Roasted Nincompoop

Rump Roasted

At the risk of appearing to be a geek* I will tell the story about Game Day, and the royal beating my wife gave my ego.

It all started fairly recently. Sometimes on a weekend Mrs. J will do her own thing, leaving me to my own devices.

So what I decided to do was have some friends over to play games on my Nintendo Gamecube.

Now, I can practically hear the eyes rolling in the audience, but let me state my case: It’s a great excuse to get together with friends in the winter (and rainy days), share some food, some beers and just relieve stress without anyone getting hurt**.

This previous gameday saw some new games, some new faces***, and good times in general

Towards the end of the day we started playing Soul Calibur. I’ll openly admit that after Shatton mopped the floor with us in Mortal Kombat: Deception, I was looking for some sweet payback.

So I continued to win, much to the chagrin of my fellow gamers.

Just before the final few guys left, Mrs. J, in an act of mercy, asked one of the boys for a controller, and promptly kicked my ass with her favourite character.

Mrs. Hai-Kuul? Winner.

Jorge? Humbled. Again.



Journey of the Nincompoop

I recently learned a neat fact about the theme song to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It was a fact that I thought no one knew.

I told a few people about it, and they were just as surprised as I was.

One evening, I showed Mrs. J the beginning sequence to the movie…


Jorge: I want you to guess which band wrote this music.
Mrs. J: Okay.
Jorge: Seriously. You’ll never get it
Mrs. J: Umm…
Jorge: I’ll even give you a hint. This song was on their debut album.
Mrs. J: Hmm…
Jorge: If you guess this I will give you a thousand dollars.
Mrs. J: [A few seconds pass.] The Eagles?
Jorge: [Jaw drops.] I don’t believe it.


She guessed the damned thing right off the mark. Thank goodness I decided to do a double-or-nothing bet on the name of the song****. I don’t have that kind of money.




* – Or more appropriately, even more of a geek.
** – At least, not physically.
*** – Old friends. But their first time at Game Day.
**** – Journey of the Sorcerer

Progress – This, That and the Others

This

So far, things are going according to plan regarding the translation of the Spaces version of Barking Space to the WordPress version.

The challenge is the sheer volume, mostly of the haiku entries. Not to mention that in November the server that hosted my images took a tumble, leaving most of the articles that had pictures without images.

So now it’s all about uploading those images again. But before I do that, I have to find them and format them.



That

The Figtography Blog seems to be a success. Quite a number of visitors have been to the site, and there are a number of comments.

If you haven’t gone already, I encourage you to go.

One warning I have to give you is that the photos are all posted by date. So it may appear that none have been added recently.

I apologize for making people do work to look at my images. That was never my intention when I started time-stamping everything.



The Others

Who watched the seaon finale of Lost last night?

I don’t think I have enough pee to properly express my excitement over what transpired in the two hours of the episode.

I know there was a lot of disappointment over season one’s ending. I don’t think that will be the case this time.

Any thoughts? Theories?

Birthdays Along Give Gathering

Birthdays

Some people believe that birthdays are days that should be celebrated with great fanfare. I’ve never really been one of those people.

My feelings have nothing to do with aging, and little to do with being shy. Honestly, I’m not sure why I feel the way I do.

It might have something to do with the fact that there have been times in the past (before Mrs. J came along) where my birthday has passed with no acknowledgement, save for a phone call from Dave.

Couple that with the fact that my birthday falls on the May long weekend and you have yourself a winner…er…loser for attendance at events thrown on said weekend. It’s the first long weekend of the year, and people tend to be out of town. It’s just the luck of the draw.

So, over the years, I grew to expect nothing special for the anniversary of the day I was born.



Then Along Came…

Mrs. J is accustomed to spending a good week or so celebrating her birthday. While a grand fanfare is not demanded, she certainly enjoys spending her time enjoying spending her time.

I think the only thing she enjoys more than celebrating her birthday is lavishing her loved ones with the same treatment.

And so, my birthdays have been a little bit different for the last seven years.

I usually get two cards, one in the morning and one at night. Each one is carefully picked out and a beautiful message is usually contained within. Mrs. J also gets me very thoughtful gifts. Things that I could use, or that would mean something to me. Sometimes she even bends her rules slightly and gets me something practical that I desperately need.

We sometimes even get to leave the city. One of my birthdays was spent in Niagara Falls, another in Québec City.

So, while I don’t really expect a lot for my birthday, I certainly look forward to it. Even if we do nothing, I know that it will be a wonderful weekend with my wife.



Give the Gift of Gift

I mentioned that sometimes Mrs. J bends her rules and gives me a practical gift. To some this may be a bit disappointing, but I really appreciate it. Getting something practical enables me to spend my money on something else that I may want in the future.

Let’s face it. Practical certainly beats a weird surprise.

Don’t get me wrong, one should appreciate the gift-giving efforts. I’m sure, though, that each of you can think of a gift you have received that made absolutely no sense, as if it screamed I have no idea who you are, but here you go anyway.

This is why Dave and I have created the most efficient and fun gift-giving system.

We will each ask the other what we want for our birthday (or Christmas, for that matter). It’s usually something small, like a DVD or a CD. Then, we will also give something else that we feel the other would like. This way, we each get something we want, as well as a surprise.

This might sound odd to some of you. Perhaps even a bit mechanical. However, if you disagree, let me know when your birthday is and I’ll give you something you would never, ever need, use, or ask for.

For anyone curious about the treasures I got this year…



  • Books – J-Pod by Douglas Coupland, The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie
  • DVDs – The Hilarious House of Frightenstein, Cube, Cowbow Bebop Remix Volumes 3,5,6, Father of the Pride
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker
  • A 90 minute F/A 18 Hornet flight simulator experience
  • A cast-iron frying pan from Georgia for interior camping*
  • An assortment of fishing lures
  • A one-hour swimming lesson from a national-level Canadian athlete
  • A vintage camera
  • Gift Certificates – MEC, Canadian Tire
  • A boxed set of playing cards with a rulebook and notepad
  • Beef jerky from Chinatown
  • Various drinks – both at the bar, and a thoughtful 8-pack of beers from around the world delivered to my front door


You’re probably scratching your head, but these gifts all meant a lot. My friends are all very generous and wonderful people. Not to mention imaginative.



The Gathering

If anything, I like using my birthday as an excuse to bring together all of my different friends in one place.

I have a very wide variety of friends, most of whom would probably never meet each other under normal circumstances. However, I find that cross-pollinating the groups is a really great thing to do. You never know what sort of overlap you may find.

It was no different this year, when I invited a bunch of people to the Duke of York pub in the Yorkville neighbourhood. It’s a huge, traditional-looking place with lots of seating, a wide assortment of beers on tap, and good food.

I booked a table for twenty. I figured that it wouldn’t matter if we were short, because most places aren’t really busy during the long weekend, on account of people being out of town.

It was a great party. Lots of people came out for drinks. A number were unaware that it was my birthday **, but that didn’t matter. It was just an excuse to get together to have fun.

Everyone got along really well. Much better than I had hoped. Many connections were made, some that will last beyond the weekend. That was really the best gift of all.

I’m sure everyone has memories of Saturday night that they could post here. Shatton already did.

My favourite memory was at the end, when my friend Carlos was saying goodbye…


Carlos: You know, your friends are all really interesting and fun. They’re really great people.
Jorge: I know. That’s why you’re here, too.


Thanks again for a wonderful time, everyone! I know not everyone could make it***, but it was still a great evening!




* – Cooking a fish caught during the trip in anything less would be a sin.
** – This is completely fine. The last thing I wanted was for people to change plans on account of me. I also didn’t want people to think it was some kind of gift-grab.
*** – You know who you are. It was especially good to speak to some of you telephonically that day.

Paddy Whacks – The Sequel

Paddy Whacks Addendum

So, I posted this article a few days ago, encouraging people to chat about funny or silly things I have said or done.

Honestly, that was a great trip down memory lane. I had me some great belly laughs. Since you were all so kind, I thought I would reciprocate by posting some funny pictures of myself growing up.

So without further ado (feel free to click to enlarge)…



Infant


They call me Bill Z. Bub…


Yes. To quote Rodney Dangerfield, when I was born they didn’t slap me. They slapped my mother for having such an ugly child.



Me. Au natural…


Honestly. What photo show would be complete without the one photo that parents will always show your closest friends?



Adolescent


Worst…Cop…Ever…


I really don’t know what I was thinking here. I suppose when you’re a kid, you don’t really think things through. Obviously, cops will never be caught dead wearing shoes like that.

Nor will you see them hiking their pants up in such a manner. At least, not north of Tennesee.



Pride of the Boy Scouts…


By pride I meant embarassment. I don’t know how I ever thought this was cool. I always heard that chicks dig a guy in uniform. Er…



Grown Up


The Beginning of the End…


This was one of the first big pants photos that Dave and I took. The idea was to take a photo of us in a huddle using our feet.

Don’t ask me why.



This picture makes us look far too young…


My wife lovingly took this photo because we reminded her of two childhood friends. Given that we still act like kids once in a while, I suppose that was fair.



The Moment You’ve All Been Waiting For


Never pack too light…


Yes. This is the picture of me drying a pair of underwear over the camp stove, as detailed by Tien in the comments of the last post.

What more really needs to be said?


I hope you all enjoyed my tribute to my own embarassing moments. Have a great long weekend!


Paddy Whacks

Paddy Whacks

This is the month in which I was born.

The world most likely regrets this month, as it would have been spared my insanity. However, I’m here, world, so deal with it.

In celebration of this birth anniversary, I’m turning to you, my readers (especially my friends) and offering you the option to participate in a creative exercise*.

In the comments field, I want you to write about three of your funniest memories of me. I’m curious to know what some of these things are. Partially out of nostalgia, but mostly because I think that this could generate a lot of laughs.

Feel free to write as much as you want about each item, especially the funny ones. If you’re like Dave, you will know how to skillfully embellish to get the giggles going.




* – That is, I am too lazy to think of anything at the present time.

Notepad Master

Take a Notepad

I was checking my e-mail recently and I noticed a story in the news section about J.K. Rowling and how she was complaining that she had run out of writing paper to write on when she went to town.

So what did people do? They sent her paper.

I understand that people admire her and love her books. Or perhaps they really want her to get cracking on the purported final novel in the series. But this lady is one of the richest people in the freakin’ world. Somehow I think that she could actually afford to buy writing paper from anywhere on the face of the Earth, and have it shipped priority page by page to wherever she wanted.

It’s stories like this that make me shake my head in disgust.

Don’t get me wrong. I quite enjoy the series (although in my opinion the fifth book could have been better written by a monkey jonesing for heroin), but please!

Send your paper to schools in third-world countries that need it!



Chillin’ With the Master

Tomorrow it appears that I will be hanging out with Miss Jay. We’ve been trying to get together ever since her and her hubby moved to the Big Smoke, but something always comes up that prevents us from meeting.

It’s like the universe will explode if we actually ever met while living in the same city. I suppose you should all hide in your bomb shelters tomorrow night, just in case.

I’m very much looking forward to it.

Depressive Missive

Preramble

A friend of mine has been feeling under the weather (emotionally) lately, and I told her something that actually took me by surprise.

Actually, it was something of an epiphany that allowed me to understand myself a lot better, or at least understand the way I used to be.

It’s essentially my thoughts on depression and why it’s something that’s so hard to shake.
I hope you enjoy it.


Depressive Missive

Depression is one of the biggest problems that plagues our society today. It’s a silent assasin that steals your happiness away from you.

Certainly there are many levels of you upon which it feeds: Mental. Emotional. Physical.

Perhaps this is why it is so hard to pin down.

Is it wrong? I’m not so sure.

We, each of us, is entitled to being in the dumps once in a while. But letting ourselves stay there is when the problem becomes severe.

Why do we let it stay?

Well, let’s just drag the reason out into the light: Sometimes, malaise can become so comfortable that it becomes a habit. We become negative. Withdrawn. We look at ourselves in the mirror and wonder why we would even bother to pick ourselves up and start fresh because we are useless.

So we sink further into the black hole.

This is only really a stop-gap, though. We simply end up at one step waiting to take the next one down a flight that leads us to complete and utter despair. Therefore, the easy way of surrendering to sadness appears more attractive in the face of the hard work to start climbing back up into the light.

But that’s where one would be wrong.

It is only perceived to be easier, when in fact, it will probably turn into just as much work.

Consider the alcoholic: At first, there is simply drinking. After a while, though, there is the withdrawal and the need to fill the emptiness with more drinking, which at this point may take some footwork to achieve.

The same goes for depression. You end up living to sip the next bit of malaise.

Is that’s why it’s so hard to stop? Maybe, like happiness, the body considers depression and sadness to be a deviation from the norm*, and thus wants more because it is different.

Perhaps this may seem odd, but I seriously wonder if that’s what may be happening. Depression and happiness could be two sides of the same coin, affecting the body with the same method yet yielding different results.

It would certainly explain why it affects us on so many levels. It would be something that integrates itself into the fabric of our being, and would take a great deal of coaxing to get it to let go.

Think of it as putting your foot on the accelerator of a car. Almost everyone craves the feeling of more speed. But does it matter what direction they are going in?

I think this might be something I would like to continue to explore. Perhaps you can help with your comments?




* – See this article about contentment.