25 February, 2008

Repost of my Steve Blog for the benefit of those interested [from MySpace, October 17, 2007]

Location: Land of the Lost

Do you know Steve?

I am sure that you do. And if you doubt me, let me prove it to you. There is not a single person I know who does *not* know Steve. Isn’t that proof enough?

So a little background on Steve. I met him maybe 5 or 6 years ago. I used to go to Pizza Brava for lunch every day on the Ave, in the U-District. This is back when the Ukrainians made the pizza and it was good. Some time about 3 years ago, the ownership changed, and next thing you know, the pizza is about the same quality as Ellio’s frozen pizza. You can go back and read my pizza blog, if you want to hear me rant about pizza, that’s not the point here.

So, I’m in Pizza Brava (where they already knew my order, and didn’t even need to wait for me to say “2 slices of cheese“), and this guy (Steve, foreshadowing) comes over to the table and starts talking to me. He’s a strange guy, about 5’ 6’’, 165-170, with a round plump face, and hair that could only be described as resembling “Krusty the Clown” from the Simpsons. And he’s got buggy eyes, and a semi-unshaven look. I think he was wearing some type of floral print short sleeve shirt and shorts, as he often wears (again, foreshadowing, since I’ve seen him since then).

So, this guy Steve starts talking to me, and he’s asking me questions. And the reason that he’s asking me questions is because he’s “got all these questions in his head, and he needs them answered”. I learned a lot about him. For instance, I learned that his “girlfriend” (translation: stranger that he was probably stalking) has taken out a restraining order against him, and he’s not supposed to come within 100 meters of her place. But he keeps going by there (because he’s got those questions). And she’s a “fucking bitch”, of course. And he is concerned about UFO’s, and about energy in the air, and about electromagnetic radiation. And he especially is concerned about “Bad V’s”. These, he describes, are what he calls “Bad Vibes”. You cannot use the word “Vibe” around Steve, as he will go ballistic. I think I said the word, and that’s how the whole “Bad V” thing started. Anyway, Steve’s modus operandi is that he will ask you a ridiculous question:

e.g. “Do you believe in UFO’s?”

And then when you say you don’t, he will follow-up with another question:

“Did you know that I was going to ask you that just now?”

This is a standard operating protocol for Steve.

So, I spent, I kid you not (which says a lot about *me*) about 2 hours in Pizza Brava that day listening to Steve. It was partly because I couldn’t get away from him, and partly because he was interesting. He informed me that he was “working” at Pizza Brava, but what I figured out is that the Ukes were letting him sweep the floor in exchange for free food. But eventually, they kicked him out because he was harrassing the customers too much. They asked me if he was bothering me and I said no.

So, at the end of the discussion, we’re out in the street, and he tells me he wants to get together again, and wants my contact information, and I do not want this. So I talk my way out of that. But then… get this…

Steve HUGS ME!!!

For fuck sake. I am a sucker for people who are deranged.

Anyway, I don’t see him for awhile, but I talk about this with people, and it turns out EVERYONE knows Steve. Mostly people see him on the bus, and apparently he rides on EVERY bus, because no matter where people are going, they’ve seen Steve. And he is always bothering women. And he especially likes to ask them if they heard what he was just saying, or if they knew that he was going to talk to them.

Blah blah blah.

He also frequents the UW Health Sciences Building (not to be confused with Ali, the Hispanic, or maybe Middle-Eastern (not sure which) guy who dresses in gaudy clothes, and weighs about 47 pounds and talks loudly to himself in gibberish - he’s another story altogether).

Steve is apparently Jewish. Not that this is relevant to the story at all.

So one day, I am going to physical therapy in the basement of Hall Health, maybe 3 years ago, and I turn the corner, and “voila!”. There’s Steve.

He sees me, and I can tell there’s all sorts of bells ringing in his little fried brain. He’s like “Hey! Hey! How’s it going? You’re Bob. Bob, right?”

I’m stunned.

“Yeah, Steve, right?”

Steve, who though crazy, is also clever, knows I’m stunned, and immediately says:

“What was your last name?”

And me, too frazzled to even think, blurting out my last name…

Steve: “Are you in the phonebook?”

Jesus Christ. He’s good.

“No, I’m not”. Well, I am, and he could have checked, but my guess is that his brain very quickly moves on to the next random paranoid thought too quickly to have bothered following up on that one.

So, I’ve seen him here and there from a distance over the years, and everyone has heard of him. Then I mention him to my friend, and she’s like “Yeah, I think maybe I know who you mean”. And then like 3 days after that discussion, we are out to dinner last night on the Ave, and this guy walks by us, and he does a double-take, and I realize as he’s passing, “IT’S STEVE!!!”. And I grab my friend’s arm, and I’m like “That’s him! That’s Steve!”.

She’s like, “Oh, I totally recognize that guy!”.

And then, after he’s walked down the street another 50 meters, she turns around and yells, “HEY STEVE!!!”.

And then we ran like crazy motherfuckers around the corner through the parking lot, before he could even turn around and see us.

Oh, hell, that must have really made his neurotransmitters go bonkers…

So… do you know Steve? And more importantly… did you know I was gonna ask you that? :)

22 February, 2008

Appliances [Reposted from Facebook]

Location: my rapidly disintegrating back account Mood: troubled

I need to buy a refrigerator

I need to buy a washer

I need to buy a dryer

And these are gonna cost me a shitload of money. Well, they don’t NEED to, but if I want to purchase something that is decent quality, they will.

Refrigerator needs to be a GE Profile Stainless Steel, and that basically means we’re looking at > $1800. Yikes. I don’t even buy groceries! And the washer and dryer need to be front loading stackables.

It will be kind of fun shopping for them, but they’re just hunks of metal. How much joy do you really get from a hunk of metal?

21 February, 2008

The biggest small month [Reposted from Facebook]

Location: in the thick of it

Well… you could argue that this February IS in fact the biggest February that we’ve had in 4 years, being a leap year, and all. But for me, this has truly been the biggest February of my life.
In the next week, I will be closing on my first home, ever. And there are so many expenses, and pressures associated with it, that I have been pretty much hanging on for my sanity for the last couple of weeks.
The interest rates were phenomenally low, and it turned out to be a great time to buy a place. And I guess I was just ripe and ready to go, because my realtor only had to go out with me on 2 days, for a total of about 3 hours, and I had found a place, made a decision, made an offer, and that was it. Done. Contrast that with back in 2000 when Edna and I looked for over a month, probably at 40 or 50 houses. That being at a time where market prices were about HALF of what they are now.
I’ll be living in the Central District. Cool. I like the idea of being IN Seattle, and close to downtown. It feels right, and I look forward to the new location. Hard to believe something will be *mine* (or, more accurately, the BANK’s). But this is better than giving my hard earned cash to a landlord.
In addition to the whole house thing, I sold my car this week. So now I am carless, and borrowing a vehicle. I cannot afford to buy a replacement until I receive my next paycheck, which is rather pathetic, I realize. But that’s the way it goes!
So I have the house thing, the moving, the car, the other car. And then, eventually, the landlord debacle, which I am presently hoping will magically work out okay - though the complete lack of communication from him suggests that this may not be the case.
Busy busy busy.
Oh, and I have been spending lots and lots of time with a certain special someone…

19 February, 2008

Carless in Seattle [Reposted from Facebook]

Location: on the market

Well… for the first time since probably June of 1987, I am without a vehicle. After a short, and somewhat guilt-ridden ownership of my Mazda3, I decided to sell it. My previous car, a 1994 Corolla, had become a “shitbox” and I probably going through some type of identity crisis, which may have been aided by certain forces that felt I needed to “reinvent” myself, or “redefine” myself, or some such business. So… I bought it. And it was cool. But it was against my basic principles. I don’t WANT a new car. I don’t WANT a car payment. I don’t WANT something that gets 24.5 miles per gallon. And now, I am at a point where I am purchasing a home, and I just didn’t want any extra expenses in my life that could otherwise fall into the bucket called “savings”. So here I am, carless. I managed to sell it for a reasonably good price, though obviously you take a bath anytime you get rid of a new car (in Seattle, on TAXES alone).

That’s another blog altogether, the fact that a SALES TAX is the LEAST PROGRESSIVE form of taxing people imaginable. Yes, rich fucks who save all their money are EXEMPT from this tax - but those of us who must SPEND our money… we foot the bill. Someone ought to fix that. But I digress.

I made a young couple very happy by offering them a barely used car at a good price, and it gets MUCH better gas mileage than what they were driving, so I did a good thing, I think.

Now, I must search for my vehicle. I cannot go carless, because my life just doesn’t support such things. Working in Redmond, living in Seattle, playing in 2 bands. It would be irresponsible, and force me to really rely on others to cart me around. But I want to buy something old, reliable, and efficient.

I am looking almost exclusively at Honda Civic, either 2DR hatchback, or 2DR coupe. Unless someone can persuade me otherwise. But I don’t think there’s another car out there that averages OVER 30mpg and can be had for under $5000. If you know of any, tell me.

I am carless, but hope that I will sleep well knowing that I followed my gut.

18 February, 2008

Octopi [Reposted from Facebook]

Location: the bottom of the ocean

Apparently the plural of octopus is *not* octopi, as I would have preferred ti to be. But I am not going to go down without a fight. I’m taking octopi to the web (meaning, this blog) and I am going to see to it that octopi makes it to the 2008 list of neologisms!

16 February, 2008

Why you should read your lease before signing it... and more [Reposted from Facebook]

Location: Middle of Nowhere

Well, I am someone who doesn’t really pay much attention to legal documents that require a signature. I just assume that the document is written according to some established standard, and that nobody would try to sneak something by me. And why is that? Because I try to be honest myself, and therefore, I trust people in the way that I would hope to be trusted myself.

And this will cost me no less than $400. Probably more.

Washington State Law for Landlord/Tenant relationship says that you must give 20 days written notice before the end of a rental. However, my landlord wrote our lease saying that this shall be 30 days. And I signed it.

Therefore, when I gave my notice on February 5th (upon buying a place), I *should* have been free and clear from financial obligation beyond the end of this month. But, instead, I am probably going to be held responsible for 30 days. And even then I am at the mercy of whether or not he decides to refund my rent, or find other ways of keeping it.

There is a whole lot more insanity to this story… but I think I will save that for a separate blog.

The moral of the story here is that people can write what they want in documents. And no matter how “standard” or “official” something looks, you should always read it, because you could choose to do “line-item veto” of anything you don’t like in the document, if it is not based around standard practices.

15 February, 2008

Strange Shit (pun intended) [repost from Facebook]

I really thought I’ve seen it all. And now I realize, that I have not. In fact, there is a lot I have not seen! And I do not want to see! The good news is that certain things, previously unclear, are becoming clearer to me.

Scene: Men’s restroom at work

I am in the handicapped stall, because it offers a slightly wider space, preventing you from a) smelling as much, and b) having people staring at the tops of your feet while you do your business.

Of course, I can still see the tops of the feet of the person next to me. And there begins our story.

I am sitting in there, and someone comes into the next stall. And of course, I survey the occupant’s feet, because there’s nothing else to look at. He’s wearing rubber sandal type shoes, and socks. Unclear if he is caucasian, or what.

After about 15-30 seconds, I notice something out of the corner of my eye that causes me to glance over again.

I see first his left foot, then his right foot DISAPPEAR!

And I don’t mean OUT of the stall.

I mean UP.

What the fuck is going on over there?

Now there are very few possibilities, some of which are perverse and others are just strange. Needless to say, I am now VERY interested in what the hell is occurring there. I am wondering, is this guy about to peekaboo me over the top of the stall?

No. About another 30 seconds passes, and I now hear bathroom noises. I am not entirely sure which noises I am hearing.

But suffice it to say that this dude, is STANDING ON THE TOILET and doing his business.


Why is he doing this? I cannot for the life of me think of which culture this would represent. Then, after about another minute or three… he “climbs” down, and is standing in there, and then I hear some toilet roll action.

Anyway, I am done, and I get out of there before hanging around to identify the being responsible for this.

So, while odd, this clarifies for me certain other disgusting oddities of the mens’ room, such as “Why is there often shit ON the toilet seat?”

But I really don’t think you want me to go there? Do you?