So Now Then
March 15, 2004
Howdy folks. Got nothin' for ya today. Here's a rundown of everything I've been up to the last few days, just so you can feel like you're "living the Parrish dream" right along with me:
March 11, 2004
Let me take this opportunity to update you on everything I've been up to in the last four days!
Aaaand that brings us up to present day! My excuse for not doing anything lately is that I continue to nurse my debilitating side injury which has prevented me from doing such things as golfing, exercising, and apparently, leaving the hotel room or moving more than 20 feet in any direction on any given day. My other excuse is that (and I can't deny this anymore) I love games! Strategy games! Action games! Adventure games! All kinds of games! (Except fighting games! I HATE them because they are STUPID!) And I haven't played any games in over a YEAR, so I've got a lot of catching up to do! Also, this gives me an excellent opportunity to work on my rice recipes. Here's my latest favorite for you, since I have nothing else to write about today:
Ben's Famous Coconut Rice with Peas and Whole Spices and Some Other StuffAnd now, I'll link you to a review I wrote for SNT's sister website of the adventure game I've spent the majority of the last 72 hours playing, a little number called "Syberia". I hope you will enjoy it, even if you don't play games and couldn't give two craps about some nerdy software for dorks. Now, if you'll excuse me, these computer games ain't gonna play themselves!
March 7, 2004
The last couple days here have engendered a theme, and even better, it's a theme with a snappy, alliterative description! That's right, for the past 48 hours, I've been GEEKIN' and TWEAKIN'! More clearly put (and with less capital letters), that means that I've been spending nearly all of my time doing the three things that nearly six months ago, I vowed never to do again as long as I could possibly hold out: 1. Working. 2. Playing computer games. 3. Drinking coffee all goddamn day. I actually never vowed to not drink coffee all goddamn day, but if I'm gonna be working and playing computer games all the time, and I'm still not drinking alcohol, how the hell else can I stay sharp but by drinking coffee all goddamn day?
The schedule lately, then, has been: Get up around 9:30 AM. Walk down to the gas station to get a giant cup of coffee. Spend a few hours working. Go back to the gas station to get another giant cup of coffee. Play computer games. Take a bunch of pain relief and sleeping pills and go to sleep. Today varied from this only that instead of going to the gas station the second time, I went to the grocery store and bought my OWN coffee, then came home and whipped together a big ol' POT of it, which I've been sipping on the rest of the day!! Am I talking a lot? Do I sound like I'm jabbering? I don't mean to, it's just, I have so much to SAY and to tell you about and the pills aren't kicking in and maybe I shouldn't have had that last cup of coffee but I mean I'd hate to WASTE it because even though it's a lot cheaper from the store than from the gas station, coffee just isn't the sort of thing that you want to WASTE particularly if you don't have a job and no income and every dollar counts and you gotta save some money to buy new computer games and buy more coffee and food sometimes and what about gas though gas isn't as big a problem because the only place I drive anymore is to the grocery store across the street which is like .1 miles away so one tank of gas would probably last about three years, which... wait, what was I talking about?
Hmm. The rest of this update was going to be me talking about the games I've been playing, which was going to be slightly amusing, only because most of them are old (some of them VERY old) games which I just never finished the first time, so most of what I've been doing is doing stuff that I'd already done, trying to get back to where I was when I quit, with the goal of not quitting this time. It occurs to me now, though, that reading about that would not be remotely interesting in the slightest to anyone on Earth except me, and now that I think about it, not even me.
Jesus. Have you noticed that the quality of the content on this website is inversely proportional to how clean and spiffy the layout is? To wit, this is the best this site has ever looked, by a fairly wide margin, and I'm sitting here worrying that it's going to throw an Unhandled Suck Exception on the web host and bring down the entire iPowerWeb server farm. Sorry about this, everyone. Turns out writing about your life is only interesting if the life you're writing about is interesting, and, well, though I'm enjoying the heck out of it, my life is just not interesting right now! Here are the most exciting things that have happened to me in the last three months, and this is no lie:
Alright? That's it. Seriously. Try filling a website full of rich, tasty, gooey content on a daily basis with that cornucopia of riveting tales.
Thing is, it works for me. I think I've finally found the one thing I can do on Earth which I truly, sincerely, and passionately enjoy:
I am turning doing nothing into an art form. I'm part craftsman, part natural genius. If you tell me to get a life, I'll politely decline, "No thank you." Every day I wake up full of energy and enthusiasm, for I know that 16-18 wonderful, pristine, empty hours lie ahead, into which I can pack as little as I can possibly manage! At the beginning of the week, I draw up a list of things to definitely not to. A "to-don't" list, if you will. And believe me, folks, these are long, endless lists filling ream after ream of unrecycled paper!
Yes, if you see someone doing anything, you can feel confident that you ain't looking at me.
I'd keep writing here, but I've got some nothing that needs tending to!
March 5, 2004
Welcome back to part deux of our current feature, "Ben talks about what he's been doing the past month and a half, leaving out such untidy details as accidentally peeing all over his shoes while trying to go to the bathroom"! (Which only happened twice, so why even bother bringing it up?) Okay? Ready to get back to the action? Here we go!
Hmm. Well, okay, actually, I think I pretty much covered everything yesterday, as pathetic as that may seem (and it does). So instead, today, why don't we go back to our old tried and true technique of just talking about what I did today, while occasionally inserting a small segment on particular television commercials which I hate. Let's see how it goes.
I got up at quarter to ten this morning, which is not too bad for me lately. For a while, I had brought my schedule back in to where I was almost getting up at the unholy hour of 9:00 AM, but I was losing way too much sleep by doing this, since I don't normally turn in until 2, 2:30 or so, so it slipped back, but now I'm reeling it in again. I have no idea why I am bothering with any of that, of course, since there's literally nothing I ever have to wake up on time for right now. But I feel like a dick walking into the gas station at 3 in the afternoon for my "morning coffee and muffin".
So today, I got up at 9:45, got my stuff together, walked down the street to the gas station and got my morning coffee (24 oz!) and muffin (banana nut!) and came on back. Walking (and breathing) proved similarly painful today to what it has been the last two days, which was very troubling to me, because the longer it goes on like this, the less likely I'll be able to continue to treat my injury in the way I would prefer, which is to do nothing and wait for it to get better. The worst part, in fact, is that I haven't been able to yawn or sneeze since Tuesday afternoon. Often I'll get halfway into a yawn, or rear back to ready a sneeze, and my body goes: "Uhh... maybe not?" and shuts everything down, because it knows that if I go through with it, my entire torso is going to explode in a bloody mess full of slimy little tubes and brown glops of goo. Which would be bad.
Anyway, I sipped my coffee and nibbled my muffin (if you know what I mean) for a little while, at which point I (WARNING: this may prove as distasteful to you as it does to me, and ruin your entire day) actually did some work for an ex-employer of mine. That's how bad this injury is. The best thing I can find to do with myself during the day now is work. The whole purpose of this sabbatical was to not work, and now I am not not working. Fortunately, my skills at screwing around and websurfing while I'm working haven't faded a bit, and I was able to turn six real-time hours into little over 3 actual working hours, much of which was spent writing, reordering, and changing the fonts and colors of a "to-do" list.
COMMERCIAL I HATE #1: "Levitra/Stay In The Game" These "male enhancement" ads are bad enough, and what's even worse than that is having to stare at Mike Ditka's big old fat, flaccid, obnoxious face. But what's even worse than that is this stupid goddamn commercial where, right at the end, Mike Ditka stares right into your puss with his rosy, impotent cheeks and says: "AST YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT LEVITRA". That's right, AST. Not "ask", because that would actually be English. No, it's important to Mike that we instead go to our doctors and say, "Hey, that football coach with the tiny, limp penis told me I should AST you about this product! So I'm asting!! I'M ASTING!!!" FUCK YOU, Mike Ditka. God.
I kept up that routine until 5, at which time I got to the business of resurrecting this website and all those that came before it, while also increasing my high score at Crystal Castles, a game that Ice Cream Jonsey cannot beat me at, and downloading Zork, which I've decided I am going to play, and finish, at some point before I die.
Then I cooked some rice and had dinner.
Then I checked my email.
God does this update suck. Hey, instead of reading this, go ahead and click any of the links on the menu over there on the left, and read something actually entertaining and humorous. Oh! There are two "lost SNT episodes" now available on the "November" page that never made it up before I stopped updating the first time, along with some never-before-seen photographs of Arches National Park. So, go look at that. Don't waste your time here. I've totally run out of material, or at least, material that I could write here without pissing other people off. Instead, maybe I'll just tell you about:
COMMERCIAL I HATE #2: "St. Augustine, The Beaches, Florida" From the very tenth of a second when I first hear that saccharin, sanctimonious bitch say, "Safeguarded Florida's coast..." I am positively lunging to the remote control, frantically pressing buttons to get it off of the channel before I hear the dreaded next line... Here, I've memorized this god-awful, uber-schmaltzy, nauseating assault on any reasonable person's sanity:
Safeguarded Florida's coast... safeguarded Grandpa and John's relationship! (showing oh-so-precious scene with these two assholes)
Uggghhh. You've gotta hear this woman's voice, though, that's what makes it. Just reading the words makes you want to vomit, sure, but... oh, it is so indescribably unctuous and blood-curdlingly sweet to have to listen to, I wouldn't wish it on the bastard child of Adolf Hitler, Osama bin Laden, and Mike Ditka. Suffice it to say, you will NOT be finding one Ben Parrish travelling to St. Augustine, The Beaches, Florida any time soon, except maybe to track down Grandpa and John and bring their relationship to a very violent, painful end.
Before I go: Thanks to my man LT for recommending I start shoveling Ibuprofen into my system as fast as possible, because with his help, I can now actually sneeze without shrieking in pain like a ten year old girl! Also, thanks to my man LT for proving that a 40-year-old man can stil[rest of update deleted to protect the innocent, and their appetites]
March 4, 2004
After staring at the same stale entry (see below) for the past month, month and a half or so, it occurred to me that the main reason I wasn't writing anything was because I was afraid of having to deal with that stupid layout I designed, because I knew that it was going to turn into a major pain in the ass to get all the tables to line up. So instead, I went ahead and inched ever closer toward the primary goal of my entire life, which is to have a website which changes format every single time a new article is posted.
Anyway, let's catch all you good folks up on what's been happening with me lately! I mean, it's been over a month since I last caught up with you, so I'm bound to have tons and tons of exciting things to report to you, right? Right? Let's see what we can come up with, and hopefully it's enough to at least fill up the rest of this page, forcing you to scroll down. If not, just scroll down anyway. It'll make me feel better.
Let's see. For the longest time, I was hitting the gym across the road, which was going extremely well, providing you measure quality by the number of times I wished I would just keel over of a heart attack and get the whole thing over with. This rigorous exercise regimen has, unfortunately, taken a bit of a hit lately, as I recently injured myself playing golf -- perhaps the most pitiful possible way to be injured, short of getting crushed under a truck carrying Tickle Me Elmo dolls -- and can barely breathe, much less get up on an exercise machine and sweat profusely while watching Oprah, or whatever horrible show those 300 pound she-beasts always turn on the gym TV right before I get there.
I've also invested in a number of Indian cookbooks, and have revitalized my interest in the culinary arts, an interest tempered only slightly by the fact that the "kitchenette" in the little hotel room I live in has all of the niceties of an Easy-Bake Oven, except not as large. This makes it exceedingly difficult to cook any recipes that include such space-filling items as "ingredients". In any case, I have the best smelling suite at Affordable Suites of Myrtle Beach (slogan: "Follow the sound of obnoxious children screaming their brains out at the day-care center across the street!")
Unable to golf or exercise, I'm left with lots of free time during the day now, which has given me the opportunity to return to my long lost hobby of roller coaster design, resulting in both the unparallelled fulfillment resulting from turning a vague vision into a living, breathing, fictional, computerized work of art, and the shame of realizing that I should have grown out of this particular hobby when I was, like, eight years old.
If life were fair, one of the other ways I'd pass my time would be to drink heavily all day. Unfortunately for me, I've chosen this particular passage of my life to try doing something somewhat radical, which is to NOT drink heavily all day. On the one hand, I'm more energetic, I'm saving money, and I'm generally feeling healthier and more vibrant. On the other hand, damn, I could sure go for about nine beers right about now.
I've been entertaining a few ideas about where to go after this, and when to go there, but I haven't nailed anything down in particular. I'm thinking mid-April for my grand exodus from South Carolina, but the destination is unclear as of this juncture. Near the top of the short list of candidates, though, is Colorado, if only to keep my good friends Vitriola and Ice Cream Jonsey from bugging me about it anymore. Other possibilities include Arizona, central California, and the suite a few doors down from this one, further away from the maintenance closet.
I haven't "met anybody" here, which if you'd told me when I'd got here that I'd have not met anybody by March, I'd have been upset, but frankly, I'm feeling a distinct lack of disappointment at this. First of all, I'm gonna leave soon anyway, so there's little point to it. Second of all, there's... how do I say this nicely... there's not a particularly big menu down here right about now. Third of all, who needs it, right? It would take valuable time away from grinding spices with my marble mortar, and getting that last loop-the-loop just right!
There's so much more I want to tell you about what's been going on with me, but I think I'll save some of the juicy stuff for further updates. And since it's now so much easier to write updates, I'd imagine that we'll be getting a flood of new content pouring in here in the days to come! Stay tuned, won't you?!?!
January 25, 2004
So, a lot of you have been writing me emails asking me, "Hey Ben, are you interested in elongating your male member, or perhaps getting a better rate on your mortgage?" Far fewer of you have been writing me emails asking me, "Hey dipshit, what the fuck have you done with your life since two months ago when you stopped writing your daily updates for this website which you promised you'd do? You loser?"
Since the answers to the first email are far too embarrassing to write in a public forum such as this, I'll address the second, and I'll do so in the form of a bulleted list, assuming I can remember what the HTML tags to create a bulleted list are:
So, you can see how that wouldn't have made for particularly exciting web-reading for you, my faithful reader(s?) However, now that the website's back, I'm definitely going to light the world on fire! Or perhaps this apartment. Anything, anything to make this a more entertaining place to visit for you folks, while you wait for Nick @ Nite to come on.
Final Quarter(s) Update (2003)
Here we are, at the end of another damn year. It's time to once again remember that we forgot to do the previous quarter's update, and then quickly slap together a half-assed effort to bring this, the 2003rd year of the universe's existence, to a rightful close, so we can then focus our efforts on more important things, such as creating a new list of things to fail at in 2004!
Ready? Are you sure? Do you remember any of the items on this list which I put together nearly 365 days ago? Well, I don't, so hold on while I scrounge up the old HTML file, which isn't even on my current website, and which I don't remember where it is. Wait there.
Alright, there it is. Jesus, what a load of horse smegma. How the hell did I think I was going to accomplish this many things (10) in just one little teensy year? I must have been out of my mind, and drunker than usual! Oh, this is going to be embarrassing, I can tell already. Well, I guess it's like they say, the sooner I start, the sooner I can get halfway through it and quit and then go watch The Golf Channel.
Item #1: Keep It Up - Well, over the past two quarters, I have roundly failed to keep up any of the things I was trying to keep up. If you'll remember, those things were: Flying, which I haven't done since June, and keeping tabs on my finances, which not only haven't I done since March, but which would have gotten a lot easier in the last couple months, since I no longer have anything to put in the "Income" column. I'd give myself an overall D- grade for this, but in an attempt to bump that up to a more reasonable mark, I'll put together a monthly budget here real quick, so I can feel like I've at least given it the ol' college try (which would be the first time I have done so, since I didn't go to college):
Alright, good. Grade: D+
Item #2: Get a Fucking Job!! I got a fucking job. Then I did the fucking job. Then I quit the fucking job. I don't see how I can give myself anything other than an "A" for this, even though in the end, I've probably done more damage to my professional career this year than every other year combined except for when I was 17 and got fired from my programming job because I kept coming in at 4 PM. Ah, those were the days. Grade: A
Item #3: Release Amber Tide, The Ben Parrish Musical Experience - Not only did I not release Amber Tide, The Ben Parrish Musical Experience, I did not even craft one single track for Amber Tide, The Ben Parrish Musical Experience, and in fact did not release anything else either, or even come close to recording something that would be considered professionally done and presentable. Grade: F
Item #4: Get a New Car Stereo - I did get a new car stereo, and over the proceeding few months, was actually able to figure out how to get it to work! Grade: A+
Item #5: Have That Surgery - I did not even come close to having that surgery, even though my mother offered to pay for the goddamn thing. What the hell is wrong with me? Grade: F
Item #6: Get Laid 8 Times - Yeah. Well. By the end of August, I'd already far surpassed this rather modest goal, and look what it got me. Just goes to show you, be careful who you wish for, you just might meet her. Shortcake, wherever you are, shove it. Grade: A+
Item #7: Be Healthy - Up until December, this was a thorough and utter failure of the fattest and feeblest degree. Since then, however, I've engaged in a strict exercise regimen and a fail-proof diet plan consisting of not eating cheeseburgers 24 hours a day. Since then, I have Be Healthied a significant enough amount to warrant not totally failing myself on this item. That can wait until next year. Grade: C-
Item #8: BRING TEH CONTENT - The first three months of So Now Then Point Net offered more content than I think I'd provided previously in all of my other websites combined into a steaming wad of quitting and failure. A special bit of documentation from a very special time in my life, nobody can argue that it was not indeed a springing torrent of TEH CONTENT. And if they do, I will write bad things about them and then tell line cooks at restaurants they frequent to go on the internet, find it, and then systematically ruin his life over the following weeks and months. Grade: B
Item #9: Avoid Compulsive Behavior - I have started biting my thumbnails again. However, my fingernails remain unfettered by my spittle-dribbling maw. All other compulsive behaviors, unfortunately, are still in full force, which is doubly bad because my internet connections now are all at dial-up speed. So my compulsive behaviors now take ten times longer than they used to. Not good. Not good, I tell you! Grade: D
Item #10: Embrace Beauty - First I embraced the transient, temporary nature of life by deciding to live it a little instead of sitting at a desk all day waiting for the ping pong table to open up, and split town. I then embraced the fucking SHIT out of beauty during my month-long, highly cherished stay in Ferndale, CA, and then subsequently continued embracing beauty all over this bitch as I carved my snakelike track across this country in mid-November. Then I spent the last month hating everything again. Two steps forward, one step back. Well, whaddya gonna do. Grade: C
The fallacy of trying to give myself an "overall grade" on this is that, by the end of the year, the goals set at the beginning of the year have changed, some of them in small ways, some in ways which make putting a particular item on a list at the beginning of the year seem so daft as to make one wonder if the person doing it had an IQ of 140, and then began hitting himself on the head with a large mallet until he was not smart enough to point to his own foot. Once I put together my 2004 list, you'll see how ridiculous 2003's list actually ended up being, except for maybe the part about flying, and the financial stuff. Well, and the getting laid part, and the car stereo. And the content thing, that's good. And it sure wouldn't be a bad idea to cut out a few compulsive behaviors, that's for sure. And what's more worthy of being embraced than beauty? Hmm. Maybe it was a pretty good list. And while the year did have its ups and downs, I'll remember it as one of, if not the most significant turning point of my life.
Overall Grade: C+