Hot & filthy lex with two girls

I’m playing Scrabulous with Amanda and Carolyn from GamesRadar. Amanda set the tone with the first word: WHORE. Today I got the chance to play an epically inappropriate bingo (that’s a seven-letter word using your entire rack of tiles, and it nets you a big bonus).

Imagine my thrill at showing those two ladies my PENISES for a massive 83 points!

Look quick, before I mess it up

I am so rarely organized, I thought it would be nice to capture the moment. I just reorganized my home office desk, which currently houses three computers:

The PC is underneath, out of frame. The laptop is covered in VH stripes on the left. Behind it is a Mac mini with an Mbox 2 Mini on top of it — and that was the reason for the reorg. Now that I’m using Pro Tools LE for my home recordings, I had to accommodate two studio monitors as well as the front speakers from the PC’s 5.1 setup…and the rear speakers from the console’s 5.1 setup (it’s directly opposite, so I can swivel 180 degrees and use either one). Somehow I managed to accomodate three mice, six speakers, two keyboards, a 24″ monitor, a Line 6 POD, and an animated femme fatale (those are Jessica Rabbit’s legs in the upper right) all on an Ikea Galant. Plus, there’s always a guitar to my right, which proves handy for those long WoW flights.

It’s only a matter of time before magazines and guitar picks and CD-ROMs and game controllers appear and ruin the whole system, of course. But that’s how I’ll know it’s mine.

A winner is me

I won my first poker tournament today. It was a small charity tournament at work, and only 11 people entered — but hey, I was still tops out of 11 today. I was actually crippled about halfway through and down to a handful of chips; I thought I was going home. But I played aggressively when I needed to and sent enough strange “am I bluffing or do I have it” signals along the way that people didn’t know how to read me. It was a good step forward for my poker confidence.

Challenge: The Euphemism

“We’d like you to see this as a challenge.”

A few years ago, all problems disappeared from the modern workplace. They were replaced by “challenges.” I obviously do believe in the power of words; specific meanings come with each one, and I see the value of not magnifying negatives by having your employees dwell on their “problems.” But I’d like to officially retire this one, because it has outlived its usefulness. It now means “Hey, management fucked up, and the buck is hereby passed.”

This is a horrible trap. In those situations, if you point out that the “challenge” is unrealistic and/or simply an unfair burden, then you’re not “rising to the challenge.” And if you don’t discuss it and do manage to achieve the impossible, you don’t hear much in the way of praise — it was expected that you would “meet the challenge.” So you can either break even or lose.

It’s a shame, because there was a time when this phrase meant something. There are situations that require creative solutions — a few from my world include, how do you keep a print magazine relevant in the age of online? How do you bring in compelling content under a strict budget? How do you find new talent that you can trust to do the job right and take the responsibility seriously? Those are challenges. That stuff is very different from “Here’s bad news; don’t complain about it.”

I will see getting over my aversion to this phrase as a challenge.

Grrr, for like, no reason

I try to keep the personal bitching to a minimum here. Nobody wants to read this and go “oh, yeah, Dan, you’ve got it rough — you review video games for a living, you have a happy marriage, you live in California, and you have a home full of fun stuff.”

But for whatever reason, I find myself constantly angry. I don’t know why — I can step back, look objectively, and go, yeah, dude, charmed life. It’s not that there’s something I want, it’s more like something I don’t want. I don’t want to be angry.

Could be that I’m just spoiled — no real context of how good I have it compared to everybody else, so used to having things work out that I can’t process failure. Or maybe I don’t have an outlet for the little things that annoy everybody in their daily lives, so they fester and turn into big destructive things just because I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. That’s simply a communication issue combined with a bravery issue.

I’m still planning for the best instead of assuming the worst, but when things go wrong, they overwhelm me.  I’m optomistic but I’m tired. I’m smart but I’m paranoid. And apparently I’m most of the lyrics from Alanis Morrissette’s “Hand in My Pocket.”

I think I’m just spoiled, personally. Time for a reality check of some sort.

Fast Times live in SF April 25

We have a lot of gigs coming up in the next six months, and you won’t be able to see most of them. They’re private shows or weddings or casino gigs out in the tribal-owned areas of California, and while you’re certainly invited, I doubt many of you will want to make the trek. But we do have a show coming up in about two weeks, on a Friday night in San Francisco. And if you click this, you’ll get a nice big PDF that you can print out and give to all your friends.

The easiest way to give you directions is “it’s literally across the street from the In & Out Burger up near Fisherman’s Wharf.” And there is a dress code which is, from my understanding, to discourage gangs.  Those vicious, elderly-tourist Fisherman’s Wharf gangs. But they will turn you away without a collared shirt — they did it to both band friends and family members.

Those of you of a geeky persuasion may check out the alternate poster, but don’t get your hopes up — it’s just a reference, not a promise of performing the song.

Another baby leaves home

I don’t sell guitars often but I promised I would let this one go some months ago. I finally found the right buyer.

Kat got it for me as an anniversary present a few years ago, and once I got the T5, the purple ESP Eclipse Archtop went into the case and kinda never came out. I actually replaced two guitars with the T5, which was kind of the point. I’m allowed to trade up when it helps thin the herd.

The purple ESP went to a friend, Chris “Coffeehouse Girl” Mitra, who was looking for “that special something” on stage. I’m glad to say that this was it. He loves it as much as I do. It arrived in Minneapolis safe and sound.

It’s unfortunate that I have already blown a good chunk of the money on recording gear. It’s fortunate that the recording gear in question will be written off on next year’s taxes.

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The darker side of everything

We’re breeding addicts!

Please, people, shut the fuck up.

Personally, I’m addicted to oxygen. I find that I simply can’t make it through the day without breathing in and out a few thousand times. And when I went to the doctor about it, they wouldn’t do a damn thing to stop it. Can’t they see that I simply cannot stop myself?