Monday, October 31, 2005
So, yeah. Long day. Good day. I'm exhausted. Tomorrow is NaNo. Tomorrow is November. Tomorrow is only 1.5 hrs away.
Halloween was fun, though. Miranda's get together shindig party thing was spooktacular, even if I didn't speak. =)
Girls got lotsa candy. Irina was cute as hell. Feet are very sore. Pictures will no doubt be posted by the Steph soon, alongw ith a more coherent recap.
I'm going to sleep now.
Friday, October 28, 2005
Okay. So. A while back I decided I was going to revisit an old post of mine. I kept putting it off, putting it off, putting it off. Then, in one of those coincidences that the universe is so fond of, Annika brought the very post I was thinking about to my attention again. I promised her that I would do the revisitation thing. That was a few weeks ago, so I believe it's time to make good on my promise.
What follows is an unfinished story. It was originally posted in November of 2004, and was unfinished then, too. At that time, only one person added on to it. (That was Annika) I am going to reprint the beginning, Annika's part, and then a whole new continuation. At which point it will be up to you to add more onto the story (using the comment feature). Then, reading the comments that have been left continuing the story, the next person will continue the story, taking it in whatever direction it goes. The only rules are that your contribution must be at least two sentences long. (It can be one - if it's a REALLY good one)
Also, I ask that you not 'end' the story. Otherwise, it's fair game.
I still don't have a good work-around for if two people post at the same time - or if someone is writing their section of the story while someone else posts... So hopefully that won't be an issue.
If you don't like where I take this and want to build the story differently, the original post is still up and open for comments. Annika's comment ended with "I said...", so. Yeah.
And, on a side note, while it could be perceived as cheating by reusing words written toward my word count, I see it as fair game since the words I'm using were originally written in 2004 and this is a whole new year. Or something.
And with that...
Paul Washington was woken up by the ringing of the telephone. A beam of almost-noon sunlight sneaked in his bedroom window between the thickly drawn curtains. Groggily, he reached for the phone, willing the hangover away. "Hello?" he answered.
The voice on the other end shouted something in German. Paul didn't understand it, but there was no mistaking the urgency, whatever the message may have been. "Sorry, dude. Wrong number." He hung up and fell back into a deep slumber.
Ten minutes later, the door was kicked in. Paul sat up instantly, heart pounding. The adrenaline raced through his body and he was sweating as three men in dark black uniforms and brandishing machine guns surrounded his bed. The men were all yelling at him, obviously irate. Paul stuck his hands up, terrified. Well, at least my hangover is gone, he thought mindlessly as his brain attempted to understand the bizarre situation he found himself in. The leader of the men poked the nozzle of his machine gun into Paul's ribs and barked some sort of question. Paul shook his head and said, "I...I don't speak German."
The leader said the same phrase again, and again poked Paul with his weapon. Paul's vision blurred and he feared he would faint. He willed himself to stay conscious and said, "Take whatever you want. Just don't hurt me. Please." The leader grabbed Paul's arm roughly. He looked at his forearm, but obviously didn't like what he saw - or as Paul quickly determined, what he did not see. All three men had a barcode tattoo on their forearms, and they were expecting Paul to have the same. One of the other men asked a question - most likely, "Where's his tattoo?" - and the leader barked angrily at him. Paul was hoping was ferevertly wishing this was all a horrific nightmare that he'd soon wake up from.
Paul protested as the leader placed a pair of handcuffs on him, but these men did not seem to understand English any better than he spoke German. "You've got the wrong guy!" he yelled, as they forced him to get out of bed. He had on his jeans, but no shirt.
Realizing that dealing with these thugs wasn't going to work, Paul decided his best course of action was to get help from a neighbor. As the men started to march him out of his apartment, he screamed, "Mrs. Johansen! Mrs. Johansen, call 9-1-1!" His yells brought his next door neighbor to her door. Mrs. Johansen had been Paul's neighbor for the past 4 years. They attended the same church. He knew she'd help. The woman opened the door, and Paul nearly did faint when he saw that Mrs. Johansen had a barcode on her forearm...
One of Paul's arms was handcuffed (or otherwise tied - he couldn't actually see it) to the back of his chair. It was, incidentally, a very uncomfortable chair, made of metal or plastic or some other material that makes you feel as though there is no padding between your bones and the seat. His other hand was cuffed - if that's the right word - to the table with one of those plastic zip-ties that he was pretty sure cops and maybe soldiers carried. His head felt very heavy and he couldn't turn it properly. It crossed his mind that he might have been drugged, but he wasn't sure what that would feel like. He was pretty sure that people on drugs had hallucinations, but he wasn't sure what those were like, either.
Paul blinked and suddenly there was a man standing at the other side of the table. Now Paul was certain he'd been drugged. Either he had blacked out and the man had come into the room, or the man was a hallucination. Paul squinted his eyes in an attempt to focus better. The man's gun looked real enough. He wasn't sure what kind it was. It looked like something from a Sci-Fi movie, but for all Paul knew, that's what all guns looked like. He wasn't exactly an expert.
He tried to ask the man where he was, but his mouth was dry and no sound came from it. He cleared his throat, because he wasn't sure what else to do, and managed to croak out something along the lines of, "May I have a glass of water?"
His vision became blurry again and, wondering if perhaps he needed glasses, he blinked a few times again.
Now there was a woman standing next to the man. She looked familiar, though Paul was certain they had never met.
Placing her hands on the table, she leaned toward Paul and said something, but now his ears weren't working properly either and he thought he heard wind blowing, or the ocean, like when you put a conch shell to your ear.
She leaned closer. "I said..."
"Can you understand me? Is the translator operating?"
Paul blinked. This day was becoming stranger and stranger. When the woman had spoken, he had heard her ask in English, but also slightly speak in German. Additionally, her mouth had not quite been in sync with the English he had heard. It was very similar to seeing someone on television who spoke a foreign language and hearing the translation spoken over it. All the while, the ocean wind noise was faintly whispering in his ear.
In a state of shock, Paul simply asked, "Translator?"
The woman, who must have been wearing her own translator - or who understood English - nodded and tapped her ear. Paul then noticed that something was in his own right ear. It felt like an earplug, but was, undoubtedly, a piece of machinery that was translating the conversation into English for him.
Paul thought all these thoughts, along with "Who are these people??" before realizing that the woman was again speaking and the machine was translating:
"...you will do best to answer my questions honestly. We do not know what connection, if any, you have with Fredrick Muller, but the fact that you were found in his apartment implies at least a casual relationship with that criminal."
Even though the translator did not convey much tone, it was obvious to Paul that this woman despised Fredrick Muller, whomever that was.
The woman went on, "My first question is - how do you not have any identification? Where is your mark?" She pulled up her sleeve, revealing her own bar code tattoo.
Paul swallowed, trying to get his bearings and determine exactly what he was going to say in response. The man with the gun made him nervous and he was confident that if he said the wrong thing, that he would end up a dead man.
"First," he said, "I do not know Fredrick Muller. The apartment you people pulled me out of was mine. You've obviously got the wrong person. As for identification, I have my driver's license at home in my..." the woman smacked him across the face, hard, silencing Paul.
She snarled, "Do not lie to me!" in German and the translator managed to chill Paul.
"How did you remove your identification?" she asked, yanking on Paul's free arm, looking again for his nonexistent bar code. "How?!"
Paul didn't know what to do, but didn't think that attempts at deceit would work with these people. Besides that, he didn't know what it was they wanted him to say, so he stuck with the truth. "I'm trying to tell you I've never had one!" he said in an exasperated tone.
The woman heard this in her translator and looked at Paul like he were crazy (Paul was beginning to think she might be onto something there). "That is not possible." she said flatly.
At that moment there was a knock on the door and another guard (Paul assumed, he had the look of a guard) entered and spoke to the woman. Paul's translator picked up the conversation and converted it to English for him, despite the fact that he probably wasn't meant to hear any of it. "Burr," (Paul at first thought the guard had said "brr", but then quickly realized that 'Burr' was the woman's name - or title, perhaps), "there is something you must see."
"I am interrogating the suspect right now." Burr growled back. The guard said, "There is another like him. Another person with no identification. A Negro in his thirties. He only speaks English. He was found in district five, trying to break into someone's home. Schmidt has him in the other room and is requesting you come right away."
Burr looked at Paul and then at the guard. "Bring the other man in here. I will interrogate them both at the same time. Perhaps the lack of identification and the English language are not all these men have in common."
The guard nodded and left the room. Paul didn't think his request would be granted, but saw no major harm in asking - especially since he could now be understood - "May I get a drink of water, please? And perhaps a shirt?"
Burr considered Paul briefly, then said to the man with the gun, "Water. Shirt." The man nodded and left the room without a word.
At that time the other guard entered, forcing a scared looking black man in front of him. He looked at Paul and seemed to draw several conclusions quite quickly. "They arrest you, too?" he asked Paul. Paul nodded, afraid to say anything aloud, but inside he was ecstatic to hear another person speaking his native tongue. The black man was forced into a chair beside Paul, and the guard with the gun said to Burr, "I'll go get a translator for him." The black man said, "I told you! I don't speak German. No shpreckin the Deutsch!" Paul smiled in spite of himself. He liked this man.
Burr frowned. "Tell your friend to shut up," she ordered Paul, "or I will kill him."
Paul had no doubt she would do it, either. He said to the man, "Hi. I'm Paul. Paul Washington. That woman there? She's in charge. Don't piss her off. Right now she doesn't want you to talk. I suggest you listen to her."
"Huh." the man replied. Then to Paul, "Oh. My name is Derrick. Derr..." but at that moment Burr smacked Derrick across the face. Derrick leapt up and was going to retaliate, but Burr kneed the middle aged man in the groin, dropping him instantly. "I told you to tell him not to speak." she said coldly to Paul. Paul simply gaped at the whole scene, unable to help Derrick up, since he was still handcuffed to his chair.
The other guard returned at that moment with a glass of water and a light blue shirt for Paul. The shirt was tossed into Paul's lap, the glass of water was put in his free hand.
Derrick slowly got back up and sat in his chair. The guard took that opportunity to handcuff his arm. Derrick didn't object - at least verbally - but Paul knew he wasn't happy about this development. This guard also had a translator and he placed it in Derrick's ear.
Burr asked Derrick if he could understand her, if his translator was working and to simply nod if the answer was yes. Derrick nodded.
"Good." Burr said. "Now we will begin to get some answers..."
100.5 FM, which had been "Lite 100" and played Adult Contemporary (whatever that means) suddenly switched formats.
It became the "All new Jack FM", which plays "What they want to". It also boasts the "biggest playlist in Vegas" and from what I've heard of the station, that is true.
Jack stations are apparently across the country, but this was a new development to me. The station doesn't have any DJs. That's right. No annoying banter in the morning. No stupid callers on air to make requests or ask "What's the name of that one song that John Meyer sings?" Yay!
The drawback to that is that if you hear a song you like (and Jack FM has played quite a few songs I've liked) you're left wondering who it was and/or what the song was called.
But still. No DJs!
Instead, the station plays a huge variety of music - ranging from country to disco to alternative and ranging from the late 60s up to today. In between these songs, they have "voice mail" messages. Where people who call the station's line and leave kiss ass words about how wonderful the station is. Most of the time, once the person talking has finished, a robotic female voice says, "Message saved." (Sadly, they don't say "Low battery." after each one, like our answering machine at home does. That would be amusing. Another missed opportunity is for the female robot to say, "Robots unite!" Hmm. Maybe I should program radio stations instead.)
Anyway. So Jack FM has become one of my favorite stations - it's on right now, in fact, playing "Back in the High Life" by Steve Winwood (that's one I know!)...which is now ending. What's next? Let's see.
Um. Well. It won't end. Heh. Man, that song had a long instrumental ending.
Oh. Now they're playing some sort of disco song that I don't recognize yet. Oh!!! "Jungle Boogie". Hee.
See. Any station that can go from Back in the High Life to Jungle Boogie is okay by me.
But. This (long winded - go word count!) post isn't entirely about Jack FM.
Because apparently, as of last week there's a NEW player in town.
107.9 FM, which used to play R&B and hip hop has switched formats. It's now "Area 108", and it's currently DJ-less. The station is using an alternative format, and is playing heavily on the songs from the 90s that I really enjoyed. I haven't listened to Area 108 as much - I only just discovered it yesterday - but the fact that there are now 2 stations in Las Vegas that have no DJs and who are playing songs that I like is quite good news.
EDIT! I've been listening to Area 108 all night now, (for about three hours, anyway) and dude. In addition to being DJ-less, right now Area 108 is commercial free! You can hear for yourself (assuming your computer has speakers) at area108.com End edit!
In conclusion, Robots unite! Message saved. Low battery.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
The other day I saw a headline that said:
CLS Growth 'great' for Las Vegas
I have no idea what CLS is, or why or how it is growing, but I'm confused as to whether it truly is a good thing or not. Aside from my own views on unsustainable growth, the writer of the headline 1) used the word great and 2) used quote tags.
Someone truly needs to do a documentary on the evolution of sarcasm in the English language.
Why is it that the word great is so rarely used honestly? I'd say that ...oh, 80% of the time I hear someone say something is "great", they're being sarcastic.
And when did air quotes get assigned as the sarcasm body language signal du jour? And how? Also - the tone that one uses when they are speaking sarcastically. Everyone (except children, evidently. I read somewhere that children don't get sarcasm...so at what age is it learned?) ...everyone knows the sarcasm-tone. But someone had to be the first to use it. Who was that? And how did it catch on?
Huh. I just looked up wikipedia's entry on sarcasm, and apparently someone has written a book on the history of sarcasm - Leonard Rossiter, The Lowest Form of Wit - so I'll have to look into that.
Interestingly enough, in the wikipedia entry, the example they give of online sarcasm is "That's just great."
In conclusion, this entry was absolutely 'great'. Really.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Who who. Who who.
I'm just a guy. Really.
I Am What I Am. Are you Are What You Are, Or What?
How Do You Know When It's Love?
When it hurts, I guess.
Where's The Man?
Sadly, The Man is ubiquitous.
What Makes You Think You're The One?
Delusions of grandeur. That's what makes anybody think they are the One.
Hey, Joe. Where Ya Goin' With That Gun In Your Hand?
Nowhere. Seriously, man. Nowhere at all.
Do You Wanna Touch Me?
Not as such.
Who Wants To Live Forever?
Genes. Those stupid selfish things. I think they might also be demented, because I can't for the life of me figure out WHY.
How Soon Is Now?
Right...now! Now! Now!!
In other words, it's pretty soon.
What Kind Of Fool Am I?
That's between you and your god. Hee.
How Do You Talk To An Angel?
Well, if you own the DVDs...you just pop it in and start talking to the screen.Or, if you know David Boreanaz personally, then, you know, there's that.
Who Will You Run To When It All Falls Down?
Oh, you know. soandso, I guess.
Stop Walking Down My Street. Who Do You Expect To Meet?
The devil, maybe? Hmm. And I'm wondering if I got the answers to the last two questions mixed up...
Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad?
Have I? I would venture to say that, yes. I have.
Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?
Not as such.
What's Love Got To Do With It?
Everything. Ev. er. e. thing.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Damned if I know, man. I'm just trying to figure it out as I go along.
Meh. I am, although I wish I weren't. It's been a roughish week. And I'm currently in the 'I despise working for the Man' part of my mood cycle.
I'm hoping that answering some boqs will help kick me out of it. (And boost my word count. Go word count!)
What do you say when you answer the phone?
Here at work it's, "Programming, this is Pat."
At home it's "Hello?"
What is your favourite soup?
What shall we do with a drunken sailor?
I think it's too earl-aye in the morning for me to answer that.
What was the best financial transaction you ever made?
When I sold my soul. For 37 thousand dollars.
Oh. Wait. That never happened.
But, man. That would be a sweet deal, wouldn't it?
Let's see. I don't know. It must be too earl-aye in the morning to answer this, too.
What is the name of your favourite takeaway food outlet?
Takeaway food outlet? Heh. Sometimes Bally speaks funny. [/p@ calling the kettle black]
I don't know that I have a favorite, but the one I visit the most would be Taco Bell.
What was the number of the last bus you were on?
But only because the bastards stopped running the 807.
What is intelligence to you?
Seriously? Seeing patterns and thinking ahead, in a nutshell.
What would Jean-Paul Sartre do?
Bitch and moan, I'm guessing.
What if the Beatles had never existed?
As a group, or do you mean that the individual people had never been born? Either way, I'm guessing that music would sound slightly different today. If Otherland were ever to come about, it would be interesting to create a world in which that were the case just to see.
Related Simpsons quote: "America rules! Our Beatles are way better than your Rolling Stones!" - Homer, regarding Britain.
"What if now you're still not sure?"
Then...not much has changed, actually.
What was the last thing that made you jump?
Speaking of kittens, and of jumping. This morning, they were attacking each other, as per usual, and they ran toward each other, then both lept in the air, swatting at each other while in the sky. It was totally like the Matrix, only with kittens.
What the hell is going on?
It's the end of the world as we know it. Sorta. Slowly. Maybe. Eventually.
In short, I have no idea, dude. But I never have. I never have.
What is the largest number of people you have ever seen?
Er. 6 billion? I mean, if you see a picture of the earth from space, then technically that's a correct answer.
what's last... ?
Now I go do some work. Later, I will do more boqs and blogging. Later still, I go home.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
It hailed today.
Hail! In Las Vegas! In October!!
I don't really have anything to blog about right now. I think that I
might try NaNoWriMo (again) this year, but if my current bout of lack of
writingness (?) doesn't fade by next week I won't be getting very far.
We'll see. Earlier yesterday - and even into part of today - I was
pretty excited about it, but now...not so much. Eh. A lot can change in
Friday, October 21, 2005
Or, if the Steph is super convincing in making me stay home. (She doesn't need to do a lot of arm twisting lately)
(note: I answered this originally while at work, and am cutting and pasting the answers now, so they are nolonger technically accurate.)
street or road?
(Not true. I do have an idea, but I need to pee, and thinking isn't on my top priority list right now)
I don't know!!! Stop asking me questions! ...Oh. This is the last one. Whew!
That'll have to do for now. More later.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
First the update:
Tina - my current supervisor - is leaving. She will be moving to Oregon, and her last day here at the station is October 28th.
I applied for her position - which is what the last post I made was about (obviously it wasn't meant to be blogged. I was emailing my wife and got all shtupid and blogged it instead)
Anyway, the company did not hire me. I did a powerpoint presentation and everything, but, in the end, the gig went to Tommie - who was my supervisor in Master Control. The more things change, huh?
So. I'm a little bit bummed about not getting the job - it would've meant a lot more money - but I'm also pretty relieved - it would have meant a lot more stress and responsibility, too. Plus, I'm getting a raise out of the whole situation, and Tommie is a pretty good guy to work for, so it could've been much worse.
In nonwork news - Saren spent the past week home with the chickenpox. Cock-a-doodle doo!
She's over them, as it wasn't a superbad case to begin with. I must admit that I'm a little bummed, though, that her time away from school didn't make her want to remain home permanently. Oh well. I'm just glad she's feeling better.
And now, Harper has the pox de la chicken. Ugh. Hopefully she'll get itchy and get over it in a relatively short amount of time. I hate seeing my kids sick. It truly is one of the worst things imaginable.
Netflix update: We've begun our zombie themed movies. So far we've watched Night of the Living Dead and Shaun of the Dead. Night, while still a classic, is pretty cheesy. I didn't realize what an annoying bint (hee!) Barbara was.
And Shaun was funny! It started off really slow, though. If you're gonna rent it, skip the first 20 minutes. You won't miss much, honestly.
Saren later said her favorite part was (and I'm not giving anything away here, since this scene is in the trailer) when Shaun and Ed sing "White Lines" and the zombie moans along. Heh.
My favorite part was probably the Queen song in the pub. [/vague enough to not require spoiler tags]
[begin spoilers for Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead (2004), 28 Days Later and Shaun of the Dead, highlight to view]
With about fifteen minutes left in Shaun, I said to Steph, "Man, no zombie movies ever end happily." Because at that point, it looked as though things were gonna be pretty grim for Shaun and Liz.
But! Then there was a happy ending!! Yay!
But NotLD, and Dawn of the Dead both had unhappy endings. 28 Days Later's ending was argumentitavely happy, but it was a blah movie to begin with, and I can't honestly remember which ending it went with (I watch the alternate endings on the DVD and they've all blurred together).
I wonder how the other movies will end. [end spoiler]
Steph and I were also thinking - what's really so bad about being a zombie? In a lot of zombie movies, becoming one of the undead seems to be a better alternative than surviving with the group you wind up with. That would be an interesting take on the zombie movie. One told where the zombies are more sympathetic.
Um. What else? Well. There's been other stuff, but my wife covers it so much better than I do.
Okay. Onto the anniversary segment.
It's been three years since I began this blog. On October 19th, 2002, at 1:23pm, I began myh first post with the prophetic "Oh, watch how boring this entry will be." It's gone through numerous changes, but one thing has remained the same over the years. And I don't know what that is.
Happy Blogiversary to me!
In conclusion, Oh, watch how boring this entry will be.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
|Just ||another |
|test ||of |
|the ||table |
|system. ||Yay! |
Now. Will it work? That remains to be answered.
I swear, someday soon, that I will return to my normal boring style of posting, rather than this accelerated boring type. [grin]
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Have you ever gone to see a movie alone?
If yes, do you often or was it a one time occurrence? If no, why not?
I think I've done that twice. I didn't enjoy it either time. It feels...weird somehow.
What was the last movie you saw? Did you see it with anyone?
Well, most of the movies I see anymore are either at home due to Netflix or at work due to ...work.
The last movie I watched at home was Van Helsing, and I didn't watch the entire thing because it was really horrible. Stephanie was with me.
At work the last movie I watched was.. um. Oh. Return of the Rebels, which was extremely boring. I'll bet Patrick Swayze wishes that movie were banned from existence. He's not alone in that wish.
As for the theater going experience, the last movie I saw on the big screen was Batman Begins, and I was with Stephanie. (And a bunch of other people I didn't really know) I enjoyed that movie.
Did the people (or lack thereof) enhance the viewing pleasure of the movie? (how so?)
Well. Hmm. Watching movies at home or at work doesn't really fit into the question. But going to the theater... It's a delicate balance. Prescreenings (like Batman Begins was) can be irritating because that many people results in a large amount of stupid. But there have been movies I've gone to where the theater is emptyish... and you know, actually, that's better. So forget what I said about delicate balance. Having less people in the theater is better. [up]
When you go see a movie with someone do you converse with them during the movie (possibly in a low whisper, or even a dull roar)
Who do you normally go to the movies with? (friends, significant other, shadow)
Steph and /or the girls.
After seeing a movie is there anything you often do?
Do you like to talk about a movie you watched after seeing it?
How often do you go to see movies?
Extremely rarely. It's expensive, and most movies are crap. Having the movies come to us is so much better.
What type of movies do you prefer to see?
Free ones, generally. The next time we go to the movies will most likely be in November when we see the prescreening of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
What type of movies do you avoid like the plague?
Teen movies. Most "comedy" movies. Most action movies.
I'm not sure what that leaves, but if you figure it out, that's my niche.
What is the last movie went to see?
Batman Begins, as stated above.
What is the next movie that you know is coming out that you will be going to see?
Repeating myself here, but Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Do the same principles apply for renting movies?
Nope. Netflix = seeing stuff we'd never go to see. Or stuff that we'd maybe go see if we had money and free time. Like Van Helsing. Or War of the Worlds. Or, well, pretty much anything. Netflix is one of the best inventions ever.
One and One is five. (explain)
That's not a question. But... UM... You know, I dont think I can. Although, you know. One (P@) and One (Steph) did equal five in the case of Spish. So there ya go.