Monday, January 30, 2006

I'm a Honda S2000!

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You live on the edge, and you live for the adrenaline rush. You don't need luxuries, snob appeal, or superfluous gadgets. You put your top down, get your motor revving, and take all the curves that life throws at you at full speed. So what if you spin out occasionally?

And speaking of cars ...

This day has been a total wreck. Almost everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. And my frustrations, disappointments and aggravations have run the gamut from the trivial (one of my favorite Springfield restaurants closing down with no notice) to the merely annoying (a class full of new agents tromping by my cubicle all morning) to the genuinely sad (learning Mrs. Z and I can no longer communicate via e-mail during the day) to the disgustingly self-pitying (having one of those rare instances when I allow myself to dwell on how much it bites to be in a wheelchair).

Oh, and I was going to share a video clip to make good on my promise to explain what I was doing in a tux on New Year's Eve. Of course, that didn't work either. So here's why: I was singing at this event. Whoo-hoo. Just try to imagine the excitement.

In conclusion, I'd like to say, "Suck, suck, suck, suck, SUCK!"

Exit the petulant man-child.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Sunset epiphany

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Yes, yes ... I know I promised the New Year's Eve story, and that will come. But first, I wanted to share one of those special moments that become a lasting snapshot in your memory.

The building pictured above is the Springfield Hilton, and it towers about a block away from my apartment. Most of the time, the structure is a monolith of gray stone and glass. But as I was rolling down the alley which leads to my apartment gate, I looked up at the Hilton and had my breath taken away.

You see, we've reached that point in the winter when night slowly gives back light to the day. While for most of December and January, nine-to-fivers are greeted with depressing darkness as they leave work, this is the time when sunset greets them instead.

Such was the case last night, and as I looked up in the alley, the Hilton was bathed in a golden light which gave the entire structure a warm, amber glow. And just as my mouth gaped open, a flock of birds swooped down into the alley and in front of the Hilton, completing the picture.

So remarkable was this split-second image that, at that moment, the birds could have turned my way and defecated on me en masse, and I wouldn't have cared.

Such is the momentary beauty that can make your day, if only you keep your eyes open.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Girls, girls ... you're both pretty

I’m about to post an entry that could result in not one, but two people never speaking to me again. Now that I have your attention …

The two people in question are both bloggers, and although I’ve never met either one of them personally, I have corresponded with both enough to call them friends. I follow their blogs closely, and for the most part, their writings are interesting and, quite frequently, compelling. I have no doubt that, given some proximity, I could become fairly close with both of them.

That said, these two bloggers have each devalued their blogs by ranting about each other within them. This has been going on intermittently for several months, by my count. And it appears to me to have roughly the maturity level of arguing over whose Hello Kitty screensaver is more awesome.

I have not attempted to do any detective work to determine who started it. I have no idea whose offenses are more egregious. Frankly, I don’t care. Don’t. Give. A. Shit. All I know is it’s tiresome, petty and a waste of bandwidth.

And so, at the risk of totally alienating the parties involved, I say: I’d love for you to be able to settle this like adults, but if you can’t, for all of our sakes, get over yourselves. Get over each other. Get on with life. Get back to the business of blogging.

Of course, you can write about whatever you want. But ask yourself … does anyone else want to read it?

End of sermon. Next up: why I wore a tux on New Year’s Eve.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Downtown Dash

True to my word, herein starts the catch-up on my life in the period I fell off the blogging wagon.

Mrs. Z and I instituted a new tradition for Christmas this year.

The week before Christmas, we each made up a list of items we wanted or needed which could be obtained in downtown Springfield. We each made the list with the understanding that the other would not be able to get every item on the list, and if an item not appearing on the list struck the other’s fancy, he or she was free to add that to the haul.

On Christmas Eve, we started off with coffee here. For the record, the place does a wonderful quiche as well, but that’s not important right now. After coffee, we each took a pre-determined, modest amount of cash and set off in search of downtown treasures.

It was an exhilarating day of bargain hunting, and after we had ditched our individual loads in hiding places at home, we met here for lunch and to watch football. Unfortunately, the place was packed and even noisier than usual, so we headed home.

That night, we met Mom for dinner at Gallina’s Pizza. It was a nice, warm time marred only by the Case of the Missing Cat (I’ll blog on that another day). Soon, the missus and I headed home to listen to Christmas music, wrap our presents and drink hot chocolate with peppermint Schnapps.

We started out saying we would only unwrap a few presents that evening and save the rest for Christmas. But that fell by the wayside, and we ended up unwrapping all of our presents to each other as Christmas Eve turned into Christmas Morn. We marveled at how our choices showed how well we knew and loved each other.

As for the loot, here are a few highlights of what I got the missus:

  • Three necklace charms by a local artist;
  • A 1944 “Servicemen’s Family Album” printed by WLS-Chicago;
  • A Duran Duran greatest hits collection;
  • “Dante’s Peak” on DVD (she’s a sucker for disaster movies); and
  • Chardonnay from the winery we visited during our magical Seattle vacation

And now, a few highlights of the treasure trove I received:

  • A gorgeous (and lucky – more on that later) horseshoe ring;
  • A Genesis greatest hits collection;
  • The Sept. 18, 1972 issue of Sports Illustrated (notable both because it includes an NFL preview of the season which would turn out to be magical for the undefeated Miami Dolphins and three articles on the Munich Olympic tragedy);
  • Some sweet cologne; and
  • Volumes 1 and 2 of “Girls Gone Wild” on DVD.

We’ve got a groovy kind of love.

Monday, January 09, 2006

I haven't been eliminated

I am Vic Romano!
You're Vic Romano! You're almost always calm and
cool, but sometimes you'll get a little angry.

Which MXC Character are you?

Thanks to Mz. Ouiser for the link to this silly little quiz that gave me a great way to let you all know I haven't fled for Canada. Thanks to Maribou Sue and any other Web worry warts that had me lying in the proverbial ditch.

I had an incredibly busy and rich holiday season, and 2006 has been berry berry good to me so far. I'll try to catch you up, dear readers, in the next few days. Among topics to be covered:

1) A new tradition: the Christmas Downtown Dash
2) Why I wore a tux for New Year's Eve
3) My professional poker debut
4) How I was nearly kicked out of Hooter's

Chew on that for awhile, and I'll have an update soon.

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