Monday, October 6, 2008

Back to School, Back to School, to prove to Dad that I'm not a fool

So a few weeks ago I decided I was fed up with my job. I’m not happy with what I’m doing and I dread coming to work (part of it could be the environment; I’ve never been around such a negative bunch). Couple that with I check the intranet for jobs and there isn’t jack squat here. All that said I started thinking about what I had always wanted to do as a kid – make maps (aka a cartographer). When I was a kid I’d think about that and there really wasn’t anything that I could make a career out of around here. It’s not like rand McNally’s offices were downtown. Of course all of that has changed with the advent of GPS being released to civilians. Also from time to time I’ll drive to Home Depot and pass Garmin and think to myself “self, that is totally where you should be working. You can sit there and stare at a map for hours on end. Why are you just floating through life doing something you have no real zest for? But all of their jobs require a degree, so you just go back to your boring, dead end job that you find extremely challenging.” after that conversation with myself and the fact that we’re talking seriously about having kids in the next couple of years I decided something had to be done. I started to seriously contemplate going back to school.

And then it happened. I had come to the conclusion that I understand/learn things much better by doing them online. Of all the courses work has made me do my mind tends to drift. I realize this and end up having to go back through a few things. So with that knowledge of myself I started looking around to see what kind of online degrees are offered. I found something at Fort Hays State that would give me complete satisfaction (well, not complete, I’ll get into that later). They offer an Associate’s degree (I figured I’ll start out small) in General Studies but I can get a concentration in Geography/GIS. Yee haw! That actually might be do-able. Long story short, I applied, got in, and my advisor suggested starting out with 2 classes. I picked them out yesterday – college algebra and us geography (woo hoo! Did I mention that was the only class I got an A in in high school? Yeah, even phys ed I got a B).

I didn’t want to announce to anyone all of this until I told my parents, which was yesterday. It was not the reaction I was expecting. At all. I was expecting something along the lines of “Finally!” or “We told you college was necessary.” Yes, Cliff Huxtable was right, “regular people” never have money. Anyway, I explained that I was unhappy with where my life was and I needed to make a change. I said that my goal was to work for Garmin and to do so would require a degree. This is where it gets mucky. My Dad says “Have you talked to anyone there? They get 1000 applications a day.” Um, thanks for the support? I think he’s just nervous about me moving out of this and into another. People in the Midwest are very much creatures of comfort. Change is bad. Look at the #$%^ sports complex. For the money that’s being poured into those we could have built two new stadiums – but that’s for another day. Basically he acted like I said I was going after a degree in Latin. Before we were leaving I mentioned that civil engineer is an option too. He said, and I quote “that’ll take forever.” It won’t take any longer than my ultimate goal – a master’s degree in GIS – Northwest Missouri State offers an online and so does the University of Colorado-Denver.

I was disappointed they reacted that way because for 13 years (really 17 because I didn’t do much in high school) I’ve done nothing but drift along with no direction. But finally I know what I want and I’m going after it and I’m excited.

Oh yeah, and if anyone knows of any schools in the KC area (or online) that offers BS degrees in geography that I could take at night or on the weekends give me a shout. Or if you know someone that works at Garmin. I really need to talk to someone over there and get a feel for everything I need to do. Maybe I can get a BS in math and go from there.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tales from the Big O

I'm pretty sure I'm phasing out of DMB. I still enjoy them and have a good time, but I don't walk out of the show griping about a song being/not being played. Instead, I gripe about other things, and here they are in no particular order-

1. 18-19 year old girls who dress like they belong at a Heidi and Spencer show. Not only did these girls want to make me upchuck but as soon as they sat down I turned to Shayna and said "THAT is why we're not having a girl. EVER." The older lady sitting on our left remarked "She doesn't even know how to wear that outfit." p.s. This is strictly an observation and an opinion - the last week or so the Kelsey Smith trial has been going on and these girls reminded me of her. Because if I'm not mistaken she was wearing those shorts that have something written on the back, like juicy or something and a tank top or something. Girls and Dads that read this - there are sick f$%^& up people out there and they prey on that stuff. People sit there and scratch their heads and wonder why someone would do what he did. It's my opinion that the way kids, specifically girls, and we as a society are to blame for putting sex, sex, sex everywhere (hip-hop guys with the bikini car-wash company in your video, I'm looking at you), dress today are just inviting these sickos to do those things. I don't have a girl but if I did they wouldn't wear anything that goes more than halfway up the thigh.

2. This lady also agreed with my sentiment that we pour our sweat and tears - and $30 a year for 10 years now, not to mention the $50+ per ticket per show we've seen over the years - I'm pretty sure the last time I paid less than $50 to a DMB show was for a lawn ticket, which was a *very* long time ago - and then those cheap floozies get front row (we were in the 3rd). That whole thing made me wonder just how many people on the floor, or at least in the first 10 rows, were actually Warehouse members.

3. She didn't bother me nearly as much as those slutty 18 year old blondes in the front row but she still got on my nerves slightly. The chick on our right, she said she paid $750 for her seat, and then as I was leaving during Out of My Hands to get a brew she made it very clear to me she had a beer on the floor and not to spill it. Lady, if you paid $750 for your seat how on Earth do you have any money left for a beer, let alone two at the same time?

4. Security. These guys are the biggest &#%^&# tools in the world. Shayna wants to bring in the camera which I'm always paranoid of but our friend, who lives/works in Japan now, was there and telling her before the show that in Atlanta they were totally cool with cameras as long as the flash was off. Fine. So we bring it in no problem at all. We get to the floor and Shayna goes to work on getting the flash turned off. There was a security guard sitting directly behind us and I hear him say "They can tape, they can't take pictures." OK, let me stop right there and say that is the dumbest, most f'ing, absurdly ridiculously thing I've heard. *Everyone* has a camera on their phone now. And it's not like these digital cameras are photojournalistic Canons or Nikons. So to say "We're going to enforce digital cameras but help yourself to camera phones," is a total and utter contradiction. It's even more of a contradiction when she's told, I'm not sure when but I assume it was a few songs in, to put her camera away...while our little tramps in the front, as I'm told, were taking pictures all night. When called out at the end of the show, the security guard had the audacity to tell us "They changed the rule halfway through the show." Damn it, John! You forgot to take Shayna's stupid sign off before you left the hotel. My bad. So Shayna was unleashed at the end of the show (and for once I wasn't on the receiving end) and chewed out anyone and everyone who gets a check from the Qwest Center or its affiliates. She left a voice mail for the Head of Security yesterday and still hasn't heard back.

5. I'm not sure if it's the city of Omaha or the Qwest Center, but smokers are/were treated like they belonged in Leavenworth or the Bazaar Cattle Pens (that's in Kansas on I-35 for the uninformed). I like to have a smoke with my beer so when I left during OOMH I figured I'd have a quick one. I walk out of the arena and it's like an outdoor airport smoking lounge. Ever seen one of those? I know St. Louis and Atlanta have them. They are very disgusting and make me want to vomit when I walk by. Anyway, there were probably 250-300 people crammed into this small area and it was crazy. I was standing about 20-30 feet away from the doors and the security kept walking up to us saying "Move back and all the way to the left." I said to him "Are you serious? These people are already moved back as far as they can go. Any more and they'll be on top of each other." All he said was "Just doing my job." I threw down my cigarette and said "This isn't worth it." I'm ok with having to go outside, or wherever (as long as it isn't one of those indoor lounges), but I hate - HATE - being treated like a 3rd rate citizen because of my vice. You're already making me walk a ridiculous distance and you don't even have a tv screen or a speaker outside so I can see/hear what's going on inside. If I'm paying $70 a ticket I'd like to at the very least hear the song that's being played inside. If there's a Creighton basketball game going on I'm sure those smokers would like to hear play-by-play.

Aside from all of those complaints, it was fun. It really is nice to be able to go across a skywalk from your room to the arena and vice versa. Also the show was really good. Here's another sign I'm kind of out of DMB - they closed with Stay. I liked it. Naturally all of the monkeys on were like "Oh no, Stay is back as a closer. Wah wah wah." Whatever, I liked it. I think it's because it was the only show we were going to, and it's been a while since I've seen a Stay closer. Oh, and we got to see Alethea, whom we hadn't seen since 2002 or 2003. It's always fun to see our old friends and talk with them. So yeah, that was the Big O in a nutshell. Next trip - Laguna Beach in September. That should be fun to write about!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Even Good Guys Need a Break

I've had a layoff for a few months, forgive me for not upholding my new year's resolution.

So I'm downloading the DMB show from last night (6.21.08) and glancing at the comments over on This show is being highly touted as THE BEST so far this year - no songs from Everyday or Stand Up. Funny thing - on the front page of the first thing the writer (Jake) states is "...the online DMB fan is fickle at best." Truer words have never been spoken - my first instinct when I saw the setlist was "Wow, looks like a good show...if only they hadn't opened with Don't Drink the Water." Antsmarching keeps track of your stats - of the 45 shows I've been to, and let's not forget records that have been released, I've seen that song open at least 6 times. It wears on you. But if that's my only comment, again, not a shabby show.

What really prompted me to get back to my roots and this post was one of the comments on and words/phrases that people misuse over and over again and how nuts it makes me. Someone had this to say about the alleged best show so far this year-
"after hearing all of the comments it seems that this show will live in infamy for DMB fans... thanks so much for sharing it with all of us!"
Seriously, when we people look infamy up in the dictionary (and I've provided a link for those that need to know) and realize it means famous...FOR BAD REASONS, much like 9-11, Mussolini, Hussein, Everyday, I Did It, etc. Learn it, know it, live it.

And while I'm at it people, stop saying "I could care less" - really? Why? Why would you want to care less? On a non-grammatical topic, I really hate it when two cars are side by side in a 45 mph speed zone...and they're only going 40. One of you move and let me through!!! Drives me insane, no pun intended.

And now, I have to go cut grass, finish laundry and vaccuum upstairs. Peace out Cub Scouts.

p.s. That reminds me, I have quite and outdoors curse going for me. Last summer when I went to camp at the end of May it poured on Friday night. Shayna took me camping for my birthday - it poured Friday night (after we went to bed, but rain is rain). In March I went camping and it rained Sunday morning (and it was freezing but that really wasn't the problem, I had Oliver to keep me warm in the sleeping bag - I discovered unless he has a Nylabone or something to keep him occupied he's a Four Seasons kind of dog). Went camping again at the end of May (it's a Scout thing) and it rained on Saturday night. Thursday night I went down to camp with Dad for a ceremony...and no sooner had we gotten started, you guessed it, it started pouring monsoon-style. My streak's gotta break eventually, right?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Complete and Total Barf-A-Rama

No pie eating contest, just me lurched over the toilet Saturday night - and even more impressing, I'm pretty sure it wasn't from drinking.

I probably shouldn't have eaten the potato because when we pulled it out of the oven Shayna cut half of it off because of weird looking stuff. I did have maybe a little over half a bottle of red wine, but I've been known to down whole bottles by myself which is why I'm leaning towards the potato.

At any rate, the point of this is to not gross anyone out. I just came to the realization, while grasping for my life to porcelain, that this is only the 3rd time Shayna's seen me sick in the close to 6 years that she's lived here. I was thinking it was only the second (the first being this past August in SF), but she swears it was the third. Either way, that tells you how often I get sick...without it being alcohol induced. =)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Big Brother 9: Girls Gone Wild!!!

I am really disgusted by this mini-Big Brother thing. It's like they took any Real World beyond Hawaii and continued it here. I was just trying to watch the "biggest fight in Big Brother history" on youtube and I only got through about 30 seconds.

There's a lot more I could say about it but I'd rather not give it the dignity of a rant.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

I'm an Air Guitar Hero!

Let the record show, this morning when Shayna went downstairs to let the dogs out at around 7, the temperature outside? -2. That's cold.

One of my Christmas presents. And the one I'm most obsessed with. We also got SingStar after the fact. I totally suck at that game. Personally I think it's sexist because Shayna rocks at it but it always says I'm doing awful. I can't help it that I can't hit the high part on Take On Me. Anyway, at least I kick a$$ at Guitar Hero and can rub that in her face. And we're having a party on February 2nd. We're going to stay up and late and play Guitar Hero and SingStar. Should be fun, if you're in the neighborhood drop in and say hello.

On another note, last week at mass I moved from my usual seat and mixed it up. I moved to the middle of a looonguh pew thinking "No one will sit in the middle, no one likes the middle." Well, I thought wrong. Two families on each side of me - to my left, a family with four boys (God bless my mother for putting up with us; I would've kicked at least two of us out by age 8) and to my right a family with 3 girls. The youngest girl was probably about 5. Whoever said girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice had it all wrong. She kept playing on her MagnaDoodle, which I have no problem with, but whilst doing so making the most annoying sound in the world from Dumb and Dumber. At one point her mom while kneeling put her head in hands and just shook away.

It turns out they parked in my direction so I was walking behind them on the way to my car. Here was the conversation-
Oldest girl (probably 8 or 9): What are we having for dinner Dad?
Dad: Chili.
Middle girl (probably 6 or 7): But I don't like chili!
Oldest girl: You don't?! It's delicious!!
Middle girl: I don't like spicy food. It's too spicy.
The *best* line-
Oldest girl: But it's got beans!!!

At which point I forgave them for being noisy and getting on my nerves inside. Maybe the tables will be turned tonight as I'm the one making chili. After all, it is delicious.