Saturday, March 31, 2007

Brief State of the State

or: Random Bits of Stateliness

My eHarmony contacts have stalled, more or less. The one Open Communication I had languishes in non-responsiveness or at least exceedingly-slow responsiveness. I suspect I may have revealed too much of my personal brand of humor (or what passes for it with me) in my last communiqué.

Although I met up with movie.girl 2 weeks ago, she has not called me since (and my parting words were "Call me"). I'm honestly not sure why. *shrug* Maybe I'll call her next week. Or maybe I'll let it go another two weeks just because.

I think I found something to engage me and occupy some spare time. I will not reveal it here because.. err... I don't want to.. yet.

Passover starts Monday night. This is truly exciting. 8 days of non-bread ahoy! Yay matzah?

Work has been going well of late. They shortened my leash a bit but it worked - I'm much more on top of things. I also generally feel better, overall, because work is going well. I suspect that if things stay at this "good" level, work may not be odious by any degree and I will feel better in total. I cannot help but think that this is a step in the right direction.

I bought more graphic novels today at the "local" comic book store. In this case, "local" means 15 miles and 20-25 minutes of driving (one way). Unfortunately, this is as local a store as I am currently aware. Fortunately, the store is excellent. Unfortunately, this means a not-insubstantial charge to my credit card. Ah well.

My framed art should be ready next week. YAY! I think the framed art-readiness will coincide with me learning how to actually work my digital camera. I plan on sharing the art goodness with you, faithful readers, as well as the comic book company from whom the art was purchased.

I am tired.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

My head ees goeenk to essplode

I got in late due to my Remicade infusion this morning (a recurring medical thingy that keeps me out of hospitals). Came in with a minor headache that has since blossomed into a medium headache. I feel tired for no good reason and I'm loathing the Official Action that I'm currently trying to respond to.

Yeah, I don't think I'm going to last beyond 5pm today.

Until that time, however, I must return to beating my head against the brick wall that this Japanese Official Action (Final no less), in conjunction with some device for measuring something, have thrust upon my weary, mildly-addled brain this day.

ADDENDUM: Shortly after I tapped out the above, I turned on my iPod and put on my headphones. 'Lo and behold! Music does soothe the savage beast. I felt a little better. [8:27 PM]

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Dream A Little Dream Of Me

In the past few days, I've had at least 3 dreams that I vaguely remember.

One had me and one or two women battling a zombie infestation in a building I thought was a mall but resembled an office building (with hallways, etc.). Getting past the slow-moving menaces, getting to the elevator and in it with the two women, heading down to the ground floor (to escape?).

The second had me on a first date with a woman that involved meeting her family at their home (her home?). It was a moderately pleasant atmosphere and event.

The third had two parts, the first (and primary) which since has been forgotten. The second part involved me playing tennis with one of my bosses. I was making some incredible shots even though we were only trying to rally. I kept making them, my boss would sort of smile at me (in a joking, somewhat-disapproving manner) and I was disappointed in myself. But then I kept making good shots.

Kind of weird. I hope I have some more memorable ones. I love remembering my dreams, regardless of their content.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Five Movie Reviews In Short

I just finished watching Secretary, which makes 4 movies (DVDs) in the past 24 hours. I might as well hit 300 while I'm here. Brief reviews in order.

300 (link): Frank Miller's work given breath and force. The story itself is engaging, but the actors, scenes and directing make this a must-see. There's quite a bit of blood & gore, but what else can you expect when 300 Spartans fight a massive army? My favorites are the stylized fight scenes. It's an inspiring movie, filled with rhetoric and hyperbole. If you buy into it for half a minute, you will be in awe. Go see this if you haven't already. I saw it twice within the first week. It is worth it.

Man With The Screaming Brain (link): Vintage Bruce Campbell. It's stupid and pointless at times with a paper-thin plot and no small amount of overacting yet I love it. I'm a fan of all things Bruce Campbell and this, for better or worse, is classic. It's not good. In fact, it's so bad it's almost too bad. But if it were actually good, it wouldn't be what it is and Bruce Campbell wouldn't be who he is. Classic, silly semi-horror. Watch at your own risk.

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (link): The reason you would watch this is because you're a FFVII fan. It's excellent animation with a decent storyline regardless, but you won't get it unless you're a fan, plain & simple. I'm a fan of FFVII. I've watched someone else play through it once and I've completed it myself, putting over 90 hours into it. FFVII was a masterpiece of its time. This movie is a fantastic legacy for a wonderful game.

Mirrormask (link): This one was a true delight! The story and characters are pure Gaiman while the art and style are clearly McKean. Take those, add in some fantastic sets, actors and puppetry and one is left with a masterpiece of imagination. I find all of Neil Gaiman's works to have a definite soul, a life of their own as it were. This movie is no different. It wasn't a box office smash. It will never be a Top 10 rental at Blockbuster. It will be an underground smash that those who have seen it will cherish. It's something to show your children. It's something to watch on a rainy day when your imagination needs a small kick in the pants. It will make you want to be a kid again. It is pure imagination given form. I don't think I can give it a better recommendation.

Secretary (link): Wow. This one is dark and mildly disturbing at times while still sexy and sharp. Maggie Gyllenhaal is amazing, as is James Spader. It's a truly provoking movie. I enjoyed it, you may not. But if you like a good, unconventional movie, this one is damn fine.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Yesterday & Today

Yesterday was a fun day because:
  • I got a private tennis lesson (no one else from the group showed up in the wake of Friday's snow).
  • I finally put new windshield wiper blades on my car (nevermind that it took an auto mechanic to tear my old ones off).
  • I paid over four times the cost of two prints to get each one framed (though they will certainly look very nice for the price).
Today was a fun day because:All-in-all, it's felt like a fun, restful long weekend. For the first time in a long time, I feel pretty good. Almost happy. Screw anything else, this was a fun weekend and that's a rare occurrence for me.

Quick Note(s)

I owe you two Miscellany posts, the contents of which I have queued up but unformatted/linked. Even having the contents, it takes me a good 25+ min. to assemble it all. Those will be forthcoming, as overdue as they are.

Incidentally, the reason they're overdue is because my blogging time is very reduced of late. Weekday posting is generally limited to pre-work and post-work hours as work is insanely busy. This is a good thing, believe it or not.

I have plans in the back of my head to update the links menu based on the Miscellany, e.g., add Warren Ellis' blog; add Warren Ellis' Second Life Reuters column to the weeklies; add non-Warren Ellis things, etc.

The Dreamfather bit will stay up until it ceases to amuse me. BOW BEFORE THE DREAMFATHER.

I've been playing Titan Quest: Immortal Throne of late. Well, actually, I've been leveling up a new char but same diff. My WoW time is greatly diminished, as in to zero. I'm contemplating reducing game time and instead watching more movies (DVDs) and reading more. These would be good things, too.

This post is back-dated to predate the immediately-following post as I prefer that one to lead the page rather than this one.

I'll try to remember to snag photos of the frames prints. Of course, that would require me charging my digital camera and learning how to download pictures from it. These are things I should probably do regardless of framed prints. The framed prints should be ready next month (early April). I swear, they're going to look very nice. Worth-the-money nice? Too soon to say and I'm sure most would say "no" anyways. But then again, I haven't learned money conservation yet so why should I start now? (Plus, the 58% off coupon I have was only good through the end of March.)


Saturday, March 17, 2007

Stream of [Mad] Thought

I'm so unsettled right now, it's unsettling. It feels like a Sunday because I had half of Friday off thanks to the white, fluffy stuff. (Snow, damnit!) I'm awake but only half. I feel like I should be doing something, perhaps even something meaningful, yet I'm unable to figure out what that is. I'm currently tired of my current computer game but I also know I shouldn't waste my time with that crap. I feel like I should be creating something in my spare time, something with a vision, yet my artistic talents (aside perhaps from writing) are only a hair better than a 5th grader's. By the way, that new show "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?" Yeah, I am. I spent too much money today on getting things framed to be hung/shown even though I have no great place in which to hang/show them. I spend money like it's water and drink water like it's.. well, water. I feel like I can see things that others don't, and I don't mean dead people like in "Sixth Sense." I mean just things. I swear I have some vision of something somewhere within me but I just don't know how to bring it out/about. It's almost like I'm an artist without a medium - the right medium just hasn't been invented yet. It's St. Patrick's Day and I'm home and sober. Maybe tomorrow I'll watch a few of the dozens of movies I have yet to watch that I own. I'm tired but refuse to sleep. I open my web browser and don't know why. I'm looking for something but I don't know what. Privately I second guess myself on stupid things. I almost regret my previous post about movie.girl. And yeah, I didn't get in touch with The Lawless One as I said I would. ~//~

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A Late Night

Last night, I met up with movie.girl to go see 300 in an Imax theater.

First, it was definitely worth it to see 300 on an Imax screen. The picture and sound were much better than a normal screen. It was crazy! The level of detail you could see was simply astounding. I <3 Imax

First and a half, we had to catch the 10:05 because the 7:20 was full. On a friggin' Wednesday night, no less. Which in turn meant that I didn't get home until 1:30 AM. Ugh. Even so, definitely worth it. No regrets.

Second, the whole hanging out with movie.girl was just insanely fun. It was one of those things where you would kill for a first date like that... only it wasn't a date. And I have no intention to pursue a relationship with movie.girl. But the way we click is just, wow. No real breaks in the conversation. We both have some similar interests (e.g., movies). We both laugh at each other's jokes (similar sense of humor). We challenge each other at the right times, her calling my bullshit and me calling hers. We both find the interaction very entertaining. (Of course, I'm assuming the last but it's a pretty safe bet.) It's downright fun.

I've never written here why I won't pursue movie.girl and I don't think now is the time. (I'm a little afraid it could bite me in the ass down the road.) However, later tonight, I think I'll give The Lawless One a call and ask him to agree with me/convince me that I'm making a good decision here.

It's one of those things where I know my reasons for not going after her are entirely reasonable and sound, but we're so good together that it feels almost painful not to do anything.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Return of Movie.girl

Last night, I received a phone call from movie.girl (most recently mentioned back in November, and before that as "O" or "The Girl" elsewhere in the archives). When last we met, she was engaged to mr.fiancé with a Spring wedding in the works (and he had just moved in with her). The background for the before-mr.fiancé times is relatively simple. Movie.girl had previously been engaged and subsequently canceled the wedding.

So what happened this time? You got it. She broke off the engagement with mr.fiancé. (No additional details to be related here.)

It's almost funny (in a "gee, that's a little odd" sort of way). She and I often end up reconnecting after she breaks off an engagement. This has happened more than once.

So I'm meeting up with her on Wednesday night to go catch an Imax showing of 300. (Yes, a review is forthcoming.)

It all feels a bit.. odd. She and I get along famously. We ended up speaking on the phone for about 1.5 hours last night.

I was going to write more but then I started scrolling through the Oct. 2004 archives linked above, lost my train of thought and ran out of time. *shrug*

Friday, March 09, 2007

The Dreamfather: Birth of a Meme

I'd previously heard about this from Mr. Southworth (of Ugly Hill infamy) in his news postings. However, today he provided an excellent paragraph with links, lovingly reproduced here since I cannot seem to find anywhere that Said Southworth stores his own news posts. (The lunkhead!)
Also! I've been meaning to get to this all week, but I've had shirts on the brain. Loyal reader and legendary 1920s amputee Slovakian pugilist Benjamin Hayden has made another one of his amazing Ugly Hill sculptures! [See above.] This time he's rendered the Dreamfather, that mysterious figure that appeared licking an eyeball lollipop in Eli's prophetic dream some weeks ago. As always, I encourage you to take this burgeoning Internet Meme and make it your own!
Has this finally inspired me to get off my ass and be creative? Only time will tell, faithful readers. (In other words, not yet.)

More importantly, after clicking through and reading about the wondrous creation that is The Dreamfather, has it inspired you to contribute to this up-and-coming meme?

Misc. Updates

Rather quick-like and in an easily-digestible format.
  • Last Thursday (i.e., roughly a week ago), I met up with LT & co. (wherein "& co." comprises her fiancé, another good law school friend of mine) for the first time in about 1.5 years. Long overdue. We met up for dinner. It was incredibly friendly, like we'd just hung out the previous week. Their wedding is in October and marks the third wedding I anticipate attending this year.

  • I am seeing 300 tonight. I must. So it is written.

  • I'm heading up to Mass. tomorrow to hang out with another law school friend, The Lawless One, and his fiancé. Their wedding is the August one in which I am a member of the wedding party.

  • Between today and yesterday, I've been catching up on work. This is a good thing. I'm not entirely caught up yet but the piles on my desk are rapidly diminished. I just need to keep at it.

  • After over 2 months of membership, I finally reached Open Communication with a woman on eHarmony. She sounds pretty cool. Hopefully we'll get to meet up in real life sometime, though that would be at least 2 weeks in the future since she's away on Spring Break next week.

  • The next This Week in Miscellany post will be delayed since I'm not posting it today or tomorrow. I'm contemplating a change in format for those posts though I have little idea of a new and improved format to implement.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


I found a post ("I Shoulda Been a Vengeance Demon") over at MY URBAN KVETCH that piqued my interest:
"Every little day, the same arrangement, I go out and fight the fight. Still I always feel this strange estrangement, nothing here is clear, nothing here is right..."

If you sang the above quote while pretending you were a petite, blonde vampire slayer who had been brought back from the grave by well-meaning friends, you might just belong at the Buffy Singalong, which has officially been noticed in this article in the NY Times [registration required]. The article tells me that the show is monthly, and that the February showing was sold out.

*pause* *breathe* *pause*


Apparently, there's a monthly BUFFY SING-ALONG! at the IFC Center in the West Village (NYC). Here's the page that lists the next showing (March 23 and 24 at midnight).


(Sorry, that last one just sorta slipped out.) The sing-along is based on "Once More With Feeling," a musical episode from the sixth season which was also released as a soundtrack. The NY Times describes it so:
Ever since, this "Rocky Horror Picture Show" for the postmodern set has been gaining steam, with the February rendition marking the fifth monthly, over-the-top, costumed, live-cast, sold-out, audience-interactive midnight performance.

[Clinton McClung] is ushering it onto stages around the country. The show has played in Huntington on Long Island, Chicago, Tucson, Pittsburgh and Austin. Mr. McClung, who said he has a licensing agreement with the distributor of the television program, is planning a national tour this summer.

Each guest received a red plastic goody bag filled with bubble soap, vampire teeth, party poppers shaped like champagne bottles, and a rule sheet. The first rule: sing along. Others included shouting "Shut up, Dawn!" in response to the comments of Buffy’s clueless younger sister.
CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!?!?? First an Evil Dead Musical and now this!!! WOOT!

All I have to do now is find a friend or two to go with me. I will definitely catch one of these, though. I must.

ADDENDUM: Two things. One, it's a little disconcerting to call a friend, ask them to call you, and then have them know why you're calling when they call you back. Of course, that's only because GamerGirl (The Actuary's girlfriend) read this blog and guessed why I was calling...

Two, WOOT! I just spoke with Mr. The Actuary and he and GamerGirl would like to attend the May showing of the Buffy Sing-along with me! WOOT AGAIN! I have friends who are just as loony as I am! (Is that a relief or a sign that we should form a secret cabal with aspirations of world domination? Incidentally, I vote for the latter.)

If anyone else reading this would be interested in joining us for the May Buffy goodness, just drop me a line. Although if you're a friend of mine who's reading this (i.e., not The Actuary or GamerGirl), I kind of doubt you want in. Pretty much every other friend of mine has looked at me funny when I either (a) espouse the virtues of Buffy; (b) play the audio tracks from the Buffy musical episode; and/or (c) sing along with said audio tracks.

One more WOOT! Yay for Buffy! [10:04 AM, 3/08/07]

ADDENDUM: Because someone recently stumbled across this post from a Google search, so I stumbled across the official Buffy Sing-A-Long site. You can find the upcoming sing-a-longs on that site with options to purchase tickets in advance. It's playing in Boston, NYC, Chicago, Indianapolis, Denver, D.C., Pasadena, Portland and tons more places. BUFFY! [10:35 PM, 3/18/07]

Dating Language Translation

Today's Ctrl+Alt+Del comic had me laughing, not the least of which is due to my forays with eHarmony.

Premise: Unbeknownst to him, Lucas has been set up on a blind date with Kate by Zeke the Xbox. (Zeke communicated with her online on Lucas' behalf.) During the conversation, the artist has so thoughtfully included translations of what Lucas says. Here's the punchline:
Kate:So, what do you usually look for in girls?
Lucas: Umm...* Well, sense of humor is really important.**

*Not you.
**Looks are important, but nobody can say that out loud without sounding like an asshole.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Closing Matches on eHarmony

Another pet peeve incoming!

I know I've already harped on spelling and grammar as well as non-responsive answers, but I don't think I've extolled the virtues of reasons for closing matches early. And by "extolled the virtues" I mean bitterly complained.

I've said it before and I'll say it again:
Do not consider the stages of the eHarmony communication process as elimination rounds. View them as getting to know the person. Learn from them, do not reject for them.
I've had a match close me out after sending my Must Haves/Can't Stands saying we're incompatible. (How would she know? We obviously weren't so incompatible so as to forbid her from sending me questions in the first place.) I've had a match close me after receiving my first answers saying she "didn't feel that the chemistry was there." I've had a match close me right off the bat saying she "didn't feel the chemistry was there!!!"

What's wrong with these women?!??? I don't get it!

Of course the chemistry isn't there, we just met!!!

Good lord, close me out for distance, for other, for some other random excuse chosen on a whim. Don't cite "chemistry" when there's no way of knowing before we meet!

Let me be clear – I'm not complaining about matches closing me. That I accept, no problem. If you want to close it, go ahead. But for goodness sakes, give me a BS "reason" other than chemistry. Chemistry is something we can determine in person. I'll take 10 minutes in person over 20 months on the internet – you can truly (and finally) sense chemistry only in person.

One of the questions on eHarmony is something along the lines of "When do you need to feel the chemistry?" The right answer, as stated on the eHarmony Blog (and I agree 100%), is "Within the first few dates."

DID YOU HEAR ME? WITHIN THE FIRST FEW DATES! Not seconds, not minutes, not words, not letters, dates. If we've never met, don't give chemistry as the reason for closing the match!

*pant* *pant* *wheeze* *sigh*

I'm sorry for the outburst, folks, but the inanity of it astounds me. Like the spelling and grammar mistakes, this isn't very hard. A word processor with spell check ("They exist?") or a simple moment of thought ("He sounds like an ass. I'll mark chemistry.") would do wonders.

Of course, the other side to this is my theory that these aren't elimination rounds but rather meet 'n greets. As far as I'm concerned, if the match is somewhat physically attractive to me and responds to my inquiry (or sends me an inquiry), I'll see it through all the way to meeting in real life, if at all possible. Everything between "hello" and "goodbye," for me, is simply getting to know the person. Barring the woman revealing she likes to hunt neighborhood housecats in her spare time (though that does sound like fun...), I'm game to see where the rabbit hole leads.

I only wish more eHarmony women thought a bit more and/or had an attitude like this.

Open Communication

Yesterday, I heard back from an eHarmony match, thus pushing the chain into the fourth step called "Open Communication." Basically, it's open communication (e-mails/messages) via eHarmony's system.

I am now faced with the somewhat-daunting task of crafting a quasi-introductory e-mail.

When drafting such original works, I tend to have to balance between various competing inclinations. For example: (1) reveal more about myself (even if it's only providing additional details about already-known things, such as my employment); (2) be witty, humorous and/or mildly entertaining; (3) don't come off as a deranged lunatic who has recently escaped from an asylum. Of the three, it's finding a happy combination of (2) and (3) that occasionally eludes me.

I can come off as witty or humorous or mildly entertaining. That's pretty easy since it's a relatively natural tendency. (Or so I would have you believe.) Rather, it's occasionally difficult trying not to concurrently appear as a wild marsupial. (See, that last comment squarely rests in the "deranged lunatic" category as it's probably best not to mention marsupials in Open Communication unless she brings them up first.) I think that sometimes, sometimes I really shine when my mild humorousity (e.g., wittiness) is coupled with a small dose of my own peculiar form of insanity (e.g., to wit, marsupials). It's probably a bit difficult for me to explain but I bet my friends would readily understand what I'm trying to communicate.

IN ANY CASE, based on the above, I sometimes find it tricky to craft introductory e-mails. However, since not writing them isn't an option, I'll end up producing one regardless. I can only hope that it includes anywhere from none to a miniscule amount of my dementia, lest the woman be incited to flee for the hills (with my marsupials, I fear).

ADDENDUM: Okay, okay, truth be told, some of this insanity is an incipient reaction to the whole "communicating with an unknown female" thing. Yes, it is something I find uncomfortable and not a little bit frightening. However, I have made it a goal (for myself in general) not to shy away from confronting things that scare me or cause me discomfort. Each time it gets easier, and each time I become more capable (in general, again). It's also a measure of confidence – in myself and my abilities – that I confront the unknown (per se), do the best I can and learn from the encounter.

Yes, I am also putting off the whole drafting thing by writing this post and addendum. Bite me.

ADDENDUM II: I sent the first message. It ended up being very middle of the road and probably a little too bland. Still, I wasn't sure what else to write or include. I kept it short, included a few questions (nothing deep) and.. well, I'll just hope for the best. I think I managed to convey a modicum of wit without any concurrent insanity. *shrug* [9:44 PM]

Friday, March 02, 2007

This Week in Miscellany XI

This Week's Anthem: "Let Me In" by R.E.M.
Yeah, all the stars drip down like butter,
Promises are sweet,
We hold out our pans, lift our hands to catch them.
We eat them up, drink them up, up, up, up

Miscellaneous Miscellany:


"Careful. We don't want to learn from this." -- Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes)


Overheard 1:
Bimbette #1: Would you ever eat snow?
Bimbette #2: I dunno. Would you?
Bimbette #1: Well, imagine if you were really thirsty and in the desert and there's a whole bunch of snow...
Female coworker hearing drilling from another part of the building: What is that noise?
Male coworker: A brontosaurus.
Female coworker: What?!

Old Miscellany:

This Week in Miscelleny I
This Week in Miscellany II
This Week in Miscellany III
This Week in Miscellany IV
This Week in Miscellany V
This Week in Miscelleny VI (there is no VI)
This Week in Miscellany VII
This Week in Miscellany VIII
This Week in Miscellany IX
This Week in Miscellany X

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Errr... whoops?

Someone found this blog by Googling alan eharmony. Honestly, I hadn't thought about my eHarmony matches finding my blog. Of course, this is the first time (or at least the first that I know of) and I have no assurance that the person who did find this blog was an eHarmony match of mine. But it's certainly something I should be aware of.

I don't think I'll change anything or do anything in response. I've never tried to make this blog truly anonymous and I'm constantly aware of this. If someone finds this blog by performing a search like the one above, then bully for them. They get a sneak peak at my insanity thoughts. Besides, I haven't (yet) blogged about any specific eHarmony matches. Of course, I also haven't reached Open Communication with any eHarmony matches (yet). *sigh*