Thursday, April 28, 2005

I am so f'd

What the hell have I gotten myself into? Just when I thought I was going to live life on easy street for a while, the whole world conspires to kick me in the pants. When I listed the house the other day with a realtor I expected that I'd have a month or two of showings and a couple of lackluster offers before I really had to think about selling my house. For that reason I figured, go ahead, buy the bike you've got plenty of time before you need to deal with the house. So much for that theory. Last night I got an offer on the house. It's only been on the market 4 days. It was a good offer. I mean a really good offer. An offer that I just couldn't see refusing. No Godfather jokes. Anyway, the only hitch is that they want to close in a little over 3 weeks. That doesn't give me much time to find my own place to move into. So now I'm franticly trying to cram into the next 3 weeks everything I though I had a month or two to work on. No such luck. I'm now trying to scour through a mass of listings to find the homes I want to look at. At the same time I'm trying to throw together financing for the new place. Add to that the fact that I've got an impending move, and impending vacation, I need to license the new bike and keep up with work. I'm not really complaining about any of this, just the timing of it. Yeah, I know, this is mostly my fault anyway. I'll shut up now.

Sunday, April 24, 2005


Some of you may or may not know that I've been wanting to get a motorcycle for some time. I'd been putting it off in order to do a couple of other things first. Primarily finish paying for my car and sell the house. I've done neither, but I bought the bike anyway. I'd been seeing so many other people out there riding, and I couldn't wait. I'd already picked the model and manufacturer and was ready to go. This past Friday I snapped. I was sitting in a meeting just thinking about how much I wanted to buy the bike and I was so pissed that I couldn't. When I finally started paying attention, I realized that someone had been talking to me and I'd been smiling and nodding along with whatever crap they'd been talking about. It was at that point that I realized that if I wanted to keep my job I need to get my mind off buying a bike and really just do it. I'm not sure if that's how it really happend, but it sounds plausible. Doesn't it?

Once the meeting was over I went and printed off a list of Honda dealerships and started making calls. In about 30 minutes I'd found the one that I wanted and was ready to go. They told me to find out about insurance and come on in. I promptly called my insurance agent. He is on vacation, so I was helped by his office staff they were very nice and said they would get me a quote, "So long as it isn't one of those um, well um, those kind of bikes." "What kind of bikes are you talking about?" I reply. "Well, Ron (my insurance agent) calls them, well, um, I don't know if I can say it." "A crotch rocket?", I ask. "Yes" she giggles. (Let me stop here and laugh and feel sorry for anyone who can't say "crotch rocket" without felling dirty and embarrased.) Really wanting insurance and know that if I say yes that it was a crotch rocket, Ron would probably turn me down cold, so I correct her and say, "I don't know if its a crotch rocket, but technically it is a sport bike." She says, "Oh I see" and continues to get the information that she needed from me to get the quote together. Five minutes later I'm off the phone with a quote in hand and the understanding that I just needed to call the vin number in over the weekend and they'd issue a policy on Monday. I then procede to call back the bike shop and tell them to get the thing ready, because I'm coming to get it RIGHT NOW. The salesman said sure, just have your insurance company fax over an insurance binder and we will get it setup and ready to go. Like most other normal people in the world I have no idea what an insurance binder is, so I just call back the insurance company and ask them to fax the insurance binder over to the bike shop so I could get my bike. They started to do it, but then there was a long silence. Then I hear, "Aaron, we have a problem here." Which I already knew because the witty banter that I'd been enganged in up to that point with the person on the other end of the line stopped. It was at that moment I knew I wasn't going to be getting the bike that night. She (not the same person I spoke to on the first call) explained that American Family would not issue a policy on that bike. My heart sank. No binder no bike no love. Where's the love? I have to then call back the salesman at the bike shop and tell him I won't be able to get the insurance binder that night and that I might not get it until Monday when the insurance companie's motorcycle specialists. The salesman asks me to come on in and fill out all of the necessary paperwork, and we would just finish it up when I get the insurance taken care of. So I do, and I then spend the next 4 hours wiping drool off my chin in anticipation of the new bike.

Upon leaving the bike shop I head straight for Lawrence to my friend John's house warming party. Have you ever been at a party and get really drunk too quickly? I'm there about an hour and half and know that if I take one more drink that there will be dire consequences. I decide that it would be best to slow down at that time and pace myself. I paced myself too well and went from completely smashed to sober and developing a hang over. You know you've messed up when you leave the party alone and with a hang over. I only mention this, because I stayed at the party until about 2:30 in the morning when I decided to leave for home. I arrive home at about 3, and am so exhausted that I crawl into bed completely clothed. I woke up in that condition only 4 and 1/2 hours later. Why I woke up I have no idea, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it had something to do with the GAWDAMNEDFUGGIN birds chirping outside my window. The sleep had not helped the hangover, and I couldn't get back to sleep. I started to think about the bike and how that might my pounding head. I decided to do something about the lack of insurance situation. Geico is d'bomb.

What followed was about 5 hours of screaming boredom while I waited for the bike shop to do all of the things that needed to be done to sell me the bike. Eventually I got out of there and was ready to take on the 30 minute ride home. On that ride I lucked out big time. I zipped right past a speed trap doing 97 MPH. The cop didn't even give me a second glance. I don't know what he was waiting for? There are few people in that vicintiy who deserved a ticket more than I. In my own defence I had no idea I was going that fast when I looked down. When you are on the motorcycle in traffic, you are spending most of your time making sure that you are safe and will continue to be that way. Let me just say that I cannot remember a time that I felt safe after looking at my speedometer. Crashes aren't caused by me going faster than the speed limit. Crashes are caused by the someone not paying attention to the road and the conditions aroud them. My goal is to drive safely with regards to the traffic around which is made of many components. Speed is one of these, but in my eyes a minor one. Any way, I dodged a bullet with that speed trap and decided to slow things down to somewhere near the speed limit.

I'm sure that everybody is asking what the hell kind of bike did you get. It's an 800 CC Honda VFR800.

I also have color matched luggage that attaches to the bike on the way.

That's enough of this story for now. I will go into the rest of it later.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

What's your Pope Name?

No. Not, "What's your Pope's name?", but "What's your Pope name". When you become Pope, you get to change your name. I'm trying to figure out what my name ought to be when I'm made Pope. I have the firm belief that in the future, we will all get to be Pope for 15 minutes.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Watching movies with the sleeping.

My life seems to have been defined by movies that I've finished watching in the presence of those who've fallen asleep. You have the luxury of loving or hating the movie in privacy while not feeling pathetic for watching a movie by yourself.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


At first the though of Sushi just freaked me out. Raw pink jiggly hunks of fish just sitting there on top of pasty looking globs of rice. Or even better raw pink jiggly hunks of fish wrapped in pasty rice, and then wrapped in something the consistency of a fruitrollup and the color of , well you know.

I am a pretty picky eater. It's usually not the taste of something that turns me off, but the texture or smell. I can't stand the smell of cooking cauliflower, asparagus or brussel sprouts, and I can't stand the texture of olives, calamari and mushrooms. That's why it really surprises me that I've taken to sushi in the way that I have. I guess there are a couple of parts I like about it. First, that visceral and dangerous feeling of eating something that wasn't cooked. GRRRRR. I'm a primitive cave man. Second, there's the chopsticks. Yeah, I know that half the world eats with chopsticks, and its nothing special. But in BFE Kansas City, probably the most landlocked place in all of the world, it makes you cool. At least in my head it does. Yeah. I said it. I'm cool because I can eat with chopsticks. I'm so badass I can even eat soup with chopsticks. So you and your pansy ass fork and spoon can kiss my ass. Finally, I actually do like the taste. I never thought I would, but I do. There are some things that I don't think I will ever want to eat, like squid, sea urchin and octopus, but just about everything else is on the menu.

Friday, April 08, 2005

1 ambulance ride, 2 plane trips, 1 birthday party, climbing, running, 1 broken computer, 1 random cosmic connection, and what you put in your head

1 ambulance ride, 2 plane trips, 1 birthday party, climbing, running, 1 broken computer, 1 random cosmic connection, and what you put in your head. Sounds like a week in the life of a member of some lame hair metal band of the late 80's, but it was my week this past week and I don't even like hair metal.

The ambulance ride was my sister's and the details of that are not mine to give. All I can say is that there are few things more heart stopping than a call from your Mom saying, "They've taken your sister to the hospital".

The plane ride came the next day. I was on my way to my Niece's first birthday party. Unfortunately she's on the other end of a 4 hour plane ride. After a harrowing day dealing with my sister, my mother and I drug ourselves to the airport. Neither of us had eaten, so after checking in we sat down in a restaurant for something to eat. We sat there long enough that we nearly missed our flight.

The next day we had my Niece's birthday party. Happy first birthday Abby. This event was rife with all of the standard first birthday stuff. Lots of little kids. Lots of noise. Lots of cake everywhere. The most dear thing of the day happened while my Brother explained that Abby's babysitter's boys (Hey everybody) called Abby, Gabigale. Upon hearing that, Abby shouted "GABIGALE". Abby's just to the point where she's starting to babble, but that word came out in the clearest voice possible. It was about a cute as anything I could imagine. The party broke up and all the little munchkins went home. After that we just sat around shooting the breeze. It seems as if the standard thing for my family to eat while in Portland is some sort of Asian food. What's up with that?

Plane trip back home the next morning.

Next comes rock climbing. This is something that I've wanted to do for a while now. A co-worker of mine at one point in time suggested a group activity that involved a day of rented shoes (bowling, skating, rock climbing, skiing etc). She also mentioned at the same time that she's been thinking about going rock climbing. At that point I suggested a day of waivers of liability instead of a day of rented shoes. You know, rock climbing, sky diving, go carts, barefoot flaming glass bottle juggling lessons. All the standard stuff. I'm not sure if either "days of" activities will ever get off the ground, but we both agreed that we'd like to try rock climbing. Well Wednesday was the day of destiny. I got to try rock climbing for the first time. I have to say that I'm hooked. It was a blast. For $25 you get an hour of safety instruction and training. Then they let you loose on the walls. I guess the nickname Monkeyboy might be appropriate, or at least I may someday earn it. I think I did pretty well. I didn't climb any of the hard stuff, and I certainly know I've got a lot to learn, but I even climbed a couple of the walls that had overhangs. It was pretty tough work. All in all we had some fun, and I think I'd like to go again. I will say that I now know that I'm lacking a lot of upper body strength. I nearly had to lay down in the shower the next day to wash my hair. It was a struggle to get my arms up over my waist, let alone up to my head.

The next day I figured I was on a roll. I thought I was going to break my streak of nearly continuous lack of physical exertion. My roommate and I went for a 3 mile run. Let me take that back. We traveled 3 miles by foot, but about only 1 was by running. I think we are going to have to try and work up to running the whole way.

I dropped my computer the other day. I knew it was bad as soon as I heard it hit the ground. I've dropped the thing many times before, but the sound this time told me that it probably wasn't going to be comming back. I was right. I guess the good thing is that I have a new computer, but the bad thing is that I'm now missing about half of the things that I had on my old computer that were not backed up. You really start to take that for granted.

Next, cosmic connections. Have you ever been driving along in your car and noticed someone singing along to the same song as you. Until Thursday this had never happened to me. It was kind of cool. I had some random connection with this person that I didn't even know. I was a little touched. Does it diminish it in anyway if we were both singing "Head Like a Hole" by Nine Inch Nails? I don't think so.

One final thought. At some point this week I was speaking with a co-worker about my propensity to just read random stuff. I will pour just about anything into my head. Whether I buy into the stuff or not is another question, but I like to see how people express opposing ideas. I will often try on ideas that I don't even believe by playing devils advocate in an argument. I'm a little twisted like that. I explained this to the co-worker, and she explained that she tended to shy away from things that she didn't agree with. In more or less words she said that you had to be careful what you put into your head, because you never know what might get stuck in there. This just blew my mind. I guess I always assumed that the ideas that I adopted held a logical merit, regardless of whether they fit into the worldview that I held prior to considering them. Normally I'd just discard this idea as baloney, but I have immense respect for this person and I'd like to consider it at length. Does it make sense to establish your world view and then only consider evidence and arguments that support it? It certainly makes for a very tidy thought process. I know that it would certainly eliminate many of the conflicting notions that I seem to hold. This is an idea that I'm going to roll around in my head for a while. Who knows it might stick. I don't think so, but it never hurts to try.