Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Planet Fail, We Have Arrived

Indiana, you have officially been placed in the "Fail" column of a chart somewhere, probably in the Pentagon (sorry Heidi but you, like JM, probably don't read this blog anyway). And I shall now outline all of the reasons for which you suck. Some are you fault; others are not. But I lay the blame squarely on you since everything fell within your lame borders. You are a fresh turd, baking in the sun, left to whiten and crumble. Know thy place, you!

Okay, so let's begin, shall we?

  1. First of all, your time zone fails. Eastern Standard Time is no good. Get rid of it. Seriously, do it. And while we're on the subject, make up your damn mind--EST or CST? Not both. I don't enjoy traveling around the state and trying for 10 minutes just to figure out what freaking time zone I'm in.
  2. Your roads fail. Half the time they are damn-near illogical and unintelligible. The other half of the time, they are TOTALLY illogical and unintelligible. They change names more than Prince. Nay good sir, they change names more than John Cougar IG-88 Mellancamp Fong. Straighten them out, dammit. 'Nuff said.
  3. Speaking of John (etc. etc.) Mellancamp, there are no good radio stations in Indiana. I mean, there is a Jack station, and that's "okay" but good radio does not that make (or something). There is more to radio than Country, pop, Country, Country, College Radio, Country, and .
  4. And another related note...it is your fault that my iPod ran out of juice. Yes, your fault. Your roads go on way too long. And without said iPod, I'm stuck listening to the smelly, wretched drivel that you call "radio."
  5. Ooh, not only do your roads fail, your road CONSTRUCTION is EPIC fail. Wait, no. That doesn't do it justice. Your road construction is Mega Kaiju World-Eating "Batman & Robin and Clone Wars Have a Baby" Super Epic Fail. If you are going to completely close a thoroughfare (especially one that *I* have to use) make sure you give me an F'ing detour. Road Construction Fail. Seriously, WTF? I showed you, though. I blasted through your "construction zone" and made it out alive. In your face.
  6. I don't know how you did it, but somehow you crashed my backup hard drive. I don't know if you paid it to fail or just bullied it into submission, but that was totally uncalled for. I'd just like to know why you did that. It hurt.
  7. You also somehow bribed Microsoft Streets & Trips so that it would give me phony directions. For shame. How low will you stoop, Indiana? How low? What did I ever do to you? I say this because no piece of software could possibly be so poorly programmed as to tell me to turn left...on a dead end...with no turns. Good job. You did it well!
  8. Also, why the hell is "Sex and the City" on every other channel constantly? What is up with that? Is every inhabitant of Indiana a woman? Or someone who wants to be a woman? Ooh, wait, Transformers is on! I *might* forgive you...but I doubt it.
  9. Your Burger Kings fail. They close before 10:00 but the drive-through is still open...so I have to get back in my damn car just to get food I don't really want, but eat anyway because it's the only choice? I know you delayed me so it would be too late to go to that Texas Roadhouse across the street. Instead you leave me with a huge pile of sloppy crap you call a "Fully Loaded Steakhouse Burger". Yuck! Do you know what *I* call it? I'll write it down in a little note and pass it to you if you want to know. Also, do you like me? Yes O No O.
  10. And back to the road construction...you just had to throw in that last little bit right before the hotel, didn't you? Oh, you're so funny.

So here would be the short list of things I've learned today.

  1. Don't let your iPod run out of juice...ever. Do whatever you have to do. If this means sucking on a 9-volt battery and hooking the iPod up to your ass, do it.
  2. Whatever you do...if you invent something and want to put it on a roadsign, do NOT call it "Corn Hole Games." You should know better. Disturbing? Yes. Hilarious? Also yes.
  3. Cops that follow you down the highway are usually bad. Cops that follow you down the highway while you're doing 80 (in a 50) and don't pull you over? That's good...very very good. Indiana may suck but its cops are top-notch!
  4. Wasting food is bad. Wasting a Burger King Steakhouse Burger (TM) does not count...for that piece of crap does not qualify as "food". Feces squeezed from the bowels of depravity, yes. Food? Not even close.
  5. Always be prepared to reverse polarity, reroute the plasma flow back through the plasma conduits, divert to the dilithium crystals, and drink a bottle of scotch. The scotch is key, here.
  6. When stuck on a long drive without my iPod I have been known to listen to (and sing along with) almost anything. Almost.

I kissed a girl and I liked it
Hope my boyfriend don't mind it

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Travelogue Part III

I've Been Here...
(Yes, JM, that's a nod to you. But you probably don't read this anyway.)

I rolled into Indianapolis today...exactly two weeks late for GenCon! Or, well, almost a year early for next year!

Anyhoo, I arrived after upgrading a couple of laptops. As I approached I noticed a familiarity to the place and quickly realized I'd been to this area before. And the hotel was one I'd stayed at before. Sweet. With my propensity to get lost in my own bathroom, this was a good sign. It was nice to see a familiar place. Staybridge Suites hotels rock.

I have absolutely no interesting observations from the road. It was a very uneventful and un-humorous drive.

Sundown...You, Bettertakecare (Imagine William Shatner saying that)
I don't know about you but a few certain things have a tendency to spark vivid emotions or memories within me--almost all from childhood, whether I can recall specific instances or not. I returned to Cheeseburger In Paradise (a restaurant quickly becoming a favorite) and had a relaxing evening on the patio, reading and enjoying the most badass August evening I've ever had. (This August has been the best ever, weatherwise.) There was a local dude playing his guitar and singing. He wasn't awesome but he was decent.

Anyway, after he finished his acoustic rendition of Tom Petty's "Runnin' Down a Dream" (which was better than it sounds, btw), he started into Gordon Lightfoot's "Sundown". Now, I have no idea why, but "Sundown" and "If You Could Read My Mind" both evoke really strong memories. Memories of what? I totally have no freaking clue. I can't even tell you when or where I first heard either of those songs! For some reason, those songs both mean something nostalgic to me, and I have no idea why.

I suspect it's because, when we went to sleep, my sister and I listened to a radio that my mother set out in the hallway for us. Maybe each of those songs came on as I was drifting to sleep. Again, no idea. So which song came after "Sundown"? Yep. "If You Could Read My Mind". Bizarre.

Also, the hallway here at the Staybridge smells exactly like my house in Arizona in the summertime. No joke. Weird.

And it just now comes to mind that the lyrics in "Sundown" aren't really geared towards a little kid now are they? Ha!

Sundown, you better take care
If I find you've been creeping 'round my back stairs.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Travelogue II: The Sequel

Travelogue Part II:

More things learned while on the road:
  1. If ever you get the honor of naming something, say, a park, I would suggest a name other than "Big Bone Lick Park." C'mon! Seriously? "Bone Lick Park" wasn't enough? It has to be BIG??
  2. There is a water tower, (I assume for the town of Florence) that has, written on it in big letters "Florence, Y'all!" This sounds more like something teenagers would spraypaint on a water tower, not a legitimate label.
  3. Do NOT, under any circumstances, let Microsoft Streets & Trips tell you when your day ends. Day 1 might just end in the middle of I-75. I'm just saying, is all.
  4. The Riverfront in Covington, KY, smells like 1,000 asses fermented in dishwater on a 100-degree day. Again, I'm just saying, is all.
  5. Apparently I am not in Cincinnati as I thought. I'm in Covington, KY. No biscuit for me.
  6. Flight of the Conchords and Tenacious D are both hilarious...in vastly different ways.
  7. One-way streets disdain me apparently just as much (or more) as I disdain them.
  8. I can be driving the damn car and I will second guess myself and ask "Did I remember to bring the car?"

So what if you can see?
The darker side of me.
No one will ever change this animal I have become.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Travelogue

Interesting Stuff Seen/Learned:


  • Saw a bumper sticker that said "Life's a Bitch, Don't Vote For One". FAIL. It's like saying "Life's Just Like a Big Dump, Take One."
  • Saw a sign on a building (probably a church) that said "Jesus Saves Completely." So, up until now, he's just been mostly saving? What parts was he not saving? I'd suggest the liver...it doesn't refrigerate well.
  • One-way streets are fail. An entire downtown comprised of nothing but one-way streets is EPIC fail.
  • Just because something is called a "margarita" doesn't mean it won't taste like a snow-cone. If you're going to call it a margarita (and card me, no less), put some stinking alcohol in it as well as flavor of any other kind. Don't give me ice with food coloring on it. Mexican restaurant Fail.
  • Also, if you ever have a plate of assorted enchiladas and one of them is a cheese enchilada, eat that one first...seriously. Congealed cheese enchilada isn't as good as it sounds...and it sounds like ass.
  • Saw a bumper sticker on a van that said "Please do not tailgate, there are showdogs in this vehicle." I don't even know what that means? Like, will it upset them? Or is it okay to tailgate other showdogless vehicles? Does this upset them? Will they attack? So many questions!
  • Gas stations/foodmarts that close at 9:00 fail. I want to give them money, yet they will not let me. Fail.
  • 87.9 FM is the best radio station ever. They didn't play one song I didn't like! That just so happens to be the station my iPod was broadcasting on...win!
  • I think my last wisdom tooth--the one that has been trying to fully come in for about 20 years--tried a little more today.
  • The game Candyland can indeed be completed, start to finish, in about 45 seconds.

So far away, we wait for the day
For the light source so wasted and gone

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Kindergarten, Ho!

So Today is G's first day of Kindergarten; her first foray into the world of bigger things and...oh, wait. Really it's the same thing she's been doing at preschool only a) it's longer, b) she gets to take her own lunch and, most importantly, c) she gets to ride the bus! In fact, it's probably a bigger step for K and me than it really is for her.

But it is a big step. It's real school!! It makes me wonder how the last five years blew by so quickly. Did I sleep through it? Impossible in our house. Was I comatose? Possible but not probable (but sometimes preferable).

So this morning, G requested that I, her loving and strikingly handsome genius of a father, walk her to the bus stop. The rain was a bit on the heavy side but we trudged through it, umbrellas in hand, courageously seeking out this fabled bus stop thing.

Turns out the bus would be 30 minutes late!! Obviously it runs on a different time zone than the rest of us--or, at least, it did today. But it eventually arrived at the agreed-upon location. G was excited and could not wait to board the large, yellow, banana-like vehicle. And she did so with a small bit of apprehension and a large chunk of excitement (swirled in with a dash of giddiness and maybe some hot sauce to taste). And then she disappeared. I waved to the bus as it pulled away, hoping she could see (but figuring she probably was interested in other things).

Then K and I hopped into our cars and drove to the school to meet her (she insisted we not drive her to school on the first day). We waited quite a while; her bus was the only one that had not shown up yet. Eventually we saw her at the other end of the hall. When she noticed us her eyes lit up. We walked her to her classroom and she eagerly sat on the big rug with the rest of the children. We stayed for a little while (all parents did--we were allowed this time) to watch. I left before K did, but during that entire time she never once paid us any mind. She was focused on something new, something exciting.


And, thus, begins her adventure in Kindergarten. I can't wait to meet her at the bus stop this afternoon and hear all about it. She has requested paella for dinner tonight and then we're going out for ice cream. I am sure she'll have wonderful things to say and I will enjoy hearing them.

Oooh ah ah ah ah!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Randomosaurus

So I'm getting ready to go run. T is sitting on the kitchen floor and the conversation goes like this:

T: "Daddy, I no want you to go running."

Me: "But I need to. Why not?"

T: "Because I said so."


A Place To Run

So last weekend, K and I traveled to her parents' house. While there I got the chance to run at one of my favorite spots--Watkins Mill State Park (we both returned the next day and walked). The park consists of a 3.8-mile trail that circles a lake. From that description you're probably thinking "sounds boring, you're a loser and you smell funny." Well, I showered this morning and I'm only sometimes a loser. Shows what you know.


Here's a pic of what much of the trail looks like:

Most of the trail is like this. It's a beautiful run through the woods. I start out in front of the lake, run out in the open for a half mile, then disappear into the woods, only to emerge a couple of times to look out over the lake. At 3.8 miles it's a damn long lap (or two) and it has some up's and down's but it's an awesome run. To keep it interesting I suggest imagining that a nazgul is on the path behind you and will come into view at any moment. :)


The run was made even better due to the fact that it wasn't 100 degrees with 90% humidity. Knowing that you're not either going to a) suddenly melt or b) die of heatstroke is a reassuring fact.

Here's another pic:



(Note that all pictures were stolen from K's blog...because she took the pictures in the first place.)

I push my fingers into my eyes

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Chapter 1!

Sometimes it's not easy writing creatively. It's usually more difficult to rewrite creatively. I tend to look back on old writing styles of yore and nearly want to vomit. I wrote that?? Usually it's very apparent as to which writers influenced me at the time. I truly hope my latest efforts (and future efforts) are a digression from that. Usually I am proud of what I write and Chapter 1 is no exception. Though I don't think I have found my stride yet and I may go back and tweak it a little once I've got a few more chapters pounded out.

So, dear reader, if you wish to take it in, click on the happy guy on the right and enter the passkey. As always, I really am interested in what you think. If it sucks, I want to know (though you can sugar coat it with a cherry on top if you wish but I need no such pleasantries).

Go World!

The Olympics are in full swing and I am inecplicably sucked in. I don't think most people truly appreciate the games until they are older. Certainly college students, chugging beer through a homemade bong-like apparatus, couldn't give a greasy rat's derrier about them. High schoolers are too wound up in the usual drama to notice. And anyone younger than that is probably glued to their Xbox. But there is something about them that really keeps me watching. It's almost as if there is a 24/7, two-week-long world party going on and everyone's invited. There are always amazing moments--some good and some rather less good--that transpire. Sometimes I care if the US wins a medal, sometimes I don't.

Both of the Spuds seem to be drawn into the Olympics as well. G voiced her dislike of beach volleyball (an opinion which, I must say, I seem to share) but was transfixed when synchronized diving came on. SYNCHRONIZED DIVING!! She and T spent the next hour pretending to be synchronized divers, jumping off the couch. They even climbed out of the "pool" using the arm of the couch, and then proceeded to towel off with a blanket.

I can't wait until they catch a glimpse of the really funny sports like trampoline, ribbon-dancing, and the gazing ball dancing.

GenCon

The "Best 4 Days of Gaming" are upon us, officially starting tomorrow. I am not attending this year due to lack of time, lack of money, and a general lack of closeness with the group of friends who are going. Last year I roomed and drove down with some of them and spent precisely 15% of the total time with them, sometimes being frustrated or irritated with a couple of them for one reason or another. I'm not really sure there's much of a point in going with a group of friends with whom I'm not really going to hang out.

But I do miss GenCon. It's very liberating to know that absolutely everyone who attends is at least some kind of a geek like me. It's nice to get up in the morning and know you have the whole day to do pretty much whatever you want, whenever you want. And there is always something going on--24 hours a day. It's nice just to wander the convention hall and see what gems you can turn up or who you can run into. Ah well, maybe next year.

Excuse the unseen, ignore the untrue
Depictions we see and try to get through
Admitting mistakes can hurt
I'm not the last but I sure ain't the first

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Total Randomosity

First of all, I'll start with a linky. Cakewrecks is a pretty funny blog about huge cake mistakes. Some of you may already know about it, some may not. Now you do. Do you feel enlightened yet?


So K and I had the house all to ourselves for a few days as the girls were shipped off to the grandparents for a veritable mecca of fun and exhaustion. This was great because, not only did the grandparents get time alone with the granddaughters, but K and I got some peace and quiet and alone time.


Or so we thought.


Much like an unexpected guest who shows up with a suitcase and slight unpleasant odor, we were hit with a couple of strange maladies. On Friday I went to the eye doctor because of a spot in the vision of my right eye. Long story short: I spent two days with dilated pupils (I looked totally psycho) to find out that I have a swollen spot on my retina. Time and money was spent (or will be, when the bills show up) for me to find out that "it'll probably go away on its own in 3-4 months."


K got a sudden case of selective vertigo--mostly whenever she laid down. Now this makes life tough because lying down is one of the major prerequisites to SLEEPING. So, for a few days, her hobbies included not sleeping, trying not to vomit, and being very still. Lofty goals, all of them. The girls returned a few days later and have proceeded to have a rough time adjusting, driving us insane in the process.


I haven't been running much--only a couple of times a week. I attribute this to the following circumstances:

  1. It's hot and humid

  2. I have to wake up an hour earlier and run before work because of #1.

  3. It's still hot and humid when I perform #2.


August blows.



Writing:

I've stalled a bit in my writing mostly because I have been relatively busy in all facets of life. Some of this is work, some of this is just doing other things. I'll get back to it. Chapter 1 of "The Call of Chaos" is about halfway done. Here, I'll give you visual proof. Ready?

That's about as accurate as any progress bar you'll see when installing software in Windows, which is to say it's not accurate at all.

All we want to do is eat your brains
We're not unreasonable; I mean no one's gonna eat your eyes
All we want to do is eat your brains
We're at an impasse here; maybe we should compromise
If you open up the doors
We'll all come inside and eat your brains