Thursday May 8, 2003

Bobby Hutcherson hit it right on the head

“You know, you don’t become a musician to become rich,” he said. “If you make some money, wonderful. But you become a musician because of this driving force that won’t stop within you. And the last thing you want to do before you take your last breath is play one more note.”

More DMV Crap

This is almost becoming funny. If this were an episode of Seinfeld and I was watching George Castanza trying to get his car legitimized for the state of Maryland I would be cracking up. By this point I’d be unable to breathe, holding my sides, milk squirting out of my nose, ROTFL. But I, in this case, am George Castanza. It is much more fun to laugh at George than to be George. I manage both pretty well.

For those of you with nothing better to do, here’s the latest. Got my car back from Aero Motors today after a week and two days. $341. Not as bad as it could have been. That’s what it cost to get the repairs so that my car would meet the Maryland Auto Safety Inspection. That includes the $60 for the inspection itself. But at least that’s done with now. Oh. That reminds me. I can check that off of my to-do list.

Click! Aaaaaah. That felt good.

So I called the DMV yesterday morning to find out what the status was of the duplicate title I ordered and paid for over three weeks ago now. They finally got the request. Good. And entered the request into their system. Still good.

BUT … I was told that I have to get a notarized document from the lienholder (AEA Credit Union in California) and then send it to the DMV along with $15 and then the lienholder will be cleared from the title. Apparently, I was supposed to do this when I received the original title document. This is no longer good. Wasn’t the original title sent to me BECAUSE I finished paying the stinkin’ loan?! And now I have to prove that I paid the load to get a duplicate of the original?

And then the DMV will send me the duplicate title. Sometimes … I just start to feel a little bit postal. Like the entire world should share my frustration. It’s something about being trapped in bureaucratic limbo that does that to people.

I wonder how many weeks that will take. Mailing from CA to MD to CA to MD. And then I can go to the MVA and apply for the MD registration and title. Oh! Actually, I have to get a MD driver’s license first.

Wish me luck.


I hate being sick. I woke up early Saturday morning feeling a bit off. And it got worse and worse for the next 24 hours or so. I was in bed for about that long. Literally for over a day just trying to sleep it off. Fever of about 103.2, low blood pressure, high pulse. I finally began to recover on Monday but it’s slow going.

Maybe it’s SARS.

That’s what everyone says right off the bat. Every single person has said something to that effect. And maybe it is. I dunno. But I didn’t see a need to go to the doctor. Since when do people go to the doctor because of the flu or something flu-like?fdrffffffffffr Oh. Sorry. Trying to clean off some of these keys.

I’ve always been susceptible to sore throats and throat troubles. I don’t know why that is but I hate it. My throat still hurts but yesterday and the day before it felt like someone had hit me in the larynx with a pipe while I was asleep or something. It was awful.

But I’m getting a little better each day. Almost on to solid foods again. And just in time. I could feel this throat thing spreading through my sinuses and to my ear canal. And I ain’t playin’ around with my ear drums. I need those bad boys.

But I’ll be glad when this passes, believe you me.

It is Better to Light a Single Candle Than to Curse the Darkness

There are times. As I’ve said in many emails to friends recently, I’m paying my dues right now. Life blows. Seriously. And I don’t see any improvement on the horizon. That … is depressing, demotivating, will-sapping and crushing. No job, no money, no everyday friends, no car of my own to drive (without taking a risk of unknown consequence).

But when life has you down with its foot on your neck — and we’ve all been there — it still lets you breathe. Provides you with things to motivate, to keep you going, to give you hope or joy. Even just brief glimpses. Here’s one of mine:

My mother brought me a note from my grandmother last night as I was completely vegging out in front of digital cable. It had a name on it that I couldn’t make out at first, Derek, and a phone number and the word bicycling.

You have to understand that for some reason my grandmother is under the impression that I don’t want to be contacted by people. I don’t know where this came from. I made sure to tell her today that there is no one that I don’t want to talk to. You know? Just give them my cell number. Good grief. A friend called my grandmother’s (where I stayed throughout high school and when I was home from college) about 7 years ago soon after I moved out to California and she wouldn’t give him my number for some reason and he didn’t leave a message. He probably thought that I didn’t want to talk to him. He was a good friend at one point. Often troubled. I haven’t seen him, heard from him or been able to get in contact with him since. I do not have words for the sadness.

But my grandmother took this message on Tuesday night and it got to me. She said that the person who called said that I probably didn’t remember him and that we used to go bicycling in California years ago.

This, to me, is miraculous. Derek Slater is a friend that I met the second year that I interned for Apple Computer in 1993. He was a kid in the neighborhood I was staying in and I met him when I was riding my bike around the neighborhood. Didn’t have a car that summer. He and his family invited me to have dinner one day and they were just cool people.

When the summer was over I came back to the east coast for school and all that. We stayed in touch via mail a little until one of my letters came back. You know. Return to sender. They moved with no forwarding address. I have lost many good people in my life. It took me until about the end of college to figure out that I had to take control of that and not let it happen when I could. But it’s always been my bane.

And that was it. Until Tuesday night. After, what, 10 years. The most amazing thing. This is someone whose name I would do an internet search on every once in a while to see if I could find him. Or look on just in case.

I’m weird that way. I don’t forget people. Those of you who know me know that some details just stick. And in retrospect I can remember the strangest things. It all just sticks. From his birthday to the denomination of his family’s church to the name of their street. It all just came to the surface of my memory in the past 24 hours.

I called tonight but he wasn’t home. Try again tomorrow.

My point is that it pierces the veil. This is, like, a time to kill the fatted calf kind of thing. Joyous.

Whoo boy. My head hurts. Been upright for too long. Time to sleep it off some more. Benadryl to the rescue. Calgon take me away!

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