Well Played 2015

December 31, 2015

Wow! Another 12-month ride and what a ride it was. Time for the usual cryptic recap. Let’s see…

January: Fire Still Worked

-Takoma Park to Hyattsville: “Be cool like us and lower the voting age!”
-Hyattsville: “Sure!”
-First reading passes!
-Yer a wizard, little brother!
-My phone is dead after nearly a decade.
-Know what that means?
-Smartphone!
-Ah, “Selma” is a good movie.
-Second reading…
-Is Hyattsville to join Takoma Park is being #16tovote land?
-Uuuuuunanimous!

February: 12th & Market

-Game food!
-If I’m going to do this, I’d better hurry up.
-Day trip to Philadelphia! Something about a museum and a Canadian.
-Did my TV spontaneously set a parental control block on a sports channel?
-Downton Abbey has a lot of tragedy, but it’s fine as long as they don’t…
-Okay, time to kick their asses.
-I might be too late. Oh, well.
-Or, no, maybe not. I misunderstood.
-Holy God, why is the fire alarm in the parking garage so goddamn loud?!
-Science articles!
-The dress is blue!

March: Multi-Piece Shipment

-Oh. I’m certainly too late now.
-Lots of bad news at once!
-At least we get a nice snow day. LOL everyone else left early because they’re scared of the snow.
-Wait, not too late, but can’t waste time.
-One full year on the job!
-Sigh. Did he really just yell at our waitress?
-Woman: “Are you an introvert?”
-Me, standing far away from everyone else: “What gave me away?”
-And, after almost ten years, I’m no longer a NYRA board member!
-Thank God.
-Vernal equinox snow!
-Playing a ridiculous game of hot potato in which the only winner is FedEx.
-Now watching Victoria be funny.
-Gahhh, I spilled pasta in the sink and burned myself!

April: Seventy-Seven Dollars

-Some Easter trolling.
-What do you mean I owe state tax?!
-Some event I don’t really want to be at.
-Some other event I don’t really want to be at.
-Someone needs to vent. Okay!

May: Have More Fun

-Trains and a door to nowhere.
-Night before birthday Nats game!
-Box fort.
-Do it! Do it!
-I didn’t do it.
-Cake!
-Okay, now I did it.
-Ugh, I have to report for jury duty.
-Narrow street is narrow.
-I think I can squeeze by…
-CRUNCH!
-And I just destroyed someone’s side view mirror. Ugggghhhhh!
-I haven’t had a truly terrible time driving in DC a while. Clearly I was due for a truly terrible time driving in DC.
-Virginia: “Hey, DC. Challenge accepted.”
-Three hours stuck on the beltway in middle of the night because Virginia is all “look at us, we’re Virginia, we’ll do late night construction and back you up for hours, because fuck you, we’re Virginia!”

June: 37 Years Later

-Oh, good, got out of jury duty after only a couple hours.
-Free donut!
-Belmont. Can you do it, American Pharoah?
-Final turn. Welp, here comes another horse closing in.
-Wait, no, that horse is quitting.
-Could it be…?!
-American Pharoah wins the Triple Crown!!!!
-Sense8
-Picnic!
-Emptying out old storage trailer.
-And Sugarloaf with little brother.
-Inside Out!
-Emptying out hotel room family was living in.
-And they’re off across the country on a train.
-But they left the Wii with me!

July: The Vine

-Chili and ‘splosions!
-WORLD CUP!
-Hey, where’s the air conditioner?
-A couple hours of pulling vines and weeds from backyard garden.
-There it is!
-DONKEY KONG COUNTRY!
-Clearing stuff out.
-What are you doing, laptop?
-Family came back east.
-Loud restaurant is loud!
-Minions!
-Family went out west again.
-They took the Wii this time. D’oh!
-Power outage at work = lots of screaming freezers
-Looking for new laptop.
-Hey, reached 69,000 miles on car on Day 69!

August: Timing

-Crash Bandicoot!
-Zoo!
-Alright, I booked a trip.
-You go in the Rack of Shame!
-Oh crap, I’m in trouble.
-No, it’s okay, I fixed it. For now.
-Car maintenance.
-What do you mean you have to keep it overnight?
-I don’t want a loaner car. I want MY car!
-Hey, I finally did the thing!

September: Yellow Lampshade

-I’m spending Labor Day weekend in San Francisco for some reason.
-Kathleen and I are visiting museums and seeing things.
-And a hookah fell on me.
-Driver: “What park is this?”
-Me: “Golden Gate Park.”
-Driver: “But we’re not near the Golden Gate Bridge.”
-Me: “…seriously?!”
-Stingrays! Sharks! Penguins! Snakes! Swamp!
-Chocolate!
-What do you mean United charges to watch the flight map?!
-I have a stuffed octopus now.
-Ugh, I forgot to do a thing and don’t have a good reason for why I forgot to do a thing!
-Middle Eastern Bazaar!
-Fezzes are cool.
-Sushi.
-Pope.
-Lunar eclipse.
-I’m invited to a thing!
-Now there’s a hurricane coming, compromising the thing.

October: Nine and a Half Hours

-Nope, hurricane is going elsewhere. The thing is unaffected.
-To Philadelphia and southern New Jersey! Something about mosaics, an injured squirrel, and a Canadian.
-Winter Festival script reading!
-Wow, twenty years of these songs that remind me of things.
-Gallery of Art and then Middle Eastern food!
-Collective Soul!
-Gah, I forgot about the emissions test I’ve been getting reminders for since August!
-I forgot to do things and I’m going to get in trouble for forgetting to do the things!
-Oh, wait, they don’t care about the things. Whew!
-Annual Sugarloaf climb!
-Passing out candy to adorable costumed children! And some teens and adults. LOL

November: 1:48pm

-I was sitting far away from everyone else in my group. Now with renovation, they’ve been moved next to me!
-I’m so happy!
-WES Auction: trying not to buy or sign up for too much shit this time
-Damn it.
-Did 97.1 go to Christmas mode the day after Veteran’s Day? I wonder why so much earlier than usual.
-Ugh, not another Paris attack.
-Think I’ll make turkey chops for Solo Thanksgiving.
-Heh, look at those turkey breasts, and all they’re complicated instructions. I’ll read them for the hell of it.
-Actually, this looks doable.
-Buy the roasting pan!
-Mockingjay, Part 2! It made me feel emotions!
-Alright, I’ll break with tradition and book a trip for Christmas.
-What do you mean the return flight fare went up $95 just before I clicked purchase?!
-Time for Solo Thanksgiving! Will I be lonely?
-Nope, too busy making the turkey to give a crap.
-Ugh, I wish this turkey wouldn’t keep tipping over.
-Is it up to temperature yet? Is it up to temperature yet?
-Okay, this thing has been in for about three hours. I wonder if it’s edible.
-Holy crap, the turkey is edible. I made a Thanksgiving turkey! Achievement unlocked!
-Solo Thanksgiving ftw!
-Lots of leftovers!
-Shit. Why does my whole downstairs smell like gas?
-And here’s the fire department.
-What do you mean you can’t smell it?
-Oh, wait, this other guy can. Good, I’m not crazy. I think.
-There’s nothing wrong with the heater? Good. Then why the gas? Odd.

December: Same Fan with Weird Stripe

-Spinach Bean Thing for holiday potluck at work.
-And Perfection. I perfected Perfection.
-The Good Dinosaur!
-Nutella cookies!
-Lots of Winter Festival rehearsals.
-Lots of cookies for Cookie Walk.
-I’m Muffin the Cat!
-Brookside lights!
-Where the fuck did my headband go?
-Star Wars: The Force Awakens!
-Less Christmas shopping as usual because already dropped a bunch of money on flight.
-Did I really make these peanut butter cookies myself?!
-Seneca Creek Winter Lights!
-Have lots of chocolate, coworkers!
-Silent Night selfie!
-Why the mother of hell did I book a flight on Christmas Day?
-Yup, no parking in Dulles Economy Lot.
-Oh, wait, there’s some spaces.
-My feast of roast beast is in the form of a sandwich from Potbelly. Still counts.
-I called it roast beast when I ordered it. They didn’t notice.
-Did the flight crew just give us the pre-flight safety info in the form of a paraody of A Visit from Saint Nicholas?!
-The flight map is on my phone! The flight map is on my phone!
-Me, to family: “I come from the east bearing gifts after following a star.” Technically true.
-Some prix-fixe prime rib for Christmas dinner! Mmmm.
-Some relatives I haven’t seen in forever.
-After a few days of that, time to come home.
-What do you mean the flight is oversold and I can’t get on the plane?!
-First the fare going up right before I booked and now this?!
-Oh, wait, they got me on after all. Yay!
-Holy crap, Dulles is foggy!
-Back to work and package related annoyances.
-Screw, let’s get some snow crab legs and end this year already.
-And, holy crap, how the hell did I manage to post every day in December?!
-Oh, because all the posts are crap that I wouldn’t post the rest of the year. Meh.

What a year! I feel like big things are happening. There were lots of changes in this year, and there’s still plenty of promise, plenty I’m waiting to see how they turn out. Isn’t that the business of life? Something like that.

Goodbye, 2015! We had a time. Alright, 2016. I see you up there in Times Square. Bring it on!

Oversold

December 30, 2015

So I flew on an airplane yesterday, coming back from my aforementioned Christmas travel (never again!), but I almost didn’t fly on an airplane yesterday.

I checked my suitcase and got a security pass or something rather than an actual boarding pass. No earthly idea why, just the way that airline rolls I guess. I get to my gate to get my boarding pass and then I’m told “Flight is oversold and everyone else is checked in. You stay behind.” And I’m like “I already checked my suitcase! Can I have it back?” And they’re like “No, that’s going to Dulles. You stay behind.” They go on about denied boarding compensation, admittedly a nice sum that would be quite a bit more than the amount I would lose by missing work the next day, but my concern was that I wanted to go home, and it was cold and my coat was in my suitcase. They said that if someone volunteers as tribute for said compensation, I would then be able to board. And, fortunately, that’s exactly what happened. Thanks, unknown volunteer!

Why the fuck did that even happen? Who lets you check your suitcase and then be like “you wanted to board a plane you paid a bunch of money to fly on? LOL nope!”?

Also, when I booked this round trip a month ago, I got an error message when I went to confirm the purchase because between getting to the final page to enter info and clicking “confirm”, the fare for the return flight went up $95. -_-

Meh. Let’s close out this year already…

Coming and Going

December 29, 2015

Now for an unfriendly edition of…

SHUT THE HELL UP!!!!

I despise the phrase “friends come and go”. I mean, it’s true in general that relationships of any sort are certainly not guaranteed to last forever, and it helps to accept that when/if things change.

But so often I’ve heard this phrase used to mean friendship is unimportant, that friends should not be trusted or valued. Particularly that family are the only ones worth anything and are the only ones who are ever really there for you.

Fuck that. This may be the experience of some people, sure, but it is not at all the way it should be and certainly not universal. Family very often abandon you and friends very often move heaven and earth for you.

And it’s more than a little sad if your only relationships with others are those that happened by birth rather than those you actively cultivated yourself.

Ten Years

December 28, 2015

A lot can happen in ten years.

Some things stay constant each year, be it eating candy hearts on Valentine’s Day or singing carols on Christmas Eve. Maybe a decade without a new style or design or layout.

Some things change. Could be somewhat religious and later pull away from it. Could use certain words of expression and later realize they’re offensive and should never have been used. Could see relatives die or move away, friends drift away as other friends drift nearer. Could be an organization that is once so precious and important falling out of mention. Could be what was once so funny is now embarrassing and cringeworthy.

Eight Mine Fortress is now ten years old. On one hand, I’m glad this wasn’t some flash in the pan idea of mine I abandoned shortly after starting. That this site has continued on. On the other hand, the trouble with having a site like this for so long is how many posts from way back when I don’t agree with anymore, wish I’d expressed differently, or just plain should never have posted.

In any case, on to another decade of them!

Smoking

December 27, 2015

Why do people smoke? I’ve never understood it. It’s nasty.

Okay, I just made it two days of picking on vices like I’m up on some kind of elevated equine. I’m a snobbish asshole, I guess.

But still. Setting aside how detestable anti-smoking campaigns are, why the hell does anyone smoke? It’s expensive. It’s deadly. It’s gross to oneself and others.

Yeah, they’re addicted and it calms them down. Fine. But why does anyone start? What’s the appeal? I see smokers having to go out and smoke in all kinds of unpleasant weather. Getting pulled away from some other activity because nicotine cravings.

We all know this. Everything I’m saying is obnoxious and just judgmental shit smokers are sick of. I don’t have much of a point. Just find the self-destruction puzzling.

Slot-Shaming

December 26, 2015

Slot machines and other gambling gadgets are everywhere in Nevada. It’s kind of gross. Not just in actual casinos. Malls. Gas stations. Even the airports. If you want to compulsively piss your money and time away, this state makes damn sure to provide. They even supply the free alcohol to quiet your ability to think or self-reflect so that you’ll keep feeding the machine.

This of course also comes the 21+ age restrictions on all this, so that even though they are unscrupulously profiting off people destroying their financial health by gambling and destroying their physical health by drinking, at least they can pretend they’re Protecting Children. 🙄

Hyvää joulua!

December 25, 2015

Here it is. Another Christmas Day. The preceding weeks consisted of Winter Festival rehearsals, cookie baking, and shoving chocolate down people’s throats because it’s Christmas, damn it!

I’ve never had to travel for Christmas before. Always sort of pitied those who do. I guess I’m lucky. Or just stationary. Why leave your home for Christmas? Stay and relax. Eat yummy treats. Bake more yummy treats. Watch specials. Play music. That’s a nice Christmas. Why hoist yourself off to some airport and fight crowds just to spend some awkward time with relatives for whatever reason like some kind of chump?

Well, for some reason, I’m a chump this year. I’m off to the airport. Sigh.

Merry Christmas!!!!

Presence of Presents

December 23, 2015

I’ve mentioned a number of times that I’m sick of people complaining about Christmas being “materialistic” or some crap. That we focus too much on presents and not enough on Jesus or family or something like that. As if these things are mutually exclusive or something.

But presents are not only, you know, gifts. They’re wrapped and under the tree and not to be opened until Christmas morning. They’re a mystery!

And isn’t that just like the coming year? The future? That the future is just there all mysterious and just waiting to be revealed. Could be everything you wanted. Could be disappointing. Could actually be a live cobra for some reason. Could be nothing you expected but everything you needed.

Okay, I’m making this up, but it sounds cool.

That Was Quick

December 22, 2015

It’s the Winter Solstice.

It’s the day of darkness and cold. When the daylight little by little gets longer, until spring comes, and warm weather comes.

Warmer days will come again but they are a long way off, and-

Wait a minute.

Weather forecast over next few days:
Dec 23, 65 degrees.
Dec 24, 74 degrees.
Dec 25, 66 degrees.

Or really soon. Whatever.

Sitters Are Now the Sittees

December 21, 2015

You know what’s depressing? Twelve-year-olds in day care. Twelve!

As in, they’re in middle school, and parents need to arrange for some kind of after school care for them until they get off work.

Did I mention… twelve!

I mean, in many places, the parents don’t have much choice, as twelve or thirteen is about the minimum age a kid can be left alone at home.

Ugh. Rules like this are not only a huge insult to these kids, but they’re a boon for the care providers. I mean, if parents are required by law to use their services, they’re raking in the cash. I wonder if they’re behind the age of being left alone at home being so high, since they sure do profit from it.

And this just makes things harder on lower income families. Child care is expensive, and it doesn’t help to make parents and kids have to wait longer before the kids can just go straight home after school and take care of themselves for a few hours. They either have to shell out the money or quit their jobs. Or break the law.

And, obviously, of course kids twelve and under can go straight home and take care of themselves for a few hours before their parents get home. It’s what my sister and I did. I was home alone as young as eight. Last time I was in day care, I was the oldest kid there… at age seven.

In fact, when I was thirteen, I was the one looking after a four-year-old neighbor every week or so while his parents were out. I was the one doing the sitting at an age that kids now are the ones being sat.

Nothing biological has changed. Just fears of lawsuits and -gasp!- unattended children! Children who aren’t busy with some activity, who, if without an activity, will get into -gasp!- trouble!