Monday, November 2, 2009

I remember Halloween.

So for the second year in a row I've missed the annual Halloween bash, the biggest and best party of the year. Dang it. Last year we didn't have a babysitter, so I sent Tracy and stayed home with the D. This year neither of us went. What a drag. Apologies to everyone we missed. Hopefully someone will at least post pictures. Super apologies to Katie and Chris. It wasn't personal; we just couldn't get our shit together. And by "we" I mean "I". We did manage to pull it together for Delia's birthday, but just barely. We didn't think to call anyone, so it was just us and a few other childrens. Sorry if you missed it; I am a slacker asshole. You know it, I know it, the American People know it.

I've been having a lot of "can't get my shit together" days. My last few posts featured grandiose plans to post every day without fail. I think I made it a whole two days in a row. Fall came in with this "I'm just going to be winter, so screw you guys" kind of chip on its shoulder, so the Funk took the opportunity to use Fall's uppityness as a distraction to move in early. The house got messy and we got grumpy. It's actually what NIN's "Downward Spiral" album was about; it was a record about how Fall kicks our collective ass here at Strother House.

The blog posts I've so magnificently fallen behind on I blame on the good people who make Peavey guitar amplifiers. I broke down and bought a guitar amp to replace the one I sold at a yard sale a few years ago. The one I sold was more or less a piece of crap, but it had been my piece of crap for fifteen years and after I sold it I had to just admire other peoples pieces of crap, which is about as alluring as it sounds. So anyway I finally replaced it, this time with a decent two channel, multi-voicing TransTube amp. And so my normally scheduled blogging time gave way to Heavy Metal Guitar time, which is a shame on the blog front but otherwise completely and totally kick ass.

On a more positive note, we are planning on having Thanksgiving at our house this year. Tracy's mom made an announcement last week that Thanksgiving can go fornicate itself with an iron stick (I'm paraphrasing.) We're going to take up the gauntlet and have it here. Come one, come all, but you might want to bring a chair because we only have five. (See how I'm being positive and acting like there are more than like two people who will want to come?)

Friday, October 2, 2009


I missed yesterday's entry. I meant to do it but instead succumbed to a nap, then Pizza Hut. I think it was Pizza Hut that really did me in. That's what I get for eating at a place described as a Hut.

Last night I went to Black Bear to help Malissa hang paintings for the Morgantown Arts Walk, which I believe is going down tonight. It's usually a pretty good time, and I encourage people to get out and look. I think we may go as a family unit tonight; I like for the D to see these events our town bothers to put on. It's nice to live in a town that appreciates culture almost as much as it seems to appreciate beer pong and those annoying mufflers that serve to make your car louder. It's also nice to get to drill holes into a wall that doesn't belong to me. If you ever find yourself drilling holes in the wall at Black Bear it's important to remember that the chairs by that bar in the front are much, much taller than the chairs you are probably used to standing on in your kitchen. Take it from me, you can't just step down off them.

Today I came to work with the intention of putting up another installment of Friday Meeting Notes, but they were thrown out yesterday. So instead of putting up the notes from the week before I'm putting up today's masterwork, which I sincerely hope serves to both entertain and enlighten. Bon appetit.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

This still counts as Wednesday. Damn it.

I set myself a goal; update ye olde blogge every day. It's technically Thursday right now, but since I just got home from work and haven't gone to bed yet it counts. Yes way, Ted; it totally counts.

Sometime between taking the D to school and her getting off the bus we lost a neighborhood tree today. I don't know what happened; it wasn't particularly windy or stormy, at least not enough for me to take notice. Maybe the high winds (50 or so mph gusts) damaged the tree earlier this week, but for whatever reason the stately maple tree at the corner of Overdale and Alma is gone. I personally choose to make up (and believe!) that it was downed by a drunken college student in an F150. Probably with a set of artificial truck testes dangling from the back bumper. Nice driving, dick.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I was a guest speaker!

Yesterday at about 12:30 or so I was hit by a bolt of memory lightning; I had to speak to Delia's class at 2. Her teacher had sent home a form asking for volunteers, and D told me that they were having trouble getting people to show up, so I signed up for it. What the hells, it was only a fifteen minute commitment and I love public speaking

When I got to the class the teacher subtly emphasized that I would be saying how my job helped the community. So I start winging it, telling the kids that I'm a graphic artist who works in desktop publishing, advertising used cars...blah blah blah. They don't care. I know how an audience works, so I started telling them about Photoshop, which they also don't care about. Then I tell them that Photoshop was invented by Industrial Light and Magic, to work on special effects for Star Wars. It was like shooting lighting out of my eyes. They went, in about one second from "dude, we don't know what you're talking about" to "Holy crap; he MADE STAR WARS!" It was pretty awesome.

In other news, I'm still pissed at my cable company for taking away PBS, Cartoon Network and the History Channel. I know I only pay nine dollars or so a month for cable, but PBS? Really, Comcast, seriously? I live in the same town as the station. It wouldn't be so bad if you hadn't run commercials for months saying that Comcast customers didn't have to worry about the new conversion to digital cable. Yo, Comcast, you guys are liars. I do have to get a conversion box to watch my local PBS station. I don't want to spend $40 for one channel, but I'm going to. Gods know there isn't anything on SyFy.

As for you, SyFy...dudes, you aren't even trying. There is some show on right now with a few fifteen year old kids going to someplace called the Vortex. I think it's in New Jersey. They keep saying something about a munitions factory exploding there, and one lady who is very insistent that there are spirits there, "locked in time and space". I'm not sure what this show is, but it's terrible. It's like Ghost Hunters, if Ghost Hunters came from Fanjul's Factory Outlet. Holy crap, I'm sure if they let these turds on this show they'd let me and my jackass friends on. These kids on now should have worn brown trousers, if you catch my drift.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Hot Bliggity Blog

I'm trying to post something daily now. My boss told me last week that the only way to get people to read your blog is to keep it freshly updated, presumably because a lot of people have an attention span utterly decimated by television. I don't have any problems believing this at all.

It's only 9AM on this dreary Monday, and I've accomplished things. Payed a few bills...freakin' bills. Bills are the bane of my existence. I made a resolution for 2009 to be more fiscally responsible, but it's tough going. Budgeting has never been a particularly strong point with me. I'm better at it than I am at, say, not drinking coffee until my hair stands on end, but that's not saying much. Most people don't have that problem either. Or do they?

The problem with daily updates is thinking of something to say. To newsworthy items happened over the weekend.

1. Flavored cigarettes are now banned in the US. I don't smoke flavored cigarettes. I've never been a goth kid, so I didn't need them to mask the scent of an abandoned bus station while listening to the Cure hoping my hairspray is helping me look depressed. I doubt if I've ever smoked more than one or two of these things all the way through. Once in high school we had a Renaissance Festival, and someone made an apple pie using a period recipe. It had a buttload of clove in it, to mask the taste of the rotten apples that would have been the main ingredient during the Renaissance. So that's what clove cigarettes always reminded me off; rotten apples. Grodacious. Totally grodacious.

2. My brother-in-law John's friend Dave was stabbed over the weekend. He's in the hospital but slated to recover, from what I've gleaned from Facebook. This is some grade A crazy shit. Friday night John was here, and was (I think) shocked to hear my friend Chris and I assure him that Morgantown has a large number of weekend fights on the streets. Then he goes home to this crap. They caught the guy who knifed him, which is good. It's hard to tell what they'll charge him with, but I can easily see how stabbing someone with a knife would land you with attempted murder. I think it should, but then again I'm sure once lawyers get involved there will be this and that extenuating circumstance, flim flammery, and outright lying. I hope the dude goes to prison, because if he doesn't John likely will.

Good luck, Dave. John, don't shoot anyone.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Psychic Tom is apparently no Psychic Tina

Last night we went to a Dead People Party at my friend Angie's (codename: Angie Frangie) house. It was first presented to me as a Supernatural Party, which was kind of confusing costume-wise. The reason it was a Supernatural Party is because the ladies decided that if we all coughed up like fifteen bucks we could hire Psychic Tina to come and predict our futures for us. How it became a Dead People Party I'm not quite sure, but everyone with the inclination to dress up in a costume came as walking corpses (note; we were not zombies). I would post pictures, but I left our camera at Angie's.

So there we were, with our fake bullet holes and cut throats and slit wrists, hanging out on Angie's front porch when this older dude drives by looking for an address that was actually Angie's but which he must have written down incorrectly. He kept driving by slowly, looking at us as if we'd lied to him about house numbers before he finally figured out that we were by far the most likely group to have hired him. So he gets out of the car and we're all like, "whoa; where in hells is Psychic Tina?" And he's all like, "Yo babies, be cool; Psychic Tom is in the house taken care of business."

Actually he didn't talk that way at all. I exaggerate for color, a free service to you. What he really said was that he was just as good as Psychic Tina.

Now, a lot of the people there didn't seem to think Psychic Tom was all that psychic, but I liked him. I've read books on Gypsy fortunetelling tricks to pull on rubes, and maybe I am a rube, but I want to believe Psychic Tom, because I liked what he had to say. For the most part.

I liked that he said I was going to live a long-ass time. This was from the palm and one of the first things he said to me. Then he told me that I was under-employed and likely would be for about two years or so before moving on. He told me that 2010 and 2011 would be better years financially than we're accustomed to. So all in all it was a pretty sweet future being laid out.

I can't help but wonder why Psychic Tom, being psychic and all, didn't seem to know that I was a powerful sorcerer in my own right. He didn't even mention it, or turn pale, or tremble or anything. No reaction whatsoever. So while I want to believe Psychic Tom is going to be right about my future I'm just not sure I'm buying it.

No offense, Psychic Tom.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Blogger V. Wordpress

In what I'm sure will turn into something akin to the epic battle of XTC V. Adam Ant (power-based pop V. new romantics) I've decided to do a side by side of Blogger and Wordpress. Blogger is easy and familiar; Wordpress is complicated but apparently lets you do a lot of neato things. So far results are pending.

I signed up for Wordpress yesterday at work while we were waiting for the final go-ahead to come through. All I did was register and make it look like I wanted, then it was time to go. I spend a good deal of time in the car on Fridays. Yesterday I spent it thinking of how to maintain two blogs simultaneously.

I came up with this plan to use the new one for an extended piece of fiction, a fake blog that I would gradually introduce a weird happening into, extrapolating on it until it got weirder and weirder without ever bothering to explain that it isn't true. But what to say? At first I thought about including a weird dwarf that would follow me around after a while, doing things like mugging people with orthopedic shoes in order to be incrementally taller. I had to scrap that as being insensitive (not just because I don't know any little people.) Then I thought it would be fun to recruit a cohort, someone to play the part of "The Creeper" in the story. All The Creeper would really need to do is let me take a few pictures every now and again, preferably while dressed all creepy and hiding in bushes. Maybe a short video of The Creeper being fled from in a car. No big deal. A Creeper email address (with only the picture of my volunteer Creeper attached to a fake name) also struck me as being a good way to gradually make his/her presence more immediate.

This was a very exciting idea yesterday while I was driving down to Clarksburg, but I don't know if it's really very feasible. You can't just go up to your friends and say, "hey, you're one creepy looking sonuvabitch, wanna be kinda almost semi famous?" So now that little project is on hold while I think it through a little more. Which means you're stuck with just this, my regular run-of-the-mill blog. If I go through with it I'll post a notice here. Addios.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Back into the proverbial swing of things

So it's been a really long time since I last posted anything. I took some time off in the months leading up to super beach vacation (which was a hoot), but it took me until now to start posting again. Sorry about that. Hope your deprivation didn't cause scurvy or rickets.

I'm at work right now, so this is going to be short. I've been thinking for a long time about scanning my notes from our Friday meetings. Here's the first installment. Bon appetit.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Seriously; if you didn't take that "adult content" button seriously - move along. Nothing to see here.

You were warned.

So way the hell earlier today (I'm talking around 5pm; it's now 2:02am, just for frame of reference) Tracy and I went out to dinner.  I had a jumbo margarita, and this at a restaurant where Mexicans make 'em strong.  Then there was this long sequence of being in a bookstore drinking coffee, then a craft store that rapidly degraded to sitting on a bench while Tracy talked her mom through a minor babysitting crises. 

So far, so good.

We came home to R (a semi-permanent denizen), R (a fleeting denizen) and J (a one-nighter) already at our house.  No problem.  Had a beer, changed clothes, then hit the road.

(Side note; I stopped the narrative here, at 2:10am, to eat a boiled egg.  It was delightful.)

Anyway, I went to my friend Willy's house.  Willy is my fellow degenerate, the dude I turn to when I feel like it might be a good idea to go out drinking, possibly smuggle a beer out of the bar to drink in an alley, and definitely pee someplace that Roscoe P. Coletrain would disapprove of.  We drank a beer, then walked down town to see what was going on.  Our usual place of interest (one 123 Pleasant Street) appeared to be hosting some sort of hootnanny.  A hootnanny with a cover charge, no less.  Well, believe it Discerning Readers when I tell you that neither one of us were willing to part with five American dollars to see this hoedown in Motown.  So up the street we went.

Willy and I have made a practice of stopping in at a place called the Boston Beanery, which was our next stop.  This is a very regimented visit; we walk in, step up to the bar, do a shot, then get the hell out.  I secretly hope we'll become semi-famous, the Two-Guys-Who-Hate-This-Stinking-Craphole-But-Want-a-Shot-of-Bourbon., though Willy tells me he's in there on a semi-regular basis, thus shattering this petty dream.  

I digress.

We walk in, do our shot, then we're out of there.  We walked up High Street, ending up at a place called Gibbie's.  There is, in fact, an actual dude named Gibby.  The last time I saw him he was by the pool table in his bar, biting a girl who was dancing on said table RIGHT ON THE ASS.  Clearly this is a quality establishment.  All the same, my friend Brian's band (The Love Me Knots; dig 'em) were playing, so that's where we sat, listening to Brian and watching some seriously one-sided boxing on what I took to be ESPN.  

Even this grows stale after a while.  Willy and I, however, are not to be discouraged.  In another time and place we may have been pirates, or perhaps Viking raiders.  We craved more; adventure, spectacle...something.  So we did the only thing we could, took the only avenue left open to two such as ourselves on a night such as this.

We went to Buck's.

Now, Buck's is a very special place.  It's the last bar on the Other Side of Town.  It had been a long time since I'd been there; perhaps five years or so (the previous visit to that being some ten to fifteen years past).  Buck's has not changed very much.  We walked in, sat at the bar and listened to the jukebox, secretly wishing they'd turn it off and crank up the Def Leopard concert that was on the TV.  Then Willy revealed a Revelation: Buck's has an upstairs.

Perhaps, like me, you are a bit curious as to what could be better than sitting in a bar constructed mainly of plywood, listening to U2 on the jukebox, wishing that in addition to pickles and pickled sausage that they had pickled eggs.  It turns out that there are many things.  

Most noticable are (1) upstairs there is karaoke and (2) upstairs are where the girls are.  Don't get the wrong idea; these are not girls that I would want to meet.  In fact, the most likely chance of me actually talking to one of these girls is if she walked drunkenly into the men's room while I was in there quite contentedly throwing up a bit of the bourbon I so injudiciously drank.  These girls do have a few things going for 'em.  They dance, AND they sing.  Perhaps more amazing (in the interest of being fair, balanced, and not sexiest) there is also the spectacle of the Dancing Redneck Dude.  In retrospect they are a package deal.  You really need to see them both doing a bizarre line dance to MC Hammer to really get a feel for the place.  Imagining neon, disco lights and a drunken blond girl with no shoes dancing with a backward-hat redneck dude....well, that's pretty much it in a nutshell.

I'm going to have to cut this short; it's late and I'm tired.  Suffice it to say that a good time was had by all.  AND (as an addendum) Willy and I made further plans for our kick-ass band, including finally deciding on a name.  

Ladies and Gentlemen; I give you Keziah Mason,

That is all.  Return to your daily lives.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Mad! Mad I say!

So I've kind of been haunted these last few weeks. Not in a badass blood-seeping-out-of-the-walls sort of way, or even the lame-o rattling chains sort of way.

There are people in my house.

I should preface this; this was partially my idea.

My cousin is going through a divorce and staying with us until he gets a job and an apartment. We grew up in the same house together, so it's nothing all that new to me, with a hitch-I'm an adult now. And it turns out that I'm more than a little set in my ways.

Take tonight, for instance. Usually when I get home a tad bit early I sit at my computer and write. There are two stories that I'm working on, one of which is pretty well outlined and well into the rough draft stage. Almost a finished rough draft.

It's not getting finished anytime soon.

When I came home tonight, my cousin was up and watching some Sci Fi Channel TV show. Not a big deal, but I'm on the back porch blogging on Tracy's laptop instead of finishing some work up. This is not good. Then there's the massive amount of alone time that I absolutely require if I'm to stay sane. This alone time has become like the rarest diamonds, something so precious that I can see why some people would be tempted to kill for it.

Now, again, this move in was partially my idea. I'm not mad, I'm just venting.

In other news, it's been a long ass time since I've posted anything here (what with the almost finished stories and the house guest and all). I'd like to say all kinds of awesome things have happened since last post, but aside from a long drive to Virginia and back and a few good hikes, not a whole hell of a lot has gone down. Fact is, I'm bored.

I've heard before that there is no reason for an intelligent person to be bored, but I'm bored all the same. Malaise, I think they call it. Not much has struck me as interesting lately. Maybe I'm getting depressed.

I heard on the horror radio show that I listen to every week (Rue Morgue Radio; The dash is important; without it you get some kind of crazy porn) about this contest to win a book about Ray Harryhausen. The contest involves writing a letter detailing how his work has affected your life. I briefly considered making up this big lie about Cassiopeia from Clash of the Titans being my first (pretend) girlfriend from the time I was 13 until I was 28. I had a pretty good lie all cooked up, but then was too apathetic to bother to send an email. I probably would have won too; those radio hosts are some pervs. But I think the thing to take away from this is that I was too lazy to go through with the easiest of all hoaxes to perpetrate; the email scam. I'm never too lazy to mess with someone via email. I've spent days exchanging emails with those crazy Bank of Zimbabwe email scams. I make up little characters to be; like a homeless guy in the library or a crazy immigrant saving up money for a sex change. I keep them in a special folder labeled "Fun with Email Scams". Yet I was too lazy to try to talk a good enough game to score a free book. That can't be a good sign.

On both the up and down side, vacation looms. It's the upside because I get to get away from this town for a few days. I like Morgantown, but even pineapple upside down cake gets boring if you have it every day. It's the downside because the vacation fund isn't quite where we'd hoped it would be. At least the house is already rented for the week. Even if we don't get to stash away any more loot for vacation, I'm really looking forward to it. Seven days with only the handful of people I hang out with outside of work or D&D is going to be pretty rad. Delia won't be the only kid, so she shouldn't be bored. I personally don't care if I don't get any further from the house we all rented than the two blocks to the beach. And it's encouraging that every single one of us who boldly proclaimed that by now we'd be in the best shape of our lives while we were planning this trip last winter was completely full of shit; failing isn't all that bad if there's a whole group of you. In fact, get enough people to fail at any one thing and it becomes something different; not so much a failure as a flaw in the system, whatever that system may be.

Maybe since we all failed we could score some of that sweet bailout money they keep throwing at the auto industry.

I'm going to bed.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Last night we had a cookout.  It may be the biggest party we've ever had here at Edgehill house.  I think at least a dozen people were here at one point.  The nice thing about cookouts is that it keeps people more or less clustered outside.  The bad thing is that people never eat as much as you think they will, so there's always a butt ton of food left over.  I could feed a smallish army this morning if one happened by.  

Another downside of the cookout is beer bottles.  My friends all like to drink.  None of them are alcoholics (that I know of), but when you get fifteen or so people together the old glass bottles start to pile up.  Usually after a big party (say, the annual Halloween bash) it's like the Jonestown Massacre the next day.  Dozens of glass bottles strewn about the compound, staying where ever they happened to fall after the Kool Aid did them in, waiting for health workers to pile them into ambulances.  This is what I was thinking about this morning when I woke up.  I was lying in bed kind of dreading coming down and having the easter egg hunt for Sam Adams and Miller Lite bottles.  

To my delight, it wasn't that bad at all.  This was not what you'd call a wild, out of control party.  There are a lot of bottles, but they are for the most part conveniently where the recycling belongs.  I didn't have to collect them from random bookshelves, bathrooms, or hidden inside random boxes, shoes or backpacks (not that that generally happens, but you get the idea).

Sometime today though it's going to be time to play "The Town Alcoholic Goes Recycling."  This is always a hoot, having a VW full of empties that I pile into the recycling bin six at a time.  It always makes me feel conspicuous, like people will be looking at me thinking, "Good Lord, that guy drank sixty beers last night!"  I'm sure they aren't, but still.

Last night was also the second Sneakies show.  The Sneakies are a newish band; this was only their second show.  I saw them at McClafferty's a few weeks ago, but the sound there is terrible.  Last night was a 123 night, so you could actually hear the band, which was both rocking and rolling.  Now if only they would play on a Saturday so Tracy could go.


When Delia was in kindergarten we started reading Harry Potter at bedtime.  I don't always get to do bedtime.  Work, grandma's house, late night movie nights; all of these have helped stretch a series of bedtime books out.

Seven books over three years.

Thursday night we finished book seven.  It's kind of amazing to me to think that we've been reading this series for so long.  The first five books were re-reads for me, so it was really exciting to get to book six, then the grand finale.  I thought I would feel hollow or let down when we finished, as if we'd reached the end of a really long journey taken for the sake of the trip itself; that perhaps the destination would be a bit of a letdown after the fantabulous trip.  Not so.  Instead it felt more like a milestone.  Tracy and Delia have been through a lot of  books.  Narnia, Percy Jackson...they seem to crank out the stories.  But this is the first that Delia and I have finished.  It's a pretty good feeling.  

I think she wants to go through Narnia again with me, which will be nice.  I've never read any of them.  

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Bah.  I'm bored and restless.  

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I wanna live a life of danger.

I wanna be a forest ranger.

This may, at first glance, seem like a stupid thing to just blurt out.  I can't honestly say that this is a lifelong dream; I only got to liking being outside a year or so ago.  It's been a pretty good year though.

I thought this big plan up while sitting in Valley worlds of Fun while the D was attending young Grace's birthday party.  I was minding my own business, drinking a fairly good cup of ninety cent coffee, reading a book when it came to me.  The book is A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson.  It's about a guy deciding to walk the Appalachian Trail, all two thousand-odd miles of it.  

It's a pretty good book.

Anyway, I was sitting there while Delia rode the crazy indoor carnival rides they have reading this book when I decided that the life of a forest ranger sounded pretty sweet.  I'm quite frankly not at all sure that I want to be working at a computer until my hands and eyes shrivel up from staring at the box, typing.  Being out and about sounds pretty good to me.

I looked into it today at work, and it seems to me that you can get a job with an Associates degree, which wouldn't be hard to obtain, assuming that past credits would still count.  They laughed at me at work when I said I thought it was a pretty good idea, and to be fair I don't know what it pays, but still.  Alluring, isn't it?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Catch Up

Well, it's been a while since I posted anything. The main reason for this is that there is Something Wrong with my PC. It's all crazy, having elected to not recognize the internet for whatever reason. The day it acted up I called the internet provider help desk, who had me drive across town for a new modem, only later to have a different guy at the same phone number tell me he thought it was my router. So I tried messing with it, must have done Something Wrong, and now nothing.

For two days I tried everything I could think of to fix this. I can think of a lot of things too, having been working on cranky old PCs at work for almost five years now, becoming one of the fiercest network fighters in the state in the process. Still nothing.

In a huge fit of frustration, I decided to just replace it. Oddly, I've never (until a few days ago) actually purchased a computer (not counting Tracy's laptop, which is what I'm using now). So it's more accurate to say that I've never purchased a computer for myself. I went to Best Buy, looked around (with the key word being "cheap"), found one and took it to the checkout.

Card declined. What the hell?! I call up the credit card people and ask, calmly I thought, why my card was suspended.

"You don't use it," they tell me.

"Well, I tried to use it just now," I say.

"No problem; we'll reinstate it. You can use it tomorrow," the guy says.

Well, shit. There I am with the computer on the checkout stand, where it will apparently have to wait until the next day. I ended up leaving, with the sole intention of going to Target. Target, you see, has a Starbucks. In the middle of the day after frustration Starbucks is like a massive alcoholic on the lamb finding an open bar in Utah, if you know what I mean. I needed a drink, badly, and it had to have copious amounts of caffeine, 'cause nothing settles me down like massive doses of boiling hot caffeine.

On the way to the Starbucks Tracy looks over at me. "It's an omen," she says. "You should buy a Mac".

So, the next day at work (a Thursday, on which my coworker and I have large spans of free time waiting for the work flow to catch up to us) I log on to the Apple Store, and find it. The Grail? No, not the Grail. But almost.

So now I'm sitting here waiting for a tiny "tower" to come in the mail. I would have liked a new display, nice little clean Mac keyboard and mouse-all the neat stuff. But the Cheap Bone (connected to the Wallet Bone, for those of you who did not take anatomy) prevailed, and I just ordered the brain of a Mac, which I will graft on to my PC monitor and keyboard and such, making a Frankenstein Computer with a hideous body but smooth and deadly brain.

Now I just have to wait a few more days and I'm in business.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Like Porterfield says; Too Much Rock

So last night Tracy went out with the other ladies for the first time in quite a while. I stayed home, read another installment of Potter to the D, then was left to my own devices for a while. Usually when I'm home alone (Tracy at work, Delia at school) I break out my guitar. (On a side note, I finally got around to putting new strings on, and it sounds ten times better. Thumbs down for Elixers, thumbs up to D'Addario Phospher Bronze ).

Anyway, Delia was asleep so I couldn't very well break out the acoustic. Instead I went up to the attic and came down with an electric guitar and a processor.

About a year or so ago my friend Mike at work just gave me a guitar processor. I hadn't really played around with it much, what with moving and all, but it is (as the Brazilians say) SuperRad. It has a headphone jack (which is how I can play with it while the D is in bed) and can emulate quite a variety of stuff. I had a hella good time last night going through various amp/effect combinations, some of which are decidedly on the weird side.

So now I'm up to two guitars I like playing. Next stop - figuring out how to hook a guitar processor to Tracy's Mac for the next greatest thing ever; Garage Band.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Argh. Damn. Double Argh.

So in about an hour and twenty minutes I'm supposed to meet with Haley's friend Katie to go over the wedding ceremony we're having tomorrow. These people are fairly uncommunicative. I understand being shy, and I also understand that I've been tied up at work all week, but I'm starting to wonder if they're not trying to give me the slip. I got an email from the dude earlier this week, but none of my emails ever got answered and a phone call about ten minutes ago went to an answering machine. I guess if five rolls around and they're nowhere to be found (yay for rhyming!) then I'll drive out to Dorsey's Knob (where the wedding is going to go down). If they aren't there then I don't know what else to do.

Every time I do a wedding I come home and declare (often loudly, sometimes with some profanity sprinkled in) that I'm out of the wedding business. It always winds up the same. I tell people right off the bat that I'm a fake minister (legal, but that's as far as it goes with me), and I only really do this for the feeling that I'm pulling something over (somehow) on the System. Everyone I've ever married has been evasive on what the ceremony should be. I suppose they think that even a fake minister like me has a stash of ceremonies or a Black Standard Issue Book of Vows. A lot of the time this leads to a very uncomfortable Keith standing in front of a group of people just making the ceremony up as I go along.

I have learned to not hang around after the ceremony. There are too many questions if I do. I get "Exactly what church do you belong to?" a lot. More often I hear a stage whispered, "Where did they find this minister?" I've learned to dodge the Mother of the Bride at all costs.

I do hope that they haven't given me the slip, because I had to endure shopping today. Despite their early claims of a small ceremony there will be tuxes and gowns and a hundred people or so, so I didn't want to show up in old pants with pockets frayed from the clips of knives and combat boots. I bought three pairs of pants AND new shoes, all of which were on sale. I even tried to avoid buying what Tracy calls "old man shoes". I do like what I bought, but I'm going to feel like the System pulled a fast one on me this time if they've found someone else to do all this.

I'll let you know how it all turns out.

Monday, March 16, 2009

This Morning

I get up this morning only to find (gasp! Horror!) that there isn't enough coffee. Crap. Not an auspicious start to the day. I made what I could, which was about two cups of very watery brew. Nonetheless, I muddled through.

After dropping the D off at school I went to the Giant Eagle, where two discoveries awaited me. First off, coffee was buy one get one. This may not sound like a big deal, but it always makes my day. Secondly I ran into one of my bosses, who told me that InDesign should be installed today before I get there. This is super mega awesome. We've been stolidly behind the times at work for a while technology-wise. I'm certainly not out looking for a new job in this economy, but it is nice to know that if I had to I won't have to look across the interview table and profess mastery of defunct programs. Always thinking, I am.

And now the bad news. Aside from the fire last night (not us; see Tracy's blog) I made a horrific discovery this morning. But first some background information.

We've been playing the same D&D campaign for something like two years now. (That's right. I'm 33 years old, have a wife and daughter and still spend every other weekend pretending to be a paranoid schizophrenic dwarf. Mock me if you must, but I know that you know deep in your heart that you're totally jealous of our awesome hobby.) So I have a folder of notes and such on this game.

Notes that the freakin' cat peed on.

That's right; Nerfa peed on Gunter's character sheet. Which means I'm going to go spend some time on the back porch making a new one, where the pee aroma will be less nasty. Damn cat.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

First time this year!

So yesterday I was sitting around playing my guitar, minding my own business, when Tracy texts me from work, wanting to know if I wanted to go on a hike with her.

We hadn't been hiking since last fall. Winter has been a long stretch of being stuck indoors not getting exercise, becoming listless and out of shape. As it turns out, once you get used to a certain amount of physical activity, not doing much of anything will take a toll on you, both mentally and physically.

We went to hike the Hemlock Trail for the first time. It said on the internet to plan on a 45 minute hike. We did it in just under 50 minutes, while taking time to climb into the creek (pronounced "CREAK" if you're me and "CRICK" if you're Tracy), take pictures, and generally loiter around a bit. It was awesome. It was nice to break out into a sweat again from something other than anxiety or too much hot sauce.

Going out yesterday got me thinking about going camping soon. Also driving around on the roads we were on (which is whatever road the King Family Tree Farm is on, I forget what it's called) made me think of Route 33, our favorite method of getting to Virginia where my cousin and his fam live. I want to get down there soon, as it's my turn to make the trek and I like it better when it's Ryan's turn, because then it's my turn to bitch about him not making the six hour drive (which is only a five hour drive for him, because I drive like an old man and stop at anything that looks even remotely neato.)

Anyway, the upshot of all this is that I'm in a Hella good mood today. It's warm enough for the second day in a row to go running around without a sweater or jacket. Summer seems to be lurking just around the corner, ready to ambush and beat the shit out of the winter doldrums. While I don't normally advocate ambushes from behind clumps of Forsythia, I'm waiting for winter to get it's ass kicked with baited breath.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Something like ten years or so ago I became an ordained minister. I was ordained by the Universal Life Church of Modesto, California right from the comfort of my computer over the internet. Yes, I'm a minister. I was ordained specifically because my friend Malissa was getting married and I wanted to conduct the ceremony.

Now, to conduct a legal ceremony you have to have more than just a certificate that you printed out at your house. You have to get on the state's marriage registry, which requires getting a license from your local courthouse. At the time I lived in Clarksburg, which is the seat of Harrison County. So I marched downtown to the courthouse, asked around, and was eventually sent up to the county clerk's office.

The lady at the county clerk's office was a hoot. I remember walking in and telling her I wanted to perform a wedding but needed a license. She didn't even blink, just got out the forms and started asking me questions. It was all well and fine until we got the part about what church I belonged to. I told her, "The Universal Life Church."

"Uh huh," she says. "And where is that?"

"Modesto, California!" I said this with a big smile. She put down her pen, looked up...and just looked at me. I explained that I was ordained over the internet. This did not reassure her at all.

"Look, I'm not trying to declare my house a church for tax reasons. I just want to be able to marry my friends." This sounded weak when I said it. Then the big surprise. She shrugged, looked up, and said, "yeah, okay." I paid five dollars or so, and that was that. Legal.

I did the marriage, and all was well. Then a few years later I did another marriage for some friends of friends. Then there was the emergency biker wedding. Then another biker wedding.

The first emergency biker wedding was on a Saturday. My dad calls and asked if I could still do weddings. I told him that as far as I knew I sure could. Then he asked if I would marry his friends. That day. Their minister had double booked and was hours away. An hour later I was in a state park parking lot drinking a beer before the ceremony. The second biker wedding was at the dude's house. I can't remember either of their names, but they were both friends of my dad. I called the lady by the wrong name, then demanded that they stop tape so we could have a do over. Yeah; I'm a very professional minister.

A few months ago I heard on the news that Pennsylvania was no longer allowing Universal Life Church members to marry people. This made me worry. What if the marriages I performed weren't actually marriages and I had led people to possible tax repercussions? I meant to look into it, but then just kind of forgot.

Anyway, all this back story has a reason. This morning I'm sitting in the dining room playing my guitar when the phone rings, unknown number. I answer it to discover it's my friend Haley's new number; so far a delightful phone call. She tells me her friend wants her to marry her, but when she tried to get a license they wanted two letters from parishioners of her church. She's also a Universal Life Minister and was worried that if she just had two people write letters (I offered to write one) that she would either get in trouble or perform a marriage that would later be declared to not be a marriage at all. So she was wondering if I could still marry people.

I checked. According to the Secretary of State's office I am on the registry. This took a load off. According to the State of West Virginia the power to marry people that they so wisely vested in me is still in full effect.

I'm doing a wedding on the 22nd.

Monday, March 2, 2009

This can't be right.

So we're kicking around the idea of going to the beach this summer. Awesome. I got up today and looked at the Yahoo page, and there's this thing about your ideal weight. So I think to myself, "Self, you could probably stand to get in better shape over the next six months." I bit. I clicked on the link, entered my height and frame size guesstimate...and it said I should weigh about 145 pounds.

Then I thought, "Holy shit, that can't be right." I look at the page closer and discover that Self magazine is responsible for this article. Ahh. It would be the "ideal" weight for a woman my height. This prompted a little more looking around.

I find some other site (I forget what it was) that had a chart for both men and women. I go to the men's chart, look up my height...son of a bitch. 146.5 pounds. What the hell? According to this, I'm almost 20 pounds overweight. I don't feel 20 pounds overweight, but then again I never felt tardy when I was late for a class.

Now, I know a lot of people are very passionate about this issue one way or the other. I can hear the "don't worry about it" and "don't beat yourself up" comments already. You can rest assured, I'm not too worried about it. But it does make me wonder. Is this twenty pounds what keeps me from having six pack abs? I've always assumed it was my predilection for sitting around as much as possible and my inability to consistently do sit-ups on a regular basis. That and the fact that I like soda.

I know soda is bad for me. It rots your teeth, fills you with empty calories and contains the demon High Fructose Corn Syrup, lord of the 57th layer of the Abyss. I saw a commercial one time where this cartoon woman was complaining that she and her cartoon husband both quit drinking soda and he lost 15lbs in a month while she only lost like 3. Does this mean if I just quit drinking soda from now until August I'll be at my "ideal weight"? Or will I still be the same me, but with a blood lust stemming from my lack of vital Coca Cola Classic? Would an ideal weight Keith be preferable to a Keith prowling the streets like a junkie looking to score a hit of Mountain Dew?

In similar news I read a few days ago about a "groundbreaking study" about weight loss. Turns out that rather than shunning carbs or eating nothing but constipation curing yogurt is not the answer. Some brilliant scientists have quite scientifically proven that the best way to lose weight is to eat sensibly and exercise more. Holy shit! Turns out I am gifted with psychic abilities, because I could have told them this when I was in high school I'm a good fifteen years ahead of modern science.

I've been putting some thought into this, almost a whole hour's worth. Here's my big plan. When it gets warm enough to go back to my regularly scheduled tearing ass through Cooper's Rock and other state parks I'll start exercising again. I'll stay with the chin up bar I put up when we moved in (yes, I actually use it. I'm hella strong). So, no changes in the exercise department. And I am going to make a conscious effort to cut out the soda. Unless I waste away to my absurdly low "ideal weight", in which case I'm going to start having Mountain Dew Cheesecake floats for breakfast every day.

Up yours, Self Magazine.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Early Spring Mental Breakdown

So I've been stressed a lot lately. Oddly, a lot of this stress stems from actually having money. I'm not accustomed to it, and it's making me crazy trying to reconcile how it gets spent. A good chunk went into savings, which is good (yay for my smart and responsible wife!). Some of it went to bills, some of it to paying off the demon credit card. There's still some left, and we're trying to make that turn into a beach vacation.

Then we discover that the week that the bakery is closed (and which I already requested off) is the most expensive week of the year to go to the beach. Son of a bitch. Then, as an extra added bonus, I managed to damage my mother in law's truck, so there's some more money. Shit on toast! Add in that I haven't been sleeping very well or much, haven't been eating right and have gained a good fifteen pounds...well, I'm cracking.

I know I should sleep more (last night I went to bed at eight o'clock). I'm trying to sit here at work and take deep breaths like the therapist told me to, but the damn poster printer keeps printing out posters with weird arrays of symbols instead of the text I want it to print. It's an uphill battle. We're having people over tomorrow night, and I'm already stressed about that too, because the house isn't all that orderly right now and cleaning it seems absurdly harder than it actually will be.

I don't know why I let myself get as stressed out as I do. It just seems like a bunch of little things snowball into this horrendous tsunami of frustration. I have a coworker who is waging chemical warfare on me via her allergen-laden perfume...I think maybe that's what finally pushed me to the point of wanting to bang my head against the wall. Note: I have not actually banged my head against anything, but it's still disturbing to have the urge to.

So, here's my proactive plan to not have a terrible weekend. I'm going to clean the house. I may arrange for a babysitter if I can tomorrow, and then try to con my wife into going on a pre-vactaion committee meeting date. And ideally a post-vacation committee meeting date as well.

Anyway, to any of you who both read this and have to deal with me in daily life, sorry I've been so freaked out all week. I'm trying.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


So I haven't been posting very often at all lately. It's not just laziness (not purely). I have a new huge time consumer here at Strother House.

I used to have an acoustic guitar, then got depressed and sold it at a yard sale for a ridiculously low price two summers ago. Don't EVER do that. If you have a guitar, keep it. You'll never get the money out of it that you'll need to replace it. This is experience talking.

Anyway, I'd been thinking about getting a new one since about two days after I sold the old one. I ordered one off the Internet (not this one), but my stupid bank likes to randomly deny charges and checks (that's a whole other story). Anyway, after finding out that they weren't going to send it to me I decided to check out the local guitar store.

I made my huge nerd checklist of models I liked and how much I could get it for at the absolute cheapest. The guitar store is actually about the same as the Internet. That was a nice surprise, but the cheap bone still balked.

Then I walked over to the used section. This was a steal, even once you add in the case I bought. STILL cheaper than the Internet.

Anyway, I'm all happy. And that's why I haven't posted anything. I did learn some Tenacious D songs, so there's that.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Friday the 13th and Valentine's Day

I've always loved Friday the 13. The idea of an unlucky, even evil day appeals to me.

I've never had what you'd call "bad luck" on a Friday the 13th. Usually I celebrate this tiny personal holiday with a horror movie. Yesterday we were going to mount an expedition to go see the Friday the 13th remake, but I wound up hanging out in a bar all evening instead.

There was good luck yesterday. Good luck in the form of the tax return. I have to go take a shower and then make a secret mission run. To a store. Maybe two. Maybe I'll even break down and get a haircut. We'll see.

Wish me luck.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

At least 50

We're having a warm few days; it's like 50 outside right now. This is fantastic, as it's been between 0 and 20 for what seems like a month.

Last night I got out of the house and went running around for a while; today I'm puttering around cleaning. I hope to make it to the recycling center at some point today, because it's been a long time. That stuff pile up, you know. It does take a little bit of the shine off having only one or two bags of trash per week when you have to lay the seat down in your car to take all the plastic, cans and cardboard across town.

Not all my posts have to be comedy gold, you know. Enjoy the warm day.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Groundhog Day!

OK, let's all get together and let a rodent conduct meteorological predictions, shall we? I can never remember if seeing the shadow means more winter or what. I know there are two groundhogs, but it's Phil's judgement that I trust.

But is it Phil? How long does a groundhog live? This may be a conspiracy, a hoax perpetrated upon the American people. The real magical weather predicting rodent may be dead. The whole town could be in on it. They may secretly just be consulting the Farmer's Almanac and manipulating the whole shadow spectacle. A shadow groundhog organization, if you will.

Anyway, here's hoping for early spring. Suck it, winter.

(Amazingly, nothing came up when I spell checked this. First time ever!)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I Write the Blogs that Make the Whole World Sing

Ah, man. I went through a bit of Winter Madness, but I've likely already bitched about all that by now. I'm getting it out of my system.

For one thing, we got rid of the dog. He's adjusted quite well to my mother's house, where he is adored and not terrorized by Harley. I was sad he was gone for all of an hour...until it dawned on me that nothing was barking or trying to lick my face. Then a whole night went by without something jumping off the bed every hour, only to demand that you pick it back up or endure the skritching sounds of tiny paws on the edge of the mattress. Peace and quiet, welcome back.

I took a look at myself in the mirror today and discovered that I am a man in need of a haircut. I'm starting to look like my grandpa Leon, only with brown hair instead of white. He didn't go grey, his hair is as white as Elric's. I hope that happens to me, but my dad seems to be going I'll either look like a sorcerer or a supervillian...or just be bald. I did notice today while I was taking a shower that the shampoo Tracy buys for me (if left to my own devices I just use bar soap on my hair, 'cause I don't give a crap, but I digress) ...the shampoo Tracy buys for me says it's a "thickening formula". Nice. Look for a summer buzzcut. On a side note the last time I got a haircut in the summer I asked for a flat-top buzz cut, and the lady said I didn't have enough hair. Bitch.

It's almost the end of the month and we're still waiting on Tracy's W-2. Everyone keeps telling me this is going to be a banner year when it comes to tax returns, as we just bought a house last year. I feel like Ed McMahon (sorry if I misspelled that, Ed) sent me a letter saying he's gonna bring me one of those gigantic over sized checks but didn't tell me how much it would be made out for.

Yeah, I just ended a sentence with "for". Wanna take it outside?

Anyway, it's almost the end of the month..taxes...blah blah blah. The upshoot is that some back bills are gonna get brought back up to date, credit card debt will be wiped out (it isn't that much to begin with, but it irks me to be charged interest) AND (drumroll...) we're gonna get Tracy a computer. She's leaning toward the netbook variety, but it's up to her and laptop is definitely on the list. It is going to make me an Internet widower, but with a happy ghost wife, so it's cool.

Yesterday at a junk store I found a book about how Satan was seducing our youth. It was one of those awesome 80's Satanic Hysteria books, so naturally I stood there and read the section on Dungeons and Dragons before skipping to the back to look at what it said about all my favorite bands. I should have bought it, but my collection of doomsday pamphlets from various religious groups is scattered in random places throughout the house and getting out of hand. I ought to make a file for them, because I love those things. I pick them up every time I see them, no matter what, so I have many copies of the same ones. Modern ones aren't as good as the good old fashioned Chick Tracts; the Cadillacs of fringe Christianity fliers. I do like the "Coming Plagues" one though, which is the most frequent one I find at Aldi's. Apparently there's an Aldi's shopper who thinks God is giving people HIV for pissing Him off. Thus far no amount of half-assed detective work has helped me catch the Distributor (of the pamphlets, not the HIV) in the act.

Here's the topper on today's Crazy Cake. I call him "Bible Guy". He sits in the mall food court, seemingly every day, with a tremendous amount of gear. He has his giant Bible, boxes of crayons and markers, file folders, envelopes...his mall food court table is more organized than my office at work. He knows where his tape and White Out are, that's for damn sure. Anyway, this dude is hard at work every single day making what I suspect are religious pamphlets. I desperately want copies of his work, because I'm sure they're chock full of crazy. He's bound of have hundreds of them by now; he works nonstop...that guy works so fast he has to cut the sleeves off his T-shirts lest they slow him down. I don't want to just go up and talk to him though, because he is (1) gigantic, (2) obviously crazy as a shithose rat and (3) smells bad. One of these days I'm going to have to go to the mall by myself and wait him out. Eventually he'll have to go pee; he drinks shitloads of iced tea from the Chik-Fil-A. I'll bring a camera and take a few quick shots of his table when he goes. This makes it spying, not stealing. There isn't a commandment to the effect of "Thou Shalt Not Spy", so I think I'm on steady moral ground here. I may also leave a card requesting literature to be mailed to me, but that's iffy. Just in case though (talkin' to you, Tracy) if we get mail addressed to "Steinhammer Gurtz", it's totally for me.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Weathering the Winter

Motivation is hard to come by when it's so cold that there is no temperature. My kitchen sink abuts an exterior wall, and dishwater won't even stay hot enough to do more than one batch at a time. The recycling is piling up. Yesterday when I went to work my bosses had a stack of boot and glove warmers on the conference table for everyone who had to go out into the wilds and distribute magazines.

It's freaking cold.

Winter is, as they say, a bitch. I've been looking at this computer devil box for an hour or so now, drinking coffee and waiting for a magical blast of sun and heat to rain down from upon high and motivate me to clean my kitchen, but so far nothing. My finger still hurts from when I lost my temper two weeks ago and pounded it emphatically on the table while I was telling people to please not antagonize me while I was dangling on the precipice of madness. I think maybe I broke it.

I'm trying to be optimistic...only, what, sixty or so days until Spring? I keep thinking maybe we'll get to go sleighriding or something soon. Anything other than pacing around the house like three caged tigers. Being housebound is getting to me, though. Last night I wanted to recruit my friend Willy and go out for a beer or something, but it was actually below zero before you took wind into account. I ended up watching Phantasm again instead.

I can tell it's starting to get to me. I saw a preview for some movie where some people carjack this couple's daughter, only to have the car break down near their house. They put the couple up in their guesthouse, the daughter comes home, they figure out what happens....and then are all, "what are we gonna do? There are dangerous criminals in our guest house!" Ordinarily I'd think, "oh no; those poor people!" Due to winter I instead think, "that's what you get for living out in seclusion like Sharon Tate."

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I seem to have taken my sweet time getting back to the ol' blog here. Things have been all crazy go nuts in my head for the last ten days or so, which is not coincidentally the length of time I had to take the devil Prednisone. Today was the last one, but I'm not any saner yet. Maybe tomorrow.

When I take this crazy medicine I get what they call "flight of ideas". Sometimes it makes me forget what I jumped off the couch and ran upstairs for, but mainly it makes me think of the weirdest things. For instance, I dreamed about the building again.

There is an empty lot by Gene's here in Morgantown, and I have reoccurring dreams about a building on that lot. It's a long building, brick, three storeys. In my dream we live on the very top floor. It has interior brick walls and a staircase to the second level, where some other people live. It's the staircase to these other people's house that makes Dream Tracy hate it so much, that and the fact that in my dream I sold our house to buy it. It's worth buying, though; there are tunnels underneath it. Tunnels that connect all of downtown to my crazy dream building. They're weird, vaulted brick tunnels with people living in them, but the tunnel people never bother me when I'm walking around down there. I even know some of them, real people who only live in the tunnel in the dream. In real life they live in houses and apartments and such.

Dream building has a stereo built into the wall in the living room. It has a cassette deck, but no CD player. Delia and I like it there. There is a lake out in the back yard, and a shrine to the Virgin Mary. And we have a sun room. It's pretty awesome. I wish Dream Tracy liked it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Two Hour Delay!

So this morning I got up, brewed some coffee, then went and roused the D. I got her downstairs and eating breakfast only to find that we didn't have to be anywhere for a while. Two hour delay. I've got to start at least looking out the window before I wake this kid up before the sun rises.

I always hated the two hour delay when I was in school, especially junior and high school. I was a bus student, and often would be at the bus stop before the delay was even announced (I caught the bus at 6:30 AM. Score another one for school consolidation). Two hour delays meant two more hours to sit around drinking coffee, preparing a nervous kid for another nervous day.

I had a lot of anxiety in school. You may not know it to look at me now, but I was a nervous wreck for years and years. As I type this I can feel the current prescription of Prednisone coursing through my veins, giving me Hulk-like energy which I can hopefully harness to clean my house. When I was in school all my nervous energy went into the production of heartburn and a towering impatience. Compared to when I was 15 I'm practically a Zen monk today; I only rarely lean out a window to scream at other drivers, haven't followed anyone with ill intent...I haven't even spit on another car in ages and ages. I've mellowed.

Still, it's winter. Winter is tough on us here at Strother House. Not too long ago I saw asshole comedian Dennis Leary on TV saying something to the effect that Seasonal Affect Disorder is not real.

I will fight you, Leary. Oh yes, I will fight you.

The thing about winter (aside from the long stretches of darkness and bone crushing cold) is that we're housebound way more than we like to be. Incredibly, Tracy has turned me on to the outdoors. Usually it's just her that gnaws on the walls as the snow piles up, but I too am restless. I want to go running around in the woods. I want to go hiking, or camping...anything. I want exercise, more than just chin ups and crunches. Walking through the mall like someone is chasing me isn't doing it for me. I've put on a few pounds, I'm restless....winter sucks.

That's my disjointed bitching for the day. Blame the Prednisone. I do.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Dungeons and Dragons

I'm 33 years old, married, have a child and spend every other Saturday night pretending for hours on end to be a schizophrenic dwarf with a nervous tic. Needless to say, I get mocked for this quite a bit.

Yes, Dungeons & Dragons, the devil's role playing game. I started playing this during the 80s, back when Sally Jessie would have D&D players on her show to expose the demonic influence of the game, when pamphlets like Dark Dungeons (a Chick Tract; you can still find this online and it's AWESOME) came out to clearly illustrate how pretending to be an elf only leads to madness and suicide. I was banned from a few houses as a kid because of D&D, but it was mainly houses full of squares where I didn't like hanging out anyway.

Most of the mocking in my adult life comes from coworkers, particularly on Thursday mornings when all of us are sleep deprived.

"Hey Keith, how's your neutral chaotic elf paladin?"

"Paladins have to be lawful good, you dumb bastard." I'm eloquent that way. "Elves couldn't even BE paladins back in the old days. That's a third edition rule change."

Then they laugh.

I don't defend my nerd hobby to people anymore. I in fact like to give my coworkers updates on my dwarf (who died four weeks ago but is back, thank you very much for caring) every other week. They don't like it, but it's the price they pay to bask in my extra-special greatness during their office hours.

Secretly I think they're just jealous that I have five people willing to hang out with me every other Saturday night.