Monday, September 28, 2009

Department of the Weird

I spent most of last week at a convention for addiction therapists. Strange event, really. It seems that many of the people who were either therapists or aspiring therapists (attendance was open to those who wish to enter the field) went straight from needing help to providing help without working on their own issues. Sure, sobriety might be established and maintained, but the underlying psychological issues did not seem to be addressed with not a few of the people with whom I spoke. Even one individual whom I thought was quite sane snuck out of the workshops to have a fling with another attendee! I later told One Ring and a couple of friends, "What is this ... band camp?"

Still, the conference was not without its good parts, and I ended up filling up a notepad with ideas for a lecture I'm going to be giving at Vanderbilt sometime in November on the topic of Addiction and Spirituality. I'm really excited about that opportunity, as it affords me to once again return to my alma mater and simultaneously do something completely new and exciting. Even better, it will get me out of the way of the back stabbing nonsense that makes up much of my day (Today's quote from annoying coworker - not said to my face, of course - "I don't see how someone can get his work done and still have time to go get a latte from (the campus) Starbucks."). Makes me wanna hollah! as my yankee relations would say. Or maybe they wouldn't. It's been a while since I've seen them.

But wait, there's more going on here!

Halloween is rapidly approaching, and I am already in full readiness. I'm hoping to have the Haunted Mansion model completed by this year's pumpkin carving extravaganza, and the horror movies of choice are lined up on Netflix and ready to go. Last night we watched The Orphanage, which was uber creepy without being gory. It was, unexpectedly, also sad in a way that del Toro (who produced this picture) pulls off quite well in many of his pictures. Tonight (maybe) is a redo of The Ninth Gate, with Johnny Depp and Frank Langella. I tried to watch one DVD over the weekend, only to have it skip and jam in the middle. Hopefully Netflix sent me a better one this time!

Well, I was going to write more, but it's quitting time. To the Doom Buggy!

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Friday, September 18, 2009

I Knew I Liked Him for a Reason!

So here he is. Our President (hear me right wing birthers and tea-baggers? He's OUR PRESIDENT!) on the White House lawn helping Chicago get the nod to host an upcoming Summer Olympics. And what is he doing? He's fencing! With a light saber!

Okay, so maybe the light saber thing is a tad geeky - okay, VERY geeky - but fencing is cool. How do I know? Because I was a fencer for a good many years, and still have the gear in my garage should I be lucky enough to find a fencing club nearby. Yes, I have swords, so anyone who dares say that fencing isn't cool better beware. Any takers? Didn't think so!

In other news, I'm leaving in 45 minutes to go home and get ready for a funeral. Good to get off work early, but very bad to get off early so I can say good-bye to someone who went to my church. One Ring is singing, so we'll have to be there early. That's no problem, though. After that we're going out to dinner with some friends and then it's the weekend! And believe me, it couldn't come any sooner!

In more serious news, my mother was taken to the hospital today with chest and head pain. No word yet on what's going on; the test results haven't come in. I just got off the phone with my sister and her thoughts are leaning towards a reaction to extreme stress, and not an actual coronary event. Even so, I'd appreciate if you would keep my mother and my family in your thoughts and prayers. Thanks.

That's all for now. I'm ready to close down this flea circus.


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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Crunch Time

I've got a group to lead in an hour, and I still haven't come up with anything! Arrrgh, cursed writer's block!

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The Doctor is out on vacation. My boss is on vacation as well. Annoying Coworker called in sick (again) on a clinic day. And now the substitute nurse - I'd say that she's a pit bull with lipstick if that line hadn't been already beaten into the ground By Sarah Palin groupies - is going home sick. She said,"I don't think it's H1N1, but I did have a fever over the weekend."


So I've got the clinic all to myself. Literally. Ten patients are coming in and I'm doing the group meetings, administrative stuff, drug screens, and any damage control (trust me, here there's always damage control!) that may come up.

Pray for me. No, rather, pray for Annoying Coworker when he comes back!

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Been A While

I haven't been posting like I used to, for a variety of reasons. One is that work has picked up quite a bit, and I used to be able to write during quiet moments (like today, when the doctor and my boss are both on vacation. Woohoo!). Lately, I've been picking up more responsibilities, which is good career wise, but bad, blogging-wise. The other reason is that I've been pretty much burned out of late on all the topics that I normally blog about. Religion, politics, current events, Disney stuff, and even all things pirate-y (gasp!) have become pretty much bland subjects.

I am still taking guitar lessons, still ploughing my way through "Comfortably Numb" by Pink Floyd, and still playing City of Heroes, although the latter is starting to get repetitive in some respects. Every so often my characters seem to get caught where they are too weak to finish a mission, and need to spend time leveling up before they can go back and get things done. This means roaming through the city, finding muggers or mutants or whatchamacallits and beating the tar out of them. Depending on the level needed to finish the original mission, that can take a while. Plus, I didn't want to drop to the level of ultimate geekiness by reporting on my exploits in a game!

But there are some things going on around here ...

One Ring was out of town this past weekend, which meant that yours truly was once again enjoying some much needed introvert time. On a whim, I pulled out and dusted off the Haunted Mansion model that I started just before our Dachshund Peanut fell ill and died. Up until now it's been sitting on the bookcase in our spare room, neglected and in dire need of repair. So I reinforced one of the chimneys and then built and installed the central tower:

Not too shabby, I figure!

The weather vane attached to the tower was a royal pain, as was the cone. But after some determined effort, a toothpick, and not a little cursing, it went up and looks pretty nice. Now all I need to do is get the front staircase and the sunroom / greenhouse that goes on the east wing finished and I'll have a pretty cool Halloween centerpiece!

Speaking of Halloween, my favorite time of the year is approaching. I'm already on the hunt for good horror films, and, as always, my preferences (so slashers, little gore, well written plot) are severely limiting my choices. I'll probably end up buying 1408, mainly because that was the one of the last really good mess with your mind films I've seen - although a clergy friend of mine recommended Drag Me to Hell. Problem is, I've already read about that one on The Movie Spoiler (amazing how much money I've saved by reading spoilers instead of going to see the movie) so I know the ending. Might be one of those rare times when I wish I hadn't.

In other Halloween news, we're thinking of having our yearly Pumpkin Carving Party sometime between the 19th and 24th. I'm already pretty psyched about that, and am looking forward to the latest designs from Pumpkin Masters
and other carving websites that are out there.

Well, this post has gone on long enough, so I'm going to close it here, with 1 1/4 hours left until I head home and take care of a sick wife.


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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Oh, No! Now a Trilogy ...

Disney is doing the unthinkable ...

They're bringing back Captain EO, a campy sci-fi 3-D film starring Michael Jackson. I'm serious. It's bad. See if you can sit through a viewing without wondering if they've started using massive amounts of drugs over at the Magic Kingdom.

First Marvel Captain EO?

I'm hoping - no, PRAYING - that this is all just a bad rumor. Or a bad dream. Anything but true.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Oh, No! Part 2.

This is just one of the drawings that has popped up on the internet since yesterday's announcement that Disney has purchased Marvel for a whopping $4 Billion. And fans are not all united in joy about the merger, either. I was talking with Tigger yesterday, and we agreed that this was a salvo aimed at Universal Studios Orlando, which has the Marvel superheroes plastered all over their Islands of Adventure park and will soon have the Harry Potter park up and running. The question now is whether Universal Studios will pay to use the names of the Marvel Characters on their rides, or simply rename them.

This is going to be interesting.

Meanwhile, and in keeping with the hero theme, my addiction to City of Heroes is holding steady. To be honest, I'm more interested in creating the characters and developing a backstory than I am in going on missions - which, at least in the early stages - seem fairly repetitive (go here, beat these people up, click on these objects, repeat). Don't get me wrong, the game is beautiful and there are plenty of people who have equally interesting characters running around. The only problem I'm having is that I'm finding that the names I'd like to give my characters are all taken, so I'm left with two choices: either figure out a creative way to write them (such as including an odd character or blatently misspell it as if I was placing it on a license plate), or using a really bad name (I saw one guy with the name Phar Ting last night). So far I've been using the former.

I had my guitar lesson last night (and while I'd like to say again that this is in keeping with the Hero theme - this time with me as a real life Guitar Hero - it's not and I can't). We started the first solo of "Comfortably Numb," and while my playing sounds REALLY rough, I am in the ballpark, and that feels good. I don't have a lesson for another two weeks, but I've been told to practice that solo A LOT. So I'll be spending a lot of time in the spare bedroom, it seems.

Okay, that's all from here. A couple of other things are going on, but it's just about lunch time and I need to grab a bite before more chaos ensues. And it's coming. Oh, yes, chaos is coming. By the way, the Spider-Mouse drawing was done by AngelCrusher, and was posted on the Deviant Art website.


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