We had thanksgiving over at the Mollberg's place, Aunt Kathleen, Uncle Bernard, Cousins Nick and Alex and Laura... and about 50 other relatives, all of whom got along remarkably well. I saw my Aunt Patty for the first time in about 25 years, met Grandma Majcher's twin sister. I also got to meet the infamous Grimes boys, who I've heard a few crazy stories about from dad. A few of the younger cousins were in Alex's room playing Fusion Frenzy on the Xbox, so I had to sit down and kick their asses a bit. Damn kids these days, where'd they learn to play video games?
We ate way too much turkey and ham and fixin's and dessert, and then went out to the shootin' pit with Nick and Alex and Bernard with a mess of shotguns and pistols, and shot at the dirt some. Alex got us some incendiary rounds for the shotguns, and we made some fire go boom, followed by the running and the stomping out the dry grass.
Well, I should do some work tonight, but I've got XIII sitting here, waiting to be checked out. I guess I'll have me some lemon bars and think it over.
"Cat in the Hat" opened to forty million dollars, making it the number one piece of soulless crap to be vomited out on the American public this weekend. In celebration, I am making a special promotional offer available: send me your Cat in the Hat ticket stubs and your mailing address, and for a small handling fee, I will perform a quick - but painful - sterilization procedure on you and your family members, insuring that your degenerate crappy-movie-loving genes do not pollute the human race any further than they have already.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go attach some magnets to Dr. Seuss's rapidly spinning corpse, and see if I can't use that to power the CastratoMatic3000.
Dinner with Willow and Cesar last night, at the Hyde Park Bar & Grill. Holy moly, that's some tasty stuff. They have the best double-battered french fries that I've ever had. Afterward, we headed next door to get some super tasty gelato. I had double chocolate, and I think I almost died.
(It seems like I mostly write about food lately. Well, we've had a lot of good food. So there.)
Tonight is game night, at our house, and I busted out the RoboRally for Dave and Mel. These people need to learn that lasers are for FIRING, not for sitting on, dammit. I won - yay, treachery - and then we played a quick game of Chrononauts, which I didn't win.
We also got a chimnea today. Fire!
Gave a presentation on the Flash MX Drawing API at the local Flash users group tonight. (I should put up more notes. Real Soon Now.) I presented second, and time was a little tight, but I ran through stuff pretty quickly, so it all worked out just fine. It's been a good long time since I gave a talk in front of a group like that, and it was good fun. I should do that more often. But enough of that - back to paying work.
Bernie tells me that it's inappropriate to use an empty birth control pill container for a business card holder. I maintain that she is dead wrong.
Also, it appears that, in my photo exhibition section, I have the only genuine pie porn pictures on the internet. Yay, me.
I got myself one of those big nasty hook/saw/clipper things from Home Depot, and took down a big dead branch that was threatening to take out our phone line in the next big storm. The DSL is safe, once again.
Procrastinating, bad brain chemicals, morale low. Got some animation work to do, and get a presentation ready for tomorrow. The sadness is exacerbated by my keyboard tray completely falling out of my shitty Studio RTA desk, so, the computer life is the suck. Got to replace this piece of ass thing.
The "Switched" derby bout was today. Lots of fun - since I didn't have to help Dave out with the scoreboard, Whiskey Lamour recruited me for the SWAT team, which I'd never done before. Good time, all around.
Afterwards, we packed Curro's with rollergirls for brunch, and had some tasty breakfast tacos with Dave, Mel, Kitty Kitty Bang Band and Nathan, Lucille Brawl, and Vendetta Von Dutch and her man. After a bit of recovering and a nap, our pal Billy Steve came over, and used his mad locksmith skillz to bust the lock off my shotgun, which I had lost the key to. Zombies, beware.
And now, I do.. uh, research. For my secret project. Yep.
Woke up late, futzed around some, did a bit of work. Bleh.
Went to see the last showing of Lost Boys with Mr. Sinus at the Drafthouse. The gaggle of super annoying club girls behind us didn't hamper our enjoyment of a great show, although the "stop the movie" bit was pretty scary. John got all oiled up, Owen was dressed up like Kiefer Sutherland and got hoisted up on a makeshift flying harness directly above us, and we saw Jerm's nekkis ass crack twice. But, I reckon that's what we pay for, so that's what we get. Plus, way too much burger-pizza-beer. Mmmm, fat.
Started work on a new contract today. Got some tasking stuff straightened out, to discover that the bulk of the work is just animation in Flash, instead of programming, which I was looking forward to doing. Eh, it pays the same, I guess.
Tonight we went to Stubb's with a bunch of the rollergirls, for some pre-bar grub. After the good food, it was over to Room 710, where we caught the Rockland Eagles - who fucking rule. I'm going out to buy their CD, like, tomorrow. But the real reason we were there was to take part in this "Switched" reality show thing. One of the rollergirls, Rolletta Lynn switched places with a drum major from the Grambling State Marching Band. (Who you may have seen in Drumline) So, picture this. A cute little white girl leading a marching band at a football game in Louisiana, and a skinny black college kid getting out on the derby track with the Honkytonk Heartbreakers. I reckon this should all be on TV sometime soon, so keep an eye out. Should be a fun time - I didn't catch his name, but the guy seems really nice, and I think he's going to have a blast with the girls.
So, we hung out at the bar afterwards for a while, and jabbered with some drunk ass rollergirls. When the band changed, and started sucking really hard, we moved into the other room to hang out with Mel some, and then headed home. Time to sleep it off, and get ready for the full schedule of stuff coming up. Yay, Austin.
We watched pretty much every damn episode of Fawlty Towers today. Also, I'm starting a new (short) contract. Also, I got my bug tracker pretty much working, at least to the point where I can start entering bugs about what needs to be done to it. Also, I've got a bunch of draft versions of stuff I haven't posted yet, so be cool. Also, I still haven't gotten my damn tailstock handle from Amazon. Also, I still need to get Billy Steve over here to get the lock off my shotgun. (Also, I have two other guns that are operable, so don't get any funny ideas.) Also, I need to rent a truck to get stuff that won't fit in the car from Home Depot, then pick up a piano thinger from Mel, then haul a bunch of big crap out of our yard to the dump or somewhere. Also, I haven't finished writing the Flash presentation I'm giving next week. Also, we skipped tai chi yesterday, but I've been practicing in the yard, and have the 24 pretty much down. Also, it's time to get java hooked up to this database and start cranking on this here thing. Also, I got a cool ultraviolet spy pen. Also, I've been really tired lately, and not feeling like I'm getting a lot done. Also, I think I'm going to start in on Quicksilver, which looks like it's going to take a good bit of time, considering my retarded rate of reading, recently. Also, it's time to sleep.
Finally got my first run at my issue tracker, W3X, up and running. You should be able to log in as guest, password guest, and play around with it some. It's not the sturdiest application in the world just yet, so if it breaks, let me know, and I'll prop it up some. Or hey, log a bug about it!
In other news, Cannonball Run 2 is a really, really bad movie.
Chipping away at W3X today. I'd say "hacking", but I feel like I'm just making little dents in it, instead of just tearing into it like I'd like to. I just can't seem to get into these kinds of projects like I used to, but it's a tool I really need to get working, so there it is.
Last night was the Joe Bob Briggs book show at the Alamo - Shocking Movies That Changed History! He showed clips from fifteen influential movies, and gave a little talk about each one. (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Mom and Dad, And God Created Woman, Creature From The Black Lagoon, Deep Throat, Shaft, Blood Feast, Ilsa She-Wolf of the SS, Reservoir Dogs, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Drunken Master, The Wild Bunch, Crash, The Curse of Frankenstein, and The Exorcist. Whew.) It was a long show - started at midnight, and we finally got out of there around 4am.
So, this morning we slept late, went grocery shopping, Bernie made breakfast for dinner, and then a nap. Good lazy day.
Worked on my issue tracker a lot today. It's starting to look decent.
It's game night at Dave and Mel's! First up was Tikal, which was really fun. I played the Belloq treasure-stealing bastard, but Mel eventually came out ahead with the mad temple building. Afterwards, we played a card game where you trade money and farm animals, whose name escapes me at the moment. I was pretty much planning on losing, but I pulled the big fake-out on Dave at the last second, and prevailed. The food: super tasty sandwiches from Delaware Subs, and even superer tastier caramel tres leches cake from Mr. Natural. The yizzum.
That stuff I said I was going to be starting in July? Well, I haven't started it yet. Loser.
Talked to dad today, which was good. Talked about woodworking stuff, games, and junk. Might get out to Florida to visit them at a trade show in February or something, and head up to Buffalo for YAPC in June.
Still waiting for my damn lathe part, so I can make with the turning. Fuckers.
Plus, my knees suck. Feeling decrepit and lame.
Hello, may I please speak to [your name here]
Yes, that's me. Who is this?
Good afternoon, Mr. Name. We'd like to offer you...
Oh, good, good. I'm glad you called. Look, is this call being recorded?
We sometimes record calls for quality assurance purposes, sir, but let me tell you about...
Good, good, good, this needs to be recorded somewhere safe, so they can't get to it. Your company doesn't work with the United States government, does it? Or the United Nations?
No, sir, we're a private company, and we offer you...
I knew it, I knew I could trust you! Look, I'll buy whatever you're selling, you just need to listen to me, because there's not a whole lot of time left.
Of course sir, if you'd just let me describe our services...
Later, look! There's no time! Last year, I put a new roof on my house, and set up a water collection system. You know, to help with the bills, and be all environmentally safe and everything. Well, I didn't know back then how determined they were to control your water. You know what I mean?
I'm not sure what you mean, sir.
Sure you do. I mean, you drink bottled water, right? Not tap water, right? Most of that stuff comes from that Alps or Norway or something, so it's pretty safe now. I mean, the Communists over there have all their systems confused, so their operations aren't operating at full speed, so most of their water is okay now, you know? But our government is stronger than ever now, right, so the stuff in our water is all high tech now. Not just the chemicals, but now they have these little robots, you know? Not that you can see, nanotechnology or something, but they still show up if you put the water under a black light. You've tried that, right? You've seen that?
Actually sir, I don't think I've ever checked my...
Well, try it, you'll see! Anyway, after I started collecting my own water, they've taken a special interest in me. They know that I'm not under their control any more, so they've been stepping up their operations in my area. There must be others in the area, because they wouldn't spend all this effort on me, but I haven't been able to contact anyone else nearby. I don't know if they're just keeping it hush-hush, keeping a low profile to avoid the kind of attention I'm getting, right? Or maybe the surveillance is scaring them into hiding. There's an awful lot of helicopters going by these days, and I'm pretty sure it's not the six o'clock news, you know what I mean?
Yes, sir, I know. I don't want to keep you, let me just tell you about our...
Yeah, just a minute. Look, since they've got me cut off, they know they can do whatever they want to me now. They've had their spy robots in my yard all summer. I mean, just last week, I caught a possum in the front yard, but its eyes were all glowing like, you see? I mean, no normal animal looks like that, so I knew that the glow must have come from its internal power source, or maybe from the broadcasting frequencies. I didn't catch it to open it up like the other ones, but I know that's what it was. I think the robot frequencies must interfere with their main transmitter a little bit, because the headaches go away some when they're around. Look, that's how they get the average citizen, they just use their pain rays on you, until they can take you away and replace you, like they did with my wife. You could tell what they did with her, anyone could, it's so obvious. Nobody just changes all of the sudden like that, you know?
Is your wife there, sir? Maybe I could speak with her...
No, no, no, don't talk like that, you know what they do to people who talk like you. When they abducted her and replaced her with the robot, you could tell immediately. Nobody talks like that, or moves like that. My wife would have never started up with that real estate guy, see, that was the giveaway. They make pretty good surveillance androids, I mean, they still look like people on the inside, but you can still tell if you look close enough. I don't know what they're going to do now that she's not broadcasting any more, but I've got to get this information out to someone before they send someone in to investigate, you know?
Oh, uh, I know, sir. Look, if you can just give me your name and address, we have a special offer...
Why do you want to know where I live? You are working for them! Look, I'll pay for the robot, I swear! Just turn off the pain ray generator! I'll drink your water, okay? I'LL DRINK YOUR DAMN WATER! JUST...
[knock on your door loudly]
Look, hang on, just wait a second. Someone's at the door.
[put down phone, go into other room, begin shouting, simulate a struggle, scream, slam things around, go quiet, walk over to the phone, hang up]
Everyone loved Showgirls. How could they not? The drinking didn't hurt, of course. After, we cleansed our palettes with the God of Cookery, which just kills me every time. Bernie went to bed, when we put on Time and Tide, and Brian and I stayed up and made some evaluation copies of some movies I had lying around here. And Eric with the yadda yadda yadda, then bed.
Got up, did some more Tai Chi stuff with Brian, and skipped out on the Stubb's gospel brunch we were planning on, as the folks wanted to hit the airport early. Fucking terrorists. The flight wound up getting pushed back an hour, so they were stuck in the free speech zone for a good long time. For me, home, food, rest, work.
A sad note: one of the major buttons on my snapshot camera broke off and got lost, so, no zoom, and no menu navigation. Maybe it's time for a new one - they're pretty cheap these days, and still pretty sturdy - I carried this one in my pocket for a few years, getting banged up and still working. Bah.
Picked up Brian, Icky, and Emily at the airport, and got 'em set up at the home base. Loaded up with some hooch, and headed out to Kingsland to watch the Texas Chainsaw Massacre... at the house it was filmed in! After getting a BBQ plate and watching a bunch of cartoons and Tobe Hooper trailers, it started to rain pretty hard, so they packed up the big Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow inflatable movie screen, and sent us into town, where Plan B was to be executed. We wound up at an old, abanonded movie theater, which was actually really perfect to watch the movie in. A few of our crew had never seen it before, and were suitably impressed. Also, bringing beer, whiskey, wine, and chocolate cupcakes into the theater improved the situation considerably. Afterwards, they had Q & A with a couple of cast and crew members who came out for the showing, and we made the long, dark drive back to the big city.
The next day, we picked up some coffee and snacks at Jo's, and went over to Cavender's Boot City to get Icky some cowboy boots. Ostrich skin, and way too rich for my blood. Then it was showing the folks the stores on South Congress - I picked up a boss antique bayonet at one of the little shops, and Brian and I played with the singing bowls at White Crane. Then it was out to the hill country again for lunch at the Salt Lick, where we met up with cousin Nick for lots of meat, beer and pie pie pie!
Brian and I played around with some Tai Chi stuff in the backyard, and he showed me some neat Chen style and silk reeling stuff. Icky was inside, parading around in his new boots and boxer shorts, beating on the bongos. "I GOT NEW COWBOY BOOTS! YAAAAY, MY NAME IS ERIC!", he sang. Now, movietime. Showgirls!