Justin's Life... October 1999

If you're an avid Justin's Life reader, bookmark the Justin's Life Gateway
to keep track of when the last update occurred
Who Are These People?150_pixel_space.gif 0.05 KThe Diary Index

October 2, 1999 - Saturday


This morning, Larry, Katie, and Spencer headed to La Jolla while I stayed here in LA to write a paper for class on Monday. I read my textbook for a few hours then decided that it was time for a break.

As usual during my rare weekends alone, I had the urge to do something a little "different." Nothing too strange, and nothing I'd feel awkward explaining after the fact, but something I'd feel a little self-conscious explaining while I'm doing it. I mean, married life is nice, but it doesn't tend to afford it's participants with much opportunity for singular adventure. For example (and only for example), say you wanted to dye your hair blue. If you were single, you'd just do it and the next time I saw you, your hair would be blue. If, on the other hand, you were married (or lived with someone) and wanted to dye your hair blue, you'd either have to find time alone to do it secretively or you'd have to explain yourself beforehand. Granted, explaining it wouldn't be that big of a deal and most mates would be fine with it, but you would still feel self-conscious about explaining it before the fact.

So, anyway, today I decided that I would be strictly vegetarian for a day. See, nothing that big, but explaining that I was going to the grocery store this morning to buy all vegetarian products would have been awkward, and therefore this weekend alone afforded me the opportunity to do so without that explanation. (We all need time just to do off the wall stuff that makes no real sense to anyone except ourselves.)

So, on my way inside the grocery store, I see a guy standing next to a table with a sign on the front reading "AIDS Food Drive" or something similar. I'd already noticed the various signs around town for the AIDS walk and while that's not really my thing, I'd been contemplating participating in the walk. So anyway, I look at the guy and he says something like, "You wanna hear?" and smiled. I said sure and he then handed me a piece of paper which stated that they needed various toiletries for AIDS patients. I was going to the grocery store, the least I could do would be to pick up some items inside, so I said I'd bring him some on the way back and continued with my vegetarian shopping trip.

When I got back outside, he was still standing there and I said "Hi." It was obvious that others had similarly said, "I'll catch you on the way out" and did not, but when I pulled out a box of toothpaste and two deodorants, he was more than enthused. I can't remember exactly what he said but it was something to the effect of that I was a great person for contributing. Thinking that my purchases paled in comparison to his standing out there and donating his time, I thanked him back for doing as much.

I went to the car, loaded my grocery bags, and headed back to the house... very pleased that no animals would die today because of me and that I did my little part to help someone else.

Yet, thinking about it more, I realize that donating money really isn't what most charities need: they need time. That's all we all really need... Time with others.

October 5, 1999 - Tuesday


After writing that last entry, I began again reading my textbook. Turns out the two chapters I needed to read where much more complicated than I'd imagined, so the 70-some pages took the largest part of the day. When I did finish reading, I worked on JustinsLife.com for a couple hours to bring it all to it's final debut stage (which should occur this Friday... believe it or not), and then decided to call it a day in the work department.

I came back to the house, found The Nightmare Before Christmas laserdisc and put it in the player. I'd been wanting to watch it for a couple weeks, ever since my mom mentioned that she'd been playing it to get her in the Halloween mood, but I knew the laserdisc player was at least partially broken.

So, anyway, I found the disc (no easy task in and of itself), pried the front door of the player down, and put the disc in the caddy. It went inside and that was all she wrote. It wouldn't even recognize the disc, let alone play it.

So, determined that I was going to watch it that night and have a watchable copy at the house (In other words, no rental would do.), I headed to the Virgin Megastore in Burbank to pick up a copy of the DVD. I soon found the "N"'s and then the placard that read Nightmare Before Christmas, The. It was out of stock. BUT, as luck would have it, I saw the Nightmare On Elm Street DVD collection when I was entering the store. The entire seven movies plus a "bonus" DVD with extras.

I took it home, played with the DVD's a bit (like watching part of the 3D ending to part six with the included 3D glasses), then put in the first DVD, selected the actor/directory commentary audio track and began.

I eventually fell asleep around 2AM.

The next morning, Sunday, I immediately woke and put the "Nightmare Series Encyclopedia" bonus DVD in the player. I watched the documentary, which included an alternate ending to the first movie and a screen stating that another alternate ending was located within the Labyrinth/game portion of the DVD, and then I began in on the Labyrinth. A few hours later, I still hadn't gotten through all the various video clips hidden within the game and I still hadn't found the alternate ending. I then remembered that I was watching a DVD and that, to the best of my knowledge, DVD's are broken into chapters which can be individually accessed. I accessed the DVD player's menu and saw that the Labyrinth section of the DVD had 500+ subsections... but I was going to find that alternate ending. Around 100 subchapters later, I found it... and it was not worth the trouble. It was the same ending as the one in the documentary except that it wasn't as extended. The screen went black a few seconds earlier, which gave the ending a more positive spin, but that was the only difference.

Anyway, by then it was around 5PM and I'd gotten nothing "productive" done, but it was a nice day of staying in the bed and relaxing... and sometimes you just need a day of doing nothing. (Of course, with no job job, I often think people just assume I sit around and do nothing every day... but I'll save my explanation of yesterday (a work day) until later.)

October 6, 1999 - Wednesday


Like I said before, Monday was incredibly busy, but in the interest of going to bed, I'll try to streamline it a bit here.

In short, I spent the morning writing and rewriting that paper for class. I spent the afternoon going to class, going to the bank, and going to the post office. And I spent the entire night reviewing my programmer's progress and writing 23 e-mails detailing various issues which must still be addressed. Of course, that really doesn't explain the intensity of it all. Perhaps it would help if I said that I had to go to the bank to deposit a cash advance check so that I could mail the programmer his paycheck and that cumulative hours I've spent on the project are now in the thousands. The new programmer (the third in the course of nearly two years) knows his stuff and is working on the project exclusively, so that's a major change for the better, but he's a $2000+ per week type of guy. Combined with the $11,000+ knock my wallet took for tuition, finances are quickly running dry... and the end is not yet in sight. I haven't played the which-credit-card-has-an-available-credit game in a while and I'd forgotten how not fun it is. Moreover, I found out today, when the bank called to verify that I'd indeed written the cash advance check, that I'd written it on the wrong card. That sent that card over the limit more than a thousand dollars, so I had to write yet another check to send as payment to that credit card company.

Of course, AFTER I deposited the FedEx envelope in the drop box, I realized that my company's FedEx account was associated with that credit card and that as it was now over the limit by a large amount, the charge would be declined and they'd very likely not deliver the check. I was on the way to school and there was no time to go back to the house to find the FedEx account number, so I had to call FedEx in the car to change the credit card associated with the account to one that would handle the charge.

And yeah, I realize I still haven't said exactly what the project is, so that's another reason I avoid discussing finances/business here... but I will tell you one day. I promise.

Click here to move on to the next set of entries.

© 1999 Justin Clouse


Justin's Koool Page