The Intermittent Kevin

As rarely and randomly updated as most blogs

Archive for March 2004

Wacky social awkwardness

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It’s a nice quiet evening at home and I’ve just had a rather bizarre exchange with my neighbor. You know that scene in Office Space when the boss tells Jennifer Aniston she has to wear more flair? It reminded me of that.

THE SCENE: My door’s open and I’m standing there folding a sheet. I’ve got music playing in my bedroom. A short Indian guy in tennis shoes comes walking up to my doormat and wipes his feet like three times on it. I will call him Joe.

Me: “Hi.”
Joe. “Hi.” (wipe wipe wipe) “I’m your neighbor from next door on the other side?”
I cut to the chase.
Me: “Oh sorry, is the music too loud?”
Joe: “Yeah, uh, it’s just at night, it’s a little–?”
Me: “Oh no problem, I’ll turn it down, what time you go to bed?”
Joe: “Like, ten?”
Me: “Sure, I’ll turn it down, sorry.”
Joe: “Yeah, it’s just, you gotta realize that we back up right against each other.”
Me: “Sure, just–let me know. Like you did.”
Joe: “Okay, thanks–thanks.” He leaves.

Now, an alternate version of how that could have gone:

Me: “Hi.”
Joe: “Hey, I’m your neighbor from next door?”
Me: “Oh sorry, is the music too loud?”
Joe: “Yeah, could you turn it down?”
Me: “No problem, sorry.”
Joe: “See you.”

See that? Much more straight-forward, no feet-wiping, nothing. I was bugging him, he let me know, end of conversation. Why was it this awkward thing? The fact that he broke out with this extra little lecture – “you gotta realize” – tells me he was probably bugged for awhile. How many frigging nights was he annoyed by this before he finally got the cojones to come over and say “yo”?

I’m not just annoyed with Joe; I’m annoyed with myself. Cause I do this all the damn time! One of my favorite things about New York City is how direct everyone is. No b.s., no social awkwardness, they just say what’s on their mind and it’s done. I despise it about myself but it’s all a part of my big passive-aggressive nature. Is everyone else like this?

Just to prove my point, I could have asked Joe for his actual name before he left. BOOM, new friend made. But I just let him and his tennis shoes walk back next door, ensuring the awkward relationship will continue. He’s my damn NEIGHBOR! What the hell is that all about?

Grr. Not many people realize how many anti-social tendencies I have in me. I can be a chatty dude at a party, or on stage, but get me one-on-one with some random person and I clamp up.


Written by Kevin Miller

March 8, 2004 at 8:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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Every time I come up with a mood it’s always something that’s not in the vast LiveJournal database. I settled on “nervous” but it’s more “jittery”. I feel like I just drained a 20-ounce Dr. Pepper, which wouldn’t be out of character for me, only I didn’t.

I guess a lot of little things have happened thus far today; I got ready for work in record time, so I laid down for a nice 15-minute nap on the couch before lazily waltzing out the door… only my eyes shot open at 8:13, leaving me 17 minutes to make the 18-minute drive to work. I speed-racered my way, willing the lights to turn green, and sat in my cube with time to spare. What a bad-ass.

Almost immediately, the word started running around that Apple’s stock is soaring past its 52-week high, to $27.

$27! When I bought my AAPL two years ago, I swore I would sell at 27. So I cracked open between calls and dumped all 35 shares for a cozy profit of $500. Also very exciting.

Maybe I’m just on a bit of sensory overload this morning, what with the mad-cap drive to work and stock sale, not to mention the average craziness of a Friday in the tech support biz. At any rate I feel like dipping into a sensory-deprivation chamber for a few minutes. And just last night I read a great article in Texas Monthly about a yuppie Austinite spending a week alone in the BFE end of Big Bend National Park. Man, now that’s an idea.

I’m not totally off the ball, though; my vague plans to visit Australia in spring 2007 are coming into much better focus; so much better focus, in fact, that I’m wondering if I shouldn’t bump the whole operation to spring 2006. (No sooner than that, though – I’ve got a lot of money to save up.) My arbitrarily-defined time frame of one month, it turns out, will probably allow me a lot more travelling than I thought, so much so that I’m sure the money will run out first. Could I fit New Zealand into the trip? India, even? Here’s my hypothetical rundown:

Day 1 – London
Day 3 – Delhi
(visit various sites in India)
Day 10 – Kuala Lampur
Day 12 – Darwin
(take the Ghan train thru the Outback)
Day 16 – Adelaide
Day 18 – Melbourne
Day 21 – Sydney
Day 24 – Wellington
(wander randomly around NZ)
Day 28 – Back to the US

Pretty sweet, eh? Odds of death, relatively high; odds of personal bankruptcy, even higher. Can I do all that for $5,000? I think I could–maybe? Hmm. At least I have a backpack and a sleeping bag. Thanks, Chris.

Still jittery. 20 minutes til lunch. Maybe a nice frozen entree will settle me down.

Written by Kevin Miller

March 5, 2004 at 11:34 am

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So maybe I’ll type something

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I have little confidence that I’ll pick this particular e-habit back up; I just keep forgetting about it. But I was suddenly inspired to log in, mostly on the strength of Wil Wheaton’s four-part blog entry on his participation in an illegal poker game. It had pathos, action, suspense, and…ah, fuggit. My life has none of these things. I work tech support for a living. I need one of these callers to somehow embroil me in an international spy ring, something where I can whip out the pistols I have yet to buy and let the terrorist motherfuckers DIE.

Damn. Vending machine was out of Dr. Pepper.

So there’s a new barista at the Hideout, and true to form I took almost instantly to chatting her up, last time I was in for a ghost tour or improv show or whatever. I mean god-awful hot. So hot it seems to be a travesty that she will not, in fact, be riding home in your red Jetta to meet Lola this evening. Tight black top, and this tan skirt that looks modest enough until you see the gigantic part up the side and you fall off your barstool.

Travesty aside, I was doing rather well being my chatty flirtatious self; she actually seemed way-cool on top of the hotness, which just ain’t fair. But I had my sporty cologne on, so I was a nice-smelling mofo. Didn’t add up to much at that particular moment; I had to run to the show, and she was gone by the time I returned. Sigh. Instead I asked Ryan, the late-shift guy, if she was seeing anyone.

His answer? “Yeah, she’s dating The Enigma.”

Yeah, the puzzle-piece guy. With the horns and the forked tongue. Austin’s own lovable circus-freak mascot. How can I compete with that? Would I want to? I think Robin is officially out of my league. Not in a “she’s better” way. More in a “she’s waaaay over there” way. And wasn’t he married to cat woman?

Written by Kevin Miller

March 3, 2004 at 11:37 am

Posted in Uncategorized