The Most Revealing ITP Ever!

(I’ve hired the guy who used to write Hell’s Kitchen titles. Isn’t this down economy awesome?!)

1996: One Year That Changed My Life Forever
For most Atlantans 1996 will be remembered as the “Year of the Centennial Olympic Games,” for me that event is merely a footnote. In January of that year I began dating someone with whom I was enamored. There was one slight problem — we worked together, on the same project no less.

Things moved really fast. She was beautiful and a workout fanatic. With her I shared a personal trainer and began running somewhat seriously. By March we were spending every day together and I had sent in an application to run my first organized race, the Peachtree Road Race 10k. We trained together and things were going well.

In May we fled Atlanta to avoid Freaknick ’96. We took a trip to Maryland where I first met her mother. We were now spending every night together.

In late June I was informed that it wasn’t working out, I was not “The One,” I wasn’t “flashy” enough for her (an accurate statement if there ever was). We were done. However I followed through with my commitment and ran the Peachtree with her. To prove that I could run without having someone push me, I signed up for the US 10k Classic which is run on Labor Day (it would be the one and only time that I ran that Godforsaken race).

That summer of work was brutal.

By October I realized that I couldn’t stand working with her any longer. It really bothered me. And it bothered me more that I’d hear about the new guys she was dating. I quit my job. It was 1996, I was 31, and I had so much confidence in the economy and my programming skills that it just didn’t matter — I wanted out.

For three weeks I lounged around the house and watched mid-morning episodes of Matlock as I fielded job offers. And in November I took a three-month contracting job with a small startup company known as Media4.

[note: I became a full-time employee of Media4 in February of 1997, and in February of 1999 the company was purchased by the company for whom I still work today.]

Last night I received a Facebook message “Hey Paul, Is that you? How are you?” from this person. Thirteen years later. Her profile photo shows her, her husband, and three children. Thirteen years later. Still seems like yesterday to me. Where has the time gone? What have I done with my life?

If Paul Harvey were still alive I could have had him record “And now you know the rest of the story.”

ITP Flickr Pic
I spent the weekend reading, yes reading, about photography and lighting. This is one of two shots I took (okay, kept) on Saturday.
Catch Me If You Can...
This shot, along with the one I’ll post tomorrow have given me some hope. Although I still struggle. When I look at each in their larger versions they both look soft. I must not have the smooth trigger finger necessary to get incredibly sharp images even at high shutter speeds.

Count Me Out
I made a real important decision this weekend. The rain helped me decide not to go camping, although I know that people went. In fact I’m probably the only one who pussied out. The decision I made this weekend is to become completely non-committal. For me non-committal is 180Γ‹Ε‘ out of “normal,” but it’s what I’m going to become. I’m not going away, I’m no longer going to plan out my future — it’s only disappointing me to do so.

Better Late Than Never
Last week Chris Marquardt, host of the Tips From The Top Floor podcast and the guy who taught the photography workshop that I attended in Fort Collins Colorado last August, published another video from the workshop’s outing. Thankfully I am not the star, in fact I appear for no more than ten seconds of the seven-minute video. It was cool to relive that part of my trip, however.

The Amazing Race: I Knew It Was Only A Tease
Remember how last week when I said that the foreshadowing of Margie passing out would mean that Luke and Margie would not get eliminated on this week’s The Amazing Race? Looks like I was right.

I failed to correctly predict this week’s losing team, which is a shame. It’s mostly a shame because ITP-Reader Stacy and I have rekindled our “iPod Music Bet” and had Mark and Michael finished last, as I had predicted, I would be able to force her to add a song to her iPod. Stacy had a more-accurate pick with Lakisha and Jennifer, but as we saw last night it was Mel and Mike who finished in last.

In last night’s episode we see that cheaters prosper, but don’t necessarily finish in first place. Micheal (or was it Mark) tampered with the pumps at the last detour, and that combined with the fact that they had a cabbie lead them to the pit stop they were penalized with an hour wait before they could be checked in. Wouldn’t you know, fifty-six minutes later teams arrived and Mark and Micheal got to sit there and watch their finish go from first to third.

Mel and Mike would have been fine if they had only followed the pack rather then trusting their cabbie who drove them entirely in the wrong direction. It must be a lousy feeling to know that it wasn’t entirely your botch that cost you a chance at a million dollars.

Stats & Goals
Current Mood – lost
Current Music – listening to Leo Laporte’s “The Tech Guy” podcast
Website Of The Day – If your trying to find a user name that can be used across the myriad of social networks these days then a tool like Check User Names is priceless.
Mode Of Transportation To Work – my car
Exercise (b)Log – nothing
Monday Morning Weigh-In – 199 pounds

Foot Mileage – 2.5 miles, Wheel Mileage – 0 miles
Consecutive Days Of Bed-Making (Longest Streak) – 24 (27)
Vegetarian Days – 8, Carnivorous Days – 21
Marta Rides – 0

March Goals
– Complete all necessary work on my kitchen
– Lose no fewer than one pound
– Run no fewer than 30 miles
– Completely read Softbox Lighting Techniques for Professional Photographers, and Conceptual Blockbusting: A Guide to Better Ideas

2009 Goals
– Reduce my weight to 190 pounds (today’s weight was 199.5 pounds)
– Completely read the book 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die
– Earn at least $150 through photography sales in order to cover the cost for the renewal of the Jalapeño Beach SmugMug account I opened the other day.
– Save $500 for the sole purpose of donating to charitable organizations of my choice
– Attend at least one professional photography workshop

The Unmeasurable
– Continue backing up all data, including the off-site storage
– Become a proficient programmer in Objective-C (iPhone development) and Ruby on Rails (Black Sheep web page concept)
– Do not create a solution for something which is not a problem

Paulie [eatl/ga]

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18 Responses to The Most Revealing ITP Ever!

  1. Stacy says:

    So much to say today!

    1) I actually thought I had a chance of winning last night – d’oh! Of course not. And now we have to wait 2 weeks for the next one. Ah well… this is a bet I don’t mind losing when I do. You haven’t steered me wrong yet. πŸ™‚

    2) I heard you weren’t the only to back out. I can’t say I blame you; I’d have backed out as well.

    3) Thought your picture was kind of appropriate, considering ING and all this weekend.

    4) UGH! on the recontact. Yeah, that’s sort of odd. I mean, you’re OK, she’s OK, blah blah blah…but when those contacts just pop up like that, it’s always a little disturbing. Just remember that you do NOT have to respond yes to a Friend Request. πŸ™‚

  2. Stacy, I was waiting to see what song I’d have to add to my iPod today.

    Timing of the photo is coincidental. I’ve had the mannequins posed like that for months, it wasn’t until yesterday that I got my crap together to shoot them.

    No friend request, only the email. I may reply, but doubt seriously that I would accept a friend request as I don’t see the point in that.

  3. Barb says:

    It is weird getting messages from people from the past on Facebook. I haven’t yet been contacted by anyone I really don’t want to remember, but luckily for me, there isn’t that many people I really didn’t like that much. It is so easy to accept the friend request, then not “talk” to them, then eventually just delete them. Most won’t notice for a long time if ever.

    I was kind of bummed Mel & Mike got eliminated last night, the old man did so much better than I ever thought he would.

    Hey- Steve (FP) finally made his return to Wheelhopper yesterday, maybe you might grace us with your presence soon? For all the heathens, we are going to have “the God Damn Easter Hash for Christ’s Sake” on Sunday 4/12. And no, I didn’t come up with that title, I don’t want to be struck by lightning.

  4. I considered Wheelhopper yesterday. Then the photostroll that started at 8am ended around 11am, and we all decided to get lunch.

    Which reminds me… I ate lunch at Cantina el Tesoro yesterday. It is the brother/sister restaurant of Cantina la Casita. The food and atmosphere of Cantina el Tesoro were fantastic!

    I didn’t want Mel & Mike to get eliminated yet either. I was hoping the “red” heads would be going. Their “American Attitude” has turned me against them. I was hoping that they’d never find a clue in a tea drawer.

  5. Steve says:

    Barb- Thanks for a lovely WH yesterday- Little Easy and Dunkin’ Honuts get extra credit for showing me a couple of places I have never been to in East Point- pretty hard to do. And once I’m sure of the date of the big track races, I’ll let you know so you can spread the word out to all the WH’s. And I’ve already alerted the mizzus that I’m planning on riding the 300th. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get the bike to shift into the big ring.

    “Ugly Americans”, no matter how hot, are just a non-starter. Mel and Mike were just holding on to the ride as long as they could and enjoying it for all it was worth.


  6. Steve says:

    And is the restaurant in Twains backyard??


  7. Yeah, it is two doors down from Twain’s, on the other side of the cool old office building now painted purple. The house used to be a Jake’s Ice Cream in a previous incarnation.

    Also, yesterday I was stunned to see that the structures (an old office and run-down motel) which were between Twain’s and the Dairy Queen are now demolished.

  8. Martha says:

    I’ve burnt most of those past bridges to the ground, I doubt I’ll be getting any contact request from long lost boyfriends, with the exception of my 8th grade boyfriend, he’s a facebook friend.

    Heck Paulie, even I made it to the ending of WH yesterday. Jerry got to see why I don’t find him and his friends behavior, while drinking, all that bad. We went to the Standard for my post-race lunch, I had a bacon-blue cheese burger, it was huge, even after running 26.2 miles I could only eat half.

  9. Martha, you should realize by now that I can’t compete with you; you are a machine.

    By Wheel Hopper’s end I was as snug as a bug under some covers on my couch taking a two-hour nap and feeling no guilt about my laziness whatsoever.

  10. Barb says:

    I’m pretty sure there will be a “maintenance night” at Mango’s before the 300th. Bring the bike by, and get it fixed for “free”, as long as it doesn’t need parts. All you need to do is bring some beer to share.

    I just don’t get that Velodrome track racing, but Allan thinks it is very cool. And, I told him NO, he doesn’t get to buy a track bike next.

  11. Bob says:

    You did miss a good trail yesterday, I finally saw the Velodrome. I would like to go see a race but I’m sure I won’t be able to find it again. How do people on hashes remember where they are at all times? I guess I’m too busy looking for flour that I usually have NO clue where I am or where I have been.

    Martha, congrats on your sub 4 hour marathon!! In fact, it was 3:50 right?

    Easy, Dunkin, Primer, and Service, great trail! Sorry for my hasty exit, due to a communication gaff on my part I managed to anger the wife so I took the first opportunity for a ride back to my truck. Thanks Steve!

    I was contacted by an ex on facebook too, she dumped me over 10 years ago and wanted to see what I was up to? That was an uncomfortable exchange, I should have just deleted the email.

  12. Bob, along with how shortcutters actually find the end I’ve always wanted to know how people are able to remember hashes. The only times I can vaguely say
    “oh yeah and there is a such-and-such over there” are when the trails are in areas in which I’ve laid a trail. Otherwise I am clueless.

  13. Barb says:

    Bob – I figured you got a call when you were just gone suddenly.

    It was funny yesterday, Cock Blocker kept asking me, “How would I get to that Velodrome if I drove down here?”. My answer was – google it for directions, I have no idea. I enjoyed hashing for a change in an area I hadn’t been to before. When Urine Development stopped and ‘snared’ us laying trail, I was thinking…. who’s stopping & why? Don’t take our bikes!
    I’m now thinking we next need to do another ride in SW Atlanta. Not that I don’t like the SE Atlanta area, but damn, it seems every other hash is there.

  14. Martha says:

    Thanks Bob, it was around 3:51, 3:52 I think, still waiting on the official word, I was too damn tired to even notice the clock, I forgot to turn off the GPS, etc….

    Barb, there are so many hashes in SE Atlanta because so many uber-cool people live there πŸ˜‰

    Paulie, you should realize by now, I don’t give up too easy…I’ll keep hoping to see you sometime!

    I could/can never right a hash trash because I don’t remember much of anything, usually just happy to have made it to the end.

  15. romanlily says:

    You’ve just given a beautiful explanation why I no longer have a Facebook profile.

  16. debbie says:

    “What have I done with my life?”

    Filled it with cool, fun people and tons of experiences/skills/talents that you wouldn’t have time for if you had a spouse and 3 kids. There are many roads to take. Enjoy the one you’re on and don’t compare.

    Today’s lecture is now concluded. πŸ™‚

    I thnk the bitchy red head is funny but she’s leaving a swath of anti-American sentiment in her wake. I was joking that the one cab driver is probably looking for an Al Queda cell to join after meeting her. Mel and Mike are just sweet. They had such a good attitude about the 99 drawers. Loved the karma of the brothers sitting on the curb after wracking up a 56 minute lead – they irritate me. Go Margie and Luke.

  17. I know of many roads. Too many times I feel I’m on marked “Dead End.” (Which I guess we literally all are, but you know what I mean.) πŸ˜‰

    Their attitude at the drawers was great. I wonder if at that point they knew that they were doomed.

    I’m rooting for Margie and Luke. I was somewhat funny to see Mark and Michael have to sit there, I only wish that it was someone other than Tammy and Victor who took away their victory however.

    Last night I paid attention to each team’s starting time. It appear as if there was about an hour difference between first and last starters when they all headed to the airport.

  18. Maigh says:

    This *is* your most revealing post ever! I’ve had it open since the day you wrote it but hadn’t been able to find the time to comment until now.

    I’m glad you wrote this and gave us all a view into what really makes you tick and a story of how that tick came to be.

    More! (not about her maybe, but more!)

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