Bring your own fork

June 30, 2003 - Monday

 Movie Doubleheader

Stuck in Akron still, I spent most of yesterday afternoon in the dark. First I pulled the drapes and unplugged the phone and slept until 11:00 a.m., then I went to the movies and saw 28 Days Later and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. That’s what I call a productive day.

28 Days Later was pretty damned good. I mean, sure, we’ve seen it before — they called it Night of the Living Dead and The Omega Man the first two times — but it was still pretty good. Sprinting, pissed-off, blood-puking zombies — what’s not to love?

Charlie’s Angels wasn’t too bad either, at least those parts I managed to stay awake for. That’s a recurring problem I have; “narcolepting out” in movies. It’s rare that I manage to stay awake from start to finish (which can be interpreted as another vote for 28 Days). Whatever, I was awake for parts of Charlie’s Angels and parts of it were okay. Parts of Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu and (occasionally) Drew Barrymore clad in revealing, often wet, skimpy attire — what’s not to love?

Zombies, partial nudity, and a nap, all for only $4.50. Such a deal!

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June 29, 2003 - Sunday

 Call me Nancy

We have the weekend off and the station hooked us up with free tickets to the local Six Flags “Worlds of Adventure” park, so we spent the day there yesterday. This may not have been the best move I could have made, rep-wise.

I ride a motorcycle to work and have a bad attitude about my job, and that has somehow translated to me having an image as being something of a bad-ass. In fact, that’s what my co-worker Joe calls me: “Billy-Joe Bad-Ass.” Now, deep down inside I’m just a cuddly ol’ teddy bear with a heart of marshmallows and a lunchbox with rainbow pony stickers, but who am I to argue? So I let them think I’m a half step removed from being a Hells Angel and people pretty much stay out of my face. It works for me. But this weekend blew my cover.

You see, I have a thing about heights: I don’t like them. I also have a thing about getting dizzy, also about being strapped into immobilizing cages, also about being flipped upside down. These are all things that tend to happen at amusement parks, especially when you’re riding roller coasters. Which is what we were doing.

When we got to the park, my co-workers Kara, Lance and Joe all made a beeline for the nearest coaster and we all got in line. As the line inched forward, I spent the time checking out the insanity that was this roller coaster: 37 loops, 18 negative G switchbacks, a 500-foot section of missing track where the train leapt the chasm over a firepit filled with crocodiles, tunnels filled with pygmies armed with poisonous blowdarts… This rollercoaster was suicide, I’m telling you. So when we got to the front of the line and it was our turn to board, I did the only sensible thing possible: I took the Chicken Exit.

And thus did my rep die a shameful death.

I spent the rest of the day trying to live it down. I did ride three of the tamer coasters that day, but I took a pass on riding any of the more death-defying choices, and so Joe, Kara and Lance frequently helpfully suggested I visit the children’s section of the park or pointed out the occasional carousel that might not be going too fast for me. It was a sad day for my rep, and I’m sure I’m only compounding the damage by admitting it here where other co-workers will read it.

But I’m man enough to admit I’m a Nancy-boy. Mainly because there were too many witnesses to deny it…

Speaking of witnesses, here are some pictures from the day. As usual, click the thumbnails for full-size images:

Joe, Kara, and Lance thinking “Oh great, the Nancy-boy is taking our picture”

Joe mocking me by pretending he has to puke on a ride I wouldn’t go on, while Kara laughs at both his mockery and my cowardice.

Joe waving at me from yet another ride I wouldn’t go on.

And finally, me on one of the few rides I wasn’t afraid of.

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June 27, 2003 - Friday


Sign on back of men’s room door of the radio station offices where I’m working this week:

Please clean up after yourself when you’re finished in here.
“Clean up” includes making sure everything goes down when you flush.


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June 25, 2003 - Wednesday

 Guilt, Table For One

I just talked to Zoe on the phone. I call her every night I’m on the road to say goodnight to her. Tonight, talking about how she felt when she was missing me today, she said:

“It feels like you’re not a part of my heart.”


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 Nightlife, Baby!

Because I’m in Akron and because I’m bored and because I feel like it, here’s a rundown of my activities this evening.

1. Dinner with co-workers at a restaurant next door to the hotel, “Damians” or something like that. I had a prime rib sandwich that wasn’t very prime, although it at least was juicy after I drowned it with A1 steak sauce.

2. Shopping at Wal-Mart. Items purchased include:

  • One pair cheap-ass sneakers, because I melted my last pair in the firepit during a barbeque at my place over the weekend
  • 2 pair boxer briefs, because I didn’t get quite enough laundry done before I had to leave for this trip
  • 1 12-pack Diet Pepsi, because there’s a mini-fridge in my room and the hotel vending machine wants $1.50 a freakin’ can
  • 1 box Ritz Bits Sandwiches made with Real Cheese for serious, hard-core in-room late-night snacking
  • 1 Steno notebook, because all day today at work I’d go charging down the hall to check with someone about something or other and I’d get there and forget what I was checking on, so clearly I need to take notes on my own damned thoughts
  • 1 yellow legal pad, because damn it I’m going to start working on a screenplay this week if it kills me
  • 1 toenail clipper, because I can’t find any one of the three or four we have at home and my toes are starting to scare me
  • 1 Sunbeam Home Haircutting Kit, because my beardtrimmer at home keeps cutting out in mid-trim and ripping out huge chunks of my goatee, which makes me scream like a girl, and this one was only eight bucks
  • 1 box Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Cookies, because they were there and dear God I love them so

3. Write this entry.

Yes, kids, Akron is a seething hotbed of activity. You have to pace yourself here, you really do.

And finally, because I have it and nobody asked, here’s a shot of the view from my hotel room window in Salt Lake City last month:

Click it for full-size SLC-ness

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 Greetings from Room 310

I’m here in one of the fabulous Hilton hotels in the Akron area, and it’s so fabulous here that I just had to share. So here’s the fabulous view from my fabulous window:

(Click on the thumbnail for the full-size fabulousness.)

This is mine, all mine, for the next 8 nights. It’s like a dream come true… only not so much.

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 8 and counting…

It was eight years ago today that Beth and I were married. In those eight years my life has changed in ways I never thought possible and I have grown in ways I never thought necessary. I’m living the dream I never knew I had.

Thanks for marrying me, honey. I love you very much.

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June 24, 2003 - Tuesday

 A, O, Way To Go, Ohio…

I’m back on the road again tomorrow morning, heading out to Akron, Ohio until 7/3. I’ll be converting their four radio stations over to my company’s traffic and billing system, and I anticipate moments of stress interspersed with long periods of clock-watching. I’ll have internet access while I’m there, so stand by for exciting tales from the 5th largest city in Ohio.

Akron Fun Fact #1: Fifty percent of America’s population lives within a 500- mile radius of Akron.

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June 20, 2003 - Friday

 Better Late Than Never

This is old news by now, but I did want to at least acknowledge Gregory Peck’s passing. He was a fine actor and I enjoyed everything I saw him in. He gave what I think is the definitive performance of President of the United States in one of my favorite movies, Amazing Grace and Chuck.

Movies will be a duller place without him.

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June 19, 2003 - Thursday

 Yes, MaM

“For those who say we haven’t found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they’re wrong. We found them.”

President Bush,
May 30, right before his pants caught fire

Ya gotta like Mike. He provides most of the fodder for my arguments with my conservative friends.

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