Rick's Ramblings

You have found Rick's Ramblings, a Web Log.

I have been writing in this space for a few years now. Visit the archives to get a feel for my style.

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The World
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Email: rickumali@gmail.com

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Friday, May 11, 2001
Correction to previous evening's post: I only have one Rolling Rock in the fridge.

Thursday, May 10, 2001
Tonight, like last night, I had a beer with dinner. (Last night was a Rolling Rock, tonight was a Budweiser.)

It's unusual for me to have beer with dinner. These beers were purchased for guests, but are now relegated to bottom door shelves of the refrigerator, practically hidden. Typically, I have a soda (Diet Pepsi Without Caffeine). I drink a lot of soda. So much so that every once in a while, I'll run low on soda. Instead of drinking my last few cans of soda, I decided to reach for the beer.

The beers were good! And I got the beginnings of a buzz from each, even though I didn't even finish them (I left probably an ounce, of the 12 ounce drink).

In college, and a few years after college, I was a consistent beer drinker. Later, with the introduction of more sophisticated company, I learned how to drink cocktails (gin and tonic is the standard), wine and hard liquor (Jack Daniels, Maker's Mark). My last job had one evening reserved for a social hour, complete with beer. I often had a few then, but since I've been unemployed, nothing.

Probably worth mentioning that I have two more Rolling Rocks in the fridge, and I probably will down these this weekend.

I spent most of the past half-hour reading my brother's statistical diaries, a profoundly detailed look at his life through statistic. He measures how much sleep he gets to how many eggs he consumes. Reading and reviewing his statistics inspires me to take on such an endeavor, because I'm sure reflecting on this detailed record keeping would really be eye-opening for me.

Celebrity sighting today. In the waiting room of the dentist (Brookline, MA), an older man walked in with gray hair and sunglasses. The hygienist greeted him with "I liked the article about you the other day, Mr. Parker!" I looked at him more carefully. Later, the hygienist told me and Jenn that he was Robert Parker, famous crime fiction writer.

Wednesday, May 09, 2001
My back is 99% better. Hurray!

Attending physical therapy has taught me a number of exercises to strengthen the muscles that support the back, specifically the abdominal muscles. I also spent time learning better posture. I'm anxious to try out my back at the golf driving range, but the therapist wants to hold off until I get through all the appointments (only two more).

I have actually qualified and am now receiving unemployment checks. Despite receiving a severance package, the unemployment claims clerk determined that since I had to sign a 'release' to receive the severance, I was eligible for unemployment funds.

Dealing with the unemployment office was fairly easy. As I mentioned, I called in my claim to receive unemployment to the Massachusetts Division of Employment and Training (aka "the unemployment office"). Despite having their computers down the day I called, I received a Benefit Claim Certification Form, which is a postcard asking four questions: 1. During the weeks you claim unemployment, did you look for work? 2. Could you have worked, if offered a job? 3. Did you work? 4. Have you returned to full-time work?

By answering yes, yes, no, and no respectively to these questions, you get an unemployment check delivered to you. The amount depends on your salary. For me, I received the maximum weekly amount ($477). The clerk advised that since I have a new baby, I should file for a Dependency Allowance. This is going to be my new project for the week.