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This is my blog, and it is dangerous. Do you think I want to die like this?





Tuesday, May 19, 2015

My First Airsoft Game

I didn't actually play, I was there as a game reporter (an unarmed observer who films footage of the action and does interviews) - it's the non-administrative side of my job I'd been dreading since the moment I was informed I had to do it.

I'm guessing that to some of you who read this blog, the idea of me wearing a tactical vest and goggles, and drinking water I was wearing on my own back in the middle of a field with 70 guys shooting at each other might seem like my natural habitat, but I was so far out of my element I couldn't even see the periodic table.

It all started the day before the game, when I tremulously drove from NJ to PA to pick up the boss, then head up to NY. (He has no depth perception, or peripheral vision. No, I don't intentionally sneak up on him - he was in the special forces, and I'm not a fan of head locks.)

We made a quick visit to the field, then checked into the motel where we were staying. There were errands to run, hydration bladders to buy and decisions to make about what to unplug in the room so we could charge phones and camera batteries, etc. At this point, my growing panic was reasonably in check - only one of my ears was leaking blood, and I could still feel my face.
The moment I considered shanking my cellmate for sitting on MY bed.

That night, the boss had to adjust the tactical vest I was borrowing from him, to fit me properly. The resulting anxiety caused what am I now sure was internal organ swelling and temporary color blindness - I wanted it off, now.

Later in the evening, the bodyguard assigned to me - his primary job in the game was CAVT (control and verification team) - met us at the motel with a friend in tow. I went to jump into the shower, and the second my clothes were off, my boss is knocking at the door to tell me they're here already. Awesome.

I get out of the bathroom, already in full "well this is an awkward." mode, (because even ordinary situations are awkward to me) and my boss is on the phone, unable to properly introduce us. I'm holding my dirty underwear wrapped in a dirty shirt, staring longingly at the corner of the room where my stuff is, which was being blocked by my bed and two tall guys I'd never spoken to. I stood there for 30 minutes (or seconds) like a jackass before I decided to toss the stuff toward my bag.

Where it promptly decided to separate and display itself expertly on the tactical vest. Fabulous.

Thanks, Asshole.

~~~~~

After exactly zero minutes of sleep, and my newly-decided morning ritual of winging pillows at the window until I ran out (then collecting them to start again) the boss and cranky me arrived at the field a couple of hours before the game started. He took me on a brief tour through the village and through the trees, to where the battle would start at the beach landing site (it was based on the Falklands war). This was the first time I'd ever walked through a wooded area and felt a desperate urge to fake a seizure and subsequent inability to speak my own language.

Back at staging, I asked the boss if he needed me to retrieve the pvc poles he'd brought as a prop from the car for him. In front of a small handful of guys I did not know, he said, "Yes. Just try not to dance on them." I came back with the poles and said, "I managed not to dance on them, just try not to get one stuck up your ass."

That was the first and final time that day I was myself.

When the game began, I had been awake for 36 hours. Right before I put on my gear and got on the field, I sent this message to a good friend:

"I have never been more ready to cry into my own vomit than I am right now."

I want my mommy.


I got to the beach landing site, weighed down by gear and feeling like I was wearing a bunny costume to a black tie dinner, and asked my bodyguard, "Where should I stand?" He pointed vaguely. I positioned myself in a vague manner, and waited until smoke filled the field, bomb sound effects began and guys started pouring out of the "boats" shooting at unseen other guys in the woods.

As I squatted, camera in hand, I realized that the foreign sound I was hearing were BBs plinking all around me in the dry weeds. It was more surreal than scary - one of the fears I didn't have about doing the job was getting shot, which is what everyone else assumed was the reason I couldn't function as a sane person that day. I just couldn't believe I was right in the middle of it, and nothing was hitting me.

I sent this text to my sister (who used to regularly play airsoft) 30 minutes before I ate an expired Slim Jim:

"Airsoft is a TOTAL and UTTER nope for me. I tried. No. All the nos. Every no that has ever been or ever will be."


Please wait to shoot me until after I learn German so I can properly explain how equal parts bored and terrified I am first.

It is impossible for me to over-state the hell every single second of this was to me. I have crushing social anxiety, and I was wearing gear that made me feel like an dumbass, stuck on a field with dozens of strangers, with absolutely no freaking idea what I was doing. I wanted off that field even before I stepped onto it - making it three hours before I said, "I'm going back to staging, fuck all of this in the ear." was a testament to my will-power. Not weeping and demanding someone carry me off the field was a god damned miracle, what with the screams of my soul's imminent death ringing in my ears. This isn't to say there wasn't crying. There were definitely tears.

~~~~~

By the time I quit, I had over eight hours of sitting there until game end, knowing that I still had to drive from NY to PA and then back to Jersey. I was so sleep-deprived and done with it that it felt as though my skin was peeling in sheets and scuttling off chortling. I had been using nearly all of my mental and physical energy just to appear as if I was simply a conscious human living her own personal nightmare, so I had a prayer of getting us home safely.

Once it was finally, mercifully over, my brain was so crispy I could barely manage the complexities of driving while existing in my body. I could have been pissing myself while my boss punched me in the kidneys and I doubt I would have noticed, for the amount of concentration I had to put into not running red lights and sitting at green ones (both happened).

I like my boss, seriously. But I had a few moments on the ride home where I considered merely slowing in front of his home and kicking him out the door along with his gear.

The only time I laughed that entire day was on the drive home when the boss told me my sister's review of her very first airsoft game: "I'm not saying anyone on that field was gay ... but that was the gayest thing I've ever done."

I don't think airsoft itself is terrible, and the game was very well-written and orchestrated - I saw almost everyone leave (due to choosing a folding chair by the exit and making it mine) and they were thrilled to damned death with it. Airsoft is awesome, for someone who wants to hang out in the woods sweating through their camo and chasing ticks off themselves. If this is how you have fun, and you're in the northeast, I have the information you need to make this happen for you. I can also get you a good deal on rip-stop pants, vests and goggles.

I leave you with what a friend said to me after recounting my day to them, including the expired Slim Jim lunch.

"As my blood thickens and my heart stops, my only regret is that I was here."

.
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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Boys and Adjectives

As a single girl who sleeps very poorly, I get bored a lot, so I end up on Omegle at odd hours, with a beer in hand. I've had a few great convos there, like the night I laughed until I cried while three dudes from Texas acted like three dudes from Texas.

But as anyone who's been there can tell you, it's pretty much hit or miss, miss, miss, miss. Much of the time, I end up talking to a young man who assumes that me moving to Skype with them to chat verbally without Omegle's soundtrack of what must be robots tussling means that later, despite how very clothed I remained, and non-sexual our first conversation was, I want them to tell me every single time they feel a boner approaching.

I actually suspect that I could conduct this first conversation while wearing another person as my hat, and talking about nothing but my collection of stolen left socks I took from former lovers and still yield the same results.

I do expect and accept that guys, especially the younger ones, will ask to see my boobs when they meet me on video chat. It's okay, I get it. But how many times do you have to say no before it lands in a part of their brain where it's understood as an actual no?

Is deigning to spend time with me in conversation seen as some sort of currency to be exchanged for flashing my tits or fielding conversation about the pressure in his balls?

I am learning so much about men in my year of being single. Here's an example:

Wait for it ...
Everyone, just think about that sentence. "You should see what I can do with my ass hole."
Allow it to echo in your mind. It's impossible to respond to immediately.

"like a baby"!? What published work is telling men to use that phrase anywhere near a statement about their genitals?
Yep, "crimson tide" tore it for me. I've reached the point where I can no longer muster
the energy to help guide him out of the depths of uninspired futility.
I've now given you all the formula for getting a child down for a nap. Exhaust them with word salads.

What do you think? Will he message me again?

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Guilt!

I always feel guilty when a Tuesday passes and I don't have something to post here. I've been busy, but I've belabored that point. Once I have more free time, I do plan to get back on the blog ball.

So there's not much going on in my life that anyone really wants to hear about, since it's all stuff about trying to build a website and store, and make sure my associate/boss-type-person isn't using "as" for "has" all over the website, because he's English and can't help that shit at all.

The rest of my life involves conversations with my sons and ex-husband. So that's what you're getting, and you can like it or lump it (as my junior high science teacher loved to say).

As I mentioned in the comments on the groovy-ass blog Simian Idiot, my six-year-old son hates being asked questions that do not relate to precisely the subject he wants to discuss at that moment and probably for at least the next hour. His reactions range from physically waving the question away, to exasperated body twisting and sighs to facial expressions that resemble some sort of fugue.

His personality is a constant source of amusement for his father and me.

me: Did you eat dinner already?
6-yr-old: *stares into space, squirms* I don't know.
me: You don't know if you just ate a meal within the last hour?
6-yr-old: ...no. Why do Delta cargo planes never carry passengers?

Next time he wants to talk about Delta, I'll have more questions than answers.

Just this past weekend, I asked him if he was doing any math in school.

6-yr-old: Can not predict now.

His father explained this answer was due to their Magic 8 Ball. He apparently asks the thing the same question every day: "Am I going to die this week?"

6-yr-old: And it always sometimes says, "yes"!

~~~~~

Their dad just took them to Seaworld, where they sat in the splash zone for Shamu. Apparently, they avoided getting wet, which caused the younger brother (aged 5) to complain bitterly. Sounds about right for a child who was born a grumpy old man. It's 80 degrees where he lives, and he insists on wearing long sleeves. He just asked me a few days ago if I'd heard of and liked Simon and Garfunkle. When he gets home from school, he puts on a dress shirt, pants, vest and tie.

This sounds like I'm merely trying to stress a point, but these are un-embellished facts.

Little brother also likes to argue. His dad told him he should be a lawyer when he grows up, because of his love for arguing, and he for reals responded, "I do not love to argue!" But this is the same child who made a robot out of a box and named it "Robox", so we're probably not going to sell him to gypsies yet. Not even despite that he says that when he grows up he's going to open the Hitler Airport. Don't get too concerned, he also wants to open The Little Rascal's Airport.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Coffee

When I wake up in the morning, I just want some fucking coffee. I don't want to be presented with a riddle, or a project, or a game of chance. I want a hot, strong cup and 15 minutes to attempt to encourage my thinky brain to catch up with my instinctive brain, which only wants to run at the first living thing and kill it when my alarm goes off.

The Hamilton Beach Flexbrew has distinctively different ideas about how my mornings should begin.

Yeah, this is the fucker.

Oooh, I brew pots and single cups! No you don't.

We used to have a Mr. Coffee single-cup brewer and it was trusty. The Hamilton Beach Flexbrew was a Christmas gift from my step-dad to my mom, meant to clear some premium counter-space, presumably so he could fill it up with a pop-up toaster to be friends with our toaster oven. Their kitchen is a menagerie of contrapshits and accoutre-junks.

Some background: step-dad prefers to brew a pot of half-caf and for all intents and purposes, insert a straw. Mom likes a cup at a time, sometimes regular, sometimes half-caf - which always results in us having an over-abundant supply of pointless sucka MC coffee pods rattling around - but lest I divide my ire today, let's stick to talking about what I've dubbed "The Asshole of Coffeemakers".

We'll start with my lesser gripes:

  • It has no fill-line for the individual cups of coffee. It has a window on the side which ostensibly is meant to show you how much water you're pouring in, but trust me, it's as useless as ovaries on a boyfriend. You gotta pre-measure that agua. Might as well rustle up a batch of french toast at 6am.

  • The drip-tray doesn't remove. I'd be angrier about this if I weren't the one tasked with removing stale, tepid coffee from the unit via siphon. But whoever thought that one up in the boardroom definitely moonlights as a total jerk.

  • If you don't press that coffee pod directly down in one dextrous, practiced movement, you're getting a crunchy coffee-ground surprise, because Hamilton Beach is a fussy mistress.

  • Finally, the doozlehopper you stick the pod into has many moving, yet seemingly non-removing parts which makes cleaning some sort of Russian Roulette hand acrobatics where you wait for the day when you slice a soap-slippery finger jiggling about, if you don't have the foresight and planning to get it into a dishwasher load. But again - not my circus, not my monkeys.

Now, the real reason I'm here: getting a single, consistent cup of coffee in a timely fashion is a distant memory if you purchase this small electronic appliance.

With most of the single-cup brewers I've dealt with, you press start and walk away (or slump in a quivering, desperate heap) to wait until the machine stops groaning to know you've got some coffee. The Hamilton Beach Flexbrew expects you to walk away and go fuck yourself.

It thinks it's really clever, too - with its adorable little beep to let you know coffee consumption is nigh. It lies to you. All too often, that cup isn't even one-quarter brewed when that beep occurs. Sure, sometimes your cup is perfect, and when that rare magic happens, you tell everyone you know that you've been gifted with the only thing you ever wanted: a hot, delicious singly-brewed cup of coffee in less than 20 minutes.

I've done experiments - albeit caffeine-fueled, fist-banging German ones. It doesn't care what brand of coffee pod you use, it doesn't care how much water you've incrementally measured out - it doesn't care how desperately you beg. It is simply filled with gremlins.

So if what you desire is to be soundly dominated by a machine first thing in the Christly morning - or any hour of day, for that matter - bring a box of k-cup - any brand, as long as it's caffeinated - to my home and run away screaming with this thing. I'm going to tell my parents that fairies did it. I'll even throw in a slightly-used pop-up toaster. We're going to need the counter space when I drag up the old coffee makers from the basement.

.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Another Boring Update

A couple of weeks back, I had to drive into unfamiliar territory to visit a friend in the hospital. My mother insists I take her GPS on occasions such as this, and since I reckoned a gosh darn hospital shouldn't be too difficult for a modern invention specifically designed to direct me to the location of my choosing, I took it.

You see, I didn't learn from the last time I tried to use it to get me to the freaking Philadelphia International Airport, when it insisted that what appeared to be the off-site parking lot for super duper long-term parking was where I needed to be, rather than, I dunno, someplace crazy, like arrivals.

I also didn't learn from the time it took my family into a residential neighborhood and insisted some dude's house was Denny's.

It's haunted, that GPS. This is the only logical explanation for its behavior. It's the only reason I can fathom for why it told me that a major hospital was located in a business park well about three or so miles down the road from the destination at which I was yearning to arrive. It didn't take too long before I yanked that impish gremlin away from its power source and decided to pull over and make a phone call to my friend.

I was in the right lane, and impulsively decided to pull over into a parking lot, using my turn signal. I could only assume that my quick deceleration had caused some irritation because I heard the blaring of a car horn and saw another car right up my car-butt. I chanted to myself, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry." before I saw the vehicle as it passed by me, and a woman nearly leaning out her open passenger window screaming, "Biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitch!" All I could do is lift a palm skyward and shrug at her.

What did she want from me? Some sort of screeched agreement, 1-1/2 seconds of fervent contrition, or maybe for me to throw my first-born from the car as some sort of offering to pay for my sins?

Ten years ago, someone bellowing at me on the road would have rattled the hell out of me. But now, I am merely curious as to what could possibly be going on inside the head of a person who feels that honking their horn aggressively is not enough of a punishment for someone executing the minor infraction of slowing down suddenly, yet not causing an accident. Sure, my bad. This shit happens on the road. But really, lady - calm down. No need to roll down your window and lose your mind on me. It wasn't personal.

~~~~~

Other than eliciting wrath from my fellow commuters, most of my day has involved trudging away at the same thing I've been working on for several weeks - setting up the online store for the AirLARP/Zombie Apocalypse/MilSim site. There had been some noise about how I was meant to also write a blog for the site, and I've recently learned that a big portion of what I'll be doing is ... you know, it's almost hard to type this, because it's a combination of two things I never thought I would remotely be involved in.

I'm going to be writing a fashion blog for post-apocalyptic/fantasy/military costumes. I mean, what? Anyone who knows me well, and/or in person can tell you that I never use the word zombie unless I'm referring to my mental state after some intractable sleep-deprivation, and there's not a person on this planet who would connect me with fashion, ever.  For any reason.

Even the guy who put me in charge of this sees me during virtually all Skype meetings in the same red hoodie I've been wearing since my grandmother gave it to me for Christmas. If he's able to see the shirt under it, he invariably suggests I change it, because he's seen it too many days in a row. Another popular suggestion: wash your hair.

So, if I'm less productive with writing something like the Sims story or a movie review, it's because I'm busy trying to figure out how to cram my scuzz ball into a fashionable hole. That's disgusting.

.
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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Boring Update

I don't think I've ever posted an update about my life in general when nothing was happening that would make people question the thought patterns leading up to my choices.

So I figured, why not be boring, bordering on sensible for once?

I'm still living in NJ with my mom and step dad. I'm their personal assistant/kitchen bitch. It's a pretty important job, because without me, there'd be no one to pick up the frozen, fully-cooked hickory smoked Market Day bacon that comes in while my mom is at work. Who would call the dog a fuckstick if I weren't here? Just who, I ask you, is going to deliver a poop sample to the vet? And most importantly, who would go to their bedroom and slam their door in protest of their parent's love for bickering? I'm the glue that keeps this house from ripping off its foundation.

When I first moved back home, I did a fair amount of drinking - a holdover from living in Texas with my mother-in-law and then my whole Idaho debacle. That behavior flew for about 15 minutes before my mom gently threatened the hammer drop on me, so I somehow managed to knock some sense into myself and stop.

Next up, I had to work on my post-Idaho kummerspeck. Mom and step dad feed me well, and in the land of glorious hoagies, pizza and cheese steaks, along with the holidays, I managed to pile up a meaty chunk on myself. It was fun for awhile, but even this lazy girl can only take so much greasy fingered girth-admiring. I'm definitely on the road toward not dodging every camera at risk of capturing my image.

For a long time, I kept busy at a slow pace. I had a lot of nothing to do, and was great at it. Now I'm intensely and actually busy working on setting up an online store that sells gear for Airsoft military simulations and zombie apocalypse games. I'm aware this makes no sense with my history of blogging about The Sims, movie reviews, letters I like to write to strangers and food which displeases me.

This is how it happened: my sister had taken a role in a murder mystery, which was a the beta test for an Airsoft friend of hers (named Monty) who planned to start running them regularly. I'd asked to go see the show, and that turned into being asked to do the favor of taking a very small role of my own, last minute, since it hadn't been filled yet. With my new-found determination to stop saying no to everything that sounds remotely like too much uncontrolled social contact or unfamiliar activity in front of strangers, I decided to just say yes.


Sister and me, attempting to look 1940s-ish, while I display my expert level selfie-taking.
Phones are as hard as my sister's humorless glare.
I got to play a very fun part where I pretended to be absolutely nobody all night, who then pulls out a gun in a twist ending. Not long after, Monty asked me to come back for a future show, as a paid actor. After another interval of time which I can not recall (but still not very long), he asked me to put my organizational skills and talent for doing very boring, tedious things to work by helping him set up his store for him.

I'm becoming familiar - in a way I'd never planned - with the vast array of accoutrements people use to run around in the woods, trying to kill each other - not for real, although dressed as though they mean it.

Once I get the store sorted, I'll be concentrating on the next murder mystery, as well as writing a blog for the store's website. I gotta be honest, I have no idea what I'm doing, or why anyone would give me the responsibility of doing it.

So, that's my update. I've done a pretty good job not making an ass out of myself for awhile, and although it's often less fun than playing a jester in my own throne room, it's still kinda neat. Apologies for not updating as often as I usually would - when I get a project, I tend to fly at it violently, to the detriment of anything else.
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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I Play Sims 2 (part10)

Giuliana gets the award for being the best-looking female elder so far.
Unfortunately, she's willing to touch a person with a haircut that shouldn't exist.
Gigi, you're an adult! Go get some action, promptly.
Mm, yes. Right next to the bug collection, as it's meant to be.
And you're handling pregnancy so gracefully!
This is an interesting new ritual I have yet to find a name for.
Mina, I am not quite digging your elder do-rag.

Groovy, another tree fire.
Even better, a lecture from the fire department for calling them when there was no actual fire.
Must be time for more game goofin'.
Damned thing refused to quit raging, so I moved it to the front of the property and made it a feature.
Gigi really likes it. It sets them apart from the rest of the houses on the block.
It's a boy! His name is Hank.
This is what's become of our sweet princess Holly.
Naturally, Murray rushed right on over.
Hank's a toddler! Oh, I can't wait to potty train yet another one of these things.
And looky there, Holly popped right between the hoopty and the blazing tree.
As it tends to do, life goes on ... Gigi shreds her face off in her pajamas in full view of the neighbors ...
... Geneva digs her holes in the yard ...
... Mina can't bear the racket ...
... and a stray dog engages in goofballery in the spot where the tree finally
extinguished itself for no apparent reason, after several days ablaze.
Don't worry, after I moved it back, it caught fire again. I didn't even bother to call the fire department. What can you do?
So then Holly had a little girl named Hillary.
And Hank became a child wearing a shirt similar to one I own, so I need fashion help.
Hillary suddenly grew into, uh ... this. We'll wait, it could get better.
Well, maybe Hillary is smart.
Everything is just going kooky now.
For one thing, our maid came home from work with Holly.
And Giuliana find her loathsome as balls.
Alright ... uh, maid ... see you in the morning!
Then we have these two stray dogs on the front porch - both named Bailey.
They battled. There can only be one. Congratulations, Bailey! Better luck next time, Bailey!
I became so thoroughly fed up with my game's knavery, I decided to build a pond under the eternally burning tree.
.
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