Archives For December 2004

we bought the boychick the four disc star wars boxed set for Christmas, because he; like me before him; is a fan boy. he wasn`t around in 1977 to see it on the big screen for the first time, but he has an appreciation.

i had been reading in a couple places that george had been tinkering with the movies for the dvds. i was pissed off enough when i heard the cantina scene had been re-edited so Greedo fires first but i had to watch the end of jedi today to confirm the final insult.

if i hadn`t already given the gift i would take it back and hold on to the video version that we have and not be so upset. at the end of Jedi, when Luke is looking out at the ghostly images of the Jedi gone before him, who is that on the far right; Hayden “can`t act his way out of paper bag, much less the douche commerical that was the love scene in Episode  II” Christensen. what the hell is that?

i wish i was one of those people that still owned the unadulterated, 77, 80 and 83 versions on laserdisc instead of this incessant tinkering and in my humble opinion, ruination, of perfectly good movies.

or what a year.

this was my first post this year:

it`s hard to believe that it`s been four years since i met vic, our first physical meeting was during the summer olympics in australia. time has flown. in less than three weeks we`d have been married for two years, not the greatest two years in the world, but we have each other. another anniversary spent apart, but not completely. vic, all things working out, will be here on jan 22.

so the plan is to take the year in stages, one milestone at a time. stay focussed, stay positive.

harness everything this year has to offer and achieve my goal.

little did i know what was in store for us, three months later after a couple more hoops we would be together at last. just being together has made this year damn near perfect.

i have a life, we have a life. we`re not on hold anymore. we`ve celebrated birthdays and the holidays, we have a life, together. i miss my friends and family, but i`ve made new friends and been welcomed into vic`s family and in approximately three weeks we`ll be celebrating our third wedding anniversary, together for the first time.

i`m thankful for all the things that have happened to me this year, for good or ill they all had their lessons contained within and i`m looking forward to next years adventures.

i`ve been gathering my thoughts after the hectic few days that have been this Christmas. firstly, up until Thursday morning, i`d never driven on snow or ice, granted it was measured in inches and not in feet like other parts of the US, it was new to me. our street is one of those lovely tree lined ones your read about in the descriptions of suburbia, what they don`t tell you is that the shaded part prevents the snow and ice from melting fast enough when the sun does come out, so by the end of the day your thaw has re-frozen in to a dangerous ice slick.

the boychick was at his grandmother`s all of last week and it was our intention to drive there on Christmas eve after vic escaped from retail hell, but part of the drive from Nashville to Kingston, TN involves going over the plateau which is dangerous enough in its own right without adding night and ice to the mixture. realising we would also be trapped in our house if we stayed we crashed at a friend`s for the night. i have to say it was one of the nicest Christmas eves of my adult life and quite possibly the start of a new tradition; zombie flicks on Christmas eve. a side note, if you haven`t seen Shaun of the Dead, do, it is hysterically funny, without being excessively gory or campy.

on Saturday morning we made our way to the boychick, my mother in law and other family members for breakfast and exchange of gifts. i now have a large stack of books at my bedside to keep my company including from my wife; Watchmen and a couple Sin City books, George Carlin`s new opus from which i drew the title of this post. Eats, Shoots and Leaves, an autographed first edition of the new John Grisham, Irivine Welsh`s Porno and the new Dean Koontz. in other words i scored. vic also got me the coolest plates from Restoration Hardware which was completely unexpected.

We came back yesterday and had our own Boxing Day celebratory open house  and some much needed rest before i headed back out to work this morning. there isn`t much of anything to do today, so i send my machine in to be serviced. after five calls to apple care and no solution, we; apple care and myself; are theorising i have a serious hardware problem. i`m moved in the office of the most recently departed graphic artist for the time being. this part of the building isn`t served by central heat, but i`m not bothered by the cold enough to go get and turn on the space heater.

Whatever you`re celebrating or not celebrating this year, I wish you all the best. I hope your holidays are filled with love and joy. This year is a new experience for me, the first with my new family and the first without my family. I hope to be able to combine at least part of the two in time for next year`s festivities. This has been a year of big changes for me and I`d like to express my gratitude for the support you`ve given me; morally, spiritually, financially; thank you.

May your holiday season and the new year be blessed, full of love and prosperity.

Divali, Eid, Chanukah, Yule, Christmas, Kwanza, New Year`s Greeting to you.

Be safe this holiday weekend.

there are two new animations from the otherside

a new samurai lapin animation

and Krark the penguin which just needs to be seen.

soy un perdidor

December 22, 2004 — Leave a comment

i think the insurance scenario may be sorted, i called the company that we have our life, car and renters` insurance with and they gave me some good advice. apparently when you purchase family insurance, there is the assumption that there will be addition children and your rates are padded to account for the possibility of pregnancy. vic and i decided that we`d done enough for the planet`s population so there are no more children in our future, so we`re getting individual policies for her and the boychick; with the same deductible as i have in the office but no vision; for about 75% of what it was going to cost me if i kept them on the plan. i have to say i`m really pleased with that. the difference in take home now that it`s just me will cover the added premiums without making us destitute.

i got this picture from nerve`s advent calendar.
Continue Reading…

we`ve had a cold snap over the last few days including some scheduled snow flurries; although flurries would be a generous description for the three flakes of snow i saw yesterday. not that i`m complaining.

i like cold; which is sort of odd for a 6` 2″ dreadlocked Caribbean born and raised man. the overnight low temperature in Nashvegas last night was 14°F (-10°C), which in comparison to some places in the US is a bright and sunny day; but i`m not too thrilled about snow. primarily because i don`t know how to drive in it and if the driving abilities of people in Nashville in the rain are any indication, i don`t want to be sharing the road with them. there is a rumour that there are three snowplows in the entire state because of the rarity of heavy snow fall here.

even with my love for the cold i`m not stupid, i`ve got a light coat and a heavy coat, although the heavy coat hasn`t gotten any use yet. i`ve been pulling out the turtlenecks and long sleeved shirts and tee that languished in the back of my closet year after year.

we`re a Jimmy Carter household; old joke, during the Carter presidency at the height of the energy crisis Carter recommended that Americans use less heat and wear more sweaters at home. we`re on a staggered payment plan for the heat, but we`d rather not have any massive overages in the spring, so although the heat on it`s not going past 65, if we`re really cold, we`ll pull out a blanket or put on a sweater.

Sophie’s Choice

December 16, 2004 — Leave a comment

in the four years i was living in Trinidad, actually for the three years preceding that as well, i had no health insurance. i was a freelance contractor in most cases or my full time employer didn`t offer health care benefits. but it was ok, because in that tiny little twin island republic, we had socialised medicine. yes, there were excessive waiting periods and sometimes you had to go somewhere else to get prescribed medication, but it was available, you had a choice.

now i have this job and i have to have health insurance and as of January it`s going to be Sophie`s choice, coverage for me and my family or rent. a combination of a 21% increase by the healthcare provider plus a 15% cut on the amount my employer pays equals a 30% cut in my pay cheque. a friend asked if it was low pay or high insurance costs and i think it`s a combination of the two. continuing to do the math, i`ve realised that were it not for my employer contributions, all of my salary would be spent on paying to make sure, vic, the boy chick and myself had some kind of coverage.

there is no hope for a raise, so now i`m trying to find cheaper alternatives for coverage for my family. my immediate option is getting everyone checked up while we still have coverage, then dropping the family portion of the plan for major medical, because what`s the point of having health insurance if we don`t have somewhere to live.

snap, crackle, pop

December 15, 2004 — Leave a comment

i got a little perspective on my loathing of the mall and it`s patrons this morning as i was dropping vic to work; we`re a one car household, i`ll touch on that later; i only have to be there twice a day, once early in the morning before i go into work, when it`s mostly patron free except for the people who enjoy the smell of mall in the morning and late at night, again when it`s pretty much patron free. vic spends 14 glorious hours a day there, 12 of which are spent with people who generally have more money that good sense.

i am not a people person, i tend to expect the worse of people in most cases and more so at this time of year. i should try to be more charitable especially considering how nice people have been to me all year, but cynicism is ingrained in me. i`m incredibly proud of vic and honoured to be her spouse, she has tempered me, because she is one of those genuinely nice people. i don`t think i could ever begin to fathom working retail, i don`t have the temperance for it, i can barely deal with client meetings.

the other part of my perspective was as much as i hate the mall, it`s a source of income, we`re not destitute, but we`re living on what we make. no credit cards, just an incredibly tight budget, that just got more interesting this very moment. i`m covered by my office`s health insurance plan and they just cut back on their contribution. looks like 2005 is going to be a doozy.

well that just took the wind out of my sails, i`ll finish this up later.