managed to stay. (Especially because most of Jared's costume had been left behind & we found bits of it around the next day. His plastic drinking horn in the garage, his sword elsewhere in the garage, his plaid shirt in the house... Desiree was worried he may have left his kilt behind & wondered if he went home naked) So I suppose that was fairly exciting. I got to FINALLY use those Eggies colored fire starters & the flame packets for the fires, so I was briefly treated to fun colors in the flames. I guess other people noticed as well, as Desiree was asked about it a few times. I hope to remember to order a ton more for next year, especially since the egg carton starters got the fire up & going in seconds.

The weekend before that, Sunday the 29th, Kyle FINALLY came down to visit me. We were supposed to go to Six Flags for their Halloween event, since it was the Sunday before Halloween, but a big storm came rolling in that day & cancelled any plans that involved being outside or traveling. We watched some of the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie, which we never finished, & then I brought him to Telly's. I got soup & buffalo tenders, & he got french onion soup & seafood primavera or something like that. (Which of course he ate too much junk food before we left, so he didn't finish. He ate the seafood parts once he started to get full, but didn't bother with leftovers) We went back & we played that Wheel of Fortune game I got when I had the Xbox Gold thing. I kicked his butt of course. The wind started to pick up not long after we got back, & I had to go outside to make sure I didn't leave anything in my car. I ended up having to tell Eric's mother to bring her plastic light-up ghost outside, & she thought her pumpkin had it wedged securely in place. I had to reiterate that they were calling for 60 mph gusts, & her pumpkin wasn't going to do anything. She did bring that in, but didn't bother with anything else, so the next morning her plastic chairs had been blown around, the cushions were resting against my car, spray bottles were all over the driveway.... She doesn't listen. (And this happened yet again on Friday, where I went out to my car to find one of her rotted pallets had fallen against my car's front tire & had left small scrapes on my car. I'm still not happy about that) Anyway, Kyle ended up staying the night becuase of the wind & rain, so he left earlyearlyearly the next morning for work. When I woke up at 5:30, the power had already gone out, & Kyle told me when he woke up briefly at 3-something, the power had already been out then.

Oh yeah, so that was a first. I had to come to work despite no power, & it was the weirdest day of work. There was no power at home when I wanted to get ready, so I had to be careful with the limited water in the pipes & clean up with face pads & everything else. I got to the store, & no power, so I spent a lot of the day sitting in my car & telling people I could do cash sales. One guy started to just wander around & browse though, despite claiming he knew what he wanted & would be quick, so I had to rush him. I made it all the way to 6 without power, & it was getting dark, so I was able to close when it got too dark. Unfortunately, I still had no power at home & had no where to go, so I sat in the parking lot. I sat there too long. Suddenly, the power came back on, at about 6:40. If I had power at home, I could've had my first-ever short day at work there. I opened my stupid mouth though, & had to go back in & reopen & finish the day. I needed the full-day's pay anyway, so I guess it wasn't so bad, plus I FINALLY had access to running water & a flushing toilet, which I so badly needed. It ended up being the easiest 3 hours ever. (It took me 20 minutes to make it inside because I was trying to ask Eric what to do, but his store's landlord was there because the power was partially out in the plaza & half of his lights weren't working) I even ordered food, treating myself to the chicken alfredo from up the street, & not even that brought in business. I got paid an extra 3 hours to do nothing but eat & poop. I did watch TV briefly, but then Comcast went out & I had no phones, internet, or cable, so even if I did have someone walk in I would've still been cash-only.

Hmm. What else occurred in October? I just double-checked, & I last updated on September 23. We still had warm weather then. I was feeling crushing anxiety because i was having a hard time accepting the season change. I'm still struggling, but it's worse because it gets darker earlier, & then the time change made that way worse. It's dark by 5, so my days off are all out of whack now. I used to be able to watch DBZ & play WoW with daylight lasting until well after 8 pm, almost 9 pm. If I ate a snack/lunch at 3, it wasn't dark an hour & a half later. It's totally dark by 5, even earlier when it's cloudy, & it's messing with me. It hits 6 pm, & I feel like it's after 9 already, which makes my appetite all out of whack since I ate around 8 all summer long. (To coincide with Dragon Ball Super's English dub airing at 8 pm on Saturdays. If it wasn't Saturday, I just watched a DVR'd episode) The temperature thing is out of whack, since I have to use the heat now. At least when it was hot, I could open windows for fresh air, or the AC would feel refreshing. To make matters worse, it was warm up until a little over a week ago. Friday the 3rd & Monday the 6th were the last days that got to 65 or higher, & that Monday was quite humid apparently, making it feel even warmer. Unfortunately I had to work both those days, so I missed out on what was likely the last of the unseasonable warmth. The temps shfiting to cold has not helped for sure since it happened so quick, so it seemed to just be another nail in that. I can only hope that winter goes as fast as the summer did. Hell, I found the picture I shared of that Angry Orchard glass with the two seasons of DBZ (8 & 9) & saw it was from April 30th. I remember it being warm towards the end of April, when Pinball Wizard closed, as I was doing my DBZ & WoW thing back then. Heh, that's when we also had the bird flying into the window. Unfortunately, his mother just had that tree cut down, so I won't see the nice flowers outside my window or see the green. I was okay with a trim, since it was needed due to the branches growing against the house, but she cut it down entirely. This makes me sad.

I think I should wrap things up. Eric just got here, so I should go. My background stopped appearing on here for some reason, though the link still works & i was able to bring up the image separately. (And resaved it, just in case. I made that in high school, & I have no idea where that file went over the years) I need to figure out how to repair it, but it seems my custom color settings are all erased as well, like my colors for links & stuff. I just want my background back, so I need to find out how to do it without messing anything else up... Which may be asking the impossible.

Anyhow, toodles!

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Happenings [23 Sep 2017|04:33pm]
[ mood | anxious ]

I really need to get into the habit of writing more. It was good how often I used this in high school. I want to look back to this when I'm 40 & be able to remember the positive things, as well as other noteworthy things, that may slip my mind. I should've wrote more in 2012 & 2013, as I barely remember anything after all that crap that happened then. I went to shows & I don't even remember them!

One thing I want to mention is how I've noticed today specifically how different the sun is. The angle has changed, since yesterday afternoon was the start of autumn. Today's the first full day of fall, & I can tell. The sun angle is wrong. I don't like it. I want summer back. I didn't do much this summer of course, having gotten myself into a pretty mundane routine, but I still miss it. Being a creature of habit, my days off would be along the lines of: Wake up, shower, go do any errands if need be, go to Starbucks, come back & eat lunch, play WoW & watch Dragon Ball Z at the same time (specifically the Majin Buu saga), drink Angry Orchards all day, eat around 8 pm or so since Dragon Ball Super is on at 8 on Saturdays & I like routine, watch Dragon Ball Super while eating, play WoW more, go to bed. Outlaw Star very recently returned to Toonami at 2 am or so, so I've been recording that & incorporating that lately, but the routine has been the same. It sounds really pathetic, but I do miss it. I remember the angle of the sun, how refreshing those Angry Orchards would be when it was quite warm, & how late it would stay light out. It's changing, & as usually, I'm hating change. Winter will be here in just a few short months, & I don't want that at all, especially since Eric's mother never bothered to have the trees trimmed & I worry about parking underneath them every time it snows.

I'm also a bit disgruntled at the fact that the YouTube user who had all the Bruce Faulconer soundtracks uploaded as a single video per album, he removed all the videos. I'm sure it's copyright stuff, as I was once forced to remove a Type O song, but it's still a bummer because I was able to listen to those albums on my phone & even play it via BlueTooth in my car if I wanted. I still have yet to get a new iPod to work with a newer laptop & newer iTunes, so I didn't buy any of the albums yet because I can't put them on my old iPod. (My XPS I was using to manage my music has pretty much shit the bed, & I can't update that iPod anymore unless I wipe EVERYTHING, including video & pictures of Mopar that I will never be able to replace) I want a new Alienware this winter, but I think it's about time I really consider getting that new iPod & finally begin the daunting task of reloading ALL of my music onto this computer & having it all handy again.

I mentioned shows earlier, & I did hit up a show this past week. Sunday, the 17th, was Megadeth at the Casino Ballroom. Ten years it's been since I first saw Megadeth, my first metal show, at that same venue. I was barely 20 years old, & it was all new to me. It was interesting to go there again to see the same band just days after my 30th birthday, though I wasn't able to get the VIP ticket I so badly wanted. (That ticket would buy me that new iPod, so I was torn on what I wanted to do. Ultimately, I think it was for the best I saved the money because I need that new iPod very soon now) I still had a lot of fun, & I even saw them play Mechanix, which I haven't seen live since Gigantour in 2008. Even then, that was the only time I had seen it, so Sunday made only the second time I had seen Mechanix. Megadeth did play Take No Prisoners the night before in Madison Square Garden, when they opened for The Scorpions, so I wish that had been added, but ah well. That setlist site had a note that when they played it the night before, it was the first time since 2011 that song had been played live, so I guess that's become a rarity. Mechanix was great though, & very high energy. Now if only they'd add more older songs. Devil's Island or My Last Words would be amazing, & of course everyone wants Good Mourning... Black Friday.

Before the show, I drove Eric & i to the beach, since Eric's car still had yet to get an inspection sticker thanks to his insane work schedule. The night before, when he had played a show in Maine & I had worked, it was super foggy, & it got even worse late at night. During the day, it was bright & clear, but as I approached the beach, I could see that familiar smokey-appearing haze of fog near the water. It got pretty thick as I drove into it, & it was cool & damp & foggy the whole time we were at the beach. We went to eat at the Ketch, but because of the fog, Eric refused to sit outside. I enjoyed a couple drinks & a lobster caesar salad, & I enjoyed looking at the fish in the aquarium tank they had in the dining room there. (Which I suspect had clown fish & blue tangs thanks to Finding Nemo/Dory) I ran into Kevin & Chelsea at the show, as they arrived well after we did. Snacks even found me before Megadeth hit the stage, telling me "I thought you'd be here." :D Even NERD Kevin was there, & he was talking with me about stuff from Megadeth to creepy stuff about someone we know from work-related stuff.

So that was Sunday, & I thought that was a pretty fun way to celebrate my birthday, even if it was a few days late. My actual birthday, I went to my folks' place & we went to the Weathervane. This time, my mom managed to not embarrass us like she did when we had last gone there for birthday dinners. I went back up there again yesterday, as my aunt had come to visit, plus Brian & Jean had expressed interest in going somewhere to eat in what I suspected was a belated birthday dinner. It was great to see my aunt, who got herself a new car recently herself. We all blabbed for a while, & watched a little bit of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire, which I was happy I knew a few answers to. (Like the holiday question regarding what holiday was created in 1968, which my complete guess of Columbus Day was right, & even the Rachel Ray question I got) My Weathertech mats had arrived, so when Kyle arrived, I vacuumed my car & we installed them. What an improvement over my old car mats that kept sliding! My dad took my old mats to replace his worn out fabric mats in his truck for now, as my mother was so impressed by the Weathertech mats that she wants to order them for her new-ish Lincoln.

Dinner last night was quite fun. I met the Fifes over at their house, & we went over to Moritomo's, which I hadn't been to in YEARS, I think back in the days when I worked at that Staples over there. I was expecting us to eat in the regular dining room & was looking forward to chicken or steak teriyaki, but they had made reservations for hibachi, which I was excited for because I hadn't done that in years! They both got steak & shrimp, & since I only turn 30 once, I splurged & got steak & lobster. We got salads to start our meal, & we were even served that broth with the mushrooms in it, which I hadn't had since that Kobe steakhouse in Honolulu as a kid. I was very excited about that of course, & the Zombie drinks I had were freaking delicious! They had a Scorpion Bowl for two, followed by sake, but due to a misunderstanding, their order for one thing of sake with two glasses so they could share, ended up being two orders of sake. Once I finished my second Zombie, I was allowed my own glass to try some. I choked down a few shots of it, but sake is not really my thing, so I don't see myself ordering that in the future.

The dinner show was a LOT of fun though! The chef warmed up sauces for us (another couple sat next to us) & then started making our food. Everyone but me got fried rice, with the woman next to me getting hers without egg, & I got the fried noodles, which were DELICIOUS. Most everyone got steak & shrimp, with the guy from the other couple opting for the filet mignon instead of regular steak. (I wasn't the onoy one indulging it seemed!) The chef did the usual tricks, like the big fire, the onion volcano, & even the flipping chunks of veggies into people's mouths to see if they could catch it. I was the only one who wanted to try, & I missed all of them of course. A neighboring table had much better luck than me, which made me feel embarrassed of course. I didn't get a single one! He also had the little peeing guy thing, which was really funny, & I laughed a little too loud I think. It was all just so much fun though. The food was great, & I even ate most of the huge heap of veggies he had put on my plate... Including broccoli! It was the first time I had eaten broccoli, & I did not mind it, so it certainly confirms my suspicion that I'd probably eat broccoli if it was cooked a particular way. (I refused to eat it otherwise, & the only other time I willingly ate it was when my coworker & former schoolmate Tiffany Rudolph let me try one of her broccoli & cheddar frozen meals. I only ate it because there was so much cheddar sauce that I didn't taste the broccoli really) It was all so good, but it was a lot of food, so when we were done eating, we had to walk around to walk off the food & our drinks.

We set foot over at my old Staples, since I hadn't seen it in years. It's changed so much with how it's arranged since I worked there, & I couldn't help but think of old things. Tom playing his saxophone during the holidays, which was such a wonderful touch that us employees even felt better with that bit of cheer. (R.I.P. Tommy Kinhan. I miss you, as do the rest of us who had the honor to work with you. I can't believe this just-passed August made 5 years since you've left us. You really were an amazing person) I was surprised to see how much the registers had changed. I had expected the service desk & the 3 or 4 registers across from it like how I was always used to. No, they ripped them all out. There is no more service desk. The rectangular registers that were one behind the other, those are now gone. It's just a few small square bits of counter with round Check-Out lights now, with one general queue area for everyone to wait in a line so the next free cashier could call the next customer. It's so different, & I was so surprised at the Service Desk being gone. Easy Tech wasn't even so much Easy Tech anymore. I remembered when their tech room used to be Lock-Up, as well as various memories of that, like when Dave Stone had opened it for someone to get something & a customer nearly followed them in. Dave put his arm up & cut the right right off, looked at the customer, & just shook his head no. I do miss him for a manager, & I wonder where he is now? He did work at the Manchester Staples once Hooksett closed, but I have no idea if he's still there. He was one of the BEST managers ever, & he made those earlier days of retail a lot better & actually cared about his employees just as much as the customers. Anyway, sorry, more nostalgia. But yeah, things changed. It's different. Of course, years later, they FINALLY have new computers, new keyboards, everything. If only that was there when I worked there, & at the other two locations. Crashing registers were too common of a problem.

Anyway, I'm going to go. I feel like I'm having an anxiety attack. I just took a short break from writing to use the bathroom, thought about the change & everything else, & I think that & how hot my apartment is got to me. I felt like I was being crushed, still feel like I'm being crushed. I feel like I can't really breathe, I feel dizzy, my heart is racing & making my chest feel weird. I don't feel good. I need to do something else now.

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