Why Plinko hates you.

the life and times of one jaded motherfucker.

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Uncle Phil

:.News of the World.:
Washington Post
NY Times
Howard Kurtz
Leonard Pitts
The Onion

:.On Wisconsin.:
Milwaukee J-S
Wheeler Report
Gannett Wisconsin

Penny Arcade


:.Current Book.:
Woman In the Dark - Dashiell Hammett

:.Last 6 Books.:
The Catcher In the Rye - JD Salinger
Grendel - John Gardner
Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha - Roddy Doyle
The Road - Cormac McCarthy
Theft - Peter Carey
Saturday - Ian McEwan

:. Bands .:
Dismemberment Plan
Jets to Brazil
Promise Ring

Mark Helprin
Kazuo Ishiguro
Wilkie Collins
William Faulkner
Philip K. Dick
Dashiell Hammett

The Lord of the Rings
J.R.R. Tolkien
Frank Herbert
Dan Simmons
The Dark Tower
Stephen King

02/01/2001 - 03/01/2001 03/01/2001 - 04/01/2001 04/01/2001 - 05/01/2001 05/01/2001 - 06/01/2001 06/01/2001 - 07/01/2001 07/01/2001 - 08/01/2001 08/01/2001 - 09/01/2001 09/01/2001 - 10/01/2001 10/01/2001 - 11/01/2001 11/01/2001 - 12/01/2001 12/01/2001 - 01/01/2002 01/01/2002 - 02/01/2002 02/01/2002 - 03/01/2002 03/01/2002 - 04/01/2002 04/01/2002 - 05/01/2002 05/01/2002 - 06/01/2002 06/01/2002 - 07/01/2002 07/01/2002 - 08/01/2002 08/01/2002 - 09/01/2002 09/01/2002 - 10/01/2002 10/01/2002 - 11/01/2002 11/01/2002 - 12/01/2002 12/01/2002 - 01/01/2003 01/01/2003 - 02/01/2003 02/01/2003 - 03/01/2003 03/01/2003 - 04/01/2003 04/01/2003 - 05/01/2003 05/01/2003 - 06/01/2003 06/01/2003 - 07/01/2003 07/01/2003 - 08/01/2003 08/01/2003 - 09/01/2003 09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003 10/01/2003 - 11/01/2003 11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003 12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004 01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004 02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004 03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004 04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004 05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004 06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004 07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004 11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005 12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006 01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006 02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006 06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006 07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006 08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006 09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006 10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006 12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007
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Sunday, December 30
My b-diddy day was pretty boring, but that's okay because it was also relaxing. My parents got my first article mounted and framed for me, which is pretty cool. The Packers won, which is even cooler. I was supposed to go see LotR for the third time tonight with the SWEF, but she got sick, so I stayed home and played Counterstrike in between the phone ringing, as phone rings apparently cause CS to freeze up if I'm playing online. I'm okay with staying home because 'the girl' finally called me. Happiness. It was kind of odd, we talked about dating (each other) but didn't seem to come to much of a conclusion other than waiting and hanging out a bit and seeing what happens. This, while a little frustrating, is much better than seeing her flee in terror, which is much more a typical 'Plinko' experience.

Speaking of CS, is it just me or does everyone suck at it? I'm used to people being at least somewhat competent players, if not very good strategists. Now, since I got my DSL, I've been playing again and I swear there are more idiots who don't know how to aim than I ever saw before. Ugh.

Anyway, before my birthday ends, it's time for the last two lists. These are the top 10 most influential men and women. (one list for each!) Once again, influence is a sort of nebulous thing, hard to say exactly what I mean by it. It's certainly not my favorite people or the people who've been my best friends over the years, that would certainly be a very different list. And no family members, it's too obvious and also hard to guage influence. I'm too tired to do both now, so I'll do onem for now, the ladies.

10. Michelle Burzynski. You all might know her as a set of four letters, but despite my jibing, Michelle was a large part of my recovery from the Christine disaster. She made living in Oshkosh signifcantly more bearable because I had someone to talk to about books and wine and being a snob, a part of me I don't get to embrace much.

9. Jana Vaughn. Another recent friend. Jana taught me a lot about how to do my job, and she's the rare friend that isn't afraid to take an opposing view. She more or less single-handedly created a social circle at the Northwestern which I remain a part of. I would not have stayed at the Northwestern (for better for for worse) were it not for Jana, unfortunately for me she's left for a job in Iola and will be moving to Waupace soon. How sad!

8. Kim Kellermann. I had a big crush on her in high school, but as that's not a particularly exclusive list, she's here for other reasons. Mostly because I learned every shred of tolerance for hard-core Christians from her. She was one, but was also very nice and a good friend, she wasn't the 'you're going to hell' type she was just a good person, if somewhat naive.

7. Melissa Kramer. We were never really friends, but I always looked up to her. Several years ago I realized that she is the standard by which I judge women (physcially and beyond). She was very attractive, smart, and a total bitch. She could be snobby and was nice about it. She always did what she wanted and wasn't ashamed to be smarter or better at anything than anyone else. If you ever met her you could probably judge how attracted I would be to a given female just by comparing her to Missy. That's influence, without friendship, though I really thought Melissa was pretty cool.

6. Marie Harvat. Just like Michelle B. only sveral years ago, and I had a crush on her for about two years!

5. Patti Lynch. Fifth grade teacher, oldest child of Tom Lynch, who you'll see in the men's list. Encouraged me to go out for forensics and also was the first teacher I ever had that I didn't hate.

4. Sarah Christensen. One of my closest friends through high school. She was always in my German classes and we always passed notes back and forth about the people we 'liked' sigh. The good old days.

3. Christine Lagorio. 2.5 years of dating someone means they influence you a lot. I changed a lot while dating Christine, she encouraged me to think of myself differently. I changed a lot of superficial things at her behest, most of it for the good. I ended up putting too much into our realtionship, though and when it ended I was all fucked up for months and months, another lesson learned.

2. Heather Smith. On and off friends, but she was the one who ran everything theater and forensics-ish in high school. I learned a lot about myself from all the 'deep' conversations our groups always had. She was a sort of control freak, a good example of how I learned to perceive people better as I got older.

1. Hillary Schroeder. Another longtime girlfriend. We went out for a shorter period and were less serious than Christine and I were,. but Hillary came first and therefore was tremendously more influential. I learned more about relationships with girls than I ever had before, plus I made a major transition into college and new friends that was influenced very strongly by Hillary. Plus, we still get along, unlike certain other ex-s.


Saturday, December 29
Next list! Since tomorrow's the big Plinko birthday, I'm going to have to do two lists a day to get the last four out. Today is best times and biggest regrets. Now happiest is a top 10 list, but regrets is only 5, mostly because I don't like to dwell on the negative, so we'll get them out of the way first.

5. Waiting to apply for a job at the Northwestern. I was in Oshkosh and they needed newsroom people badly, but they didn't advertise in their own paper! So I feel okay in blaming them, but I could be a lot further along in my career had I started there right after college instead of dinking around at crappy jobs for a year-and-a-half.

4. Not telling the SWEF I had(have) a thing for her. Back in April, she confronted me, asking me if I 'liked' her. I chickened out and gave a sort of half-yes and half-no answer. Even though I think it would have turned out negatively, I think I would have peace of mind about it had I just said 'yeah, I really do.'

3. Not breaking up with Christine in October of 2000. I got really pissed off at her and almost ended our relationship about six weeks before we actually broke up. I saw then that she was getting antsy and that our relationship was grating on her and I should have just told her to ship off if she wasn't going to make the effort. Unfortunately, I didn't and ended up letting her take over and I think that had a lot to do with why I was so upset about the breakup later.

2. Dating Rachel Romond. Thank god none of you ever have or will meet her. Ugh.

1. Transferring to UW-Madison. Yep, you heard me. I'm a big Badger fan and I love Madison, but I was actually doing very well in Minnesota, I had a lot of new friends, I was getting great grades, I had a National Merit Scholarship. I gave all that up top be closer to Hillary Schroeder, and while it could have turned out okay, I ended up not being able to stay in the dorms so my social life at college was kerfuckelt and I sacrificed too much by going home all the time to see Hillary and, later, Christine.

So, most of my regrets are girl-related. I think that might be true of a lot of us, but, then, I think they're not all that bad, either. I was pretty happy in Madison, and my career is starting to come along. Everyone is going to have bad memories of the opposite sex. It's not like I have any big nasty ugly ones in there.

So, on to happy times. This is fairly broad. It can be any time at least a day, and capped at about a month. I can only give approximate dates, because I don't have a memory for exact days/dates.

10. Feb, 1994, They Might Be Giants concert in Madison, WI. My second TMBG concert and this time Soul Coughing opens. Best show I ever saw, hands down. I also went with some pretty good friends and had an absolute blast.

9. June 1995, last week of high school. Lots of fun, skipped a lot, the weather was beautiful, we screwed off, and had a good time. A group of my friends and I paraded through the halls with a boombox blaring 'Come on Eileen' and dancing during first hour. . . fun with no worries. . . ahhhh . . .

8. TBCS 11. My second TBCS, though I can't remember the date. I had the most fun at this one, mostly thanks to the new CS release which included jeepaton2k. We must have played that map for seven or eight straight hours, laughing uncontrollably the whole time.

7. April, 2001. Coaches' State Forensics Tournament. We win, and win handily. 24 of 25 kids made it to semifinals, we had 5 individual state champions. Considering all the hassles we went through that year, it was such vindication to win. Yes,w e later went through the whole suspension fiasco, but we didn't find out about that for days.

6. Feb. 1996. Jawbreaker concert at First Avenue in MInneapolis. The first of two times I ever saw my favorite band play. Enough said.

5. Oct. 1996. Descendents concert in Madison. One of my all-time favorite bands playing their first show together in eight years. Super crowd, and the opening act was extremely cool. Just something I'd never dreamed would happen.

4. Christmas break, 1996/1997. My all-time favorite Christmas. I got a lot of cool presents, and I gave a lot of cool presents. Played a lot of video games, this was when we were obsessive Mario Kart 64 players. Then came the NFL playoffs and I got to watch the Packers win the Super Bowl right before heading back to school. Nice.

3. Jan, 2000. Skiing trip to the U.P. with Christine. Stayed in a nice chalet right at Brule, the weather was beautiful, about thirty degrees the whole time. I never had more fun skiing and Christine and I probably never had a better weekend together.

2. June, 1994. Germany trip. 21 days, each one some of the most fun days ever. Germany is beautiful, and there were some damned cool people on that trip. Too many memories to share.

1. April, 1995. Coaches' State Forensics Tournament.The team placed second, which was a disappointment, but I won my category, which was the biggest that year by quite a bit. There isn't any better feeling than hearing your name called last when they call out the finalists in some kind of competition.

Friday, December 28
There's nothing I like less than being in the middle of a dispute.

I got a call at 9 this morning, which if you know me, you know is fricking early. I had to listen to the SWEF cry for half an hour. Not cool. All because some stuff was said about her by someone else to yet another person and blah the whole world is falling apart. I'll spare you the details because you don't know the people involved but all I could think about was that I needed a lot more sleep and I know more than a few people who have trouble with persepctive, several of whom were involved in this. So, I end up trying to walk a fine edge to save the feelings of two people who don't like each other. I don't like taking sides unless it's really obvious which person is wrong, so I have to watch what I say. I made a few phone calls and I hope I cleared it up.
The end result was that I ended up sleeping until 2:15 because I spent two hours dealing with that this morning. That'll fuck up my sleeping habits for a week.

So, the next list is a little simpler. This is the complete arts list. The top 10 most influential works. These contain descriptions. So there. Once again, it's not favorites, but influence.

1. Dune (science fiction novels by Frank Herbert). I've read these books at least six or seven times, all six of them. They're the only sci-fi series that created a world so intricate and believable that it's actually stuck in my mind since I was 12. If you want to find it, there's a lot of social/political theory in there, and I learned a lot. The prequel books are equally good, but I haven't finished all three yet.

2. The Lord of the Rings (the penultimate fantasy novels by J.R.R. Tolkien) Blasphemy it may seem to place these behind something else, but here they are at number two. It took me a long time to really see how much there is to learn from this series (I was probably twenty) as opposed to just knowing how good they are to read and how influential they are on the fantasy genre in and of itself. The latter should be enough itself, the Lord of the Rings is in every vision and imaginging I've ever had about the old-school fantasy type world. In a way, I ought to put Tree and Leaf here, since that's what really advanced my understanding of the cultural value of what Tolkien called Faerie Stories, of which LotR is simply the best modern example.

3. 24 Hour Revenge Therapy (post-punk album by Jawbreaker) The best album by my favorite band featuring a lot of my favorite songs by my idol, Blake Schwarzenbach. I've listened to this album easily more than any other I've ever owned. This was where I started to learn to read song lyrics like poetry. This album is the standard by which all others are judged and always found wanting.

4. Nothing Feels Good (emo album by the Promise Ring) Signaled a serious change in my attitudes about music and style. I started dressing differently and listening to different music right around the time I got this album. After this I rarely got into the classic pop-punk I used to listen to and moved over to more emo-ish and traditional pop bands. I love the way so many of the songs seem to be riddles, like They Might Be Giants, but never seem gimmicky.

5. The Remains of the Day (novel by Kazuo Ishiguro and a Merchant Ivory film starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson) Subtlety, suppression. This is it. The ultimate text where all the important stuff happens without anyone saying anything about it. Either an indictment of pre-World War II British apppeasers of Hitler or a subtle romance novel, depending on whom you ask, this is where I learned to read into everything.

6. Akira (anime/manga by Katsuhiro Otomo) The ultimate Anime. I've seen this movie over 30 times, and yes, that's more than Star Wars. This is what got me into anime (though I have kind of gotten away from that lately) but also got me very interested in Eastern culture in general.

7. The Congo (poem by Vachel Lindsay) Not my favorite poem, but the that brought me the State Poetry Reading Championship in 1995. I learned a lot about close reading, a lot about performance thanks after being practically married to that poem for five months. I also coached a great group-interp to do it a few years ago as a coach, which went a long way to establishing my reputation as a good coach. I still have almost all of it memorized despite not reading it in years.

8. Winter's Tale (novel by Mark Helprin) It took me longer to read this than any other book, ever. 900 pages and 1.5 years. I've only read it once but it's my all-time favorite book. It was so vivid and just plain cool that I could only read ten pages at a time because after that my brain was full.

9. Bloom County (comic strip by Berke Breathed) My sense of political humor comes almost entirely from this strip. I always hated Doonesbury, but somehow this strip did it for me.

10. Milo Goes to College (punk album by the Descendents) For a long time, this was the ultimate in pop-punk for me. It's much more crude than the up-tempo pop punk of the 90s, but that's what I like about it. Contains what I consider the best consecutive four songs on any album, ever, in Marriage, Bikeage, Hope and Jean is Dead.

Thursday, December 27
Okay, so I made an earlier reference to some lists that I was going to make, so that all y'all could learn more about the first quarter century of Plinko. I typed one earlier, waiting for my DSL to get hooked up. It's sort of a weak one, but it took forever for me to type it, so there.

This is going to easily be the longest list, because I couldn’t come up with any way to sort or rank them. What follows is a list of the most memorable song lyrics in my life. My usual standard applies, this isn’t a list of the best; just the ones I remember having in my head for months or even years on end. It needs to be a segment of lyrics, not necessarily the whole song. I preferred to limit it to just a verse or the chorus, but a few minor exceptions exist, ‘Pink Chimneys in Maine’ for instance is actually the entire song.
I assume most people haven’t heard of these songs or groups, but I’m okay with that if you are. Naturally I recommend all of these songs, so get off yer duff and find them! Oh, and since I declined to try to rank them, they’re in alphabetical order by artist, got it?

Descendents (1980s pop-punk band)
“I’m not a cool guy any more
As if I ever was before
I took a look at all the signs
They’re rolling over in my mind
The feelings I could not release
Became a bitter part of me.
What was I thinking of?
It couldn’t stay the way it was
I looked at my reflection
And I saw a stranger’s face
I saw where I was going and I had to walk away.”

“Run from the bottle but you’ll never get away
No one loves you and you wonder why
Sitting there with your mouth full of beer
Your eyes are glazed, your face is red
Who’s’ gonna pick you up and use you for tonight?”

The Dismemberment Plan (current alt-oddity band)

The Ice of Boston
“Pop open the third bottle of bubbly
Yeah and I take that bottle of champagne
Go into the kitchen and I stand in front of the kitchen window
I take all my clothes off and take that bottle of champagne
And I pour it on my head, feel it cascade through my hair
And across my chest and the phone rings
And it’s my mother
And she says ‘Hi honey how’s Boston?’
And I stand there, all alone on New Year’s Eve
Buck naked, drenched in champagne
Looking at a bunch of strangers
Looking at them looking at me and I say
‘Oh fine, mom, how’s Washington?’”

Academy Award
“And the Academy award
For embarrassing melodrama goes to YOU!
So get on up there and give us a speech!”

“If she spins fast enough
Then maybe the broken pieces of her heart
Will stay together but
There ain’t no gyroscope can spin forever …
Happiness is such hard work and
It’s harder every day and it can kill you but
No one wants to be that tacky about it
If you spin fast enough then maybe
The broken pieces of your heart will stay together
but something I’ve seen lately makes me doubt it.”

Green Day (early 90’s pop punk)

Going to Pasalacqua
“Here we go again
Infatuation touches me
Just as I thought that it was leaving.”

Hum (late 90’s alt rock band)-

The Scientists
“And she says keep this benzene ring around your finger
And think of me when everything you wanted starts to end.”

J Church (90’s pop-punk band)

Good Judge of Character
“She says ‘take care baby’
And I say ‘doesn’t it get cold out here?”

My Favorite Place
“I may be home
But if you’ll please leave your message at the sound of the tone
Excuse me for my fear of the telephone.”

Alone When She Dies
“My grandmother died with the mind of a child
All she did was smile
And couldn’t recognize my face
It’s sad, but nothing more
I didn’t feel better than the time
I did before
And in my head the feelings coming closer all the time
Strong enough to blind
Now feel the rain
Wash away the sin and guilt and what’s left
My window pane, write her name in the steam of my breath.”

Jawbreaker (greatest band, ever)

“1, 2, 3, 4, who’s punk what’s the score?”

Jinx Removing
“We’re too smart to watch TV
We’re too dumb to make believe
This is all we want from life.”

Promise Ring (current pop-emo band)

B is For Bethlehem
“B is for Bethlehem
Where Jesus was a fisherman
I know he starts and finishes men but I don’t know why.”

Pink Chimneys in Maine
“When New England in my life it’s only cold when you sleep alone
and pink chimneys in Maine couldn’t keep me away.”

Soul Coughing (mid to late 90s experimental band)

I Miss the Girl
“I dream that she aims to be the bloom upon my misery.”

“When you were languishing in rooms I built to fie you in
when the wind set down in funnel form and pulls you in.”

They Might Be Giants (80s-90s oddballs)

It’s Not My Birthday
“And the rain falls down without my help I’m afraid
And my lawn gets wet though I’ve withheld my consent
When this gray world crumbles like a cake
I’ll be hanging from the hope
That I’ll never see that recipe again
It’s not my birthday
It’s not today
It’s not my birthday
So why do you lunge out at me?
When the word comes down
Nevermore will be around
Though I wish he were there
I was less than we could bear
And I’m not the only dust my mother raised.”

Don’t Let’s Start
“Could believe for all the world that you were my precious little girl
But don’t don’t don’t let’s start
I’ve got a weak heart
And I don’t get around how you get around.”

Weston (mid 90s pop-punk band)

Little Mile ‘94
“If I were two years younger
And you were two years older
We’d be four closer
But none of that matters
It’s two different miles and I can’t walk it
Two different miles and you keep on talking
You keep on talking and talking.”

Houston, we have internet.

So Christmas was great. I totally have a lot of stuff to post, but I don't feel like doing it at my parents home. I want my own danged internet access. Well, today is the day it *should* show up. If it doesn't I'm going to be very very pissed.

Saturday, December 22
I hurt.
I played football today and it was fun until I got hit in the legs, flew up in the air and landed on my hip. I do believe I'll be walking like an old man for the next three or four days.

I pretty much finished my Christmas shopping today by spending ~$250 on stuff for various people, some candy for people at work, some stuff for the family and whatnot. So far I got the third Harry Potter book and a gift certificate at McKnight&Carlson (see the post from the 18th) from Sean and a gift certificate to Barnes&Noble from Ben. I gave Ben and Adam bottles of Chilean Merlot and Bacardi O, repsectively.

I called about my internet access again last night and it turns out that my modem never actually shipped, so I have to wait several more days yet. I also bought WindowsXP and Fallout Tactics (on clearance from Tar-zhay). I've been pretty spendy lately, which I need to stop doing now so I can save some cash to buy a car.

I should have some bitterness to get out but the only thing I can really think of right now is hip pain.

Thursday, December 20
So, I really ought to be talking about how LotR was the single greatest moviegoing experience of my life; that I am almost as anxious to see it again as I was to see it the first time.

All those things may well be true, but it's not what's on my mind right now. I'm still pissed about my stupid DSL. At this rate, I won't have it before Christmas! Now it's a holiday shipping delay on the modem, which is BS because my DSL was installed the day after Barren's and he got his several days ago already, despite the fact that I put my order in five weeks earlier. There's no way that's not going to influence the column I'm writing on broadband services for the 31st. As a matter of fact, I think I'm going to say something nasty about them in it, clip it out and send it to their corporate HQ with a note that says "good thing you fucked up my order so many times, cockwaffles. -Love, Plinko."

I still have to do the last little bit of Christmas shopping, and I don't know when I'm going to do it unless it's Saturday.

I've been awful reticent about 'the girl' lately. That's because I haven't talked to her much since we had dinner. She's apparently busy with holiday stuff. Like I haven't heard that one before, sheeseh!

Seriously, though, I hope I get to go out with her again soon, lest I start dreaming of the SWEF again.
That reminds me, I notice that I like to give everything a label rather than just name them, especially girls. I think I have a fear that someone will end up finding out and then my whole little sheltered Plinko-world will come crashing down. I think I've mused about this before, worrying that the SWEF would read this and recognize herself and then proceed to flay me alive. Rather silly, don't you think?
Speaking of the SWEF, I'm thinking of buying her car next month. Mine is little more than an insurance claim waiting to happen at the moment.

Now, a few days after the big Christmas hoopla comes the real holiday, my birthday. I'm going to hit the quarter-century mark. So, I'm going to work on a series of lists that will provide an interesting (if you are really into the cult of Plinko, which you obviously are since you're still reading) perspective on the slap-happy history of me. I've been considering a series of top 10 lists. Top 10 influential people, top 10 fun times, top 10 biggest regrets, top 10 favorite Ren & Stimpy scenes, etc. So, stay tuned! This is gonna be one wild Plinko week!!!!!!


Tuesday, December 18
Did most of my Christmas shopping yesterday. I also went up to B&N and spent $220 on materials for forensics. I was unable to get any books for myself, though, and I saw several I wanted to read. I'm going to need some more books soon, since I've read four in the last two weeks alone. I read all of the second Harry Potter book yesterday. Now I'm down to one more before I'm out or I have to go back to reading Executive Orders, which sucks. I guess that might be a good thing, since it'll take me forever to finish and then I can save money by not buying books in that time frame. I guess I am supposed to borrow several books from Em, so I could save the bucks that way, too.

I may have done a lot of my shopping yesterday, but I spent a lot of money on myself, too. I shopped at McKnight & Carlson first, which is Oshkosh's wine store. I bought nine bottles and spent almost exactly $100. Of course, only three bottles are gifts, running me about $40. I did buy a $20 Cabernet-Shiraz from Australia for the SWEF, but I think it was worth it. Then I went to Sports Factory and bought some small presents for people at work. Then I found a nice Koho-made Sens jersey in my size, and since I couldn't resist (even if it is the away jersey with the ugly cartoon mascot that I hate) spending $85 on that, either. I almost bought an international jersey for Sweden (or Finland or the Czech Republic) but they didn't have my size. See, the holidays are always a time I find to splurge on me.

My Christmas cards are done, now i just have to buy postage, since the cockwaffles at the U.S.P.S. charge 30% more postage on square greeting cards, so now I need to go out to a post office and find either $0.45 or $0.11 stamps. They really ought to say in big bold type right on the front of square greeting cards "Hey dippy, if you buy these cards, you're gonna have to go get off your ass and buy extra postage so just go over there and buy those nice rectangular cards, mmmkay?"

Then I'd be happy.

Sunday, December 16
I need to stop calling Sunday 'Saturday.' It's easy to do when it's the first day of your weekend.

This is my third attempt to post over the last dew days. I'm not going to type very much becuase I'm tired of Blogger returning errors every time I click the 'post & publish' button.

The company Christmas party is tonight, and the Packers are playing now, so that's going to be my Saturday.

Tomorrow I'm going to do all my Christmas shopping. All of it, so help me …

I took Wednesday off of work to go to Waukesha to see Lord of the Rings at the Ultrascreen.
Yes, you should be very jealous.

Thursday, December 13
Had a forensics meeting today. I keep forgetting that from January to April I'm going to devote every waking moment of my life to a bunch of unruly teenagers. Consider this your warning, I'm not going to be pleasant to be around during that time frame.

In other news, a lot of people have been very positive about my writing. That's way better than being negative. Of course, most of these people are people whom I have earned some friendship and/or respect from so it's possible that they're just being nice. I'm just going to assume that I kick ass, though. It's better for everyone that way.

You know, until today I was sort of okay with not being able to go to the see the Lord of the Rings on premiere night. I could deal. But now, I'm thinking, I really ought to go. I think I'm going to ask my boss if I can take a personal day that night, since we are actually fully-staffed that day. I might be better off not thinking about it though, because now I'll be disappointed if I don't get to take the day off.

If you get bored easily and click a lot on things, you might have noticed that my alternate blog really hasn't been updated. I need to talk to our executive editor about using it as an addition to my weekly column before I'm going to put a lot of work into it. I need to do that ASAP because I'm planning on writing a column on blogging in general for next Wednesday, which would really be the best time to introduce the alternate blog. I'm still far too wise to let anyone at work see this monstrosity.

I'm supposed to be switched over to TDS Metrocom from Amerisuck today. That means I may well have the Uberweb at home again very soon.

Wednesday, December 12
I stayed at work until 1:30 this morning mostly to write a column on how much I wanted to see the Lord of the Rings movie. That may sound like fun but, as it turns out, actually blows donkey-goats. I don't even know what donkey-goats are, but it sounds unpleasant.

That and I found out I somehow managed to make a moderately serious error in my column that ran this morning. Of course, it's all my fault, but it would be nice if there was someone around who at least knows enough that they'd notice that kind of stuff instead of taking my word on everything. Now I have to go in and tell my boss about the error and have a correction run, which is NEVER fun.

So, I'm not in the best of moods. Not at all.

Monday, December 10
You know, if there's anything I feel when I post here, it's hungry. I don't know why it is, but every time I sit down at an internet-able PC with the intention of entertaining the masses with my daily (mis)adventures, the first thing I think of is 'I'm hungry.'

I'll leave the mystery behind that to all y'all. w3rd.

So. What's up with you? Nothing? Really. How boring, you sound kind of like me in that respect.

Okay, so I'm trying to avoid talking about the girl. Not because anything bad happened, but rather because (I think) I'm afraid of jinxing anything.
She came over, we talked and ate my lasagna. That's not my sexiest dish, but it's up there.

Yes, she's pretty and smart and cool and yes I like her a lot. Yes, I've gotten the SWEF out of my mind. Now I need to concentrate on not fucking this up, which I could do really easily. Good signs: she liked my cooking and she said my socks were cute.


Saturday, December 8
You know, I really can't wait for my DSL to be installed, because my style has been seriously cramped by having to surf/post/e-mail from work or my parents' house for the last seven weeks.
I actually have a fair amount to say, but we'll see if it stays in my head long enough for me to blog it.
The foremost thing on my mind is, as usual, girls. Tomorrow, I'm having the very same girl whom I was talking about in my last post over for dinner. She's been e-mailing me a lot, which is heartening. I hope everything goes well there.
On a similar note, I ran into the SWEF the other day while running some errands at West, and I was actually a little annoyed at her rudeness, which is heartening. I hope I'm starting to learn something there.

My first column was published in Thursday's paper. I'm not really proud of it, but it certainly wasn't bad. I've gotten some pretty favorable feedback about it, too, which makes me feel good. I even was recognized in a restaurant last night by a total stranger who told me she liked it. If that isn't proof-positive that I'm a celebrity, then I don't know what constitutes proof.

I'm going to start another blog. This one will likely go along with my column. Of course, it won't link to this site. I'd probably get fired or slapped silly by someone or another if certain people saw this page. I doubt if I'll do anything interesting with it at all until I write my planned column on the blogging phenomenon, even then I'll probably have to clear it with the brass. So for now it's just gonna sit there in the links section. I kinda like its template. Not better than this one, but its nice.

Our suckbag of an assistant city-editor is finally leaving for good as of next week (this is what I'm talking about when I say things I post here could get me fired). She's been sucking up disability pay for about four months now but her time has finally run out. Which leaves her job open. I'm considering making a run at it, since I think it would involve another fairly substantial raise (let's say I wouldn't be making significantly less than my friends who didn't go to a university — just plain less — for a change) and it couldn't possibly involve more work. The downside is that I just got my job, officially, about two months ago, so I doubt if I would even be considered. Irregardless of the fact that I could do the job, and do it ten times better than the thing that used to sit around and get paid to not do the job before, or the empty chair that's done it as well as she did since she went on disability.

Wednesday, December 5
Before a mob of torch-bearing, pitchfork-wielding villagers arrives at my door, I'm posting again.

I really have no excuse other than a lack of time for not posting during that time frame. But, hey, I'm posting now, so all is forgiven, right?


Anyway. The Big Crap Shoot was this past weekend, and I had a decent time. On Sunday I went to see Harry Potter with the SWEF, which was fun but also re-energized my resolve to stop 'liking' her so darned much. I won't go into detail about the day, it was, actually rather boring.

Monday I got to go to Milwaukee to see Jurassic-5 perform at the Rave. It was a pretty decent time, even though there was a $15.00 cover charge to go along with the 'free' tickets. The exciting part was that I went with a friend from work and a girl I ran into the other day, whom I'd had a bit of a thing for back in high school. For once, I actually went out on a limb and asked her to come along rather out of nowhere. She remains on the cool side, so I asked her to have dinner on Sunday. I'm pretty sure she's interested in doing that, but now I need to convince her that it's a date. Good luck to me. I think I'll just be happy to have the danged SWEF out of my mind for a while.

In other news, my first writing piece is scheduled to go into the paper on Thursday. I'm almost finished researching my second piece and I'm trying to arrange some interviews for a Tolkien feature that would run in about two weeks. I remain totally uncomfortable with the idea of my picture running alongside my stuff. Fortunately for me, the paper remains relatively unread in Oshkosh.

Not much else to report. Christmas is coming and I haven't even begun to think about the presents I have to buy.