When I Need A Pick Me Up, by my friend Ryan King

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Small Ode

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward were married 50 years.

Joanne and Paul were married on January 29, 1958 in Las Vegas at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas. Paul's wedding gift to Joanne was a silver cup that he had inscribed with the words, "So you wound up with Apollo/If he's sometimes hard to swallow/Use this." -About.com

No, I don't know what it means. But I know what 50 years married means. It means awesome.


Monday, September 29, 2008

My Hat In The Rink

Okay, so this could be a butchering of the facts--a hatchet job of a series of out of context sound bytes cobbled together to make this man look bad. But if even one of this segments is true, you have to know it.

Perhaps Obama has had his slip ups and contradictory speeches, and so I'll expect a similar hatchet job to show up on him if it exists. But if one does exist, do you think it will look as bad as McCain's? Give me someone vital, rather than McCain. Give me someone who can ably address the world in global courts. Give me someone to inspire confidence in a nation again, from without and within. And for a fringe benefit, give me a guy who'll improve the chances for kids of my skin color to grow up in a better country, with better chances to be regarded as a US citizen than I did and my father before me, and his father before him.

Tidbits and Offerings

First of all, check it out.

Can you believe it? This is Edison New Jersey, TODAY, 9/29/08. I'm here this morning as a course of my daytime employment. It's the job I want to leave only because I want to ditch my car. But gas prices like these gives me hope that car retention might stay possible.

These gas pirates. Tell me that whoever sells gas to this guy in Edison is selling it for less than they sell it to all the others. Prrrrrrobably not. Probably this gas station owner pays less rent for his station, okay, but also probably, this gas station owner is taking less profit and passing the savings on to the consumer. Hello?! Not a bad idea, right?

But OH no. We Americans have to be RICH. We got to have MORE than YOU. Viva la Capitalism! So lets all give Wall St.




to insure that our lifestyle continues as was. The big failure of these resolute companies, and the insolvancy of banks like Walk-Over-Ya ... i mean, Wachovia ... and WaMooooo! is in no way at all an indication that the system doesn't work and is basically corrupt at its core because people are greedy and lazy and elitist and found a way to make fast and an amorally LOT of money in their twenties without the emotional maturity to use it for the betterment of society as a whole. No no no. It's just fine the way it was.

So lets all pay for it with our taxes. After all, what would we be without an Overclass to provide us with the pervasive sense of dissatisfaction and personal failure?

"Life. Don't talk to me about life." -Marvin the Robot

"Ohhhh Long piaaaaaaaaaano!" -Talking Cat on AFV

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Good News!!

Fringes and Q are having a baby!!

A woman I work with has baby pictures of the baby that she had last month, as well. She's back to work after her maternity leave. I remember when I just learned she was pregnant. The baby that her assistant had last year is already walking.

Nothing like watching new humans enter the world and become people, right around the time of your impending birthday, to make you feel eight-thousand years old. Good thing I've got the love of a good woman to keep me warm at nights, and the appreciation of my own kids ...

...oh, wait.

Okay, enough about me!
Congratulations you two!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Instant Gratification

My first meeting of the dayis to take place in a site close to a certain bakery that I discovered (whatever did they do without me?). When I realized this, I had only one goal today. Get slice of cake from this place. The alternative is a cupcake if the cake slices are not available. The ultimate goal is to get that buttercream icing into my face.

One slice down and one to go.

Yes, I know I'm dieting. I can't right now. I lost my midsection and there's nothing on the horizon just now and I'm unhappy again and I want buttercream.

It's a confluence that I didn't want to avoid. I'll blame no one and nothing except myself.

But what else is new.

The deed is done.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Difference A Day Makes

Yesterday I played hooky and almost paid for it with my life.

So yesterday I woke up late. After Friday and Saturday of roleplaying games, I was supposed to get up early Sunday AM, get to the mid-Jersey site by 8ish or 9ish, and join them in a walk-a-thon. But on Saturday a confluence of events happened; mostly Grim Jester did the pool thing again for the girl host of our Saturday get-togethers, which means he was in swim trunks before I got there, but when I did arrive, he was in her shower. They like to have me jump to conclusions, but this time I didn't take the bait. Either they are or aren't. So what if Grim is hot. On my laconic way driving up to Westchester, I had eaten three cupcakes piled high with buttercream icing. I had already lost my trim midsection gained a few weeks ago. And I was never going to get laid. So what if Grim is bumping his manlies with out host? So what? Then later on either all the buttercream, or the dicey dim sum we ordered from the Chinese restaurant, forced me to admit to my peers later in the night that I was entering a battle vs. explosive Hershey(TM) squirts. Then, that night (morning, really), when I finally got home, I had to park West of Broadway. Which meant I'd have to go on a safari the next morning to retrieve the car.

So when I woke up late for Sunday work, I had no inclination to limp into the day. Not when the day had promised to be so incredibly beautiful. It was Sunday, dammit! I needed my space!

So I put on my gym togs and packed a change of clothes for after the gym when my Friday night DnD pal (through which I could have pursued Irish Girl) texted me and invited me out to Central Park again for another afternoon of frolic and fun. Would Irish Girl be there? Maybe! But I decided not to ask him, lest I convince myself not to go.

So I copied Day One of a stunning muscle-building routine from the first (okay, second) muscle mag that I've bought in five years (such ridiculously attractive men in those effing things that it's crazy) and took it to the gym. I successfully fulfilled the routine and felt hella good afterwards. I had eaten the right breakfast and was planning the correct after-workout meal as I left the gym. My DnD buddy texted to say he and his fiancee were running late (she's not that big of a gamer, by the way--so yeah, I see her as Yoko) and as I'm texting him back I look up to see there's a Suburban backing up laterally along the sidewalk towards me. Apparently, someone blocked him in, or blocked off an available parking space by double-parking in the street, so Suburban Man decided to ride the sidewalk to get where he wanted to go. Well, he was going slow enough for me to step back against the wall, leaving some belly room for him to pass.

Which he does, until the passenger-side rear view mirror reaches me. At that point he decides to angle his drivers' side rear to the street, which physics being what they are, turned his passengers' side front towards me. The rearview mirror missed my head, but the truck and tire didn't miss my body. The vehicle, now angling, presses into me and pushed me up against the wall. And while I'm thinking "What?!" the passengers' side front tire mounts my left foot, ever so gently, having somehow missed my right foot. At that point the man stopped--not because he was crushing me, but because he was still looking over his shoulder to see what to do with this truck and how to get it back into the street (where it belongs, btw).

Before he accelerated again, completing my grisly death, I slammed his hood with my free hand (not the one holding my phone mid-texting) and finally getting his attention, I jerked my thumb into the direction he should drive to save my life rather than end it. Fortunately, he didn't panic, and shifted into forward, and rolled off me.

In retrospect, I was in shock. Because I finished my text message to my DnD buddy and walked up the block to get my protein shake from Starbucks, testing out the flattened foot & toe. (Ironic I have to talk about these bodyparts of mine now, isn't it?) There was no pain. I didn't want to look, but there was no pain. There was sensation--not a nerve-destroyed numbness. I had been aware of the pressure of the tire on my foot, and the fact that it had rolled on me enough to prevent me from jerking my foot loose, but there had been no pain. So after I got my drink and headed back up the block towards to Park to the rendevous.

And there was the Suburban and the driver, completing his parking job into the street from the sidewalk.

And suddenly I realized--that parking spot wasn't worth my life. This man needed to answer to that. So I stood there waiting for him to finish his parking and just watched him.

When he finally stopped, he rolls his window down, recognizing me, and begins to sputter apologies. They are, of course, not enough. The man could have killed me. Slowly. Painfully. Crushed the life out of me in a true gory "Final Destination" way. Blood pooling out of my mouth as the Suburban compacted my vertebrae into my lungs and heart against the brick wall. But God damn this cursed world, I wanted his apology. I stepped to him and asked him if he did that as a regular course of action--just run people over? His apologies devolved into self-debasing, ill-worded assurances that he was a good guy and he never did anything like that and how scared he was. (Didn't stop him from getting the parking spot he wanted, though, I should like to add.)

And then I let it go. I was fine. I told him so. (No, I'm not interested in trying to sue him for any money that I won't see until WAY AFTER I've already met my own financial goals anyway. This litigious society can kiss my ass.) But I insisted to him that he try to have a better day, and implicit in my tone was every bit of "and try not to run anyone else down today, you utter and complete asshole," because that's what I was feeling and I let it soak my voice. But there was no need to say it aloud. Because he was remorseful enough.

But I guarantee you. And this I coldly know, just as I know I am moderately intelligent and possess some writing skill--if that man had not apologized to me yesterday, I would have been in my first physical fight since 7th grade. Because you are not just going to run over me, you stupid son of a bitch. F*ck YOU.

Okay. Got that off my chest, like I did the Suburban. (Don't think for a second that I didn't entertain the possibility that I was like Bruce Willis in "Unbreakable". Why didn't that Suburban do more damage to me? I'm not even sore today. No foot pain or damaged big toe. Take THAT!)

Anyway, the outing was great with my DnD friend and his pals and his fiancee. Like with DnD'ers, I love hanging out with people who give good verb. Language is a joy to hear when its done right, and these folks had good food and lyric.

And Sheep's Meadow is a total meat market. And so, I share my pics with you in celebration of life. In addition, I'm back on my diet. I'm going to go topless with pride by next summer. (If you can, click on the pics and hopefully you'll see some of the detail that I saw. Hubba hubba. It was like a beach for models, only with no ocean.)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Back To Default

So. I've been in MidJersey practically all week because remember the co-worker with brain cancer slowly dying? Well her decline is noticeable and her work performance is compromised and my boss has me down here to make up for the widening gap in psychological quality of care. That means I'm meeting psychiatrists that I've never met before, advocating for clients that I know nothing about, and forming relationships with parents who I hope never to meet again. Meanwhile my ailing co-worker keeps trucking on, losing more and more of her objectivity, discretion, and patience. She's liable to cuss out a visiting state caseworker if she isn't reigned in. (Which is something we sometimes would all like to do until we realize that we're all on the same side.)

Well this morning, in addition to this, the program director calls me on my hour-long commute here to tell me he's not coming in, he has an injury, and he wants me to chair the meeting today that we'll have for a new admit. Sure! No pressure!

Meanwhile, I'm back to eating the pain-reducing sweets that I love/need to get through a day, Mr. Morning Guy dissappeared somewhere from inside of me last month and I'm arriving late to work again, I'm feeling a glimmer of the old ennui that haunted me before I redefined myself with Ned's help, and I'm suspecting that I need another increase in my meds.

(The client has arrived, so game paused on account of profession. I'll be back...)

Okay. So the meeting went, and it went well. I chaired the thing, and I found myself mysteriously on point. I guess processing it here in writing got me ready to take it on, and I took it on.


I guess it's like life. Stress comes, you process it, and then you deal. And of course, what I'd really like is to call up Scott or Ned or Tera or Grizz or Dawn or preferably all of them, and say "Where we havin' lunch at?!" and we'd all do a "Sex and the City" roundtable at the pizzeria or Chinese Buffet and decompress in our wonderful, several, witty ways before going back and finishing our day.

*sigh* I would love that.

But here we do have the internet. It may be a lot like all of us being-- [CUT!!]
Short story alert!! I'm going to cut what I just wrote and paste it somewhere else, because I think it's a dynamite idea for a story and I will write it.

Anyway, when I started this post, I was ready to moan about some setbacks I'm experiencing. But right now, not so much. A well done task at a job you like is miraculously therapeutic. Even my brain cancer'd co-worker did well. She only needed redirection once.

I'm telling you...Ally McBeal, anyone? I just know it. We're going to lose this co-worker like Ally lost Billy (oops, spoilers). One day, this co-worker is just going to plop down on the floor, and then lay down and die. That may be Worst-Case Scenario Man's torturous, sonorous tones, but I just know it. I mean--I did tell you that my Mom died of the same stuff that this co-worker is experiencing, right? So why wouldn't my mind go there? But dammit, I'm ready. I'm ready. If I'm here when that happens, we're all going to be okay, and my co-worker gets her release. I've done this before. I'm ready.


I love you guys.

I'm a little lonely. A little moody. A little fat again. A little unhappy. A little proud. A little okay.




Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I Nearly Fainted...

... when I saw this site advertised at one of my geek haunts.

And I signed up right away, uploaded my profile, and found a girl in her mid 30's who lives within 15 miles of me (on THIS side of the Hudson River) who adverts that she's looking to date "either geek-guys or geek-gals" and wants to watch Torchwood with someone.


"Someone for everyone", you said?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Early Saturday Morning, after Fri Night D&D

On the way to the train, crossing 5th Avenue...

I know, right?!

Well... Wow.

I mean ... I never thought I'd have this reaction. But I guess I kind of feel bad for some of these folks. Again, it has to be from the intersection I've been experiencing of late with these unbelievably monied people.

This story indicates that the money manufacturing Lehman Brothers (no, I really, literally don't know what they do, except make lots of money for some of its' employees) did not get the bail-out that many of us cynical and jaded onlookers expected them to get. so the following happened;

Employees emerging from Lehman's headquarters near the heart of Times Square Sunday night carried boxes, tote bags and duffel bags, rolling suitcases, framed artwork and spare umbrellas. Many were emblazoned with the Lehman Brothers name. Its businesses in Britain were placed in administration Monday, said the administrator, accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, and employees carrying boxes and bags were walking out of Lehman's London offices.

TV trucks lined Seventh Avenue opposite the building, while barricades at the building's main entrance attempted to keep workers and onlookers from gumming up the steady flow of pedestrians flowing in and out of Times Square.

Some workers had moist eyes while a few others wept and shared hugs. Most who left the building quietly declined interviews.

People snapped pictures with cameras and their phones. Observers pressed up against a police barricade drew the ire of one man who emerged from the
building and shouted: "Are you enjoying watching this? You think this is funny?"

See, all you had to do was put a human face on this, and I'm affected. Never mind that this human face was probably attached to a guy who, so high above me in economic strata he may have been that he couldn't give less than his wife's poodle's crap (that she didn't pick up while walking it as per NYC law) about me and my life (which, btw, is why I won't be owning a dog in NYC any time soon). The fall of any human is hard to watch. That's why I also don't engage in the skullduggery on Sarah Palin, or in most politics. Okay, all politics. People are people. No matter who they are, they deserve to keep their pride and dignity. Except of course if they're filming themselves having sex, because shucks, now they're just GIVING it away like Crazy Eddie.

Just last night I was sitting in a posh eatery in my neighborhood, waiting for my Chicken Caesar salad-to-go, with dressing on the side, watching the posh eaters having their Sunday evening, last-social-gathering-of-the-weekend conversations. See, my neighborhood, Inwood, has a rather stark geological/economic divide. Broadway is like the rear eastern border of the expensive co-ops of the affluent.

The streets there are clean and the buildings have decor and lobbies. This I know because my first exposure to Inwood was through a guy who lived in this section.

I say Broadway is the "rear border" because literally, the co-ops and buildings which cost good money to have face west. They face Jersey and the Inwood Hill Park. Their backs are to us who are east of Broadway. However, the bus stops, train stations (the 1 and the A) and all the fancies eateries are on or a block from Broadway.

So they have to =literally= descend their multi-tiered stone staircase to join us at times.

And last night, I found myself feeling slightly resentful. Clearly, one half of the dining quartet was an early thirties (if not late twenties) pair of successful, self-possessed, driven yuppies elaborating about their importance in the world. I didn't outright hate them, but I did think of The Grim Jester who does, which is why he psychotically avoids Manhattan and thus avoids me.

But then I awoke to this Lehman Brothers story and I find compassion again.

Welcome to the other side of Broadway folks. I'll spring for a sandwich when your trust funds run out.

That didn't sound as compassionate as I originally intended it to be.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ladies, You Betta WORK That Song!!

The live version on stage

A worked version showing who the artists are in the original recording (well done if I must say so!

Friday, September 12, 2008


Now, I ask you. Was this necessary? No, not 'was it necessary to take this picture?' because yes, it was. I had to! I couldn't let this perfectly illustrated reason for my protest of flip-flops to go by unexploited! Why should I and the citizens of the 1 train suffer alone?!

So...how does a man get to the level of either apathy or self-actualization to bare feet like these?

And you should thank the god you pray to that my stealthy picture-taking skills were not good enough to get the clear details of those nails.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Loose Threads

A. So I went to the convention on Sunday, having missed an entire day on Saturday, and all the get togethers on Friday. I regret nothing! I got the work finished on the audio series, and I had a good time on Sunday. I got to meet one of the other voices in podcasting that I'm fond of, and he really like dme too! He even left a message over at Geek Central saying that I was one of the highlights of his weekend! Which is NUTS. Because he was there for three whole days, he's in about a dozen of pics with other people (so he circulated well), he drank The Beer with many of his buddies. But he said putting face to messagers is always a treat for him.

So one day I will learn to stop selling myself short. You'd think I'd have done so by now, but it's still so surprising when I hear a sincere compliment from someone I myself admire.

I see myself going again next year. And this time, I'll go everyday and hang out at night. I can't say I'm bonded the way I am with the other guys, but it will be a nice getaway that I look forward to.

B. I haven't asked my DnD buddy for Irish Girl's number yet. I just can't get past the Terribles. (Those are the weapons that Worst Case Scenario Man uses against me.) I can't stop leaping ahead to the horrible conclusion of another attempt gone wrong. And if you think it's frustrating to read my utter cowardice, try being an utter coward.

C. That Man from my religious past has had a series of busy weekends that has prevented us from getting together and having my beans spilled all over him. But he has called me once to report this, and he still plans on me doing so. The good news is that now I'm redefined, and I don't have to tell him the thing I was going to tell him. His is a bridge that I don't think I'll have to burn now. I won't be giving him fantastic news of my continued religious success, but I also won't be heaping up challenge after challenge to he ability to cope with the changes in my life. The way I anticipate it now, I'll give him a lot of things to pray for, and maybe we'll weep together, and I'll get more hugs from him. But I'm not going back to our church. That's for sure.

I think that's all of them. Remind me if I've left something unsaid...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Geek Life

Fringes sent me this once. Thought it bore repeating before I continue.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

—Nelson Mandela

And this article by Ta-Nehisi Coates entitled, "Nerd culture and Black people--not an oxymoron"

Okay, now on to my topic. I'm currently in Pennsyvania. Reading, in fact. No, no... I'm not reading. The town is called Reading. Except it's not called "Reading." It's called "redding". Okay? Okay.

I drove here last night after I visited with my last client. Straight from NYC to Reading. Because what's happening this weekend is This Event. This event is sprung out of the heads of the boys who created the forum that I frequent, which I like to call Geek Central.

I like to listen to a lot of comic podcasts, but being the caveman that I am, I don't download them and enjoy via mp3 player. Rather I just listen to them through my work computer or at home, through my laptop. And naturally, I crush on the voices talking about comics, and their wives, and their well-adjusted lives despite being Chief High Nerds. So when this event loomed near, I thought, "Yes, I'd like to go." But I didn't have that, "I'm so TOTALLY going." vibe.

Then the opportunity came up to get one of my favorite podcasters to go with me. I cajoled and persuaded and prodded and backed off and reapproached. I bought my tickets and my hotel room. And at the last, my favorite podcaster said he wasn't going.

Well, bummer. And then I looked in the mirror and faced it. I wanted him to come because I have a mancrush on him. He's married, of course (my favorite kind!), and i just wanted to watch him navigate with his friends. I wanted to become his satellite for the weekend. And possibly, (and definitely not for the first time), he could tell I crushed on him and just decided I was too creepy to meet in person. He gave me a lot of circumstantial evidence as to why he couldn't make it, and he remains very friendly via traded Personal Messages and shared forum posts. So I haven't killed our web-relationship. I just feel like a freaky little stalker who needs his leash yanked every so often.

It worked out really fine the last time I did this, as this evidence shows;

We left away from the event bonded and friendly and even adoring of one another. I've spoken to a few of those fellas via phone and the rest through dozens of message posts since then.

But now here? Well, I came down because I still do know some folks who will be attending. I'm friends with a few, and I've mentioned them before. One is the really nice guy who I broke bread with at the pizza party and who shouted me out on a podcast, and two others are folks I've dined with in other places. So I have peeps to hang out with while I'm here, even if I don't meet my mancrush--like, ever.

So ... why am I blogging in my hotel room right now instead of going out and meeting new and wonderful geeks?

I guess because I feel like my freak flag is showing. Like I'm here on false pretenses. And I did miss a dose of my meds day before yesterday, so I'm probably back in my phobic head right now until the restarted dose kicks in.

So I just want to stay in the room and lounge. Pass everyone by until I feel better.

Isn't that silly? And just a very little bit sad?

Edited to add; It's just Me, Myself, and I

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Thing I Didn't Tell About...

...so, on Labor Day, I got a surprising invite from one of my NYC DnD-playing buddies, who has been absent for weeks because he's learning the language of his new fiancee's homeland. This love stuff. Oi what it can make you do.

He invited me to a frisbee-throwing leisure event at Sheep's Meadow, which is this big lawn in Central Park where the sunbathers worship Sol for every ounce of carcinoma they can sacrifice. I've never been attracted in the least bit, except for all the gorgeous bodies awash in tanning lotion, which can number in the hundreds on a weekend. It's like Manhattan's equivalent of a beach.

So I met him first, and then these other people from other walks of his life. Two guys and a girl. The guys were endearingly average. Good senses of humor, pot bellies, non DnD players, NYC professionals living on the island, awkwardly still single, good $$ earners. Then comes the girl.

The girl is Irish. Like my friend who invited me. The girl has brunette hair and blue eyes. The girl has an Irish brogue. The girl is captivating to me. So there's the five of us on a blanket, awash in athletic men and women and I'm talking to the Irish Girl. Learning her profession and she's learning mine. And I distinctly feel an exclusivity going on. Out of the five people on this blanket, three of us guys are single, two of which are white and one of which is also Irish (only Americanized, third generational). But here we are, me and her, chatting up a storm.

The other two already know her, and so I see they didn't need to jump into the convo, but I still felt awkward, so I applied the brakes and addressed them as I had done before she arrived fashionably late. However, they went scarpering off to some event, leaving the party planner, me and the Irish Girl behind.

Cutting to the chase is that I enjoyed the Irish Girl. When, however, we three got up to leave I went utterly superficial. She was a bit taller than me. Slumped a bit. She walked like a rugby player. But then, as opposed to the greeting (a nice safe handshake) she hugged me goodbye. And when I said, "we have to get together another time!" she responded "Definitely!"

Well, before I blogged about it, I texted the party planner and asked him if Irish Girl was single. And he said yes, and did I detect a vibe? And I said I thought so, and was I being foolish? And he responding aren't we all, and how did I want to arrange this.

And I froze up. But I did tell him that I had to consult my advisors.

Yeah, that's you guys.

The Party Planner knows nothing of all this bisexuality going on up in here. With him and the other gang, I play a 12th level wizard with high stats in Strength, Dexerity, and constitution. That means he's a hunk. So I play him like one. Like a arrogant, powerful, exhibitionist wizard. I have him doing calisthenics in only a loincloth in the AMs when we travel. The DM has seen fit to pander to my posturing by having a longterm woman enter the campaign and allow my character to get shtupped on the regular (until he threw a massive spanner into the gears, as DMs are wont to do). But the point is, I roleplayed a very masculine guy, and entered the shoes of the kind of person I wanted to be, and had/have a great time doing it.

So the Party Planner has that kind of general impression of me (because I am a bit hunkish, if I do say so myself, and Party Planner said I have a great voice). And in the back of my mind, I think he may have even set up the meeting for the sake of his single Irish friend and I bit in, hook and line, with the sinker trailing closely along my flank as I try swimming for safer waters. So possibly this girl might have been sold a bill of goods fraudulently.

And my Tribe, I know what you're already going to say, and I love you for it.

But tell me anyway.

To date or not to date?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008