Saturday, December 31, 2011

Salatious Stories

I've read An Abundance of Katherines and Paper Towns since last time. In fact, I just finished Paper Towns. I think I may have liked it best, but I haven't had that much time to reflect on it and I'm definitely prone to recentism. Of course, Looking for Alaska fucked me up so much that I had a very hard time falling asleep the night I finished reading it*. I'm not entirely immune from sleepless nights, but it was an odd one. I had to keep reminding myself that Alaska Young isn't real.

My claim to fame in boy-girl relations was 2nd grade. I had two girlfriends and I recall briefly having them simultaneously. After reading An Abundance of Katherines, I realized that I have no recollection of who dumped who to end those relationships. I can only infer from my recollection of them and that time. I think Carrie Icannotrememberherlastname, who liked to kiss me on the cheek, but I wouldn't let her kiss me on the lips and who I had a fake wedding with, dumped me. I'm pretty sure I dumped Kayla Forsberg. I remember being a dick to her.

I had a girlfriend for about fifteen minutes in 5th grade. Her name was Stephanie Ramsey** and her friends asked me to be her girlfriend, but she wouldn't talk to me. Later in the that recess period her friends dumped me for her because she was too shy to talk to me.

If you use the generous definition of dumping that John Green does than I had an oddity of a relationship last year. I don't know. It was something. If you want to cast it as a relationship that has a dumper/dumpee continuum, then I was probably the dumper, but it ended very oddly. My words were the last words though. I'm being very vague and that's for good reason. This story won't ever be on my blog***.

Lindsay Lee Wells would be disappointed in my story-telling abilities. No fucking moral.

I think I would be around two standard deviations away from the mean towards dumpee on the dumper/dumpee bell curve. My brief and mostly childish track record doesn't quite agree with that, but it also doesn't account for my crippling shyness, terrible anxiety and general desperation. Those things did not exist together in me until I was in High School. The only thing that moves me towards dumper is that I eventually become irritated enough to fight back. Also, my imaginary girlfriend could never dump me; I could only dump her****.

My plans for New Year's are to start reading Will Grayson Will Grayson. There was a time not so long ago that you wouldn't get to know about how lamely I was going to spend my evening. I've stopped caring though. I used to log out of Facebook on Friday and Saturday nights and I would send tweets via text message from my bed, so people couldn't see that I was just sitting on my computer. I don't go to many parties and I don't do many exciting things period. There's no point in keeping up an illusion.

It doesn't really upset me that much to not be going out on most Friday nights or New Year's Eve. I think I pretend that I might be up to something other than being online to keep anyone from pitying me. I've come to the conclusion that people don't particularly care. I mean, people could've compared their Michael notes and found that I wasn't anywhere if it actually mattered. I'm quite content with just going out on occasion. I'd like my social life to be more active, but it's not something that I wallow about. I'm not going out every Friday and Saturday and binge drinking just because it's the thing to do*****. I'm alright with spending more nights on Xbox Live than going out.

Anyway, Happy New Year guys. I appreciate you spending any of you're 2011 on here and would be happy if you continued to do so in 2012. Expect a New Year's resolution-y post at some point in the near future.

Thanks for reading and please comment

*I would advise you to not read the 'After' portion at night and if you do read it at night, you don't have to read the entire thing in one sitting.
**I think
***With some prodding I would probably share it privately with some of you. It probably isn't that interesting to anyone not involved in it though. Still, it was fucking strange.
****We've got a good thing going.
*****After School Special much?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Cry, Cry, Cry

I have spent the last three(ish) hours choked up reading the second half of "Looking For Alaska." I'm not sure if I lose nerdfighter cred in admitting that I haven't read John's books and just got them yesterday (well two days ago now) for Christmas. As much as I would like to really cry, I find it to be something very hard for me to actually do. Like, I'm constantly way too aware of myself to actually ever form tears.

I'm definitely not going to get into specifics, because of the desire to keep all of John Green's books unspoiled*. I think we're all especially sensitive to it now given the accidental shipment of "The Fault In Our Stars.**" However, I think we're good at this no spoilers thing, because I was pretty sure I had a pretty good idea of where 'Looking for Alaska" was going, but I was super-fucking wrong. And here I am at a quarter after one in the morning writing a fucking blog post.

Anyway, back the entire never crying thing. I don't think I'm all that good a outwardly displaying my emotions. Though that usually isn't so bad when I'm alone. I mean, I yell loudly and angrily at video games alone in my room all the time***. However, I'm never so unaware of myself of my emotions that I allow myself a good cry and I really felt like crying tonight reading that book. I do find myself feeling that 'choked-up' feeling a lot more often that I used to. As I don't think I've ever experienced tragedy, the thinks that make me feel like that are books and songs****.

I'm absolutely certain that my inability to cry is due to my conditioning as an emotionless male. It wasn't my parents either really. For as much as I bitch about my Dad, he definitely cries. I'm trying my best to be less stoic and feel. I don't think I'll ever be super-emotional*****, but I 'd like to not have a heart attack at 50, because I never expressed anything. No, I'm going to let my being anxious about every goddamn thing be what does me in.

This what you get with me after 1am. I wouldn't call my self 'vulnerable' exactly, because if I'm guarded enough to not cry, I'm sure as hell guarded enough to keep shit from this post. I'll just say my inhibitions drop a little. Also this will be even less proof-read****** than usual, in that I wouldn't proof read it at all.

Also, I say never cry not exactly in the literal sense, because I think I've actually shed tears twice since being a 'grown-up.'

Thanks for reading

*Given the weird-ass ways that people stumble here, I think it's best not to hint at anything.
**To be fair, the book would've leaked anyway, because everything leaks and spoilers would be abound.
***I'm pretty sure Mom thinks I'm a mad-man
****Movies don't really do that for me. Deathly Hallows part two did it, but that was entirely because I had read the book.
*****Could you imagine?
******And I hardly proof-read as it is.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's Not Winter

I did the last bit of my Christmas shopping yesterday. It was only the second time I actually had to go out to do any of it this year. The internet is wonderful. The only consequence is that my 'recommended by for you' section on Amazon is ruined. I'm not saying its's not entirely my Sister's fault, but her Christmas list exuded lameness. It's just that now it recommends things like Michael Bublé and that's just horrifying. The internet gods can't think these things about me.

The sacrifices I make.

The presents I got for my Mom were delivered on Monday. They weren't all that big, but they came in a gigantic box with lots of packing. They aren't even fragile. I think that's why I had to pay $7 for shipping. I got a gigantic box and packing material.

I'm going to set off one the adventure of wrapping them tonight. I'm not very good at wrapping presents. I understand how it should work and they should look, but that's never what happens. At least most of the things I have to pack are rectangular in nature, which makes things a lot easier.

I'm going to have to buy a new keyboard soon. I'm not particularly friendly to my keyboards, but this one's lifespan has been surprisingly short. That's not particularly surprising given that it was the cheapest wireless one at Best Buy when my last one when kaput. This one still works except the spacebar sticks. That's about the worst problem a keyboard could have. I think I could get around a letter not working, but excessive or nonexistent spaces make things annoying.

Did you know the Winter Solsctice isn't until 12:30 EST tonight (or 9:30 PST)? So, it's not technically winter yet, Em... I mean everyone


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Baby Jesus

The other night I was looking at the full moon and decided something. I want to live on the moon someday. That would be cool. I realize that a lot would have to happen and NASA would need to be, you know, funded again. Still, you can put that along with becoming the Cookie Monster as my life goals. Being the Cookie Monster on the Moon and I would be one happy dude. In a not unrelated note, I've been watching a lot of Astronomy videos lately. Space is fucking cool.

My life has been terribly lame as of late. I should qualify that by saying more terribly lame than usual. I feel like if you all knew the sad and pathetic ways I spend a lot of my time, you wouldn't want to know me anymore, which would just make the lameness factor even higher.

I'm leaning towards just leaving my NaNoWriMo alone. I was just going to leave it alone for a week or so and then go in and at least start trying to copy-edit it. However, the further removed I got from the less I wanted to go back into. As I get further away from it the worse I feel about. I know that a lot of that is me just being self-critical. However, when I think of any form of art I've come to love it's always something that I grow fonder of the longer I've gone without experiencing it*.

I really feel like I hardly do anything anymore. I suppose I've done basically nothing for most of my life though, so I guess It's just weighing on me more. I had a terrible night a few Fridays ago due to that stuff. It was as bad of a place as I've been emotionally in quite awhile, but it hasn't repeated itself, which is great. It's a bit more complicated than what I've written here, but I can't be expected to fully understand myself.

On a much lighter note, there's a very special birthday coming up. It's the birthday of someone is awesome and very short. I'm talking, of course, about The Baby Jesus**. Actually, The Baby Jesus was almost undoubtedly not born in December***, so he's just a big phony trying to get presents.


*An example here would be The Da Vinci Code. I absolutely loved that book initially, but now that I'm years from having read it I don't look at it too fondly.
**Or Emma. I'm actually talking about Emma
***Evidence for Emma's December birth is pretty solid

Thursday, November 24, 2011

NaNoWriMo 5

I hit 50,000 words tonight and finished my novel. Those numbers ended up not being very far apart. I guarantee with revision this would end up below 50,000 words, probably well below. This means you get another chapter and this will be the final one that I post here. If for some reason you've enjoyed reading them and would like to read the entire rough draft, I will gladly email it to you. Just leave a comment or let me know some other way and let me know your email, so I can send it to you.

Honestly this chapter is the ending of the story I had planned to right. It's not the end of the book, because I added a plot point, so I could get to 50,000 words. So, here is Chapter 39:

Chapter Thirty Nine

I stood up and followed her into her bedroom. I really didn’t know what she was up to. We had plenty of privacy in the living room too, so I was puzzled. Nothing that had happened that day led me to think that she wanted to have sex again, but I can’t say I didn’t want to. I doubted she had anything special to show me too.

She opened a drawer in her dresser and pulled out a pair of white socks. She sat on the corner of the bed. She smiled up at me.

“I didn’t want you to think I was going to take more pills,” she said, “Also, you’re nice company to have around.”

“I would’ve believed you, if you’d just told me,” I said.

Slipped on the socks and then pulled her red shoes out from under the bed.

“I know you would have,” she said, “I probably would’ve popped one had you not come with me though.”

She slipped the shoes on to her feet and laced them up. She looked up at me again.

“I’d like to keep you around forever,” she said, “but I think it’s time for you to go. I’ve got to get ready for work soon and I’m sure you have a life to return to. I don’t mean to sound like I’m just kicking you out.”

“Ok,” I said, “I’ll leave. It was nice…”

“Not before I walk you out,” she said.

“Ok,” I said breaking into a smile.

“I think you’re probably too shy to ask for it,” she said, “so hand me your phone and I’ll put in my number.”

I pulled my phone out of my pocket and handed it to her. She slid it opened and typed something in it and then handed it back to me. I didn’t really look; I just closed it and put it back into my pocket. She seemed alright with the way I handled that.

“You’d better call me,” she said.

“I will,” I said.

“I’ll hunt you down if you don’t,” she said before starting to laugh.

“I’ll keep that in mind,” I said.

She stood up and walked out of the room, motioning for me to follow her. She stopped in front of the door and opened the closet there. She pulled out her jacket and slipped it on.

“Not that you brought that much stuff,” she said, “but you’re sure you’re not forgetting anything?”

“I’ve got everything,” I said patting my ass to make sure I still had my wallet.

“Good,” she said.

She opened the door and we walked outside together. It wasn’t all that cold. There was still a little chill in the air, but it was certainly warmer than it had been the day before. It was covered until we got down to the parking lot, so we didn’t need to worry about the rain until then.

We didn’t talk as we walked down the steps side by side. I stopped just before we were about to leave cover and she did the same. She looked at me as if she was wondering why I stopped.

“You don’t have to go into the rain,” I said.

“I want to,” she said.

“It’s cold though,” I said, “I’d rather you didn’t get wet on my behalf. You might get sick.”

“I won’t get sick,” she said, “I’ll shove you out there, if you don’t move soon, though.”

I stepped out and she was right beside. We we’re just a few steps out when the rain picked up in intensity. I walked a little fast as did she. I stopped by the driver’s side door and we faced each other. The rain had already soaked her hair it was dripping down her face. I was soaked as well and was freezing.

She looked up at me. I’m not one who usually picks up on signals, but this time it was pretty clear. She got up on her tippy-toes and I leaned down. We kissed. It was a fervent kiss. Kissing in the rain is one of those romanticized things that people put on their bucket lists. I think most people imagine it being in a summer shower not on some chilly fall afternoon. Still, I suppose it’s something I can claim now.

“I needed to do that,” she said after pulling away from the kiss, “I hope you didn’t mind.”

“Of course not,” I said.

“I don’t know where you want to go from here,” she said, “but it’s on you.”

“Ok,” I said.

“I just don’t want to ever go back to being strangers,” she said, “Just so you know I wouldn’t turn down a date. I don’t want you to be worried about that. Don’t feel obligated to do that though.”

“Alright,” I said.

“I’ll be working a lot this weekend,” she said, “call me next week and we’ll work it out then.”

“I don’t want to become strangers either,” I said, finally finding actual words.

“Good,” she said, “thank you so much for everything.”

“Thank you for being such a nice host,” I said.

“Goodbye, Michael,” she said.

She wrapped her arms around me and held me in an embrace for a while. I put my arms around her too. We had shared so much with each other. That was probably the best hug I’ve ever gotten. I said more than any words could. We finally pulled apart and I pulled my car keys out of my pocket. I unlocked my door.

“Bye, Camille,” I said, “I’m really glad you let me hang out with you.”

She didn’t say anything. She simply smiled at me. She was shivering pretty badly. I shut my car door and started the engine. She waved and then ran for cover. I was freezing too and was willing my car to warm up quickly when I started it. You never realize exactly how wet you are until you’re in a dry place.

I got everything situated and then put the car into the drive. I saw Camille standing under cover. She started waving when she thought I could see her. She was soaked and shivering. I waved back as I pulled past. I watched in the rear view mirror as she nearly sprinted out of sight.


P.S. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

NaNoWriMo 4

I got to 40,000 words tonight, so that means you have to endure another chapter from my book. This is Chapter 34. It's mostly about a dream. It actually is an exaggerated version of a dream I had not too long ago*. Again, I'll remind that this isn't edited or revised.

Chapter Thirty Four

It wasn’t that long before I knew she had fallen asleep. I didn’t want to move, because I was afraid that I would disturb her. It wasn’t that terrible of a position or anything. It was a little weird for me though. I’ve never slept naked before and certainly not naked with another person.

My mind wouldn’t shut up either. I would shut my eyes and try to sleep, but I couldn’t stop thinking about what had already happened that night and what was going to happen next. I was afraid that I had taken advantage of her, which is kind of absurd given the way the night had played out. I kept thinking she would probably hate me when we woke up. There was also another voice in my head telling my how absurd my anxieties were, but it didn’t succeed in getting rid of them.

It was probably an hour before my fatigue overcame my anxiety. I managed to actually fall asleep after closing my eyes. I like sleep. It is like a fast forward button. It always seems like no time has elapsed and you’ve just jumped forward in time.

It’s weird how you can’t fall asleep, if you’re really excited about something or really dreading it. It seems like you really should be able to force yourself to sleep if you’re looking forward to something, because it would make that thing closer. If you’re dreading something coming up, you probably shouldn’t sleep, so it doesn’t come up so quickly. Though, you may want to sleep just to get it over with.

Of course, the entire feeling like no time elapses thing is changed by having a dream you can remember. It still feels like you’ve leapt forward however long you’ve slept, but you still know time actually happened because you experienced it in the dream.

I don’t really have dreams that I can remember that often. I know that I have them, but they are usually easily forgotten. I will have one that’s vivid enough that’ll remember it on occasion. They’re usually pretty strange. The hallmark of my dreams is changing characters. I often will be with someone in my dream and who that person is will just change. It’s never dramatic or anything, it’s just someone turns into someone else.

Stress usually isn’t a trigger for dreams for me. I don’t really know what triggers a dream that I’ll remember. It may be loneliness or longing, but I can’t be sure. I just know that usually when I’m most anxious my sleep is pretty peaceful; the little bit of it I get that is.

I did have a dream that night though. It was unusual as dreams are. It was just Camille and I. She was wearing the same clothes she had been wearing the night before, but her red hoodie was missing and she was wearing her red chucks. I didn’t really pay much attention to what I was wearing, but I know I was fully clothed.

We were walking down a dirt road in the middle of nowhere and my presumption is that we were walking home from school; though that was never made clear by the dream. We were just walking; we weren’t holding hand and weren’t particularly close to each other. It was the type of thing that I think doesn’t really exist anymore, but is idealized in fiction about the fifties. On both sides were farm fields. The corn in these fields was very tall; probably taller than corn ever actually gets.

Camille started talking about her Mom. She wasn’t saying the things she had said the night before. She was telling me about the thing her Mom did to annoy her. However, what she was telling me about was the things that my father does to annoy me. It was quite a long list and I was kind of pleased that someone had the same problems as me.

As we were walking down the road, suddenly we were confronted by the Notre Dame marching band. It beats the hell out of me why it was the Notre Dame marching band. They were definitely playing the Notre Dame fight song, which I think is the best in college football. I mean, there’s Michigan’s, but when you live here you’re allowed to ignore that.

We had to get out of there way, so we ran off the road. The road was sort of elevated, so we had to run down the slope into the ditch. The corn seemed even taller down there. She was right next to me as the marching band went started to go by on the road. She grabbed a hold of my hand kind of tightly. That made me feel all funny on the inside, which is weird considering we had done more than hold hands the night before.

It seemed never ending; they just kept coming and kept playing that song. She stayed right next to me seeming transfixed on what was happening on the road. Then, some tuba player stopped playing and looked over at us as he walked by. It didn’t seem like a big deal to me. However, she took off into the field of corn behind us. I watched the guy who was looking at us walk past and then start playing again before I took off after her.

I was running through the leaves and stalks. It went on and on and got thicker and thicker. I was beginning to think it was too thick for me to continue, when suddenly I burst through into a clearing. I looked around and saw that it wasn’t anything besides a clearing surrounded by corn fields.

In a lot of my dreams, the girl that stood across the clearing from me wouldn’t be Camille. However, this time it was still her. She had changed outfits though. She was wearing the stripper clothes she had worn at the club the night before. I moved towards her. The heat had suddenly become stifling and the sun seemed even brighter overhead.

I moved towards and began to notice that something wasn’t right. She seemed to be struggling and was rooted to the spot. Also, she didn’t seem to notice me at all. As I got closer, I saw what was holding her. There were two corn stalks holding her feet to the ground; they contrasted with her white stockings. I could also see behind her legs another stalk, which must have been holding her hands behind her back. I started running towards her.

I probably got ten feet from her before I tripped and fell to the ground. I tried to get back up, but couldn’t. I looked up at her. She was still struggling, but was still rooted to the ground. She also still failed to notice me.

Suddenly, behind her something rose from the ground. Once the dust had settled, I saw that it was a walking scarecrow. It was odd in that it was wearing a black suit. It slowly walked towards her. It grabbed her and the plants that had been holding her disappeared. She screamed, but soon seemed to accept as she was dragged back towards the corn fields.

I renewed my struggles to get up, but I still couldn’t. She finally noticed me as she was about to be taken into the corn plants. She didn’t scream for help or anything. She just shook her head as the tears trickled down her cheeks. I caught a final look at her before she disappeared into the corn fields. I was then suddenly free to stand up.

It was very quiet. I stood up and moved towards where I had last seen her. I thought I caught a glimpse of her as I got closer. Then I heard a loud female scream.


*The walking with a girl, avoiding the marching band, and holding hands was the extent of my actual dream

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

NaNoWriMo 3

I hit 30,000 words last night, so you get to tolerate (hopefully) another chapter. This time it's Chapter 21. I had a hard time choosing between this and Chapter 23. I think Chapter 23 is probably more interesting, but is also very similar to Chapter 11, which was in my last post, so I thought I'd give you something a little different. Again, no editing or revision has been done.

Chapter Twenty One

She came back. She didn’t come to the couch to sit by me though. I thought she was about to walk outside. Instead, she opened up her closet by the door. She started taking out a jacket.

“Come on,” she said, “I want to go outside for a little bit.”

I didn’t particularly want to go outside. It had to be even colder now than it had been earlier, but I have that issue with saying no; particularly to women. So, I got up and stood by the door and waited for her to put on her jacket, gloves and hat. I braced myself in just my hoodie and felt the cold air when she opened the door.

I pulled the hood up over head as soon we stepped outside. This hoodie doesn’t have the pocket on the front that most hoodies have so I was just trying to keep my hands covered by my sleeves. That didn’t work out though because she grabbed my left hand. We started walking down the hall holding hands. It felt nice. It made me forget about the cold for a bit.

We stopped walking at the landing of the steps at the end of the hall. It was at the opposite end of where we had walked up when we’d first come up. That seemed like a while ago. The view at the edge of the railing was that of the city’s skyline. She and I stood side by side looking at it.

I always think that things look so much clearer through cold air. I don’t know it’s that’s really true or not. It may just be that my being cold is making my focus more sharp. It was a pretty close view to begin with. It seemed more sharp or intense than I’ve ever seen it before. I suppose it could also be the company I had that was holding my hand as well.

“I think it’s a pretty view,” she said.

“It is,” I said.

I always kind of liked our skyline. It’s not particularly impressive compared to bigger cities. Still, I think it’s a good looking skyline. It’s particularly pretty at night. The way the buildings are lit up is just cool to me. I suppose there’s also some sort of hometown pride in their as well. Not that I’m particularly prideful about this place. I mean, I wouldn’t hesitate to move away should the opportunity present itself. I’m just not desperate to get away or anything.

We stood in silence for a while. I could definitely feel the cold again. She seemed to be enjoying herself so I just dealt with it. I think she was looking kind of whimsically at the skyline.

“What do you think about when you see those buildings?” she asked.

“They symbolize my hometown,” I said, “I’d know that skyline anywhere. They look like that from here, but when you’re actually there you can’t really appreciate them. I mean, they’re impressive you walk beside them, but it’s different when you like at them like this.”

I was really fighting the urge to shiver. It wouldn’t be long until I couldn’t stop myself from doing it. I don’t think I’m particularly wimpy about the cold. I prefer to the heat of summer, but I don’t normally spend extended time outside when it’s hovering near freezing with out my coat. It had been an odd night though and I suppose us standing there looking at the skyline was no different.

“It’s hard to believe things like those could exist when I was at home,” she said, “I knew they did and I knew thing were different in other places. Still, the ways things are there it doesn’t seem like there are people who could build such big things or that there would need to be such big places for people to work at.”

Our perspectives were very different. I had already realized that, but it really crystallized in my mind at that moment. I watched her. I could clearly see her breath as she kept looking at the view. She eventually looked over at me. She smiled when I looked back.

“Alright,” she said, “it’s freezing and I don’t think we’ll run into anybody worth running into out here. Let’s go back to the apartment.

“Ok,” I said.

We walked back to her door. She let go of my door to let us back in, I had really liked holding her hand, but it was nice to have it back. It was so cold it had gotten painful. I covered it with my sleeve and longed for the warmth in her place. We both hurried in once she had the door open.

Being out of the cold was so nice. I put my hood back. My hand, nose and ears all had been so cold. She took off her jacket and things and put them back in the closet. She turned, but sort of stumbled. She ended up grabbing me to keep herself upright. She laughed.

“Whoops,” she said, “I’m not drunk or anything.”

“I trip over my own feet all the time,” I said.

“I’m gonna go make us some more hot chocolate,” she said, “Your nose is so red.”

“Thanks,” I said.

“It’ll be just a minute,” she said, “You can sit back down if you want to.”

I did got and sit back where I had been on the couch. I would be glad to have that warm mug in my hands again. I could hear the microwave buzzing and then the timer went off. Shortly after, she came back carrying two mugs. She handed me one.

“Do you want me to get you a blanket?” she asked.

“No,” I said, “but thank you.”

She sat down beside me. She set her mug down and then unlaced and slipped off her shoes. She sat them neatly on the floor before picking her hot chocolate back up and started sipping along with me.

“I don’t really like the cold,” she said, “but I don’t know if I could live somewhere that didn’t have a real winter.”

“I know I couldn’t,” I said, “Winter is my favorite season.”

“I always have liked the spring,” she said.

“It’s nice the first day you can go out in short sleeves in the spring,” I said.

“I just like the longer days and that things get pretty again,” she said.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

NaNoWriMo 2

I hit 20,000 words on my NaNoWriMo last night. So that means you all are going to be subjected to another bit of my story. Again, this isn't proof-read, much less edited and revised.

So, a fair bit of warning, this chapter does get kind of a explicit. I don't think it's ridiculously so, but still. Keeping context to a minimum, the "I" character is at Camille's apartment*. She tells him her experience of being a stripper. So, here is Chapter Eleven:

*Final warning about adult content*

Chapter Eleven

“Does your girlfriend know you were at a strip club tonight,” she asked over the running water.

I don’t know if she was trying to flatter me, but she kind of did. Her saying that means she thinks I’m the type of guy a girl would want to be with or at least wanted me to think she thought that. She may have just been curious about my relationship status, but didn’t want to come right out with it, but even that theory has a similar affect on me. I’ve made jokes for years about having an imaginary girlfriend, so I witty answer actually came to me quickly enough for me to use it.

“She’s imaginary,” I said, “so she knows what I want her to know.”

She laughed harder than I had heard her laughing before. You can tell when someone finds something really funny. It’s not that all laughs are insincere, but a lot of the time you can at least compose yourself enough to laugh in a more controlled manner. Her laugh wasn’t annoying or anything it was just different than the way she had giggled before. I was just really glad she had found something I had said funny.

“Do you work, Michael?” she asked.

I hated that question. I’ve found that telling people that I didn’t have job was terribly embarrassing. I mean it wasn’t entirely my fault, but it still sucked. It was even worse considering what she did for a paycheck. I just sat on my ass and collected unemployment, too discouraged to try as hard as I could to look for a job.

“I don’t have a job right now,” I said.

“It kind of sucks right now,” she said, “It’s tough to get a job. What did you do before?”

“I worked in a warehouse,” I said.

I wasn’t going to tell her exactly what warehouse I worked in unless she asked. I worked at the Victoria’s Secret Direct warehouse.

“What did you do?” she asked.

“I worked in Inventory Control,” I said, “so basically I did a lot of counting to check inventory. There was a lot of walking, but that’s about as hard as it got.”

“How did you lose it?” she said.

“I got laid off,” I said.

That was actually a half truth. I mean technically I was laid off, but in reality it was more mutual than that. I could’ve stayed and honestly I should’ve, but I thought they weren’t doing things the right way. They had kept hinting at making me a regular employee, because I had been hired seasonally, but then they said they wanted to keep me through a temp agency. I didn’t agree to be hired by the temp agency, so they had to lay me off.

“That sucks,” she said.

For a bit the only sound was the water running. I felt the need to keep us talking though. I was feeling slightly more comfortable. I was curious about something. I convinced myself to ask.

“What’s it like?” I asked before I started rambling, “I mean at your job. Are people respectful? Are there a lot of jackasses? Do you get used to it?”

I immediately felt like I shouldn’t have said any of that. I was sure my face was in the process of turning red. She was probably going to kick me out or yell at me. I was sure. Instead I heard her sigh. More importantly it didn’t seem like an annoyed sigh. I couldn’t really quite quantify it in my mind.

“The reason I do it is because it pays well;” she said, “at least well enough for me to stay here in relative comfort. It kind of sucks, but some days are better than others. I can’t really say I’ve ever gotten used to it. I’ve gotten to the point where most days I’m not so acutely aware of all the eyes on me when I’m on stage, but other times I feel each and every one of them.

“As for the customers when I’m out on the floor, it really varies. I’d say the most of them are respectful to me. Still, the others will stick out in my mind. There are the dumb fucks who don’t get that they aren’t allowed to touch me. I mean it really sucks having your boob grabbed, but the bouncers make quick work of them. Those aren’t the worse ones though.

“No, it’s the assholes who are verbally abusive and degrading. They say horrible lewd things to me. I can’t get really desensitized to that. I can be really terrible, but I have to force myself not to cry when that’s all I want to do. I just want to go home and cry.”

I looked over my shoulder at her. She had sounded like she was choking up pretty bad. She was looking up and I could see how watery her eyes were behind her glasses. She was blinking a lot; I think she was trying to keep the tears from getting out, but I could see the drops running down her cheeks. She looked right at me.

“That’s really awful,” I s aid before turning back to the dishes, “It sucks that people can be so terrible. And it doesn’t matter if you know they’re just a jackass, it still hurts.”

“Yea,” she said sounding more composed than I expected, “It’s exactly like that. I just can’t really fully associate the hate to the hateful person. I wish I could. The girls that have been around for a while seem pretty hardened to it. They try to give me tips on how to deal with it, but I just don’t know if I could ever be so calloused.

“Probably the worst thing, well not for me personally, but for someone to hear, is the stuff that happens in the V.I.P Rooms. They’re supposed to be just for some quieter, private dances, but I learned quickly that it’s not that simple. It costs someone a lot to get back there. I learned quickly from the other girls that you could make a lot by taking special requests in the rooms and that seems to be the expectation of a lot of the guys who pay for it.

“It’s not uncommon for a guy to want to play with himself in the backroom. They usually offer me some bigger tip, so they can do that. Then there are some weirder things. Like, one guy wanted me to take off my shoes and touch him with my feet. I don’t really mind those requests so much.

“Sometimes though, the requests are for actual sex acts. They also come with a ridiculous tip. I always turn them down and usually they don’t get upset, but if they do all I have to do is yell and the bouncers come in. Actually, one time I did agree. He asked me to just touch his cock for 500 hundred dollars. I agreed, because I was tempted by the cash and I didn’t think it was that awful. Then he said he’d triple it, if I started stroking. I mean that’s more than I can make in two weeks and my hand was already around it, so I just started doing it. I really wish I hadn’t, even though he did give me the cash. There are some lonely rich fuckers out there.

“I really like the bouncers there. They’re really nice guys even if they look intimidating. I think they’re the only reason I can stand to go into that place. I can at least feel secure, because they’re quick to handle things that might get out of control. That’s about it, I guess.”

*This would make slightly more sense had Emma picked Chapter 5 the first time ;p

Saturday, November 5, 2011

NaNoWriMo 1

At the request of one* of you =p I'm posting a little bit of the novel I'm writing for NaNoWriMo. I reached 10,000 words last and I decided that I'll post a little bit each 10,000 words. Keep in mind that this hasn't even been proof-read, much less revised and edited. Also, it's not that good. So with no context whatsoever here is the second chapter of my novel:

Chapter Two

I don’t want to tell my entire life story though. Tha

t would be terribly boring and absolutely pointless. It would be a tale about a man who has never done anything of note. I want to tell about a few nights ago. What happened that night is way more interesting than anything that happened to me before then. It might not even be that interesting, but if I’m going to tell a tale about myself, it wou

ld be this.

It was just a few days ago, but the weather was very different. In the meantime, Indian Summer has kicked in. That night it was quite cold. I don’t mind that though since I much prefer the cold air as winter approaches than the warm air of summer.

It had been a pretty typical day. I went to class, didn’t say much for the hours I was there and then came home. I made myself a meal and then went up to my room. I had spent hours playing Call of Duty. Then there was an unusual occurrence. My ce

ll phone rang.

The ringing isn’t necessarily all that rare, but what is rare is that it wasn’t the annoying ringtone that I had assigned my father. People calling me who aren’t my Dad is so infrequent that I forget what ringtone I gave someone else. Though just knowing that it isn’t him increases the odds of me answering by basically infinity.

It was my friend, Nick. I can’t say I was expecting it to be him. I mean his probably the person I hang out with the most and one of my best friends, he just doesn’t call often. He also fails to call back most of time. I slid open my phone.

“Hello,” I said.

“What’s up, man?” he asked.

“Not too much,” I said, “How are you?”

“Alright, Alright,” he said, “Did you know Pat’s in town?”

“No,” I said

“He is,” he said, “He wants to go out to a strip club. You wanna come?”

In a moment I made the decision to say, “Yes.” I’d never been to one before and I’d really never had any desire to. Still, I wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to

hang out with two of my best friends.

“Cool,” he replied, “Meet us there at like seven.”

“Ok,” I said, “Where the hell is it?”

He told me where and I was surprised by how far out of town it was. It was just off some exit in middle of nowhere. I didn’t go that way very often, bu

t I’m pretty sure that it was one of those exits that has the giant fucking gas stations for truckers and some fast food or some shit.

“That’s pretty damn far isn’t it?” I said.

“Yea,” he said, “but Pat said he’s been there before and he liked it.”

“Alright,” I said, “I’ll be there.”

“See ya, man,” he said.

“Bye,” I said, hanging up the phone.

I immediately felt my usual butterflies that preceded any social interaction. I suppose that were probably worse considering the specter of strange naked women and a new experience. It’s nice though that there was time for me to settle down a bit before having to get ready; though when I did start to get ready, they returned as expected.

I put on the jeans I had worn that day, found a new t-shirt to wear, and threw on my Cleveland Browns hoodie. I probably checked to see if my wallet, cell phone and keys had five times before I finally left the house. I always did that. I could be certain that I had it and still pat my ass to make sure my wallet hadn’t gone missing.

I got into my crappy car, stuck the key in the ignition and turned. It started up fine, but it also came with an annoying whine from the loose belt tensioner

. It’s pretty annoying and embarrassing, but the way Dad likes to rotate cars it’s hardly worth paying to fix.

I went to the bank. It is a bit of an awkward transaction really to go into your bank and ask for a shit ton of ones. There’s no pretending that you’re up to anything else. It’s not like you can say I just need the money, because I really dig vending machi

nes. It’s even worse that all the tellers are women. Whether they give a damn or not, I always feel they’ll see as a guy needs to go to a titty bar.

It’s a weird traffic flow when you have to cross the city during rush hour. You end up finding exactly where the cities center is though, because it’ll go s

moothly as you drive up to that point and then suddenly it will turn to shit when you join the outbound hoards. Eventually though, I got far enough way the heart of the city that it wasn’t shitty. Out of the city, I could see the big farm equipment starting the harvest in the seemingly endless fields on either side of the road.

I eventually got to the exit and as I suspected it was one o

f those trucker’s havens. There were three gas stations, a McDonalds, a Wendy’s, a Cracker Barrel and of course a porn shop. The strip club wasn’t hard to find. They really lack in subtly, those titty bars. There was flashing neon that stood bright against the twilight. They read, “Nude Girls” and “XXX.” I parked, shut off my engine, which mercifully ended that whining noise and sort of braced myself.


*Given my number or readers, one person is actually a si

zable percentage.

And Stats:

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Short Post is Short

I know I've been bad at updating this blog recently. I haven't really been all that motivated to begin with. Then there's that my life has been terribly mundane since the end of August*. I'm all for doing issue posts, but I don't want that to be all that you see here. It is also a product of being drained by BEDA.

I'm only part-time this quarter and I'm not even going to school since it's an online class. I really think I lack the organizational skills to really do well in an online class. It doesn't help that they way the professor laid out the class in Blackboard in a confusing and disorganized way. I'm going to have to make a decision on whether or not to drop soon, because failing is becoming a real possibility.

I think I had a panic attack for the first time on Friday. I wasn't really sure what was going on at the time, but as I look back on it I'm pretty sure that's what it was. It started just as I was about to leave work. I've dealt with some issues with anxiety for a very long time, but I've never really had that happen before. Here's to hoping it's not a trend.

I'm thinking about doing Nanowrimo this year. It's kind of a daunting task, but I'd like to try. It also really helps that I'm not too terribly excited about the new CoD title, so I won't feel the need to spend hours upon hours playing that. I've had a rough idea for a while. I'd like to try to get it to actually form though. The best bit is that it wouldn't even have to be good.

I'm not going to promise more consistent posts. My goal is typically at least one a week, but I've been failing at that recently. If I do start Nanowrimo it probably will get worse. I'll get back into the swing of things sooner or later though.

Thanks for reading

*Not that my life wasn't mundane in August.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Extra Life

This Saturday and Sunday I will be taking part in Extra Life. It is a 24-hour gaming marathon to raise money for Children's Hospitals across the country. If you would like to donate to the cause and sponsor me, please go here:

This year, I've decided to offer some rewards to people who donate.

For any donation whatsoever: I will write you a letter. If y ou don't want a letter and can think of something that you want that won't cost me more than a stamp/take more time than writing a letter, I'll do that instead.

For donations of $24 or more: I will send you one of the 5 Xbox 360 games that I'm giving away. Your choices are FIFA Soccer 11, Forza Motorsport 3, Need For Speed Hot Pursuit, Batman Arkham Asylum and L.A. Noire.

To clarify, there are only 5 games and they are used. In the unlikely event that more than 5 people donate and want a game, I will randomly select the 5 people who will receive the games.

For a donation of $50 or more: I will give you the ceramic box that was #10 in my 10 things to save in a fire post, which was one of my first in the blog. As I said, it's not particularly well made, but it pretty much without question the coolest piece of art I've ever done. I will also fill the box with goodies (such as non-melty candy.) Since there is only one box, it will go to the first person who makes the donation, in the event that more than one person gives this amount.

In order to get a reward, you'll need to make a donation (in your name) by 8 am EDT on Sunday and email me at . Also, the rewards do stack. I'm afraid that I won't be shipping internationally, so rewards are for U.S. readers only.

Thanks for reading


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Gaming Tuesday- FIFA 12, Pottermore, etc

Yesterday, which was actually Tuesday, which is a minor detail*, I received my Pottermore Email, got paid and bought FIFA 12. I can't emphasis enough how important the getting paid part was. I've basically been living in constant threat of overdraft since a week ago Friday**. So, I got my paycheck, deposited and have since spent the majority of it and still need to buy gas.

Pottermore wasn't initially in my plans for yesterday, but I woke up to the Email, so I planned to devote some time I would have otherwise spent on FIFA 12. I ended up being foiled though, because every time I clicked the link I wasn't allowed on due to overwhelming demand.

I did eventually get logged onto Pottermore this morning and I'll tell you more about that later. As for now I start with FIFA 12.


I spent many hours playing the Demo for FIFA 12. I was uncertain in the Demo rather the gameplay had been made worse or if it had been made better and I was just resisting change. I'm still having that quandary. I feel a little better about now that I've played some games against actual people though. The new things are still confusing, but at least against another human, they're having some of the same issues and not doing the ridiculous things the computer does.

The new "Tactical Defending" system is the cause of most of my problems. It's really hard to get used to. I just don't know if it's an actual improvement. It so far has just caused me to make lots of mistakes and allow stupid goals. It think there might just be too many buttons one needs to push in a specific and ever-changing order to do it right. It is hard to actually make a tackle and that is really frustrating particularly against the CPU, which simply will pass it around and around never allowing you to get close.

I'm not sure about the changes to the attacking side either. I feel better about them than I do about those on the defensive side. The changes aren't really that dramatic either and really are more a product of the different defending and new physics engine. I think it is now easier to score goals without using the "finesse" shot button. I've also found that you can't really cross the ball anymore the way one has been able to in basically every FIFA title up to this point. I've found that you really have to take your time while on the attack in this game and about sums up how this game is different in this phase.

The Career Mode seems to have been improved. The first thing that really made me happy was starting the MLS career on January 1st. That's a small thing, but before when starting as the Crew's manger, I always had to wait until July to make any Transfers. The transfer window is more active and enjoyable in this year's game as well. The CPU will make you offers for players that you haven't put up for sale. Sometimes it'll way over value a player and you get to decide whether or not to keep that player or not. It also no longer seems like it's just a mode that's just a fancy play now mode. Player's have mood, the media publishes stories that may or may not be accurate, you get to say something to the media during certain weeks, and there is a good way to measure a player's form. Also, there is a new system of Youth Scouting. I really like in-depth game modes in sports' games and this definitely qualifies as being in-depth.

Ultimate Team hasn't gotten any dramatic changes. It is built into the game this year, so you don't have to download it. Changes are really just ascetic and help to make more information more information immediately visible. I discovered earlier today that games that get disconnected are not being immediately rewarded as wins or losses, but are being reviewed. I think that's excellent, because often times disconnects aren't anyone's fault, but a product of EA's servers being shit and I hated losing DNF over that.

I think the graphics in FIFA 12 are excellent. They're considerably improved from last year and FIFA 11 wasn't at all bad graphically. I think the new physics engine has some bugs, but it is a step in the right direction. The commentary has been improved as well. They talked somewhat specifically about the Crew***. Also I heard a second commentary team randomly while playing Ultimate Team; mind blown.


no spoilers

I finally managed to actually get into Pottermore this morning. Every few clicks an error message would pop up about the servers, which got annoying. It is interesting, but I haven't gotten that far yet. I was willing to be persistent with it so I could get a wand and get sorted, but after that I found the errors too frustrating.

My wand is Red Oak with Unicorn Corn, 14 1/2 inches****.

I was most excited about sorting. I mean I wasn't as excited about this whole thing as a lot of other people, but getting sorted, I mean... c'mon. I think the quiz does a pretty good job without being too bogged down and academic.

I was very happy when after the Quiz I was put into Hufflepuff house. I would've been alright with anything besides Slytherin, but Hufflepuff was by far my first choice. I still haven't been in the common room though, because after sorting I got an error and couldn't get back in.

I'm hoping it'll be more cooperative soon. I'm questioning whether or not it's really ready to be out of Beta testing by the end of next month.

Thanks for reading


*Long time readers will know that any post with a day of the week in the title won't actually be posted on that day
**I actually did by $ .98, but managed to avoid the fee by transfering funds from my now small savings account.
***"Does this Crew do for you?" seems to be their only line, but still
****I won't have to be insecure about the size of my wand

Edit: I meant to shake you all down for donations for Extra Life in this post. It's coming up and I needs some donations.

You can donate here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Death Penalty

I've always kind of wanted to do a post about the Death Penalty, but it does kind of seem like a topic for a bad argumentative paper in High School. However, the events that happened in Georgia last night have put this issue into the national consciousness.

I believe that there is only one reasonable argument one can make in favor of the Death Penalty is that it serves as a deterrent. Capital crime didn't stop when the death penalty was ruled constitutional in 1974. It clearly does not act as a deterrent. Therefore, I believe it is morally indefensible.

The 7th Amendment to the United States constitution rather famously forbids "cruel and unusual punishments." I think there can be executions that are not excessively* cruel**. The more important language in the modern argument is "unusual." The Death Penalty has obviously become very unusual with our International peers in that it is totally abolished in all other nations with similar value systems. There has been some precedent in recent years for the Supreme Court to take International standards into consideration, but there is still a terrible streak of isolationism there as well. It is also slowly growing closer to being uncommon amongst the states as well.

Executing prisoners is a terrible burden to put on the men and women who work in Prisons, juries who convict people, judges and really on society as a whole. Our justice system strives to be perfect, but it can never be. Eyewitnesses are unreliable, scientific advances can provide new evidence and judges and juries can fall victim to the emotion of the moment. The Death Penalty makes it so mistakes cannot be undone. Executing an innocent man makes the State a murderer and makes those who work in our justice system bear a terrible and unnecessary guilt.

I believe that the State should be able to prosecute from a standing of morality and justice. However, an execution of an innocent makes that impossible. Once a State has done that it can only prosecute from its power. The State has the police force, so as it says goes should not be the basis of the justice system. An execution of a prisoner prevents the rectifying of any potential wrongs and makes the system less just.

Then, the death penalty is simply barbaric. An eye-for-an-eye should not be the basis for any justice system in a civilized country. We don't need to kill some one for killing another. Imprisonment doesn't stoop to the criminals level. He is removed from society as to prevent harm and can live out the rest of his life in prison.

I'm very opposed to the use of capital punishment in the criminal justice system. I think its constitutional standing is weak and is harmful to the pursuit of justice.

Thanks for reading and please comment


*I think that is the best way to interpret the language of the Amendment, because one could argue that any punishment is cruel.
**Regardless of that, what happened in Georgia last night was cruel.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 and reactions

It is strange to think it has been ten years since the attacks on September 11th, 2001. There are people old enough to have intelligent conversations with who weren't old enough to be aware of the strange transition between September 10th, 2011 and September 12, 2001. It's almost impossible to quantify how much that event changed everyone's outlook. The fear of terrorism was instantly put into the everyone's unconscious fears. I started noticing planes in the sky. How weird is it that the notion of someone hijacking a plane and crashing it into a building doesn't seem far fetched anymore?

Ok, I wrote my "where you when" last year and you can find that here. Today, I'm going to talk about the ten years since and our reactions.

As tragic as that day was, I believe the way our policy shifted after the attacks was even worse. The way in which the United States changed after the attacks is what made those attacks effective.

Proportionality should always be taken into account by government when responding to anything. Our government's response to the 9/11 attacks was definitely not proportional to what was in essence a lucky strike by Al-Qaeda. Domestic and foreign policy underwent such dramatic changes and the nation changed fundamentally.

Our nation has been at war for ten years. That is not a proportional militarily response to a terrorist attack. Too much blood and treasure has been lost and spent in response to the attacks. Then there are the tens of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans who have lost there lives in our war. It's not a just response to what happened. Then, there's the matter of both wars being absolutely unwinnable. Terrorism is a tactic, it is not a group of people and it is not something that can be defeated.

Domestically, in response to the attack the government created a new gigantic, Orwellian-sounding bureaucracy, the Department of Homeland Security, which really has no function. Civil Liberties have been revoked in the name of safety. The PATRIOT Act is something that is damaging the most basic part of what is great about America, Liberty. I really wish our legislators were smart enough to not vote on this right after the attacks. I could see how some would see it as a brilliant idea right after the attacks, but it was a ridiculous expansion of government power that will never end*.

I don't think that there should've been no response to the attacks of September 11th. It just didn't need to be so severe. It's easy to say that now with hindsight, but I'd like to think that a lot of the men and women in government would've had the foresight to see that dramatic changes in the immediate aftermath of such a traumatic event isn't wise. Some changes definitely needed to be made to reduce the risk of another attack, but total safety can never be achieved, so the fundamental changes made are just terrible.

It's always important to remember how unlikely it is for any individual to be killed by terrorism**. The government shouldn't have changed itself after 9/11, but you definitely shouldn't. Doing anything in your life differently because of fear of terrorist attack is just stupid. First, fear is exactly what the groups who perform terrorism want you feel. Second, You just aren't going to die in a terrorist attack.

Thanks for reading

*Government never gives back power once it has it.
**Hank Green stole my thunder on this one.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Batman Knows That Cheetahs Are Carnivores

In yesterday's post I said you could comment and I'd write whatever you told me to. Emma told me to write a short story containing the words :Batman, carnivore, sailboat, explosion, bonnet, carpenter, and meadow. So, I wrote a fan fiction based around the Video Game, Batman: Arkham Asylum*. It's really bad and I really hope that no Batman purist finds this. I totally made up a villian. In fact, I hope no one reads this, but it's to late to back out and I promised, so here it goes:

The fog covered the ground between the buildings as if it were a meadow between mountain peaks. The early morning air was heavy and it was quiet following an eventful overnight. Batman couldn’t help but feel that it wasn’t the end of the eventful times though as looked down from the top of the asylum.

The explosion rattled the ground and Batman jumped flew down using his cape to the source of the noise. The dust clouded the air as he slowly and deliberately approached the damage. A shrill laugh rung out that sounded as though it came from all directions.

“Blind as a bat,” called out a female voice with a mysterious accent.

Batman gripped is Batarang as he made his way deeper into the dust. He didn’t recognize the voice. The dust cleared slightly and a rapidly moving shadow appeared. Batman moved faster and emerged from the dust to find a woman sitting on a ledge. She was dressed like an Amish woman, including a bonnet; however her dress was hemmed much shorter than would be allowed.

“Who are you, woman?” Batman called out, “Give up or you’ll end up like the Joker.”

She laughed as she looked him over.

“I’m Amish Ann,” she said, “I was naughty and they kicked me out and I ended up here.”

“Go back to your cell, Ann,” he said, “otherwise I’ll have to hurt you.”

“That’s no fun, Batman,” she said as she jumped down.

Batman threw his batarang, but she quickly dodged and in a flash had landed a kick that knocked him to the ground. She giggled as she returned to her ledge. He slowly lifted himself off the ground. He had been surprised by the blow, but he was able to figure out how to use her strength against her.

“I bet you can’t do that again,” he said mockingly

“You’ll see, Batman!” she said in a huff clearly offended.

She jumped down and charged with her amazing quickness. He pulled out his grappling hook and shot. It hooked onto the top of a nearby building and he was quickly lifted into the air. He just missed the quickly charging woman and she crashed full force into one of the Island’s large trees. She crumbled into a heap on the ground and Batman glided down to secure the villainess.

Batman had the previously unknown villain on her way to her cell. He called Oracle.

“Oracle,” he said, “I’ve encountered a new villain. She called herself Amish Ann. She has more speed than a Cheetah, which is a carnivore by the way, but I managed to subdue her.”

“I’ll look for information on an inmate that fits that description,” Oracle said, “you need to get back to the city, Bruce. Joker must have planted some goons, because they started causing trouble once he was down.”

“It’s probably a distraction,” he said, “but I’ll come, if I can find a way off this Island.”

“The Island is sealed off, Bruce” Oracle said, “You couldn’t drive off even if the Batmobile wasn’t on the seafloor. I’m sure they’d let you sail past the blockade, but there are not boats docked there.”

“I’ll find a way,” he said.

Batman turned around and saw and Amish man standing there. He prepared for a fight.

“Who are you?” Batman yelled.

“I’m Jeremiah,” he said shakily, “I don’t fight. She made me come with her.”

“Jeremiah,” Batman said calmly, “Are you a good carpenter?”

“Yes,” he said, “I’ve built lots of barns and such, but why would need such a thing here?”

"If you can build me a sailboat,” Batman said, “I can get you off this island.”

“I’ll need tools,” he said, “but I’ll be able to build one.”

“Stay here,” Batman said, “I’ll get you your tools.”


With the car I was going to drive this week for the commute to work and back, I'm now driving Sarah and Brett's Chevy Blazer. The drive went smoothly today. I was glad to be back in Reynoldsburg. The bank I use doesn't have a branch in Athens and I needed to make a deposit, so I got that done. Hooray for not having to worry about overdrawing.

That's it for BEDA this time. Thanks for reading and commenting. Next time I post, hopefully I'll actually have something to say. I still think BEDA is a worthy exercise. It always pretty much turns to crap, but I think that's part of why it's good. It's noting things that you wouldn't normally note. Then, occasionally a post may actually have a point if you force yourself to do it so many days in a row.

Ok, signing off

*Great Game

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

This Here, Is A Run Out The Clock Operation

If this were April, this would be the last day. As a coincidence of the earth's orbit being roughly 365 days and the orginatization of the Gregorian Calendar, August has 31 days. Lousy Universe.

Today, I was wondering about whether dogs or cats are better looking. I'm talking purely as things, not taking any other things into consideration. I think cats win in that category. I think they're more visually pleasing, the way they move is cooler and they can do some pretty cool stuff. However, cats are assholes most of the time, so dogs win overall.

It was surprisingly cold this morning. It got below 50 degrees and I didn't think to pack a hoodie. On a warmer morning, I would normally just let the dogs out when they wake me up and come do the feeding ritual when I was actually ready to get up, but it was cold enough that I didn't want to leave them outside for very long. So, moral of the story is that I was up before I wanted to be. Lousy short-haired dogs.

This is the epitome of what BEDA devolves into. I just write about my uninteresting life until I feel that it's long enough. I made it to day 13 before it turned into this, which is a record. If you want to, you can tell me what to right about tomorrow in the comments and I'll oblige unless it's ridiculous. Otherwise, you'll get another one of these.

Time to feed the cats. Lousy carnivores


Monday, August 29, 2011

Broken Cars and Shit

So, the car I'm driving this week had some issues on my way to work this morning. Shortly after getting onto the highway, I started hearing this rattling like sound. I thought initially it was coming from the glove compartment, but when I looked there was nothing to be making that noise. Eventually it stopped, so I decided maybe a stone or something had gotten caught up or something and I kept going. It came back when I was in Nelsonville on 33, so I pulled into a Taco Bell parking lot and popped the hood. I found that the Serpentine belt was fraying and the noise was the loose pieces hitting shit as the Revs got higher.

I decided it wasn't likely to break, if I nursed it back to the house. When I looked at the belt more closely once I got here, there was about half an inch of the width of the belt that had worn away. The belt had just been replaced, because Dad thought the there was a problem with the old bet causing a noise. If he'd asked me I would've told him it was a loose pulley (because it's been that way since we've had it), but apparently he had the mechanic tighten the belt too tightly to make the squealing stop, which is making the belt fray. I sent a message to one of my Sister's friends who used to live around here and got a recommendation as to what to do to get the car serviced. I'm just not capable of fixing it myself, it requires more strength than I have to actually get on of those belts on. The number one priority though is making sure that my Dad doesn't find out about the trouble until it's fixed.

Since I couldn't make it work, I went to the grocery store. It is a very rare occasion that I do any grocery shopping. I got some food for this week, but I wanted to get snacks as well, particularly a bag of candy. I was in the frozen food aisle looking at some frozen food and I saw a stand with Twizzlers three bags for $5. Naturally, I got three bags of Twizzlers. What I'm going to do with three bags, I don't know.

The dogs like to get really annoying when it's about there dinner time. They start at about 5:30, but they don't usually eat until roughly 6:30. I've started a new policy of just making them go outside when they start to get annoying. I was particularly annoyed that Orion kept coming over to see me and then would just sneeze.

Speaking of that, it's time to feed them.

Thanks for reading


Sunday, August 28, 2011


Sarah and Brett left for Columbus this morning. Their flight was supposed to leave at six and I've not heard from them, so I assume everything has gone to plan. Since they've left, I've just been hanging out with the sleeping dogs and cats (when the dogs are outside or they get brave while the dogs are asleep.)

Hurricane Irene seems to not have been as severe as forecast, but it's impact is still great. It looking like river flooding is going to the main threat. River flooding is actually a pretty big gap in my knowledge of weather phenomenon. I just know that it can last for quite awhile as the massive amounts of water slowly move downstream, so this event may last long after Irene has dissipated.

I hope those of you who were affected by the storm are safe and will get electricity back soon. In the fall of 2008, Central Ohio was hit by the remnants of Hurricane Ike. It was pretty insane to see the winds sustained at that high of velocity, but by that point there was no rain associated with it any longer. Mostly everyone lost their power, because trees this far north can't bend in high sustained winds and our power grid is designed to deal with sustained high winds. Most of the areas north of the Carolinas have that same dilemma with this storm. I can't imagine what it would be like with something that's still at Hurricane strength with rain.

I did a post at my often negelected sports-specific blog today about why I don't like the MLS playoffs. Here it is:

Thanks for reading


Saturday, August 27, 2011

I'm Not Talking to Emma Anymore

So, the attempt to find the game at BW3s didn't work out. It just lead to a poor, clueless bartender running around the restaurant trying to find out whether they could get the game. We came back here and I found a stream only to find the Crew down 2-0, which quickly became 3-0 and it just got worse from there.

The car I'll be driving for this week has a tape deck and it's not like it's an '85 Buick or something. It was made in 2000. I'm pretty sure tapes were absolutely obsolete by then. It would be better if there were some decent radio stations down here, but it's basically either Country or Jebus. Mom found some decent tapes for me though. The one I listened to on the way down was some Soundtrack, which had some good Motown on it. The rest aren't that good. I'm not sure where one can even buy tapes anymore and it's not really worth making the investment for more advanced technology.

We're going to Salaam tonight. It's a Middle Eastern restaurant in Athens. I've been there once before and afterwards I may have had some allergic reactions. It was pretty good though and I'm not really convinced that it was an allergic reaction. My lungs kind of hate me, so the shortness of breath could've been anything and the rash could've just been a coincidence. And I guess there's only one way to really find out.

Sarah and Brett will be leaving for their trip to Italy tomorrow. Then I'll have the house to myself and these animals.

Also, I'm just kidding about the title, Emma.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Slapping the Keyboard Like a Monkey

I still need to pack, I'm really tired and have a severe lack of coherent thought. I'm leaving tomorrow morning to go house/petsit for my Sister. We're hoping that the Crew/Sounders game will be on at the BW3 in Athens tomorrow afternoon. It would make me a sad panda not to be able to watch that game*. There was some risk that Hurricane Irene would mess up their trip bad enough that Sarah wouldn't be able to go, but they got that sorted out with new flights.

I got my hours adjusted for next week at work. I'll be starting at 10 instead of 9. It's nice because I won't have to wake up awfully early to make the commute. It also should get me out of any of the stupid inbound to Columbus delays that often accompany rush hour.

Something I've discovered since I'm working at an Office that has almost entirely Windows XP computers, is that XP was just as dumb of an operating system as any other. The main benefit it had was that it stuck around long enough for people to figure out everything about, so it's shortcomings weren't such a hassle. However, going back to it from a newer operating system makes the problems with that operating system so obvious. Also, old computers suck. Working on anything with less than 1GB of RAM is just so tedious once you get used to having so much more. I'd almost forgotten what it was like to have a computer with practical limitations.

Ok, have a video that explains the Socially Awkward Penguin meme:

Thanks for reading

*And the Crew victory.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Am I Real? Pt. 2

Because of the demand of no one, I'm doing another philosophical ramblings post. This time it's about Descartes/existence and Utilitarianism.

I actually don't think questions of reality are really worth spending that much time thinking about. The questions of whether or not one is real seems important, but when I think more deeply about it I find it pointless. It is impossible to know whether I'm real or not. I may just be in someone's imagination or I could just be in a dream.

It just doesn't really matter to me though; whether this is the real reality or something else. Whatever it is I'm in it. I think it's real even if I can't be certain and worrying to much about my own existence isn't a worthwhile use of time in whatever this is. Basically, "Cogito ergo sum" only slightly more nuanced.

I hate Utilitarianism. Having one's morality based on utility is just terrible. "The greatest good for the greatest number" principle is such a flawed way for one to make his or her decisions. First, it really makes one awfully cold-hearted. People shouldn't be calculating when it comes to all decision; Utilitarianism removes emotion, which is basically removing humanity. Second, there is no real way to know what the greatest good/number will end up being. The long lasting effects of any decision cannot be known, so being a utilitarian about a lot of things really just makes one a heartless being. Also, utilitarian can be used to justify terrible things like racism.

A Utilitarian would've handed Harry over to Voldemort to end the war.

I created a bit of a straw-man there. Virtually no one is a pure utilitarian. Just on occasion I'll hear someone spout a purely utilitarian idea* and it makes me cringe.

Thanks for reading

*Recent examples: Having to be sterilized in order to get welfare and "just getting rid of all the useless people"

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Am I Real?

I had a strangeish day at work today. I did my normal stuff; data entry, making confirmation phone calls, filing, etc. During this, a package came, which was a package for one of the doctors. Jane called her and it ended up with me making arrangements to set it up for her this afternoon at her apartment. At the end of my shift at the office, I went with a nurse to storage to get out some records that were requested. After that I went to the Doctor's apartment and spent about 2 1/2 hours getting that all square for her.

I guess that doesn't sound all that strange.

I also thought about existence and its significance today thanks to Emma. My mind has two tracks on that. I know that any individual's existence isn't that important. If I had never existed, things wouldn't be that different in the universe. The small group of beings in which I may have some influence, might be slightly different had I never existed, but the universe wouldn't really care about that.

However, I give my own life meaning*. I know that I don't really matter to the universe at large, but I feel somewhat important* in my own small existence. My own existence matters to me and a lot of other people's existence matters to me and some how I rationalize that my own existence isn't insignificant.

It's 11:56, so no more of that nonsense.

The universe don't care. The universe just takes what it wants.


*That sounds either really arrogant or motivational speakery

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I felt an Earthquake for the first time today. It wasn't a very big deal here. Initially I thought, "what the fuck is Dad doing?," but I quickly realized it couldn't be a person that was doing it. The shaking wasn't violent here, but just a pretty noticeable rocking back and forth for about a minute. It was an unique experience that I don't particularly want to experience more fully in the future.

They tend to change the magnitude often during the first few days after a quake has hit, so while it is being shown as a 5.8 right now that could go up or done as the people who handle such matters process more information. Whether there is an adjustment or not, is about as big as Earthquake get in the Eastern third of the country. Using my rough understand of the Richter Scale, that makes this quake about 30 times less energetic than the Earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010 and about 27,000 times less energetic than the Earthquake that struck Japan in March.

The unique thing about this quake is that it was so widely felt. The Eastern half of the Country isn't anywhere near as geologically active as the western half, so our crust is older and denser. That allows the energy of an Earthquake to move much more efficiently and therefore a 5.8 Earthquake in Virginia can be felt in Toronto. A similar quake out west would not be felt in as large of an area as today's was.

I know we're kind of wusses for reacting the way we did to what is a pretty feeble earthquake. It just has happened so rarely around here before. I mean it's a pretty cool experience when there are no worries about any damage being done and it being so uncommon. It's like a certain city (that'll remain nameless =p) going freakin crazy over like an inch of snow. In Columbus, OH an inch of snow is little but an annoyance, but an earthquake is exciting. A smallish quake might just be an annoyance out west, but a few flurries and shutdown a city.

I'm glad there was only quite minor damage close to the epicenter. Also, that my friend Kathy (who is much closer to that epicenter than I) didn't even have to do any picking-up =)

Thanks for reading and please comment