Thursday, January 31, 2013

Almost Fuzzy

*Ow. Sliced my left thumb pretty good while cutting onions for what I was cooking for lunch on Monday. It was one of those cuts that, when I saw it, even I thought it might need a stitch or two. And I'm usually fine with the good ol' paper towel held on with a rubber band kind of bandage. The mistake I made (other than cutting myself in the first place) was opting to go to the ER instead of an urgent care. The 2.5+ hour wait to be seen made sure that I had plenty of time to stop the bleeding. Which didn't really matter, since they had to break it back open to scrub it out (not a pleasant feeling, mind you) before they closed it back up again. I was also dreading getting the xylocaine shots that usually preceed getting stitches. Turns out that I had nothing to worry about, as the ER doc decided to glue the wound shut. Part of me was happy for that, and part of me was doubtful about how effective it would be. The latter part was mostly right, turns out. I have managed to hit it on things several times since then, and have been rewarded with fresh bleeding each time. There also seems to be a decent sized wedge of dead skin on either side of the cut that will have to get trimmed off at some point in time. Joy.

*It was a rainy, foggy Tuesday night. Luckily, Carol, Leslie, and Bart all came by for drinks, conversation, and games.Turned out to be a really nice evening. Got to play Apples to Apples, Zombie Dice, Chupacabra, and Martian Dice. Have to make sure do that again real soon.

*Thunderstorms? In January? In Illinois? Very unusual...

*Been watching the first season of Dexter while taking my daily walk. Sheri decided that it wasn't something she was interested in after watching the pilot episode. So, now I have it all to myself.

*As of Tuesday, January 29, I finally learned both of the teams that are in the Super Bowl this year. Pretty sure that has to be a personal record for me.

*Tried the new hibachi restaurant in DeKalb the other day. Very nice decor. Food was pretty good. The hibachi presentation was decent, but not quite polished yet. Beer selection was scant. Prices were pretty steep. Hopefully the Fushi Yami side of things will help keep the hibachi side afloat while they get established.

*"Seeking a Friend for the End of the World"  I like Steve Carrell. And what's not to like about an apocalypse movie? Put the two together, and you get a decent result. The flavor of this film is just so different than movies like, say, "Armageddon", that I have a hard time comparing them. So I won't. I'll just say that I did like the movie, and it gave me a new perspective on the classic 'end of the world' type movies.

*The fez gods are still viewing me with indifference.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Dusty Muffins

(originally written 01.23.13. Edited and supplemented 01.25.13.)

*At first, I had thought that I had just found a copy of Carrier Strike! that was complete, even though it was 36 years old. Mind you, the box has seen better days (it's got some water damage and a couple of split corners). It wasn't like the copy of Amoeba Wars that I also saw on this trip, that, while unpunched, was actually moldy inside the box. Anyway, after checking the piece count while still at the store, I was just happy to see that it was all there. But, upon further examination once I got it home, I discovered that it wasn't just complete, it hadn't even been completely assembled or punched yet. That makes it doubtful that it had ever been played. A 36 year old board game that had never been completely assembled, much less played. Freakin cool. Well worth the $20 I spent on it, in my opinion. When I checked it further, I found that not only had the planes not been assembled or stickered completely, neither had the carriers. It actually looked like the ships may have been put together and then disassembled, since the pins that held the superstructure to the deck were half broken off. Luckily, I have glue. As far as the planes go, I was actually thinking about trying to give them a bit of a paint job, rather than just those colored stickers on the wings.

But then I got to thinking. What had actually happened to cause this game to end up in my hands, unplayed, after all those years? Some unexpected tragedy, perhaps? Was it a gift that simply held no interest for the recipient? Did it somehow find its way into the back of a closet where it was forgotten over the years? How many hands has it passed through in all that time? Interesting to think about.

*I think I will give starting my own forum in the Black Lagoon a try. I've got a Flickr account for all the images to embed, so why shouldn't I? I mean aside from the fact that I already have more than enough stuff to do with what little free time I have. But then again, games are something that are very meagerly represented among the islands of the FOM.

*There doesn't seem like there's going to be much free time on my day off. Errands and chores are demanding most all of my time. I'm thinking that what could be at least a partial solution to that is to drag the office desk out into the middle of the yard and set it on fire. Nothing like a nice cheery fire on a cold winter day, right?


*Do I want to go to Hawaii or Easter Island? Either way, it will most likely be a once in a lifetime trip. The Easter Island trip would be something we'd have to decide on in the next couple of weeks, and it wouldn't happen until 2014. I believe that it's a cruise, as well. Hawaii we were hoping for this year. No way we could do both. Might be a stretch just to do one of them.

*Seems fairly obvious now that finding, meeting, and getting to know my mom has really sent my brain reeling. Actually, that is probably a gross understatement. Actually, I don't think I should have used the word 'probably in the previous sentence. I have no idea how deeply this has affected me. And there is a boatload more backstory yet to be told. Not to mention the other half of my genetic makeup. Pretty much all the stuff that's been discussed so far has been pretty low key, and it's still managed to mess up my thoughts on levels I'm not completely aware of. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that this would all alter my sense of self. I don't even know if "alter" is the right word. What if this is a reconfiguration of some sort? Should this even affect me at that level? I know there's still an emotional component that hasn't been accessed yet. Don't know if I'm going to be willing to put down that protective layer of mine. Does that mean I'm somehow stunted? And if so, is it to a greater or lesser degree than the average person? Maybe all these years of not knowing built my sense of self with that kernel of uncertanity at it's core. Maybe I'm tired of being this person. Maybe all this stuff with mom is making me see that I could be something else. Maybe something more? Maybe it's all just starting to crack around me. Maybe it was always cracked and I didn't want to acknowledge it. Can I just throw off/away most of the past and head out in a new direction? Is that the direction I've really wanted to go in, but wouldn't? What happens if I don't? What happens if I do? What's going to inspire me? What if it all just starts and ends in Pekin?

It's these storms of thought that leave me tired. Really tired. And when they pass, I have no clearer sense of direction than I did before they hit.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Monument Showroom

*Hasn't really set in yet that in just a couple of days I'll be on my way back down to Peoria. About the most I've done in the area of preparations thus far is to pull out some of the games I'm thinking about taking down. Still have a present to wrap, not to mention a fridge to test. And I have no idea when the furbeasts are going over to the folks. All of that makes it sound like Friday morning is going to be pretty busy. But I'm betting Saturday is going to be worse. Nothing like starting a road trip with a morning full of stress. I was also thinking about taking down the collage Sheri had made so I could show it to everyone, but I don't want to end up damaging it in transit. Oh, yeah, and then there's the whole maybe meeting my brother part of things.

*Things are starting to line up for next month's gathering, but it does mean that I will be skipping yet another 3rd Saturday at the Chef. I don't actually remember when the last time I made it out there was. Definitely before Pete became an initiate. Shit. That reminds me that I have yet to transcribe last month's meeting minutes. I also haven't posted a thread about Hawaii, either. But I did manage to grab the top spot on the boards again with my comment about Kona Brewing Company. And I am really digging bargoyle's new avatar.

{{I didn't manage to get this top part posted before I left for the weekend, so I figured I'd just add to it, continuity be damned.}}

*Yup, El Paso antique mall is, at least for the moment, a completely dry hole as far as tiki goes. On the flip side, I have managed to walk out of that mall with two very nice vintage medical books. The one I found this time was a great atlas of anatomy from 1943-1945. It's in pretty darn good condition, and is chock full of excellent plates. Even has this cool stamp on the frontspiece that states how the book was made in accordance with the wartime materials act. Doubt we'll ever see anything like that again. Can you imagine how apeshit people would go if the government even suggested rationing in this day and age? Even if it was in the context of feeding and providing materials for our troops. It just wouldn't be allowed to happen.

*Went back to Granite City in the hopes that their house brewed beer would have improved. It has not. At all. And it's not even the selections they have. It's just that the beer itself is very, very, very blah. Makes me wonder about the competitions they were in to win the awards they say they did. I won't be going there for the house brews anymore, but the food is quite tasty, so I might go back for that. So I guess I'll just be taking my fancy schmancy growler and getting it filled elsewhere. After I do some engraving on the handle, that is.

*Never thought I'd ever walk out of any hotel and encounter a Weinermobile, but that's exactly what happened.

*I do believe that for all the hours that I spent antiquing over this past weekend, I found exactly one tiki item. A most disappointing average, by any account.

*After 4+ sleepless nights in a row, it was good to hit the sack and be able to just conk out. I actually feel pretty rested today. I don't remember what dreams I had, but I get the feeling that they were rather bizarre.

*I met my mom's husband this weekend. I also sorta met my brother. And I got to see where they all live. Dave, the husband, is a big bear of a guy. From what little time I spent with him, get the impression that he's a nice enough guy. Matt, my brother, I only kinda encountered from across the room. There's still something going on there that I don't know about, and I'm not sure I will anytime soon. Sheri and I spent most of our time over the weekend hanging out with mom and Dave. We went out to eat, played some games, and even did some antiquing. My impression was that it all went well, even thought the initial dinner had a few awkward pauses in it. Sheri also got to meet grandma, which was nice. As long as things don't get too crazy the next time I'm down to hang out with Steve, I'll swing by and say hi to everyone befoer I head home. Hopefully mom will have recovered from her cataract surgery by that time, and maybe I'll get to see a little bit more of Matt as well.

*It's never a good thing when you hear someone you know has been delivered a ridiculous ultimatum by their soon-to-be-ex.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Intermittent Gravy

*The new dishwasher has been installed. Yay. Our bank account is proportionately lighter for it. Boo. It is really quiet, though. Yay. But it's a dishwasher. Boo.

*(this space intentionally left blank)

*Archer season 3? Loved it.

*There does seem to be a definite "bounce" for me following a depressive episode. I'm not sure what exactly causes that to happen. Would that be considered the same as "having a moment of clarity"? It's not like I'm skipping off the walls or anything, but things do seem like they have a more positive spin. But if time and experience is any indicator, this corrosive, insidious, cumulative depression will start digging away at my mind again without me even realizing it. Maybe Erin is right and I've been misdiagnosed or am just not on the right medication, or even the right dose. Or, maybe everything is where it should be and there's just something else. Some lurking shadow. Some poison thought. Could be something that I am well aware of and either don't want to deal with, or can't. Something is undermining the treatment program for my depression. Is it a self-destructive urge with roots reaching into far corners that I'm not aware of? Maybe I just don't want to be getting my attention in the same way my old family did. What is it? Do I think, or maybe feel, that I don't deserve to be happy? Then again, is it even reasonable to think you can spend all of your time happy? How do you play off logic and emotion against each other? The quest for balance continues. Some of the old stuff has dropped away, but I'm not sure if that means I'm moving forward or just standing still. But there is that clarity of general vision for the moment. I don't know how to build up the momentum, though. Guess it was sorta wrong for me to assume that a mild winter would moderate my symptoms. So, even though I got a little further through the calendar than usual, I still bottomed out. Have to start all over in the middle of January now. Just that thought drains me a little. And the weather guy says the real winter weather is on it's way. Shit timing for me. Not quite sure how to get out from under that. Just thinking about it makes me tired in my bones. And that's when I can feel it starting to take hold again.

*No Zombie Dice at New Game in Town. Dammit. Maybe Just For Fun will have some in stock. I will admit, though, that it was a pleasant flashback to walk into the store last night and listen to the folks playing D+D. Or maybe it was Pathfinder. Can't be sure. There was a giant leech involved though.

*After doing some preliminary searching online, there  doesn't really seem to be a whole lot of real estate in the Peoria area that would suit us well. And I'm not real sure that I want to be working in Galesburg. It'll be interesting to see what Michelle has to say on the topic next month.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Unlimited Twang

*All of the new games that I have recently acquired have been punched and bagged. Just in time for me to hit Just For Fun next weekend. Was thinking about getting a M:TG starter set, just so I can say I have one, but I'm not sold on that idea. Not sure if there are any new Quarmageddon boosters out yet, and the last time I was down there they didn't have any HeroScape terrains for sale. Guess I could always start filling in the gaps in my Munchkin collection. Thought about getting the next (ie, first for me) expansion for Memoir '44, too. Oh, well. Guess I'll just have to see what grabs my eye when I'm there.

*I find it just ever so slightly rude when someone who I know for a fact colors their hair tells me that I'm going gray. Not that I wasn't aware of that fact, I just don't feel the need to have it pointed out to me.

*While it was very nice to go out last night and hang out with an old friend, the experience simply reinforced the notion that I hate karaoke. Not necessarily the concept or the spirit behind it, but the parctice of it while I am trying to have a conversation. And also that some people's version of a horseshoe is just plain pitiful. And that knowing that the restroom  is situated right over the back entrance door is just a tad gross.

*Plans are mostly sorta kinda flexibly set for next weekend. Still need to touch base with Steve though, and see what he's got going on. And making a reservation somewhere soon would be a pretty darn good idea as well. But even more important than that is the fact that I need to pick out what games I'm going to take down. And how to make sure that I don't freak out my brother.

*Got the notion of either trying to start or joining a gaming group rattling around in my head again. But that idea is rattling up against the fact that my schedule is not compatible with most other people's. That I find annoying. It's also the one of the main things that keeps me from doing more stuff with the FOM. I've kicked around the notion of trying to figure out some way to merge those two interests, and haven't really come up with any ideas that I find plausible.

*Much as seems to be the usual for me, I have missed/ignored 3 yellow flag warnings about my depression over the past couple of months. And also as usual, I had to get slapped upside the head with a red flag warning before it all snapped into perspective.So now I once again have to climb out of this hole as well as trying to repair all the damage that was done in the process.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Nuclear Bubble Gum

*It wasn't a bad weekend, as far as weekends go. Did some hunting down in Sandwich and came to the conclusion that I've run that well dry as far as tiki goes. I guess I could always start going after postcards and records when I'm down there. I did wind up with a couple of old medical books and a complete copy of Stratego (the same box version that I used to have as a kid!). Also found a skull that was in decent shape. It's from some type of deer, most likely, based on the size and the fact that they cut a section of the skull away to remove the antlers. It's minus the jaw, too, but the sutures and the turbinates are in good shape, and it was lacquered at least partly, so I went ahead and bought it. Plus, it was on sale. And speaking of albums, I actually found a ZZ Top and a Thomas Dolby that I bought. Also found this tiny little single cigarette green glaze Treasure Craft ashtray shaped like a fish that still had the original label inside.

*It's looking like tomorrow could be one of those non-stop kinda days. Not exactly what you hope for on your day off. At least there'll be some time in there to hang out with a friend and enjoy a beer or two.

*Apparently the off season for tourists in Hawaii is in the early part of the year. Not sure what exactly that means as far as when we're going to try to go. Still need to throw something up on the chat board to get some suggestions as to how we should approach this most likely once in a lifetime trip.

*I'm not sure at the moment if I'm going to end up liking the Prismacolor markers. There's been a couple of pieces that I've done with them that came out really well, in my opinion, but the one I'm working on currently I'm not liking at all. Might be the palatte of colors I have. Might be the substrate I'm using. Might just be that there's yet another technical learning curve to be overcome. Or it might just be that I prefer to work with colored pencils. Haven't really done much of anything with tempra lately, either. Might be better said that I haven't done much of anything with much of anything for a while. Even though there has been the seasonal shift in the studio spaces, there hasn't been much output. Wish I had something legitimate to blame that on.

*The weather guy says we might have thunderstorms Thursday. Thunderstorms. Have I mentioned the fact that it's January? In northern Illinois??

*Little more than a week till we head down to the Peoria/Pekin area to spend some time with my mom and her family. Realistically, it's my family too, but I haven't been able to quite bridge that gap yet. The intensity of emotion that mom is expressing is pretty overwhelming to me. Freaks me out. Not sure if that's going to become an issue or not. Plus, there's still the whole other side of the equation that has yet to be revealed. I doubt that there will be any discussions of any great depth or revealation on that topic durinig this trip either, as this will be the first time Sheri will be going with me, as well as the first time we'll be meeting Dave, and possibly Matt. I bet I'll get back home Sunday and just feel completely wrung out. Maybe a stop at the game store in Peoria would help.

*I really hate it when I put hours of work into something, only to find that it was all wasted time and effort because of something basic that I failed to take into consideration in my initial assessment of the project. Of course making that realization was better than trying to drill a hole through a tempered glass plate that I didn't realize was there.

*Orange is one of those colors that not everyone can wear.

*Apparently it is quite difficult to change the oil filter in my car without getting oil all over the frame. At least that was the dealer's explanation for the oil in my driveway and on the frame of my car. But, there were quite good about getting my car right in to clean it up. Plus, they always wash it, which is nice. The only problem with that is the past two times they've done it, I wind up with a big puddle of water on the passenger side floor. Makes me think that I might have a plugged drain on that side. Guess I'll just have them check that out for me.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Pocket Full of Octopus

*Yup it's a new year. Do I have any resolutions? Not really. Got some changes I'm making, but I wouldn't really call them resolutions. More like things I should have been doing all along.

*"Casa De Mi Padre"-I put this movie in my Netflix instant queue because I think I remember hearing good things about it. Turns out that this is indeed another one of Will Ferrell's parodies of a stereotype movies. And, since I don't watch any telenovellas, this one is lost on me. I can understand some of the jokes and sight gags, but overall, I just don't get it.

*It is no longer a car that Honda owns that I am paying on. It is now MY car. Which is NOT to say that it will now begin falling apart. That's what happens when the warranty runs out.

*"Pete Smalls is Dead"-Sheri expressed interest in ths movie after seeing Peter Dinklage in "Game of Thrones", and we finally got around to watching it after it sat in our queue for weeks. It's quite a strange movie. Not bad strange, just strange. That kinda strange that leaves you thinking that there was more to the movie than you actually understood. So, if that's the kind of movie you like, check it out. Otherwise, you may just want to check it out solely for the bizarre (and fairly creepy) hairdo sported by Steve Buscemi.

*Still looking for additions to my HeroScape game system, so if you run across anything out there in thrift store/garage sale land, be sure to let me know. I'm most interested in getting more terrain sets, but I'll take a look at anything, as long as the price is right. And possibly if the price is wrong

*Looks like I'll be heading down to the Peoria area for the weekend of the 19-20th. Gonna head out to Pekin and drop in on Mom and Grandma. Also plan on visiting Steve, and who knows what other trouble I'll manage to get into while I'm in the area. Probably not as much as I'd like, mostly because I'm old, and partly because Sheri will be going with me.

*My current earworm is the song "Rock-A-Ho", by Jackyl. I have no idea why. Then again, that is what makes it an earworm, right?

*Finally came up with a good way to carry my FlexCut carving tools around without slicing myself to ribbons or damaging the blades. I have this really nice bamboo pencil box that I was just using as storage for all my duplicate colored pencils, and it turns out that it is just the right size to hold that four piece set that I have. Put some foam in there to sheathe the blades and keep things in place, and now I have a nice transport box for those sharp little bastards. Need to either put a strop loose in there with the tools, or attach it to the lid somehow. And even though the box does have a magnetic latch, I might add something else to keep it extra secure. I wonder if it would fit in that magazine pouch that Bart gave me? Have to check on that .

*50 degrees? In Illinois?? In January??? Sorry, but that just aint right. But then again, I am basing this rant on a forecast that is a week out.

*Had a couple of new (short?) story ideas that I need to work on fleshing out. Might even start posting them serially, if I can get either one of them to hang together.

*Coming up on a weekend off, and all I'd really like to do is lock myself in the studio for the whole time. I get the feeling there might be someone who would have something less than positive to say about that particular plan. Hopefully I'll manage to work in a few hours each day, though.