Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


Grandpa's Fish Story

I love this story of my grandpa's. I begged him to tell it again at his birthday party even though I didn't have the voice recorder ready. Here's the story:

Grandpa was fishing on White Iron Lake where his best friend had a resort. My dad was along, just a boy. Grandpa was using 10-pound test but hooked a big fish. He fought the fish for a long time but couldn't get it in the boat (my dad says it was too big for the net). Grandpa slowly worked his way back to the dock, where he tells my dad to run up to the lodge and "Get the .22."

That's right, they were going to shoot the damn thing so they could land it.

Unable to find the .22, dad runs back with a ball peen hammer.

Wouldn't you know, they landed that fish. With a frickin' ball peen hammer.

I love that story.

Labels: , ,


Busy Day

In addition to generally catching up on things work-related (or at least making some headway), I also:
  • confirmed my brother is not dead in a ditch somewhere, just swamped with his surgical rotation
  • made a dentist appointment for Kate (can't get in until November 19th!)
  • made a doctor's appointment for Kate (needs immunizations updated)
  • arranged with my mom to send Kate to her house for Labor Day Weekend visit
  • made three Flexcar reservations
  • arranged to return Kate's defective shoes to Land's End (second try with these, same problem both times, getting a refund this time)
  • took Kate to 6th Grade Orientation at her new school building
  • went grocery shopping for the first time in weeks
I still have to arrange to have our washing machine fixed, replace the garbage disposal, and mow the weeds before the HOA notices them, but I really felt like I made some progress today. I'm very much looking forward to being home, eating my own food, sleeping in my own bed for a while.

Labels: , ,


Back from Ely

Grandpa and Grandma
Originally uploaded by Nikchick.
I didn't blog much about my plans for Minnesota on the off chance that my grandpa might hear about them somehow. Unlikely as that was, I knew that if I didn't say anything I couldn't screw things up. You see, several months ago my aunt and uncle began planning a surprise party for my grandpa's 90th birthday and I dropped everything and arranged to be there as soon as I learned about it.

Immediately after GenCon I grabbed up Kate from her dad's and headed back to the midwest for a week. My family really pulled together for this one and we had an excellent showing. We were only missing one grandchild (my brother, who is deep in the middle of his surgical rotation and just couldn't get away at all) and two great-grandkids (teenagers who are already in school or who just started college and also couldn't get away). My aunt JoAnn's daughters (Kim and Connie) came, along with Kim's husband Larry and Connie's five-year-old daughter. My Uncle Jack's kids (Johnny, Josh, and Jen) came, along with Jen's husband Chris and their young daughter. Kate and I represented for my dad's branch of the family and all three of my stepbrothers (Jon, Mick and Erik) along with Mick's wife Jenny, whose wedding I attended last spring. There were also any number of close friends of my grandpa and extended relatives that I didn't remember at all who came out for the event.

Grandpa was completely surprised. My uncle had told him they were going golfing ("I'm the caddy," my grandpa chuckles. He accompanies Jack around in the golf cart but doesn't golf himself) and pretended that he'd grabbed "the wrong clubs" and had to go back to the house. Up they drove on the golf cart into an applauding crowd, to my grandpa's astonishment. He's not the sort of guy to cry but he did seem pretty choked up for a bit and he looked me in the eye and thanked me for "making the trip" more than once over the weekend. I wouldn't have missed it for anything.

We had a lovely time. Kate got to spend time with her uncles canoing, swimming, paddle boating, playing games and just generally goofing around. She got to meet second cousins, first cousins once removed, and even more distant relatives (some of whom are honorary aunts and uncles who are lifelong family friends). I got to spend time with my grandpa and also with my cousins (and their cousins), walk around town and see just how much things have changed since I lived there as a kid, and generally enjoy the place.

Kate and I came home toting souvenirs of the trip. I stocked up on wild rice, made a couple of trips to Zup's for potica, pasties, and all manner of brats and sausages (which they kindly packed up for me and I checked as baggage because the box was so big!), and pigged out on walleye, Nut Goodies and "hot air" candy. I took many photos and even got a couple of voice recordings of my grandpa talking about how he learned to drive at age 10 because his dad had gotten the family a car but no one could drive it (nor could they speak English!) so it fell to Grandpa to learn, and my dad talking about the time he and his friends (all of 13 or 14 years old) drove their snowmobile through the ice on a lake and the "hilarity" that ensued. I didn't get as many stories recorded as I'd hoped but apparently my Uncle Jack has a couple hours of tapes that he made a few years ago so I'm hoping I can get my hands on some of that eventually.

Doubly exhausted and twice as far behind as I was before GenCon but it was worth it. So worth it.

Labels: , ,


New Laptop

Ok friends and techy sorts, if I'm going to get a new laptop, er, notebook computer, what should I get?

What I want:
  • a machine that can connect to my home network, even from (gasp) upstairs on the other side of the house
  • a machine that can run Firefox, iTunes, and Quickbooks at the same time without choking to death. Double plus bonus points if I can also have a PDF open and Trillian running at the same time.
  • a machine that doesn't require me to buy all new software
  • a machine with some decent amount of battery juice
  • a built-in CD or DVD burner for making back-ups
  • a touchpad (instead of the nubbin, which I loathe)
  • something that weighs less than the 7lbs of Thinkpad I'm currently carting around (but now we're into optional niceties)
I don't intend to play WoW or Halo or even Pirates of the Burning Sea on this machine. I don't need it to take photos, make movies, render EPS files, or dance the polka. I'd like to be able to watch a DVD when trapped in the airport. My needs are relatively few, really.

So? What do you folks recommend? I want a big ol' hard drive and enough RAM to run multiple programs at once, because that's how I work best. And what about Vista? I bought a machine with Windows ME years ago and man, I don't want to relive those horrible days. XP has always worked fine for me on the PC side, and I never really got a lot of experience with OSX because I switched to PC when Mac was running 10.1. Lead me, oh wise ones.

Labels: ,


Food Photos

Originally uploaded by Nikchick.
I've put up some food photos from this week. The GenCon 2007 photos are in another set, but this is how I ended my day of horrific travel: pizza at Tutta Bella in Columbia City (olive oil, fresh figs, proscuitto, and chevre is the "pizza of the day" this month) followed by some Nutella sorbet and a shot of espresso.

I feel better.

Labels: ,


Annual GenCon Technology Meltdown

Sorry for the abrupt departure, my laptop decided to die several little tiny deaths while at GenCon. Randomly freezing up, randomly restarting itself, randomly giving me a blue screen and spewing messages about memory dumps and "contact your administrator" ans so on. Stupid anti-technology aura...

Summary: GenCon was great, the ENnies voters were incredibly generous to us again this year and we're buoyed for another year. The response to our Hobby Games: the 100 Best book was incredible and people seemed very happy with Paragons, Pirate's Guide to Freeport, and the other items we had at the show. Oh, and Indianapolis still smells like piss.

My red-eye flight TO Indy went exceptionally well but I paid for it in my trip home this morning. Chris seems to be suffering as well, though we were on separate flights and he's not made it home yet so I don't have full details.

In my case I'm pretty sure when I booked my ticket I did NOT pick the middle seat in the very last row of the plane, next to the toilets. Somehow, that's where I ended up, though. And since everyone on the plane was coming from GenCon with giant bags of stuff, I couldn't put my carry-on anywhere but at my feet which meant I couldn't recline and I couldn't stretch my legs for the entire flight. Chris was jealous that I had a non-stop flight, but it was non-stop suffering. Especially since one of the guys sitting next to me was on the large side so that he overflowed into my seat, used both armrests, and generally crowded me the entire time. I know he wasn't trying to crowd me but it still wasn't a pleasant experience. It got worse when he turned on his headphones and even over the noise of the engines, the noise of the flight attendants crushing ice and whatnot, the noise of the three new BFFs in the seats across the aisle who talked and played card games together for the entire 4 hour and 40 minute flight... even over all of that other background noise I could hear this guy's music. Clearly.

So, I decided it was time to listen to my own stuff and loaded up an audiobook on the ol' iPod Nano (Ol' being figurative as I've not even had it a year...) and turned on the noise-canceling earbuds I bought this year. Except my iPod never even got to play the first word of my new audiobook! Nope, it froze between screens and wouldn't do anything else, not even shut down. My hefty neighbor offered to "help" but after prodding it uselessly a couple of times he handed it back to me with a "sorry". I tried to fire up the handful of songs I keep on my Palm for emergencies like this, but no go. Something's wrong with that program and the songs couldn't be found, blah blah. I'm growing more desperate so I struggle my laptop out and see if I can fire it up, plug in the iPod and maybe get it to reset. As I'm struggling to use the computer in the small space I'm provided, my neighbor pipes up again to suggest that if I have the cable for the iPod I could do what it is that I'm dong. I tried not to be rude but I was really NOT in the mood. Sitting crosswise in my seat with one arm wrapped around myself as if I was trying to put myself into a headlock or something, I was finally able to get the laptop fired up and connect the iPod but it made no difference. I had iTunes on the laptop but no music loaded, so I couldn't even listen to something that way... which was for the best I suppose since after 10 minutes of running on battery power (and despite having been constantly plugged in at the hotel for almost a week) it warned me that I had no battery power left and demanded to be shut down.o

At that point I gave up. My anti-technology aura was in full effect and I did not want to bring the whole plane down, as it was packed with WotC, WizKids, Privateer, Green Ronin and other unknown game industry professionals. Could have decimated the game industry in one blow!

I also discovered that Northwest now only offers food if you pay them $5 for a "snack pack". The flight was almost five hours long and they didn't offer so much as a complimentary pretzel. Lame and lamer.

The airport was a madhouse today, with luggage for four or five Northwest arrivals all coming through on one baggage carousel. After a very long wait for my suitcase I got out to the cab line and it was a mile long. I didn't even try, just went over to Shuttle Express and miraculously, that only took 20 minutes or so (people I knew from my flight were still standing in the cab line). Another 20 minutes and I made it home. Now just waiting on Pramas. I left him a message on his cell phone to warn him about the cab line and whatnot. He was scheduled to be on the ground by now but with our luck today, who knows?

Labels: , ,


GenCon Evening

Booth traffic was constant and busy throughout the day with a few occasional well-needed lulls. Had another fabulous day. Funnily enough, had something of a run on True20 products and several people came up to ask me how GR felt about the 4E announcement. Attended the so-called "WotC/Publishers" meeting, where we found out that many people (self described "not publishers") were attending because of their eagerness to find out what was going on with 4E and the D20 license. More on that when I've had a chance to digest.

Dinner in the Marriott restaurant, found out that you get Marriott points for eating in the restaurants! Score! Wish I'd known that prior to the other two meals I've eaten here, but whatever... good to know. I'm SO into my Marriott points. The Marriott has never failed to treat me like a queen.

ENnies in half an hour... better get ready.

Labels: ,


GenCon 2007 Day 1

Opening Day. Apparently we have things people want to buy as we had the best first day of GenCon ever and two products have yet to show up.

Hobby Games: the 100 Best are on the table, though, and it looks sweet. Authors have been coming by to pick up their copies here at the show and between that and the excited response we've had to the Wild Cards announcement, I've been pretty darn pleased.

The announcement of 4E has been met with mixed reaction so far. Lots of excitement about the digital initiative and the online tools from some but less excitement about the subscription model and the retail/distribution chain is rightly skeptical that this is going to do anything good for their business models. Guess we'll see. GR has been making plans for some time now based on the signs we'd been seeing and so I'm fairly unconcerned about the impact any WotC 4E events will have on those plans. It's been a bit like those Dogfights they reenact on the History Channel, where everything moves so fast you can't actually target the other jet... you have to calculate and target ahead of where you think the other jet is going to be by the time you can get your bullets there. Not that we're shooting bullets at WotC, but it has been a couple of years of looking ahead and trying to predict.

Wish I could write more but I have to run to the bank again before the hall opens. We're desperately short on small bills... and I still need coffee. Oh how I need coffee.

GenCon = Awesome so far. Having a great time. Laughing myself to tears.

Labels: ,


No Plan Survives...

In Indianapolis. Yesterday was a pretty good day all things considered. I flew in on a red-eye flight in order to be here for "Trade Day" which was originally advertised to GenCon exhibitors as taking place on Wednesday afternoon. By the time I arrived Wednesday morning, this had been whittled back to an hour on Thursday. This meant that three of us had come in earlier than we needed to (kind of a bummer, I would have skipped the red-eye, for example) but it was also good in that it allowed us to have the entire day to set up without rush or worry.

We originally were supposed to have nine new products on the table here at GenCon but inevitably things go wrong. Two of our products were mistakenly sent to Ft. Wayne instead, so we hope they will be here (where they should be) by tomorrow morning. Two other products are still on their way but I expect them today, perhaps even this morning. All in all, things definitely could have gone worse with the product flood.

Last night we planned to have dinner at India Garden but discovered it has closed since last year! Bummer. We had a perfectly fine meal at Rock Bottom Brewery instead, and then headed over to the Diana Jones Awards. I hadn't planned to stay out as late as I did but it was great to see people, many of whom I haven't seen in years. I laughed myself to tears multiple times during the night.

I planned to meet Pramas with his room key and badge this morning before going over to set up the cash register, which I didn't get around to yesterday. Unfortunately, Pramas is still stranded in Detroit (a story for him to tell). When I arrived to set up the cash register, I found that the key no longer turns on some of the necessary functions (such as reports and tax programming) and so I must run out to find a new one. The hall opens in half an hour.... I've found a Staples not too far from the hotel and typed this while waiting on hold to find out if they had cash registers in stock. They do! Yay. Here I go!



Bird of Prey

Hawk 1
Originally uploaded by Nikchick.
I wasted a good half an hour this afternoon watching this beautiful bird of prey when I should have been preparing for my GenCon flight tonight.

Not sure what kind of bird of prey this is (Cooper's hawk maybe?) but he made a kill right outside my kitchen window and spent a long time toying with his prey on my fence before finally settling down to eat every last bit of the poor, unfortunate sparrow. The little bird wasn't dead at first and struggled for a while, ever more feebly.

When he was done eating, he hopped down into the brush, shielded by fences and trees, spreading his wings and fanning his tail, hunkered flat against the ground in a patch of sun. I couldn't get a good photo angle on that from the window but it was pretty spectacular.

Now to finish my last minute packing and arrange for my taxi. 12:55am flight with a connection in Minneapolis. Yuck.

Labels: , ,


Weirdness magnet

Woke up very early this morning to find a young man parked in front of the house. On the hood of his car, he has a large stack of USA Today newspapers and he is methodically going through the stack and tearing off top right corner from all the front pages. He works his way through the stack, puts the torn corners on the driver seat, walks the stack of cornerless papers to his trunk. He walks around to the passenger side, grabs another stack and starts the whole process again.

No idea what that was about.

Labels: ,


Back from camping

Roasted corn
Originally uploaded by Nikchick.
We had a good time. I've posted many photos. We

stopped at Carek's Meat Market to buy beef jerky
fell in the creek
set up the tents
played horseshoes
made quesadillas on a hot rock
fire roasted corn
listened to the Mariner's game
roasted marshmallows
threw around a football
explored the woods
found a ruined log cabin
couldn't see any stars, let alone shooting stars
learned our air mattress leaked
got rained on
packed up
stopped at The Old No 3 for chicken fried steak

All in all a pretty successful camping trip even if it did end with us getting rained on and having to leave early. We're damp, dirty, full of scratches and scrapes, smell like a campfire, and personally I'm glad to be back in my warm, dry house. We've vowed to try one more trip if we have good weather in September.

Labels: , , ,



Earlier this summer Jess was lamenting that he's been too busy to get out camping the last couple of years, breaking with a tradition that goes back to his teenhood. "We should go!" I enthused. The single time I've been camping here in Washington was with Jess (and several others of his now-scattered clan, including Patrick and Patricia, early in their relationship... they're two kids in and living in San Diego now but those were good times). "How about when Kate's back and Chris is in England?" I suggested. Miracle of miracles, that lined up with a free weekend for Jess as well.

I'm putting coffee in the thermos, sleeping bags and backpacks have been laid out and we have an abundance of tents. It's only overnight but it's going to be sunny and 75 degrees today, and tonight, well away from city lights, we should be able to see the Perseids meteor shower. Kate's bringing the telescope she got for her half-birthday and she's already loaded up her camelback. I think I'm just as excited as Kate.



Busy Day on the Narc Squad

Man, these area kids are pissing me off. Apparently, I'm pissing them off, too, since the last carload of dumbshits I scared off yelled "asshole" and "bitch" out the window at me on their way out.

Earlier today, two cars full of idiot kids decided that merely hanging out in front of my house, smoking their blunts and booming the bass wasn't enough. These two groups of geniuses were squealing their tires and peeling out up and down the street, screeching at high speed around the corners in front of the little kiddie park. There are a lot of young children around here who would have been run the hell over had they been innocently crossing the street or coming around the corner at the wrong time. That one got reported and license plate numbers have been taken down.

When I was outside with the Flexcar bringing some packages to UPS, I noticed TWO used condoms had been discarded into the gutter at some point, probably last night. Fucking disgusting.

So, tonight, when I woke up at 1:00am to the dulcet tones of yet another carload of kids and their telltale coughing, I lurked in the darkness at my open window pondering what to do. They were being noisy enough that they'd woken me from a sound sleep but not "noise complaint" noisy. They were sitting in their car on the street, not trespassing in the park after hours or something actionable. I couldn't see how many kids there were in the SUV but there were at least three and possibly more which put direct confrontation off the table. As I sat there, listening to the female vegetarian driver loudly talking about eating a piece of steak in some vegetable soup by accident (fascinating as it sounds) her cell phone rang and through coughs she started giving directions ("No, it's a little kiddie park, on a corner. Where did you just turn?") I yelled out from my dark house that they'd better move their party off somewhere else and oh no she was NOT going to bring more people out here. That gave them pause. I heard her say "Did someone say something? I thought I heard a white lady yelling at me," to which I yelled that indeed I WAS yelling at her... and she'd better take the party elsewhere. I was not Miss Popularity but they wasted no time getting the hell out of dodge, cursing me over their shoulders.

All this is on the heels of me going out and shooing four fucked up young men out of here on Monday. A couple of them were quite drunk or stoned or both. Another was very loud. There were Doritos bags and Pepsi bottles littered around their car, which was parked right in front of my house. I couldn't help myself. I came down off the porch with my most polite yet stern Mom voice and said, "Young man, is there any one of you who is not fucked up right now? Maybe you would like to take care of your friend here, he seems like he probably shouldn't be driving around in a car. And could you please pick up your trash. Don't forget that Pepsi bottle..." Unlike this most recent group, I got a round of "Sorry ma'ams" from the ones who are decent kids who still respect their mothers while the kid who was the most messed up started fighting with his friend to put the trash back on the ground. The two sane and rational kids told him to stop being stupid and bundled him into the vehicle, saying "I told you we were being too loud!"

I've been threatening to get some floodlights that I can mount on the house and point in the direction of the street. If I turned a spotlight on those cars, you can bet they'd scatter like roaches.

Labels: , ,


Summery Girls' Night

I'd planned to have most of the day off today so I could go pick up Kate for the weekend but her dad was heading down to Vancouver, WA anyway so he let me know he'd just drop her off at the house. This left me with a few hours free to play Guitar Hero. Won the game on Medium (complete with encore) and jumped up and down like a fool when one of the songs I unlocked was YYZ. Rush geeks unite!

Kate walked in while I was rocking out and started jumping up and down with glee. I've told her she can play as much as she wants tomorrow while I'm working.

Because I'd already reserved the Flexcar for the day we decided to go out to the movies together. There's not much that I'd want to see in the theater at the moment but we did catch No Reservations. It is definitely NOT a movie about Anthony Bourdain's show on the Travel Channel, though the main characters are chefs. It was PG-13 and Kate and I had seen the trailer earlier in the summer and given it a tentative thumbs up, so we went ahead. Kate was hilarious. She looked around the theater and counted a total of 4 guys ("husbands or boyfriends" she declared) and the rest of the theater was women and girls. I was not the only mom out with her young daughter tonight, either. "Yep, that was definitely a chick flick," she declared on our way out. When did my daughter become so worldly wise?

This weekend: camping!

Labels: , ,


Another day down

As I write this, Pramas is ensconced in a British Airways jet and halfway to England, where I hope friend and stranger alike will take good care of him. He's gone until Monday night. I leave for GenCon on the red-eye flight Tuesday and he'll follow a day later.

What does Nikchick do when she's all alone on a weeknight?

Shops for hay, treats, litter and toys for bunnies
Has Mexican food for dinner
Takes advantage of an unexpected sale to replace the 10-year-old, thread worn blanket on her bed
Picks up a book from the library
Plays Guitar Hero II on Medium
Watches reruns of Animal Precinct

I'll bet you can just taste the excitement, huh?



Past and Present

Young Kate
Originally uploaded by Nikchick.
My ex- found this photo of us circa October 1996, when a young Katherine and her parents were attending the UBC Botanical Garden's Apple Festival. That's Kate, checking out an apple that is nearly the size of her little head.

Our lives now are completely different than they were then. Completely different than the lives we would have sworn lay ahead of us from that point in time.

Katherine starts middle school in less than a month. Even though I try to be aware and maintain a sense of time passing, of Kate growing and changing and progressing towards her adulthood, every now and then something unexpected like this photo drops out of the blue and takes my breath away as I'm struck by such measurable evidence of fast the time has gone.



Perception vs. Reality

Scanning the headlines, I noticed this article about the Rainier Beach Safeway (which is, apparently, "plagued by thugs"). This is the Safeway I often choose to shop at, bypassing the Safeway on Martin Luther King which is older, smaller, more poorly stocked, more dilapidated, and occasionally has the scary drug-addled panhandler guy roaming aggressively between parked cars and wildly extorting people. If this newly renovated, brightly-lit, spacious, clean, well-stocked Safeway is the "scary" Safeway, I'd really love to know what these people would think of the one that's closer to my house.

Obviously people have been attacked or there wouldn't be a story. There are police reports and victims of crimes that can be listed. Even so, it was a total surprise to me to hear it. I've never seen anything approaching a gang of thugs haunting that Safeway, have never been approached by a single scary drug-addled panhandler, have never witnessed any crime of any sort. I've never felt anything but perfectly safe in my trips there.

JVA over at the Mid Beacon Hill blog has more. JVA and I agree, Beacon Hill is seriously underserved for amenities; apparently, though, JVA is so freaked out by reading the Beacon Hill News Police Log that driving to Buriento shop seems like a reasonable alternative! Wow. I have to say, I'm not to that point. In fact, the violence reported in our area overwhelmingly involves people fighting with people they know, or gang rivalries. When the story starts, "41-year-old man and woman were camping in a vacant lot..." or "A woman complained that her estranged husband (high on PCP) had threatened to kill her..." it doesn't make the violence any less awful but it does put it in a different category for me. Camping out in a vacant lot carries a different risk than going to your local Safeway, even if they're in the same zip code.

I'm definitely not going to start driving to Burien for my groceries is what I'm saying. I do think I may have to adjust my perception of the area.

Labels: , ,


Checklist: Broken

Sound on Chris's computer. CHECK
Washing machine. CHECK
Garbage disposal. CHECK
Water cooler. CHECK

Chris's toes. Probably just badly bruised... we hope.



Weekend, go go go!

Been a busy weekend so far. Friday I went downtown thinking I'd get tickets for the Bourne movie, with plans for Chris to meet me after work. To my great surprise, the theater was packed to the gills and at 7:00 lines were almost out the door and the 8:00 and 9:00 showings already sold out. Yowsa. Scrapped that plan and went to the Can Can for a cocktail or several. Met a totally insane chick and thought I'd have a chance to write that up but I just didn't have the stamina.

Yesterday was our long-awaited dinner date with Bruce, who was in town for a few days to attend a wedding and had made time to get together with us. We congregated at R&C's, the wine and cheese and barbecued meat flowed all evening and, clutching our stomachs after a final dessert course of Tim's excellent cheesecake, we tried to cap the evening with a little MST3K but I think Tim was the only one who didn't nod off at least once. We rolled home late, drunk and fat and happy, having had a completely fun evening catching up with Bruce the Traitor. He needs to come visit more often!

I'm making another stab at seeing the Bourne movie in a few minutes, after which Chris heads off to a punk rock double-header. He fell on his foot yesterday morning and managed to turn three of his toes a dark and ugly shade of purple which isn't the best for standing around at a punk show, let alone two punk shows. He leaves for England on the red-eye on Wednesday and I'm hoping they don't cause him much trouble on his trip. After Bourne and whatever else today holds, it's all GenCon prep and household chores until for me. I could easily fill all my available hours with Green Ronin-related tasks but I also have a planned camping trip with Kate (my second weekend with her of the summer) and I can no longer put off house maintenance: lawns must be mowed and bushes trimmed lest the HOA get twitchy again, I have to figure out why Chris's computer no longer has sound, and both our washing machine and our garbage disposal have blown up. I'm handy enough I can probably replace the disposal on my own but the washing machine is going to need a professional.

One of these days I'll get back to cooking anything decent but not in August.



Today was a crap day. McAfee broke my internet and I spent several hours on the phone with various tech support people who were purportedly trying to help me fix the problem. Of course, because it was ME (anti-technology field intact) things were complicated, technicians were stumped, and eventually I (and half of Pakistan) had to call it a day.

I managed to get back online through a miracle that came about through swearing, copious applications of red wine, and forces as yet unknown.

I was going to write up this really interesting (to me) comparison of how the conservative anti-witch Christians read Harry Potter (example one), how Time Magazine characterized the series ("Who Dies in Harry Potter? God"), and this guy's argument that the whole blessed thing is just one big purposeful Christian metaphor, beginning to end.

Instead, I found that what I had energy for was watching Moviefone Unscripted. Bruce Willis and Halle Barry (who used to be neighbors) talk about their movie but also just shoot the shit, with Willis looking off camera and asking "Should we be screwing around like this, like we're still neighbors?" There's some element of put-on, of course, but seeing Rupert Grint talk about his real life arachnophobia (where he blushes at the mere thought of encountering a spider) and Emma Watson saying "Not that I'd wish anything bad to happen to you but I'd really like to see that..." well, it's all so unexpectedly and refreshingly human. I'm basically shy and at core, a big ol' introvert. I'm no sparkling conversationalist and my best stories are those about things that happened to my friend Ray. I've been meeting people who others consider celebrities (especially in the game industry) since I was a teenager and I'm fairly jaded to celebrity in that way. Still, that's not to say I wouldn't love to be at a cocktail party or a Dinner for Five where I got to listen to people who have had entirely different life experiences talk about those aspects of their lives.

And so, I find I'm hooked on Moviefone Unscripted. So sue me.

Labels: , ,


"Would you" addendum

You and your new significant other are taking a vacation together. It's the first time you've tried to take a vacation that includes the five children you have between you.

You've been at the lake for less than 48 hours.
  1. Your four-year-old has to be taken to the ER for stitches in his thumb after playing with the eight-year-old's pocket knife.
  2. The son of one of your relatives has to be taken to the ER for 13 stitches in his leg after your new SO somehow slashes him.
  3. Your seven-year-old has to be rushed to the ER (where transport to a cosmetic surgeon in the nearest city is recommended) after she falls and rips her lip open on a branch.

Would you be put off vacationing in the woods?
Would you see this as a bad omen for your relationship?

I'm really glad this is not my own vacation I'm talking about, let me tell you...