Monday, May 30, 2011
2) Pursuant to #1, I think my hands are soooooore. I spent more hours pounding out rhythms in 5 days than I have in the previous 360. I have made the decision to drum for at least an hour each week, because that math is wrong. There were some tasty, tasty things going on and I had to force myself to bed at about 4:30 am the final day so I didn't drive in a coma. About 20 drummers going that night, laying it down for twice as many dancers at times. TASTY.
3) I think that I love coincidences that create magic. I had the feeling I should take a book of Rumi poetry with me this weekend, and so I did. Someone had posted quotes from his poetry in the "outhouse" for, shall we say, rumination. I sat at the campsite and read for a bit one afternoon, and a spider crawled across the page and stopped at a very poignant passage for me.
"Inside this new love, die.
Your way begins on the other side." (from Quietness)
I've been enjoying this new love of mine, this fatherhood, and this week I feel rejuvenated and reintegrated, as if I've tied the old me and the new me back into one singular guy.
I rewarded the spider for its literary "guidance" by not squashing it into a large asterisk.
4) I think I got to live up to my name this week. Arriving on site, I raced a massive thunderstorm cell to get the tent up. Beat it by about 3 minutes, and the hail came down. Who camps in the middle of one of the most energetic storm outbreaks in years? This guy. (And many of my awesome friends.) I still have mud under a toenail or two!
5) I think I'm afraid to step on my scale after this trip. I remember the days when people subsisted off hot dogs on forks...not so these days. Roughing it is a thing of the past. Aside from more bottles of wine being passed around the circle of camp chairs than one could count, a menu of beef stew, chili, breakfast casserole, blueberry-pomegranate pork (holyshit yum!), grilled ham, ginger pork, steak (beef and lamb) and more was on the fire at various times.
Thus, I looked at the scale this morning after my shower and thought better of it. My self esteem is quite full right now of rhythm and roughing and laughter and connection...I dare not puncture it with something so silly as an extra pound or two likely found after eating four dinners in one day. Don't judge me. It was delicious, and I am sure the drumming and dancing leeched at least a third of those calories back out.
Bonus #6) I think I missed all of you. It's good to be back, as awesome as it was to be gone for a while. I have so much catching up to do!
Happy Memorial Day, may those we remember be lifted in our hearts.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
It’s time for another visit to the pub, another exploration into the joys of Scotch. The last few expressions we’ve enjoyed have featured a bit of sweetness, so today I thought I’d visit the opposite end of the scale. Sometimes, you want to savor a sip of something that slaps your taste buds into next Sunday. If that’s what you crave, look no further than Laphroaig.
A bold expression
I’ll admit I’m not very expert on multiple expressions of this fine Scotch. I’m familiar only with their 10 year old, and have not tasted of their quarter cask or 25 year expressions.
That being said, the 10 year Laphroaig is definitely memorable. It’s like that time you decided to party with those punk rockers with blue and green Mohawks in the abandoned subway tunnel, or the time you were thrown into a pit of starving wombats with only a shop-vac for defense. You might not do that every day, but you damn sure remember it for years to come. It’s a man’s scotch, or a very brave woman’s. It is not for the faint of heart or the bland of palate.
The nose is a powerful smoky assault, either scary or satisfying dependent on your personal leanings. A sip of Laphroaig reveals a very peated water, very earthy and smoky. Being an Islay Scotch, it also throws a saltiness across your tongue.
Laphroaig is one of the classic malts, and is also a very affordable Scotch. It clocks in around my neighborhood at about $40 per bottle. It is definitely not an introductory Scotch, though, just as Cabernet Sauvignon is not introductory wine.
Laprhoaig…remember it, and Slainte!
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Today I'm guest posting at the wonderful blog of Bag Lady, all the way over in England. She's out gallivanting, and I get to hold down the fort today. She's a great writer, and I'm honored to be able to play at her house today. Click to travel!
Head on over and check her out...spend some time, she's really great. Don't forget to come back, I miss you when you're gone!
For those of you dropping by from her blog, welcome! We have a lot of fun here, and I hope you'll stick around. Some of my favorite posts are over there on the right --> in the hall of fame, but if you look about you're sure to find something you like.
As for me, I'm going to be a bit sparse this week, as I have some gallivanting of my own to do. I'll be in the woods later this week, likely drumming or eating fireside cuisine. Or maybe taking a long nap in the tent. Or if this Midwest weather keeps up, flying that tent to Oz.
I'm sure I'll have some more stories when I return. Until then, I'll schedule a little something to pop up here magically while I'm gone, thanks to the power of technology. (I love living in the future, but I still want my flying car, dammit!)
Monday, May 23, 2011
2) I think that if yesterday's Airsoft game was any indication, the life of a Russian Terrorist must be a bitch. Spent the entire morning being shot at. Had a good "kill" ratio, but we got our butts kicked all day long, tovarisch. To those who know what I'm talking about, this will make perfect sense. To the rest of you, you will wonder if I've finally gone batshit insane, and if I'm "Winning." I assure you that I have been batshit insane for a while now, so there's no need to worry.
3) I think I was really humbled by the sharefest of my political rant last week. I think I can stop approaching these words on the screen with a "hope they're good enough" attitude, and just put the words out there. I'm still going to work on them...there won't be a sudden dearth of grammar, no mangling of metaphor, strangling of simile...I'm just going to speak my heart a bit more often.
4) I think it sucks that otherwise rational people can be suckered and ripped off by so-called "holy men". No Rapture occurred on Saturday, but some people lost money listening to this douchecanoe's "prophecy". It makes Dangerboy want to kick someone's junk through the uprights...just because there's a sucker born every minute doesn't mean you get to invoke God, Bhuddha, Ganesh, or anyone else to part that fool from their money. I think I'd like to see a "Dangerboy's Righteous Junkpunt" loophole introduced into assault laws for these asshats.
Binky and Blankey and a pretty day. What else do you need?
Have a great Monday!
PS...I have something AWESOME to share tomorrow.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
For now, it's time to get back to some humor around here. Ever have to put up with an annoying doctor? I have...and this is that story.
I can’t stand smugass doctors. It kills me when somebody has decided Perry Cox is their personal hero and they want to practice their skill on me. Well, OK, it doesn’t kill me, it just annoys me more than a mild zombie outbreak.
Way-hay-haaaaait a minnit Sheila
It was a warm summer day, bright and shiny, and I damn near lost my thumb. I’d been trimming the hedges at the front of the house when I did something stupid, drawing the trimmer back toward me while attempting to grab a loose twig, all without letting my finger off the trigger. It was a recipe for disaster, and I got lucky that I was just in the hors d’ourves section of the fuck-up cookbook.
It was one of those moments where your brain watches as you fuck up royal, then berates you with a massive “I told you so.” Thanks, brain, got that one. I lucked out, and just opened up a nice hefty gash. A quick inspection confirmed an immediate trip to the Emergency Room was in the near future, as I could see bits within my thumb that are supposed to remain unexposed. I’d missed the nail and the bone, but stitches were needed.
Even as I clutched my thumb I was shaking my head, muttering the word “stupid” over and over like a mantra. I wrapped it up in a bundle of paper towels and told Wifefish I’d need her to drop me off at the hospital and why, and let her know I’d have the cellphone on me, and would one-thumbed texting her with updates.
I sat in the waiting room. And sat. Dust began to settle on me as my metabolism slowed to something just a hair faster than a three toed sloth, which, by the way, I had just attempted to resemble via hedgetrimmer cosmetic surgery. Anyone who doesn’t believe that time is both relative and curved need only wait to be seen by a doctor when in pain. I had brought a book along, and after a mere 163 pages, the staff called me back to be attended to.
They wanted to send me to X-ray, but I had already checked myself out pretty thoroughly and knew I’d missed the bone. I think it pissed me off when they said “your insurance will cover it”. Maybe so, jackwagon, but all I need is stitches. And we wonder why insurance is more expensive than Charlie Sheen’s bar tab.
A small hitch arose when the first numbing agent…didn’t. Stitch number 1 went into the thumb of a perfectly silent Dangerboy, slowly turning a lighter shade of pale.
“That…that kind of hurt,” I said.
“Was it bad?” the PA asked.
“It may have hurt worse than the trimmer,” I replied.
A sympathetic man, he shot my thumb with a second numbing agent. It was now full of eleventy shitload CC’s of comfortably numb, and whereas my thumb looked like a balloon, there was no sensation in it at all. The rest of the stitching went as smooth as silk; he could have tied a knot in it and I wouldn’t have felt it.
I got the idea as the stitching progressed that I was being worked on by the new guy. Three different nurses stopped by to ask how I was doing and to see the stitchwork, and they all had that veteran nurse “Mm hmm” of approval when they saw it, which is so much better to hear than “Oh fuck, get me a seamripper STAT.”
Finally, 3 hours later, I was finished. Ready to go. I got out of the bed and headed for the desk to go through check out. Along the way, a fourth person stopped me.
“Hey, can I see those stitches?”
I stopped and gave him a big thumbs up, which was all my thumb could do anyway.
He grabbed it, tapped the end of it like he was checking a microphone and said “Does this hurt?”
My Spidey sense began to tingle, even though my thumb refused to. I looked at his nametag. “Dr. Smugass”. Great.
“Is this the $300 consult? You tapping the mic? Because if it is, I want to refuse.”
“Too late!” he said, taking a seat behind the desk. Visions of letting him experience the joy of receiving stitches danced in my head. I ignored him, returning to my previous conversation with the woman handling the let-me-go-on-my-merry-fucking-way paperwork.
I actually wrote the hospital a letter, complaining about Dr. Smugass. They sent me the results of their “investigation”, telling me that the flighty physician felt we had a “good rapport” and that his tapping of my thumb was a “range of motion test.” In other words, he lied like a cheap rug when their own Kelso questioned him.
I guess it goes without saying that I’ll be avoiding this particular doctor like the plague should I ever encounter him again. Otherwise he may encounter an allergic reaction to Dangerboy.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
I’m going to be honest here, I don’t know how funny I can be today. Dangerboy is fed up. I suppose I should know better by now.
I recently clicked on a political post thinking I’d find some political humor. On a site filled with humor by people I enjoy, where one would reasonably assume such humor is featured, I found a hate-filled piece of drivel. I’m not going to put a link here, because I disagree with the entire premise of the post. Suffice to say, it prompted me to exlcaim: “Enough is enough.” Seriously.
I am sick to the gills of the wild hyperbole that makes up our current political “debate”. How can we hear each other when we’re so busy screaming?
There’s just no entering into a rational political conversation these days. It’s like petting a unicorn, it ain’t gonna happen. There’s no reason to be had. You have to dig through a haystack of half-truths, damn lies, and skewed statistics to find the needle of truth.
It seems you can’t be anything right now without somebody actively hating you. I can’t be Republican, because that makes me a “woman hating greedy Nazi”. I can’t be a Democrat, because then I’m labeled a “baby killing peacenik Nazi.” I can’t be part of the tea party, because I’m a “racist Palin-worshipping Nazi.” And yet there are women Republicans, Democrat generals, and a brilliant black man named Herman Cain delivering addresses at Tea Party rallies to thunderous applause.
People claim those examples are the exceptions to the rules, but I say there is a deeper truth we can find. Painting with a broad brush gets that paint all over the trim. It’s sloppy. It’s inaccurate. And it ends up putting a label on an entire group of people which only a small number deserve.
Gang, I’m pretty sure that we don’t have a ton of Nazis running around the country. Indiana Jones would have already knocked them all out. But somehow, people who are normally rational human beings start frothing at the mouth screaming “the enemy” about fellow Americans who just have a different opinion on some issue or another.
Well I’m done with it. Whatever political leaning you have, dangerous or otherwise, the “other side” is probably just another citizen, just another human being, who has different beliefs on an issue or two. The faces on the TV are not us, they are the bookends of a wide range of us.
I’m done with this whole “holier than thou” party affiliation. Politicians have played politics since governments were first formed, and the game is old indeed. It has been called corrupt since the time of Plato. Why should anybody think “their side” is any different?
While I’m at it, let me fire a shot at a group of people who drive me batshit insane. I am done with one-issue voters. Gun control, abortion, party affiliation, immigration, climate, protecting the mating grounds of the left-handed opossum, whatever. It is not our job as voters to vote so we win our one issue, it is our job to select the politicians who will best run the country we share. We forgot that. I’m asking that we all remember it.
I’m also done with the corporate shills we call politicians. Let me make an example here. I’ll show one issue, from two sides of an aisle.
A Republican made a speech about how gambling is destroying American families, and attached the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act to a Safe Ports bill that pretty much had to pass. This pretty well outlawed online poker. In speeches, he claims he's protecting family values. But when you look at his campaign records, he received a very large donation from a corporation that runs casinos. Hypocrite much?
A Democrat talked about how gambling should not be outlawed, how it is up to personal choice. He introduced legislation to legalize online poker, but to tax it and of course to favor American companies, and one in particular that gave his campaign a very large donation: the same corporation that donated to the previous politician. Less hypocrisy, perhaps, but embracing the same corruption.
Neither of these men were championing the “people.” They were both championing a company that gave them money, while they claim to champion the people. But whenever you follow the money, true allegiances are revealed. “Our side” really isn’t our side at all. They’re in a completely different game than you and I are playing.
Why on earth are we screaming at each other about how much the other side sucks, instead of discussing the issues and creating solutions? We can do it, if we’ll stop looking at our politicians as captains of our freaking sports team. It’s not about winning, it’s about making a better future for our children.
Did you know that George Washington warned us about this very situation? He knew that “us vs them” party politics was a danger to our very way of life. This quote from his Farewell address in 1796: “The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism.”
A “frightful despotism” exists. We hear this every day. CNN vs FOX. Dem vs Rep. Obama vs Bush. Us vs Them. We are “them.” They are “us.” We don’t even disagree on as many things as you may think.
Please, please, the next time your thoughts move you to condemn an entire half of the country as stupid, hateful, violent, or as “the enemy”, do yourself a favor. Look in a mirror. Realize that the other half of the nation is YOU. I did, and I feel better for it. I’m not perfect, not even close (just ask Wifefish!), but I do want to be a good example to my son, and that means being part of the solution, not part of the problem.
We can resist the us vs. them mentality, and more importantly, we can communicate this to our servants, the politicians. We can change this, if we will treat each other with respect. I cannot hate you, for you are me.
I’m not saying we need to all hold hands and sing songs while we roast s’mores…I’m saying we need to tone it down and listen to one another. Take the time to look beyond headlines, and talk to one another. Forget the labels, and communicate.
The future we leave to our children depends on it.
If you agree with me, even a little, I'm asking you to click the button and share this. Together, we can make a difference.
Those of you who follow me from afar (I'm looking at you Australia)...are your politics this screwed up?
Monday, May 16, 2011
2) I think it's awesome to have lifelong friends. Wifefish, Little Danger, and I attended a baby shower Saturday; a friend I've had since 6th grade is about to be a daddy. I'm thrilled that our kids are going to be close in age.
3) I think last week's Blogger outage annoyed me greatly. Do not take my metaphoric crack rock away. To that end, still having twitter problems as well, just get a blank white page. To think this causes me "Hulk Smash!" levels of frustration when my grandparents had to pump water out of the ground is an irony not lost on me.
4) I think I have a post coming that I hope you will share. It'll be up later today or tomorrow. It's the first time that I've written a piece that erupted out of me with no work, the first time I've not cared how funny I'm being. If I can influence just one person to change with me, then I will count it as a success.
5) I think I've now been to one of the most unique bachelor parties ever. A friend is getting married, and I was invited to the bachelor festivities. The entertainment was a tiny dancer, and I'm being literal here. She stood 3'11", and now I can say I've seen a midget stripper. Funniest moment? She rode him around the room like a horse. (I love entertainers that get the point that it's about the fun, not the naked.)
Yeah, my life is a strange thing. Happy Monday!!!
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Let’s take a look, then, at some of the best of the worst in Dangerboy’s Hall of Silly Heroes.
We’ll start not with a single protagonist, but with an entire cast. The Snorks were a “let’s do the same thing again” Hanna-Barbera cartoon that sought to capitalize on the success of the Smurfs. They were the most obvious of also-rans, though there were fewer to keep track of. Whereas a Smurf would smurf you in the smurf with his big red smurf, a Snork would snork you right in the wet snork all snorkin’ day. Water and color palate seemed to be the limits of difference.
The Snorks’ villain was at least one of their own, a dastardly dandy by the name of Dr. Strangesnork. (Voiced by Rene Aberjonois, aka Odo.) Admittedly, it would have been difficult to do a Gargamel o’ the sea without serious technology issues.
Pro-tip: Dudes. Stop snorking around and hook up with that spongy dude that lives in a pineapple under the sea. Word is, he’s got a hell of a merchandising contract.
2) Max Ray
Among the Saturday morning offerings was the Centurions. Starring a trio of heroes that could have gear teleported onto them by yelling “Power Extreme,” the Centurions was one of those 30 minute toy commercial cartoons. The three were masters of air, land, and sea.
Max got stuck being the sea monkey.
Evidently, when they’re handing out specializations at hero academy, it’s entirely possible that you’ll end up being screwed harder than an Atlantic City hooker. Poor old Max had a ton of gear that was only useful against naval villains, which the writers contrived to make available whenever possible. In reality, he’d be as useful as Charlie Sheen’s therapist. Fortunately, cartoon villains fail to exploit weakness, and Doc Terror was no exception.
Pro-tip: Learn from Wall Street. Diversification is key. (Or is that greed is good?) Would it be so hard to put just one land or air module in your multi-trillion dollar make-believe weapons system?
The Gobots were an alternative to the Transformers. Scooter was the analog to Bumblebee in that he had a good human friend, but he managed to be inferior in almost every way.
Scooter had no armament, instead having some sort of hologram projector. In keeping with the cartoon tradition he who has no weapon is a coward, Scooter suffered from a distinct lack of bravery. The other thing he suffered from was a distinct lack of actual face. It was just a flat panel with a face appearing on it, making him the Max Headroom of Gobots. And let’s just be blunt about it…he transformed into a moped. That is about as uncool as a robot gets.
Pro-tip: Step 1. Buy that tacky “steel balls” truck hitch. Step 2. Install a pair. Step 3. Profit.
4) Sgt Slaughter
There was something inherently cool about GI Joe. From the long history of the concept to the every-man nature of the heroes, the Joes had something cool going. And then they made a character based on a professional wrestler.
Look, Slaughter may have been immune to the Camel Clutch or the Figure Four, but there’s a notable lack of wrestling rings on most battlefields, even the cartoon kind. The only thing that kept Slaughter kicking was the bad-guy-bullet principle, that truism of villainous characters that accrues the worst marksmen imaginable to sling bullets at heroes. But even in this, Slaughter sucks it up, falling victim to foul villainy and losing some DNA to make Serpentor. We really don’t want to know how Destro got the DNA.
Pro-tip: Stick to the ring, Sarge. And when the bullets fly, leave it to the rest of the real American heroes, the ones packin’ heat.
5) Eric, the Cavalier
Eric was the coward and blowhard of the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon, notably voiced by Potsy from Happy Days. Like most cartoon cowards, he had no weapon, just a magical shield. If the best defense is a good offense, Eric’s best defense was getting the hell out of Dodge.
He was a spoiled rich kid. He looked down on the rest of the party, and he was a noted liar…and those are just his good qualities. Nobody likes to be the outsider, but this kid worked hard to be emo before emo was cool. If they re-did the series today, he’d almost surely wear goth makeup. With a Bieber hairdo.
Pro-tip: Once Scooter is done with his pair, borrow them. Buy a sword. Use it. Hell, drink a potion of bravery once in a while, they’re right there in the Dungeon Master’s Guide!
Jem is not only cheesy, but outrageous. Truly, truly, truly outrageous. A girl with a supercomputer that can turn her into a superstar, Hannah Montana style, Jem was part of an all girl band called the Holograms. Their villainous counterparts were the Misfits. Jem ran a sort of halfway house called the Starlight girls.
The only reason I know about Jem is that it was the ONLY cartoon available on Sunday mornings when I was growing up. It was this, news, or Jerry Falwell. In retrospect, I likely should have read more.
The thing that makes Jem a truly cheesy hero is the incredible weakness her “quest”. Most plots centered around her keeping her identity secret and her computer safe. Really. That’s it. No saving the world, no defeating terrorist plots, no rescuing puppies.
Pro-tip: Do what countless others have done. Come out of the closet. Suddenly, you will be free to do something productive. Like make me a pot pie. (This misogynism brought to you by the letter J.) Also, learn to spell. It’s GEM.
And so we come to it, the cartoon hero that I personally find the cheesiest. Let me warn you, I scoured my brain cells for this one, assisted by Scotch and Sam Adams. Finally, it bubbled up out of the darkest recesses of repressed memory…the top of the Velveeta Vault, the God of Gouda, the Leader of Limburger, the Cheesiest Hero of them All!
There’s so much cheese all over this little guy, he could be his own fondue party. The “loveable” sidekick in the Godzilla cartoon, Godzooky was one annoyance amongst a sea of them.
Yes, there was a Godzilla cartoon. Atomic fire replaced with boring everyday flame. Rampaging city destruction replaced with Deus Ex Machina assists for the “heroes”. Most annoying theme music ever written. And the worst insult, Godzilla’s nephew Godzooky. (Who, by the way, befriended the scientist “Pete”, making him a “Pete’s Dragon” pun writ large.)
Godzooky was the Scrappy-Doo of monsters, loosely based on Minilla, the son of Godzilla from Destroy All Monsters. (Yes, we’ve established I’m a geek.) His most useful talent seemed to be the ability to summon Godzilla with a particular howl, rendering him perhaps the most cheesy cartoon hero ever.
Pro-tip: I…I got nuthin’.
Well, that’s the tour. Who do you think is the most cheesy cartoon hero ever?
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
I promised that I would explain the whole foam-fighting thing. There are several subsets of Geek, and I am fluent in many. Amongst my favorites is foam combat. This is basically quite similar to medieval reenactment, but replacing real weapons with foam versions of the various implements of destruction. It may seem odd to you, but for me, it’s 187,000 times more exciting than something “normal” like stamp collecting.
Fighting societies like this are similar to Live Action Role Play (LARP), which I also enjoy, but tend to focus much less on costume and improvisational acting and far, far, FAR more on opening big foam cans of whoop-ass on each other. This is a fight club that you can talk about.
The group I’ve been playing with is known as Dagorhir, which got its start in the late ‘70s, and owes much of its traditions to Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. If you’ve seen the movie Role Models, you’ve seen a comedic version of the concept. As for the real life version…yes, it IS that fun.
Also, it’s exercise. Some of the larger battles can be a straight 15 minutes (or more…ugh!) of heavy cardio, and believe it or not I feel LESS silly looking like a Master of the Universe than I do on a Stairmaster. I’ve managed to get my “desperately sucking for wind” phase down to the first 5 minutes of the day, as opposed to the 10 it was. That’s progress, gang. It’s hard work lugging this budding beergut around a field of battle.
The boys and girls of “Dag” fight hard. There’s shield bashing, grappling, and of course the requirement to strike with “sufficient force” when using a foam weapon. It’s relaxing…like being trampled by a herd of drunken wildebeests.
There are different battles to partake in, from team vs team to duels, from the "meatgrinder" to the free-for all. There are objective battles such as escorting, holding a bridge, or capture the flag. All this, and these are just Sunday practice sessions. The big events get wild, lasting an entire weekend or longer. In short, it's FUN. When I'm feeling more humorous, I explain it as "more fun than adults should be allowed to have playing dress-up." If you call leather and steel dressing up.
The median age of the local group is about 20, I’d say, and that makes me the “old man” of the group. I may be able to outstrategy quite a few of the youngsters, but they run rings around me like Road Runner and Wile E Coyote. I’ll teach them when I get my Acme Smackamatic 3000.
There’s just something downright cathartic about strapping on 30 pounds of chain mail and leather, grabbing a shield and a bastard sword, and laying down (and if I’m honest, receiving) some righteous asskicking. Breaking through a line and mowing down the opposing team from behind, hoping to make it back out “alive”? It’s a serious adrenaline rush. Leaving an arm out just a hair too long after a strike and getting swatted for my trouble? It’s a good reminder on proper technique. A day spent leaving it all out on the field, accumulating aches, pains, smiles, and laughter? Well, that’s just a damn good day.
Well, now you know just how geekariffic Dangerboy can be. And you know why I'm usually sore of a Monday morning.
What’s your oddest hobby?
Monday, May 9, 2011
2) I think my first true daddy fail happened last week. I have stared down the barrel of a gun...twice, in fact, but nothing in my life was as frightening as dropping Little Danger. He zigged when I zagged. Scary for both of us, but he was unharmed. Fortunately the boy has a head like a battering ram. I have the bruises to prove it; he likes to headbutt me in the chest. (Bang bang bang...look up...giggle. Repeat as desired.) I think I'm raising BamBam.
3) I think that even with the first fail, came the Big Awesome. He called me daddy. /heartmelt.
4) I think that I am sore in places that I didn't remember there were places. It was a long slog yesterday with the foam fighting, and a hell of a workout. It was a good day, only took one headshot.
5) I think that this is the week I'll explain the whole foam fighting thing in greater detail. You guys know I'm a geek, and fun is infinitely more important than being mainstream. I'm also bringing back the Velveeta Vault this week.
Have a great Monday!
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Many years ago, before Wifefish and I started dating, I was a male model for a day. I took several strolls down a runway, doing my little turn on the catwalk.
It was a full-on soiree, thrown by a group of clothing shops but led by the owner of one in particular, a place called “Sassy Boutique.” Said owner was a tiny little thing, with a great deal of attitude.
I feel this tale deserves a bit more preamble, lest I get put on some mailing list somewhere. I am one of the least racist people I know, and I’ve worked hard to become so. I do, however, recognize that there are slices of ethnic culture to which I am completely (perhaps even woefully) ignorant. This was one such event, as the attendance was 99% black, and I am 99.9% not.
My involvement came about innocently enough; my girlfriend at the time was working at a Tuxedo shop, and they had been invited to participate in this show. They needed menfolk. Being the proud owner of my very own penis, I met their qualifications and was asked, nay begged, to help out. I thought “Why the hell not?” It was perhaps not the hell my best thought.
We met at one of the ritzy downtown hotels, ready to do our thing. We got dressed and checked out the room. There was a catwalk set up, with stairs near the doorway to the “dressing room”, a smaller room that was filled with clothing racks a-plenty. A buffet of hors d’oeuvres was laid out, and a photographer was set up in one corner to take pictures of the guests. The event started an hour late, because every attendee got their pictures taken by the photographer. I was informed, quite seriously, that this is a "black thing". I do not know if this is true, or if my leg was pulled. (woeful, I tell you.)
There were tables set up with representatives of all the different shops, at which one could presumably set up appointments for fittings, shoppings, and the like. Some were in the room, some were outside in the hallway. One of the tables in the hall was staffed by very dour looking gentlemen in pinstriped suits. Brows furrowed deeply, they resembled pissed off versions of Sam the Eagle. A quick glimpse of their table card revealed to me that they were representing the Nation of Islam, which explained the giant portrait of Louis Farrakhan they had on the table. We headed back to the main room and got to “work”.
Blue feathery power, muthafuckas!
Sadly, the owner of the Sassy Boutique also served as the MC, reading off of note cards the names of the different models and fashions presented. She used the word “sassy” approximately 86,437 times. And had a slight lisp. “Ssasssssy. Thiss dresss is sso very, verrry ssassssy. Remember, when you look Ssassssy, you are ssexy. Ssasssy boutique, for when you want to be sssso, sssso Sssaasssssy.”
I went hither and yon in my tux, escorting models from the door to the runway. I made a game of counting the number of times I heard “Sassy”. Eventually, I took my trip down the catwalk.
I strode purposely, in my best military stride. I reached the end of the catwalk, and put one hand in a pocket, like countless Sears catalog models before me. I turned smartly around, and headed to the back of the runway. My tuxedo was described as…you guessed it…”Sassy.”
Boy...Dangerboy. That's shaken, not stirred.
At one point I found myself in the hallway, perusing the vendor tables there. My timing must have been inspired by divine intervention, as I was able to witness a truly fascinating exchange.
An older lady that looked like Fran Drescher’s mom from “The Nanny” had wandered in, resplendent in a turquoise sweatsuit, 10 inches of hair, and about a 3/8 inch layer of makeup, artfully applied with a trowel. She obviously wasn’t part of the event. As I wandered past the Black Power Presenters of the Nation of Islam, I saw her pick up one of the bean pies they were selling. (It’s a Nation of Islam thing...go ahead, google it. I'll be here when you get back. Back? Ok, let's continue.)
“Are these pumpkin piiiiiiies?” she droned, most of the sound bouncing endlessly in her sinus passages like echoes in the mountains.
The voice that broke the Alps.
“No ma’am.” A sharp response, delivered with dismissal.
“Are you suuure, they look like pumpkin piiiiies.” Her voice could have been used as a cheese grater.
“They’re bean, ma’am.” His eyebrows came together and seemed to harden, and if he'd glowered any harder she would have spontaneously combusted on the spot.
“Are you suuuure, it’s almost Thanksgiiivingk, and they look like pumpkin. I just love pumpkin piiiiiees.” She seemed truly oblivious.
At this point, the guy assumed a sloppy parade rest and shut his mouth, pasting an even deeper scowl on his face. He ignored her for another long minute before she finally shuffled off, all the while lamenting the lack of pumpkin pie.
Finally, the end of the Sassy Day arrived, and I trundled into the dressing room to shed tux for something more comfortable. Unfortunately, this appeared to be a sin in the eyes of one of the models, the super plus sized gal with a super plus sized attitude problem, who exploded into a tirade.
“What the hell is this scrawny white boy doin’ in here? I don’ need him lookin’ at mah bidness!” She continued in this vein for quite some time, repeating the phrase “mah bidness” as if to rival the sassiness of the day. She had truly embraced the sass.
I had actually been keeping my eyes to myself, and looking at the floor and my own clothes. It bears mentioning that her “bidness” was quite uninteresting. I’ve heard of “cankles”, but she had a “feck.”* (You can decide if that is face-neck or fucking train wreck.)
My girlfriend stepped up in the middle of her tirade, complete with neck wobble and finger snap. “He’s not into your business, dear, he’s leaving with me if you’ll shut your whore mouth.” She was met with applause from the other models.
We made our way out of the hotel, away from the rarified airs, and had a fine McDonald’s dinner. I looked her straight in the eye, smiled slowly, and said “I think my modeling days are over.”
I haven’t modeled since, but I’ve had some other adventures. And surely, to this day, I still shudder when I hear the word “sassy.”
*I’d like to thank my friend Ruffstuff for the coinage of the word "feck".
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
I've been making some tweaks around here, and I want to thank all of you who follow and comment and read and just drop by. I've hit that point where I'm ready to grow, but I'm going to try not to be annoying about it. Just do me a favor, next time you see something on here that makes you laugh...share it with somebody, OK? There's a nifty share button over there on the right that makes it easy. :) Otherwise I have to send out the emu death squad, and nobody wants that. Least of all the emus.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Welcome to another trip down Nostalgia Street. We’re going to set the dial on the time machine back to the 2600 days, and we’re going to get our feet wet this time. Actually, we’re getting soaked, because we’re visiting the lost city of Atlantis!
Atlantis is a classic stationary shooter, along the lines of Missile Command and Space Invaders. Your job is to defend Atlantis against the attacking Gorgons, and you have a whopping 3 cannons with which to do so. Like soooooo many 2600 games, there is no end to the game, it is a simple “hang on to life by your fingernails until you get a high score” kind of experience.
The city of Atlantis consists of a domed thing, a bridged thing, a blocky thing, and 3 vibrator things that strobe constantly. The central cannon is also part of the city, and all of these things can, and will, be destroyed by the descending enemy. If any of the items that make up Atlantis are destroyed, you get one (and only one) back at the beginning of the next wave. The 2 side cannons are permanent.
The Gorgon ships begin at a leisurely pace, slowly meandering on the screen from side to side. They must descend 4 times before they can unleash their beams of hideous screaming fucking death upon Atlantis, and in the first waves, it appears that the game might be ridiculously simple.
Having lulled you into a false sense of capability, that’s when the game goes into bend you over mode, and the enemy ships exist on the screen as flashes of color streaking by at the speed of “Oh, shit.” You have to predict when they will get to the spot your shots intersect their path, because attempting to react to them will result in a close encounter with lots of BOOM, of the you-fucking-loser kind. At times, it is like attempting to skeet shoot with an SR-71 at full throttle as the clay. This game gets a 6 on the controller tossing scale for that very reason. (That’s not a 1-10 scale, that’s how many replacement controllers you have to buy.)
The Atlanteans await their doom
One interesting feature of this game actually happens when you lose, which of course you eventually must. Unless of course you toss your controller and flip off the power for the umpty-fifth time.
When the last bit of Atlantis lies in bubbly ruin, you watch as a ship eerily resembling a Cylon basestar flutters off the screen. This is a direct lead in to the game’s sequel, Cosmic Ark, in which you play the survivors of Atlantis. To my knowledge, this was the first attempt at a sequel storyline video game. At the time, this was not “story” but a “marketing decision”. I’m not sure how well that worked out; I know that I didn’t play Cosmic Ark.
The soundtrack of this game was nothing more than a series of annoying beeps, signaling “wave started”, “wave finished”, and “you’re fucked”. There was no music, just that high pitched harpy screech beep of doom, leaving your parents’ ears to bleed if they stayed in the room too long. Children were oddly unaffected, giving rise to my hypothesis that they were actually some form of mind control code. Beep beep beep. Yes, master.
There had to be some mind control element to it, because I remember hitting reset over and over and over, striving for just one more destroyed Gorgon ship, for just a bit higher of a score. Or maybe it was just a fun and addictive bastard, far more fun than homework. Either way, I know that I wasted more than a bit of time pounding the fire button to defend my watery people from the Gorgon invasion on Nostalgia Street.
Monday, May 2, 2011
2) I think the news is of interest today. Osama. BOOM HEADSHOT. Mark Twain had this to say many years ago: “I’ve never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.” Yep, that's about right. Raising a Sam Adams Latitude 48 IPA tonight in honor of our Armed Forces past, present, and future.
3) I think Little Danger has unlocked some great thing that was waiting inside of me, the same thing that parents everywhere experience. He grabbed his spoon from me with great authority yesterday and fed himself for the first time, though I still had to load it up for him and help him with the concept of taking the spoon OUT of his mouth to get the next bite. This is the most ordinary thing, and yet in my mind it's fucking awesome. Also he is clapping when there is applause on TV.
4) I think when I post things like #3, I feel like some people are thinking "I told you so", and others are doing the eyeroll I used to do when parents told me these stories. I think I'm comfortable with that.
5) I think it can be wonderful to reconnect with old friends. Played the new Mortal Kombat for a few hours yesterday with two friends that go WAY back. One I hadn't seen face-to-face for 8 years. I was grateful that those years didn't loom like a grey cloud, they just were. We had fun, doing essentially the same thing we did even more years ago when we all lived in the same apartment. Sometimes it's fun getting your ass kicked for a while.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
And now for something very much less serious in nature...a true celebration of the season, and a song I can't get out of my mind every spring. (there are numerous joyous F bombs in this song. ENJOY.)