I am a grunt. By 8 AM this morning, I had cleaned off four cars and one satellite dish of snow. Loaded up the car, set up for the show, and was packed up by 11:15, only to hurry back to get to my freelance gig. That went incredibly well. The professor was an awesome guy, and we spent about a hour afterwards just shooting the breeze about greek mythology, art, New York City, Spain, Germany, family, the station, and so on. We could have talked for ever. Super nice guy. I may have to call him up and discuss Spain some more, as he made the generous offer. Back at the ranch, we are tearing things up, getting ready to drop the new console into the AM control room. That just gets me giddy as all hell. I’m excited! Sounds like a week after tomorrow, Jim and I will tear out the pinto of a board and throw in the nice, new BMW. Yes, I’m a technology nerd, I love my job, and you can eat me.
I will admit, there is something to be said about there being all this freaking snow on the ground and the advantages of having four wheel drive to get through it. I will also say that a front wheel drive Escort is a slap happy of a good time. You wouldn’t think so, but the look of complete dispair as some one watches you fish tail around the corner on a right turn while they are stopped at an intersection, inside of their nice luxury vehicle… I just laugh and laugh. I grew up driving in this stuff. I used to have a lot of friends back in the day that lived out on gravel roads. If I wanted to go hang out with my friends, I had to learn how to handle driving in the snow. And I use that to my advantage. *wink wink, nudge nudge*
The boys from Troubled Hubble will be in town tomorrow night. The show should be a great one. I’m interested to hear how things are going for the troops and when I can get my copy of the new album. I’ll take my camera and catch some pictures for sure. Should be a good night to see some more people that I haven’t in quite some time.
A colleague of mine has a web site completely devoted to his dog. It’s pretty cute. Murph sounds like a really great dog.
It’s been a busy, busy day so far. Have had a lot to do and it doesn’t look like the pace is going to slow anytime soon in the next few months. Jim keeps stacking things onto my plate, and the more I look at them, the more I think, “Piece of cake!” There’s a point where you feel like you are going to buckle under all the pressure that everyone around you puts on your shoulders. I went through it at KRUI. One day, you wake up, all the synapses fire in your brain, and you just get it. I think I hit that point around here. However, it takes a day where your boss isn’t around and you kind of have to save the day. At least that is what everyone else around here expects of you. I’ll be damned, it feels good when you make it look easy.
I have been able to score some freelance work. Well, I’m not too sure if you can call it freelance, but it’s some side work to make a little money. Basically, I’m recording one side of a telephone conversation at the home of a professor here in town. I show up, mic and minidisc in hand, do my thing, send the final product to California, and make a few bucks. I have no idea what I am getting myself into, but now that I’m on their payroll, they’ll call me whenever they need some one in the area to do more work like this. I am completely ok with that!
I have started reading Love Me by Garrison Keillor. I’m only a few chapters or so into it, but I’m already enjoying it. Of course, it’s just not as good as actually hearing him read it in person, but if you are able to understand how this man operates, you can get into it quite nicely. I found myself laughing out load more than once.
Thanks to all who inquired about my health. Rest assured, I’m feeling quite alive and well.
I got my new John Gorka CD today! He was on the Java House last week. Great guy, awesome musician. If you like the folk, get his album. I felt like I should be saying, “Eat more Gorka,” but perhaps that’s mean.
It’s been a pretty thrilling last 48 hours. The flu finally caught up to me, and I think I lost a couple pounds. Not fun at all. It all started Monday afternoon. I stayed home from the station all day yesterday, taking the day off. It drove me nuts. I hate being sick. There is nothing worse than being stuck inside, in your bed, feeling like crap. Luckily, my parents were in town and stopped by with all sorts of good stuff. People from the station even called to make sure I was alright or if I needed anything. The good news is that I am back on my feet today, but I might leave work early.
You know what’s very interesting about where I work? For starters, I am surrounded by some really great people. They respect the work that I do, and I do the same in return. We all like to give each other a hard time, but when it comes down to it, we know how to get things done and what it takes to get there. The other interesting thing is just the personalities that are around here. There are three people who work here that each speak a second language. And I think one of those three actually can speak a third. It’s kind of crazy. It was just something that struck me this morning as I walked through the building to hear all sorts of different languages surround me. Makes me smile.
I have had people asking about the hair growing process. Yes, I am growing my hair back out. It’s just barely over a half inch long, I think. It’s in that funky stage of growth. I was told some time ago by a friend that if you ever shave your head, it will get really weird on you as it grows back out. This is quite true. I am doing my best to combat it, and thankfully it’s cold enough out still wear stocking hats. I don’t do baseball caps. I forgot to completely dry my hair this morning, as I am used to just a quick pass with the towel and being done. It’s a whole new world!
My aunt Natie went in for surgery today for her tumor. It’s a pretty delicate time right now for the family, but I think everything is going to play out alright. Last I heard, she is out of the operating room and in the ICU. The tumor is believed to be non-cancerous, but lab tests on the removed tissue will give us the final say-so. Grandma is pretty tense, as usual. My mom went down to be with her on a flight this morning. I’ve got my cell phone close to hear of the updates.
I finally watched Pirates of the Caribbean yesterday. I have owned it on DVD for about a month and a half now and saw it on VHS over at my friend Deidre’s a long while ago. I seemed to have the time on my hands yesterday. Anyhow, I just had to own it. It makes me realize that I need to increase my collection of movies that has Mr. Depp in them. First on the list, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
You see this little girl? She brings so much happiness into my family. When I go home, there is always a little Josie story. Within the time span of a few months, she lost nearly half of her teeth. Some times, it is very hard to understand what she is saying. Yesterday, she was looking for “swin-dwa-wuh-wuh”. I couldn’t make out what she was asking that I must have asked her to repeat herself about ten times. Finally, I got it. “Cinderella.” She’s precious. I love spending time with my nieces and nephews. Trust me, there will be more entries like this in the future. Very funny, little girl.
It’s snowing today, which is, of course, very pretty. It would be better if I didn’t have to work today. And it would be even better if there was a layer of ice underneath all the snow. Jim made mention that today could be very interesting. Turns out, the FM tower is built to withstand a half-inch of ice and 60mph winds. Forecast calls for two inches of ice today. So, there stands a chance that I could experience my first tower failure. And by failure, I mean collapse. Hmmmm…
I got the pictures of the Burn Disco Burn show up in my gallery. Such an awesome night.
Going to see a show at Gabe’s always results in a total breakdown in planning. I didn’t plan on making it a late night, but my wonderful friends were playing last night. I thought I would pop in, say my hellos, find out how the new album is coming along, have a drink or two, and head home early. Oh no… It was Chris’s birthday. Needless to say, today has been a little rough going at the start. The music was really good at the show. A Is Jump is a great band with a really keen sound. I like what they are doing. I’ve got some pictures from the night, and I hope to post them when I get the time. Maybe after I take a nap, too.
Frosty has made his return to the airwaves. The guy just can’t stay away from KRUI. And yes, The Bomb is back. Two hours of funk. And it’s good funk, too! I tuned in the other night to hear him come on the air. I called him up, and a little over a hour later, we were out for drinks. Hunted down Todd Brommelkamp, played some strange dice game(very well, I might add), and closed down the bar. I have a feeling that I’ll be hanging out with Frosty and Todd a lot more in the future.
I got some unfortunate news that put quite the damper on the weekend. Roman Haag passed away. He is the grandfather to my neighborhood friends from the days of being a child. He was a wonderful, kind individual with a pure heart. Many days were spent over at Mark, Chris, and Brian’s house with their grandparents left to watch over us. His health appears to have been failing him for some time, but a stroke last week left him in a battle he couldn’t win. I lost my grandfather about a year and a half ago, so I can understand the pain of loss. I hope to make it to the funeral, weather depending.
In the midst of all these interesting times, I have rediscovered my passion for hunting down music. And actually, I have made a rediscovery of my enjoyment of emo. I don’t know why, but it’s good stuff. I also find myself falling in love with Beth Orten. I listen to her voice, and it makes me swoon. I might have to start posting my top five favorite songs of the moment somewhere on here. I know, that’s totally High Fidelity, but maybe that’s why my mom said she can see me when she watched that movie. Who knows…
I don’t know how to express the saddness that has come into my heart. It happens time and time again, and this time is no different. My favorite, commercial, independent radio station in the world has been sold. WOXY has given into the pressure. Forever will it be gone from the greater Cinncinati air waves. The station, equipment, and frequency is being dismantled by a corporation in Texas. They vow to stay alive on the internet via webcast, which is how I have always listened to them, but seeing the last of a truly dying breed of radio to fall victim to this “way the world works” is absolute heartbreak. Have you ever seen “Rain Man”? Yeah, this is that radio station. In a dream, this is the station that I would work for in a flash.
I haven’t been feeling too well in the past few days. I know of a few folks who have come down with colds and flu-like illnesses, so perhaps my time has come. I took half the day off yesterday, got some much needed sleep, and then ran back into the flames at work. We have so much to do. For every step forward we take, in terms of the technical side of this place, other problems creep up that cause us to take a couples steps back. Frustrating? Yeah, but we’ll get it done.
It’s so cold, and I know I am whining. The kicker is that the head meteorologist of the National Weather Service stopped by today. She said six to ten inches of snow on Monday. Wonderful!… I can’t wait. Although, I do need to get my inner tube back from Grant. I can’t let that much snow go to waste.
I got my official letter of promotion yesterday. I signed it and handed my life over. Professional and Scientific: misc. I’m not too sure how I feel about that title. Technically, I’m still the assistant engineer around here, but the other is my official title as labeled through the system. This basically means that they are able to get me, legally, to do whatever they think that I am qualified to handle. I have a lot of experience in a lot of different areas. However, I have to make sure that I keep my wits and not allow myself to get spread out into a bunch of different areas. I like playing with the buttons, wires, and computers in the tech room… for now…
It is horribly cold outside. It’s the type of cold that takes seconds to chill you to the bone, give you frost bite in a matter of minutes, and make the snot in your nose ice over in a flash. Of course, it’s the exact opposite in my apartment, where I wear no more than a t-shirt and shorts when home. It’s like coming back home from Japan all over again, every single morning. Just try going from a blazing hot, Asian summer to an Iowa fall. That is what it seriously feels like every single morning for me. A really hot apartment to the frigid, harsh winter cold. Oddly enough, I haven’t had a cold this entire winter, knock on wood.
Alright… It’s time to confess to an addiction that I realized that I have as of last night. Law and Order: SVU… I love that show! I noticed last night that when I got home, I quickly turn on the TV to see the second episode this week that I have already seen. I think that it is at that point when you know you are an avid, addicted fan of a television show. I know that I am this way with other shows like The Simpsons, Futurama, and other programs that other people find too “immature” for their tastes, as if I really care what you think of my TV habits. Anyhow, it was just one of those moments of clarity. I’m a Law and Order: SVU freak.
Cold, snowy, and windy. That sums up the day today. I’m half tempted to go grab my inner tube and hit the hills, but there is a large part of me that would just rather grab a cup of hot, green tea and curl up in some blankets, maybe pop in a DVD or two. Oh wait, I have to work today. That’s right, I have a job… Well, crap. And today hasn’t been a cake walk by any means. Computer viruses, a new server, remotes with WBGH in Boston, and so on. If you want a really good secret to losing weight, it would be days like today.
I’m ready for warmth. Deep down, I do love the winter time, but hot, sunny days are what I crave. Every season has it’s smell, and I’ve grown tired of the cold, frozen fumes that fill the air when I get up to go running or start my car in the morning. I’ve been craving the smell of the air after the rain. Or maybe the sound of water hitting the roof. Even the sound of thunder that is enough to make you jump.
To be completely honest, I think a large part of stems from the picture that my niece, Josie, drew for me a couple of weeks ago. It was a present. “Clouds, butterflies, the sun, and you.” I have the picture hanging in my office at the station. I have to admit, to see butterflies would a wonderful thing right now.
I was thinking last night about all the places that I have seen in the world. It’s safe to say that I have barely scratched the surface, but I’ve done and seen things that some people never have a lifetime to experience. I started to trace a list of things in my head and started to take a trip, in no particular order… Climbing the path to Castle Neuschwanstein in Bavaria. Attempting to hike Mt. Fuji, only to have altitude sickness over take me, sleeping in a hut on the side of the sleeping volcano, and watching the sun rise over the Kanto Plain. Dying for breath while climbing the steps of The Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan, sitting on the top, and being mind blown by the fact that my blood line could have passed through these parts. Walking through the catacombs of Cholula, the largest pyramid structure in the world. Running around Yokohama with Jennie, Doug, and Aki, eating at the Hard Rock, taking a boat ride around Yokohama Bay, Chinatown, yaki-soba, yaki-udon, and beer machines… Can’t forget about the beer machines. “Drinking beer on the train, let John do his thing…”
Going to Amsterdam and seeing where Anne Frank hid from the Nazis during the occupation and lived the last days of her free life, if you can call it that. Dachau… That’s all I should have to say about that experience. And the Berlin Wall, all of its graffiti, the history, Checkpoint Charlie, and just the awe of keeping people prisoners like they did. Hanging out with my friends in the Zocalo in Mexico City, checking out the vendors, the smell of raw sewage, the Aztec ruins, and all the VW Beetles that were everywhere. Seeing the sacred site of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the image of the virgin on Juan Diego’s cape, the people walking only on their knees as they enter the front gate, and never standing up until they get back out. Taking a boat ride down the Rhine River in Germany, looking at all of the castles lining the shores, and just in complete astonishment of the history all around me…
This is just what I can think about off the top of my head, and I know that there is some details, places, and events that I am forgetting. However, I amaze myself when I really put my mind to it. I have done a lot with the short life that I have led to this point. If there is one passion in my life, it’s to see more of the world before I die. When you think about how large the world is, but how small the planet you live on actually is, problems in your life seem a lot more insignificant.
It’s been a pretty great weekend in terms of just feeling good and happy. I have had the chance to talk to a few friends that I haven’t seen or heard from in ages. My old neighbor, Amber, popped up on my computer and we chatted for quite a while. Life sounds to be treating her incredibly well. There were many nights spent with her and I talking about life and love in nearly every single way that there is for people to communicate, just shy of sending messages in bottles. I’m looking forward to hearing more about where life has taken her.
I can’t forget that I talked with Doug for a while, too. It was pretty hilarious to think about some of the times that we shared in Japan. It was a good trip down memory lane, especially our adventures during typhoon lock downs. One of those things where you had to be there, but it always make me laugh. I have to mention that the guy is thinking about building a wooden kayak. I kid you not, this is a perfect example of the type of guy Doug is. Always has something interesting like that up his sleeve. But seriously, who builds a kayak?
I spent a portion of this weekend watching TV, most of it consisting of history channel shows. I’m a sucker for anything that involves history of World War II. I think a large part of that stems from the stories that my great uncle Richard has told me through the years during his stint in Europe shortly after the invasion. I’ve seen some of the ovens that were used first hand in the final solution. I have also walked through a gas chamber that was never used, but the intention is enough to make you pee your pants as you pass through it. I don’t know what it is, but historical topics like that just suck me in.
I said that I would get my picture gallery updated, and I have proven my word. It’s a start, and I’ll add more when I get the time.