Who put this blog here? -or- Nothing happens, and I write about it

Well folks, you may have noticed (or, if you didn’t, that’s cool too; I’ll just go cry for a bit) that I haven’t blogged for a couple-few weeks.

The reason why is quite simple: I’ve been bored. When it feels like nothing is happening, it’s easy to fall into a pattern of not writing about the nothing that’s going on.

This update has not been prompted by a change in that status quo. Nothing is continuing to go on. But I’ve recently subscribed to this website, and one of their posts talked about starting a journal. A blog is nothing if not a journal, and by thunder I’mma keep writing in mine for no reason other than I want to leave some mark on this world, even if that mark is made with electrons on the Intardwebs.

Pictured: The Internet and My Place in it

I fear that might have come across as depressing, which was not my intention. Oh well. It doesn’t stop there, so if you find yourself brought down by my melancholic ramblin’s, feel free to skip to the numbered list further down the page.

I have a new second job. My hope upon leaving the paper and going to the Library full time was that I might finally be able to be a one-job man, but some… miscalculation regarding my budget has prompted me to expand my list of “Things Tony’s Been Paid To Do” yet again.

The most recent addition? Hotel-desk Guy. (I went to Facebook and offered my services as a mercenary, but no one took me up on it.)

What annoys me the most, I think, is that I have yet to find something to do that I can stick to, apply myself, and advance at. There was no room for advancement at the paper, the library is charming and engaging but small and has the same problem, and the hotel… it pays the bills, but I don’t see myself there for any substantial length of time.

And they all share a fatal flaw: they’re in Ohio.

This state has been good to me (or, more aptly, it hasn’t been bad to me; they don’t mean the same thing) and I thank it for that… but I don’t want to be here. It’s an odd feeling. Were I doing what I am doing anywhere else (as long as there isn’t corn within 50 miles), I can’t help but feel that I’d be more content… but I’m not. I’m here. And it’s frustrating.

Anyway. Look! A numbered list!

My life right now:

1. Going to the Renaissance Festival this weekend with some friends; I’ll tell you all about it. I shall be bekilted for the duration, which is always a good time.
2. I’m finding the urge to do something silly, mostly involving the desks at my places of employment and whether or not I can jump over them, ever present in my mind.

WHAT NOW, DESK?!

3. I recently changed the oil on my motorcycle: Invigorating. Along those lines, it’s getting chillier, but I still ride it the 11 miles to work everyday, and I enjoy it emmensely. My blinkers don’t work, and I need to find out why and fix it before I can take my license exam.
4. My sister is in college, my brother in training to be an Army Ranger, my mother got a promotion, and my father is finally back where he feels comfortable. My chest bursts with pride for each of them.

This, but picture “familial pride” instead of “maneating xenomorph”.
Also: Legos are adorable.

5. I need a haircut.

That’s all for right now. I’ll make no promise regarding regular updates in the future; that never seems to work out. What I WILL do is promise that they’ll be a little less Debbie-Downer.

Also, inexplicably, I just thought of some titles for a trilogy of (possibly racially-insensitive) movies surrounding a Scottish Protagonist (Scotsploitation?):

1. Kill or be Kilt
2. Getting Plaid
3. Loch and Load

No idea where that came from.

Posted in Blathering | Leave a comment

Weird dreams: Continued!

I’ve been considering getting a cat. I have already considered getting a dog, but it didn’t end up working out and I think that’s for the best: I don’t have the time to give a dog the attention it deserves… but a cat? Cats are just really excellent roommates that poop in a box and keep the furniture from floating away.

Another thought is this: what if I get two cats? They can keep each other company while I’m not at home, and I just need to empty out twice as much box-poop. This is a small price to pay, I think, for fur-covered companionship.

Well, I believe my subconscious picked up on this desire, and decided to start messing with me. Lemme ‘splain.

I dreamt last night. I don’t remember everything, unlike my previous forays into theLand of Nod (potentially-but-not-necessarily hosted by certain Canadians), but I do remember certain milestones, and these stones involved felines and my acquisition thereof.

These were the two cats that I ended up getting:

Derpy

Derpy was a lady cat, and she was kind of retarded (which, in most internet circles, is the definition of the word “derp”). I can give you no specific examples of anything particularly derptastic that she did in the dream, other than running in to walls or getting herself stuck on things. Whatever those specific examples may be, even though they are lost to memory, there were several of them over the course of the dream.

It could have been a drinking game: take a shot every time Derpy derps.

I AM SO PLASTERED!

Here was my second felinoid pet-thing:

Shawn

..but out of the corner of your eye, he also looked like this.

Shawn Patrick Hunter from Boy Meets World,
played by Rider Strong

Before you ask, the answer is “no, I have no idea why actors (not even actresses, but ACTORS) from my childhood keep appearing in my dreams, but there has yet to be anything… *hand-wavy-motion* faygala in any of these dream sequences, so I’ll just chalk it up to the leftover ziti I had for dinner and not worry about it.

Still, a dream with Topanga would be nice…

 

Heyo!

Anyway. Another fear regarding getting a pet is that I wouldn’t have enough money to take care of it once I got it. Here, Shawn surprised me by whipping out some cash and telling me to go buy some gravy.

Yes. He said “gravy”. I don’t know why. Maybe for the wet catfood, like Fancy Feast or whatever. Regardless, it brought to mind a beautiful notion:

Pets that pay for themselves.

I need to find a way to profit from owning a cat. Maybe rent them out to old-folks homes? Charge $10 for a 5-minute cuddle session? These are just a few possibilities, but rest assured, dear reader: a change is coming for the world of the pet owner. No longer will cats and dogs and… ferrets… and their ilk, whatever, NO LONGER shall they free load. They shall PAY load instead!

You can thank me later.

Posted in Dream Journal | 1 Comment

You never know…

 I love the “For Dummies” series of books. I have several of them, on subjects ranging from America’s Wars to Magic Tricks to Boating. There’s something about the format of these books… they hit the right mix of “info for beginners” while not treating you like a moron. Plus, “dummy” is a much friendlier term than “Complete Idiot” (which is another series of books with a similar premise, but is much more insulting).

Plus, they’re great bed-time reading

Anyway, here at the library it’s apparently the season for Shelf-Culling (going through books that no one checks out and deciding if we need them or not), and the collecting part of that falls to me. While I do this, I observe the titles and add my two-cents to what I believe we should keep or not… and in the case that I am vetoed regarding something I considered a keeper, they should let me have first dibs. One example is a children’s book entitled “Santa’s Evil Twin”, which I am now the proud owner of.

This week, we’re tackling the Health section in Non-Fiction, which rolls us back around to the beginning of this post: The For Dummies books.

Yo.

There’s a crap ton of them in the health section, but I find myself struggling with whether or not I really need a crash course on these subjects:

Breast Cancer for Dummies

Osteoporosis for Dummies

Prostate Cancer for Dummies

10-minute Tone-Ups for Dummies

Etc.

I dunno, guys. I’m wrestling between two trains of thought:

Train 1: “You don’t need to know anything about Breast Cancer”, or “By the time you get Osteoporosis, you’ll be able to download everything anyone knows about it directly to your cerebral cortex, or at least cure it with a pill”.

Train 2: Buh-but… they’re For Dummies books.

Thus far, Train 1 is winning. We’ll see for how long.

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What’s the endgame?

So for the last couple weeks, I’ve been working on something, and I feel that I’m in a pivotal moment in this project’s development… but I’m not quite sure where to go from here.

There are a few things that I’m good at, and unfortunately even fewer of them are things that will earn me a paycheck. The subject of this post is not one of those few money-makers: the subject is my beard.

A few weeks ago, I decided to start growing a beard again. This is something I discovered that I excelled at in College.

A common misconception is that just anyone can grow a proper beard, and that all they need to do is not shave for a while: this train of thought is fallacious and, quite honestly, insulting.

“Bringing sexy back” MY EYE

Proper beards require love and attention and, most of all, grooming. Sometimes, cheek hair grows slower than hair on the jawline, you can never let it the hairline get too far down your neck, and you’ve got to keep an eye on stragglers that pop up farther up your cheeks. You see what I’m getting at? There’s a SCIENCE to this, a way to do it right, and I’m good at doing it right.

But now that I’ve successfully cultivated a beard again, I have no idea where to go from here. I found myself looking in the mirror this morning, wondering out loud “What now?”

I’ve gotten a few suggestions, along with pictorial guides of classic facial hair, but all of these are either things I’ve already done, or were suggestions offered in jest (and would garner me even less respect than I get already)… so I’m kind of at a loss for what to do.

For now, I’ll just stay the course: I can stay bearded for a while without going stir-crazy. I’m still pretty flabbergasted that the feeling to do something, anything, with my facial hair as long as it wasn’t “beard” hit me so hard just this morning. That hasn’t happened since that one time in College when I shaved my head for a few weeks.

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John Carter: Why I hate this movie already

I just want you all to realize how much I’m disgusted with myself right now. I don’t lightly throw around the word “hate”, but when it comes to this film, I can think of no other word that so aptly describes the feeling of dread and potential loathing that I feel for it.

And that sucks, because it should have been awesome.

http://youtu.be/b8xblwyKtfo

What you should have been able to watch there is the trailer for Disney’s “John Carter”.

Problem the first: The Title (so far)

The title gets my blood boiling nice and early. The movie is based off a book by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the guy who created Tarzan, entitled “A Princess of Mars”.

Lets compare those, shall we?

“A Princess of Mars”: from this title, many things can be inferred. For some reason, it takes place on Mars, where there is apparently at least one Princess. In order to have a princess, you need to have a kingdom, which implies a society, something you probably wouldn’t expect to find on Mars. Since we’ll be discovering something new, then adventure is also implied.

“John Carter”: Okay. It’s a story about a guy named John Carter.

You see what I’m getting at? A happy medium would have been to go with “John Carter of Mars”, which is what the series, all 11 books of it, is referred to in it’s entirety. I’d have been cool with that. In fact, from the letters on this poster, it looks like they were flirting with that title… and since they’re still using the poster, it’s like they can’t even make up their minds.

 

Problem the Second: The Cast

Taylor Kitsch is starring as John Carter, a Civil War veteran from Virginia (the South) of impressive stature who is transported to Mars, where he has to fight to survive.

Lynn Collins stars as Dejah Thoris, a red martian (who look just like humans, but with a redder hue) the previously mentioned Princess of Mars, who is on multiple occassions referred to as the most beautiful woman alive.

Willem Dafoe stars as Tars Tarkas, a green martian, who are known for their large size (being twice as tall as humans), four arms, and large tusks.

Lets start with…

Kitsch: I’ve only ever seen him in one thing, which was X-Men Origins: Wolverine, a movie that did not endear him to me as an actor. Also, and here’s the big thing: I don’t like his face.

Look at that face. That is not the face of a Civil War hero, even one from the Confederacy. That’s the face of an Abercrombie model. He should be selling jeans to tweens, not fighting aliens with swords. It turns out he’s not as short as I thought he was (he’s 6-flat instead of 5’8″, which is very different, I’ll admit), but I still don’t think he’s big enough. And for this movie, he should have gotten a haircut.

Darn hippie.

Collins: No doubt, she’s an attractive lady. But, and here we’re having the same problem as with Kitsch, I’ve only ever seen her in one thing, and that was Wolverine, where again I was not impressed.

Foxy, yes. But not foxy enough.

Dejah Thoris’ defining physical feature is that she’s almost literally drop-dead gorgeous. Collins is like an 8; Thoris is a 17.

She looks… pinched? I dunno.

I have no idea who they SHOULD have cast in this role, which is exactly the point I’m trying to make: this is potentially a star-maker role. Find some girl-next-door knockout that no one has ever seen before and paint her red.

Dafoe: This is actually brilliant casting. I love Willem Dafoe in anything he does that isn’t terrifying (which, as one of those guys that takes acting crazy seriously, happens kind of often), and this bit of casting was inspired. No, my problem here is with the design.

Lets look at that again.

There are a lot of things going on here that I’m cool with, some things I’m “meh” about, and one big thing that makes me want to go outside and punch some kittens. Many of these things only bother me because I’m already a fan of the books, and worse, I’m a recovering artist who’s already come up with some designs in my head for what I think these guys should look like. Here’s my take, from Junior year of College:

It’s only been a few years, but I cringe so hard just to look at that… but I digress. The book describes them as big. We don’t get any hint of that from the trailer, but that doesn’t mean anything: they could be saving it for later. The four arms are there, awesome, and he looks a little skinnier than I’d like, but this is a minor problem, easily overcome.

The unforgivable sin here is his tusks. Look at those. Nothing alive has tusks like that. He’s got frikkin’ Babar-horns coming out the side of his face. What possible purpose, from a biological standpoint, could a species have for growing teeth out of their sideburns?

I can see how that would make the face easier to animate, since it’s totally all going to be computer stuff, but that isn’t the point. When I saw that in the trailer, my jaw dropped and I almost popped a patron right in the nose. Guh.

Anyway. Whatever. That just frustrates me so much, I can’t even remember my other reasons. I’m going to go take my lunch now.

Posted in Rant'n'Rave | Leave a comment

Why is Barclay Hope everywhere?

I had a weird dream last night, kids. In the past, I’ve told you about particularly odd dreams that I’ve had, so I figure that since I am actually able to remember some of the specifics of this one, I’ll fill you in. Maybe there’s an amateur, Daniel-style wiseman out there who can explain to me what the crap it means… or maybe I’ve just had Hot Head too many times this week.

Anyway. What follows is not exactly what happened, but my narrative version: in an attempt to make it make sense after the fact, my waking brain inserts little details that make the narrative flow better. As a storyteller, this is vital. Kindly accept it, please, as it is both easier to write and, I think, to read.

First, I’m waking up. As in, as soon as the dream kicks in, I am waking up in the dream. This is an odd sensation. With unrefutable dream logic, I know that I need to make it to that Military Base (hereafter recognizable by the capital letters I’ve utilized, since even in the dream it felt like a place that should have some caps in there) that’s over there. Because, you know, there’s always a Military Base in a general “thataway” direction.

As soon as I make it there on my new motorcycle (callback!), I run into this guy:

That’s actor Barclay Hope. I remember him from the TV series PSI Factor, which ran on TBS after school in my Jr. High/High School years. I’d recently seen him on another TV show, Eureka, which is where I got that picture… and maybe why he was dressed in that General uniform on the Military Base.

General Barclay introduced me to a Private (who never got a name, I guess) that I was supposed to interview for an article. I guess my subconscious hasn’t yet caught on to the fact that I don’t work at the paper anymore…

The fact that I was interviewing him didn’t mean that he was allowed to stop drills (or PT or whatever they’re calling military exercise these days), and because I am (or used to be, whatever)a dedicated kind of reporter, I took part.

This is something that I’ve done several times in the past. I went through a day of drills with the Greenville Fire Department…

…and taken (short) walks with people walking across the country on two different occasions. I like to get involved, and see people in their natural environments. So, no alarm bells rang when I was suddenly doing PT with military dudes, and one of them was chatting at me.

Then we’re in the locker room, and he’s still talking.

Then the showers.

Normally, I’d be worried here; I’d be all about sitting down with my subconscious and having a loooong talk… but that was over really quick and there was no monkey business. Just talking like dudes in the locker room after a work out.

 Still. New territory for dreams.

After the post-workout shower, I discover that someone has hidden my clothes. I exit the locker room, clad in nothing but a towel, to discover that the bleachers in the gym (one that is very familiar to the one in my High School, actually) are filled with people, who begin peppering me with questions. As I’m answering, a young woman (a very attractive young woman, let me say) saunters up to me (yes, saunters; I distinctly remember the sauntering) and begins to, strangely, braid the fibers of my towel, which is apparently now made up of shag carpet, in a decidedly flirty way.

Just go with it, man.

I find my clothes, answer the questions I’d been peppered with, finish my interview with Private NoName, and discover that Braid-Girl (who was also, unfortunately, nameless in the dream) needs a ride home.

I’m not allowed to give people rides on my motorcycle yet (I only have a permit), but fortunately my car spontaneously “poofed” next to where I parked my bike.

Also fortunately, Vin Diesel did NOT show up to c*ckblock me.
*Whew*

She sits in the back seat, for some reason, and we have a talk as she gives me directions to where she lives. As we’re talking, I notice that I have no idea where the balls I am. Like, nothing is familiar. I get the distinct impression that I’m in a completely different country. More on this later*.

As our conversation progresses, I ask Braid-Girl a question, something completely innocuous, like “What’s your favorite color?” She gets all quiet, like I’ve somehow offended her with this question. I distinctly remember her next words.

“Sometimes, I just like to BE,” she says. “And right now I’d like to be… ALONE!” and then she opens the door and jumps out the back seat of my moving car.

It’s a pretty definitive end to any conversation.

The problem, though, is that she’s left a bag and my beautifully braided towel in the back seat, so she hops back in to grab them, then jumps out again.

Girls are weird.

*IT IS NOW LATER.

I still have no idea where I am. I drive around for a bit, and my surroundings are a lot like the Bad Part of Town on a dreary day. You know that feeling? The entire place was filled with That Feeling. This went on for a while: me driving around, feeling lost and getting more and more worried.

Somehow, General Barclay pops up and says that I should try and find the American Embassy: they’ll know what to do! He then disappears again. This feels completely natural, and I’m still oblivious to the dreaminess of this dream.

You can trust this face, even when it teleports.

I stop at a hotel to ask about where I can find the American Embassy. The lady behind the counter has massive teeth and a funny accent (South African?), and is immediately saddened by the fact that I want to leave instead of rent a room. She refuses to straight up tell me, either because she doesn’t know or isn’t sure, and recommends that I take a taxi: surely the taxi driver will know.

This makes sense to me. Tooth-lady is fine with me keeping my car parked in the hotel lot, and I hail a cab.

Verne Troyer is my cab driver.

Where to, buddy?

This is turning into a C-list star-studded dream.

Along the way to the Embassy, I start to worry about my motorcycle, which has been left at the Military Base for hours now. I start to wonder if I should have Verne take me there to pick it up, but just then Braid-Girl hops into the taxi. I guess she still needs a ride home.

She commandeers the ride, and we both end up at a supermarket where Barclay Hope is dressed in an apron with a “How Can I Help You” button and proceeds to try and sell me some tires for my car.

WHY ARE YOU HERE, BARCLAY HOPE? WHY ARE YOU EVERYWHERE?

Why not?

We don’t end up buying any tires, and decided to go see a movie instead. I don’t remember watching the movie, or even what movie it was: I just remember that we had Verne wait for us… with the meter on. I have to pay for this… and I’m liking Braid-Girl less and less.

She finally decides that she’d like to go home, and as I have no choice in this matter, I go with her. She walks up to the front door and knocks (why is she knocking?), and who should answer?

Barclay Hope in a t-shirt and boxers.

And he’s apparently Braid-Girl’s dad.

See? Even Barclay’s freaking out.

Even taking dream-logic into account, I’m starting to get confused. I ask Barclay where the crap I am, and he gets this look on his face. He turns around and says something to the empty room, and a door, leading to what it quite obviously a closet, opens up, and out steps a frazzled blond woman, quite pretty, also t-shirt and boxer clad, who takes Braid-Girl to another room.

Barclay turns to look at me, all business, and pulls, out of no where, a large map out to show me. He points to a small island, below the tip of South America-or-Africa-or-Australia (he never says and the map is ambiguous).

“You’re right here,” he says, and epic music starts playing, like this is the planning scene before the suiting up scene in any action movie. I have every reason to believe that whatever the crap is going on is about to be revealed, and I’m gonna have to kick butt, Liam-Neeson-style, to see it to completion…

But all I can think about is how much it’s going to cost to ship my car and motorcycle home to Greenville from this South Pacific island.

And then I woke up.

This one is odd even for me.

Posted in Dream Journal | 1 Comment

I said “vroom vroom”

For my birthday, I bought myself a motorcycle. I am now a motorcyclist. This is undisputibly awesome. Here’s what I bought:

 

Hey, get out of the way, guy!

Theeeere we go.

That, friends, is a 1980 Yamaha Maxim. 650cc’s of Japanese-designed steel, rubber, and faux-leather… and she’s all mine. (I have named her Yvonne.) I will tell you our story.

Whilst searching Craigslist for deals, as I am wont to do on occasion, I stumbled upon a listing for a motorcycle. It was a Suzuki something-or-other: the picture looked great, the guy said it had minor problems, and the price was excellent. I set up a time to come look at it.

I’ve never bought a motorcycle before. I’ve only ever ridden dirt- and mini-bikes. I’ve only ever had one car, which I bought when I was 16 and still use today, 8.5 years later. I say this to inform you that I have no idea what to look at in a machine aside from “Hyup, the paint sure sparkles, a-durhurr.”

I would have asked my father to come with me, as he’s a Car-guy from the olden days who lovingly disdains my lack of knowledge when it comes to the finer points of engines and carburetors and… spark plugs… things like that, but he was working that night.

Instead, I called upon the next best thing: Uncle Randy.

Uncle Randy is my Mom’s brother. He was in the Air Force, he was always muscly, and he’s owned a motorcycle for years. He even gave me a lesson last year, but his motorcycle was less a motorcycle and more a car (complete with radio, armrests and cup holders) that only had two wheels. This thing was massive, and a not exactly made for beginners.

Anyways. He was free that night, so we hopped in his truck and drove to check the thing out… I would have bought it because I’m an idiot, and it passed my “Yarp, it’s shiny” test, but he thought the “minor problems” were actually MAJOR problems, and he told me to walk away. So we did.

And that’s the story of how I didn’t buy a motorcycle! See you later!

But seriously, kids.

I resumed looking. Less than a day later, I saw Yvonne, also on Craigslist. I called up the guy, he said we could come look at it, and it turns out that Uncle Randy was going to be working in that area that day, so basically the stars aligned.

We met the guy; Randy took the bike out for a spin and told me he liked it; it passed my shiny test; and then I talked the guy down $100 from his initial price (booyah!). He gave me the title right there, and I was now the owner of a motorcycle that was 30 years old, with only 16,700 miles on it. This was two days before my birthday.

Apparently, the guy I bought it from bought it from a guy he knew who needed some money. Original owner was an older guy who just kept her in his garage for years. There are some problems that come with keeping a bike in storage for years: namely that it needs a tune up and some new fuses. THESE ARE MINOR PROBLEMS. Also, there’s a crack in the bottom of the exhaust pipe, so it kind of “putts” if I’m in a low gear for too long, but that I don’t mind.

I drove it home after I got a helmet, some gloves, and a safety jacket (great things to wear in June, lemme tell ya), and surprised my parents with it. They were indeed surprised.

Dad took it out for a spin, and after I told him what I paid for it, he offered the greatest praise any son can get from their father:

“You did good, son.”

BAM.

I’ve had it for two weeks now, and I love it. Got some things to fix, I need to get some saddlebags, and I barely stall out at stop signs anymore… but she’s mine. And that is awesome.

Posted in Something Awesome | 1 Comment

Wanted: clever blog title

Friends: I think the time has come to rename my blog.

I have entered a new phase of my life. It is a better phase, but only in the sense that it is different than what came before, which is something that I desperately needed. I now seek to actively change more things from the way they were before.

I shall enumerate, and illuminate.

Old phase:

  1. Restricted (by self) to one type of facial hair: the horseshoe mustache. As a professional in the public eye (which makes me sound all self important and snooty, but there you go), I had an image to maintain, and part of that was not confusing people with rapidly changing grooming styles.
  2. I am a person with strong opinions, but part of my job was also to remain neutral. These are difficult concepts to keep in the head at the same time. Not that I intend to be all up in people’s bidness now, but when you HAVE to write about something you don’t agree with and stay neutral about it… bah.
  3. Strict dress code: all khakis and slacks and button-up shirts… there were a few months in there where I didn’t wear a single t-shirt.

Don’t get me wrong: life wasn’t bad. I had multiple jobs when many people had none. But down time is nice, and I’m looking forward to it in the…

New Phase:

  1. Facial Hair Freedom: I have no intentions to do anything stupid, but the fact that I feel okay about growing a beard right now means something inside my head is different. I prefer this.
  2. I can get snarky if people start acting stupid. I reserve the right to inform those people whenever I like… but that probably won’t be often, because I prefer writing about things like movies and the day-to-day minutia of my life and let people know about the ridiculousity that occurs therein, which is much more enjoyable for all involved, methinks.
  3. Strict dress code: no shorts or flip flops. Everything else is fair game. (Muchly preferred.)

These are simple examples. Again, the old phase wasn’t bad, which is why the new phase isn’t necessarily “better”, but it is different, which is nice.

And, with all of these changes in my life, it stands to reason that one of the biggest parts of my life (this blog) is ripe for a change as well. Mostly, I want to change the name for potentially legal reasons (which I might be making a bigger deal of than is necessary, but I’m totally fine with covering mah butt).

Unfortunately, I am stymied. Everything I’ve been able to come up with so far (examples include such brilliant utterances as “Say whut?: The Life and Times of Me” to pseudo-profound drivel statements like “Ripples in my Stream of Consciousness”, “Missed my Train of Thought”, or “Betwixt The Lines”) sound like titles to bad 1990s self-help books by life coaches you’ve never heard of.

For now, this is what we’ve got to work with: a nameless blog by a twentysomething librarian in the wilds of Ohio. I can offer only this platitude in the midst of my personal confusion: whatever happens, you’ll be the first to know… and we’ll try to have some fun on the way.

So. Any suggestions?

Posted in Blathering | 5 Comments

Aaaaand we’re back! Also: on travelling.

Ooooooh man. Oh man. I’m not a reporter anymore. So, until the day that I again get paid to write stuff, I will utilize this blogospace to stay sharp. Like a knife. Like a sword made of knives that eats razorblades and craps more, sharper razorblades.

That sounds pretty painful, actually.

Anyway.

A few weeks ago, I went on vacation. My friend, Evan, and I both found a blank spot in our schedules to go and see our two other friends, Cory and Emily, who live in Rhode Island. And, because we’re the adventurous sort, we opted to do something craaaazy: we bought train tickets.

I know what you’re thinking: “Tony, that’s crazy! Haven’t you seen ‘Unstoppable’? ‘Murder on the Orient Express’? ‘Shanghai Noon’? Trains are hotbeds of robbery and death!”

Well, formless, strangely opinionated void, I’ve only seen two of those movies, but even though my death was more-or-less guaranteed (in any movie, I’m not the hero, I’m the Watson, the Chewbacca, the Fezzik: the lovable guy that makes the story better and provides excellent quotes, but rarely takes part in the final showdown, or even survives that long), that’s not enough to stop me from trying something new!

Until acts of God happen.

Two hours prior to our embarking, a frikkin’ TORNADO happens in Indiana, tearing up train track and keeping our train from getting to us. At 2 a.m., me and Evan are scrambling to find alternate means of transportation, and happen upon the Greyhound website. The next bus for Rhode Island leaves in a scant four hours, and there are but 5(!) tickets left. We get our refund from Amtrak, get two bus tickets, get ready to go… and then endure 30 hours of utter unpleasantness.

It wasn’t torture. Don’t get me wrong, there are worse ways to spend 30 hours. The bus had power outlets, intermittent Internet (seriously, that’s awesome), but the bus was crowded, there wasn’t a lot of wiggle room, there was a dude who had a bad case of the poops, and there was a guy behind me who was bound and determined to discuss the finer points of Christianity with a dude who was a natural troll. They argued for hours, neither had a volume control, and no one on the bus could walk away. Bah.

We finally arrived. We had a great time. We left. The occurrences there will be a different, happier blog post.

The trip home was nicer, but that wouldn’t have been hard. We were able to take the train back, as there had been no journey-altering tornadoes. Trains have: more wiggle room, more seating options, nicer bathrooms, the chance to move around, and food cars…

BUT.

It was still a 30+ hour trip. Driving to RI only takes like 13, and then you have a car with which to move yourself around AND keep your stuff in.

So, here’s the breakdown: at the bottom of the pile of Ways To Get Someplace is, I dunno, by mule, or crawling. Slightly above that is Bus. Higher up the list is Train, then there’s about 50 feet of crap, then there’s Car and Plane, both of which have their perks and disadvantages that put them pretty much equal in my mind.

Car/Plane

Crap (50 ft.)

Train

Bus

See you later.

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The reason for the lack of updates

Turns out I’m not sure who owns my blog. I have blogged on company time, and it therefore may be the property of my employer… but I’ve paid money for the domain, and I also blog outside of work. It’s all very confusing.

So, in the interest of trying to keep the ownership of something I enjoy, I’m holding off until some things become clear. Please bear with me, and pardon the absence.

-t

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