good bye sids

Tonight, The Dive Bar on the South Side is closing. Sids has been my Wednesday night destination for the past year. The owners have been good to us, but the money hasn’t been good to Sids. It reverts back to the original owners tomorrow.

There won’t be another SIDS. I don’t think there will ever be a bar like this one.


Good Bye Cable

I have been the phone for ten minutes canceling my “High Speed Internet Service” from MDU Communications. I have never been this happy to cancel service before in my life.

All told, the conversation was less than a minute. I was on hold for 12 minutes 28 seconds. They did not ask why I canceled my service. They tried to get me to disconnect my TV service–the one provided by the insanely high assessment–which does not make sense unless they know what I know; namely, that their service is shit.

We have some sort of satellite system. It is expensive, we don’t get HD Service anymore (even though we did with RCN) and the technical support is just like the first season of the IT Crowd. “Turn the Modem off and on.” That was their solution to everything.

In the end, I owe them $1.35. I over paid last months bill. I’ll be sending them a letter with the reason why I disconnected my service, which I’ll include when I mail them the modem.

We went with AT&T. Currently, we’re getting 2.6 kbps/second on a wireless N network. It feels wonderful. Oh, and thus far? Their tech support has been exquisite. Now if they just stop spying on their customers….


Sorry folks, I got nothing today. Absolutely nothing.

Unless, of course, I talk about this new book I’m reading.

I was told to read this The Lies of Locke Lamora by two people. I trust their taste in fiction, even if one of them has a tendency to taunt me with particularly gruesome (and depressing) scenes.

I’m about a third of the way through the book. It reminds me of a game that Will once ran. The much loved–but ill-fated–Thieves Game. Skulduggery, con men, thieves all set in a beautifully executed fantasy world. I’ve been on a con man/glib talker kick in fiction for at least five years now. I think it has become a preferred aspect of the fiction I read.

In the eighty pages I’ve read, Lynch has managed to create and describe a wonderfully detailed setting: Camorr, a rich and diverse city teaming with merchants, peasants, nobles and thieves. Our protagonist, Locke, is clever and nimble, but thus far not particular adept at fighting. He’s the trickster, not the warrior.

All in all, I’d rather be reading the book than blogging or working…which I have to get back to now.

Breezy Cheese

Yesterday, ATC had a story about “The smells of your Alma Mater“. I should send them an email; however, this also makes a fantastic blog post. Thanks NPR!

My college, Beloit, is beautiful. We have plenty of green space, wonderfully tended trees and a view of the Rock River. Depending on the view, it’s either beautiful or disgusting, but the river is there. In the fall, one could stand inbetween the ’64 Dorms and see an amazing display of Fall Color. We also have Indian Burial Mounds, gorgeous brick buildings and a poetry garden. Oh, and a gazebo.


All in all, the campus is beautiful. It smells terrible.

The Hormel Chili Factory is downwind from the campus.

The smell is nauseating. It’s a combination of meat, beans and cheese. Cheap, processed and nearly spoiled cheese. I don’t need to buy an Eau de Beloit. I can simply smear Hormel chili behind my ears. While I miss Beloit, and my college friends, terribly, I will not refresh my memories by inhaling Hormel Chili. Some memories are better left in the can.

The Plan

I’ve been in a funk for two weeks now, and it feels dangerously close to depression. I’m losing interest in a number of things, my appetite is changing and my mood is significantly more sensitive than it should be. My sleeping patterns would probably take a turn for the worse, but thankfully, Shannon won’t let it.

I’ve tried just “riding” it out. I learned In grief therapy that sometimes I just need to listen to what my body says and let it rest. I’ve listened for two weeks, recognized that I miss my parents and my friends, and that outside of Shannon, nothing feels “right” anymore. I’m overwhelmed by it all.

I’m done with that. I’m working on a schedule, busting out my old copy of Getting Things Done by Paul Allen and setting up goals (and to do lists).

The most ambitious of these goals is working out in the morning. I wake up by 645 every day, regardless of when I go to bed. The past week i’ve fiddled with the Internet connection for at least twenty minutes. I am going to start doing something more productive than restarting a modem, a router and swearing.

I’m getting a head start on the new year. 2008 has been brilliant. 2009 is going to start rough, but it had the potential to be even better. I’ve got far too much at stake, and to do, to let it slip through my fingers.

Blog This

I’m a hack. A damn dirty blog hack. I have no skills, my posts suck and my grammar makes English teachers reach for their blood red pens.

Thanks to NaBloPoMo, I inflicted my dribble on the internet for 30 days straight. Now I’m going for 31 day. At some point, the content (and the writing) have to improve.

Due to the internet woes, Thanksgiving and high stress levels, I’ve been removed from my normal news sources. I’ve even started listening to more commercial radio (and for some godawful reason, Katy Perry is always playing when I do) to find something “new.” This is why I haven’t commented about politics, news or current events. I won’t blog about music or Chicago Radio: I don’t want to whine anymore. This explains my lack of content.

For November, it was just POST. December’s theme is “Thanks!” I see two cliches here. First we have the post-modern snark that fills the blogosphere. Then we have the sappy, gooey, saccharine “thanks!” of the Hallmark crowd. I don’t want to be associated with either of these groups. I’m trying to find a happy medium, but this is not easy.