Find a Way To Follow!

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Lighter Side of the Story, aka Oversharing with Dangerboy

One wouldn’t think that infertility testing could be hilarious, but one would be wrong. One would be very wrong.

In the midst of the doctors poking and prodding my twig and berries, (mostly the berries...ouch!) I was sent to give a sample at the lab. If you think this might be a bit awkward, you would be very right.

Fortunately, I have both a sense of humor and a sense of perspective. Some guys I know have expressed horror at the thought of having to go to such a place. I scoff. We guys are privileged in this category. We never have to hear the word “speculum”. When looked at in this light, a little bit of non-recreational alone time is not so big a deal. Can I get an amen, ladies?

Pro tip: do not ask the cute nurse to “give you a hand.” She’s heard that one. 146,783 times.

Entering the “sample delivery room”, the nurse pointed out the “useful materials” and handed me the cup. I took a slow, deep breath, trying my absolute best not to blush. I may have succeeded. I may not have. She darted from the room, leaving me alone for my hot date with me.

Pro tip. That can of Lysol in the corner is your new friend. This lab has been open for 17 years. Think about it.

I of course looked around the room at said useful materials…I mean, free porn is free porn, right? I looked at the stack of magazines first. Lying on top was an issue of Cosmo. Cosmo? COSMO?? I think we’ve identified the problem. If your first choice for inspirational material to accompany packing the hand cannon is Cosmo, it’s entirely possible you should hang it up right now. I mean, wasn’t that the magazine that had Hasslehoff with the pug in his lap?

I continued to look at the magazines, my curiosity piqued. The next offering had a photoshoot of Paris Hilton in various outfits. Sorry, gang, that’s not going to help. I’m sure she’s helped a lot of men get there, but usually in person. Of course, if bagging skeletons is your thing, have at.

The rest of the stack was somewhat predictable, with appearances by Playboy, Penthouse, and a couple of, shall we say, specialty magazines. I had no idea you could do that with feet. I can’t unsee that. Why can’t I unsee that?

Pro tip: You really can't unsee that. Don't let curiosity get the better of you. It freaking killed the really think you're going to do better?

Finished with the perusal of the magazine stack, I took a look at the video they had available to inspire a ménage-a-mois. The title read “All Anal Action volume 9.” I think we have identified your problem. That’s not where it goes for baby-makin’, people. A mental “helloooooo…McFlyyyyyy” passed, and I decided to eschew the video.

I won’t go into the details, but eventually I had a sample to turn in. This, it turns out, is when my internal monologue decided to really crank it up. That same cute nurse is there at the desk, waiting. And she knows what you’ve done. A thousand witty remarks passed through the halls of bad ideas. I just couldn’t bring myself to utter any of them. I decided I’d be polite about this. I turned in the paperwork and the cup, and just smiled and said thank you. Unfortunately, I really just can’t help myself some days.

“Have a nice day” she said.

“I did!” I said. And out the door I went.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Lies We Are Told

“Ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?”

It’s interesting where you get your inspiration to write sometimes. I recently read a few words of truth; ugly, ugly truth; and it moved me to get serious for a moment. Those words were just tucked into a sentence, a third-hand telling of tragedy that brought a message.

“…depression tells you terrible lies and that you can’t fight those lies alone”. Thank you, Bloggess. I’m going to tell you a few things that not a lot of people know, so that we can fight our lies together.

You see, I have danced with the devil. I am so very lucky that my depression was tied to very concrete physical things, to a long enduring situation that ruled my life for a time. I got to magically get better one day, which is something that I am truly, truly thankful for. Most don’t get that chance.

“So, when are you two having kids?”

Do you know how irritating an innocuous question can become? Do you understand that a simple thing can be a doorway to hell? I do. Wifefish does. And frankly, I’d be willing to wager that most of the people you know have been there at some time or another, or will be before they shuffle off the mortal coil. We’re all going to go through moments when what is simple to most becomes pure hell for us.

In our case, the problem was infertility. To put it bluntly, my balls are broken. I have some perfect swimmers, but I have about five of them. You need five million or so. Each time. I won’t go into the details, but suffice to say that I’m not directly contributing to the gene pool.

We tried for years. YEARS. And while it was great fun to try over and over, the lack of being fruitful and multiplying started to become a bit of an issue. And people would ask, again and again, when we were going to have kids. The answer changed over the years, from “Later”, to “anytime now”, to “I’m going to the doctor soon”, to “you asked that last week, fucknut. When are you going to pull your head out of your ass?”

Please. Stop. Fucking. Talking.

When I finally did go to the doctor, it was to that crushing news, that I had a problem. This didn’t assail my manhood, I didn’t and don’t feel like less of a man. And frankly, that stereotype is bullshit…we men are more than our dicks. But it pissed me off, and it crushed me in ways that I still find myself healing from at times.

To shorten this long tale, Wifefish and I talked, analyzed other people’s stories, and charted a path for ourselves. We decided to pursue adoption, rather than try for any medical procedures. That shit is expensive, to the tune of about $26,000 for a 30 percent chance of conception. Folks, I play poker. I would, and did, fold that hand.

Wifefish and I were strong for each other over the next few years. But we would fall at times. Someone we knew would get pregnant, and we wanted so badly to feel good for them. But the filet mignon can taste like ash, at times. So it was with our joy for those who were just doing the most natural thing you can do. It tasted of ash.

And that’s when the lies started.

Smoky, my friend, you are entering a world of pain.”

A little voice pipes up inside when depression comes to call. You don’t realize it’s there, but it is. Soft, insidious, and in a very twisted way, seductive. You ignore it at first, because you recognize that it isn’t you. It says things you don’t want to hear, but that start to sound right. Because the voice of depression is like fucking Goebbels, and it’s going to repeat that big lie over and over and over, as annoying as Cotton Eye Joe on endless repeat.

I started to hear the inner monologue…you know, the one that tells you not to bang that hooker…except it started saying things like “you’re not good enough”. Not that clearly, of course. It starts by just questioning things. “Why me?” you ask. “Why me indeed?” it echoes, and you think that’s you. It sounds like you. Weeks later, it has you crying in the night because it’s convinced you that the gods hate you, and that everything is pointless.

And believe me gang, I tried over and again to rise above it. I firmly told myself stories of all the times I’ve landed on my feet, and of all the blessings I possessed. And then I’d pass a billboard for a birthing center, and the picture of a baby I couldn’t have would be there. And then someone would ask…”When are you two having kids?” Did you know that homicide is frowned upon in all 50 states? Fortunately, I do know that…saved quite a few lives in those days, I’m sure.

I had a horrible moment when someone I knew, someone who I deem to be incredibly stupid (and with good reason), became pregnant. That was the ultimate insult…that I could not do so simple a thing as to create a child…but the universe chose her over Wifefish and I. That was the day that I decided I hated the gods. And the voice told me that I was right. That little lying fucker inside, the voice of depression…it told me to feel that way, that the universe hated me right back.

On the rock of Wifefish’s love, I broke asunder that night. I cried as I have only rarely done in my adult life, and I despised myself for feeling this way. The lies continued, and the liar had learned to speak with my voice. It told me I didn’t deserve her, or any of my other blessings. But I could look at her, and the voice of depression would be stilled, and I could do the same for her…be her rock. Being her rock let me ignore the voice of the liar.

So how’s the adoption going?”

So the liar gets a new question to play with. “We’re still waiting” is all you can answer, because that’s all you’re doing. Waiting to be selected. Waiting to be good enough. Waiting to be the one. The liar gets excited every time you get a phone call.

I developed a very, very thick skin while we walked down the adoption road. The upside of it, I suppose, was that I could tell myself that eventually, it would happen. I knew this. And yet, the liar ignored that inconvenient fact like it was a hobo asking for loose change. It started telling me all the horrible things I deserved, and each hardship that seemed like nothing more than a roadbump to the normal people around me was like a kick to the broken balls for me. It was my just punishment from the universe for being me, and the voice of the liar, in my own voice, just kept telling me so.

We had a couple of really close brushes with being selected, but they didn’t pan out. And both times, the liar had an absolute field day. I would sit at my desk some days, staring at my screen, no will remaining to make a sales call. I wouldn’t even click on the internet, I would just stare at the screen as if it would reveal to me some universal truth I’d been missing. It never did. The liar started to tell me I sucked at my job, too. Work on the nursery stopped, the door left closed for weeks. The liar told me it was a wasted room.

That was about the time I started to hear the subtle difference in the liar’s voice. It wasn’t me after all. It was depression, and it had me by the short and curlies. I made a choice to start leaning on some friends. And that choice got me through some pretty heinous shit. I considered therapy for a bit, but realized that my liar was tied to a single situation. I knew that mine was temporary. I can’t express how thankful I am for that simple fact, the light at the end of the tunnel was truly what allowed me to learn to ignore the liar. Had it not been for that knowledge, I would definitely have entered therapy…when it gets that bad, you must have help.

My story has a happy ending, thankfully. Eventually, we met Little Danger and brought him home. People stopped asking stupid questions. The liar left in a huff, and I honestly haven’t seen it around. But I remember it. I remember the lies it would tell, and if I’m ever hearing them again, I’ll make sure to lean on friends and family, shamelessly.

I wonder what it must be like for those who suffer with no light at the end of the tunnel. And to be honest, I don’t want to know. Not first hand. My dance with that devil was plenty enough for me, thank you.

I did learn this, though. Lean on them. Open up to them. They will not forsake you. They may disappoint at times, but they won’t run screaming. They are those who love you, even when the liar tells you they hate your guts.

We are not what depression tells us we are. We are shards of divinity, perfect in our imperfection, walking around with too much time on our hands. We are something more, and we have love to guide us.

But the first time I hear “So when are you having another one”, my answer is going to be delivered by emu death squad.

I'd Like To Thank The Little People

I was recently gifted with an award by the talented Jumble Mash! I heartily thank her, and recommend you click on that link right there and see if you like her.
I make you laugh.

There are some rules that go with this award, but frankly, I'm going to fold them into origami. Rather than tell you 27 things you don't know about me, and hand this award to x-3y(c+dsquared) other blogs, I'm just going to celebrate.

If you want to see the blogs that make me LOL, or think, or on my profile and look at who I'm following. I don't follow crap blogs. Then click some of their links, too. There are good writers out there, just waiting for you to discover them. Then come back to me, quickly...I'm insecure and I'll miss you when you're gone.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Geek Update: Nuke it from Orbit!

It's true, it's really really true. Duke Nukem has a release date, May 3rd 2011. It's coming back with all the adolescent humor, irreverent nods to cult classics, and gratuitous tit shots. Only now, they have better graphics. Gameplay looks like it'll still be fun as hell, and I again state that I must own this, it's a moral fucking imperative.

I give 2k and Gearbox two big Dangerboy thumbs up for saying boldly in their trailer
"We're Fucking Bringing It." Square, balls on hit to the target demographic.
Make no mistake about it, this is a misogynistic, uber violent man-man-manly-man fest featuring toilet humor and dick jokes out the wazoo. It is not a work of art, but something to let our inner 6 year olds laugh at farts. And I welcome its return.

Hail to the King, indeed.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Trip Down Nostalgia Street, vol 5

Join me for another stroll down Nostalgia Lane. This time we’ll set the time machine for 1983. Ronald Reagan had proposed SDI, or “Star Wars”, and Sally Ride became the first female astronaut. And at the same time, a young Dangerboy was exploring the moon in an armed moonbuggy in the game Moon Patrol, safe at his Atari 2600.

The premise of Moon Patrol was simple. Your buggy had to patrol the moon. Pretty easy, yeah? But wait…there were craters to jump, mounds of deadly rock to crash into, and…land mines? Dammit, who let Harrison Schmitt have land mines??? As if all that weren’t bad enough, alien spacecraft would drop bombs on you to prevent your progress.

Apollo mission gone horribly wrong...

Fortunately, the moonbuggy was armed with lasers that would shoot both foreward and straight up, so you could wiggle and jiggle and shoot and frag some of those alien obstacles. It also had the ability to jump, soaring over craters like a goddamn moon eagle.

I belieeeeeve I can fly...

The concept worked, but was a bit weak on visuals. The hot pink moon buggy, for those lucky enough to have a color TV, was like an accessory for Spaced Out Barbie. The moon’s depiction as both perfectly flat between craters and colored avocado-poo green with blue mountains left me wondering what exactly the designers were thinking. Whose moon was this supposed to be? The Koozbanians?

I’ll admit it, Moon Patrol frustrated 9 year old me to no end. It wasn’t so much a course of reaction as memorization, and I didn’t really pick up on that fact for months. I’ve always preferred games that involved reacting and thinking, rather than memorizing when to hit what button. To this day, I despise Sonic the Hedgehog for the same reason. In Moon Patrol, I just couldn’t get some of the timing down, especially later in the game when triple mounds, double craters and a land mine all lined up perfectly to inspire the patented controller fling. (Long before Wii, we’d do that shit on purpose, kids.)

One of the things that Moon Patrol really had going for it was the soundtrack, such as it was. For a 2600 game, this thing had a perfect earbug for its background music. I still find myself humming it occasionally, nearly 20 years later, along with MC Hammer and ABBA. I know earbugs, and you can’t touch this, you dancing queen.

As you can see, this game was an aneurism waiting in the wings. Still, it was a decent side-scroller for its day. It met the Young Danger litmus test of being able to pretend I was really there ™, and I made many small steps for man, but giant leaps over land mines on many Saturday mornings. It was just one more trip that I could launch from my own little pad on Nostalgia Street.

EDIT: Found a great site where you can actually play this game in your browser...CLICKY!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Things I Hate, vol 7

Strap in, gang. This has a bit less writing style and a bit more righteous indignation than usual, but gosh darnit, I’m just peeved, Wally.

Behold, the modern “reporter” or “news anchor”. If you’re looking for an asshat with a strong opinion and a platform to spew it from, look no further. In fact, let’s just dive into a true Dangerboy rant with a massive condemnation of the entire 5 minute news cycle.

So, in case you missed it, some whack job went ballistic with a gun and offed some people who just happen to be involved in politics. Way to go, asshole. Thanks for being a complete and total fuckwad, and ending some lives, including a child. I hope they put you under the jail, fuckhole. That shit just puts my daddy rage on about 11.

But I’m not ranting about killers today. Today, I’m firing the broadside of my displeasure at the media that couldn’t wait 15 minutes before deciding that it was “THEIR FAULT”. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over?

So, somehow this is all the fault of the Tea Party? It’s the fault of the Democrats? It’s Palin’s fault? It’s Obama’s fault? I’m sorry, Olberman/Beck/Fox/CNN/MSNBC/etc. but I just don’t see how you can report this with no facts and no suspicion of fact 15 minutes after the event. Where did you get your degrees in journalism, Wossamotta U?

Furthering the insult, this tone has dominated the news cycle for the entire week. The political angle of the story rules with an iron fist, shoving seekers of actual news away like bouncers outside that really exclusive club you’re just dying to get into.

Boys and girls, you in the media need to tone it down about 43 notches and reduce the metaphoric decibels to something less than the flight deck of the USS Nimitz. Watching you talking heads pontificate on this is like watching Paris Hilton mudwrestle a declawed velociraptor, it’s silly and you know somebody’s going to sprain a brain cell.

More entertaining, less chance of aneurism.

Seriously, what does it say about your “noble craft” when the finest source of commentary on the whole situation is a freaking satirist on Comedy Central? It’s become a joke, boys and girls. And while we’re all distracted by the ping pong match of left vs right, a whole lot of people are getting rich on a whole bunch of lemmings following blindly along in the “hateTHEMathon” they’re pushing off as “news”.

Why the heck can’t we just get the facts, denounce the act, grieve, and move on? These jackwagons keep digging deeper, looking through the lens of their own agenda, to find the nefarious “Real Reason” that somebody could do such a thing. I’ve read no less than 6 so-called “real reasons”, and here’s the kicker: not a single one of them is actually based in fact. They’re all opinion, spouted into the air to drive the left vs right, red vs blue idiocracy that we’re somehow a part of now.

I for one am having none of it. Obama didn’t tell this guy to do it. Palin didn’t tell this guy to do it. Their metaphors of fighting and winning didn’t tell this guy to do it. Black Sabbath didn’t put it backwards on a record. It wasn’t Mickey Mouse.

As you can tell, I’ve gotten tired of it, gang. It seems every news story has to be political nowadays. Somebody loses their job? It’s Bush’s fault. Somebody gets sick? It’s Obama’s fault. Somebody’s dog gets run over? There should be an anti driving over dogs law, and it should be the democrats’ fault. Somebody shoots a spitwad at a teacher through a bic pen? They should be arrested for “deadly weapons” and it can be the Repuclican’s fault. The reporters are spending so much time telling us what we should be afraid of in the “if it bleeds it leads” bullshit, that they’re forgetting to tell us what happened today.

It’s gotten to the point where I’d rather watch documentaries on molds, spores, and fungi than any news program. I’d rather listen to William Hung sings the hits than any of these so-called news people make a single report. This newsertainment has to stop. Not only is it a bad neologism, it’s a bad idea, and it leaves my brain spattered against the wall from the monstrous aneurism I get trying to wrap my brain around the kernels of fact in the stories.

And so I salute you, the so called “News”. But I salute you with one finger. Guess which one. I hope you all grow up to be nice men and women, but for now, you’re just a bunch of disembodied heads on a TV screen screaming louder than Little Danger after getting his shots, craving attention and ratings. And don’t get me started on the politicians themselves…that rant will go on for days.

On a more serious note, I truly agree with that Satirist, Jon Stewart, in his sentiment to create a better world after each tragedy we encounter. Let's not be politicized by this, but remember that we can disagree without hatred. Whatever side of the aisle we profess allegiance to, whatever cause we choose to champion, the other side are not enemies but merely us, with different views. Save your hate for something really worth it. I suggest spewing it out in silly rants that make people laugh, where it is released and transformed and can do no harm.

Also, fellow Americans, try the BBCA news if you have access to it. The Brits do a good job of not having a strong opinion about our issues, it's refreshing.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Drive by

Some days I am amazed by the things I observe on my morning drive. Today was no different.
I approached a car going WAY too slow on the highway, traffic parting around the little black Nissan like water around the prow of a ship. As I moved to pass, I looked over into the car. And there did I behold something I've not seen before.
A young "lady" with a short glass pipe and a very big flame...when you needs your crack, you needs your crack. In a mildly related note, a google image search for "crack pipe" results mostly in pictures of Amy Winehouse. Who's surprised?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Outfoxed on the Flightline

Once upon a time, I was a young Airman, serving in the USAF. Amongst the duties of a high voltage electrician was the task of ensuring that all airfield lighting was in working order. To that end, I worked on One Three, our Airfield Lighting Truck.

One Three was just an old step van, much like a UPS truck. Ours was modded out with a workbench and tons of bins and cabinets filled with various cable splicing tool and lamps for every conceivable piece of runway, taxiway, obstruction, navaid, and marker lighting on a two-runway airfield. It was also a notorious piece of shit.

I recall one morning that Wes, our shop leader, went to press on the gas pedal and the line snapped. We drove One Three to motorpool in tag team, Wes steering and braking while I used a pair of vice grips to pull the accelerator line and simulate the gas pedal. We had a certain Wile E. Coyote ingenuity about us in the line shop, and Wes was too proud to let his baby get towed in.

Working with Wes could be a trip. He was backwoods country. He’d been known to serve groundhog at his dinner table and just tell his kids it was four legged chicken. Wes was a big damn Hoosier who looked like Hulk Hogan minus the steroids. Bald spot still present, though.

Also, Wes thought of himself as the Great White Hunter. He could skin a roadkill raccoon in less than 15 minutes for its pelt, and from what I heard around the shop, was a pretty good shot as well. There was no animal Wes didn’t consider himself the master of.

It bears mentioning that there was wildlife on the airfield. We had groundhogs that were abnormally large. Think Rodents of Unusual Size, here. There was also, down at the south end of Taxiway 7, a fox.

We’d seen the fox a few times, and we knew where its den was. And so it came to pass that on an absolutely frigid Midwest morning that Wes looked at me and said with determination “Today I get me a fox pelt. I want that tail for a hat.”

I stopped shivering for just long enough to look at him in disbelief, then huddled back into my coat. One Three’s heat left a lot to be desired.

Wes parked the van about 20 yards from the den, grabbed a manhole hook, and opened the door. “Listen to the radio, and let me know if we get any calls. This won’t take long.” He stepped off with confidence. 10 yards out, he dropped to his knees, then to his belly, low crawling through the snow like a marine on a beach.

It didn’t take Wes long to get into position. For my part, I propped my steel-toed boots up on the “doghouse” to let the heat soak into them, and watched out the windshield as Wes lay in the snow, manhole hook cocked and ready.

I’ll take great moments in cliché for $800 Alex.

The answer: Cancelling your number 1 show.

What is Outfoxing the Fox?

Correct, you have control of the board.

After only about 10 minutes, I watched as the fox stuck its head up out of its den…2 feet behind Wes’ boots. It paused, looking at him. It then climbed the rest of the way out of the hole, and sauntered away. I’m sure it was laughing, in its vulpine way. It may or may not have sung a Danny Kaye number, I was too busy chuckling.

I leaned over and tapped the horn. Wes’ head snapped up, a glare on his face that seemed to say “Whatthefuckdoyouthinkyou’redoingyougoddamnmoron!!!” I simply pointed behind me to the retreating form of the fox. Wes hung his head, in frustration or shame, and then walked back to One Three, defeated.

He opened the door, hung the manhole hook on its holder, and sat in the driver’s seat. The silence lingered between us, his hand hovering on the gear shift.

“Back door”, I said.

“Shut the fuck up”, he said. We both chuckled, and realized that some idioms come with truth attached. Wes never did get that fox tail, but as a shop we put a dent in the groundhog population. But that’s another story.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Scotchy Scotch, vol 4

Welcome to the Pub for another wee dram. Today’s offering is a bit more obscure than even my last post.

It was some months ago that I found myself in Las Vegas on business. I end up in Sin City about once a year for some function or another, and I tend to seek and to find some of the best places to eat that I possibly can. It keeps me out of trouble.

Craftsteak...a heaven of beef and booze.

Lo, it came to pass that your friendly neighborhood Dangerboy was seated at Craftsteak in the MGM Grand, experiencing the ministrations of one very cute Irish waitress. I struggled not to objectify her too much, even though it was Vegas. I may have succeeded. I may not have.

Craftsteak is a place that, if you like steak and scotch, you absolutely must visit. Must.

Why, you ask? “A scotch list that features pictures of the distilleries and well over 150 single malt scotches covering a range from $10 pour to $1048” is my answer. (Macallan 1961 signature.) Needless to say, I stick to the under $30 club…I can’t imagine spending over a grand for a single pour of booze unless it is accompanied by a half hour blow job or an all expense paid trip to Grand Turk. Also, their steak is damned good.

When faced with such deep bench strength in a scotch list, I will invariably hunt for something obscure. Obscure, like the Lone Ranger’s nephew’s horse. (Victor, by the way.) I made a selection that night that the waitress hadn’t heard of, and she had a taste with me so we could compare notes. She was an obvious connoisseur, and we had a great discussion about what we liked in whisky.

Mortlach...easy to say, easy to drink.

What did we have, you ask? A fine expression from Mortlach, a 16 year old Speyside. I’d never heard of Mortlach, though evidently they’re a minor powerhouse in Scotland, and have produced many expressions over the years. Alas for a Midwestern Scotch drinker’s woes, where bartenders often offer me Chivas as a single malt. No shit.

But back to the Mortlach! I found it a very pleasant and complex taste, with some sweetness from the sherry cask, a fruitiness, a bit of smoke, and a hint of vanilla in the finish. This was a definite winner for my taste buds, and not bad on the pocketbook. A bottle typically runs in the $60 range, though sadly I have not been able to find it anywhere other than Vegas.

In scotches, like in many things, you should always be willing to try something new. I have my favorites, but I’m always looking for something else that can be added for variety. You know, like video games or positions. Be bold, try something new, and Slainte!

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