Sunday, February 27, 2005

My Dad Is Sad

My parents, brother, and sister-in-law came to visit this weekend. It was not an uplifting visit.

My father was injured at work two years ago and he's never fully recovered. Not knowing the intimate details, I can only say that from a distance, it appeared as though he never got the appropriate medical care he needed right from the start. It was a messy situation - he worked for my uncle who tried to claim that he had a stroke and therefore workman's comp shouldn't cover the injury and treatment. My father was out of work for nearly a year and did not get good follow-up care.

Now he's back at work, but since he never fully recovered, it's very difficult for him. Now he's losing his balance and sometimes has double vision. Not good for a man who drives heavy equipment for a living.

So they are still fighting with workman's comp over bills and treatment and now there is talk of making him permanently disabled which sounds like it would be fine, except that he is scared to death that they will take away his driver's license. If he can't drive the big trucks, does that mean he can't drive his own vehicle?

We see the difference - in driving the big rig he needs to climb in and out of the truck repeatedly, and it's much more difficult to drive such a large vehicle. But does that mean he can't drive his own car? My father is not much of a talker to begin with, but he was practically mute this weekend. Just sitting and stewing and worrying and wondering and there's not a damn thing I can do.

Friday, February 25, 2005


I'm not sure how I feel about this.

When I was a senior in high school I took an English class where during one marking period, all we did was work on a research paper. My topic was euthanasia. Back then, it was all about Karen Ann Quinlan. A few years after I wrote that paper, my 16 year old cousin came back from overseas and very suddenly and rapidly her health deteriorated and she fell into a coma. They really never were sure what happened, but it was some sort of infection where her brain swelled.

She 'lived' that way for over 20 years. Last spring, she finally passed away.

I take it back. I do know how I feel about this. I think they should remove the tubes and machines and let her go.

On another note ... as I was googling 'euthanasia' and trying to remember Karen Ann Quinlan's name, I came across this site. Are they for real?!? Some really strange stuff going on in Somerville MA ... I much prefer The Somerville Gates.

Getting My Goat

I watch the Today show every morning as I'm getting ready for work. I really do enjoy Katie, Matt, Al and Ann but this week I'm a little bothered by some of their shenanigans.

First of all, I understand that the Today show isn't news. They are part of the entertainment division. And that's what it is when I view/listen in the morning - entertainment with the actual newsbreaks serving as commercials. So I really shouldn't expect that this be hard-hitting journalism.

Case in point:

They ran a little series this week on trading places. I don't even know what they called it - it was so important that they didn't even highlight it on the website - but basically members of 'America's First Family' all tried their hand at a different occupation for a day. Now, I really didn't expect them to tackle anything tough or truly meaningful. I mean, I wouldn't want an inexperienced person providing health care or processing my business loan or repairing the wiring in my home.

So I give Matt Lauer props for going to work with members of the Department of Sanitation. He got down and dirty hauling trash. And this after last week's week-long series on germs. Apparently Matt is a real germ-o-phobe so his hitching a ride on the back of a garbage truck and slinging dog shit and avoiding 'disco rice' (maggots) was truly a test of his character.

Ann did something with a stunt plane pilot and Al tried his hand at dealing blackjack. Big whoop. But this morning's clip with Katie really got my goat.

I actually liked Katie Couric but now I'm beginning to think not so much. I don't dislike her, I'm just losing a little bit of respect for her because, well, she's going Hollywood. The designer clothes, the jet-setting trips, the appearances in movies and sitcoms - she's going Hollywood baby. So this morning she tried to pick something real and down to earth. She went to a goat farm to see what it was all about.

Had she gone to a regular goat farm I wouldn't have been bothered. But no - she had to go to a designer goat farm! That's right - the goat farm she chose to visit was Coach Farm. Coach Farm is the retirement dream for Miles Cahn and his wife, Lillian, founders of the Coach Handbag Co. (or Coach Leatherware; not exactly sure what the full original name of the company was). They sold the company to Sara Lee in 1985 and retired to the Coach Farm in Pine Plains, about two hours north of New York City.

And that was where Katie chose to go milk the goats. You could tell that the staff didn't think much of her. She was trying to chit-chat with one of the workers, a woman who I don't think spoke much English, and the woman just sort of ignored her. But Katie giggled and tee-heed her way through the bit. No doubt about it - Coach Farm makes great cheese and it's a fascinating story in and of itself. Miles and Lillian Cahn, who are 84 and 82 years old respectively, genuinely love their little farm. But somehow I think it was cheapened by Katie's visit.

I've got a whole other rant on how I was duped by their series on autism, but that will have to wait for another post.

Thursday, February 24, 2005


I specifically bought a 20 oz bottle of Diet Pepsi at lunch today, thinking "I'm 0-4; this one has got to be a winner." Nope. I'm now 0-5 in the hunt for a winning Pepsi iTunes bottle cap.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

So Close!

You know how I have these fantasies of winning the lottery? Well, last week I got an email message saying my email address was one of ten chosen from 50 million and I had won $1,000,000. Imagine my excitement! Of course, I immediately suspected it was a scam, but something made me take the bait and at least respond to that first email.

I said "Sure, send me my $1,000,000" and waited. The response I got follows. As expected, they are 'requesting' a processing fee of $850 euros and proof of my identity. I should have known by the name of the law firm that it was all a hoax - "BejusbejusLaw"? All I can think is "BeJesus" or "Beetlejuice" But hey, if anyone else wants to front the $850 euros in the hopes of scoring $1,000,000, be my guest:

Dear Winner,
We acknowledge the receipt of your email with request to file for the lottery-winning prize,our ultimate concern is to ensure that winners get their winnings prize.
1,The consultation fees and handlings cannot be deducted because your winning prize is covered with HIGH INSURANCE POLICY.

2,we need your scan international passport or identity, the tax office here in nederland want to verify your age, as you may know any winner that is below 18year is disqualified from recieving his winning prize.

3,The attachs claim form is the payment scheme(A4) which must be completed,and email back to us as an attachment /via fax back to us.a compulsory fees of eight hundred fifty euros in cash (850euros)only.this is what we charge before processing your winnings.
After your the receipt of payment to us the tax office and the paying bank will
contact you in the next 72hours
You are required to send 850euros via western union money transfer with the name of the acountant below: OKODUWA HENRY PATRICK
Amsterdam -The Netherland
Best regards,
Advocate:Mrs. G.F Saskia
Dr John Peter
TEL:+31 626 448 919
FAX:31 847 396 077
FAX +31 847 371 497

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Prize Claim Form

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Gmail's Siren Song

I have a gmail account and the lure was 1G of space - no need to trash anything! Ever!

Yeah, right.

How did I manage to already use up 5% of that gig of space? And that's without spam, which fortunately has been almost non-existent in my gmail accounts. How is it that I've already used 46MB of space? It's because I don't bother trashing anything. Exchange a few photos, swap a song or two and all of a sudden, that gig of space doesn't look so big anymore.


One more thing in my life that I need to unclutter.

What Are The Odds?

Last year, when I did not own an iPod, I got oodles of those winning Pepsi caps. This year, now that I have an iPod, I can't pick a winner to save my life. The bottle proclaims that "1 in 3 Wins a FREE Song on iTunes" yet I've now purchased four such bottles and not a single winner.


The Somerville Gates

A former Bostonian shared this with me - a miniature installation of The Gates. Not as imposing at The Gates in Central Park, but inspired nonetheless.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Forced Productivity

Being a state worker, I have the day off today, so I'm home and not On Company Time. When I went to fire up the computer this morning - nothing. My internet connection was out. For about a half hour there, I thought I would be forced to address the issues I've avoided for the past two days - the remainder of the Christmas decorations, the sheets and towels I need to wash before my family comes to visit this weekend, the half-hearted attempt to puruse the classified ads for a new job, the preparation of my paperwork for taxes, the survey of the kitchen to see what I need at the grocery store etc. But as you can see, my connection is back up and once again I have a way to avoid what really matters in life. Interestingly enough, though, I do think I'm actually going to tackle those issues after I publish this post.

It snowed overnight, and is still snowing now. The weather forecasters have finally settled on a prediction - three to six inches. For a while there, it was anything from 5-10 to 4-8. I can handle six inches. [Insert your euphemism comment here.]

I may have fixed my computer issues. The final step was downloading Firefox which I am now using as my browser [insert Barrie's chortle of glee here]. I had downloaded Firefox about a year ago, but when I had monitor issues last April, the technician removed it from my hard drive, and I just hadn't bothered to reinstall. The morons at work insist on using Lotus Notes for everything (including web page production and editing - can you believe it?!?), and the only way to remotely access email was to use IE. I suddenly realized that I didn't give a flying fuck about my work email when I was at home, so I don't need to use IE, do I? Besides, those of you in the know have my personal gmail address and/or phone, so if you really wants to get in touch with me when I'm not On Company Time, you know how.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Harder Than It Has To Be

Why do I make things harder than they have to be?

All I needed to do was take down the last of the Christmas decorations, the lighted garlands around my windows and running down the steps. Simple, right? Not in this house. I had to bring up the Rubbermaid totes that I store things in. The totes were covered in dust from being in the old dirt part of the basement all last year. I had to rinse them off, didn't I? And then, after I'd carefully removed the last of the decorations and stowed the garlands in the totes, when I went to put them back where they belonged, I couldn't just put them in the corner, could I?

No, I had to get out the broom and try to sweep up some of the dust. I don't know where it comes from, but it's this fine dust that immediately swirls in the air and creates a choking cloud. I literally can see it on my clothes.

I still haven't finished putting things away.

Live and Learn

Reason # 69 for not visiting p*rn sites: your computer gets infected with all sorts of spyware and pop-up advertisements and you can't get rid of them even after you've downloaded the most recent version and run SpyBot five times.

Any other freeware I should try?

UPDATE: I downloaded AdAware and after two hours, one unintended nap, 200,000+ files scanned and 199 critical objects found, I thought I had resolved the problem. Performance seemingly back to normal, but wouldn't you know - I'm still getting the damn pop-ups! And there is this annoying search box that keeps peeking up from my bottom taskbar. Grr. I'll keep working on it.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Temporary High

I've never had an addiction. I drink occasionally and I don't smoke or do drugs. I don't even drink coffee, although I do sometimes feel a need for caffeine which I get through drinking diet coke/pepsi (I don't really discern between the two - I'll take whatever is offered). I can count the number of times I've smoked pot on one hand.

But I do know what it feels like to crave something and the rush you get when you've indulged in your desire. In that moment, chocolate has never tasted so good, strawberries have never smelled as sweet, and your body has never felt this good. You are strong, confident, and assertive. On top of the world. Nothing can bring you down.

And then it happens. The temporary high is gone and you come tumbling down. Sometimes like a leaf, floating and twisting and turning in the breeze. Sometimes like a dead weight that's been dropped from high above.

I indulged in a temporary high last night, and now I'm coming down. Softly floating like that leaf turning in the wind. It's been a gentle landing, and I don't feel much regret at all.

Friday, February 18, 2005

I Had A Dream ...

... actually, it was more like a nightmare!

I don't usually remember my dreams, but knowing that my housemate was going to be leaving at 4:30 a.m. for the airport, I slept fitfully and remembered this one. In fact, I think I was in that netherworld where you can actually direct your dreams, and so I forced a particular outcome.

Anyway, it was about the damn Mary Kay lady. Suddenly this small lunch to which I've been invited got transformed into this Mary Kay revival at my house. At first it was just a few ladies, but then more and more of them were showing up and they were overrunning the place. And trampling all over everything and they wouldn't leave and I was expecting the owners of the house to show up any time and so I did the only thing I could do to get their attention - I took something away from one of their babies and it started howling and screaming and I got their attention and told them yes, indeed, I had taken candy from a baby. I was that kind of person - obviously not the type of woman they wanted to hang around with, so really, could they all please leave?

Now That's A Valentine

Got a Valentine's greeting from Southwest Airlines; too bad the spam filter here at work blocked it. I'm just now reviewing all the blocked messages from the past week. Almost makes up for the Hallmark fiasco.

Speaking of which, Michael and I were supposed to go to a movie on Saturday, but last night he emailed me to say that he'd forgotten that he'd promised to take his son to the high school basketball sectionals on Saturday. I wonder if this is his way of gracefully exiting my life?

Nah, nothing is that easy.

Thursday, February 17, 2005


A Mary Kay Cosmetics consultant has captured me in her crosshairs and tomorrow I'm going to be subjected to a networking luncheon, followed by a portfolio photo session.

Mary Kay consultants - on the rung just above snake oil salesmen and boiler room brokers.

Shut Up Already

I've barely been here ten minutes and already Chatty Cathy (the one who is engaged) is driving me crazy. She was out of the office yesterday and it was so blessedly quiet. Now she's in the office next door relating the details of her trip yesterday in mind-numbing detail, and of course because she is so LOUD I can hear every word. Sometimes I just want to throttle her.

Do I sound like a cranky old lady or what?

In other news, I haven't seen my housemate since Monday. His latest conquest is in town for a few days, and after he cooked dinner for her Monday night, they slipped out of the house and I haven't seen him since. Apparently she had a hotel room which is where he stayed Monday night. I can only assume that's where he was Tuesday night and last night. I didn't even bother leaving a light on for him last night.

I heard him come in around 8:30 this morning, just before I left for work. He didn't call out to greet me, and I didn't call out to greet him. He's headed to Florida tomorrow with his daughter for winter break, so I'll have the house to myself for a whole week. I carefully concealed that fact from Michael when I met him yesterday afternoon - if he knew that Phil wasn't around you can bet that he'd be stopping by frequently. And I just don't want to go there.

Managed to politely decline his invitation to go away for an overnight. Which really sucks because I'd love to be whisked away to parts unknown by a lover if only for a single night. But Michael is not my lover and will probably never be my lover, so going anywhere with him for an overnight would just be pointless and futile.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

We Apologize ...

... this just in from - an apology for their crappy service on Monday.

I, for one, wish that they hadn't delivered a certain Valentine. Being the occasionally super-organized person that I am, sometime in January, when I was still feeling good about the budding relationship, I scheduled a Valentine's card for Michael. Then we had that little rough spot wherein he walked out on me for the third time and I thought it was Over with a capital O but he was back on email barely three days later saying "I miss you."

And I forgot I'd sent the card. And on Monday, it got delivered. It took him ALL DAY to get that sucker, but eventually he did. And now he thinks I'm really interested in pursuing him again.


We're meeting after work today, and I'm going to have to pass on the offer to go away for the weekend - the one he took back after that rough spot but which he re-issued after getting that lovely little Valentine.

Thanks a lot, Hallmark. Your apology is too little too late.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Happy Valentine's Day

In honor of this special day, my friend R gave me an orgasm.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Oh, What A Night!

The party was a huge success!

The count was up to 133 by early Friday afternoon, and the restaurant owner was literally turning people away. With walk-ins and latecomers, I'd guess there were 150 people there. From what I saw and heard, everyone had a great time. The band was awesome, and the food was spectacular. Everything exceeded my wildest expectations.

We got home around 12:30 and someone ordered pizza. I didn't think I was hungry, but I wolfed down two slices and it was around 2:30 by the time I got to bed. I knew I would wake up early, and sure enough, the headache was pounding by 5:30 a.m. I really didn't think I'd had that much to drink, but it felt like a hangover coming on. I took a handful (okay, three) of ibuprofen and hoped that the headache would go away. No such luck. I threw up for the first time half an hour later.

I tried drinking some liquid. Threw up some more. By that time Michelle was up and she encouraged me to drink some more. Threw up again. Susan got up and we chatted for awhile, and then we all tried to go back to sleep. Threw up for the third time. Everyone was awake again, and we actually all piled into my king sized bed (okay, two twins shoved together) and watched television and talked about the party. My mom called, and Michelle answered before passing the phone to Susan, who chatted briefly before passing the phone to me.

I tried drinking more liquid. Threw up yet again. Phil came downstairs and said I should try some juice, and maybe a cracker. Michelle left, and Susan was getting ready to go. Tried drinking the juice, said goodbye to Susan, and threw up again. Switched back to the clear soda, and took a phone call from Vicki. By this time it is going on 12:30 and I have been upchucking for nearly five hours.

Threw up one last wretched and, thankfully, final, time. I knew it was the final effort because it was pure bile. Crawled back into bed and dozed. Sipped a little soda, and when a whole hour went by without puking, I dared to try to eat a little banana - Phil said the potassium would help. Managed to keep three bites of banana down for an hour, and then ate three more bites. Over the course of the next few hours, I managed to eat the entire banana. Slept, watched television and just rested.

Later in the afternoon I kept down some saltines and more soda. Around 8:00 p.m. I had a small bowl of Cheerios. By 9:00, I turned out the light and went to sleep. Not the way I wanted to spend the day after such a fantastic night. Not sure what hit me - this definitely was not a hangover. Something I ate totally disagreed with me. The chex snack mix with wasabi peas? The pizza? The grapes? Or was it the mixing of fruity martinis with White Russians and rum and cokes?

No matter - nothing can take away from Friday night. Here's what I looked like before the barf bash (bare bear with me while I try to remember how to insert an image tag):


Yes, I know. I've 'outed' myself by showing a picture of The Face. And The Body. But honestly, if you looked that absafuckinlutely awesome, you'd show it off too, wouldn't you?

Thursday, February 10, 2005


Just went to the ladies room and went I went to unzip my pants - realized they had never been zipped. Uh-oh. Luckily I'm wearing a sweater over my pants, so I don't think anyone noticed.

Full house here at work - the one who is engaged had no excuse for not showing up. Heh-heh. Rain did change over to snow but just barely - the temperature was 31.6 degrees when I left the house this morning.


All that snow they predicted? Haven't seen any of it yet. The temperature remained above freezing and all it has done is rain. The temperature is dropping now so we'll get freezing rain turning into snow during the upcoming rush hour. It will be interesting to see who shows up at the office later this morning.

Good thing, too - my housemate Phil apparently spent the night at his girlfriend's place. I'll be damned if I was going to get up early and shovel so he could stroll in later this morning. What's the sense in having a male housemate if you have to do all the snow shoveling?

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Freaking Out

The one who is engaged is freaking out about the weather forecast. She said this morning "don't expect to see me tomorrow!" She gets all freaked out about driving in snow. Hello ... we live in upstate New York.

I know that you are young and you don't have much experience driving, let alone driving in the snow, but how do you expect to get experience if you refuse to even try? Her fiance took her out in a parking lot a month or so ago and showed her how to start and stop and steer into a skid. I thought she had gained some confidence. Then again, this could just be a convenient excuse to take a day off.

Hmmm ... come to think of it, I may be starting to feel a little under the weather myself ...

The Big Dig

Looks like we're gonna get walloped with another winter storm. They are now predicting about a foot of snow when all is said and done. I just knew that last weekend, with brilliant sunshine and temperatures in the high 40s was too good to be true.

Feeding The Need

I did it. I talked Brian through the process of turning on his site feed. Now you can subscribe to his feed via BlogRolling or BlogLines or any other similar RSS service.

Yeah, me!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

I've Been Slapped With A Magic Stick

10 Random songs from the Party Shuffle in iTunes:

"Wild Thing" by Tone Loc
"Santa Bring My Baby Back" by Elvis Presley
"White Christmas" by Mel Torme
"In My Heart" by Moby
"Hopeless" by Sister Hazel
"Rockaway Beach" by The Ramones
"Hand in Pocket" by Alanis Morrisette
"Jezebel" by 10,000 Maniacs
"End of the World as We Know It" by R.E.M.
"If You Steal My Sunshine" by Len

1. What is the total amount of music files on your computer?
767 songs; 3.44B

2. The last CD you bought is:
Garden State Soundtrack

3. What is the song you last listened to before this message?
"Just My Luck" by Kim Richey

4. Five songs you often listen to or that mean a lot to you.
"Looking for Something" by Vonda Shepard
"Love Song For No One" by John Mayer
"Letter Read" by Rachael Yamagata
"Heaven" by Los Lonely Boys
"Here Without You" by Three Doors Down

5. Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?
Dan - because I know he's a music buff
Phil - because we often share songs
Fish - because she just bought herself a new iPod

Monday, February 07, 2005

Dig Deep

Wow, start fiddling around with your settings and you'll never know what you'll find. Here I thought that ScooterDeb, Brian and Barrie were premium members and that's why they were able to customize their Haloscan comments. Little did I know that if you drill down into the settings, you too can customize your comment prompts.

It's the little things that make me happy.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Alexander and the Terrible Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Aren't you glad that this is the total opposite of my day?

My boss actually asked me to do something today. He's giving a presentation on the 24th and he wants to do it with PowerPoint. Could I talk him through it? Gee, Boss, why don't I just do it for you? I'm not really skilled with the program, but if I open it up and spend a few minutes playing around, I can figure it out. And my boss, well, he had to have someone else program his cell phone for him.

So by the time I got around to working on it (preparing bid sheets for the silent auction at tomorrow's event took precedence) it only took me half an hour to whip up a dozen slides. I emailed it to The Boss and ducked out for lunch. When I came back, he was sufficiently impressed. Then he showed me some handouts from a conference he'd been at, and asked me to replicate (i.e. totally copy and rip off) some slides from that. Including a photo of a little old lady who gave a bunch of money to some other organization.

Faster than you can type her name into Google images, I found the photo and created the extra slides. He was blown away, and I left early for my haircut feeling like I'd actually accomplished something today.

So, got my hair cut and colored. I'm totally blonde again, and I now have a fashionable bob. Susan met me at the shop and we went together to a fantastic wine bar where we met another friend, MJ. We split a bottle of wine and a series of tapas type appetizers and talked for two hours. It was a great girl's night out. Except for that moment when we were talking as girls are wont to do, and MJ asked me about the first guy I slept with after my separation.

Without batting an eye, I told her it was John. In reality, it was my friend R - the guy she is now dating after I introduced the two of them at my last party. I think she knew, or at least strongly suspected, that I was lying. But it's not my place to tell her. It was just one friend comforting another - he was there for me in my time of need and we reached out to one another.

It's fascinating, really. He was just there for me, and that occasionally included having sex. And then I got past the worst of it, and we just stopped having sex and went back to being friends - minus the benefits. If you think that men and women can't be friends after they stop having sex, you're wrong - it is possible.

So tomorrow - the big event. Lunch with Dr. Ruth. Is it any wonder we were talking about sex over drinks? I'm in charge of the silent auction, so I have to show up at 9:30 and will be there until at least 3:30. Normally, that would be fine, but tomorrow temperatures are supposed to climb well into the 40s. I'd much rather be out and about. But hey, maybe Dr. Ruth can give me some pointers.

As if I need them.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

90 Minute Detour

All I wanted to do was download the song of the week.

But iTunes has been acting up on me, and it keeps telling me I should download the latest update or something like that. I tried, but kept getting an error. And then I couldn't even freakin' find the iTunes application on my computer.

So I did what no man would do. I read the directions.

I went to the support page and entered my error message:

1607: Unable to install InstallShield scripting RunTime

First I exposed all the hidden files. Then I tried running something at the command level. Didn't work. Read the instructions further. Discovered that sometimes doesn't work with XP. Checked the properties on the update I wanted to install. Determined which installer I needed. Tried to install. Couldn't because something else was using the program. Shut down and restarted. Tried again. Able to download and install the patch I needed. Shut down and restarted again. Double clicked the install shortcut and held my breath. It worked.

As much of a pain in the ass it was to go on this 90 minute detour, I'm proud of myself. I actually enjoy the challenge of trying to figure out how to make something work. I am a frustrated techie at heart. I really want to be a troubleshooter. I want to be able to train people to use technology to their advantage. I know this is what I want to do. I just need to find a way to put that into a cover letter and resume and somehow sneak past all the people who actually have experience doing this and convince the powers that be that even though I couldn't describe the process to you, I could follow the directions and make it work, and even better - I could and would happily do it for a fellow employee and that makes me ten times more valuable that your computer geek with the technical skills and zero personality and customer service skills.

I'll let you know if I like the song of the week.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Where's My T-Shirt?

Just got a phone call from Phil. He's in DC at the sold-out Keane concert. The band I turned him on to ... while I appreciate the 30 second serenade, what I'd really like is some concert swag.

i heart ny

My life mirrors an episode from Sex and the City.

Carrie finds out that Big is leaving New York. She wants to have one last night on the town with him, but ...

I got an email from Larry this morning. He's been busy and is getting ready to move. He says he's humbled by the many friends he's made over the past eight years. He's trying to spend as much time as possible with family, and some of his friends had a farewell party for him.

My invitation must have gotten lost in the mail.

Actually, the kind of farewell that Larry wants from me ... well, that's better done in private anyway, doncha think?