Montageman: A dude who writes

November 11, 2008

What’s Going On?

Filed under: random — Tags: , , , , , , , , — montageman @ 3:59 am

The election is finally over.  Yeah, it was last week, but whatever.  2 years of campaigning comes to an end.  I’m glad McCain didn’t win, but I don’t have the same elated feelings that others have about Obama.

The holidays are upon us. This year is going to be difficult.  It’s been about 6 weeks since my mom passed away, but I’m not even close to coming to terms with the whole ordeal.  Not sure what this time will bring or what the best course of action is going to be.

I’m really enjoying working at Trader Joe’s.  Every time I’m there, I get more excited about the work I’m doing.  It’s very physical labor, but at the same time, I am happy when I’m there and time flies.  Totally fun and engaging work – isn’t that what we all look for?

Been trying to keep up with Wii Fit.  It’s not easy.  15-30 minutes a day is hard to put together oddly.  Our days are so packed full of shit that I have difficulty finding 30 minutes to work out.  It’s a shame.  However, Wii Fit is an incredible game – it makes exercise fun and competitive, which is something all of us can use.  The success of The Biggest Loser on NBC should show us that competition is good when it comes to losing weight and being healthy.

Some music I’ve been into lately: Parliament, Metal Fingers (MF Doom), Girl Talk, Black Kids, TV on the Radio, Ike and Tina, Dudley Perkins, Quasimoto, Meiko Kaji, The Cramps, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, The Who and The Velvet Underground.

Going to Ann Arbor tomorrow to see Christopher.  Should be fun.  Don’t know where we’ll go to eat.  Krazy Jim’s? Zingerman’s? Ashley’s? All would be wonderful or maybe we’ll find some place new…


March 23, 2008

Found photo

Filed under: random — montageman @ 5:55 pm

This photo was sent to me via picture message on my phone last week.  I have no idea who these people are, but they look quite happy.   To think all it took was the mis-typing of 1 digit for this to be sent to me rather than the rightful recipient.   I love text messaging for this reason – I also love my phone book for the same reason.  I almost never send a text or picture via manual entry of a phone number.  I live by my phone book.  If my cell phone dies, communication will cease.  Weird – I used to have an incredible memory for phone numbers.  Now, I rely 100% on my phone.  Laziness has set in, I guess, or maybe I just need to remember more important things…


March 3, 2008

Starting over

Filed under: laila, random, traderjoes — Tags: , , , , , , , — montageman @ 10:06 am

As of this morning, I am a Trader Joe’s crew member.  I have been working at TJ’s for a about 6 weeks now, but have also been working at American Processing Company.  My weeks consisted of working from 7:30 AM to 4 PM at APC driving an hour to TJ’s and working 5 pm to 12 AM.  Yesterday was my first true day off in a couple of months.  I’m not complaining, mind you, but working 80 hour weeks is draining especially coupled with the commuting.  Now my commute will be 15 minutes instead of 45 minutes (sometimes 90 when there is snow on the ground or if 696 is being nasty).  I’ll have some mornings off, so I’ll see Heather and Laila more, which is wonderful.  I plan to read and write more.  We’ll see how everything pans out.

A few things that I’m currently loving:

  1. Garfield minus Garfield – the usually straightforward Garfield comic strip with Garfield (and Odie) taken out leaving Jon Arbuckle to work out his feelings of inadequacy on his own. As incredibly sad as Jon’s life is with Garfield and Odie present, it becomes psychotic (and more hilarious) with them absent.
  2. The Nasty Bits by Anthony Bourdain – hard to believe that this time last year I was totally annoyed by Bourdain’s arrogance on No Reservations.  I was much more interested in Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods (new season starts March 4!).  I still love Zimmern, but have a new found love for Bourdain.  His writing is accessible and spot on.  Bourdain’s TV personality is not arrogant as I first thought, but rather, he is very particular about his likes and dislikes and is vocal about it.  Last season’s visit to Ghana and Bourdain’s elation throughout is a perfect example of how great traveling the world can be.  That episode makes me want to travel to Africa.  Hell, I want to travel to most places Bourdain and Zimmern visit.
  3. Dark chocolate covered Joe-Joes – Trader Joe’s version of the Oreo cookie dipped in dark chocolate.  An all natural Oreo engulfed by artisan dark chocolate?  Could there be a more perfect food?  I doubt it, but at 150 calories & 8 grams of fat a piece, they are best to be enjoyed in moderation – like half of a cookie at a sitting.
  4.  Beer.  Haven’t had much recently, but nothing beats a pint of Two Hearted ale.  And I a couple bottles of Lagunitas that I’ll soon try.
  5. Stuff White People Like – totally engaging commentary on the lives of white folks.  Very funny and mostly very true.

There’s plenty of other stuff to go along with this small list – Haba toys, Bum Genius cloth diapers, really anything having to do with Laila and Heather, and being able to write more.

January 6, 2008

Health Insurance

Filed under: Film, random — Tags: , , — montageman @ 10:42 am

I’ve been looking for alternative health insurance options.  My plan at work, while it covers us well, is quite expensive.  I came across this example and found it very funny:

Johnny has a medical bill that is $25,000.

First he has to meet his entire deductible of $250.

Then he has to pay a coinsurance amount of 20% or the next $5,000 ($1,000).  The insurance company will pay 80% of the next $5,000 ($4,000), and then the carrier will pay 100% up to the plan maximum.

Johnny’s maximum exposure (out of pocket) of the $25,000 medical bill is $1,250 (deductible and coinsurance).

Good thing Johnny had health insurance!

 OK, fine, I can see that Johnny’s out of pocket expenses coming to $1250 is better than $25,000, but what if Johnny is out of work?  There is an implied arrogance in the final exclamatory remark that I find insulting.  “Good thing Johnny had health insurance!” Right, because $1250 is a lot easier to pay back when you’ve just lost your auto industry job in Michigan with no signs of being rehired anytime soon.  We recently watched SiCKO and while I don’t agree with Michael Moore’s style of documentary, the film makes clear how really messed up our health insurance system is in this country versus those countries with nationalized health services.   There seems to be a general annoyance with the poor in this country that somehow makes it OK for the rich to think they’re better than others.  As though the people born into poor situations chose to be there, when each of us knows that this could never be the case.  SiCKO, if it does nothing else, tells us that the playing field is not level and that Johnny might not be that lucky to have health insurance!

December 6, 2007

Randomness and the Internet

Filed under: random — Tags: , , — montageman @ 9:49 pm

Taking a step back and examining my surfing habits, it is really interesting how random the logic of surfing can be. On a nightly basis, I am pretty basic in my initial web ritual:

  1. Myspace
  2. Facebook
  3. Gmail
  4. My Yahoo!
  6. Flickr

I also check Mashable,, and whatever news sites that mat strike my fancy in a particular evening. Aside from this though, I find places like this. I find LOLcats hysterical. Why? I really have no idea. I’m not a huge fan of cats, generally, but there is something so geeky about these pictures that I love. Via today, I ran into one of the funniest things I’ve ever read, which then led a friend of mine to offer this site as a further example of what was found on The randomness of YouTube, a place where I can find videos of James the Nintendo Nerd right next to one of my daughter. Of course, there’s also If I drink a new beer, I’m always sure to review the beer there and meander around the forums for a while. Oh, and food blogs – I love food blogs. Recipes, techniques, roadfood, foodporn, whatever – if it is food related, I’m for it.

I have a difficult time finishing books I start to read. I think it is because of the pace at which I surf, which has subsequently killed my attention span. I had this article sent to me this evening. Looks totally interesting to me, but have I read it yet? Nope. Because I was looking at this. Yup, pro wrestling – another interest. I used to be totally consumed with wrestling, but now it is a fleeting interest. Much like everything I do on the internet, but not really since I am totally consumed with the internet.

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