The PWC2 Introduction

1/1/2003: The Seemingly Neverending Story

Today we awoke to a brand new year (2003). If you're anything like me, the first thing you thought was: "Jesus, not another one! I gotta do this all over again? When does it end??" Then after a few more hours of self-pity and a sinking realization that this is just going to go on and on and on until you "accidentally" step in front of a bus, probably at the corner of Pico and Main where they tend to drive really fast around the corner, so you won't have much time to think about it, and your next of kin won't suffer financially because the investigators probably won't think to chalk it up as a suicide, you set to work on a new plan for the new year! (Again: 2003.)

At the very top of my list, I wrote: "1. Learn to write with shorter sentences, unlike the one you just wrote at the end of the above paragraph." But I decided that really wasn't "substantial" enough to appear on a list of this significance. So I crossed it out and wrote "1. Learn to write without putting words unneccessarily in quotation marks." Again, though, I realized that that was "stupid", so I crossed that out. Then, since the paper had started to disintegrate from all the violent crossing out I was doing, I crumpled it up, tossed it in the trash, and went to lunch.

But as soon as I got back, I checked my email. Then I set about writing the list. And that list, friends, is what I am about to present to you. I call it:

My List Of Things What I Wanna Do This Year

I will present it in the "itemized" format that was made famous by last year's list, so that none of you get too confused.

Item #1: Keep It Up - As I mentioned in the previous update, the last part of last year was pretty good. So, the first order of business in this new year is to, as the title of the item suggests, "keep it up". Particularly the good parts. Specifically, the two most successful parts of last year were the enhancements to my aviation career, as well as my sense of financial responsibility (if not stability). But even those two items we can break down, for a greater sense of accountability. And I know that's what you expect from me, so that's what I'm prepared to deliver. Let's break it down, yo:

  • Aviation
    • Continue studying/building experience.
    • Make the fabled Vegas Trip that I've been planning since I started this foolishness.
    • Begin instrument training. (I'm not going to be so optimistic as to say "finish instrument training", because instrument training is tough work, and you need significantly more experience than I currently have before getting the certificate is even possible.)

  • Financial Responsibility
    • Keep maintaining exhaustive records, and sticking to the budget.
    • Stop giving shit to homeless people. Fucking deadbeats, why don't they get a fucking job!!

Item #2: Get a Fucking Job!! - You all might remember this one from last year. I always make it a policy to be either unemployed, or at a company near the end of its death throes by the time the calendar moves ahead to the new year, and this year is no exception. I have no job. I don't particularly want one, either, but I'm not about to sit around waiting to receive inheritance from people nice enough to sign their life savings over to me! I'm a far more responsible adult than that! Got it, pal!? That's right. And this item will be judged not only on whether or not I get a job, but also on the quality of said job. Specifically, it will be judged with respect to the following characteristics:

  • Stability.
  • Rate of pay.
  • Potential for career enhancement (i.e., is it the same old crap I've done for 15 years, or does it have a future?)
  • Number of hot, single babes working there.
  • Enjoyability.
  • Maybe other stuff once I think it up.

I sure am looking forward to this. Not.

Item #3: Release Amber Tide, The Ben Parrish Musical Experience - As you probably already know, I am a brilliant musician. However, I've yet to fully harness the power of my creativity in this vein. This year will be different! I have now spent enough money on musical equipment that every second I spend away from it, a gnawing sense of self-hatred and failure to be financially responsible creeps into my psyche. So that is why I vow to you that by the end of the year, I will release to all of my adoring fan, my first album, which will be titled Amber Tide, and which may or possibly may not have a picture of a grotesquely overweight cat on the cover. It will feature a wide range of musical styles, most accurately described as "a collection of the only kind of crap I know how to play".

Item #4: Get a New Car Stereo - My car stereo sucks. It doesn't even have a CD player. I need a new car stereo. Anyone have any suggestions? If I had to describe what was most important to me in a car stereo, I would say: "I want to be able to drop the car off somewhere and have them put it all together while I'm out having lunch somewhere." Keep that in mind.

Item #5: Have That Surgery - Again, I really don't care to discuss this, and as this will cost a lot of money, I can't let it happen before I accomplish Item #2. If you don't know what surgery I'm talking about, you can probably find some information by snooping around the website.

Item #6: Get Laid 8 Times - Originally I was going to carry over the five from last year for a total of ten times, but as you probably know, "getting-laid counts" only feature a 60% carryover rate. Hey, I don't make the rules here. You're probably asking yourself, "Hey, I wonder how he's planning to do better at this one this year than he did last year!" All I can tell you is, that was not a question, and you're going to need to seriously work on your grammar before I'm prepared to discuss such personal matters with you.

Item #7: Be Healthy - I am able to pass a third-class airman's medical no problem, but so are most dead people and several of your larger tubers, so that doesn't necessarily mean that I always treat myself as well as I probably should. Or rather, as I definitely should. So this item is a catch-all for health-related matters. I have a few specifically in mind here, however, so I'll use the famous <ul> HTML command to clarify just what I'm talking about:

  • Get on a better sleeping schedule. I go to sleep too late, which when you're unemployed isn't as big a problem, because you can sleep as late as you want, even though you often don't. But in any case, I need more sleep, I think. I'm in bed plenty long, but my sleep is often restless, and more often than not I awake feeling cheated by my slumber. So I'll try to get on a better schedule.
  • Be more rigorous with dental care. I can already hear my mother cheering for this one, and she lives 2700 miles away. I tend to drift in and out of proper dental care from month to month, or even week to week. I will attempt to remain "in".
  • "Maybe you shouldn't drink so much." Maybe I shouldn't breathe so much, Terri! Ha-HAAAAaaaa! It's no secret that I enjoy a lovely beverage from time to time. Some might say that those times tend to be a little closer together than proper sense would deem appropriate. Plus, it's a bitch on the old bankroll too. So, I vow to you today, I will pull the reins in on this a bit. I think it will help with the sleeping, too. Not to mention with:
  • Generally be more active/fitness-oriented. This is another one where I'm good for a month, bad for two. Consistency here would be beneficial for many reasons. And I think this will also help with the sleeping. In fact, I'll bet all of these things are tied together, except maybe for the dental thing.

I'm not going to say "alter my eating habits", because my eating habits are fine, I'll have you know. Food rarely falls out of my mouth.

Item #8: BRING TEH CONTENT - I've largely failed over the past couple years at bringing teh content. I describe "teh content" as any creative outlet for which I have a particular talent, and which has not been addressed by other items. For example, writing. Cooking. Programming the website. This is all CONTENT, and I seek once more to BRING TI. Not because I particularly enjoy doing it (as is definitely not the case with writing), but because I enjoy the feeling after it's done. I wish to experience more of that feeling. Bring it to me now, serving wench!

Item #9: Avoid Compulsive Behavior - I have a few addictions/compulsive behaviors which I would like to eliminate. Not a ton of them, but enough where I think it would be good for me, and my emotional state, to work on eliminating this kind of thing. This can be anything from physical addictions, such as knuckle-cracking, fingernail-biting, TV-watching, and clicking "refresh" on the JC BBS four hundred times a day, to psychological addictions such as... well, just mind your own goddamn business. I'll just tell you if I succeed or not. Nosy bastards.

Item #10: Embrace Beauty - This item definitely gets the award for being the gayest of all the items. There is much ugliness in this world, with an absolutely limitless (and growing) supply, and rather than involve myself more deeply with, and expose myself more broadly to it as I have been doing, I will recede from it, run screaming from it, and attempt only to chase the positives and the light and the beauty of this world. That means, no more trips to or, no more checking the Yahoo death/news box ten times a day, and under no circumstances will I leave my apartment for any reason.

Well, except to get beer.

(But not as much of it as before.)

See you in three months.

Two Minute Drill: The Final Quarter Update
Third Quarter Update
Vegas Roundup
The Greatest Lunch I've Ever Had
Second Quarter Update
Physical Education
First Quarter Update
Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Stream of Semi-Consciousness
A Dork in the Road
Half a Page of Scribbled Lines
Asshole Need to Write His Own Goddamn Intro!