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Monday, October 31, 2011

5 Things I Think, the Halloween Edition

TRICK OR TREAT! Monday is here, and I think it's time to put my thinking cap on. It's the big conical one in the corner.

1) I think it was a rough weekend. Our cat, a member of the family since 1997, passed away Saturday. He'd been in declining health due to lymphoma, and even though I'd toughened myself against the inevitable, I found myself uttering the phrase "These are manly wracking sobs, god dammit." Wifefish and I wrapped him in a towel and held him close, scratching under his chin to be gifted with his last purr. We made him as comfortable as we could as consciousness slipped away from him.
I think he was the best cat I've ever known. If it's possible for a cat to sink low enough from cat-hood to care for human beings, he did care about us. I'm going to miss him.

He always was kind of a baby.

2) I think I'm connecting a bit too deeply with The Walking Dead on AMC. Granted, I'm not part of a zombie apocalypse, but it strikes me that any group of people up against an all-pervasive challenge will make some hard, tough decisions. Our current economy strikes me as paralleled by the's eating people's brains, and it's forcing us to make hard decisions.
Granted, the analogy falls apart under scrutiny, since the zombie hijinks are so much meaner and tougher, but I think generally the stress inducement and overarching despair are similar.

3) I think I saw an online ad recently for my dream job. Granted, that's not what they were selling, but I clearly need to work for these people. The ad featured an "in-home bra fitting" for women to buy lingerie. I think I could be a great fitter.

4) I think tonight should be a great night. It's sort of a parental rite of passage, a moment both anticipated and dreaded. It's Little Danger's first trick or treat. Yes, there will be pictures. I'm transitioning from handing out candy in large handfuls to roaming door to door.
And gang, I have a confession to make. I'm giddy that I get to go trick or treating again. This "being too old for it" shit has gotten stale, and it's time to roam a neighborhood and collect some serious candy! If I'm good, maybe Wifefish will let me have some before bedtime.

5) I think you should have a Happy Halloween, a Blessed Samhain, a wonderful All Saints Day, and/or a great Day of the Dead, whatever you may celebrate this week. I forgot about All Saints, and may celebrate tomorrow by watching the second Boondock Saints film and swigging Irish Flags (a great layered shot made with Creme de Menthe, Bailey's, and Grand Marnier).

Whatever you're up to, I hope it's a great week for you. Make it memorable!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Decade...

Today is a fantastic day. It is a day of greatness, a day that I look forward to each year. And this year, it's even better.

10 years ago, I married the most fantastic Wifefish in the history of the world. I married my best friend, my confidant, my inspiration. I'm a more complete human being because of it. I certainly hope that she's come out as well as I have in the bargain.

I can recall the very first moment I felt love from her, knowing I would always be safe with her. I'd pushed myself a bit too hard during a rehearsal, ignoring a case of strep that became scarlet fever. After the rehearsal, I lay on the stage with my head in her lap as she touched my hair, taking care of me. I went to the hospital afterwards, of course.

I remember proposing to her during a curtain call. I'd managed to get the whole cast of Into The Woods in on it, and surprised her completely when I popped the question. You know who has two thumbs and got a standing ovation for his marriage proposal? This guy. It was the beginning of a wonderful journey.

We've supported each other for a decade now. We listen to each other's dreams. We kick each other in the ass. We look forward together. We forgive each other when we do stupid shit. We play video games until 4 am sometimes. We have the occasional adventure.

I can think of no one who would, or even could, fit me better.

It's been a full decade of memory making, and I find I'm looking forward to the next decade with excitement.

Happy Anniversary, Wifefish. Let's have another awesome decade!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Five Things I Think, Oct 24

Greetings, gang. It's Monday again. Wow, I can almost hear the collective groan from you...or was that just my imagination? Here's my five for the day:

1) I think that overall I'm happy with the way the Haunt turned out. It's wrapped up, with a nice big closing weekend. We could have used a few more people on hand, but we nailed it with what we had. I was surprised by the number of people who couldn't finish it because they were too scared, which seems to me an odd proposition. I can understand bailing out of a haunt because it's no good, but being too freaked to keep going makes me wonder why they bothered to show up.
Or maybe my volunteers are just that twisted and scary.

2) I think the most perfect cure for stress in the world is Little Danger. Also, the most perfect cause of a headache. Funny how that works out.

Let's get this one!

3) I think I can't stand pumpkins. The smell, the taste, none of it. No pumpkin pie, no pumpkin seeds, no pumpkin bread. Conversely, I really like jack-o-lanterns and such. I just can't stand to be around when they're being made. As such, Wifefish is in charge of all pumpkin carving at Casa de Danger.

4) I think having to spend my 10 year anniversary with Wifefish away from her, on the highway, for 8+ hours sucks gigantic donkey balls. I realize that this entry on today's list is pure whining, but dammit, I'm gonna whine about this one. Dangerboy is displeased. Dangerboy also needs the money, and therefore will suck it up.

5) I think I may strangle the fabulous boss today. We're trying to figure out travel plans for the next month or two, and he's being as decisive as a pothead faced with a decision between twinkies or pizza. It's like a steering wheel in a pair of pirate's drivin' me nuts.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Trip Down Nostalgia Street, vol 11

The year was 1982. I sat transfixed in front of the TV set, joystick in hand. My pulse quickened. A light sheen of sweat adorned my brow. I furiously pressed the button, juking and jiving. I was going Berzerk on Nostalgia Street.

I am so glad that the fashion of the 2000's prediction was dead wrong.

Berzerk was an endless romp through a robot filled maze, dodging bullets while attempting to make it into just one more room and a higher score. The task was made easier by the laser gun you could fire back at said robots, leaving a trail of scrap metal wider than a Michael Bay film.

The robots were thuggish brutes, with exaggerated shoulders and thick, one-eyed heads. Granted, there wasn’t much the 2600 could do with graphics, so they may not have had an option. They were also complete morons, moving in predictable patterns and firing willy-nilly. Sadly, 8 year old me couldn’t figure that out; it was moron robots vs. inattentive kid. It is worth noting that 8 year old me would NOT have survived a zombie apocalypse, or even a zombie skirmish.

Behold the amazing graphics of the past, kiddies!!

In retrospect, this was a stressful game. Screen after screen of robots and walls, robots and walls, and more robots and walls. It’s like Bender’s maze of plenty up in this bitch, an insane asylum stocked with primitive cylons. Oh, and did I mention that touching a wall meant electrified death?

And then there was the evil twist, the surprise giant foe that could bounce right through walls, ready to crush you into a fine powder of shattered dreams and Fun-Dip. Evil Otto.

Don't Worry Be Happy? Nope. Be DEAD.

Seriously, what fucked up programmer creates a smiley-faced-beachball-of-doom as a foe? This is almost as crazy a villain as Chairface Chippendale, but without the funny.

Berzerk was certainly aptly named. In fact, I think it could have been called Apeshit or Suicidal, since the title was also the result of playing the game. It was my own little trip to Arkham Asylum, a short jaunt from Nostalgia Street.

PS: You can play Berzerk right HERE. Not that I recommend it, unless you're looking for an aneurism today.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Five Things I Think, October 17th

1) I think my legs hate me today. Running around like crazy for 2 nights running the Haunt, coupled with a 3.2 mile hike on Saturday with Little Danger strapped to my back, has left my lower limbs exceedingly pissed off. The hike was in a park we hadn’t been to before, and some sections of trail had a lot more verticality than I expected. We went up like a balloon and went down like a Kardashian. It was easily the most aggressive trail I’ve hiked this year.

Sweet, Haunt-y Goodness

2) I think Monday is flying by. I started this first thing this morning, and just looked at the clock…3pm. This is ridiculous, and obviously is part of some communist plot to steal a portion of my day to this thing called “work.” Given that I need some of that capitalist stuff called “money”, I guess I can’t really gripe.

3) I think you should check out Katrina Kittle’s blog. She’s an author I enjoy greatly, and is doing a great series of entries right now in which she posts a reason to be happy every day. This goes along with her recent book “Reasons To Be Happy”, which is a young adult novel but does not suffer for being one. I, for one, can use the reminder of the reasons I have to be happy.

4) I think I am a goddamn saint. The Village Idiot has been just killing me today with stupid. I had to kick her off the phones for the remainder of the day for my own sanity. Every workplace has one, ours is just clocking overtime hours for her brain cells lately. Prolonged contact to her occasionally makes me weep for the future of mankind.

5) I think, and I know some of you will judge me harshly for this one, that it’s been the kind of month that makes me want to take a day off, shut the home office door, and waste a day watching online porn and playing stupid online games. Anything that switches my brain to “OFF” for a day. Ever have a day like that?

Well, I hope your Monday didn't suck like a Peruvian aardvark. I GO!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

5 Things I Think, Oct 11

1) I think this whole pay cut thing is a giant ball of stress. While I’m glad I didn’t end up joining the ranks of the unemployed, the uncertainty of the next few months has me in a strange state of anxiety mixed with confidence. I don’t know how things are going to work out, but I have faith that they will. In the interim, Wifefish and I are seeking all opportunities for extra dollar bills.

Well, not all. I refuse to open Dangerboy Gigolo Escort service at this time. Or maybe I’m just holding out for a high bid…

2) I think the Haunted Trail had a good opening weekend. Which, frankly, I needed. I have a cap for the amount of stress I can actually carry around before I start behaving like an angry hippo.

It was a slow start, but that’s a good thing. We still had an inordinate amount of “carnage”: people ducking out halfway and heading back to the ticket booth, too scared to continue. Perhaps 8 of those in both nights, so we must be doing something right.

No pants-wetting yet, but we still have two more weekends.

Pro tip: if we say it’s too scary for kids, don’t be upset when your 10-year old runs out of a scene screaming. In any haunt, don’t ask the actors to “back off”. They won’t. They are there to SCARE YOU, and feed on sweet, sweet tears, screams, whimpers, and the spleens of those who pass out.

3) I think the Occupy Wall Street, and all the other Occupy protests going on, have the wrong target. They ought to be marching on DC. There will be no change in Wall Street unless and until corporate political sponsorship is abolished. As long as it behooves a congresscritter to create tax loopholes for their brother in law, as long as it is beneficial to get friends and relatives big fat government contracts and loans, as long as they pile on so much regulation that it’s cheaper to make things in China, then this shit will continue. Occupy the capital, and let’s get a real conversation going.

On this topic, a side-note…I’ve seen plenty of “other 99%” ideas, signs, rhetoric, and charts. The basis of these being that the “top 1%” has seen a disproportionate increase in their wealth. I don’t dispute that. But the chart I’m curious about is this: have they employed more people as their wealth has increased? Yes, the 24k employee of years ago is only 26k now, but is that rich fucker hiring more 26k employees than he used to? Nobody has shown me the answer to that question yet.

4) I think I enjoy not being relevant, as far as blogging goes. Well, not really…but this exchange was completely hilarious, and proved once again why I love the Bloggess. My absolute favorite bit there was “stand by for a demonstration of relevance.” We ALL want to put down “the man”, and it was nice to see Jenny whip a little ass on behalf of all of us who put our words out there on teh internets.

5) I think my douche-fu is downright mighty. An argument ensued this weekend between a douchecanoe and Wifefish over where cars would be parked. We were working a local festival and putting cars on my in-laws’ property, very close to said local festival. VIP parking, as it were.

The douche started in defensively as soon as I arrived, and I made a point of keeping the conversation short. He had, after all, given Wifefish a hard time and pissed her off with his obvious misogyny.

I provoked him by sitting in a camp chair in our lot, which he clearly couldn’t handle. After accusing Wifefish of heckling him, I told him, politely, to shove off, and returned to my chair. (She hadn’t “heckled”, she had merely won the argument.) Minutes later, he came charging over, asking to go over the “game plan.”

To make a long story short, I worked my douche-fu, inflating his ego at points and destroying him, politely, when he was demonstrably speaking false. He ended up giving us part of his lot for the next day, by way of apology. He was a veritable teddy bear for the entire day.

Kindness can kill, ladies and gents.

Well, that's 5 Things I Think...what are you thinkin'?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sculpting with Fire

I suppose that by now, it goes without saying that I enjoy some fairly non-mainstream hobbies. Nothing truly weird, like poking badgers with spoons or celebrity stalking, but I do enjoy things like foam fighting and firesculpting.

“What’s firesculpting?” asks the imaginary you in my head? Well, I’m glad you asked.

I first encountered this tradition many years ago at a drum circle, as I watched a small group of men with red suspenders and toolbelts hauling timber into the fire. (Toolbelts that held welding gloves and cans of beer.) Before long, they’d built a structure out of burning wood that resembled a dragon with wings made of flame, jetting from the holes of a hollow log.

It was awesome, and the not-so-tiny pyro within me said “That is some cool shit, right there.”

These men were the Firetenders, an integral part of the drum circle. They kept the light and the heat happenin’, and made some cool art while they did it. Hollowed logs, color-changing metals, and raw flame were their tools. Not only could these guys make fire from two sticks and a tinder bundle like Cody fuckin’ Lundin, but they could sculpt it into awesome shapes and lights like a backwoods Vegas show.

Copper Sulfate or boric acid soaked wood makes a pretty flame. And freaks people the fuck out.

Thus did I pay attention and learn the ways of the flame. It’s not enough to make pretty fire; you have to make it a spectacle: a thing worth watching. I’ve watched tenders catch falling flaming logs, ride a burning slab of wood like it was a mechanical bull, and build intricate green-and-blue-flamed monstrosities.

Hell, I once played an old Cuban drum that was actively burning in a bonfire. (It was old and crappy, but what a way to send it out.)

In firetending, as with much of life, there are things that must be understood lest you become toast. There are hot spots and cool spots. There are ways to shield the heat, even as you roll a big hollow chimney up onto bright coals. There are ways to coax the flame up into that chimney, so that it produces a jet engine afterburner torch.

Boots and gloves and sweat are your friends. Water is a must, lest you dehydrate. It helps, I think, to be a little weird. Fortunately, I’ve got that last part covered. In spades.

Dangerboy and a pair of chimneys in full afterburner mode.

Just like drumming, I’m nowhere near as good at sculpting as the true masters. But, just like love, you don’t have to be perfect to enjoy it. You just have to have fun and try not to get burned.

What kind of odd hobbies do you enjoy?

Monday, October 3, 2011

5 Things I Think, October 3rd

1) I think there's about to be some drama around here, unfortunately. We lost a monster account in a very harsh way, and it's leaving a crater in the Dangerboy bank account of Chicxulub proportions. It'll be interesting to see if we can hang on. And by interesting, I of course mean as terrifying as a walk through a cafeteria for velociraptors in Lady Gaga's meat dress. Adventures in budget slashing must commence.

2) I think it's Monday and I still smell soflty of woodsmoke from Saturday night's bonfire. Also, I am sore as hell. Why, you ask? Because I had a bit of fun firesculpting and drumming. It was cold, so standing in the middle of a fire wasn't too bad. I did forget to drink enough water, so I woke up with a fire-hangover. Mental dry out fast with your face to the flame.

Two chimney logs torching it up

3) I think I should write something this week to explain that firesculpting thing. Along with all those other things I should be writing. #1 up there has really put a dent in my free time.

4) I think I forgot to pimp out my articles at Sprocket Ink last week. I had one go semi-viral, over 4,000 hits. I've not had that happen before, and it made me happy. It's about 'shrooms, man. Toadstooly awesome.

5) I think I'm amazed that the Detroit Lions have been whipping more ass than a dominatrix on 2-for-1 Tuesdays. They're 4 and 0, which hasn't happened since the days the Lions played the Christians in Rome. I watched the back end of their miracle comeback on Sunday, and it was ridiculous. Between Dallas imploding and Detroit having a fire in their belly like me on Habanero Taco night, it was a hell of a game. I only bring this up because I've given Detroit some shit here on the blog from time to time. As my team is currently 0 and 4, or LOSING, I must begrudgingly tip my hat to the Lions for turning it around. Actually, keep it up guys. We all love the Bad News Bears kind of story. Take it to the bowl, and I will send you a stuffed lemur.

OK, that's a Monday. And what a Monday it's been. I hope yours is far better than mine, and brings you a thousand smiles.

What do you think?
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