August 30, 2015:
So hello, new journal. Here's hoping I update you a little more than once in a while.
To be fair to myself, it wasn't so much lack of interest keeping me from all things social media. Remember the new (as of last year) job? Turns out the turnover is a bit, uh...high. New people seem to run for it the second they see what title work in the state of Pennsylvania involves, if they're not outright drowned at the reception desk their first week in, and once one bails, the rest of the office has to pick up the slack...and when you pile on too much additional work, even your veteran agents start thinking, "maybe Aldi's is hiring." And the more people leave, the worse the workload gets, in turn driving more people to look elsewhere, which means the last agents standing get a lot of "eleven hour shifts mean overtime pay!" emails, which in turn means exhaustion and too much caffeine and no free time.
I'm disinclined to escape just yet. I'm making almost twice what I made at my last crappy, crappy job, and this one comes with nice things like insurance and vacation time and paid holidays off. There are better jobs out there, sure, but so help me, I get to sit down and I don't have to touch feet.
But then I came down with a cough that turned into a MedExpress visit that turned into leaving with a paper bag full antibiotics and steroids and a tentative diagnoses of bronchitis, strep, and a severe ear infection all at once, and that wasn't even the sickest I'd been all year so gods know what I was powering through during the holiday season. I ended up going to another concert with Gautam a week later (Bear Hands/Foals/Silversun Pickups/Cage the Elephant; left underwhelmed by Silversun Pickups and couldn't remember much of Bear Hands, but I liked Foals and Cage the Elephant enough to buy CDs between sets), nearly collapsed by the end of the headlining act, and had to take it easy for another two weeks.
Add a lot of family drama to the mix and, well, time off has more or less been used for sleeping, as of late. A lot of sleeping. Never enough sleeping.
But our fail-whale of a manager somehow failed his way into a promotion, and our new manager starts next month and used to be a licensing agent, so the work schedule, at least, might blow a little less in the future. And I did manage to leave the house, occasionally...still managed Tekko, and even managed a new costume, and that costume will absolutely be worn again because I've wanted to do a Jareth cosplay for years and the response from other congoers was pretty phenomenal. At last I know the thrill of needing half an hour to make the seven-minute walk to the dealers' room! Alas, poor Rachel, stuck holding my bag whenever somebody stopped us with that particular half-timid voice to ask for a picture, unless the person in question was a very tall drunk woman in a restaurant bathroom, in which case there was desperate hand-clasping and shrieking to a friend in stall two to come out right now, David Bowie is here. One person rolled down her arm-sock to show me her Labyrinth tattoo. A number of people high-fived me. It was a fun con.
I ended up falling in love with Preacher, in spite of not even watching the pilot on purpose, and that's been fun, because it was looking like nothing but The Walking Dead was going to hold my interest, and it's been kind of a challenge to be at all excited about the new season now that we've hit the Negan arc, which means seasons upon seasons of pain and misery and character-death if it keeps to the comic at all, and the fact that the most evil motherfucker in the series is being played by Jeffrey Dean Sex-on-Legs Morgan just makes things uncomfortable. I gave up on Hell on Wheels after three episodes, lost interest in Into the Badlands after two, and no matter how hard I try to talk myself into liking Fear the Walking Dead, the fact remains that it's just. Not. Good. But Preacher... Preacher's been fun. Dark enough to be compelling, comedic enough not to get dreary, absurd enough to keep things lively, and every single character is interesting in their own right. It's been a long time since I've even been interested in the protagonist of an AMC series, never mind the backup cast, and anything that lets me bro-ship a vice-riddled alcoholic preacher with a snarky, ferociously loyal vampire with great eyebrows and a substance abuse problem is kind of an instant win. Did I mentioned Fiore and DeBlanc? Fiore and DeBlanc make everything better. It's by no means a shot-by-shot recreation of the comics, but it's crazy-enjoyable in its own right, and worth a watch if you like supernatural black comedies and oddball friendships.
What else, what else...Gautam and I did Phantom Fright Night at Kennywood, and it was way more fun than it had any right to be in spite of coming at the end of a six-day work week (a couple of hours after my day six shift, even) and almost no sleep, and even though I fell asleep in the car, and in the shower, and during some of the longer line waits, and completely tripped out over a Great Horned Owl outside my window, I was glad I went. Tip if you go: it's worth it to drop the extra twenty bucks to skip the lines for the haunts. You're looking at a ten-minute wait at most if you do, and well over an hour if you don't. Another tip: the Exterminator is worth the wait to ride it in the dark. One last tip: there are monsters in the fog. They will jump out at you.
And now I suppose I ought to eat something, and fix a drink for the Walking Dead premiere, and finally see who got the bat last season finale...the big money's on Glenn or Abraham, but it's going to suck no matter who it is. And then sleep, because I've got another six-day work week ahead of me.
And maybe, just maybe, I'll manage to update this again in the next month.
My Amazon order got here this afternoon...I'm already Price'd up as of this morning, but now I can watch it again in shiny, shiny remastered quality whenever I want...probably without the picture getting all weird and squished, even!
I also got myself the anniversary Blu-Ray of Evita, because I've been on an Evita-kick lately and the price was low enough to be more worthwhile than spending hours trying to install software to get the ancient DVD to play properly, and Ladyhawke on Blu-Ray because I love it dearly and they finally released it legally in a language other than Italian.
Naturally, I've spent the past two hours installing updates to get that to play properly. C'est la vie.
Wrestling with technology is usually three parts crossed fingers and muttered obscenities and one part triumphantly shouting "I AM MASTER OF MY OWN DESTINY," and this time was no exception. But as of the moment, I've got a cooperative laptop and a box of pretty new things to watch. The picture on the Blu-Ray version of Evita is beautiful! The sound on the U.N.C.L.E. DVDs (at least as far as the menu screen) is wonderful! The picture and sound on Ladyhawke are...about what you'd expect from an '80s fantasy movie, but it's not in Italian!
I'm celebrating with tea with whiskey and the Puppy Bowl, because sports are for other people.
Oh my gosh look at that Shar-Pei puppy and his little mooshy-smooshy face oh my gosh his name is WRINKLES oh that's so cute I'm gonna die.
I'm watching an all-night (all-weekend, actually) marathon of The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
and reeeeeeaally ought to consider sleeping tonight, but that episode where Vincent Price plays a snarky well-dressed French spy is on next and Vincent Price and snarky well-dressed French spies
are two of my favorite things.
I made some custom brushes for an image editing program, though, so my night hasn't been totally
EDIT: ...and so I continue to be more interested in Victor Marton's backstory with Mr. Waverly than the actual plot of the episode.
The History Channel is on in the background and one of the men speaking, oh-so-very officially and seriously, just said, "The whole phenomenon would have died a death."
I am both amused, and slightly vindicated.
Really, 2016? I'm still depressed about Bowie, then Alan Rickman not a week later, and now we're down an Eagle. That's no way to start a new year.
Also, this is no way to break that kind of news: if you are being decent enough to give someone a ride to work, and that someone has already been vocally upset over the loss of the Goblin King, and friggin' "Space Oddity" is playing, and there are no smiles to be had in the vehicle, do not turn to them and say, "oh, Professor Snape died this morning" just as you pull up to the office. Some of us need more than ten seconds to rearrange our expressions into something work-appropriate.
2015 was...busy. The new job takes up more time than the old job, but comes with things like insurance and sick time and paid holidays off, so I'm disinclined to complain too too much, even if we're routinely stiffed on overtime. Work aside, I did more things this year...prior to this year, I could count the number of concerts I've been to on two fingers (the Monkees and Dethklok, in that order). In February, I saw Jukebox the Ghost with Gautam, and recommend everyone trudge through the snow to see a power pop band in a converted church at least once. In May, Pirate and I saw the new Night Vale show, which isn't a concert but isn't really anything else in particular, either ("live podcast" never seems to cover it adequately), and it wasn't quite as good as the last one story-wise but was still wildly entertaining. Our seats were awesome, and actually seeing Cecil is always a trip, and looking at Mara Wilson and remembering she was Matilda is just weird. Went to the Imagine Dragons concert with Gautam in June and it was amaaaaaaaziiiiing. They're so enthusiastic, and seem so utterly delighted that people actually came out to hear them perform, and the energy in the place was fantastic, and hearing the gasping part of "Radioactive" done by 9,000+ people is kind of totally hilarious. Bonus: the man smiling while I geeked out over a display of Tim Cantor's artwork turned out to be Tim Cantor. He signed my ticket and posed for a picture with me, and I made no intelligent noises for the next twenty minutes or so. Near the end of June Gautam scored free tickets to an outdoor Blues Traveler concert from someone who scored free tickets to an outdoor Blues Traveler concert and couldn't go. It was hot and sticky and mostly a blur of weed smoke and harmonica music, but lots of fun. Note: it turns out that I have no tolerance to secondhand weed smoke.
Last month Gautam flew me out to Chicago for my birthday. The whole trip was chronicled in photos that I've been too busy/tired/lazy to upload anywhere, but chances are that if you've talked to me at all since then you've seen some of them. There was a lot of drinking, and a four-hour wait in the cold, cold wind to get into a Star Wars-themed bar to drink blue milk and watch a bunch of guys dressed as the cantina band and one girl dressed as an Ewok play jazz remixes of the soundtrack. I hugged a Wookiee. There was deep-dish pizza and gourmet hot chocolate and more drinking, and a trip to a book store that looked like the forgotten child of Half-Price Books and an unfinished seaside manor, abandoned and raised by Hogwarts. On the plane ride home I sat next to a guy who totally wasn't Brian Posehn, but could've been if you squinted right.
The Christmas season involved laryngitis (AGAIN) and the flu, but this time around I have a boss decent enough to send me home when I look and sound like I'm dying.
I'm still working on stories and mixes that end up taking much, much longer to finish than I planned. I'm still hoping to actually finish some of them.
And, as happens every couple of months, I'm hoping to get back into the swing of updating this thing.
"What would you do if an evil wizard showed up at your door with a plot to kill you and your friends? Call the police? Because magic doesn't exist and he's probably just a local crazy person who should be in prison? Well congratulations, Aristotle, your lack of childlike wonder just ruined Halloween. Close your browser and go destroy something else with your logic, like Christmas."
Have I mentioned recently how much I love Team Fortress 2
Look at these precious dorks halfheartedly agreeing to battle the supernatural in their Halloween costumes out of boredom.
EDIT: As of getting the browser to cooperate long enough to actually post, it is currently ten minutes after
Oh, hey, The Full Monty is on.
Wow, the main character seems really familiar. Really familiar. Huhn.
...who is that guy? I know I've seen him in something.
Let's just hit the info button for a second, here...huhn. Robert Carlyle. I know that name, why do I know that name, I...
Oh my god that's Rumpelstiltskin.
And that...is Rumpelstiltskin's butt.
- Music:Village People - "YMCA"
So a guy came into the office and tried to flirt while squinting at my name tag.
Only they still haven't gotten around to ordering me an official name tag, so what I ended up hearing was, "You got pretty eyes, In Training. You live around here?"
- Music:Rockapella - "Bed of Nails"
"And what brings you in to see us today?"
"THAT IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!"
Uh. When I'm working reception, it's kind of my job to know where to send you.
In other words, what brings you in to see us is the very definition of my business.
- Tags:so done
- Music:Gogol Bordello - "Start Wearing Purple"
Saw Jurassic World awhile back, expecting it to be decent. It kind of sucked.
Saw The Man from U.N.C.L.E. this week, expecting it to suck. It...was actually pretty great?
There were some "darker and edgier" adjustments that had me groaning a little, but it was for the most part respectful of the source material, with plenty of A+ snark and bickering between the leads. Lots of action, lots of giggles, and I wanted all of the major antagonist's clothes. The sheer size of Armie Hammer takes some getting used to, but by the end of the movie all I wanted was for giant Illya to cradle me gently in his enormous hands.
It's worth a watch if you're a fan of the TV series, or even if you're just down for a spy movie that doesn't take itself too, too seriously.
I got to see Napoleon and Illya mock each other's fashion sense, and that alone would've been worth it.