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highlights from this past day..

July 8, 2011

Woke up just before noon.. had a mostly interesting 3 part dream which I wrote about in the last post.

Got out of bed because I heard my brother’s voice in the hallway. I’d been expecting him, his wife and three noisy children to arrive 6 hours later.

I didn’t hear my cell phone go off, because, as usual, I had woken up earlier, gone to the bathroom, then returned to bed, to sleep.

Sometimes, when I figure my aunt and mom would be around the house in the morning, I’d put earplugs in, as I did this morning, that’s why I couldn’t hear my cell phone.

It was an unpleasant shock the family arrived so much earlier than expected. I had planned on having a quiet afternoon starting to figure out my portable hard drive and camera that I expected to be delivered this afternoon… and maybe make an important phone call or two.. and basically take things easy.

Didn’t work that way.

Kitchen full of people while I was trying to make breakfast for myself.. cooked up some oatmeal and eggs and ate one chicken sausage. Sausages don’t taste so good if they are just cooked in the microwave, compared to how they taste broiled in the oven or grilled, but anyway..

Kids running around, making tons of noise, fighting with each other… etc.

I deal with a lot of anxiety as it is.. so this all was not great for me.

I made my food, hid in my room, wrote the post a little ways below this one.. the entry about my relatives.. the ones older than me, started a movie called “Running with Scissors.”

Eventually I emerged. My packages had arrived.

Took the two boxes back down to my room.

I paid a 79 dollar fee to, so I could get two-day shipping for the rest of the year, and not have to pay anything more than the $79.00.

Since I’ve bought so much from Amazon these past 6 months, and got 2-day (sometimes 3-day) shipping on each package, the 79 bucks was a major deal.

I had to wait an extra day because Fed Ex likes to combine my items in one day of delivery. What I mean is, I ordered the portable hard drive a day or two before the camera, but these two items arrived on the same day.

The camera I’d ordered was the one I selected but was not sure about. It was the same camera I’d wanted 3 years ago, but did not buy.

It’s a Canon powershot camera.. one of those superzoom cameras that looks like a DSLR (digital single lens reflex .. I think) but is not. Those DSLR’s are much more expensive.

Anyway.. It was either the Canon SX10 or a new Panasonic camera. The SX10’s have been popular for years.Since those were made, Canon has come out with two newer models in this class, but both of them inferior to the SX10. Number 10 was discontinued and almost all of them for sale are either refurbished, or, like the one I found, an “open box” camera. – Someone had made a return, and Amazon, supposedly, checked out the camera and related gear, and resold it at a discount.. not much of a discount really.. These cameras were selling new for $399.99 when they were still available in stores, and this camera I bought was $344.99.

I chose it instead of the other one because I am used to Canons, and because it’s less complicated than the Panasonic, but I think the Canon is an inferior camera, so I wasn’t stoked about my choice.

I opened the Canon box, and it smelled terribly of stale cigarette smoke.. for me, one of the worst smells in the world .. that cigarette smoke that sinks into everything.. it’s the smell that can only come from smokers who smoke in their homes.

This was the reason I needed to return the camera.

I went to the Amazon returns section. Printed out a label, decided to pay for my own shipping instead of being charged by Amazon.. this probably being a mistake.. Amazon might have covered shipping, or just docked my refund for less than 7 dollars.

I boxed up the hated stinky camera and went to the post office. The basic shipping price was $14.99, not the $6.51 price the Amazon site said was the estimate return shipping price if I wanted to return the camera and pay for shipping.

I am a paranoid person.. often expecting the worst, so I got insurance, delivery confirmation, and proof of signature all plastered on the box, and ended up spending just over $23 for shipping.

I found myself already angry at Amazon.

I’d listed my return reason as “product was other than listed.” I wrote in the packing slip that the camera should have been listed as having a horrible cig. odor that made me feel sick. Other people would be sick by this too.

I am doubting Amazon would accept this as being camera in condition other than what was listed.

But I was pissed off..

And got even more pissed off about something that might not even happen!

I was angry at the thought of amazon wanting to charge me even more money, because I was wrong in stating item was other than listed. If they do that, I can prove that I paid LOTs in posting. So they’d be stupid to bill me for more.. and if they do, they’ve got a fight on their hands!

Idiotic of me of course to be so angry about a future potential that I am likely going to be able to defend myself against!

Had to wait quite awhile for some people in front of me with tons of packages and VERY poor English skills to finish their business, than I had to fill out some forms.. no post master had asked me to fill out these forms before.. weird.

So, in really bad spirits, and sill having the headache and recovering from the shock of my brother’s family’s unanticipated earlier than planned visit, I went across the road to the library.

Just about every time I go to the library, I am in a horrible mood, and pick really dark stuff to watch or read.

I have this obsessive compulsive need to read some really demonic comics.. a series of graphic novels about John Constantine and his multiples of battles with demons. You might have heard of the movie “Constantine.” It is almost nothing like the graphic novels, but I still liked the movie very much anyway, and bought it. I buy very few DVD’s, and own almost all the ones I like best.. which is about 30 titles.. something like that.

I’ve checked out this same first Hellblazer (the actual title of the Constantine stories) several times, then thought them too evil to read, so brought that same first graphic novel back unfinished.

And today, felt again compelled to check it out.

While at the library, a fairly powerful rainstorm blew in. It had been overcast, but still, this storm, or at least the power of it, was a surprise.

While I was at the post office and library, my brother and his family were at some waterworld amusement park place.. which had to close down as the storm blew in.. to make sure no one got electrocuted.

My brother got a raincheck.. finally, the use of that word applies. Usually it just means an item advertised as being on sale for a limited time sells out, and shoppers can get a voucher so they can later purchase that item at the sale price.

But this time, actual rain was involved.

The family came home before I did. We sat around and talked, brother and sister-in-law trying to keep the peace with three kids.

I went downstairs to call a woman in the billing dept, of where I was seeing a psychiatrist. I found out I didn’t owe any money..Which is fantastic! Except that I am worried I just really jinxed myself just now by writing this.. my screwy head.

For supper we had Tacos.. very good.

Talked about my brother’s wife, who graduated from nursing school in late May, past her boards (tests prospective nurses have to pass to become official Registered Nurses – called RN’s) and how she was looking for a job in the city where she and the rest of the family live.

Food was good. Brother talked about going to see a movie.. “Mr. Popper’s Penguins,” which he and two of the kids wanted to go see. The youngest child, 6 years old, not into movies, stayed here.

The movie was enjoyable. If you have kids, or even if you don’t, it’s worth your time to see this film, as long as you can stand Jim Carrey.

The movie is nothing like the kid’s book of the same title, though. I read that book in one night when I was a kid. I think it was when I had the chicken pox, or some other childhood ailment, could not sleep, so read the whole book and loved it.

After the penguin film, headed back home.. brother wanted to go out on a long drive.. this area being much more interesting than where he lives.

So we rode out awhile, and found the most highly rated pizza place in the area. It’s a small place.. very cool.. just what a pizza place should be.. a variety of micro-brews on tap.. my brother and I both selected a double bock style dark beer called “Devastator” – a rather overly dramatic name for a brew.. but it really was rather good.

And the pizza was great. It wasn’t listed as being “New York” style pizza, or “Chicago” style pizza (no pizza joint outside of Chicago has ever gotten the true Chicago style pizza right. I know because I lived in Chicago for three years, and consumed a LOT of pizza there.

The pizza at the place we went to this past night was just pizza. And damn good pizza too.

Old country and folk tunes on the radio – Jim Croce, Waylon Jennings, artists like that.. brother and I having good talks, drinking our brews, eating our pizza.

Best time I had in quite awhile.

I’ve only lived in Idaho since early December. I have made some friends, but don’t see them too often yet.

My brother works an odd shift at Costco in the town where he lives, and rarely gets to see his friends..

So it was great to hang out together.

While we all still lived in California, I used to be over at his place every week, and we’d either get pizza or Mexican food, and beer as well, except on rare occasions when we’d buy 7up and Canadian whiskey, or ginger ale and bourbon, or Jack Daniels and coke. Those were good nights.. great food, booze, conversation and movies.

And finally, after the kids were put to bed upstairs, my brother and I headed out and had our fun.

That was great.

Truly lovely outside while we were riding.. after 9pm, and sun not fully set, shining through the clouds in rays, amazing sunsets out here!

When we left the pizza place, it was just after 10:30 pm, and still not entirely dark yet.

Got home. Talked with my dad a little while about current events and politics and all that.. what my brother and I always talk about.

Then dad went up to bed, and my brother and I talked about movies for awhile.

Then he headed to bed on the couch in the living room. His wife was already sleeping in that room, on an air mattress.

I came in here to write and write and write.. always so much more than I planned!


Good things.. being able to hide out in my room, got some writing (lots of it) done, got the hard drive delivered, along with camera and two vinyl belts – one belt made from vinyl from an old Volkswagen vehicle, and the other from the trunk liner of a late ’60’s Pontiac GTO.. how cool is that?!

The belts are from a company in Las Angeles. I got a great guitar strap from them too. It’s a vegan company, sweatshop free, the stuff made here.. well, technically, if some of the vinyl is from an old VW, the VW could have been made in Germany (Volkswagens are German cars) or Mexico, where many thousands of VW’s were made.. but anyway.. American-made, or at least assembled stuff.. cruelty free, no leather used.. the company is called Couch. I don’t know why.

So, received the stuff in the mail, returned the camera and will order the Panasonic as soon as my refund processes.. in a week or so..

None of my family got electrocuted at the waterpark.. I was a little worried.

I don’t owe the hundred or more I was worried about.

Saw a good movie.

Had excellent pizza and beer with my brother.

I don’t feel very well now, because I have written so much, and this is tiring and gives me a headache. And I feel dehydrated, and it’s after 2 am and I worry that the kids will wake me up early.. etc.

But hey.. a really bad day at first turned into a really good evening and night..

And therefore worth writing about!

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