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this is where my life is at right now


I'm sitting in a McDonalds 20 minutes to close attempting to send a scan of my drivers license as a fax to Amazon, who has suddenly decided that I'm invalidated and is not letting me use Amazon Payments to pledge/pay for any Kickstarters I've backed. I'm changing from my work shoes into my sneakers because I'm about to walk home since my car has decided it doesn't want to start. I just can't deal with that right now so I'm going to make other arrangements through Thursday and then I'm flying to Maryland to visit my folks. I'll deal with that car when I get home. Possibly with a hammer.

Apr. 3rd, 2014


I made a joke about an empty LJ friends feed on twitter but jguzman helpfully foiled that. Then I implored everyone to post to their LJs, and no one did. That's okay though. That's fine. I'll be the stupid one.

It's nearly three in the morning and I am awake after sleeping for mmmmmmmmaybe about three hours tonight. I normally would just be going to bed right now, but I get to do a few opening shifts starting tomorrow, so my habits are busted. More importantly, I'm finally nearing the end of a now five week saga with my teeth, where a routine cavity on my lower back tooth on the right (#31, if you're nasty) has now turned into a root canal I will be undergoing in seven hours. It's my first! And I am somehow more apprehensive about it than I was about the wisdom teeth extraction I underwent last year.

The last week or so of this ordeal has layered nervous money issues on top of my regular ibuprofen inhaling dental issues, as what was a planned for and budgeted procedure has ballooned into a rent-threatening out-of-network monstrosity. When I'm not lying awake in pain, I'm lying awake in debt fretting.

I'm skipping out on work to have this procedure done tomorrow, which, aside from hopefully resolving the whole pain issue, is the best thing about all of this. Not that I don't like being at work (I don't DON'T like it), but as the person on the management staff with the most flexible schedule, it's nice to finally be the one to say "Hey, work around MY shit" for once.

Feb. 9th, 2014


Over on The Twitters, @jennatar linked to a LifeHacker article about storifying your to-dos, which seems like a) one of the few actual "lifehacks" reported on by that site and b) a glimpse into a frightening world. Immediately I thought back to the refreshingly-mediocre Will Ferrell film Stranger Than Fiction and its world of predetermined lives and third-person agency. The idea that I'll do something simply because I wrote that I will have done it is ludicrous, but I'm also the kind of person who orders mozzarella sticks at any restaurant that puts it on the menu, because "that's what I have to do." So I understand why it makes sense. I just don't trust myself to make good decisions, even 24 hours in advance.

All of that is half-joking hand-wringing though, masking the fact that I don't lead the kind of life that has a schedule anything like the one described in the article. I am not comically rushing to and fro, juggling balls and spinning plates, attempting to make sure everything gets done. Professionally, I don't have the type of job that requires that. Personally, I don't have the type of willpower to toss even a ball. Sometimes I don't even bother putting a pile of spaghetti on a plate, let alone spin it. The unfortunate truth of my life is that I need a hack to jump start it, not fine tune it.

IRC funtimes


<wolve> wtf does DOA5 have anything in common w/ zombie games?
<karobit> a near-criminal disrespect for the intelligence of the player?
<kazara> The word "Dead" in the title?
<karobit> the realization that the true monster is man?
<kazara> Sequels to both keep coming out?
<karobit> scientifically and anatomically speaking, their extremities shouldn't be able to move as much as they do?
<kazara> A large roster of characters you don't care about and simply want to kill (again)?
<karobit> installments on an island beach?
<kazara> The characters exposing enough flesh to garder an "M" rating?
<karobit> both have restraining orders against tomonobu itagaki?
<kazara> They're made by soulless corporate machines?

That thing


At least once a week I end up doing that thing where you leave work and drive until you get to your house and then you just sit there in the car in the dark motionless sometimes swinging the door to the car open or other times staying hermetically sealed inside completely unwilling or unable to get up and go to the front door and let yourself inside your own home not because you're tired but just because if you go inside that means you've gone home and you're one step closer to going to bed to getting up to going back to work to doing everything all over again and it's a little too much right now right in that moment that you're sitting in the car hoping none of your neighbors notice you.

Kitchen Stadium


Hi LJ.

I tried to make fresh pasta the other night. At 4 am I was rolling out dough and then it all lumped together and got too floury and I threw it all in the garbage and went to bed angry.

The end.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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It was a flyer for a gym, too.


He stumbled towards his car in a mild daze, ready to go home and let the accumulated grief and stress of work slowly shed off of him the way an unattended popsicle melts off of a stick. As he closed the driver's-side door he noticed the obstruction on his windshield, a strip of thick paper laid face up, unreadable from his position behind the steering wheel. He briefly considered reopening the door, getting back out of the car, and removing the unwanted advertisement, ensuring a safer driver home. He turned the key and buckled his seatbelt instead, unwilling to let someone's indiscriminate attempt at earning his business upset the his plans for cretinous slothdom. He wasn't on the clock anymore. He wasn't getting up for anyone.

It took to the first stoplight for the flyer to annoy him beyond comprehension.

As he waited at the intersection he felt the assumed stares of his lightmates. The illogically infuriating state when he can feel the eyes of strangers on him and his predicament and he burns with the expectation of them informing him of his predicament, as if he didn't know! They're just being helpful, why is he so angry? It doesn't matter. Behind him one lane over, a man revved his motorcycle repeatedly, peacocking for the lady with her arms around his waist. The light lasted forever.

As he accelerated with the flow of traffic, he decided upon the Wiper Method, turning on the windshield wipers in an effort to dislodge the flyer. He smiled to himself as he imagined the flyer floating off to smack the motorcyclist in the face. He turned on the wipers and watched the flyer go back and forth between him and the road. As it reached the peak of its arc, the paper would briefly catch the wind and gyrate wildly, but only for a split-second before the wiper descended to the bottom of the windshield. After a half-dozen cycles, the wind caught the flyer and tore it loose, but only a half-inch of the tip. Now it was a torn flyer in his windshield.

He killed the wipers and focused on getting home, when he realized that the combination of the torn flyer, the wind, and the speed of his car was causing the loose end of the paper to flap rapidly, billowing at such a rate that it created what could only be described as the World's Longest Fart. He looked to the adjacent lanes and hoped no one would notice as his car let loose a flatulence noise the remaining four miles home.

2012 Games


Armed with Giant Bomb's nearly comprehensive yet maddeningly difficult to sort database of games, I set out to compile a list of games wot I played in 2012 in the hopes of perhaps naming my personal GOTY. What this list ended up breaking down into was a) Games I Played and b) Games I Only Bought. This didn't really surprise me, but what surprised me is which list was longer.

The ListCollapse )

Some thoughts:
Read more...Collapse )
Now we’re left at my top three games of 2012.
Read more...Collapse )

Oct. 22nd, 2012


I'm never in a great hurry to disembark from the plane so I normally just head for the rear and take an aisle seat. That was my strategy on the flight to Chicago on Friday, and it worked in the sense that I found an empty row with an available aisle seat. However, as the plane slowly filled and more and more sad, desperate people made their way towards me, I began the subtle interview process that one does when looking for a seatmate on a flight. This interview is conducted purely through facial expressions, scowls and smirks, widened-eyes and hastened dartings away. When someone finally came up to ask, a middle-aged couple who looked like they had strong, sustainable bladders and mouths that would stay the fuck shut, if these seats were taken, I started to rise saying "Of course not." But as the words left my mouth the flight attendant behind me said "Actually those are being saved for a father and son." Flustered, I slumped back down, letting out a "whoops" to the now-distrusting couple who instead sat across from me.

The father and son were the last ones let onto the plane, apparently having had stopped to get the kid an ice cream cone that he ate throughout takeoff. They had transferred from another flight in somewhat of a hurry because the dad realized right after sitting down that he had left the iPad on that other plane. His son was distraught. "THIS IS A TRAGEDY," he exclaimed, as his father admonished him to lower his voice. "They have to stop that plane!" A stewardess was flagged down and informed of this national security issue and the iPad was rushed across the terminals to the sticky palms of that six year old.

Being seated next to this kid was honestly not that bad -- aside from the semi-frequent elbow nudges as he navigated Perry the Platypus through some game and a couple awkward head nozzles on my upper arm, he kept to himself fairly well. His dad did have to reprimand him a few times for rest his feet against the seat in front of him, not out of deference to that seat's occupant but out of concern for the iPad's screen, resting in the seat's pocket. In those instances when he wasn't using the iPad, he was reading a collection of Uncle Scrooge comics that I was incredibly envious of. I looked, trying extremely hard to look like I wasn't, all over the collection, attempting to figure out who published Scrooge comics in that size -- later I realized it was a German-translated release.

Aug. 19th, 2012


I'm fine, of course. If I wasn't, this would be a much different sentence, at a much earlier time, maybe spoken on a hastily cobbled together Google Voice call or something. But no. Back in high school, when I lived across from campus, I would jaywalk across the residential street that separated us, rather than backtrack to cross at the light, and I would get just fed up with the cars that seemed to freak out at my presence in the middle of the road. "Don't they get it," I would say. "I know where they are and how fast they're going. I'm not dumb. All they have to do is keep doing what they're doing. If I'm in trouble, they'll know." This path of least resistance divulgence is something I still live by, clearly.

In the interest of consolidating storytelling.

It's nearly midnight. I'm walking home from the grocery store on the corner, less than a half-mile away. Over-ear headphones are on-

"You should always leave one ear off," Officer Cordova tells me later which, of course, yes, Thanks for the advice.

- a bag of groceries in hand, I'm listening to Idle Thumbs discuss Space Engine. I cross the parking lot of my apartment complex onto a small path that leads between a few of the buildings as well as one of the pools, when I notice the shadow of someone behind me. I move to the left so he can pass, but he bumps into my right shoulder regardless. We turn to face one another, side-by-side and I mistake his deliberate stare with the look a person gives you when he expects that you know who he is. I rack my brain to remember him but by then, he's stepped back a pace and pointed a gun at my chest. He says something. I mutter something like, "jesus" and I reach for my back right pocket. I pull out my wallet and hand it to him, then I pull the phone out of my left front pocket, podcast still playing and hand it to him with the headphones. We look at each other. "Yo, I'm hungry too," he says.

This was funny. Like something Omar would say. I wonder what movie he saw it in.

I set the plastic bag on the ground.

"Which way did he run?" the police ask me. "Do you know which way he went?" I grimace and look away when people ask. He was the one with the gun pointed at me. Why would he run?

"Walk away." I freeze. "Run." He begins to count, and I run.

My boss asks me at this point, "How fast did you run?" I can't even bring myself to give her a dirty look. "How fast do you think, Carole?" I'm not sure she even realizes what she asked.

I get out of line-of-sight, a building now between us, but I've run away from my apartment. I go a long way around, trying to make sure I don't bump into him again, calmly go inside and immediately dial 911, A miscommunication loses 20 seconds to the dispatcher believing a home invasion is in progress. The officers arrive. I tell my story repeatedly. I take them to the scene, now just a darkened pathway, a sad plastic bag on the ground. "These are the groceries?" they ask. It's 12:20am. My pint of ice cream is thawing on the ground. "I guess he wasn't as hungry as he thought."

Aug. 18th, 2012


It wasn't until about twenty minutes later, after I'd made the phone call and walked them out to the scene and we were back in my apartment. He asked me to go over, once again, what had happened and I said words that sounded practically fake, like I was lying. The realization that they were true, that when I told the officer, "and then he pointed the gun at me," I wasn't making anything up, was overwhelming. I guess that's when the adreneline was starting to wear off. I reached for the stool and leaned against it, taking a few breaths before I continued telling him my story.

I've sat here at this open window every night for the last week or so with absolutely nothing to make my fingers move. I'm not a Natasha Bedingfield song though, so I've just gotta get through this.

All hands on deck


There's a thing that will happen sometimes when I realize I'm not quite sure what I'm doing with my hand. The body is a complex machine and a conscious brain can't possibly keep track of it all, and that's great. I don't want to have to think every time I take a breath or blink my eyes. But the flip-side to that is that I won't think about the hand that my face is propped on as I watch TV or sit at a table in a meeting, until I do think about it. And then all I can think about is what a weird position for this hand to be in. What does it look like? I hope it doesn't look like I have my finger in my nose. I should shift it. Yeah, that's better, except now it looks like I'm taking my pulse from that spot where the neck meets the chin. Is that actually the spot? I don't know a thing about anatomy or how to check my pulse. What is a good pulse, even? Maybe this is the spot and I'm not feeling anything because I'm actually dead. No, that's stupid. Wait, what's my hand doing now? It's holding my face by the fingertips? Am I giving myself a Vulcan mind-meld?
That's a thing that will happen sometimes, if I let myself think about it.

lights out


I've never been a fan of the break room at work. It's always dirty, which can mostly be attributed to all of us, the employees, because apparently none of us know how to clean up crumbs or throw away old food or basically not be horrible garbage heaps, but also because everything feels like its covered into a thin layer of dirt, like an outdoor basketball hoop after a dust storm.

Years ago, we had trouble with the sink, trouble that will still pop up occasionally when we get a new hire who doesn't believe us when we say that the drain doesn't have a garbage disposal, and the sink turns into a hobo's bathtub. Once it got bad enough that we had gnats in the summertime. Christmas decorations stayed hanging from the ceiling tiles for two years, The coat rack has coats belonging to people who probably haven't worked there in over half a decade, and the vending machines are serviced by a guy who comes once every three months and fills them with expired food.

That's not really why I don't like the break room. I just don't like other people. Is it too much to ask for some me time during my lunch break? Must I make small talk to everyone? Ugh.

About a week ago one of the fluorescent bulbs in the break room started going bad. It isn't consistently out, but 4 our of 5 times, it is. No one is quite sure whose responsibility it is to fix it: Do I task janitorial, the lighting guys who replace burned out bulbs every two months throughout the store, or are we supposed to change it ourselves? We don't even have the right bulb here in the store. So now half of the break room is murky, dungeon-like, and it's basically perfect. No one wants to sit in there anymore except for me. I want to lurk, alone with my leftover curry.  I can only hope the other light goes out, because that's when I'll take our stack of kleenex boxes and build a fort.



I approached the computer to change the stock count on the book Mike had handed me, even though I was pretty sure that we were never going to sell the four copies of this Bonhoeffer book the system claimed we had, let alone the five we actually did have. I clicked the little house to take me to the main menu, but the Stock Count option wasn't there. My eyes darted to top right corner of the monitor, which was greeting Mike, not me. I backed away, swiveling to my left and then my right, confirming what I knew would be true.

"Did you log me out of all of these registers?" I was cross, nearly shrill. Mike has a habit of doing this.

"Yeah, and they're terminals, not registers." I froze, my anger grimace having turned into a realization frown, like when you confront a Dracula poised over a neck with the true horror of what he's become. He thumped the front of one of the computers. "No money." I glared at him, insulted that he thought I needed a definition of "register," despite the fact that I had clearly demonstrated that I did.

I glided over to the computer on the right, mumbling. "Your face is terminal." From the corner of my eye I could see he was unimpressed. "B... because it's killing me!" I blurted.

Jul. 9th, 2012


When I woke up this morning I was terrified because I didn't remember taking off my glasses. Maybe no one else has this problem. Maybe every other glasses-wearing person has their shit together. If I fall asleep with my glasses on, historically speaking, bad things happen to them. Like I roll on top of them and then I have to spend an hour or two in the morning unbending the frames. So that was my morning.

But it was also a culmination of everything else. I hadn't taken off my glasses because I fell asleep watching TV. I fell asleep watching TV while laying on top of an air mattress lying in the middle of my living room, where it has laid for over a week and which I have been sleeping on every night. At first this was because I was too lazy to put clean sheets on the actual bed in my bedroom, then it was because I was on a run of closing shifts and that bedroom loves letting light in so eff it. And then this weekend, when I had planned to get it all worked out (TM), the heel on my right foot decided to be a shithead.

It began about a quarter of the way through my shift at work on Friday, as I stood up from the step-stool I had been sitting on to scan the graphic novels on the bottom shelf, pulling out the old ones to be returned. "That's weird," I thought as my right foot ached and buckled slightly. "I wonder what that's about." I'm still wondering over 48 hours later. It's made doing anything around this apartment such an ordeal that it was a practically Herculean task to do the days-old dishes last night. Apparently I swivel a lot in the kitchen.

This pathetic pity party is exactly the type of rut I was hoping to slide my way out of, a rut that has started to actually consume real-life friendships. After I refused an invitation to watch July 4th fireworks, I was told that I don't like fun or happiness. What do you even say to that? Not that it matters at this point. I said "Hm" and then tried to sleep for twelve hours.

In the dream that woke me up this morning, the dream that led into my frantic search for unmolested glasses, I had received a voicemail message from a coworker, a voicemail message she began half-asleep, then woke up in the middle of and proceeded to explain what her dream was and why she had somnambulstically called me up. I woke up when it got too uncomfortable to listen to, opening my eyes to see the phone clutched tightly in my hands.

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Jul. 5th, 2012


[01:45] <@duckroll> karobit|work
[01:45] <@duckroll> tell me about Spiderman
[01:48] <karobit|work> It's not good
[01:48] <karobit|work> it's useless
[01:48] <karobit|work> doesn't even have the visual excitement of spider-man 3
[01:48] <karobit|work> the humor falls flat
[01:48] <karobit|work> you know how the reviews for the new game are all
[01:49] <karobit|work> "wow they just kinda copied arkham asylum's combat"
[01:49] <karobit|work> they really did that with the character motivations too
[01:49] <karobit|work> they sort of batman'd him
[01:49] <karobit|work> garfield can't sell any of the sad parts
[01:49] <karobit|work> and the loveydovey parts with emma stone
[01:49] <karobit|work> are pretty cringe-inducing
[01:49] <@duckroll> lololol
[01:50] <karobit|work> they don't give you any reason to believe that peter's smart
[01:51] <karobit|work> they don't give you a reason to think that he's learning a lesson when uncle ben dies
[01:51] <karobit|work> but by the same token
[01:51] <karobit|work> they make it much more publicly His Fault
[01:51] <karobit|work> that ben dies
[01:52] <karobit|work> they spend so much time on the set up that the lizard barely has time to do anything except enact his hastily concieved dipshit plan that was telegraphed from the very first time you see him, before he ever turned "evil" at all
[01:53] <karobit|work> there's a post-credit sting that is as effective as a dead bee thumping against your arm
[01:53] <karobit|work> there's no JJJ
[01:54] <karobit|work> the film was composed visually for 3d so there's a ton of shots that maybe are more effective that way? but are really about as compelling as the First Person Camera from the Doom movie
[01:55] <karobit|work> marc webb's sole stylistic contribution to the film seems to have been to put a couple more pop songs in it?
[01:56] <karobit|work> and, finally
[01:56] <karobit|work> the film somehow outdoes the Subway Passengers Rally Together To Protect Spider-Man Because New Yorkers Love Heroes scene from Spider-Man 2
[01:56] <karobit|work> with the schmaltziest bullshit I can think of
[01:57] <karobit|work> also i can't concieve of that film in 3d since so much of it is at night
[01:57] <@duckroll> sounds painful
[01:57] <karobit|work> might as well just close your eyes and listen to it
[01:57] <@duckroll> why did they make this again?
[01:57] <karobit|work> anyways, yeah.
[01:57] <karobit|work> i tried to be optimistic, ducky!
[01:57] <karobit|work> remember?
[01:57] <karobit|work> i tried to be like "oh no it should be okay"
[01:57] <karobit|work> but it wasn't
[01:57] <karobit|work> it wasn't okay
[01:57] <karobit|work> and the worst part is!
[01:58] <karobit|work> is i don't know if this film is REALLY all of those awful things I'm saying
[01:58] <karobit|work> or if i'm just mad, like, primally on a base level
[01:58] <karobit|work> because it's different
[01:58] <@duckroll> it probably is
[01:58] <@duckroll> because
[01:58] <@duckroll> i think it looks shit too
[01:58] <karobit|work> and i'm justifying my emotions
[01:58] <@duckroll> which is why im not even bothering
[01:58] <karobit|work> well i mean
[01:58] <karobit|work> i meant it when i said that i know now how Sherlock Holmes fans felt after the guy ritchie film came out
[01:58] <karobit|work> because that film didn't bother me at all
[01:59] <karobit|work> but i also didn't give two shits about sherlock holmes
[01:59] <@duckroll> you jerk
[01:59] <@duckroll> fuck off
[01:59] <karobit|work> so what's Right for the character 
[01:59] <karobit|work> and what's Canon
[01:59] <karobit|work> is meaningless to me
[01:59] <karobit|work> that being said, i think sherlock holmes is much more stylish and exciting film than amazing spider-man
[02:00] <karobit|work> which I MEAN COME ON HOW CAN YOU NOT MAKE SPIDER-MAN VISUALLY EXCITING
[02:00] <karobit|work> HE'S FUCKING SPIDER-MAN
[02:00] <karobit|work> The Amazins Spider-Man is like a superhero movie that would have been made in the early 80s
[02:01] <karobit|work> but so yeah, maybe it's just that i'm too close to it
[02:01] <karobit|work> i worry the same about Transformers
[02:01] <karobit|work> because everyone seems to want to see those fucking films

Jun. 11th, 2012


The new fiscal year has begun at work, which means we once more have the payroll hours available to have our weekly manager meeting on Monday mornings. This means that the five-year tradition continues: me lying wide-awake on Sunday nights, trying desperately to sleep. Hard to believe its been this long already!

I just finished a weird writing project that was probably the most relentlessly pessimistic, self-hating thing I've ever wrote, and believe me I've perused these archives a couple times. It reminded me of Grant Morrison's anecdote about how Chaos Magic returned to bite him in the ass. While writing some particularly awful things in The Invisibles, his life began to reflect that negativity in profound ways. And I, while writing this (and reading Yoshihiro Tatsumi for the first time, talk about your fuckin bummers) have not been having the best go at life. I'm sullen, irritable, and just generally reluctant to go anywhere or do anything. So, at the risk of believing in some bullshit instant karma, let's flip this around.

Summer of fun, here I come.

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May. 29th, 2012


Nothing makes me feel more like a curmudgeonly old man, a stick-in-the-mud Principal Vernon, like teenagers in the store. School's out and it's a holiday weekend so we had our fair share tonight, guffawing at the books in the Sexuality section. One of them laughed the same way that people sob uncontrollably. He gasped every few seconds, needing air that his loud HEEs and HAWs had expunged. It felt contrived, a manufactured laugh designed purely to annoy, but I don't want to give him the credit of attributing it to anything except a physical abnormality. I'd rather imagine him defective than conniving.

A bodybuilding bro of a man came in with his teenager son behind him and he did the I-want-help-but-I-don't-want-to-ask dance, where he stood near me and pretended to look at things, hoping that I would notice him and ask if he needed help. "Oh, no I'm fine," he replied. Ahh. The PRO version. A minute later he cut in again. "Aaaaactually, you don't got that Shades of Grey book, do you?" I told them that we do, that we have many copies, that it's at the very front of the store with our bestsellers and then, noticing his complete lack of response, simply grabbed one of the copies from our supply at customer service and handed it to him.

His son began nipping at his heels. "What's that, dad? What's that book? Is that the book you needed? What is it? What's a Fifty Shades?"

"Sh... shut up!" was all he could get out. "Go... go look at whatever you wanna look at!" The kid went off into the Computer book section, returning ten minutes later to his dad, who had stood there reading, engrossed. "No, son, I'm not buying you Networking for Dummies. You can buy that on your own, when you earn some cash." Then they left, before the son could ask any more questions about any other books.

An indirect discretion


We shuffled our way out of the theater, nearly the last ones to go, when she boasted. "The best thing about The Avengers," she said, "is that this place was all dudes so there isn't going to be any line for the bathroom!" I began to protest but we had already arrived at the door and so he and I went inside. There was, as predicted, a queue.

My wait for relief was short, but not so short that I didn't make an ass of myself by spotting an empty urinal, walking to it while thinking "Man, why isn't anyone using this one, I must be the brilliantest!" and then seeing the OUT OF ORDER sign too late, stranding me on the other side of the bathroom. When one of the urinals was vacated I made my move but immediately was preoccupied by its former resident, who headed towards my friend near the doorway. They were high school acquaintances, apparently. They had catching up to do. A large portion of my brain, honed from an adolescence of voyeuristic eavesdropping to create a false sense of inclusion that has been perpetuated by online socializing through IRC and IM and podcasting and Twitter, focused on their conversation. A larger portion than I would have liked, in fact, because I was so preoccupied that I couldn't pee.

People can smell artifice, insincerity. They know fakes when they see them. Is there a pheromone we secrete that is picked up on? A physiological tell? "Acting natural" is the hardest acting in the world and how does that even apply in a situation where you have to bare your dong in-between two other dudes. The seconds tick by like hours as I try to calmly exhale, before realizing that I'm just blowing air at the wall. The guy to my right flinches instinctively, a sneer on his face signifying that he knows I'm a phony. No real urinator am I! His business finished, he turns and leaves. The man on my left is more stoic, but his mission is also complete. I close my eyes, find my center, and release. My friend's conversation is finished, the high school friend has left, and he goes to one of the stalls deeper into the restroom.

When he emerges a minute later, I'm washing my hands at the sink. "Hey," I say, "that dude shook your hand."

He pumps a lump of soap onto his outstretched palm. "Yeah." He pumps twice more.

"He didn't... I mean, he went straight from the urinal to you, though. He never washed his hands."

"I know." The corners of his frowning mouth reached the tiled floor. He lathered like I've never seen before.

#ljchillers


After having a dream in which my brother had moved in and had, in accordance with my parents wishes, completely moved all furniture including my bed out onto our massive balcony ("I know they'll want the whole place clean when they visit!"), I woke up for probably the third or fourth time. It was still barely morning, and so even though I had to go to the bathroom, I just rolled over and went back to sleep.



I'm in my actual, current apartment and I'm getting ready to go to sleep. Walking around and turning out the lights, I stop by the front door in the kitchen staring at the lock. "Hm. I should check to make sure this is locked." I turn the knob and before I can react the door is pushed open, a young man in a white dress shirt making his way inside. "No." I push him back. He looks at me quizzically, like he honestly didn't expect a rebuke from entering someone elses apartment. I give a more stern "No" and close the door on him. Anxious, I look through the porthole on the door and he's still there, making a "oh don't think you've outsmarted me" face. He produces a triangular object from his pocket, looking almost like a ninja star, and throws it at the door. "Thok," it makes, imbedding in the wood. He pulls it out and begins to use it to loosen the screws of the doorknob.



I wake up again and this time it's been long enough that I don't feel awful about getting up and starting my day. But when I go into the kitchen and look at the front door, it's unlocked.

You were in the middle lane of the overpass, waiting to go across I-10 rather than onto it; I was to your left. I wouldn't have even looked your way if your music hadn't been so loud. That's not a criticism (my music is usually loud as well) -- it probably had to do with the fact that you were driving a jeep and, well, sound leaks. So when I turned off my radio to find out what and where the noise was, there you were to my right, dancing. Dancing and singing and hand-jiving and doing whatever you could, whatever you wanted to do, while Maroon 5's "This Love" blared across the intersection. Now let's not mince words: "This Love" is an awful song, with its Motown-by-way-of-Candy-Land styling and gratingly loud chorus. But you didn't let that stop you from making the biggest, impossible-to-look-away ass yourself that I could ever imagine seeing at a stoplight. You never once broke either, even though I'm sure most of the other cars were gaping at you just as I was. You were even able to get your jeep into a rolling start just before the light turned green and the song wrapped up. It was uncanny.

Kudos to you, Madam Levine. May every red light be your dance floor.

Dipshit chronicle


Breakfast update: I didn't go to the store and I couldn't be fucked to get up after the second alarm so I had even less time today. I decided to try a Wendy's breakfast, but Wendy's doesn't open until 7am on the weekends. I got a Jack in the Box breakfast instead, after having to ask the man at the counter "what's on an ultimate croissant" which is a perfectly reasonable question only to the person asking it. to anyone else, i might as well have asked what 2 plus 2 is.

Work update: again another person was not in as scheduled, this time do to a probably hilarious mixup. Add to that I was already over my allotted time this week and I basically needed to leave at 12:15 so as not to accrue overtime. I left at 2:45. Fuck it.

I left work thinking I'd drive to Fujiya Market for no reason. I wanted to walk into a Japanese market, I guess, but there's no newsstand or anything, really, that I want or need that they would have. I sat in the car and absentmindedly looked up "Japanese market" on google maps. Some place called Paldo Market came up, situated very close to where I spent a fair amount of 2002's summer.

I drove down there, unhappy with every song my iPod attempted to play for me and walked into the Koreanest part of Arizona. Fully 50% of Palco Market is NONGSHIM products I'd guess, and for some reason I walked out of there with this




It was awful. It was worse than an impromptu unboxing video I attempted to record with my phone of me eating it. Did you know it's hard to open a bag and hold a phone? Also, that my voice is terrible? These are both truths.

Then I sat around for a long time and eventually put pizza in my mouth.

sent from my fingers in the dark


I don't think I'm ever more optimistic than when I set my alarm for five in the morning and think "that'll give me time to eat a good breakfast."

Now, don't get me wrong: I heard that alarm. I heard the one after it too, a half-hour later. But I didn't actually push my legs over the side until 5:45, sore feet trying to find footing a pile of dirty clothes. A loud shower and a frantic, five-minute search for a belt and I was out the door at an almost superhuman 6:25

This was early, but not early enough. You can't get a good fast breakfast, at least I can't. I don't even know where to start. So instead I settle at the place where everyone without culture settles, at an Einstein's Bagel Co.

The last time I'd been there was the day after X-Mas, when I decide to spread belated holiday cheer and buy a dozen for the workplace. This would have worked out a lot better if someone else hadn't also brought in a couple dozen donuts and if I hadn't somehow gotten acutely ill from a poppy seed bagel. Since then, even thinking about a doughy honey wheat bagel just makes my innards roil. But this is what happens when I settle. I settle and my stomach doesn't.

In an effort to be adventurous, daring. I decided to get the BagelThin Turkey-Sausage Egg Sandwich. I'm not the world's biggest fan for breakfast sausage, always bartering a trade for surplus bacon during road trip denny's meals in my youth, but times have changed. What if my tastes have? What if my palette has matured and now I can appreciate meat that looks like it was scraped off of the bottom of a grill, or a shoe. I took a bite and red stuff dribbled down my hand.

I don't pretend that I don't live in the southwest. I know people like their tex and their mex here and they like them together. But I've never understood salsa on eggs -- moreover I've never understood salsa as a breakfast food. I've never understood breakfast steak either. I don't understand a lot of things. But what I really don't understand is when it became so normal as to not mention that on the menu.

I love salsa. I just don't want to wear it in my mouth all morning long

I opened the door to the store and put in the alarm code then waited. five minutes later the janitor came, but the receiving manager never did. He called another five minutes after that. "I'm taking a sick day" he said. He was taking a sick day. My mouth replied a lot more sarcastically that my brain wanted to. Or maybe i'm just sensitive. It's Cool, We'll Be Fine never sounds like it's sincere.

Nine hours later I was ready to go home, but had a school order to process. It could have waited, it wasn't going to leave until monday anyways, but I told myself to finish what I start. I sat down.

An hour later I could finally move again, so I left. Five o'clock. Not a bad time for dinner. I called her up to see if she could meet me for mexican, because salsa

Can I wait two hours? You bet. I laid on the couch at home, phone in hand, alternating between slack jawed limp wristed micronaps and intently reading about everyone elses more fun day.

She calls, from a Whole Foods nearby. Meet her here at seven? Sounds like a plan, I say, and then I completely misjudge my timing. I wait fifteen minutes in the lobby of the restaurant, a restaurant where the wait staff knows me, the both of us, and yet I feel like they're pitying me. I look like the guy getting stood up. The guy who can't even muster the effort to check his phone because there is nothing left to check. fifteen minutes later she comes in. We eat. I perform and she is my favorite audience. I must be insufferable to everyone else when I perform for her but I don't care. I have to go. I need to sleep, though I don't want to. i am not right for waking early.

We have plans for an oscar party, attended by almost no one, because we don't know anyone lame enough to want to watch the oscars with us. I tell her I envision a party with hors d'oeuvres, as if it's the height of luxury. Where people contemplate the nominated films. "Oh, the editing, it was sublime." In truth, I'd probably hate that party, but in truth, I basically hate any gathering.

I'm home. I dn't want to sleep, but I'm trying. I set the alarm for five.

I didn't do laundry either


I'm not sure I had an actual meal today. I ate some gummy vitamins, because I am the worst pill taker, but realized that I had used all my eggs the day before and the grocery trip I had planned to purchase milk and cereal on was instead spent purchasing Thin Mints outside the store, then speed-walking home in time to watch the Arizona Republican Debate, which is like speeding home to go inside your house while it's still filled with brain-damaging insecticide fumes. I made a mental note to wash out the pots and pans so I could make myself lunch (ramen and grilled cheese) and dinner (spaghetti).

I went to work on my TiVo backlog, now a mass of Films I Should Watch, peppered with Shows I Watch Instead. It had last night's Daily Show still, since I had attempted to go to bed early, and partially succeeded. I watch that, then this, then the other, then decided that a shower was probably in order. My stomach grumbled. Mental reminder to clean those pots and pans.

I got out of the shower and caught up on the Internet, which is a more responsible-sounding way of saying I dicked around and frittered my life away. A few hours later I realized that today's day off would be the perfect time to watch the copy of The Ides Of March I'd rented off of Amazon, so I went about downloading it. This jammed up the TiVo for ten or fifteen minutes and my stomach grumbled once more. I got up, looked at the sink, then looked in the fridge. A peeled, hard-boiled egg stared back. I ate it, then grabbed some sliced american cheese and a package of Ritz. The cheese hard started to harden on the corner, turning a darker shade of orange. Ryan Gosling lost his ideals. My stomach turned. The egg had been a mistake, or the cheese, or both. I paused during the Clayton-esque climax and spent a not-insignificant time on the toilet.

I tried not to think about food for a while. I booted up Steam and looked at my games list, full of unplayed classics, then I launched Jamestown again. What little skills I had developed in my initial play session had atrophied; I died a dozen deaths without ever truly living. The sky was dark.

I remembered a forgotten challenge, a Steve Perry Strength Test from a friend. I turned on the Xbox and competed in Rock Band for an hour or so until I had to stop believing. The batteries died in my mic, I searched the whole apartment until I found more. They weren't near the dirty pots and pans.

I'm in bed now and have been for an hour, stomach unhappy. I'm not tired but I'll be up in five hours so there's no choice. I can't tell if this was a good day off or not.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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Today makes the third day in the row that I've paid for Final Fantasy XIII-2 without playing it. This is not a smart thing to do, really, since that's now six dollars I've spent on a game I'm not playing, but in my defense I've been busy.

Thursday I had purchased tickets for the Jay & Silent Bob Get Old: Live from Behind theater stream, and Deandra had Rumpelstiltskinned me into going to see The Woman in Black with her, so my evening was sewn up in a neat bow. I was kind of upset at the prospect of my first 2012 film being one I really didn't want to see at all, so I decided to make a full day of it and go see The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo in the afternoon. Basically, I was at the theater for twelve hours.

I liked Dragon Tattoo both more than and exactly as much as I thought I would: more than I thought considering I couldn't get into the book at all and exactly as much as I thought because I have a good deal of faith in the people involved. For a movie that gets a lot of attention for its depressing rape, the ending was actually a lot more hopeful that I had anticipated. If they end up adapting the other two books, I'll go see them, though again that's more on the strength of the cast and crew. Not being a journalist or a hacker, the paper thin wish-fulfillment characters did nothing for me but carry the plot, like bland Tostito's carry a 7-layer dip.

I left the theater with a slight limp in my left foot and a swelling on the big toe, much like I had nearly three years ago after a BBQ July 4th meal and a lot of bad popcorn at a screening of Moon. I didn't eat any breakfast on Thursday, so movie theater popcorn was actually my first meal of the day, and this is enough correlation to cement causation in my mind. Popcorn causes gout. You're welcome, medicine!

I'm at my parent's house in Maryland in my sister's room. My sister's room, which used to be my room, laying in bed and staring out the window at the houses across the street. The same houses I used to stare at nine years ago, still listless and carless after moving with my family from Arizona. Staying up all night on IRC, not because that was something I wanted to do, like I had done before, but because it was something I had to do, because there was nothing else to do. Nowadays, it would be different -- a lot of those people aren't on IRC anymore -- but back then I could get away with setting up a webcam for my cat, and then falling asleep in front of it while watching Robotech DVDs. I could get away with drawing a stick figure webcomic about a girl a boots and a talking stuffed fish. I could get away with carelessness and looking towards the future. Now it's the future and I'm looking back and there was never a point in the middle where they met. Or maybe that's all anything ever is.

It's been nothing but eating out at Asian restaurants this trip. We went to a sushi restaurant Friday, Otani, that disappointed me by failing to mention on the menu that their tempura udon was in a miso broth, rather than a soy sauce broth. Also, I'm 99% sure that it's occupying a storefront previously belonging to the Gamestop I bought my Gamecube & Twin Snakes at. Today, there was a double-bill of morning dim sum and evening Korean BBQ. My parents tried to get me to eat some sort of jellied black sesame seed desert at dim sum that did not agree with me, and then I had to prove my chopstick abilities by eating jello cubes with them at the Korean BBQ. After that we went to a Korean bakery and I got an Oreo Monster cake which is now transforming me like a Wendigo curse.

Before I left to go to my friend's house, where we were carpooling to Virginia for the Korean BBQ, my mom sweetly said "I'd tell you to drive safe, but I know that you will." And I try to, my very best. After driving on the beltway, cruising down Georgia Ave, missing a turn and anxiously checking the directions on my phone, I pulled onto the neighborhood streets at my friend's place and realized startlingly that my headlights had been off the entire time. The next time my mom presumes something good of me I'm going to flat-out deny it.

I refused sleep last night, which is to say that I refused to do any advanced preparation for this trip at all and was in fact cleaning and packing up until I left to catch my bus at 8am. I rode the bus to the light rail and rode the light rail to the shuttle and took the shuttle to the terminal. I had to check a bag, not for size, but for content. I'm pretty sure my travel size toothpaste and mouthwash are actually fine, but I'd rather avoid questions about the hard drive if possible. The security line was brisk and the back-scatter machines were not in use, so I leisurely strolled through and was so cavalier about removing my belt that my pants nearly fell down.

At my gate, every seat had only two open next to it, meaning that no matter where I wanted to sit, I would have to sit next to someone. Already nodding off, this didn't seem like a great idea, so I took advantage of the fact that my flight had been delayed and sat at a gate further away. Instead of napping I brought out the laptop and complained about everyone around me on IRC. After an hour I decided that I needed to eat something, but Phoenix Sky Harbor has some aversion to actually putting restaurants beyond the security checkpoints. My choices were limited to a Pizza Hut, a Nathans, and a Cinnabon. Given that it was only 10am, I went with the Cinnabon, which ended up being probably the worst pastry I've had in my life. I sat down to eat it in a seat that opened up closer to my gate and got to listen to a pair of ladies nearby talk to each other in not quiet enough voices how gross my Cinnabon looked and how they could never eat there. Thanks, ladies.

My boarding pass might as well have said "Last" on it because I very nearly was. This meant I got to take a seat between a guy who spent the whole flight watching Matrix movies on his phone and a lady with a newborn. I was so tired I not only got some sleep through the baby's cries but I didn't even bother putting my headphones on until halfway through the flight. My dad picked me up at the airport and we ate flank steak and fettuccine for dinner. My mom had me try some arugula, because moms, but it feels like I'm eating the little shrubbery around the community pool. I flipped around their TV stations for a while, jealous that they get NHK World and that their TiVo doesn't copy-control the recordings. I was tired enough I even watched a Bones, which was gross. Now I'm going to crawl into bed, even though it's only 10:30 in real time.

I love Club Nintendo Surveys


Thank you for your interest in taking this survey for CHRONO TRIGGER.
By answering this survey you will gain 10 Coins.
*If you haven't played this game yet, please take this survey after you've played.

Please provide feedback on behalf of the person in your family who most played CHRONO TRIGGER.

1. Please let us know what made you decide to purchase CHRONO TRIGGER. (255 character max)

Guilt. I felt guilty that I had never really invested time in the game, that my disinterest branded me as a philistine. I was shamed into paying 8 dollars for this, which is fine because 8 dollars is cheap.

2. Have you ever played this game on the original console that it was released on?

[x] Yes

No

Don't Remember / Don't Know

3. On a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being the maximum, how would you rate your satisfaction with this game?

78 points

4. How satisfied were you with this game? choose one

Extremely satisfied

Very satisfied

[x] Somewhat satisfied

Neutral

Somewhat dissatisfied

Very dissatisfied

Extremely dissatisfied

5. Please tell us in your own words what you think about the game. (255 character max)

I think the battle theme is super rad. I think time travel is always cool. I think I might be too old, or jaded, or ADD to devote time an RPG requires nowadays. I think I wish that my Wii hadn't broke after a day of playing the game.

6. How satisfied are you with the Virtual Console service?

Extremely satisfied

[x] Very satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Neutral

Somewhat dissatisfied

Very dissatisfied

Extremely dissatisfied

7. Please tell us in your own words what you think about the Virtual Console service. (255 character max)

I think that if you want to sell me back my childhood in 5-10 dollar chunks while at the same time letting me absolve myself of the sin of downloading all these roms back in 1997, then we have ourselves a deal. I wish I could re-download all my stuff to a new Wii, though.

8. What is the level of experience with video games of the person who most played CHRONO TRIGGER in your family?

[x] Advanced player; a lot of gaming experience

Intermediate player; some gaming experience

Beginner player; little gaming experience

9. What is the age of the person who most played CHRONO TRIGGER in your family?

31

10. What is the gender of the person who most played CHRONO TRIGGER in your family?

[x] Male

Female

11. We are in the process of collecting testimonials from Club Nintendo members about CHRONO TRIGGER; could you tell us why you would recommend CHRONO TRIGGER to someone? (250 character max)

Chrono Trigger is essential to living a life where friends, loved ones, and even strangers on the internet don't go out of their way to cluck disapprovingly, shaking their heads at your ignorance. Children of the future, don't be jerks.

Pity the confetti sweeper


My boss returned from a week of illness Monday, in an awfully sour mood. I dodged the brunt of it since we only crossed paths for an hour or two, but I decided not to remind her that I was going to be gone for the next two weeks. Despite being The One In Charge, she is usually remarkably ignorant of when someone is or isn't on vacation. Which, maybe she feels that isn't something that needs to be a priority for her to remember, and that's fine, but then she doesn't get to throw a fit when it comes up.

My to-do list between now and my flight east on Thursday morning seems both light and impossible. Its all domestic tasks (laundry, cleaning, dishes, etc) with no actual errands to run. Unless I'm forgetting something important, which I usually do for trips. I'll get to Maryland and realize that while I brought a toiletry bag, I'd mistakenly filled it with butterscotch pudding. These things happen.

We watched Kohaku Uta Gassen tonight, though to get it playable, all of the commercials had to be excised. The commericals can sometimes be the best part. Instead we were treated to enough enka acts to last a lifetime, include a pasty old guy that she swore was wearing lip gloss. AKB48 took the stage for their medley early, and then continued taking the stage, dancing behind probably a half-dozen other acts, because why not. Maybe when you join AKB48 you get injected with that drug from the Crank films, where you have to keep moving or you die. The two kids who sing that Maru Maru Mori Mori song showed up, because that song absolutely wrecked the charts last summer. Basically, imagine if Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen had sung the theme song to Full House and it was on the Top 40 for three months. Then imagine them having to perform it at the Grammy's with a school full of children behind them. Then, imagine me dying because I can't stand that song.

They actually performed twice, for whatever reason, where the second performance was part of a Disney medley, hosts Arashi dancing with costumed characters while singing It's a Small World and When You Wish Upon a Star in Japanese. Goofy is unremarkable at taiko drumming. Near the end of the performance I forlornly remarked to her that it must be the worst to be in the Minnie costume. "Because you have to show off your legs?" she surmised, and I nodded. "Your arms too, but mostly your legs. You can't play it off to your friends either. Those aren't mouse legs, they're yours."

In anticipation of going on vacation later this week, I finished quite a few projects at work today, including setting some new manga displays. Viz apparently decided that having a spinner rack is cool and all, but why bother putting anything on it except what sells, so now it's all Bakuman, Black Bird, Rosario + Vampire and Vampire Knight. Meanwhile, the Graphic Novels Waterfall display belongs to Yen Press & Kadokawa for the next month or three, which would be awesome if we weren't out of a half-dozen of the required titles. I'm not too excited about showing off the James Patterson titles in that display either, but I have to admit that they actually sell. Unfortunately no one bothered to check if the monstrously thick Azumanga Daioh Omnibus would actually fit in the display, but I put up a few more volumes of the (superior) Yotsuba& and called it a day.

My productivity dipped sharply after lunch, which was a problem since I ate lunch early. Our business also dipped so the backend of my shift was impossibly slow. For a bit of excitement, I decided to let in a woman after we had closed who claimed she'd driven from a half-hour away and just needed to purchase a calendar. She and her family proceeded to wander around the store for the next ten minutes, but they did end up getting a calendar and a book, so I can't really complain. I could complain about the lady who called 45 minutes after we closed, listened to the automated message in which our hours are plainly stated, and then still had me order a book for her. I won't though; she seemed genuinely embarrassed when I pointed out the time at the end of her call.

After work I went a coworker's house. He had organized a board game night, probably with grand plans, but it ended up being fairly low-key. I dodged the Dominion bullet once more and we ended up playing Settlers of Catan. Accompanying our game were queso, taquitos, and an old coworker hassling the rest of us for not giving a regulation-size shit about Breaking Bad. "It's okay," he decided after our millionth uninterested shrug. "One day you'll get into it and I hope that we're still in each other's lives so that I can see your reaction." It's hard to get across in print, but he somehow said this without being completely and absolutely insufferable. It's a gift of his.

I lost the Catan game, probably (definitely) in last place. What I had thought was fantastic opening placement for my settlements ended up being undone by the fact that all anyone ever rolled in our game were 9's and I was adjacent to 12's and 3's. I wouldn't even be burned up about it, but my pride is always going balls out for the Longest Road and without any brick or wood I was cockblocked something fierce. I consoled myself by watching Jackie Chan punch everyone in Vancouver the Bronx.

It just occurred to me that if I feel as cold as I do now, laying in bed in Arizona, I'm not sure what I'm going to do this weekend when I'm at my parents' place in Maryland. Maybe I'll go get some scarves at the store and wrap myself in them, like a Doctor Who mummy.

Maybe it's because today was much more active than my previous two days were, but my legs are killing me. I'm lying in bed now, not just because I'm tired and it's 3:45AM and that's what you're supposed to be doing, but also because I don't think I could bear to have them not elevated, or least level. I don't know if shin splints are more common in tall, misproportioned folks but they're certainly no stranger to me. On the other hand, it's enough discomfort to let me feel like Sagat and I just "Tiger!"'d a dude's face off. Not a bad trade.

I spent, no joke, the entire day today trying to transcode video files. I rolled out of bed sometime around noon-ish and it's now 4am and I've barely gotten started on the laundry that needs to be clean for me not to be the absolute bummiest at work tomorrow. Don't get me wrong, I didn't have any real plans for today, but it's still gross. This isn't the first time this has happened either.

There's so much I don't know about people, it's frightening. Is this proclivity for getting myself absorbed in Sisyphean tasks something everyone does? Is it symptomatic of a personality type? I'm not wondering if it's chemically treatable, although if you've got something let's meet around the corner. I'd like to feel like this meaningless busy work meant something, or to be able to not only recognize its uselessness but then act on that knowledge and cut that shit out. But what I actually want is to not have so many goddamn problems transcoding. What I really want is to win.

I give up on a lot of things. At pretty much the first sign of resistance, I kind of throw up my hands. "Well, I guess I've reached my limit." But this? Fuck you, Transport Stream. I'll get you onto this TiVo yet, even if it takes me another whole day off.

After an unproductive evening which included a dinner of fried egg sandwiches (yes, two) and the worst brownies ever concocted, I fell asleep in bed while fast-forwarding a video on my TiVo. I somehow had the somnambulistic wherewithal to remove my glasses and set them on the side table, because my memory simply skips from "Eh, let's skip past this part" to some talking head on the Today Show shouting in my face about fiber or something. I scrounged for the TV remote, mashed the power button and rolled back over.

I grabbed my phone a few hours later as a Sonic the Hedgehog ringtone played and said into it "Hello Starlight Zone." She asked when she should expect me over and I paused for what felt like an afternoon, then weakly whispered "...i don't know." I looked at a clock, saw it was eleven in the morning and spat out "one-thirty?" That seemed like enough time to get another nap in.

I pulled up to her house around 2:30 and carried in the aforementioned TiVo. This is, I guess, a ritual of sorts for us. I scour the internet for various Japanese music performance shows, and then we watch them and hate everyone on it. It's not exactly, as the pterodactyl would say, a living, but it passes the time. I felt awful that after over 24 hours of transcoding, one of the shows, a year-end spectacular, wasn't working, like I had been in charge of bringing the turkey to Thanksgiving dinner and had showed up with a bag of Peeps, a sheepish look on my face. Not that we actually could have watched another four hours of jpop acts falling on their butts, since I didn't end up leaving until one in the morning.

And that's why this is late.

I even wore thin dress socks today


The postscript to yesterday's storm of shit is that, as always, the higher up never actually came to visit the store. There's a good reason that I only ever met my boss's boss's previous boss once, and that's because almost every time she was supposed to visit our store, events conspired to make that not actually happen. The one time I did meet her, she was crutches from a recent injury. In my mind, she has a perpetual broken leg, shattered in a million different imaginary ways. Once she fell backwards off a yacht deck onto the pier it was docked to; another time she was the victim of a stray puck at a Phoenix Coyotes game. What I'm getting at is that she very nearly never actually made any of the visits we always busted our ass to clean the store for, and her replacement is following in those hobbled footsteps quite nicely.

I don't attribute any maliciousness to our snub. There's perfectly good reasons for why she wouldn't actually make it out to our store and I'm frankly relieved. I didn't relish the idea of having to glad hand and force a smile on minimal sleep and no caffeine. But I'm a laid back guy. I accept that the world fired a rocket-propelled grenade into my balls and then submitted the Hi8 tape to America's Funniest Home Videos and then I move on (with the exception of recounting the story for this here web diary). But I didn't tell anyone else at work, even after it became pretty apparent early in the morning that this visit wasn't happening, because I didn't have an answer for the inevitable question of "So we busted our ass for nothing?" Well, I mean, at least the store looks kinda nice now? I got nothing.

We learned yesterday afternoon that our boss's boss's boss would be paying us a visit on Wednesday. She recently inherited us when our boss's boss's previous boss retired at the end of the year, her position dissolved and the stores in her purview sent to other regions within the company. This is her first visit to the area and our boss's boss wants to make a good impression which means he wants us to make a good impression, which means that in the first week of the new year when we're reeling from the holidays, still trying to find a sense of normalcy, our seasonal employees gone and the availability of others back to normal, and our budgeted hours slashed to adjust for the drastic shift in sales, we have to make the store look perfect. Oh, and complete the display change out from holidays to self improvement/valentine's day.

This wouldn't be so bad. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's shit-awful and I hate that every time we're slated to get "a visit" from a higher-up, we scurry around like we're trying to hide shit. But this situation, in the course of my time at this job, isn't uncommon and I'm not terribly fazed by it. This time, however, my boss, our store manager, has taken ill. And so I find myself looking down the barrel of a 12 hour day tomorrow where I have to entertain my boss's boss's boss and explain why we do everything we do. I'm, understandably, ecstatic. Two of my great loves in life have collided -- waking up early and taking responsibility -- into a perfect storm of goddammit. I'm coping with this dreadful future by not going to bed at a reasonable hour and getting myself tired as shit.

On the other hand, we got chili back in at work and it's delicious. So horray for chili.

My heater smells like ammonia


Despite a dream where my Roman legion dispatches enemy forces by clever use of a vacuum bomb, I slept a little better than the night before. Unfortunately, I dragged my feet more than I would have liked and ended up without enough time to make a dinner for work. I barely had enough time to make some grilled cheese and ramen for lunch, but I got to use a new small frying pan and it performed well. I forgot that I have only stick butter but no spread, so I had to PAM the pan rather than butter the bread. I don't prefer this method as it leads to drier toast-like bread, rather than a smooth grilled shell, but I survived.

When I pulled into the parking lot at work I was immediately reminded of the fact that today is a holiday for most people, and therefore we were very, very busy. Much busier than yesterday, and too busy for me to get any other work done. I resigned myself to it being a hectic, crummy night early, but it still put me in a foul mood. My one hope of the return of chili to our cafe was snuffed out by the fact that they had already thawed two soups for today. I drowned my sorrows in a burrito instead.

At home after work, I finally decided to do something with a chicken breast I took down to thaw a few days ago, probably on the cusp of edibility. At the same time, I had a package of plum-flavored noodles I had picked up from House of Rice for some reason around a month ago, so I pan-fried the breast and boiled the noodles. It was an impossibly underwhelming meal.

My ume soba remains uneaten


After spending a not-insignificant amount of time last night tidying up around the place, I figured I'd be fairly pooped at would sleep soundly. Also, I ate every pizza roll and chicken nugget in the freezer, because a) it's New Years Eve and that's what you do when you don't really drink, and b) those chicken nuggets were like months old and I needed to not see them anymore. Unfortunately, I ended up tossing and turning between six and eight this morning. A normal person might think, "Perhaps I shouldn't fill my gullet with appetizers before bed." I'm taking away the bigger lesson of "I do not sleep well in cleanliness." As soon as I can, I'm piling all of my dirty clothes into a heap, and then burrowing under it.

Work was predictably uneventful today, what with everyone recuperating from last night's shenanigans and/or preparing for more shenanigans tonight since most workplaces are observing the holiday tomorrow. I have projects that need to happen later in the week, but they're time sensitive so I can't reasonably complete them early. Maybe that's a lie I tell myself? I'm not sure, but I can't get past the feeling that it's like laying out Thursday's clothes on Monday afternoon.

Maybe New Years just wasn't a big thing this year anyways? Despite not asking any of them, all of my coworkers told me they didn't do anything exciting. Either everyone just got old or they all had a party without me. Which is fine, I had pizza rolls. I don't need them and their judgement at me not ever having worn a tie.

When the cold creeps into my poorly insulated apartment and gathers around me before finally striking on all sides like a wave of death, I sometimes remember the last time I had a sunburn and how, even in a perfectly cool room the heat just radiated off of my skin, like I could fry and egg on my bright red forearm. Then I think, "If I had a sunburn, would this cold be so bad?" and I almost, almost want to try it out.

I had to leave work early because of this


Listen.

Listen you... man. You guy. You fucking sack of shit. Sorry, just, listen.

I am accommodating! I am the most accommodating motherfucker you'll ever know! Something need doing? I'll help you out! That's my job, that's what I get paid to do. It's the service industry and that's the industry I'm in and I am here for you. I am on your side.

You walk in, you fuckin'... fuckin' guy. You walk in and you drop your item on the counter, wet, because you couldn't bother to cover it up from the rain. You drop it there without words and when I ask if you want to purchase it you give me some look like I spit at you and you tell me you're here to return it. Cool. I can do that. I can! I'm the guy they call to do that, so man, you are in luck pal, no waits for you. I'm the guy who's here to help. Do you have the card it you used to buy it?

Oh, I don't need it, you say? It's in the system? That's cool. Hey, awesome, when did you upgrade the computers here? Because it's not. It's not in the system. I don't have your credit card number. I never will. That would be stupid, for me to have your credit card number, available with the scan of a receipt. That would be reckless and insecure and just really fucking dumb. I don't have it. It's bullshit? Really? You want to speak to the manager? Oh, you want to speak to the manager above me? You think I'm wasting your time? That I'm obstructing your return like some petty shithead?

No, here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to show you exactly what will happen if I try to return your shit without your credit card. It doesn't work. Yeah, sure, you hit the buttons too, guy. Oh it didn't work for you either? I'm surprised, you said it would. Huh. I guess I will need your card to return this. Yeah, sorry man, but I mean, you only have another six weeks to get back here for that.

Oh, you're sorry? Fuck you.

I am a thorough thief.


With the 1.1 update, I've gone back to playing Terraria. I pretty much devoted my entire day off on Saturday to it, which would be more remarkable if I actually made headway in the game. Unlike everyone else on the server that I'm playing with, I'm completely uninterested in dominating hell, forging demon weapons in bubbling lava, or destroying a wall of flesh. I'm content to make houses and dig tunnels. Even in virtual worlds, I'm afraid of upward mobility.

As I was digging one of the aforementioned tunnels, I ran across an already-excavated cave. There's a half-dozen other people on the server, so that's not uncommon, but it was carefully walled up with wooden planks and struts. Inside, directly in my path, was a gold treasure chest containing some choice items. The decor of the room led me to believe this was actually a randomly generated area of the world, and not a safehouse one of my friends had forgotten about, but I wasn't sure. I thought about it for a moment, then looted the contents of the chest, and the chest itself. Then, on the off chance someone might remember the room, I dismantled the walls completely and filled everything in with dirt, eliminating any trace of it.

It never existed.

Entry #938, the Meme


I work in a book store and customers and other employees will also come to me for Sci-Fi/Fantasy recommendations. They do this with absolutely no prompting from me and for no reason that I can possibly discern. I haven't read SF/Fantasy reliably in something like 15 years, and even then it was pretty spotty as will be evidenced by this list. But I guess I just look like a guy who likes it, like when I used to work at Blockbuster and a coworker asked me, apropos of nothing, how long I had been playing D&D.


NPR SF/Fantasy ListCollapse )

After I wrote it this comment on maizie's post, I realized that a pseudo-manifesto like this is probably more important than anything else I've put on LJ in a couple years, so why not repost.

--

Up until a couple weeks ago I had tried to be very careful about making sure there was no cross-over between my online ventures using handles and using my real name. My real name, on Facebook, known by coworkers, etc, could only lead so far and, even though I love to research them on Google, I don't want anyone I know In Real Life to discover Me At 15.

But I learned that everyone, everyone my age at least, is in the same situation. Everyone has a paper trail of their embarrassing youth and most of those people didn't bother to keep the lives separate. But they weren't living life as if their pants were constantly around their ankles. It didn't matter to them. So I decided it wouldn't matter to me.

The whole of the last decade (and more) has been a war between me wanting to be known by other people (not in the sense of fame, but in the sense of understanding) and wanting to remain enigmatic. The urge to ninja about inscrutably is strong -- I moved across the country without telling nearly anyone! But now I think I'm at a place where I'm tired of being misunderstood. And the only way I can think of for people know me is also let them know who I was.

I have not the stamina for liveblogs


If I were better at social media, this would have been a string of tweets instead of me vomiting all over IRC. Also, if I were better at social media, I probably wouldn't be posting on LiveJournal.


18:48 [karobit] oh my god
18:48 [karobit] i tivo'd three men and a baby
18:48 [karobit] why did i do this thing
18:49 [karobit] okay so the screen credits just went in this order
18:49 [karobit] Tom Selleck
18:49 [karobit] Steve Gutenberg
18:49 [karobit] Ted Danson
18:49 [karobit] 1987, you are fucked up
18:50 [karobit] how does gutenberg get billing over ted danson?
18:51 [karobit] man the 80s was king of loft/penthouse apartments
18:54 [karobit] Three Men and a Baby's opening credit sequence is a sped-up montage of the titular Three Men romancing different ladies in their self-painted penthouse apartment and drinking champagne set to the tune of Miami Sound Machine's Bad Boy
18:54 [karobit] do you think Leonard Nimoy wants this movie in his obituary
18:55 [karobit] like "Leonard Nimoy, best known for directing Three Men and a Baby and also for portraying Spock, passed away today from complications of photographing obese women in the nude."
18:56 [karobit] Leonard Nimoy, best known for playing a KAOS agent in That One Episode of Get Smart
18:58 [karobit] Steve Gutenberg is holding a camcorder and it's as big as a golden retriever
18:58 [karobit] he's imitating Robin Leach in what was the last time that imitating Robin Leach was relevant
19:00 [karobit] Ted Danson is dancing next to a jukebox at a house party while wearing a smoking jacket with the arm sleeves pushed up like he's on Miami Vice and with his hair swept back like a Thomas Jefferson wig



That's it, I could only make it 7 minutes or so.

Apparently Bill and I think alike


There's an old Star Trek: The Next Generation episode on the television. The Arsenal of Freedom, from the first season. I remember watching it when it was new and I was seven years old. It has one of those scenarios that seems blatantly obvious to the viewer but still takes most of the hour for the characters to unravel. Did I feel this way as a child too? Was I silently screaming at the screen, desperately wanting to tell Riker "Don't trust Captain Rice! Everyone's dead! The advanced weapons system killed them all!" But it's hard to remember not knowing things that you know now. It's hard to feel anything other than what you feel in the moment.

I made tacos tonight, with ground beef I had brought down to thaw this morning. After eating them, immediately after swallowing the last bite, I got up, went to the bathroom, and had a terrible bowel movement. This was followed by the peculiar feeling of my tongue being too large for my mouth, like something I could accidentally choke on. I recognized this as a precursor to nausea, but that didn't stop the feeling that I felt at that moment and had replaced all of my memories of a normal tongue. Things felt wrong and I couldn't even remember how they felt when they felt right.

Now I have to determine the culprit responsible for my malady. Like a standoff, cheese, tortillas and meat all have their guns pointed at each other in a shouting match over who the undercover cop is and while I have a soft spot for Steve Buscemi, I know I'm going to just have to whack all of them. This ruins my plans for future meals, but just as I have no memory of the past, I have no sympathy for the future. For the time being, I don't even want to think about eating a taco. At this moment, my only meal is 7-Up and chicken noodle soup.

Saturday night's dinner, Monday's lunch, Tuesday's lunch and dinner and possibly even tomorrow's lunch before work have been and will all be spaghetti. This isn't notable, except for the sauce. I made this sauce from scratch, almost, which would be more impressive if I hadn't purchased the wrong type of tomatoes, if it hadn't tasted so horrible I had to supplement it with a jar of the Ragu I normally eat, and if I hadn't used ground turkey.

I first encountered ground turkey back in 1996 when Danica, my six-years-older long distance internet girlfriend, came to visit me and stayed at my family's house for a week. In retrospect, nothing about that scenario makes any sense whatsoever, beginning with the part where my parents said okay to this at all, but I certainly didn't mind at the time and I don't regret it now. Anyways, the ground turkey.

Danica didn't eat red meat and my dad makes two things really well: tacos and spaghetti. So in deference to her dietary concerns, he used ground turkey. I'm older now and the bloom has come off the rose with regards to my parents and their infalliability, but my father is clearly some sort of wizard because I don't recall it tasting any different. My mind filed away this information: "Ground turkey is just ground beef from a bird. Same diff."

I didn't touch the stuff again until two summers ago when my toe started hurting like I'd broken it in a million different places. After an unbearably long wait in the examination room, a vague phone call came from the general practicioner I'd chosen at random on my health insurance company's website that maybe claimed I had gout or maybe claimed I hadn't. The receptionist was unclear and I never bothered to get clarification because, frankly, all the symptoms fit and Google has a Ph.D too.

Convinced my uric acid levels were through the roof, I decided to cut the offending foods from my diet. Gone were the beers I don't drink, the seafood I don't eat, and the liver which is totally disgusting. Gone too, at least partially, was the beef. What, instead, would I use with my sale-purchased half-dozen boxes of Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni? Ground turkey was my alternative.

The consistency of ground turkey, whether purchased in one of those freezer tubes or in one of those brain trays in the meat section at the grocery store, is extremely similar to that photo. You know, the photo of the mechanically separated chicken used for McDonald's McNuggets, before it's been seasoned, breaded and fried? Where it looks like a pile of strawberry shake and your brain can't quite fathom it actually being edible foodstuff? That's what ground turkey looks like when you attempt to brown it and, though I love that McDonalds photo because it showcases the triumph of human ingenuity and culinary science to turn something so clearly horrifying into a prodcut that I genuinely enjoy, what I've learned is that I am not a culinary scientist. I don't have the skills or the resources to perform whatever sort of voodoo or witchcraft turns a pink slurry of chicken bits into a golden brown McNugget. I have some oregano. I stomached the ground turkey for a couple weeks and then gave right the hell up.

So why did I forget all of that and purchase the ground turkey on Saturday? Why did I absent-mindedly put it in my already-awful tomato sauce? Why do I feel this compulsion, this duty to eat all of it. I'm not a thrifty person. I will throw out food if I don't like it. But I made this from scratch. I guess that means I feel a little more responsible, a little more sentimental. Mostly though, I just don't want to forget. I want to remember forever: Don't buy the ground turkey.

 When I reached the front door at work this morning, I was already disoriented from having to wake up at 5:30AM after a weekend off. I don't do well with mornings and despite my best intentions, I never quite manage to adjust my sleep schedule gradually. So, with four hours of sleep under my belt and a belly full of Cheerios, I did wonder at first if I was still asleep when I look at the lock and saw it was upside-down.

This is actually a common situation in my brain, probably from a youth spent reading science fiction and seeing an episode or two of The Twilight Zone: I will, at the slightest provocation, assume the world has drastically changed without my knowledge. If I walk outside and a car happens to pass by me a little closer than I would have liked, a small part of me will think, "Oh drat, a bounty has been placed on me and now everyone is going to try to run me over in their car." If I walk out of a movie theater into an empty parking lot, I might try to humorously wonder aloud if there was a holocaust/visitation/rapture while I was eating popcorn and watching Nut Shots VI: Scrotum Pole. And, apparently, when I am greeted after two days off with a lock that won't open, I will actually, genuinely wonder if I was fired.

Obviously, of course, that's not the case. Apparently whomever installs the locks at our store had a lot of leftover IKEA parts because this is not the first door of ours it has happened to. It took a half-hour to get us inside, which seems like a long time on the face of it, but if we had waited for a locksmith I might still be there. I called for one at 7:10AM and when I left work at 3:45PM he still hadn't shown. I want to be angry about it but I don't know the whole story. Maybe his boss will change the locks on him tomorrow and fire his ass.

The movie wasn't that great either.


 We made a plan to see The Illusionist during the Super Bowl today, figuring that most everyone else would be at home eating pizza rolls proxy fighting over whether black or green complemented yellow better. Unfortunately, the art house it was playing at must sell season passes to elderly couples because the theater slowly filled up with wrinkled people who didn't seem to know where they were or what they were doing.

This particular theater is also old enough to not have stadium seating, like a time capsule from the pre-mid-90s. This wouldn't particularly bother me if I wasn't 6'5". I spent most of my youth slouching in the theater so as not to be a raging cock to whomever happened to be seated behind me, but the things we can get away with at 12 we can no longer get away with at 30. Despite even the slightest ounce of good sense, the smallest old bitty in the world decided to sit directly behind me. I dutifully slinked down into my chair where I sat for nearly ninety minutes with a sore ass and back.

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