Josh & John

I’m still working on the updates from this past weekend. In the meantime, here’s a photo of John and me from back in high school.

Johnny and I were inseparable… we were the chill that was in the air… We stole some of those blinking construction lights and ran from cops. We took a pack of gum that was sitting in the middle of downtown Houston, outside of the Alley theatre. We called it HC gum. We spent countless hours on Johnny’s porch – talking about everything. We played guitar. We snuck out on weeknights to do nothing other than drive around in the Aerostar, drink Dr. Pepper and talk to Jimmy on the cell phone. Johnny and I talked about life. We started rebuilding a guitar. We made each other laugh when a girlfriend broke up with one of us – we made each other laugh about everything else as well. We kept each other out of trouble. We got each other into trouble. John helped me in trigonometry. I told John to grow his hair out and un-tuck his shirt.

Johnny borrowed my Dad’s truck and it was broken into. I walked into John’s house one day when his Mom had just gotten out of the shower and was buck nekked. John jumped on my back for a piggy back ride after exiting a haunted house in late October. We fell face first into a chain link fence. John and I drank too much one night – he drove us into a ditch. I got whiplash. I was pissed. I drove us home and John rubbed my neck and didn’t say a word. John and I motorsurfed. John and I played air-guitar in the car.

Johnny left me in the summer before our junior year in high school. He was the smart one – he went to college at the age of 16. He wrote me though. I wrote him back. I went to visit him in Denton. We saw Faith No More, Guns ‘n’ Roses and Metallica in Dallas. Johnny had a roommate named Ogre.

John was kicked out of T.A.M.S. He wrote me. He was upset with himself. I didn’t have much to offer other than emotional support. Johnny busted his ass and got into A&M. He joined the Corp. He shaved his head. He wrote me. I wrote him. I’ve endured tribulations – So has has Johnny. He wrote me, I wrote him.

John married Christine. I married El. Now we’re both old married farts. I can’t wait to see what kind of hell we can raise now…

Employee Morale, Save Karyn, Debt

“THE BEATINGS WILL STOP WHEN MORALE IMPROVES” reads the sign posted on the refrigerator at work.

I don’t know who tacked that sign to the ice box, but it’s pretty damn funny. From what I’ve heard, our department’s monthly ‘social’ on Wednesday was frowned upon and ended by an outside request. It was a Luau. I wasn’t in attendance as I had an appointment. I do not mean for this to sound like I’m referring to my place of employment in a negative way. I love where I work… I love the people I work with… I work at the best place in the whole world…

Credit Cards

Karyn Bosnick was on the Today Show this morning. I’m sure the publicity is going to help her out even more. What’s worse is she’s 26, she’s cute, she’s blonde [trendy do] and she’s like, totally, like bubbly – and the world now knows this, totally. I’m certain it will be only weeks until she gets enough money to pay down her debt after appearing on the most popular, nationally syndicated morning television show. I personally hope she gets an equal amount of hate mail and care packages filled with Burger King employment applications.

So far Karyn has received $4,105.84 from people who want to help her out. She stated that she receives ‘gifts’ from people who have “been there before”. Aside from cash gifts, people have sent her Monopoly money, squishy stress balls, bath soaps and pens [for writing checks to pay her bills].

Karyn like, totally told Matt Lauer that she doesn’t want to be compared to a charity – that people should like, totally give to charity before they give money to her. She says that she’s just a girl who likes Prada shoes and Gucci purses.

Give me a break. Get a part time job, and another one on top of that one. If you’re working all the time, you won’t have time to go to Bloomie’s. And just when you think you’ve worked so hard that your bones are going to split – then you can sit your poor, mistreated, lazy ass down in front of the computer and sell more of your JUNK on eBay. Then go to your neighbor’s apartment and use his computer to sell your computer. It’s called “Stuffitis” and anyone who sends Karyn any money [or gifts] is a absolute moron in my book.

I think Karyn is really clever. Her idea is novel and I wish I would have thought of it. Does that make me a hypocrite? I don’t think so. I like the idea. I would love to do something like that to pay off my student loan debt – something worth the indebtedness. It would belittle me to ask strangers to pay for my interest-accruing stuffitis. I value my integrity, not my possessions.

Elise and I don’t have a credit card. That’s the way it’s going to be. El and I are extremely happy people. El and I don’t have a lot of stuff. El and I don’t need things. El and I have a roof over our heads, modest vehicles that take us to work every morning and food in our pantry. El and I are learning to live below our means. We have each other, El and I. That’s all we need.

To save face: I want a Playstation 2. I’ve sold other things so I could have the cash to buy the PS2. I can’t justify buying a PS2 other than I just want one. One does need to enjoy life. Sometimes that involves spending money, that’s just simple economics. I’m not going to spend what I don’t have and be miserable – scared to open my mailbox or answer the phone because I owe someone else money – not because I thought I could buy now and pay later. I’ve been down that road before and I hated it.

My Dad helped me establish my good credit when I was a teenager. When I turned 16 and was legally permitted to work, I asked Dad if I could get a new car so long as I held down a job. He said “Sure”. I got a job. Mom, Dad and I went to the bank and borrowed $15k for my own set of wheels. I made my payments on time each month and I attained a good credit rating.

I moved to Austin to attend college, wet behind the ears with a good credit rating. I got a GM Master Card. I got stuck with a $5000 bill, late fees and compounded interest.

I was over $5000 in credit card debt and stuck. I tried everything that a full time college student with a part time job and a Master Card could do. I requested a hardship from the sharks at Master Card and even tried to pay off this credit card with another credit card.

I’m lucky to have two of the best parents any person could ask for. I finally broke down and asked Dad for help. Again, he helped. He paid off my credit card debt for me. This was all he had to say: “Josh, don’t do it again.” That’s all it took. I wish someone would have told me earlier on: “Don’t do it” and I would have never experienced this. Trial by fire, I guess. I know things were different when my Dad was my age – there weren’t credit cards, buy now, pay later temptations and creditor’s marketing budgets. It could have been a lot worse for your humble narrator, but believe me, lesson learned!

Trading on eBay

To somewhat amend my previous story, I’ve been doing a little trading on eBay.

I bought SSX Tricky for the PS2 (that I don’t even have yet!) John got me hooked on this game and figured it was one that I would like to own.

Last week, I bought my Dual Shock 2 controller. It came in the mail yesterday.

I also bought an ATI Radeon 7000 32mb DDR AGP graphics card last night as well. That will replace my 32mb ATI All-in-Wonder 128 PCI TV, video and graphics card. I will sell that one once I get the Radeon. Hopefully I’ll get close to $100 for it.

I’m selling two pairs of jeans. A guy emailed me today and told me he’d give me $32 for the boot cut jeans if I ended the auction early. I told him I would.

I have to go to the post office this afternoon and get a shipping cost for a guy who wants me to end my Doc Marten auction for $60. So all in all, I’m really just trading. I haven’t done the math, but I think I’ll actually make a little money.

Today was a good day, Stuffed bell peppers

For once, in a long, long while, I can say today was a good day. I think running this morning helped out a bit.

I put a pair of Docs on eBay last night. A guy emailed me this afternoon and told me he’d buy them now for $60. I told him that would be fine with me. I haven’t heard back from him yet. That made me happy – had I not put them on eBay, I probably would have given them to the Salvation Army… or returned them to the Dallas cheerleaders.

I put a little air in the trusty Shadow’s tires this morning – that made it faster and handle better.

I was swamped at work so that made the day fly by. I got a good haircut this afternoon. I don’t really worry much about my hair [style], but a good clipping can make a dude’s day.

I wrote the big check to pay off my motorcycle today – that was a huge relief.

I made some damn good stuffed bell peppers tonight – a pound and a half of once-known cow, diced carrots, a million diced cloves of garlic, chopped cherry tomatoes, an egg, a slice of bread (diced), onion, chili powder, yadah yadah. I mushed it all up, packed the meat mixture into two halved yellow bell peppers, stuck it in the oven, badah boom, badah bing, done. Good good good.

I tried to make chocolate covered Macadamia nuts. I don’t know what the hell I was doing there. Needless to say, I have a sheet pan sitting on my cutting board with a couple dozen, what look like, toddler droppings. I suck at making desserts. There’s chocolate all over the kitchen. I don’t really like eating dessert, so maybe that’s why I’m not very good at it. Now, if I could figure out the secret recipe to making good gummy bears…

Anyway – I’m just in a good mood today. I think I’ll go enjoy what’s left of it because who knows what the hell is going to happen tomorrow.

Lord of the Rings, Elise’s job, Running again, Katie Couric’s mouth

Last night Elise and I started watching Lord of the Rings. Joanne called around 10… knowing how long they talk on the phone (not that it’s a bad thing), I tried to finish watching it alone. 173 minutes – I couldn’t make it. It’s an awesome movie though! The filming really stood out – I’m not up on my cinematography lingo, but I thought the photography was awesome. We’ll start watching it again tonight from where El left off last night.

We also rented 7 Days to Live. We’ll watch that one tonight as well. I’ve decided that I’m going to watch every horror/sci-fi movie ever made [that I haven’t seen already]. Yep, that’s my goal. We picked up the very first listed video in the horror/sci-fi section at our local Ma and Pa video store. I don’t think they’re catalogued correctly though – why wouldn’t 2001: A Space Odyssey be listed before 7 Days to Live? I’m going to rent each and every one of them in order. Our local video store offers ‘rent one, get one free’ – so I figured I’d use that free rental to view their entire horror catalog. I’m going to document and critique each one as well so I can remember them.

My initial plan is to write [on paper] my critique and the film’s synopsis. Then I’ll try my hand at a movie database. I took my MS Access III class yesterday and think that this would be the perfect opportunity to build a database.

El came home last night and was upset about her job. She actually started working this week. The past three weeks have been training. From what I’ve gathered, she’s on the ‘floor’ now. She sits before a partitioned blue screen and processes student loan applications. After almost a month, most people still have questions that warrant the good ol’ raise of the hand and a ‘coach’ will come by to answer your question. She’s upset because she feels as if she’s back in grade school – she has to raise her hand if she has a question, she has to eat when they say eat, break when they say break and breathe when they say breathe. We both know it’s just a temp job, but I would hope that a hard worker such as my lovely wife would be treated with at least a small squirt of dignity. She told me it took four minutes (she timed it) to have one of her questions answered. This was only after frustration set in and she raised both hands. I think that’s awesome… present a little sarcasm where it’s due.

I’m hoping things will pick up for her. It has only been 3.5 weeks. They’ll eventually figure out that she’s worth more than her weight in diamonds and not just doing this job because she thinks she needs something to do.

In other news… I ran this morning. Man, did that feel good. I was thinking back to this time last year… I was in almost-tip-top shape. I woke up 3 hours early and ran for an hour every day. I was trying to make myself look like less of a slob for our wedding and to make myself feel good overall. I’m far, far away from being able to run non-stop for an hour, but it still felt good to get started. I need to get myself a good pair of running shoes. At the crippling old age of 26, my lower back started hurting just after I stopped running. I guess it really didn’t help that I was wearing canvas shoes either.

I don’t know why I’m compelled to mention this here, but Katie Couric’s mouth looks like a bumhole. After my jog, I walked into the apartment and caught Ms. Couric’s interview with Priscilla Presley on the Today Show. I told El: “Katie Couric’s mouth looks just like a butthole!” El said that it looked like she had been doing a lot of tanning. It looked really sick. It looked like her mouth was completely surrounded by crow’s feet. I hope the next time that Katie undergoes a colonoscopy, the doctor knows which end is up!

Baby back ribs, Mardi Gras closes, Harley Davidson rental

Tonight I made some awesome baby back ribs. They would have been awesomer (?) had I actually barbequed them. I knew when I came home that I should at least sear them on the grill – but I wasn’t up for cranking up the mini pit.

I like to call them my double-dose of Austin baby back ribs. I started marinating them last night in Lawry’s seasoned salt, garlic powder and Stubb’s Spicy BBQ Sauce. They sat in the fridge for about 18 hours. I came home from work, wrapped them in foil, stuck them on the top rack in the oven with a sheet pan full of water underneath to keep them juicy. I cooked them at 300º for an hour and a half. After pulling them out, I sopped them with some Rudy’s Sause. I really wish I had a smoker. That’s probably the first thing we’ll buy when we get a house. Actually – I don’t want to buy a smoker… I want to build my own. I’ve already drawn out a diagram.

Anyway – nothing new or exciting happened today. It was just another Monday. I hate Mondays.

I found out on Friday that Mardi Gras Seafood Cafe has closed – or actually moved out of town to Canton. Good riddance. Good grief, that place was horrible. I told Chas that I would be willing to go back and try their food again [I was only out for a free meal] – I’m glad I don’t have to do that. Seriously… Mardi Gras Seafood Cafe had the most horrible food I have ever tasted. Mardi Gras Seafood Cafe’s food was disgusting. I hated Mardi Gras Seafood Cafe’s food. Sorry – just want to make sure this entry gets a high ranking in Google. Innocent people need to research this place before they eat there and endure an episode of life threatening excrementation. Sorry, that was gross – but so was the food. Chas… you might be a good cook [only if you weren’t cooking the night we ate there] – I hope you didn’t follow those people to Canton.

Enough slandering. El and I are going to try to rent our Harley this weekend. My friends from Vidbook gave me a gift certificate for a 24 hour, unlimited mileage, big V-twin Harley Davidson motorcycle rental for a wedding present. I need to call Eagle Rider tomorrow and reserve my scooter. We’re looking forward to it. El said she wants to ride out to Enchanted Rock. I don’t really care where we go… FTW.

Playstation 2, Sub Zero

What a weekend. Elise and I had a lot of fun on Friday. We stayed up really late, just hanging out on the porch and talking. It was a great way to start the weekend. El spent most of the evening just telling me how great I was and how much she loved me – she talked about my ‘cute’ id·i·o·syn·cra·sies. My wife is pretty amazing.

So… seeing how we stayed up so late on Friday, we slept in pretty late on Saturday. We woke up, lazily watched a little tele and went to Subway for lunch. Shortly after eating, Tommy called and asked if we were leaving soon. Tommy acquired tickets to the 93.3 FM birthday party at Sub Zero in Austin. Elise and I hopped up, got dressed and headed to Austin. We stopped to pick up Philip and headed to Sub Zero. We received the V.I.P. treatment… we got name badges, three free drink tickets per person, free Asian marinated meatballs, mini roast beef sandwiches and vanilla cake.

Jeremy and Victor accompanied Tommy. Shortly after arriving, Tommy and Victor left the club to seek ‘companions’ for the evening. They found two young ladies and brought them back to the club. Needless to say, they weren’t very entertaining, so everyone pretty much established that they weren’t of much benefit to our ensemble. They eventually left. The six of us decided to leave Sub Zero after inhaling helium from the birthday balloons and chiming “Follow the yellow brick road” and making nunchucks out of glowsticks. We went to Paradox. We didn’t last long. It was getting late – it was time for a night cap and for El and I to head back to bustling Temple.

We all went back to Tommy’s and philosophized about domestic affairs loud enough to wake up the next door neighbor. After that, it was time to go home.

Elise and I got home late. We slept in [again] and went to Walmart to get some odds and ends as well as a few grocery items. We came home, I watched some cheesy documentary on Eminem and the last series of AMA superbike racing (Kawasaki ZX7 won!!!)

For once, we had a weekend that was actually long. Now it’s time to go to bed and watch the clock – waiting for next weekend.

Oh yeah, looks like I will be getting the PS2. Mom sent me a couple links to some eBay auctions for PS2’s. I decided not to buy a PS2 on eBay because I wouldn’t have the comfort of returning it to a store should something be wrong. Instead, I bid on a Dual Shock 2 controller (a stock PS2 only comes with one controller). A Dual Shock controller retails at $24.99 – I won a brand new, factory sealed controller for $6.99.

Kirk, Osbournes caricature

I was checking out my buddy Kirk’s site today and came across some of his newer caricatures. I think Kirk is pretty darn good at this form of art. I’m hoping one day, whenever I get my Kawasaki ZX7R, I can get him to do some custom airbrushing on my helmet. He’s trying to pull in a little extra cash from his two sites, and

Kirk was the ‘original’ multimedia editor at Vidbook and trained Reid and me. Luckily we all keep in touch after we all lost our jobs – usually to just say “hey”, or engage in geek-talk and exchange JavaScripts and design ideas.

If you’ve got some extra cash under the couch cushions, I’m sure Kirk wouldn’t mind the work! kirktoon_2000 at

Titles and Elise graduates Magna Cum Laude

I have to interact with a lot physicians here at work. I really wish that they would all introduce themselves as doctors. I hate meeting someone and not knowing if they’re a doc right off the bat. I try to be polite and feel them out so I’ll know whether or not to refer to them as Dr. Soandso. So far, that has worked out okay. I wouldn’t hesitate to ask if he or she was a doctor if I wasn’t certain. If I spend four years in med school after earning my bachelors degree, then four years as an intern, two years as a resident, two years as a fellow and was hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt with school loans, I would make sure you called me Doctor, thank you very much…

I wish I had some cool initials that I could put at the end of my name. Maybe for web development I could be Josh D. Janicek, W.D. Or WWW Josh Janicek. I’m probably not versed enough to have earned my doctorate, so I’d probably just be Josh Janicek, L.W.P. (Licensed Web Practitioner) or something like that.

Speaking of high degrees and respectable professionals. I’m proud to announce that Elise has earned a 4.0 on all of her skills tests at Sallie Mae. She was informed yesterday that she was the only one to achieve such a high score in her group. She told me on day one that it was her goal to get 100’s on all of her tests during her training – and she did it! I’m really proud of you El!

Sallie Mae would be crazy if they didn’t hire her on after the contract for this temp job is up. She seems pretty excited about this job too. She comes home and tells me all about her day every evening. She’s taking what she does very seriously and has been learning a lot about loans and credit.

Protect your credit information

I received this message in an email this morning. I did this for Elise and myself a few months back and opted us out forever:

The four major credit bureaus in the US are allowed to release your credit info, mailing addresses, phone numbers, etc., to anyone who requests it. If you would like to ‘opt out’ of this release of your info, you can call 1-888-567-8688. It only takes a couple of minutes to do. Once the message starts you’ll want option #2 and then option #3 – Be sure to listen closely, the first option is only for a two-year period. Make sure you wait until they prompt for the third option, which opts you out forever.

My parents taught me that your name is all that you have. For a year now, I have been working hard on getting Elise’s and my credit reports in tip top shape. Elise did a little onside recognisance for me and found out that I’m only 4 points away from having an ‘Excellent’ credit score. From what I’ve heard and read, there aren’t that many out there who have and excellent rating in our debt-based economy.

Now that we’re married, I’m going to order our credit reports once a year to ensure that we’re doing well. Last year it only cost $7 per report. That’s a really small price to pay to protect your name. Here’s a list of the three major credit bureaus. I used Experian last year. This year I think I’ll order through Equifax.

I wonder how John would taste…

I just finished cooking some mini chicken fried steaks. I’ve been cooking too much chicken fried steak lately. El is going to have to start cooking her diet food for us more often.

Anyway, Mom and Dad gave me some beef when we were at their place this past weekend. Since my Dad has retired, I guess they’ve decided to make a little personal profit with their livestock (brangus cattle). A couple of weeks ago, they had one of the cows slaughtered. They gave me a roast, a couple of t-bones and one gigantic round steak. I thawed the round steak last night and made the CFS out of it this evening after cutting it down into smaller pieces.

It didn’t dawn on me until after I inhaled a couple of my little bite-sized golden brown slabs of beef… I’ve probably once looked that cow in the eyes. I probably once helped Dad in dumping range cubes into the trough to feed it. I probably drizzled worm medicine on its back a couple months ago. I probably looked at that cow one day and said: “You look funny cow, just standing there, being all cowlike, slapping your tail against your rear end to shoo away flies.”

So, we ate part of one of my parents’ cows tonight. It was kind of weird. It probably tastes the same, but there’s something that goes on in the old thinker that makes you think it tastes different. It’s like eating someone that you know.

I wonder how John would taste with some fava beans and a nice Chianti…

The Fast and the Furious revisited

We just finished watching The Fast and the Furious, again. Elise likes it more and more now that she’s decided she has a crush on Vin Diesel. I just like the cars and the loud audio track. We’re both hoping that TF&TF II is as good. I’m hoping for motorcycles. Elise is hoping for Vin.

I went to an Excel I class this morning. I re-learned how to create graphs. Tomorrow morning I have an MS Access class. Better get to bed…

Bribed with a Playstation 2

Monday. Nothing really happened on Monday. It was a typical Monday – got up, went to work, went through the motions.

Elise made shredded chicken taco salads for dinner. After dinner, El shopped for airfare to Minneapolis. She’s going to her friend, Kari’s house for Labor Day weekend. I don’t mind her traveling to visit her friends – I encourage it. I married a foreigner, so I knew what I was getting into. At this point, it’s too expensive for us to both travel, so my Midwest vacations will be temporarily limited to every other Christmas.

El was concerned that I might not want her to fly to Minneapolis. I don’t know if it was because she thought I didn’t want to spend the money on a plane ticket, or she thought I would be overly lonely while she was gone. Either way, without hesitation, she bribed me with a Playstation 2.

I’m really not sure if I should get the PS2 or not. I don’t know why, but part of me says: “Josh, be responsible, save your money”. The other part says: “Josh, you buy your clothes at Walmart, you haven’t bought yourself anything in a long, long time – get the PS2”. I’ve really wanted a PS2 since before they came to stores. How long has that been, two years or so? Mom always said: “Sleep on it – see if you still want/need it tomorrow.” We have the cash (no BestBuy line of credit needed) and believe me, I’ve slept on it….