Why Plinko hates you.

the life and times of one jaded motherfucker.

E-mail Plinko

:.Blogs.:
Atom
Auntie
Pyro
Velveteen
Irrelevance
Uncle Phil
Barren
Dusto
Dasco

:.News of the World.:
Washington Post
NY Times
Howard Kurtz
Leonard Pitts
The Onion
ESPN
Hockey

:.On Wisconsin.:
Milwaukee J-S
WSJ
Wheeler Report
Gannett Wisconsin
15%

:.Geekery.:
Penny Arcade
PvP
TBCS
Spidergoat
MFH
Minum


:.Lists.:

:.Current Book.:
Woman In the Dark - Dashiell Hammett

:.Last 6 Books.:
The Catcher In the Rye - JD Salinger
Grendel - John Gardner
Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha - Roddy Doyle
The Road - Cormac McCarthy
Theft - Peter Carey
Saturday - Ian McEwan

:. Bands .:
Dismemberment Plan
Jawbreaker
Jets to Brazil
Knapsack
Promise Ring
Descendents


:.Authors.:
Mark Helprin
Kazuo Ishiguro
Wilkie Collins
William Faulkner
Philip K. Dick
Dashiell Hammett


:.Series.:
The Lord of the Rings
J.R.R. Tolkien
Dune
Frank Herbert
Hyperion
Dan Simmons
The Dark Tower
Stephen King

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Thursday, December 21
 
Bowling Green, KY is not an exciting town, but the hotel has free Internet, so that's something. That and there's a Culver's down the street if that counts for anything. It's probably the closest one to my home at about 300 miles away. Still not going there to eat, I will be surrounded by Chicken Butter soon enough.

You know, for a while there, I was almost posting regularly again. You might have noticed I even managed to turn on my archives again. Of course, this led to a few hours perusing old posts and realizing what a dork I am. It also led to Farish telling me what a dork I am, which was awesome. Especially since I can't deny it.

I think the reason I've refrained from posting is I have always wanted to transform my blogging into something more meaningful, commentary on actual news event and such. I am opposed by two things: one being that even fewer people care about what I think about the news than care about the inane things I write as it is. At least this way I might entertain my friends. The other is that I just can't get angry about anything long enough to care to post about it when I get home. I suppose I could stop spending half my working hours reading the paper so I could do it at home and then post about it. On the other hand, I could shut up, too.

I am amazed that anyone gives a shit about political bloggers. I mean, I understand the wonkish thing of wanting to chronicle and comment on political ticky tack, but what I don't understand is why anyone else cares what they think. All the ones I've ever seen fall into two categories (most alternate between both): hypocritically-biased commentary that spouts unapologetically biased views and then criticizes all other views as invalid because they're biased or a mindless crusade against the "mainstream media" for their innumerable flaws and no recognition of any valauable contribtution they might make. Actually, each is a manifestation of the other.
Excuse me for falling alseep listening to them.

Oh, and anyone who thinks they ought to be heard but uses the construction 'the media is' needs to lose a finger every time they use it. 'Media' is a PLURAL noun you fuckwits. It's like listening to GW say 'the Democrat Party'. I'm well aware it's deliberate in each case, but it just makes you sound stupid.

OK, I need to get off that train.

I just used 'fuckwit' which - along with 'asshat' - is getting stale. I need new derogatory curses. I have found myself muttering 'douchebag' under my breath at other drivers regularly for cripes sake. If I am reaching back that far my swearing has really hit a wall. I am hoping a few weeks in OshKoshistan will rejuvinate my swearing.

The one thing I have been trying to keep on this blog is the running list of the books I've been reading. I have been going through a lot more books lately. I had been on a book a month or two pace for about a year, I've read four each of the last two or three months. I blame Farish (she assigns a lot of reading), and a lot of time on airplanes. Regardless, I have read some very very good books lately. Not a dud in the bunch. I am kind of sad to see some go off the recent list so fast. Maybe I'll take it up to the last 10. That said, I think I need a used book store run.


Tuesday, October 24
 
So, did you miss me?

In two days I am going to leave work early and get on a plane bound for Wisconsin. I have not been up in about three months which actually sounds like a lot less than it feels.

I'm fairly sure that by not posting I am only encouraging people to not visit and so a vicious cycle begins of less people reading and less reason to keep posting.
On the other hand, I think I am doing well in my quest to be the most boring human being alive. I don't think anyone, not even Mr. Shaft, could stand to constantly follow a story on this level of utter unexcitement, so why bother?

In reality, these has probably been the most exciting month I've had since I moved to Atlanta. During this span I have all but broken up with Farish and then more or less mended that fence. Yes, I will bring a picture of her with me this weekend. No, I am still not sure how "serious business" this whole thing is. She has shit going on in her life that I am planning to wait out, I'll try to keep you more or less appraised as the situation develops.

Even more exciting than that (which was exciting only in the context of the fact that I have not dated anyone seriously in almost four years) is that not long after my last post, I was contacted by a woman claiming to be my birth mother. As far as I can tell, she either gave birth to me, or is such a good fake that I might as well play along. Since we know an eerie number of people who are adopted, I know this story deserves special play.
I was not prepared at all to hear from her, but I think I have handled it quite well. To be honest, I always said I had absolutely no interest in ever meeting her or knowing anything about her. But, having recently read "The Girls Who Went Away", my mind had changed a bit on the subject. I don't want to get into that subject again (I posted about it here a few months ago), but it certainlygot me to think a lot on the subject of giving up a child for adoption.

So, as part of my trip, I am planning to meet her on Friday. Her name is Jane, she lives in Madison and I have a half-brother (who I am not meeting). I think that's more than enough information for today. If you see me this weekend (and if you don't that's your own damn fault), I'll tell you all about it.

Lastly, there's Abraxis' cermonies on Saturday. I'm excited, Sheboygan weddings are a special experience.

After that, I'm planning on driving home for Christmas and sticking around until just past the New Year. I have to skip Thanksgiving because I will be overseas for the work. No, I am not kidding. When you are eating your turkey I will be asleep in a fancy Hong Kong hotel with a flight for Chicago leaving in the morning. This kind of makes me wish I could be in Istanbul for Thanksgiving, that sounds like a bad pun to make every year for the rest of your life. Alas, I don't get to work with anyone in that part of the world any longer.

OK, I'm sure over the last 6 weeks or so I had more interesting vitriol to spew, but this feels like more than enough.

If you want to learn what rural Georgia is like, just realize the second-biggest sacrifice I am making to come home for this weekend's events (after missing Lewis Black at the theater right down the street from my office) is that I am missing my chance to go to Judgement Journey with Farish this weekend.
Money can't buy shit this crazy, I tell you.


Sunday, September 10
 
So it's been a month.

Over that span not much of anything has happened, hence the no-posting. I never heard again about the job. Velveteen did come to visit, which was very nice.

Word on the street is that I might have a girlfriend now. That is very close to true, it's far from official but I am definitely dating a nice girl - who happens to live 50 miles south of Atlanta. Yes, there are well over 2 million women in the greater Atlanta metro area and, no I am not dating any of them. It's kind of like living in Milwaukee and dating someone who lives in Beloit. Actually, to be more situational, it's like living in West Bend (more comparable to Decatur) and dating someone who lives in Beloit (small racially-divided city with a nice college and fleeing industry).

When I put it this way, it sounds dumber than I think of it otherwise.

OK, so answers to some simple questions: Her name is Farish (her grandmother's maiden name), she's 33, very cute - short and thin with dark hair and blue eyes. She graduated from the tiny liberal arts college in her town. She's a social worker (right now she's a case manager for Big Brothers), her father's a college art professor, she can't cook to save her life, she has two dogs and two cats and last night when I was on my way out last night she got started about how awful our president is and I ended up staying another half hour. She likes French movies and reads a lot of books about religion while being a very skeptical agnostic. I think you can guess why I like her. She does have an accent so thick you can cut it with a knife, which made it tough at first, and I'm fairly certain she stays in her little city because she takes care of her parents and she seems to hate the Atlanta traffic - both of which are pretty good reasons to stay out.

Other big news:

I will next be visiting Oshkoshistan at the end of October for Abraxis' wedding.

I should be traveling to Asia for work in early November.


Sunday, August 6
 
Once again, I have allowed myself to fall into the trap of 'don't post now, something interesting will happen soon' syndrome. Well, here I am and nothing really interesting has happened.

Not that things of interest aren't on the horizon, mind you. I could find out as early as tomorrow if I have a new job or if I am starting the search over again. I wish I had a better handle on what the prospects are, but I've had interviews I felt I'd aced turn to nothing and poor interviews result in offers in the past, so who am I to judge?
The fact is, I only see one small part of the process, the other factors are unknown to me.

Last Sunday I took a jaunt about the greater Milwaukee area, which made me feel a lot better about the prospects of moving there. I was afraid I might be looking at a long long commute or terrible conditions as living options, but my visit obviated any reservations I might have had.

So, word is I should hear something tomorrow. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed, but I'll expect Tuesday or Wednesday to be more likely.

Lastly, they've changed the logo of my previous employer. If you see it, you will immediately agree that the place is run by jerks.


Wednesday, July 19
 
Twelve more days until my second interview and it's really all I think about, because as I mentioned a few days ago, my life is sort of on hold until I know how this goes. At this point, I am not sure if I want the job more because I want to work there or because I want to get off the ship that is starting to list (on top of my desire to move back to the midwest). And it's not because I am ambivalent about this job (heck I applied for it a little over a year ago), but because I don't want to sit through the decline of yet another company.

I mean, I am surrounded by a group of people that have been wildly successful for going on a decade, and now they're going to see how the other side lives for a few quarters, if not longer. Now, if that was all, I guess it would not be that bad. After all, every company has some slowdowns. But for some reason I sense that things are not just on a snag that will be easily fixed, I think things are going to start coming apart at the seams.

I wonder if I think this because everything I see and hear reminds me so much of what drove my previous employer to the brink. So, I suppose I might be totally wrong, after all, it's hardly a perfect analogy.

But, as long as I am sick of Atlanta and unhappy with my employer, I think I'd rather watch it unfold from the stands instead of on the field.

I finally got my hands on a copy of an album I'd meant to buy for about five years, Snakefarm Songs From My Funeral. I think only DerK cares about this development, but I'm throwing it out there.
I also splurged today and picked up the complete Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. on DVD. Now I have something to do while I fold laundry. So, there's your latest Plinko media purchase update.

Lastly, in case you didn't know, I am coming up for the entire weekend, not just Sunday night/Monday for the interview. Plans will be made.


Saturday, July 15
 
I really, really need to get a life.

On the other hand, why bother? I am doing everything in my power to find a job 900 miles away, so why expend effort to making new friends when I hope to skip town within two months? Sometimes I think too much for my own good.

So, it is confirmed that I am headed up to Milwaukee for my interview on Monday, July 31. I am a little disappointed, since they're flying me up on Sunday afternoon. I had specifically discussed with the recruiter that I would prefer to come up for the weekend and just stay with my parents. But his assistant probably didn't know that, so I already have non-refundable tickets.

So, July 30th. . . dinner in Milwaukee? I'm sure plenty of exciting restaurants will be open. Getto's newest top 30 is out and it's changed enough that now I haven't been to any of them. I guess I already have one major thing to do should I end up in the Greater Milwaukee area.

That and I can drive down to Chicago for Blackhawk games, since one of my favorite hockey players was traded to the worst franchise in the NHL. Now, I am not as scared of the next season as I imagine a lot of Sens fans might be, but I'm still sad that the player with the most raw talent on the team got traded for prospects. I believe the Senators actually play in Chicago this year, so there's something fun to do.

Well, I wish I had interesting thoughts on the world to share, but I need to look at where the fuck I would live in SE Wisconsin, so toodles.


Monday, July 10
 
So here's the deal-io. I have always hated the radios what play the music. On my drive to work I listen to Sports Talk because it's generally inoffensive but interesting (since I like sports) and I can occasionally hear a traffic report (I will not get into how useless those are). This week the people on the station I like are all off, so they were broadcasting some national crap show, so I flipped around the FM dial looking for some traffic info (I really am stupid).

Never found a report, but what I did find was a station playing Bizarre Love Triangle by New Order, which is cool because any station playing New Order is probably going to continue to play interesting stuff, right? Next song: AC/DC, following that, some new pop rock crap I couldn't even recognize.

For some ungodly reason, I left the station on (probably because I was a block or two from work when the crap came on). So I got in the car to leave for home and what's on? Some odd recording of Blue Monday I had not heard before. Next song? Hootie and the Blowfish, then Red Hot Chili Peppers, then the White Stripes. What kind of schizophrenic station would sign up for that playlist? Now, I am not exagerrating that the New Order songs were what was on the moment I turned the station, two timews I turn it on, both times it's just starting a New Order song (well, for all I know the Blue Monday was 12 minutes long and I only caught the last 6 minutes. . .).

So, in other news, you all might know that I play the games online. Last night, I was trying out a newish mod on a popular server for CS: Source. And for the first time, I was banned from the server because I was 'cheating'. Yes, I was doing so awesomely well, I can't play there any more because the moderator decided I had to be using hacks.
That was awesome.

In other news, I'm still waiting for news on Milwaukee. Let's keep those fingers crossed. I will start getting impatient on Thursday, I think.


Friday, July 7
 
Holy shit does my head hurt. This is what I get for barely sleeping this week. And, naturally, I have no excuse at all for staying up late. I just haven't been able to fall asleep, it's like when I was in college and I every other night I would just be awake until 3 or 4am, just staring at the ceiling for no good reason.

Anyway, I'm keeping my fingers crossed on getting that job in Milwaukee, I am really excited about the prospect, but we'll see how it goes.

Now I wish I had something interesting to share, but I really don't.


Monday, June 26
 
Boy I wish I were smart enough to figure out how to play with MSN conversations so it looked like both sides of the conversation were switched. That would be awesome and hilarious.


Friday, June 23
 
Not much, what's snu with you?

My quest to return to winter continues. I expect to interview with a Milwaukee company soon. Well, I better, is all I have to say. In order to move the process forward, I was required to inform my bosses of my intention to interview. Now that the cat is out of the proverbial bag, they'd better make good on that.

So, you might well be aware of the current rhetoric about a lot of things. Wars, flags, fags (said capriciously for humorous rhyming only), taxes and such. There is a sentiment out there that we are now, more than ever, factionalized and many, if not most, of us see everything through our filters of culture, class, religion, what-have-you. That we are, ourselves, spin doctors and ideologues of the highest order. That we are all a member of a whiny special interest.

I say this not to confirm or deny, but to mention that I recently realized that I have one of those filters that I see every related issue through (its a little narrow, so it's not like I think about it all the time). It's noteworthy because I think it's a little odd.

As you probably know, I am an child of adoptive parents. Recently, there has been a lot of tripe floating around the news media about some issues that I follow and that I always think to myself 'they never give any weight to the adoption view'. Abortion is of course the primary villain, where the debate is always cast as the loony pro-lifers vs. the hirstute pro-choicers, etc, while the way adoption impacts the debate is often left out of the discussion.

Not that I want to get into that right now. The thing is, there are two other 'big' issues out there that made me realize how thoroughly I am a partisan on the pro-adoption front. Mainly, there has been a lot of heated discussion about breast-feeding children following an Ad Council PSA likening bottle feeding to dangerous activities that might treated the life or health of a child. Now, there are several points of view represented in the numerous news stories and opinion pieces flying around, but none of them seem to come from the view of adoptive parents - who logically cannot follow the recommendation. There's a lot of huff and puff about giving women a guilt trip if they feel they cannot breast-feed because they want to go back to work, or because they find it uncomfortable. There's a lot of ZOMG! special interest lobbyists influencing public policy! shenanigans claiming it's all because the infant formula industry campaigned to have the ads curtailed. I only see my view, that a lot of people cannot comply with the recommendation, so why are they out there saying you're a terrible person if you don't? Because they're all jerks, that's why.

Issue #2 is a new book which I probably will pick up and read soon. It's troubling to me, in that it's an expose of girls who got pregnant in the pre Roe v. Wade 50s and 60s and were basically sent off to have their children in secret before having them taken away to be given up for adoption. Not because it isn't a story worth being told, but because I recognize that (having not read it yet, but gleaning enough from the customer reviews and NY Times review) it must, in it's way, make adoption seem terrible.

Now, I am bright enough to hold a nuanced view of the subject. After all, no right-thinking person would advocate forcibly taking newborns from their mothers. But, I can't help but think that it will do it's part to degrade adoption in people's minds, even if only a little, even though the subject matter of the book is (mostly, in the US) a past phenomenon. It was reading this review that made me realize how fiercely partisan I am on this subject.

That said, I still don't have any empathy for others who only can see all things through their issue/political party/religious affiliation/race/class lens. They're all still bad persons. After all, it's one thing to see it, it's another to let that take over your mind. After all, I'm going to pick up the book (couldn't find it at a store yesterday, so it's Internet commerce time!) and read it, and I bet I won't even write a letter to anyone about it.

On a wholly different subject, this is the kind of shit I have to put up with. And don't believe anyone who denies this is exactly how this conversation went down. Copy-and-paste does NOT lie!

Dasco says:
so
Dasco says:
do you think it's rude to IM with someone while you browse the Interweb for porn?
Dasco says:
sounds lovely
Ryan says:
lol
Dasco says:
so no, then?
Ryan says:
depends on who you're im-ing
Ryan says:
I'll let you be then
Dasco says:
are there ground rules
Dasco says:
like ok to IM chicks but not dudes while looking at porn?
Dasco says:
or vice versa?
Ryan says:
im-ing with a dude while proning it up is very very gay
Dasco says:
If my pants are zipped, does that have any impact on the level of rudeness?
Ryan says:
GG
Ryan says:
bye bye
Dasco says:
why do people hate me?
Ryan says:
see above, about what you're doing while talking to me
Dasco says:
I didn't say I WAS doing it
Ryan says:
LIES
Dasco says:
maybe I'm just curious
Ryan says:
bi-curious
Dasco says:
maybe I had this issue before and now I'm asking you for moral direction
Dasco says:
guide me, oh paragon of virtue!
Ryan says:
well, you got my answer then


Saturday, June 10
 
Let me just say this: I've been working a lot.

In my fantasy dream land, this blog is the place where I throw in my two cents about the world and what's going on in it. Superficially, I might seem to be the world's least exciting person. But, if nothing else, I am fairly well versed in the issues of the day, the result of reading over four (online versions of) newspapers each day.

The problem is, I generally read them while on break at work, but I think it's a bad idea to post from there, and by the time I roll into the driveway at 9pm each night, whatever got me going in the morning really doesn't bother me much any longer.

That said, I read this little article (suggesting that employers are looking up job applicants online and using what they find to help them make a hiring decision) in the NY Times this morning and it made me wonder.

You see, I personally like the idea that people who do or say stupid things might actually realize some consequences to their idiocy.

But, on the other hand, we all know the Internet is a blunt tool, and I wonder how many people might have lost out on jobs because something online that wasn't about them. I mean, if you do a search on 'Google' for my name, no result on the first four or five pages refer to me. Even if you narrow the search by adding my small city hometown, only about half of them have anything to do with me. (Fortunately, I went through and made it much harder for people to find this site by using my name in a search engine).

So think about it, few of us have a unique name. So, while a thoughtful scrupulous person might be pretty good at ensuring that they only use information they find to be rock-solid; another person might stumble upon some terrible things in a case of mistaken identity. And if that were to happen, what chance does the vicitm have to clear their name?

On the subject of applying for jobs, I think the odds are slim I'll be taking any jobs in Viking country any time soon. I may be looking at the Milwaukee area soon, though.

Further, I have purchased plane tickets back to the Valley area for the weekend of Independence Day, so there's that.


Saturday, May 20
 
It's getting hot down here. We're not going to crack 90 today, but it's close.

So, I have recovered from my jet lag, thank you. I wish I had exciting news, but I'm not that kind of guy. I found a decent place to get pizza, and it's close to the office. I count that among my more recent triumphs, which lets you know how triumphant my life has been lately.

Just before my trip, I purchased a Nintendo DS and a couple of games. Today I got the "New Super Mario Bros." Now when I head back to Wisconsin for Memorial Day shenanigans, I can sit and play Mario Kart while all the non-nerds socialize, just like a.Lo and Ron. I can't wait for next weekend, now!

The big news is I am teetering on the edge of looking for another job. I actually like Atlanta (though the dearth of geeks makes it a lonely city), but there aren't many other companies here that are in my field. So, if I am dissatisfied, I might have to move again. Having now gotten back from my trip, I have decided I am definitely tired of my demotion to note taker. No matter what fancy title they might print on my business cards or what salary appears on my bi-weekly paychecks, I am little more than that right now.

Lastly, In case you didn't know, I am taking a couple of extra vacation days after Memorial Day. I will be hanging around the Oshkoshistan until Wednesday night, so you'll have to hide your valuables for two extra days.


Saturday, May 13
 
I'm home. Spacey, but home.

As usual, I only suffer jet lag when I get home. In one way, it's better, since you're not messing up with your very-important travel business or with eating at nice restaurants and sleeping in a fancy room on the company's tab. On the other hand, you're home for months, so there's no logical end to look forward to. Last time I went on a costing trip, I was wonky for 3 weeks, longer than the trip.

On to other things. . . It turns out the dog missed me. My roommate said he moped around and slept most of the time I was gone. He's been by me almost the entire time I've been home. I suppose that's something.

I baked two pies today, my favorite kind: strawberry-rhubarb. I went to Kroger this morning to fill up my very empty cupboards (naturally I tried to clear them as much as possible before I left), and saw rhubarb for the first time since I got to Georgia. It was huge, all of it like the biggest you'd ever see in your garden. They weren't marked with a name or price, but I know rhubarb when I see it. So I bought more than enough for two pies.

When I checked out, the cashier had no idea what the stuff even was. Best of all, when she found the code and rang it up, I discovered that in Georgia, rhubarb goes for $4/lb.

Now, in Wisconsin, no one would ever pay that. People pay you to take their rhubarb away. You move out of a house because the rhubarb patch has taken over the yard and it's easier to buy a new house than get rid of it once it's growing.

Not here in the Peachy state. No, here you pay for it as if it were grown on a tiny island in the South Pacific and can only be harvested once a year by specially trained monkeys who wear funny hats.

OK, me tired now. I hope I can keep myself awake until 8 or 9, because getting up at 3am gets old real fast.


Sunday, April 30
 
Goddamn, that was a long flight.

Originally, I did not notice, but my flight was not direct, it required a two hour stop in Germany. So, since I blogged last from my desk in Atlanta, I have also been to New York, Frankfurt and now Singapore. All in less than 36 hours.

I guess at least I got out of the plane after 9 hours for a bit before re-boarding for another 12. My boss was superpissed. I think she's going to kill the corporate travel agent when we get back.

That said, nothing's really going on. I mean, I've been on the ground here for maybe 2 hours. It's humid as all get out. Can't wait for the temperature to hit 95 this afternoon.

One last thing:

GOOOOOO SENS!

Woo.


Saturday, April 29
 
Quick dispatch from Atlanta before I fly out.

I have been without cable or Internet access all week, which explains why I have not made certain appearances lately. Word is, all will be right when I return from Hong Kong in two weeks. I am crossing my fingers.

This afternoon I am flying out for New York, which will be followed almost immediately by a 21 hour flight to Singapore.
No, I cannot imagine me sitting still for 21 hours, either.

I am reminded of Lewis Black's description of what it's like to fly 19 hours to New Zealand. . . sit in a chair and press your fists against your temples for 19 hours. When you're done you won't be in New Zealand, but you won't feel like you're fucking home, either.

Anyway, I hope all are well. I hope certain Bad Guys have fun in Vegas, let me know how it goes. I will try to dispatch from points East, with my luck lately, who knows.