Cleaning House

My goal this weekend was to clean house. I had some success by eating and drinking at home as well as tossing some things that I should neither be eating nor drinking.

The Jackmobile Remained In The Carport
I managed to go all weekend, well Saturday and Sunday, not driving the Jackmobile anywhere.

On Saturday morning I went outside early and filled the ten leaf bags I purchased on Friday. There were two things I knew:
1. I should’ve bought more leaf bags since I still have about 1/6th of the yard to finish (once all this rain passes)
2. It was dumb to do this task knowing that the rain was coming. The only reason I did this on Saturday was because I allowed that guy to start the task on Thursday.

On Saturday afternoon I walked some completed Christmas cards up to the post office in the village.

Here’s one thing I rediscovered:
1. Raking uses different muscles that anything I else I do. I expected my biceps and lats to be sore, and they were, but I didn’t expect my hamstrings and glutes to follow suit. I guess it was all the work they did when I would hold my torso up straight as I dragged the rake from behind me.

I considered going to the grocery store on Sunday morning but decided against it because I will be doing that chore today. Instead I stayed inside all day, watching the final episode of Olive Kitteridge (more on this below), and then the Falcons game. With no real reason to leave the house I didn’t do so, and gathered up more things to take to Goodwill today. You’d think with as many times I’ve talked about taking things to Goodwill that my house would be empty, but I don’t manage to take too much at any one time.

ITP Flickr Pics
As I type this I realize that this weekend turned out to be “Indian Food” weekend. I should have made a batch of naan bread…

“Mr Saturday Night Special” (Atlanta, Georgia, United States)
Mr Saturday Night Special
If you had “December” in the “When Will Paulie Finally Use His Immersion Cooker” you win! I cooked up a delicious pork loin that I had smothers in Indian spices. As pictured with the pork I ate some steamed green beans and basmati rice.

“Indian Fried Rice” (Atlanta, Georgia, United States)
Indian Fried Rice
On Sunday I decided to eat at home. The original plan was to make some curry chicken with mixed vegetables and basmati rice, but I determined that the chicken had gone bad, and not willing to risk giving myself food poisoning I switched gears and made a vegetarian “Indian fried rice” instead.

Wrong Mini-Series For This Time In My Life
Preface: It was suggested that I read the book Olive Kitteridge. I checked it out from the library, but never read a single page. When I noticed that a four-part mini-series existed I chose to watch it.

The mini-series is excellent, starring some well know actors such as Frances McDormond and Bill Murray. McDormand’s portrayal of a life-long Mainer was brilliant.

Each part of the mini-series occurs at different parts of McDormand’s life. Suffice to say that McDormand’s character doesn’t have the greatest of lives, some of which is precipitated by her Maine-driven kurt way of dealing with things.

Had I watched this series twenty years ago (which is impossible because it was made in 2014) I would have loved it. At this stage of my life the struggles and pain hit a little too close to home.

The Heat Is On
I finally caved on Saturday afternoon when the indoor temperature hit 59°F and the weather forecast for Sunday was sub-50°F outside… for the high. I’m glad to say that the heat started up and did its job well.

Monday Is A Chore Day
Weather be damned, I’m going outside today. Here’s my punchiest for the day:
– drop off some stuff at Goodwill (decided to do this later in the week)
– go to the grocery store
– do laundry
– spend some time at the library working on Swift learning (I also have DVDs to return)
– have drinks and perhaps dinner at Lucky’s Burger & Brew in Emory Village to use up some of my bingo winnings, see if I can win some more, and to watch part of the Jets game

Hope your weekend was, and Monday is, great no matter the weather…

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Today Was Supposed To Be “Basement Day”

My goal today was to start working on the basement, moving some things from upstairs to the basement, and collecting some things that need to be given to Goodwill. All that changed yesterday afternoon when I finally relented to have the leaves in the yard raked by a local resident who has approached me multiple times in the last month. I only had four leaf bags in the basement, not nearly enough to get the job done. So this morning afternoon, I will be going to Lowe’s to buy more bags. I am supposed to call the guy to come back to finish the job for which I gave him $20, but I just may use this as an excuse to get exercise today…

After Three Drinks I Was Only Half Done
I got about half of my Christmas cards written out last night. With the completion of my third beer I convinced myself to hold off writing the rest until tonight.

ITP Flickr Pic
“It’s That Time Of Year” (Atlanta, Georgia, United States)

It's That Time Of Year
It should come as no surprise that I am once again sending out Frank Lloyd Wright themed Christmas cards.

Eyeing Things Up
This afternoon I will to going back to Colony Square, this time for my annual eye exam. While I am there I am going to inquire about the lump on my eyelid, as well as ask my optometrist if he can recommend an ophthalmologist. Even though the thought of having someone look at, and perhaps perform a medical procedure on, my eyelid scares the shit out of me I think that it behooves me to do this.

What Am I Doing This Weekend?
I’m not sure yet.

I know that I am not going to, and may not even be spending the time watching, the SEC Championship Game. I just can’t imagine Florida having any chance of beating Alabama.

It’s unlikely that I will be re-launching my street hockey career on Sunday because as I write this the weather forecast is a high of 48°F and 100% chance of rain.

Whatever you have in mind I hope that it makes for a great weekend.

Paulie [eatl/ga]


One more month of 2016. Let’s get this shit over with and try to make 2017 wonderful (assuming it will be possible with the person who will be taking over the reins, or is that reign, of our country). Apparently the new month and chillier morning temperatures inspired me to do no more than stay in bed today.

The $20 Lunch, Gas Not Included
I drove up to some place known as “Peachtree Corners” for lunch yesterday. Okay, to be fair I’ve been there before; I’ve even been to this restaurant.

The reason I drove all that way was to meet up with former coworkers for lunch at Kool Runnings, obviously a Jamaican restaurant. As I do when I eat Jamaican I ordered oxtail. I went large, as this was to be my one “big” meal of the day, by ordering the $16.99 platter. All in all I spent over $20 for lunch. It was like I was employed again! Was the meal worth the price? No, but it was amazingly tasty.

I took no photo of my meal for fear of retribution. What? Well, you see I’d have to post the photo to Instagram and it would be seen by my friend Darren, who is Jamaican. Darren is currently spending time in Miami, and if I know him he would have posted a photo of a lovely looking person wearing a bikini. I don’t think my heart could have taken that hit, especially after eating oxtail.

(Barely) ITP Flickr Pic
“Third Rail Studios” (Doraville, Georgia, United States)
Third Rail Studios
(I wish that I could have pulled out more detail in the sky, but it was really that gray)
Apparently I drove right through the tornado warning area on my way back ITP from Peachtree Corners. The rain was torrential, and my phone issued a National Weather System warning on the drive.

Afraid of tornadoes, as well as car-damaging hail, I made it to the Doraville MARTA station and pulled into their parking garage. Was I “safe”? Not really, but safer than I would have been otherwise.

Want to know the worst place to wait out a tornado warning? A train station. Why? Because you know what is always described as the sound of an oncoming train? A tornado.

Okay, it wasn’t that bad. And, I got a photo for today’s blog.

Hockey Stick Economics
I GET IT! I live in a city that has pissed away two, yes two, NHL teams! And because I live in this hellscape I am unable to walk into a big box sporting goods store, honestly I think Dick’s is the only one left, and purchase a hockey stick.

But why would I want to do such a thing? Am I swatting squirrels? Do I need an extended-handle backscratcher? No, I intend to play hockey, street hockey!

When I was at Revolution Doughnuts the other day I saw a poster for Atlanta Street Hockey, a rag-tag bunch of people who play twice a week. They play goalie-free pickup games on foot (which is good because old men like me don’t belong on skates), and the best thing is that they play at Walker Park which is about a mile from the ITP Estate!

The problems? It’s been about forty years since I’ve owned any hockey gear. Yesterday I stopped in to two Dick’s locations, no luck. And then I remembered Play It Again Sports. For $9 I picked up a (unfortunately right-handed) stick. If I decide that I want to pursue this sport more I’ll look into getting a left-handed stick, as well as some protection for my hands and shins. Given the popularity of lacrosse I should be able to find these items fairly easily.

Stay tuned!

ITP Movie Night
After waiting out the weather I popped into the Chamblee Public library for a while. I did some Swift programming and checked out two movies — Chef, Her.

I watched “Chef” last night; I must be on some sort of Scarlett Johansson kick. Nope, I wouldn’t, she has tattoos… Anyway I agree with the masses who score “Chef” as 7.3 out of 10.0. The movie was good, but nothing spectacular.

ITP Christmas Card Night
Since I’ve received my first Christmas card of the season (thanks ITP-Reader Stacy!) I will be spending tonight at home drinking up a storm, the only storm I hope to see today, listening to some cranked up Christmas carols, and writing out my Christmas cards.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Yes, the “Cheers” is back! I retired it through the end of November because frankly I wasn’t feeling very cheery. This is my attempt to rectify this.

Nothing To Say Today

I have nothing. My big day will be composed of writing software and driving up to Duluth to have lunch with friends.

I will try again tomorrow.

Enjoy the rain if we get any.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Winners And Losers

We are all a bit of both…

Winner: Me, regarding food. I ate an amazing doughnut with coffee for breakfast yesterday:
A Great Way To Start My Day
Yes, that is a bacon, salted-caramel doughnut…

(Minor) Winner: Me, regarding the Swift programming language. I followed breakfast up with a productive morning of work at the Decatur Public Library learning Swift. Slowly, but surely, I am dragging myself kicking and screaming into the world of Swift development.

Loser: Victory Sandwich Bar, because for some unexplained reason they were not open at lunch time yesterday. I was going to eat lunch there, but alas could not.

Winner: Raging Burrito, who was open. I ate a Raging Cajun burrito and because it was Monday (lunchtime) I received free chips and salsa. As an added bonus I heard an old song from “A Fir-Ju Well” the Atlanta band which is currently known as “Gringo Star”.

Loser: Me, regarding exercise and weight loss. Well, maybe not. I did manage to walk over five miles yesterday afternoon! Unfortunately my shins are hurting today. I also overdressed because for some reason I thought that it was going to be chilly outside and was uncomfortable for most of the walk.

Loser and Winner: Me, bar bingo. I met up with Hank last night at Lucky’s Burger and Brew for a few beers, and because it was Monday night some Bar Bingo. I tied with two others in the “Four Corners” game, ultimately losing the $10 house cash in a three-way draw. However, I tied with Hank and another guy in the final “Cover Them All” game and won that tiebreaker. I picked up a gift card for $20 in house cash, and I think that I am now part of their bingo finale that they will have at some point in the future.

Winner: The Green Bay Packers. Not that I watched the entire game at Lucky’s, and because I am a certified “cord cutter” could not watch the second half when I arrived at home because it was being aired on ESPN.

Winner: Me, regarding sleep. Because I couldn’t watch the game nor was I interested in watching either of the two DVDs — Capote, Olive Kitteridge — that I picked up at the library yesterday, I went to sleep fairly early.

Loser: Me, regarding sleep. I fell asleep on the futon in the den.

Winner: Me, regarding sleep. I nearly slept all night.

Loser: Me, regarding my eyelid. It still concerns me. I have my annual eye exam on Friday and will discuss my eye with my long-time optometrist to see if he feels that I should consult an ophthalmologist.

Losers: Atlanta Media Outlets, regarding yesterday’s house fire downtown. On my walk I saw and heard two helicopters hovering over downtown. Given that it was 4pm I assumed that there was a major snarl on The Connector, however a check of Google Maps showed no such traffic slowdown. I went to the mobile websites for WSB, AJC, and WXIA, none of which had any “Breaking News” about the situation. The top stories were something happening at Ohio State, and the impending rain (as if we’ve never had a heavy rainstorm pass through these parts). Finally when I returned home I saw a story about a house fire, well, I almost saw the story because when I clicked on the link the website never showed me more information. (I just read the story) I suppose a vacant house fire in Atlanta doesn’t warrant much coverage, but then why two news helicopters, when you consider all of the other pending concerns in this country.

Loser: Me, regarding dating. I realized that this past weekend marked the thirteenth “anniversary” of Jeannie ending our relationship by moving out. It was certainly nice having someone express interest in me this year, unfortunately that didn’t work out. I need to figure out how to not go so long until this happens again (because frankly I don’t have that many years left!).

Winner: Me, regarding finances. I managed to get through “Black Friday” / “Cyber Monday” hell purchasing only three things. I bought two books on Swift programming (investing in my professional future) and some nice-smelling, beer-based soap from Red Beard Brand (investing in my personal future if I ever again meet someone to date).

Loser: Me, regarding German homework. I had two weeks to get all of my German homework done. Class is tonight. Wanna guess what I will be doing today?

Have a great (and wet!) day friends.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Almost Every Day Is A Cyber Day

I don’t subscribe to “Black Friday” nor “Cyber Monday”. They are both just marketing bullshit to me. I did my best to quit social media for entire weekend; I lasted until Sunday.

Hello again.

The Long Weekend
It was good meeting up with ITP-Readers Barb and Steve for lunch at Steam House Lounge on Friday. On Friday evening I watched Lost In Translation.

Saturday was a self-imposed day of being alone. I don’t like being single, especially around the holidays. I decided that I shouldn’t spring my bad mood on anyone else, so I stayed in all day. I took the opportunity to cook up a mess of food that I had in the house — a pork tenderloin, leftover vegetables (carrots, yams, parsnips), a box of stuffing, the makings of a green bean casserole, and a can of cranberry jelly — and celebrated “Selfsgiving”. With dinner I watched Up. I’ve always wanted the relationship depicted in “Up”.

My original plan for Sunday was to go to the Black Sheep Hash, after all the start was a mere few miles from the ITP Estate. I wasn’t thrilled with the special instructions to bring flashlights, but I was still going to go. My plan changed when I received a better offer from ITP-Reader Stacy who invited me to join her and Aron at Red Brick Brewing. I even performed a good deed when I found someone’s debit card at an ATM on Collier Road and called the bank to ensure that the card was canceled; the card’s owner had already done the deed.

ITP Flickr Pic
“Fall Is Here” (Atlanta, Georgia, United States)
Fall Is Here
The sun was striking the leaves on the Japanese maple in the backyard, si I had to go out and take a photo.

On Sunday afternoon I was feeling bothered with my weight so I decided to do something about it. I went out for a three-mile walk and in the process passed this:

“What I Hate About Atlanta, Or Perhaps ‘Progress'” (Atlanta, Georgia, United States)
What I Hate About Atlanta, Or Perhaps "Progress"
From the looks of the mailbox I am sure that 1966 Braeburn Cir SE was run down, but this city loves demolishing old houses and putting multiple houses in their place. Soon Atlanta will have been a city in an urban forest.

I Almost Have A Useable Dining Room Table
I’m finally making progress on cleaning out the ITP Estate. In doing so I am a few items away from having a cleared dining room table, you know that place I am supposed to be able to eat a meal.

If You Want A Christmas Card, Make Sure I Have Your Mailing Address
Perhaps I will use the cleaned-off dining room table to write out my Christmas cards. This will happen this week.

Back At The Library
When you read this I should be ensconced at the Dekalb Public Library in Decatur. I need to return the two movies that I watched over the weekend, as well as dedicate my day to learning Swift programming. Breakfast was a highly-unhealthy doughnut from Revolution Doughnuts, and I am trying to decide to which Decatur restaurant I will walk for lunch. Decisions. Decisions.

Hope that you had a wonderful weekend.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Trying To Be Thankful

I realize that in the grand scheme of things I have a little about which I should complain. Sometimes I wonder if the little things, such as the damn TPMS light which came on again while driving home last night, erode good tidings more than anything else.

For the rest of today I will attempt to stay calm and put all of my little shit into perspective.

Happy Thanksgiving to my American ITP Readers, which I believe is all of you.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Captain Impulsive Strikes Again!

Yesterday was turning out to be a slow, unproductive, day. Sure I was eating a ton of leftovers but other than doing some kitchen cleaning I wasn’t getting much done.

As I sat on my bed watching a video podcast around 1:00pm I glanced at my Apple Watch and saw that it was 61° F outside. I just had to get out and enjoy the day! I hopped onto my mountain bike and, after returning back to the house to pick up a light cycling jacket, I went out for a brilliant ninety-minute journey.

I rode through Grant Park and over to Turner Field:

“Field Of Gloom” (Atlanta, Georgia, United States)
Field Of Gloom
(This is a panorama that you can see better by clicking on it and going to Flickr. By the time you read this I may have uploaded a few more shots I took around the field formerly known as the home of the Braves.)

I joked with one of the women who was working at Turner Field. “Uh oh, it looks like someone stole one of your statues.” I said. “Oh no, we’ve already moved some.” she replied. Obviously she didn’t get my attempt at humor.

I rode up to, and then by, The Georgia State Capitol:

“Gold Dome Politics” (Atlanta, Georgia, United States)
Gold Dome Politics

I wound my way around Georgia State and then headed east and north. I made it over to Krog Street Market and rode some of the belt line, jumping off at Freedom Parkway.

As I rode the path of Freedom Parkway I picked up marks of a hash of yore (actually I think I saw my first hash arrow when I was closer to Georgia State). Much as I do when I am actually running/riding a hash I managed to lose trail, this time in a parking lot inside Candler Park. I searched for marks briefly and then gave up.

From Candler Park I managed to ride to Clifton Road, where I proceeded south and made a beeline back to East Atlanta.

In all I rode about ninety-minutes and covered almost fourteen miles! YAY ME!

What Are We Going To Do Today, Brain?
Same thing we do every day, Pinky…

Actually today I am going to attempt to get some Swift learning done. Rumor has it that the Raleigh Royalty will be rolling into town at some point in the day. If so I shall be headed over to Tucker, or whatever the neighborhood in which Sani is currently living is called for a little pre-Thanksgiving celebration.

I’m also going to try and follow ITP-Reader Barb’s advice in regard to buying a new non-stick frying pan by going to Tuesday Morning, TJ Maxx, and/or Ross. It’s not that I think people will be snatching up all of the frying pans for Christmas gifts, but I really don’t want to be a part of Christmas-time shopping if I don’t have to be.

Given that it’s been many years since I’ve gone to the end of the half-marathon, and many more since I was fit enough to run the half marathon, there should be a blog post tomorrow. Come back and find out, won’t you?

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Interesting Finds

Today marks the four-month anniversary of me being out of work. On July 22nd (my birthday, btw) I started this journey by getting on a bus headed to Iowa. To say it’s been an interesting four months is an understatement.

I Wondered
After I finally got myself moving yesterday I headed out to eat lunch and go over to the westside. I ate two humongous slices of pizza at Baby Tommy’s Taste of New York (whose website was too pedestrian to link to), who have unfortunately removed all of the New York sports-related memorabilia from their midtown location, and then drove over to IKEA. I had no particular need from IKEA but I had in interest in finding out how far one would walk when going through the maze that is IKEA — the answer, including walk from/to my car, is 0.95 miles.

On Target
From my near-one-mile walk inside IKEA I drove over to Target. As I mentioned yesterday while I was perusing the sale DVDs I overheard two young women speaking German.
“Can I Interest You In Ménage À Trois?” (Atlanta, Georgia, United States)
Can I Interest You In Ménage À Trois?
Knowing that I still would not be able to have a conversation in German I took the high road and walked away. Oh the wine? That was already in my shopping bag prior to encountering the women, it’s just a convenient joke.

From Target I procured all of the ingredients needed to make an American classic for Thanksgiving, a green bean casserole.

Here is a funny SNL skit about Target that ITP-Reader Lisa sent me yesterday.

Fulton County? Really?
I visited not one, but two libraries yesterday.

My first stop was in Kirkwood, where I discovered that the Kirkwood Public Library is part of the Fulton County Public Library system and not Dekalb’s as I had assumed. After all, Kirkwood is about a mile or two east of the Fulton/Dekalb county line. I didn’t stay long inside the Kirkwood library since it was much smaller than I expected and I couldn’t find a good place to set up to work.

My second stop was the library in Decatur. I did manage to set up there and proceed to frustrate myself by attempting to learn Swift for a few hours.

What’s Up Bingo Guy?
While sitting in the Decatur library I received some text messages from my friend Hank and we agreed to meet up for a couple of beers at Lucky’s Burger And Brew in Emory Village.

As luck would have it Monday night is also Bingo night at this location. Since I am now seasoned veteran of the game I happily grabbed a card and joined in the play.
“For Mom” (Atlanta, Georgia, United States)
For Mom
An added bonus for the night was hat I actually won a game, earning a $10 gift card!

In picking up my winnings I gave the emcee my ITP gmail address and mentioned that I also owned this URL. A few minutes later he laughed and told me that he was looking at this site. So, if you’ve come back again — hey Bingo guy!

Keine Deutsche Klasse Heute Abend
The Goethe Zentrum is closed this week in honor of American Thanksgiving. Therefore, I have no class tonight. Perhaps I’ll use my free time to actually do some of the German homework that would have been due tonight if class were being held.

Have a great day friends!

Paulie [eatl/ga]

So Many Things In Flux

For a person such as myself who enjoys consistency and routine this year has been tumultuous.

Change In The Weather
Friday afternoon I headed out for happy hour around 3pm. Why so early? Because my plan was to walk the five miles from the ITP Estate to The Vortex in Midtown. My plan fell through when only two miles into the walk, and at the Inman Park / Reynoldstown MARTA station, I was already sweating. I hopped the train and finished my journey by jumping off at North Avenue and walking the rest of the way.

Happy hour was fun. Since the colder weather had yet to arrive we sat outside to avoid the stench of cigarettes that lingers within The Vortex. I nearly pulled a Margret Mitchell by having to dash across Peachtree in order to hail my Lyft whose driver never saw me waving my hands in the air like I just didn’t care from the other side of the street. He was an “interesting” driver, telling me all about his previous drug-abusing life on the drive from Midtown to East Atlanta.

Suffice to say that I could’ve done that walk on either weekend day without sweating nearly as much.

Slow, Cold, Weekend
The only time I left the ITP Estate this weekend was on Saturday to do some regifting/recycling. On Saturday afternoon I drove two boxes of “things” to Goodwill on Piedmont and dropped them off. From there I drove up to Target and Home Depot on Sidney Marcus to attempt to recycle some batteries; apparently that’s not a “thing” any longer. After failing that task I drove up to the Pearle Vision near Lenox Mall where I dropped off two pair of old prescription eyeglasses that are no longer useful for my eyes. Pearle collects glasses and when they have a boxful they ship them off to One Sight who repurposes them.

ITP Flickr Pic
“Ministry Of Funny Walks” (Atlanta, Georgia, United States)
Ministry Of Funny Walks
I purchased this mobile online a few years ago. While smaller in scale than I thought when purchasing it, it amuses me. I am posting this today to remind myself that in the face of adversity that I need to smile and laugh more.

Land Of Ancient Technology
Since I was hanging around the house on Saturday I dusted off two “ancient” technologies — a portable CD player, and a Blu-Ray player. While I was gathering the things to box up for Goodwill I played a few CDs on my living room stereo. It’s been a long time since I listened to music this way and it sounded great. Later in the evening I decided that I didn’t want to watch any more college football so I fired up the Blu-Ray player and watched a DVD’s worth of TV Funhouse, a show I used to watch on Comedy Central back in the early 2000s.

My only regret on Saturday night is that I fell asleep before remembering to use the oldest electronic media in the house — radio. It’s been far too long since I listened to H. Johnson’s “Jazz Classics” show on WABE.

Cook’em If You Got’em
Staying home on Saturday and Sunday also lent itself to doing some cooking. On my way home from doing aforementioned chores on Saturday I popped into the Kroger near Emory and picked up some groceries. On Saturday night I cooked some sausages and toast for dinner. Yesterday I microwaved some frozen pancakes for breakfast, made sausage/chicken jambalaya (from scratch) for lunch, and heated up a large can of potato soup and ate it with some frozen biscuits as my dinner.

Medical Update
My medical situation hasn’t changed. Unfortunately this means that I still have the lump on my eyelid and will forever unless I do something drastic. And it was a good thing that I didn’t watch the Florida v. LSU game on Saturday because I’m certain that my heart would’ve stopped toward the end of the game.

My mom is now in a physical rehabilitation facility. If all goes as planned I will be around Atlanta for Thanksgiving. Assuming the Thanksgiving plans don’t change I will be eating at Sanitary’s house as I’ve done for about the last handful of years.

Hope your Thanksgiving week starts off well.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

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