The Legend of the Sparkly Hat
Anyone who has seen me in real life, seen pictures, or realized that the awesome cartoon at the top of this page is me, knows that I wear a sparkly hat almost all the time.
One day I a friend called to see if I wanted to check out "First Thursday". It's a monthly event here in Austin where the stores on South Congress stay open late and serve beer. Since none of them have a liquor license, they give away the alcohol for free.
Yeah, so I forgot to mention that I'm on a cruise so there won't be any posts for a week. The upside is that I have a criminal amount of free time, so I'm going to whip out a few posts for posting later.
Highlights so far :
We arrived at our cabin and the default arrangement is the worst possible. I would break out MS Paint and show you, but it's really not that important. We skipped the "mandatory safety drill" to pass beds over each other in the tiny room and totally rearranged the room. I may have found my passion - I'm totally awesome at rearranging cruise cabins.
My keen interest in online security and privacy has recently blossomed into a full on obsession. Some may say it's because I'm eccentric and weird, but it's at least partly because of the crazy new laws going down in this country. There is an excellent chance that all of your e-mails and IM conversations are at the very least being analyzed and logged. I doubt anyone actually reads them, but you never know.
The common argument against online privacy measures is "if you have nothing to hide, why do you care?". True, I'm not some criminal mastermind, but it's not unreasonable for people to think that I am. Many people in real life think that I'm a drug dealer for some reason. The forums that I visit to read about privacy concerns are often hot beds for credit card scammers. I think credit card scamming is retarded and would never do it, but I'd hate to be accused of being guilty by association.
There are also a lot of people sniffing traffic. The average internet user doesn't realize that it's not particularly difficult to intercept traffic on the internet - especially if you're using a wireless or shared connection. Encrypted communication can be intercepted, but not decoded - making it useless.
I'm awful at expressing it (an opinion frequently voiced by the ladies who have spent any amount of time in my life), but I'm a very grateful person. I feel like most of my happiness and success comes from my friends, family, acquaintances, and even the random strangers who I meet on the street or who IM me. So now, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'm going to thank every single person I can think of. I hesitate to do this because I can be forgetful and I may accidentally leave out someone important. If I have done that, please don't be offended. Let me know and I will add you.
Thank you to...
Adam Hammonds for helping me start my gambling empire and for trying the H Fund (oops...).
I love failure. When it occurs, I'm pretty indifferent to it, but as a concept I love it. Failure lets you know that you're doing something wrong. It shines a light on a personality trait that needs to be fixed,one that probably would go unchanged if it weren't for failure.
People who fail and get angry are missing the point. Failure is opportunity. It's like getting angry that your car tells you you're low on gas. The indicator light isn't the problem,the level of fuel is. Further, hiding the failure doesn't solve the underlying problem. Disconnecting the indicator light won't fill up your gas tank, but filling up your gas tank will turn off the light.
During my tenure as a pickup artist, I never took failure personally. It never mattered to me. Each time I failed, I felt as though the girl had revealed a secret to me. No attractive girl is chaste her whole life, no girl is a bitch to every guy. If she didn't want me to call her, that meant that there was something unattractive about me that I had to change. Compliments and success stroke my ego, but honest critical feedback leaves me thinking for months.
I have failed financially so far. It's not that I'm poor, or anywhere close to it. I'm sure my income, net worth, or lifestyle are impressive or even enviable to a lot of people. I'm so immeasurably grateful for everything I have that I feel a tinge of guilt on a daily basis for not spending the entire day thanking everyone who has made my life so great. However, despite whatever success I have, I am not where I want to be. I will be a billionaire, I will own my own submarine and airplane, and I will spend the majority of my life traveling and seeking adventure. I'm not nearly as close as I should be to these goals, and I'm not exactly on the express train there.
Monday - Jay-Z announces that he's doing a 7 stop tour in one day. I look for details / tickets and there are none of either to be had.
Tuesday - The first tickets start showing up. I e-mail everyone posting them, but they're always sold.
Wednesday - More tickets on craigslist / ebay. I am still e-mailing them, almost get tickets, but don't.
Before I start this post - thanks so much to people who came to Karaoke. It was mostly people I already knew, but one reader, Curtis, came. I thought it was totally awesome that he read about Karaoke here and decided to go. Even better, he nailed Guns 'N Roses' Welcome to the Jungle. Also in attendance were my brother and his friends, Steve, Anissa, and Dan from work, and Todd and Doug who helped me run the show.
I had no idea what I was getting into. Things like "hey, I should probably have music for when no one is karaokeing" never even occurred to me. All I had was the leaked copy of Jay-Z's Kingdom Come, so I kept playing that. There was silence, there was no crossfading. That part of the show was a disaster. I also had no idea how to hook stuff up to their system, so the first hour was spent doing that. I felt really bad for people who came during that part.
Finally things got rolling, although I think only 4 people I didn't know sang songs. It wasn't too busy because the weather was cold.
A year ago there was something called "Krunkaoke" every wednesday night at a club nearby. I went religiously and became one of the few creepy superstar regulars who dropped hot gangsta classics every Wednesday. The first time I went I was really nervous, but after doing "How We Do" by The Game, I was hooked. Eventually Krunkaoke became too packed (is that possible?), and they cancelled it!
Desperate for a Karaoke fix, I started going to Rain, which is a gay club a couple blocks from where I live. They had a cool light up stage, but the mediocre sound system and guys trying to grab my ass left me looking for alternatives.
Then one night it happened. I was working late and I thought I heard bad singing at the club downstairs. Could it be... Karaoke?
I wake up at 7:00am to the sound of a loud fire alarm. It must be national test-your-fire-alarm-day. I remember those from middle school. I try to go to sleep, but it's no use.
I flop out of bed, head to the kitchen and make some breakfast. After breakfast I go back into my room and I hear a wheezing noise. After a bit of investigation I realize that it's the intake for the air conditioner that's making the racket. I flip the air conditioner on and off - the only repair move I can think of. It doesn't work.
When I get back to work it's 85 degrees in the apartment according to the thermostat. It feels hotter - I'm used to a breezy 73. After a day or two I realize that it's not going to fix itself and I call the repair man. It takes him a few days to fix it.
A year ago, when I decided to go raw, I bought a cookbook recommended to me by a friend called Raw Food/Real World: 100 Recipes to Get the Glow. At first glance it looked like a hippie book, but if the food tasted half as good as it looked in the glossy photos, it would be worth it.
The book is written by the founders of a restaurant in New York City called Pure Food and Wine. I made a healthy ice cream recipe from it which was absolutely delicious. However, my friend Elisia tried it and said that it wasn't nearly as good as when they made it in the restaurant. And so my desire to eat at Pure Food and Wine was sparked.
When I heard that we had a trade show to go to in NYC for work, I was excited - I would finally get to go to Pure Food and Wine. My coworkers could tell how excited I was, and most of them agreed to go with me on Sunday night, the first of three nights in New York. I made the reservations, and off we went.