The Final Post

This is the last posting from Apartment G.

The majority of my belongings are in boxes or lie unceremoniously in piles awaiting boxes. The kitchen is barren less my stockpile of Costco tuna and some mustard; and my closet consists of 2 days worth of clothes surrounded by unused hangers. All that’s really left to do is tag and bag the computer and what’s left on my entertainment center. Both of which just happen to be today’s projects. Unfortunately that will leave me internet-less for the next two days besides at work. Scary thought really when you think how reliant we are these days on it. I may post from work if something particularly eventful happens between now and Tuesday, but if not the next post should be coming out of the new place.


The Advance Screaming Post

Halloween is in the air and its time again for Universal Studio’s to put on their Halloween Horror Nights event. The park is transformed at nightfall into a creepy carnival featuring haunted houses, eerie actors and long lines. Tonight was the employees only advance showing of the event for this year and I got to go thanks to the awesome efforts of Rich and Henry at the office. Unfortunately I was seemingly unable to coordinate the other people who where going and ended up toughing the night out solo. While there is a lot to do and see and some really cool effects and scares to be had, it definitely loses something having to do it on your own. I saw a lot, but not nearly everything, and look forward to going again on a regular night with Sarah when she is down for Halloween next month.

This year’s theming was much more impressive than last year’s and overall it was a better production. Featuring characters like Leatherface, Freddy Kruger and Jason and some awesome carnival creepiness the whole park really came off a lot better than last year’s attempt. Unfortunately the food wasn’t free this time, and there where no light up glasses with interesting beers (beer came in plastic cups and was limited to Bud only). The Bill and Ted show had its wings clipped noticeably from last year’s raucous show, though still posed a few good pop-culture oriented jabs. Unfortunately it kept falling back to making fun of Britney Spears (though the ‘leave Britney alone’ audio was classic). They where forbidding any and all photography and filming during the show this time too which is a bummer. But any show featuring a phone booth transformer-ing into Optimus Prime while Leonidus the Spartan tosses javelins at Lindsey Lohan is ok in my book.


The Wedding Invite Post

Fellow graphic designer and former GMU classmate Katie Ray is tying the knot to her fiancĂ© Aaron on November 11th, and will be having the wedding on Daufuskie Island in South Carolina. Sarah and I have been invited to attend the ceremony and will be staying on the island’s resort for the weekend prior. I’ll be driving up and Sarah will be flying down (possibly driving too). Looking forward to it all for a few reasons. Primarily as it will be a fun event and mini-holiday for Sarah and I to enjoy (they don’t happen often enough). I know Sarah is very excited and I am very pleased that Katie thought to send us an invite. I haven’t been to a wedding forever, and look forward to getting to go electively this time around,with no bowtie requirements from the parents.


The Boxes and Vandalism Post

Moving day is fast approaching next Tuesday. And when I say ‘fast’ I really mean ‘slowly as hell’. The weekend cant get here fast enough. Living in a pseudo-packed state is a pain, and I am anxious to get the job done. Transporting Coolio, renting the u-haul, coordinating getting a hand lifting my tv; are all requiring planning, and I have the day laid out to a tee for the most part. I just wish I could hurry up and get on with it. Paid off the couch last weekend, and organized the delivery for the following Saturday, and all utilities, phone and internet services have been notified of the move and are all set to be active on move-in day.

I am anxious to get out of here for the aforementioned reasons plus the fact that I am just sick of this place. Sure its not as bad as I am sure I make it out to be, but I am just fed up of dealing with all the little problems that come along with cheap housing. The bathtub is still awaiting repair (going on 2 months now) but should be FINALLY sorted out Saturday at 8:00. Unless he reschedules for the 3rd week in a row of course. Whatever... after this weekend its not my problem anymore. Cincinnati paid me a visit this evening and took me down to show me the damage done to his daughter’s car. He wanted to know if I had heard/seen anything, which I hadn’t. The poor car had a number done on it for sure. I’d recon 50% of the bodywork is scratched doff with some vigorous keying, and the majority of the windows have large circular cracks from blows with what seems to be bricks or large rocks. Considering this and past experiences he has had living where he does, I found it odd that when I told him I was moving out next week he seemed surprised I’d want to move.


The Memorial Post

Today was the memorial service for Sue Wolfgang’s father, Joseph, who had recently passed away. Afraid that I would be trespassing on a personal moment, I wasn’t planning on attending, as I hadn’t been formally invited and didn’t know Mr. Doole personally. I have never attended a memorial service like this before and always thought that they where moments of memory for those directly effected by a loved ones passing. While that is certainly true I have come to realize that by attending a memorial you are not just paying respects to the deceased but also offering support to those left behind. After a few encouraging words with Henry, Susan and Craig at the office I decided that as a friend to the Wolfgang’s I wanted to be there for them and offer my support during their time of loss, which I am very glad I did. Many people where in attendance and the effect of the supporters on the family is exactly what they need right now. I’m glad that my friends convinced me to go, and I hope that Sue and Arnold’s family are able to pull through their loss and remember Joseph and the time they had together.


The Shoot Em Up Post

Manly men like Action. They like guns, boobs, explosions and vehicular destruction. In celebration of this manly bond we all share (sorry ladies) I have made a symbol all men can carry on them with pride. Below is your Man Card*. Go ahead and print this sucker out and get him in your wallet. Now go see Shoot ‘Em Up and feel free to chest-bump any and all that get in your way.

Many people are depressed about how violence in the media has diluted films and choked out semblance of a plot or character development. Shoot Em Up’s position on the topic is stated within the fist five minutes when Clive Owens character bellows ‘F you. You F’n F’ers’, in a celebration of the film’s R rated, no-holds barred approach to cinema. Logic is thrown to the wind and pure adrenaline takes its place. In the same initial 5-minutes Owen’s extreme character punches a carrot through a guy’s head, delivers a baby while shooting people, blows the umbilical cord away with a handgun and leaps across two buildings to evade Paul Giamatti’s character, shooting out a sign to spell “FUK U TOOL”.

Shoot ‘Em Up does have a point to its madness, and does a decent job of pointing the proverbial trigger-finger at its targets. Somehow the film manages to condemn the genre for being overloaded with violence and filth, whilst at the same time reveling in it to an astronomical degree. It’s a tongue-in-cheek version of 300. In addition to the self-parody and amped up satirical violence Owen’s mysterious character (Smith) vents to the moviegoers about all the little things he hates. Ranging from the misconception that a ponytail makes you look tough, to littering and changing lanes without an indicator. All the little things that everyone hates; Smith takes to heart and punishes the offenders. (He shoots off the guy’s ponytail, and rams the discourteous driver into a lamppost). This pet-peeve driven rampage and constant carrot eating is all we get as far as a character goes, and Smith is the most developed role in the whole film. Yes there are other characters and yes there is a plot, but wasting your attention on the details would defeat the whole purpose of seeing the movie.

The action is frenetic and fun, the situations are well thought-out and engaging, and the characters (though shallow) serve their 2D roles to the letter. Not for the faint at heart nor those who want a plot driven adventure, Shoot ‘Em Up delivers an action packed stunt show and nothing more. That said; if you don’t thoroughly enjoy this movie I’m afraid I’m going to have to go ahead and take your Man Card.

*Man Card creation (and its revocation) is plagiarized from Dr. Cox without any shame.


The One Year Post

So its officially been one year since I started working here at Colorvision. Crazy to think that it’s been that long, but at the same time rather fitting. When I think bout how well I know my coworkers and feel like I have a neat ‘fit’ in the company, it seems like I’ve been there forever. But when I think about working for MowCow in Virginia just before making the move, it feels like it was yesterday. Bruce took my out for a celebratory Firehouse sub which is an appreciated sentiment. Weird how time can change depending on how you look at it. Wonder how I’ll feel about things a year from now?

While it is all too easy to miss home and wonder why I'd ever leave the comfort of Vienna I can also look back on this past year and feel proud and pleased with the way it turned out. Yes I have missed everyone, and of course leaving was one of the biggest changes in my life, but I think I’d be doing myself a disservice if I didn’t recognize how much the change has been for the better in many ways. For starters I think I have matured a lot. I still find a good poop joke to be the most hilarious thing on the planet, but on the other hand I pay bills, watch insurance rates, keep an eye on income and make sure everything comes together at the end of the month. Things I never had a grasp of before heading down here. Hardly big accomplishments for most, but changes none the less. My graphic portfolio now boast names like Universal, Disney and Lucasfilm, and I’ve become a valued member of a team that I really enjoy being a part of. I also think that I’ve had opportunities to do things I never would have if I had been in Virginia. This past year I’ve had many new experiences from gambling cruises and shuttle launches, to VIP sections and hanging with DJs. Being out on my own has made me take a more active role in the direction I take myself at work and in my free time, I’ve had a great experience over the past 12 months and the friends I have met here have helped make the adjustments all the more enjoyable.

The 360 v2 Post

Today I finally got my 360 back in the mail after waiting for almost a month for it to be repaired. I’m stoked as I can finally sink my teeth into Blue Dragon and Bioshock, both of which I have been after for a good while. Unfortunately my original system was unrepeatable and Microsoft sent me a refurbished system in its place. No new features or anything like that, just one that was previously defective and now functional. Not that I am bothered that I am inheriting someone else’s previously faulty system, but I don’t really like the idea of it no being my 360. Its not the same system I waited in line for in front of Best Buy in the winter cold (twice). I build up an unnecessary attachment to a lot of my possessions and while a faceless piece of machinery is hardly sentimental, it is different. Hopefully this one didn’t die twice already and is in tiptop shape. So far no complaints. Just happy to have it back. I found these shirts to be rather amusing in it's absence.

UPDATE- 9/17/07
The refurbished system they sent lasted a weekend then died. I'm pretty pissed at this point having been without for just shy of a month and getting someone else's defective used system is hardly worth the wait. Expecting a call from them tomorrow to clear all this up. Till then I am pouty. All I want is my bathtub and game system to work. Can I not have both?

The Confused Repair Post

So the back and forth with the bathtub has escalated to ridiculous now. The apartment complex was supposed to send a guy to fix the still dripping tap (apparently it’s a real doosey because he’s already failed once), and Tuesday I come home to find the familiar note on my countertop saying that the repair man had been in the apartment. However this time the note said:

“fixed leaking AC”

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? I’m not quite sure how you come to fix a tap (for the second time) and somehow find yourself fixing a leaking AC and still leave the tap dripping away. Now I knew the AC was an issue and leaked into the tub as well, however you can stop that problem by turning the AC off, which I had been doing every time a repair guy was in to look at the bath. So I call back the apartment complex to explain the difference between a tap and an air conditioner and they promised to send someone out to fix the actual problem. I really don’t understand why the guy doesn’t just move in with me, he’s here every week. So far no one has showed to try again, but I sincerely hope they get to it tomorrow before the weekend, or else I am going to be waiting another week before I can get the sealer back to finish the job. Idiots!

The Heroic Post

Heroes (season 1) recently came out on DVD, and I just spent the week plowing through episode after episode. Henry picked up a copy for the department so we can familiarize ourselves with the show. I previously knew nothing about it besides some of the character names after dealing with the license at our NBC New York location. After the first episode I was hooked and found myself chomping through 3-4 episodes a day. Didn’t take very long to polish off the season. Fantastic show; well acted, great characters, interesting and engaging plot. Very impressive. I think its one of those shows that would be brutal to watch week-to-week though, what with the cliffhanger endings and multiple storylines. I know season 2 is kicking off soon which is exciting, however I think I’ll hold off until the next DVD set before I get into it again. I’ve had my fill for the time being, plus the ending (though good) was not as complex or clever as the buildup to it was, so I am a smidgen bitter. If you haven’t seen the show yet, I advise checking out the set.


The Birthday Weekend Post

Apparently this is the cool weekend to have a birthday. Saturday I headed over to the Wolfgang’s for Hayden’s 2nd birthday party. There where a fair few people there which sort of intimidated the poor little guy, especially when everyone was giving him all their attention most of the time. He was able to escape to the moon bounce they had to have some fun with his cousins and friends though, so I think its safe to say he had a god time. I had to leave early to go back and check on how Coolio was faring in the toxic paint cloud that is my apartment. But I did get to stick around from some awesome food, the candle blowing and some flying monkey. Judging from the pile of presents he had to open when I left they kid is going to have an awesome weekend. I miss being 2.

Last night I wet downtown with Buck and Laura to meet up with their friends for Jessica’s birthday. We went to the Thai restaurant that Sarah and I went to one time she was here. Great food, but really slow coming, which was amplified by the fact that we were all starving. Afterwards we went back to Dave and Jess’ to chill and play poker. I dipped out early again (apparently that’s my thing this weekend) due to the 3 hours of sleep I got the night previous.

Friday night Kristina from work had a (non-birthday)party out at here house which Bruce, Stacey and I went to. When I got there, there where keg issues due to the guy at the store giving them a domestic tap for a keg of Heineken. So no sooner had I arrived I was sent off on the keg-party mission lugging the thing back to the st
ore. Flashbacks of Total Wine employment where aplenty. Everything worked out though and I had a good time. The evening was marred slightly with the persistent debates breaking out with a very conservative/traditional family who liked to strike up discussion about all hot button topics imaginable. It was easily avoidable if you stayed off the back porch however.

Dad’s birthday is today as well which is kinda crazy. This time last year was my last night in Virginia. Stefan and I were working the tiki-bar for Dad’s Hawaii-5.0 party and the next morning I left for the Amtrak station. Bizarre to think how time can fly. Happy Birthday to all!


The Facebook Blitz Post

Last week Louise, an old friend from England added me on Facebook. She and I went to Beacon Hill Primary together back in the UK up until my family moved stateside in 5th grade. Her addition to my friends-list sent me on a page-to-page search of people’s profiles tracking down all my old elementary school friends. It’s crazy to see how much people have changed yet are still at the core the same person I grew up with. I’ve a had a few nostalgic back-and-fourths with quite a few former classmates, most of which still live in the Ipswich area. It’s funny to look back at a class photo of little red jumpers (the uniform of choice at Beacon Hill) and remember playing Ninja Turtles on the playground and hiding our crusts at lunch, and to then flash forward and know that that kid is going to become a doctor, this girl is married now, that guy a police constable, this guy makes movies, that guy is touring with his band… great to hear from everyone again. Nice to know I’m still remembered too, and funny to hear that many of my friends are not the slightest bit surprised when they hear about what I do and who I am these days. Guess I’m predictable.

The Toxic Fumes Post

This bathtub issue has gone from bad to worse. Where did I last leave off on this wonderful adventure… ah yeah, ok so I got a hold of the apartment community repair manager (the one who claimed to have never said she’d send anybody) to find her tune has changed to ‘oh I sent a guy and he knocked on the door and no one answered all morning’- odd change of story, but one I could easily shame as I was in the apartment waiting from 7 in the morning until 5 that evening. Anyway she shoots for next Saturday. Saturday rolls around and the guy arrives at 8 on the dot. Nice guy, came in tore up the old lining and prepped for the new one. Unfortunately he was unable to finish the job because the tap was leaking. Now the tap was dripping marginally before he got there sure, but was a steady stream of leakage after he left...fine. I call the apartment people to fix the tap...oh it will be Tuesday because of the long weekend. Damn it. Ok that’s fine. Next week I come home one day after work and sure enough the pouring water has subsided and a note is on my counter saying a guy repaired the issue. I call the tub guy back, he says he’ll come on Thursday. Thursday comes he says Friday. Friday comes it goes to Saturday. So here we are Saturday and he just left again because the tap is dripping again and he cant seal!!! I head down to the leasing office and practically murder the poor woman who happens to be there today with complaints. She says they will put in the work order for the tap on Monday and someone will come by sometime next week. At which point I can call the tub-guy back for the fourth time and see what he can do. Unfortunately my tub stands half-sealed at this point and my apartment is a cesspool of toxic paint fumes. I have the doors open and fans blowing but its 95 degrees outside today so my apartment is just plain nasty at the moment. Worst of all I can’t take a shower for 24 hours AND have the joy of looking forward to this crap all over again next week. I can’t stress how badly I am ready to me out of this armpit. Now if you’ll excuse me I am going to go to the gym so I can take a shower.


The Laboring Day Post

So I spent the majority of today and yesterday cleaning up the apartment and getting everything ready for my move. Now I know it’s a little in advance, but I figured I’d take advantage of the long weekend and get the majority of the wall scrubbing and touchups taken care of before it gets down to the wire. Boxed up all the non-essentials and took down all my canvases so I can Mr. Clean the walls. Magic eraser works pretty well, though it does leave your hands a little raw feeling if you don’t wash them right away. I’ve also been watching copious amounts of Scrubs episodes leaving the DVDs on ‘play all’ mode while I bustle about getting stuff sussed. Carpets look good, walls are cleaner than when I moved in, and a lot of stuff now stands tucked in the corner in a neat stack of boxes Arnold got me from the warehouse at work. I’ve been making the odd trips out here and there to enjoy the nice weather and to make sure I don’t turn into a hermit. Wandered around the mall, did some grocery shopping and hand lunch at the Bear Rock Cafe. Note to sandwich eaters- don’t eat at BearRock unless you like waiting a long time for underwhelming food and are not a fan of having money in your wallet.


The Published Illustator Post

About three years ago my uncle Bob asked me to draw some illustrations for a little book project he had started. The book; Sun-Dried Aardvark Tongue Swizzle Sticks, is a hilarious mock-catalogue featuring ridiculous products harvested unnecessarily from endangered and rare animals. With outrageous descriptions and hysterical ideas Bob has written a collection of really funny products that will have all but the vegan-iest of readers rolling on the floor laughing. I had a blast churning out picture after picture for the book over the course of the following months. I mean, how often is it that someone asks you to draw a 'wall mounted springbok penis whiskey dispenser'? Allot of time and work has gone into this catalogue and finally it’s on the verge of being published. Bob has set up a blog chronicling the publishing process of the book which you can check out here. I’ve been given access to the blog and will be posting updates and comments on the whole project in the not-to-distant future, and will be sure to keep you all updated here once the book hits shelves. The official site is launching very soon, and production is about to ramp up. I’m really excited to see this long term project finally coming together. More to come very soon.

The Cricketer's Arms Post

Last night I met up with Henry and his friends Mark and Red at the Cricketer’s Arms to celebrate Red’s birthday. Apparently this is round two of celebration for them at Crick’s as they where there last night too. I like the place a lot, though apparently the original location was a thousand times better. (They moved from the Universal area of Kirkman a few months back). It’s a typical Brit-Pub place with good food and a nice atmosphere. My only issue is that it’s a pain to get anywhere once you are inside. Though the patio and outdoor bar work well the way the inside is laid out leads to bunching at the bar and boxing in for anyone at a table by people trying to see the stage. The Monsters from Real Radio where there last night which was kinda cool. Sarah and I had seen Bubba (one of the Monsters crew) there last time we stopped by, so I assume they are regulars. Being that the place is so close to my new apartment complex I think I’ll be visiting more often, even if hanging out there requires a little more effort than other area bars.


The Couch Color Post

Labor Day Weekend means shopping deals, and being in the market for a new couch I found it to be the perfect opportunity to head out and scope out the prices on sectionals again. I went to every furniture store this side of I-4. Took all day but I can safely say that I made an educated decision. Ended up making a down payment on a really nice 2-piece sectional with a chaise lounger on one end. Still not sure which color I’m going to go with (its narrowed down to ‘Cobblestone’-a mushroomy grey, and ‘Beige’-a very pale cream’. I could be happy with either. I think the main deciding factor is going to be the carpet color in the new place and how well they compare and contrast. Its an American Signature piece, so I know it’s going to last a fair while, but I got the extended warranty and fabric treatments on it so Coolio’s claws and tendency to vomit shouldn’t be an issue. Saw a lot of stuff, and a lot of crap. I feel confident that I am getting the best quality for the price. What color would you go with? Here a shot of the couch roughly cut and pasted in a photo, as well a close-up of the two colors. Please vote and let me know what you think! (Yes I am aware that both are rather bland... but I want this sucker to last and don’t want to be stuck with a color that will define all future furniture purchases)

The Notice Post

So I put in my official 30 days notice at the apartment complex yesterday, much to the apparent disbelief of the woman working at the leasing office. She stammered a very bewildered “but…but why?” after I told her what I was handing her, looking at me incredulously like I was forfeiting the happiest home on the planet. I told her I was moving to a new area, at which point she offered a “oh outta state!” as if to dismiss my harsh comment by making it seem unavoidable that I move. I told her no, and she looked even more saddened than before. I feel I must point out that I have never seen this woman before, nor does she know what sort of tenant I am, so I find it very odd that she seem so genuinely upset. I felt bad and told her that my office had moved and that I needed to relocate to be closer to work. I’m a terrible liar, but apparently it worked as she nodded as if in agreement that moving would probably make sense. Maybe she hasn’t noticed the prostitutes on the Trail, or the constant police sirens, or the raving lunatics that seem to pop up each full moon. Or perhaps this woman deserves an Oscar for the ‘Most Convincing Bewildered Old Lady in an Apartment Community’. Either way I’m free to move out in a month’s time, as well as stay the extra day into October (move in at the new place inst until October 2nd) at a prorated rate. Sorry Dolores (the name I am giving to my offended old leasing agent) but I am afraid its time we part ways. I just don’t feel the same way anymore, and I need time apart…Plus there is a guy living in the dumpster.

The Yaris Post

So Sarah finally got her new car after weeks of waiting, dealing, more waiting and then some waiting. I’m really happy for her, as she seems to really love it. She took Mum and Sam out for a spin the other day on her lunch break which is nice. They all approve of the car choice saying it suits Sarah and that she is really chuffed with her purchase. I know the flexibility of having her own vehicle is really going to ease up her daily routine as well as open up a lot more opportunities to go places without having to hinder family plans or rely on carpooling to and from work. I look forward to getting chauffeured around next time I make it back to Virginia.