Friday, April 21, 2006

How fleeting...

Just a followup to yesterday.

I went home a bit early, and stopped by my local gaming store. In true Brodie fashion "They love me there!", and were more than willing to help me hone my Pokemon skills for what I assumed to be many, many battles.

I raced home, pockets overbrimming with monsters both new and old, the new card smell wafting around me like the spirits of former Pokemon Gym Leaders before me, and calling to the fore promises of great victories.

I sat, pensive and twitching, eager to engage my diminutive prey in another classic clash of cards, then...lo! He comes. I see his form ascending the hill to his house, acting quite the casual dandy, half skipping, half that a murder of crows that follows him? No, just a passing cloud, just a passing cloud.

He plays the game well....he pretends to ignore me, as if I wasn't sitting there on the porch, fixing him with my best game face, poring all of my tension and competetive malice into my icy stare....look at me, 1st grader...look at the face of your doom.

The Goodely Wyfe steps into the fray, beware woman! This is a fierce match between Alpha's of the neighborhood. Undaunted, she calls out her own challenge...

"Hi Adam, how was the park?"

How dare she! He has won this round, and he knows it. He stops, looks right at me, smiles his loathsome smile, and declares,

"Good, beautiful day! Hi Robert and Talley"

Hi Robert and Talley indeed. Wait, where is he going? Surely he sees the deck of cards that I shuffle..shuffle..cut..shuffle, incessantly shuffle. He must know its on, he must! This boy is good, so very good. But no matter..I will....

He turns, and before I can shout my defiance, he disappears into his house! A ha! He must be going to grab whatever malnourished and neglected "pocket monsters" he can find to rush back and battle me...surely.

A minute passes, slowly, inexorably as only time can. Two minutes...three, where is this boy? Where is this demonic incorporation of the unholy feud? He doesn't appear...was my game face enough? Have I cowered him?

I spot his mother, a tall dark slyph of a woman, gliding up from the park with her daughter, the heir to the pokemon throne in tow. She stops, the mother of my Foe, and fixes her smouldering gaze upon me, envious, no doubt, of my lofty, prominent porch position. She smiles, that cruel, evil smile, and spits out,

"Hi guys! Great day! Oh, Adam got a new game today...Heroscape! Ever hear of it?"

Like a crudely formed obsidian spear, this harpy casually pierces my heart....Adam will not be coming over to play Pokemons with me....he has already moved on, and my window....

is closed.

Thursday, April 20, 2006



My neighbor came over the other day to show off his Pokemon card collection. This seven year old scamp was all bright eyed and shiny faced as he showed off one pocket monster after another, boasting on how many cards he had.

Now, as you all know or can safely assume, I have been a Pokemon master since before this fresh faced young tot was even born, so I casually remarked, "Oh, wait here, I think I have a few cards as well". I proceded down to the basement where all of my games go to die, and came back with, oh.....just a few thousand cards. All of a sudden, as we went through the "basic set" of Pokemon, all the memories came back to me, about how silly we were, all grown up, but debating the attack prowess of Hitmochan or the somnabulant karaoke stylings of Clefairy.

Soon, this young whippersnapper had the audacity to challenge me, ME, to a duel of pocket monsters. We began our pitched and furious battle on the front porch of our house, a soft wind blowing, sun shining, and the monsters pocketing.

It doesn't matter who won or lost the duel (alright, he won....grrr....) what matters is that I was actually handing down the fine traditions of collectible card gaming to another generation. I am glad to see that his parents are adding on to their house, and have plans to live there for quite awhile. I have many, many fun games to bring up out of the vault and teach the neighborhood kiddies.

For now, though, you have to excuse me, as I need to go buy more Pokemon cards....a few thousand just doesn't seem like enough.

Robbyblog, I choose You!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Displaced in Time

Hello folks!

Considering we will all live (borrowing accidents) to the ripe old age of 100+, its seems utterly foolish to me that we still cling to this outdated sociological model of modern middle class life. If I live to 100, why is it that I only get the first 18 years to screw around? By the time I am one fifth into the mix, they tell me I need to know what it is I am going to do for the next 80 years! Anybody else find this crazy?

The Hobbits had it right. They had a system where age 33 was coming of age, and you were considered an adult at 50. Bam, perfect. Right there in what we now consider a mid life crisis, they have made that the arrival into adult hood. And why not? Aren't your "tweens", what the hobbits refer to as the wild years of your 20s, the proper age to be running around like a maniac, with some nowhere retail job living in a shack with 12 other folks by the beach? Instead, we power educate ourselves when we aren't prepared to learn anything, end up in a job that we may or may not truly enjoy, and getting divorced and marrying bimbos (or mimbos) in our 40s and 50s wondering what the heck we are doing with our lives.

A few questions:

1. How many of us are in jobs that are totally unrelated to what we studied in College?

2. Why is it that everyone who goes "back to school" does wildly better and gets much more from it than when they were knuckleheaded kids?

3. How many times have you heard "If only I were 20 again, I would do things differently."

My sister in law and my wife seem to have done it pretty well. Both of them are delectable 30 somethings, and have just not too recently embarked on their true careers. They were able to carve out the time for themselves to do some soul searching and find out what it was that they truly wanted to do, a process seasoned by time and benefitted from experience. This seems like a good model. I think I could have knocked around making cheesesteaks or working in the mailroom for a few more years while actually studying architecture as a hobby. As it is now, practicing in my profession takes up so much time that actually being interested in it after work seems so daunting.

The only real difficulty that I have in my new social order is women's biology. You all know I am totally pro-woman, but something has to give here. All you broads need to get together and switch up your baby making apparatus so it goes online at age 20, and works perfectly to your early 40s. As of right now, from what I understand, you are ready to make babies at like age 16 or earlier. That's just crazy considering our current average life expectancy. I still want you to go through puberty and be ready for the "lower cuddling", but just adjust some of the other plumbing, and we will be all set. Okay?

Yeah, its not a great plan, and it has some major flaws, but it does seem like the human race is a little out of sync with our physiology and our temporal journey. If I retire at 65, I will have 35 years, thirty five years, to screw around and slack off. What I would like is to be able to get 10 or so of those years NOW, when I am still borderline young and hot, and screw around and slack off.

Is that so much to ask?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Happy Hour

I understand that one of the best things about British pop music is the often seen or heard juxtaposition of upbeat and catchy tunes snuggled up next to some pretty harsh lyrics. If these cockneyed thugs were out there lampooning "the man", then I am afraid these days, they are reaching out H.G.Wells style and lampooning Yours Truly.

If you have never heard the tune, check out the Housemartin's "Happy Hour". Its a catchy little ditty, and one of my favorite tunes. Do yourself a favour though, and try not to listen too too closely to the lyrics, as they are characteristically dour, and a little pathetic. Curse you British pop artist, curse you to the Inferno!

Kind of a long intro to get into the meat of my post, and that is: Happy Hour season is here at last! The sun is shining, the skirts are rising, and the booze is flowing. My office does a great job of rolling out the plush red carpet of the company credit card now and again and taking us all out for an afternoon on the town, and on their tab. There is a buzz about the office on Happy Hour day, more smiles and smirks, more folk wearing their sunday best, and an energy of chicanery that permeates our designs and our psyches, knowing that there will be interaction, booze, food and glorious happiness.

I love the Happy Hour format. Drinking all sorts of wondrous concoctions in the middle of the afternoon is one of life's greatest joys. Rubbing elbows and other body parts with the fabulous and beautiful younglings of the greater metropolitan area is icing on the alcohol laden cake. I loves me the drinking, the socializing, and the (to my addled brain at least) witty banter that often ensues after the "unwinding" takes place.

Odd how even though tonic water is a terrible stand alone beverage, and gin even worse when taken solo, get these two crazy kids together, and you have what can only be described as the pure, delicious taste of summer itself. Ooo...add that twist of lemon or lime, and you will be transported to the Pleasuredome of Kubla Khan.

The dangers and pitfalls of Happy Hour are, of course, legion. Starting a bender at 4:30 in the afternoon can easily result in one Robbyblogger being a complete and total wreck by 9:00. Those herculean efforts of the past where we have been out drinking for 8-10 hours after a simple "going out for a drink or two after work" is a trap your humble author falls into fairly easily, especially when surrounded by my trusted team of enabling supporters. The mindsplitting and compleatly crippling hangover what results requires convalescence that I am infrequently prepared to handle, avoid, or deal with. Hitting on the boss' hot wife, the office manager, or your subordinates is also a danger to be entertained, but not taken to a too uncomfortable extreme. Ne'er 'ave I been the subject of a heiny xeroxing episode, but I have been carried home baggage style from previous H-hours by trusted life partners.

Perhaps that is why we have winter, to insulate the episodes of the previous drinking and carousing season in ones mind from the potential for moral shenanaghans and hijinkery of the immediate future. Winter is the palate cleansing sorbet of the minds cotton mouthed palate, and this year it has done its job well. With my palate cleansed of all past sin, I am ready to embark once again on the trail of the elusive "Ultimate Happy Hour Experience". Come, hook your wagon up to my star, blow some mud up my skirt, and lets get this thing going!