Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Totally Worth It

I spent this past Saturday hanging out at PigPen's house, watching whatever random stuff would catch our attention on TV:  old reruns (Star Trek: TNG, South Park, Two and Half Men), some UFC fights, lots of college football, and an assortment of movies ranging from the execrable Old Dogs to the mildly entertaining Planet 51 to the odd-ball Sci-Fi cult film Dune.

I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Dune -- yes, it's a mess, but it's a gloriously entertaining mess.    One scene that's burned into my memory is this one:

Not just because Wrath teh Berzerker used to mimic it all the time in college -- although he would change "For he is the Kwisatz Haderach!" to "For he is the Knickknack Paddywhack!" -- but because little Alia there is one of the creepiest characters in cinematic history.  And as PigPen and I watched the last part of the movie, I struggled to hide an evil little smirk as I planned the opening salvo in the following exchange:

ME:  Man, that sure is one creepy little girl
PIGPEN: Yeah, pretty creepy.
ME:  Y'know, I used to wonder how in the world they could have ever found someone that creepy . . . but then I found out she was played by a young Alicia Witt.  Once I knew she was really a ginger, it all made sense.
PIGPEN: [nods his ginger head slowly then punches me in the leg]
ME:  It was worth it.
PIGPEN:  Figured you'd say that. [punches me again]  Still worth it? [and again] How about now? [and again]

If you think this lead directly to PigPen and I beating the crap out of each other like the good ol' days of Benjiman Street, well, you would be sadly mistaken.  No, the beating the crap out of each other didn't happen until several hours later as PigPen decided to demonstrate the advice he was yelling at the UFC fighters on me.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Catching Up With the Cast: PigPen and Cap'n Peanut

Continuing the catching up trend, we now move on to the inseparable duo, Cap'n Peanut and The Lovable PigPen.  You may remember that PigPen and Peanut had gotten an apartment together in Lewisville not too long before I started renting a room at Shack-Fu's place.  After their initial lease was up, however, Peanut moved back to Era, and PigPen stayed with some other friends near Plano for a few months while looking for a new place.  The downside of this for me was that this move both of them further away from Denton -- in opposite directions -- making it difficult to find times for us to hang out.

A few months back, PigPen's search bore fruit, and he moved back to Lewsiville, this time as a home-owner. It's a pretty nice place, although the preponderance of hardwood floors makes me less inclined to engage in roughhousing -- which is probably better for my general health, true, but since approximately 95% of my friendship with PigPen has been based on physical violence, it's a little disappointing.  At least we still have verbal abuse to fall back on.

As for Cap'n Peanut, well, here's where here's where the news starts to get a bit bigger:  in a little over a month, Peanut will be joining the Navy.  His desired area of specilization?  EOD -- which stands for Explosive Ordinance Disposal. Yup:  Peanut wants to be on the Navy version of the bomb squad. And here I had been thinking Peanut was one of my saner friends . . .

On the one hand, I'm really proud of Peanut for his decision to join the military and his acceptance into EOD school -- but on the other, I hate the thought of another of my closest friends moving off, especially when it involves such a dangerous career choice.   But the gripping hand is that Peanut is excited about the new direction and looking forward to the challenge and moving on to a new phase in his life, and as much as I'll miss having him around, I'm glad he's found something like that. 


Monday, September 13, 2010

Catching Up With the Cast: TopGun and Cap'n Shack-Fu

Here's the first of several posts to get everyone get caught up on what's been going on in the many, many months since I went on "hiatus."  But first:  a recap!

When last we left off, Cap'n Shack-Fu had graduated from Quantico and been stationed in Tulsa;  I was renting a room in his house in Denton; and his pal TopGun moved to the area for work and became my new roommate, whereupon he and I bonded over our shared smartassery. And now, on with the post.

This past March TopGun informed me that he was going to start looking for his own place closer to his job, ostensibly because he was tired of the commute; within a couple of days he had found an apartment just a few miles from his office and made plans to move mid-May.  I was pretty bummed -- not only because he and I had become really good friends over the year we were rooming together, but also because the vacant room meant that I was going to have to start searching for a new roommate to help pay the rent -- a process I was not looking forward to.

Plus, he was taking his nifty SelectTech dumbbells with him, the jerk.

When moving day came, however, TopGun managed to distract me from pining for those wonderful click-weight dumbbells briefly with a bit of news:  a few weeks earlier he had bought an engagement ring, and was planning on popping the question to his long-distance girlfriend in Colorado when he went up to visit her over Memorial Day weekend.  The proposal was successful, and he cam back an engaged man. He also came back with a bad case of bronchitis which was severe enough for him to get some pretty hefty cough medicine with codeine -- a fact I mention solely because a few days later he asked me to be Best Man at his wedding and I'm still pretty sure the codeine played a big part in his decision making process.*

Of course, as honored as I was to be chosen as TopGun's Best Man, it still didn't change the fact that his move out was forcing me to search for a new roommate.  Although it turned out I needn't have worried about the tortures of interviewing potential roomies as I received not a single reply to any of my ads. By the time June rolled around and no potential roommates had surfaced, Cap'n Shack-Fu decided to put the house on the market and I started looking for a new place to live.  Due largely to a decision making process that can best be described as "Better the Devil You Know . . ." I decided to return to the apartment complex I had been living in back before I moved in with Biz-Z and Maverick. However this time I upgraded to a two-bedroom due to the amount of crap I've accumulated over the last several years.

When I moved Shack-Fu and his girlfriend came down from Tulsa to help out, as well as to grab some stuff of his that was still at the house.  They weren't able to fit everything into the truck they'd borrowed, so they knew they were going to have to make another trip when the house sold -- which wasn't looking promising for a while, as over the course of three months there had only been 3 or 4 people come by to look at the place.  But eventually a potential buyer was found, an offer was placed, and everything lined up for them to close on the house**.  Of course, this necessitated Shack-Fu making one last trip to retrieve the last of his stuff from the garage.  Unfortunately, when he went to rent a trailer to help haul his stuff, he discovered that none of the big name rental place would rent out a trailer to someone driving an Explorer.  After some frantic searching, he finally found a solution . . .

They called it Rusty
Yes, Shack-fu found a place that rented horse trailers, so he and his girlfriend made the trek down to Denton hauling a rickety trailer they dubbed Rusty. After I got done dying laughing at the sight of B.A.R.T. pulling Rusty down the street, I helped them empty out the last of his stuff, locked the place up, and bid goodbye to the house on Wicker Way. 

*I also accused him of picking me solely because he knew I would obsess over the Best Man speech for months and months, so the request was really a subtle form of mental torture.  He never really denied it . . .
**Today, as a matter of fact


Friday, September 10, 2010

Reinventing the Blog Phase Three: Back at the Mothership

The third step in my new blogging setup is the refocusing of the mothership of CoIM onto my day-to-day life and random thoughts that don't fit into Categorically Thinking or The Locquacious Librarian and the Reviews of DOOM.  With luck, I'll actually be able to get out of the apartment and do enough stuff to keep the posts coming a little more frequently.  I plan on using the next few posts to get everyone caught up on what's been going on with myself and some of the major cast members: who's moved, who's gotten engaged, who's joining the military, who's had a baby . . . y'know, minor stuff like that.

I almost started this post off saying that this was the final step in my new blogging set-up, and it is -- for now.  However, as I get back into the swing of writing, I've considered starting another space to post some fiction; Bubblegum Tate has been toying with serialized fiction and was challenging me to do so as well.  Not sure if I'm quite up to that just yet, but I really would like to put some stories down in print a little more often than once a year during NaNoWriMo.  So, stay tuned for more on that if/when the urge strikes. 

But for now, three blogs and I'm out.


Thursday, September 09, 2010

Reinventing the Blog Phase Two: The Loquacious Librarian and the Reviews of DOOM

Let me start off by saying this:  naming things is hard, y'all!

Seriously, if my new review-centered blog is still named The Loquacious Librarian and the Reviews of DOOM within a few months, I will be amazed.  But, I've already delayed rolling it out longer than I wanted because I've been struggling with the naming, so I finally bit the bullet and went with my most recent bit of "inspiration."

But I digress . . .

As you may have gathered, I have decided to go ahead and do a separate blog devoted solely to my reviews of literature, cinema, theater, etc.  Which means no more Movie Mondays or TV Tuesdays here at CoIM.  A moment of silence please.
Okay, now that that's over, head on over to The Loquacious Librarian and the Reviews of DOOM to find out a bit more about changes to my rambling review structure.


Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Reinventing the Blog Phase One: Categorically Thinking

My first step in the new multi-blogging format is the creation of a new blog tentatively titled Categorically Thinking.  The idea for this blog was inspired largely by my friend Rebel Monkey who for the past several months has been posting a "Question of the Day" on Facebook, first as her status and then later on creating a Facebook group to move the QotD into the discussion boards.  On days when her questions would veer into pop culture territory, I would generally find myself compiling long lists of possible answers, often with explanatory text; I'm pretty sure the times she specified "You can only pick ONE movie/book/song/etc." were aimed mostly at me.

This list-making facet of my personality is not exactly news to me -- not to long ago I went pretty crazy with the Living Social "Pick Your 5"application on Facebook, constructing pretty specific lists -- Top 5 Time Travel Drama, Top 5 Time Travel Comedies, Top 5 Time Travel Movies That Made Me Want To Strangle the Writer/Director, etc. -- but often feeling stymied by the inability to give any context to my lists in terms of criteria and limits.

And thus Categorically Thinking was born.

I was originally going to do Categorically Thinking as a Tumblr blog. Why Tumblr?  Because I've seen a lot of folks move to it as their micro-blogging provider and I was curious to try it out and see what was what with it. But I quickly discovered that 'what was what' was that Tumblr is not comment-friendly for people without Tumblr accounts.  And since I'm pretty sure few if any of my regular readers has a Tumblr account, that would be problematic, especially since I want to make this as interactive a process as possible.   To that end, I will be asking for suggestions for topics -- Bubblegum Tate has already provided me with a few comic-book related suggestions, so feel free to chime in as well.


Monday, September 06, 2010

Reinventing the Blog: An Introduction

Greetings, my blog monkeys; long time, no see.

Due to a combination of the start of the new school year, the start of the new TV season, partaking in Rebel Monkey's Question of the Day on Facebook, and the fact that I am living sans roommate for the foreseeable future*, I have found myself once again bitten by the blogging bug. However, I've also been struck by the need to change things up a bit.

So, partly inspired by some other bloggers I follow, I'll be shaking things up a bit by branching out to a multi-blog format. CoIM will still be the place to find all of my real-world adventures** but most of my pop culture-y stuff will start to live elsewhere. This way, people like Cap'n Shack-Fu who don't give a flying flip about what TV shows I watch but still want to read about my neurotic life have a place to go without having to wade through my Top 10 [Insert Random Genre] Movies lists or TV/Movie/Book reviews -- and vice versa.

The next question you might be asking is "how multi is this multi-blog format going to be?" Well, that's a work in progress; still trying to decide just how specialized I want to be in the pop culture stuff. My initial thought was to split it up into two -- one focusing on reviews of what I'm currently watching/reading, and another that is more general thoughts on different genres, creators/actors, tropes, etc. -- but now I'm wondering if that's necessary.

Ugh, haven't even started and already second-guessing myself. The more things change . . .

Anyway, within the next day or two we shall have the introduction of the first phase in my own personal blog reinvention.

*More on that soon
**Too strong a word, perhaps?