Monday, June 27, 2005


So, during a down moment at work (read: any time in the entire morning), I decided to check up on the ol' email, see if anyone sent me:
1. an email
2. a request for a sub at WRCT, even though I'm 2 hrs away, because I can't unsubscribe from their e-mail list as long as I'm a member there
3. a curiously misspelled advertisement for soft-ware from ado be or micros;oft, or possibly "vi@gra or other Licensed Iove t@bs", or maybe even something called "The Extender" (... err, i wish i were kidding)

But instead, I was greeted with:

this lady. I think. Ms. Young Professional herself, complete with low-cut but conservative red blouse and smug "I own this company and, therefore, am disgustingly rich" smile. Flanked by her bodyguards, err, coworkers, "I'm too masterful at Tae Kwon Do to even cut my hair" Boy and "My white shirt hides my enormous muscles, but my bald head makes no effort to conceal that I have a brain the size of a rat doot" Man. She kindly informed me that access was denied to, because of "policy violation." She did not inform me that I was immediately put on probation to ensure that I didn't commit other seditious activities, but I'm pretty sure it's true. I think an agent is watching me as I type right now.

At any rate, I think it was that lady. It could have been this one though:

Ms. "My neck is so crooked because I'm actually Stephen Hawking." HER bodyguards can fade into the background, chameleon-like, until, all of a sudden, your jugular is no longer entirely inside your body.

Well, no more email for me. Boo Hyland for doing something lame. Come to think of it, that's really the first lame thing they've done though, besides existing in a boring field, so I'll cut them some slack. Besides, if you have a pressing urge to contact me, you can still email me at Daniel.Tasse (at) Fantastic.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

A fantastic weekend

So first, I got to see my Cleveland friends- the usual gang, Kemal, Adam, Pete, Dave, plus Kevin, Grace, and Emma. That was great fun, we went to Kemal's and futilely attempted to play a lot of sports. Sat around, ate hummus, reminisced about Ignatius, etc. Man, that was only the second time this summer I've seen some of them (I think) and it's almost July! What the heck?!

Saturday was excellent- woke up super-late, bought some food, cooked it, Pittsburghers came over- Gerrit, Catherine, and Zach, followed shortly by Beej, Julie, Kaitlin, Connor, Tim, Joe, and Ashley. Made for a great time- we ate picnicky style, threw a frisbee, burned those little toy expanding snake things, played tag variants (also "Man with Bags"!), made a fire, a bunch of fings. It was generally fantastic.

Then Sunday, we went to the Unique Thrift Store, bought some shirts, played Whirlyball, ate at the Winking Lizard, the whole deal. Good times.

It was a good weekend- whichever half you were there for, you probably remember. (or neither, in which case I'm sorry I didn't get to spend time with you)

Another week of WORK! bloogh! (drowns) time to catch up on SLEEP before said week! (this is lame, all my entries end in how I'm going to go to sleep. Whatever. You want original entertainment, go see some improv or something!)

Friday, June 24, 2005

Was it that obvious?

Today I went to a Cleveland scavenger hunt. Run by a group called (i)Cleveland. An event for interns all over the city. They want us to stay in Cleveland after we graduate, and I don't want to stay in Cleveland after I graduate. Fair enough.

They got us to run around downtown, getting pictures of stuff like "a piece of public art," "an elected official," "a segway," and so on. Whatever, I got paid for it. And I got to meet other interns from around Cleveland, which was nice. The guys I came with, from Hyland, were the biggest nerds. So when we got thrown into random teams, I thought, great, new people. To divide us into teams, first they asked "who's been skydiving?" Two people, out of maybe 100. "Okay, who's been to another country?" Probably 90. So I finally got arbitrarily assigned to a team, and we made awkward introductions- my voice is so damn low. I can't be heard, and my name is one ambiguous syllable- "Dan." Jim? No, Dan. Hello, Emily, Bill, Amber, Matt. Err, good to meet you... some more words I can say to keep the conversation going.

It as at this point that I looked around and remarked, "They could have just given us all random numbers." And Amber, tan, beautiful, wearing a low-cut shirt and lip gloss, (that's what it's called, right? just to make her lips shiny, not add color) Amber looks at my name tag and asks "What company are you from?" I said "Hyland Software," but remember, my voice is very low, a gravelly, nasal bass. So she asked me again, and I raised my voice to the audible range. "HY-lend SOFT-ware." "Oh. That's what I guessed, something technology-related."

I sputtered back, in the most cocky, self-assured swagger I could muster, "Heh heh. Was it that obvious?" but I was lost in the deluge of conversation and background noise. The gravelly, nasal bass flopped around in the bottom of the conversation boat.

Later, I asked her, where do you work? "National City Bank, in advertising." Oh, that's what I thought, something SHALLOW.

Well, she was really a nice enough kid, I talked to her for a bit- she was on my team, after all. She meant no offense. Still, it was a label. And I will never see these kids again. Isn't it ironic how, defending myself from her labeling me, I labeled her?

Err... I have to go now. I meant this to be a normal blog entry, really. At any rate, that's the most interesting thing that's happened to me in the last day. Hey, scaveneger hunting > working.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


I locked my bike to the bike rack today, locking it but only twisting one digit, in such a way that if anyone tried a couple combinations, plus or minus one, he'd be able to steal it. Not that anyone working at Rich Software, inc. in Suburbia, USA would steal an average bike anyway. Someone stole my helmet off my bike the other day at Giant Eagle in Suburbia, USA, though. The lock was locked the same way, just twisting one digit- and still locked when I returned.

I got myself a glass of ice water, even though pop (and coffee) is free. Most of the people I work with are overweight. I read somewhere once that "engineers in general tend to be in good shape. Computer hardware engineers in particular. Software engineers tend to be a bit rounder."

As I left the cafeteria, (called the "diner" for nostalgia's sake, I guess, although the CEO is probably in his 30's- he doesn't have anything to be nostalgic about! Called the "diner" for the same fake sense of nostalgia you get when people talk about the good ol' days of baseball) I ran into George, the Vice President of QA. QA means Quality Assurance, which means software testing, but I guess you can't have a Department of Testing. Just one level too direct.

Anyway, George, probably in his late 50's, clearly defies the "round" standard of software engineers. He's tall, skinny, and angular. And imposing. A gangly bogeyman Vice President of Quality Assurance. He's always around our cubicle area, I constantly hear his tall, angular, and imposing voice, when he's telling people to "update to the latest build" or some such nonsense. Some people, particularly managers, say he's a great guy. Our "training director" said that George was the reason he came to work at Hyland. It's true, he seems likeable enough- almost paternal. He learned my name the second day I was there, I give him credit. The tall, forceful, fatherly skeleton Vice President of Quality Assurance.

He gave me that nigh-condescending "How are you today, Dan?" with a touch of "and" before the "how", like Stan Laurel or something: "And how are you today, Dan?" His presence forced my voice into submission; my strong, planned "Hi George, good, how about you?" ran together as he strode past (quickly, of course). It came out as a mumble, "Hijorgoodhrbrt you?" This is partially because I've never been too sure about addressing the Vice President of Quality Assurance as "George", even though everyone does. He's the kind of guy you wouldn't want to offend- he'd laugh it off, but there'd be a subconscious tick back there somewhere, and since he probably controls the company, he'd eventually have you fired and blacklisted. He responded "Good." with a downward pitch. I couldn't tell if that meant "I'm good too" or "It's good that you're doing good." Probably both.

I swiped my card in the clock-in machine. It was 9:13. Oh well, last time I came in on time was a long time ago. Does anyone notice? I'm sure someone does. And hey, it comes out of my paycheck, so there you go. Yesterday was nice: as I was clocking out, I fumbled with my wallet, and just before I swiped my card, the clock's minute changed. That fumble earned me 25 cents. (17.18 cents after taxes, but hell, whatever. Why whine about taxes? Everyone else already is.)

I fired up my computer, packed my bags for the day-long cruise in the ocean of ennui. Looked at my map of Copper Mountain ski resort, realized how nicely divided the trails are. There are your green circles, all in one spot, there's a lift serving only blue squares. There are the back bowls, slashed with yellow to indicate "high alpine adventure terrain." The back of the mountain was closed the day I was there, but you can tell their majesty just from the map. Nobody talks much around here, even at lunch, but one of my coworkers noticed my love of skiing today and it provided a good four minutes of conversation.

The other day, I burned my hand while cooking- the first thought through my head was not "ow" but "at least this will provide something to talk about."

Damn, that got grim in a hurry! Sorry about that! Maybe I'll continue it and turn it back to a happy note. What do you think? More observations or other somewhat creative writings? or "stop being a pretentious corporate-america-bashing indie fuck and go back to writing what happens each day"? or "good start, but that was really poorly written, and it didn't even have a conflict"? let me know if it held your interest, shoot, post anonymous if you like. It was fun to write anyway.

Friday, June 17, 2005

God damn, Ted Leo

So it's pretty trite to say that I want to have his babies, but maybe, whenever he has kids (wait, he doesn't already, right? does he? i don't even know, he's 34, it's possible), maybe I could say I want to have his babies in the sense that I could actually steal them. Because if they rock anywhere near as much as their dad, that would be a lot of rocking.

Forget all the modern pop/rock music. I hope the list of "rock heroes" who will be remembered from our modern era will somehow include Ted Leo.

On another note, I'm thinking said list will include System of a Down, for which I'm not sad. Among the alternative rock crowd, these guys might be the only ones to put out a solid, original product. And they've been doing it for 4 albums, still good, still popular, and they have a double album coming out I guess, which may be their "big" album, you know? So if they end up being recognized as much as, say, Metallica or some other less-good band, I'd be happy.
(instantly loses all "indie cred") whatever. they're pretty good and you know it.

Went to see "Man with Bags" tonight- it was weird and absurd and experimental. I think I had the wrong outlook- I kept looking for a plot line. It was super-tenuous at best, because it was weird, absurd, and experimental. There were definitely cool parts though. And it was good to see Miss Brown and Mr. Gray again. (quote my mom: "you're going with people named 'Brian Gray' and 'Julie Brown'? okay, you're making that up. That sounds like a box of crayons.")

Tomorrow: Family party! Glug! That's not a happy noise. I'm missing a gathering with good friends from grade school that I haven't seen in a long time for it. Also it's in Tiffin, which is 1.5 hrs away, and it will involve many relatives that I don't know. I will recite the standard conversation, "hello, i'm fine, i'm going to CMU, studying computer science, it's going well, i'm working at Hyland Software, it's going well too," about 78975168496 times.

aahahhhahahh sleep, or I'd post more. Guten nacht, Herr Fischer!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Fish tonight!

So I kinda forgot to defrost it ahead of time, and the marinade wasn't very good, but thanks to the magic of GEORGE FOREMAN, it turned out fine. Add broccoli and rice, and all together, it made for a successful meal. Thanks, GEORGE!

I think I'll just turn this into a food blog. Where I go "yayyyy food!" every so often.

Also hooray Ted Leo thursday! And most other things.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

err... FOOD!

2 nights ago: mandarin orange scallops
last night: jamaican jerk marinated pork and "salsa vegetables"
tonight: fajita things w/ chicken, leftover salsa vegetables, and brilliant black bean and corn salsa from Trader Joe's
later tonight: pineapple cake!

So the jamaican jerk marinade was excellent, and so was the George Foreman grill I was cooking it on. Look out Webster 403, George will be sharing the residence next year. Umm... throw in "omelets for breakfast" (ingredients: see "fajita things" ingredients, plus eggs) and it's pretty much been a good week for food all around.

Tomorrow: whitewater rafting traveling. Well hey, it's not work. I don't know any of the kids going, because it was organized through my high school, and my dad, being very involved w/ the high school, decided to go, so there we go. A lil' awkward. But hey, rafting, cool.

What else... Oh! Music at work! I just figured out that it's generally accepted for people to listen to music there, so might as well join them.

Good list:
Interpol (had never really listened through their cds before)
the Flaming Lips (okay, I'm a tool who just jumped on the bandwagon at Yoshimi, but I like it a lot)
!!! and Ted Leo* and the Shins and Beck (obviously)
ARCADE FIRE ep (not as stellar as Funeral, but man, listen to "No Cars Go" or "Headlights look like Diamonds" and tell me there wasn't greatness in the making there. Wait, there was.)

Not bad, but not suiting my tastes as much, so don't reply angrily with "Hey, this band's awesome!":
Elliott Smith (too quiety... I do like "Rose Parade" and a couple others though)
Matt Pond PA ("Closest" is fantastic, and I don't mind "Lily Two" or "KC", but as for the rest, see description of Elliott Smith)
Fiery Furnaces's "Gallowsbird's Bark" (sorta fun pop, but really just an appetizer for the greatness that is "Blueberry Boat")

*so, does "Me and Mia" have a video? I don't think so, yet, anyway. So here's how it should go: A guy sitting in a cubicle, surrounded by other cubicles, watching his computer's clock tick. An e-mail pops up, it's his boss, asking what time he'll be in tomorrow or something, like lumberghesque. He's puzzled, he thinks for a bit, then types something short and defiant, like "I won't." sends it, dashes out of his cubicle, vaults over the railing of the 2-story atrium's balcony, jumps on his bike. As the song ends, you see a gridlock of cars, and him riding his bike joyfully past.

It has nothing to do with the song, and it's terribly trite (har har. cubicles.), so it shouldn't be like that at all. But that's what I felt like today, while listening to the song. Minus the bitchy boss and jumping over the balcony.

Speaking of which, they'll be in Cleveland, one week from today. Hot! Y'all should go.

My friends are home from college! And they'll be here soon. WooOOO! So I'm out.

Monday, June 06, 2005


Yeah, I took a trip to Pittsburgh! It was hot! I mean awesome, not actually climatically hot, but it was that too.

Thanks first and foremost to Kaitlin and Beej, for letting me stay at their abodes, making me foodstuffs, and tolerating the fact that I basically said "Hello, I'm in Pittsburgh, I have no plans, entertain me!" :)

Thanks to Alan, who came down to the 'burgh with me, and Tim, who almost did, and was prevented through no fault of his own.

Thanks to Leslie, Brianna, and Diana, for hosting Zach's birthday party and making delicious burritos with mole, and to Zach, for having a birthday to merit such a celebration. Thanks to Beej, Ram, and Aaron for spearheading the trip to the Oaks Theatre to see Psycho, and congrats to Aaron for winning a shower curtain.

The "I wish I had a video camera" moment goes to Connor O'DinosaurMalley.

Thanks to Beej for getting me to start listening to the Beatles, to Scott and Katie for letting us invade their apartment to play board games, to the dice for ... okay, I rolled seven dice (each with two zeroes, two ones, and two twos) and came up with a total of zero. I soon lost the game.

Houpla to the Church Brew Works for being awesome, having a little less churchiness and a little more restaurantiness than the average church, thanks to Gerrit for teaching me how to throw a frisbee, which was bought at said Beer Works.

And congratulations to Ken Tew and all of us for creating a fantastically awkward moment by not acknowledging each other at the Eat'n'Park visit.

I love you all, have a good night.