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Can’t sleep because I feel itchy. Not rash-itchy, or bug-itchy – skin-doesn’t-fit-itchy. I’m sure it’ll pass, and it had to do with the cold air seeping in through the windows now that it’s officially autumn.

I’m spending the time doing vector sketches of my current art project : creating achievement badges for a website, shifting from figurative to literal, making things polished. It’s stuff I’ve done on a personal level and enjoyed, but it’s great to do it on a professional level as well, and it’ll be excellent for my portfolio.

I landed the most interesting, rewarding, nerdy freelance art job ever. And they even paid a deposit.

I’m very excited.

Updates to follow.

The replacement part for the rare 4-digit Williams screen cost $75, but it worked. I knew it wasn’t a power problem when the wires shocked me, though that’s really not the best diagnostic took available. All I could do was buy a replacement part and hope for the best. So, after this test I switched them out and now I can inspect the old one to see if it’s worth a hamfisted repair and possible resell. I have a bunch of fuses and a replacement start button, but what I’d most like to do is clean the playfield, replace the bulbs and fix the busted drop targets – still waiting on those supplies.

Saturday was a parade of disappointing tag sales and getting turned around throughout the Hudson Valley area. I ended up purchasing a Nintendo 64 Star Wars game, as well as a $2 julienne device in celebration of getting the kitchen to myself for two weeks. Beckie hung out overnight & we went to Brian’s housewarming shindig up in Rosendale with a ridiculous armload of burger meat and all were fed well.

After a sleepy Sunday and napping while American Pickers was droning on the TV, we drove to the Pound Ridge farmer’s market, based solely on a two-sentence blurb we stumbled across in the back of the newspaper which read ‘smoked meats’. I ended up buying a jar of peach jam, some smoked pepperoni (which just tastes like really good pepperoni and destroyed my insides), and 3/4 pound of smoked duck. I’ve never had duck before, but this seemed like a good time to try. It was organically raised and the guy seemed nice, so it’s worth a shot. Let’s see if these recipes do anything.

I’m also aspiring to pickle some of the green tomatoes from the garden, though the local A&P failed to provide anything for the experience, so I’ll have to hunt down pickling spices after I get some jars tomorrow from a cute little kitchen shop in Mahopac.

Aside from that, today’s plan involves finishing a comic page, cooking up some duck, and making it through another scary night in a dark house. A potential client found my online portfolio and is interested in having me sculpt some miniatures for them – just waiting on more details. I also snagged a freelance gig wherein I review music, which is a pretty handy portfolio builder.

Say a little prayer that hurricane Earl leaves me alone.

25 September 2004

I must have been super-loopy this morning.

I sleep with the TV on, because the dull sussuruss of the blue demigod helps me sleep. It sets my mind to wandering. It provides light, since I can’t sleep in the dark. And, should I wake up in dark and / or silence, I bolt upright and seek out one of the two, if not both.

Call it an unnatural sensitivty to the paranormal, or just the paranoia, but I can usually only sleep KNOWING what’s going on in my room, where I’m situated, and with something to play over the natural eerie sounds of the house and surrounding wildlife. It’s not a normal drive around here unless you have at LEAST two close enounters with squirrels, all of which have terrible timing and fail to look both ways.

(This is not to mention the lady who stopped in the middle of the main road through town to THINK, for no apparent reason whatsoever besides mental insanity, and pulling off into one of the many side roads would have completely thrown her over the edge. After sitting directly behind her in my car for at least a full minute, the growing mass of cars behind me began their symphony of anger, also not seeing the point of our stillness. After another 15 seconds of honking, the woman steps out of her car and begins to scream at me. Keep in mind, I haven’t honked once. I assumed that there was a perfectly asinine explanation to all of this and I wanted to hear it. All I’ve done is throw up my hands in a visible shrug, the real-world equivalent to the more familiar ‘WTF?’, a universal symbol to everyone around me that ‘I dunno either’. So, she’s screaming at me, ‘I’m lost! You got a problem with that???’ I retaliate with the very lame and very true, ‘I didn’t even honk at you!’ She then gets back in her car and speeds away at an unsafe velocity, as if to make up for the speed that she was previously lacking. And that, as they say, was that, and it was effing crazy.)

So, I have to sleep with music on, or a light, or the TV. It’s a bad habit, but it makes me feel safer. This means that I often wake up to odd infomercials, or, in a worst case scenario, Baby Looney Tunes. I stopped watching Comedy Central to fall asleep, because their 4 AM infomercials all involve the size of my junk, and I do NOT need any deeper inferiority complexes shoved into my head subconsciously. These things get into your head as you sleep and seriously mess up any hot, sexy dreams you’re having. Suddenly, that redhead indie fantasy chick is disastrously unsatisfied.

Cartoon Network is usually good to fall asleep to, as they usually recycle their evening lineup, fade it into old anime and eventually, upon daybreak, an assault of Ed, Edd and Eddy or Kids Next Door. Neither of these are great shows, but they don’t involve my penis, usually, so I’m happy.

Once in a while, I wake up to this blendery thing, narrated by the perky American woman and the possibly Australian man. It all happens at a kitchen counter, which is oddly surrounded by a variety of overacting extras. The smoking BINGO lady, the husband who petulanty declares that he hates broccoli and crosses his arms with a huge frown, the black lady. You can make pesto in 3 seconds, people! And you can grate cheese, like, faster than the speed of light. It’s cheese, and then, BAM, it’s a cheese VAPOR.

If you’re lucky, it’s Girls Gone Wild. The commercials are better than the actual thing, unless you’re especially into seeing drunk girls and the myriad of breasts that they decide to share. Me, I could care less. I prefer girls who aren’t, you know, soused whores.

All of this leads to one thing. I found a link on my computer this morning that I didn’t recognize. Apparently, I can make millions in real estate buying and selling, and this was an AMAZING idea when I half-lucidly stumbled out of bed this morning, subconscious infomercial (which I vaguely remembered after visiting the link) having beaten my brain to a pulp. Somehow, I turned on the computer and added a link to this guy’s website to my favorites list, without even knowing it. Because this is what TV does to you when you’re not paying attention.

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2 October 2004

So, I saw on the TV that White Castle, famous for vending SACKS of squared-off burgers at discount prices, is now selling….’chicken rings’.

I can understand onion rings. Onions are a naturally ringed food, tightly aligned concentric circles of flavor. Chickens do not come in rings naturally. They are a loosely arranged mass of squishy, blood-soaked organs. There is nothing ring-shaped about them. Not a single thing about this situation seems natural.

I can imagine a few scenarios for this, and neither makes any sense. One involves a few immigrant workers sitting in a dark back room at White Castle, sculpting lengths of chicken (of which I do not want to venture their origin, since chicken doesn’t come in ‘lengths’ either) into mathematically perfect ‘rings’ for battering, frying and consumption.

The second scenario involves a whole chicken, a hammer and chisel, and a skilled expert who knows EXACTLY where to strike the chicken, aided by a magnified monocle. Of course, with one fateful swing of the hammer, all excess parts of the chicken would fall away, leaving naught but the single ring.

Chicken RINGS? No, nononono. No.

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9 October 2004

Because I sometimes collect books about case studies of mental disorders, presumably to try to figure out what’s wrong with me OR to make me feel better about myself, I came across the following true story in a first edition (1981) DSM-III (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), page 220, and I brought it home with me. It is called ‘Star Wars’, and it is exerpted below.

“Susan, a 15-year-old, was seen at the request of her school district authorities for advice on placement. She… was placed in a class for the emotionally disturbed. She proved very difficult, with a very poor undersanding of schoolwork on a fifth-grade level, despite an apparently good vocabulary; and she disturbed the class by making animal noises and telling fantastic stories, which made the other children laugh at her.

“She is often bored, has no friends, and finds it difficult to occupy herself. She spends a lot of tiem drawing pictures of robots, spaceships, and fantastic or futuristic inventions.

“The results of an evaluation done at the age of 12, because of difficulties in school, showed ‘evidence of bizarre thought processes and fragmented ego structure’…. Currently she is reported to sleep very poorly and tends to disturb the household by getting up and wandering around at night. [Her mother] says that since Susan went to see the movie Star Wars she has been obsessed with ideas about space, spaceships and the future.

“In the interview, Susan presented as a tall, overweight, pasty-looking child, dressed untidily and with a somewhat disheveled appearance. She talked at length about her interests and occupations. She says she made a robot in her basement that ran amok and was about to cause a great deal of damage, but she was able to stop it by remote control. She claims to have built the robot from spare computer parts, which she acquired from the local museum. When pressed on detail of how this worked, she became increasingly vague, and when asked to draw a picture of one of her inventions, she drew a picture of an overhead railway and went into what appeared to be complex mathematical calculations to substantiate the structural details, but which in fact consisted of meaningless repetitions of symbols. When the interviewer expressed some gentle incredulity, she blandly replied that many people did not believe that she was a supergenius. She also talked about her unusual ability to hear things that other people cannot hear, and she was in communication with some sort of creature. She thought she might be haunted, or perhaps the creature was a being from another planet..”

So, this woman would be about 37 now. A big ol’ harmless geek! Are you reading this, Susan?

I don’t really have a reaction to this. I just thought it would be neat to share… though I’d like to give little Susan the benefit of the doubt. Things outside of science and all that.

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9 November 2004

My niece keeps on asking me impossible questions. Things I simply don’t know the answer to, like ‘What channel is Buffy on?’ She thinks that by asking a hundred times, angrily, that I’ll suddenly know. Thinking that I could prove a point to her by asking her questions that SHE didn’t know the answer to, I said, “Okay, fine. How big is the moon?”

She thought for a second and said, “One hundred!”

I replied, “One hunded WHAT?”

Without hesitation, she yelled back, “One hundred ninety!”

When I broke down laughing, she revised her answer to “one hundred one?” And then implored me to tell her or she’d “break all of my bones and kick them a hundred times!”, which was a bit more gentle than her threat to “cut out my eyes with a knife” that she’d made last night.

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16 November 2004

My niece is just getting over a cold, and it is irritating her nose. As we were walking through the mall today, I noticed that her fingers kept on ending up in her nose. I refuse to walk around with a nosepicker, so I asked her to stop about, oh, 50 times before I pulled her aside and said very quietly, “Look, you can do that all you want in the car, but you gotta wait until we get there, okay?”

She said okay, but soonafter, her arm slowly started to move up to her nose. I restrained it, but I didn’t want to look like I was abusing some poor little child. I asker her to stop again, laughing pretty hard at this point.

“Please stop Raven…. we’ll be at the car in 2 minutes, okay?”

She looked at me with total seriousness and replied, “But I have boogers waiting for me!”

I nearly collapsed on the floor outside of the dollar store. I eventually ended up giving her a piggyback out of the mall just so that she’d HAVE to hold on and keep her fingers out of her nose. This was only the second time she cracked me up.

In Toys R Us, she indicated that she needed to go to the bathroom. I couldn’t bring her into the men’s bathroom, because heck, I’m not comfortable with that, and she has some kind of fear of being stolen if she’s let into the women’s bathroom by herself. So I asked her….

“Do you have to pee or… the other thing?”

She rolled her eyes at me, pretty exasperated, and said, “Stop… we just call it ‘the bathroom’, okay?”

Goodbye.

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23 November 2004

Here’s one :

“Robots ate my mom / I did not know they ate meat / but I guess they do.”

I win! I so totally effing win. I win haiku’s ass.

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27 November 2004

So, hanging outside the library side door today (where we typically recieve our donations, which number in the hundreds daily), I found a small pile of grammar handbooks from 1922. They detail, not much unlike the current bestseller ‘Eats, Shoots and Leaves’, the finer points of being an anal jerk. I know that I take great delight in finding the occasional malaprop or ambiguous verbal juxtaposition, but these manuals attack various terms and phrases and misuses of the English language, as they were common in 1922. About 80% of what they complain about, in dictionary form, has fallen into obscurity, much to the delight of the authors, who are very, very not alive anymore.

An example, taken from ‘SOS : Slips of Speech’ -

‘knight of the grip’ – A euphemism for a commercial traveler or drummer, which is preferred.

I think that today, however, that the term ‘knight of the grip’ applies to something wholly… other, and suddenly, it’s is my new phraseology for that special time when one explores their own ‘dragon slaying’.

“Pardon me, madame, but I must fulfill my duties as a Knight of the Grip. I’ll be back in 15 minutes. Perchance I may borrow and facial tissue? Forsooth?”

‘bitch’ – used for a “jade”, or applied to any other than the female of the genus Canis, is ruled out of all polite society as coarse to the lowest degree, notwithstanding that the word is permitted as a euphemism by the late editor of a popular dictionary.

… which brings to light the gangwars fought wildly in the streets between the dictionary editors of the 1920′s. They weren’t really fought with tommy guns or anything… more like, loud, big words shouted from moving cars in nasally voices and rough pokings with quill pens. Obviously, Mr. Frank H. Vizetelly, Litt. D. LL. D., who has a monopoly on half of the alphabet in his name alone, has an issue with the use of such slang being validated by its inclusion in any kind of literature. Except for his own. And finally….

‘soup and fish’, when used to indicate formal dress, is a vulgarism.

No kidding.

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29 November 2004

Last night, in my always-interesting and surreal dreams, I found myself in an abandoned school building. Perhaps it was the old Old Main Building from New Paltz, but there I was, lost in it as ever. And somehow, I found my way out, into a small house in the desert, which was very much not New Paltz. Such a juxtaposition is nothing unusual for the dream-state.

Within this house were 2 beds, and like a waxen figure on one lay a cute redheaded girl, unmoving, similar in appearance to a 1920′s starlet. I moved some hair out of her eyes, and as cute as she was, there was something sinister about her. Voicelessly, I heard something about how she would call her dogs to eat me.

So, she called her dogs to eat me, without moving her mouth, saying something like ‘dogs! eat!’. From another room, there came a-flopping a big, thick pug dog without any legs, kinda like a worm, very slowly. Of course, I wasn’t too afraid of a legless wormdog whose only means of locomotion was flopping around on the ground, and all logic circuitry would dictate that I could just run back into the desert and escape the flopdog without any hassle. Little did I know that this dog was a champion flopper and matched my every step out into the desert. And if you don’t think that a legless pug dog the size of a small fridge keeping up to speed with you with the mere power of its gyrations through hot desert sand, chanting ‘eat! EAT!’ isn’t creepy…. I feel sorry for you.

30 August 2004

This afternoon, as I was laying down for a quick nap before work, I heard my niece naming a sequence of her Barbies. She never names anything normal, human names like Jennifer or Samantha. She prefers to string together random syllables and large words that are stored meaninglessly in her subconscious into other unearthly, poetic names.

This, lately, has been in conjunction with her new Olympic sport of Barbie Flipping, which is exactly what it sounds like – taking a naked Barbie by the feet and trying to make it spin as many times as possible before it crashes into something. This is okay by the pool, where they can harmlessly ricochet off of trees and into the water, but it’s not as okay in the house, where the sharp-Barbie-foot-to-eye ratio is alarmingly high. The superhero Barbies that I gave her for her birthday are excluded from this, and instead sit on the sidelines, having a hot and heavy catfight every so often and having competitions regarding who is stronger or can fly higher. Apparently, whichever Barbie can spread her legs the farthest is also the fastest.

She names them as she flips them. Whatever name that they had yesterday is cast aside for the new linguistic configuration, for good or bad. So, today, as I was slightly drifting off to sleep, Raven shouts a new name for her Barbie.

“HORSERADISH, ANGELUS OF TIME TRAVEL!”

And this is why it’s good to live at home.

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31 August 2004

DERMESTID

As you can see, it’s a special kind of beetle used to strip flesh from bones. I just think that the whole world should know that there’s actually an insect that can be used to remove flesh from bone, in case you plan on killing old Mrs. Noah, the crotchety biology teacher, skeletonizing her and in an ironic twist of fate, placing her back in her own classroom as an articulated model for kids to pose as if she’s picking her nose. But see, the detectives would know one thing : that real model skeletons are not made in the US, and that those which we imported from second and third world countries have also been outlawed, since people were actually killing others to sell their skeletons to American colleges. So, feed Mrs. Noah to the dog.

Rachel, my last girlfriend, and I, used to joke about our future house and kids, and the acceptability of my having a Dermestid Beetle Room in the house, in order to advance my skull ‘n’ bone collection.

“Kids, where’s Daddy?”
“He fell into the Domestic Beetle Room!”
“Oh, not again! Get the broom and the harmonica. Don’t ask, just do it!”
“Why do we have those things anyway, Mommy?”
“Because I love your father very much.”

As much as I have a genuine desire to load my town’s plentiful roadkill into the flatbed truck which I don’t have and toss ‘em into the Dermestid pit which I don’t have and make sprawling bone sculptures and new creatures, I’ll keep myself relegated to what I can find, which is limited. Once, as children, my sister and I were given a box of bones from a deer that had drowned in the brook behind our house and was picked clean by fish. I was constantly inquisitive and figuring things out, so it was the ultimate science experiment. We kept them in the toy closet for about a week, until I was fitting them back together and one popped open, revealing a colony of tiny, vermilion worms, and my sister simultaneously got a mysterious, rare rash that no one had gotten in the past 50 years. It wasn’t deadly or disfiguring, which was disappointing to the aspiring scientist, but it spelled an end to my adventures in biology. The bones were given back to the Earth, either burned or thrown back into the stream.

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1 September 2004

Today, I walked into the bank to deposit half of my paycheck and relegate the other half to repayment of student loans. So, I filled out a deposit form, subtracting the appropriate amount in the appropriate fields and summing it all up at the bottom. It looked something like this.


I got on the line, which was reaching towards the door, right behind a pretty girl. Where I live, pretty young girls are a very rare commodity, most of them being away at college or smart enough to have left town before the mire of Putnam Valley secured their feet to the accursed, lonely land. In my geekish desire to avoid eye contact and reveal my fear and desperation to her, I gazed down at my deposit slip and noticed that things just weren’t adding up.

Having brought my own pen, as I’m ever dissatisfied with with chained, scratchy things that the bank provides, I began recalculating. And re-recalculating. No matter what I did, it was soon mathematically impossible to subtract 175 from 402.12. The laws that govern the universe twisted, ones became too heavy to successfully carry, the number seven became some some wavelength of energy beyond the visible spectrum, and I was lost. The line was growing shorter by now, and the cute girl was gazing back at me, and I was getting nervous. So, I did what any smart mathematician would do. I withdrew 200 instead of 175, which was an assload easier to subtract from 402.12. By now, my deposit slip was a disaster. It looked something like this.


I had to explain what it said to the teller.

“Does that say two hundred?”
“Yes.”
“Is that a robot playing with a beach ball?”
“Yeah… it represents the number 6.”
“Is… is that blood?”
“Yeah… it was REALLY hard to figure out.”
“Initial here. With the pen.”

And this is why I don’t like the bank. The cute girl would have given me her number, except for the fact that I was obviously having trouble with the numbers that I already had and she didn’t want to give my a numerical anyeurism.

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5 September 2004

So, the local Emergency Broadcast System just came on a few minutes ago. It’s been a gray, quiet, creepy day as it is, but as soon as the black TV screen was done announcing the fact that they HAD to jolt us to attention with that awful buzzing once per day, something very odd happened.

I’m jittery as it is, especially in a big house with lots of odd noises. The Emergency Broadcast System scares me, given the weather in Florida and the political state of the world. When the buzzing was done, the TV started playing Black Hole Sun.

I swear to god – every TV in the Hudson Valley was taken over by Soundgarden and the most eerie, apocalyptic song in the universe. It was like they were easing us into the fact that the world was ending. I assume it was a mistake, but talk about irony. I’m glad I’m going to work in an hour, just so I’m not alone in this house.

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10 September 2004

Last night, I had a dream that a ‘meteor’ was fast approaching Earth, throwing our magnetic fields all out of whack. Phones weren’t working right, people’s personalities were backwards, the house was infested with ladybugs the size of my fist and dead lobsters who decided that the ocean was boring, and the sky grew black. Because apparently, magnetic fields drive lobsters WACKY.

This is what my dreams are like. Yesterday, I had a dream that I was a train conductor who was giving a piggyback ride to a line of passengers, when I met a beautiful redhead who was a culinary student, who was disappointed that her favorite fish market was closing. I was charming and clever and said something about halibut.

Someone wrote this to me once :

“you,

have i told you lately that you are amazing & fascinating ? i hold your bravery in writing those thoughts & feelings out in very high esteem. i know that i struggle often with believing that i’ll be seen as ridiculous & melodramatic & too much, and it prevents me from telling the truth, prevents me from letting it out. do i sound like oprah yet? it’s only going to get worse. just wait!

you are sea horses, the magic dust of a flea market, a favorite worn blanket. you are page 119 (empatically dog-earred) , a bicycle, a window left open and the air that’s tossed through and into bed. you are skies made of crepe paper, worthy and beautiful and strange and new. you remind me of many things, all of them perfect and utterly unique (imperfect and in that way, flawless) & so i can’t say that i don’t have my own interests in mind as i write this letter. i don’t know you well enough, yet, perhaps not very well at all, but enough to see the shorelines and the nebulae, & from what i know, i know that i want you , alive and well, in my life, in some form, & i very very much want your happiness. my favorite people are often the ones who struggle through the world , & i wonder all the time why that is. perhaps it’s simply because beauty IS depth, and depth is inevitably sadness and despair. it’s also hope and joy and each twisting road winds in and out of the other with little rhyme or reason, and i know that this email is just a bunch of run-on sentences that i should really pare down and edit and fix and pretend that i’m something i’m not, but i won’t because that’s not fair, and the point is that you may not be able to see it right now, but you’ll feel better, eventually (and hopefully sooner than later) . let me know if i can help. i won’t and don’t feel bothered, & sometimes we are allowed to be selfish with the people in our lives. there’s nothing that excepts you from that rule.”

I think I’ll look her up again.

I’m digging through an old online journal which I no longer maintain. I’m extracting the marrow from the bones.

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10 August 2004

This just in from USA Today:

“Just 1.48 people died in traffic accidents for every 100 million miles traveled in 2003, according to the government’s latest data.”

So, do not, I repeat, DO NOT, drive 100 million miles, or you will die 1.48 times, and that’s WAY more than you’re allowed to die.

Honestly, I have NO idea what these stats mean.

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22 August 2004

Every so often, I read reviews instead of write them. Ponder what I’ve missed, wondering what I should buy.

So, I’m working on a review of the Ms. Pac-Man controller from Jakks and TV Games, and it’s awesome, and I can’t get enough of it…. but I wanted to see what people had to say about one of the games on the controller, ‘Pole Position’. THIS ONE was noteable. Honestly, for whatever OCD reason, I’m on a search to find the name of the person who provided the sexy female voice for the game. Something about hearing a girl voice in a simplistic, 8-bit game is a turn on. But the review… see, it’s important to note that if you hit an obstacle, your car would explode and be ‘reseted’. This doesn’t present a problem within the game, though, since that word doesn’t exist.

It’s also important to note that the game has an excellent replay value, because you can play it until you are sick of it, at which point, presumably, it loses its replay value. Whenever that might be. A ‘pro’ of the game is that it ‘spends time’, while a ‘con’ is that it ‘uses up time’.

This is why I decided to start writing reviews. Because as long as anyone can post anything on the internet, I might as well at least use real words and make sentences that string together without immediately contradicting themselves. So, I write the reviews.

Reviews that in some way always involve my genitals.

Speaking of ‘pole position’….

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25 August 2004

So, I finally got to see Napoleon Dynamite, which I’ve been wanting to see for months. Somehow, my tiny town decided to run the film at the local mall.

I was kept from seeing the movie yesterday by a niece who had a complete freakout at the thought that I might be out of the house for something other than work, enjoying something for myself. When I got on line to buy a ticket to the 11:15 showing, she shrieked and stormed across the mall, not looking back, all tiny 4 years of her, arms crossed, one flip-flop on, the other left near the Fruit Smoothie stand. I had to chase her down and wrestle her, beneath the canopy of plastic palm trees, into some kind of coherence again. Needless to say that by the time I’d gotten a verbal explanation of her distress out of her, I felt far too bad about the possibility of abandoning her to go.

I snuck out of the house the following day, today, despite her insistances that she was going with me and waiting outside the theatre for two hours until the movie was over.

Maybe this isn’t an issue to anyone else, but the highly mirrored glass that protect ticket counters plays nasty tricks on my eyes. I have trouble seeing out of my left eye, sometimes. It’s a lazy eye when I allow it to be, and I always have to squint one eye closed in order to filter out the information overload that comes with walking around large or unfamiliar places. My brain just kinda chokes on everything and I have trouble processing it. Such is the case with the foot-thick mirrors that protect our ticket vendors like bluegreen, striped Popes, and the tiny speaker that one must crouch to speak through. I always strain to communicate and see the figure on the other side of the glass, mostly seeing my own face and lots of shiny silhouettes.

Well, I walked up to the ticket counter window and saw a lot of nothing inside, so I sidled over to the snack bar and asked, kindly, “Who do I speak to to get a ticket?”

I was greeted by a pear shaped man. Not only in body, but in head, with tiny pear-seed shaped eyes. Once I asked him this, well, I swear they flashed an unholy fire. He opened the ticket window door from his popcorn station and shook a quivering finger at the person who was now, quite obviously, sitting right at one half of the dual window. “HE’S SITTING RIGHT HERE!”, the Pear Man barked and stomped back to arranging JuJuBes into geometric perfection.

I apologized to the person at the window, some teenager, explaining that I just couldn’t see him through the reflective glass, and asked for my ticket. He didn’t seem to understand my visual plight. I was just another complete moron.

Once I got my ticket, I went pack to His Lord High Pearishness and apologized to him as well, saying that I just couldn’t see the gentleman. He grunted, but didn’t look up from fiddling with something just out of eyesight below the counter. I assume that he was impregnating the Reese’s Pieces or enjoying the warm butter machine.

I would have felt like a moron, which I undeniably was, if the Pear Man wasn’t doubly so. My slight visual error was akin to me personally assaulting him, somehow. How could I feel bad about myself when there was someone, right there, with a disposition so much more horrible than my own?

At least it wasn’t a cute girl that I was blundering in front of.

The movie played the digital TV promo reel, and at the end of it, looped the ‘your movie will start shortly’ screen until it ran out of loops and froze, since no one was around to switch the projector to the film promos. I was the only person in the whole theater, so, the resources that they were putting into this showing far outweighed the value of my 6.50 ticket. They didn’t care. If it weren’t for me, the projector operator would have had a 2-hour break. I could feel his spite flickering at me from between frames.

Because I was the only person in the theater, the maintenance guy found it perfectly okay to enter and exit the closet and jingle his keys at whatever intervals the key-jingling muse struck him.

At the end of it all, the movie was excellent. A Revenge of the Nerds without the cliches and overacting. All of the acting and dialogue was appropriately completely stiff. A subtle comedy dependent upon awkwardness. But damn… whoever was controlling the boom mic could have TRIED to keep it out of the picture, or they could have TRIED to edit it out later. No, the green orb dips into the screen on more than one occasion…

But it was a really, really great movie.

I shall have my revenge on Pear Man.

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26 August 2004

Because of the particular segment of the universe that I bring into the house, that involving dead bugs, comics, toys, games and art, my niece has picked up on a lot of this. She’s four years old, and insists upon repeated viewings of the Batman movies, most especially the one involving Poison Ivy.

Give her a break – she’s only four. She’s immune to the venom of Schumacher. In fact, much like his foul, couch-cushions-strapped-loosely-to-a-fat-g

uy Bane, it fuels her. Because she’s four.

She can name about 75% of all of the superheroes that exist in the universe, and she sure as hell knows everyone on every single trading card and HeroClix piece that I’ve given to her, and these number in the hundreds.

So, because of her preoccupation with superheroes (as a direct result of mine and the tall displays of toys that tower throughout the room), she does this THING in which she runs through the kitchen, in one door and out the other, making a circuit through the living room and dining room, past the stairs and ’round again, as Jesse Quick. As she goes through the kitchen, she yells, “I am Jesse Quick, and I [insert amazing nonsequitur here]!”

“I am Jesse Quick, and I have raspberry eyes!”

“I am Jesse Quick, and I fight the moon bugs!”

“I am Jesse Quick, and I wear underpants on my head!”

This evening, immediately after I had fished out a delicious sun-dried tomato out of the oily jar and was beginning to nibble on it, Raven began her ritual. A light flickered in her eyes as she raised her fist and began to run.

“I am Jesse Quick!”

…followed by a swift punch to my groin.

Raven didn’t miss a beat and kept on running, trampling a wide, plastic tray of cheapo Hot Wheels like some cracked-out Godzilla. I usually ignore and quickly divert the inevitable and inadvertent attacks on my groin. She’s at the height where the groin is the ideal, visible target. She doesn’t know the ramifications of the groin, but she knows that it’s there, a-ready for a smashin’.

I collapsed, red-faced onto a chair, after a choked-out ‘GUH!’ My mother collapsed for an entirely different reason, red-faced, choking, her face in her hands.

“I am Jesse Quick, and I just farted!”

Raven dashed through the kitchen. I recovered… but I have to question where I’d be if I never brought Jesse Quick into the house. A few sperm heavier, I venture.

If love is a weakness, you’re doing it wrong.

I’m working on a venn diagram of ‘things I’ve done with my life’ and ‘what the fuck have I done with my life’. At the moment, it’s just a circle.

My perception of my own abilities, capabilities and confidence vacillates wildly from moment to moment.

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