Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Booby Trapped II, Electric Bugaloo

So there we were, a bright and shiny (although cold and rainy) Christmas morning, fresh with the promises of the season, all aglow with Holiday cheer. My Goodely Wyfe nude from the waist down with some stranger between her legs, and me in a cubicle-like place, enjoying (oh so quietly) some of the finest pornography I have seen this year.

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and he is a rotten old perv.

Of course, I refer to our continued attempts to become, as the kids like to say, "all knocked up". The Goodely Wyfe's cycle landed us on the 25th in the fertility clinic embarking on the process of IUI or In Utero Insemination. In S.A.T. parlance, IUI is to turkey baster as IVF is to test tube.

My "appointment" was at 9am, and the Goodley's was at 10:30am. I don't really understand the big gap in time, as I believe I was "compleat", strategist style, with my portion by 9:03am. But, it wasn't really about me so much, as it was about my boys. I have to admit, this wasn't the best offering that I thought I could do for them, and almost went for the double play, but decided to just submit what I had, figuring that they would ask for more if they needed it. They recommend we (who is this we? Me and the fine women and men of Booby Trapped?) produce 5,000,000 sperm. No pressure, eh?

Well, this masturbatory prolificnaut sent forth no less than 24,000,000 of the wriggling, egg seaking baby missles in his meager attempt. Ain't nothing but a thang, yo.

They cleaned them up, I assume all so carefully, loaded them into a wacky long catheter, and sent them all up in my Wyfe's chicken, as the kids like to say. This process keeps my boyos strong, and in a process akin to blasting sperm at her egg like a wide barreled firehose set on "saturate". No need for them to spawn their way upstream, they took the H.O.V. lane to the womb. The rest is now up to the 1-4 eggs that we hyper stimulated in the Goodley's system. Go girls, go!

The rest of the Christams day paled in comparison to the gift that we may or may not receive, the coveted baby. We thought how nice it might be to name her Noel, but I think I even got preliminary approval for the tyke's middle name to be Jingles.

Stop laughing.....how dare you! Think about it, and put it in your own name. Try it out in other names...its perfect! Theodore Jingles Roosevelt. Mahatma Jingles Ghandi, Samuel L. Jingles Jackson.

The latter's is the one with "Jolly Muthafucka" stamped on his wallet.

Monday, December 19, 2005

This happens to some degree every year, BUT...

This year the whole Santa vs. Jesus no-holds-barred steel cage match is really harshing my mellow. I can understand outrage if someone curses you out by saying "I hope Santa Claus opens an unbrella up your dumper!", but if someone in these days and times is actually taking a moment to wish you well this holiday season, what difference does it make if they invoke Santa, Jesus or the many tentacled Elder Shoggoth, who was named before there were words?

Sure, "Satan watch over you." would be a little inappropriate, but I really don't think that people who say "God Bless You" when you load up their groceries into their dilapidated Pacer are really trying to cram their Judeo-Christian beliefs down your throat, nor are they deserving of a lecture on religious freedom and/or the long and rich history of Secular Humanism. I would like to think they are wishing you well using the language and skills that they have available.

Conversely, if I am wearing my Santa Claus hat, I really don't want anyone coming up to me saying that I am not celebrating the season "correctly" or that "Little baby Jeebus cries whenever someone "worships" Santa." Nope, can't have it, won't have it.

Everyone lays a claim on the holiday season. We all know, deep within our reptillian brain, that it is cold, dark and frequently nasty out, and if we didn't have some form of celebration planned, we would have all resorted to ritualistic cannabalism years ago. Take a deep breath, embrace your fellow man, and take everyone, from Bible Thumper to Agnostic Mercantile Penitent with a grain of salt fitting to adorn the universe's largest Margarita.

Season's Greeting, baby Jeebus!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Where were we?

Ah yes, I almost forgot. I write a blog. You wouldn't know it recently, but there you go. I will post, post, post until those Saint come marching in!

The biggest news thus far is that our pregnancy efforts are going about as well as Bush's Iraq plan. BANG! Political satire! Watch out! We are still there, mucking about, and it FEELS like progress is being made, but we have no concrete results. Be of good cheer, because we are (insert Bush imitation here) "Gonna stay the course, gonna be there, to help resuscititize the area, and sow the seed of democratics worldwide."

What I am saying, I suppose, is that we are still in the baby making arena, and we have a few options coming up. Watch this space, and my Goodely Wyfe's womb for details.

In other news, my efforts to never sue anybody for anything (and thus never BE sued) are being sorely tempted as of late. Apparently my digital camera model and my Playstation model are both being represented in a class action lawsuit for faulty manufacturing. Really, I can't be less enthused. Yep, they both have their problems, but I can't bring myself to go to court for them.

Closer to home, our neighbors have clobbered the root system of a very tall and magnificent tree next to our house during their recent construction, and said tree is now threatening to smash our house, Treebeard vis-a-vis Isengard style. The neighbors, thankfully enough, are not just young and hot, but also very understanding about the whole thing, and we just need a mafia style sit down with them to get the whole thing cleared up, and the tree taken down. I will miss the tree greatly. Again, tall and magnificent is not just my Goodely Wyfe and our friend Jilly, it is also a part of our landscape.

So, Whew! I will be doing all the knocking on all the wood available that I can wrap up 2005 lawyer and court free.

I will end with this final thought: I have been enjoying a breakfast of homemade gingerbread man cookies and eggnog for breakfast every morning. If you aren't already, I heartily recommend this!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Holidaze, they are upon us....

And so they are! My extended family has gone ahead and established "Thanksmas". Akin to Festivus, the made up holiday by Seinfeld's George Costanza's father, Thanksmas is the result of evolution gone wild, a sign of the American Landscape times, and here how it goes.

My Gramma Torre busted out with like five daughters and one son, all of which have families of their own. Think about how tough it is to get together with even a group of people at your office for lunch, let alone fifty odd screaming Italians for one dedicated holiday celebration. It wasn't too bad when we all lived in North Jersey, but we are scattering like dandelion parachutes on a light summer breeze.

It was, of course, a matter of import that no matter what, you were at Gramma's house for Christmas Eve. From there, you went wherever you wanted to. Having said that, trying to get to Garfield, NJ for Christmas Eve, then back to Washington DC, Pennsylvania, and now Georgia for Christmas seems a little impossible.

Add to that mix the fact that we are all pretty much married up, and "they" (the various in and outlaws) have spouses of their own, with Grammas and other folk what would love to see us over the holidizzles, fo' shizzle. What is a nice Italian family to do?

Well, we just gave up Christmas. How do you like that? The Torre clan has taken a step back, took a deep breath, and made the call which says "Hey, it doesn't matter what day it is, lets just get together." Brilliant. Who can begrudge their spouse a Thanksgiving trip, when all of Christmas is up for grabs? Thanksmas. Long may you wave. I look forward to the Thanksmas dinner with all the trimmings, the Thanksmas grab bag, and the Cousin's Thanksmas "Run for Ice."

What I am left with is a prolonged Christmas Holiday season, starting a full month before the actual date, and hopefully lasting throughout the long dark of February. I like the idea of trees being trimmed, gooses getting fat and presents be given and gotten all through the winter. I will hopefully approach Thanksmas as my gateway drug of choice for the holiday season, one that I hope hooks me into an addiction of good cheer, charity and those loverly Gingerbread Lattes. Winter has always grabbed my heart a bit chilly (I think I posted that I planned on hibernating fo the whole thing) but this year....we dance and drink and sing!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

But Nightmares, Like Headaches...

....have a thousand different possible causes, all equally valid.

Hello, true believer, and know ye this. Although I strut about like the happy go lucky man about town, I am plagued by nightmares. I cannot remember the last time I dreamt that wasn't some form of horrific somnabulant frolic through a kafka-esque field of death's headed poppies. Long gone are the sweaty romps with the cashier at the supermarket, the actual flights of fancy aboard the back of a scintillating typewriter headed dragon, or the occaisional free fall through purple marshmallow effervesence. My dreamscape is a relief map of Hell.

Take last night, for instance, where I got to witness, for about 40 virtual minutes, the serial killer that was in my custody for transporting, and who had hypnotized me along the way, slowly and methodically carving up my forearm with a straight razor. Lovely.

The night before? Ah yes, as a phase of fraternity hazing, I was forced to shoot broad bladed arrows from a bow at a wall that would bounce half of them back into my own head. Delightful that. Probably more delightful was slowly pushing them all the way through my brain, trying hard not to dislodge too big a piece of my skull, as I could see my brain beyond, and didn't want to lose any of it. Did I mention I did all this while sobbing uncontrollably the whole time?

Yeah, its been a picnic up there in my brain. The saving grace in all of this is my Goodely Wyfe, who holds me and cuddles me like an infant when I wake up, not necessarily screaming, but more mewling like a kitten from fear and fright.

I sleep with a stuffed bear now, as well, who has made the transition to being a helpful spirit in my dreams, when I can remember to bring her into them. One time, another serial killer was trying to get me into his car, rather successfully, and I awoke with a fit and a cry. The Goodely Wyfe gave me Jet, the stuffed bear, and I drifted back, knowing that my dream would continue. Luckily, when the killer approached me, a "real" version of Jet came through, and mauled the perpetrator unmerciful. Horrific as that site was, I was comforted and very proud of my little Jet.

I try to remember that she is there, but cannot always....in the meantime, I am afraid to go to sleep now, and I get tonnes of different advice about eating habits, sleeping positions, etc., to help alleviate the problem. I am thinking booze and pills, but hey, that's just me.

Would it kill the cosmos to give me a nice three girl show in the ole' dream theatre once in awhile? I think I am a pretty nice guy, karmically speaking. How about one for the ole Robbyblog?

How about it?

Monday, October 31, 2005

Hunker Hunker Burning Love...

Whew! Well, the big Halloween party is over, successfully, I think. Now, as daylight savings time grips us in its prematurely darkness falling clutches, my typical inclination to hibernate is emerging with full inertial force.

The big party was also an excellent impetus to get my house all cleaned up and tidy, ready for me to snuggle down and relax for a few months before emerging come springtime. Don't get me wrong, I have a calendar of events and activities planned for the upcoming months, but somehow my mindset is getting more and more sedate, which can only be good.

Ebb and flow, yin and yang, the biorythmic pendulum is swinging, baby...its swinging to the side of domesticity, comfort and laziness. Yes, this is a good time of year. I have cider in the fridge, a stack of books to read, a beautiful wife to cuddle with, a few warm and demanding animal prowling around the house and good friends and family to chat with if need be.

Seek me out, fellow travellers, the ball is more than ever in your court. My court is currenly thick with wool and spiced cider.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Is this how it starts?

Follicles, Trigger Shots and Embryonic Transfers, oh my!

So the plan what is being implemented is fairly simple. We produce a childe in August 2006. Amazing, absolutely amazing. The Goodely Wyfe and I have been trying for the longest tyme, and I frequently look around my house, wondering where the 5 year old that we were supposed to have is.

But now it has become part of my everyday speech. Gaming conventions next year? No way in Tartarus. I will have an 8 to 9 month pregnant woman in my house, one what I can't just pack up and leave on for an extended weekend. Vacation Plans? Well, apparently flying after the first trimester is sketchy and frowned upon. The gang and I were planning a Live Action Role Playing Game (LARP) last night, and I had to remove my involvement...no way I can plan a huge party-game for a bunch of strangers with the "bellystretcher" on the horizon.

Breath coming shorter...heartbeat racing....panic attack imminent. Is this how it starts? With major plans being cancelled / delayed and ending up with the whole lifestyle shot all to holy heck? Not that my lifestyle is currently anything to crow about, really it seems more like killing time in the waiting room of life, waiting for that aforementioned urchin to finally get his / her ass out of my Goodely Wyfe's uberwomb, already. No more laying in bed on Sundays, or being lazy in general, even though many lazy folk have kids, I am sure.

One of my closer friends has paved this way for me, and has two kids of his own. I think he rides himself a little harder than he has to satisfy his ideal of the "pefect dad", but I wonder how far off the mark he is? Is it truly my life over, "our" life beginning? Do hot soccer moms and play dates make a decent substitute for hot interns / coworkers and weekday happy hours?

I love kids, and love the idea of being a parent. Everything exciting seems to be brushed with a modicum of terror, however. Hmm...I wonder if a new tradition can be implemented similar to the Bachelor Party, some kind of "Pre-Parent Triple X Throwdown". It would be a bittersweet affair, I imagine, like an Irish wake.

"Ere's te ye former lyfe, laddie, drink up, fer tommorow, ye be changin' Daipies!"

Monday, October 17, 2005

So I Don't Know...

...how I feel about that experience. Let's explore it together, shall we? Fine. Prepare for tittering chuckles, bashful cheek reddening and clinical obervation. Or should we go at it another way? Maybe we should be influenced by my profession (the Architecure) and think this way:

What would be your ideal masturbatory suite?

Like I said, this one's kind of a humdinger. You can stop reading now, if you know me not well enough or if you know me too well to dwell upon or think about how I spent my lunch hour, but for those who know me JUST ENOUGH, and trust me to relate this story without being vulgar or gross...read on...

My Goodely Wyfe and I are fully immersed in the deep end of infertility treatments, with In Vetro Fertilization (IVF) as our current area of exploration. While this process has said Goodely Wyfe performing more flips and twists than the Blue Man Group playing againt Circe de Soleil for the International Twister Championships, my role is basically donating a few "batches" of the spermy horde to the cause.

Immediately discounting the option of "producing" the specimen at home and bringing it (them?) to the clinic for analysis, I decide to "produce" on site. I have to admit that curiosity about the process outweighed the embarassment factor in my final decision.

So, of course, the clinic messes up my paperwork, but I no longer hold much of a grudge for the general incompetence of Health Care workers, it just is the rule, and anyone that has any kind of initiative or competence is the exception to that rule. Enough already.

So they bring me in, charge me money, and I sit relaxing in the waiting room, reading a murder mystery. Soon the coquettish tones of one of the nurses comes to me,

"Mr. Lach?", she says to me, "Please come with me."

Have the puns started already? She has a gleam in her eye, she knows why I am here, and hey, wait a minute, does she want to help me out with it? She must think I am cute, as almost everyone does (snoogans...) and she has a bit of a "go-er" about her. She obviously fancies me, and we both know how it is going to go down, maybe I have a Penthouse Forum letter a brewin'? Nah, more than likely she is just in on the joke, and the joke in this case, is me and my Wang.

She leads me into the mastubatory suite, and goes through the process, what goes where, what stickers go on what, which forms need to be filled out. I am barely listening though, as I take in the situation and the layout with all the skills at my disposal. No, not the Zombie Plan, but the Design Professional. The architecture of the room is simple, but honest. A green leather recliner is in one corner of this 5' x 8' "room", with a file cabinet next to it, and a stack of disposable "drapes" next to it, one of said drapes is already on the arm of the chair. I suppose I am supposed to lay the drape on the chair before i sit back, relax, and go at it. Opposite the chair is a television / vcr combo, mounted in brackets above a clinical sink, with a small garbage can next to the sink.

At no point does my newest health care worker mention the vcr, the remote control, the drapes, the sink, nothing. She obviously knows that I am a masturbatory ninja, and should have no problems taking care of business. She leaves, instructing me to push the doorbell on the inside of the room to summon her back when I am done.

I explore, of course. I peek into the vcr slot to see what they have on deck for me, or if there is even a movie in there. No lie, there is a movie, and this movie is no less than "Booby Trapped". I giggle, then realze that this room isn't sound proofed, so I should probably butch up a bit.

I don't use the chair, the drapes or even the magazine located next to the chair (encased in a plastic case, ingenious!) but remain standing for the duration of my stay. I finish, summon my new naughty buddy, and we conclude our business together.

Simple, straightforward and done. But, I ask you, who designed the mastubatory room? Was it men, was it women? Who brought the movies in? Were they ordered from a catalogue? They must have been, nobody goes into the porn store and walks out with "Booby Trapped", which is a shame, because it was a fine film, or at least the 2 minutes that I saw of it were stellar.

Is this the view of men that we have cultivated and embraced over the years? All men want / need for sexual release is a porno movie, a leather recliner and a few minutes? If that is the case, why are so many women shocked when we don't engage in 40 minutes of tantric foreplay? What would the room look like if it was essential for a woman to masturbate to orgasm in order for some medical procedure to be accomplished? I bet it would be nicer, maybe even with some carpeting, or even a dimmable light. A scented candle would have killed ya, Fertility Clinic?! Romance me, dammit!

Who am I kidding, I could have hung out in there all afternoon. Give me a cheesesteak and a Guiness and that room would have been a little slice of heaven. At the end of days, I am really just as simple an animal as their expectations of me would have you believe. For now you will have to excuse me, as I need a little nappies.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Maybe I Haven't Made Myself Clear...

But I really, really love that Magic: the Gathering (MtG) game. I have such a relationship with this game, it is amazing that I ever have "down" times with it. I went and played the game again last night with my local Hierophant, and we had a delightful time with the new cards, and talking about what the game had meant for us all these years.

I am not sure about the exact history of MtG, but MY history with the game is pretty special to me. My Aunt Linda gifted to me $25.00 for my birthday, some 12 years ago. I used this money to buy two starter decks and a rules book. I was hooked right away.

But think about this. The person I bought those "gateway" gaming drugs from is still a good friend of ours, and I have met his two kids, born into their family since that introductory meeting. This man (soon to be called Buttery Pat) was at first intimidating to me, but I soon grew to love him as the snuggly big ogre that he can appear to be at times. I always had a place to go, and something to do. Meeting new people has always been easy for me, but comptetition of any kind would usually turn me into the superhero known only as the Trembling Sweat. Here comes Magic the Gathering, a fun game that introduced me to the idea that you could play a game, lose or win, and pick those cards up and play again. Sure, I still get the Mournful Mopes when I lose, but I am MUCH better than I was in the past.

My relationship with MtG also parallels other parts of my life. My relationship with the Goodely Wyfe was in its fledglinghood at the same time I picked up the game for the first time. Did I mention the Magic Cards that I took with me on our honeymoon? Probably for the best that I don't, or be knownst forevermore as Dorkus Maximus. My brother and I have never been very close, much to my chagrin, but playing Magic brought us together in some crazy marathon card playing sessions that i will treasure forever.

In going through my cards in preparation for last nights game, I was hit with a more sentimental feeling that when I go through old high school yearbooks. The maligned Sedge Troll, the plucky Prodigal Sorceror, the fiendish Lord of the Pit and the persnickety Alladin's Lamp all hold a special place in my hearty heart. The latter two in the list were the first ever rare cards I ever got, from my first starter deck. The Goodely Wyfe received the Force of Nature and Nevinyrral's Disk as her rares...two cards which I have NEVER owned in a dozen years of collecting and trading! Nest of Harpies that she is, she would never let me borrow them either! Curse her proprietary heart! I covet! I covet!

I referred to MtG as the gateway drug of gaming, and that much is very true. I was (OMG, can it be) non-involved in gaming from high school until after college sometime, when I picked up those first decks. I am back into gaming with a fiendish glee reminiscent of Calligula at the All You Can Eat Sex Buffet (tm). This immersion into gaming has brought me the best and closest friends I have ever had. Friends that will sit with me in the Old Folks Home, playing cards and rolling dice into our 90s.

I would like to write more, but I have a fever, and the only prescription, is more Magic cards! Oh, the heady aroma of new card fresh out of the pack! Oh sweet rapture of the Card Sorting and Storage! Glee! Glee! Glee!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Ain't Nothing Going On But the Bomb Ass Rap Song

A double dip of Blog proliferation. A shorty right now, but I had to share that I am listening to XM satelite radio, and am enjoying old skool hip hop and rap. I love this stuff!

For as long as my parents are alive, and beyond...

I will always be their youngest son, their "baby" boy. And you know what? I love it, I love it, I love it! Bob and Lorraine are excellent parents, far from perfect, but they have beaten the odds, and stayed together for so many years it hardly matters anymore, and still consider each other "a good date".

The 'rents came by for a few days in our latest installment of "Come Babysit My Husband", on their way to Georgia and other points south for, well, as long as they damned well please. That is only one of the joys of being retired. I have long since given up trying to make their stays with us "special" by tapping into all the splendour that the Washington DC area has to offer, and now merely throw myelf into their loving arms, and let them do for me what we both need to have done. They take care of me.

Oh, I am sure they know that I can take care of myself, are are also confdent in my Goodely Wyfe's ability to take care of me, perhaps more so. But you know what? These crazy kids need to provide for me, and why the heck not let them?

I left for work, after gobbling down a lovely diner breakfast with Papa Lach, charismatic me feeling like the elephant man in the company of David Niven as I watch my father not only get a free newspaper, but finagle a free breakfast for himself, and an invitation to go home with the family that runs the place for dinner. I pay double for my breakfast, or would have if I could ever get my wallet out around the Big Guy. The man is a force of nature. It comes so naturally to him, like an otter that instinctfully knows that his tummy is the perfect clam smacking platform.

Returning home that night, it was as if cobbler's elves had come by, and bequeathed upon me the labours of their day. Lo! A new toilet seat welcomes my delicate behind! Alas! Three way light bulbs have been installed in lamps what can benefit from such a triforcated luminary display! Of course! My nigh-barren refrigerator is now happily stocked with more meats of more varieties that my stick shaking hand grew weary at the attempts. My parents sit, smug and awaiting their such deserved accolades at their hard labours of the day. Oh, wait, it is now 5:30pm, and my parents are actively awaiting another of the joys of retirement...the Early Bird Dinner.

But which downtown fancy spot should such dignitaries be taken to? Which 5 star 11 course meal could possibly repay this marvellous duo for their efforts in creating and raising this prodigal son? We head to the Outback Steak House, a restaurant that we could go to in any city, in any state. Again, relax, put your opinions aside, and remember that no matter how simple it may seem, you are dining not in an Outback Steak House, but an Outback Steak House with Bob & Lorraine Lach.

The ensuing conversations, drink orders, miscellaneous mutually hearing impaired bantering, bickering and blabbering on all of our parts would be more than sufficient to create a comedy-drama series on any major network. Forget the fact that my Mother's side of the family has decided that Christmas would now be celebrated on Thanksgiving, or the 37 different verses of the Happy Birthday Song what we heard while having dinner. Forget my ordering the Prime Rib, the order which would send our family scurrying for cover whenever my father would deign to place it during my childhood. It was delightful, easy, and fun. I wouldn't have had a nicer time anywhere. For once in my architectural flavoured by theatrical lifestyle...Place did not matter one bit.

Being on their schedule is a wonder. Dinner at 5pm, home by 6:30pm..in bed by 9pm! Amazingly well rested, I awake to find that my parents have slipped away in the morning, probably at 5am to begin their journey, but not before stripping the beds, cleaning the bathroom, and buying donuts for their Baby Boy. It would have been nice to see them again that morning, to witness and learn from Papa Lach at the diner, to listen to my Mom talk about the slot machines and her life growing up, but at the same time I knew that I allowed them to do exactly what they wanted to and needed to do. Take care of their baby boy, and leave satisfied that he was safe, happy and resting. I have an image, no matter how contrived, of them looking in on my 37 year old sleeping form before they leave for the next leg of their trip, as they must have looked in on my 1 year old, 10 year old, 17 year old etc. form, lovingly, and hopefully satisfied that they have done a good job, and that I have achieved in their eyes, that most coveted of all accolades.

I am a "Good Boy".

Thursday, September 29, 2005

My Achilles Heel....

Health Care. I hate it, and it hates me. If you ever want to see my blood boil, and or to see the "evil robbyblog" what doesn't talk to anyone, grumping around like some goat-eating bridge troll, then all you have to do is state the words, "Mr. Robbyblog, we need your referral form or you can't have this procedure.", and I will go into a rage that would make a steroid infused amateur wrestler look like the Dali Llama (cuidado!) on Prozac.

But of course, the Dali Llama (cuidado!) couldn't get Prozac, because he would have to fill out all the right forms, and be directed to three different offices paying Allah knows how many co-payments (which are just $20.00 versions of being spit on after a rape, as far as I am concerned), only to be told that he can't get Prozac in his plan, but is only covered for the Bangaledeshian knock off brand called Pearlzic, in which you can still taste the poppy oil.

I am doing my best to post a blog entry about the state of Health care in my life without using profanity, and am finding it very difficult. Needless to say, I would like the take the Powers That Be In Charge of Health Care, and ravage their rectums sideways with the reproductive organs of a large bull male rhinocerous. All I wanted to do today was to masturbate into a plastic cup for our IVF work. As if that isn't demeaning enough, to be sent little boy style into a sterile room to do my filthy business while heavens knows who is watching and sniggering at me, I had to "abstain" from sexual release for two days before said test (which basically means doing my filthy business in the privacy of my own home, but hey, I enjoy it, and even think the Goodely Wyfe was feeling frisky...). But no, apparently I need a referral from a whole 'nother office full of sniggeriung buffoons (who most likely will get paid handsomely) in order to reschedule my clinical masturbatory exploits.

Why, for the love of Bob, why? Is my primary care physician going to say "No, you can't spurt semen into a cup?" Can we not just call him or her up? Is this what we have come to, where a citizen of the most powerful nation on earth cannot whack off into a small plastic cup without a written permission slip? The bill for IVF is going to be around $13,000.00 for a 50% chance of success (call it in the air, folks), why can't I get a little service? I don't have enough to do during the day being an architect, a husband, my own financial planner and a homesteader, but I also have to be a Health Care Manager? I don't have the wherewithall, the knowledge or the ability to read through the 300 pages of "Explanation of benefits" to figure out what the Helena Bonham Carter my benefits actually are, so I am left feeling like I am being led through the Dark And Scary Forest by the very wicked little gnomes that are going to boil me in a big cauldron with some spicy carrots and maybe some wild radishes.

No other "profession" (because these clowns screw up more than anyone I know, I dare call them professionals) treats its clients this way, absolutely none. Why? Because they know they have you by the short and curlies.....you have no choice about what you do, or where you go. You HAVE to have health insurance, and you pretty much HAVE to have the health coverage that your job provides. Its the biggest racketeering scam perpetrated ever.

So "Buyer Beware" folks, and welcome to yet another excellent benefit of being an American, you may lay claim to the most expensive and frustrating health care system in the world.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Qualified Productive Citizen Seeks New Country

My analogy is thus: If you worked for a company that was headed in a direction that you fundamentally opposed, did not provide adequate heatlh care, and was fronted by a complete nincompoop, what would you do? Why, you would get your resume together, go to Monster.com or some other nonsense, and find a new job that met your standards, assuming you were qualified.

So, here I sit, an employee of the United States of America. I look around, and am beginning to realize that this country may not be for me. It sounds ridiculous, but then again, does it? I watch as just after 5 years of the current administration, the country is getting further and further away from something that I can be proud of. I once had a nationalistic streak a mile wide, but these days, I just don't feel like I am backing a winner on the global market.

"But Robbyblog, isn't it better to stay and fight from within to change the system, instead of just upping and quitting?", was the question asked to me by my Goodely Wyfe's super hot sister (more on THAT in another post, I am sure). My answer that, "I am not sure". How long do you stay and "fight"? Do the Generation Xers, of which I am an apathetic member, even do that? I just don't know if I have the will or drive to fight, to lead people to a viewpoint that makes any kind of sense. As I cringe and shake my head at my country, wondering "How the heck can we decide as a nation to pursue these goals, or enact these policies?" I realize that it gets right down to:

We are a democracy, these policies and leaders are all elected by the people, and for the people. Forget that the process of becoming a political candidate is so demeaning that it automatically rules out anyone with true character, the majority of the people of the United States of America actually PREFER to have the country this way, can you believe it? I can't.

I will say that again: The majority of the people of the United States of America actually prefer to have the country this way.

In my 7th grade Civics class, we were asked to create a new government. Guess what? We didn't get a bunch of 50ish white male christian slave owners together and ask them what they thought was best. We decided the best thing to do was to create an Intelliocracy, selecting the most intelligent people from our mythical citizenry to lead us. I know, I know, it was just the ridiculous dreams of a bunch of 13 year olds that dont make much sense when crafting a real leadership.

Riiiiiiigggghhhhhtt.

As opposed to our adolescent Think Tank, we have a country with a figurehead that is really a global joke. We treat our teacher...our frickin' TEACHERS, like garbage, and our tough kids beat up the smart kids. Is it any wonder that our active vocabulary is decreasing every year, and our role models are Paris and Nicole?

So, I am thinking of jumping ship, before the world gets wise, and closes all of its borders to us. I did a quick google search to see what was the best country to live in, and it spit back Norway, chosen by the United Nations (remember that group that we choose to ignore at almost every turn?) as the best place. If their nannies are any indication, that place swings.

Skal, baby, Skal!

Monday, September 19, 2005

While the Wyfe's Away.....

I imagine that were my life an Ivan Reitman film, the fortnight of time that I have spent without my Goodely Wyfe (GF) would have been much different. I was ultimately very surprised at how quickly the time went, and also how quickly into my own decline into bachelor-like stereotype I had lapsed.

It isn't like I had free range goats romping through the dinette, but the place is getting pretty feral in terms of undone dishes, laundry and other of life's simple tasks. I am quite capable of doing these things, but for some reason, without the GF there, they just don't seem important.

So, knowing me, I must be up to all hours of every night each night playing World of Warhamster, right? Would that were the case. Were. I am abashed to say that I really haven't been doing much of anything since Talley left. I mean to, don't get me wrong, but so far, just maintaining the facade of contentment has taken all of my limited faculties. I have met with friends and neighbors for various events and such, which were all grand, but somehow, in Photoshoppe parlance, hitting about 70% saturation without the nearby presence of my beloved.

I donnae jus' say this a'cause she be one o' me few readers, don'cha' know! I think it is important to get out there in the ether that yes, I am still crazy about this daffy broad in a way that has entered even my reptillian brain, curled up, raided my metaphorical humidor, and is enjoying a long and relaxing smoke.

She comes back on Thursday, so I am fixin' to be hankerin'; to be commencin' to be ponderin' to be doin' some emergency housework this week! I hope I succeed.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

On a Day like Today

It seems all things are possible. The sun is shining so brilliantly, birds are singing, and I am floating on air.

Floods in New Orleans.

I bounce into work, greeting all I see with my happiest smile, and friendliest hello. Someone has baked chocolate chip cookies, and I have three for breakfast.

War in Iraq.

Plans are made and confirmed to meet with friends and go to the Renaissance Faire. My cousin and best man at my wedding has a new found love, and his energy is contagious.

I Can't Pay my Bills.

I sing a worksong of ability, talent and determination. Today the designs of towns, buildings and homes will flow from me in a torrent of creativity!

I am worried about my Wife. Is she safe?

Today will be a good day.
Today will be a good day.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Pidgeon Sisters Have Flown the Coop

Well, that's that then. The Goodely Wyfe and her Goodely Sister (SuzieHulahoop right here at the Blogger) have packed up and flown the coop to help out the Red Cross' efforts in the Big Easy.

I think its great, and if anything, I am jealous of their opportunity to go and do Good Things. I am here, minding the homefront, the store, and the World of Warcraft, while the Goodely Wyfe will be handing out water, blankets and hugs. Sure, we are all worried about those two, with scene after scene of Zombie Movie-esque chaos reigning supreme down there in my parent's favourite vacation spot. Disease, poverty, desperation and seemingly half hearted relief action all combine into a cocktail that I do not want my girls to garnish with their citrusy zesty spirit, but YOU try to stand in their way!

So, they go....and they do good things, for a little over a fortnight, when hopefully they will return having added their energy to the area, and increased their world by just that much more. A Good Friend (tm) of mine was talking to us down the pub last night about how wonderful it was that their actions will ripple out and create new stories for all of us. The Goodely Wyfe and SuzieHulahoop will now have direct Hurricane Katrina stories, as will I. Folks down in New Orleans and Louisiana in general will now have Talley and Susanna stories, which I think is amazing as well. Once again, good for them!

So, who wants to come and Babysit the Husband?

Friday, August 26, 2005

G'awh!! Idiot!!

How could I be so daft? Was I too close to the forest, that I couldn't see the bright and beautiful tree before me? How was it that my favourite cherub-like diminutive uber charismatic goth childe was the one to finally lead this sci fi horse to drink?

Firefly, baby! That's right....I am ready to have my Dork frequent purchaser card punched, as I have finally found the Joss Whedon joint that is Firefly.

I know dear reader...all the news that 2002 saw fit to print, but here I am, chasing that bandwagon, and hopping on board. I love this series! In the void left in my Djorksoul left by the end of the Star Wars septilogy, the notion that I currently live in a world WITHOUT new Star Trek, and the Lord of the Rings movies ending, I consoled myself with the warm fuzzy blanket of new Doctor Who bootlegs and many comic books.

But it wasn't enough, now was it? I hereby enlist in the Firefly army, ready with pitchfork and torch to storm whatever Frankenstonian edifice I have to to ensure this science fiction phenom goes from television to movies and then BACK to television. The Firefly movie, Serenity, comes out this Sept-am-bre, I believe, and I hope to be there with my eyes held open Clockwork Orange style while my Goodely Wyfe applys the necessary lubricating eyedrops at precise and timely increments.

Somebody please do not let me sleep on a series like this again! In the meantime, I am off to Netflix Red Dawn and Farscape.

That is all, true believers!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

How I am Spending my Summer Vacation

Alas to dream, perchance to feel
The summer heat doth make heads reel
I choose to write in silly rhyme
To describe my funny summertime

Broke we are, and broke we'll be,
Thus pleasures taken have been pleasures free.
Domesticity hath been my focus bent
Paying our mortgage, and done with rent.

A camping trip we did partake,
On open fire, our bacon baked.
We hiked a trail up to the sky
And nakey self portraits did I espy.

Smokey Bear and I did meet,
And myself he promised not to eat.
This preventive ursine stood proud and tall,
And Goodely Wyfe took pictures all.

To Baltimore a day did pass,
Our focus the city, not field or grass.
Fair Kathleen did spin us 'round,
To museum and bar, the toast of town.

I game with friends e'vry chance I get,
These games for fun, we place no bet.
Faerie, Vampire, Munchkin too,
You'd be surprised what lies in you!

My most recent trip was without Wyfe,
To GenCon sped my friends for life.
Conquering all, proud victors we,
What inspiration started, we have yet to see.

For now we look to futures bold,
And not back at what summer did hold.
To Rennaissance Faires and cooler nights,
Parties grand, by Fairie light.

Watch this space, is my heartfelt plea,
And please to take your journey with me.
Less doggerel I promise will I do,
For we have so much future work to do!

Monday, August 08, 2005

"I'm Thirty-Seven, I'm not old!"

"Well, I just can't call you "man"."

Heh. Any post that starts with a Monty Python quotation cannot be all bad, and thus, any birthday year that starts with a Monty Python quotation cannot be all bad either. Yes, Virginia, today is the anniversary of my birth. I feel great, and have celebrated, not all that extravagantly, but in keeping with my philosophy of "an ordinary life well lived." I gathered my friends about me, we sat on the relatively new front porch, drank pitcher after pitcher of gin and tonics, talked about matters of no import and significant import, and played ridiculous games for much longer than can be considered "fun", but the actual fact that we were playing past the point of fun became fun in and of itself, like some form of extremely length run on sentence that gives no pause nor succor to either the reader or the author, rambling on with no end in sight, yet delighting all with its steadfast refusal to terminate.

I have very little in terms of prophetic words or deep ruminations about this, my thrity seventh year upon the planet. Basically, and perhaps Douglas Adamsian, I would like to thank you all for a rollicking if bumpy good time, and I look forward to working with you all for years to come.

Does one's life need serious reflection and rumination? I wonder how much of my life I have altered for the good or bad simply by looking at it, like that poor bifurcated box cat in that physics chestnut. I think I will let this birthday go then, soaring on the wings of love, only the two of us, forever flying high.....

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Robbyfrog

There was an amazing book I once read called "Ishmael" that I remember as a poignant parable pertaining primarily to population. Among this book's quiet charms is that one of the main characters is a large talking gorilla. I found myself listening a little more closely to what a giant gorilla had to say about world affairs, more so than I would have listened to a human character.

But that's not what I wanted to write about today.

Anywhoodley, I usually do not remember the minutae from things what I read, but every now and then, a little slice of knowledge permeates my brainpan, and settles in like a kitten in a warm lap. One tidbit I read is that in general, people tend not to look "up" when they are looking for people and things. Always hide "up" if you are hiding, as your chances of remaining undetectable increase.

But that's not what I wanted to write about.

The little parablette that I took away from Ishmael was the idea of the boiling frog. It went a little something like this:

Listen: If you boil a pot of water, and throw a frog into it, the frog wil scald , and hop around like mad in order to escape its fate. However, if you put a frog in a pot of water, and slowly, ever so slowly, increase the temperature, the frog will sit there patiently, unaware of the impending doom, until it is too late, and the frog is cooked.

I tell you this because I feel like the frog in tepid waters sometimes, unfortunately very well aware that the water is getting warmer by the second, but still unable to surmount the rim of the boiling pot that I have placed myself in. I frequently feel freedom falling from my worldview as I sit complacent and unmoving as the water molecules begin to hum and sizzle around me. Hop, damn you! Hop out of the pot, Robbyfrog! Whats wrong with you, why won't you hop!?!

Friday, July 22, 2005

Just a Quickie...

Lots going on today, big intentional meditations and prayer to Molly, I hope all works out the way it was intended to.




I am very pleased with my work today, about 6 hours to design and model this house in 3D. Yeah, I think I am pretty cool too!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

And They're Off!

"Its fertility on the outside, with Adoption making a play, Fertility, Adoption coming around the final turn...and its Fertility by an ovum, but Adoption is looking awfully responsive...in the home stretch it could be a photo (10410) finish folks, and at the wire, it looks like its going to be..."

Whew!

Yes, with all the other things that we are trying to keep track of, the Goodley Wyfe and I are actively pursuing both Feritilization issues and the Adoption procedures with equal vigor. We had our first consult with the very kindly Fertility doctor and nurse, and are also off to see the Great Wall Adoption people this weekend for an introductory seminar.

Its all very, very complicated, and the worst part is that there is very little for me to do. I was actually kind of hoping that all me spermy scalliwags didn't have tails or something like that, as the exploratory procedures what they have to perform on the Wyfe's plumbing appear frightening to me. Alas, it is what it is, so off we go.

Oh, and speaking of racketeering, it turns out that Invetro Fertilization (IVF) costs about the same as the whole adoption process, about (brace yourself) twelve thousand dollars. I wonder fi there was some canoodling there? Considering that at the end of the adoption process, we are almost guaranteed a child, and at the end of the IVF process we have about a 40-50% chance of delivering a child, well....adoption seems like a prettier option, from a stricly numbers viewpoint. Having said that, I cannot stress how wonderful it would be to have our OWN child...a little Talrob running around dancing in the sunshine.

/sigh

Its a wonderfully complicated issue, isn't it? I suppose the creation of new life should not be bandied about lightly, e'en by my superficially operatig mind. Is it any wonder that i am distracted at work today? I kind of have a lot on me mind today.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Where do you see this relationship going?

This question is usually the death knell for most bachelor men, spoken one night as he is unsuspectingly having a wonderful date with his best girl, getting ready for some serious smooching and "lower" cuddling, as I overheard Ray Romano once refer to it. The question comes from some stygian, swirling morass of estrogen-laden tendrilled blackness....ooo...creepy!

But, when you look around, we really experience a myriad of relationships every single day. Where do I see them going? Golly, they almost all have some form of trackable progression through time. Using the above example, my relationship with my Goodely Wyfe is heading toward Familydom, with us looking at becoming pregnant or adopting our next generation vonderkund. At work, I have but to look into my boss' office to see where this relationship is going. I will own this firm at some time or another, no doubt. At the gym, my relationship is the easiest to track...inches and pounds, baby, inches and pounds. Bumps where I donnae 'ave them, and gettin' rid o' the bumps which I do!

Where I find my relationships stagnating, however, is with my circle of friends. We are doing the same sorts of things that we have been doing for years now, and although I take great joy in them, it is getting a bit stale. There must be some form of "breakthrough" whereas we all either get closer to each other, or break new ground in terms of our relationship which could put the "spark" back into the mix.

Now I know you folks out there may say that your relationships with your friends are suppposed to be casual, lighthearted and fun, and maybe I am reading too much into this "Relationship" with the capital R. There was a time when I thought this might be true. Heck, there was a time when I tried to de-emphasize my current career by turning it into a "day job" and using the other time to pursue what I truly desired, but that didn't work out either. My profession was too important to be turned into a day job, and my friends are too important to be turned into casual acquaintences. I am not exaggerating here, as my friends are much, much better than yours. There, I have said it. Its true, and you have to believe me. There MUST be something from this League of Super-Extraordinary Gentlemen that spins us into the next level of friendshipdom.

What am I looking for? I do not know. I will hopefully begin to focus a bit more on the physical side of my friendly relationships, through learning how to swordfight and perhaps mountain biking. What were you thinking when I said physical? Cheeky! But apart from that, I am stymied.

I certainly hope that it will not take some horrific event to make me feel bound more tightly to this wonderful group, as I feel bound to other people what I hardly know simply because we weathered some tragedy or another together. There certainly must be some way to take this thing to the "next level" without it being a jarring experience.

Hmmm...fine then, perhaps I will have to sleep with them all....

Oh, you need a question, eh? Fine then. Have you noticed the same rythms in relationships of soaring to a plateau, only to have it linger much too longly up there? What did you do to jump start them? Did you (gasp) simply cut them loose?

Friday, July 15, 2005

..and I even like Pina Coladas....

Well what a funny day yesterday was! After clacking away at my keyboard like a crystal meth laden chicken "peckin' at the dough" to update my blog yesterday, I went off to the gym, and spent my hour on the exercise bicycle.

Whatever else happens in this post, note that I am very, very proud of myself for going and riding the exercise bike every day this week! Huzzah for the body sculpt!

After the gym, I made my way to the convenience store for a bit of fluid replacement, when all of a sudden, water started just falling from the sky all around me! I state this in this manner because it was truly a remarkable thing to see....it wasn't "just rain" to me...water was actually just FALLING FROM THE SKY!!! I can't remember the first time I saw rain, or snow for that matter, but once again I was able to slip my +7 Wondrous Goggles of Seeing Things for the First Time and was left awestruck.

All the conditions were perfect....I was dehydrated (I had been using the sauna as well, so was down about a pint of water through me pores), feeling good, over heated, and just had a discussion that very morning with a colleague of mine about how much I loved thunderstorms and walking through them. I couldn't resist the urge, and off I went.

Nay, Bethesda MD, where my office is, keep your resplendent overhanging awnings and deep eaves, for this sojourner requires no shelter from the pounding, driving torrents! I was soaked to the bone in seconds as the driving walls of water buffeted my skin, but oddly made me smile and strut instead of cower and tremble. Arms spread wide, I walked the street through the thundering storm, head held as high as I could without getting my contact lenses blasted from my eyes. It was truly glorious. I strutted and preened, flaunting my nigh invulnerable feelings to any what gazed upon me. View me, mortals, view your Rain God, and be joyous!

View me, pay attention to me, love me....this needy vibe is rooted deeply into my psyche. It is no wonder than that after I made my way to my parking garage, and was faced with a wet soggy ride home, I promptly stripped down in the middle of the garage, towelled myself off, and made my way home. Oh, the glories of public nigh-nudity! I wish I could strut my soft but not all that unattractive body around all the time. /sigh but for the "decency" laws on the books.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

All Of My Ends Are Alight!

I am, of course, referring to the candle burnination saying. I am hectic, frazzled, overtired and ready for love today! Watch out Goodely Wife, as I will be coming on like a drunken prom date, but fear not, for I should be passing out in similar fashion as well. Ah, to be young and in love!

Work is blowing up all over, and I am doing quite well, if crazily. I am out of here soon, and heading to the gym. I have never been to the gym in the middle of the afternoon before, so I hope to get in there to beat the snoggins out of the after work rush, which I hear is a cattle call. But, regardless, I will be there, trashy vampire sex book in one hand, exercise bike in the other.

Yes, I know I own a REAL bike, a humdinger named Ethel that is just supercharged with wonderful outdoorsy vibes. So far, though, I havent been able to go home from work (or get up early enough) and suit up to ride her. I think it is the camaraderie of the gym that I like, plus there is a friendly fella there that I have developed a "gym friendship" with, and I like the idea that he gives me crap if I don't show up. I know I should ride me bonnie wee lass Ethel, but I am not, and that's that. So there. Should is a ridiculous word anyway.

Speaking of ridiculous, here is a lovely picture of my World of Warcraft character, Fastred the Hunter, dressed like a pirate. Did I mention I love this game?

No matter how exhausted I am, no matter how much I say that THIS time, working out is going to be the most important thing right now, I still can make time to play my video game. I love it, love it, love it! Here's another pic!




He' s great! Look at those arms! Mighty!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

And by "Title", I meant.....

"Entitlement"...

This is an issue that I have been wrasslin' with for quite some time in the ole' laundry dryer that is my mind. It goes a little something like this.

I am a shining example of the adage that "My grandfather studied war, so my father could study industry, so I could study art". My grandfather was a farmer turned plumber, my father worked for Continental Can Company (specialized steelworking, amongst his other jobs what he undertook to make ends meet) and I am now an architect. I am extremely grateful to those that came before me. When we lived in northern New Jersey (just a stone's throw from New York City), my family, friends and most folk that I met were working class, holding two or three jobs to provide the best for their families.

I live now outside of Washington DC, some would argue the center of the Western world. Washington is an interesting "city", in that since nothing can be taller than the 555 feet of the Washington monument, we have no skyscrapers, so the scale is much more suburban. More importantly to this topic, Washington has little to no manufacturing at all. There is no garment district, no shipping, no warehousing, no mills of any kind. Our sister city of Baltimore is a much better example of an "urban" city, SO far away at 40 minutes north.

The result is that, in general, what we have here is not "farmer, steelworker, architect", but "diplomat, lawyer, entitled". So often I see examples of people that carry themselves with an air of entitlement that on my best days irks me, and on my worst days makes me ashamed to be a member of the human race. This sense of entitlement transcends age and gender in my fine hamlet of Washington DC, from kids I have had in my car disappointed that the seats weren't heated, to the business man berating the clerk at the parking permit salesbooth to the woman I saw walking in front of her baby's stroller that her South American nanny was pushing.

Yes, I know that when I was a kid, I complained about not having cable t.v., I have yelled at my share of obtuse and uncaring clerks, and well...I don't have a nanny correlation (as all the nannys I ever met were very kind to me! naga nooch!) but you have to stand there and see it, witness it and feel the wave of "this is the way the world revolves around me" that palpitates from the Entitled in our midst..

Its the folk that treat their beautiful, intelligent girlfriends like ass because they know that they will always get another, the folk that don't pick up things that they knock over in stores because they know someone else will take care of it for them, its the folks that drive as if they owned the road, littering as they go. The folk that talk down or berate the minimum wage earners all around them. This tanscends "spoiled" and goes further.

No question for today (at least none formally proposed), but an urging. Please, please conduct yourself with an aspect of graciousness, and not entitlement. Everything you receive, whether it be wrapped up and anonymously dropped off at your doorstep, or if it is a result of your hard work and sweat equity is a gift, given to you by the universe, and should be appreciated in the same manner. Even if you never had to work a minimum wage job before in your life, think about the person that is cleaning up your job site, whipping up your smoothie, working on your car or issuing your parking permit. Just by being able to read this rant, you have more privileges that 80% of the modern world. Be thankful for being able to view, as I am thankful that you have.

Monday, July 11, 2005

The Chimp What Hates Beauty...

I had the opportunity to step out on the town with a good friend of mine this past weekend, in that wonderfully charming but slightly pathetic way that only a married man can step out with a good friend of his. Something akin to the movie Swingers, they were fun to watch, but you knew ultimately that nothing significant was going to happen. Hmm...thats probably a bad example, because the swinger boys did hook up from time to time. In any event, I digress.

We were out for the infamous if slightly cliche "Burger and Beer", which our nation's capitol provides in abundance. After a faulty start, some terrible table service resulting in a dangerous brush with Insatnt Karma (now in a delightful breakfast flake), we were well sated with the aforementioned beefy & hoppy delectables.

Desperately hanging on to my own sense of being a hip "man about town" for whatever that means, I didn't want to arrive at our next destination (downtown cocktail party, baby!) before 10:30 p.m. the earliest. This is, of course, amazingly late for yours truly, but I can rally when I need to. What to do for the next 90 minutes or so? Being so far into the "hip" of Washington DC that we could look right at the pelvis, we decided to try a trendy "lounge bar" called Cloud.

or Sky, or Zephyr, or Waft......you get the idea...

The formula is such; very light coloured walls, 27 different fruity and fancy "tinis" (I think there was a walnut-dryer lintini that they were offering...), lightly pumping technotrontic lounge music, foreign national bartenders, and distantly affected waitstaff and "hostess" which resembled no tasty cupcake that I ever had.

Bottom line: I LOVED it! I eat this stuff up like nobody I know. I feel hip and cool and proudly metrosexual as I sit in hip and cool and proudly metrosexual bars. I delighted in being courted in that oddly demeaning way by swarthy Latin American men seemingly disappointed in my banal Gin & Tonic order. I also loved the incredibly attractive young lady behind the bar that did nothing the entire time that we were there besides text message on her blackberry bluetooth portable wirless wifi Ipadoodle. She was strikingly handsome, with olive skin, light eyes and wearing (by our ogling acumen) exactly 2 items of clothing.

We (my dear friend and I) got to talking about the fabulously beautiful people in the world, and how much we loved and hated them. Now, I am a reasonably handsome man, make no mistake, and have taken full advantage of my looks and charm to get to where I am today. Thus, I find it tough to wish serious ill will on the idle beautiful. However, I did find myself running with the notion that maybe, just maybe, it would be delightful if a wild chimp came running into the Cloud Bar, leapt o'er the counter, and lightly but energetically mauled this young woman for just a bit. That doesn't make me a bad guy, does it? Just a light mauling, to let this ethereal beauty know that bad things happen.

Yes, yes...I know, she has her own problems, issues, baggage and the like. We all do, even the impressively beautiful. In fact, as I was sitting there kind-of-but-actually-without trying to-cooly-unobtrusivle-but yet intentionally totally staring at her, I noticed that she had a haunted look about her, one which I couldn't quite put my finger on, and then I got it. She wasn't making eye contact with anyone. How odd, I thought, considering my own "love me, everyone" vibe that has me locking orbs with anyone I see in the hopes that we develop a rapport of some sort. Here was an amazing beauty that I had to only hypothesize had developed this defense mechanism of not looking at folk (especially us creepy older guy bar folk) directly in the eye, for fear of having to fend off unwanted advance vs. unwanted advance. It seemed sad that something within her may have felt like she couldn't share that part of herself with people.

Where is your beauty held, faithful reader? You can be honest here, we don't mind the occasional flare of egotism in the virtual world. In fact, we encourage it. So holla back, challah bread....where is YOUR beauty? Is it physical? Are you a hottie? Can I have your phone number? Is it in your voice, do you sing or play a musical instrument? Don't be shy now, everyone has beauty.

Now the stinger. How often do you share that rare and precious gift that is your beauty with the rest of the world? Do you hide it? Are you afraid that other's won't recognize it for beauty? I say pish posh, applesauce! Flaunt it! Send it out there! Fly, live, jump and jive....

but watch your back for the chimps.....

Friday, July 08, 2005

A Milestone Event...

under the working title of "my cat's urinary tract"

Well, this is it, the big "tenth post" to my blog that marks my "going public" and alerting all my friends and family of what I am up to and encouraging them to send this link to their friends and family as well. I feel kind of proud of myself, that I have somehow stuck with it this far, and that you will now be able to share and converse about this semi regular look into what I like to consider a very ordinary life well lived.

On to my cat's urine, you say? Well, I wouldn't have it any other way!

My cat is named Chow Maine, he is a twenty something pounded orange tabby, half Wild Asian Leopard Cat, and half Maine Coon cat. He is a fussy monster that has been a part of my life for about 12 years now. I love him dearly, and all his finicky ways.

As it turns out, one of his "finicky ways" is that when his human lacky (read: Yours Truly) decides to play video games for 6 hours upon his return from vacation instead of doing his chores (read: cleaning out his box), he likes to pee on the furniture. This time, Chow went ahead and caught my Goodely Wyfe's cross-stitch bag as well. I of course, blame myself.

Addiction is a crazy, wacky thing. I am so glad that to this day I am still mortified by what my father would do to me if he ever found out I used drugs. My current addiction or hobby is this video game that I play, and I am hoping that I can start to wean myself off of the habit. They tell me that it only takes two weeks to make or break a habit, and my recent cold turkey nail biting resolution proves this to be true. Can I do the same with World of Warcraft? Two weeks knowing that the game is there, but not being able to play it? It gives me so much pleasure, but it really does have quite the negative impact on my real world life. This one won't be easy.

I will let you know how I do, faithful reader, and I thank you for keeping up!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

"So much nicer to come home....."

I will SO not try to reset my metaphysical tripometer today!

I state that for myself, so that I can enlist you, my faithful readers, in my resolve to not try to re-right all of the "wrongs" in my life on this, my first day back from vacation. I don't know how you do it, but I am a constant re-starter. I drive myself crazy almost every "first", be it first of the week, month or year, making all sorts of promises to myself about weight, work ethic, relationships, fiscal and domestic responsibility, etc. Setting myself up for "failure" seems to have been a major theme in my life.

Can anyone really be expected to go to the gym, wear a tie, not screw around on the internet at work, stop touching ones own naughty bits like a red-bottomed baboon watching the bannana channel, do all the household paperwork, mow the lawn and lose twenty pounds all in one day? Probably not, but that's how my wacky mind works. And by "works", I mean "chugs along like a busted up coal-fueled steam engine rattling atop turn of the century clattery tracks".

But, do we abandon these plans to be better faster, taller, slimmer, more? No, probably not ever for me. It would be delightful to live every day like my birthday though, where I am a slothful decadent ne'er do well man about town, but that would lead to a Marlon Brando-esque level of corpulence and self delusion that even I couldn't handle.

Again, back to balance, it would seem. I should have looked up the latin word for "balance" to come up with my new screen name (see: Terrafontis) as that seems to be the focus of this whole "life" thing that I have carved out for myself. There are so many push and pulls in life that one becomes aware of on a daily basis, it is akin to one giant metaphysical taffy pull. (mmmm....taffy!) Sometimes my balance points make me feel good and complex, and not just some droney worker bee dreaming through life. I am terribly (almost detrimentally) self aware, but better too self aware than the opposite, which is to go through life never having plumbed your own depths (see "naughty bits" above....cheeky!)

Before I list my own "balance points", I would like to know what yours might be. What major fulcrums do you tip back and forth on? Do you bargain with yourself while dealing with your balance points...like "I will eat Balsa Wood Crunchies (tm) for a month, but for now I am going to have a pint of Creamery Butter & Bacon Ice Cream (tm)."?

Friday, July 01, 2005

I Love the Gay!

Just wanted to get this out of the way, in case there is any misunderstanding in this or any other post. I will even type it again: I Love The Gay! If you are a man and woman and feel love towards another man or a woman, well, heck, who am I to get in the way? Have a good time, and if you are a gay man, don't forget to hit on us married men from time to time, its really VERY flattering.

Being of reasonably sound geek mind and body, I do sorely enjoy the science fiction. I read Wil Wheaton's blog, and look forward to science fiction and gaming conventions as my big vacation during the summer. It is amazing to me, then, when I go back in time to look at something that I remember fondly, and find that either it has (unlikely) or I have changed dramatically.

I remember ST:TGN as a pioneer, reinventing the Star Trek franchise for a, well, new generation of geeks, dorks and nerds like me. Thanks to the wonders of Netflix, I queued up the first season of dvds, and planned a lovely trip down memory lane!

Disappointed! I was awed and shocked to see how cheesy the special effects were, how silly the dialog, and well...how gay everyone seemed to be. To be honest, the original Star Wars movie had better special effects than Star Trek did, and was more believable and less dated...and considering the era which pumped out THAT masterpiece...that's saying something. Star Trek, The Next Generation went, in my dark and spiderwebby mind, from groundbreaking sci fi to shmaltzy kitsch...just. like. that.

I now look at some of my latest "passions", especially the Lord of the Rings movies, and wonder if, in 15 years time, will I look back on them and think that they are cheesy and silly. I pray to the elder tentacled Shogggoth that this never comes to pass, but you know how tempermental those deities can be.

So, again, I put to you, what have you gone back to reclaim, only to find it ever changed? Was there a hangout that you loved as a child, a country lane, or even a television show or movie that your tried to do some glory reclaiming on, only to be thwarted? Better yet, anything that you went back to only to find that it was BETTER than you ever remembered? I think I would rather hear about the latter....Polyanna style!

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Better Late than Never!

So, for those that may not know, I am an architect by profession. It is a great job, and really can be something different every day. Seeing how variety is often on the top of my spice rack of life, it all works out fairly well.

The trend in my profession, as the trend is in all aspects of life, is toward using the computer to do more and more of our work. I am still old enough to have been trained in the paper and pencil method of drawing and designing, the subject of which would constitute a rant the size of utah in this space. Suffice to say, until a few weeks ago, I felt the compter was only good for research, reading webcomics and surfing for pictures and stories about naughty bits.

The de rigeur computer program for architects has always been AutoCad, a fairly cumbersome and unfriendly drafting tool. Note that last bit there....drafting tool. Not really a design tool, AutoCad helps the draftsperson out fairly well, as far as I know.

BUT, the dopey computer industry told me that the computer would be able to help me do design work, to visualize buildings in three dimensions, and show my clients easy to create animated walkthroughs and real time shadow studies with just a click and a bit of keyboarding. Lies! Lies! Lies! It had never happened.

Enter the Dragon. Okay, enter a happy little program called SketchUp. This crazy thing does everything the computer indutry promised that it would do for me ten years ago. I am falling in love all over again. Once my sister in law teaches me how to post photos and web links here, I can show you some of the "output" of my creations. Until then, rest assured that I have finally joined the 21st century.....and beyond.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

I have WAY too many men in my life...

If the overall theme of life is one of balance and harmony, which it is, then one of the constant push and pull aspects of that theme is Stuff vis a vis Living Simply. Let's face it, like all good little middle class American citizens, I love to shop, I love buying things, and I love everything that is new and cool. What I do not love however, is actually owning a whole bunch of stuff that I never use, but somehow have projected some kind of emotional or spiritual attachment to.

I am desperately trying to limit my belongings and pare down the rampant collections that seem to be overflowing from every available nook and / or cranny in the toasty english muffin that is our current domicile. The current collection that I am working on is with my "Little Men", or Mage Knight Collectible Miniatures game figures. I had been playing this game for years, and it has pretty much dried up in this area, according to the usual ebb and flow of fad gaming. The result is that I have over one thousand inch high fantasy figures that I will most likely never use again, not counting the dragons, tanks, seige equipment and full castle "playset" accessories.

So what to do? I believe that I have a plan for the ones that I will keep, and the ones that I will be rid of, but how best to dispose of my toys? I truly do love them all, and many of them are links to fun games, lots of laughs, and friends past. Do they deserve to be chucked in the bin? Given to neighborhood kids to play with, only to witness their imminent neglect and destruction as they are trampled and / or left out in the rain? Handed to future gamers in a big bag, with a little tear in my eye and a fond farewell? Perhaps.

A good friend of mine is on a campaign to get rid of half of his stuff. Half! Like a bad divorce, without the joys of once being married. I do not know if I have the fortitude for such a divestiture of my "worldy" (read: geeky) possessions, but it does set an amazing precedent in the extreme that I can use to set my own "Living Simply With Less Stuff" balance barometer.

So I ask you, could you live with half your "stuff"?

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Terrafontis, or...My Name is Mud....

My goodely wife and I have been on, amongst other things, a mutual voyage of spiritual self discovery. We have both left the Catholic Church for a variety of reasons, and have also fallen out of interest with the Unitarian Church. How in the Helen of Troy do you become a lapsed Unitarian? I am not very sure, but we could write the book on the subject, if we were motivated to do so. I think you get the idea. I was beginning to feel that without a beief in the afterlife, any god or goddesses or the Great Beyond (tm), that I had no faith. That little revelation left me feeling empty and lost, and actively courting the Jehovah's Witnesses. It wasn't until I sat down with our local Unitarian Minister that I realized I had an ABUNDANCE of faith.

Listen: Faith really just means a belief in something that cannot be proven. I cannot PROVE that there is no afterlife and no God, it is just something that I believe. I cannot PROVE the inherent worth and dignity of every person, it is just something that I believe. I also, come to think of it, cannot PROVE that JarJarBinks was not as bad as people thought, it is just something that I believe.

In any event, we have a nice group of friends that run the gamut in paganism from casual to serious. So far, we have some resonance with the ideas and observances surrounding the pagan religion. To our rational minds, it makes sense to have some observance, or at least ascribe to ceremonies and proceedings that are thousands of years old. I like the idea that while I am not "worshipping" the elements of earth, air, fire and water, I can understand why these things are important, and could do with a little deliberate observance.

During the first formal circle that we were a part of, the group called upon and welcomed the elements, and I found myself reflecting and contemplative of which ones resonated with me. I have always loved water, flowing and changing, enriching and nourishing, yet present every time I cry. Earth for strength also has a resonance for me, and combined, well, I like to think that combined they would make the beach or the shore, which holds a special place for me.

Now, take these thousands and thousands of years old practices, and apply modern technology to them. My current group of pagan connections have a web presence, an online forum board, and a recommended reading list. Oh, if the druids at Stonehenge could only see us now. It is anachronistically yummy.

Random tie in: In my various fantasy gaming interests, sometimes to come up with good sounding names, I will head over to an online English to Latin dictionary, and type in cool words to see what their Latin counterparts are. Vispilio, for instance, translates to "Thief in the Night"...a perfect vampire name. In searching for a good online pagan name, I typed in various versions of "water" and "earth" and finally settled on Terrafontis, "earth fountain".

So, it came as little surprise to me (although I was puzzled while I was doing it) that I ended up carving a formal circle of my own by lowering my mower blades and creating a micro glen in the backyard. In the near future, I hope to head out there with my Orienteering Kit to identify the cardinal points, and hopefully have a few of my friends over to dedicate my own sacred space.

Which begs the question (good dog, but no begging!) Where is your sacred space? Is it a church, a meadow, a coffee shoppe, or is your sacred space deep inside you, where you go to reflect, renew and nourish yourself? Inquiring minds want to know.......

Monday, June 27, 2005

Where everybody knows your ...alternate personality?

I was going to name this post "2,000,000 of my closest friends", but felt the Cheers reference dated me a bit better. Both titles, refer, of course, to my experiences with MMORPGing. Massively Mulitplayer Online Role Playing Gaming in general, and World of Warcraft in particular has become an ever increasingly important part of my life.

Even if you can forget the fact that the game is essentially a 3d interactive Dungeons and Dragons movie starring ME, the idea that I am playing in a community of like minded folks numbering in the millions is staggering.

There are all sorts of nuts and bolts kinds of things that I can talk about today, but I would rather touch in on the metaphysical. There are now dozens of people that know Yours Truly only as Fastred, the loveable if unwashed dwarven hunter. Think about that, then think about your own online presence. How would the people in your Real Life react if they knew all of your personalities? Would they be freakishly curious, appaled, turned on, turned off, incensed...which?

Now, even more to the point, if you have a significant other, how much of your online life do you share with that person? Did you meet online perhaps? When did you tell your friends that you had a Blog, and did you tell all of them? There are folks in this game of mine that have met, fallen "in love" and have gotten virtually married, without ever having actually seen or met each other. Truly amazing. How can this be called virtual reality then? On some level, the game becomes a reality all of its own, ever changing, being affected by those who play it, and like that wacky cat in the box in the famous scientific parable, the game world is changed simply by my involvement in it.

As much joy as I get from my virtual world of fantasy gaming, I also derive an extra helping of stress as well. There are social issues that crop up all the time, competitiveness and flat out goal achieving stresses that, for many including myself, can rival what goes on in home and career life. You should see my list of Things to Do....peppered in with client management and chores around the house are such things as "collect Plainstrider Beaks, forge Arcanite bars for the online Auction House...etc.".

How long can someone sustain this kind of duality? How much of my real life am I sacrificing for the virtual? Only time can tell. I remember when I got my first personal computer, I had to actually disconnect the power cord and lock it in the trunk of my car to keep me from obsessing over the internet and computer programs. Thank goodness these days I have some semblance of control over my habits, and have also married a fine woman that can exercise even MORE control over my rampant online excapades.

There is no wrap up for this post, as both my virtual and real life are ever changing and ever evolving. Best I can do is "Watch this space for updates."

Friday, June 24, 2005

Let us Begin...the Begin.

Yes, there will be some spoilers below, but by the time you read this, the movie will have been out for awhile, so if you haven't seen it yet, that is your bad! We talk about, of course, Batman Begins.

Disclaimer: excuse my spelling of folkses names, I am pretty awful at that sort of thing. Sure, I could File:Open:New Browser Window and look them all up, but heck, that's just too much work!

What can I say? The movie had some tough, tough work to do. How many times have I seen, read, heard or even told Batman's origin story? I believe the number is akin to how many angels vis-a-vis the head of a pin. This latest installment is also making the attempt to revitalize the franchise, rescuing it from the abysmal Joel Schumacher days, better known as The Time of Which We Do Not Speak.

In this regard, the movie does an excellent job. The aesthetics are definitely Dark Knight, and not Caped Crusader, but the over all vision of Gotham City is less World of Darkness and more "realistic" in terms of its architecture. I loved the Blade Runner like feel of the Narrows as well. Christian Bale looks wonderful in the batsuit, although he comes off as "overdoing" the gruff batvoice when he is being intimidated. Gary Oldman does an excellent job as the unsure Sgt. Gordon, struggling to be one of the only good cops left in this corrupt city.

Bad guy wise, I found the actor what played Dr. Jonathan Crane far creepier than his Scarecrow counterpart. Really, a fantastic portrayal of a dark and disturbed "chip on his shoulder" character. The crime boss actor did an excellent job as well, if perhaps a bit too Dick Tracy villianesque in his delivery. SO easy to be critical, isn't it? Liam Nieson was as exceptional as I have come to expect as Ra's Al Ghul. Liam Nieson could be James Bond, easily.

Speaking of critical, I was left unimpressed by the "love interest" played by Katie Holmes. Besides the obligatory nipplage (of which there was plenty, wasn't it summer in Gotham?) I just didn't feel any chemistry there. To be honest, comic book Batman had very little in terms of romantic involvement, yet Hollywood feels compelled to pump this aspect of Batman's life up to uncomfortable heights. Just when I thought Batman was actually going to get away without telling anyone his identity, the script writers go and blow it in a heavy handed "code worded" kind of way that Michael Keaton and Michelle Pfieffer did SO much better in Batman Returns. Having said all this about the poor Ms. Holmes, I wish her nothing but the best in her upcoming nuptuals.

Oooo...this just in, if her character in Batman becomes the District Attourney (and her boss was killed, so why not) then perhaps we could be looking at a female Two-Face? that would be an excellent departure from canon that I would be interested in exploring. We can assume that the next movie will trot out the Joker, and again I say...how many times have I seen this? I would like something new and exciting from the ONLY comic book franchise that DC comics seems to be able to sustain at the movies.

Bottom Line: I give this movie 4 out of 5 cans of Bat-Shark Repellant Spray.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Like a concert virtuoso....

Let me start this post by stating that , yes Virginia, I am a Fancy Lad. I didn't feel much like working today, so left at noon, went home to play some video games, then went for some major upscale primping. Shave and a Haircut is more than just two bits, it is a little slice of heaven. Sure, there are some hairy (ha!) parts of the procedure, such as the application of the straight razor to ones unprotected neck. I wonder if the "barbier" ever gets that urge like many folk do when faced with a cliff edge or bridge. I have certainly felt that self destructive urge to hurl myself into the abyss on more than one occasion. Conversely, I wonder how many straight razor wielding barbers get the urge to just slice that one neck open...What's one neck in a career where you are shaving 50 people a day? Isn't 99 out of a hundred still an "A"? I guess not where the carotid artery is concerned. In any event, I get that fresh from the barber shoppe feel coupled with narrowly escaping certain death. I win...again.

Sure, Robert, that's a nice spin on a standard afternoon, but that doesn't make you much of a Fancy Lad (tm), now does it? Well faithful reader, from the haircut shoppe we (dare I say) sashayed down to the nail parlour to get a manicure. Yes, a manicure.

Now is a good time to illuminate my fingernail situation. Ask my goodely wife and she will tell you...my fingernails, or lack thereof, have always been a source of horror for us both! The cuticular nightmare of my nail biting habit was almost George Romero-ian in scope and gore. I kid you not...when I ran out of nails to bite, I would keep going until I found myself one day ingesting half of my own femur. True story.

So last month, I decided to stop biting my nails. Cold Turkey, thy name is Robert. Imagine our surprise when a 30 year habit died just. like. that. I was so pleased, I took myself to my second manicure in my life. The first was when I got married. Amazing! There is a whole world out there that most men ne'er get a chance to view, though I am sure many are happier that way. In some ways a wild fish market, with every language imaginable being spoken at once, bottles of ointments and sharp edged instruments being passed from one woman to another in a dance macabre of hand hygene. Part assembly line, as the no-nonsense focused approach to cleaning and polishing your hands is displayed by the licensed and bonded nail technicians. Part bordello / dance hall feeling where the only man in the place is the proprietor that takes your money and sets you up with one of the young ladies in his stable for your 20 minutes. Now wrap all that up and realize that this is a weekly event for many people. This being the third time in my life to be "under the drying fan", I was sitting with my usual child like wide eyed amazement as the woman sitting across from me chitted and chatted whilst working on me mitts with her file like a violin performer. In no time at all, my unusually long fingernails were snipped, climped, buffed, polished and made oh so pretty, but still in a "Man" sort of way. I was the only male customer in there, which was also a set of odds that I can work with. Note to self and others: get your haircut first on Primping Day, as you want to look your best at the nail salon.

Did I mention the hand massage?

Welcome, and Merry Met!


Hello everyone!

Well, here I go, taking the plunge into the wonderful world of online diary keeping. This should be an interesting experiment, and I am looking forward to exploring this organic medium.



Take a look at my profile for some basic information about who I am, and what I am up to. Thanks for checking in, let's see what develops, eh?