Mars Life


Dive in, the water's fine!

So it begins. My last day of full-time, "day job" employment is tomorrow.

Starting Tuesday, I'll be a full time student. Again. Fairly frightening considering I have no idea how I'll be supporting myself financially at this point. The major expenses will be covered by a Creative Education loan, which is a private loan, but has lower interest rates than other private loans. However, because of this special loan, I need to document what all my expenses are and the amount I'll receive will be based off of this budget. Great. All that extra spending I do from day to day will be brought to a startling halt.

In any event, I'm doing this primarily because in order for me to remain at least a half-time student, I would need to take at least one weekday day course. Yup, my education and career were colliding in complete conflict. So, rather than lose my financial aid and further postpone my education and live with an actual income, I opted to give up the income and instead go to school full time. I hope to supplement my income with some freelance work, as this will garner my portfolio for the impending job search, as well as make me a bit of cash in the meantime. However, the current portfolio isn't even assembled, and I'm sure future work will be based off of this theoretical portfolio I'm in the process of putting together.

I've got a pretty full course-load, of a diverse variety of subjects. I'll be taking some advanced life drawing, which I'm very excited for, a flash course, a 3D modeling course, and a storyboarding course. If I keep at it at this pace, I'll have completed by January of 2007. But let's slow down, eh? The joy is in the journey after all. With a lot more time spent in the house, not going anywhere, I hope you'll be hearing from me more often.

Gulp... Wish me luck!

More to come.


Better half

Just a quick plug. She blogs too... and she's put up a nice little story regarding CTA customer service for those wishing to have the tiniest bit of faith restored in public transit officials.

check it yo, this is directly to part 2... check the prior post for part 1


Boy, do I have stories for you. Life status change approaching... Financial Aid department vexing...

More to come...


Coming attractions

Sooo... let's see if I'm a little more proactive with this one.

In other words, check back in a year.

Coincidental Tuesday morning, moist and nerdy Friday night

A little publicized fact about me is my complete and utter love of coincidences. I had a coincidental morning today. It started on the el, where I walked to the back of the car with K-San, passing someone reading Chuck Palahniuk's Survivor. Having recently gone through a serious bout of CPA (Chuck Palahniuk Addiction), I commented briefly that it was a good book as I passed.

He wasn't that far from the back of the car, so I could actually even see where he was in the story, and K-San and I talked about it a bit (I am an awful awful awful over-the-shoulder reader, but try to be as inconspicuous as possible). Kerri noted that it was quite easier for her to get her bearings on the story because Chuck books are usually completed in mere days. Now then, somewhere along the blue line, I looked down and noticed that he was using the exact same coffee mug I have that recently lost it's purpose, due to a loss of the top. Boo-frickin'-hoo. So, I thought, "same book as me, same coffee mug as me, weird!" However, it was right then that I noticed the gentleman right next to him was reading a Tom Robbins book, another of my favorite authors. Of course I read a bit of that over his shoulder as well. Aaah, Skinny Legs and All. It's been quite a while.

So yeah, all that, and I saw fellow IO performer Shad Kunkle handing out fragrance samples on the corner of Randolph and Wabash. I grabbed one and said, "Thanks, Shad". He replied, "Hey, how you doing!" or something, but I waved and kept walking, as I'm fairly sure he has no idea who I am. And yes, I'm aware it would have been significantly less rude to stop and say hi and introduce myself, but breaking my morning routine is pretty tough. I'm practically on auto-pilot, and was happy to have even said hi.


So Friday, I got my cyst removed, as I mentioned yesterday, but in an example of my trying to squeeze as much in as possible with little respect for my physical or mental well-being, I was at the legendary Double Door club that very evening, to see the Moistboyz play. I had never heard any of their music whatsoever, but it was exciting nonetheless, because as Kerri and I started talking about, we both used to do that shit all the time in college, and now just didn't get out as much. Aaaah, money... it's really doesn't grow on trees!

So we went because ween isn't hitting up Chicago on this tour. Booooooooooooooo. So, this is the closest we could get, because Dean Ween doubles as Micky Moist (i.e. he plays guitar for both bands). Moistboyz are fucking hardCORE, man. White trash speed metal from New Hope Pennsylvania. The lead singer (Dicky Moist) doesn't wear a shirt, is out of his freaking head, has a mullet, and sports one of those big Olde-English font stomach tattoos that reads "OTC", which I could only imagine stands for "Over The Counter". Great performance.

However, before we even got to see Moistboyz, we were treated to a (surprise, to us) performance by the minibosses. These guys consist of two guitars, bass, and drums, and play covers of Nintendo theme music. This Nintendo-music resurgence seems to be a trend, I think, courtesy of cyclical history, retro-hipness, and the like, but I fall for it full on. Let me just say I've been singing Ninja Gaiden, Mega Man 2, and Punch Out for days. Oh, childhood... where have you're 8-bit glories gone?


No, spell checker, I would not like to replace "minibosses" with "minibuses", though your suggestions do crack me up as usual.

More to come.


second surgery... not so fun. TV... awesome.

So I had a cyst removed on Friday. Suck suck suck. In any event, I'm doing fine and dandy, though still sore at the site of removal. Guess your worst, and you're probably right (it's about 50/50 with a hint like that).

However, we've got two weeks of Simpsons under our belt, along with Family Guy and American Dad. Last night''s Family Guy was so extremely random it was crazy. It was almost like an exercise in disbelief-suspension unmatched by previous episodes. Craaaazy. They push the bestiality envelope further with the Lois/Brian tension, Peter starts the episode as a sailor, overall, it was really "bitty" as the improviser world would reference it.

So here we parade in to a big week of premieres, the premiere of Arrested Development is tonight, the premiere of Lost is on Thursday, and I couldn't be happier to have a big ol' Tivo waiting to get them all recorded. One thing I may regret about this season, though, is the new addiction the wife and I have developed to fox's "Prison Break". Oddly enough, we had a similar run-in with Fox and Dominic Purcell's previous team-up, John Doe. See, the show has a cool enough plot (Pettus gives some good background here) that I really want to keep watching to see how the logistics of this whole break-out scenario work, but the writing is just godawful, and some of the acting as well (though of course, it seems as if the acting may be suffering from outside influences like bad writing and/or bad directing). Eh, I assume we'll keep it on the Tivo season pass until it just gets too unbearable. That's how we handled John Doe, too. So give us your worst, Fox, we'll stand by and watch.

More to come. Hopefully, a report on the MoistBoyz from Friday night.


Teeth removal - Recommended!

So, here I sit, about 4 molars lighter than last wednesday. I don't think I've mentioned it here, but I had my wisdom teeth taken out on Thursday. I feel no less wiser, in case any wisdom teeth extraction virgins out there are wondering/worrying. I was a bit nervous going into it, as I opted against the intravenous anesthesia, and listened to all the crunching glory as nitrous oxide continuously froze my brain. Nevertheless, it turns out I'm a lot less queasy when the medical professional is performing surgery on me, as opposed to when I'm watching it on television, where squeamishness prevails.

So, it turned out the whole procedure wasn't that bad, as long as you don't mind being utterly submissive to a dentist for an hour to an hour and a half. Of course, this is coming from someone whose wisdom teeth weren't impacted, and were merely decaying away due to the inherent difficulty in cleaning them. The crunching sounds were therefore minimal, and the weirdest ones were the small sounds. There are little sounds, like the first yielding of a tree branch, or the first crack in a dam, that are small to the ear, but signify big progress down the line. These sounds I would think were inaudible outside my mouth, but extremely audible inside my head. And weird.

Luckily, Dr Coleman Spector is funny, and enjoys throwing his schtick around. This is why I say it was so entertaining, though I don't know how much of that was the NO2 talking. However, the worst part is when you want to join in the fun, but then realize there's three people and a buttload of novacaine in your mouth. For instance, they wanted to try to guess my middle name as a little game (after I somehow garbled a little clue with the initial F), and the two helpers had a couple of wrong tries before Coleman correctly guessed Francis. I kept wanting to say "but you've seen my charts! You already know!" Not one to let something like that die, after the operation was over, I tried to ask if he'd surmised my name from my charts, and he said no. So, he's an honest dentist too! Honest to the point that he tells you how he's in it for the money. Over and over again. He'd like you to pick the IV anesthesia, by the way. It costs more. Of course it can kill you and you get an anesthesia hangover, too, so there's that.

Anywho, I'd like to tell you all so much more, but alas, BCBS is a callin.

More to come.


Wow. Just... Wow.

``What our officers are telling people is that there is absolutely no reason to stay here,'' New Orleans Police Deputy Chief Warren Riley said during a televised press conference. ``There are no jobs. There are no homes to go to, no hotels to go to. There is absolutely nothing here. We advise these people that this city has been destroyed.''

Not to be focusing on the bad parts (though it's admittedly hard not to), but the quote above hit me pretty hard. I certainly am very upset that I've never seen the big easy, as the proudest of New Orleans natives I know (OK, the only, but he's pretty damned proud) this weekend told me I never really will see New Orleans. Nothing's permanent, people.

Him and his girlfriend are hosting friends in from the disaster, and taking ANY DONATIONS POSSIBLE. If there's the off chance that there's someone reading this that doesn't know this, and wants to donate to actual humans that have helped friends of mine when they were in need, feel free to email me, post here, whatever (planetfourATgmailDOTcom). I ain't no Kanye West or anything, but we're giving what we can.

That's the one thing I'm glad to see, Louisiana people touching base with each other, mending, and such. It is good to see my friends with LA family taking stock of each other's lives, offering help, and moving on.


Thanks to all who said hello when I reached out! Now who the heck is reading out there in Estonia?


Good ol' sitemeter. Faithful sitemeter.

Yeah, the statistics at the bottom of the page may not be uber-impressive, but I've been compiling them for years. It's cool! This free little feature from sitemeter has allowed me to see how my blog is being viewed over time, where people are coming from geographically, referentially (?... referred from what site, that is), how long they stick around, who their ISP is, etcetera, etcetera. Sitemeter's some cool junk.

So, along with sitemeter's help, I can report what I believe is a never before reached feat for me! Namely, I have gone a whole month where at least one person has visited this site every day. I know it's really a non-honor, but I thought it was pretty neat. Cool! However, who the heck are these people? I know my friends come here occasionally, and I link to my blog on message boards I post at, and all my emails link to it in my signature, but I still think in order for me to achieve this honor, there have to be people out there visiting who I have no idea of.

I'm throwing it out to you, mystery readers... make yourself known in the comments! Tell me where you blog! Email me a little tiny bio at planetfour(at)gmail(dot)com! Tell me what it's like on the west coast*! Whatever, entertain me!

*I know there were 3 visitors from California today even! And whoever works up at Northwestern U, I've got my sitemeter eyes pointed directly at you.

I promise more (and better) to come

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