Monday, December 31, 2012

Every movie would be better with dancing Goombas!

With that title alone, this final post of 2012 makes me proud! It comes from the thread on 20SB for "so-bad-they're-good" movies, and it is part of my defense of Super Mario Bros. as awesome. Call it horrible all you like, but I will always love that movie.


You know what? Now that I'm talking about it, and thinking about it, I need to figure out what box it is in. The VCR is hooked up, the universal remote is programmed for it, now I just need to find this, so I can have fun with dancing Goombas and an ensemble of overacting celebrities that have done much more impressive work since.

Right now, though, I don't think finding this movie should be my priority. I'm working on my first pizza dough, and by "working on" I mean "finding something to do online while I wait and see if the dough will rise and I didn't fuck it all up". Maybe I should do some sort of year in review post like other, better bloggers....Nah. I'll stick with trying to not-fuck-up pizza dough, and having a back-up plan of breadsticks or crackers or something if it didn't turn out right.

Has anybody out there made pizza from scratch before? Any tips for me?

Or, on the other hand, any people aside from me love Super Mario Bros., the movie? I can't be the only one!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Yeah... about that? Sorry.

Remember that whole "two jobs" thing? Well, it's back down to one now, entirely through faults of my own. Want a protip? Don't take a job without thinking about whether or not it's the right fit, just because the money is (a very small amount) better.


So, I quit the new job after two days, because it felt wrong. While I can't legally go into specifics, I felt that the clients they were going to have me be caregiver to deserved someone who had an actual interest in the work. There was a bit more to it, but the main deciding factor for me was that I think it would have taken me a while to not feel wrong about taking the job for financial reasons alone -- and, despite appearances (and my own opinion) to the contrary, it would seem that I have something resembling a conscience.

There's been a lot that has happened in the ten days since I blogged last, and not just in my neck of the woods. I'm not going to go into detail on the sad events in Newtown, because I'm sure you've all heard about it. Instead, I'm going to step over that, and highlight a couple awesome things involving some great people I know:
  • V/H/S, a movie with Jas Sams from Smile Big And Pretty in it, was in the local Redbox. I rented it solely on that, and while it wasn't the best movie, it had some great parts to it. I might've liked it more if I liked the whole "found footage" thing more.
  • Lauren Danger, the awesome rocker-chick that fronts (and is the only consistent member of) The Want Ads, put up a new music video for "We Don't Know How It's Ending". You should watch it. How can you not love a band that includes a hand-written thank-you note when you buy the CD?
I'm sure there's more, but it's 1:30 in the morning... what more do you want from me?! 

It feels good to be posting again, and hopefully I'll have something good for you soon! Like maybe a story/recap (storycap?) of my D&D group's adventure soon? Hmmmm....

Anyway, I'm going to go work on WKH? and then talk to the woman I love. I hope your night is going as well, if not better. :)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

No more free time!

As of Monday, I'll be working two jobs! So, that little bit of time where I wasn't working? ... Yeah, that's gone now.

After applying on Wednesday and getting an interview Thursday morning, I'm going to be training to be a caregiver starting Monday before my shift at "Murphy's". Unfortunately the job is only part-time for now, which is why I'll be doing both jobs. You can bet that, if I like the job, as soon as they offer full-time, I'm going for it.

You know what it means to be working two jobs? MONEY! Neither job is amazing pay, buuuuut having both of them will mean that I can get caught up on bills -- ahead on bills, even! -- and start saving up for things. I'm going to try and go with Sweeney's example and allocate my time better -- no to-be-broken promises about blogging more, but we'll see if I can make time for the occasional post.

Now, though, I'm going to enjoy my smoothie. See ya!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

To the Danger Room, my X-Men!

"I can't decide what's worse: having a forum but nothing to say
or having something to say but no forum."
-Lorraine from Late to the Party

This is really the only quote that fits. I've had internet for about a week and a half, and also haven't blogged in almost that long. I've just had little to nothing to say, so here's the low-down on what's happened lately:

  • I'm currently in Olympia to see Jim & Wendy, and to make a short stop at Danger Room Comics, one of the best comic shops I've dealt with
  • Speaking of Danger Room Comics, I've started the Sympathy for the Devil blog! If you haven't checked it out, it's for the DC Comics character Blue Devil, because I think he's awesome, and previously had next to no representation online!
  • WORKING MY ASS OFF (figuratively)
  • Exercising by HIKING MY ASS OFF (not quite literally yet)
  • Reading because I just started a free trial of Amazon Prime
  • Writing and researching articles for a local free monthly paper, to get some exposure
  • World-building and writing Who Killed Hermes?
There's probably more stuff to mention, but it's midnight while I'm typing this up, and I've been up since 6am -- after having only gotten 4 1/2 hours of sleep last night. Really, I'm surprised that I can words together string to coherent make sentences.

Oh, yeah, I should probably mention the whole "having internet now" thing.

A week or two ago, my roommate had a friend with some issues where he was staying. She offered him our couch to crash on for a few days, and he decided to have his internet and TV service moved to our place so he didn't have to be without. When he left, he decided to leave it as long as we keep the bill paid, which my roommate is doing since she's working again. Essentially, I have internet again without having to pay the bill for it -- huzzah! Feels good, man.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Death In The Family (Farewell, 9thWonders...)

Before anyone worries, it's not a literal death. I will be honest, though... it kind of feels like it.

9thWonders Boards: 2007-2012

Some of you probably never heard of 9thWonders, but for almost the entirety of the run of Heroes, a show I'm sure you've heard of, this was THE place for fans. More than that, however, a fairly large community was developed on this silly little message board. It was the "official/unofficial" NBC-sponsored site, message board, and landing space for all of the Alternate Reality Game stuff that NBC had going on.

When I say community, I'm not just talking about the thousands of registered members, or even just the few that were still posting within the last week. Personally, I've found so many parts of my life through 9thWonders -- the friends I made got me through a lot. I'd had a horrible relationship end, a boring job that I was not happy doing, and so much more. Something really wild? Almost every person that I got close to on that site, I still talk with, whether it's on Facebook, Twitter, or even by phone/text with some of them. A couple of them, I've met in person!

Maybe it's a little silly to feel sad about the death of this forum, but it became more than that to me and some of the others. It was like a sort of "home" online -- like your parents' house. Sure, it might not be your place anymore, and you might not go very often... but it was still there. Now, it's like it's been repossessed by the bank and torched to the ground. At least from this side of the NBC/consumer fence, there's not even "ashes" (archives) to see.

So, here's to everything -- the Skype calls, the crazy evsdropr clues, the strange-as-hell AIM chats, and to all the relationships we formed on 9th. We will miss you, 9thWonders Boards. As Jordan said on Twitter, it's officially the end of an era.

"Nothing gold can stay." - Mabes 
"My heart just broke a little." - Lauren 
"Aww." - @ebrown2112 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Meep meep

(Source)
THIS is what I've felt like lately. I've been running my ass off lately, and finally ran out of road.

The good thing, though, is that I've got the next two days free from work. With no plans tomorrow, that might even mean a blog! ... but given my track record lately, holding your breath on that isn't a good idea. Plus, holding your breath until some time tomorrow? What kind of super-powered lungs do you HAVE?!

Remember that whole "writing WHO KILLED HERMES? during NaNoWriMo" thing I mentioned a few weeks ago? Yeah... I gave up on that before it even started -- with good reason, though! And by good things, I mean the pile of "TO DO" things that I've set up for myself. Here's a few things from that pile:

  • Talking to Jynni
  • Work on my articles for a (free) local paper to try and gain exposure as a serious writer
  • Regular ol' work at Murphy's
  • Writing WKH? when I'm not doing either of those
  • D&D night with Steev and Megan (and others)
  • Trying to not be a complete and total hermit
It's an exhausting list, and that's not even all of it. I'm trying not to neglect you, blog... but sometimes it happens. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off work, and I'm going to go home and work on figuring out... WHO KILLED HERMES?!



(Okay... that was a pretty weak ending. Feel free to flog me for it)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I want to blog...

I really do. But a lot of the things that have been weighing me down lately, I can't talk about on here. A lot of it involves my roommate, who has asked me not to talk about her on here.

It's kind of stressful. My tagline when this was just called "This Is A Blog" was that it was cheaper than therapy. When I can't use it as that venting space because of the concerns of those in my life, it becomes less so. I withdraw from it a bit, and I don't like that. To ease off that stress a bit, I went and hung out with Steev yesterday. Things with my roommate hit a high point of Very Very Bad, and thankfully some time spent with a good friend helped a lot.

But there is still good stuff going on. Jynni and I are still great, and I've got the extended prologue of Who Killed Hermes? hand-written and ready to be typed up. Going to try and get it put up today or tomorrow, so I can be true to my word when I said "this month".

Hopefully, bloggery will resume soon. :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

You keep using that word...

... but I do not think it means what you think it means.

If you're a dork like me, you try and fit that into any situation you can. For me, it was when a coworker came in to the store and glared at me before saying "My name is Inigo Montoya... you killed my father. Prepare to die."

"I could give you my word as a Spaniard!"
One short conversation later, and I tossed out that other Inigo classic, which always makes me happy. Because, really, who doesn't love to point out when someone uses a word wrong. (And you can't tell, but in my head, this entire post is in Inigo's accent. Don't worry, most of the voices in my head have accents...)

I've been really slacking on posting the last few Fifty on Friday posts. This last Friday, I was so sick that I'd have had to feel better to be able to die, and almost had to work a graveyard for someone else, anyway! Thankfully, I'm almost wholly recovered now, and have already queued up this Friday's post. I'd get the one after that up, too, but I'm working on the expanded prologue of Who Killed Hermes?, and I've got to tell you... I'm pretty excited to share it with you guys.

Now that I've let you all know that I'm not dead -- despite the best efforts of the seasons and my immune system -- it's time for me to wrap this one up. Have to head home and work on some more WKH? for you all!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

MEDIC!

This might be a sign that I've been a bit too active lately.

I like being active, and don't spend nearly as much time being boring and lazy as I used to. But I'm starting to think that, until all this activity starts showing in my attempts to get more fit, the occasional wrapped ankle is a price I'll have to pay. Then again, maybe it wasn't a good idea to go for a jog, then run errands, then a mile-and-a-half walk.

The sprain? Result of errands on Monday. Underestimated how close to the curb the bus was, stepped down wrong, and rolled the shit out of the ankle. Let me tell you... that makes for a fun half-mile walk home from the bus stop. I forgot to wrap it last night, and then worked 8-ish hours on my feet today, so it is staying wrapped tonight.

Other than that, the last couple days have been great. When I posted on Monday, it was while doing laundry, after paying the power bill, another bill, and visiting my sister at her work. She's a Radio Shack employee, so she's strongly suggested to give her the money if I want to get something, so she can use her discount for me. Awesome, right? We didn't get along very well growing up, but that's a story for another post.

For now, I'm going to lay down and get some rest. More work tomorrow, and then games with Steev and Megan! It's Steev's birthday! Go wish him well on Twitter, tell him I sent you!


Monday, October 8, 2012

Who Killed Hermes?, and more tales of excitement

It's been a while since my last post, but there are reasons. Aside from working 36-40+ hours a week at Murphy's, and trying to find other work, there has been a lot of research and a bit of writing going on. I mentioned in my "Ketchup" post that I'm working on a novel, and now that I'm starting to write it, I've put a page up, here on the blog.

Lastly, I've been having a bit of stress, which is the main reason I didn't make almost any effort to post in the time that I could have. My mother has been having heart problems, and went up today for a cardiac catheterization in Seattle. She was a bit terrified, because of an obituary she read recently where a woman almost 20 years older than her died after the same procedure, but I'm happy to say that she came out of it fine -- as I'd assured her she would.

I ponder many things, often.
This picture portrays my ponderousness, yes?
Really, the only people that I've not really been a bit antisocial towards are Steev, Megan, and Jynni. I talk to Jynni every day still, and have been meeting up weekly with Steev and Megan for game nights -- D&D, Cards Against Humanity, and We Didn't Playtest This, mostly. A couple of times, we played Settlers of Catan, which I'd love to play more if I thought I could find more people to play with.

Going back to writing for a few, I would like to say that it feels good to be writing something that I feel strongly about. As such, I plan to rewrite the prologue into something a bit more extended, and have it up on this blog by the end of the month... just in time for NaNoWriMo! Barring anything currently unknown, I shouldn't have any issues taking part in it this year, and WHK? will be something fun to work on during November. If I can get to 50k, then who knows, maybe I'll bump that time-frame a little closer! :D

Now, it's time to be done with this post. It is that most necessary of days... LAUNDRY DAY. Keep an eye on this blog, though, because the layout should be changing in the upcoming days... mostly because I have too many issues with this one and not enough time to learn how to fix them all.

"Stoke me a clipper, I'll be back for Christmas!"

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fifty on Friday #7


Have you guys enjoyed the whole "Fifty on Friday" thing so far? It's partly for you, and partly for me, so I got to thinking about it. Maybe I'm just shouting these words words words words words into the abyss of the internet, where they get swallowed into nothingness. Or maybe you guys are interested. Or maybe it's saving me years of expensive therapy. Either way, I'm digging it. Hope you guys are too!

It's been interesting to take one day a week and use these questions to dig around in my own brain, to really think about some of them. Others have been less thinking-required than others, but it's still been interesting, and I'm glad that I decided to do it like this instead of all in one incredibly long post. This one was originally intended to go up last Friday, but between crappy internet and limited time, it got pushed down a week. Here we go!

(Source)
#7: Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you're doing?
For a long time, I was just settling for my life as it was. I wouldn't admit it to most people, but I was very unhappy, and just chose not to do anything about it. To me, it was just my lot in life to accept, and to hope that "it will eventually get better", as so many people struggling with depression do hope.

Nowadays, I'm doing what I believe in. I'm in a healthy and happy relationship, writing daily, working with a friend to get some published articles done.... The only time that I don't feel like I'm doing what I believe in, is when I'm at my day job, wage-slaving until I don't have to anymore. Sure, I still have some issues related to my depression, and some days the headnoise can be unbearable... but who wants to read something written by someone mentally stable anyway?

#19: If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?
If money wasn't an issue, I wouldn't stay in any one place for more than a month or two. I would go anywhere, and everywhere, that my life could take me. But setting that aside and picking one state, I think I'd start off in New Jersey. I've got friends there, like Matt, who would let me stay with them until I could get a place of my own, and even the places that I did visit are still a new adventure in the waiting.

As far as countries besides this one, I think I'd be boring and start with Canada. Not saying that the country is boring, but that it's kind of a boring start for me, because I'm just four or five hours away from there now. Another option would be somewhere in the United Kingdom. I've got ancestry way back somewhere over there, and it would just be a fun and exciting new world for me.

#28: Has your greatest fear ever come true?
Up until it came true, I didn't really give much thought to my greatest fear. Sure, I'm claustrophobic, and a little bit arachnophobic, and I have a perfectly irrational hatred of clowns and mimes... but I never really qualified any of that as "greatest fear". I don't fear my own death, so it was an odd thing to think about. Turns out that my greatest fear was losing my grandpa, which happened back in 2009. I was raised by my grandparents, so he was much more my dad than my biological dad was. He taught me how to cook, and a lot of other things, and he was pretty awesome to have around, all the way from childhood to adulthood. I miss him a lot.

So, yes. My greatest fear has come true. I guess I need a new one.

#49: In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday? What about the day before that? Or the day before that?
No, probably not. Not specifically, anyway. Maybe I'll remember that I was balancing writing Project: Samson with researching Who Killed Hermes?, but I doubt I'll specifically remember which scenes I wrote,  or what book I used as research that day. The things I will remember are things like playing Cards Against Humanity for the first time with Steev and Megan, or helping Jynni deal with some hard stuff going on lately. But remembering a shift at Murphy's in detail? Not likely.

#30: What is your happiest childhood memory? What makes it so special?
I've always had a bad memory with my childhood, so this one is a bit hard to answer. One that stands out is when my grandpa started teaching me how to cook, but letting me watch when I stayed home sick from school one day. It was his spaghetti, which was his main thing as far as I was concerned, and it was an all-day process. He always made enough to feed our family and have plenty left over, because there was always at least one extra person. Sometimes it was Tony or one of my other friends, and sometimes it was one of my sister's friends, or a coworker of my grandma's... there was always someone extra over, and he always made enough food to accommodate.

To this day, I still love to cook. I haven't yet perfected his spaghetti, but I'd like to think that I do a pretty damn good job trying.

Friday, September 7, 2012

KETCHUP! (Get it?)

JURY DUTY IS OVER!

 If you don't follow me on Twitter, or aren't my friend on Facebook, you should remedy that. 

Well, that, and you probably didn't know that I got a jury summons in Monday's mail. And we're going to pretend that's the reason that I didn't have time to write any posts other than yesterday's "Fifty on Friday". I've been ranting about it a bit on both Twitter and Facebook, to the limited extent that I was legally allowed. Aaaand that post is still to come. This one is a "my world lately" post, so be prepared to be assaulted with mediocrity!

 I've been writing, and more than that, researching. Specifically, I'm researching everything I can about Ancient Greece -- Greek mythology, Greek society and laws, and just about everything else I can find. My latest idea is going to involve a world where the Greek gods not only existed, but were present in the development of the modern world, and Greek society was the main society influencing the world as it got to this point. And the gods are still very present in this world, with the book actually starting with one of their deaths. Tentatively, it's to be titled "Who Killed Hermes?", but that's subject to change.

 Work has been... well, it's been. That's about all I can say for sure. today was better than some days, partially because the aforementioned jury duty had me unsure if I'd be able to work. Like I said, you'll get the story on that later. My coworkers were both people that I enjoy working with, so it was an uncomfortably-91-degrees-outside, filled-with-snark-and-sarcasm good time, all things comsidered. And towards the end of my shift, something funny and unexpected happened! I was answering Customer #2's questions, but because I was grabbing Customer #1 some food out of the hot food case, C#2 couldn't see me well. Imagine my surprise when I got back to the register where she could see me, and she said "Holy crap, you're handsome!"... That's always nice to hear!

 Finally, and most importantly, you might have been wondering how things have been going with the Long Distance Relationship. To answer that, I'll just say this: Great! It's still a bit hard to be so far away, but we're coping with it. Some time soon, we'll be having a Skype date. Thank you, The Internet! Bringing distant people that much closer. :)

Fifty on Friday #6

Man, I just didn't have a chance to get this done last week. I'm still getting used to the whole "split days off" thing, so getting just one day off at a time has left me feeling draaaaaained. I had the answers mostly finished, hand-written, just didn't make the time to finish them and get them scheduled on to here....

I'm doing that "complaining instead of getting Fifty on Friday done" thing again, aren't I? Right, then... We're past the halfway point, so... GERONIMO!


#21: Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?
Well, I'm closer to worried genius more of the time, so it might be nice to experience the other side of it. Personally, though, I'd rather be a worried genius. My intelligence is important to me, and sometimes being smart causes me to worry. Not so much lately, since I've decided to have an outlook that doesn't stress me out, though.

#23: Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?
To most of my friends, I hope that I can honestly say yes. Nobody's perfect, though, and I'll admit that I haven't always kept in touch as much as I should. For that, I apologize. As to other friend-behaviors, I can say "Yes", definitely. I've never stolen from my friends, I've been completely honest to them, and I like to think that I've at least offered help when it was needed, even if they didn't accept.

#10: Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?
Do the two of these have to be considered mutually exclusive? I'd like to be able to do the right things, and do them right; that's what I typically worry about. But, if I had to choose, I'd say I tend to worry more about doing the right things, sometimes to the detriment of the "right" way that I want to do things.

#36: Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil?
This is sort of a loaded question. Initially, I would want to answer "yes", because we all know that murder is bad, and theft is bad, and lying is also bad. Except when they aren't.

What if your life, or the life of someone you love, is in danger, and your choice is "kill or be killed"? Even the law has language that allows for self-defense, however controversial those things are. What if not-stealing means that you can't eat, or that your kids can't? If the choices are "steal a loaf of bread" or "die of starvation", I doubt that many would judge that person for their crime. And if the lie that you tell saves your life, or someone else's?

The simple fact is that good is usually good, and evil is usually evil. But not 100% of the time, because the factors that lead to the actions matter a lot in how that action is perceived.

#13: Would you break the law to save a loved one?
This ties in perfectly with the last question. To answer shortly, yes, I probably would. It depends on what the situation is.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fifty on Friday #5

What was with me last week? I guess I'm right, when I regularly say "brain no work good". Sure, it's usually because I've gotten tongue-tied, but an inability to remember that I'd scheduled a Fifty on Friday post seems to fit the bill just as well. That's what happens in the middle of an 8-day work week, with one of the shifts being a twelve-hour, right?

Anyway, less complaining and more question-answering, am I right? That's what you clicked forward for, so here you go!

(Source)
#12: If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?
"Run." Actually, I could probably think of something better than that, if I took the time. But, really, "run" is pretty good. Running keeps you in shape (or helps you get there, if you're me) and helps you get out of danger. I'd say that the best piece of advice that I can think of to offer would be something that everyone else accepts as a given. Something like "be yourself", or another crappy answer. How about you ask me this one again when I have a kid?


#29: Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset? Does it really matter now?
It's funny that, after knowing of these questions since I decided in 2009 to eventually answer them, that I'm doing it now. Five years ago, I had just started working graveyard shift at the hotel, and it had only been two months since I'd been dumped. Not just a little dumped, but a lot dumped, by someone that I really thought things could work with. And somewhere in the neighborhood of "two months since", I found out she'd started dating her next boyfriend the same day that she dumped me.

None of that matters even a little bit, anymore. She and I are casual acquaintances (maybe "Facebook friends" would be a better term), and I've realized since then that the relationship was extremely unhealthy for me. Now, I'm in a healthy and happy relationship, and can see long-term potential in it. I haven't thought about That Ex in some time, save for thinking back five years for the purposes of this question.

Know what else I remember? August 20th, 2007 was a night off, I'm pretty sure. Three days training on hotel graveyard, one night off, then three nights on. I'm about 80% sure on that one.


#37: If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job?
Not right away. The first thing I'd do is finish paying off the last of my debt, which would take just a small amount of that million dollars. Then I'd buy the house that I'm in and get some small-but-necessary improvements taken care of, and pay the utilities for the next year. From that point, I'd invest whatever was left, and work for at least that year to have a bit more money saved up. Maybe then, I'd quit.

I'd still write, though. I'd do the work that I wanted, to keep myself busy and content. But working at Murphy's for more than a year or so? Nooooot happening.


#4: When it's all said and done, will you have said more than you've done?
I certainly hope not. If it was "all said and done" today, though, unfortunately I would.


#47: When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing?
Earlier today, after I went jogging. When I'm sick, I hear the rattling in my inward breathing that precedes a coughing fit. I tend to breathe a bit heavy, which my grandma says I always have. I can't remember what she said was the cause of it.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tony Nicklinson

UPDATE: Within 48 hours of this writing, Mr. Nicklinson died of starvation after refusing to eat and contracting pneumonia. Rest in peace.


High Court rules that man must prolong his suffering rather than dying with dignity

It's not often that I get into politics on here. Actually, this might be one of the first times that I've written about sociopolitical issues on here. Regardless, when I saw the above post in my Google Reader feed the other day, I couldn't help but think about it. In time, I decided I'd write about it.



To paraphrase, for those who didn't read the link, an Englishman named Tony Nicklinson had a stroke in 2005, and was paralyzed from the neck down. He can't communicate via any means other than blinking, and wanted to have doctors end his life, rather than suffering, trapped in his body.

As that link above's title shows, the High Court said no. Quoting the Friendly Atheist article, "if doctors let him die before it's 'his time', they will be prosecuted".


This situation makes me think of a serious topic that I haven't really given thought to in a long time: euthanasia/assisted suicide/assisted dying, or whatever else you want to call it. A decade ago, when I was a religious teenager struggling to reconcile my faith's views on things with my own views, I was against euthanasia, for much the same reason that I would presume the High Court was -- sanctity of life, and everyone having a "time to die", all that crap. I considered it part of my belief system, even though I wasn't strongly against it; I said I was for religious reasons, but felt deep sympathies for those who truly were suffering.

Now that I've become aware of Nicklinson's sad story, it's given me pause to think on my stance these days. I'm not sure when it happened, but some time between now and a decade ago, my mind was changed. Maybe it's because I've dropped the religion, or maybe it's because I just feel too sympathetic for those like Nicklinson, who are doomed to die in long, drawn-out suffering, in a prison of a body. All that I do know is that I'm for assisted dying when the alternative is months, years, or even decades of the person's own personal hell-on-earth.

Thanks for putting up with a serious detour, and I hope it made sense, because it did in my head. I'll see you guys on Friday, right? :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fifty on Friday #4

I'm close to the halfway point, and enjoying this the more that I do it. These questions were actually answered on paper a couple of days ago, because these questions make me think more and more. I couldn't contain it this time, so I opened up the questions on my browser, and made a hand-written copy of this week's Fifty on Friday!


#34: Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever?
I think my answer to this is best communicated with a line from a song I can't stand: "We can be on the phone for three hours, not saying one word, and I would still cherish every moment". Even when Jynni and I don't say anything on the phone, or she ends up having to talk to her roommate or daughter about something while we're on the phone, I feel so at peace, so reassured by that presence on the other end of the line.

And it always feels like the best conversation we've ever had.

#35: Why do religions that support love cause so many wars?
For me, the answer is two-fold. On one hand, violent conflict is (unfortunately) a part of human nature, which we will hopefully lose as we mature, both as individuals and as a society. Conflict can drive change, and change is good, but sometimes that change is through terrible, destructive means.

The second fault can sometimes lie within the religions themselves. In most religious that I'm familiar with, especially monotheistic religions, the deity (or deities) can be jealous and vengeful -- the Christian god floods the whole world when they fall away from their worship and into ways he decides are wicked, Zeus fucked everyone after overthrowing his father Cronus, and that's just the beginning. And it's because that's the way people can be, too. Followers who can't be content with differences of opinions and beliefs attempt to force change through destructive conflict.

#44: When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right?
Before it's too late. It's kind of a clich├ęd answer, to be sure, but that doesn't make it any less of a vali one. When it comes down to it, it's sometimes important to trust your instincts rather than your brain.

I'm very much a "what if...?" guy. I try to account for every negative possibility before I do something, just in case. Taking that slightly-neurotic point-of-view into account, it kind of amazes me that I've done some things -- like travel to New Jersey and crash on Matt's couch, when he could've been a serial killer planning to wear a Justin-style skinsuit. Or sharing a hotel room with Nate when he visited, even though he could've cut off my ear for some freaky Australian ear-necklace or something.

When your instinct tells you to go for something, sometimes it's a good idea to go for it. Stop wondering "what if?" and just do it.

#3: If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don't like and like so many things we don't do?
Time. And money.

It's really that simple, in some situations. When we do things we don't like, it's because we view them as necessities. I like having a roof over my head, so I work at Murphy's to pay rent, which is an unpleasant necessity.

As far as not doing things that we do like, that's where the "time" part comes in. We spend so much time dealing with those "necessities" that we don't make time for the things that make us happy. For a while, I described my days as "I work and sleep" when anyone asked, acting like that was all that I had time to do. Now, I include "writing" in that, because it makes me happy. I make time to really enjoy the music in my collection, too.

#48: What do you love? Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love?
I'm kind of amused that this question followed the last. If we're going with "what" instead of "who", I'll forsake answers like "my friends and family", and go elsewhere...

I love the feeling of creating something new. It's part of why I write, and cook, and bake, and even part of why I've tried contributing to Karaoke Ring Of Death from time to time. When it comes to writing, I love my characters, even some of the darker, twisted ones. And music drives my everything.

As far as recent actions, the increased amount of writing I'm doing now, compared to even just a month or two ago, kind of speaks for itself. And I take some of my CDs to work to listen to some of the time, which has actually helped me find new and interesting people by who reacts well to the music.

'Avengers Academy' cancelled? NOOOOO!

Ever have something that you really look forward to? Comic book fans know what I mean, especially those who have been keeping up with Christos Gage's excellent series Avengers Academy.


Avengers Academy follows a group of new-ish characters around. They'd been tortured and tempted by Norman Osborn when he was in charge of S.H.I.E.L.D. (which had then been changed to H.A.M.M.E.R.), and were initially recruited because they were the ones thought most likely to become villains if there was no intervention.

Gage has been doing a GREAT job writing it. I suppose I should be happy that we're getting 39 issues out of the series, especially since another favorite (S.W.O.R.D. -- Marvel Comics sure loves those acronyms...) was cancelled before the first issue was even out, only racking up a total of five that were released. Still, it doesn't mean that I have to be happy that one of my favorite things in the comics industry is getting the ax because of the reboot-that's-not-a-reboot known as Marvel NOW!

(If you're wondering where today's Fifty On Friday post is, I've just finished a 12-hour shift as I'm typing this at 2:30am. So, not having the brain cells to be all philosophical and shit)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Fifty on Friday #3

I kind of slacked off on last week's post. There were obviously Very Important Things going on that prevented me from even pre-writing it and scheduling it. The most important of those VITs was spending time with Jynni, because the whole "long distance" thing means it will be a while before I can spend time with her again. Instead of this installment of Fifty on Friday, you got forced to endure treated to an amusing/embarrassing story!

Never fear, though, because I'm back with it this week, despite the fact that I'm missing the buttons for my shift keys. It's much more annoying trying to use the little nubs that the buttons were designed to press down on... I think I need to see about getting the keyboard on this netbook fixed.

(Source)

#18: Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?
Actually, as of this writing, I'm not. I've learned that holding grudges is kind of like letting someone live in your head, rent-free (thank you, Evil Wil Wheaton, for that analogy). Unless we're talking physical things, in which case there are probably a few things that I could do without, if I felt that getting rid of them was a necessity.

#17: What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What's holding you back?
The quick and easy answers to this would be "get tattooed" and "dye my hair unusual colors", both of which are being held back by finances. In the case of tattoos, it's because those bastards aren't cheap, and in the case of oddly-colored hair... that one is just because bosses in customer service tend to dislike that, and I can't really afford to have any workplace punishment meted out, like a write-up for dress code violation or something stupid like that.

The harder answer would be to tell my family, proudly, of my atheism. I've never been sure how they would react, and wouldn't want to lose those familial relationships, just by being a bit more socially liberal, and by not believing in anything. You can repeat the "if they'd hate you for it, why keep them around" rhetoric that I've heard a dozen times... they're still my family.

#32: If not now, then when?
This question's pretty appropriate for a few situations in my life, as well as for the above question. Most of the situations boil down to "when it's financially viable", and "when I haven't got as much of a burden on me". If you know my situation, you'll be able to intuit how those responses apply.

#9: To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?
100% of what led me to where I am now, I had some modicum of control over. To quote one of my favorite teachers from high school, "The only thing you have to do is die. Everything else is just puzzling choices". Some of the choices had highly undesirable alternatives to what I chose, but still, it was a choice. I didn't have to move in and help mom out financially. I didn't have to wait until junior year to give a shit about high school, preventing me from graduating on time.

My entire life, both the good things and the bad things, is my fault. And I'm okay with that.

#45: If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?
As a culture, we have an idea of perfection that we've burnt deep into our brains. Because of that, we associate mistakes with failure, and failure keeps us from perfection. Until we can get over that, nobody will want to make mistakes, even if they learn from them.

While I don't enjoy making mistakes, I've overcome that societal programming enough to learn to accept my mistakes. I try to use them to better myself, however I can. And I'm learning to reward myself for my successes, because I spent way too long being down on myself, and too harsh a judge of my mistakes.

Friday, August 3, 2012

A bit early...

It's great, the variety of things that kids will come up with. Since Saturday evening, I've been staying with Jim and Wendy and it's been a really good time. They're like family anyway, and now that I'm in a relationship with Jim's daughter, they've picked on me and acted like I'm actual family. Four days into the relationship, and Wendy has already made jokes that I can call Jim "Dad".

With that kind of humor flying around, it was only a matter of time until one of their kids asked a question that turned Jynni's face bright red. After dinner last night, their eight year old stopped her on her way out to join me for a cigarette and asked her, loud enough for everyone to hear (and completely serious), if she was going to get me an engagement ring.

I didn't hear the question, though. All I heard from my perch on the porch was quiet, and then roars of laughter. Jynni RAN out the door yelling "I will not entertain that question!", and came out onto the porch bright red to tell me the tale. Maybe I should point out that their eight year old doesn't always grasp the humor in jokes, but either way, it was hilarious. Four days in? Engagement is not on the agenda any time soon, and I think Jynni would agree.

There was loot to be had, though, from this quest for a relationship. At least until we see each other again, I have her giant d20, which she has affectionately named Colossus. And she stole my Dalek shirt, which was probably going to happen whether or not I got something of hers in return. I've turned her into a Whovian, so it is my punishment. It'll be nice to have something, to help with the long distance. Anyone want to drive me to the Tri-Cities area? :p


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Birthday week, baby!

It's a late birthday present from Jynni!

So, I've been kind of absent. Sure, there was the post on Friday, but that was totally a written-in-advance-and-scheduled thing of awesomeness! I've enjoyed doing the Fifty on Friday thing, and look forward to this Friday's, as well.

This weekend has been good. My bonfire on Friday night ended up being pretty "meh", but I cooked some steak strips in my homemade teriyaki marinade, and then Saturday was my birthday! I'm 26 now, hereafter (maybe) referred to as "closer to 30 than 20", and thank you everyone on FB and Twitter for all the birthday wishes. It was a good day, spent with Wendy and Jim, and listening to Jim sing and play guitar at an event he was hired for. I tried to get video to put up here, but that failed.

I tried to compensate for my camera's bad audio by getting it closer to the speakers, and put it too close. The video looked great, but the audio was so garbled that you couldn't understand even a little bit of it. Guess I'll have to get some video of him and Wendy practicing, or something!


Oh yeah. That happened, too! That's right, I'm off the market, and I know that there are so many people that are disappointed, but I'm pretty happy. Granted, it's only a day in, but she is able to match sarcastic comment with another sarcastic comment, and she makes me laugh.

Last thing that has happened lately: I have an opportunity for formally-published writing experience! Some of you might remember that being the biggest thing preventing my employment with The Daily Planet, but L. has approached me with an offer: she and I brainstorm ideas related to her work as a realtor, and I write the article (with shared credit) for a local free newspaper. Her business has a guaranteed spot with them every issue, so it's not just going to be a one-off article, either.

All cards are coming up "Justin" right now. I'm okay with that. :)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Fifty on Friday #2

Ready for another week of me giving crappy answers to questions that should be making me think, or challenging the way I look at things?

Well, me either, but it's Friday. So, that means it's time for another five questions, or Fifty on Friday! This week, the randomizer spit out the following numbers for me to answer: 41, 1, 20, 6, and 8. Let's see if I can come up with something more profound than I did last week!



#41. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today?
Who wouldn't I visit? If I had to, I would steal a car to get to the people that weren't close by. But, if I had to pick one person, I'd have to say my grandma. She and my grandpa were the people who raised me, and I wasn't there when he passed. I wouldn't want to be aware of her impending death, and not be there when she passed.

#1. How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?
It took me a second to get what this question was asking. If, by some form of amnesia or something, I forgot my age, how old would I look/feel/be? Honestly, probably about the same age, give or take a couple of years. I look like I'm in my mid-20s, which is good, since I'm one step closer to 30 as of tomorrow.

Think I'm not understanding the question? Feel free to share your interpretation, because I'm not sure what the hell it's asking, if I'm reading it wrong.

#20. Do you push the elevator button more than once? Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?
Maybe I'm more patient than the person who asked this question, but no, I just push the elevator button once. I'll think mean thoughts at it, if it's in a tall building and stopping at every floor between it and me, but just the one push is enough.

I will admit to one super-nerdy thing, though: when I used to work at the hotel (hereafter referred to as "Inn Hell"), and doing my graveyard shift security walkthroughs, I would catch the elevator to the top floor and walk down from there. While I was on or waiting for the elevator, I would make hand gestures like I was Magneto and controlling the motion of the elevator itself. Really, it was because it made me chuckle, and there was no camera in the elevator. Yeah, I'm a super-dork.

#6. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
Writing. Or cooking. Or making music, even if I'm not very good at that anymore. It's the main reason I'm writing now, and making serious efforts to get published -- I'm writing for my own benefit, even if I never get paid for it.

And I love to cook, too. My grandma and I were talking about my grandpa earlier, and she told me that one of his favorite things to do was play around with flavors and foods, and make new things. That has me written all over it. Every time I create something awesome, I feel a bit of a connection with him, and that means the world to me.

#8. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?
Well, for one thing, I'd be much more in awe of folks like my grandma, who are in their 60s. But I would definitely work harder at the things that make me happy, and spending more time with the people who make my life better just by existing.


You know what? I think that round of questions went a lot better than last week's; I actually feel like I got some emotional/mental benefit from answering them, this time. Just in time, too, since I'm 26 in less than fourteen hours! If you have any good add-ons, feel free to leave a comment! :)

Be well, my friends.

Friday, July 20, 2012

:(

It took a while to sink in, but after hearing about the tragic events in the early morning hours in Colorado, I'm filled with an immense sadness.

I don't know any of the victims, but the reality is that I could have, and that is terrifying. Most of the time that I think about how the internet has resulted in some of the best friendships with some very amazing people around the world, I forget to think about this part -- if something happened in their part of the world and they were caught in it, would I know? How would I react, or even properly grieve?

One friend did mention that, while she wasn't there for the Dark Knight Rises opening, that this was her usual theater. It's scary to think that someone that I went to high school with, someone who had me be the minister at her freaking wedding, could have been there when this happened. For me to be that horrified at the potential of something like this, I can only imagine how horrible things must be for the family members of those that were injured or killed by this one, crazed gunman.

If anyone connected to this tragedy sees this, my heart goes out to you. You are in my thoughts, and I wish you the best of luck recovering from the aftermath of this sad event.

It may be hard for some right now, but be well, friends. Both old and new, even if we've never met, or even talked -- I love you all.

Fifty on Friday #1

One thing that's popular among the blogosphere is the 50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind.

To quote the page itself, "These questions have no right or wrong answers. Because sometimes asking the right questions is the answer".


I've wanted to answer these questions for a while, and it's even on my 101 in 1001 list at #42. Clearly, questions that make me think being randomly at the number that is the answer to life, the universe, and everything is important. I will gain enlightenment, and become aware of the true nature of the universe... or I'll just think a little bit to answer them. So, for the next 10 Fridays, I'll be doing this. Five questions per week from the list, but with an added twist: unlike everyone else that I've seen do it, just going down the list, I've decided to randomize the numbers, and answer them in that order. This week, the numbers are 15, 16, 43, 31, and 2.

#15: What's something you know you do differently than most people?
I write the first draft of everything by hand instead of using a computer, for one thing. And navigating my computer is a mess of folders, because everything has to be correctly categorized. Some things have as many as a half-dozen folders in the path to the file.


#16: How come the things that make you happy don't make everyone happy?
Because people are different in every way, shape, and form.


#43: What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
"Alive" is a physical state, with all the necessities for survival, like a beating heart and breathing lungs. LIVING is about doing what makes you happy, and challenging yourself every day, in some way. The bonfire, with A. and C. and E. -- that was living.


#31: At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?
I felt most alive during the thunderstorm last night, when we took off because of the huge, VERY close crack of thunder. There was adrenaline racing, and we were moving fast away from our quickly-dying fire, and the edge of the bay with all its driftwood.

My most recent feeling of being passionate about what I was doing, was working on Project: SAMSON. I've gotten a few more characters detailed, and the second draft of the script is underway. It's an exciting thing, to be creating your own world.


#2: Which is worse, failing or never trying?
Without a doubt, never trying has got to be worse than failing. I've done both, and even when I fail, I know that I tried.

Friday, July 13, 2012

"Not the moneymaker!"

That's A.'s rule, when throwing something at someone: not the face, "the moneymaker". Or, as he put it, "if they're pretty, don't hit them in the face".

I learned this rule last night at Mac's Tavern, when I made a smartass comment that got his girlfriend to (lightly) throw a hacky sack at my face. My response was "Well, I'm not one of the pretty folks, so no worries!"... A. had to agree to disagree.

Last night was a lot of fun. It was good to see A., a friend I've known since I was eight or nine years old, before he leaves town for a few months. He works on boats, and is going to be fishing up in Alaska this year -- I am a little worried for his safety, but know that he can handle himself. I think what I'm most worried about is his emotional well-being.

"Last time we were up there, I had to save the captain's life," he told me last night. The captain fell off of part of the ship during some heavy weather, and A. grabbed him out of the air as he was falling, and dragged him back on to the ship. It was weighing on him considerably, it seemed, but he was trying to soothe his mind, and his anxieties regarding his upcoming departure.





"You are the only one who can control your own happiness."

Thursday, July 12, 2012

"You are a beautiful man, inside & out, own it"

Those are the words of Kelly Hogaboom on Twitter this morning, and they kind of made my day. :D

No, people in my life don't just throw out random praises of my magnificence. I mean, sure, they're earned. And I wouldn't complain, because, let's face it -- I'm pretty great.

"I've seen mirrors, I have eyes. Let's face it,
buddy. I have a body that makes men wet. "

Actually, all joking aside, that one was brought on by my dog being kind of an ass. She always barks at people/dogs/bikes going by the house, even if they're across the street. I've tried to teach her not to bark at people, but my roommate kind of undermines that, so I've given up. That whole "old dog, new tricks" thing.

When she started barking this morning, I go to see what she's barking at and get her in the house. Turns out that she was barking at Kelly and the newest member of the Boom family, Hutch. And she's not kidding when she says that this dog is huge. It was my first time seeing him today, and holy crap he's a big dog. So, Kelly won the morning by seeing me shirtless. That's where the quote comes from!

Really, I just wanted an excuse to use that Cat line, and remind people just how much of a Red Dwarf nerd I am. Because Red Dwarf is fantastic.

Monday, July 9, 2012

How speedy is it?!

Can't you tell that I'm just so thrilled to be here?

My dryer finally broke last week. It's been pretty well-used in the last five(?) years, and still sort of works -- it just doesn't put out any heat, so I have two options: buy a new dryer to replace it (not happening!), or spend $50-$100 on a heating element... which I'd then have to learn how to properly take apart my current dryer to install. That one is probably what I'll eventually do, but for now...

SPEEDY WASH.

I guess that's the new name of the local laundromat. They have a card-based system now, rather than lugging around a dozen or more quarters, which is nice. And there is WIFI! Sweet, glorious WIFI!

So, yeah... that's what's up in the world of Justin, while it seems like every person that I freaking know is headed to San Diego Comic Con. And no, there's no jealousy here... none at all.... It's not like the artist for one of my favorite comics is selling trifold covers of an upcoming issue. Or like the casts of so many shows that I know and love will be there. *twitch twitch*

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Reliance

Or, "Brain Retrain and Smartphone Dumbing".

In light of feeling like I might be too reliant on my smartphone, I'm going to buy a planner/agenda/whatever-they're-called. You know, the thing where you write (by hand!!!) phone numbers, events and appointments on the calendar, and things to remember in the note area.

I hadn't thought much of it until I realized how bad I can be with phone numbers. Do you know your best friend's cell phone number? I just barely do, and that's a recent development -- but I can tell you what his home phone number was ten years ago when he still lived around here. There are maybe a dozen (or two) numbers in my phone that I actually remember, at the most, but I can remember numbers that were cancelled by my friends' families years ago. Appointments and events? Not a chance, unless I write them down on the dry-erase calendar above my desk -- and I need a finer-tipped pen before I can do that in such small areas.

Obviously my smartphone will still be important, since I don't have internet access most days of the week. Emails like my pay stubs and for cooperation with people whose phone numbers I don't have will still be a necessity, and I still plan on using it to entertain myself and keep up with sites that I follow. For the most part, though, let's see how this next month or so goes.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The bus is alive...

... with the sound of muuuusic!

As I type, there are three people singing on the bus. The driver is singing something (kind of) quietly in his native language -- something from the middle east -- and a young couple is practicing choir songs. Occasionally, they stop to discuss a slightly off note, and other choir-y topics.

It's an interesting contrast to my own history as a choir student. I was a baritone/bass, and spent four and a half years in choir, at the same time singing in a church choir -- yes, I used to be one of those religious-y types. Really, I sang whenever I had the chance... unless there were people that I didn't know around. Yeah, stage-fright. The blogger who is way too open about his life has stage-fright, which is why I write instead of make thousands of dollars with YouTube videos... well that, and the fact that I'm not a "thousand dollar idea" kind of video maker.

So I sang in the privacy of my home, the seclusion of the choir classroom, or with a group in concerts. And dammit, I made that tux look good.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ghost Rider 2: Thoughts and tweets

Time for some Ghost Rider 2 fun.... Sure, it's a couple days late, but I'm dealing with Safeway's wifi, so I think we've both been punished enough. Don't you? Plus, I was the one who watched this horrific piece. So, for those of you who don't follow me on Twitter, here's a recitation of my tweets while I watched the movie:
  • Mansplaining the entire first movie, Nic Cage?

  • Well, now I know which country to get hospitalized in, if the pain meds are THAT easily accessible.

  • This is the most horrible "interrogation" acting I've ever seen. "You're a BAAAAAD MAN! And this thing feeds on BAAAAAD MEN!"

  • HEY I'M NIC CAGE. I CAN SPEAK IN A LOW VOICE TO A KID AND BE TOUCHING TOO, RIGHT?

  • Oh, hey, Raiden/Connor MacLeod. You're kind of a dickhole. I guess that's why you're the monk with writing on his face.

  • Vomit fire into his mouth, young one! #Tonyism

  • That's f**king dumb. Wait, this IS Ghost Rider 2 we're watching.

  • F**king HORSES**T! "Demon's an angel", my ass. Feel how goddamn fast I return this to the Redbox, Nic Cage.
Yes, this movie was THAT bad. In a world where X-Men: The Last Stand and Spider-Man 3 both exist, this is by far the worst comic book movie that I've ever seen. I would rather watch the Transformers movies in one marathon viewing. This movie was so bad that Tony, who has a bit of a man-crush on Nic Cage and thinks he's a great actor, lost a bit of respect for him. Of the two of us, he was the one who expected this movie to be good -- I rented it just for the humor of seeing how bad it could be.

I stopped thinking that Nic Cage was a good actor a while back. One of my friends put it best when she said "We all used to think Nic Cage was a good actor, until we realized he was playing the same role in every movie". Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get some bleach and scrub this movie out of my brain.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Daily Planet....?

I've mentioned before that I don't talk about my workplaces by name (anymore). Pseudonyms stand in for the real business names, and while I don't work there yet, I've got the ideal name for the local newspaper: The Daily Planet.

It's actually not far off from the real name, and it keeps with the SUPERGEEK theme I have going... if, by "theme", you mean "life". Short story long, I'm not going to be a reporter for The Daily Planet -- at least, not right now. The few reporters they do have all possess many years of experience, and he said he'd need to see some published, formally-formatted writing from me, so he would know that I had the talent.

The new plan: submit things to weekly papers, rather than dailies like this one. Get a few feature articles, then bring my ass back to the Planet and say "See? I CAN do it!".  More of the story tomorrow, but for now, WORK.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

F***ing HORSES**T!

Here it is, almost two weeks after I posted last, and some of you are probably thinking I've fallen into a bottomless chasm. Well, maybe some of you thought that. Maybe some of you didn't wonder at all, and lastly, maybe some of you have been following me on Twitter, where I've still been active. Last night, I even (sort of) live-tweeted my first and only watching of Ghost Rider 2.

If you haven't seen Ghost Rider 2, I suggest you keep it that way. Even Tony, who expected to enjoy it, thought about giving up 2/3 of the way into it. When he found out that it was from "the guys who made Crank", all he could say was "Oh, god dammit". And, really, "oh, god dammit" and "fucking HORSESHIT" are the only terms that I can use to accurately describe the levels of fail that the movie reached.

Also, there's a (lame) excuse why I haven't been blogging: LOTS AND LOTS OF WORK. I had an eight day work week, then two days off, and now I'm on day four of a seven-day work week. Swing shift has a lot more work and a lot less podcast-listening than graveyard, but still... so much happier. So, starting probably tomorrow with a collection of my tweets and thoughts about Ghost Rider 2, I'm going to try and blog more. Wish me luck!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Drawing A Blank

Few things are more irritating than a blank piece of paper. It taunts you with its lack of words. You know you can write something, but the decision of what to write is the problem.

You can look at other notes you've taken, but some days, none of the ideas that pop into your head feel right. On those days, none of your thoughts feel right to write -- and not writing the right thing feels abhorrent, like blaspheming against yourself.

Today is day two of being swing shift on the regular, and I'm looking forward to it. It was great to be back at my Murphy's store yesterday, and some good exercise walking part of the way home. Hopefully tonight will be good too, now that I know about what to expect.

I'm noticing a definite improvement, being off of graveyard shift. Sleeping at night the last few days has resulted in me waking easier, feeling more rested, and feeling less drained when I'm done with my shift. It's a good feeling, not working graveyard anymore.

Lastly, I called to check on that reporter position again today. It's not in the paper anymore, so I'm not going to get my hopes up, but I'm going to keep calling and pestering every few days until I get an answer. One way or another, I'll know -- they'll either hire me, or tell me to go to hell. Either way, I gave it my best shot. :)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Project: COIN BANK

In the true fashion of the supergeek, a project has begun! Someone bought me some small plaster coin banks lately, and I got bored yesterday -- so I started painting them.

The coin banks are in the shape of an elephant and a train, and when I started painting them, the idea came to mind. The glorious dream of coins being protected by the best among us -- those few elite metahumans that represent us. In that fashion, the train and the elephant are slowly revealing their secret superhero identities: The Flash Train and Superphant! Next time I go to the dollar store, I'm thinking about picking up more of these, and painting the core Justice League: Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman to add to the rest.

I'm definitely not the best artist, but it's still a nice little distraction from The Crap that's been going on. When they're a little further along, I'll post pictures, but I'm not sure how long that'll take. I work the next five days -- and I'm off of graveyard! It's about damn time I'm on a "normal" schedule! :D

Friday, June 1, 2012

I was on the news!

Sure, it's not quite reporting the news yet, but it's still pretty cool to have been interviewed for a local news story.

Over at Grays Harbor Down, I wrote an article describing my alligator sighing from Wednesday night. Today, Richard Thompson from KIRO-7 reached out to me on Twitter to interview me for a bit more detail. I didn't have much more to give him than I wrote on my own, but they found out a little bit more than I did.
Man spots alligator in Hoquiam river - KIRO 7
I didn't manage to get to a TV to watch the news story, so if anyone sees it online, please link it to me. I've heard positive things, and want to see how the full story was reported and played out. Did anyone else get a chance to watch it?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The day giveth, and the day taketh away

Yesterday was, in a word, wonderful. Another good word would be "productive", wiith a note of peculiar before work. Here's a list of what I was able to get done:

-- started the blog for Harbor Humanism, and made an attempt to start getting the word out to people

-- learned a few more html and css tricks, when setting up that site's new layout design

-- got some of my laundry done

-- set up a schedule for one of my days off to get some important stuff done, and some less important stuff

Aaaand then the day got less good. Work was okay for the first hour, and then I had a beer theft. Honestly, those things fuck up my whole night, and my good mood was gone.

Then came the fun of essentially getting blamed/guilted for it because its not the first time its happened to me. Lots of fun. It makes me wish for the days in movies and tv where stores like Murphy's could have a weapon of some sort behind the counter. Y'know, just as a discouragement.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Harbor Humanism

Remember the times I've mentioned Harbor Humanism?
No?
Oh... right. I've only mentioned it once, and very briefly at that.

The short version: Harbor Humanism is a secular activism group that I'm trying to start.

The long version: "Harbor Humanism is a not-for-profit group to promote interfaith cooperation, and secular awareness. [...] The goal is two-fold: charity, and support. We would like to open a hand as a support group for all who need it, and raise money for causes whenever we can."

So, there's that. I'm finally getting real work done to get it started, and will be scouting potential locations soon. It's probably going to be challenging to put together, but I have high hopes that it will be worth it -- I've already had positive reaction. :)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

RICE, I HATE YOU (but not really, I love you, baby!)

Hold your applause, because I KNOW. It really is a whole lot more delicious than it looks, and I'll be the first to say that it looks pretty tasty (but maybe that's just me).

I'm not one of those classy food bloggers that has an awesome camera, and photographs every step, and uses actual amounts instead of guesstimating. Part of that is because I don't have the equipment necessary, and part of it is because who the hell needs actual amounts?

My favorite thing about having volunteered to housesit for the Booms, aside from feeling like I've helped some friends, has been being able to cook some of the stuff that I had in the freezer the way I want to cook it. At home, I can't really cook spicy, or have a whole lot of fun with my cooking. Two days ago? Maple salmon, adapted from this recipe. Tonight, as a before-work meal? Beef, thin-sliced carrots and one diced garlic clove, marinated for five hours in a sweet chili/chili garlic sauce mixture.

As soon as the rice is done (RICE, Y U NO COOK EASY?!), I'll serve this wonderful-tasting steak mixture on top of that. I just have to remind myself to leave some steak to have when the rice is cooked. So I'm going to distract myself with Mythbusters. :)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

I'm not really sure what to write about tonight. My brain hurts a little bit, and I left my headache stuff at home. Today sucked, just a bit. Bad news yesterday, followed by being late to a shift I'd been called in for -- and getting there without being even more late required shelling out $13 for a cab ride.

But I'm back in Boomland, and ready to relax. Until work tomorrow night, "everything's shiny captain, not to fret". Anything after work tomorrow night, I'll have to let you know as things go.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Oops, I did it again!

And now that the horribly annoying pop music sounds of the early 2000s are stuck in your head, HELLO! I'm back!

With the way that work has been, I've only just realized that I managed to neglect this blog for another week. Holding myself to my prior "missed day = video" pledge, I think I'm going to have to bust my ass. I'm somewhere around three weeks of videos, unless my count is off. (shit)

The lowdown:
  • I'm house-sitting at Boom House while the Hogabooms are having a blast at an unschooling conference. So, you know, party over here -- but not really, because it's nice that they don't hate me. Let's keep it that way.

  • My resume has been updated! This wouldn't be a momentous thing in and of itself, except that it's because I'm applying for a job reporting for the local newspaper. Be on your best behavior, I'm not keeping this blog a secret.

  • No work until Sunday night! That's probably the best thing so far about this weekend, even if I do get to hang with some awesome cats*. It's a chance to relax, and be out of the house.

Oh, and did I mention that they have wifi? Since I'll definitely get bored on the internet eventually, I can't imagine how I'll avoid blogging for this weekend. I hope you all are having as good a Friday as I am, and go check out my posts on Grays Harbor Down. You know, if you're not following that blog already... shaaaaaame. Shaaaaaaame on you and your house.



*No, I'm not a crazy cat guy that will grow old and die alone. I'm a crazy dog guy that will grow up and die alone.

Friday, May 18, 2012

What the hell happened?

I just realized that it's been nearly a week since I blogged, and I wish I had a better explanation. Over the last few days, I've just been lacking the inspiration to write any posts.

Maybe it's "blogger burnout"? I figured I'd last more than three months before that was a problem, but maybe not. It's probably not that, so much as it is the fact that very little has been going on besides working, sleeping, and trying to get some writing done inbetween those. There's also some stress going on about financial stuff, but hopefully I'll be hearing back about that today.

For the time being, though, I'm going to try and get back into the rhythm of blogging. I've got a couple of things I've been working on, and might post one of them. Maybe not, though, because I've also got to come up with some writing examples for the reporter job I'm applying for with the local newspaper. It's probably a long-shot since I have no professional experience, but it never hurts to try. The worst they can do is say no, and lately, I'm okay with that idea. Whatever happens, happens.

All will be well.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Justin Barlow's Day Off...

... is not nearly as awesome as Ferris Bueller's Day Off, which I'm going to see in a theater tonight(!!!). In just two hours, I'll get to see one of my favorite movies on the big screen!

But it's been a good day off or two. I went around to yard sales today and bought a 16" LCD monitor for $4 that I'll get to tinker with when my power cord gets sent to me from Amazon. My yard has finally gotten mowed, so my dog doesn't get lost when she has to go to the bathroom, and started the day off with an awesome burrito from El Taqueria Jalapeño, a Mexican restaurant around here that rocks. So, yeah. No parade-hijacking, or pancreas-eating, or amazing-car-driving... until I go see Ferris Bueller tonight, and live vicariously through Matthew Broderick.

Be well, friends. :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

I've become addicted

To what, you ask? Draw Something.

It's an addicting game, even though I'm a horrible artist. Most people can decipher my awful scribbles well enough to figure out what it is, with few exceptions. I put the symbols of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman for "justice", and they didn't get it. =/

One person that I'm currently playing against drew an awesome Poseidon. I feel like the kid in the dunce cap, scribbling stick figures on the wall next to some of these people. And another person was able to guess "Aquaman" from nothing but his symbol and a stick figure -- I'd drawn more, but she guessed it before it showed her more.

I do wish there was a more conversational aspect to it, like Words With Friends' ability to have conversations on the side. But oh well, it's still a lot of fun. :)