Gexx in Knoxville

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Archive for the ‘no. 26’ Category

Day 62 – a long awaited update

Posted by Gexx on July 6, 2008

So… while I didn’t necessarily fail, at the same time my new singleness prevents me from completing a few of the goals that I have set out. Therefore, no. 47, no. 25, and no. 93 are on hiatus… or will be replaced when I come up with a suitable alternative. And I’m trying to figure out if I need a replacement for him in my “100 things that make me happy” as I’m actually angry at him…

…. boys are stupid.

Also, I need to sit down and type up a whole bunch of stuff, I’ve gone to NC since this write up and devoured a whole slew of books…

So.. let’s see what I’ve done.
No. 63 – When we went to Georgia, we went to the beach… TWICE. So that one is COMPLETE !

No 22 – In Progress. I know this one seems like something that either I do or I don’t… I do yoga and I’m alone or I’m not. I did do yoga today. There was no one in my house. I made sure all the doors were locked and I put myself in a room where I could observe most everything that was going on. But while I went through the motions, I don’t think I was in the proper mental state for this goal to be considered completed. I was unable to clear my mind as I often find myself able to do. Also, I (in a way) rushed through the exercises, holding each pose for only 5 breaths as opposed to the normal 10-15 breaths that I do. I also did not repeat them as often. So… In Progress.

No. 26 – Taico – Cookville, TN – Before we went to the wedding, Aaron needed a hair cut, so he asked me to drive to Cookville and “supervise” the cut. He ended up with less than half the hair he started with. It looks good. Afterwards, we checked out a new sushi restaurant that Eric had been raving about. It was really good. We got a roll called “Cookville” and another called “Smoky Mountain”. I couldn’t tell you what was in them, but I know that one had scallops. (like that helps 😉 )

Crawdaddy’s – Cookville, TN – This week, Aaron asked me to come up to Cookville and spend some time up there with him. Unfortunatly, that time ended with him deciding that I “annoy the crap out of” him. Long story, and I don’t care to repeat it. But the evening before that confession, we changed his headlight. Well, actually…
We went to Walmart and bought the light. We drove downtown to go get some food, and when we parked, the light was still good, so he thought that he would see what replacing the light would entail. and maybe take care of it there. Well, when you’re in a small downtown and your hood is up and you and another are dressed in sorta nice clothes… if someone who knows cars sees you they think you’re in trouble. So this guy on a bike pops up “Hey, you need help, I been a mechanic for 27 years.” “We’re good, we just wanted to take care of this headlight before it gets dark.” “Well here, I’ll do it for you.” So… we go to replace it… it’s the wrong one, the guy says, I’ll wait for you. We drive to the autostore. While he was helping us, he told us his “life story.”

He was a mechanic in Cali, and his boss became a father to him. The boss had stopped one night to help a family stuck on the side of the road. Said boss gets sideswiped by a drunk driver. This mechanic was not allowed to go to the boss’s funeral (by Boss’s family) because he was a long haired hippy living out of a hearse (there’s a new one). So he paid his respect to his boss after the funeral, asking the boss and God (this was the moment he found Jesus) what he should do now. His boss was dead, his job was done, he had no family, he had half a tank of gas and a couple dollars. He couldn’t stand the thought of bumming. So he heads out of town in his hearse trying to find a new place to work, promising to continue the boss’s altruistic work of helping people on the road. He’s on his last dollar and the gas tank is on E. On the side of the road is a car with a flat. He stops, helps the folks and sets on his way. They stop him and give him 20$. And that way, he drove all around the country before settling in Cookville, TN with a wife and a two year old. A few things in that story strike me as funny… as in, how did he end up sedentry enough for a wife and a two year old and currently has no job…. but it was a good story, the headlight works, and he got $10 out of it.

So the restaurant… it was a New Orleans themed place. The food was good, I had a crawfish po’boy. Yum. It was also $1 draught nights… so we had a few beers.

No. 41 – Learn to do a headstand/handstand. While doing yoga, one of the reverse positions I chose to do is actually titled “handstand” It’s not the type of head/hand stand that I mean in the goal, though. In this one, you walk up the wall and keep your legs at a right angle to your body. But – it’s a start.

No. 42 – In progress… I’ve been trying to meet new people who *aren’t* archaeologists, or spouses of them. No offense to archy’s, but I want some people I can hang out with who aren’t tied to the industry. So far, I hang out with Eric (who I’m meeting other new people through), Claire, Jessica, and I joined a book club that Claire has been a member of. The bookclub is apparently fickle, so we’re rebuilding the membership. I wanted to see what else there was to do, and with this goal, I had hoped to do something involving ballroom dancing. Then I remembered that I had wanted to do bellydancing back a few years, but Justin had continually prevented me from signing up. So I pushed that to the back of my mind. While in Cookville, I used the internet and found some instructors in Knoxville. I’ve heard from two studios and I have a friend who also wants to take lessons, so we’ll see what we can do.

No. 48 – PS – I finally got a start date for work, so these will slow down… immensly
The Road – Cormac McCarthey
CMC wrote “No Country for Old Men” and The Road is just as depressing. It follows a father and son as they attempt to find other people. The world is some strange post-apocalyptic environment. It’s Earth, specifically the mid-Atlantic seaboard. Everything is dead and dried. Plants are dead and the sky is ash. People, however, are also dead. So why is the sky ashy and so many people dead? He never answers…

Mists of Avalon – Marion Zimmer Bradley
This book was the book club book for this month. It was rather ok. Very very much a “fun” book. Basically, it outlines the King Arthur myths, but seen through the eyes of the females. Mostly, Morgaine’s point of view is used, but Igraine, Morgaus, Nimue, Gwehnyphar, and Vivian are also featured as the readers’ “eyes.” There’s alot of sex. Also, bunches of deceit. And where people aren’t screwing or screwing over, they’re eating. Tied into all of this, however, is a constant struggle between the Old Religion (The Goddess, Druids, Faerie) and Christianity. King Arthur was not important merely because he and his knights did great and wonderful things. Instead, the book puts Arthur’s fame and legendary status as a side-effect from his rule during the transition of the Old to the new and how he handled the transition.

Slaughterhouse 5 – Kurt Vonnegut
I borrowed this book from Aaron and finished it in about a day. I ::heart:: Vonnegut. His SciFi take is always uncanny, as if it is more of a plot device than the actual genre he decided the book to fit in. This book follows the main character’s seemingly schitzophrenic life… which is explained earlier in the book that he is actually travelling through time because all time is one… especially for creatures able to percieve in the fourth dimension. The main character is seen growing up, being married, serving in WW2 (particularly the firebombing of Dresden) and his career afterwards.

Practical Demonkeeping – Christopher Moore
I borrowed this book from Mandy… I need to remember to give it back to her. Christopher Moore seems to be odd. In this book, the simple small tourist town of Pine Grove, where everybody knows everyone, ends up being where one of Hell’s most ambitious minions (and it’s master) ends up on its 70 year road trip. The king of Djinn (who has a salt and Marx Brothers addiction) shows up, and recruits to defeat Catch (the demon) a drunk photographer, a wine store owner, the town ecentric, and the ancient bar matron with her baseball bat. They end up having to challenge the town’s Pagan Vegetarians for Peace along the way, and the demon eats the town’s drug dealer just as the police were about to run a sting on him (so now they become involved in finding The Breeze). All this in less than 250 pages… and more!

Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
This massive book (about 800) pages was found at the used book store. I figured that at 7$, its entertainment value would be a good bargain. Plus Neil Gaimen was praising it on the dust jacket. So I took it home and started reading it. And promptly put it away. The next two months consisted of me pulling the book out now and again and forcing myself through a few pages in that sitting. Then I reached a point, somewhere between page 150 and page 200… and the actual story started. At that point, the book was done within the end of the next week.
The book is about the reawakening of magic in Britain. There are two main magicians in Britain, the old, pretentious, easily manipulated Mr. Norrell who feels magic should be exclusive, and the young rakish (faithfully married) dashing adventurous Johnathan Strange. Strange was originally a student of Norrell, but as they each practiced and took different assignments (Norrell protected the coast of Britain from damage by storms, Strange ran around with Duke Wellington and helped defeat Napoleon at Waterloo) their view of magic changes. Suddenly, something bad happens, and they both need to cope with it. Oh Noes!
All in all, it was a good book. The author writes in the laborious 19th century style, and in the process makes fun of it with her excessive use of footnotes to expound upon magical references, cite events, and further explain the back story of some notable, some referring back to footnotes that weren’t present. One footnote was 4 pages of miniscule type long. A good piece of self-effacing british fantasy.

No. 56 – I sent an email to my brother talking about the wedding in Georgia that Aaron and I went to. I also asked him how he was doing as he was obliquely in the newspaper. Last weekend there was an article about “18 injured 1 dead in bomb blast” and that was the building he was in. He responded that he’s just fine, but he went back in to help after he got some of the injured out, so now he’s up for an award/medal/commendation. As Eric said “Damn, that boy’s never going to have a problem with the girls now.”

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Posted in in progress, no. 26, no. 41, no. 42, no. 48, no. 56, no. 63 | Leave a Comment »

Day 34 part 2

Posted by Gexx on June 8, 2008

I wrote up two different blog posts in a time period where I had limited internet access. I did other things that I needed to do online as my computer battery died. So here is part 2. It was actually written on June 4.

Aaron and I have recently returned from a trip to Amelia Island, Florida. I have family in South Georgia, and my cousin ( a year younger than me), was getting married to his High School Sweetheart (awwww). They’re both good kids, so I with them the best. While down there, I managed to work on my list. Some worked and some were complete failures.

26 – Sliders, Amelia Island Florida – Try 10 New Restaurants (6/10)
Sliders was across the street from our hotel. Saturday night, after burning ourselves at the beach, we cleaned up and went. We were seated outside, at a cement table with an umbrella, underneath the palms, and looking over the beach that we had been at all day.
Because we love being adventurous… to a point (which is very far)… and I have a thing for local foods, we ordered a bucket of steamed oysters. We also ordered fried pickles… yum! So out comes an aluminum Bud Light bucket (you’ve seen them at bars) filled with 3 to 4 dozen steamed oysters and two shucking knives. Thankfully the knives weren’t sharp. So dinner lasted probibly an hour and a half or even two hours… by the time we ordered and everything and then finished our beers. The food was good!

27 – Try 20 new wines
Helena Blush
Stonehaus Winery, Crossville, TN

When we went down to GA Friday night, I had intended on dinner just being 6 or 8 of us, so I brought 2 bottles of wine. Then I found out that my Uncle and Aunt were flying in a day earlier than I originally heard. Then my uncle hosting dinner decided to borrow his friend’s big BBQ (the big black cylindrical smoker bbq) and get more meat, so soon half of the neighborhood was invited. And I still only had 2 bottles of wine. No worries, not everyone drank, and some brought their own beer. But I managed to try some of the Blush wine that I brought.
The Helena Blush was a very medium bodied, semi-sweet blush. I don’t normally drink blush, but its flavor and its pretty pink color were very plesent. It was not over powering. It had some fruity and floral notes, but nothing too complex.

60: Document a trip with photographs.
FAIL
I had my camera, extra batteries, a capacity on my new card of over 1000 photos. I took maybe 15. A few of us in the car on the way to FL, and a few at the wedding.
I’ll have chances to try again. I didn’t want to bring the camera to the beach, or tote it to dinner, or anything like that. I’ve never been a big camera person, I would rather just go and *DO*.

74Organize Purses, Shoes, and Luggage
Before our trip, I went through all of my purses, shoes, luggage, and all that. I’m sending about 10 old purses to Goodwill

89 – Buy a new pair of jeans I didn’t document that a few weeks ago, Aaron and I went to see Indiana Jones at the mall, and after the movie we went shopping some. I found my good pair of jeans, and they still have the tag on them, being saved for the new school year.

92a – Get rid of 101 objects through donation/sale/giving 10 purses to Goodwill

Posted in completed, in progress, no. 26, no. 27, no. 60, no. 74, no. 89, no. 92a | 2 Comments »

Day 34 part 1

Posted by Gexx on June 8, 2008

I wrote up two different blog posts in a time period where I had limited internet access. I did other things that I needed to do online as my computer battery died. So here is part 1. It was actually written on May 27.

26 –
Try 10 New Restaurants (3/10)
Agave Azule – Friday night came, and I had told Aaron I would make dinner, but I was unable to get to shopping for componants. Our choice then was pasta and sauce or canned soup. As it was a very very warm night, where neither of us felt like dealing with an unairconditioned kitchen and boiling water or soup, we opted to instead go out. Aaron was feeling like Mexican, but neither of us wanted Sr. Taco, our normal spot for that… the heat had us somewhat finicky… and we didn’t want to drive to far. Aaron also wanted to try someplace new, as I have this list running. I commented that we eat out often enough (about 1 time a week) that we’ll find those ten before the 1001 days are over. But I was curious about Agave Azule, on the eastern edge of “out west”, the “far away” part of the city. My neighbor had gone once, it bills itself as a Tequila bar, but it functioned more as a hangout for college kids wanting cheap, good margaritas and draught beer. Campus had been emptied weeks ago, so now would be a good time to check it out without dealing with the self important rapscallions that normally pass as undergrads.
We got there and sat outside, on the patio. The parking lot wasn’t senic, but the air and the breeze were good and comfortable. We each got a Jumbo margarita (20 oz), Aaron ordered fajitas and I ordered pork in a salsa verde… I don’t remember its exact name. It also came with tortillas to wrap the pieces in. Both came with a serving of rice and beans. The beans I found to be bland (which might mean they weren’t made with lard… ), and the rice was ok, but the main dish itself was most awesome. Mine was just spicy enough, and Aaron’s was very flavorful. The Margaritas were pretty good. These were the type that included orange juice, I normally like the “plain” type, but these were deliciously refreshing with the meal. We ate and then hung out as we finished our margarita. All in all, it went very well.

Restaurant (4/10)
Kaya
Aaron and I had just finished getting my desk and running it back home. Our next plans for the afternoon were to hit the mall to see Indiana Jones and to look for a few things. I wanted to get a pair of jeans, and he needed a flask and a messanger bag. We were heading to the mall and suddenly realized that with all the looking around, and heavy manuevering, and all, we were hungry. After a debate of “what do you want to eat, no what do you want” we had tentatively decided on Salsarita’s… mexican again. As we pulled off the exit, I noticed the shopping center that has the Asian market I prefer, and I remembered that everytime I go I am curious about the Korean restaurant there. So “Would you like Korean?” “Dunno, never had it. ” “Neither have I, but there’s one in that shopping center.” “Ok” And we go.
We were waited on by an awesomely enthusiastic woman in her 30s. There were a few quiestions about stuff on the menu (we steered away from the Beef Entrail Cassarole, no questions on that) and she was really great about it. Each dish came with “todays sides” and we decided just to see what those were when they came. There were 6 sides, each in their own bowl. Bean sprouts, spicy cucumber salad, kimchee, marinated eggplant, wasabi radish salad and… something else. Aaron ordered a pork dish, similar to twice cooked pork, at Medium spicy. I ordered a sweet potato noodle and vegetable stew. They were both very very good.

Restaurant 5/10
Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches
I went to the vegetable market, but I still hadn’t gone grocery shopping. We had salads for lunch and the night was very warm, so we felt like sandwiches. I had noticed that a sandwich shop near campus had decent prices, so we ran over there (4 minute drive) and grabbed some to bring home. I had a tuna sandwich with all sorts of vegetables, I always liked tuna… And Aaron had one filled with roast beef and salami and all that stuff. When we got there, we realized that they delivered. I wonder if there is a minimum order… but no worries. We’ll probibly order from them again. I never get lunch meat, and oddly enough I rarely have bread.

36 – Sunday Aaron and I rode our bikes to Market Square. It was just as much to just take them out as it was to go to Market Square to hang out and people watch without dealing with driving through downtown.

48 –
Imajica
Clive Barker – Fun Book Review (9/30)
Imajica was an epic story of multiple worlds that weave together, different types of huminoids, and magical creations. I honestly don’t know how to summarize it. But it was really good.

72 – The office was fully emptied. I then moved my old desk to the opposite wall and the book case across the room. The old desk worked ok with my desktop computer, a little cramped but do-able. It is totally incompatable with my laptop, particularly if I need another book or notebook out. That is why it was religated to a stereo stand. It will now function as the stereo stand and as a set of shelving. Over the weekend, Aaron and I went out in search of another desk. I wanted something BIG and SIMPLE. I never liked drawers too much, I would rather pile books and notebooks underneath the dresser so I could grab them. I never needed much in the way of office accessories, just a few pens and maybe some post-it notes. My new one is about 70″ x 30″… I found it at Big Lots for $65. Much less than I had planned to spend, as similar desks at Ikea (where I thought I would need to go) were atleast three times that.
I now have room to set up my scanner and my printer. Yay! I would still like to get another bookcase… I have two whole boxes of books still plus a bunch in my office on campus. That won’t be hard.
Also, I went through all my old papers… I ended up shredding 4 garbage bags of old pay stubs, bank statements, and Important Papers. So there’s less stuff to find places for. Now I’m going through my boxes of accumulated “stuff” and getting rid of a good part of that.

Posted in in progress, no. 26, no. 36, no. 48, no. 72 | Leave a Comment »

Day 5 – Good stuff done … not necessarily in the best context

Posted by Gexx on May 10, 2008

I have a weekend with almost nothing to do. Why? Because Aaron isn’t around. He’s down in Georgia with his family as his grandmother is very bad off. As in, the funeral will probibly be this week. So I’m taking advantage of this and cleaning house and generally loafing (the two can be mutually compatable). Basically, doing all the stuff I would normally do if he wasn’t around… “distracting” me. With like, video games, you know.

#5 – By the way, this 1001 day segment started after I turned in a “final” draft of my book chapter. This means that it’s one of the last drafts before the editor gets it. At least, that’s what it seems like to me. Non?

#26 – Saturday I went down to the Farmers Market. Before I headed out, I called Claire up and told her I was heading there, and that she should join me. It was fun. We ended up doing lunch at LaCosta’s. Actually, to use their rhetoric, it was Brunch. They don’t do lunch. Only Brunch or dinner. She had Sweet Potato Pancakes and I had a Burrito filled with eggs and tofu and artechoke hearts and onions and peppers and good stuff covered is a sauce with a name sounding vaguely mexican but basically a fresh, slightly sweet salsa.

#37 – So, i went to the farmer’s market, but left my bag on the table next to the door. This makes it 0/1 since the 1001 days started. (I brought it once to a FM prior to 101/1001)

#38 – Found a CSA farm in my area. There’s only one. It’s only operating from April to September (reasonable for the climate), but it’s $600. That’s about $20 per week. Which may be reasonable, but I don’t know quite what the amount is that comes in a weekly box. I wouldn’t normally spend $20 on produce at my local market (which tries to get local first, regional next, then from elsewhere) where I can be discerning as to what I purchase. I’ll keep trying to look into it. We have so many small farms, but I guess most are monocropping.

#48 – Snow Crash
Neal Stephenson – Fun book review 2/30

As Aaron’s gone, I’m reading a bunch. I just finished Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. I’m torn as to whether or not I like it. I think that at times, Stephenson gets hung up on the details, and at other times he forgets a detail, or seems to, based on the (il)logical turn of events. A character gets information that had only been released to another character. Someone is somewhere they shouldn’t be. Things like that.

Either way, the story is a fun piece of cyberpunk. Governments are more or less disbanded, commercialism has taken over. The few governments that survive are only around because they have become a business In all of this, a high capacity Metaverse has developed where the user can interact with others in a user generated 3D world. Everything from finances to sword play. In short, it seems like Second Life.

The main character, Hiro Protagonist (lolocopterz), starts the book as a delivery guy for Casa Nostra (yes, that Casa Nostra) Pizza. He has a run in with a Kouriour (sic), named Y.T., while delivering pizza one night. This leads to a partnership in collecting information for the Central Intelligence Corporation (nee the CIA, now commercialized) that leads to the realization that viruses may not be exclusively biological or electronic, that Babylon and Sumer are more than a chapter in history books, and just what modern religion (Second Great Awakening ahoy!) is capable of.

The story was good, the characters were fun, the author assumes that the reader will assume. The descriptive passages, however, are awesome. Absolutely awesome.

84 and 86 – I bought 3 tomato plants at the Farmer’s Market. I also bought Rosemary.

92 – In cleaning out my house, I went through all of my clothes and got rid of everything I haven’t worn in the last year, didn’t fit, or that I didn’t like. 62 pieces of clothing are going to Goodwill, and 24 others (socks, underwear, torn jeans) are just going to be disposed. I feel like I should increase that task… Maybe I’ll renew it after 500 days. Doesn’t mean that I’ll stop with my general clean out, though.

Posted in completed, in progress, no. 05, no. 26, no. 37, no. 48, no. 84, no. 86, no. 92, no.38 | Leave a Comment »

Day 4 – 3 more down, 101 to go

Posted by Gexx on May 9, 2008

Ok, so, I managed to read a book *and* go out to eat….

Last night before I went to bed, however, I did send a quick letter to my brother.

“Fun Book” Review 1 (of 30)
Coraline – Neil Gaiman

I borrowed this book from Aaron, expecting it to last me the day as i snagged snippits of it between laundry, dishes, and cleaning over the next few days. It is shorter, as it’s aimed at children, so it wasn’t going to take long. Little did I know that between laundry, dishes, cleaning, and running errands, it would be done by mid afternoon of the first day i had it in possession.

The cover boasts a blub by the New York Times: “One of the most frightening books ever written.” That’s stretching it a little. The author’s own words, as my version contained a suppliment about Gaiman himself, are more exact “More than ten years ago I started to write a children’s book…I wanted it to have a girl as a heroine, and I wanted it to be refreshingly creepy.”

Refreshingly creepy does work. The book is set up somewhat like a fairy tale. The girl, unsatisfied with normality, discovers a passage to a world of superlatives. There she learns a lesson.

The girl’s name is Coraline, and Coraline (age about 8-12) lives in a flat in England with her mother and father, who work with computers so they’re often home but not there. Her father makes meals from dreaded recipes, and Coraline is supposed to be up to the odeous task of entertaining herself over summer break. Her neighbors are odd, and she’s generally fed up with the world.

She discovers a passage to another world behind a blocked off door in her flat. Passing through it, she finds the same world, but not quite. She has an other-Mother there, as well as an other-Father, but they seem to be … not quite right. The same goes for the neighbors. They all want to play with her, they all try to entertain her, all food tastes great, and she has everything that she wants.

Soon she finds that her other mother will not let her go home, and Coraline must try to outwit this world in an attempt to save others drawn into the web and get home.

The book is well written. It seems to have a childish sentance structure and vocabulary at times, but that’s because it is a children’s book. The story moves quickly, the world is limited, the characters are engaging and refreshing, and the settings are well described. All of this makes the book light and allows the reader to enjoy the story and not be bogged down with details.

I liked it.

Litton’s
Restaurant 1/10

Last night, Aaron and I were hungry, but neither felt much like cooking. We had a few choices, grocery store sushi, Papa Murphey’s Pizza, or (decided randomly) hamburgers at Litton’s. We had been curious about the restaurant that has won all local “Best Hamburgers” and “Best Desserts” awards for the last 7 years (Knox News Sentinal, CityView Magazine, MetroPulse Alternative News Weekly). Neither of us had had hamburgers in a while, much less red meat, at least on my part. So I had meat for the second time this week already.

We arrived at 8:15, and the doors said that they closed at 8PM, but as someone left, we slipped in and joined a group of people waiting for tables. The host did not seem to mind seating another table, and as there were lots of large parties there (one with a guest in cap and gown), we figured we wouldn’t keep them open by ourselves.

There were no small tables. So, the two of us sat at a table for 8. We got all comfortable, the waitress was awesome, actually laughing at Aaron’s bad jokes (“I’m not drinking the water… just pouring it under the table”). She was just a sweetheart. The food, we each got a burger with onion rings, was *really* good. I had a plain burger with chedder cheese, Aaron had a “Thunder Road”, loaded down with pimento cheese, jalapanos, and onions. They were really really good.

We couldn’t get dessert… there was too much food.

Posted in no. 26, no. 48, no. 56 | Leave a Comment »