Miscellaneous Ramblings
Unlike my "What's New" page, this will go in chronological order, with oldest entries at the top, newest at the bottom. So Scroll down - this page was last updated on Tuesday, June 1, 1999.

5/30/99

Well, since I decided to make a section called Miscellaneous Ramblings, I suppose I ought to ramble. Let's see. Where can I begin?

Thursday, May 27th, I was driving home from work on the West Shore Expressway in Staten Island, having completed 45 out of 55 estimated minutes for my return home, when, to my surprise, my 9 month old New Beetle with just over 18,000 miles on it started sputtering, then started to stall. I was able to get it to the shoulder, but I was not able to get it started again. So I called my free roadside assistance program, and had what I would call a hellish experience Let's just say that Volkswagen's policies are a bit consumer-unfriendly for a company who claims to want to be number 1 in service. Luckily, the woman who I bought the car from got her boss (the owner of the dealership) to give me a brand new 1999 White Jetta, which was supposed to be delivered to a new customer (who I think was a friend of his) on Friday morning. So, tough on him, I have his cool car for the weekend. But, if the shoe were on the other foot, and that were my car he gave to someone else at the last minute, I'd cancel my order and demand a full refund, and I'd buy the car somewhere else. But that's just me...

So, it was a bad fuel pump, and it will be fixed free of charge under warrantee, but since it's a holiday weekend (Memorial Day), I won't have my car back until Tuesday, June 1. Oh well. At least the Jetta is cool.

I guess there will be more cool stuff in here soon. At least I hope so :-)

6/1/99

I got my car back today. Would you believe Volkswagen had the gall to try and charge me $3 for the expense of putting some gas into my car so they could test out the new fuel pump? I wouldn't have believed it had it not happened. I simply explained nicely to the girl on the phone that I was not paying a cent for the warrantee repairs on an almost brand new car. She spoke to a manager and he agreed. Lucky for them - they gave me a more expensive car for the weekend, which I was still in possession of at the time :-)

There's this new sex symbol guy, Ricky Martin, and all the women adore him. It amazes me - when men make comments about women the way women make comments about people like Brad Pitt and Ricky Martin, they're putting women down, and only thinking sexually. But let a Ricky Martin enter the scene, and suddenly...

That was just a tangent - I actually like his first song, La Vida Loca. Not enough to buy it, but enough to notice a line in the song which I rather like: "(She'll make you live the crazy life) but she'll take away your pain, like a bullet to your brain".

Don't ask why I like that quote. Most of the quotes I like are inexplicable. They just strike me a certain way. Here are some of my favorites from back in 1997. I've edited out the ones I no longer care about. You'll notice a trend towards a few artists. I promise that as time goes on, more quotes will be added from many other places.

I'd like to find your inner child and kick it's little ass. Eagles
What the head makes cloudy, the heart makes very clear. Don Henley
And the waitress is practicing politics, as the businessmen slowly get stoned, yes they're sharing a drink they call loneliness, but it's better than drinking alone. Billy Joel
I'm warm from the memory of days to come. Billy Joel
You were only killing time and it'll kill you right back. Meat Loaf
You've got nothing to do and even less to lose. Meat Loaf
Somewhere out there, beneath the pale moonlight, someone's thinking of me, and loving me tonight. Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram
We are all just prisoners here, of our own device. Eagles
Don't your feet get cold in the wintertime? The sky won't snow and the sun won't shine, it's hard to tell the nighttime from the day. You're losing all your highs and lows, ain't it funny how the feeling goes away? Eagles
Your prison is walking through this world all alone. Eagles
When all hope is gone, sad songs say so much. Elton John
I simply love you more than I love life itself. And I guess that's why they call it the blues, time on my hands, could be time spent with you, laughing like children, living like lovers, rolling like thunder, under the covers, and I guess that's why they call it the blues. Elton John
We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun, but the hills that we climbed were just seasons out of time. Terry Jacks
What are all these voices outside love's open door, make us throw off our contentment, and beg for something more? Don Henley
The autumn leaves have got you thinking about the first time that you fell,You didn't love the boy too much, you just loved the boy too well. Eagles
You're only human, allowed to make your share of mistakes. Billy Joel
The light's on in the window, she's waiting by the phone. Talking to a memory that's never coming home. She dreams of his returning, and the things that he might say, but she'll always be the girl from yesterday. Eagles
Now the flowers in your garden, they don't smell so sweet. Maybe you've forgotten the heaven lying at your feet. Eagles
There's just so many summers, babe, and just so many springs. Don Henley
Are you gonna stay with the one who loves you or are you going back to the one you love? Someone's gonna cry cuz they know they've lost you, someone's gonna thank the stars above. Glenn Frey
Now I look at the years gone by, and wonder at the powers that be. I don't know why fortune smiles on some, and lets the rest go free. Maybe time has drawn the faces I recall, but things in this life change very slowly if they ever change at all. Eagles
I'd rather be his whore than your wife. Kate Winslet - Titanic
I'm an impressionable child in a tumultuous world and they say I'm at a difficult stage. Meat Loaf

That's all for today. Another time, more ramblings.

6/6/99

I almost had a car acident today. I was on my way home from visiting my grandparents in Brooklyn, and I was driving in the left lane on the Staten Island Expressway. My lane was moving very slowly due to some construction in the roadway, making it bumpy, so I tried to change lanes and stay in the center lane. I signalled, looked over my shoulder (the Bug has a blind spot or two, sadly, but you do get used to them), and turned back to look in front of me. As my head turned back, I noticed the car in front of me had stopped - dead, from a speed of about 25. Apparently, the car in front of him stopped short, afraid of the road doing damage to his car, and the car in front of me decided it would be wise to slam on his brakes. This happened in the two seconds starting when my head was starting to turn to the right, and culminated when I turned my head back. Basically, if I had the two seconds to react, I would have stopped no problem, but with those two seconds of bad timing on my side, I had no choice but to get into the center lane as quickly as possible (thankfully, nobody was there when I turned my head to look, which probably saved a bad accident). Luckily, I was not tailgating (surprisingly), and I was able to hit my brakes just right, and veer out of the lane. Although I must admit, it felt as if the car turned at a tighter angle than I turned the wheel. I'm not sure if it was a combination of the steering and my braking so hard or if it was divine intervention, but when I found myself in the center lane, next to the car that had just been in front of me, and we hadn't collided, I found my mood to be very calm and relaxed, almost somber. I've been driving for over 11 years, and I drive a lot. The way my Bug reacted to the near-collision today felt almost like it decided on its own that I hadn't steered it well enough or hit the brakes hard enough, so it decided to do those for me instead. It's probably the closest I have ever come to having a religious experience :-)

But, on the topic of not feeling as though my actions are all my own, I've had an odd feeling lately, for the past two weeks or so. It's almost as if I feel like I am two separate people, or rather, two separate personalities. One personality gets me through the day at work, and makes most of the important decisions for me, while the other personality sits back and kinda deals with the consequences of the decisions and actions of the other personality. The sad part is that I feel as though the second personality is the one that represents the real me, the me that I have always been. I take it this means that I am on some kind of auto-pilot, letting my surroundings influence my actions, rather than logic and rationalization. I'm not quite sure what caused this auto-pilot lethargy, but it's affecting my personality. I've become snappy with most people, even people I like and respect, and I have become very negative (yes, more than usual!) about everything surrounding me. I can't imagine I am a fun person to be around these days. I know I'll get out of this eventually, but bleh, it sure sucks going through it.

I think this is likely all related to work. There's a lot of stuff going on there which is causing a lot of confusion, weariness and disorientation. To top it off, I've discovered again, quite recently, that my value as an employee, with my skills, my experience, and my education, are much higher than I am being valued at right now. Basically, it means that I can be paid 25% - 50% higher. Somewhere. There's an inherent value in staying where I am, of course, and I will take that into account. The market thinks I am worth more. Who am I to argue?

Until next time.

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