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Sunday, October 31, 2004

Guild Wars

I tried the 3 day Guild Wars preview this weekend. Not too bad. The game is easy to get into, the graphics are gorgeous, the characters are fairly well balanced, and it's possible to quest alone with AI "henchmen" if you have the problem I did of having your party poop out before going the distance.

I created an Elementalist/Monk and did some questing with parties and solo. I also just did some roaming in the exploration areas and picked up all sorts of gear. I only managed to find one rare item, a staff with + to energy AND -1 energy regen, that was pointless. I did some wheeling and dealing and used what I found to craft Pyromancer boots and coat for my firebug/healer. A little red and orange dye and I was looking pretty spiff. Here's how I look decked out ingame:

Will I be plunking down 50 simoleons for this game? I'm thinking, "probably". It's not the greatest game ever, but neither was Diablo II and I got years of enjoyment from it. So, there you go. It gets a thumbs up from me. Maybe I'll see you at Lion's Arch sometime?

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Not Divine

Despite the following, I am neither gay (not that there's anything wrong with that), nor trailer trash...

Some months ago I bought a ton of nice, assorted glass beads at Michaels but had never integrated them into the population of my other beads. Now that I'm getting around to making stuff for my upcoming art shows, I decided I better do some sorting to make selection faster. Geez, what a job. Took me hours. I just hope it saves me as much time and frustration as I think it will down the road (or at least as much time and frustration as it caused in the first place). Here are three of the more colorful boxes as they look now - looks like I need some 4mm round amethysts right away:

On a different note, a couple of days ago as the gigantic house cleaning chore was coming to a close I finally mounted on my deck some pink flamingos I bought years ago. Now, at last, my balcony has a taste of retro too.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Floor plan

I'm going to have to get cracking on making jewelry for my upcoming shows. It's so hard to get started when I'm lonely and uninspired. Still, somehow in the procrastination process I managed to fritter my time away and lay up a pretty nice floor plan of my apartment. (See "Decor" at www.handheadman.com) Not sure why I was able to put that together but can't seem to motivate myself to do what I need to keep the bills paid. Ugh. At any rate, I'm thinking about populating the floor plan with my major furnishings and making it an image map linked to various photos of my stuff.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

friendship phoenix rising...

Well, spank my ass and call me Charley! No sooner did I get all gloomy-Gus and moody-blues than a chirp came from the steaming ashes of a new-friendship that had heated up a bit too quickly and burned itself up. Reborn, it is. Now how about that?

Here's the course of events from this reporter's viewpoint:

Two people who barely knew each other in their school days, and had not seen hide nor hair of each other since, meet online after about 24 years. The first, real-life, in-person, face-to-face meet-up started off with good home-cooked (Yeah, I'm getting carried away with the hyphens, so sue me.) grub and the exchange of a certificate of Knighthood for some metallic vegetation and a cloudy box filled with stars and Promises (welcome to cryptic-r-us). Also involved was the enjoyment of music while reclined on pillows out in the fresh, night air. A hug is given in appreciation and then the chemistry lab turns up the Bunsen burner. Now, both are heavily laden with miscellaneous baggage yet, though wary of their respective past hazards, their loneliness leads them to overcome the timidity of the freshness of a new friendship and, indeed, things start heading toward more than just friendly. Cold hands become warm and other things become hot. But, cooler heads prevail and before they get in too deep they quench their fire. Well, this fellow thought, "Whew, that was close! Getting too familiar too fast has been a poor way of hanging on to ladies as friends. You start off with a bang before you know if you're really compatible and a few weeks or months down the road regret sets in and two people go their separate ways."

The next day- Sad to say, the party of the second part informed the party of the first part (IE me) that "any relationship based on loneliness is probably not a good idea". Stupid me just went along with it because I'm used to that sort of thing and tired of the struggle so we basically agreed to lay any future together to rest because "maybe someday" can be a painful tease.

That night- Bummed out me decides to cut off any risk of meeting anyone else to get in a train wreck with and wipes out my social network profiles and blogs some mopey grumbling and bad haiku. Sleeping wasn't easy with a heavy heart and a buzzing mind...

Next day- Breakfast tasted like cardboard and brooding looked like the plan for the day. The thought of that sucked so I called the one close girl friend I have who hasn't crapped out on me yet despite my having adored her an embarrassingly great deal to no avail. I visit said friend and she lets me border on weepy while I explain why I had to rob her of her day and then we have an America's Next Top Model mini-marathon. (The movies I took wouldn't play right for some reason). Okay, before the "reality" babe-bitchfest, my dear friend encouraged me to follow my instinct and not just let go of the new and newly-broken friendship and plead my case to the other gal whom I had enjoyed the conversation and company of so much because, dammit, it's worth too much to toss out. During this day away from home, I missed a phone call...

Later that evening- After staying at my friend's place all day and eating nothing but some popcorn I return home with a headache - the crease between my brows deepens. But then I saw my answering machine light was blinking... I generate a little smile after I play back the message. New and newly-lost friend thinks maybe we can open the door we so hastily shut. Oh yeah, I snatched up that phone and dialed her right up. Damn, had to leave a message. Phone tag, you're it... Later in the evening she calls me back and we discuss how we realize that though two very lonely people we may be, that's not what we were basing the friendship on, that was just the trigger for the steamy smooching that almost derailed us which we'll have to be careful of in the future. We're two smart and damned fine human beings so I'm expecting we'll be able to handle ourselves and develop a relationship that is fulfilling and pleasant and not worry so much about were it goes as where it's at at the moment. Live in the here and now and not let the shadows of our pasts dim the lights of our futures.

That light- It's the friendship phoenix rising. (Thanks for letting me use that phrase, my little Schroederette, my sweetie-pi.) To that wonderful gal I nearly lost so fast it made my head spin even more and faster than usual I'd like to say, I apologize for yapping out here in "public" (I doubt anyone really sees this crap) about how hurt I felt. Heck, I have this section of the site for my personal and business news and thoughts and haven't done a very good job of keeping it up. I had a moment in my life that had some impact so I plopped it out here. Hey, at least I was motivated to make an entry! I didn't event think about you reading it at all and I'm so sorry that it made you feel bad that you made me feel bad. Let's jab an icepick in this bummer ball that's bouncing back and forth between us and let the air out. SSSSsssss!

Anyway, folks, disregard my suggestion to disregard my post about social networking. (Hey, it's not flip-flopping! It's learning!) Get out there and meet folks. Sure, sometimes you get burned, but burns heal and don't be so hasty, like I was, to pull the plug on the stove when you get burned because you're just going to have to plug it back in if you ever expect to do any cooking.

Oh, and switching from narrating in third-person to first-person was a stylistic device, not an error. Yeah, that's the ticket!

In celebration of faith restored and eyes reopened to friendship with a real sweetheart, another bad haiku:

kisses light a fire
then quickly make us ashes
rise, friendship phoenix

Thursday, October 07, 2004


Disregard the previous post about social networking, at least as far as my pages. I am canceling them all. I've never had any success making lasting relationships of any sort and that still holds true, as I've very recently been painfully reminded. For me, it's a pointless exercise and it just makes sense for me to give up.

I suppose this now puts me on par with every whiney emo kid who bemoans their loneliness and posts bad poetry, yet I'm in my 40s. How pathetic is that? I should be used to being alone by now but it still hurts to try to connect and have it all fall apart. These days my time to failure is measured with a stopwatch instead of a calendar. The cycle is just too tiresome to continue so I'm reeling in my lines. I'll abbreviate the bad poetry to bad haiku:

Happiness comes close
But along comes the dreaded
"It's not you, it's me"

I make jokes while I cry. What else can I do? I feel like shit. Still, maybe I'll try this again in another two years...

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Social networking

I've been trying out some social networks lately, mostly very unsuccessfully. In spite of things dragging along I did manage to meet someone I haven't seen in 20mumble-mumble years and think we may be getting together in a few days. Quite a ray of light through my many years accumulation of dark clouds. Among other things she's bright, pretty, humorous, and hasn't decided I'm an asshole yet and even if things get awkward we can always talk about the old days in band camp. It's nice to think that there may be days in the future that aren't spent alone that would have been if I hadn't given the online hunt a go. Even old friends can become new ones.

On an intersecting line of thought-
I've been cleaning my apartment for awhile now and going through many papers. On one was this quote which I had written down to encourage me to send a letter to someone I had but only recently met. I never did send that letter though and now can only wonder what would have happened if I had. I really have to stop being so shy and socially inept. At any rate, here are those well chosen words by a great American writer:

Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me,
why should you not speak to me?
And why should I not speak to you?

-Walt Whitman,
Leaves of Grass 1860

So, join me in an attempt to break out of an isolating shell and give the social networking online a whirl. Here are my pages on various networks: MySpace , Tribe.net , Friendster , Multiply , Orkut (Orkut is an invitation only community. Drop me your email if you want an invitation. I will note that Orkut is slow to the point of being worthless, however.) I haven't done much on any of them yet and plan to investigate them when I have time so I can select the one(s) that work best for me. So far, MySpace seems to be the most active. Tribe looks like it may be good for me to make business contacts. The others I have barely touched and of them Orkut is the worst simply because it's overloaded far too often. I'm surprised Google is still affiliated with it. I'm certainly open to suggestions if anyone has found the ultimate online social network.

I'll close with a really silly poem I had forgotten I had written that turned up in my cleaning / paper shuffling:

Monarch, monarch, tickle my toes
Monarch, monarch, fly up my nose
Monarch, monarch, beautiful orange
Monarch, monarch, what rhymes with orange?
So, in case there was any doubt; yes, I'm a bit batty. :-P