1-31-06 (19:17)

  • 15 hours of sandpapering in the last two days. i'm not a painter, i'm a sander.

    1-29-06 (12:20)

  • been a while. the local market (randall's, which is the texas version of safeway) doesn't have the usual conveyor belt setup that markets in CA have. instead, you just roll your cart up and the checker takes the groceries out for you. the first thing i thought about that is that it must suck for them. having to bend over all day to take stuff out of carts likely puts quite a toll on their body. it makes much more sense to have the customer do it. i think it's quicker for all, and better for the health of the worker. that same market also doesn't seem to sell hard liquor. they also have their birth control stuff locked in a glass case next to the pharmacy. it's the little differences.
  • first week of work is done. it's good to have a job that makes you feel productive. i like the feeling of accomplishment i get after i see all the stuff i've prepped or painted. friday was a tough day. i was sanding doors, crown molding, baseboards, etc. for about 6 hours straight. my body is sore, but it's a good feeling. i also got a good sized paycheck on friday since i'm not getting taxed and i worked 38.5 hours. i work entirely with latinos (i think they're all mexican, but to be p.c....). juan, the leader of our three man crew, is from mexico and we talk a bit over the lunch that he buys me (very nice of him). he's lived in austin for 15 years, but sometimes his english isn't great. wilson is the other painter i work with, but he doesn't speak english at all. there are other contractors around the house (a two story place built in the 20s) who are working on tiling or cabinets or counters or landscaping. i'm the only white guy who is there on a regular basis. the owner is a white lady and the only other white guys who ever come by are the contractors who just stop in to see what progress is being made. it's a bit like a spanish immersion program, and i like that. i took about 3 days of spanish in high school before i, stupidly, chose to transfer to latin. i can't speak or understand spanish, but i know a few words here and there, and i know how to say "how do you say," so that can come in handy. overall, it's a fun time, but a lot of work.
  • earlier this week we planned out our tour of the baseball stadiums. it looks like we'll have to miss a few games, but we'll at least visit all the stadiums and probably see every team play at least once. the all-star break was a pain, and the places that have two teams make it difficult because they don't have both teams in town at the same time. other than that, though, our schedule seems pretty practical and practicable.
  • there are a shitload of dining options in austin. there are lots of bbq places, mexican food places, and burger stands.
  • went to see the squid and the whale last night at the dobie theaters yesterday. thought it was very good. the theater was interesting as well. it had an egyptian motif inside and the seating had two parts that were angled like a "V" with the screen at the vertex. at the very back there was a glassed off room with a couple seats. don't know what it's for, but it could be used for people who like to talk during a film or who just want their own private area. don't know if it's a pay more kind of arrangement, or if a it's a first come, first served deal. so far, i've been mostly impressed by the austin indie theaters. that said, the bigger theaters aren't all that great.

    1-25-06 (17:00)

  • i've got three days of painting under my belt now. i think i'm going to get paid weekly so that's nice. the first two days of work were pretty lame, but today was good. the guy who hired me, eric, is a general contractor and doesn't seem to know that much about painting. he's also not the most organized guy. the shitty thing about the first couple days was that i had to fix a bunch of problems midstream. now, things have sort of settled and things are going well. juan, the other guy i work with, has been painting a long time (though his first day with eric was also on monday) and he knows what he's doing. another thing that makes this job a tough one is that we're using some oil-based paint, some water-based paint, some semi-gloss, some eggshell, some flat, and several different colors. i hate oil-based paint. it's a pain to work with and clean-up is obnoxious.
  • my interview with the valet company went well. i think i may get an offer, but i'm not sure if i'll take it. it's only $4/hour because, like waiters, you work mostly for tips. that said, the tips are apparently pretty good and non-taxable so that's nice. i've already been a painter before so being a valet would be a nice, new experience. at the same time, juan is a good guy to work with and i know i'll learn a lot from him; painting is also a much more valuable skill than being a valet. the other mitigating factor is the hours. so far, the painting job has allowed good flexibility of hours - the other day i had to leave a couple hours early and no one had a problem with it. whereas the valet job would require weekend work and nights, at least at first. tough decision.
  • i'm pretty happy that i found work pretty quickly. it's giving me something to do, i like feeling productive, and of course it's nice to have money as well.
  • glad that the steelers won the other day. sad that the panthers lost. guess that's what happens when you're playing with your fourth string running back, your qb has a bad day, and your offensive line gets chewed up. i look for the steelers to take the super bowl. i don't feel that the seahawks have been battle-tested yet. they haven't had to play any really good, healthy teams. if they had done as well against the panthers with davis and foster, then i'd think differently. i think the steelers have a better defense and a pretty well-balanced offense.

    1-23-06 (17:06)

  • just got back from my first day at work in texas. did some painting for a contractor who is working on a pretty large renovation. it seems like the kind of work that could last at least a few weeks if that's what i chose/needed to do.
  • i have an interview with a valet company tomorrow. overall i think i might rather go with the valet job. it'll pay about the same, i'll make good money on tips, it's easier on my body, and the commute works out fine as well. the downside is that i'll have to be nice to people and i'll probably have to dress nicely.
  • my knee hurts a bit from crouching down a lot.
  • need to update my movies list.

    1-21-06 (14:33)

  • updating on notepad is a lot less exciting than using composer.
  • might have a painting job on monday. i don't need the money that much right now, but i could use the work. sitting around isn't very exciting.
  • there's a lot of wasted space in texas; and i'm not just talking about the fat people. roadways are larger than they need to be, parking lots are huge and sprawling, lanes are wider, space between roadways are larger, etc.
  • played football with meryl yesterday. i like playing football.
  • the apartment is pretty nice, it suits me. it's north of downtown and relatively close to shopping, movies, and good places to eat. unfortunately this area isn't pedestrian friendly so we drive most places.
  • monday we went to meryl's dad's place. before we went we realized that there was a flat tire so i changed the tire, but broke two wheel studs in the process. wheel studs are made of aluminum and the lugnuts are made of steel so when they rotate tires and over-tighten the nuts with the pneumatic drill it fucks up the threading. after that happened we had to drive to the shop and get the studs repaired. after that we got a new tire because the old one was slashed on the side wall. because meryl was there, a four hour detour was a good adventure instead of a big pain in the ass.
  • watching uncle buck right now. it was on amc the other day and we tivoed it. amc has good movies, but they have commercials, they censor stuff, and it's not in the proper aspect ratio.

    1-20-06 (09:44)

  • updated movies list.
  • i haven't found any html editor as good as netscape composer. it's so simple, intuitive and easy to use. everything else is cumbersome, obnoxious or too busy.
  • texas is full of people who don't pay attention to their surroundings. it's also full of people who are very nice. southern hospitality still exists.
  • tivo is great.
  • pretty settled in. still looking for employment. i have a couple leads so far. i hate looking for jobs.
  • i loved this episode: "Tom Cruise has reportedly stopped an episode of South Park that mocks him from being aired in Britain. The show, in which Nicole Kidman and Cruise's fellow Scientologist John Travolta are depicted attempting to coax an animated version of the actor out of a closet caused controversy when broadcast in the US. The cartoon Kidman tells Cruise, "Don't you think this has gone on long enough? It's time for you to come out of the closet. You're not fooling anyone." - referring to allegations about Cruise's sexuality. According to TheRegister.co.uk, Paramount has agreed not to show the episode again, after Cruise complained. A source tells the site, "Tom is famously very litigious and will go to great lengths to protect his reputation. Tom was said not to like the episode and Paramount just didn't dare risk showing it again. It's a shame that UK audiences will never see it because it's very funny.""

    1-18-06 (20:15)

  • officially living in texas now.
  • lots of rose bowl reminders here which is depressing. also lots of wasted space. city/roadway planning isn't very good around here.

    1-18-06 (18:34)

  • will update soon.

    1-11-06 (11:43)

  • painting the office is taking longer than expected. actually the wall prep is the holdup. it's a very obnoxious wall.
  • went to the clippers/magic game yesterday. the magic were without grant hill and the clippers were without maggette and brand. it was amateur night most of the game. cassell and francis both had bad games. chris kaman was the most impressive player, which is pretty sad. the clippers won which is good because it's an la team over a florida team. but bad because i bet my dad that the lakers would end with a better record than the clippers.

    1-10-06 (11:14)

  • other evidence of right wing football conspiracy: san francisco plays houston in the final game of the season. it is known as the "reggie" bowl because the loser probably wins the first pick in the draft. it goes to OT and houston loses the game, thus acquiring first pick. they'll pick up USC's reggie bush. tell me two cities that embody the culture war more than houston and san francisco. i think that game was fixed too. bush was so distraught by the fact that he would be drafted by houston that it caused him to play a subpar game in the rose bowl. or, better yet, they brainwashed bush manchurian candidate style.

    1-10-06 (02:01)

  • busy day today, but i got a lot done.
  • shipped a bunch of books, started the painting process in my grandma's office, went to a movie, finally replaced a door latch that has been vexing me since i came here, and more. tomorrow should be just as busy.
  • leaving for austin on sunday so i have a lot to do between now and then. projects for a few family members, book business stuff, final get togethers with family/friends, and more. sleep comes first.
  • watched munich tonight. golda meir (prime minister of israel, as played by lynn cohen) has a couple scenes early in the film. we have a signed/inscribed copy of her autobiography if anyone is interested.

    1-9-06 (22:50)

  • looks like marcus vick is in even more trouble now. that guy is self-destructing. pretty pathetic. wasted potential.

    1-08-06 (00:20)

  • marcus vick isn't at the top of my list.
  • patriots are looking pretty tough in spite of the fact that they lack their best defensive player, rodney harrison.
  • pac-10 basketball looks competitive, but probably not very good. when cal and asu push ucla (ranked 17) to the edge, that's bad. when washington loses twice in 10 days to other pac-10 teams

    01-06-06 (22:46)

  • "that was not just the worst loss in the history of stanford's program; that was the worst loss in the history of anybody's program. it was possibly the greatest upset in the history of college football." - jim rome on the 20-17 victory by uc davis over stanford.
  • jim rome is great at exaggeration, but it is true that that victory last september was damn huge.
  • "i live completely on impulse. i don't analyze myself." - angelina jolie, as transcribed by me.

    01-06-06 (13:27)

  • further evidence of a rose bowl conspiracy: who woke up mack brown (coach of texas) with a phone call the morning of the game? george w. bush. add that to the fact that sandra day o'connor did the coin toss and you've got some good, mounting evidence. i'll keep my eyes out for more.

    01-05-06 (23:39)

  • the texas/usc game made me sick. usc played about as badly in the first half as they have all year (the only other time they may have played worse was against ASU) and the coaching was pathetic. the 4th and 1 call in the first half was fine, but it was a poor play choice. should have been a run by white, not a qb sneak. bush made a terrible error with the lateral. leinert played very poorly in the first half. the defensive plan was piss poor. i always knew the linebackers were a weakness (because of year long injuries and freshmen filling in), but i felt they still should have had the mic linebacker as a qb spy on about half the plays. everyone knew the whole offense runs through young so why not have a qb spy formation? all that said it was a great game to watch. young had what i consider to be the best performance of his career and he led his team to a 3 point victory over the 2nd or 3rd best team of all-time. i think you can put this game on three things: the coaching, the linebackers and the 4th and 1 play where white didn't convert; in that order.
  • the game meant a lot to me. with sandra day o'connor (the swing vote in the 2000 selection of bush) throwing the coin toss and the texas vs. california theme i felt this was a red state vs. blue state game. according to my dad, espn did a poll before the game to see what states thought which team would win. apparently it was split the same way that the election was, right down to the fact that ohio and florida were too close to call. this game was about a lot more than just one university versus another. this game was about north vs. south, red vs. blue, right vs. wrong. and when the final seconds ticked off i was way more depressed than i was when bush was selected in 2000 and then elected in 2004.
  • with politics it's hard to say that someone is definitely right or definitely wrong. most reasonable people will allow for some wiggle room based on preference and ideology. with sports that isn't as true. sure, i can say that usc played one of the worst first halfs of the last couple years (true) and that they had some injuries (true), but the truth is that texas played better than them last night. if it were a best of 3 or 5 or 7 i have almost no doubt that usc would win, but that's not how it works and we'll never really know. one nice thing about sports is that there is often the ability to completely shut a person down by saying "look at the scoreboard." there is no scoreboard in politics, or life in general. winning is measured differently to everyone when it comes to life and politics, but that's not really the case with sports. it would have been nice to say "texas isn't as good as california, period." they can say that and we can't. and i know for a fact that they are. i know that it doesn't really matter, but it does; and it sucks.
  • i can't watch sportscenter or think about sports for a while because it's just too damn depressing.
  • saw the letterman/o'reilly showdown today. pretty good shit overall i encourage you to check it out. that said, letterman isn't much of a debater. some things to notice:
  • letterman dips his pencil in o'reilly's cup. o'reilly later drinks from it. ha ha.
  • paul shaffer's band plays the who's "won't get fooled again" as the intro song for o'reilly. what a perfect, subtle commentary. bet only 10% of the audience caught that one.
  • at the end, o'reilly waves to the audience, but it looks an awful lot more like a hitler salute than a wave.
  • overall it seems that letterman's sentiments won the (partial) audience which is encouraging. it was good to see letterman take the gloves off.

    01-04-06 (09:01)

  • just dropped meryl off at the airport. i'll be living with here in less than two weeks.
  • my official departure date is the 15th. nervous to live in a new city without a job or friends.
  • updated movies list. includes 2005 chart and updated "all" listings.
  • looking forward to the big game tonight.
  • it was nice to have meryl here for new year's.
  • only had one cold in 2005. happy about that.
  • updated movies i own list.
  • added a search engine. hopefully it works well.
  • updated millersmovies.com as well. now includes links to 1999 and 2006.