CHAPTER ONE: Re-Wired
Seems that my wireless internet connection has been getting a bit hinky lately-again. There seems to be no end to the low signal strengths and constant modem resets. To the point where I think I have reached my patience threshold. That frustration, couple with the half-baked success that I had at getting RCA cables pulled into the office have got me thinking that I could probably manage to snake one more cable into the office. If i can somehow complete that task, then all that remains is to swap out the wireless modem for a cable modem. And, with any luck, that should help solve the problem.
CHAPTER TWO: Codename: Peek-A-Boo
It seems that I get fairly regular comments from readers who want to know the real identities of the people I name in my various rants. There are those who have figured one or two out as well as those who haven't figured out any. Along with that are a large number of people who would have no reason or means to know the names of any of these people. So then the question becomes, why bother with the aliases at all? Partly, I find it quite amusing. As someone who has never been in possession of a socially repeatable nickname, I get a few grins handing out nicknames to other people. On a more realistic note, I figured that there would be someone out there who wouldn't be terribly thrilled about me plugging an exploit of theirs/ours into the web. Hopefully for anyone out there of this mindset, the pseudonym gives a small degree of anonimity. A very small degree.
But, the more that I thought about it, I hit on a notion that struck me as being a bit more credible: everyone has some degree of voyeurism that is part of their personality. You may have read your sibling's diary. You may listen to the next door neighbors arguing. You may listen to the private conversation going on just over in the next cubicle. You may be hooked on 'reality' TV. A really good gossip session may make your day. I won't even mention the vast spectrum of porn out there. Aside from the fact that I did just mention it.
So everyone has something that they love to do that fulfills this need to know secrets. To have knowledge that you shouldn't or wouldn't normally have. To see something that is usually hidden. It's all some form of cheap thrill that comes from voyeurism. So, I kinda decided to play with that a little bit in my blog. you get that sense that it's OK to look. And, oh boy, here's a cast of mysterious characters! Oooo! They must be up to no good if he's not using their names! (And, yes, sometimes they are!) Throw in the sneaking suspicion that you think this character is really this person, and it becomes a fairly potent recipe for addictive reading. The part that makes for the repeat business is when you start thinking that such-and-such a character is really truly for real this specific person, and then what you thought about the original story just goes right out the window as you try to cram what you know of the person into that situation.
So go ahead, peek in the windows of my brain. It's OK. I left some of the shades up for you.
CHAPTER THREE: A Long Stretch Of Letters and Punctuation
I was doing something of little or no consequence on the computer the other day when something I hadn't thought of in years came rolling down the halls of my brain and ran smack into my line of conscious thinking with a meaty THWACK! It was a slightly different flavor than I remember it being, but age tends to change the flavors of things like cheese, ideas, and fish. So there it was again the idea of The Novel. Or in this case, more like the seeds for The Novel. If I find myself feeling somewhat peppy, it actually becomes the idea of The Novels.
It was literally (no pun intended) something that I hadn't considered in more years than I can remember. Unlike so many of my other creative idea of unbelievably huge proportions, this one seems to be sticking around a bit more than the others. At least to the point that I felt compelled to sketch out a few developmental ideas, a plot point or two, and a bunch of questions that I would have to address during the process. Should I decide to pursue this project, I will definitely have a character named 'Skeeter'.
CHAPTER FOUR: Class Warfare?
Seems that I'm not the only one who's somewhat indifferent to the notion of the whole reunion thing. Even others have also hit on the idea that it could have been done a bit, if not much, better. The first complete expression of this notion other than by myself, came this week from Johnny Law. The idea of the 'Anti-Reunion' was born. (Cue dramatic music) The breakaway splinter cell of MTHS '88 grads opting to dis the established powers that be and go their own way. At least as far as Steak 'n' Shake. Now, a live action version of Les Miserables this won't be, but it will be interesting to see how much momentum this idea can gain in the month and a half before the reunion. Could make for an interesting weekend.
CHAPTER FIVE: The Dark Knight
The police came knocking on my door this Friday night. They told me that my choice was simple; either I go to see The Dark Knight, as has been mandated bylaw, or I get sent to a reeducation compound somewhere in New Jersey. I opted for the choice involving less travel and headed off to the theater for a late show along with Pinklady. If nothing else, there is a lot to be said for having a theater almost all to yourselves. The downside to that would be that the volume level was set to such an astoundingly loud level, even I had to cringe a couple of times.
As this movie has been reviewed by practically everyone else on the planet, I shall spare you my analysis of the deep and layered pathos of the end credits. I shall keep my comments brief. The cinematography of all the locations in Chicago: gorgeous. At the same time, you still got a sense that the city felt rather bleak, almost deserted.
My main problem with the film is that I won't get to see a further continuation of this version of the Joker. While not quite up to the level of Anthony Hopkins' Hannibal Lechter, this still qualifies as a villain of the highest caliber.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot how much I liked the sticky grenade gun. I just kept thinking of the scene in Saving Private Ryan where they made the sticky bombs to take out the German tanks.
CHAPTER SIX: That's A Little Rough, Don't You Think?
The chisels have been laid aside for the most part in regards to my current tiki project. The next step: sanding. Which, if I do it right, is a three or four step process. Right now, I'm doing a 60 grit pass along with cleaning up corners, stray splinters, and other small chisel work. Then comes more and more and more and more sanding until the whole thing is ready to be prepped for staining. I just may end up being done before the month is over. Or not.
CHAPTER SEVEN: King Corn
Once again, in synch with the return of the NIU students, Corn Fest will soon be upon us. For those of you who may not be familiar with the concept, Corn Fest is the yearly festival/carnival here in DeKalb.
The big fight over it this year centered around the city council's plans to move it from downtown to the municipal airport out on the east side of town. Apparently, if the city decides to move the festival, they give up the ability to ever have it downtown again due to some law that says you can't block off major roadways (like Lincoln Highway) to have a carnival or fair. When this law came into affect, DeKalb was grandfathered in because Corn Fest had been running for so long in the same spot. Not any more. Now the downtown bars and merchants are pissed at the whole thing because a huge yearly boost to their sales were the crowds that Corn Fest attracted.
Anyway, Pinklady brought me a brochure for this year's event and I must say that at first glance, my interest has been piqued. The band lineup actually seems to be worth more than just a passing glance, and if you happen to have an extra $425 laying around, you can go for a 30 minute flight in an actual B-17 flying fortress (bombs cost extra). For those of us less well off, helicopter rides over the city will be available for $25. I guess those last two things would be the advantages of having your festival at an airport.
So, perhaps this year, instead of avoiding the whole event like the proverbial plague, I may actually truck out that way and take a peek. Did I mention the free sweet corn??
**Almost managed to have lunch with the Pirate Queen the other day. Almost.
**Continued luck to Dhawk as she revises her plans to be more vertical (mapwise) and less lengthy (distancewise).
**Some of my plants now seem to be afflicted with some type of vine boring insect. Come October, if I fail to have any home grown pumpkins, I shall be most put out.
**Deer and karoke do not mix, or so I was told by Dimples recently. Happy belated birthday to her as well.
**How can you not love pesto made with home grown basil?
**Off to Springfield for Lady Justice. I'll try to keep the book recommendations heading her way.
**Chain and forwarded emails are fast becoming a high priority source of pissyness for me. All the promises of love, bad/good luck, and popularity are as inconsequential and as pointless as a letter to Santa Claus.
**I really don't like the fact that even after knowing someone for a ridiculous amount of time, it still ends up being a Herculean task to try and figure out what to get them for their birthday.
**MIA: Bluegirl. Dammit, you better check in soon!
** Naturegirl is not writing. The tiki gods are not pleased.