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

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Monday, January 28
Ack. Being really busy absolutely sucks. I can't even tell if I'm coming or going lately.

We had our first real forensics meet Saturday, and we took second. That's pretty good. I know a lot of the kids need a lot of work, though, while there's no way we could have won, we could have done a lot better points-wise.

So, I'm not buying that car now. I need to start looking for a different one. My mechanic told me I was drastically overpaying, so I'm glad it was called off. Unfortunately my friend from whom I was going to puchase said vehicle was not at all pleased. So remember, kids, never buy expensive stuff from friends because someone always gets pissed off about it.

So, work has been a mad house. The day before our elder stateswoman in my department retired, my boss's father died, so she's taking ten days off right now. That brings my department down from a short-staffed norm of seven (five professionals, one full-time clerk and one intern) down to four (two professionals, a full-time clerk and an intern) for the week, then well be up to five on Monday when my boss comes back. So now I have to be really stressed out about work in addition to forensics, bills, and buying a car. Ack.

DAoC is pretty cool, if sluggish at times. I have yet to see anyone I know playing, so for the most part I just run around and figure out what I can kill.

I'd really really like to bitch about girls right now, but I shall refrain.

Thursday, January 24
I went skating tonight for a bit with Barren and you know what? I suck at skating.

In other news, I bought DAoC today on a whim. We'll see if it's fun.

I'm tired now. I worked regular (8-5) hours the last three days because I was training on the new pagination system we're getting in March. I don't like getting up early. Not at all. The first real forensics meet is Saturday, too so I'm still all screwed up for a schedule. I haven't worked the same hours in consecutive weeks since two weeks before Christmas. I'm losing the ability to know what day of the week it is.

Sunday, January 20
Life moves along, however slowly. I have a brother-roommate now, so actually things in my life are going to be a bit different. Blah.
I'm totally dying to get another car, but I have to wait another two weeks or so before I can lay my greasy hands on the one I'm buying.

On Friday another person is leaving the paper. The old old old woman who works on the copy desk is taking early retirement Friday. It's a real sweetheart deal, too. Now there are only three of us left on the desk and God only knows when we'll get another body, since we are now two spots down from when we were understaffed before. . . I may make a push to get my job title and some responsibilities changed. But then again I probably won't.

My apartment is a mess, and now I have to share it with another human, so now I'm even more bothered by it. Maybe I'll clean Monday, since I have the evening off.
I have the evening off because I have Prestige training. Prestige being our new pagination software system, which we're getting in March. I am the trainer for the Northwestern's newsroom, so I have to train on it this week and then teach everyone else how to use it in two months, assuming I remember.

Wednesday, January 16
Blah. I'm still fully-employed, which is more than I can say for some of my friends, I guess.

Being busy takes it's toll, man. The house is a mess and I don't cook for myself much, which means I've been eating a lot of junk food and drinking a lot of soda, which is cool for a little while but it gets tiring when its every day.

For those of you who don't know this, my little brother is moving in with me Friday, apparently. This means I'll have considerably more money, thus allowing me to make the aforementioned car purchase. It also means I lose the whole living all by myself thing that I've thoroughly enjoyed over the last few months. Trust me, I can deal.

Not much else to say. It seems everyone involved with the ETO league is a bunch of go-tards, especially most of the clan leaders. I must say ETO is the most disappointing thing I've been part of for a long time. That, and I'm hungry, so smell ya later.

Saturday, January 12
I can tell that I've been busy because so much time's gone by since I last posted and I've hardly even noticed it. I'll keep myself from relating every detail of the last week or so, since I don't think many people are interested in a straight up diary of my life. . .

Forensics has started and now my life has more or less switched over to the mode where I'm either at work or at forensics or worrying about one or both. So far, things are going well with the 4N6. I'm disappointed that the team is rather small, mostly because a lot of very talented kids decided not to do it for whatever reasons they had. Too bad, I guess.

Anyway, I'm much closer to purchasing a car. My loan is mostly-approved and pending my mechanic's inspection, I should take possession of 'Arthur' (yes - it has a name) near the beginning of February. I'm actually quite hyped, since I'm getting an insanely-low rate on the loan.

Tomorrow is the big Packers game. I need to try to not be too hyped up about because I don't want to get all mopey or touchy if they lose and I have to work that night, doing the front section. There will only be two of us doing all the news pages, so I can't be pissy over the game not going the way I want it to.
I also have to write my next column tomorrow, and I have yet to even start it. I decided I will write about picking an internet-handle. I'll try to be funny again, most people seemed to find the last one so. I'll try to stick with what works, I guess.

Not much else in the Plinko-news, so relax and enjoy life.

Monday, January 7
Wow, I have been busy and I hardly even noticed it. I can't even remember the interesting stuff I was going to post here before I run out to eat and start work.

The giant headache that is forensics is starting to take over my life, I've been working on it all morning with little more than some ideas about how things are going to work this week to show for it.

On top of that, I found out yesterday that I am doing wire for the first time at work tonight. Being on wire means you do the front section of the paper and are the de facto supervisor on copy desk. Now, I usually act as the de facto supervisor when my boss isn't around anyway, and she'll be there anyway. But now I have to do A1 for the first time when I already have my mind on a lot of other junk, so I can't concentrate on it as much as I'd like. Sigh.

No news in the girl-front. I think girls are a conspiracy to keep me occupied trying to please them instead of using my energy to overthrow injustice in the world.

I finished my next column. It's a good idea that would have been better had it been longer, but I did my best in the short space I had. Writing-wise it's the best thing in my short career, now if anyone actually cares to read it, that's a whole other story.

Friday, January 4
Another forensics meeting today. I've discovered that there are even fewer kids going out than I had expected, which is good and bad. A few of th kids I expected to come out that didn't are some of our better kids. On the other hand, that frees me up to spend more time and energy on kids who actually went out.

There's a rumor floating around that the #3 female wants to start being friends again. I'm not too sure how I feel about that. I talked with the #10 female about it for a while. Then, against my better judgement, I called #3, but she wasn't home, so it wasn't a big deal. I'm not sure how I want to deal with it, since I definitely don't want to start hanging out or even talking regularly. I hold little, if any, animosity toward her, but I don't need to put up with her either. On top of that, I'm trying really hard to find a way to get it to work out with Shelly ('the girl' - look! I used someone's name!) and I don't need to start dredging up Christine (twice!) in my life right now.

My solution to this problem is to go out drinking after work tonight.

I'm also ticked off that I have to miss a LAN party some friends are throwing since I have to work a lot this weekend. I started my next column, which is on something to do with being a computer geek, but it started out well and has kind of hit a roadblock. It may well turn out to be very funny. Or it'll be dumb, I can't tell.

Thursday, January 3
I locked myself out of my apartment just now. I was doing the dishes and went to check the mail, and I let the door shut behind me, and it was locked. So, half an hour later, after being outside in my bare feet, the locksmith lets me back in to turn the hot water off. . . I'm such a dweeb.

Wednesday, January 2
Okay, since one person asked me about it here's the males list. I don't want anyone upset here because they're not on it or not high enough. For the last time, it's not my best friends or favorite people. I don't even have to like you anymore for you to make it. Also, in case you haven't figured it out for yourself, the earlier the more influential, I became friends most recently with the 10th person on the list, which was about six years ago. Okay?

10. Dave Underwood. College roommate, used to date my sister, blah. Helped me develop some of my taste in good beers, gin and wine. Also a very interesting converstaionalist and lover of silly things like Monty Python and Space Ghost, introduced me to some pretty cool stuff.

9. Jack Talbot. English teacher, assistant forensics coach and yearbook advisor. Did most of his influence as a mentor type, just a cool artsy guy, helped me develop my love of literature and critical sarcasm early on.

8. Brent Bazinski. High school pal, the funniest person I ever met. Learned a lot about absurdity, facial expressions and deadpan from him. Sure later he got into drugs and became a bore for a bit, but he got over it later still. I still use some of his bits occasionally six years after the last time I saw him.

7. Tom Krueger. English teacher. Single-handedly responsible for me majoring in English. Very encoruaging, loaned me a lot of books over the years.

6. Adam Steineke. Pal. Largely responsible for everything I know about breaking computers and stuff. Got me into CS which ought to count for a lot in and of itself. Along with Ben, probably the person I hang around with most for quite a while now.

5. Peter McCain. High school chum. One of the most popular kids in high school, which probably saved me a lot of torture and teasing in school since we were cohorts. Learned a lot negatively from him as well, though, just like Heather Smith on the female list.

4. Randy Braun. former manager, Captain's Video. Taught me everything subversive I know. Enough said.

3. Nick Parmentier. High school-chum, college roommate. My best friend for about five years. Got me into punk music and going to concerts. Probably only over the last two years or so have I started to make a lot of friends that were not somehow connected to Nick. Along with Brent (#8) also responsible for my style of humor.

2. Ben Raupp. Pal since kindergarten. This was tough. Known Ben continuously longer than anyone not in my family. Everything fantasy and Sci-Fi was largley Ben's influence. Played a lot of video games and RPGs with him over the years, I call his mother 'mom' even.

1. Tom Lynch, forensics coach. Now, if it had just been four years of coaching me, this would be much farther down. But all the years after of mentoring and talking means a lot. I learned more about dealing with others, more about myself from him than anyone else. Many, many of my happy memories are at forensics meets, as a student and as a coach. Did you know that I have never, ever dated or even messed around with a girl who was not in forensics at one time in my entire life? Not one. That's influence.

New comic, finally. Just for you, Benny boy.

Tuesday, January 1
So, it's totally 2002.

I was going to finish my lists up yesterday, but I was very busy all day up until I left for Stevens Point to celebrate das neues Jahr. I had a very good time, I drank exactly enough that got stupid right before I went to bed and therefore woke up hangover-free. My only complaint was the suckass hotel manager, who is featured in this tasty Plinko anecdote, which I haven't posted nearly enough of lately, since I think that's the only thing people actually like about reading my blog.

When you go to a hotel to get drunk, and I know a lot of you do this all the time, one of the things you most look forward to is drinking a beer (or liquor or wine or arsenic) in the hot tub/whirlpool/jacuzzi/thingy. Now, as we were staying in the fabulous Stevens Point Holidome and Convention Center, I knew there'd be a large pool and whirlpool and a sauna (pronounced 'sa-oo-na' if you're a yooper) and recreation area in the middle that just screamed 'get dunk here.' So my pal Sean and I took a beer each down to the whirlpool (it wasn't that warm so I hesitate to call it a hot tub) and got in. There were a lot of people in it, but it was pretty big, even for a hotel whirlpool-thingy so that was okay. There were a few drunk twenty-somethings there (mostly from da Yoo-Pee and C-eh? N-eh? D-eh?) and they had a very large pyramid of empty beer cans on the edge of the thingy. This pyramid had about fifteen or twenty cans in it, plus the four of them each had one they were drinking from. Now, you might think this story is about some beer-can-tower-spilling-into-the-hot-bubbly-pool-thingy disaster, but you'd be wrong. So we chat with them about the security and pool rules and stuff, since they'd stayed the previous night and had been in there most of the day, or so they said. The manager/security hadn't been around all day and they'd had no problems. While were sitting in there, I notice a sign on the way into the pool proper, which is separated from us by a gate and this sign says 'No food or drinks allowed in pool area.' Now, there isn't a such sign leading into the fizz-water doohickey and considering the drunk northerners in already there I think we're more than O-K. So, after like a half-hour these people leave, taking ten minutes or so to gather all their cans before they go. Right about then Sean leaves to get us each a new beer, since we're done with the originals we brought out. About two minutes later, the manager comes into the pool area, makes a bee-line for me and tells me that no food or beverages are allowed in the pool area and that I have to give him my (thankfully empty) can to him or leave myself. And I think to myself, 'what a candy-ass muppetfucker.' Captain follow-the-rules comes out to yell at little old me after all the heavily-accented drunks leave because he's too much of a wuss to confront more than one guest at a time.
What a fuckstick.

So, that's about all I'm going to type right now. I think that story's way more interesting than my top-10 male inlfuences list, don't you?