Thursday, November 3, 2011

Settling Back In…

I took a couple of days off there to recover from October and also I think my wife is trying to kill me.
Granted, that doesn’t seem like such a bad thing as I sit here back in Hell (work) after seven pretty amazing days off. I got to hang out with a lot of cool people, saw an amazing band, took my son out for his first for-real trick-or-treating, finally got to attend the big Halloween party that some friends of ours host every year, and a whole bunch of other pretty great stuff. So coming back to this foul pit of despair is just downright soul crushing.

            Oh, and I think Mrs. Troublemaker is trying to kill me by leaving water bottles in my car. For some reason any time we go somewhere in my car, my wife brings two full water bottles and leaves them on the floorboard of the passenger side. Unopened. You might think this would be more effective if she snuck them over to the driver’s side so they could get lodged under the accelerator. That makes sense, but this is an insidious plot and one that could only be utilized by somebody who knows me extremely well (or somebody that reads this post). I can’t stand having things moving around the floor of the car. This is not to say I don’t have a few pieces of paper or debris here and there. But large items moving about drive me crazy. And those two water bottles she loves to leave in the car don’t really move around until I leave the neighborhood and get on the main road, at which point I have to say, “What the fuck is that?” and lean over and grab the first one off of the floor before I go crazy or my head explodes or something. That’s where the insidiousness of the second bottle comes into play. Because you can lean over once, quickly, right after you have turned onto a major thoroughfare. But the second time is the one that’s going to get me. Because I think I’ve fixed the problem and then I accelerate and the second one makes its move and I have to go, “WHAT THE FUCK!?!” and lean over again and by this point I am so incensed and confused as to why the crap this is happening that I am just as likely to careen off the road into a tree as I am to plow headlong into a dump truck. Especially at 4:00 in the morning, which is when it usually happens.
You might think I am being a little ridiculous here and that maybe Mrs. Troublemaker is just afraid of getting dehydrated on one of our 10-15 minute car trips. But let me assure you that I have personally thrown at least 7,362 unopened bottles of water in the garbage since we have been married. So this is clearly a plot. I’m afraid to let her know that I just increased my life insurance policy. She might up it to three bottles and that wouldn’t even require an impact to do me in. I’d just burst into flames.

Also adding to my joy at being back at work is the fact that the Tone Deaf Pig-Dogs are playing a couple of Holiday shows. Their annual Christmas show is on December 17th at the Sweetwater and there’s a big New Year’s shindig at the Clermont on the 29th. These shows are not the problem. The problem is that my work schedule prevents me from attending either of these shows. Well, I might be able to work out the New Year’s show. I think I can swap with one of the few decent people that work here. Actually, the guy is more than decent. He’s been kind to me since the first day I came in this room. He’s an ex-First Sergeant just shy of retirement and is one of the finest folks I’ve ever met. He curses more than anybody I’ve ever known, but does it with such casualness and skill that it’s almost like some sort of poetry.
So Jim’s a good guy and he might let me work his nights on the 30th-1st instead of days. Which would be great.
At some point during all of this I’m going to get to the Mad Matty Monday stuff I ordered. I just feel the need to get some life stuff off my chest first. Hang in there. Or skip to the end, I guess.
Lil’ Troublemaker turned four last Thursday and we had his party the Sunday before. There was a Scooby Doo bounce house and a ton of cool people came over and it was awesome. I was really worried about the whole present situation because he’s gotten in the habit of looking at the back of toys and wondering where the rest of the things pictured are. He’s also quite frank and I was a little concerned that he might flat-out voice disapproval for any gifts he might not like. We’re working on tact, but he’s only three (well, four now).
But thankfully we know a lot of kickass people and they all know kids and how to buy for them. There was even another gift that came later in the week that wasn’t so great and he was cool about it. As a matter of fact, my parents gave him a Star Wars toy that we’ve already got and he didn’t say a word other than thank you. So well done, everybody.
Fast forward to Friday when I went to the Masquerade to see Los Meesfits. If you don’t know, Los Meesfits are a mariachi band from Athens, GA that play Misfits covers, mariachi-style. And they’re really, really good:

Hoffman and Little Pond showed up for that one. We had a great time and had some beers afterward. Those two are a hoot and a holler. Hoffman has a weird wit that I find constantly amusing and Little Pond is an awesome lady. What wasn’t awesome was running into this dude I used to know when I worked at the Masquerade. He was a fucking idiot then and he’s an idiot now. If I haven’t spoken to you in over ten years, there’s a good reason. Don’t try and play catch-up and demand to know what’s going on in my life now. I’ve got beers to drink and worthwhile people to hang out with.
Speaking of worthwhile, my drinking companions for the night wanted to know about Dragon*Con. See, another shitty part of my horrible job is that if somebody in my work group picks vacation time I want, that’s it. I don’t get it. So if one of eight other people had decided they wanted Labor Day weekend off next year I wouldn’t be going to Dragon*Con. I had put my request in Monday night and should have known when I got back Tuesday whether or not I got the time off, but my boss is a very conscientious and proactive person so it was not posted. Like any good professional I had to call a co-worker from a bar at 1 AM on a Saturday morning to find out if I had my time off or not. Turns out I did get it, so Phantom Troublemaker will be at Dragon*Con in 2012 and Little Pond I hope you realize I am one hundred percent serious about that ridiculous costume (the one in the drawing – not the other one).
And just so you Troublemaniacs can hold me to that, I guaran-damn-tee I will have an amazing new Saturday night getup as long as Little Pond and Monkeywife (sorry, I know that's a terrible nickname but it's all I've got at the moment) are willing to help me with it. By which I mean take large amounts of money to just make it for me because we all know by now that when it comes to costuming I am an incompetent cretin:
Speaking of costumes, we attended the very best Halloween party I have ever been to this past Saturday. I went as Hugo Strange as he appears in Batman: Arkham City (which we have been playing the heck out of – more on that later) and this was extremely exciting for me. There are not a lot of characters that I resemble, so costuming is kind of hard. I felt like wearing one of the masks would be kind of cheap and lazy. But then Professor Strange showed up in Arkham and I couldn’t believe how much he looked like me. 
Perfect (that's the badge I made). I guess I shouldn’t be thrilled to look so much like a Batman-obsessed sex fetishist. Because I am totally not that. At all.
So we had an awesome time at the party and everybody looked great, especially Hoffman, Inara, and Little Pond; who went as Cobra Commander, old-school Baroness and Storm Shadow if Storm Shadow was a hot chick instead of a Japanese dude:
Gnoll was also impressive as (dude) from Office Space. But my favorite of all and probably the King of Costumes for the whole fucking year of 2012 was The Big Guy:
Holy. Shit. If you don’t know what that is, think Dan Aykroyd. If you still don’t, think Dragnet. I hope you understand now. And he better be sporting that at Dragon*con, too.
Oh, and Burger King Diamond was pretty incredible too:
I had one of those incredibly strange, alienating moments at the party that makes me wonder what planet I'm really from. Some song came on that I have never heard in my life and almost everybody else at the party started doing this dance. Like, synchronized. They all knew it and I had no idea what was going on. It was really weird for me. But man, that was a fun party.
So all in all October was a huge success and I think one of the best months I’ve ever had in my life.
Speaking of successes (my segues are still ON FIRE!), I ordered a couple of Masters of the Universe Classics boxes on’s Mad Matty Monday. For $40 you got a box full of MOTUC mystery – at least four items. And in all honesty I feel like I should’ve ordered two more because here’s what I got:
Box #1 – Mo-Larr, Bow, Moss Man, Tytus
Box #2 – Mo-Larr, Gygor, Keldor, Adora

Yeah, I’ve already got Moss Man, Bow, and Gygor; but the rest are wins in one form or another. I actively wanted Keldor and the Mo-Larr/Skeletor set and didn’t mind Tytus and Adora (neither of whom I have). Gygor went to Rescue John because he collects monkey toys and Moss Man went to Little Pond since she actually got to visit the Man Room over the weekend and ooh’d and aah’d sufficiently. I also gave Hoffman a GI Joe that looks exactly like him because I would hope somebody would do the same thing for me.
I haven’t decided the fate of the two Mo-Larr sets yet. I wouldn’t mind keeping one boxed and I probably couldn’t move one on eBay since Matty just shipped out about 43,000 of them. Demo-Man comes out in December and I’m going to need an extra Skeletor body for that scary fucking head. I can probably make something out of Mo-Larr as well. Okay, fine – he’ll just end up in my “unfinished customs” box. Shut up.
And then there’s Arkham City. Wow. What an amazing fucking game. I got the Collector’s Edition because I’m a chump, but it actually ended up being a pretty great value. It included the game, a code to download the soundtrack for free (though I would have preferred the score), a shit-ton of in-game downloads, and a statue from the Black & White series of Batman as he appears in the game.
I started playing on Easy because I am generally terrible at video games. It probably took about ten hours to finish the main story. You’re supposed to be able to use all those free skins – DKR Batman, Animated Batman, Sinestro Corps Batman (from the Green Lantern Blu) – after you finish story mode. Turns out it’s after you finish story mode on Normal difficulty. I would have been pissed, but I really don’t mind playing the game over again. And I’m finding out that the combat is a lot more rewarding on Normal. But the game is definitely tougher. Especially when you wonder why you keep dying so easily and realize that you’ve been upgrading Catwoman’s armor and not Batman’s.
So that’s pretty much it. In the coming month I’ll have a review of He-Ro that’s been on the shelf for a while, a review of Hot Toys’ Alice from Resident Evil that I didn’t get to in October, and a bunch of other nonsense. If anybody has any ideas, let me know. Also – still looking for a good camera or somebody that can tell an idiot how to take pictures with a Canon SD770.
Until next time, stay creepy


  1. Wait.....what's coming on syfy tonight?

  2. Thanks, ToyBox. And Schweck - too early in the month for best comment.

  3. If it makes you feel any better, I didn't know the cool dance song either, so Jenn and I just ran away and hid while it played!