January 28, 2004

Packin' Up And Headin' Out

This week has been crazy, so I apologize for the lack of updates. As we speak, my apartment is nearly empty, and I'm laying on the floor with the keyboard in my lap. I still have some more things to pack up, but I'm pretty much ready to start the journey across country. Andy and I should have some interesting travel conditions to deal with, along with a swaying uhaul trailer to keep our nerves on edge, but I think we'll be fine. (I think we should make a special travel challenge, where we can't listen to the same song more than once.)

I'm thinking that we'll make it to Seattle one week from today, so batten down the hatches, ye Admiral is a'comin!


Posted by jed at 12:53 PM | Comments (10)

January 23, 2004

Poetic Justice

I'm a big fan of looking way too deeply into things. I like to read into people and situations, and I'm always trying to find the hidden messages within. Sometimes the meaning is obvious, other times it's probably made up, but no matter what, it's always enlightening. Today, on my last day at Litco, I was hit with one of the most poetic, and ironic, subtle messages I think I have ever been dealt.

For those who might not know, Litco has been in my life since the day I was born. Started by my grandfather in 1948, and passed onto my father, there has never been a day where Litco Supply was not mentioned in my family. Thus, the security of always having a job, the prospect of owning my own business, and the comfort of working with family have constantly been the factors keeping me involved. However, I neglected to succumb to my true feelings- that perhaps Litco Supply, as gracious and warm as it might sound, is not my future.

This is a whole separate chapter of my life, though, which I could babble about for hours, but will spare the detail. Furthermore, as of now, it's a chapter that's closing, and I'd much rather focus on the future. This, then, leads me to the sign that was presented to me this morning.

As mentioned a few weeks ago, Litco is undergoing renovations. The showroom is being remodeled, and the company is more or less changing direction in and of itself. Part of this construction involves a new entry to Litco, and a brand new doorway leading into the showroom. The time of arrival for this doorway was uncertain, and they had been waiting for it to show up for a couple of weeks. Today, this new doorway arrived.

Never in my lifetime has Litco had an alternate enterance to the one it's had since the day I was born. Never before has there been a way in and out of this foundation, except through the same heavy, glass door in the front of the building. Yet today, on my last day here, after a lifetime of taking the same path, a new door has opened here at Litco, and I am now more prepared to walk through it than I ever have been before.

The new doorway leads to an unfamiliar walkway, and the new exit will be hard to get used to; but I find myself ansty with anticipation to try it, and I know that eventually, this doorway will become comfortable, and I'll begin to forget what this place was like without it.


Posted by jed at 11:02 AM | Comments (11)

January 22, 2004

Challenge Me-let Myself Down

So, as you may have guessed from the fact that I haven't mentioned the melee for awhile, many of the small challenges have fizzled out.

I have not given up, however. I plan to keep at least a few of them for the remainder of the week, although I have no choice but to void some out. Keep in mind, though, that I made it pretty far, all things considered.

Here is a list of the changes:

1. I have to do laundry tonight. Like, seriously... I have to.

2. I had to put gas in the car yesterday, because things kept coming up that involved me driving long distances. In theory, I would have made it, except for the fact that theory is not reality, thus I did not.

3. The fork thing was impossible. No, really... I think it is humanly impossible. Much like electricity, you don't realize how much you need it until it's gone, and when you're without, you find yourself lost. I'd be very impressed if someone could actually do this for 3 weeks.

Now, as for the rest: I plan to keep writing haiku's everyday; I will visit home 3 more times; I will do my mom's chores (if she still wants me to); I will praise said actors on a daily basis; I will acknowledge the secret challenge to the best of my ability; and if the oppertunity arises, I will still attempt the forkless dare sub-challenges.

I don't see this as a failure, especially since I was the only person involved. Considering all that has happened in the past 3 weeks, I gave it my best shot, and I think I did pretty well. However, it's not over yet... stay tuned for the melee finale, and be prepared for my next challenge, set to begin in about a month. This one could be the most difficult yet, you won't want to miss it.


Posted by jed at 09:40 AM | Comments (6)

January 20, 2004

Chuck And The Amazing Beef Log

Last night I witnessed one of the most horrifying displays of pure gluttony I think I have ever seen.

A few weeks ago, during the lazy-yet-somehow-very-busy week of vacation, Andy graced our poker night with two beef logs, which made for the perfect snack when sliced and served with cheese. The five of us who indulged put a pretty nice dent in one of the beef logs, maybe finishing about half, but came nowhere near attempting a second.

So when Chuck came over last night, I realized I only have a week and a half left in my apartment, and need to start eating, or giving away, some food. The very mention of the word 'beef log' made chuck's eyes glow, and I immediately knew what would happen next....

Let me warn you, what you are about to see is phallic and disgusting... but I will admit, it was very impressive.

Click here at your own risk, and see Chuck single handedly take on a beef log (page may take a minute to fully load).

Posted by jed at 03:27 PM | Comments (5)

January 19, 2004

Live Long And Shocker

This weekend I had the surprise of my lifetime. It was a party which I will never forget, and one of the greatest nights I've ever had. To walk into Chesty's Tavern and see so many faces smiling back at me was the greatest feeling in the world, especially since half of those faces were unexpected. I thank you all so much for everything- I will never forget it, and I'll never forget all of you.

Let me also note that, I took my favorite world traveler to the airport personally, so this time I know she's in Florida. Should I be impressed, or worried, that she's such a great liar? Hmm...

Anyway, stay tuned for pics from that night, and more sappy rambling, as the countdown to Seattle continues. (11 days until departure, approx. 16 until arrival.)

Thank you all again so much.


Posted by jed at 10:56 AM | Comments (2)

January 16, 2004

Swear Bear

Last night, I had a nice dinner with my favorite world traveller at Dakota's (can't find a good link, but it's a steakhouse with an awesome salad bar). The only thing was, however, is that last night was one of, if not the coldest nights either of us can ever remember in northwestern Connecticut, as the thermometer was reading wind chills somewhere around -40 (side note: as I write this now, at 10:00 a.m. the next morning, it is -2 with a -19 wind chill... what the crap is going on around here?) So anyway, this leads to the point of my rambling.


Th following paragraph includes language which may not be suitable for some readers, ie. my mother. So mom, if you are reading this, please do not be offended... but just remember, as we discussed the other night when your mouth sounded like a sewer, 'they're just words.'

So, as we were leaving the building, a mother and her small child were walking behind us. As soon as the outside door opened, we were hit with the biggest burst of cold air that seeped into our brains and froze our souls, completely taking us out of our element, and leading to the following exchange of words:

Jed: "Would you like me to bring the car up for you?" (because I am just such a gentlemen, heh heh heh).

Karen: "No that's ok (because she's a tough chick). We'll just bundle up and (please note the small child behind us) run like Hell!!"

Upon realizing 'Hell' may be inappropriate for the small child, she quickly tried to cover herself.

Karen: "I mean heck!" she said surprised. "Shit," she muttered quietly.

She then realized this word may be worse than 'Hell.'

Karen: "Damn!" she said. She then quickly realized she slipped yet again.

Karen: "Fu..." Luckily she stopped herself before completing the mother of all curse words in front of a small child, though at that point, it probably wouldn't have mattered much.

So, just to outline the tone of it all, it would have looked something like this:

"No that's ok, we'll just bundle up and run like Hell!... HECK!....shit.... DAMN!!.... FU..."

Anyway, I found it very funny. It reminded of a time I slipped once, when trying to be funny with Japan-bound Rob. We were walking out of Burger King one day, and I was a slight distance behind him, so the door started closing before I got there.

"Thanks for holding the door for me you stupid bastard!" I said sarcastically. I then looked to my left, and sitting in a car, with the windows rolled down, was a small boy and his grandmother, who looked right at me. I swear to this day, the child cried and the grandmother shot daggers from her eyes.

I guess all I'm wondering from all of this is, why are swear words... bad? Like I mentioned before, my mother and I agreed that, for the most part, they're just words. Why can I say 'duck,' but I can't replace the d with an f? I can understand things like (pardon me) 'God Dammit,' because it's blasphemous, and might offend someone. But the other ones, does anyone know why they're considered bad?

Posted by jed at 10:32 AM | Comments (4)

January 15, 2004

More Additions

My sister Carrie has threatened me with more challenges for the melee... and I accept, without fear!

Actually, they are more like sub-challenges, taking the no forks deal and making it into something even more difficult than it already is. So, without further adieu, I present to you the "Forkless Dare" sub-challenge.

Forkless Dare 1: I must eat spaghetti sans fork.

Forkless Dare 2: I must eat salad (veggie salad) sans fork.

I can say with confidence that I can handle the salad, as frequent trips for sushi usually involve a pre-sushi salad. The spaghetti, however, will be prove to be fairly difficult.

Either way, I will tackle these head on, and I will prevail!!


Posted by jed at 11:47 AM | Comments (6)

January 14, 2004

My Way Or The Broadway

During this past weekends journey to NYC, I got a chance to see Little Shop Of Horrors with Chef Monkeywerks and NYC's next big star. (Speaking of NYC's next big star, check out her review of the show here.)

I had always liked going to see shows on broadway when I was little, though I didn't really know it at the time. Having a sister who loved theater led my family to a few visits to broadway, and since I was so young, I pretty much had to go. At the time, I found it boring, a waste of time, and something I was completely not interested in. However, as I grew older, I realized just how awe inspiring live performances can be, and I can better understand the value of live theater now as an adult, compared to when I was a kid and never gave it a chance, refusing to believe it might be something really great.

Looking back:

I remember seeing Cats when I was very young, and though I couldn't really follow it, I remember it being so majestic, and so real. I remember cats- actual cats (or so it seemd at the time)- crawling on stage with glowing eyes, sleaking around in the darkness. It was incredible.

I remember seeing Les Miserables, and jumping when the cannons went off. I remember wondering why a small boy would be running around with a gun shooting at people so bravely, and why the bar that was once filled with happy people, was suddenly filled with empty chairs, and empty tables. I remember listening to the music and hearing their pain, yet whistling the tunes joyfully days afterwards. It was beautiful.

I remember Big River (with John Goodman before he was famous.) To this day, I still use the phrase 'how 'bout a hand for the hog!' I remember being able to follow the story of Huck Finn, and actually enjoying it. I remember snorting like a pig after the show, and laughing hysterically. It was joyous.

There were a few others; some I saw more than once, some I saw with high school trips. It's just funny to me how something can seem so wrong at a certain point in time, and be so frustrating... only to suddenly appear before you as so wonderful. Then, you begin to realize just how important it is to you and your life that you can never comprehend how or why you ever felt differently. Part of me wants to go back and understand the importance of such things while they were happening, and avoid the conflict within myself altogether- but I wonder if these feelings are necessary, simply because the overwhelming nature of finally opening your eyes to what was once so difficult, and so hard to deal with, far outweighs the normalcy of it all as it actually happened.

Discovering such things is easily the best feeling in the world.

Posted by jed at 12:29 PM | Comments (1)

January 13, 2004

Global Update

Today we are promised an update by Karen in her new weblog (courtesy of Alex and Chase). She was given a quick lesson last night in Movabletype, and can't wait to get it going. Yay!

Also, a haiku:

A whispering pine
Blows gently on the hillside
I like to drink pee


Posted by jed at 10:31 AM | Comments (2)

January 12, 2004

Challenging Challenges

I underestimated the value of the fork. This weekend, while spending some time in New York City with Chef Monkeywerks, NYC's next big star, and my favorite world traveler, I used a fork and didn't even realize it until Karen reminded me a good 3 hours later.

"You used a fork tonight!" she shouted out of nowhere. The pure shock value took over my body, and I went through the five stages of grief in about 8 seconds.

Denial: "No I didn't, when?! When did I use a fork!"
Anger: "I never used a fork, you can't prove anything!"
Bargaining: "Ok, what if I use a knife to eat peas, will that cancel out the fork?"
Depression: "Stupid fork, stupid everything... I'm so stupid"
Acceptance: "Well, life goes on. I can't believe I used a fork."

It was my first defeat, and I didn't take it lightly.

I am not taking it off the list, though. I am simply going to continue on and try harder in the future, which will prove to be difficult, as using a fork has become so automatic.

Also, I have a couple more additions to the melee.

1) Write a haiku everyday
2) This one is a secret, but let me just tell you I couldn't turn it down

With that said, I will leave you with this:

The melee is tough
But I refuse to give in
I like to drink pee.


Posted by jed at 10:37 AM | Comments (1)

January 10, 2004

Frozen Coffee

I'm thinking of adding 'not getting frostbite' to the challenge melee. This morning, as I left for work, my internet thermometer read -11°, recorded at the top of East Main Street... but never fear, down in the valley of Torrington , it was a much warmer -6°, roughly. Right now, I'm told it is -10°. Keep in mind, this is not wind chill, this is actual temperature. In fact, the radio just told me it's supposed to feel like -20°.

"Stop whining ya big baby, and get to the point!"

My point is this: to whine like a baby, for one... but more importantly, a strange occurance took place during my ever so short walk from the car to the front door here at work. This walk takes no more than 30 seconds on an average day, and no more than 20 on a cold day like today. During this mornings jaunt, I not only lost the feeling in my fingertips, but the coffee that had dribbled out of my mug actually froze. I know it doesn't sound very exciting, but coffee is very hot, and the fact that it froze in such a short time is pretty impressive.

Ah yes, work + cold = babble.


Posted by jed at 08:11 AM | Comments (1)

January 09, 2004

New Challenge Unveiled!

Ok, I have decided that choosing one challenge is not good enough, so I am going to combine a couple and see how far I can get in what will be called the 'Challenge Melee.' Also note that, because it is a melee, extra challenges may be added as time goes on, but they cannot be removed. In other words, keep sending ideas, I have until January 28th to make additions.

As for now, I have chosen these ideas as a start:

1) I have officially given up forks.

2) I will put gas in my car this weekend, but try not to fill up until I leave. This will be especially helpfull for my sanity, as the future holds a lot of time in the car.

3) I expanded upon Barbara's idea a bit, but instead of wearing the same clothes everyday and washing them, I have decided to NOT do laundry at all until January 26. Do I have enough clothes? I guess we'll see. (I also hate doing laundry, and our machines are horrible, so this one helps me, too)

4) Joe and I have been doing a good job of praising the works of Tom Cruise, Richard Gere, and Kevin Costner. This will continue, perhaps beyond January 28th.

Honorably Discharged:

-I decided against becoming a filthy disgusting pig, because I'm obsessed with being clean.

-I don't need gassy foods to have gas, thus it's not a huge challenge. Good thought, though.

-I have never, nor will I ever wear a thong... in public, heh heh heh.

That's all I got for now, we'll see how I do. I'm thinking the gas in the car will be most difficult, but we'll see how it plays out. Let the melee begin!


Posted by jed at 01:10 PM | Comments (4)

Additions To Challenge Melee

I have two more additions for the challenge melee already, and it's only been alive for about 4 hours. The two new minigames are:

-do chores for my mom. Specifically, I must change lightbulbs, clean the top of the fridge, paint the ceiling (oy), and open the attic door.

-visit my home at least 4 times before January 28.

Posted by jed at 05:41 AM | Comments (3)

January 06, 2004

Challenge Proposals

Now that the unshaven challenge has come to a close, I have found myself bored with the everyday routine. Sometime during last weeks fun, I asked for some help with a possible next challenge to continue through my last few weeks in Connecticut, and I had a few good ideas. I remember hearing no caffeine for 3 weeks, as little sleep as possible for 3 weeks, and no toilet paper for 3 weeks. I thought long and hard, but rejected the toilet paper idea. No sleep would be a great one, until I realized I kind of do that anyway, so it's not much of a challenge. So, I highly considered the caffeine idea, but in all honesty, I think it's too easy. (I might be wrong, but I've quit caffeine in the past with little problems... except that I obviously started drinking coffee again since then).

Anyway, the point of my rambling is that I want a new idea. I need something to last me the 3+ weeks before my journey out west. If anyone has any thoughts, I would greatly appreciate the help.

And keep in mind, I'm not afraid to make a fool of myself.


Posted by jed at 09:00 AM | Comments (13)

January 05, 2004

Great Feeling

Back to work after a nice vacation, and I feel jet lagged. I went nowhere, pretty much did a whole lot of nothing, and yet I had one of the most memorable weeks I will... remember. There was a wedding, a casino trip, New Years at chuck's, friends, family, poker, and walks. Lot's of wonderful things to help remember this area as I now begin my preparation to leave it behind and start fresh. The outlook for the future grows more and more confident with each day, and the worries are almost completely gone (I will continue to worry about finding a job until that actually happens.) I am preparing myself for an emotional rollercoaster within the next month, but I constantly remind myself of one thing- I love rollercoasters.

This last month is going to be crazy... but good. The last few weeks at work will be sappy... but good. The last few days in the apartment will be hectic... but good. The goodbye's will be hard... but necessary.

Look out Seattle, here I come...

Posted by jed at 11:21 AM | Comments (1)