Wednesday, October 8, 2008

August 2006 Archive

August 27, 2006
Das Boot
We saw Beerfest today. OMG was that funny. Definitely check it out. If you remotely enjoyed Broken Lizard's Super Troopers, watch this one. It was hilarious. I love those guys.
It seems like every time I'm about to fly, there's a plane crash the day before. I tell myself that as long as that happens, there are no whammies on me. The one today just has me scratching my head. If that person survives, wow do they have a purpose in this life. Holy crap.
I was fine until this afternoon. Now I'm jittery. Bleh. But there's no beating the short amount of time it takes, and yes I know it's safer than driving a car. I still don't like it.
I'll be in Omaha, NE until Friday. I'll update my posts after that since I'll have no access to my FrontPage until then. Later all!
August 22, 2006
Lonesome Town
The drive to Crapsburg, Crappinois was uneventful. The car, my friends, makes all the difference in the world. I had a shiny new black Malibu--still not a car I would own but definitely nice for a road trip. The weird part was that I felt like I was in the grown-up car. It made my Toyota feel like a Tonka Toy. I could barely see over the dash, and I can't say that's a problem I've ever had before.
This place is apparently a small-town destination spot for rich college kids and their wealthy parents. The downtown area was rife with antique shops and overpriced eateries, the kinds of stores that small town folk puff their chests out with pride over. "We got ourselves a Bath & Body!"
I'd been told to eat at Chez Willy's, an upscale restaurant featuring dishes far too fancy for my palette. I'm not the type of person that requires rouille in my meal to feel satisfied. But since I was told to eat there, I decided to try it anyway. $55 later, I wasn't impressed, which is typical of these sorts of restaurants for me. I remember one of Kev and I's first dates. We went to the Dayton Art Institute, which used to have an upscale dining area that served hoity toity food. We sat down, looked at the menu, and I said, "I think I'd rather just go to McDonald's." Kev's reply: "I love you." And we left. And we ate french fries. And the rest is history.
But back to the food. I had baked hummus with gorgonzola cheese and . Honestly, it was no where near as tasty as the hummous (Lebanese spelling) I get at Taste of the Mediterranean, which is nothing more than the basics. Delicious. And I burned the roof of my mouth on the cheese. Really bad. But I apparently have some mutant power that heals the roof of my mouth overnight. Great. That's useless. I also had filet mignon, mainly because it was the only thing on the menu without an element I didn't despise, and while I AM picky about my food, I didn't want to come off that way at a place like this. It was crunchy on the outside and bloody in the middle. Yum. In addition, I had garlic mashed potatoes (yawn), some crusty dry bread with tasteless, rock-hard butter, and some slightly over-baked pita chips.
The Bed & Breakfast I stayed at was beautiful. But in keeping with my experience in life, beautiful does not automatically equal comfortable. The bed was basically a concrete slab with bedcovers. The TV was in a bureau with doors that didn't fully open, creating this TV-tunnel that was only viewable from one angle due to the four post bed it was positioned in front of. And had I known this B&B was situated a block from a VERY busy train crossing, well, I'd have been at the Holiday Inn Express on the edge of town, Continental Breakfast be damned. The trains came through about every 25 minutes. Did I mention this town was an Amtrak stop? And the intersection near the B&B was a busy residential street, so every 25 minutes there would be a train horn blasting for at least 5 minutes.
At one point, ready to tear my hair out because I had just driven to this damn place on 3 hours of sleep, I devised a solution. I turned the TV to a static station, cranked up the volume, and shut the bureau doors. Voila! Instant white noise machine. It worked. I managed to get a livable amount of sleep.
After rolling out of bed around 5:30am, I enjoyed a pretty decent breakfast. The proprietor made me steak and eggs, which would have been just fine being steak and eggs. But she decided to add a "southwestern flare." Normally, that would be fine. But I'm really not an onion person at 6am. All in all, the breakfast was quite nice--fresh fruit, puff pastries, and fresh-squeezed OJ topped it all off. I like a good breakfast when I go on these shoots.
The hospital was one of the tiniest hospitals I've ever seen. I'm used to being lost in a maze and requiring a map, a sherpa, and a tin of rum to get from Radiology to the front lobby. This place was proud to announce that as of last September they now offered epidurals. That's right. Epidurals. Until 2005, women just had to deliver natural, unless they drove to Peoria, about 45 miles away. And their competition... well, they STILL don't offer epidurals. I was in shock as the PR lady told me, "Yep, I had all 4 of my kids here. All natural. We just didn't have a choice." Um, yes. Yes, you did. You could move to a city living in the 20th century. That's a damn good choice in my mind.
On the upside, because the hospital was so small, we finished the video tour by 11:30am CST, and I was on the road home. I stopped once outside of Peoria to drive through a Steak & Shake, and then didn't stop until I filled up outside the rental car drop off. When I got out to gas up the car, my body was stuck in the sitting position, drawing many a strange look from the people around me. After much cracking and popping, I straightened myself and bent my legs, and began the last leg home. I watched the new episode of Garth Marenghi, which is just more and more brilliant, the Venture Bros., and a couple episodes of Metalocalypse, Brendon Small's excuse to make cheesy metal songs. It wasn't bad.
And now, I'm going to bed and sleeping in very, very late. Train-free.
August 20, 2006
Who says the best places aren't mapped...?
I'm driving to Galesburg, IL for another video tour shoot tomorrow. I'm soooo not looking forward to the 6-ish hour drive by myself. Kev can't make it this time. I'm going to make sure my rental car has a CD player; I even rented one from the airport rather than the place in town just to make sure I got a decent car this time.
Anyway, I'll be incommunicado until Wed. Take care all.
August 19, 2006
I've been watching Garth Marenghi's Dark Place, and all I can say is that it's fucking brilliant. Billing itself as a banned-in-the-80s show that was never aired, it's given license to use all the 80's TV show cliche's, bad filming, hilarious voice overs, and bad special effects. My favorite was a bicycle chase that uses dirtbike sound overlays. Kev and I were laughing hysterically. That man is a genius.
I actually had someone argue with me last night that it was REALLY a show banned in the 80s. LOL Yes, with a commentary from the actors who have supposedly aged 20 years and look EXACTLY the same. Some people need to look up the definition of the word "satire." But the fact that people really believe this show is what it says it is just shows the genius of Matthew Holness (Garth's real name) and Richard Ayoade (his buddy Dean Lerner). It's called IMDB folks, use it.
And another genius would be Stan Lee. Anyone that believes Who Wants to be a Superhero is a "real" reality show, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you. Stan Lee's idea to come up with a totally fake reality show, even using billed actors as his contestants (again, use IMDB folks), cracks me up. /salute
August 18, 2006
Swimming in SoaP
Best. Movie. Ever.
While most of the audience knew exactly what kind of film they were in for, the couple in front of us seemed perturbed that the audience was unusually rowdy. I'm not sure what they were expecting from a movie titled "Snakes on a Plane." I mean seriously.
We had a lively, fun audience, and we thoroughly enjoyed seeing mutha-fucking snakes get sucked out of a mutha-fucking plane. Every movie should star Samuel L. Jackson and involve 1000s of venomous snakes. I can guarantee they would be better than half the tripe Hollywood puts out anyway.
August 17, 2006
A walk through time
I've been busy and tired this week. I went for a walk last night at Charleston Falls. It was gorgeous. It brought back a lot of memories, good and bad. I spent a lot of time out there when I dated He Who Cannot Be Named to escape the misery my life was back then. He took me out there the first time, and then he never went again.

Being out there brought back memories of the intense loneliness and isolation I experienced during that period. I could almost feel it creeping back. But I also had a rush of fond memories of walking my childhood dog out there and how she acted like it was Disney World. I miss that dog.

Times change, people change, but it always amazes me how certain things can bring back such intense feelings from the past, no matter how long ago they existed.
August 14, 2006
The Swedish Factor
Stopped at my in-laws tonight to pick up some stuff.

Okay, so apparently, you call this company called RhinoGuard in Indiana (a ceramic paint company), and they send out 3 hot, nubile, male Swedish foreign exchange students who strip down to a pair of shorts and then use a power sprayer to prime the outside of the house in the pouring rain while flipping their hair around and smiling a lot.

Haaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwt. Kevin said I could have all the hot Swedish foreign exchange students powerspraying our house as long as he could have a big-breasted maid flouncing around.

I gotta buy a house.
August 14, 2006
Conscious thought
Not a single day passes that I don't think about my dad. I see kids and think, "Mine will have never have 2 grandpas." I see pictures sticking out of boxes in the PC room and avert my eyes, save for one. My family is stuck dealing with his sister whom I can only assume dances with joy every time she thinks of him dying. My mom is destroyed. My family is in upheaval. My brother is a 1000 miles away, an empowered man of law helpless to do anything but listen to our ravings and try to mediate when possible. My only constant is Kevin. I can't even imagine what I'd do if anything happened to him, and I dare not think about it vice versa.
I'm not afraid of dying, not in the least. I'm afraid for the people I'd leave behind. THAT is what's truly terrifying. I'm afraid of how much I love certain people in my life. It makes me feel vulnerable. And vulnerable is not something I cope well with. That was beaten out of me over a decade ago. I fantasize about how easy it would be if I were just totally alone. I wouldn't have to worry about anyone dying. No family. Just me. Living out of a backpack in Nepal as I ran from reality across the globe. And I think "Maybe, just maybe, if I ran fast enough, it wouldn't catch me."
August 13, 2006
It WAS a good weekend...
After a fun vacation at Gencon, where we demo-ed countless games and hung out with our friends for 3 days, I came home to be greeted with a near-hysterical message from my mom. When I finally got a hold of her, it all had to do with my dad's completely insane sister. That woman has truly, completely flipped her lid. Unable to come up with anything realistic, she's now taken to accusing my mom of trying to steal my cousin's belongings from the house my mom has been trying to move out of. Yes, my family is trying to steal the belongings of a 23 year old. Right. Needless to say, the whole thing is something this sad, insane woman has conjured up from the depths of her greed, hate, and misery. She's nuts. She either desperately needs to up her medication or start taking medication. There's not much more I can say.
Anyway, back to the fun part. This year, we picked up a buttload of games: Tsuro, Carcasonne, HorrorClix, Torches and Pitchforks, and Eve. We also demo-ed Arkham Horror: The Call of Cthulhu board game, Fury of Dracula board game, and Game of Thrones board game (which was the WORST demo experience I've ever had and which made me swear I'd never play a game alone with strangers ever again), along with some of the ones we ended up purchasing. My favorite is Carcasonne, with Tsuro a close second. We tried out Tsuro at GTS in Vegas last March. It's big fun.
It was a good weekend. Kev pitched his card game he's toyed with for years with some fairly positive feedback. Regardless of what happens with it, it was a positive learning experience. Keep your fingers crossed for him.
And on one note of disgust, the HorrorClix packaging is totally f-ed up. We received a starter pack that has the card missing for one of the figures. When I went back and asked for it to be fixed, I was assured we could download a tournament-playable card online, which is a total lie. Show me where that is you bastards. It was apparently a common problem as they had multiple packages returned with that card missing. We also got a booster pack that only had 3 figs instead of 4. One of the holders was just empty, but the card was there. Send us our fig you bastards. AND they totally screwed up at least one of the figs' information on her card. They actually called the game designer on a cell phone while I stood there, arms crossed and toe tapping, waiting for an answer on how the hell this fig was supposed to REALLY work. I did get an answer on it. But really, what a bunch of crap. Wizkids, you suck hairy ones with elephantitis.
And now, I'm stressed out, wondering if my dad's sister is going to take a hit out on my mom because she didn't get the cherry cupboard. Seriously. I wouldn't put it past that crazy cow.
August 8, 2006
I'm not retarded. I'm German.
August 5, 2006
I ended up going out last night. I'm glad I did. I ran into someone I hadn't seen in a long time. She's doing really well, happily married, etc. I'm really glad for her. She's such a sweet person. She deserves to find some real happiness in this life.
There were the usual women wearing things that they REALLY shouldn't, like the 5' 4" chick wearing a scarf wrapped around her chest and a mini skirt...who weighed probably 300 lbs. She spent a good amount of time shaking like a bowl of Jell-O in the suspended cage. Yark. One of the girls at the table kept trying to throw her drinks at the cage, but my old acquaintance kept taking them from her. I kind of wish she had successfully lobbed a couple of them up there and ended the horror show. There isn't enough eye bleach to cleanse that memory from my brain. How is it possible that she looked in the mirror and was convinced she looked hot? I just don't get it.
I danced a bit more than last time, but I still have to be careful how I move. The muscle relaxers certainly help, but any time I stop taking them, my obliques knot up to the point where you can feel them in a lump. Ick. I'm only taking them once a day, not even as often as the Dr. prescribed. But it definitely helps.
Today, I got my hair trimmed and then spent a glorious day of doing nothing. Hurrah for nothing.
And here's Pac Man: The Movie. You can thank Ryan for that one.
August 4, 2006
Moving on
Rather than lament the large, comical blog entry that I had planned to write upon my return from two business trips last week but just couldn't find the gumption to do, I'll just cover some of the highlights.
On the first trip, Kev and I were referred to a restaurant by the hotel. The host seemed put out that we didn't have a reservation, but he managed to find a table for us. When we sat down, a young early-20-something who seemed far too dressed up for Shit-town, KY, snatched up her purse and eyed Kev as though he was a homeless man trying to steal her valuables. Then, she noticeably turned her entire body away from him as if disgusted to be sat next to such riffraff. Then I made the faux paus of staring at the 1-inch square stone on her right hand that was so large, sides of it were reflecting light that burned my corneas. When she caught me glancing at it, she snatched her hand back, eyed me suspiciously, and put her hands in her lap. Hey, if you're going to wear a rock the size of my head, be prepared to have it stared at. It's freakish.
Anyway, so Kev and I were sitting and having some light conversation as I noticed everyone in the place is staring at us. Apparently, everyone in this restaurant knows everyone else. They're all getting up and going to each other's tables, saying hi, guffawing gratuitously with each other, and staring at us. I love small towns. Really. /gag And the weird part was, out of the entire restaurant, which had maybe 25 tables of varying size, only two of the tables left while we were there. The place was filled, and pretty much everyone that was there when we arrived was still there when we left. How does that place make any money?
The host/owner came by to check on us, made some small talk, and we discovered he had lived in Dayton for a time. Small world. He asked what I was in town for, and I explained. His eyes lit up, and he said, "See that guy at the table next to you? That's the CEO." And of course, the table he was referring to was the one housing the apparent bitch-daughter of said CEO I was supposed to interview the next day. I was just thankful that I hadn't been sitting there bitching to Kev about the problems we'd already had getting said CEO to commit to what he said he was going to do. Needless to say, he backed out yet again the next day. I didn't bother making small talk with him in his office when I met him the next day. Why bother.
And our main contact was a nightmare. One of her assistants actually pulled me aside and said, "I just want you to know that not all Kentuckians act like that." Could have fooled me after dinner the night before.
Then, I had to take a trip to Toledo for another business matter. My boss and I were sitting in the Navy Bistro, an extremely overpriced restaurant with shitty, flavorless food, and this old guy behind me was FLIPPING OUT that he "couldn't get a cup of ANYTHING. EVERYTHING came in a bowl." He didn't WANT a bowl. He wanted a CUP. I mean, this went on for a good 25 minutes. How his dinner companions didn't beat him over the head with their chairs is beyond me.
Oh, and Kentucky has no roadkill on its highways. None. It was the single most bizarre observation I made on the trip. I did see one dead baby skunk early in the morning on my way to the hospital, but on the way back to the hotel at 1:30pm, it was gone. I'm talking about 90-mile stretches of highway in the middle of nowhere, and there's no roadkill? Not a single dead animal. Draw your own conclusions.