New topics…

I’m running out of things to write about. These days, I’m only inspired to write about stupid people; it’s a topic I’ve covered quite often here, and one that I don’t wish to dwell on. By now it’s well known that the general public frustrates me to no end. Some days, I wonder if my sanity can remain intact. I fear I will one day snap, and what little self-control that remains will fail. Reading the news certainly doesn’t help, considering most of the stories involve stupid people. It’s impossible to escape the idiotic souls that inhabit our population. It’s infuriating to be surrounded by people that lack basic human skills, like logic, common sense, and problem-solving abilities. These are the traits that allowed Homo Sapiens Sapiens to claw their way to the top of the food chain. The fact that that average American no longer posses these basic skills is not only unbelievable, it’s embarrassing. Other countries frown upon the United States for our loud, obnoxious, uneducated citizens. Not only are Americans obnoxious, we’re ARROGANT about it. All these things grate on my nerves, and rattle around my brain. When I’m ready to write, it’s all I can think about. I wish I had more time to write, but unfortunately, I never seem to have it. I’ve heard that having an actual deadline helps writers to get their work done. Perhaps a deadline is precisely what I need. I’ve been working on my current story since November ’05, and it’s still not finished. Truth be told, I’m probably just over half finished with the story. If I were to set a deadline, I could work toward that. Perhaps I should set a May 1st deadline for the draft, and then have a final copy ready before I move. One month would be a fairly aggressive deadline, but would be easily attainable. I guess I’d better get cracking.

Back to busy…

This weekend was nice and relaxing. I slept in on both Saturday and Sunday, and later, took a dip in the hot tub. It was the first time it had actually worked, and the steam was rising from the pool, like a hot mug of cocoa. Though it was very cold outside, the water was very pleasant, and neither I nor Jenny got cold until we got out. Once the chill air cooled the water from my trunks, I started getting extremely cold. I felt as if I were wrapped in ice. Just moving my legs brought waves of cold over my body. Once I wrapped my towel around me, it was better, and the cold diminished, but not entirely. It wasn’t until I got inside, and dried off that I was warm again. After this weekend’s reprieve however, we’re back to being busy. The upcoming weekend is already booked. Saturday, Jenny and I are going to see Matt’s new apartment, to see if we like it. I have to say that the proximity to both our jobs is attractive. Sunday, we will make our decision, and begin our final preparations for the move. Though I’ve gotten my money situation more or less under control, I’m still going to be low on cash for awhile. I had my own apartment for a while, but I have little of my original furniture, and even fewer furnishings. I have some dishes, but very few pots and pans. Most of the kitchen items I DO have are plastic or uber-bachelor, and must be replaced. Such is life, I suppose. The main thing we need to purchase is a bed, but because I already have one, that will have to wait a while. A couch is going to be necessary right away. In the living room, we’ll be able to put Jenny’s papasan chair, until more suitable furniture can be found. I still need another bookcase, and my old barrister can be used as a curio cabinet for Jenny. So the next two months will be spent shopping, and picking up odds and ends, preparing for the apartment. Packing will commence sometime in May, most likely. Hopefully, I’ll be packed in time. The last couple of moves, I wasn’t 100% ready on moving day. This year, it’ll be different. I’m still debating hiring movers. I’d like to, but I’m not sure I’ll have the money. I may have to bite the bullet though, I’m not sure how much help I’ll have moving my stuff. But I’m excited, and Jenny is excited, and neither of us can’t wait for May 27th. Moving Day approaches.

Job hunting…

Looks like I’m going back on the market. Don’t worry, I didn’t get fired or anything. Knock on wood. Raises were passed out the other day, and it was less than, that I would receive the high-end of the scale, and receive a 6% increase. Instead, I was awarded only 4.5%, which falls short of the $35,000 goal I was hoping for. Though it’s an increase of about $120 per month, I still wanted more. The fact that our bonuses this year were lower than expected should have prepared me for a smaller wage increase, but somehow it didn’t. Sometime in January, we were given ‘equitability increase’, which raised all reps to a minimum of $33,000/year. This was nice for those who just started, but for the rest, who have been here for over a year, it essentially wiped out our raise from last year. People that just started are now getting raises, too, earning roughly the same wages, without the experience. It’s rather frustrating. Then again, I’ve worked in so many companies where this happens, I should be used to it. That doesn’t make it any more fair, however. So I’m going to get me resume updated, and get myself back on Monster.com, and all the other sites, scouring for a better job. Hopefully I’ll find something more technical, that will allow me to not only apply what I already know, but let me learn new skills, and expand my understanding. I’m a person who thrives on knowledge, and find that I need a steady stream of information, in order to feel like I’m growing as a person. I’ve seen a lot of jobs online that would seem to fit me, and pay what I feel I should be earning. Unfortunately, many of these jobs require either experience, or skills I don’t necessarily possess. I KNOW I can do these jobs, if given the opportunityy. One thing I’ve learned is that I can do anything if I put my mind to it; It’s only a matter of interest. I think it’s time to polish my resume.

Wanted: A story idea…

I finished reading another book last night. This one was different though. The book I finished was How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy by famed author Orson Scott Card. It was an excellent book for aspiring sf writers, and gave me some very good information I can apply to my stories. Though I’m still writing one, and have been for some time now, I’m already formulating ideas for the next story I’ll write. I’ve got a general idea of the plot, but not much else. I’m finding myself becoming more engrossed in literature, and rapaciously going through books, though not as fast as I used to. I find myself excited when reaching the end of one book, knowing it means the start of another one. Now that I’ve read this book however, I find myself analyzing my reading, and realize that writing a good story involves much more than simply WRITING it. I’m sure that my next piece of work will be leaps and bounds better than even my recent work. Unfortunately, I need the ideas to show themselves. I need more ideas for my story.

What I did this weekend…

San Antonio is a pretty neat city. I’ve been there countless times as a child, and a few times an adult, but rarely have I traveled to the downtown/historical district. I do remember visiting Sea World and the Alamo when I was younger, but my memories and impressions of those trips is limited, because of my age at the time. Therefore, I was greatly excited about the prospect of visiting them again, especially with Jenny. Friday, I left work early, in preparation for our trip to San Antonio. Matt’s girlfriend, Christen, was already there on business, so Jenny and I met up with Matt and headed out. Our first night in San Antonio, we ate at a restaurant called ‘Magic Time Machine’. It’s a themed restaurant, unlike anything I’ve ever encountered. Each table had its own theme, including a hollowed-out tree, a submarine cabin, and many others. We were seated at the Christmas-themed table, with miniature village and all. Our waiter was ‘G.I. Joe’ and had the attitude to match. He made small children perform push-ups, and had me shoot Matt with a plastic pellet. I was unaware that the gun was anything other than a water gun, and shot him in the arm, leaving a nasty mark. The restaurant also served something called ‘Potions’, which bubbled and smoked for several minutes. To make the drinks even more mysterious, they came only in colors, not flavor. Jenny had Red, Matt had Blue, and Christen had the Ugly. I declined, since I don’t drink alcohol. During the course of our meal, we were treated to characters such as Dora the Explorer, Scooby Doo, a Jedi Knight, and others. The service was excellent, the food was good, and the experience was unforgettable. Magic Time Machine also had a photographer running around, offering to take photos of the guests. Matt got a goofy balloon hat, which he sported all night, doing what he does best: annoying everyone around him. Even our waiter named him ‘Major Pain in the Side’. Another uniqueness to the place was their use of the word ‘potty’. I had been drinking soda, and felt the need to visit the restroom. Because of the nature and confusing layout of the restaurant, I asked where to locate the restroom G.I. Joe then proceeded to announce that I was going to the potty all on my own, to nearly everyone in the area. I was led on a loud, embarrassing journey to the potty. Upon using the restroom, over the intercom, I was told to “stop doing laps in the potty”. When I arrived back at the table, I was informed that the intercom announcement was broadcast to the entire restaurant. To give an example of how good the service was, Jenny wasn’t very hungry, and so didn’t eat much of her dinner. The waiter noticed her plate was hardly touched, and removed her meal from the check. I haven’t seen a restaurant do this is a LONG time. All in all, the Magic Time Machine restaurant was a great experience, and one that I’ll definitely look forward to again. Saturday morning was quite eventful. Driving into San Antonio, I saw a Shoney’s restaurant. I hadn’t eaten at Shoney’s since they closed the breakfast-buffet restaurant. Was ecstatic, and insisted we eat there for breakfast. The restaurant was packed, but the food was good, and I ate a bit too much. Once we finished eating, we headed to our destination for the day: Sea World. As we drove, we witnessed a car accident. A woman lost control of her car, went into a spin, and impacted the car directly in front of us. Thanks to Matt’s quick reflexes, we remained clear, and uninvolved. We were all relieved, and no one appeared to be hurt, to the relief of all. We waited at the scene of the accident, and called the police arrived. With the go-ahead to leave, we continued our journey. The rest of Saturday was spent at Sea World, watching the shows and riding roller coasters. The first we rode, the Steel Eel, broke right after Jenny and I rode. Matt and Christen had already gone, so we could hold their belongings, and await our turn. Just as the ride ended, the car in front of us broke, and we had to be released from our car, but fortunately, from the main level, not from the height of the climb. After a wait of about twenty minutes, we were headed to the next coaster. The Great White is Sea World’s version of the former Astroworld’s Serial Thriller. The car is suspended, and there is no floor, so your feet are free to dangle. As usual, I rode on the very front car, which makes it feel like you’re alone on the ride. Matt was actually scared, and Christen screamed the whole time, but I think they enjoyed it. Indeed, Christen was ready to ride it again, but we never had time. Sunday we checked out of the hotel, before heading to the River Walk. At first, we were dismayed by the trash, and general uncleanliness of the area. Considering that St. Patrick’s Day had just passed, the are refuse wasn’t that bad. We stopped to eat at a restaurant called ‘Lonestar Cafe’. It was not good. The waiter only checked on us twice, and when we finally did get our food, it was overcooked, and way overpriced. It was certainly not worth it. Oh well, it served the purpose. After the experience at Magic Time Machine, few culinary attempts could live up to those expectations. After grabbing lunch on the River Walk–which is mostly a gigantic food court–we headed back to street level to visit the Alamo. The crowds there were teeming with typical tourists, and I have to admit that it was pretty disappointing. I’m sure that if I were interested in spending a few hours waiting in line, I could have read a lot more about the history, and gotten more out of the experience. Then again, trying to appreciate the deaths of such brave Texans that died at the age of 26–the same age I am now–while people mill about, bumping into you, struggling to read over your shoulder, could be a bit difficult. All of the history in the Alamo can found online, or in books on the subject that don’t require long lines to read. I got some good pictures of the entire vacation though, and will soon get around to posting them online. A couple are good enough to go on DeviantArt, so I’ll put them there. All in all, it was great trip and one that I’ll be happy to file away in this brain of mine.