Teakettles, Vampires, and Anti-WSYIWYG

This is the ‘manic’ stage of my bipolarity. Despite dealing with (being bipolar) for more than half my life, that word still looks silly to me. Nonsensical. Still, there it is, and there I am. If you’ve followed my blogging for more than six months, you might be able to follow the stages – digressive, abrupt, link-filled during the manic times, perhaps with various illustrations or crafts, while the lower periods will tend to be short and cryptic.

As enjoyable as the productivity and elation of the extreme manic times can be, the fear of the inevitable downswing always dulls the excitement of Really Getting Things Done. It’s similar to (that classic story whose name escapes me) now, in which the main character could never really enjoy time off of work due to the inevitable return to his job.

Thinking now… my grammar and spelling are not perfect. My hands have crafted many a typo (though admittedly, I’ll do my best to avoid that), and occasionally – okay, sometimes more than occasionally – I’ll have to look up the proper spelling or punctuation marks. My (now-no-longer-secret) personal goal is to phrase my writing so as not to use the proper noun “I” so many times.

You know what used to be really fun for me? Diagramming sentences. Some people like football, some people like to split up the independent clauses and make cute little trees out of their words. These days, my ability to chop up a sentence’s structure (in visual form) is rusty, but the faint recollection is there. Oh Google-fu, come to the rescue!

Anyway, that whole bit was mostly just to say how much I completely abhor what younger people today have done to the English language. LOLcat is for macros, sarcasm is for flavor. Please check yo’self.

A week (or two?) ago, a programmer friend of mine mentioned Notepad++. I thought he was making a funny, “Uh huh, remember using Notepad in your Angelfire days, it went real well with that winged baby devil, hahaha, yeah, you call yourself a web designer, whatever Miss DREAMWEAVER 4, har har har.”

Days later I sigh, and admit to a total lack of knowledge in the coding department: http://notepad-plus.wiki.sourceforge.net/FAQ

Also… since phase 2 (/4) of the site I’ve been working on is almost complete, I’ve suddenly had a craving to learn code.
All of it.
This reminds me of the CollegeHumor video someone forwarded to me, The Matrix Runs on Windows.
“I’m going to learn… Ubuntu?”

Last week a coworker somehow convinced me to go see Twilight with her. Why, exactly, isn’t something I’m entirely sure of: thanks to The Internet!, a preview of the trailer was readily available and convinced me that bad, bad things were afoot. Note here (because it’s so awful I don’t care about spoiling it) – just stick with the books.
We’d devoured all four of the aforementioned books and though spending $$$ for a small popcorn, ticket, and bottled water wasn’t on my financial priority list, I somehow found myself in the theater, mentally trying to prepare for the flick that was ahead.

Two words: BAD. MAKEUP.

In the book, vampires are supposed to be basically… made of marble. Cold, pale, et cetera, and a major scene is how the main vamp sparkles in the sunlight. With all the money they raked in, I was thinking it would be a nice shirtless display of body shimmer and well done MAC.

Two more words: CGI TWINKLES.

My final verdict is that I feel bad for Pattinson, because it was cinematic garbage. I almost walked out, but at least got a good ab workout from all the laughing.

Oh, it’s not a comedy? …oops.

That’s about all you’ll get from me as far as an in-depth analysis or detailed review. If you’re really interested though, stick with the books, and stay away from the malls for the next month or two.

Here’s a little clip with Daniel Radcliffe talking mostly about Equus, and a little about how the teenybopper girls he knows are starting to really get on his nerves with their Pattinson-obsession.

http://twilight-movie.org/2008/11/28/daniel-radcliffe-talks-about-twilight/

Finally, since “Winter” is now upon us (quotation marks for the San Diegans in the room), I’ve been renewing my love for my favorite beverages – hot tea & hot cocoa!

Check out this neat tea maker/warmer from Adiago. It’s not my beloved Tassimo (yes, I still want it), but it’d be a nice consolation prize.

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Championship rings be damned

I want Steelers fans to read this article.
http://www.ajc.com/services/content/printedition/2008/11/24/bradley.html

Next year when Atlanta is struggling with a sub-par record we can talk.

Nice job on throwing Big Ben under the bus (pun intended) as well.

Quoted for effect, “…quarterback on a loaded Pittsburgh team…”

Please remind me the last time the Atlanta “dog fighting” Falcons won a championship. That’s right, there is no answer because it has NEVER HAPPENED..

Kudos to making the playoffs 8 times since 1966.

Chinese Democracy – Guns n’ Roses

More like a Chinese fire drill, I’m not impressed. Thirteen years, countless line-up changes, and this is what you have to show for it, Axl? It’s not all bad; there are several songs worth taking a listen to. However, most of the album sounds like 80’s hair music. Somebody correct me if I’m wrong here, but didn’t G’n’R despise that particular style? By the way; the 80’s were two decades ago. Most of your listening audience is past that period – even the 80’s fashion return is on its’ way out.

I’ve read this review from the A.V. Club. Perhaps Mr. Klosterman has been drinking the G’n’R Kool Aid for far too long.

If it is true that Axl tried to jam every element of G’n’R into each song he didn’t succeed, and that is such a contrived thing to do in relation to being a musician. In an effort to make this record sound different from their earlier material Rose manages to create nothing more than a montage of cheesy sound. A couple examples of successful changeovers he may want to look at are The Beatles’ “Rubber Soul” and The Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds” albums.

Delving into details, we have some guitar solos that do not seem fit with anything in particular, and Rose’s voice is unrecognizable until the 4th or 5th song. He wails and howls, but it doesn’t have the same conviction as earlier G’n’R offerings.

Too long between records caused too much hype. I’m just glad that I didn’t pay for this album.

Oh Em… Ee?

In case you haven’t heard……….. there’s this whole “TWILIGHT INSANITY”. Apparently Robert Pattinson is the man of the moment.

Don’t get me wrong, he’s very nice to look at, but he is an actor. An actor! You remember Cedric Diggory in the Harry Potter movies? Yeah. That guy. He’s not a vampire. Just an actor.

This all reminds me …I wonder how good ol’ Vampire Don is doing these days? Ahh. Remember this guy? He was nice to me whenever we ran into each other (back in the Sabbat-at-Shooterz days), though we never had the chance to hang out one-on-one. For those of you who don’t know him (or kinda remember sorta), here’s a myspace link, blog link, and a Wiki entry. It’s got videos of him and Tyra. Tyra! Geeeeez.

I also think Don may have been friends with this guy, who was around at numerous goth/industrial events, and was quite polite the few times we spoke.

Anyway… tangent. Let’s start taking bets on how long it is before (Pattinson) wakes up one midnight to find some crazy rabid-ass fangirl that has squee’d her way into his house and is sitting there, staring at him, covered in the blood she’s somehow bitten from his neck.

Sheesh! I’m all for vampires and vamp-related things and even the warm fuzzies that the Twilight books made me remember (I have had [and still maintain] some pretty intense crushes), but this shit is starting to get weird! Swarming the Hot Topics? Pandemonium and utter chaos? Scratching gashes into their necks to show them that “it’s for him”??

Okay, y’all are going to need to take a big collective breath and just think about what you’re doing. In the meantime, the following section from this article (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27788655/) made me LOL.

“And every lust-bursting Twilighter and a sizeable contingent of their mothers have decided that every tousled hair on his head is NOM-NOM-NOM-DELICIOUS.
That expression “OMG?” It’s been replaced by “OME,” as in “Oh, my Edward.” So good luck, man. Hope the house you buy with this money has a very tall gate and 24/7 security staff.”

To DK or not to DK…

That is the question. With the launch of WotLK a new class has entered the fray. Part Paladin, part Warlock, all bad mamma-jamma, the Death Knight.The DK starts out as a level 55 eliminating the process of leveling another ALT. They look cool, have a cool mount, and even travel with a little minion. I’m just not sure that I want to plunge in right away because everybody and their mother appears to be playing a DK.

Are you playing a DK? Or will you let the fad pass and play one at a later date?

Question (Almost) Everything

In case you weren’t sure, the customer is always right.

The problem with that statement is that they are NOT always right, so in a world of customer service, the goal is to gently lead them towards being less wrong.

My least favorite question these days, in all honesty, is “Why is that?” No matter how it’s phrased, and almost regardless of the inflection, it allows the customer to question authority. Very rarely will a customer ask that with innocence, and 98% of the time it will put both parties on the defensive.

On infrequent occasion, a customer will be bantering along with me about some aspect of booking a room (usually for a party), and they’ll ask to do something outside our guidelines. Perhaps they’d like to have their party in our courtyard or out on the lawn. We have our reasons for only hosting parties indoors (it’s got a lot to do with being a city-owned property), but they will innocently ask: “Oh, why is that?”

It’s that tiny “oh” portion of the statement, said along with the flow of conversation, that makes things less venomous and less irritating. It’s more of an errant hair in the eye than a grain of sand. This statement can be brushed away quickly without scarring the conversation. These people genuinely want to know why we don’t do something, instead of wanting to know why we can’t make an ALLOWANCE for something.

Still, I’d rather them ask the question in a sincerely nice tone of voice (no hidden agendas, please), and then have them accept my answers, which are for the most part gladly given. I do truly enjoy helping people when they are willing to accept help. These aren’t made-up answers to get a sale; there is no commission in it for me. Technically I’m not even a salesperson.

It makes you wonder if these same folks question everyone in the same way. Why can’t they have a double dose of their regular prescription at the same price? Why can’t their auto insurance be free for six months instead of three months? Why can’t they apply the seasonal sale price to something that’s not on sale? Why can’t they just pay their rent retroactively instead of proactively?

You asked, we answered.

I do try to be patient with everyone though, because that’s how you build solid relationships – you never know what connections can come in handy down the road. No matter how frustrating someone’s accent is or how many times they ask the same question, if you’re nice, there’s a better chance of them being A) nice to you and B) getting some sweet referrals.

Unfortunately there’s always option C – they turn into a complete beast, but we try not to think about that. Have a nice day!

The 900-pound gorilla just got bigger

Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. released its second expansion for the MMORPG World of Warcraft. The title, Wrath of the Lich King, was launched on November 13. Death Knights, Inscriptions, and level 80, oh my!

Expect servers to be full because the 11 million subscriber base is plowing their way through new content. I personally had to wait about 10 minutes before I was able to access my characters.

Illidan Stormrage (of Burning Crusade fame) quipped, “You are not prepared!”

With the queue delays I have plenty of time to study.