uberreiniger: (Fallen)
This weekend has been very busy for me, but I still manage to feel like I haven't done as much as I'd like. Come to think of it, this entire week has been pretty chaotic.

We had a bad thunderstorm Sunday night into Monday morning that fried out my surge protectors. All my electronics were spared except for my trusty old warhorse of a desktop computer. The power source took the hit and died. This will the second time I've replaced a power source on that computer, but it's easy enough. Where it gets interesting is according to the package tracking, said power source has already been delivered. I don't have it. I am hoping that it's either in the apartment office or at the post office on account of the box being too big, but I won't know until tomorrow. Strangely, I am not as panicked about this as I could be.

Angie had to go to the ER this week. She was diagnosed with diverticulitis and is still recovering. I am just trying to be the best partner I can and take care of her. I am thankful for my own relatively robust health and I hope it persists that I may keep caring for the ones around me.

Another problem we have been dealing with are our upstairs neighbors, the Porch Dicks. We named them that in honor of a villain from The Walking Dead: a smarmy, abusive father/husband whom the fandom nicknamed "Porch Dick." The called him that because he was first introduced creepily staring at one of the main characters from the front porch of his house. Anyway, our neighbors fit the comparison because they are violent and abusive to one another and we hear every word through the ceiling. They also have a bad habit of blasting their surround sound movies and music at all hours of the night, resulting in hours of lost sleep on our part. The apartment office tells us they are being evicted, but that's not something that happens overnight. In the meantime, we just try to make the most of it by enjoying the free Jerry Springer show going on above us.

I have worked a lot on music this weekend. The work is paying off. I'll talk about that in its own post.

Today I helped my parents bring my old chest of drawers down here from their house. While cleaning it out I found a few things I've been trying to find for a long time so that was a most welcome surprise. I also managed to score a few incredible deals from a local hardware store that is going out of business, and I treated myself to a visit to the homebrew store as well, coming away with a fresh carboy and airlock to begin a new batch of mead with.

Today was also the racking of the first batch. Racking is where you drain the fermented liquid off the sediment, or lees, that forms at the bottom of the vessel. It turned out to be a lot of fun, but the apartment now looks like a serial killer lives here on account of the rubber tubing hanging above the sink as it dries.

It doesn't feel like I did a lot, but typing about it sure has been exhausting!

uberreiniger: (Erato)
Sometimes as a writer you get a single sentence stuck in your head and want to build an entire story around that sentence, much like a pearl is formed around a single grain of sand. Did you know Stephen King wrote his novel "The Dark Half" because he couldn't stop thinking the phrase "Firelies in a windstorm?" I wish I could say I've come up with anything half as sublime.

I think it must be time for me to start writing erotica again because I desperately want to do something with the phrase "enjoying a veritable forest of cocks." I wish I had an interesting story for how I came up with that. In fact, I don't have a story for it at all. Of course I suppose the entire story doesn't have to be erotic in nature. There are many places where it could be used.

"September 23rd (24th??): Fourteen days and my sister continues enjoying a veritable forest of cocks. I have not slept since the seventh day. Nor, I fear, shall I ever again."

"Dark times these were for the pious; for on any given night even the most stalwart of seminarians could be found in the salons and in the public bath houses enjoying a veritable forest of cocks..."

"'Something must be done!' the congresswoman cried. 'Even now our teenagers are spending all of their free time on the InterGoogles, enjoying a veritable forest of cocks!'"

And so on. Or I may never use it and it will just go on the shelf with my other ideas. But just in case it doesn't, know that this constitutes a copyright. No poaching my idea. I do not tolerate illegal logging in my veritable  forest of cocks!
uberreiniger: (Good Evil)
Today I began fermenting my first batch of mead. If everything goes correctly, in a few months I will have a drinkable honey-flavored alcoholic beverage. If 15 year-old me could see this he would be shocked and devastated. He'd be frantically searching for how his life could take such a tragic turn.

For nearly all of my young adult life I was of the opinion that drinking - any drinking - was wrong. I owe this to my upbringing in the Free Methodist Church. I didn't hear fiery prohibition sermons from the pulpit or anything - at least none that I can recall. That was simply part of what being a good Christian was, and good Christians did not drink. Or if they did, they certainly did not get drunk.

Another thing to keep in mind is that I grew up in a miserable redneck Midwestern town. There was nothing to do, especially for young people. Binge drinking was common. People started it early in high school and kept it going until long afterward, assuming it didn't just become a permanent way of life. I was against alcohol because everyone around me was so damned for it. I hated the way it made people and what it did to them.

So what changed?

Religiously I am different now. I currently identify as Norse Pagan, or Heathen and alcohol - mead in particular - holds a huge cultural and religious significance in the pre-Christian European way of life. It is not divorced from, or exist awkwardly alongside the sacred there. When Heimdall drinks mead constantly at his station by the Rainbow Bridge or when Odin is said to exist on wine alone, it is thought of merely as another one of their many amazing supernatural attributes. Contrast that Sunday morning church where they just awkwardly try to gloss over and move past the time when Jesus was at a wedding reception that ran dry and He magically conjured up enough wine to keep the party going. It's just... a different mindset. And when you're lifting up a drinking horn in salutation of the mythic ages of the past, filling it with mead just seems right.

My views on alcohol also changed because my experience with it did. I left my town and moved to the big city. I found out it was possible for people to enjoy alcohol without making fools out of themselves or hurting one another. I've never felt the desire to get drunk even once in my life so far, but I've come to enjoy the taste of and the relaxation brought by a cup or two of nice fermented drink. I guess it's just an age-old story: you grow up, your perspectives change.

One thing I know for sure, though: my first batch of mead isn't even a day old, (it won't be ready to drink until at least this winter,) and I already want to start making another one.

uberreiniger: (Blood Axe)
I just spent twenty minutes typing a huge entry about how awesome my 4th of July weekend was. It got fucking eaten. There are disadvantages, it seems to this more intimate form of blogging. Well I will try again, shorter this time, I guess.

-My 4th of July started on Thursday because my bass amplifier died last week and I needed to replace it. I finally found a good Peavey bass amp and was preparing to take a $350 hit to the wallet. Instead I walked into Guitar Center where it turned out they were having a 4th of July sale. I got the thing for $100 off. It was a great way to start the weekend.

-Friday night was the cast party for my theatre troupe. We just completed our big summer show. It was hard to get going again this year because we had taken a year off, but the show came together and our audience were thrilled to see us back. We ate lots of delicious grilled meat, made plans for next year, and began feeling strong as a troupe again.

-Saturday was the 4th. Angie and I had many plans but due to general lethargy overcoming us both, we only fulfilled about half of them. We ate BBQ, shopped at Ikea like delighted 5 year-olds, and took a very long, very happy nap. No fireworks, but none were needed.

-Today, Sunday, culminated in taking my parents out for supper at a local down-home country restaurant. We had a good time and Angie is really becoming one of the family. It was also a good day for me creatively. I got good work done on a Pathfinder (D&D) game that I'm writing, played guitar and bass for a good, long time, and learned to play an Amon Amarth song.

-My 4th of July was so good it took four whole days. I had a great time on a holiday where I usually wind up lonely, depressed, and not knowing what to do with myself. Instead I made incredible memories and had joyful experiences. I owe it all to the company I keep.
uberreiniger: (Default)
I have been putting off saying this on here for quite some time, but it's long overdue by at least a year now. My marriage has ended. It feels weird saying that here on Livejournal because Livejournal is where that marriage began. We met via this site, dated for nearly a year through it, and then moved in together. My use of this site petered out live everyone's has and in the interim, things happened that made our marriage impossible to maintain. The divorce was finalized on June 25th. It took about fifteen minutes. Twenty-five if you count the time we spent waiting in line at the court clerk's window afterward. M and I remain friends and on good terms. Our relationship has changed, that's all. We are both in better places in our lives than we've been in forever and I am glad for that.

There's a lot more to this story... about 24 years' worth. I have, for the last year since the separation began, been seeing someone whom I go back a long way with. Actually, that's a bit of an understatement. Angie and I go clear back to my junior year of high school. We've been a constant presence in each other's lives all these years since and well... We finally saw what was obvious. We have had many incredible adventures in the time we've been dating and now that we are living together we are planning to have many more. I really don't have enough words to describe how incredible my life has become. Magic has come to it in all its glory. I am working very hard. We are working very hard, and things are off to a great beginning.

I have a lot to say. But it's hard to say it because it's easier just to feel it.
uberreiniger: (Wayfarer)
Robin Williams died yesterday. He committed suicide at the age of 63 following a lifelong battle with depression. The world is stunned. Many don't understand how a man so beloved and with such a revered body of work could make such a choice.

It made me think of the Doctor Who episode "Vincent And The Doctor"
Spoilers... )
uberreiniger: (Eternity)
No one wants to read another Hobby Lobby post saying the same things others have said louder and better than I can. So much hair has been torn and so many breasts have been struck in righteous anger that I can add nothing to the general din. What I can do is be candid about myself.

It's something of an open secret, but I think the time is past due to just say it: I no longer identify as Christian anymore. And if you're someone who goes back with me for any length of time you know that's a big deal for me, and that I held out far longer than just about anyone else I know of who has had a similar struggle. It has been hard to put into words why it happened until now; until today, in fact.

I left Christianity because Christ is not in it. He is where He always was: out in the world doing good, and calling down wrath on those who profane His temples with lies and greed. I left it because I see more of Christ in the pagans and atheists who have fed me and cared for me, asking nothing in return over the years, than I do in the Green Family with their ranks low-wage workers and their enslaved Chinese factories. I left because I see more of Christ in Odin's sacrifice upon the Tree and Thor's intent to lay down his life to end the poisoning of the sky than I do in those who tell me to cast down idols of metal and stone. I left because again and again among those of all faiths and of none, I see evidence of a God who fights Hell at endless cost to Himself rather than a God who wields it as the ultimate oppression.

I left Christianity because it does not own Christ. He goes where He wants and does what He will, and He'll do it whether you choose to hear Him or see Him or not. But I think He'd be delighted if you'd try. I would like to thank Hobby Lobby, the Green Family, and the United States Supreme Court for reminding me that i made the right decision.
uberreiniger: (Ruthless)
So I'm watching that awesome TV series "Vikings" and there's a battle relatively early in the first season where the titular villain-protagonists are assaulted by a larger Saxon force. The Vikings make the sensible decision to form a shield wall. This is the dialogue I MST3K'd for the leader of the Saxon force:

"Archers! Do that one thing that is useless against a shield wall!"

*Archers shoot arrows at the shields, to no effect.*

"Infantry! Do that other thing that is useless against a shield wall!"

*Archers run right at the shield wall and begin dying.*

"Men who could outflank the shield wall with our superior numbers! Just keep trying to move forward in a straight line! Wait, maybe have one guy run around the shield wall!"

*One guy runs around it; dies.*

"Okay, maybe have another guy try to run around it!"

*Another guy runs around it; dies.*

"Um... New plan! Everyone just sort of die and I will ride home and tell our king the enemy is too strong!"

*Rides away; does just that.*

It's amazing we're not all speaking Futhark right now.
uberreiniger: (Ow)
As a dear friend was talking about her period woes today, something occurred to me. We have all sorts of euphemisms for performing bodily functions and excusing ourselves to do the same. Everyone knows what is meant if a gentleman states he has to "drop some kids off at the pool" or "go drain the pickle." I realized, however, that women do not seem to enjoy the same plethora of descriptive terms for heading to the bathroom to deal with nature's monthly blessing of womanhood. So my friend and I started to come up with some appropriate terms with which to excuse yourself when heading to the ladies' room to change out your feminine product of choice.

-I'll be right back. Got to go and flush a shipment to Dracula's lair.

-Please excuse me, I've got to go fill the tub for Countess Bathory.

-Be right back! I'm sending this month's baby out in shipments!

-Back in a few! Gotta go strip the paint off the walls of the nursery!

-Time to go and uncork a bottle of pussy shiraz!

-Well, looks like a gotta go and take some blood-and-cotton casserole to the porcelain potluck!

And so on. You're welcome.
uberreiniger: (Default)

WHAT YOUR APPROACH TO PICKING UP YOUR DOG'S FECAL WASTE SAYS ABOUT YOU AS A PERSON:

LAWFUL GOOD: 
When your dog poops while on a walk, you pick it up. It's the right thing to do and a responsibility of being a dog owner.

NEUTRAL GOOD: You pick up your dog's poop because you'd hate for someone to be upset if they came out and found it on their lawn. However, if your dog defecates in a secluded or out-of-the-way location and there's no one around, you might leave it there since it's not hurting anyone.

CHAOTIC GOOD: Not only is picking up after your dog the right thing to do, it's just common courtesy. However, if there were someone bad in your neighborhood, someone you know has done bad things to other people, you might just look the other way if your dog stops and does its business on that person's lawn.

LAWFUL NEUTRAL: Your attitude toward dog waste reflects that of those around you. If your neighbors are fastidious in cleaning up after their dog, you will adapt to this expectation. But in a less tidy neighborhood you might find yourself not caring as much.

TRUE NEUTRAL: Of course you don't want others to have to clean up after your dog, but you'd rather not do it yourself either if you don't have to. If it's daytime and you think someone might have seen your dog poop, you'll clean it up. But if it's dark out and no one's around, you just keep walking.

CHAOTIC NEUTRAL: You pick up after your dog when you feel like it. If someone sees you leave the poop and calls you out on it, you might apologize and clean up, or you might take off running. Even you don't know until it happens.

LAWFUL EVIL: You're supposed to pick up after your dog, everyone knows that. If you see someone leave their dog's waste, you report them to the authorities because you know they'd do the same to you.

NEUTRAL EVIL: You clean up the poop while walking your dog in order to cultivate the image of a good neighbor and thereby gain your neighbors' trust. The second someone crosses you, however, whether in reality or only in your mind, they're going to find so many deuces in their front yard it will make their head spin.

CHAOTIC EVIL: The dog doesn't care where it poops, so why should you? Somebody doesn't like what the dog did in their yard, that's their problem.
 

 

uberreiniger: (Default)
I've been wanting to update for weeks now. So much has happened. Finally, it's just reached the point where I need to tell folks what's going on.

Back in September I was involved in a serious car accident. Due to bad weather I got into a serious wreck on the highway. Thankfully no one was hurt, but it has left me with serious legal fees that are due in a matter of days. I simply cannot pay these and my other bills unless I get help. So I have created a GoFundMe page to ask for donations and help cover costs. Those who donate can select a reward level and receive an original piece of poetry, fiction, or artwork from me in exchange for the assistance.

Despite the fact that I'm offering something for peoples' money, it still feels like I am begging. But I don't know what else to do. I simply need the help too much. If you are interested, or can pass it along to someone who is, here is the link to my page below:

http://www.gofundme.com/50xhu8
uberreiniger: (Default)
As unsatisfying as the concert at the Riot Room the night before was, it left me utterly unprepared for the sheer grandeur of the show I experienced the next night at Starlight Ampitheatre.

Starlight is a big outdoor theatre located next to the Kansas City Zoo. I've never really paid attention to it before, but it's got a huge stage that looks like a castle, comfortable seats, and lots of nice walking/standing room. I'm definitely going to be paying more attention to what's playing there after this.

Moving on to the show itself, in case you don't know, Jason Bonham is the son of late Zed Zeppeling drummer John Bonham and he plays drums for them whenever they reunite to perform live. So basically this was the closest I'm ever going to get to seeing Led Zeppelin live and I don't think Page, Plant, and Jones could do it any better. The band Bonham has put together is SPOT ON, to the point that if you close your eyes you can't tell it's not the original lineup. They played a slew of crowd-pleasing favorites like "Heartbreaker," "Ramble On," "Over the Hills and Far Away," and "What Is And What Should Never Be." But iconic songs like "Immigrant Song" and "Stairway to Heaven" were conspicuously absent...

Having become familiar with Heart through their soft rock hits of the 80's, they were a band I never imagined I would be paying to see live. But my God, Ann and Nancy Wilson can ROCK. Ann's huge, sexy voice has lost nothing with age and when she puts force behind it she makes "What About Love?" sound every bit as vicious as "Barracuda." They played songs from all of Heart's different eras and shifted flawlessly into each one. Nancy's solo acoustic cover of an Elton John song was pretty rad too.

If they'd stopped right there I would have been satisfied with having seen a stellar rock show but for the encore they took it up to a whole new level. Jason Bonham joined them on drums for a Led Zeppelin encore. "Immigrant Song" never sounded so good. Seriously, I think Robert Plant's job might be in danger. Remember that big sexy voice of Ann's I was talking about? When she moans the line "We are your overlords..." you will start looking over your shoulder for the Viking sword that will be the last thing you ever see.

After an ass-kicking and suitably epic rendition of "Kashmir" we all knew what was coming next. Remember Heart's performance of Stairway to Heaven that brought the surviving Led Zeppelin members to tears? They did it exactly like that again, right down to the black gospel choir. The video does NOT do it justice. I truly did not want that song to end.

Both bands together played about three hours. The crowd was predominantly older, with M. and I making up the bottom end of the younger portion. We did see a few people in their teens and early 20's, but not many. Overall women slightly outnumbered men. We saw several packs of cougars rocking their slutty teenager-appropriate rock concert outfits as hard as they could.

And you know what? That's okay. It was a great time with a great crowd of people who truly loved the music. You could tell these were people who grew up with these bands and were super eager to give them their due. Compared to the hooligans from the Riot Room I think I'll take a relaxed older crowd focused on a good time any day.

I don't think I have another concert to attend until October. Really hate these long dry spells, but they make the payoff that much more worthwhile.

uberreiniger: (Blood Axe)
I looked forward all week to seeing Havok and Troglodyte at the Riot Room but the evening was disappointing. I have ranted about The Riot Room before, but the place really is that bad. I keep going there, telling myself it's worth it to see and support metal bands that I like but... fuck, I'm starting to wonder if it is anymore. For one thing, they always open the house way too early. Doors opened at 8:00 and it was 2 hours before the first band hit the stage. Two hours! I suppose it is better than the last show I attended there where bands started playing half an hour BEFORE the doors were scheduled to open, but still.

Well whatever. I spent the two hours sitting along the wall, drinking my cider and reading Arthur Conan Doyle on my Kindle app. It was nice and relaxing. The cider was WAY overpriced, but it was good. Took forever to get it too, thanks to the Riot Room's typically clueless bartenders. I have never seen the same person bartending twice in there and there is probably a reason for that.

The first band was called Cast Pattern and they were generic screamo. Competent, but forgettable. The bass player looked like Game of Thrones' Theon Greyjoy and the singer looked like Dagmar Cleftjaw. It did nothing to make me like them.

The second band, Dogs of Delphi were actually a really good. I consider the $5 I spent on their CD well spent.

Troglodyte were incredible as always, but they've replaced their guitarist/backing vocalist and you can tell the difference. They seemed a little off, like there was a hole in their sound where the old guitarist used to be. This was also the point at which the pit started and it was full of violent assholes who don't know how to mosh without trying to hurt people. I really got pissed off by this and it kind of ruined my night. I don't mind standing on the edge of the pit. I do mind people in the pit deliberately fucking with me when I'm trying to stay out of their way. I've seen this behavior at the Riot Room before and I don't see it anywhere else. It's probably the biggest factor in me not wanting to go back.

Havok were great: perfect thrash metal that just blisters and electrifies. But by then my mood was shot. I love the band and their music, but I just didn't feel up to staying for the full set. This is the second time I've left a Riot Room show early, despite having a good time. Again, this doesn't happen anywhere else.

uberreiniger: (Default)
I posted a huge entry about my birthday and it disappeared. I posted a pissed off short version and it didn't cross post. So this is the last fucking try.

I turned 37.

My aunt died on the same day.

My wife and my friends threw me a great party in spite of the loss.

I am happy and think my life will be better this year.

Fuck blogging. No one cares anyway.
uberreiniger: (Default)
I have purchased several guitars in my lifetime and the vast majority of them have been bought via Ebay. I won't lie, I love shopping for music gear on Ebay. It's a thrill ride. If you've never compulsively Ebay shopped, you won't understand. Even when I am not actively looking to buy, I still enjoy just going and looking at the listings because I love to covet and admire things from afar. In my years of searching I have discovered that a secret language exists among online music gear sellers. Knowing how this coded language works can make your shopping experience far more enjoyable. With that in mind, I am passing the savings on to you and breaking down a few expressions and terms commonly seen in music gear listings and explaining what they really mean.

"Signature Model"
Definition - An affordable assembly line-crafted simulacrum of the one-of-a-kind handmade guitar played by a given rock star. Beware of sellers who try to fool the uninitiated into thinking it's an instrument said rock star once actually played.

"Vintage"
Definition - Technically a rare and valuable instrument, no longer made. However, "Vintage" is more often used to justify the exorbitant asking price for an instrument that looks like it has been beaten, kicked, barfed on, pissed on, shat on, cummed on, and possibly thrown down a flight of fucking stairs.

"I hate to sell it but I just don't play it anymore."
Translation - My spouse is making me get rid of it.

"I hate to sell it but I need the money more."
Translation - I knocked a girl up and am now having to finance my own shotgun wedding.

"I hate to sell it but I have too many guitars already."
Translation - I am liquidating my assets so my ex can't come after them.

I hope this improves your shopping experience!

Sleepy

Jun. 7th, 2013 10:05 pm
uberreiniger: (Clean All Things)
I've gone over a month without updating again. Sigh. I wanted to do a review of the concerts I went to during my vacation, but somehow I just can't make myself care about writing them up. I experienced them and they were amazing. That was enough for me. I will say that while Hate Eternal and Fear Factory were both exquisite missionaries of metal and completely ruled the stage in their glory, I found a dark horse favorite in the opening band, Kobra and The Lotus. It's rare that I hear a live band where I can understand every single lyric crystal clear, but Kobra Paige's big brassy voice cuts through the band and sends her message to the back of the house. I bought their CD at the show, talked to Paige for several minutes between sets, and even went and put their sticker on my laptop. (I'm a dork.) Beyond being good metal, their album really resonates with me. A couple of tracks really hit me in the gut in regard to how well they describe some personal situations I've gone through.

Lilies War has rolled around again. We're only performing one night this year which is easier on everybody, but it still turned out to be a stressful race to get everything ready the last few weeks. I had it relatively easy but other troupe members, not so much. This Sunday is our dress rehearsal and we go on stage Monday night. I'm looking forward to it, but will also be glad when I'm free to concentrate on other things after it's done.

My mother is also doing some theatre right now. She's starring in a community theatre production of On Golden Pond. I've helped her practice and she's really good. Will have to see her next weekend since I'm all tied up during this one, but I'm very proud of her and eager to see her act.

Yesterday M. and I went out to the Sea Life aquarium here in KC. It's something we've meant to do for ages. The place is smaller than we expected but it doesn't disappoint. Hundreds of specimens of animals both gorgeous and grotesque swim through its halls. We went through the whole thing twice and it didn't lose any of its impact. It was also the first day off we've had together in months and it was well-spent.

So yeah, Lilies this weekend and after that it's time to buckle down on music. I still want to cut my demo before the end of this year. Time to make it happen.

uberreiniger: (Eternity)
A little over a week ago, M. and I took our first ever vacation together. We did so by not leaving our city and by having people visit us. "Staycation" really is a deceptive word though, sort of implying that you're sitting at home doing nothing. Instead, we felt like we had traveled to a faraway place and come back pleasantly worn out.

I actually started the vacation a day early and finished it a day late by going to a pair of concerts. The first one was Fear Factory/Hate Eternal/Kobra and the Lotus and the second one was Suffocation/Exhumed/Jungle Rot/Rings of Saturn/Adimirion the concerts deserve their own post but for now I'll just say they were epic and amazing, even if they both took place at a Kansas City bar that I love to hate.

Our vacation centered around our friends Katrina and Jason coming from Oregon to stay with us for several days. During their stay we introduced them to our favorite forms of local cuisine, and took them to the "must see" sights of Kansas City: Union Station, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, City Market, and the Kansas City Zoo. These are places that we actually don't ever go to because we're too busy living here, so for us it was an exploration of our own home and a chance to view it through the eyes of friends.

Katrina and Jason have been our online friends for many years but this was the first chance for all of us to meet in person. We all got along with each other very well and it seemed really natural just having us all together. On Saturday we were joined by another out-of-town friend, Pearl from Oklahoma. It was our first time meeting her face-to-face as well and Pearl fit in seamlessly with our group. On Saturday night we threw a party which several other friends showed up for. Having bought tons of fresh produce at City Market, Katrina barbecued them along with a variety of meats, and we all had a good time eating, drinking, watching funny Youtube videos, and going on tours of our haunted basement. Pearl stayed the night with us and on Sunday the five of us hit the zoo.

I can never get over how vast the Kansas City Zoo is and we were all dog tired by the end of it. I got a pretty impressive sunburn on my balding head. Pearl left for home and we had planned on having other guests that evening, but one by one they bailed so we cancelled Sunday night's gathering. This turned out o be good because I laid down intending to take an hour's nap, only to pass out until 2am.

By Monday it was time for our friends to return home. We bid them farewell at the airport and M. and I came home where I grilled some more meat and veggies before heading off to that night's Suffocation concert. We both agreed at the end of our vacation that it had felt like we had gone away and come back, so many new and interesting things had happened. It was a great time and we can't wait to return the favor and visit our friends in Oregon.

The only bad part was that I got sick halfway through and have been sick ever since. The cold and sore throat didn't really slow me down during the vacation itself, but in the last few days it's developed into a vicious cough and persistent runny nose. Yuck. Needless to say, this hasn't made my reacclimating to work any easier. But I do feel better for the time away and am getting back to life with a renewed sense of motivation and purpose.

uberreiniger: (Good Evil)
Three California teens arrested following the suicide of a 15 year-old girl whom they sexually assaulted and photographed while she was unconscious.

If you're curious what the end of the above article refers to, it's this:

Nova Scotia teen hangs herself to death after being gang raped and subjected to two years of subsequent harassment. Canadian police and justice officials respond with collective "meh."

That seem right to you?

And if you think you don't know anyone that sexual violence has happened to, you probably do. You just don't know it yet.

uberreiniger: (Blood Axe)
It's hard to feel motivated to stop and update your blog when you've got a lot going on, just like it's hard to feel motivated to update it when you've got nothing going on. Catch 22. But I finally have a day off where I don't have to be anywhere, (except play rehearsal tonight,) so I thought I'd make a go of it.

Part of what has kept me busy in my off hours is that after years away from tabletop gaming in general, I have finally started GMing again. It's a Pathfinder game, (a.k.a. 3.5 edition Dungeons & Dragons under a new name and publisher,) and it's been an incredible amount of fun so far. Maybe the long break as what I needed because this is the most fun I've had running a game since high school and I think my players are having a good time too. I've got a couple of seasoned veterans but the rest have either neither played a pen-and-paper RPG before, or at least have never played this system. Throw in a GM who is way out of practice and what you get is actually a very fun, laid back group that's really getting into creating a good story together. In the past when I've GM'd games I've always ended up getting burnt out and/or developing writer's block by about the third session but that hasn't happened here. It's a novel feeling and probably the most fun I've had running a game since I was in high school.

My wife surprised me with a really awesome present related to the game. )

Next weekend we have some friends coming into town to stay with us for a few days. I've taken vacation time so we can enjoy their visit. Don't know what all we do, but so far we're planning a party. The night before they arrive two of my favorite bands, Fear Factory and Hate Eternal, are playing a show together so that's something to look forward to. Another band I admire, Suffocation, are playing the night following our friends' departure so I may try to make that happen too.

Music really picks up during the summer time, though. Heart are playing at the Starlight theatre on August 18th and that's one M. and I want to make it to together. A few days before that Amon Amarth and Children of Bodom will also be in town but... they're playing in support of Rob Zombie. I know this probably makes me a terrible metalhead but I have a terrible secret to confess: I think Rob Zombie is just okay. I mean, he's a brilliant man, a clever filmmaker, and can write a good song, but I've never once felt like I just HAD to see him live. Plus, as rabidly as I love Amon Amarth and CoB, I'm not sure I love them enough to pay Rob Zombie ticket prices in order to see them. Does that make me a bad fan?

But what I really have to make happen, no matter how bad it hurts, is the Iron Maiden concert in September. They are most definitely a Bucket List experience for me and I know it's going to be madly expensive, but I have to see them no matter what.

I have lots of other things to look forward to, and lots of other things to be happy and grateful about, but that's enough for one entry, I think.
uberreiniger: (Fallen)
It's time to stop procrastinating and blog. As you've probably heard by now, Missouri and Kansas are in the grasp of a tremendous snow storm that has dumped at least a foot of snow on us so far. Just about everything is shut down and most of the city where I live are hunkered down in their homes, myself included.

So a few weeks ago we had car trouble that prevented me from getting to work, followed a week later by a serious bout with stomach flu that made me miss work again. As a result I got a talking to about missing work. I really, really did not want to call in today but as it stands there was literally no physical way I could get there. Even if I could have reached them, both the interstates I could have used for my commute were shut down with cars literally stranded upon them. I told my manager that if the higher-ups wanted to fire me on account of this I would laugh in their faces. May not have been the most politic way of going about it, but I'm not going to be bullied into risking my safety in dangerous weather. Especially when my workplace is known to have two standards of behavior toward associate call-ins, i.e., if you're a good worker they'll ride your ass for missing a day, but the crummy ones they'll let slide figuring they're eventually going to quit anyway. So no, I'm not playing that game anymore. I bust my ass and do my job and they know it. I refuse to take shit over a blizzard that has stranded 90% of the city in their homes.

Wow, I really didn't intend for this post to be about this. Guess I needed to talk about it more than I thought. It was actually a really nice day at home with M. We don't get many of those anymore so it was an unexpected treat. Overall I've felt positive about many things. Songwriting is going great. I'm writing a D&D game to play with some friends soon. Perhaps best of all, a few days ago on Facebook some friends from my hometown and I inadvertently got into a conversation about bullying that revealed a lot of things that we never knew were happening to each other. The long and short of it is that it was a healing conversation for all of us involved. I know it was for me. I've actually been struggling with a lot of issues these last few years relating to bullying I endured as a child. I'd even been considering therapy, even though it's just wishful thinking since I can't afford it. But the talk with my friends... I think it helped me a lot. I can't say I'll never feel bad about what happened again, but I feel a lot more validated about my feelings than I have in... well, I guess ever.

I hope everyone is having a pleasant and safe winter.

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uberreiniger

July 2015

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