Saturday, November 09, 2002

That I have the vision and fortitude to sit in front of this computer is amazing. Today has been all about video, video, video... That, and reuniting with an old friend and our godchildren.

Steve Hardt finally called last night after I tried for days to reach him. Every time I tried to call in the evening, the phone was busy. Now I know why. Steve, his sister, Carrie, and brother, Randy, all have computers. They also all like to talk on the phone. The phone rang at least a couple times an hour today while we were over there.

I woke up early this morning because of my runny nose and cold, which has gotten progressively worse and now has me hoarse-voiced and coughing. I enjoyed the quiet of the morning reading Tolkien and watching the sun rays rise up the wall of the living room. Esther slept a few more hours after me. I then read in the paper about Northern Illinois Football playing Bowling Green today, and both are 5-0 in the MAC. It is billed as the most important game in NIU football history!!! NIU hasn't won a MAC title since 1983. When I went there, the football program sucked. Big time. I think they only won a couple games. So I tried to get a hold of Todd Stanley to see if he wanted to meet me in DeKalb, but had no luck. Then I tried my Dad, but he wanted to do yardwork instead. Esther offered to come with, but it's not fun watching football with someone who doesn't know anything about the game. She'd still be good company, and would remember to bring seat cushions, blankets, etc. for stadium comfort. I've gone to many a high school football game with her. And when we lived in Antigo she even had football photos published in the paper. Her only photo credit to date. So she's not totally naive. But more than football, I was just craving guy company.

So I called Steve back. He left a message last night. Esther and I rode our bikes over to his place and took a short bike ride with Steve Jr. around the neighborhood. We went to Rock Cut Elementary, and being the boring fuddy-duddy I said, "Yeah, back in my day, we didn't have playground equipment. This is the same schoolyard I beat your dad up in. Hee hee." Then it was over to the house for hours upon hours of video game action playing Grand Theft Auto III. I got a sadistic glee out of blowing cars up, stealing stuff, running people over and blowing stuff up with bazookas and rifles. Steve had cheat codes so the police didn't bother me and I had unlimited life. I caused mass carnage on the street.

We also watched a HORRIBLE action movie with Steve, Steve Jr., and Breanna called, "The Scorpion King," starring The Rock of WWE fame. Steve is separated from his wife, Michelle, but she came over for awhile. They seem to be on chilly terms with each other, but can get along well enough to not kill each other. Michelle has always been a tempestuous person, and Steve is picky enough to drive her up a wall. I get a sick joy out of watching their petty arguments. Michelle and the kids are living with her folks. She looks good and healthy and is working full-time. Steve is back at a collection agency, also working full-time. Steve lives with his mother in the same house he grew up in. So quite a throwback day for us, he 30, me on the eve of, hanging out at his Mom's, just like old times, playing video games. I hope to keep in closer contact with Steve. Now that he is away from Michelle, he may be inclined to actually go out with me of an evening. Maybe not. He is kind of a homebody.

Quick update on yesterday. I saw two movies, "8-Mile" and "Men In Black II." MIB II we saw at the North Towne dollar theater. These black women behind talked during the entire movie. They also had an infant in a carriage. Chaos. A loud, action-packed flick and I could hardly pay attention. Very inconsiderate. And this from the most disenfranchised ethnic minority in this country. Sistahs be talking about getting they props, but they don't exercise common courtesy. Uncool. Goat Boy joined us. It was his idea to go to the movie. He just needed a ride. He starts at UPS Monday and told me he will finally get his car back from his mother. God, am I the only one with no financial/housing ties to my parents? My other good friend mentioned in this entry, Todd, also lives at home in Steger, IL.

Got a little toasty on five beers last night, including cheap swill Hamm's Special Light (110 calories) I bought for $3.99 a 12-pack at Hilander's. Bland, nearly flavorless, but inoffensive. Ripped through my gut, though. Wonder why cheap beer does that? Just can't drink it in mass quantities. Also, after being good all day with dieting, I stopped at Uncle Nick's and bought a greasy gyro after a beer (my fourth, Esther drove) at the Irish Rose.

Friday was a beautiful day. After the 12:30P showing of 8-Mile at Showplace I took a long bike ride, this time exploring neighborhoods in south-central Rockford, going just a little beyond Harrison to a subdivision which ends in fields. As I rode down unfamiliar streets near Alpine and Harrison I rode by a group of Asian kids playing. One boy looked familiar, but I kept going. Then I heard a little voice yell, "Hey there gym teacher!!!"

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