Dance Dance Ybor

I have been in the habit of making random friends for as long as I can remember. In fact, my mom has lovingly told countless stories of when I was young and she would take me to the playground. I would light up like the sun and scream "KIDS!!!" as soon as we got out of the car. Within 5 minutes, I would have some poor child by the hand, dragging them back to introduce my new "friend" to my mommy. It was the first thing I ever collected - friendship.

If you browse my Facebook page, I could tell you a million little stories from the different people I call friends. I think there are maybe 1 or 2 people in my list of 540 that I haven't met in person. But generally, the only people I accept as "friends" are people I actually know. There is the random boy I met at the ocean when I locked my keys in my car 10 months ago; the girl I met at EACYPAA in Kalamazoo 8 years ago. There are people I worked with in London; people I met on a fateful train journey from San Francisco to Chicago in 1999; people that I went to school with (grade school, high school, college in Madison, Milwaukee and London). Friends of friends in Chicago, Philadelphia, LA, NYC - all over. I am proud of the friendships I collect, and I'm always looking to expand my collection.

So lately, I have been using the internet to make more random friends. There is a newspaper here called Creative Loafing and they have a personals site where readers can hook up and find similar personalities through profiles. I got an email from a girl a few months back and we've been emailing and texting for a while now. Yesterday she was supposed to be in town with her friend for a metal show in Ybor. I was exhausted from working, and really just wanted to go to sleep, but I was bewitched by the possibility of meeting some cool new friends. So I changed out of my work clothes and dragged my butt down to Ybor.

I'm so glad I did. Despite the fact that I was freezing my ass off because I decided I didn't need my coat (or gloves), we had a great time. Sarah is my Florida sister now (like Amy is my Chicago twin). We didn't get much time to talk, but I could tell that she's someone cool that I will have lots in common with. Her friend Dayna was also very awesome. We have a metal kinship. Funny enough, Sarah had arranged to meet someone else from the interwebs at the same time - figured she would kill 2 birds with 1 stone. It was a big meet 'n' greet party. We went down to Gameworks and used some of the points left over from my birthday party to play Dance Dance Revolution. Sarah jumped all over in front of me to try to screw me up. I would post the pictures, but she hasn't added them to Facebook yet.

Anyway, it was a successful new friendship and I look forward to many random days with the 2 girls from Ft Myers.

PS This blog is especially for George ;)


Circuit City

I really haven't got much to say. I started back at work today. Fun times!

I was driving around after work trying to decide which grocery story to buy fruit from when I saw the big yellow sign on Circuit City that said "Store Closing." I remembered hearing that Circuit City was liquidating, but had no idea when that was taking place. I figured that would be a fun stop to make, and it was right next to Whole Foods - which is a good place to find fruit.

Besides the fact that most stuff is only 20% off at the moment (and I'm almost positive they inflated the prices before starting the sale), I still managed to spend nearly an hour and a half there. I thought about how I could buy myself a new DVD player if I had money (but why would I need it, since I'm selling all my DVDs?)... Then I thought about how I could get a new laptop if I had the money (because the TWO laptops I already have don't seem to be enough). Then I planted myself in front of the BOSE surround sound system (which was marked down from $499 to $399, and will not be going lower). But I would really need a TV, DVD and receiver to go with the awesome speakers. So I wandered off to the portable storage - and found a 1TB hard drive that was marked down to $235. I only paid $150 for mine. (This is why I'm convinced they inflated prices before starting markdowns.) The iPods were only 10% off, but most were already gone. There were tons of DVDs left still, but I couldn't find any titles I was willing to spend money on (at only 20%, $21.99 movies aren't that cheap).

After wandering every single isle daydreaming about the stuff I could have (that I don't really even want in reality) I finally settled on a cheap wireless mouse for my laptop and a package of Presentation Paper. Both are things I have been wanting for a while. Mostly because my touch pad drives me crazy. I ran out of Presentation Paper months ago and haven't been able to print any of my button-badges since. Overall, a successful trip. But god help me in an electronics store! I don't know what it is. I just get lost there. There's something ultimately calming for me to be near electronics and media, which I find ironic since they all require significant amounts of energy. Maybe I'm like this weird android that feels better around like-minded machines. But I guess that would mean I would feel the opposite in bookstores and libraries, which is not the case. Oh well. I just like "toys." I guess there's nothing wrong with that.


Arctic Blast?

Why is it that I think I have blogged when I have actually done nothing? Is it because I sit around and think about writing things all day that I imagine I've put pen to paper in reality? Whatever it is, it's gotta stop!
Seriously, I just filled up my journal and I was flipping back through the pages over the last year and a half and noticed random notes scribbled in the margins during late night "brain spurts." I will be falling asleep sometimes and think of some really good phrase or an idea for a story, so I grab whatever is closest to me and write it down (which always happens to be my journal next to my bed). Problem is, I never go back and read them. I really need to come up with a system for organizing my notes, thoughts and ideas. I used to have this hand held tape recorder. That would probably be good now. But then again, I can use voice notes on my phone and I don't. I actually found some recordings on my old sim card from concerts I forgot I attended.

My brain is obviously swimming with all these story lines and half-formed thoughts for my books and blogs, yet I never seem to produce anything substantial. Does that happen to any of you? It's so frustrating because I know if I could actually get myself to do what it is my brain keeps telling me to do, I would be successful at it. Maybe that's what's stopping me. I don't know what successful looks like. Maybe I don't want to be successful because it's easier for me to be a loser.

Anyway, all these scattered thoughts over books and notebooks will have to be dealt with. Why is it that I finally make a resolve to do something grand just as I'm starting work again? Is it that whole failure, self-sabotage thing? Somebody please tell me to pull my thumb out and start going through my journals and organizing things!

By the way, the title is because the newscasters here are babbling on and on about this "arctic chill" that will be coming through Florida. Tomorrow night it will be 30 in Tampa. Oh no! 2 degrees below freezing. I think it's hilarious how there are all these major weather warnings out for the county I live in, all because the temp is approaching 0 Celsius. (Although I did complain earlier when I rode my bike to the Post Office and I didn't have gloves.) Anyway, laugh it up Northerners. Yes, sunny Florida is getting frost.


Pittsburg Fans are Lame

Not half an hour after I posted my rant about not being paid in 6 weeks, my friend Kathy at work sent me a text informing me that the checks were there. What a freaking relief!
I rushed over to pick up my monies and was then informed that from now on, they will be holding our checks for 30 days - which means that this check is supposed to pay February's rent, March's rent, my phone bill, credit card, feed me, and fill my gas tank for a month. It was $975. Not happening. URGH. So you guys on Facebook really need to buy the rest of my stuff LOL!

I just think its more than inconvenient what's happening. I was using the money from my sale to fix my teeth (I have to come up with $2100 for a bridge before my top tooth grows completely out of the root). But now the money I have been saving up will go to filling my gas tank and putting food in my belly. It's like I'm never going to get caught up. I just don't want to lose any more teeth!

Speaking of teeth, I had this really crazy dream the other night. I won't go into too much detail, but the president was in it and my friend Tommy from Milwaukee. Obama was telling me that we had to recycle this poisoned water from Iraq and Tommy was having me move his vinyl collection to make room for the water we had to store. I looked into a mirror to find that all of my teeth had turned black. Sarah, Tommy's wife, came up behind me and said "Oh, your teeth are dead! That's one of the side effects of handling this poisoned water. The only way we can fix it is by giving you a shot of straight adrenaline into your spinal cord. That way it will change your entire chemical makeup." Because of the unknown side effects of the spinal injection, I decided I would rather let my teeth fall out. Sounds like my subconscious has a lot on its plate!

Anyway, that's about all that's going on here. I have money. It's Superbowl Sunday (and the Superbowl is happening just a couple miles from my house). I am staying inside and pretending there is nothing different about this day. If I go outside I may get attacked by the crazy Steelers fans. Funny story - I splurged Friday night by going to my favorite restaurant, Thai Terrace. The restaurant is only 2 blocks from Raymond James Stadium and there was a tent with Superbowl merch taking up half of the parking lot. So I had to park in the other side of the lot (which Thai Terrace shares with the Ho Jo) and as I pulled in, a group of guys were standing outside being obnoxious. I got out of the car and they were like "HEY! this spot's only for Steelers fans!!" I just shot them a dirty look, hoping they would pick up my telepathic message of "I live here, get out of my city" and walked over the restaurant. Apparently football fans think they have control over everything when their team is in the Superbowl. LAME!