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Blog Wars
Episode VII: The NPF Strikes Back
Monday, March 31, 2003 07:20p

It would appear that the NPF (Neurotic Phone Friend) has received word from his peeps1 about a previous post that I made to this blog. Sadly, the NPF has taken exception to my comments regarding adults living at home, and has decided to launch a prolonged relaliatory assault against my telephone answering machine which started late yesterday night and has continued on, uninterrupted throughout the early morning hours. Here are my responses to the NPF's most frequently asked questions and comments:

NPF FAQ Sheet About Scott
you are an ungrateful S.O.B no, I am not an ungrateful S.O.B. -- my being ungrateful would imply that you have made some sort of contribution for which I should be grateful
you know, we go back a long way no, just because we worked together several years ago does not automatically qualify us as "best buds" ... especially now that you quit your job and have all of this free time on your hands
you never want to head out and grab a beer true, enough. repeated attempts to bum beers off of me with the old "Oops, I forgot my wallet ... but will catch you up later" routine doesn't work for long
it's not me, it's the economy! I don't choose to live this way -- do you really think that problem is with me? yes, I really do feel that there is a problem with somebody who is in his mid-thirties, has never been out on his own, and then quits a good paying technical job because his "... parents need [him] for moral support." unless you are paying rent, cooking your own food, cleaning your own room, doing your own laundry and paying your own bills you can't begin to contribute anything to your parents' well being. plus, since you never moved out of the house in the first place, how could they have possibly missed having you around?

oh, and by the way ... the economy was pretty strong in the 80's and 90's -- why didn't you move out then? You don't seem to do very much for your parents anyway
you are an idiot -- I help out around the house all the time whenever my parents tell me to do something no, watching television and smoking weed all day does not qualify as acceptible contributions to your parents' well being

also, am I to understand that you still have chores that your parents force you to do? do they send you to bed early if you don't finish them? do you get a weekly allowance?
my Mom and Dad need my companionship -- they would be lost without me your Mom and Dad can buy a dog and a map, and they'll be fine
you don't seem to understand that there are lots of people like me who are forced to move back home when things get rough yes, I do understand that many people move back home for short periods of time -- however, is it usually customary to move out of your parent's house before you decide to move back in

also, just because "everybody is doing it" doesn't make it right for every situation
dude, let's just get together later and find some girls get this: your loud, rude comments about the relative sizes of certain female anatomical regions are not appreciated -- especially around women that are either (a.) friends of mine, or (b.) ones on whom I am trying to make a good impression

you don't seem to understand that your juvenille, pre-teen commentaries aren't attractive to them. there is a point at which your running commentaries cease to be funny, and others (like me) are often judged by those comments

Now, let us address the NPIs (Neurotic Phone Incidents) in greater detail. To prevent any additional NPIs from occuring in the future, I have graciously taken the time to put together the following items which define "The Revised 2003 Neurotic Phone and Email Communications Protocols™".

Please review these items at your leisure:

The Revised 2003 Neurotic Phone and Email Communications Protocols™
1. calls after 11:00p will not be returned
2. more than 2 calls per hour, or more than 4 calls total per day will result in phone messages not being returned
3. you are hereby prohibited from calling my parents' house; there is no reason to call my home phone, then my mobile phone and then my parents' phone
4. phone messages every half hour that detail the television shows that you are currently watching are not appreciated (ex. "I just called to say I'm watching 'Gilligan's Island' on cable -- anything going on with you?")
5. phone messages indicating that you are currently waiting for me at the places that I normally hang out (just to see if I'll show up) are not appreciated and are just plain pathetic (ex. "I thought you said before that you might show up at the coffee shop ... well, I am here now 'cause 'Gilligan's Island' is over and I was really bored.")
6. chewing into the phone is not appreciated
7. be sure to hold the phone an appropriate distance from your mouth so as to avoid the "Darth Vader on a Respirator" effect.
8. yes, I am screening your calls
9. due to prolonged email abuse (sometimes more than 10 messages per day), your email address has been added to my spam filter -- hasta la vista, baby!
10. having added your email address to my spam filter, I am no longer bothered by your excessive emails, and don't have to worry about receiving those email forwards that do nothing but clog up my inbox -- feel free to stop sending them at any time

If after reading this post, the NPF has any questions or additional concerns, he should feel free to send me an email (paying close attention to items 9 and 10 in the "Revised 2003 Neurotic Phone and Email Communications Protocols™").

All that I have left to say is this: You really need a girlfriend.

1peeps n.
(1.) a hip-hop term that refers to a person's "people" or close friends.
(2.) of course if you happen to annoy people by calling them 20 times a day, you will have no friends. therefore, "peeps" can also refer to your 20-something little brother, NPF Jr., who does nothing but surf the Internet and watch his "Star Wars" DVDs all day.

Another Snow ... ?
Sunday, March 30, 2003 10:40a

It is Sunday morning, and it is snowing again. Already this year, Cleveland has come near to setting an all-time high for the most snow fallen in a season. I can remember hearing that this past winter was the third heaviest snowfall on record.

Normally, I would be downstairs watching one of political commentary shows on television ... but I just don't feel like it today. As I was driving home yesterday, I heard a news blurb on the radio about four of our soldiers that were killed Saturday when a taxi exploded. The report said that the taxi driver had pulled up and signaled for help. When the soldiers approached, the driver triggered the explosive.

I can't help but think that somewhere in the world, there are parents grieving right now. Somewhere in the world, there are four young people that will never see another snowfall again. I can remember, years ago, when my parents first decided to send me to a Catholic school, one of the priests said that it was the responsibility of the adults to look after the younger generations and to keep them safe.

It doesn't sound to me as if humanity, as a whole, has been doing that great of a job.

Weekend Weather and Weathered Shoes
Saturday, March 29, 2003 01:10a

The weather has been quite nice during the work week: lots of sun and temperatures in the low-to-mid 60's. Of course, now that the weekend has arrived, temperatures are expected to drop throughout the night, dipping into the low 40's. Also, rain has been predicted for the entire weekend.

Cleveland, it appears, is not without a sense of humor.

Still, the weekend is going to be great. Later today (after I get some sleep), I am planning on having my weekly bagel breakfast. I have become a regular at one of the local franchises, and it is good to see the same faces each week. Usually, I can get a table off near the back where I can relax with a good book. For the past few Saturdays, I have been reading "The Collected Works of Robert Louis Stevenson", which includes the novels "Treasure Island" and "Kidnapped". Currently, I am about two-thirds of the way through the latter.

Afterwards, I have to buy some shoes. Yesterday at work, I was walking down the hall, and the rubber bottoms cracked and split. It was very frustrating because these shoes were my $60 dress pair ... and by the way, they were only a couple of months old.

The funny thing is that I have this crappy pair of faux-leather shoes that I bought at a discount outlet for $3, brand new. These things won't die nomatter what I do with them. Unfortunately, they are ugly as hell and I just can't bring myself to throw them away because they are still useful. Plus, they perfectly illustrate several of my rules for successful relationships:

See, relationships are no more complex than dependable footware.

So then later, I am also looking forward to chatting with a newer friend, taking guitar lessons from another, and meeting up with the two of my friends whom I have probably known the longest.

My Own Place
Friday, March 28, 2003 12:20a

For the past couple of days, I have been wandering around in a depressive funk. There isn't anything terribly wrong in my life -- I can see that plainly. Plus, I know there are other people out there who have a much harder time of it than I do.

Still, I can't help but feel the way I do. I just never thought I would end up in the place that I am.

It wasn't so long ago that my friends and I seemed to be living in the "Golden Era" -- our jobs were terrible, we never got enough sleep, there was never any money, and most of us were still living at home. Things were exciting, nonetheless. It was as if there weren't enough hours in the day to experience everything. We were excited by the opportunities that awaited us all.

And then ... dreams die, priorities shift and life changes. The old gang quietly breaks up -- new relationships, hopeful marriages, and job commitments rush in to fill the void. Once again, there aren't enough hours in the day, but for very different reasons. Friends begin to lose touch.

That is, except for those who still live at home. They always seem to have time to spare. And for some odd reason, they spend it by leaving lengthy, neurotic messages on my answering machine. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE -- SO PLEASE STOP IT RIGHT NOW!!!

And here am I ... looking back at all of the choices I've made, and trying to decide whether they were the right ones. I am hung up somewhere between my friends who are undergoing radical change, and those that never will.

Whatever happens ... at least I have my own place. As lonely as it is sometimes, it is mine.

The only thing worse than being woken up from a nap by the phone is for the person on the other end to be eating after having woken you up. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!

You Look Maaaahvelous!
Thursday, March 27, 2003 07:40p

It was very strange. As I was getting ready to catch the rapid into work, this lady on the platform walks up to me. I later found out that she is married, has a couple of beautiful daughters, and had been working at the same type of job for almost as long as I have been alive. To make a long story short (I know ... too late), she just wanted to tell me that she thought I was a very attractive man.

It made my day.

A few months ago, I had hair nearly down to my butt. One morning, I woke up, and decided to get it all cut-off. I wanted to donate the pony tail to charity, but barber was very uneasy about cutting it. After all, what if I didn't like the new style? I reassured him that it was okay, and he lopped off nearly 17 inches. "Sweeney Todd" would have been exceedingly proud.

Five days ago, I went back, and had another couple of inches trimmed off.

So now, this lady comes up to me and says that she liked the long hair, but really likes the shorter look much better. She told me that she had been wanting to say that for weeks, but that she never had the chance. Now, you're probably thinking that I am going to make some point about kindness ... or that what goes around comes around ... or that people should be more free with their compliments .... right? Well, you're totally wrong.

I just wanted to warn you that if you visit my barber, stay away from the meat pies. Remember ... "Sweeney Todd."

So Now I Have My Own Blog ... But Now What?
Wednesday, March 26, 2003 09:10p

Well, I have finally decided to start my own blog (weblog) ... but now what? For several years now, I have been supporting this web site which already contains much of the content that would normally be found in a blog. The only real differences that I can see are:

Even still, it is good to see the technology becoming accessible to an increasing number of people. With recent world events still unfolding, I have truly started to appreciate the freedoms that we enjoy in this country just a little bit more. I cannot say enough for the brave men and women who are willing to sacrifice everthing to secure those freedoms for all of us, supporters and protesters alike. Often times, we take such freedoms for granted and these times should serve as a poignant reminder. A simple "Thank you" hardly seems adequate.

Anyway, in preparing for this project, I have been reading many, many other blogs that have been written by some very talented people. In fact, just today I found an amazing site during my lunch hour that really struck me as something special. A young lady named "Anne" began it as a means of coping with the loss of a close personal friend. The ironic thing is that it was started a year ago, almost to the day of my own blog. And my reasons for creating this one aren't so very different. Maybe I'll send her an email.

So now, I guess it's time to officially kick this thing off, eh? Well, okay then ...

For all of those who said that I wouldn't be taken seriously as a web developer / designer / programmer without a personal blog: Baby, this blog's for you!
[ smile ]

When the will defies fear, when the heart applauds the brain, when duty throws the gauntlet down to fate, when honor scorns to compromise with death, -- this is heroism.
~ Robert Ingersoll

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