A Prize In Every Box

This is a place for the random musings and life experiences of one Fliven, who looks for life's fun little surprises, even when its in a giant box of stale, tasteless foodstuffs.

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Location: Sugar Hill, GA, United States

The details of my life remain shrouded in mystery.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Questions of Nerdery

The cell phone saga continues.

On Saturday I received my new Cingular phone. Its black. Its shiny. Its new technology. I swear, the smell of new electronic stuff is almost as addictive as new t-shirt or new book smell. I love the interface on my phone, (SLVR), and am having fun putting iTunes into it. The bad news is I won't be able to bring over my old phone number, enmired hopelessly in the greedy clutches of Verizon, so be on the lookout for a new one. They gave me a generic blah number, but I'm hoping I can change it to something a bit cooler, and a bit more memorable. We shall see.

My bonsai tree (Englebert) is the coolest thing ever. It automatically adds artistic-ness to anything you put it near. Bonsai tree on top of the TV? Cool. Bonsai tree on the coffee table? Cool! Bonsai tree in the bathroom? Unimaginable levels of cool! It needs a couple years to fill out, but I think if I can keep it alive it'll be the awesomest tree ever.

In other news, I have been working mad hours. I worked a 15 hour day yesterday! Madness! Luckily they were nice enough to allow me to come in late today, and I don't have work on my desk for once. Nice to relax it is.

Finally, some very nice people gave me a gift certificate to thinkgeek.com, which I am deliberating on how to spend. Some fuzzy 20-sided dice for my car? A backpack that looks like Yoda? The red Swingline stapler? A +20 Shirt of Smiting? A desktop cataput? The possibilities...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Aftermath...

Good afternoon, sportsfans! Its a lovely day here in our nation's capital...if you consider "lovely" to be hot enough to stir-fry a moose on the sidewalk (now that's a 'hot plate!'). We're here at the Euroamerican Graphic and Design Slamfest! ("E.G.A.D.S.") 2006! Our first event is Miscommunication. Our first designer has had conflicting schedules and promises of delivery of work for two days...the crowd is really getting into the betting on when he'll finally snap and set fire to his desk. After that is the Last Minute Hurdles. Always a key event, this year's promises to be exceptional. Let's go to our correspondent on the field with the designer:

"Thank you! I'm here with the designer for Umbrella Corporation, Fliven, and he is really taking a lot of punishment! Fliven, any words?"

"Work sucks right now, but my spirits are high and I'm hoping for a free weekend."

"We look forward to seeing you try to pull that one off! Good luck!"


For my birthday the other day I got a bonsai tree. I shall call him "Englebert". He is a juniper tree who likes Asian food and long walks on the beach.

Today's entertainment: A YouTube clip of a DUI. Its SO funny. Definitely worth a watch.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Another Year of Weird

So today is my 29th birthday. I'm feelin' mighty old. But that's ok. Many thanks to all the well-wishers and card/gift givers amongst you...its really made my day! Otherwise it'd just be an ordinary day here at work.

Today I received an e-mail from a "Stroope.John", from a "uis.edu" address. As sketchy spam goes (no, I didn't download the attachment) its giving me pause for thought about today's educational system. Please read the following, which was the body of said e-mail:


Monday, July 17, 2006,5:11:57 PM, you wrote:

>I think that you again operate impulsively in the manner
>calm down and tell though that any that simply more than
>simple charges your jealousy does not know a limit!!!!!

I do not understand why you still screen its all. I have collected already so much proofs, that listening to your remarks is inclined to think as at you with it something too was. Now I already avoiding half-words send photos where it does sucked to my boss! Well, also what you to me on it will tell?

P.S. To anybody it do not show.

If I from your neighbour learn as you have transformed it into a circus, I to you guarantee troubles. Within the next few days do not write, I have already drunk in office and I think to go for city that and you I wish.
Best regards,

Now my question is, how can people who talk like this be in college?! According to this guy I've never met nor emailed, I was initially upset at his jealousy limit, to which he brings up that stuff about screening and proof. And is he worried I'll send sucky photos to his boss? Or vice versa? And how am I supposed to turn it into a circus—clowns, elephants, big tents—I wonder? And he really shouldn't drink in the office. Maybe, if his middle initial is "B," he is venting off anger at being named Stroope, John B. I'm sure everyone sings the Beach Boys whenever he comes into the room. It must be maddening!

Today's fun is "Where the Hell is Matt?"...a website about a guy who traveled the world to all these fantastic places, and does a little dance in each place. It really makes you want to quit your job and do the same thing. And now he's getting sponsored to do it. I totally missed this option from my school guidance counselor.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Another Day in Cubicle Paradise

Cubicle Paradise is what I have nicknamed my office space at work. Basically because its a cubicle, but the lighting consists of colorful tiny overhead halogens on a dimmer switch and wall spotlights. No fluorescent. So I have fun soft lighting, and in addition, there is a 4-foot palm tree on my desk behind my monitor. Its fake. Its name is Bert. Cubicle Paradise.

So last night I don't know what I had for dinner that disagreed with me (my options are: 2 packs of ho-hos, mountain dew, Wheat Thins, chicken strips, or homemade curry from a coworker) but I woke up from one of the most insane dreams of my life. Seriously, like if there's a dream you dream where you wake up screaming and go commit yourself, this would be right on the line. Words won't do it justice, and it sounds dumb in retrospect, but it comprised of having to team up with Chewbacca to rescue Meryl Streep from a rabid, semi-sentient tree. There may have been zombies in drag, a castle made of jell-o, and a leprechaun as well, but I can't be sure. I think my mind is blocking it out to preserve my sanity.

Also in the realm of surreality, yesterday I got on MySpace and looked at all the pages for people who graduated high school with me. So many names and faces I haven't thought of in a million years! And my buddy "Goose"! Good lord! He has to have what, quadrupled in size?! That's not right. I think I'm going to do the year before me today and see the weirdness there.

Glad its the weekend...I need to do laundry!!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Three in a ROW!

Lovely to see most of my loyal readers at Maryment's birthday shindig yesterday evening…good times…which brings me to the fact that there are only five (5) days remaining until my birthday.

Today's post will be a recap of movie and book reviews and previews. Let us start by saying that the only movie I really enjoyed within the last three (3) months has been V for Vendetta. It was an original, remarkable, and well-made film. Superman, X-3, and Pirates of the Carribbean were also good, but nothing to write home about.

I am starting to get excited about the prospect of seeing Ghost Rider and Transformers. Because, let's face it, Ghost Rider is the top 3 of baddest mothers of all superheroes; the other two being Batman and Spawn. For those of you who are not hip to the Ghost Rider, he's a real Hell's Angel…a biker in black leather who escaped from Hell to fight evil. He has a flaming skull for a head. Just Google it. Words don't do his badness justice. And Transformers! What cartoon show/toy is more 80's than that? I've seen some bootleg footage…its going to be visually amazing at the very least.

In other movie news, could there be an American McGee's Alice and Dark Crystal 2 in the works? Word on the street says there is! But we shall see what happens with those...its been too long of a wait to get hopes up at this point.

As for books…not so happy here. I've re-read some great stuff, but nothing good is slated to come out anytime soon. No Harry Potter…no Eragon book 3…no Simon Green books…no Terry Pratchett…what is a person to do?! How am I supposed to survive?!

That's it for now...I have decided to get a new cell starting August 1st, so be sure to bug me for the new number at that point. That'll leave me with 3 months to handle two phones, but that's ok. I can deal. Plus anyone I forget to give my new number to I will be in touch with via my old cell by then. It works. Its a good plan.

Hope everyone has a good Thursday. Do something spontaneous.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Cell Phone Saga

Today's rant is about the absurdity of cell phonery. I have been a loyal minion of the Verizon for nearly 4 years now, and haven't had any problems with them. But a visit to the local Cingular store the other day opened my eyes.

In my opinion, Verizon has become the AOL of cellphones.

They've started standardizing all their screens, won't let you modify them or download and use independent products, like ringtones and wallpapers. You have to use V-cast these days. And heaven forbid you want to leave Verizon, because once their tentacles are in you, breaking free is painful!

So I began the process to switch to Cingular, where I will have a cheaper plan, a better phone, more options, rollover minutes, and as-good or better reception. Good plan, eh? Unfortunately, my contract with Verizon isn't up until October 29, so if I try to take my cell number with me before then, I'll get charged a $175 breaking-contract fee. Furthermore, if I wait until October 30th, they can no longer gurantee that number won't be given out to someone else. So basically I have one day to make the switch. Stupid stupid people. And of course the 29th is a Sunday.

Now the plan is to get a good deal at Cingular, let my Verizon run out, and have a new phone number. Shouldn't be that big of a deal. But I'm giving it a couple weeks to think about it.

Ummm...that's about it. Please note, there are only six (6) more shopping days until my birthday. Plan accordingly.

Today's entertainment is a cheezy music video that remixes a line from LotR. Its amusing, and surprisingly, it sticks in your head, much like the Llama Song or BadgerBadgerBadger, but not quite as good as either of those: Mashed Taters!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Resurrecting Post...

And with this post, Fliven's blog rises up out of the ashes of no-updates and soars like a phoenix with the promise of regular posting buoying its vibrant wings! Or whatever.

So yesterday I left work at 4:30, planning to try and hoof it to the American History Museum on the Mall to snap some Jim Henson exhibit photos before it closed. For those of you not living and/or working in DC, it was approximately nine thousand degrees yesterday, with a heat index of just over a bazillion degrees. Seriously, it was wicked hot. And me, being the dumb butt that I am, decide it'd be faster to walk over there, than try and take the subway. Its really only a 20-25 minute walk at a normal pace, and at my "no-nonsense long-stride city walk" only took 15 minutes. Still, I knew the museum closes at 5, so I was hurrying to get there as soon as possible. Made it by 4:47, and got to the door drenched with sweat, feeling nasty, all out of breath, and there's a big friendly sign that says "Summer Hours: 10 am to 6:30 pm". D'oh! So I stopped and recuperated. The good news is, I now have the Swedish Chef as my cell phone wallpaper. Remind me to regale you with the Saga of the Cellphone next post.

In other news, I am still living and working and doing my thing. Hoping to get my own place (not dependent on roommates, with any luck...) sometime this fall. Try to cut down on car usage and metro fare. Pulled a mad few weeks back in June, getting things done for the end of Q2; had several 12+ hour days, and about five 70-90 hour work weeks. They were brutal. But I love what I do! And I have a half a dozen coolie cool things to add to my portfolio. The saddest thing was spending 4 Saturday nights in a row on my couch in my pajamas with the laptop doing design edits. Nothing makes you feel less like a party animal than that, let me tell you.

Things with Behtia are going really well. No, no wedding plans yet. Our schedules are pretty screwy, as we have both just started working at new places and don't really have vacation time or a grasp on when the heavy times are, but we're making do. Behtia is going for her broker's license at the end of the month, so I'll soon get "dating a stock broker" bragging rights. Aw yeah. :)

Life is going pretty normally apart from that! Today's link is a really entertaining music video with bunnies. Warning: may not be cubicle-friendly, so use earphones.
"Everyone Else Has Had More Sex Than Me"