Thursday, September 30, 2010

Reality Therapy Thursday

I like how, in contemporary culture, everyone is told that they are great. Schools no longer hold competitions because someone is going to get their feelings hurt. No longer are ribbons passed out for first, second, and third places in Field Day events; rather, everyone gets a Participation ribbon. Why, you may ask? Because everyone is a winner!

Here's a news flash for those people who don't want to hurt others' feelings: not everyone is a winner. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and more often than not, the guy who won this time is going to be the guy who wins over and over again. And do you know why? Because he is better than you.

Yes, that is right, there are people with more skill, more intelligence, more speed, and more friends than you. When I was a child and my school had Field Day, I held no delusions that I would win anything. I was the one never picked for teams because I sucked (and still suck) at sports. I didn't whine over that fact. In fact, I tended to play under the trees in the sand by myself when the other boys were playing football, baseball, etc. in teams. That didn't bother me any. There were boys who were stronger and faster than me, and I could not compete. I knew my strengths and athleticism was not one.

I also happened to be the one who could read at a high school level when I was still in third grade. So, when it came time for group work, everyone wanted to be in my group. I was the popular one then, and I was ok with that. And if I was given the chance to choose who would work with me, who do you think I chose? If you guessed the other kids who weren't chosen for teams or who weren't the popular ones, then you are clearly living in a dream world. I chose the popular kids, the cute guys who were good at sports, and my best friend. Come on, people, that's life.

Society today wants everyone to feel valued at everything and all the time, and so we get no one identified as a winner in Field Day events, or spelling bees, or art contests. It's not that no one won, it's that everyone won! Ribbons for everybody! Yay!

And so we have a society that thinks they are entitled to everything. Why did he get his requested days off when I didn't? Why did she get the promotion, I am just as good a worker as she is! I never get the breaks, it must be because the man is keeping me down.


The bottom line: some people have more skill than you. Some people are smarter than you. Some people are valued more than you. Some people are just more likable than you. Suck it up and stop whining.

If at first you don't succeed, then try again. And if you keep not succeeding....get used to it. That just may be your style.

The Cowboy and the Sheep

A cowboy walks into his bedroom carrying a sheep in his arms and says, "Honey, this is the cow I make love to when you have a headache."

The wife, laying in bed reading a book looks up and says, "If you weren't such an idiot, you'd know that was a sheep, not a cow."

The cowboy replies, "And if you weren't such a bitch, you'd realize I was talking to the sheep."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Hand Dancing?

Have any of you seen this video? It features two dancing...I guess. Since when has this been a fad? It's different and very cool, to be honest, but still, quite odd.

The song is fun, though.

The Writing on the Wall: Get A Job!

Engaging in philosophical games and plays on words are fine,
but sometimes the world needs a bit of "reality therapy."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dinner With The Doc

Spicy Roast Beast
Grean Beans with bacon and carmelized onion
Carrots glazed with butter and brown sugar
Freshly Baked Biscuits

And yes, I prepared way too much food and will be eating this
for tomorrow's lunch and possibly dinner. 
Though I may chop everything into small chunks and make a soup.

The Writing on the Wall

I haven't been posting these daily as I had meant to. There didn't seem to be a great interest in them and, to be honest, I was growing bored with them. I may post one every now and again. Or I may not. We'll just have to see.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Journey Quest

Speaking of gaming, I was sent a DVD in the mail recently by an old high school buddy. The DVD is a low budget film titled The Gamers: Dorkness Rising. It follows the lives of a group of role players trying to complete a Dungeons and Dragons module. For anyone familiar with role playing games, this film is extremely funny.

It has the harried DM (Dungeon Master) trying to tell a story while the players whine and make nuisances of themselves. It has a player who argues and contests every DM decision as being against the set rules (we call this type of player a Rules Monger). It has the newbie gamer who wants to do well but is hesitant to do anything. It has the player who is just there for a good time and so casts spells, kills NPCs (non player characters) and in general goofs around whenever he becomes bored with the DM's story.

From what I have discovered since, this film and another titled The Gamers, by the same writer/director are often shown at SciFi and gaming conventions around the United States.

Well, I was on the main website today ( and I saw that the same writers and producers have been working on a new project. It is another fantasy themed story, only this time done as webisodes, and it premiers on September 28th! Yay!

If you are into this sort of thing, I've included the preview below to Journey Quest.

Munchkins is Here!

Well, my card game Munchkins finally arrived in the mail. Yay!
I've opened the box and looked through the cards and rules sheet both, and I must say that the game looks like a ton of fun. The game promo describes it as a dungeons and dragons role playing game without the role playing, and that is exactly what it is.

You play a human adventurer who kicks down doors, kills monsters, collects treasure, and potentially raise/lose levels until the person who reaches level 10 first becomes the winner. Along the way you can become a specific character class (wizard, warrior, thief, cleric) and/or race (halfling, elf, dwarf) , get hit with curses and, in general, have a great time. There is no role playing as all of your game and personal interactions are done through the drawing and using of the cards drawn from the decks.

I can't wait to get people over so I can give the game a whirl.

Some of the Door and Treasure cards
If anyone has ever done any role playing, you will see some nods to D&D, like the Magic Missile spell, but in general, the cards are just meant to be funny and witty. Take a look at the Maul Rat. Clearly a take on the suburbian Mall Rat, hence the blond hair and casual attire, but in this case, the rat is carrying a maul. A Maul Rat dressed as a Mall Rat. That's funny, as is the Broad Sword, wieldable only by women, hee hee!

There are several expansions (read more cards) available out there. Hopefully I'll be able to get one or two soon.

Monday, September 13, 2010

If You Don't Know Where You Came From...

...You Can't know Where You Are Going

First off, let me post a disclaimer. Ive had an entire bottle of cheap wine already, so this post may make no sense.

A couple of days ago, my evil older sister emailed my mom to let her know she had visited my mom's cousin and scanned some family photos. My sister managed to find some photos that none of us were aware even existed. These photos are in the possession of my great aunt Mary, who will be turning 94 this year. My great aunt has had senior dementia for the last decade or so and has no idea who any of us are at this point, including her own children. Anyway, why my vulture of a sister went over is unknown to me, and I can only guess at her reasons, she did find many interesting photos. I thought I'd share one with the readers of my blog.

This photo shows my great grandfather and great grandmother and their five children. My grandmother is the second from the right and was 18 years old when the picture was shot. Today she is 89 years old, just to give you some perspective.

Out of everyone in the photo, only my grandmother and my Aunt Mary (second from the left) are left alive, and as I said, my great Aunt Mary has no idea what is going on anymore. So really, only my grandmother is still aware and active.

My great grandmother, in the front row, was half Hispaniola (her dad was from Spain) and half Cherokee Indian. My grandmother has always joked that my temper comes from her, since the Cherokee were some of the most vicious Indians ever. I am generally very calm and diplomatic, but when my temper flares, it is very ugly to watch, and I am never really sure what I am going to do.

For some reason, this picture has stirred within me some very powerful emotions. Thinking about what they all accomplished with limited schooling and limited money makes me feel small and very much a failure, especially in light of my current legal difficulties and, let's be honest, ignominy. Still, I hope to be able to shrug all of the problems off soon and resume my life. And perhaps I can still make them proud.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Collection of Collages

In honor of nothing in particular, I have decided to make a photo post. I don't do them very often but today just feels like a picture day.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I Owe You Nothing

I've been thinking. Just how much do we owe society? Our community? Our family? To what extent are we allowed/expected to follow our own path and dreams, and how much are we anchored to the world around us?

I follow several personal blogs, as opposed to picture blogs, and over the last few days I've noticed several bloggers reporting struggles and disagreements with their respective family. Without going into specifics about each blogger, the overall theme seems to be that their (our) families have expectations of us and make demands upon us, pressures which oftentimes goes counter to the desires of the blogger. Needless to say, this dynamic puts pressure upon everyone involved, with the results being anger or stress or fear or disappointment. In one blogger's case, his family is treating him like a leper over his homosexuality, a situation which I find ridiculous and reprehensible. In fact, I was so rattled when I read his account, my instinct was to rush in and do what I could to help; that would be impossible, of course, but it took me a day and a half to let that particular feeling go. ( I have a powerful sense of protectiveness over people I like. I'm not sure where I got that from; certainly not from my self-centered family.)

I have always believed that we are responsible to ourselves. We should follow our own destiny, make our own happiness, and not worry about pleasing other people. In fact, for those of you who have been around for a while, do you recall my mentioning my friend who says she receives messages from God? (Of course, two years later, I now realize she is insane and probably bipolar. But I digress.) One of the messages she received on my behalf said that we are responsible for our own happiness only; we could be concerned for others, but their happiness is not our responsibility.

So then, what does that mean to a family who, for example, has one child, and that child grows up and is gay. The family suddenly begins to put pressure on that child. "What about grandchildren?" they ask. "Are you going to deny us the joy of watching your own children grow up?" Or better yet, "Who is going to continue the family name?" they ask. Legitimate questions, yes?

If we believe that we owe something to our parents and society, then it seems we should buckle under and say, "You are right. I am being selfish in not doing what everyone expects of me." If, however, you believe that you are not responsible for other people's happiness, but should find yours, the answer is far different. Instead, the fact that they want grandkids or they want someone to "carry on" isn't our responsibility. This is not to suggest that kids and such are counter to happiness. Many gay couples adopt, for example. I am simply saying that a person's decision to take a wife or have kids should be done if it makes them happy, not their family.

Besides, I think when a parent starts saying those things, it is an attack of sorts. Instead of yelling at their child for "choosing" to be gay, they decide to go at them through guilt instead. And that is all those sort of remarks are designed to do: make you feel guilty.
It becomes a "what about me" thing. But I want grandkids. You owe me. But who will carry on the family name? You owe me. You are making your mother cry. You owe me.

Well guess what? I don't believe we owe them anything. None of us chose to be attracted to our own gender, and we certainly aren't attracted to guys in order to rob our parents of something they think they are entitled to.

I have to do what is important to me and attain that which makes me happy. Our families and society at large can follow us along and be happy for us. Or, they can be miserable and embarrassed because their son likes guys' asses. That choice is completely theirs. They can choose to be happy or not.

I've already made my choice, and I hope you do as well. Hang in there, guys. This too shall pass and you will be stronger for the experience.

Herding Cats

I was poking around, as per usual in the evening, and I found this video clip. An IKEA in the UK decided to run an experiment whereby they released 100 cats into their store just to see what would happen. How nuts is that?

The clip is under 5 minutes long, but even so, if you start to get antsy, hang in there. The last segment is the best.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Do You Want to Play a Game?

Back when I was in high school, I used to play various RPGs (Role Playing Games). I was a member of two different Dungeons and Dragons campaigns, a Champions campaign (where I was a superhero named Darkowl), and a GURPS (Generic Universal Role Playing System) Cthulhu campaign, and I loved them all. I would also play various board games such as Risk, Battleship, checkers, chess, and pretty much anything that people would ask me to play. I love games.

Perhaps my favorite type of game, though, are card games. For some reason, I love holding a deck of cards, a hand of cards, whatever. Back in the day, I was stuck with the old favorites like Old Maid, Crazy Eights, Uno, etc. But recently, a new type of card games have risen; I am referring to the CCG, or collectible card games. These are games where players purchase and create their own personalized deck of cards and then play against other people.  I was heavily into the original CCG called Magic: The Gathering.

The game is too complex to describe in just a couple of sentences, so I will only say that the premise of the card game is that each player is a Planeswalker with various magics at his command (the cards). Taking turns, each player plays his cards in a specific sequence seeking to overpower his opponent by attacking with monsters or spells. In addition, each player needs to build a defense to protect himself from his opponents attacks. It is a ton of fun.

Actual Munchkin cards. Many Bothans died to get us this information.
Well, I have discovered a new card game out there that I really want to try. It is not a CCG, in that each player does not need their own deck, but rather it is a self contained game, meaning multiple people can play using the one game deck. It is called Munchkins.

This game appears to be a Dungeons and Dragons type card game, but where in D&D, you role play a character, decide your own actions, gather treasure, etc., in Munchkins, the draw of the cards dictates what you are, if you are attacked by a monster, what treasures you find, etc. In fact, here is how the company itself describes the game: Munchkin is a stand-alone card game designed by Steve Jackson that "simulates" well, sorta' a fantasy-themed RPG oh, ok, D n D in a simple, card-based game that's chock full o' silliness. Everyone begins the game as a 1st level human with no class heh-heh and via cards, they acquire Races Elf, Dwarf, etc., classes thief, Wizard, Cleric, etc., Items, armor, potions and more that they use to combat hideous monsters like the 4th level Undead Horse, the 10th level net troll and the 14th level unspeakably awful, indescribable horror very nasty, indeed. The object of the game is to reach Level 10 and levels are acquired via the slaying of monsters and the selling of acquired treasure 1,000 gold pieces equals one level. Very silly and a lot of fun. 

In effect, it is a role playing card game without the role playing. I think it sounds great. So, who's up for a game?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Writing on the Wall: Shades of Stuart Smally

On the Road to Recovery

Lulu on the mend!
Well, for all my fretting and fussing, Lulu is definitely on the mend. Though she is not back to her old self, naturally, she is eating and moving about really well.


I have to admit that I am surprised that no one commented on the Google video below. I thought it was very well done and quite funny/creepy. Hmph. Apparently this blog is read by people sans humor. Who knew?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

They Put the Ogle in Google

Unless you have beem living under a rock recently, I am sure you have heard about all the privacy concerns that have been raised lately due to Google's penchant for collecting all sorts of data about your computer use.

Well, a watch dog group is asking all of us to write to our congressmen and ask them to establish a "Do  not track me" list, much like the national "Do not call me list" set up for telemarketers. To help make their point, the group released this rather funny creepy video.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Lulu is Home

Well, my little girl is home, but I am not happy.

Her whole right under belly is swollen and inflamed. There is blood seeping out, leaving little droplets on the floor. The vet saw that and said it was just "seepage" and it would be ok. All right, what? I've been through two major surgeries for liver tumors, and neither time were my incision points dripping blood the next day. How the frak is that normal?  He gave us pain meds, antibiotic meds, and an iron supplement. He pointed out that her gums are very pale, meaning that she is anemic, hence the iron supplement. We are supposed to take her back in if they don't redden up by tomorrow.

I don't know. I think I would have preferred she stay there again so they could keep a trained eye on her, but I am sure she is happier to be back in familiar surroundings. She isn't walking right and is stumbling about. It is very difficult to watch, especially since I am used to seeing her bopping about and full of energy.

I am sorry now that I sent her off to the vet. And let me just say, that if something happens to her and she sickens and dies, I am plastering that man's face, name, and address here for all to see.

EDIT: Ok, seriously concerned. Lulu was sleeping in her bed and got up a couple of hours ago as if to walk around. She was still stumbling about a bit when suddenly, she just collapsed on the floor. It was as if her legs just gave out on her. Her front legs were extended in front of her, but her back legs were twisted to the side. She struggled to get up  briefly, but her front feet just scrabbled on the floor. I swear my heart was about to stop.

I picked her up carefully and put her back in her bed. She didn't even try to shift into a comfortable position. She just laid there looking at me, her breathing seeming very fast to me. I don't know. She got up again and made her way to another of her beds just now, but still looks out of it.

Heads will roll if anything happens to my girl....

The Writing on the Wall: Enjoy the Ride

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Update: Lulu and Assorted Babblings

Napping on the couch as per usual.
I called the hospital at 5:30 PM to see if I could pick up my little dog and was told that the vet wanted to keep her there overnight. Apparently the surgery was a bit more involved than he anticipated and amounted to what was, essentially, a mastectomy. The cuts were deep and he wants to keep her under observation.

I was sort of worried before, but now I am extremely concerned. I got to bring her home quickly last time and that surgery was spaying AND removal of tumors. This was just supposed to be tumor removal and she needs to be kept under observation? I am feeling like I've abandoned her to strangers, and I am not convinced that whatever qualifies as nurses at an animal hospital will keep a close watch on her.

Well, not much to be done, I suppose.


I am supposed to be working on an assignment for my therapist. It involves imagining a conversation between me and someone else where I explain my reasoning for certain actions. It's an empathy thing. And it's kicking my rear end. I've put off doing it for three weeks, but my appointment is tomorrow and it has to get done. Call me Ishmael the Procrastinator.

It's not that I can't empathize with others; I just don't want to. ;^)

The Writing on the Wall: Such is Life


Well, my little dog is back at the dog and cat hospital.

Lulu in the living room!
I took her there a few months back due to a large growth on her belly. I was informed that she had breast tumors on both sides of her body. There was the large one I had noticed and then several smaller ones I had not. The vet took out the tumors on one side and also spayed her, hoping the removal of the hormones produced by her female organs would halt the growth of the remaining ones. Unfortunately, that did not happen.

I've noticed one of the remaining tumors growing larger the last couple of weeks, and yesterday, it looked like it was bleeding. I figured waiting any more would be pointless and so, she is at the hospital now.

The vet said she should be ready to be picked up about 5:00 pm this afternoon. I just hope this is the last of the surgeries for her. She is eleven and a half years old; I worry the stress is too much for her.