Greatly Exaggerated

To quote Mark Twain, the rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.

I decided that after the dreadful week we had, I needed some time away from the blog to unwind and prepare myself for my new job which, at least after the first 5 days, isn’t too bad. That should explain my lack of posts–my brain was pretty much fried by Friday, expecially after sitting so close to the stage for Depeche Mode’s Hollywood Boulevard performance.

Either way, great show. And give a great, big hand to Ann who, even with her bad back, stood for at least 7 hours and didn’t complain once. I knew she hurt but she didn’t even whimper. She definitely earned her Mars bar.

In addition to all that, we had to contend with some credit card companies this week so that we wouldn’t end up in court (at least for one of them). Listen, people. If you have a credit card that’s nearly maxed out and / or you’re behind on payments, do not–repeat DO NOT–consult one of those debt settlement companies. We did and while at first we saw some positive results, we soon realized how expensive those actions were. Not cheap at all. We ended up calling the card companies ourselves and got all of the balances reduced–one went from $1,200 to $400, cheaper than anything the debt settlement company could do. If you’re willing to settle the debt and have the money, the card companies will work with you. In fact, we settled more in 3 days than this company did in 6 months. Pretty sad–and it didn’t get charged up the yin yang for it.

At any rate, there you go. I have to go and make my lunch for tomorrow and leave early since I will be riding my bike to work–and I couldn’t be happier. And for shit’s sake, don’t fall into the media trap about swine flu! Yes, people will die from it and while unfortunate, this strain is no more dangerous than that of the typical flu

Oh, and also note that because I don’t have a computer (or a desk for the matter) just yet, I am not checking my e-mail at lunch or during breaks. They will have to wait until I get home, usually just after 4:30.

I’m outta here for the night. Keep the faith, brothas!

The Stage!

The Stage!, originally uploaded by aeromat.

Are we close? Hell yeah!

UPDATE: Phone-cam pics are up at Flickr!

Depeche Mode Soundcheck!

Depeche Mode Soundcheck!, originally uploaded by aeromat.

They are on stage there, I swear! In line @ VIP area. Follow my tweets @aeromat for more.

Of Mice And Men

My post on April 19th, entitled “A Full Slate,” went over in fine detail my plans for this week. I’m taking a moment to update the entire post because, well, the best laid plans of mice and men…

Everything in italics and green are the original plans; clusterfucks are in red italics and the new plans are just below each.

Monday: Take The Kid to school and go for another long bike ride. Might even make it to the beach this time. I also have piles of paperwork I need to fill out for the new job (since it is contract work), and I have to go and take the obligatory drug/pee-pee test which I’m sure I’ll pass with flying colors.

Nothing changed there. But while on my way to take the drug test, Ann calls me and tells me that everything in the refrigerator was turning to mush. Yes, the proverbial “Is your refirgerator running?” joke finally happened to us. But oh, it gets better.

While coming back to her mom’s where she salvaged what she could from the fridge, she said her car started acting up: rough idling, not accelerating as smooth, etc. So now we the Lincoln is in the shop awating repair or assessment. Either way, it’s going to cost $130 just for them to look at it and on Friday, we have to get a whole new fridge of food. Nice.

Tuesday: Since Spring Break is over, our Disneyland passes are no longer blacked-out so we plan on spending some time there, quite possibly a good portion of the day depending on how hot it gets. It’s supposed to be in the 90s in Orange County* today; hopefully it won’t be too bad by then.

Today we took the car to the dealer and went to Lowe’s to order a new fridge. We just got home and are waiting for the mechanic to call us with the bad news. Needless to say, we didn’t make it to Disneyland today.

Wednesday: Take Kid to school and go for another bike ride.

The first part will happen. The rest of the day will be spent waiting around for the Lowe’s truck to arrive with the new fridge, so no bike ride. But hey, at least I logged almost 19 miles on Monday.

Thursday: Here’s a biggie. Depeche Mode will be performing live on Hollywood and Vine for The Jimmy Kimmel Show that “night” and I scored a pair of tickets to be in the crowd! This is the first time any artist has ever done this for the show so it should be interesting. They usually perform on the stage outside the studio but this time, it’s going to be in the heart of Hollywood. Watch for phone-cam images (if phones are not being confiscated) beginning at about 5 p.m. that night since the performances are taped. I wasn’t able to get tickets for their Hollywood Bowl show so this will do, even it’ll be an abberviated show. Be sure to watch for me–I’ll be the one in black 🙂

While this one is still happening, at least I have some good news. Turns out that I was one of the lucky winners of the contest I entered at the Depeche Mode Web site so not only will I be there with Ann, we will be in the pit right next to the stage along with another lukcy 148 people! Again, at least that’s one good thing that happened this week.

Friday: I have scheduled an interview with Disneyland just for the sake of doing it. Hey, it could lead to something part time so what’s the harm in that, no?

Still happening. And I got an e-mail from my old job telling me that because they hadn’t received my COBRA paperwork, they were canceling my health care coverage, retroactive from April 1st.

Well, there you have it. I went from a nice week off to figuring out how we’re going to pay for all of this crap.

Hey, does anybody know how this former fat guy can sell his soul and get some cash from Weight Watchers for losing over 100 lbs.? 

* You all know I still refuse to call Orange County by “The” and its initials as the only people who do don’t live there or are only trying to sound cool. 

With Apologies to The Fixx and U2

With Apologies to The Fixx and U2, originally uploaded by aeromat.

I reached the beach on today’s bike ride. And it’s a beautiful day.

UPDATE: Rode 18.4 miles total and feel fantastic. But if you think I’m going on the treadmill tonight, you’re crazy 🙂

A few more pictures will be coming later.