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.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Post Post Post

I really don't have anything I want to say today, but I had some free time, so its a good time to post.

Yesterday I made cinnamon bread (available at your local grocer!) and its pretty tasty. I forgot that I like baking things. Maybe after the moratorium on sweets I can bake some other things I've been wanting to (quick back story: after our vacation in July, the wife and I decided to eat healthy through our anniversary on Sept. 13…no cookies or candy or chips or fried foods) such as banana-chip bars, chocolate chippers, maybe no-bakes.

Regarding the moratorium, its been tolerable for the most part. Some days I don't even notice it. Other days are rough, though, like when you have a craving for some ice cream or a Snickers bar. Grocery shopping is a little harder, and should NEVER be done on an empty stomach. You start hearing voices emanating from the Little Debbie/Hostess aisle...the bakery donuts seem to stare at you wherever you go, and so on. I probably look weird zooming through the bakery looking like there's a serial killer in the donut case. Do you remember that scene in Young Sherlock Holmes in the cemetary when the bakery treats tie up Watson and then force feed him desserts? Its exactly like that. (If you haven't seen the movie, I SWEAR I'm not on crack. And its a good movie.)

But there are some snacks that I enjoy that ARE healthy. I do like fruits such as peaches, apples, grapes and raisins, watermelon, strawberries, and so on. Tasty. And good for me. Raisins are a great snack, because they have zero sodium; however, eat too many and you will spend a considerable amount of time in the bathroom. So finding a balance there is important. Other good snacks are animal crackers, graham crackers, goldfish crackers, granola bars, and muffins. I prefer the blueberry mini-muffins. They make a nice treat.

I have my good and bad days when it comes to my diet. I need to make more of an effort to eat healthy, but I do enjoy those times I get to splurge. But since getting my labwork done a couple weeks ago, my BP and cholesterol and everything are all very good. So yay. And my weight is fine, although I DO have a little tum-tum. But mid-thirties is ok to have a little tum-tum by in my book. And 30 pounds of weight gain in 10 years isn't bad, either. I'm finally in the 'average' weight area for my height.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


So I am starting to worry about finances. Well, its a constant worry for everyone, and I've dealt with it fine for many years now. But its just getting so that I am CONSTANTLY playing catch-up with bills and things, and its very wearying. And it just makes me nervous not having much of a savings buffer (this is largely in part due to purchasing a house a year ago...cleaned me out).

I'd really like to consolidate/get a loan and get things paid off quicker and with less of a strain, but am unsure what companies would be reputable...I'll have to look into it soon though, based on forthcoming expenses such as Christmas, soon-to-need-replaced household items, and so on.

Also, its going to be a fun night tonight...me and my two brothers will be playing Red Dead...nothing sweeter than riding into an old west town to either start or end some mayhem. Woot. Actually, since its the old west, 'yippie kai yay' would be more appropriate than woot.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Deep Post 2

I gotta say, Deep Post 2 would be a good band name...

Today I have been thinking about a quandary that I have. Growing up, I always had more female friends than male; usually in a ratio of about 4 to 1. (Sidebar: for today I am defining 'friend' as someone local, whom I would call up and hang out with while the wife is out shopping or whatever...not to say that if you live far away you're NOT my friend, but it makes it difficult to hang out on a Friday afternoon randomly.) I am not sure why this is; whether its easier for me to make and keep female friends, whether I have not been in enough male-centric activities, such as sports, or whether its just happenstance. Nevertheless, that's how things have gone.

My problem arises in the fact that I would like to call and hang out with people from time to time, but either they are A) female, or B) just not that type of a friend. Female isn't a problem as such, but being married, its just sorta weird calling up other women and going to hang out with them while the wife is out, you know? Even though there's ABSOLUTELY nothing going on, its still just a bit weird. Of the guys that I know, very few have my same shared interests...maybe THAT'S my problem. I mean where are you going to find a guy who's equally happy going to a monster truck show as an opera? Who enjoys cartoons and classic automobile restoration? Who'd rather watch a sappy movie over football? Victorian literature and the latest video games? Tough find.

My brother-in-law Jimbo Baggins is a neat guy, and I'd call him up to hang out, except that he's got a weird work schedule, and is also 15 years older than I am. The age doesn't really make much of a difference, but it doesn't help, and the schedule thing DOES present a problem.

I guess my problem, to boil it down, is that I just don't feel like I have any friends I could do stuff with, which is sorta sad, considering I've been here 3 years. And I just don't have a plan for rectifying the situation, or know whether I NEED to.

Don't get me wrong though, I am perfectly happy...the wife is awesome, and so is the dog, and so are the other couples and people we do hang out with...its just something I was noticing and thinking about.

In a non-deep news update, I got Red Dead Redemption, and am enjoying it...although apparently, I suck at riding a virtual horse in addition to a literal horse; I have about 4 or 5 hours of game play under my belt, and my poor horse has been eaten by wolves twice, mauled by a puma, fallen off a cliff twice, and been shot 3 or 4 times, once in the face by me. This is fatalities only, and does not include tripping over boulders, non-fatal shootings, or running into cacti. Stupid horse...

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Direction?

So for several weeks I have been contemplating a direction, a purpose for this blog. I started it with the vision of being an online journal of my life, which it has, to an extent, but I find that it is the trivial tidbits that are getting the emphasis rather than the deeper issues.

For example, hundreds of words on why I prefer Woodstock over Tweety, but not one word about my grandfather's passing, and what I felt. Reviews of movies, video games, antics of the dog...all these are fun frivolous things, but there has been little real depth. This could perhaps be why I don't write in my blog more often.

So, it is my goal over the next few weeks to submit several entries that deal with some of the 'real world' issues I've had, and see what kind of effect it has on me and the blog in general.

In regards to my grandfather's death, I confess to feeling an increased sense of my own mortality that I hadn't felt before. I had been to funerals for two grandmothers and two great-grandmothers before now, as well as my grandfather's brother. But there's just something about having your LAST member of that generation leave you; like if life is a line at the airport, and oblivion is the destination, you've just suddenly turned a corner and realize you're at the point where you need to take off your shoes for the security screening, and are aware that this is the 'point of no return'. No running back to the car or whatever.

Still, his death was not unexpected, and he died peacefully, which is good. It was nice seeing that side of the family once more, as well as the ancestral lands. He was buried next to my grandmother in a cemetary that is home to generations of my family stretching back to the Revolutionary War. It was an odd thing...we resembled one another in appearance and gait, but a lot of our similarity ended there. He was a chemical engineer, whereas I hated both math AND chemistry. He only read non-fiction and watched news and sports. I only read fiction and watch cartoons and sitcoms. But we both were interested in family history, and in a Fliven-worthy maneuver, he had his ancestral coat of arms engraved on the back of his headstone. Outstanding. And he got a 21-gun salute from the VA for his service in the Navy in WWII.

That's another odd thing...he would tell endless stories about doing odd jobs at the farm, or about going to a flea market or auction, which, when you are young, really REALLY seem, in fact, endless. But then he casually mentions that he was in charge of one of only 2 or 3 enigma devices in the entire US Navy during WWII while he was posted as a lieutenant on a munitions ship in the Pacific, and won't tell stories about that, despite our encouragement. Very mysterious.

Anyway, I'm going to miss him. I didn't know my other grandfather, so he did the work of two for me. But he was a good man, and I look forward to hearing more stories should we meet in the next life. In the meantime, I will probably live the rest of my life with him, among others, invisibly looking over my shoulder, and I will do my best to make them proud to point me out as their progeny, which is both a good thing, as it means I will always be working hard and doing my best through life, but also a bad thing, because when I make mistakes, it feels like I let down not just me and my current family, but the entire line of my people. Which is a LOT of unnecessary stress. Guess you got to just strike a balance.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Back from the Brink

Last Tuesday I felt a little light headed...I thought I may have just been tired or eaten something funny. So I took my temperature and it was 101. Not cool. Still, no other symptoms, so I took some tylenol and got on with life. Work on Wednesday was TOUGH, but I made it through. Wednesday night the wife said I should go see a doctor if it wasn't better by the next day, so I said I would. Still no other symptoms. Thursday came, still had a fever, and started getting a rash of some sort. Yuck. Went to the doctor and apparently its a viral infection. Bleah. Basically, it gives me fever and all benefits such as chills and sore muscles and light headedness that go along with it, but nothing else. I slept a lot. And drank a LOT of water. Took FOUR days for my fever to go away, and we're going on almost a week with the rash, although that is almost gone now, too. First time since ELEMENTARY school I've been sick for more than 2 or 3 days in a row.

I'm feeling like a trip to GameStop this weekend...going to trade in a few games, and maybe get 1 or 2...once you've played through a game, there's very little reason to hang onto it, unless you loved it or want to get all the achievements or something. But there's nothing I have that I MUST keep, and I want to get Red Dead Redemption and maybe Mercs 2 again...have to see how much we're talking about.

Ok, everyone leave, I have to poop.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

The Yellow Bird Conflict

First of all, 'Yellow Bird Conflict' would be a great band name. But my conflict arises as yesterday morning, I was awakened by an anxious little dog who had to go out and pee. It was after 5 am, and since I usually get up between 6:15 and 6:30, there was very little chance I'd get back to sleep. So I laid down on the couch and put on Looney Tunes.

I am a man who likes his cartoons. Ask anyone. But I cannot keep my lip from curling in disgust when Tweety appears on screen. I LOATHE that little bird. Now its not because its a little yellow cartoon bird. I reference the fact that I really enjoy watching Woodstock from Peanuts, also a small yellow bird. Woodstock only not irks me, he/she/it entertains me. So I look at the differences between the two to try and divine what the cause of my feelings are.

1. Demeanor. Woodstock is always cool, unless you sit on him or mess with his nest. Tweety is constantly either freaking out or trying to cram 'cutesy' down your throat.

2. Speech. Woodstock cheeps. Tweety has an irritating speech impediment, and yet, Granny STILL can't understand her. What the heck.

3. Flight. A bird with wings of that size, with a head of that size, even making the great leap that it can fly, would fly wobbly and haphazardly, as Woodstock does. Tweety flies straight, hovers, can zoom in a straight line, the works. Its unnatural.

4. Supporting cast. Woodstock hangs out with the Peanuts gang, who are fun, and is best friends with Snoopy, the coolest fictional dog EVER. Tweety hangs out with Granny, who keeps her caged, and has NO other interaction except for a cat who has homicidal intentions.

5. Woodstock has no overused catchphrase.

We just got back from a week of vacationing at the beach. It was good to relax and unwind. I NEEDED it. Didn't get TOO badly burnt, which is good. And unusual for me. But we're back at the grindstone now. Yesterday I got sick, though...I don't feel bad, but I have a fever. A good night's sleep really helped, and I'm at work today, but am still a little light-headed. Fevers suck, but they're WAY better than vomitous or a stuffy nose. To a point, anyway. If it gets to the coma/brain damage point, that's not good at ALL.

Looking forward to a date with the wife this weekend! NOT looking forward to yet ANOTHER trip to the vet. Seriously, I've had to go at LEAST a dozen times in the last 3-4 months. Its ridiculous.

I got a Spongebob toy in my Cheerios. Awesome.