Thursday, July 31, 2008

our cafeteria's idea of a cheesesteak


No. No. No. No. No. No. No.


There are things that everyone needs to buy at places like Target or drug stores or whatever that come with a certain level of unavoidable judgements. You see someone buying condoms, you think "they're having sex." You see a woman buying tampons, you think "period." You see someone buying toilet paper, you think "they will be wiping their butt."

And maybe I'm neurotically weird about it, but it always kinda' bugs me that toilet paper comes in such big packages. I always have this feeling that people are looking at me and thinking "wow ... he really needs to wipe his ass a lot." The whole process of buying toilet paper makes me very self-conscious.

Apparently, though, that was not the case tonight. Manda and I went to Target, bought some random things like deodorant, paper towels, etc., and also picked up a pack of toilet paper. For some reason, I had to fight this extremely intense urge to yell as we were walking out "Hot damn, honey! Look at all this toilet paper! We're gonna' poop ourselves stupid tonight!"

Warning to my future kids: I might not bite my tongue 10 years from now when I have stupid urges to say things like that.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

what are they trying to sell?

Most spam email seems to come to me in one of two flavors. Either the subject line is honest about what it's trying to sell and says something like "Meds from Canada!" or "Replica Rolexs - CHEAP!" or they say something in complete nonsense like "argeoh" or "vindicer." Of course, I would lump porn spam like "Angelina Jolie naked!" into the "selling something" category and between porn mail, watch replica mail, medicine mail, and nonsense, that seems to cover 99% of the crap that I get here at work.

Recently, though, a new assault by image spam has been slipping its way past the Lucasfilm spam filters and one of the spammers seems to be ... different. This spammer must be new. Some kind of spam virtuoso. His subject lines are vaguely intriguing in the way that video titles on are intriguing. On Break, I have no qualms about clicking on something labeled "Bleachers Collapse at Columbian Bull Fight." And so, when I see spam labeled something like "Baby born with seven toes" or "Tornado!", it speaks to that same part of my brain that searches Break for faceplant videos.

Today I had three messages. The first two were trying to sell something with subjects that read "That's great!" and "Macho Man." The third one, however, must have come from this virtuosic spammer. It's definitely part of that remaining 1% of spam that I just can't figure out at all. The subject read:

Bodyguards positioned outside Jolies vagina

The message itself just says "watch the video." Honestly ... what the hell? Why bodyguards? Are they trying to keep people out or in? I have to say, I'm almost train wreck/pogo stick accident/bat attack intrigued, but not quite.

it's about time

I promised some pictures from Hawaii back in June when we returned home. Now that it's mid-July, I think I'm sufficiently late enough that I should really follow through with the things that I promise. As such, here are a couple. More to come (eventually, but don't hold your breath).

Nothing on this photo has been manipulated in Photoshop. That really is how insanely blue the water was off of the coast of Maui. We shot this while on a small ferry that was taking us out off the coast of Maui so that we could dive down to the ocean floor in a submarine.

Once the sub dove down to the bottom, we got to see a whole bunch of mud, fish poop, and wavy little plants. Peppered in amongst the plants and the coral were some cool fish, a couple of eels, and this intentionally sunken ship that was functioning as an artificial reef.

This little bit of creepiness comes from a Whaling Museum on Maui. It was a display detailing whaling ship medicine. The amputation saw was creepy enough, but the fact that they had an actual hook hand from the 19th century was pretty damn cool.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

when nerds attack

I have a pretty strong nerd streak in me. I love comic books, video games, action figures, sci-fi novels/movies/tv, etc. I've been known to play D&D. I have video game patches on my jacket that people comment on all of the time. Hell, one of my favorite records when I was a little kid was an album of space battle sound effects that I used to listen to for hours like it was classical music (much to the annoyance of my family). As such, I tend to find myself coming in contact with other geeky people quite frequently when I head out into the world. I go to comic book shops from time to time. I go to arcades on occasion. I've been to a convention or two for all things nerdy. And sometimes I go into stores and ask where I can find nerdy things.

Occasionally, asking a store clerk where I can find something nerdy will result in people commenting on my displayed nerditude. They'll talk to me about whatever it is I asked for. They'll tell me how great some new comic is. Sometimes they start making Star Wars references in an attempt to display their own nerdiness. In those situations, I always have a choice: do I mention that I work for Lucasfilm or not? Sometimes mentioning it makes people say "Oh! Cool, then you understand!" and then that's the end of it. Sometimes it backfires.

Last night, it completely blew up in my face.

I was at Borders trying to feed my new "Dark Knight" driven Batman cravings. After looking for both the graphic novel section and the Dark Knight soundtrack without any luck, I decided to ask the Info Desk. When I walked up to the clerk (a dumpy gray-haired guy with a full-grown computer programmer beard), I should have been tipped off by his saying "You may proceed with your questioning." But I wasn't and I asked where my nerdy stuff could be found. As he set off trying to find things for me, he started sneaking out little quotes from Star Wars and and then telling me how the Force is strong with him when he managed to find the Soundtrack section of the store. In an attempt to basically say "Yeah, I get it. The Force. Uh-uh," I made the mistake of telling him that I work for Lucasfilm.

What followed next included:
- a long description of how, as an organic lifeform on an M-Class planet, it's physically impossible for me to not be connected to the Force and therefore the Force is strong with me
- a run-down of multiple different games developed by Gary Gygax
- a complete (and insanely lengthy) personal guided tour of everything new that can be found within Dungeons and Dragons 4th edition rules

I learned that some of the changes that were made for the 3rd Edition rules made things a "total pain in the neckazoid." I also learned that the new way the 4th Edition rules handle things like crafting magical items, multiclassing, and combat with very large creatures would "blow my socks off" and as such I'd "better make sure that my socks are well and truly glued on to my feet."

He talked to me for so long and about so much concentrated geekery that I don't know if I can go back to Borders any time soon without him starting up the conversation with me again. This didn't strike me as a guy who forgets things easily. He speaks Klingon (which he did while I was there) and lamented the lack of fully realized languages for both Romulan and Vulcan. Luckily I bit my tongue and didn't talk to him about Mandalorian.

I've been interested in going to Comic-Con in San Diego for a little while, but as of last night, I kinda' feel like I was already there. I'm not really feeling the need to go anymore.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

feel like I was socked in the head

Ugh. Horrible night's sleep last night. A few months ago, I had one of the most vivid and terrifying dreams I've ever had. I dreamt about nuclear war, the end of human civilization, and the aftermath for the few survivors. It was terrifying. I spent days trying to get the images out of my head and trying to forget the sheer terror I felt in the dream.

Lucky me, I had the same dream again last night, only this time I knew everything that was going to happen because I'd dreamt it before. I got to wander through the dream frantically looking for cover, hiding in concrete basements, crying because I didn't know where Amanda was and yet knew everything that was going to happen while being powerless to stop anything.

And lucky me, reliving one fucked-up dream wasn't enough, so my brain started to string together a long chain of previous nightmares I've had just to make my night all the more special.

I woke up at one point with my heart racing and panting from fear. Lucky for me, everything picked back up again as soon as I fell back asleep.

I'm so wiped out this morning. I feel like I need 8 more hours of sleep.

Monday, July 07, 2008

what's Simlish for "POÄNG"?

Video games pride themselves on escapism. Tired of sitting around in your crappy little apartment with your crappy IKEA furniture and no friends? Play games! Try out the violent amorality of GTA4's Liberty City. Want something more cinematic? Check out the rich dialogue trees of something like Mass Effect. Prefer God-type sim games? How about The Sims?

Yes, jump into the world of The Sims and you can furnish your own house with all kinds of wacky things! Want a pool? You got it! Want leopard print walls? No problem! Want a house full of IKEA furniture? Done!


Something went wrong here with the escapism.