Thursday, August 29, 2002

Wrap Me in Tin Foil and Smother Me in Butter

I am now officially a hot potato.

I found out yesterday at the office that I'm going to get moved. Again. They just moved me...what...[checks archives]...less than 15 days ago, and now I'm scheduled to move again soon.

The irony in this isn't in that I'm being moved again. It's that they had planned for me to move out of my office, with no plan for me to move into another one. I noticed on the floor plan that they had two other people in my office, and my name didn't appear anywhere on the org chart. Neither did the names of the other four Animators on the game I'm working on. Only after I brought this up to the guy in charge of the Sports department did he realize that he had in fact failed to plan to move me somewhere else.

"I thought someone had made arrangements for you to move into the other building already," he said, in his polite British accent.

This from the same man who just last week got to hear first hand from the entire staff of Sports Animators (griping led by yours truly) how we feel like we keep getting the shaft because everyone conveniently brushes us off onto someone else's plate of responsibility, and claimed he wanted to "do something about that."

Evidently by "doing something" he meant "completely forget about that conversation."

Further adding to the gleeful irony of the whole situation is that he's going to move us into some offices that are slated to be demo'd so that they can turn those five offices into one giant tech-testing lab. Why is that ironic, you ask? Because I'll have to be moved again when those offices are scheduled to be torn down? Not even close. It's ironic (or just plain moronic) because that's exactly what that "future lab space" used to be a year ago when they built some walls and converted it into offices. They took a lab space, built offices, and now they're going to tear it down so they can have a lab space.

Can you smell the brilliance?

Monday, August 26, 2002


First off, my apologies for going like, a week without updating.

I've been on a music binge for the past week, and with every binge of CD buying, I reach a purge point.

It usually starts innocently enough with one of those omigodihavetohavethis purchases. This time, it was The Crystal Method's Community Service. What can I say about this album? Plenty. It's easily the best mix album I've bought all year. Christ, even the idea alone is fairly innovative: Crystal Method remixes other band's songs; other bands remix Crystal Method's songs. Sure, it's been done before, but I don't think it's been done this well, and then throw into the mix that it's forty five minutes of non-stop mixed together goodness. Crystal Method + P.O.D's Boom or Crystal Method + Rage's Renegades of Funk = Pure Bliss in the Book of Steve. Read also: an extra track (presumably by the boys from The Crystal Method) entitled The Red Pill. It's all about the Matrix, baby. MMmmmnnnn...delicious Lawrence Fishburne as Morpheus samples. ::drools::

Then I purchased the Quarashi CD. I figured I owed them some money for burning the free copy they were so gracious to give to work as a promo copy. I think I was listening to it before the radios even had their hands on it. I've since played it so much that it's become scratched beyond the point of playability (from being tossed on the floor of the CD rack in my car when I'm playing something else). It was time I gave them some money for such a solid effort. So I did.

Last in the list of the wonderful was a mix CD of Crystal Method's, where they have a bunch of bands remix one song of theirs. That one wasn't all that great, but it was good enough for me at the time. Thus ends the delicious binging.

Then came the bitter bile taste of purging.

When you get three hits in a row, it's easy and fairly "safe" to assume that everything must be as musically tasty as the last three things you've bought. After all, you're three for three! So you start making some bad decisions and think to yourself "Hey! I like that one P.O.D. song (Boom), so therefore all P.O.D. songs must be that great, right?!" Wrong! Enter The Fundamental Elements of Southtown, which doesn't have Boom on it. In fact it doesn't have much of anything I like on it. There's an interesting cover of Bullet the Blue Sky on it, but I was so jaded by not hearing what I expected to hear that even that felt underwhelming.

Then we move on to the dry-heave of the selections: Praga Khan's mixedup/remixalbum. "Hey, I liked Praga a few years ago! And look! JunkieXL remixed a song on there! He's the same guy who remixed that insanely popular (for good reason) A Little Less Conversation (or whatever it's titled) Elvis mix! It's got to be good!" No, no it doesn't. Unfortuantely JunkieXL does not have sway over the rules of the universe. Sadly, I somehow forgot how much I hated Praga's last album, and this is a remix of that album, it seems. I guess no matter how many different ways you attempt to repack, scratch, or mix shit, you're still going to wind up with shit. Even if you put JunkieXL up to the task.

Monday, August 19, 2002

Honk if You Love Goat's Blood

Saw one of the funniest things on the road to work today. A Pontiac Grand Am covered with demon worshiping bumper stickers on the back. I wish I could have seen what they said, but they were in some Gothic-written-in-blood font that makes them fairly unreadable. They were primarily black bumper stickers on the back of a black Grand Am, and I surmised that I could think of nothing which screamed "unholy Satanic terror" more than a Grand Am with bumper stickers on it. In fact, I'm pretty sure Satan himself drives a Grand Prix, and all of his Succubi drive Grand Ams.

Of particular note was the "GoatWhore" bumper sticker. Evidently, either the driver (or perhaps the driver's favorite band) loves spreading for anything cloven-hooved, because as you should well know, the devil himself is also cloven-hooved, and in fact loves shagging demon worshiping Grand Am driving whores. The irony in this is that the shock-value of "GoatWhore" written on the back of your Grand Am is taken down exactly five pegs for the Grand Am, and eight more pegs due to the fact that there's a fucking babyseat plainly visible in the back of your Grand Am.

Is the baby a GoatWhore as well?

I'm sure if it was they'd proclaim it to the world with a "BabyGoatWhore On Board!" sign in the window.

Could I Get Competency With That?

Dear Wendy's,

Would it kill you to put someone who speaks English as their native language in the drive-up window? Because I have a hard enough time understanding those who can. Conversation with anyone else who can't is downright impossible. For example:

Speaker: Hello, welcome to Wendy's, can I take your order?

Me: Yes, I'd like a biggy fry.

S: Is that all?

M: No, I'd like a Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe, but I want that in a meal. Do you have a meal for that?

S: (pause) O.K.

Readout: Biggie Fry, Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger.

Me: No, I didn't want the Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger. I wanted the Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe.

S: (pause) O.K.

Readout: Biggie Fry, Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe.

Me: Great, but I wanted that in a meal. You know, like a meal deal, but I don't see one listed. Do you have one of those in a meal but not a Kid's Meal (tm.)?

S: Uhhhhhh (long pause) ... let me check.

Readout: Biggie Fry, Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe, MILK.

Me: Jesus Christ, take the milk and the Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe off and just give me the damn #1 with cheese, O.K.?

Saturday, August 17, 2002

His Feet Show It

First off, if you haven't been by Sonnetblog yet, please do so immediately. This post won't be half as original as Tim's idea, so you can just stop reading now if you'd like. It's easily one of the most original (if not novel) ideas I've seen online lately. I'm trying to fathom how much extra time it would take to write a Blog in sonnet form, and I'm starting to give myself a headache.

I was never one for poetry, and I'm still not. In fact I hate poetry with the white hot fury of a thousand suns, but there's something about Sonnetblog which strikes me as genius. It's both mocking poetry and at the same time saluting it, and perhaps even taking poetry and shoving it forcibly into the information era. I mean, poetry. About everyday internet life. With links in it. Fucking genius, Tim. I salute thee.

In other, less interesting (for you) news, I got to hang out with my Dad today. I don't normally get to do this, seeing as we live in two completely different parts of the country. We talked about golf, and Saudi Arabia, and why the fuck the world hates America all of a sudden (and no, I don't just mean like how the lousy French hate us; that kind of hate doesn't count), and other smalltalk topics. The biggest news: his job interviews for the CEO position in Boston fell apart, so now he and my Mom are vehemently talking about moving back to the Chicago suburbs. Like the Grinch, my heart grew three sizes today upon hearing the news. I've been away from my parents for over 10 years now, and I missed seeing my sisters grow up. Now that I'm "all grown up," I'd really like to get to hang out with my parents (and sisters should they come along for the ride) some more as an adult before my life gets too busy and theirs gets too old for us to appreciate each other.

Thursday, August 15, 2002

B-b-b-but That's My Only Stapler

I'm finally in an office. It's probably nothing special to a lot of you out there reading this, but here I sit in my very own office. And I've come to a startling revelation: I don't miss people looking over my shoulder one bit. I am quite fond of being able to talk to my wife on the phone and not have everyone else in the office hear it. Even better: I can look at porn without offending anyone! (do I need to say kidding here?).

I'm counting the days until someone else gets jammed in here with me. It will probably be the janitorial service, since Animators at this company occupy the lowest rung of respect from management (I got booted out of my old cube farm position on the game team because they felt that animators didn't need to be with the team). So, since I'm going to be sharing my office with Jani King, I should start boning up on my conversational Polish.

Jesu Schmadia.

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Domo Arigato, Johannesburg

Well, goodbye everyone. I'm moving to Johannesburg, South Africa, because they evidently have robots on every freaking street corner.

From the directions on how to find the corporate office of DM Kisch, Inc.:

HOW TO GET THERE from the M1 (South).Take Grayston Drive off-ramp. At the robot turn left and stay in the far-left lane, which is signposted Katherine Avenue. At the robot take the slip road, turning left into Katherine Avenue. Proceed through two robots and at the third robot turn left into West Street. Nedcor is on the opposite corner. West Street veers to the right where it becomes Wierda Road East and our entrance is the second one on the left.

Please, don't feed the Robots.

Thank you.

Friday, August 09, 2002

More Videogame Bitching

Just what you wanted, right?

I made the ill-fated mistake of jonesing for a new game tonight, so I decided to buy IL[star]2, a WWII Russian/German flight sim. I only bought it because someone on the WWIIOnline forums mentioned that there were drone planes in the practice mode that you could shoot at.

Let me just say that there are no drones in the practice mode to shoot at. In fact, the practice mode sucks balls. The whole game sucks balls. Big sweaty stinky salty chocolate ones (South Park references are go!). First off, there's no physics to speak of. None. Evidently WWIIOnline's flight model ruined me for life, because I'm used to planes having, you know, lift? Hey, not an issue in IL2 because your plane flies on rails!

I figured it wouldn't be all that bad since it had only a freaking gajillion and a half "game of the year!" labels on it. Shame on you, Gamespy. A pox on thee, Computer Gaming World. Was 2001 a really freaking slow flight sim year or something? How does a turd this huge win so many freaking awards?!?

"One of the best WW II flight sims ever produced." -- PC Gamer.

I'm sorry, there must have been a typo on the boxart. I think that should read:

"One of the only WW II flight sims ever produced." -- PC Gamer.

I should have known better when all of the testimonials claim it's the "best looking" combat sim ever. You know, because simulators should look good, but not actually simulate anything. Like accurate flight physics

I'm not even going to talk about when the game just decided that it was going to ignore the fact that I was using a joystick. The same joystick that was working with the game just 30 seconds ago. Even WWIIOnline isn't that buggy, and WWIIO is way buggy.

IL2 verdict: P.o.S.

Thank you and goodnight.

Wednesday, August 07, 2002

When Commercials Go Horribly Wrong

Number of road miles ridden on mountain bike with deflated tires in less than 25 minutes: 5
Average miles per hour maintained during ride: 14
Number of laps around lake: 2
Number of times fat black lady mockingly yelled "On yer left!" when you had to come within inches of colliding with her fat ass because she was inconsiderately hogging the entire lake path with her three other fat assed friends: Priceless. Wait, I meant 2.

Don't Stand by Me

I saw my first dead guy today.

It was bound to happen eventually, but it's not something one thinks about every morning when they get up. "Wonder if today's the day I'll see the dead guy?" is a phrase that doesn't really come up.

But I knew that the odds of seeing one on the side of the highway were good. Driving two hours a day on the highways is going to significantly increase the probability of witnessing a fatal accident at one point or another. Five years into the drive, I may have seen a few crash scenes that had fatalities in them, but because I tend to drive in the lane furthest from the accidents (if I can help it; I hate gawkers), I never saw the dead guy.

Until today.

Traffic was backed up on Northbound 294. This happens a lot just before the toll/90 split because the toll backs up. Out of habit, I shot over into the furthest right lane to avoid the back-up since the two right lanes exit onto 90 (the direction I needed to go in). Then the right lanes start crawling, and I'm wondering wtf is going on, when I notice the emergency vehicles up on the right. With the number of emergency vehicles, I was expecting a pileup, so I was shocked to see that the first car I came across (the car furthest to the rear of the accident) only had a small dent in the corner of the bumper. The front end wasn't even caved in, which is odd, because for the most part, unless it's an SUV, the car in the back is usually the one that initiated the rear-ending contact. Then there was an emergency vehicle blocking the view of the rest of the cars.

I could barely make out a man lying on his back with his shirt off by looking under the emergency vehicle (the ambulance had quite a bit of clearance). Then his legs started convulsing, and I thought "oh god, this is the dead guy." As I came around the side of the ambulance, I could see the paramedic with his rubber gloves on administering CPR. He was in the middle of the 12 pumps of the heart section, and this is what was causing the legs to look like they were convulsing. Oddly enough, the man was apparently undamaged. His shirt was off, which leads me to believe that either he had received a few small wounds to his chest and they needed to remove it in order to determine the extent of his injuries, or they needed his shirt off for the crash cart (which I didn't see at the scene, but that doesn't mean it wasn't there). I'm leaning towards the crash cart because there was zero blood at the scene.

Which makes me wonder just what caused this guy to arrest? There wasn't any damage to his vehicle. I'm doing a little bit of profiling here, but he was fairly overweight, with bluejeans and black gym shoes, so I'm assuming his was the extremely large four seater white early 90's pickuptruck with the sky blue trim, and not the late 90's model Saturn sedan. He looked like the pickup driving/pork rind eating type. So did he have a heart attack? Maybe he went into cardiac arrest from the shock/fear that he hit another car?

I have no idea. I just hope the guy didn't die.

Sunday, August 04, 2002

Who's Your Uncle?

I am! If your name is Emma. My brother-in-law and his lovely wife had their first baby, Emma, on August 2nd, 2002. Unfortunately, I haven't had the opportunity to see her yet as she just got home from the hospital today. Liz got to see her at the hospital mere minutes after Emma had made the journey into the "real" world. I'm so green with envy it's not funny. But it is her brother, so I'll hold off on the jealous rages for now.

Unrelated Tangent: As it turns out, there will be no more need for graphic designers in the near future, so I guess I should start looking for a new line of work, seeing as everyone is looking to phase out artists at every freaking turn. Here's N-Gen (known as The Work of the Devil in my house). If you have broadband, try downloading the full Monte. If you only have wee dialup, just nab the components one at a time. You'll have a new professional looking front page for your CD/Webpage/Magazine Layout in no time. I guess down the road from now you'll be able to use your own personal library of images, and incorporate whatever fonts you want. So the world will soon be rid of those vile creative types. Finally.

Ironically (not really), this was the first weekend that Liz and I didn't have any serious outside commitments (i.e. weddings, family reunions, orgies, that sort of thing) and so we spent it sitting inside, or going to the mall. I was looking forward to doing all sorts of things outside this weekend, yet my body insisted on just maintaining a vegetative state. I evidently have to schedule a round of golf with someone on the weekend now, since I seem absolutely incapable of getting up off of my sorry ass just to go out to the driving range if it isn't penned in on the schedule.

I have to run now, since I need to write "go to work" on the calendar for tomorrow lest I sit on the couch all day. Again.

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