23Oct2008 1830: Wanderlust
This has been a test of the Emergency Vacation System. If this had been an actual vacation, I would not be posting today either. This was ony a test.
...is what I'd like to say, but the truth is that between all the happy thoughts about my upcoming vacations and the release of Midnight Club: Los Angeles, my weekly post completely slipped my mind.
So yes, my vacations. Are you going to be near my parents' place this weekend? No? Well then you'll have to catch me next weekend at the Punkin Chunkin! Hell yeah East Coast! I keep wondering if I'll be near the ocean, and then I keep reminding myself that everywhere in Delaware is near the ocean in the same way that I'm near to Minnesota.
Morgion and DAP and I are taking Amtrak out there just because. Well, not "just because". None of us care much for the theater, and gas prices are still dumb. That leaves the train. It's already shaping up to be a fun experience...not a trip, an "experience". Morgion and I went to pick up our tickets early (apparently a faux pas?) and witnessed the stationmaster wrapping up a speech about why the train was two hours late. And their computer system was down so they couldn't print our tickets anyway. And my train-traveled grandmother's advice for the layover at Union Station was "don't worry, the train will be late so you won't have much of a layover".
Hilarity will ensue.
Once we're there I expect barrels of fun. We arrive on Thursday and leave on Monday, and the Chunkin is only one day. Should we wander DC? Boston? Or should we just sit down at a actual crab shack with actual seafood oh my god and eat for an entire day?
And then! After a one-day break back in Fargo I set off yet again, this time to Milwaukee environs for what is apparently now a family tradition. Last year we called it "First Thanksgiving" (for that is what it is) but now I think my siblings and I have settled on "Lobstergiving". My dad's side is all getting together and cooking a Thanksgiving feast and one particular retired aunt and uncle bring lobsters from their northeastern retreat. Should I make bacogna?
[Mole - Agua Castradora] is pretty good rock with some pretty constant distortion. Fifteen years ago we'd probably throw it under the "grunge" umbrella; nowadays I think the preferred nomenclature is "hard rock". I believe it is a song about eunuch mermen, which is cool.
[Crystal Shawanda - My Roots Are Showing] set off my country alarm before I even saw the album cover. With that name and song title it could have gone either gangsta rap or country, and either one would be so far from my sphere of interests that the light leaving my interests will not reach it for several years. Also her album cover has the most ridiculous lens flare I've seen in months.
[The 88 - Go Go Go]. You know the voice, you know the chord changes. No, it's not because you've seen The 88 in concert. It's just pleasant radio rock like Oasis or Supergrass. I've apparently listened to it twice and I don't really have anything to like or hate about it. Songs like this weird me out but I don't exactly feel like deleting it.
16Oct2008 1759: The Bad Sink
I almost forgot about the most far-reaching effect of the Baconnal. Somebody -- I wish I knew who -- tried to pour a drink down The Bad Sink, setting off a chain of events that culminated in snakes. Attend!
Ever since I moved in, I've had a Bad Sink and a Good Sink in the kitchen. The left basin was always covered up with the dish drying rack, and after a couple months I discovered it was because that side drained very slowly. It didn't matter to me; I still had one perfectly good basin, and it vented directly into the garbage disposal. What did I need another basin for?
Well, sometimes in the act of washing dishes in The Good Sink enough water would spill over that the drying rack would start getting submerged. Waiting a half hour or so would usually dry it out, but that was kind of irritating. So earlier this year I bought a bottle of Liquid Plumbr "Fuck You" Strength and poured the recommended dosage into the drain.
Half an hour later, there was still Liquid Plumbr backed up into the basin. A gel designed specifically to dissolve clogs was being repelled by whatever was inside that pipe. Slowly, ever so slowly, the clog allowed the (not-so-)caustic goop to pass by. In a few hours the basin had drained and I took a look down the pipe with a flashlight.
All I saw was the surface of the trap water. Mocking. I thought there'd be slimy growths or bats or a moist Japanese kid, but it looked...normal.
After the other half of the bottle drained slower than the first, I decided I had tempted fate enough for one Saturday and I let The Bad Sink lie.
After the Baconnal I noticed there was some water backed up into the basin again, with some bacon fat floating on top. Not nice. It was still there Saturday morning...and then Saturday night. And then Sunday. That's when I decided to make an emergency trip to Menards. There was a minor event because somebody had filed a $15 drain snake in the $6 drain snake bin and I'll be damned if I pay more than $6 for an item designed to be shoved headfirst into gunk.
And now I can state empirically that Liquid Plumbr is a chump. Science is on my side. I stuck that snake down The Bad Sink and hit the clog within four feet. It took a grand total of two minutes to snake it so hard that I could actually leave the faucet running into the basin. There was no keening of damned souls, no geyser of sewage; just a few bubbles and a few pieces of something that smelled like milk and looked like navel lint. Once I steel-brushed the accumulated crap from the basin I discovered that the not-quite-right drain plug I've been using for two years is actually designed to fit this basin.
Now I have two functioning drains and I'm giddy at my sudden over-sinkness. What do regular people do with two basins? Thank you, mystery Baconnal drinker!
15Oct2008 1629: Cats Collide
Hahahaha there was just a (declawed but untagged) strange cat outside so I took Edmond out to meet him. What followed was a forty-minute extended drum solo from the smash hit "I Don't Want to Be Your Friend (Be My Friend)". Words were exchanged. Territory was taken. One of the cats got bored and walked home.
The Baconnal was a smashing success. Check out that spread! Everything except the bacon martini was a great idea. Turns out the bacon and vodka do mix. They mix very very well. And when bacon has been steeping in vodka for three weeks, the resulting vodka is very... bacony. Bacon is not meant to coat your entire throat and then burn like vodka.
[Zulu 9.30 - Era] brings the jazz immediately. Only after it establishes that it is awesome does it allow the vocals to do their worst. "Era" is repeated and rhymed on just about every line, and then a Standard Monotone Reggae voice comes for the refrain. But boy, if you like cowbell!
[Joey & Rory - Cheater Cheater] eschews the spirit of the season and does not follow its title with "pumpkin eater". Also it is modern country and makes me want to punch the album cover in its face. There are talented bluegrass fiddles going on in the background, and they are being underserved by the state of country music today.
08Oct2008 1836: The Thirtieth Night
It is now Night Thirty of my Arabian Nights adventure and the stories are already starting to sound similar. How many magical virgin-filled castles could there possibly be?
I meant to talk about this last week, but Mega Man 9. I have also recently "played" Time Hollow. It is not a game as much as an interactive season of anime. For a game about manipulating time it is disgustingly linear...I almost gave up in Chapter 2 when it became apparent that there was only one correct solution to any puzzle, one correct path through any dialogue, and far too much time ink in my pen.
Oh, did I not mention? Your character receives a pen that can draw holes in time. From his cat. My huge weakness for time travel saw me through the rough low-stakes stuff in Chapter 2 and into Chapter 3, where the linearity really starts to hurt but the story really starts to do some great stuff. And once the villain is revealed and starts "fighting back", shit just goes crazy. And then the epilogue is balls-to-the-wall amazingly stupid in an endearing sort of way.
This Friday is my second Baconnal.
There will be Rock Band 2 and beer and wine and platters of
that most delicious of meats. And not just bacon, no. I'm making
bacogna and the ever-present Monty's Meat Rolls, somebody's committed to
bringing bacon cinammon
rolls, Blackskirted has a bacon chip dip in the works...bacon parties are
as a heart attack business.
[Volumen Cero - El Mar] is pretty okay rock. When it was playing I was kinda bobbing my head but it's not going to change lives or make best-of-the-decade compilations.
[33Miles - One Life to Love] made a strong play for the #1 spot on the alphabetical playlist, but can't match the power of [10 Years - Through the Iris] or even [1910 Fruitgum Company - Special Delivery]. Protip: your song and album titles don't count, and you spelled out "one" anyway. Too bad, that would have been your one claim to fame. As it is, you're just some power ballad/country hybrid that got lost on the way to the 700 Club. 86 this mp3.
[Black Gold - Detroit] is also some decent rock. The album is called "Tragedy & Legacy", so I imagine they have other tracks titled "Pompeii" and "Machu Picchu". This song evokes the right sense of dread that every man should feel when discussing the soon-to-be-ruins of Detroit. What they need is a hero.
01Oct2008 1927: Mega Man 9
I'm finally to Wily's Castle in Mega Man 9 but oh man am I bad when the bosses have an uneven floor. Especially this guy.
[Sen Dog - Fumble] is from L.A. and he doesn't care who knows it. This is a pretty generic "I am mean and popular" rap set to beats I first heard in Castle Crashers.
[Chase the Sun - You Gotta Go] has a bad case of the country and blues. The album cover has two things going for it, so I'll keep this around for at least a second listen. Blues gets a lot more play here than country, but is it blues enough?
We've replaced the fine violence normally served here with [The Tough Alliance - Neo Violence]. Let's see if anybody notices that thematically this is A Clockwork Orange but musically a Carnival Cruise commercial.