Sunday, December 25, 2005
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
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
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Monday, December 12, 2005
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
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
Monday, December 05, 2005
Saturday, December 03, 2005
Sunday, November 27, 2005
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
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
Monday, November 21, 2005
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
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
Thursday, November 03, 2005
So thanks again, Heidi, and thanks for the first time, Onion. You are inspirations.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Special thanks go to this guy, to whom I may have to start linking.
Monday, October 31, 2005
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
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?
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
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Monday, October 17, 2005
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
Friday, October 07, 2005
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Monday, October 03, 2005
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
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
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
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
Monday, September 19, 2005
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
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
Friday, September 09, 2005
Thursday, September 08, 2005
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
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
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
Friday, August 19, 2005
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.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
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
I'm thinking September 3rd or 10th, depending on Howard and Janet's pre-wedding bash stuff.
Monday, August 15, 2005
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
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
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
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
Monday, August 01, 2005
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
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
Monday, July 25, 2005
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.
Friday, July 22, 2005
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
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 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
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 thinkgeek.com. 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
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
Thursday, July 07, 2005
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Thursday, June 30, 2005
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
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
Now off to see how poorly World of Warcraft works with this connection.
Friday, June 24, 2005
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
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
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
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
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.