Saturday night we had our big party. Stephanie and I had a total of 34 of our best friends from all different areas of our lives. We had drinks, we had great food and above all, we had great friends.
My only regret is that there were almost too many people there, and I really didn't get to chat with people as much as I would have liked to. Still, it was cool to not only see people I haven't seen in ages, but also meet some of Steph's friends.
And I have to give credit where it's due. The party wouldn't have happened without Stephanie. She has this amazing ability to plan and prepare, and the result is a smooth operation. We had to coordinate hundreds of dollars of food and drink, prepare it and serve it. We had decorations and help from her friends. She made it all happen, and it kicked ass. :)
One little aside... as a social experiment we put the Web cam on the party. More than 9,000 people checked it out over the course of the night, after posting the link on my sites. That scares me a little bit. No, it scares me a lot. Don't people have better things to do?
In any case, it was a great night. We might just have to do it again next year!
Ever since I finished and released POP Forums, I've pretty much had a whole lot of nothing to do. I mean, there is stuff I could be doing, but I don't have a project right now. There are several I'd like to start, but I'm just not in any hurry to do so.
Stephanie tells me all of the time that I always need a project. That is more or less true. She doesn't like that because it cuts into "us" time, which is a valid complaint. I don't know what it is about my personality, but I feel like I always need to be moving toward something. I really can't explain it.
The downside is that you start to think about things, of course. I think about how I'd like to shed 20 pounds, get in the habit of exercising and just generally taking better care of myself. I think about how I'd like to make more money. I think about how I'd like to be my own boss. I think about how it would kick ass to be a motion picture director or a rock concert lighting designer.
On the other hand, I've enjoyed some time messing around. I'm currently beta testing some new game software (I'd tell you about it, but then I'd have to kill you). I've been thinking a little more about photography. Best of all though, I'm looking forward to our big party tomorrow. It promises to be great fun!
So while there are some things on my plate (revising CliqueSite Content to be a better product, rebuilding CoasterBuzz, etc.), I'm content to chill and soak up a little sun while summer is still here.
I'll try not to use that Ferris Buehler quote again... you know the one!
I've noticed recently that people who frequent my Web sites, and find that they don't like the way I run them, suddenly become more interested in trying to make me out to be an asshole than just moving on to some other site.
For example, I can't stand rumors about the amusement industry. People just make shit up and it gets really old. Yeah, I could do without that. Swarms of 13-year olds that can't even drive to an amusement park dominate some other forums with that kind of nonsense, so I just pitch it.
I've also caught a ton of flack to try and recover some of the cost associated with the sites. First there was CoasterBuzz Club, then AdPoints on Guide to The Point. Hey, the ads aren't paying what they used to, and I'm not a charity. Fortunately response has been just good enough that I'm not in the red, but I hate living check to check too. In any case, people just made me out to be a total bastard for doing it. The oddest thing about it is just that none of it was ever required anyway.
So these things all come back to what a bastard I am, or who I'm trying to silence, or who I disagree with, etc. Truth is, I don't care about any of those things, I just want to pay for and run something I don't enjoy. I don't know very many of these people, so why do they think I'm out to make it personal?
The worst part is that they totally lose sight of the topic at hand... roller coasters. They focus all kinds of energy and time on me instead of discussion that's on-topic. It has been especially bad this summer. Parents... kick your kids off the dumbbox and send their asses outside. They're pastey white, gaining weight and devoid of all people skills. The real world will kick their ass some day if they don't start learning to play nice with real live people.
I did learn years ago that getting involved, responding and just generally giving any attention to these "issues" is a waste of time that chases away the "good" conversation. I had to swallow my pride to get to that point, but it has made all the difference in keeping things fresh and forward moving.
The good news is that running the sites is still fun, and I intend to continue for the forseeable future.
Some concepts for rebuilding on the World Trade Center property have been revealed, but I'm not sure what to think about it.
Overall, I think it is very important that the area be rebuilt for the sake of getting on with life and business. However, any of the proposals that put a building on the "footprint" of either tower I have a problem with. Far too many families don't have a grave or memorial for the people they lost. That site is their grave.
I do like the plans that retain an outline of those tower footprints, and I hope that's what they eventually settle on. I'll admit that it's a little on the morbid side, but with the pride of rebuilding and survival must come the humility of our loss.
As we get closer to the one year anniversary of that dark day, I hope it stays fresh enough in my memory, and indeed the memory of others, so as to make me think really hard about who we are and how we are, hopefully in an effort to make us better people.
The funny thing about running CoasterBuzz the last few years is that there is an element of humanity that seems to be hell bent on pissing me off and self-pleasuring themselves by somehow trying to prove me wrong or call me names or whatever.
I'll be the first to admit that I do as I please and don't apologize for it. I'm the most honest son of a bitch in coaster enthusiast circles if you ask me. I run a site that will be interesting to me, and that means deleting the dumb shit found on other sites. My goal is not to be popular, but to enjoy myself in my down time.
So some dumbass decides to link to some shit on some other site where people are talking about me. Don't know what it said because he edited the link. Having just had one of the best weekends in a long ass time, I came up with the response that really put things into perspective for me...
"I don't know what the original link said, and frankly, I don't care. While you guys were wasting time with this high school nonsense I was getting drunk and cuttin' da rug at a friend's wedding. While I was grinding with hot chicks, beer in hand below the disco lights, some kids are sitting in their underwear in front of a computer screen scratching their ass and getting hot and bothered about a bunch of people they'll never meet on some stupid Web sites.
Now think really hard if I am to be bothered by anything said.
People would have a lot more fun in online communities if they'd stick to the topic at hand instead of worrying about what the site owner is doing with the place. People get so damn wrapped up in personalities that they're incapable of avoiding pissing contests and worrying about who has bigger genitals."
I can't tell you how good that felt. I don't generally lash out at this kind of stuff, I just delete it and move on with my life. Not only did I serve a reality check for the silly kids, but also one for myself, reminding me that my little "hobby" must be about the fun, and not consume precious time away from my life.
One note, in retrospect, is that the "kid" comment probably wasn't fair, as there are certainly a lot of good kids out there who participate in the forum. Hell, I had to boot some older moron who was spamming the site, only to watch him bitch and moan in other forums about getting booted. If I had to guess he was pushing 40.
Damn did I have a good time this weekend, even if I paid the price Sunday!
Jen and Neil tied the knot yesterday. Jen and I first met in the fall of '94, when I decided to be the super me and try to score my senior year of college. Fortunately, I met Stephanie the same week and Jen didn't like nice guys at the time, so you know how it all turned out.
I'm really happy for them. Jen is a total sweetheart, and it's so nice to see that she finally found a guy who treats her right. I hope they're one of the pairs that make it, and I hope they're having fun in Mexico.
Our gift to them was to video tape the wedding and shoot stuff at the reception, limo, etc. It's gonna be a whole lot of work, but I think it's going to be really nice for them.
In all honesty, we didn't have high expectations for this thing. Steph was a bride's maid, as Jen was in our wedding. It was one of those things where we didn't know a ton of people, so we weren't expecting a great time.
Fortunately, the exact opposite happened. One of the other bride's maids, Julie, as it turns out, lives about a mile from us, and her husband Jim and I hit it off and had a good time, and it looks like we have new friends. They're only two years older and have an eight-month old son, so it's really all good.
We also had another nice couple at our table who were fun, and easy to talk to, especially as the alcohol was flowing. Jim was the DD and we'd all drive back home together, so Steph and I were free to drink. Boy did we drink.
I lost track, but I think I had in the neighbourhood of nine beers and three shots, which is a whole lot of drinking for someone who rarely drinks anymore. There were a lot of attractive women grinding up to me (and Steph for that matter), including the bride, who was among the most shit-faced there.
Despite the often negative associations with drunk people, I really think that everyone had a damn good time. It was one of those things you really remember for a long time, where the "afterglow" sticks around. Good times and good friends make the downer parts of life a little easier to take.
If you don't have enough of those good times, you have to make them yourself. Here's hoping our big party will be like that in two weeks...
Jewel played Cleveland last night. As usual, she put on a good show and had an outstanding band. Still, weird things were afoot at the Nautica Stage.
First off, Jewel is as polished and passionate as ever as a performer. She's a professional and a damn good performer. That said, there were some things missing from her show compared to the first time I saw her at the Lakewood Civic Auditorium. She doesn't talk to the crowd as much, she doesn't yodel and she doesn't do the unpublished songs we all know. I fell in love with her because of these things, not because of her CD's.
Was it a bad show? Absolutely not. She still did "The Cold Song." She blew me away with the "New Wild West," which is easily the best song on her last album. And she shook her (slightly thinner since last time) "ghetto booty" all over the place. Can't beat that.
I'm thinking a lot of the weirdness came from the environment. First off, fucking Q104 (Cleveland radio station) was everywhere, including introducing the opening bands. I loath that station, and Cleveland radio in general. Granted, I came from Cleveland radio right out of college, so I'm still a little bitter, but what the hell? How many barbie interns do we need running around with bumper stickers?
Then FYE, the record store, has a tent setup inside. Don't know what their point was.
Then there were the attendees. Fortunately, there was a lot of skin to watch, good hair, nice tattoos and navels, and this irresistable novelty selling girl (who was just "a little" pregnant, but still a cutie). That was the good part.
The bad part was the yuppie piece of shit element. Now that I make a good bit of coin, I absolutely can't stand how "those people" create this stigma associated with upper-middle class. These two dudes, easily around 40 years, were about to go at it for who the fuck knows what. Security had to babysit them the whole show. Give me a fuckin' break. What the hell do you have to fight about? You're at a fucking rock concert! I've seen better behaved crowds at KMFDM, where all of the kids people are scared of are having a good time!
What struck me is the irony that Jewel made a speech at the show (and on her Web site) about how corporate and generic the music industry had become, yet everything around me was a part of that. I don't know, maybe it's because the last two shows I went to were Garbage and KMFDM, which oddly enough both sold out despite little to no radio promotion.
So all things considered, Jewel put on a good show, and it wasn't really her fault for the environment, but it sure was odd.
On a side note, I love the new "roof" over Nautica. Would've been nice to see when INXS played there in the rain for one of their last shows.
Another birthday today. I was born July 2, 1973. That makes me 29 today.
Naturally anything that indicates a serious passage of time makes you think and reflect. I think it's human nature to first consider the negatives. My list is relatively short, but it still brings me down. Most of it has to do with not being my own employer yet, not making $100k a year yet, not feeling as ambitious and driven as I used to be, etc.
So the irony is that I make more money every year on my own, I make way more than the average household income in my area and I'm confident in my abilities. Then add that I have a great new house, two cats, the best wife a man could possibly have (damn right you should be jealous), functional cars, etc. Life really kicks ass when you stop and look at it.
I know that it's my job that leaves me feeling empty, but I'll have to find ways to get over it.
It's time to make leaps again this year. Let's see what happens...