So many words, so little time....

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

November Sucks...

Or blows, or something....

I'm a gamer, but because I'm also trying to have a grown-up life, it's not whether or not I can get a game that limits me anymore. My telling factor is getting time to play. Lately it's been telling me to kiss off. And thanks to the release schedule in November it's getting a little ugly around Chez Momgamer.

I finally got to play a little Gears 2 with my son (which I will keep offline for now due to EXTREME levels of humiliating suckitude), and he had to open the box to put it in. It had been sitting on my coffee table, just waiting patiently. I had to hide Valkyria Chronicles from myself because I don't think I have the self control not to do stupid things to my schedule to play it.

I've got eight games in a stack on the coffee table, among them Fable 2, Fallout 3, Gears of War 2, the aforementioned jRPG crack pipe. Top that off with the three more I just picked up (Left for Dead, Naruto: Broken Bond, and Need for Speed: Undercover). Still got Persona 4, Prince of Persia, and something else I can't remember off the top of my head to come here in the next few weeks. That list doesn't touch the ones that I'm not done with yet.

On top of all that I have that pesky job-thingy, a Thanksgiving dinner to plan, my daughter's importunate boyfriend to murder, and Guilder to frame for it. I'm swamped.

There are days when you just want to say, "Screw all of this. I'm going to plug in Coltrane and play Bejeweled until the world gets it's sh*t together." But you don't.

For one thing, my son still thinks cover is only for secret agents and in the bowels of the Burrow that will flat get you killed. ;)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

He speaks truth!

Fiction Rule of Thumb

Though I would let both Robert Heinlien and Frank Herbert off the hook as well. *


*hint for the un-XKCD-savvy - hover your mouse over the image and read the text that pops up for the extra funny

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

White Shirts...

I need to do laundry. Not just a little. I mean the dresser is empty sort of need. I need to do laundry like Blue Elf needs food. That means my traditional uniform of geeky t-shirt and jeans is being replaced today with something from the grown-up section of my closet. And since it's 80+ outside, it's a certain embroidered white cotton blouse. I only wear it a couple days a year, because that's all it takes to remind me why I don't wear it more often.

This thing doesn't just "get" wrinkles. It manufactures them to it's own fiendish specifications. No, that's not the best way to explain it. Manufacturing implies some sort of system or limits. This level of crease requires some sort of dark pact. I can just see it.

The moment I close the closet after hanging it up all straight and starched it begins the rite. By some sort of cottony osmosis it slouches to the floor, genuflects and then kneels in front of a secret shrine way back behind the shoe-rack and the outmoded monitor. In the deep dark of the night when the omens are most auspicious it begins to chant and offer up cedar and mothball scented offerings to its wrinkly masters. The dim light of morning peeks in the crack under the closet door. With its need sated by the Creased Ones, it is exalted and lifted back onto the hanger to revel in its return to it's natural corrugated glory and await my bleary-eyed summons.

With all the embroidery and my usual 5am stupor as I fumble it out of the closet and get dressed it's more than possible I'll get all the way to the harsh purple light of the cheap fluorescents in the elevator of my office building before I realize the state that it's in. By that time there's nothing for it but to keep going. I can try to steam it a bit when the walking group in my office hits the showers in the locker room after their daily stride-and-gossip sometime around mid-morning, but for now I have a meeting with the coffee machine and an errant mail server. I'm stuck in my furrowed shirt for the duration.

Then the trial-by-coffee begins.

There's that old truism about how if you wear white you'll always spill your coffee on yourself. Happens to everyone. What most people do not know is that this is not a passive problem. The shirt isn't just lying there across your chest waiting for the coffee to strike the first blow. They bow and square off at the center of the mat when you start to pour, and then every sip is a silent struggle along every tight corner, jostling step and distracted sip. Cup after cup, the battle will rage until one is consumed or one is stained.

Like any good soldier, it has its squad mates. It won't trust just any old garment. It needs a grizzled old veteran of many-a-skirmish and today it's got the best. The white camisole that goes with just about every outfit has it's back, as it has for many a sharp young prospect that has fallen before. Its ability to take even a full cup black coffee strike and then survive the Bleaching brings it back from ignominious defeat time and time again. Behind the scenes keeping everything together is the serviceable but perky white foundation known as "Wires".

The usual coffee and tea tag team called in it's own big guns. The whole seed German mustard from my lunch sandwich made a solid effort but missed its strike and hit the pants leg. There is little damage to the highly defended denim and what is there gets cleaned up with no trouble. An afternoon yogurt tried a drop off the left side of the spoon but was caught in the other hand.

The day done and the battles won, the shirt basks in the sunlight on the way across the parking lot. In the dishwasher sits the vanquished coffee cup, shaking its handle at an uncaring sky and vowing to return to fight the next day.

Once home, the weary combatants head off to the Dryvel bag to down a few, share old stories and maybe manhandle their way through a dryer-dance or two with that lacy demi-cup that everyone thinks is so hot while I shrug myself into that disgraceful old yellow sweatshirt I won't wear out of the house even just to get the mail and toss in a load of laundry.

Monday, January 07, 2008

One of THOSE days...

I've been having one of those days. Those days that make you realize that if you did, Diety forbid, run into a dragon today they would not only win but they would go on to win $10,000 dollars on some Funniest Videos type of show with the footage of your fight.

It would help if this morning had not actually started out yesterday. I spent most of the night working on an article, and I was deep in the toils. I looked up at one point and noticed it was 4:45am and said several unladylike words. I needed to get this done, but I should probably have not gotten quite that enthused about it. To add insult to injury, I had to get the girls up for school at 5:15 this morning. They were going in early for some project or other. I would have gotten annoyed with myself then, but at that point it didn't really matter. The difference between the two times is only half an hour.

May as well be hanged for a sheep, so I don't bother to go lay down. I make some coffee and burn four pancakes and the back of my right hand before I get the pan heated properly. The girls are wakened by the smoke detector three minutes early. They grumble their way into the bathroom while I stand there fanning the front door until the baensidhe embedded in the ceiling stops wailing. It wasn't too bad, so it only takes a few swings. Hopefully the neighbors just turned over and pulled their covers up over their heads for another hour.

The next pancake comes out just right and I settle into the flipping groove. I don't get to eat any of them, by the way. I'm fasting for some blood tests. I'd forgotten that, but one of the girls reminded me with a bite halfway to my mouth. I think back and realize that I'd accidentally followed the plan anyways by zoning out when I sat down to get some work done right after I got them off to bed the night before. I get them on their way, and then I hit the shower and head off to the doctor's appointment.

I had an asthma attack week before last and I've been fighting this cold that's going around ever since. My head's still really stuffy and the fever just won't stay gone. My doctor has gotten paranoid again so she asked me to come in and do some labs for her. It's one of those "we'll fit you in" type of appointments, though. I should have known better. Two and a half $*%)@* hours later, the nurse practitioner calls me in and we do the traditional measurements thing, and I hand her the lab request form the doctor gave me. She still makes me repeat everything I told the doctor last week and everything the doctor told me last week while she dutifully writes it all down again. She pokes me in the tongue and performs a couple other indignities and then she leads me off to the lab.

She waves as she leaves and I sit down in the Marquis de Sade school desk thing. It always makes me feel uneasy, and not just because they've basically parked me here to wait for the phlebotomist. That's just not a word anyone ever wants to deal with. Besides, the chair sits disturbingly close to the little door that I happen to know is a direct line into the men's restroom that's on the other side of the wall behind me. It's so the guys don't have to haul their samples down the hall and around the corner. I approve of it's purpose on principle, but it makes me uneasy. In all the years I've come here I've never had it happen, but I just don't know how I'd react to a hand reaching through the wall and setting a little cup half full down right next to me like that.

Three and a half fidgets and two uncomforable wriggles later, the lab worker comes in carrying a long box. I would ordinarily ask her what that was, but by that time I honestly didn't want to know. I just wanted the heck out. She leans it against the far side of her station, and starts pulling on a pair of gloves. Remember the box. It'll be back in a bit.

She starts her round of indignities while we discuss today's current events. Which I know nothing about because I've been trapped in their waiting room all morning. Seven different vials of blood later, she turns to get a roll of Coban to hold the cotton ball into the crook of my arm and she knocks the long box with her elbow.

This whole room is no bigger than a minute, and is lined with shelves full of odd glass and plastic things and small white paper boxes with strange words all over them. Whatever was in that box must have been somewhat heavy. It knocks into a shelf over us and we both sit in a shower of enigmatic medical stuff. Most of which is very light. It just sort of rolls across the floor until it looks like Hypocrates was playing Yahtze in there. It's the "most" part that gets us. On the shelf are two glass beakers full of the solution they use to test to see if you are anemic. You know, where they poke your finger and squeeze a drop into what looks like a glass of Romulan Ale? One of them hits the edge of the shelf below just right on it's way down and the cover comes off and the contents splash all over both of us.

Well, that stuff isn't particularly nice for you, even when it hasn't been used yet and is not full of sunken droplets of other people's blood. It's also not nice to the brand new shirt I just got for Christmas. Cue several minutes of Keystone Cops hysteria as they try to figure out if the stuff is still considered a biohazard if it hasn't been used yet and trying to make sure I don't have any of it left on my skin. I head home to change clothes in a t-shirt from my gym bag and stew in the scent of yesterday's workout and scorched ego through the traffic, which is moving at half the speed of smell. This was NOT in the schedule.

I jump into the shower. After I'm done, I make the discovery that my younger son has apparently gone into spring nesting mode or something and in his preparations to go to work has managed to use all five of the towels that were clean and folded on the back of the toilet and taken them into his room. I drip my way down the hall to the other bathroom to get a towel and then head to my room to change. Finding that I didn't have any work clothes clean to wear just made the moment all the more special. Punt with a vaguely suggestive game t-shirt I got at a convention and a sweatshirt that I have no intentions of taking off all day and head out the door yet-a-fargin'-gain.

I finally get into work at nearly 11 to be greeted with my favorite passive-aggressive customer service rep who has decided that I managed to cause this customer's problem via etheric transmutation or something and is pissed as all hell that I wasn't there to fix it immediately. After looking into it and showing her where she already had the solution to the PEBKAC in question if she'd bothered to read the technical support materials she's had sitting proudly on her desk for over two years, I go hit the kitchen for some coffee.

The pot's empty. While I'm making a new batch I stand at the counter trying to organize my To-Flail-At-To-No-Effect list into a To-Get-At-Least-This-Stuff-Done list, with the occaisional uncharitable thought about burlap bags and a deep pond nearby. I bag waiting on the coffee maker and make a cup of tea.

It's all for naught anyways. I get to my desk and open my email and find out that a group of people we used to offer a discount to we don't anymore effective last Friday but they forgot to tell us. Tee hee. That means I have to hand-hack every single one of their customer accounts so when their renewal notice comes out it won't break on them. Not complex, but there's just enough of them to be a total drag but not enough of them to bother with coding a tool to do it for me.

So instead of getting done what I was supposed to get done I'm getting dragged through the bowels of these accounts. That takes me until after six. All along I'm swilling tea and realizing that I forgot to eat lunch when I was at the house. I come up with several more festive variations on the whole burlap bag thing above. Then I get to start on what I should have been doing five hours ago for another project that was due last Friday.

I have no illusion the pint of blue mush serving as my brain today would pass current, but you would think the accumulation of caffiene would eventually spark some sort of chemical reaction in the gray matter that might aproximate functionality. So far no luck. I was just trying to eat a chocolate coin someone brought into the office as a treat for everyone, and I forgot to take off one side of the foil before putting it into my mouth and biting down. Eeeaauggghhh! You know how it feels when someone runs their fingernails across a chalk board? Imagine that feeling with your teeth.

On that note, I think I'm going to head out. The server I was using started getting really sluggish. That happens when you've got 200 GIGS (yes, I meant gigs) of Recycle Bin. Maybe Microsoft needs to make a new icon for "Take Cover, She's Going to Blow!" levels of full wastebasket on your desktop. It's been at it for fifteen minutes and the time estimate for how long it's going to take this poor neolithic creature to clear it's mind is still going up so I think I'll exit stage right.

I have to get home and feed the kids to something anyways. After the towel stunt, it's going to be something large and toothy.