Saturday, February 2, 2013

Top Ten Things I Could Do On A Monday Night Besides Watch The Biggest Loser

Because who doesn't want to be Letterman sometimes?

(drumroll . . .)

Number Ten . . .
Read up on the Race2Recovery rally car team, the first ever disabled crew to complete the Dakar rally.  Top Gear UK did a featurette on them for the show a couple years ago.

Number Nine . . .
Work on the counted cross-stitch pattern that's been kicking around my cube for over a year.  I'm gonna get it framed.

Number Eight . . .
Try to remember the names of some folks I saw on a special NBC Sports did on the Hawaiian Ironman triathalon -- like the blind grandfather who completed the course tethered to a sighted guide, or the fella who jogged the marathon on artificial feet.

Number Seven . . .
Tink away at Mortal Kombat 9 in preparation for SGC.  Few things in life are more catharic than ripping a guy's spine out.  Sub Zero 4 EVAH, bay-bee!

Number Six . . .
Pop in my DVD box set of the 2011 NBA Finals and marvel at the combined determination/stupiditiy of Nowitzki, starting a Finals game with a 102 degree fever.

Number Five . . .
Shop for a car.  A car solves a lot of scheduling problems -- a trip to the gym after a seven PM quitting time equals not getting to bed until midnight or thereabouts, factoring in all the waiting around I have to do whilst taking DART.

Number Four . . .
Marvel at the capriciousness of a God who takes John Lennon away yet lets Charles Manson live to a ripe old age.

Number Three . . .
Continue my palatte's education in different flavors.  Just because it's strong and unfamiliar doesn't mean it's bad, give it another bite and see how it goes . . . nope, onions are still DO NOT WANT!  And HWARF!!!

Number Two . . .
Get in touch with my sister and see how she, her POSSLQ, and her furry little monsters are getting on.

And the Number One thing I could do on a Monday night besides watch The Biggest Loser . . .
Go to the gym and work out.



Thursday, January 3, 2013

Resource Management As Applied To Getting A Life

Learning to take care of yourself.

For a working class person who's used to living paycheck-to-paycheck, this idea borders on absurd.  I'm alive and able to work.  What more care do I need?

Well lots, obviously, because by the only standard that matters (mine), my life sucks.

My major role models re lifestyle are my mother and my sister.  My mother is an introvert who prefers her own company and whose needs are for space and autonomy.  My sister has a more extroverted lifestyle with a POSSLQ[1] and cats and friends and hobbies.  I don't see either of them putting capital-W Work on their modes of living.  Shouldn't they just sort of . . . happen?

They haven't for me, because I haven't paid attention to what works when it comes to building a nurturing lifestyle.  I spend a lot of time alone, but I'm not really an extreme introvert by nature.  Those habits developed as a matter of self-protection.  I've already gone into how physical self-care has a whole bunch of negative psychological baggage.  Spritiual self-care?  Well . . . my concept of the intangible changes depending on my mood.

In adult life I've been too miserable with poverty to notice that I wasn't doing a good job of taking care of myself.  The idea of self-care beyond making sure there's a roof over my head, clothes on my ass, and food in my stomach is a little flummoxing.

Okay a lot flummoxing.  Because whenever I think of something to do to build a Team Me[2] -- hanging out at my Local Yarn Store[3] when they're open late on Wednesdays for instance -- the Rock Of Scheduling crashes down.  Today, I don't have access to the car (Mom and I share hers) so I'd have to leave work on time which I can't do because we're hellacious behind and I have to work late.  Tomorrow, I'd like to go to the gym and go swimming, except none of my gym's wet locations are within convenient reach of a bus and even if I have access to the car I need a bathing cap because of my fun dyed hair which means a trip to the sporting good store and that's a pain.  Friday is Panoptikon[4] but I have to get up at oh-dark-thirty in order to come to work on Saturday because the boss is making Saturday work mandatory through January.  Saturday Blazing Saddles is on the Midnight Movie at the Inwood Theater, but it's midnight and I'll probably be too tired.  Sunday is The Church[5], but The Church lasts until three AM and I have to be to work at eight which means a six AM wake-up and this job's not the kind I can sleepwalk through . . .

See what I mean?  The Rock of Scheduling makes even the most low-key and pleasurable Out And About activity seem like an unpleasant chore.  Someone said once that happiness takes work; I hear that and a part of me groans.  I know the Rock of Scheduling is an externalization of a character flaw -- i.e. I'm just lazy -- but that's as far as I've ever gotten in my reasoning.  It feels so much easier to work ten hours a day, come home wrung out, look at Mount Washmore and fall into bed for a night of thin sleep.

So that's one of my New Year's Resolutions, to cut the Rock of Scheduling down to size.  I'm not sure how yet (apart from getting my own transportation), but I'll think of something.

1. Person of Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters -- obsolete Census Bureau term for unmarried cohabitors and a cultural meme from the early 80s.
3.  Holley's Yarn Shoppe.  The Woolie Ewe and the Shabby Sheep have wider selections but the atmosphere at Holley's is much more welcoming.
4. Goth theme night at eXcuses eXtreme Cafe on Friday nights, very popular with the steampunk set.
5.  Goth/Industrial theme night at the Lizard Lounge.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Whoops, Faux Pas

Been following the blog Love Live Grow for a while now. The author, Issa, posted some pictures of her little boy Dylan a few weeks ago.[1] Dylan's about a year and a half old. He's a heart-melting ball of cute with a beautiful baby-toothed smile and a rounded little tummy I'd love to zerbert all day.  But I thought it'd be corny and creepy to say all that so I settled for a remark that's worked for me in the past when complimenting someone's little boy:

BJ: Aw, he’s gonna be a ladykiller when he gets a little older. He’s gorgeous.
Issa: I’m having the urge to ban you . . . :-P

As you can see, Issa's reply wasn't of the Aw Shucks Thanks variety.

I was a little confused by her reaction -- I mean, I'm just being nice, right? Then I read into her blog a little bit. Specifically thoughts on pigeonholing kids into gender roles using very sexually charged terms.[2]  Another entry detailed her discomfort with the small talk that happens about and around babies.[3]

Not being a parent, my addition to the discourse on those subjects is limited. I do have thoughts on the culture's attitudes about sex and young children, but that's another entry. What I'm taking away from it as applied to this specific situation -- Issa was calling me out (in a teasing manner, she wasn't slapping me down or anything) over my use of standard-issue thoughtless mouth noise.

So Issa, if you're reading this, I'm sorry. I shouldn't make mindless, offhand remarks about Dylan. He deserves better than mindless and offhand.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Yay For Dickish Business Practises

And now it's time for the Shitty Ass Gaming Lifetime Achievement Award. This is given to the person, persons, companies, and/or fictional entities who've done the most to ruin the lives of video gamer players over the past calendar year.


And there's really only one nominee this year . . . Capcom! For selling retail copies of games with locked content on the disk that was later to be sold as "DLC."[1]

I see your eyes glazing over. Okay, here's what happened. Earlier this year, Capcom released Street Fighter X Tekken. As is often the case these days, consumers were told extra playable characters would be made available -- for a price -- via download later. However some eager beavers exploited a programming glitch and hacked a copy of the retail release. They found all the data for the extra characters already present on the disk, but locked so the data couldn't be used. That left consumers to conclude that the material Capcom was intending to sell as "extra" was in fact the unlock codes for content already in the buyer's possession. Nor is this an isolated incident; I've heard Resident Evil 6 was sold with locked content on the disk.

You remember that scene from Fargo when the bad guy's rooking the nice couple into paying extra for a car because it's got an anti-corrosion sealant the bad guy didn't tell them about when they were agreeing on a price?[2]

When asked about the situation, Capcom explained that releasing the disks with the extra content already on them was a way to make gamers lives easier later; it would cut down on multiplayer technical issues and so on.[3] Consumers aren't buying it. The scandal pissed people off so much they filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau, causing the BBB to downcheck Capcom's rating.[4]

Channel your inner ET -- ooouuuuch.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Scene Of Self-Image

Serious trigger warnings -- self-hate, self-mutilation, and (horror!) purple prose.  I'm going to make the text match the background.  Click and highlight to read.

A Scene of Self-Image

The space is a gray nothing, a cool stone floor and a place with no walls and a sky draped with lead-gray clouds.  I can see myself in a mirror, the defined reflection that looks back at me every day, plus the ghostly reflection of my back side.

There's a voices.  It has no person or gender or identity, it's just a voices -- many equalling one.  //Undress.//

I do.  Shirt and pants and shoes.  I like wearing hats, so of course I'm not wearing one here.  This is reality and reality is not about liking.

Off with my underthings, plain cotton, with a pad in the croch and a falsie where my left breast never grew.  The clothes disappear.  Here they have no use.

//What do you see?//

From head to toe, I quantify myself.  Dishwater blonde hair on a scalp that flakes.  A face boiling with fresh acne, brown spots showing where I've tried to dig it out and my ungrateful skin rebelled.  A short neck with a dark ring around the base no scrubbing will take off.  A hunched back, rounded shoulders.  One breast drooping, the other missing.  A double-keg of stomach.  It's a massive thing, this, and I describe it at some length.  It's the first and last thing anyone ever sees, it's the reason everyone knows me even if they don't.  An ass that starts above the small of my back.  Under the droop of my belly there's a shadow that might be a mons.  Legs falling down all over themselves in massive pouches.  Feet swollen and shiny with the fluid my heart's not strong enough to cycle on its own.

I hate it.  Every micrometer, every cell, every fiber.

//Then change it.//

There's a knife in my hand.  I don't know how, I tell the voices.

//We'll tell you,// the voices say, and shard into a noise of contradicting advice and instruction and encouragement.  Stab here, slice there, let this drain, pump that up.

It'll hurt.  I don't like hurting.

//There's no pain here.//

Oh.  So I go to work.  They're right, no pain.  If anything, it's all intellctually interesting, the way my body reacts to the knife.  The gray light makes everything stand out in especial detail.  Blood and fat and flesh.  It's slippery and disobedient to my will, like it's fighting me.  Why is it fighting me?  It must know this is all to make things okay.

And even if it doesn't work, at least I'll have scars to show that I tried.