Saturday, September 27, 2008

How Old Do Redbirds Get In The Wild?

CHAPTER ONE: The Cost of Hot Air In An Election Year

==In which our hero learns that furnaces aren't cheap==
The call has been made. The company has been chosen. The guy is coming by on Monday with all the paperwork, and hopefully by the end of the week (better be done before Friday....) a more reliable and efficient furnace will be in residence in the basement. Do I sound thrilled? Because I am, you know. I could just poop I'm so gosh darn ecstatic about this. Realistically, I keep trying to not cringe at the cost. I remind myself that it would cost a lot more if the current furnace were to blow up the house. I don't think my insurance covers being reassembled from tiny little gristly charred bits, so I guess I'll go a bit more into debt to try and keep that from happening. All I know is I damn well better see some freakin awesome saving on the bills this year! If I don't I may well sit quetly in a corner and weep ever so softly in to my delcately folded hands.

CHAPTER TWO: For Want of a Pocket...

==In which our hero comtemplates the nature of need==
Are cargo pants/shorts evil? If not, are they a symptom/sign of evil? I haven't quite made a decision on this yet, but I think I'm leaning towards once again putting the blame on society as a whole. This particular line of reasoning first appeared when I was in line at the store and was totally unable to locate anything that I needed within my plethora of pockets. I could feel my keys, but the multi layered design of the pockets on and in my shorts made it impossible to tell what layer actually contained them. Some are protected by velcro, some a zipper, some gape wide open, but I still don't know where the hell my sunglasses went. The list of things I needed to pick up could have exited into some interdimensional rift caused by the alignment of all these pockets for all I know. I gave up on trying to find my phone, as it rang repeatedly from the general vicinity of my outer left thigh. And I swear I had a pen when I left the house.

Are the shorts evil? I would tend to think that in and of themselves they lack the capacity to be inherently evil. But the societal compulsion that causes us to feel the need to have things to put in all those pockets is more closely aligned to evil. I hate the fact that I can no longer leave the house with two keys and a five dollar bill unless I'm just out riding around on my bike. On a somewhat realted side note: keyrings that weigh more than your average guinea pig are evil. No question there. Anyway, I don't want to have to take a class of some sort to be able to figure out what the hell is supposed to go in all those pockets. Wallet, and keys (phone optional) should be all that you need to leave the house with. That's two pockets by my count. Or, if you have a D ring, one pocket and a belt loop. And that is most certainly far less evil.

CHAPTER THREE: And The Gods Were Well Pleased
==In which our hero puts more graven images on display==
In the course of cleaning out the garage, I found myself with enough breathing room to begin reconsidering other projects. One of which was the long stalled tiki lounge. So, in the interest of starting to move things along, I unearthed a shelf unit I had been saving and just got the darn thing mounted up on the wall. It took me less than an evening to do, and it looks pretty darn spiffy. I think that once I have some stripped cane from the grasses out front (I threw all I had away, go figure) I'll use that to trim out the edges and make it look a tad more 'islandy'. But for now I have a great new space to display twelve more pieces of my collection. I'm thinking that since the wood of that shelf is lighter in color, it will be a good place to display the darker items in the collection, as they hardly show up at all on the almost black room divider.

With that bit of encouragement under my belt, I have moved back to contemplating the corner shelf/display unit I was hoping to be able to put together out of old cabinets. I know they fit where I want to use them, but figuring out how to put the floating shelves on is proving to be a bit of a mind bender. That and I haven't really figured out how to do the top, or the edges of the top. Still, it's cheaper than making another run to Ikea. Unless it ends up not working at all after I've spent all kinds of money on lumber and stuff, and I still end up going to Ikea. Just trying to not think about that possibility.

CHAPTER FOUR: The Return of Not-So-Big B
==In which our hero ends up with another guitar==
Right toward the end of my time off, I was greeted upon my return to home one day by a mysterious message on my answering machine. Not sure exactly who it was, I kind of put it out of my mind until I came home the next day and Pinklady told me that BigB had called and I should call him back. Next thing I know, there he is on my doorstep telling me that he has something for me. Turns out that the reason he'd dropped out of sight was that he'd been off of work with a bone infection (Yikes!!). In the course of his time off, he'd managed to drop twenty pounds, beat the infection, and make yet another resolution to take better care of himself. I hope he sticks to it this time. Anyway, he reaches into the back of his truck and pulls out a guitar and hands it to me. I was a tad surprised. Usually he has a board game for me, so this was not what I was expecting. Combine that with my almost total lack of any musical talent whatsoever, and you can understand my surprise.

It's an old (er) guitar, and had seen better days, but on the body is this neat painting of a hula girl. And that was what BigB thought would go well with the rest of my collection. So while the guitar may not really be playable (the bridge is twisted, needs new strings, etc, etc), it sure does look nice just leaning up against the wall in the midst of all the other tropical items. And to this day, I have no idea how he manages to find all these neat things.

CHAPTER FIVE: An Orange Wrapped Disappointment
==In which our hero relives a massive ego crushing==
It's been somewhat interesting to be wandering down memory lane lately. Not always pleasant, but interesting for the most part. A fine example of the not pleasant aspect jumped up and bit me in the ass this past week. I've been going through all the bits of stuff I've hung on to over the years, and among these are, of course, some photographs. In particular are some photos of a trip I took with the Amazon and Wolfboy when we went up Chicago way to see the Amazon's college roommate. The important things to remember here are as follows: the Roommate was HOT, and I was an incredibly horny socially inept geek that drank too much. Can you see where this is going?

So, we all drive up to the roommate's house, which was somewhere near Chicago, with the intent of going into the city the next day. Of course the night before, there was a party. Mind you, I had already met the Roommate before, and was so smitten that I showed her how I felt by getting ridiculously drunk and passing out on her floor in an alcohol induced stupor. But that's another story for another day. At the present moment, and even after looking at the pictures from that weekend, I can't quite put my finger on what the roommate's ethnicity was. Middle Eastern, maybe? Italian, Greek, beats the hell out of me. But I didn't care. She had dark eyes, dark wavy hair, an olive complexion, a great smile, and a bit of attitude. I was a goner from the minute I met her.

So during the party I amused myslef as I usually did at such events by being a wallflower (can you do that when you're outside?), drinking, and smoking. Oh, did I mention I spent a good deal of time fawning after the Roommate? The Roommate, in the meantime, was all over the place. I mean really, we were in her neighborhood. So while I sat there and stewed about her not just falling all over me, she got interested in another guy who was there. Go figure. He was in the military, or going into the military, something like that. All I knew is that he was not me. I found this to be upsetting. So at some point during the night we all headed back to her house to try and get some sleep before the next day's activities. Once things had settled down and all the lights were off, the Roommate came quietly downstairs with an unusual question. "Does anyone have a condom?" was the whispered query.

Mind you, I did have a condom. I had hoped that I would be the one getting to use it, though. It would have been the first time for both of us. Even though it had been residing in my wallet for quite some time, I did think that I might get to use it sometime proir to my death, even though there was strong evidence to the contrary. But now I was faced, once again, with the notion that I would be assiting someone else to sleep with the person that I really wanted to be sleeping with. I hate that feeling. I hate even more that I have been involved in that feeling multiple times. It seems to be a side effect of 'Third Wheel Syndrome', which I had a major case of in those years. So the question was, do I pipe up and give this person that I am hot for the thing that will encourage her to have sex with someone who is not me, or do I just pretend to be passsed out? Well, those of you who understand that I possess a crippling degree of niceness can predict the ending. She got my one lonely Trojan condom, and I got to stare into the darkness after she left the room and wonder if I did the right thing. Which I seem to still be doing, to this very day. The icing on the cake (poor choice of words, I know) was the gleeful recap of her night's events the next morning that she gave the Amazon while I was not quite out of earshot. I would have rather had her run me over with her car.

I'm not even sure why this bothers me anymore. A missed opportunity? Well, yes. Another seed of regret for me to constantly tend to? Definitely. Beyond that, I really can't say. I seem to be running a tad low on insight at the moment.

The Knights who say 'Nee!'
==In which our hero hears that most cursed of phrases==

It seems only fitting that in this time of getting ready to be immersed in memeories of the past, that there would also be things that would arise that were not so pleasant. Maybe not unpleasant to you, dear reader, but to me. But you may also think that they would be based firmly in the past and easily dismissable. But it seems that a good deal of the past has followed me to the present and seems to be quite intent on letting me know that it's still there. Case in point, my most hated of phrases: 'You're a nice guy, but...' and all of it's annoying variants.

I have had this one dropped on me this very week, and the nostalgia factor just made a tiny bit of vomit come up into the back of my mouth. I don't want to be nice. I think. I don't want to be an ass, but there seem to be great limitations to being nice. Maybe I can can get niceness declared a recognized medical condition and then just say that I have a disease. I could even start the Niceness Awareness Foundation. But WTF? I tried being not nice, and those years were a total disaster (all 15 or so of them). So, what do you do? I can be nice and be ignored, or I can be an ass and be miserable. Having done both, I can't say which is better. Is it that difficult to rewrite what seems to be one's own nature, even if you don't really like what that nature is? But, on the other hand, why bother with trying to change it now? I know I'll get to hear that lovely phrase at least a dozen or so more times this weekend, possibly moreso now that I've mentioned it here. It must just be the mental linkage of that phraseology to a period of time that I'm not completely fond of that makes it so distasteful.

That still doesn't mean I have to enjoy hearing it....

CHAPTER SEVEN: Boomerang(s)?
==In which our hero tries to figure out how to cut his losses==
I fell for it again. Pretty pictures and slick production lured me into buying $120 worth of the most recent and up-to-date manuals for a game I've been playing since '86. I didn't need them. The ones I have are perfectly functional. That didn't stop me from buying them though. Of course, after spending all that money, I got them home and was promptly disappointed by the content. I could almost hear the giant flushing sound as I kissed that money goodbye. All that's left is to wonder if I can take the books back to Borders and get my money back. The open box set I know I'm stuck with. All that and as a final slap in the head you can tack on the fact that I haven't heard from Trotz in a couple of weeks, so I don't even have the hint of having a regular game group anymore. When will I ever learn? And why are there practically no female gamers? And why am I even bothering to complain about gender based discrepancies in the sub-population when it seems far more relevant that people as a whole don't play games any more?? And why would anybody but a nice guy be concerned about such a bizarre topic?

CHAPTER EIGHT: Sadness in Aisle Seven
==In which our hero bemoans the nature of society==
If you were to ask me, I would be hesitant to call this writing. Just from a purist format, it does't involve paper, pen, or pencil, so it isn't technically writing. But it is assembling words into a somewhat coherent form for the consumption of others. So I guess by that definition it is. Even at that, people don't really write to each other anymore, which makes me wonder how the greeting card industry stays in business. And that is what I thought while trying to find a few cards the other day.

I mean, whoever came up with the idea of the greeting card in the first place removed the need for someone to use their own words to express how they feel regarding just about any given situation. You just pay your money and sign your name. All you're sending as a representative of yourself is your signature, and maybe a line or two. That strikes me as being a bit sad.

I had tried, as recently as a year ago, to keep some good old fashioned send-a-letter correspondence going with some people, but it very quickly became a one way effort. Now when I go out to the mailbox, I know there won't be anything there but bills and junk mail. People have wondered why I have hung on to old letters and notes form the past. Well, how often do you get a letter or a note in the mail anymore?

CHAPTER NINE: An Angry Street
==In which our hero lets down the entire neighborhood==
It has come to my attention that there would be those people on our street who are not happy that I/we are not having my/our Halloween party this year. Just in case they were wondering, I'm not freakin happy about it either. The money just isn't there to be able to do it, and that pisses me off. I may not even decorate this year, and the thought of that pisses me off. Realistically, it's getting hard to find decorations, AND IT'S NOT EVEN OCTOBER YET!!! Which, of course, pisses me off. Stores are selling off what minimal H'ween stuff they had to be able to get the C'mas stuff out. Makes me sick. The trees are still green, the grass is still growing-does no one pay attention to the calendar any mor?? Almost half of the year is now dedicated to getting people to purchase C'mas items and systematically guilt anyone who doesn't into depression. The other half of the year seems to be deditcated to making you feel like you have to go out and but all the things you didn't get as a gift lest you be left behined my humanity as a whole. But I digress. Back to the party that won't be happening. Which pisses me off. I guess I'll just start putting away money now towards next year's event. If I give myself a calendar year, I should be able to bank a nice chunk of change. Pissy part is, now that I've actually been taking vacation time at work, I won't be able to cash in all those extra hours, which would have been a nice starting point.

So, as much as I know they were sort of kidding, there will be no neighborhood party this year. There will be no small personal party. Even if I had the money in hand, I don't have the time to get anything together. And since I have spent about zero time doing anything with the neighbors in any context this year, I do not feel bad for them. I am only feeling bad that I don't get to do all the things I like to do to celebrate the holiday. Oh, but I was SOOOOO thrilled to hear that another one of our neighbors does intend on hosting their annual Valentine's Day party. I'm practically tingling, I'm that excited.

CHAPTER TEN: "Run Fatboy Run"
==In which our hero laughs out loud==
I like Simon Pegg. Maybe it would be better said that I enjoy Simon Pegg's acting work. He could be a right bastard for all I know. Even if that is the case, it wouldn't have kept me from enjoying this movie. Sure, it's predictable. Sure, it's overly sappy at points. Sure, I could have done without seeing Hank Azaria's naked ass. I still liked this movie. I think you too, should rent and enjoy this movie.


*It was really nice to get to see MSD, if only briefly.

*Anxiety mixed with excitement. An interesting way to be looking at a reunion. Or anything else for that matter.

*The back window almost fell out of my car. Can't wait to see how much that'll cost to fix.

*Haven't seen so much as a shadow of Dhawk since the move. Hope things are going well out there.

*How does one react when someone else's good news ends up taking a huge steaming dump all over your day?

*Nope. Never did finish all that paperwork.

*The folk's cat is not at all fond of fireworks.

*Bluegirl seems to have vanished for the moment. So has Kittyluv and the Princess Cowgirl.

*I could use some coffee right now.

*Tomorrow is going to be a busy freakin day....

*Not sure how I feel aout the possibility of the Goalkeeper moving to a different field.


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