Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, everyone! It's not a white Christmas here in Chicagoland, because we've had three, count 'em, three days above freezing. It would be, because it rained all yesterday, but that's just fine with me. Given the choice between a white Christmas and comparitively pleasant temperatures, I'll take the pleasant temperatures.

I've actually had all the Christmas celebrations I'm going to have already. My brother was up from Chattanooga last week, and my sister was going on vacation early on Friday, so we had our family gathering on Thursday. Heidi's family celebrates on Christmas Eve. After church today, we'll be heading up and spending some time with my mom, just so she's not alone on Christmas, but it's more a get-together than a Christmas celebration. Among the festivities today will include doing laundry and assembling a lego X-Wing for my nephew.

However, on Friday, Heidi and I got to enjoy the 45-degree temperatures and go downtown and bum around for a while. We saw this fascinating show at the planetarium on the Bethlehem Star, and their theories surrounding what the whole thing probably was (which coincide with my theories). Supposedly, the Magi was a common term for the Zoroastrian Astronomers of the time, and they were big into the astrological importance of things, which explains why foreigners had to come to Jerusalem to talk about the wonders in the sky; the Hebrews were frbidden to practice astrology. Please note that I'm going to delve into astrology here; I DO NOT believe in astrology, but the Zoroastrians did, and they came from Persia to Israel, and Matthew wrote about it. Anyway, Leo was supposed to be an important constellation in the Hebrew context, referring to the Lion of Judah. Regulus is a star in that constellation, a star commonly associated with kingship. Juipter was also associated with kingship, and Venus was associated with birth. A convergence of planets was when two planets came close together, and was considered important. Anyway, Jesus was probably born between 3BC and 2BC, and about a year prior to that, there was a convergence of Jupiter and Venus right near Regulus. Since Venus is a fast-moving planet, it moved away from Jupiter as Juipter slowly passed Regulus, but, because of the Earth's movement, Jupiter appears to double back for a little bit. The Zoroastrians knew this, but where it doubled back was interesting. It passed Regulus, backed up across Regulus again, and then passed back again, so crossing Regulus three times over the course of it's trek across the sky, and by the time it got to the western end (Israel is west of Persia), Venus came back in conjunction with Jupiter, but not just nearby, Venus came so close it sat right on top of Jupiter making one dot. Now, the zoroastrians had some prophecy about a king being born that would save the world around this time, but the prophecy was evidently a little vague about the location of the king, so this was pretty big news to these guys. Matthew never says the star guided them to Jerusalem, whch would make sense, because they headed out to Jerusalem to figure out some details, and the whole shebang moved under the western horizon. At this point, the story estimates actual months that the Magi moved out from various locations, because they had to go to Jerusalem to find out who the king is supposed to be, and Herod had to search the scriptures. If they left Jerusalem in Septebmber of 3BC (I think), the "star" would have "gone ahead of them;" the Regulus/Jupiter/Venus combo rose up in the east about that time, and if you're heading south and looking at a star/planet combo to the east, it looks like it's moving along with you. Kinda clever stuff. Still a theory, but a well-thought-out one.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Slo no mo

Well, I'm not dealing with the tired thing anymore. Let me 'splain. I was a little concerned because my two recent illnesses were not so much get sick, getting well, and getting sick again, but rather a ramping up of illness, followed by a lull, followed by a ramping up again. I had never been really "well," and it was something that was worrying Heidi, and caused us some pretty serious consternation (which was OK, because most of that was miscommunication, and we talked it through, and now things are fan-tastic).

So anyway, I didn't want to keeep being sick, but more importantly, I didn't want strain in an otherwise darn fine relationship. So I decided to get a multivitamin as I was getting all the crap I got from the doctor. That little bottle of Centrum is probably the best investment I could have made for me & Heidi. Whereas I still have to determine how it's going to treat my health, I'm getting better prety quickly. But the big change is that my energy level has changed dramatically. No more am I getting shagged out at 9:00. No more am I sleeping poorly and getting up in the middle of the freakin' night without a thought of going back to sleep. For everyone who doesn't take one, I recommend a multivitamin (particularly if you drink alcohol and/or caffeine in large quantities). For those that do, good on ya!

Friday, December 16, 2005

The Sickie Chronicles, pt 2

Ugh. I'm sick. Like really messed up sick. This has been one of the worst colds I've ever had. I spoke to the doctor yesterday, and he hooked me up with some stuff to keep my nose from running like a faucet, but it's just a mess inside me. Coughing, snot-nosed, tired old me. Don't have any clever dreams to report, so I don't think there's much of a fever, but I think there might be some. I haven't been eating hardly at all (just guzzling juices like they'll stop being produced), and haven't been thinking very clearly. There's work to be done, especially because I took most of yesterday off, but I may take most of today off, too. And for that matter, most of the weekend.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


I don't normally post this geeky. I reference World of Warcraft on occasion, but never quite so intensly. Anyway, one of my characters on there has a side job of being a tailor. Since he's a spellcaster, all he can wear is cloth (as opposed to leather or mail armor), so he's chosen well. Every time he "levels up," he can make himself another piece of clothing and switch it out, making his total armor count better, boosting stats, what have you. Anyway, I hadn't played this guy in a while and I was wondering why. It's not that he's not a fun character to play, but rather, well, look at him, he looks like a dancer from 1983.I have since changed his outfit, so he doesn't look quite so "flamboyant," but that was a low spot in our "relationship."

Monday, December 12, 2005


See it. I only recently started reading the books, and I saw a lot of the books as skimming over details that would have made for an interesting story, and getting a bit bogged down in details that might have made interesting reading for a little girl (the first book was written for a girl about Lucy's age), but sometimes (at least in the first few written) can seem a little dull or even condescending. The movie expanded on a lot of the scenes that were skimmed over, or completely left out of the book, and trimmed some of the conversations that, when read, drag on. It made for an extremely tight, well-made film. Honestly, I've never seen a better shot scene of Germans carpet-bombing London during WWII than the first scene of this movie, and that was only hinted at in the book. The kids were very good actors for their age, the younger ones actually being somewhat more impressive than the older ones.

Some scenes could have been more intense, and I certainly imagined the Stone Table scenes more intense, but this was already pretty heavy duty for the younger audience at which it was targeted.

Really, the only way I wouldn't recommend this movie is if you have read the books and didn't much enjoy them. If you haven't read them, you want to see this movie. If you read them and enjoyed them, even a little bit, you want to see this movie.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

It's Winter

I just came home from my dentist. Look at what time this post is. I left my dentist at 4:15. Now, my dentist is in Lake Zurich, which is pretty damn far away normally. I would normally have been driving during rush hour. But normally there isn't three inches of snow on the roads. This surreally beautiful image is of the alley behind my apartment with ankle-deep snow. We've had a few reminders of winter already: single-digit temperatures, a couple snowstorms, but this one is the first of the season that may isolate the city for a day. Fortunately, I work from home, so my "commute" (from my bedroom to my living room) won't be hindered. But winter has arrived.

The celebratory events

So the doctor found nothing. Hitting the neurologist next (well, after the dentist, but that's unrelated to the tired thing).

Anyway, Heidi's surprise was this romantic little hole-in-the-wall French place called Red Rooster, which I'd link to if I wasn't so damn lazy. It was arguably the best restaurant I'd ever been to in my life. I had pheasant for the first time in my life. I had a hard time actually speaking for a while, it was so good. I just bounced and hummed and sang to myself as I consumed gamey fowl and a little bite of Heidi's Salmon in Cabernet sauce. Yesterday, I had leftover duck liver pate for lunch. At my computer. While working. How messed up is that?

Anyway, last night was just as cool, but for different reasons. A whole mess of people that I knew from a whole mess of different avenues came round to Cleary's and we all had $3 Guinness or Boddington's and most of us had $4 burgers (and these were monstrously huge burgers). Too many people here to list, and it wouldn't make a great deal of sense to most of my readers anyway (even the people that were there, as a lot of the people don't know each other). One thing that bugs me though, the Pattersons are expecting, so they had to leave early. Schmutzy had to come in on the Eisenhower, so he came a bit late. Those guys would get along really well, because they both are really weird, but they keep missing each other. Meh, one of these days, they'll get to talking, if they have to wait until September 2nd.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Got a feeling 36 is gonna be a good year...

Yes, it's true, 36 years ago today, I made my squalling entrance into this world. It was about quarter to four Eastern time, but at that time today, I'll probably be too distracted to be posting here. Immediate plans: go to the doctor to determine what's up with me being so tired; do something with Heidi today (I'm not sure what, it's a surprise). Tomorrow, everybody is invited down to Cleary's on Clark in Wrigleyville for a few drinks and some cheap but decent food. We might hit a comic store nearby beforehand, might not. Normally, I'd say yes, just because since it's my birthday celebration, I can put some extra geek on, but it's beeen SO damn cold lately, I'm thinking staying as inside as possible is probably my best bet.

Monday, December 05, 2005

All wiped out

So I've been really tired. It's very likely the seizure medication I'm on. I wasn't so bad on the previous stuff, but that made me gain weight, so I never wanted to take it. This stuff makes me thirsty, so I never want to take it, either, but I'm afraid it also makes me much more tired. I'm hoping this isn't the reason, and it ends up being something much easier to deal with. I'm going to have to go to the doctor and figure out why I'm so wiped, because this is beginning to be a stressor in my relationship with Heidi. Not a big one so much; Heidi's too cool for that, but it's a noticible one. But it's not so much that I'm tired, but that I'm also just not able to sleep. So I've been lying in bed, dead tired, but awake. So anyway, I'm seeing the doctor tomorrow morning. Hopefully I'll be able to think for the rest of the day.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Brush with Pseudo-Celebrity?

So I'm not sure about this, because the guy had a moustache (and it was darn effective for blocking his identity if it was him) and why the hell would he be having dinner in Skokie? But anyway, I think Heidi & I were having dinner one table away from Ted Raimi. He's SO not an A list actor, so Heidi, who's usually my portable actor database, didn't know who the guy is, but I could have sworn that was him. I didn't want to bug him during his dinner, so I didn't, but I thought it might be him anyway.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

It's Official

So I'm feeling better. Still not 100%, but not contagious.

The big thing that Heidi & I were waiting for was another shot at a gigantor diamond that has been in my dad's family for over 150 years. My dad never got to meet Heidi, but he would have really liked her. However, my stepmom still wears the ring that has the diamond, as it was hers most recently, and she's not ready to part with it. Saturday was the most recent time we were going to see her and be able to talk with her about it, she said she wasn't ready.

There's more to this story, and it led to some intriguing revelations, but we ended up ring shopping that day. We went down to Old Orchard, and hit Marshall Field's and first checked out some moissanite rings. Moissanite because of all the social injustices surrounding diamond mines, but when it came down to it, she ultimately didn't care (you can't live in an industrial society without some social injustice), and I wanted her to have a diamond. Keep in mind, the moissantie stones looked good, but it was then that I realized that that heirloom diamond would never have worked with Heidi. It's just too darn much. She's not much for excessive bling, and it really showed when she had these rings on, as some of them wer huge.

Then we went into Hegel's Diamonds, and they showed us a small selection of generic garbage that was overpriced, and were really difficult to work with. We were out of there in five minutes.

We ultimately settled on Roger's & Holland's, as we had a chance to check out some cool stuff, and they were working well with us. We left there, prayed about the decision, and went to find something else to do. No decent movies were playing that we hadn't already seen (at least to at Old Orchard), so we went to a sports bar and split a salad (we had just eaten fairly well, and my appetite still isn't quite where it should be). I actually got to thinking while in the bathroom (I was there for a while), and decided that this was a good course, and we talked a little more over the salad, and we headed out and got the ring.

We headed downtown to Millenium Park fountan.
Me: "Do you remember the significance of this place?"
Her: "This is where you first told me you loved me."
Me: "This is where I'm going to declare my undying love for you."

I got down on my knee, and started struggling with the damn box (the regular ring box was stuck in a gift box). At this point, there was beginning to be some spectator reaction. I presented her with the ring (which of course, she had just seen, but still...), and asked her if she would be my wife. She said yes, there was much kissing, many "awwww"s around us, a few congratulations, and more kissing.

And yes, there was very little surprise, very little shock and awe, and that bugs me, too. I'm dramatic, I'm a filmmaker, I'm an actor. I like big productions, and I wanted to stun and awe Heidi. But really, our style is so much of a teamwork thing, and we tend to talk about things so much that joint decisions are our bread and butter. That's sort of just how we do things. Besides, since we're both planners by nature, the wedding will likely be the party of the year.

Oh, speaking of which, our wedding blog is new yet, and Heidi hasn't known about it until now, but it's here.

Friday, November 25, 2005

The Sickie Chronicles, Part 1

So my Thanksgiving meal last night consisted of two bites of mashed potatoes, one bite of turkey, and a cookie. I was so full, I thought I was going to burst. It must have been the handful of Sun Chips I had an hour before that. But my dreams were bizarre, not because they were especially vivid, but because when I woke up, I could remember pretty much their entire progression. I'm losing them now, because a good portion of consistent memory is stringing together the memorable scenes into a logical flow, and dreams really don't have that consistent logic, but I'll leave you with an excerpt: At this point, I was in a theatre and watching a play that was fading into a movie, but before I knew it the entiore dream was taken over by the images, and the fact that I was in a theatre was no longer part of the dream. In this part, everything was really simply animated, really simply drawn, over a green background.
Narrator: Gramma Emmy [A Komodo Dragon on a leash appears]
Narrator: Homer Simpson [A newspaper appears in the lizard's mouth]
Narrator: Gramma Emmy reads Homer Simpson [The lizard eats the newspaper]
[The lizard goes to bank of newspaper vending machines, breaks one open and eats everything in it]
Narrator: Gramma Emmy is learning how to read.
[The lizard breaks into another and eats a little off one paper]
Narrator: Gramma Emmy ate three paragraphs, but she says she read the whole page.
[The lizard eats a little out of one paper and sort of rubs its nose around in another vending machine]
Narrator: Gramma Emmy rearranges the words and adds fifteen that she stole, and she calls it her own. (in my mind, this is a reference to plagiarism)

That's about when I woke up, and realzied that I remembered the entire series of the dream, which had to do with a road trip, Harry Potter (there was a long Harry Potter interlude), some goofy game involving explosive lemonheads, talking with my friend Scott about movies that are coming up, walking through my old high school, watching some play about tolerance that had my friend Amy and someone who looked like Samuel L. Jackson in it, and then it sort of faded into a street scene where Gramma Emmy had her day. And no, I never had a Grandmother named Emmy.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! A little recap on what's been happening the past couple days: I had a friend in town recently, my friend Chris who was my first roommate in film school, and just finished a stint doing assistant edition on Curb Your Enthusiasm. One of the great things about that man is that we don't talk for a year or so, and when we do, we just pick up right where we left off. And that guy can talk! We talked about a lot of stuff, more-or-less focused around women and films. Unfortunately, I had spent most of the night before in the bathroom with stuff coming out from both ends. The initial theory was that I had food poisoning, but I felt feverish most of the day, and barely ate anything (I think all day I ate a kudos bar, a slice of Chicago-style pizza, and half a slice of pie). He and Heidi, both being extremely social, chatted away while I slept a good deal. But the kicker that it wasn't food poisoning came today. I just got up from 13 1/2 hours of sleep. Now, those who know my sleep patterns know that it's difficult for me to get a full 8 hours, and that I hardly ever sleep past 6am, even on days off. I just got out of bed at 10am, and that's from going to bed at 8:30. I'm still a little zonked, but that may have something to do with spending more than half a day in bed. The Kudos bar I had for breakfast isn't really sitting all that well, but I feel a little better than I did yesterday. So, I guess this is good proof against overeating during the holidays. I have a little bit of work that needs to happen over the next couple days, but damn if I feel like doing it.

Monday, November 21, 2005


Sorry for the lack of posting. I have this tendency to not post when A) I'm busy, B) I don't know what I'm feeling, or C) there's just not much to post about (lapses that fall into C tend to last a couple days at most). A and B have been high on my list for a fair amount of time. Basically, I spent most of last week panicking about my feelings about Heidi, whether I should continue down the inevitable path we're heading down. This was just standard "Oh, my God, I'm not going to be single anymore" panic. It came quickly, and after talking with a couple people who are exceptionally valuable in my life, it left quickly. Mattox was over last Tuesday and we had an angst-fest. Between my real-life drama and Battlestar Galactica (he hadn't seen any of season 2 yet), we got our fill of angst, and he gave me some outstanding advice. Wednesday, Heidi and I had a talk about my freak-out. The kicker, though, was my sister, who not only has her degree in psychology, but also went through my parents' divorce, and has been married for 15+ years. So I'm OK with all that now. Whew!

In other news, Thursday night I slammed my phone in my car door accidentally. It fell out of my pocket just as I was closing my door. Owell, my replacement phone has a camera, which my old one didn't... guess that sort of justifies the $50 deductible for the insurance.

We also saw Harry Potter this weekend. First movie I've seen in a while. #4 was my favorite book, and, although the movie felt rushed, it was probably my favorite movie (although #3 was a strong contender for the movie). Still, I left it with kind of a "meh" feeling. It was fun, I'll probably buy the DVD, but I can't necessarily say I'd recommend it unless you are a fan of the series. At least not as passionately as I'd recommend Serenity or Wallace & Gromit. I think it was well cast, though.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Child's Play

I just found a new charity: Child's Play. It's created by gamers for gamers (in a way). It's all about giving kids who have long-term stays in the hospital something to do, be it video games, listening to music, or watching movies. I don't remember much of being in the hospital when I was way young, but what I do remember was pretty traumatic. This, combined with how I reacted when that little girl I never knew had cancer, combined with the fact that it's a charity started by die-hard gamers, all makes me kind of a shoe-in for it. It bugs me that there are no Chicago hospitals currently involved, and even the hospital I went to (Boston Children's Hospital) back in the early 70's isn't there (hell, I don't even know if it exists anymore), but I still feel it's important to give, just so some kid in D.C. (the closest hospital I could find to Boston) might be a little bit happier.


OK, for some reason I haven't been able to post correctly for a couple days. Anyway...

Every two months, the leaders in the church get together for what's called the "Big Picture," where our pastor explains what he'd going to be preaching on over the following few months, so we get his perspective, and can plan accordingly. Normally everybody brings a few bucks and we get bad pizza. This time around, it was a Thanksgiving meal with everybody bringing something, and they had just finished working on their kitchen, so we came to their home. That was freakin' awesome. It was family, getting together to eat and laugh and have fun, and just talk about crap. I've been thinking about this for a while now, but I'm really understanding this in a big way now: I'm digging the fact that it's the holidays.

Perhaps it's the contrast: Last year, the holidays were not so good. My dad had recently died, and I was in a job that I hated so much, but felt so trapped in that it regularly had me thinking about suicide. Since my family all reminded me of my dad, all I really wanted to do was avoid them. Not particularly good source material for a pleasant holiday season.

Now, I'm past the worst of my grief, I'm in a job that's "OK," and I'm in love. I'll have a good holiday time at the Fisher/Austin-plex, but I'll also be celebrating with the Chen household, so my effective family time (and size) has doubled.

I don't much care for the Christmas materialism thing, but I'm also excited about giving out heaps of gifts to friends and family, and getting cool things (I can almost see that Xbox 360 set up in the Altar of Entertainment).

There's also the holiday parties that are beginning to happen. Since my birthday falls betwixt Thanksgiving and Christmas, I can consider that a holiday as well (as there will be at least two celebrations of it). But really, I'm just looking forward to sitting back, drinking some red wine, eating some chocolate, and laughing with some of my best friends.


Monday, November 07, 2005

Friends & Frustrations

So I was playing D&D yesterday, and I'm beginning to come to some conclusions I don't want to come to. Let me 'splain. This weekend was one of the best I've had since well before my dad died. Heidi and I acheived a new level in our relationship (I'll write more about that later), and when I was working at church the following morning, we were joking around about a guy with the initials of ASS not being able to have monogrammed underwear, especially on the front, because then it would be confusing. When I got to Richard's house, I was in the best and most playful and silliest mood I'd ever been when I met up with these people. It was wonderful. What followed was a series of personal attacks that I haven't experienced at such a level since early high school. I mean, seriously, there were attacks about my physical appearance (and I'm a fairly handsome man these days), my laugh (which usually brings me into a crowd, for some reason it tends to separate me from this crowd), a whole mess of really juvenile things. None of it was intended to bring me down, I'm sure, and perhaps the contrast from my emotional state when I got there magnified the whole deal, but it really ended up pissing me off. A lot. I stayed the whole evening, but didn't have much fun, and left tired and crappy. And it got me thinking. When I game with the Mensa crowd, I have fun, I feel energized, sometimes a little shagged out, but still alive and happy to have done so. When I game with my friend Jon, I leave wanting more. I have a lot of fun, we all are really happy to be together, we laugh together and it's great. I leave happy and excited. When I game with this crowd, I pretty much always leave tired and annoyed. I have to think about it a bit more, because these are all peole that I do like, ultimately, but I may end up leaving that group.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Onion may help my V.O. career

Last night at Kafein I was reading this article to Heidi in a breathless announcer voice with a hint of an English accent, because that's how I thought it was written. It sounded really good. She thought I should use that for my Voice Over demo tape, and it was just one of those things that make you go hmm. It'll take a bit of editing, but that could be a great prepared monologue for comedy auditions in general. This was a good shot in the arm. Forget the Cisco classes, I need to get the voice coaching up and running. I need to get a voice-over demo going, so I can get some work that does more for me than pay a decent wage and get moving on with my life.

So thanks again, Heidi, and thanks for the first time, Onion. You are inspirations.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The strange and wonderful things you find on the net

In need of a laugh? Put on some headphones if you're at work, because you'll want to hear this (or just wait till you're at home).

Click here

Special thanks go to this guy, to whom I may have to start linking.

Monday, October 31, 2005


Every Halloween weekend (or at least as close as we can get it, since Halloween is actually today), Chicago area Mensa has their weekend-long Regional Gathering, called HalloweeM (Mensans like to put capital M's in where they don't necessarily belong). This was a weekend that was conditionally exquisite. I showed up about 9:15am on Friday and the hotel allowed me to check in early, so I proceeded to do so. Friday, I spent the bulk of the day playing the Dual Dungeon Duel, which was a D&D geekfest in which two competing teams played in the same dungeon, and then were magically transported into a massive arena and beat the snot out of each other. There were a few exceptional players, one of which was seven years old. Many (most of them on the other team, fortunately) you kind of wondered why the hell they were gaming in the first place. Y'know, some people just don't have the temperament/mindset for imaginative gaming, and get really confused about it, and subsequently really offended when you try to kill them.

After the festivities, I hung out for a bit around the free food and beer, and then went back to my room to get ready for the costume parade. Being as obsessed with pirates as I have been as of late, I wanted to have a clever pirate outfit (which, of course, included growing my hair out about six weeks longer than I usually do, and avoiding shaving for a very long time). But in Mensa, it is expected that not only do you have a clever costume, but you must also have a clever pun to go along with it. I generally don't think in puns, but I tried. During the parade, I had a sign saying "Corn $1," so I was a buccaneer. I sold it primarily because I was being Mr. high-energy actor at the time. Anyway, Heidi (who had just worked a 14 hour day), came in briefly, so she could see the costume, but she left really early. One thing though, my other eye was open under that eyepatch, and that sucked. I had double vision for several hours once I removed that thing.

Heidi spent the day with me on Saturday, and we didn't do a whole lot. We played a lot of games, went to one lectutre that was insanely boring (before she showed up, I went to an interesting presentation on Snowboarding, but this one, the guy just didn't know how to work an audience). We got a lot of good talking in, and and danced the night away (my friend Howard was DJ, and he was catering to us, I think). But we talked a LOT that day, and achieved a good turning point in our relationship. Actually, I guess a better phrasing of that would be: I achieved a good turning point in my insecurities. It was a little weird for her, though. She's used to marketing conferences where everybody is smooth and attractive, and in this place, everybody is quirky, and some people are lonely and weird and have no social graces at all. She, being an attractive young-looking Asian woman, got eyes from a lot of people and a number of comments that I'm very glad I was not in earshot of, otherwise there would have been trouble. That's the thing with Mensa. You meet a LOT of really cool, really unique people, many of which are fun as all hell. But with really unique comes the others, and there is a fairly high concentration of those.

Sunday, I left 'weeM early and Heidi and I hung out again and did a whole lot of nothing. We watched the best Singaporean movie ever, and that's not saying much. It was good, I enjoyed it, but it seemed like a really good student film. But in all, Heidi and I used this weekend wisely and got a lot closer. Life is good. Love is good. Mensa is weird, but I love so many people there, it kicks abundant ass.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Near-theft Experience

So I just went to Best Buy to pick up Civilization IV. They had a really cool set up of a PS2 and an Xbox side by side, and the picture was so good, I was thinking it might be an advance XBox360, so I checked it out. It was cool, and I left, with a warm fuzzy feeling. Then I started thinking about playing the game I had in my hand... wait, shouldn't there be a bag there? Yep, I was halfway to my car before I realized I had walked out of Best Buy without paying for my game. The "security" guy didn't notice, the alarm didn't sound, I effectively could have kept walking and had myself a free game. Now, I'm all for free software, but I feel like someone needs to pay for it, and no, I don't mean Best Buy. Having integrity means something, and I know I wouldn't have enjoyed the game if I knew it was stolen, and besides, it's just the right thing to do. What I thought was odd, though, was that the store staff didn't really care. They were surprised that I had come back in, and didn't particularly care that I had walked out with it. Maybe it was free Civ 4 day. Anyway, I went and paid, and I feel better about myself, and the game has finished installing, so I must finish my post.


The Sox Sweep the Series

OK, I'm not a big baseball fan. In fact, I didn't even watch the World Series. But I'm a resident of Chicago, and I dig this town a lot, and Chicago history was made last night. For the first time in 46 years, we had a team in the series, and for the first time a much longer time, we won it. Not only did we win it, we won it with style, with panache. The 3rd game ran on 14 innings, and the whole series was wrapped up in 4 games. Last night as I was going to bed, I heard fireworks going off. Kick ass.

Yes, this is dramatically different than my usual posts, so I'll leave everyone with this, just to know that I haven't gone off the deep end: Which Fantasy/Sci-Fi Character are You?

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?You are Elrond
A stern yet benevolent organizer who often knows best, your wits are keenly fixed on aiding efforts you deem worthy.

Now at this last we must take a hard road, a road unforseen. There lies our hope, if hope it be. To walk into peril to Mordor.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Why I dig other people's blogs

I regularly read a select few blogs of people that I don't know personally. Some are celebrities, some are incredibly educational, all are well written (well, all of them that I read without knowing who they are). Wil Wheaton's blog is almost a forum, a centralized meeting place, for those of skewed minds. The Four Ninja Food Groups is just weird. But then there's people like the writer of The All-Grain Evangelist who are just SO damn knowledgeable and SO damn passionate about what they do, it's downright amazing. This is the post that inspired my post. The more I look at my current space, the more I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be able to get into homebrewing in this apartment (that's kind of a maybe), but damn, I need to have this guy's blog up for reference.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

The Talisman Ring

Heidi and I just saw The Talisman Ring at Lifeline Theatre yesterday. I wanted to see it because my friend Rob was in it, and I really dig his acting ability. This can't really be described as anything other than a rousing romp. It was a historical piece, placed during the French Revolution, but having been written in the mid-20th century. Therefore, all the women had minds of their own, and one woman even did fairly well in a fight, but there was still plenty of swoony romance (most of it made up in the show because the trashy-romance-obsessed younger character thought it should be that way), swordplay, secret chambers, devious plots, and clever wit to go around. If you're in the Chicago area, I highly recommend this show.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Meet David

This is David. He's this little seven year old guy down in Ecuador, who I'm sponsoring through Children International. I figured if I can spend $14 a month to play World of Warcraft, I can spend $18 a month to let this guy have better medicine and education. And I know I'm not going to stop playing World of Warcraft (or whatever follows it in my obssessive gaming mind) anytime soon. His biggest love in life is soccer, but he likes to sing, and is a good kid (well, he says he is, so take that with however many grains of salt). I just got my first letter from him, which was as incoherent as most 7-year-old writing, but really cool to get anyway.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Crap, now I gotta think again

Well, ever-faithful wikipedia (which has often been considered the reason the internet exists), has dashed my pseudo-hopes. Christopher Walken is not running for president. It was a good hoax/joke, but it's all over now. Owell, at least we have our perpetually successful two-party system to fall back on :P

More musings from a dedicated geek

So anyway, I've learned something. But first, backstory! Commander Adama in the old version of Battlestar Galactica was a very spiritual man. All the characters were very symbolic, and larger than life. The dialogue was stilted, and the acting was bad, because nobody was really a person, everybody was a symbol (that or it was just the '70's, and nobody cared about that sort of thing in Science Fiction in the '70's... to make my point, I'm going with the symbolism thing). Once all of humanity was destroyed, and Adama was responsible for the rest of the human race (which previously spanned twelve worlds), he went on a spiritual quest for the remaining "tribe" of humanity from the scriptures, in this mythical place called Earth. The updated Battlestar Galactica is much more realistic. It's a bunch of real people, filled with crap that real people go through (angst is very addictive in a TV show), but adding to it the fact that the entire human race has been wiped out and it's pretty much up to Commander William Adama (with the help of the previous Secretary of Education, who is the only living member of the cabinet, hence the new president) to get people off their collective asses and out somewhere, anywhere. Earth is also some mythical place from the scriptures that supposedly the 13th tribe of humanity went to eons ago, but the thing is, Bill Adama doesn't care about it. He's just making it up so he can get people moving and not sitting around waiting to be blown away. There's more, but it's not important right now. Watch the new series. It's good stuff. Anyway, I learned that Adamah (pronounced the same, and the h is optional) means ground or earth in Hebrew. Adama was named so in the original series, which was suppoed to parallel the Hebrew Exodus, as a symbol of the quest for Earth. It was a pretty thinly-veiled symbol, but it's kinda neato. Please note, the original Battlestar Galactica was pretty much an unwatchable show. I liked it as a kid, but I was also 8 years old. New one good, old one bad. But I still thought I'd share my new knowledge with you. Yes, I'm a geek.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Wallace & Gromit

Heidi and I just saw the new Wallace & Gromit movie last night. Freakin' outstanding. Odd, but it used to be that all the good movies were out in the summer, and they waited for all the mediocre ones to come out at other times. Sometime around 10-15 years ago, the holidays became a good move time. Now, I'm liking the holidays movie time significantly more than summer (admittedly, I'm also older, so maybe it's a change in perspective). But regarding this particular movie, I didn't have very high hopes for it. I thought the third Wallace and Gromit short was nice, but nothing spectacular. But the characterizations in this show were better than most live-action actors. Gromit, especially. Admittedly, when you have a character that doesn't talk, he has to be expressive, but I've never seen an animated character be as expressive as he was, with or without dialogue. This was sweet, yet not sickening, it had action, yet I'd still bring my kids to it (if I had kids), it was hysterically funny to pretty much anyone who would watch it. I would venture that there's more humor that adults would catch than there is that kids would appreciate. Crap, I found myself practically doubled over with mirth every time a character showed up. And the movies they satirized! They did The Wolfman (of course), King Kong, Jaws, Omen, and countless others that I didn't quite get, but I knew were drawn from other sources. This here is a horrible movie review, but this was a fantastic movie. Watch it. You'll not be disappointed. Given the choice, see Serenity, but if you see two movies this month, see Serenity and this one.

Friday, October 07, 2005

I like a little chill

It's nice to be wearing a jacket again. I like a little bit of bite in the air. It just makes me happy. Also, a jacket is a convenient source of more pockets. I tend to carry around a lot of gadgets, and with the back problems, I shouldn't carry anything in my back pockets. With the exception of cargo pants (of which I should get more), I'm somewhat limited in pocket space with just the two front pockets and a possible shirt pocket. But with a jacket, ooooooo, the possibilities are much less limited.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Probably the most eloquent movie review ever

Orson Scott Card reviewed Serenity here. Read it. He's a little more move by it than I was, but I also only saw it the one time, and I've been thinking about it pretty much nonstop. So anyway check out the review. Like nealy everything Card does, it's well worth the read.

Monday, October 03, 2005


This weekend Heidi and I went up to Door County, Wisconsin. This was arguably the best vacation I ever took. The weather was perfect and vacationing with Heidi is far nicer than vacationing with certain control-freak members of my family. Anyway, here are some highlights of the weekend.

Friday we stopped by the Cave Point State Park and just stuck around and looked at nature stuff. Since this was our first jaunt into real nature after being in Chicago for a very long time, it was freakin' breathtaking. No pictures here are doing it justice, in part because I was just learning how to work the new camera. That night we went out to this place called the "hands on art studio," where we got all the materials and studio space to make our own arty stuff. We made this kick-ass picture frame. We had staff surprised at how cool it looked. Now, this was probably their job, but I wasn't hearing them say this to anybody else. So, I'll take the compliment.

Saturday we got a pleasant tour of a local winery, and a little bit of a wine tasting. They primarily grew apples and cherries, so their wines were all based off of apples and cherries. Kinda clever little stuff.

Each morning we saw the sun rise over the water out our window, and Saturday evening we saw the sun set over the water. At night we'd go out on the pier near our motel and look up at the stars which were freakin' brilliant. There were so many stars outside, the sky looked dirty! This was especially lovely because, coming from Chicago, you normally don't see more than five or six stars out at any one time.

Sunday we came home, and after a nap, we went and saw Serenity. It was a little confusing for the first half, but the second half tied everything up together, and it was really good. Not as kickass as I was expecting, but still the best Science Fiction movie out in a while. Joss Wheedon has this talent for making you really care about stellarly interesting characters, and then instantly, in a split second, turning the tables on you. He does things in his shows (I'm including TV on this) in a style that nobody else would ever do, and I don't know whether to love him or hate him for it. I'm going to see the show again, so I guess I love him for it. If you want to know what I'm talking about, see the show. For those who have seen it, "I'm a leaf on the wind. Watch me soar."

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Serenity NOW!

Yes, I'm not the first to use the Seinfeld reference, and I won't be the last. Anyway, I get a few hits on this blog from people I do know, and evidently a few more from people I don't (just spent a good amount of time on Statcounter, and I can see the rough location of where people log in, and I don't know people in some of those areas, so let me officially tip my hat to y'all). So anyway, this is an important weekend for me. Yes, it's my first vacation with Heidi, and that's very important but somewhat irrelevant to the point I'm trying to make. Go see Serenity. Go see it this weekend. Even if you never saw Firefly, go see Serenity. I haven't seen it yet myself, but from everything I've heard, you (meaning nearly anybody) will like it a lot, and I really want this show to get the support it deserves (whereas I, who really likes the show to begin with, will have select organs explode with delight). Supposedly, if the film makes $80 million, Universal will sign for a three-picture deal, which would ROCK. Ideally, the goal would be to get the show back on the air, on some network that's not going to screw it over (there are numerous websites that can give you the story of how FOX bent Firefly over and gave it the business).

Yes, Heidi and I will be in rural-touristy northern Wisconsin, but, as God is my witness, we will find a movie theatre that is playing Serenity this weekend, if we have to hit the late show Sunday night on our way back.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

John's Advice: Never get a VW Beetle

My headlight burnt out. This isn't an uncommon occurrance, since I have daytime running lights; this happens a lot. Every 6-8 months. Never mind that when I had the Saturn, I drove it a lot more, and it had daytime running lights, and I think I changed the headlights once in seven years. But I digress. It would be one thing if the headlights went out, and I could go to the car parts store, spend $15 on a new headlight bulb (VW parts are remarkably expensive, too), and fix it myself, but it's not that thing. It's the thing where you have to take the entire f'n fender off in order to change the headlight, so you have to not only have the inconvenience of bringing the thing in, but also get charged $70 for the priviledge of having two functional headlights (at least until April or May). Yes, getting a different car is creeping up in the priority list, but there's an abundance of financial priorities these days.


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

"Peter Pan is dead!"

So I was hanging with the theatre-geek crowd this Sunday, and I heard a horrible/hilarious story. Supposedly, during this performance of Peter Pan, the understudy for Peter was doing the show. The wings of this particular theatre were really narrow, so when she (Peter Pan is traditionally played by a young woman) flies, she was hoisted around the stage and had to flit into these really narrow wings. Well, she didn't make it once, and took a header into a brick wall. So Peter Pan comes swinging back out on stage, unconscious and bleeding from the head. Somebody in the audience shouts out "Peter Pan is dead!" and all the kids in the audience started clapping, thinking it would bring Peter back to life.

I was turning different colors, I was laughing so hard at that one.

As a postscript, the actor is just fine.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


This has been a crappy week. It's been getting progressively hotter, despite my hopes that we'd be done with the heat, I had something like $1000 in medical bills come in all at once (primarily because Blue Cross Blue Shield doesn't acknowledge that being in so much pain you can't walk is a viable reason to go to the emergency room), and the promotion I was hoping for got canceled, which is going to put a bit of a crimp in my planned transition to voice-over work. Yet this post over at Wil Wheaton's blog helped put things in perspective for me. Yes, the week has been filled with lots of bad news, but the weekend was spectacular, with beautiful weather, and a couple days filled with heaps of extra-special funstuff with Heidi. In particular, on Sunday we went out on a spontaneous road trip and did things that I've wanted to do for years (things as simple as getting one of those 1.5 L mugs from 7-11 filled with Coke and going on a trip, or going on the Jelly Belly factory tour, or actually stopping and walking around Lake Geneva's business district), but never got around to. It's not so much the trip that was fun (although it was), but the fact that Heidi got such a kick out of doing something that was a hobby for me when I was in California. This bodes well for our future. Anyway, I also have a busload of good friends, make a comfortable (if sometimes precarious) living, and am heavily involved with the best church I've ever attended, where the leadership there are very open and loving (a remarkably rare trait, from my previous experience). I'm in a position in my social life where I'm allowed and even encouraged to be as geeky as I feel comfortable being. So there's a bunch of crappy things going on. They aren't life. Life is ongoing, and the naughty things are temporary pitfalls. The ongoing part? That's pretty good.

Monday, September 19, 2005

International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Avast me hearties! It be International Talk Like a Pirate day today! So lift a cup o' grog, or at the very least, answer the phone with an Arr!

The Musings of Fish would like to state that it or anybody associated with it does not support murder, rape, looting, pillaging, theft, kidnapping, or any other activities associated with piracy that do not include swaggering, drinking, sailing, make-believe swordplay, or talking like a 300-year old version of a white-trash Irishman with a nautical background.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

What Kind of Pirate Be Ye?

In honor of the upcoming International Talk Like a Pirate Day...

You are The Cap'n!

Some men are born great, some achieve greatness and some slit the throats of any man that stands between them and the mantle of power. You never met a man you couldn't eviscerate. Not that mindless violence is the only avenue open to you - but why take an avenue when you have complete freeway access? You are the definitive Man of Action. You are James Bond in a blousy shirt and drawstring-fly pants. Your swash was buckled long ago and you have never been so sure of anything in your life as in your ability to bend everyone to your will. You will call anyone out and cut off their head if they show any sign of taking you on or backing down. You cannot be saddled with tedious underlings, but if one of your lieutenants shows an overly developed sense of ambition he may find more suitable accommodations in Davy Jones' locker. That is, of course, IF you notice him. You tend to be self absorbed - a weakness that may keep you from seeing enemies where they are and imagining them where they are not.

What's Yer Inner Pirate?
brought to you by The Official Talk Like A Pirate Web Site. Arrrrr!

Monday, September 12, 2005

An actor I dig

I just finished the last episode of Firefly (and I highly recommend it to freakin' anyone) last night, in anticipation of the movie. I think it's a good thing I saw it now as opposed to earlier, because I have less time to wait for the movie to come out, and it'll still be fresh in my mind when I see the movie. In any case, I've come to really dig one of the lead characters in it: Wash. Not so much the character (although the character is brilliantly written and played), but the actor who plays him, Alan Tudyk. For reference, he also played Steve the Pirate in the movie Dodgeball, and did a few voices in Ice Age. From interviews and his own acting, he seems like he'd be a great guy to act with. What's really cool, though, is his current work. He's just filled in for Hank Azaria in Spamalot, which is f'n genius. Don't get me wrong, Hank Azaria has some monstrously huge shoes to fill for that show, but I think if anyone could do it, Alan Tudyk has the right attitude, voice, and skill to do so.

Friday, September 09, 2005

The Cleaning

Y'know, I've been living in my apartment for a rather long time, considering how un-moved-in it is. But that seems to be changing. I think the big holdup was either A) getting the surround sound system set up (which I knew was going to be a big job, so I put it off), or B) getting the couch (which is coming on Saturday). In any case, I just find myself cleaning up everywhere I go. And I'm realizing there's a lot to do. A lot I had blinded myself to. But, I have this wonderful feeling that I'll have things in as-order-as-I-can by the end of the weekend, and that I'll be able to start working on the finishing this-is-a-home touches by next week. Yay!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

And so it begins

Well, at least I can get my mind off my chemical addictions for a little while. Finally, after two months of living in my new place, after having the system sitting around for nearly a month and a half, I have set up my DVD player/surround sound system. And, coincidentally (have I mentioned how little faith I have in coincidence?), I have $140 in Best Buy reward zone coupons burning a hole in my proverbial pocket. Now, I do have quite a bit that I need to watch without buying more stuff (The first episode of Firefly bodes well for the remainder of the series), but the TV is large, the sound is good, the couch (which is being delivered on Saturday) is comfy, and fer cryin' out loud! It's $140 that they're GIVING me (yes, we can all go into the economic psychology lecture later)!

My schedule is a bit filled with things that do not include drooling over the DVD section at Best Buy, but that's OK. I have time, I have patience, but I also have plenty of space crying out to me from my shelves.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


I think I'm addicted to caffeine. Now, there's no surprise there, but I think I'm really heavily messed up on caffeine. I find myself increasingly wiped out and in need of more caffeine in order to stay mobile. I'm not looking forward to going cold turkey, but I have this horrible feeling that my options are becoming limited. I'll need to finish off the case-and-a-half of BAWLS that I have in my kitchen, but I need to get that done with quickly and then I have a few days after my upcoming spinal shot where I can be grumpy and headachy and perpetually tired as I go through caffeine withdrawal.

Admittedly, my lack of energy can be blamed on a lot of things: stress, improper nutrition, lack of exercise, whatever. But all those were significantly worse at other points in my life, and only recently have I been constantly wiped out. I am a lot more busy right now, but I'm also downing caffeine like there's no tomorrow. Admittedly, I really like the taste of BAWLS and Coke, and coffee is now supposed to be magnificently good for you.

Meh. Maybe I'll not give up ALL caffeine, but just take it easier and go back to my previous ways, while attempting to reduce stress and increase nutrition and physical activity. Boy that really does sound like I'm addicted. Oy vey.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Well, we've voted stranger

I can't tell if this is real or not. If it is, I'm intrigued. If not, I want to see just how far the joke goes.


I've been learning over the past several years that timing is everything. In Ecclesiastes, it says, "To Everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven." I've been coming to realize that over the last couple years, but really heavily in the last few months. My business failed in LA because I rushed into it. I moved out of Anthony's place when the time was right, but perhaps I found an apartment a little too quickly. Heidi and I came together at just the right time in both of our lives. Even my dad's death, though it sucked, was very "interestingly" placed in the other events that were going on in my life at the time, and subsequently the timing of his inheritance really made for some interesting coincidences (and I've stated before that I don't believe in coincidences). I'm not saying I'd want to go through that again, but I am a heck of a lot stronger as a result, and my strength is something that Heidi finds appealing. Go fig.

Anyway, as I became more and more aware of this, I've been sort of sensing the timing of certain events around other things. I was just reminded of my father's death recently when that little seven-year-old girl died, and a week later I found myself counseling a guy in my guild on World of Warcraft (who's going into his first year of high school) about his neice dying.

So based off of that, I'm learning to not rush things, or not put things off that I should be doing. Basically, it's teaching me to prioritize. I've decided to hold off on brewing until my kitchen is in better shape (maybe my first brew will be a Christmas brew). But I need to get a few things done by certain dates. I have to watch all of Firefly before the movie comes out. I have to get my apartment in order before my inagural party (although that may be pushed back from October to November). I have to finish my armor before Halloween. I have to read the Chronicles of Narnia before the first movie comes out. All this, and continuing to develop my relationship with Heidi, and work and various other fun things going on... Whew, I'm a busy man.

Sunday, August 21, 2005


For Mensa, I organize an event called The Long and Winding Crawl. Effectively, it's just going out and drinking at places around town. Last night we went to this place I wanted to go out and drink at for a long time, a place called Rhythm, which is either a bar with a drum-circle theme, or a drum-circle establishment with a bar built in so they can make a living keeping the place open. In any case, it was a huge kick in the pants. This is me bringing my and Heidi's drum down from the rack into the drum pit. People were quite pleased at my apprent new-found chestiness, so Dave, who shall henceforth be named Schmutzy, due to an inside joke that happened during a game of St. Petersburg several months ago, took this picture. Jeni, the drum queen/dancing dervish, took the picture below of me, Schmutzy, and Heidi (who's peeking in from my left, your right) while we were banging upon our drums. Today, my hands hurt. But I fully intend to go back there because that was such a hugely entertaining time.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Air Power

There are fighter jets zooming around downtown in preparation for the air show this weekend. It's kinda cool. I can't see them, as the lab is stuck under a lot of buildings, but I can hear them roar by every now and then.

Flashback: 2002

I hadn't left California yet, but was steadily going broke on a combination of lack of work and... well, that was pretty much it. I decided to clear my mind and go for a long drive. At the time, my long drives were day-long experiences (which means that when I sold that car, it had 170,000 miles on it). I drove out to Death Valley, and just was perched on an outcropping overlooking the valley. Over the mountains on the other side of the valley, I saw two fighter jets flying around, almost as if they were playing. This was just after the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, so I assumed that they were flying from there back to Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave desert (at least that would have put them roughly on this course). I'm a guy, so seeing two jets flying around is really cool to me, so I thought I'd stick around and watch them. They seemed to be getting a little closer, which was cool, and I continued to watch. Before I knew it, however, one of them was bearing down on me. The guy must have flown by about 300 feet away from me. That was cool. Too late, I remembered I had my camera in my car, so I turned around to go back to my car, and there was the other guy, maybe 100 feet from me, just passing behind me. Practically blew me over with the shock of it. He was even tilted over a little, so I could see into his cockpit. I probably could have made out facial details if he hadn't been wearing his helmet. They went on, and kept flying, but that was cool to have been nearly strafed by two fighter jets.

Ah, memories.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


So on the 501st website, there's a video as a tribute to this seven year old girl (a daughter of one of the guys) who just recently lost her battle with cancer. She was clearly this girl with an abundance of personality, and the cancer treatments stole that from her and then killed her (well, not the treatments so much as the actual cancer). I don't know if I'm extra-sensitive because of my dad recently passing away (did I see a little bit of his last days in the last few photos of her?), or maybe I'm extra-sensitive because she reminds me a little bit of my neices, or maybe because I feel a special connection to the 501st, and they seem to be going through it as a group. In any case, I'm mourning a little girl that I never knew. I was crying in Heidi's arms last night, and I'm about to cry at work right now. Fortunately, I'm alone in the lab, so if I want to I can, but still...

Anyway, I guess life is all about change, but that little girl clearly had so much life in her. With my dad, it was different. He had lived his life. He had played with his grandchildren a month beforehand. I don't know, just feeling really messed up right about now.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The Fermentation of a Plot

I've been a little concerned about the quality of my kitchen for the homebrewing, especially on my first attempt. I know it can be done, as the first brew I witnessed was in a kitchen not much better, but I'm still organizing, and will likely still be organizing when I want to do the brew. So, I've decided my first brew will be on-premises at Bev Art Brewer and Winemaker Supply. Matt had mentioned the place to me when I went over to witness his brew recently, and I looked it up and gave them a call. I'll head down there this weekend to check the place out, and sign myself up for an onsite brew. This will be mighty convenient, as I will be able to have my first brew available for my housewarming/movie night in October.

I'm thinking September 3rd or 10th, depending on Howard and Janet's pre-wedding bash stuff.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Too much blog spam

I hate to do it, but because blogspot does not allow for blocking IP addresses that post, I am limiting comments to those who are registered with blogspot. I wish I could do anonymous ones, but I seem to have been pegged for mass comment spam. Yay.


We went to hear a bunch of Star Wars music at Ravinia last night. Heidi and I got there a bit early, and listened to the end of the first show. Here's what the ravinia website had to say about her:
Broadway star Tovah Feldshuh portrays a dozen hilarious characters- some
real, some imaginary- with a lavish serving of George Gershwin, Irving Berlin,
and Rogers and Hart.

This person should never have been given a one-woman show. She was so bad, that I was sure she had to be some local schmoe. For quite a while, I had her dubbed as the Worst Performer in the World. Think about it, someone actually paid for her to come out here from New York, put her up in a hotel (she actually has two, count 'em, two shows at Ravinia), and paid her to do this "show." Her "dozen characters" all sounded like the same old Jewish lady, her singing voice was OK at best, and about half her comedy you struggled to figure out even why it should be funny. Was that supposed to be a punchline? Anyway, it ended up being really funny, just unintentionally.

Anyway, Mattox and a friend of Heidi's and Matt's, Victor, showed up for the Star Wars music, and, although Erich Kunzel tends to rearrange music that I know by heart, it was a kick-butt show, and the weather was damn close to perfect. Best evening we've had in Chicagoland for two months. A little humid, but lovely all the same. Matt brought some of his home-brewed wine (which was wonderful, but could use a little aging). He also informed me that where he gets his brewing equipment could be used to get root beer brewing stuff as well, which would be awesome for those days in which I'm, freakin' exhausted and alcohol will just do me in totally. Also, for those folks who come over (Tyler, in particular) who don't drink.

Anyway, there were also a bunch of people from the Fighting 501st there. There were probably 6 stormtroopers, at least one sandtrooper, at least one scout trooper, and a Darth Vader, a Boba Fett, and a Jango Fett. There were a few jedi hanging around (I mean the ones that were older than 6), but mostly it was Stormtroopers. Kinda ticked me off that I haven't finished (or started on) my armor yet, but it also lit a fire under my proverbial ass to get going.

In all, the evening was a success.

Friday, August 12, 2005

And now...

So you think, having internet at home, the frequency of my posts would go up. Go fig. As it happens, they've been keeping me nightmarishly busy at work, and when I get home, I'm playing my games. Yeah, I've kind of stopped with the setting up of the apartment temporarily (although I think I'll force myself into it again this Saturday).

So I have something freaky to tell you. But first, backstory. OK, Heidi's brother is a geek. No biggie there, that's kind of what got us interested in each other to begin with (she had grown up around geeks all her life, she was used to it from men, me being a rather charming geek was a bit of a shoe-in, at least in the beginning). So, for the uninitiated, World of Warcraft has servers you log into and play on those, so it's not an overloaded game. It's still overloaded, but it's better than it would be otherwise. Also, it's nice because if you choose, you can have a server close to you, so you reduce net latency. I don't, but you can.

Anyway, Darrick had started up on a server called Silver Hand. I was on a different server, but I thought it would be cool to be on the same server as my girlfriend's brother. Makes it slightly more difficult for her to dump me should things go awry (which, thank God, they aren't). Now, Darrick has been dating Stephanie for a long time, significantly longer than I've been seeing Heidi (not sure exactly when they started, but that's less important). Last weekend, we celebrated Darrick's birthday, and I met Stephanie's family, who are, for the most part, geeks.

Now, the weird thing is that Stephanie's dad, Darrick, and myself are practically geek clones. We have characters on WoW that are approximately the same level (I have a few more characters, and my favorites are higher, but no matter). We all collect swords. Stephanie's dad and I have even studied clowning, and both of us have Auguste clowns. Both he & I were considering getting Darrick a sword for his birthday (He ended up getting Darrick more practical gifts, I got him the sword). We all are performers of some kind, and, at varying levels, attempt, have attempted, and/or desire to attempt to make creativity a significant part of our careers.

So anyway, we got to talking about all hooking up together on a server and playing together. The more I think about it, the stranger it is. I will be playing an on-line game with my girlfriend's brother. I will be playing with my girlfriend's brother's girlfriend's dad. Shoot, I'll even be playing (less frequently) with my girlfriend's brother's girlfriend's sister's husband.

I don't particularly believe in coincidences. So I've been a little freaked out the last week or so. I'm getting more used to the idea of being connected in such bizarre ways, but this is just weird.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Cue Chorus of Angels

Guess where I'm posting this from. No, go ahead, guess. No, really.

I now have functional internet at home. Yep, I'm home, and I have an internet connection, for the first time in several weeks. Observe my internetting goodness.

Darth Tater

Just when I thought there was nothing that could get me out of my funk yesterday, Heidi gets me a Darth Vader Mr. Potatohead. Oh, don't get me wrong, I was still kinda pissy, and still a little defeated, but this shocked me out of the worst of the funk. Damn, that girl knows how to take care of me!

So, I'm better now. Darth Tater started the healing (I've said it before, and I'll say it again, you find healing in the strangest places), and then Heidi proceeded to pile praise on me in a way that I was not looking for, and definitely not expecting (when you feel utterly defeated, having your girlfriend there to tell you how wrong you are is a good thing).

But I still feel betrayed and pissed off at the death in the latest Harry Potter book (I won't spoil it for those who haven't read it, and those who have will know what I'm talking about). Admittedly, that was the author's goal, so good job Ms. Rowling! Still, dammit! I keep wondering what the actors who play those parts in the movies thought when they read it. Not so much Daniel Radcliffe, because he really won't change his characterization any (here's a hint that won't surprise you, Harry was there, but he wasn't the one who died), but these other guys who have some experience... damn!

So in all, I'm better, feeling more productive, like a member of society again, and I've started reading my homebrewing book.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

One of those weeks

This has been one of "those" weeks. Y'know, the kind where you look back on it and wonder "what the hell was I thinking?" I'm just regretting a few stupid mistakes, but my mind has been kind of messed up most of the week. I even spent most of last weekend asleep feeling unwell, and most of last night awake, thinking about how I might get fired because of a combination of a stupid decision and other people's lack of response.

I don't know, maybe it's the heat. Maybe it's the food (or lack thereof). Maybe it's the fact that my place is still a completely disorganized mess, and I've been living there nearly a month.

I used to be a pretty confident, intelligent, rational, decisive, resonable guy, with things more or less together, despite all the crap going on in my life. What happened?

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Oy vey

So I wore some older pants today, and forgot to put a belt on. No biggie. They're comfortable, they stay on, all is well. Except for when the top button flies off in the middle of walking to work. They still stay on, but the zipper now does have the tendency to fall down quite a bit. Fortunately, I sit a lot at work, but my trip home will be interesting. I hope I get a seat on the El on the way home, because standing could lead to some unusual experiences. Not to mention that I can't just walk home and put on new pants... I have to walk to where the auto glass place is, pay for the car, and then drive home. Yikes!

Monday, August 01, 2005

The Broken Window

So some prick decided to break my passenger side window Saturday night/Sunday morning. Not steal anything, not even attempt to steal anything. Just break the window to be rude. Maybe he broke the window, looked in and thought better of it. Maybe he broke the window and the car alarm went off and he ran off. But there was still glass precariously situated in the top of the window frame, and the moment I touched it, it fell in the car. So basically, it seems like the guy (or girl, coulda been a chick, don't want to be sexist here) just broke my window out of malice. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm glad nothing got stolen. But really, that's just rude.

That's the thing about crime. It's not just coldhearted and wrong, but it's really selfish. "Hey, I want to bugger this other guy's day that I don't know. Yeeha."

I'm really not all that upset about it, I guess I'm more annoyed that the glass-fix place hasn't called yet. Still, it's another stressor added into an already stressed life, y'know?

Friday, July 29, 2005

Battlestar Galactica

Just to establish my dominance in geekdom, I thought I'd post here about the one show of which I'm currently obsessed: Battlestar Galactica. I remember working for Studios USA when David Eick and the guy who played Apollo on the original show came through to pitch this show. At the time, it was suppoed to be the original thing, 20 years later. I like this way better: a retelling of the original story, just done well (y'know, with elements like character interaction and plot). I shook "Apollo's" hand when he introduced himself and I said, "Yes, I know. You were a hero of mine when I was a kid." This, of course, thoroughly pleased David Eick, and he started pitching the show to me. Boy, wouldn't it have been a kick in the pants to be working on that show right now. Ah well. C'est la vie.

But I have gotten Heidi hooked on it. It didn't take long. She watched one episode with me (the premiere of the second season was on our three-month anniversary, so I asked her to record it), and then she saw another episode on her own, and she got sucked into my geeky vortex. I will not be held responsible, but her brother, Darrick wants to get her hooked on World of Warcraft, too. I won't turn her to the dark side on that one, but if she comes over of her own volition, I probably won't complain too much. But I digress.

Anyway, she now wants to see the first season of the show to catch up. I just found out the first season is on DVD (I was gonna get it anyway... I just have a little more incentive now). She's coming over tonight, and we're heading out with Matt to get some Korean food (after the show, of course). I think I may have some DVD's for her.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


I've seen blogs that are spam-esque before, but I never knew there was such a thing as a blog-response spam. In any case, I got it on my last post. Crap on a cracker, that's annoying. I'll give it one more chance. If I get one more spam response, then I'm disabling anonymous responses.

Monday, July 25, 2005

A Fine Saturday

I still don't have internet at home, so I couldn't blog about this until today, but I just want to talk about how wonderful Saturday was. I got a few errands done in the morning, then Heidi came in, and we did nothing. She lay around and read my second copy of Harry Potter (I pre-ordered a copy from, and forgot that it was coming, so I ordered another copy), while I did dishes and crap. I had to wait around for the DirecTV guy to show up, and he was late, but I'm OK with that. If he's late, that means he's doing things right for other people. And, sure enough, he was the most competent of the six technicians I've had in the apartment over the last two weeks. I now have HD DirecTV with Tivo, and DAMN! That's the way to watch TV!

Also, one thing I really like about DirecTV, is that with Comcast, the best I can do to avoid the temptation of the "naughty channels" is to lock them. With DirecTV, I can remove them entirely. Out of sight, out of mind, capische?

Anyway, while waiting for Mr. Tech, when not reading, Heidi and I had a really good conversation, and the opportunity to pray together about some big stuff.

Then we went out. The weather on Saturday was quite nice after the rain. A little humid, but the temperature was quite pleasant. I did a search on Citysearch for a good date restaurant, and found Deleece. It got a fairly high rating, but I'd never heard of it, so I thought I'd take a gamble. We ended up having to change our reservation because of the lateness of the DirecTV guy, but they were able to take it. The inside was crowded and noisy, and the outside was practically empty and freakin' gorgeous, so we chose to sit outside. The waiter came up and gave us the specials, and my mouth was beginning to water already. We chose a lamb thingy and a beef tenderloin thingy and we split them. We also had a beef satay appetizer and a brownie dessert. To anybody reading this, wherever you may be, if you are ever anywhere near Chicago, I recommend coming to this restaurant. This was the best dining experience I've had for years. The waiter was the best I'd had in probably two years, and the food was freakin insanely amazing. When I commented this to the waiter, he even chose that opportunity to suavely complement Heidi, ensuring that she would have an even better time (if she was previously insecure, which she isn't). And yes, the company made the evening, but that was a kickass restaurant.

Yes, Saturday was a wonderful wonderful wonderful day. Sunday was a pain in the ass because of the heat, but Saturday made up for it all.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The King is Dead. Long Live the King!

So my Comcast woes are left behind, now. I fear no cable company, nor do I attempt any further fixes. Not that I'm expecting a lot better now, especially that I now have contracts out the wazoo. I'm now working with DirectTV and SBC to combine my magical mystery home into a massive behemoth of electronic funstuff. And no, I didn't really understand what I just wrote, either.

Direct TV comes on Saturday. DSL gets turned on August 1st. Perhaps I'll have my speakers up this weekend (I'm thinking bookshelves near the TV ought to do the trick, in addition to storing the equal parts DVDs and books that I have around the place). Of course, the couch doesn't come for another 5 weeks, minimum, so I'm not in any huge rush. Perhaps I can use this time productively, like building the mighty costume.

Monday, July 18, 2005


So, I had the Worst Cable Technician in the World (I should make him a plaque) come in on Saturday. He showed up, judged me for buying a modem that the previous tech suggested, broke the cable to the TV, judged me for having the modem hooked up to the USB port, judged me for not recognizing that the TV wasn't working (primarily because last time I turned it on, it worked fine), and subsequntly told me he couldn't do anything (boy, ain't that the truth), and that he'd have to send a line technician out. Dammit, I could have told you that!

So Comcast has been on my shit list all weekend. I still have no home internet, but now I don't have the cable I've been paying for. And this with a brand-spankin' new TV. I've been patient; they've attempted several times to accomplish something, and I'm going to give them until the end of the week to be successful. I guess I should tell them about my deadline, but if they are too incompetent to take care of the connection by Wednesday, that's when they find out about my self-imposed deadline. That's when I go check out my other options, which, admittedly, are less effective and less desireable than Comcast. However, if they work without me calling them every day (Comcast can't even get it to work with me calling every day), that's more impressive than a potentially great service that perpetually fails.

Also, as long as I'm on a rant, let me continue said rant. My normal route to work is to get on the brown line, and then transfer to the purple line when I can, because the purple line goes around the loop the alternate way, and is significantly quicker for me. Today, had I decided to stay on the brown line, I would have probably gotten another chapter in Harry Potter read, which would have been OK (although I'm hearing less-than-stellar reviews of the book), and I would have maintained a seat the whole way, and I would have gotten here a lot earlier. I got off the brown line shortly after my chapter was done, and waited for the Purple line to come by. Another brown line train. Another brown line train. Another brown line train. Is the purple line running today? Well it must be, because there's a purple line train coming from the other direction. Another brown line train. Another brown line train. The brown line train that I was originally on comes from the other direction, having made its way all around the loop. And the next one. Finally, twenty minutes after I got off the brown line, I get back on the brown line in disgust. I make my way around the loop, and, even when I get to my stop, there's no purple line train that has come the other way. What the hell was going on?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Boxes of Gravity

tSo I got a bunch of things from UPS yesterday. Since I have the new place, I've been picking up a lot of things online, and having them shipped to me. Not necessarily the wisest course of action, since I'm never home, but it is cheaper. Anyway, since I was heading out to see Heidi yesterday, I stopped by the UPS place to pick up my 5 boxes. I asked if I could borrow a dolly, and the lady at the counter said, are they bulky or heavy? I didn't know, so I told her so. Well, it was both.

By the time I got home from Heidi's it was midnight, and I had to lug an 80 pound box up 3 flights, not to mention that 3 of the other boxes were at least 20-odd pounds each. By the time I got to bed, I was sweaty and nasty and pretty much dead to the world. But, I got my Bose surround sound, and I got some stuff from So, in all, it's good stuff. Just a pain in the sphincter, and now I'm really tired.

And I have a flat tire. *sigh*

Monday, July 11, 2005

The move

So I moved over the weekend. I was unable to blog about it until now, because I got Comcast as my internet provider. Yep, you guessed it. Not working. I'll give them a little bit of time, because they are the fastest option I have, and they tend to be very good with their customer service. Of course, customer service without actual service is kind of pointless, but I'll be a little patient.

Anyway, so on Friday, Heidi was coming in to help me out with the last few details before the big move, and her parents (who live way the heck out in Bartlett) called her: "We have some back braces for John." Heidi was on her way into the city, and said, "I can't come out there." "That's OK, we drive in." This is from people who aren't particularly comfortable driving in the city. So I guess I made a good impression.

Anyway, the move started out slow, and I was terrified that I was going to be doing it alone, but this was also at 8:45am. My brother and mother showed up at about 9:15am, and we got most of the old place unloaded by 10:15, when Zach and Richard showed up. When I was on my way to the new place, I got a call from Joe, saying he and Nancy were at my old place. Since I didn't have much stuff, we started in earnest loading up (3 flights!) about 11:00, and finished before noon. Everybody was talking about how easy the move was. We were all sweating like pigs, but relaxing in the one air-conditioned room, and, what's more important, my back was in pretty good shape. I still had to get things organized, and I still have a fair amount to do, but I can keep going with that. Let me just say, I have some really cool friends.

But the Comcast tech pissed me off. My computer wasn't set up, but I could tell very clearly that the modem wasn't working (one blinking light means a bad connection). Still, he was all excited that he might get done by two, so he took off to finish up his last job for the day. So now I have to take off early on Thursday to get a technician to come in and get the connection working. Dammit.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Goals for life...

When George Lucas received his lifetime acheivement award from AFI, William Shatner did a presentation, and was subsequently stolen from the stage by members of the Fighting 501st (this was all choreographed). I don't yet have the video of it, but I may very well find a way to download it. In any case, this is a goal of mine, soon to be realized. No, not to steal William Shatner. But to finish my trooper armor (which should be much easier now that I have a new place and the space in which to do it), and join this "prestigious" organization. Sunday will be a day in which I putter about the house, but I think Monday evening I'll get started on my stuff. All I need right now is spray paint, and that's really difficult to find in the city limits of Chicago. So, I just need to make my way up to Evanston to get things done. But I'll leave you with a little glimpse of some folks who will be buddies and cronies of mine in the near future:

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Blue Man Group

My friend Steve (who has auditioned to be a Blue Man twice, and once for one of the band members) gave me a heads up for a job with the Blue Man Group, as a Video Engineer. Not that he has any special "ins" or anything, but he saw it in the Reader and gave me a call, in hopes that I would be interested. Had I not been driving and tired, I would have done a little jump up and clicked my heels together. Heidi helped me out with the cover letter, and it looks really good, so I'm almost definitely getting an interview. The job itself, I'm qualified for, but they'd be taking a chance. A chance that would pay off, but a chance, nonetheless. But I still think I have a good shot at this thing. For those of you reading this that pray, pray hard. This would kick butt. A lot.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


My God, I'm tired. This weekend was insanely busy, and I really didn't get any "wind down relax and just be" time, despite the fact that it was a four day (!) weekend. That, combined with the stress of trying to get everything moved over to the new place, combined with the fact that I haven't had a comfortable night's sleep in months makes for Johnny being a zombie. I'm getting a REALLY comfortable mattress delivered on Saturday, and I think I may lie down on that Saturday night and not wake up from it ever again. Sunday, I think, will be a day of puttering about the house, just getting things in order, and sleeping as much as freakin' possible.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

The boring name

I just Googled myself. "John Fisher" brings up over 10 million entries in Google, the first several having to do with the Catholic Saint (yes, there is a Saint John Fisher). Supposedly, this St. John Fisher has a lot of schools named after him. We were born 500 years apart. There's a John Fisher, born 169 years before me who was a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. There's a Sir John Fisher, born 108 years before me, in the Royal Navy. He produced the HMS Dreadnought. There's a John Fisher who's an award-winning sound designer in a theatre in Massachussetts. There's a John Fisher who's an artist, one who's an animal behaviorist, one who's a lecturer at DePaul, one who was a producer for some BBC comedies in the '80s and '90s. There's even a John W. Fisher who's a doctor at MIT.

This is not some gripe at how little I've accomplished (although it does get me thinking along those lines), but couldn't my parents have named me something a little better? For cryin' out loud! That's a lot of John Fishers!

Now, this has it's merits. I can go to various places and see statues of myself, a stained glass window of myself, shoot, there's even a street named after me in London (Russ's Shagadelic Diner is near there, as is "The Model Shop," which is among the best model shops in Europe).

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

An open letter to Coca-Cola

Will anybody in the Coca-Cola company actually read this? Not so likely, but I figured it's better than just complaining about it to my friends, which is what I've done for the past SEVERAL YEARS.

Re: Coca-Cola's promotions. I very rarely win anything from them, and there's very rarely much worth winning anyway. I have no problem with that. I don't drink Coke because I want to win something, I drink it because I like the taste, and I'm slightly addicted. Pepsi has more valuable promotions, but that's OK. It takes more to make me drink a Pepsi. When they were doing their Billion-dollar giveaway, I actually was a Pepsi drinker for a while. I didn't win anything, but it got me to drink the product, and that was their devious little goal. But I digress.

When I oh-so-frequently don't win anything, would it kill you to say "Thank you" or maybe even "Sorry you didn't win?" I don't mind the "Play again." I expect that. "Drink Coke" is even a valid message to be printing on your bottles, but perhaps it might be a little redundant if someone is looking inside an OPEN BOTTLECAP. When I look inside a bottlecap, I want to see something more inviting than "Drink Coke. Play Again." Thank you Big Brother, may I have another mind control experiment, please. Note that Thank You has fewer letters than Drink Coke, and therefore is probably slightly less expensive to print (All the letters in Thank You are bigger than the I in Drink, so it might even out). But really, seeing Drink Coke Play Again does nothing but piss me off. Seeing Thank You wouldn't take the non-existant sting out of losing, as there's nothing but irritation at the message, but it would give me the illusion that Coke actually cares for my well-being in some small way. Sobe does that, and I want to drink more of their violently expensive product, and I don't even know or care what they're trying to give away. I just want to read the cleverly-written consolation messages, and drink some overpriced tea/sugarwater.

I think that's my beef right there. Sobe has consolation messages. They console you and even make you smile when you "lose" whatever the promotion is. Coke makes me avoid playing at all, because I don't particularly care what they're giving away, and their messages state, in no uncertain terms, "We want your money. Fuck off."

Am I overreacting? Yep. But this has pissed me off mildly for years, and I mention it occasionally, and this is really the first time I'm going through the effort to write anything. So, if anybody from the Coca-Cola company is reading this, why don't you forward the link to the highest levels of management, hmmm?

Saturday, June 25, 2005

I'm Stealing Internet

Yep. You heard me. I'm stealing Internet. Because Comcast is too incompetent to maintain a connection in this building (we've had technicians out here freakin' three times, and we're still having problems!), I'm stealing a bad connection from some anonymous neighbor's functional unsecured wireless internet (quite probably DSL). I move in July. It won't be soon enough.

Now off to see how poorly World of Warcraft works with this connection.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Naughty spelling

You know what's embarrassing? Having a stupid typo spelling error on the front end of your blog for and not catching it for two full weeks. Yikes.


Heidi and I saw Batman Begins on Wednesday. Freakin' outstanding. Everything I had hoped a Batman movie should be. Best one yet. But here's my dilemma. They ended it on a note that makes for a perfect segway into the first Batman movie: they introduced the Joker, or at least his calling card. Yeah, but in the first Batman movie, Bruce Wayne's parents were killed by the Joker as a young man, not just some desperate schmoe. Also, y'know, this was just a hell of a lot better. I want to see the sequel done, but this way. I want to see Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman, I want to see Gary Oldman as Jim Gordon, I want to see Michael Caine as Alfred, I want to see whoever produced and directed this continue to do so. Crap, I want to continue to see this Batmobile! So what I want to know is what's going to be done with this Batman? There has to be a sequel, but how are they going to do it?

Grrr, I hate it when this happens. I know it'll be years until I find this out. Owell, I'm sure I'll forget it when Fantastic Four comes out.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

MIT blog survey

Yes, I'm even more of a geek. Check out the link below (click on the picture telling you I made some science), if you have a blog of your own. Do it. Do it now.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Our happy little CTA

So yesterday, I was going home from work, and got on the Red Line. Unusually, I walked into the station, and the train was pulling right up. However, the train pulled up and stopped, and just when you expected the doors to open, it moved forward about another 50 feet. This threw off not only me, but several people around me. The driver continued to show his incompetence/inebriation over the course of the 45 minute ride home, which effectively amounted to random acceleration and braking. By the end of it all, I was getting seasick. I even was staggering when I got off the train onto the Morse platform, as if I had sea legs.

This morning's commute was like butta, however. The person driving was smooth with acceleration, smooth with braking, it was like we weren't even moving, except that we were getting exactly where we were going quicker than usual.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Back again?

Ah, I love the puns I can throw in these titles having to do with my back. Ah well.

Anyway, I was lying on a lump on the ground at Ravinia on Saturday. I thought it would do a little good. Boy, was I mistaken there. Now, I have mild pain down my right calf again, and if I lie on my back or on my right side, my right heel is numb. My legs felt a little weak walking to the El today, too, but that might be because I was sitting around moping yesterday so much. Anyway, I'll call my doctor today, and maybe she'll even return the call this time. Oooo, imagine that!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Father's Day

Well, crap. I've been tired and crappy all day, well really all weekend, because it's my first father's day without my dad. I miss him a lot right now. I've been going through a lot of poop at work, and I really wish I could have had his perspective on things. The best way to engage him in conversation was to get him to teach you something, and this would have been a great way for him to impart knowledge. But I also miss his laugh, and his weird and kind of twisted sense of humor.

One good thing about all this: with the crappy mood I've been in, Heidi's been freakin' incredible during this whole time. I feel like I've been a bad boyfriend, which kind of adds to my crap feelings. I doubt she'd agree, because she's too cool to count this sort of thing as a mark against me. Still, I need to lose the grumpiness... that's been coming up a lot lately, and it's getting on my nerves.