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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Thank You Mister Postman!...

Postman, the author of the Sententious Vaunter, has seen fit to pass on to me the "From Me to You" award.

The way this one works is that you, as the recipient, are to share seven truths about yourself and then pass it on to seven more bloggers so that they may wash, rinse, repeat.

Kinda fun.

I thought that I would try to dream up some self truths to send out that I think many of you may not know about me. let's see how this goes...

1. I have four cats. Granted, the first three came with a free roommate as a sort of package deal but, well, there you have it. Four cats and a roommate, all female. Yeah... Sometimes that is scary.

2. I am an intensely spiritual person. Most of the time. Well... Quite often anyway... Alright, it has been a few years but I am working on it damnit! Let's call this one a truth in progress.

3. Terry Pratchett is one of my all time favorite authors. I sincerely doubt that is a surprise to many of you. The truth I am getting at here is that I have always had trouble deciding whether I prefer the Witches books or the Vimes books. They both appeal to so many (and such different!) parts of my mind.

4. I look good in orange. I have no idea why this should be so and, frankly, I refuse to actually wear it regardless. Nonetheless I am told that it is really quite fetching on me. Go figure.

5. As a child, I was apparently incredibly social and happy-go-lucky. Just goes to show that the person you knew as a child is not necessarily the person you will meet as a man. Just sayin'.

6. I follow two comics online... Questionable Content and Looking for Group. I have tried getting into others and I just can't do it. If anyone can work out what the two have in common, please let me know. If you know of another that has the same element involved, shoot that one my way as well.

7. I have two brothers and a sister. The brothers are roughly two and five years younger than I am. The sister is seventeen years younger than me. Let me tell you something. When, at 17, your mother tells you that she is pregnant there is only one possible reaction that you can have.... "You are WHAT!??? What the... Wait! You have SEX!!!???? ::vomit::"

And there you have it. Seven truths from me to you.

Now to pass it along...

Let's see... Seven worthy bloggers share this joy with.

1. Nik - I have to admit, I am somewhat curious as to what she will come out with for this so onto the list she goes. If you haven't yet, you can find her at Nik Cubed.

2. Tracy Lucas at The Wandering Brain. I haven't seen much from her lately and what I have seen has been far too serious. She needs to loosen up so hopefully she will have some fun with this one.

3. Pirates dig Chicks who Blog author, Jenn because I think she will have fun with it and I am all about the fun.

4. Melanie deserves the hell out of this so I am going to hand it off to her at The Dying Art of Keeping House.

5. Since I don't think I have seen her get this one yet (or at least I haven't noticed her doing her post for it), Joan Crawford from Things I Yell at You needs to be heard more. I miss her yells when she goes away for a while.

6. Because he is someone else I hope to hear more from, Nathan, my friend from Along the Pathway should write one of these. He invariably has good things to say so hopefully he will find time to do this post.

7. Finally, because I do indeed have a masochistic side (and trust me, I will be getting punched for this), I am going to use this to poke Manda. Her blog at About the Journey has been slow in taking off and is meant to be somewhat professional but, maybe, she can spin this into telling some professional truths. We will see.

Once again I want to say thank you to Postman and bid those mentioned to have fun with their own versions of this.

Woot! Finished! Next time I only get to tell one truth. Heheheh (insert shifty grin here) Now to close with a quote!... Hrmm...

The truth is rarely pure and never simple.
-Oscar Wilde on the pure and simple truth-

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Awards! Ten things...

Okay. I am a little bit late in getting this one posted but I wasn't happy about how it came out the first time so I had to step away and try again. Let's see if it comes out better the second time around.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have seen a number of people win blog awards from their fellow bloggers. In the comment section of one of these blogs, I asked how one would go about getting their blog entered into the running for one of these awards.

Little did I know that anyone would take me seriously...

Long story short, Jenn over at Pirates dig Chicks who Blog saw fit to grace me with the Creative Writer Award (Thanks Jenn, you made me giddy! Or at least you made me what passes for giddy in my world.) which, as I understand it, means that I get to tell you all about ten things that make me happy then pass the award on to the next person so that they can do the same.

I think that this is a neat little graphic for this whole business. Kudos to whoever put it together and started this out!

So anyway, on to listing things that make me happy. I am going to list these in no particular order so number one may very well be number five and so on. (Hey, I have to keep up some of the mystery or I may lose my indefinable* mystique.)

(*For those of you who are scoffing at the word indefinable you can all bite me. :p We can talk later to discuss where and how hard.)

1. RPGs or (for the uninitiated**) Role Playing Games. In this category I am grouping things like World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy, Shadowrun, Vampire the Masquerade and of course, the classic, Dungeons and Dragons. The genre is virtually endless and stretches from tabletop to computer; console to Live-Action. It is a wonderful escape from reality and a great time to be had with friends or by yourself. I mean let's face it; sometimes you just want to pretend the world doesn't exist. This beats trying to replace reality with a small trout.

(**You poor bastards)

2. Music! Just about any genre stemming from just about any era, I love it. Admittedly, I have more like for some than others but there is something to appreciate in just about all of it. Seriously. You ought to check some of them out. Hell, you may even want to sing along!

3. Friends. I don't have very many and the ones I do have are spread out and, mostly, far away but they are the stuff that makes getting through the days possible. I figure that there isn't much more for me to say on this particular topic.

4. Theater. Now, what I am referring to here is not exactly going to see shows but, rather, being involved in them. I have done musicals, plays, improv, tech, design and once (after a very long and vaguely terrifying night) writing. I have been absent from the theater world for a number of years now but it really is only a matter of time before the bug comes calling again and I am forced to dive back in with little to no regard for the consequences.

5. Believe it or not, cooking is going to make this list as well. I am not the best cook by any means and I will never be considered a chef but the things I make, I like to think I make pretty damned well. I enjoy puttering around with spices and believe recipes are meant to be loose guidelines. With that in mind, if you ever find yourself faced with the opportunity to taste something I have made, I recommend that you jump at it. If it sucks it will suck a LOT but if it is good, it just might be something you will try to duplicate.

6. Oh gods, books. I love books. Books books books books books. I can't sleep in a bedroom without at least some books nearby. My home is filled with books... Every room has it's own selection there to be perused or devoured. (Yes, every room.) Did I mention that books make me happy? And, oh yeah, books!

7. Projects. I like taking things on and conquering them. I try to learn new things all the time and explore what they are about and, eventually, become competent with them. I find that as a rule I do pretty well and reach competency fairly quickly. The two notable exceptions to this have been gardening and painting. Do not, under any circumstances, ask me to help with your plants or your painting. It will go horribly wrong. There are no exceptions to this rule.

8. Philosophy. I like to think and I like to talk with other people who think. Can't help it. It is the very definition of good times to me. Many are the times when conversations that were meant to be casual have carried on well into the next day. I love (and miss) those times.

9. Religion. Very similar to philosophy but on much less broad of a scope. I am what you might consider a theological philosopher. I like to learn about beliefs, rituals and histories and how the three are (or oftentimes are not) related. I have my own belief system, thank you very much, so I have no need or desire to be converted to yours. If, however, you find yourself open to a lengthy discussion on the merits of rituals or truthfulness of history, give me a call and we will find time to sit down when I don't have to be at work for a couple days.

10. For the final thing that I like and makes me happy I am going to be somewhat vague but I will site specific examples. I like community. I take joy in the sense of community I get when I am socializing with my friends. I enjoy the community I am privileged to take part in when I am around my apartment complex. I love (and occasionally long for) the sense of community that comes when a group of performers works together over any measurable length of time.

::Deep breath::

Phew! There it is! Ten things that make me happy without regard to order or preference. Gosh, listing things off like that is harder than it has any right to be.

What's next?... Oh yeah! I have to pass this little award on to someone else... Oh boy! there are so many deserving folks to choose from! I think I am going to tag Jerry, who has just started posting on his own blog over at Does This Look Normal. Have fun Jerry and for fuck's sake, allow comments already, would ya? Just go to settings, click on comments, click "show" and then figure out the rest. You are a big boy. I am sure you can do it.

Anyway, I will chat some more at you all sometime soon. I just found out I got another of of these to go through so that will be coming soon and I have another old movie review in the works that I think you will all enjoy.

Be good!

We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.
-Frederick Keonig-

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I am going to spend just a moment talking to you about seasons.

I live in Austin Texas which means, basically, that the seasons consist of Spring, Summer, Cedar and Crickets.

Before now I have spent a year in Tennessee where the seasons are something more along the lines of Spring, Summer, Post-Summer and Grey. (Grey only lasts for around a month in case you were wondering.)

And before that I spent twenty-odd years in Connecticut which has the more traditional Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.

Allow me to slowly induct you into today's rant. (I will keep this as brief as possible.)

This last week has been pretty nice here in Austin. Saturday and Sunday were both in the seventies (which happens to be my prime comfort zone) and Cedar was fading into an unpleasant memory.

Now this shit!

We have just plunged from gorgeous spring weather into mid-Autumn, a season that doesn't even belong in Texas let alone during March!

Sights like this are one of the few things I miss about living in New England. I may have to look into taking a leisurely trip up there to play tourist some day.

Seriously folks, Complete with leaves falling off the freaking trees!

This is not okay.

I mean, I miss having an Autumn. I miss the crisp air and colorful leaves. I miss the piles of fallen leaves and watching kids jump into them. I miss the smell of Fall blending with pumpkin pie and hayrides.

But this is March in Texas! It needs to not happen now and it needs to never happen after a Spring tease like the one we just had!

I have a porch that needs to be planted here Universe! Knock it off with the bullshit games and give us back Spring already!

Okay. I am done. I feel better now.

Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.
-Henry David Thoreau-

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Hey, check it out!

Guess what I did today/tonight.? (What is the proper punctuation when you are telling someone to ask a question in response?)


I went out with my roommate and was actually social!

I left the house for reasons other than work (which is something I have been avoiding lately due to being just plain freakin' tired) and went to a friends house where there was visiting and eating and making of clay pots and sharing of knowledge and, in the case of my roommate, cutting of plants.

I must remember to tell Nate that he can make a clay casserole dish. Also, I think that I may be significantly more excited about it than I have any right or reason to be.

To be honest, it was moderately exciting. (Alright, it is also a little bit sad that something so simple is a source of excitement in my life these days, but so what?)

What is more, is that the night didn't end there! When we got home we actually sat outside on our porch and visited with one of our neighbors for a couple of hours!

How cool is that?

We are trying (with a modicum of success I might add) to forge a community here in our little world and being outside visiting seems like a damned good time and a very definite step in the right direction.

Since I simply can't get through a day without my computer, (Trust me, I know exactly how sick and sad that is. Cope.) I also spent a few minutes on the intarwubs surfing the blog-o-sphere and made a new friend here too!

Since she is the only one with a viable web presence, I would like to go ahead and introduce you all to Sonshine (whom I shall be referring to as Sonny, henceforth) from Sonshine Thoughts. She seems pretty cool so far and I want to go ahead and publicly congratulate her for reaching her one-hundredth blog posting! To commemorate the occasion she is having a contest of sorts wherein she will be giving away a handcrafted owl to the lucky winner.

Phew! That was a lot to spit out after a busy day!

I think I shall go now into the Land of Lullaby for a few hours. Have a great night/day/evening or whatever other part if the day in which you fond yourself reading my ramblings!

Words not only affect us temporarily; they change us. They socialize or unsocialize us.
-David Riesman-

Friday, March 12, 2010


Being positive is not necessarily something that comes easily to me.

I find that it takes a good deal of work for me to maintain a positive outlook on life. Quite often, it seems, this fact makes it appear that I am a pessimistic individual who finds no joy in life.

I want to make it absolutely clear just how far that is from the truth.

Certainly, it is true that I don't go around singing about sunshine and roses. Likewise, it has to be said that my outlook does not lend itself to expecting the best out of situations. Life and the Universe have made it abundantly clear that such expectations and attitudes are unwelcome and will be punished severely.


I take a great deal of joy out of the world. I laugh often and whether you see it or not, the happiness that I feel is real and present.

I hope for the best. Despite the repeated attempts of the Universe to smack me back down into the pits of despair, (Don't even think about trying to escape.) I go through life day by day hoping for good things to come. Rather than spend my time dwelling on the worst possible outcome to a situation, I choose to be prepared for either eventuality but to maintain a cautious optimism that the best case scenario may turn out to be true this time.

Disappointment is no bar to progress. Each time I fail to be surprised by wonderful outcomes it reaffirms for me that, one day, the tables will turn and I will come out on top.

I strive to improve my life and my situation and hold on to an unwavering resolve that one day I shall persevere.

Coincidentally, I also work at building up the attitudes and perceptions of those around me. (Albeit with varying degrees of success.) I offer support to those in my life who need it while tempering it with occasional and poignant doses of reality. (Just to keep them in check. As I said before, cautious optimism is the way to go here. Blind optimism only leads to deep and disturbing mental cracks.)


I guess I just wanted to say that those people who don't know this about me would do well to learn and those who do, well, I suspect that you are in the minority and would appreciate your help in straightening out the rest of the thick buggers around who are still in the dark.

What? I can end with two quotes if I choose to. I think both of these deserve some thought from each of us from time to time.

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.
-Edith Wharton-

Friday, March 5, 2010

Don't Panic!...

A while ago it was suggested that I do reviews for books and movies and the like in an effort to bring people's attention to some older titles that deserve to be looked at.

Well, it's that time again... Time to focus my attention (and therefore yours as well) on a book that should be (and often is) considered a classic.

The increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhikers Trilogy which, when all is said and done, consists of five books and a short story.

But Frank! If there are five books (and a short story I remind you) how can it be considered a trilogy?

In answer I can only say the following; Trust me.

How can I describe to you the majesty of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?

The Hitchhiker's Guide tells the story of Arthur Dent, an Earthman turned hitchhiker when the earth is destroyed in order to make way for an interstellar space byway.

It also tells the story of Ford Prefect, a friend of Arthur's hailing from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Beetleguise and not from Guildford as he had previously claimed.

It follows along in the footsteps of Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed three-armed former President of the Galaxy who has abdicated his position in favor of stealing the Heart of Gold, a spaceship equipped with the most powerful propulsion system ever devised; The Improbability Drive.

The book tells the story of Tricia McMillan or Trillian, an astrophysicist who became a Hitchhiker after hooking up with Zaphod at a party and realizing that the Earth had nothing more to offer her.

Oh yeah... There is an android named Marvin too but he is sort of depressing so I'm not going to tell you too much about him. Don't worry, he completely understands and will probably just stand in front of the engines when we fire them up so that he doesn't have to think about himself anymore either.

Most importantly, however, it is the story of that singularly outstanding book, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the most important reference for any interstellar hitchhiker and the masterpiece of the great publishing houses of Ursa Minor. The book that reminds us in large, bold print right on its cover; Don't Panic!

So slip in your babel fish, grab your towel and sit back to enjoy a hilarious and sometimes senseless trip to the stars in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

On the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much - the wheel, New York, wars and so on - whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man - for precisely the same reasons.
-The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams-