Didn't expect that, did you? I've been gone for a while. You probably thought I was gone for good, huh? Probably hoped I was. Here you were, enjoying your day, having gone the better part of 3 months without one significant post in sight. Well I hope you enjoyed it while it lasted, punk. Because funtime is over.
You never realize how important the internet is to you until it is no longer available to you. When I moved out of my old place, I tried to get my Roadrunner hooked up to my old computer (that I got in 1999) and I found out during a late-night call to tech support that it wasn't working because I was still rocking Windows 98 (O.G. version) and I needed a new operating system for the drivers to work.
I naturally went through all the phases of grief: the denial, the self-loathing, the hunger, the itchy scalp. All the signs were there. I had no idea what to do. Then it occurred to me: why don't I just go down to Staples and drop the c-note on Windows XP? I done did it, and finally I'm back in the 21st Century. Miss me?
The worst part about not having the internet is having to sit silent, depriving all of you of my rapier's wit and searing insight with all the events of the world going on. This must be how people in a coma feel. It's no picnic.
So here is your boilerplate Bill Shannon Recap of what has been going on in my world over the last three months. I'll try to keep it brief:
- I moved to a new residence. It's the bottom half of a house about 1.3 miles from my old house. I threw away roughly half of my belongings, and the place is actually looking decent. Not too cluttery, and it feels homey. (And not just because I am a "homey." Get it?) My mom would actually be somewhat proud of how this slovenly fool can actually keep up on manually washing the dishes and sweeping up every once in a while.
- My job changed because my partner at work got a new job, so I've been under a ton of pressure at work, only because I'm the only one with experience. My heart rate and blood pressure are shooting right through the roof. But I don't take my job home with me, even though I wish I could sometimes to get some work done. My job is one of those things where you can get no momentum. As soon as you start something, like 15 other people call me or IM me to ask me to do something. It's nice to be wanted, but this is ridiculous!
- I tried out for the World Series of Pop Culture in New York in mid-January. We got past the first "written" round but then didn't hear anything after that. I got to see my New Jersey cousins, though, which was great.
- I lost and then gained back a few lbs. I was doing really well for a while and then just started eating like shit and stopped exercising. I'm planning on getting back on the horse pretty soon. And let's face it, even a couple pounds heavier, I'm still like a total hunk. Ironic note: I stopped drinking beer for a few days because I was feeling bloated and had some bad stuff going on in the gastro-intestinal area. Finally I had a beer and suddenly everything is kosher again. Jackpot! I heard a line from the show "Scrubs" that said something to the effect of, "It may be too early to drink, but it's never too early to start thinking about it." Amen to that. But moderation, folks. Always moderation.
- I have been going psychotic with my beer intake, but not in that way. In other words, I don't get drunk a lot. But I have been going to the Party Source on Erie Blvd and picking up all sorts of mixed six-packs of exotic beers. That way I always have a nice stockpile of them. I try to have like 2 a night, because they are so delicious. And just like Javen once told me, I am getting into those dark, coffee-flavored porters for the cold, winter season. Ironically, I have decided that I hate winter ales. What a country! IPAs are still my main squeeze, of course, but I don't mind throwing in something a little darker every once in a while. I think it shows my tolerance.
- A skunk died under my porch last week, and caused my entire apartment to reek alternately of a skunk's exploded anal gland and sour onions (that's what it smells like when it ages). The smell just left this afternoon. Here's some more irony for that ass: I have always had trouble smelling skunks. I don't know why. People would always say, "I smell a skunk" and I'd be all "Not me." But this was pretty unmistakeable. It's cold as shit out, too, and I had to leave windows open to get the stank outta there. It's finally safe, so stop on by.
- I've been using a new shampoo that supposedly makes hair grow thicker, and I've heard from a couple different sources that it might actually be working. I'm very skeptical of those things, but who knows. Maybe it'll make the passage of time seem somewhat slower on my shiny melon.
- I've been attempting the art of cooking lately, with pretty good results. I made a peanut butter pie the other day which I must say was off the hook like not guilty. Most stuff I make is out of a box but I'm at least getting into the flow of cooking a little more, and I think if I experiment, I might get good. I have a neat little dining area in my kitchen with stools in it and it's kind of cool to just eat there and crank some of my rap tapes. Oh yeah, since I live alone now, I can pretty much listen to whatever music I want to at full blast (or at least so it doesn't bug my landlords and crazy-bitch next door neighbor). I have been catching up on some of my old rap tapes that I haven't heard in a long time. Mixed results. I'm sure that blog's coming later.
- The giving away of many of my clothes and possessions was kind of a weird thing. It was one of those things where I got rid of any questionable clothes, or ones that I either don't like anymore, or know don't fit me. This sounds like a no-brainer to most, but since I have no-brain, it's not for me. I am a notorious clutterbug-slash-packrat. Getting rid of clothes is tantamount to putting my kids in an orphanage. But I done did it. I had to; my place is way too small not to. I'm getting there. Slowly, but it's happening.
Okay, now that you have the lowdown, let me just give you a few things that have been up in my head over the last three months:
- Has you seen the Bruce Campbell "Old Spice" commercial? The one about "experience"? I can't stop watching it. Not only does it star cult movie hero Bruce Campbell, but the words are great. It might not be that impressive out of context, but I was watching the Giants-Eagles game at Will's with Jaime, Phelps and Toast, and it came on to a reverentially hushed response. One of those moments, you know? It was the perfect absurdist non-sequitur to throw my football mojo off just a little bit. Well done, Old Spice!
- Here are some albums I like that I've heard recently: Ghostface Killah's "More Fish" (quite good) The Shins' "Wincing the Night Away" (not great, but good), Metal Fingers' "Special Herbs Box Set" (amazing), Ray LaMontagne's "Till the Sun Turns Black" (almost sounds like early Van Morrison). There are others I can't think of right now. I haven't bought many CD's lately.
- Best TV shows right now: "How I Met Your Mother" (caught a marathon Christmas weekend and love it), "The Office" (the most consistently laugh-out-loud funny show on TV), "30 Rock" (has really grown on me), "The Wire" (like a novel), "American Idol" (obviously, although the judges are real assholes this year, more than usual), "Extras" ("Are you havin' a laugh?" is my new catchphrase), "The Colbert Report" (Stephen is an amazing comedian), "SNL" (always hit-or-miss, but the Jeremy Piven and Alec Baldwin episodes were suprisingly good), "Wonder Showzen" (hard to find, but goddammit I love it), "5 Reasons You Can't Blame..." (now that ESPN Classic is ceasing original programming -- RIP "Cheap Seats" -- this one will probably go out the door), "Stella" and "The State" (my sister let me watch these on her video iPod and I forgot how hilarious those shows were), "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" (my sister just introduced me to this show and I really like it, like half "Curb Your Enthusiasm," half "Stella"), "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" (only 15-mins long, and sometimes very crude, but it always makes me laugh out loud).
- Javen and The Hoff and I went to see the Chargers and Bills in Buffalo in December, and although the Bills lost, it was a good time. Since I've been on hiatus, I haven't been able to go over the fun sports stuff. I think J.P. Losman is going to be a very good QB for the Bills. The light turned on about halfway through the season. He still makes mistakes, but I'm so much more confident in him now. I think the AFC Championship game between the Colts and Patriots is one of the best second halves of football I've seen in a long time. (Sorry, that last sentence was very Peter King of me.) Syracuse basketball sucks, and they will be lucky to make the tourney this year. They don't have a leader and lack character. No one is stepping up. I'm rooting for them, but the outlook is grim.
- I am currently obsessed with Crossword puzzles. And not the easy ones in the back of the TV Guide, but the big bastards in the Sunday New York Times. I'm still not very good, and still have to cheat by looking in the back or in a crossword dictionary, but I enjoy the mental challenge. I think it's making me smarter.
- Since I've been out for so long, I haven't gotten the chance to express my love for Opie & Anthony. A few months ago, I could only hear them on XM (which is the greatest as well, to be continued in a future blog), but now they are on regular radio in Syracuse, too. I still like getting the "dirty" feed when they are done with their free-radio broadcast, but in my opinion, they are like ten times better than Stern, as least how he was over the last 5 years or so. (I haven't heard his Sirius show.) I really like their sensibility, and plus, you have to give respect to a radio show that frequently has Brian Regan (aka the greatest stand up comic in the world) on their show. Listen to it for like a week, and I think you will like it. I don't have any stake or interest in them getting popular, I just think they are a really good listen.
Okay, so this has been the most meandering, poorly constructed blog in the history of blogs. Fine, I admit it. I had a lot pent up, and now it's out of my system. The next posts you see will be of the high quality to which you are accustomed. I have held this site up as the apogee of internet prose, and dammit, I won't let you down. Well, yeah I probably will.
Until later. I have to get back to cooking my falafel.