Home Office Project Stat Sheet

Number of spilled beers 1
Number of consumed beers 5
Number of dropped laptops 1
Number of times blood was shed 1
Number of expletives yelled 57
Number of L-brackets used 0
Number of holes put in the walls 4
Number of “extra” parts from the new desk 7

As I mentioned previously, we decided to start a series of home projects now that we’re not moving. Unfortunately, the ideas for projects seem to be increasing at a much greater rate than we’re completing projects. Congratulations on buying a house Squeather, don’t expect to have free time any time soon.

The first two projects on the list are to create me a more formal, workable home office and to install pull down stairs to get into our attic. I finished my home office project, meanwhile Meg hasn’t even started hers. And people think I’m the lazy one.

Of course, even though it’s finished, it wasn’t necessarily the smoothest of operations. The first step was to get the bed out of the guest bedroom. For those of you who have not been to our house, there are two sets of stairs. At the top of each set is a 90 degree turn to enter the next room. Couple that with having to move a queen-sized box spring down both flights of stairs and you can imagine the trouble we had.

We were smart enough to remove all of the decorations hung on the staircase walls. Those included my Villanova diploma, my Villanova Blaise Pascal Medallion, and Meg’s preserved wedding bouquet. I didn’t bother to move Meg’s Villanova School of Business degree, since I never understood why we tacked a meaningless sheet of paper to the walls in the first place. What we didn’t take into account was the bookshelf full of Lladros that was located, in true Three Stooges fashion, convienently at the foot of the upper staircase. Thankfully nothing broke, but I can’t possibly begin to describe the scene of me chasing the rogue mattress as it slid down the stairs to certain doom. Just realize that a solid percentage of the above expletive count were shouted in the short chase sequence that ensued down the stairs.

There is no clean cut placement of blame for the mattress sleigh ride down the stairs. However, the spilled beer, dropped laptop, and blood shed were all 100% Meg’s fault. I wasn’t present when she decided my beer would make a nice moat at the entrance to the new office, however I can attest to the fact that it contributed to the expletive count. Actually, half the neighborhood can make that attestment. For anyone who was wondering, Guiness Extra Stout is a serious bitch to get out of a carpet.


That should just about sum up the laptop plummet. I was happily making progress on my new desk when I heard these two sounds, at just about equal volumes for that matter, come flying out of the old den. My initial concern was that Meg might have somehow injured herself in the process, so I quickly made for the door. In doing so, I stepped on the underside of my new desk top, which cast aside all concepts of Physics as we know them and is somehow a frictionless surface. That sent me into a cartoonish thrashing of arms and legs, with the palm of my left hand catching on the point of one of the new desk drawers, which was assembled and awaiting its new home. The chaos continued as the drawer then goes flying off of the dresser it was resting on, hitting more pieces of the desk and making even more noise. Increment that expletive counter by at least three here.

Luckily, Meg was unharmed. As was the laptop. I, on the other hand, was left with a nice gash taken out of the palm of my left hand. Do you have any clue how hard it is to grip anything when your palm burns from a nice open wound? To really paint a lovely image, we actually found a nice chunk of my skin on the corner of the desk drawer, which like most everything else in this debacle, was unharmed.

There are a few more small things to finish, such as getting a longer network cable so I can run it under the carpet instead of having it hang like a clothesline across the wall. But otherwise, I think I’m done with the office, I just need to actually get back in the state of New Jersey so I can actually use it. I guess I’ll have to, like, actually work now.

“How y’all doin’ today?”

I can’t properly spell the sound of disgust I make when people refer to me as “y’all”. I think it would most closely resemble “blech”, but is a bit more throaty.

After spending the weekend finishing up the home office project (blog on that coming later, but as a teaser: blood was shed), Monday morning I found myself at 8am not sitting comfortably at home, enjoying the fruits of my labor, but rather beginning a rather arduous journey to Dallas for work. I won’t launch into another rant about airlines, however I will mention that we were informed they overbooked the plane by 40 people. That’s forty, for anyone who thinks I may have made a typo. Having been in this situation before, I defended my ticket throughout all of the delays and managed to successfully arrive in Texas.

In summary, Texas sucks. While unsurprised, I’m still mildly annoyed at the fact that every radio station is country. Half of the streets are named after ways to cook and serve cattle. And my little piece of shit I rented is the only non-pickup truck on the road.

After spending two and a half hours four inches away from the reclined seat back of the pretentious blond in front of me, I figured I’d have a drink at dinner to calm my nerves. The waitress offered me a margarita when she took my drink order. Rather, she offered me and my three invisible companions margaritas, having referred to “y’all” when making the suggestion. Blech. I declined and opted for a beer instead.

Of course, that’d be too easy. I get carded, which as much as I hate to admit, is a compliment and helps to reassure me that I’m not that old. By comparison, I find I grow angry when I don’t get carded. I present my New Jersey license with an inconspicuous pride, trying to not attract the attention of the four red necks at a nearby table whose combined total number of teeth did not reach double digits. Never having seen a New Jersey license (by my estimation I doubt she’s seen a hair brush either), she takes it to look up.

At that time, I wondered if it would play out as it ultimately did. For you non-NJ readers, NJ moved to new licenses as of May 2004. I can be pretty sure of that accuracy, since my license was issued on April 27th, 2004, which was about a month before the new licenses entered circulation. I’m told I don’t have to have mine replaced, I can simply get a new one when this one expires in 2008. Hell, part of me enjoys the nostalgia of the old school laminated cardboard look.

While still a legal drivers license, the old school version has found its way out of the bar handbooks. As such, I might as well have handed this chick a sheet of paper that read “I is 21 years old.” Apparently, Texas is very strict on drinking. Apparently, I wasn’t getting my beer afterall.

The saving grace behind this trip to the land that time forgot is that I get to teach a training course. I ultimately see me moving on from development to teaching, so being able to break up my normal daily coding routine with training is a pretty sweet set up. Now I just have to learn the material I have to teach tomorrow and I’ll be set 😉

Top three least favorite medical related activities:

  1. Dentists
  2. Needles
  3. Eye Doctors

In the span of the last week, I had to deal with the latter two. Luckily, the moons have not aligned against me and thrown a dentist appointment in on top of all of this, because that’s a level of masochism I’m just not prepared to handle right now. I’m honestly surprised you don’t hear of more metal hook related deaths amongst the dentist population.

I did however have to endure an eye doctor appointment. Not just that, but I went in unprepared. I hadn’t mentally psyched myself up for it as much as I should have. Similarly, I usually have to enter a similar meditation state prior to giving blood to keep from freaking out. There are just some things that I really need to gear myself up for.

I don’t mind most of the eye doctor appointments. In fact, the little game of “can you read this line” is almost entertaining. He flips a few lenses and suddenly it looks like I’m underwater. A few more, and I can make out that the little blob on the wall either a B or a D. And so on.

“Ok, now let me just dialate your pupils and you’ll be on your way in 10 minutes.”
“Great, how do we do that?”
“Just two drops and I shine a blue light in your face.”

I never realized it, but I love my eyelids. They are a greatly underappreciated body part. Their sole purpose in life is to keep shit out of my eyes. I’ve never really been good and letting things past this barrier.

Most people probably don’t know this, but it didn’t take long into marriage for me to exercise the “in sickness” clause. We landed in St. Maarten after an uneventful flight, picked up our rental car from the nice gentleman with the pet goat, and found our way to the hotel. Somehow, during the drive something went wrong with my eye. I really don’t want to think about how unsanitary the car might have been, but for whatever reason my eye became red, puffy, itchy, and all those other things you hear of in eye drops commercials before the guy sprays the volleyball painted to resemble an eye and all is better. We got to the room and decided to try to use Meg’s eye drops to clean out my troubled eye.

I don’t do eye drops. I don’t even think I could bring myself to look upwards at the open end of an empty eye dropper. So I found myself with my head in Meg’s lap, kicking and thrashing about, as Meg tried to pry open my eye and administer the eye drops. I’m sure most people are picturing a mother trying to put eye drops in a small, stubborn child. You’d be right, except realize I out weigh Meg and am significantly stronger. Needless to say, it wasn’t my shining moment, but joke’s on her, we’re married now and she’s stuck with me.

Getting back to the eye doctor. He comes at me like the scene from the movie Psycho. Except instead of a foot long knife he had a bottle of eye drops. And instead of running he walked. And instead of screaming, he was talking quite calmly about how easy this will be. And he wasn’t dressed as a woman. But otherwise, a spitting image of the scene.

After a good deal of struggle and him muttering something about me being “one of those types”, I found myself with eye drops in my eyes. And on my face. And a bit on my shirt. The doctor is also somehow wearing some of the drops.

He then goes to “shine a blue light in my face”, which was such a bullshit way of saying what he was going to do. I have to lean forward and put my face into a contraption that looks like it’s straight out of the movie Saw. He wheels around what looks to be a railroad spike on the end of a mechanical arm. The spike has a blue glowing tip. He starts inching this spike closer and closer to my eye. It took him three tries, but he finally got the thing close enough to my eye without me calling him an asshole.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, he prescribed me eye drops to use when my eyes get dry from using the computer. He gave me two bottles. One is gone already. My shirt is soaked, and I think more of the drops trickled down the side of my face into my ear than made it into my eye. The saving grace is that, because of the issues with my eyes, I pretty much can’t get contacts. Not that I’d be able to actually wear them, but it’s good to know that I don’t even have the option.

Thankfully, the bloodwork went smoother. Perhaps it was because it was first thing in the morning (read: pre-coffee) and I didn’t really know what was going on. Though apparently I didn’t come off as strong, or at least as comatose, as I felt I did, because she still found the need to tell me I looked nervous. That takes balls for a person with a giant needle in their hand to comment on the guy sitting in the chair looking nervous.

While I won’t deny the fact that I’m a wus, I can handle most things. Blood itself doesn’t bother me, rather it’s the act of jamming a needle directly into a vein to suck it out that bothers me. If the preferred approach to bloodwork was to punch me in the face and take it from my nose, I’d be fine.

Even looking back at my surgery last year, the worst part was the damn IV, which in an awful turn of events was administered to my hand. I don’t do needles, but they are better in a meaty portion of my body, like a shoulder or my ass. After that, I could care less about being cut open for the surgery. I had no problems with plastic mesh tube that was installed into me to keep the muscle in place. The tube was inserted near the point where your leg bends into your hip, so that soon after the surgery when I sat up straight I could feel the tube jab into me as if I had a pencil in my pants pocket. That didn’t bother me either. But when it comes to needles and eye issues, I’m useless.