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VEGAS Downtown and the Strip, the adventures continue!

TRAVELER’s Blog, bus, car and foot date 130409:11

I’ve waited a whopping 2 1/2 years to get back to Las Vegas. That’s a small number. How about 130 some odd weeks? 933 days is closer. Assuming I have a generous 8 hours of sleep a night for an insomniac, that’s 14,928-ish hours. I could get into minutes and seconds, I’ve felt each one crawl on in molasses time, but I already used my calculator more than I do on my accounting Monday mornings.

I wanted to write a pre- blog before the trip about the anticipation and all the packing anxieties, but eh. Everything turned out different than planned for the most part. There were a ton of things I packed I didn’t even use and a ton of places I researched that didn’t get done. The things I actually wound up doing instead was quite… limited until later on.

There were so many wonderful things about Vegas I’m happy to report about. I kept my trip under wraps for the most part until I actually went. People have their own usual things they post about and are usually focused more on that.

I suppose the bad news first, the recession continued to hit many businesses I loved and close them down. But like I noticed in the past few years, some of the big businesses I wish had closed locations didn’t, they still churn out garbage and cattle feeds off the image their commercials inundate on tv. Their commercials are on the superbowl every year and also make consumerist’s march madness bracket every year.

I originally moved away from the bay area because I got sick of seeing my favorite childhood places disappear due to change of new owners and management. I wanted to leave while I had memories in tact. I expected Vegas to be a place of change. I just never expected to be such a crusader of small businesses and get to know their families.

One thing that did surprise me was the new changes that I supported and there were many. I got to check out a lot of places I’d heard opened after I left. I now understand what locals see in Cosmo that reviews and pictures couldn’t capture online. I’ll attempt to capture it in my review.

There are so many new developments downtown and I appreciated the ones I went to. There were others I intentionally stayed away from. I wanted to go to places with the older East Fremont feelings I know, the one that isn’t being bought up by that shoe company playing Monopoly with businesses that have been there decades longer.

I’m the biggest fan of Downtown and Mayor Oscar’s attempts to revitalize it (even the big empty location that the landlord has been noted for screwing up). But the shoe company is gobbling up property that they don’t have plans for yet. And the huge, glaring red flag no one wants to mention is that said company had 3 retail locations that eventually failed- years before the recession hit.

Wow, this’ll have to be a 2/ multi part-er. I haven’t scratched the surface on all the places I went! I got to explore nips deep and it was magnanimous!

2013/04/09 Posted by | Single malts | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I lost my poor, poor baby girl

Mourner’s blog, kitty date 120724.09

Sunday morning, my cat who let me share my life with her passed away. She shared her life with me. A lot of this blog is going to be things I cried out to the close people I talked on the phone with the past day or so.

You may think she’s just a cat, but to me she was my companion that accompanied me thru the struggle of moving 8 times, having 6-8 jobs, 4-5 vehicles, a few girlfriends and a couple of states.

It’s safe to say a lot of people have put up with my shit for 17 years, but she always got the better of me. No matter how mad I got for the mess she made, she would respond with rubbing her head on my arm or leg or meow at me saying “pick me up and hug me, please? Pet my back. Scratch the back of my head.” She disarmed me faster than any human could. And that’s a big lesson for me to learn about dealing with others for the rest of my life.

I sensed her time coming, but there were some things. I couldn’t afford the vets and even if I did, did I really want the vets to cut her up and drug her to something that wouldn’t recognize me anymore? I learned a lot from watching my mother and uncle dealing with trying to drag my Grandfather to convalescent homes, where they wouldn’t allow him his cigars and white port. His temper went up and health down. Eventually, they relented and decided to let him sit in his living room, watch tv and drink his “medicine” and smoke his cigars. Go out HIS way.

When I had to move from Vegas to protect my girlfriend from living with the unemployed I eventually lost her to her ongoing life while mine was frozen. No matter how many times I applied, no matter how many books I read on psychology, happiness, motivation, coaching, business, marketing, Zen Buddhism, and war stratagems, I could not get a job to save my life. That first month back to my mother’s condo snapped me into a reality where I didn’t have to remind my girlfriend what needed to be done anymore. I was relieved, but soon saddened by this. I had to learn how to shop at the grocery store by myself, without considering what we’d get.

I still had my baby girl. Whatever odds were against me that was compounded by being “out of state” even though I returned was made worse by month after month of unemployment. When my job search faded from getting Back to Vegas, it continued as I have to get work, to pay off a credit card, to get a vehicle to get me and my cat out of here, if not Vegas.

2 years later, my cat’s health was deteriorating. I knew how long I had her, but I had also heard cats could live to 20-21 and I was going to drive her somewhere with trees and grass she could play in.

In Vegas we developed a tradition of taking her to the drive in movies! We decided to go there for nostalgia and hell 2 movies for $4 each? It was a BONUS when I realized we could put baby kitty in her carrier and smuggle her in. Really, no pets? She could see the family of cats that lived on the roof of concessions that wandered around. We always worried they’d get run over. We always brought string cheese and Cane’s chicken for all the cats to snack on.

One time we even drove her thru x-mas in the park! Vegas is a great place for annual holiday events, but for kitty and my girlfriend, they let me forget about my problems with the holidays and the religions behind them and enjoy the pretty lights. “Look baby!” (There go writer’s tears.)

I have so many memories of my cat, I’ve been scribbling them down the past couple of days and will do so until I’m all wrote out. I always want to remember her how I remember her. 10 years goes by and you forget things and I can’t let that happen. I have to mind dump my memory on a media, a “hard copy” I can have.

I talked with someone recently about digital cameras/ pictures/ computer storage. It’s more convenient than film, but look how less permanent it is. One zap could crash your drive. You could lose your cell with all your pics. In fact it happened to me and the only thing I used my first cell cam for was kitty pics. There were a few I e-mailed to myself that I pulled later. You could post your pics online but I did that for 10 years, who the hell goes to myspace anymore? Who will go to face book 10 years from now? I gamble that word press was around for a long time and could be here until I can at least afford my own domain someday to transfer all this to. Even then, domain companies get bought out. Who knows. It’s why I want to write a book, so copies have a chance of being out there in the world after I’m gone. But the internet is even turning books into vcrs or Kodak film.

I want a physical photo album, physical pictures to post up at work or whatever locker I’ll have some day or god forbid my own office. Instant replaces longevity, another lesson the remote culture needs to learn.

I have more to say and I’m at the end of my page. I’ll write another blog and post it tomorrow, okay? Thank you all for reading this. Losing my baby makes me want to apologize to everyone, appreciate the people I love and thank everyone for the rest of my life.

2012/07/24 Posted by | Single malts | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Summer hiatus of 2012?

Explorer’s blog, itinerary date 66398.66

Remember last time when I said I’d write about organization? I lied.

Screw that, it seems to be a common sense on how to clean an area out or organize time. Actually, the topic I’m hard shifting to is related to this, so I guess it turns out you’ll get the practical flowchart example.

What got the ball rolling were all the season/ series enders on tv in May. Honestly, I read about most, saw a couple and 1 I don’t even understand why, other than I got reception on my tv for it (Desperate yentas). No matter how cliché those can get, it still made me think of the big changes I could do this summer aside from the same old 1 that’s worn my brain and spirit down to a raw little jagged blister that used to be where I kept hope and faith.

I got the weekly and it has a guide for things to do this summer. It actually made me happy for a bit, with the promise of free/ cheap things to do. I’ve often been pissed off where I live. It’s the 3rd largest city in California (population wise), but culturally, it drags down to the high 20s.

I’m so tired of fighting the fight for a paycheck, I need to do something that’s just fun. I always guilt myself for every time I catch myself sitting around doing nothing. I at least have to read something (educational), watch tv or you tube that I can learn business from, develop searching skills, etc.

Wherever I go apply in the weekday, I see the elderly out and at times on the way home. There’s also that at risk time for kids between 3-6 PM where they’re out in hoards, bored with no money. I observe (or remember) what these 2 groups do with their time. I’m in my early 40’s, I can’t sit out in front of the 7-11. I have to look busy, people between teens and seniors get targeted the most for loitering. If we’re not buying anything, we’re a trespassing risk more noticeable than blending into a casino with a few hundred people who are really also not doing much all dressed up. We’re the fuckups that don’t have an excuse to be wandering around on a weekday.

So, like most planning, it’s good to have all the information in front of you: the guide, the stack of pamphlets, articles, etc. And then you have your blank piece of paper or whatever media you brainstorm on. Some people have a sketchbook, I have my blank notebooks/ journals, etc. I don’t think it’s a good idea to put notes on an iphone, but people peck at those a word at a time somehow.

There are tons of things I/ we want to do, but in brainstorming you list it all out. But I streamline it a little. I have to mentally hack out the things that are too far away (by public transportation more than an hour away). I have to take into consideration that things have to basically be free, but you can plan what your budget’s going to be like.

For those of you that think Coachella is worth the price of a ticket, gas, parking possibly hotel room, you schedule out the bands you want to see the most and the logistics of getting to the stages where there are drunk, high people all over the place including you. You breakdown what is actually practical, like picking 6 major moves in the day.

What I then do is prioritize. Without money, I’m basically want to do 3 things this summer, 1 per month. I’m considering volunteering for the city/ county. There are a lot of community events where they have a tent and someone handing out fliers/ pamphlets. I know someone involved I met, so I may hit her up soon. There’s free outdoor movies where I saw Viva Las Vegas last summer, Blues Brothers, etc. they pick fun movies and you bring your chairs and snacks out, you can buy beer, etc. They have security.

Concerts in the park suffered and it turns out last summer I went to the last shows. Security issues with rowdy people and transients wandering in hearing the music “encroaching on their turf.” so this summer they’re announcing concerts at small venues around town, each in their own controlled environment.

I know it pales compared to all the things to do in Vegas. That’s my other summer plan. I thought about taking a summer hiatus off twitter, most likely limit my time to a short session at night. But I failed at that before. I need to keep up on my weekly promise to blog here even though I mistake of seeing the vast void of the visit count.

My plan is to try to enjoy my life here and how. I have done this “settling” in the past and it has kept me here longer. But I’ve been here for 2 years without a paycheck. I’m stuck here. Vegas is fading more than I want it to as an extended vacation. When I was writing about letting things go, I may have to let Vegas go in my mind, stop mentioning it. Back burner it until I have 1) my credit card paid off (from “that job”) and money in savings before I can get back to thinking about it again, so my plans don’t seem so beyond my reach.

2012/05/25 Posted by | Single malts | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What battles do you think are worth fighting for?

Protester’s blog, rally date 66336.2

Honestly, I never realized how important May Day is before this year. I mean protesting for your own rights.

There’s so much emphasis on how military protects us. But when it comes time for the worker to stand up for their rights, no one wants to rock the boat and endanger the next payment on their credit cards and bank they’re shackled to. I understand many people have kids, and I’m not going to bash them about it. They have them.

I was very proud to see my town finally rally to city hall yesterday. Not only that, they brought their kids. It wasn’t a big anarchy vs. police pandemonium like it was in Oakland and San Francisco. It was a demonstration for workers rights and our message came across better than it did than straining the police budget that we taxpayers pay for.

Faith was flatlining until May Day, having seen the lack of participation of Occupy Wall Street in our area. I thought everyone’s gadgets pacified them into a comfort zone. There’s more than linking shit on your page to take action in an American cause. And why the hell is your priority Darfur and Kony when you have banks making people homeless in your own town? Shitty wages for decreasing jobs.

We have choices every time we pull out our wallets. I’m also more aware than ever of how I spend every dollar. I think of where the money goes. It goes to the store, sure. I picked the smallest local store I can. Most of the groceries I buy are bulk, fresh foods that are as local as I can pick. I try to pick products with the least number of chemicals on the indgredients, especially when I don’t know what they are, even with csi viewing experience.

In the news, I see so many Vegas businesses are starting to stir up shit again. Money is moving again, things are being demo-ed, businesses bought and are being remodeled. I moved away from my hometown because I couldn’t stand seeing the things I loved and supported close and change into something I couldn‘t follow.

I reasoned moving to Vegas because I knew it was going to change, I could expect it. Think of all the stores and places you used to go to that aren’t there anymore. And then think of what replaced them, froyo stores? A coffee chain that’s a front for free wi-fi? I saw on Record Store Day that I’m not the only one that misses the environment of real employee interaction, as well as other customers.

There’s a list I maintain of small businesses, local events and groups I support. I want to rally behind what I see is good and noble and not the wasteful businesses I see. So many people are clicking their money for things that aren’t even tangible anymore or won’t be around for 5 years, obsolete after… now.

There’s a theme that keeps presenting itself to me, that everything I love will be gone someday. I love my cat more than anything, but she’s in retirement. If I got a job tomorrow, she may not be around by the time I’ve saved up to move out of here. She’s the last of my heart, the last thing I can not only love, but count on to be here for me whenever I need a hug.

Week after week, I struggle to find a job so I can get my shopping list to my Master Plans in motion. It’s easier for me from having no “extra” money for a couple of years now to evaluate my past spending habits and what I wasted my time, energy and money on. In Vegas, honestly there are even a lot of regrets that were worth the money.

I saw the power in me as going out and doing as much as I could around Las Vegas. It was all about night exploration. I spend every day now planning my path so when I get money, I can make it turn a dividend instead of spending it as I get it.

There are some lessons I work on every week. It’s a tough call when you see people driving to a cliff that won’t listen. I have no credibility because I’m out of work. Or I’m a know it all. If I say “fuck it” then I’m an enabler. Families are so great at this.

If I try to save them, in the past it has started a trend of repeated saves, like Superman having to save Jimmy and Lois every week. When someone is in the hospital, it does no good to show up later to state the obvious, “you shouldn’t have driven toward the cliff.” then you’re a shaming asshole.

All I can do is fight for doing my own thing and going my own way. Most days I feel like I stand on my own, anyway.

2012/05/02 Posted by | Single malts | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

If I got the handshake

Writer’s blog, bardate 66237.33

I was originally going to write about my theories on how we’re all conditioned to think everyone else is an asshole. Then…

Last night in an experiment, I left the station on that I stream, it’s a country station in Las Vegas specifically, 102.7FM Coyote.

I don’t know if you like country, so hang in there for a paragraph if you don’t. This station plays at one of my favorite places in Vegas. It also reminds me that Vegas was a frontier town, every casino used to have it as a theme I’d say until the 80’s. Seems like Sam’s town and Silverton were the last larger casinos built to continue the theme. There’s a local country station I tried listening to, but somehow, they play all the slow, depressing and random songs, another mp3 on random station. Seems like there are DJ’s at Coyote that actually care about the flow of mood and rhythms of songs, actual transitions.

So last night, I left it on when I tried to sleep. I had one of the best dreams I’d had in a long time, with the music involved. I was happy, I was having fun. I was laughing. And what usually prevents me from doing this is worrying about finding a job and having money. My dream felt like I didn’t have to worry about it. Not only that, but not worry about other problems I had when I was working. It was a rare mood I remember when I felt that home living was good, not with horrific roommates. Country sneaks up behind me and makes me feel love, I can’t explain it. But it’s about damn time something did besides my cat.

Aside from the lottery list, I have another list of goals “the way things are going,” with little/ no income. It’s basically like walking from the bay area to Florida. I bet I’d feel more progress than what I’ve been stuck doing the past couple of years. I have 5000x better thought capacity of everything I’ve read, but like college, it’s book smarts. I want to work my ass off, come home sweaty and sore and put money away into savings.

So the middle is the “if I had a job” list that I also maintain. There are few things that keep the pilot light of my hopes going, so let me feel like my income is at least in second gear for this blog, please? It’ll keep me from a negative blog.

First, I imagine I’d have to save up for a good week of whatever uniform for a week’s supply. If I serve, I’d need to start saving singles and coin for my shift “bank.”

The first way I’d treat myself is to load up on groceries and everything I’ve let run out that I need, the one time purchases. Every job I got, I started off by buying a new pair of work shoes. If I went bogo, I’d buy a new pair of street shoes, too. My shoes are so damn worn out. My dancing shoes sit there waiting to go back to Vegas. I never use my trainers (sneakers?) cause I always wear slacks when I go out to look for work, or even not so I always look ready to work and not a laundry day frat slob.

Then I’d pay off my 1 credit card. I imagine it would be easy, the balance has hovered under it’s max for a year now (under $750.) I’d dump everything I made to pay that off quick. Even at minimum wage, I could get ‘er done in 3 months, less if I served.

I want to try and get a night job just so I don’t have to get up at 4:00AM for public transit. The last thing I need is to lose a job after this long a dry spell because I’m not a morning person or someone that’s gotten 8 hour session of sleep in years.

If I can pull that, I want to then take a truck driving class in the mornings to get my class A license. It would be a bitch to get to, especially if I worked. Time zips by at a bus stop or walking, even a bicycle. I can’t blow the class or a job, or both being late.

It’s always been dangerous, even more so with the rains and idiots cell phones, but I’d consider buying a scooter to get me thru this period. Anything larger and the gas, maintenance and insurance expenses, would slow plans down.

With a class A license dreams start hauling ass. I could look for a tow truck driving job and start to make bank and it seems like easy overtime from the start.

Then I’d save up for a van most likely. Then I could sell shit at the flea market. Of course I’d have to have a weekend day off to consider that. Yeah, I hear the laughter.

There’s a lot of difficult things, stuff I’ve never been able to coordinate before, each job sucks up all your time to do anything else. That’s how they trap you from leaving.

But it’s all that keeps me applying, at least to get me to credit card paid off level.

2012/03/27 Posted by | Single malts | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What do you do with a winning lottery ticket?

Writer’s blog, bar date 66215.58

Things are still down financially for me. And against my better judgement, I plunk down a little for the lottery every week if not twice a week, like the starving mother of 3 puts in the last of her pocket change in that basket during the Sun morning sermon.

I know a list of why this is wrong, but the reason I do do it (huh huh) is for the following:

1) I lived in Vegas. I’m used to a certain amount of gambling. In a casino, I’m used to getting a few free rounds of beer on the copper mines (penny machines) the cocktailers hate like the plague. Tip one well and in advance, the more likely you’ll see her again before you dust that beer. I’d go thru weeks where people won around me and it drove me nuts, but I didn’t play. Everyone has dreams of hitting a royal or Megabucks in Vegas. In fact, I only play lottery in $3 increments, as a tribute to putting 3 credits in for max payout Megabucks. “Play” is a warm, fuzzy word Vegas uses to distract you from acknowledging you’re gambling your life savings and kid’s college money and mortgage money away.

2) I’m not greedy. I don’t have lofty dreams of winning the mega multi-billion interstates jackpot. My dreams lie within winning the “simple” $2k-$12k range. Enough to get my one credit card and the fridge stocked with some job searching money thrown in.

3) Relating to that, I play the state lottery, especially when the commercials build the frenzy of the growing interstate mega jackpot. Sometimes I’m hesitant to give secrets, but like in Vegas, there’s always some guy willing to tell you his system while we’re sitting at a bar at 2:00 in the afternoon on a weekday and not in a mansion getting banged by implant strippers. I’d rather win a small state lottery than share a huge jackpot with a few other people- how the hell did they get my numbers?

There’s more, but I’m already halfway thru my page, I’ll drop some of those wisdom gems later. I don’t have “extra” money every week, so it’s not like I’m grossly addicted, either. I haven’t even gotten into number picking & betting pace yet…

So, I win. I wrote a list of things I’d do like a lot of people do, but mine is very detailed from a legal standpoint. There’s a lawyer involved. I have a financial adviser, too, but after Bernie Madoff, I’ll likely ditch that part. I suppose this paragraph is for a huge jackpot, I’d spend some time figuring out how to invest it so I can live off dividends after taxes.

But more realistically, if I won a few thousand, I have a list of things I need to buy, “one timers.” I don’t want to buy anything that has a monthly payment. That’s where lottery/ jackpot winners/ celebrities screw up. They buy a mansion and are screwed w/ maintenance. Or gamblers blow it at the high end stores designed to do just that in Vegas. It’s like when the girl scouts hang out at ATMS. Hey, while you’re here with money…

There are some things I can’t build capital fast enough to do now in a category I’ll call synergy. Everything and most people increasing their income are a brand name. It’s why people blog and tweet and push their books, seminars and subscription services on everyone. I have a few free accounts now that I pick at, but don’t really contribute to. It goes back to confidence. Even when I have it in myself, it’s like carrying other people’s weight if I tried to tell them I’m okay, but not making money.

So I’d have some money so I could go around town and do things that would let me make some videos. I even need a starving college ramen budget to do that now, I think. That’s more shame. I go out and do free things and meet people and then it comes to “let’s go hang out at a bar” or go some place I can’t afford and new acquaintances go on without me and get too busy to call, ever.

Most importantly, I’d take a couple of classes I can’t afford right now, one is a trade school so I could get my class A license and be a tow driver. It’s one of the few truck driving jobs that could keep me in the town I live in. But I do know there’s repo work and accidents where there are basically dead people. I have had experiences like that, from a theme park I worked at. More recollections for later. (I’m very literal in not calling them stories, the shit happened.)

So, that’s what I’d do w/ a few thousand at least. If I won mega, I have an extended list that gets into longer term things. Maybe some other time. What would you do w/ $10K? (after taxes, of course)

2012/03/19 Posted by | Single malts | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writer’s Blog: bardate 66153.04

Writing is about one of the last things I have that is all mine. Sometimes I question whether or not I’m a control freak. I think I put up with a lot, I “give up” too much control until I’m backed into a corner, and that is something I have to work on. Western tv/ film influence calls the reaction taking a stand. However the reaction I see is different when I am put in a situation to speak up. It turns into what’s called a Larry David moment.

I have in the past I come out fighting after taking so many daily indignities, be it work or noticeably holiday customs/ business/ politics that bring up the same irritating questions every year. I’ve noticed “thick skin” or “going with the flow” seems to mean get back to your cubicle and shut up, sheep.

There are people I see with blogs that also do their own thing. They make money off them and I have to pay attention to all that crap in the sides, headers and footers to see who may be giving a cut to the content in the middle. I’m fascinated by some of these bloggers/ vloggers. They do great consistent work and have a following.

I think my big blog following was on MySpace until they fucked it up. I tried a couple of other web communities with mixed results. I came to word press because I researched blog communities that have been around a long time and you could follow, comment and connect to other bloggers. And at some point I could eventually transfer it to my own domain.

It’s tough writing a book, that has turned into outlines of 6-8 others that can run either in tandem or sequence. There’s a lot of privacy to a point, so our shit doesn’t get ripped off. But you do have to put some “A” material out there to test reaction like a stand up comedian trying out riffs, making sure the narrative/ language works. I sit on a lot of things I’m proud of for hopefully a pay off later, to allow me to continue doing this thing that allows me to be my own boss.

DVD commentaries about movie/ tv production and the lives of writers? Yeah, I‘m a whore for that stuff. Writers’ block hasn’t been one of my problems, I have binders and stacks of notes. Hoarding is my problem and I spend a lot of time whittling down now to just what “will make an income” at the end of the day.

There’s a list I have of all the things I want to do and am chipping away at now. It seems that I can “launch” a bunch of things when I get an income. I do go out there and walk around without much to my name. Confidence is a heavier weight for me to carry without a job.

Never before have I had so much time to realize confidence isn’t just the image I have of myself, it’s a lot of carrying the weight of supporters. It’s hard to believe whether or not I care what naysayers think is controlled by a bit ion my brain that is either switched to 1 or 0.

I was often put into positions of responsibility or leading with whatever random group of people I’m with. Now, I struggle with letting problems go instead of owning every damn thing. I try to ration now by what I’m getting paid to do. It’s been freeing.

I’ve been writing every week about my early years of discovering Vegas. Problems are not only laughable, I seek out the best ones. I think what separates men from women is that we men will do a lot of shit just for the story.

When I write, I can bend time and space, since my day-to-day isn’t much fun. I can talk to people I can’t talk to now, I am filled with so much pride, or embarrassment. Or shit, right? I can see and bring people back when they were at their best. And I as well.

For a few months now, I’ve been restless. I’m ready to go out there and live life, something besides trying to find an employer to accept me. I’m so tired of seeing events go by without being able to join in.

2012/02/25 Posted by | Single malts | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hang in there, Netflix

Let me start off by saying I lerves me dem Netflix and was pretty concerned about it’s problems last year. My take on that was I was a DVD renter who wanted to be left alone from all that combo subscription, name changing for DVD “section,” streaming drama. Netflix was created and built on DVD rentals, let streamers deal with different netflix name & accounts.

When they offered the combined streaming package, I was able to enjoy it for a bit until we gave up dls for cheaper dial up after I left my last job. I didn’t like streaming because I was a fan of the extras and they offered no such options, just the main movie/ show.

I have online access as a necessity for news and job searching. I designate a limited block of time I allow myself to go on, which is tough for someone who’s home so much to discipline. Netflix, my 3rd bill, is the only entertainment I allow myself. I don’t have drinking, drugs or even fast food money. I have the 2 movie option, so I’m watching a movie while the other is in the mail any day (except of course Sunday).

The schedule I pick is a “3 rotation.” The “A” show is Vegas CSI. I’m in 7th season right now. It gets me thru the week just to see the timely transitions. CSI started when I did in Vegas. And even in establishing shots, I can see the Stardust eventually black out, the Wynn being built, Palazzo, etc. I love the timely copter shots, as well as picking out the Clarita inconsistencies (when they film in Santa Clarita). It reminds me of what Vegas has that California and other places don’t. I hope Netflix and/ or USPS lasts this year for me to continue getting DVDs.

The “A” show I have for mostly hour shows with more than 4 seasons. It takes me awhile to plow thru them, so I have to like the show, each main character and learn something from it. I plan on rotating original Twilight zones after. I can view an entire series in order, something I couldn’t do by any other means, really. Not red box, not the library, not Blockbuster. No more Tower.

The “B” show I pick are usually ½ hour shows and a lot of shows I wonder about that last mostly less than 4 seasons. I have discovered Conchords, the IT Crowd and other gems of shows this way. Most of them I have heard of before because they have a lot of improv comedians in them. Someday I may wind up in Southern California for an education in the dozen or so comedy groups that fill most 1 camera shows.

I force a “C” movie in the rotation, basically movies I haven’t been able to find or check out form the library. I haven’t gotten to movie series yet, mostly I’ll rent theme movies in a row, like movies from Judd Apatow, Wes Anderson, etc. When I’m done w/ CSI, I’l get a jonsing for Vegas movies and I have a slew of them on my cue, since I’m now relegated to appreciate Vegas as a fan from afar.

Also, I’ll want to do celeb streaks, of movies I haven’t seen them in but heard of. John Cusack movies, Vince Vaughn, John Malkovich, Christopher Walken, etc.

The library allows me to check out more movies than I can watch in a week. Movies are random, occasionally I’ll see a season of a show that I’ll take a chance on and have no idea what the quality is. I allowed myself about 5 DVDs I really wanted to see and a couple experimental ones. Maybe movies. There’s a good actor, but I haven’t heard anything about this.

Movies have a subplot that is never explained on the cover. I’m not so much into all those parent movies, or even dating movies. Will they won’t they is so worn out, I root for them to not hook up. I was actually happy when Nick only gave Norah a fingering. She should have at least blown him.

I look for inspirational movies about where I am in my life right now. Dealing with unemployment, dealing with being on my own. Dealing with an existence where I feel stuck. I even rented eat Pray, Love and saw parallels of how I saw Vegas. It was the best decade of eating in my life. And bar hopping. And single livin.

I allow myself a DVD a day, it keeps me from watching idiot tv or “too much” news, which I just get bent out of shape from. No matter what I rent, it will NOT be an idiot movie. It takes consistent discipline to not rent something to “see how bad it is,” even if it’s free from the library. I slipped once and endured hack cliched Burlesque. Lesson learned.

2012/01/30 Posted by | Single malts | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Resolutions on it’s ass

So, resolutions. For some reason a couple of days after x-mas to the end of January, people are happier, friendlier, starting up gym memberships and doing all kinds of things to try and redeem themselves.

There are a lot of things I want to do. Last year I listed most of them and kept it in an “action binder” that I refer to. I’ve been working on such a binder that kinda reminds me of the binders they used in Falcon and the Snowman for some reason. They are my codes.

If they are in this binder, they’re not in the pile of scrap papers I also have to go thru. I try to stop or dam of scrap papers and use, consolidate or eliminate then someday shred the discarded. I have written a bunch of things stored on computer, also. When I got a computer, it was supposed to be a big informational hub where I didn’t need to write things on papers and in blank notebooks and journals anymore. I actually did manage to get rid of what I remembered to be a laundry basket filled with pages of notes. It’s down to a good work boot sized shoe box I’d say. In a binder, they’d be readily available, not buried in a computer I’d have to turn on, find the file, open it up, etc.

There is a gauge, like on a dashboard that I imagine, with me my most productive at the far right. On the far left are the things I cannot do, I have to stop doing, I have to quit. And in the low middle is idle existence. It’s status quo. It’s also enabling, it’s the space that I curse for being gullible. It’s a gauge I try to organize and prioritize. Sometimes I push to the right to get bounced back to the left. Some days it’s maintaining a good rhytm in 4th gear. Sometimes I can’t get out of first and I try to force things. Sometimes I let things go and like a gas tank shit accumulates and escalates to the left until things are fucked and I have more to do to get me back on the positive side.

One of the things I wanted to do was maintain a blog again. I have written about how Myspace and facebook screwed me. How can I start up on another web page that I have to assume won’t be around in 10 years. Buying my own domain is right up there on the things to do when I get work, but I’ve been unemployed for 19 months, now. Even domain owners get bought out, changed or deleted. I honestly have to make plans on the assumption that I’m not just broke but actually poor, or my expectations build my frustration. Unemployment is being David Banner.

I’ve been reading Zen Buddhist books that tell me I have to be happy with who I am, where I am. It’s hard advice to take. I spent half my life trying to escape the bay area. I know people would love the tourist side of things and I am happy with a lot of political aspects, surprisingly, at least compared to most other states. But Vegas is place I was happiest, even without money.

I have a ton of resolutions I spouted on twitter, but when I look back at them it just looks like my weekly goals. It’s a lot about thinking I have to maintain. Happiness is always a puzzle to me. I think too many people overdo it, to be honest. People take drugs and it backfires on them. I look at people and all they do is entertain themselves all day, fun clothes, play games on their phone, see the fun movie, watch tons of tv. Nobody wants to work for anything. Everyone wants the cubicle and surround themselves with their cable and season tickets and lets have a kid, in the bay area anyway. It’s totally foreign to me. I don’t want to be a working stiff, but I want to be proud of making the money to get what I need and save.

I see certain areas of happiness as distractions. I feel like, I don’t know how to say it, vegetables. It’s what’s good, but most people think it’s boring and would rather eat society’s junk food. When I have no money, I get back to basics. In fact, I saw a book the other day on how Amish people have the most impressive self-sustaining habits as far as a group goes. No one wants to give up plugging into the network in silicon valley. I see it as a hive or cattle I have to smile and nod while I find the means to leave.

In 2012 I’ve had to do a lot of thinking about what would make me happy that doesn’t involve money, for now. I still have my “to buy” list from last year, I don’t think anything above groceries and cat food got done. I run out of things and eventually go without them.

My goal here is to write at least 52 essays, one a week. Most likely, this will be about my leftover thoughts, too big for twitter. Some may be about my work search. Some may appear random, but I outline a lot, so they lead to something.

2012/01/03 Posted by | Single malts | , , , , , | Leave a comment


This is a test

I have to learn how to work all the functions staring at me on the left column.

Once I get all competent on this, I’ll blow your Vegas blog hole wide open.

Add me if you blog from Vegas or are interested in reading about Vegas.

I’m on Twitter,

I write reviews on Yelp.

I have a Myspace that I used since 2003 until a format change ZAPPED away 10 years of blogs and notes without warning in 2010 when those 300 myspace employees were laid off for the holidays. Black Blog Day.

One of the things I worry about is Facebook either becoming the new abandoned Myspace in a few years, or the portal to privacy invasion that will make hackers look like children on a Fisher Price computer.

What happens if I check “This post is super-awesome?”

2011/08/16 Posted by | random trains of thought- choo choo | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment