Sunday, January 25, 2009

25 Things You May Not Know About Me

On Facebook, there is this viral meme going around. When you are tagged, you have to list 25 unusual and interesting things about yourself. Nobody tagged me. Nobody at all. Not being the kind to hold a grudge, I decided to do one anyway.

  1. Once petitioned the Queen of England for knighthood and actually made it a few steps through the process before they realized he hadn’t done anything worthy.
  2. Confessed to an ex-girlfriend that he had slept with her sister only to find out it was her brother.
  3. Suffers from a rare disorder called “Harken’s Episodes.”
  4. Was divorced by his wife so she could pursue a career masturbating large birds.
  5. Had a spiritual revelation when he was twenty-two but lost his memory of the entire event as a result of his condition (see 3).
  6. Is absolutely terrified of the color mauve, probably because he doesn’t know what it is.
  7. Worked as an assistant puppeteer on Muppet Treasure Island for a month and a half before he was fired for “upstaging Kermit.”
  8. Took up playing the crystal flute in the late eighties because someone told him it would make him a better kisser. He quit when the flute cracked while he was playing it and made him a worse kisser.
  9. Signed up for classes at the Culinary Institute of America and then dropped them because he realized it wasn’t the “real” C.I.A.
  10. Is still amused that he gets to park in the blue spaces because he has a rare disorder (see 3).
  11. Can dress a stag in thirty-eight minutes. It only takes him thirty-four minutes if he’s dressing the stag in a skirt.
  12. Was described by a colleague in the game industry as “a little too lowbrow to be in the business.”
  13. Is working on his PhD in “Interactive Rhetorical Theory in the Eighteenth Century” because he knows teaching is a fast track to wealth.
  14. Makes his own hair gel out of all the free soaps he gets in hotels mixed with ketchup.
  15. Once kissed Sarah Michelle Gellar.
  16. Once was punched in the eye by Sarah Michelle Gellar.
  17. Doesn’t believe in evidence-based physics.
  18. Once used so many Q-Tips in his left ear they started coming out of the right.
  19. Voted Republican in six elections but successfully petitioned to have his votes nullified because of his condition (see 3).
  20. Backpacked through Europe for two days and then stopped because he felt he had “seen enough.”
  21. Has never smoked a cigarette, had more than a few sips of alcohol, or taken any illegal drugs and doesn’t feel like he’s missing out on anything.
  22. Only believes in things that haven’t been proven.
  23. Had his license revoked for driving “too responsibly.”
  24. Could have been a contender.
  25. Is lying about one of the things on this list.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Superheroes and Teeth

When I was younger, I used to play a lot of “pen and paper role playing games” like Dungeons and Dragons. The one I played the most was a superhero game called Champions. The Champions system was designed to allow any possible character by using a point-based character creation system. If you could shoot lightning bolts, you bought “Energy Blast” and said your power was electric. If you could shoot fireballs you did the same thing but said your power was fire.

The points had to balance out. If you wanted to spend points on the ability to fly, you’d need to pay for the power with a disadvantage such as a secret identity, allergy to a substance like kryptonite, or even a strong moral code (yes, moral codes counted as disadvantages). If you didn’t have enough disadvantage points, you couldn’t have a power. However, you could always go out and have an adventure, get experience points, and spend those. That’s why Superman is so powerful, he’s been fighting bad guys for decades.

As a kid, I always wished I could look at my Champions character sheet. I wanted to know what my powers were (20 points in “irritate brother,” 10 in “procrastination”), what my disadvantages were (15 points in “secret identity”, 30 points in “allergic to homework”), and, best of all, change them around (80 points in “disturbingly attractive”).

This brings us to the issue of my laser surgery, my potential root canal, and why I need to get out more. Earlier this year, I got laser surgery on my eyes. It’s a surgery that I’ve wanted to have ever since I started losing my eyesight back in the fourth grade. Of course, back then there wasn’t much success in the whole “restore vision” thing, so I wore glasses for years.

Then came LASIK and then Wavefront LASIK. The articles about Wavefront said that it could give me hawk-like vision. Finally, I could have the superpowers I always wanted. Er, well, one of them, anyway. I had the surgery done and got impressive results. Predictably, when I went in for my six month dental checkup I found out a filling I had redrilled had failed again. There was talk of a root canal and I had to go in for some painful (if technically impressive) dental work.

You may be wondering why I said it was predictable that my filling failed and how this relates to Champions. The answer: lack of experience points. I haven’t had enough adventures. Part of having two children and taking care of them myself meant I had to forego a number of experiences. Sure, having children experience, but not really that much. A good game master would only give me about six or seven points per child (less for a second child, since you’re supposed to lose results for each time you repeat yourself).

Being as nearsighted as I was would have been a twenty point disadvantage. So, if you assume ten points for my childrearing experience points, there are still ten points I have to make up with a new disadvantage. What did I get? A new, minor physical limitation: sensitive tooth.

I bet you my arch nemesis is going to get a good laugh out of that one.

Monday, January 5, 2009

If I could draw #4

A couple is in the maternity ward. The woman is in bed, sweaty from having just delivered her baby. The man is by her side, holding her hand.

Both wear black leather fetish gear and masks.

The couple is looking expectantly at the doctor, who is holding the baby out to them. The baby is also wearing a black, leather mask.

Caption: “Congratulations! It’s a top!”