Okay, the last couple of weeks have been busy and not in a good way. Since my rule is to avoid talking about work on my blog, I will go into no detail, suffice to say, I glad this week is over and shit is done.
Went to a film festival last weekend, and we saw Second hand Lions. It is a really good movie, it is well scripted, with a solid plot and good acting by Robert Duvall and Michael Caine. If you are looking for a solid drama to watch, I highly recommend this one.
I finished my month of playing solo Tunnels and Trolls adventures. During week one, I played 4 hours, in week two, I played 2 hours, in week three I played 3 hours and in my final week, I played 2 hours. So at the end of the month, I had played a grand total of 11 hours. This was pretty close to the equivalent of 3 regular table top sessions. My character did finally make 2nd level, which is probably about right. As I said in an earlier post, solo play falls short in a couple of different categories. Like computer games, you have very little room for creative play. For instance, in the Friday night game, The party had to rescue the rich merchant’s daughter from the slavers, they had to get into a tower owned by a high level Battle Mage/Cleric, the tower was well guarded and the PC’s out numbered. One of my players, Scott came up with the idea to simply cast invisibility on everyone in the party. As long as they were careful, they pretty much had freedom of movement inside the tower. Computer games and solo adventures simply do not allow for that kind of play. So any way, I don’t think I will be returning to solo play for the time being.
I seem to be going through one of “THOSE” periods in my life. I seem to have lost interest in TV. Up until a few weeks ago I watched several shows, The Mentalist, Person of Interest, Blacklist and quite a few others. For whatever reason, I found I was forcing myself to watch these shows, that they really provided me with very little entertainment. So I did a test, I removed all the shows I generally watched without PezWitch from all our DVR’s. I figured after a couple of missed episodes, I would go back to check on them and see what was happening. More surprising was what actually happened, it was weeks before I even thought about any of those shows again. The only reason it came to the foreground was I happened to catch an episode of the Mentalist and decided to watch it, I fell asleep less than 10 minutes in. This begs the question for me, how much TV are we watching simply because we are in the habit of doing so?
My friend Wade found this blog entry a couple of days ago and posted it to Google+. Yes, I am on Google+, yes, I have friends who are Google+, yes there are actual living human being responding to posts on Google+, now shut up and let me get on with this story. So anyway, here is the blog post;
Now go back and read the comments, specifically the post by the guy named Ryan.
So anyone who has known me for any length of time, knows I worked at Miss Kitty’s Adult Bookshop in Bozeman Montana in the mid 80′s. The guy “Ryan” talks about does in fact sound a lot like me. I expressed many of the same things about working there. Mostly boring, hate cleaning the video stalls, etc. The clue here that it is not me, is I don’t play the bango, nor was I commissioned to write a love song to a dildo. So one of two things has happened, either at some point another Chris worked there or this “Ryan” has merged me with another employee.
Miss Kitty’s changed owners a few years ago and is now Erotique. The new owner is Billy McWilliams, who managed the store for many years prior to acquiring the store. When I post a link to this on FaceBook, I will tag him and see if he can clarify the situation for us.
So last night we did not play our Friday night game. Chad was not at home and had some difficulties getting set up on his laptop and David was MIA with no explanation. We bullshitted around for a couple hours, then went our separate ways. Towards the end of the conversation, Chad mentioned every year he gets this urge to burn everything down, run away and start over. I thought this was really interesting, because I have similar feelings this time of year. Its not that I hate my life or anything like, its more like a wanderlust, a deep seated need to explore what’s over the horizon. At first I attributed this to both of us being born and bred in Montana. The winters in Montana when we were growing up made the whole state a prison. When it is -30 degrees from November to February, you just can not go anywhere or do anything. Sure you can go out and build a snow man etc, but you can only stand the cold for so long before you have to go back in. It is called cabin fever and it sucks.
Chad brought up an alternate theory, he felt the problem was when we were growing up there was still mysteries in the world. There were places literally no man had ever been. It was a world were every couple of years they would find a World War II Japanese soldier in a jungle somewhere unaware the war was over. When we were growing up the world still offered adventure and this is what we are feeling, the need to have an adventure, to explore the jungle or ride a submarine to the bottom of the sea, or climb Mt Everest. Somewhere deep inside our 50 year old hearts, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn are aching to get out and see the world, meet new people, discover some great treasure of history, maybe fight a sword dual and swing on a vine across a jungle canopy. This struck a cord with me, I have said many times, I am now and will always be in my heart a 14 year old boy.
I just cannot catch a fucking break.
So here we are, its Labor day again and as always, I did absolutely nothing I wanted to do. We are now headed into the Fall months, which are historically the months I hate the most. Oh I love Halloween and PezWitch’s birthday is usually fun, but really that is just two days out of the 90+ odd days that constitute the Fall season. Winter is nice, My birthday, our anniversary, Christmas and New years all are fun and we both enjoy the holiday season. Spring is when I start feeling frisky and want to smoke dope, get naked and fuck on the beach, even if I don’t do it (Damn you puritan society!), It feels good to think about it. The comes the long hot days of summer, the time of the year I like the most and the cycle begins again. Sigh!
You know our culture is rife with urban legends about the horrors of in-laws. Millions of hours of TV sitcoms have been dedicated to the subject. Nothing, but NOTHING prepares you for the reality of in-laws. From the very first time my wife took me home and introduced me to her family, I could tell something was off and it wasn’t just the shock of a different family in a different city with whom I had no shared history. It was just a couple of days near the holiday and at the end I really knew all I needed to know, my first impressions were completely accurate.
The first thing I noticed was everyone treated PezWitch differently. I mean everyone was nice enough, but their body language changed when they talked to her and the way they would look at her when her back was turned. The one sole exception of course was her Grandmother Ellen, who obviously loved Shannon. At first I thought the others were jealous because Shannon was Ellen’s obvious favorite, but after a while it occurred to me they were oblivious to this. It took me a while to figure it out, but the real issue was they hated PezWitch’s mother, no one in the family liked her even a little and they seemed to hold the child responsible for the mothers sins.
It was not just that, these people snipped at each other, the talked about each other behind backs, they set each other up for failure, they undermined each other and over the years more than one family dinner ended in arguments and crying. This was a far cry from my own family. Granted my family is not perfect, we have our own personality issues. But at the end of the day we love each other and would go to the wall for each other. I’d give a kidney to any of my brothers or sisters, nieces or nephews. In PezWitch’s family, I doubt they even like each other and they definitely do not respect each other. I am certain if any of them ever read this, they will be outraged about it and claim I don’t really know any of them. The only thing I can say to that is, I lived in Bozeman for 6 years and watched you all from the inside, if that is not the way it is, then you all have funny ways of showing each other affection.
Recently, PezWitch has become estranged from her family. After Ellen died, her Grandfather Ham went batshit crazy and while everyone else seemed okay with taking the abuse, PezWitch was having none of it and said screw it, I am out of here. So fast forward a few years to today and apparently members of her family back in Bozeman have taken to claiming PezWitch’s mother is not actually her mother. This seems odd since well there has never been an inkling of this in the past. I mean usually when there is a skeleton in the family closet like this there are rumors and innuendo and small clues left around, but up until today there was none of this and I mean none. So my best guess is, they are either trying to hurt PezWitch or they are trying to hurt her mother, or possibly both. This basically re-enforces everything I have ever thought about them and it so very pathetic and so very sad.
I have over the years come in contact with various criminal for various reasons. One thing I have found about criminals is they never have a sense of humor. I mean there is this myth about the happy go lucky con man who refuses to take life seriously and is really just trying to have fun. I can tell you, I have never met a criminal like that. I have noticed that criminal will get mad at you if you don’t let them rip you off. Seriously, if you live your life stealing money from other people, the LEAST you can do is be good natured about it when you get caught. I suppose though, the same broken mental make up that makes them criminals to begin with, probably keeps them from being good natured about anything. If you want to know what I am talking about, mess with one of those Nigerian Princes and see how he reacts once he figures out he is not getting any money from you.
For the life of me, I can not figure out why live in Texas rather than Oregon. I mean seriously, the two states are politically polar opposites of each other and my politics definitely aligns with Oregon rather than Texas. While Texas is trying to figure out new and creative ways to restrict women’s heath care, Oregon is trying t make life easier for its young by implementing what they call “Pay it Forward”. Essentially the program is a replacement for the student loan system where instead of being being saddled with a $100,000 loan that will take decades or possibly a lifetime to pay off, Pay it Forward has the person pay 3% of their income for 20 years. So if over the course of 20 years you make an average of $50,000, you would end up paying roughly $30,000 for your degree. If you get laid off and are unemployed for a year, you pay nothing. The idea being that this is not a loan, but rather you are paying into a pool so future generations can have the same access to higher education that you did. This is a great idea that I am a bit surprised has not been implemented elsewhere.
The other day I was talking to a friend whom I had not seen in some time. He remarked that I was somehow more conservative than I claimed to be. I thought about this for a while and decided that it is in fact possible that I am a closet conservative, if by conservative you mean the following;
- Reproductive freedom is a civil right issue.
- Healthcare is a civil right issue.
- Marriage equality is a civil right issue.
- Education is a civil right issue.
- Poverty, drug abuse, and crime in general are solvable problems by society.
- There are no wars of necessity, all wars are optional.
- Religious freedom applies to everyone, not just Christians.
- Marijuana should be regulated like alcohol, not cocaine.
- Our justice system is not perfect, therefore the death penalty is a bad idea.
- Business should be regulated because time and again they have failed society.
- Science moves us forward, religion holds us back.
- Yes, government can be the answer.
I also completely support the 10 Key Values put forth by the Green Party;
- GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACY
- SOCIAL JUSTICE AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY
- ECOLOGICAL WISDOM
- COMMUNITY-BASED ECONOMICS AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE
- FEMINISM AND GENDER EQUITY
- RESPECT FOR DIVERSITY
- PERSONAL AND GLOBAL RESPONSIBILITY
- FUTURE FOCUS AND SUSTAINABILITY
I could go on, but I think everyone gets the picture. Does anyone still think I am conservative?